CCOG and What is Truth?

By COGwriter

Many people wonder about what is the right or correct church.

Many consider location to be important. Some consider reputation is highly important. Others believe that connection with history is important.

Some consider that the speaking style of the ministry is important.

Many believe that the right church is what feels right for them. Others believe that prophetic insight is one of the most important criteria.

Although this article will briefly touch on all of those matters, the focus is on the truth.

The Continuing Church of God has a booklet that touches on many of these points that is available free online titled Where is the True Christian Church Today?

The true Christian church will have place the highest value on the truth and will also have practices based upon it.

What is Truth?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines truth as follows ( accessed 08/08/15):

truth the quality of being true:

The Cambridge Dictionary defines 'the truth' as follows:

the truth the real facts about a situation, event, or person:

The truth is something that is genuinely accurate. Yet, philosophers, common people, and leaders have long wondered about the truth.

Notice how the Cambrige Dictionary defines 'formal' truth:

a fact or principle that is thought to be true by most people:

But the above is most certainly not always true. And many have long realized that.

When speaking with Jesus, the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate asked about it:

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?"

Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all." (John 18:37-38)

While Jesus did not answer Pilate's last question as it appears that Pilate went out not expecting an answer, Jesus did say what the truth was. First, he said that saying a statement that was accurate was right, consistent with the truth. Elsewhere, Jesus did state what the truth was:

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

Recall that:

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

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

So, whatever God says is the truth. A lie is something that is opposed to the truth.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

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

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

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

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

James similarly wrote:

18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:18)

The Apostle John wrote:

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)

46 And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.(John 8:46-47)

37 I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice (John 18:37).

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:6-10)

4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:4-6)

18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. (1 John 3:18-19)

21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21)

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:4-6).

6 This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)

1 The Elder,

To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:

3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. (2 John 1-4)

3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 3-4)

12... And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. (3 John 12)

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:5)

6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." (Revelation 22:6)

The Apostle John calls Christians, 'little children'--children are still to learn and grow in knowledge--so are adults, but children tend to recognize their need.

Are you tired about hearing about the truth? Consider that in the end times, most Christians will think that they have enough truth, but will be lacking. John was also inspired to write these words of Jesus:

14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'" (Revelation 3:14-22)

While Herbert W. Armstrong did restore 18 truths that he claimed were lost by the time he came in contact with the Sardis portion of the Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong himself DID NOT restore all things. The restoration of ALL THINGS was prophesied to happen in the end(Matthew 17:11) and Herbert Armstrong did not do that, nor did he ever claim to (see also The Elijah Heresies).

Most in the end times will NOT act on the truth as Jesus wants them to. Most are lukewarm about it. Some are 'burnt out' about prophecy, etc. Others are unwilling to support a group unless there is a congregation near by for them to attend. Others have other priorities.

The Old Testament teaches that all of God's word is the truth:

60 The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalms 119:160)

It is interesting to note that the Bible teaches:

151 And all Your commandments are truth (Psalm 119:151).

And this would seem to have to include the Sabbath commandment, which is recorded in the word of God in both the Old (Exodus 20:10, Deuteronomy 5:14) and New (Hebrews 4:9) Testaments.

Notice also:

21... the Scripture of Truth. (Daniel 10:21)

We in the CCOG believe and teach that the word of God is truth and is more important than any traditions, teachings, or traditional understandings that are in conflict with it (see also Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings).

Consider also something from the 2nd century:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time -- a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles... John, the disciple of the Lord…exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me?" "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan" (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4).

The Orthodox go so far as to have the following in a ceremony about Polycarp,

As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Polycarp...This apostolic and prophetic man, and model of faith and truth, was a disciple of John the Evangelist (Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna. Greek Archdiocese of America. 8/27/05).

Bishop/Pastor Polycarp was a faithful saint and martyr and he also refused to accept the traditions as accepted by the Bishops of Rome (FRAGMENTS FROM THE LOST WRITINGS OF IRENAEUS.  Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc).

Melito was a bishop of Sardis and is considered to be a saint by both the Catholics of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox.

He began to speak as follows:-

"It is not easy," said Melito, "speedily to bring into the right way the man who has a long time previously been held fast by error. It may, however, be effected: for, when a man turns away ever so little from error, the mention of the truth is acceptable to him. For, just as when the cloud breaks ever so little there comes fair weather, even so, when a man turns toward God, the thick cloud of error which deprived him of true vision is quickly withdrawn from before him. For error, like disease and sleep, long holds fast those who come under its influence; but truth uses the word as a goad, and smites the slumberers, and awakens them; and when they are awake they look at the truth, and also understand it: they hear, and distinguish that which is from that which is not. For there are men who call iniquity righteousness: they think, for example, that it is righteousness for a man to err with the many. But I, for my part, affirm that it is not a good excuse for error that a man errs with the many. For, if one man only sin, his sin is great: how much greater will be the sin when many sin together!...

No eye can see Him, nor thought apprehend Him, nor language describe Him; and those who love Him speak of Him thus: `Father, and God of Truth.'...

But, now that a voice has been heard through all the earth, declaring that there is a God of truth, and there has been given to every man an eye wherewith to see, those persons are without excuse who are ashamed of incurring the censure of their former companions in error, and yet desire to walk in the right way. ...

Who is this God? He who is Himself truth, and His word truth. And what is truth? That which is not fashioned, nor made, nor represented by art: that is, which has never been brought into existence, and is on that account called truth. If, therefore, a man worship that which is made with hands, it is not the truth that he worships, nor yet the word of truth...

For, if thou sayest of that which is not God: This is God, thou deceivest thyself, and sinnest before the God of truth. ...

There are, however, persons who say: It is for the honour of God that we make the image: in order, that is, that we may worship the God who is concealed from our view. But they are unaware that God is in every country, and in every place, and is never absent, and that there is not anything done and He knoweth it not. Yet thou, despicable man! within whom He is, and without whom He is, and above whom He is, hast nevertheless gone and bought thee wood from the carpenter's, and it is carved and made into an image insulting to God. To this thou offerest sacrifice, and knowest not that the all-seeing eye seeth thee, and that the word of truth reproves thee, and says to thee: How can the unseen God be sculptured? Nay, it is the likeness of thyself that thou makest and worshippest. Because the wood has been sculptured, hast thou not the insight to perceive that it is still wood, or that the stone is still stone? The gold also the workman: taketh according to its weight in the balance. And when thou hast had it made into an image, why dose thou weigh it? Therefore thou art a lover of gold, and not a lover of God...

Again, there are persons who say: Whatsoever our fathers have bequeathed to us, that we reverence. Therefore, of course, it is, that those whose fathers have bequeathed them poverty strive to become rich! and those whose fathers did not instruct them, desire to be instructed, and to learn that which their fathers knew not! And why, forsooth, do the children of the blind see, and the children of the lame walk? Nay, it is not well for a man to follow his predecessors, if they be those whose course was evil; but rather that we should turn from that path of theirs, lest that which befell our predecessors should bring disaster upon us also. Wherefore, inquire whether thy father's course was good: and, if so, do thou also follow in his steps; but, if thy father's course was very evil, let thine be good, and so let it be with thy children after thee. Be grieved also for thy father because his course is evil, so long as thy grief may avail to help him. But, as for thy children, speak to them thus: There is a God, the Father of all, who never came into being, neither was ever made, and by whose will all things subsist...

And then shall those who have not known God, and those who have made them idols, bemoan themselves, when they shall see those idols of theirs being burnt up, together with themselves, and nothing shall be found to help them (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. A DISCOURSE WHICH WAS IN THE PRESENCE OF ANTONINUS CAESAR, AND HE EXHORTED THE SAID CAESAR TO ACQUAINT HIMSELF WITH GOD, AND SHOWED TO HIM THE WAY OF TRUTH. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. 08/04/15).

Melito knew that all idols were lies, even if they come from traditions. This is also taught in the Old Testament:

19... The Gentiles shall come to You
From the ends of the earth and say,
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies,
Worthlessness and unprofitable things."
20 Will a man make gods for himself,
Which are not gods?

21 "Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know,
I will cause them to know
My hand and My might;
And they shall know that My name is the Lord. (Jeremiah 16:19-21)

But although they have inherited lies, there will be an opportunity in the age to come for those who accepted lies instead of the truth (Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

Melito also knew that the Apostle Paul wrote:

2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:2-4)

Yet, sadly many in Melito's day and this present time have accepted idols and other doctrines that are not manifestations of the truth. They try to justify idols deceitfully as far as the word of God and often true early Christian history is concerned (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

Catholics and Protestants Look at the Wrong Places for Truth

Although many professing Christian faiths claim to be believe the Bible, they look at other sources, which they often accept more than the Bible as truth.

Nearly all in the Roman Catholic Church accept that doctrine comes from the Living Magisterium which is basically a combination of the portions of the Bible and its own traditions that the leadership has decided is important. Officially according to Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church bases its teachings on what has been called:

Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum #9, Vatican Council II. As quoted in Birch D.A. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph. Queenship Publishing Co, 1996; p.5).

Part of the reason for this is based on the findings of the Council of Trent that was held in the mid 16th Century. The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:

The Council, as is evident, held that there are Divine traditions not contained in Holy Scripture, revelations made to the Apostles either orally by Jesus Christ or by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and transmitted by the Apostles to the Church. Holy Scripture is therefore not the only theological source of the Revelation made by God to His Church. Side by side with Scripture there is tradition, side by side with the written revelation there is the oral revelation. This granted, it is impossible to be satisfied with the Bible alone for the solution of all dogmatic questions (Bainvel J. Transcribed by Tomas Hancil. Tradition and Living Magisterium. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV, Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight Nihil. Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

The Eastern Orthodox Church also takes a similar position and places a very high opinion on tradition (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Book, St. Ives (England), 1997, p.195-207). Partially because of this, they have overlooked the original meaning of their own language for words such as stauros (see What is the Origin of the Cross as a 'Christian' Symbol?) and Kuriaki (see Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath).

The Roman Catholic, as well as Orthodox, position seems to be that since during most of the time the original Apostles were alive there was not a complete New Testament, that the early church relied heavily on oral teachings (which it often calls traditions or oral revelations) transmitted by Jesus and the Apostles.

What about Seventh-day Adventists? Their Ellen White taught that her sanctuary position essentially explained "a complete system of truth":

THE SUBJECT OF THE sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonius, showing that God's hand directed the great advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people (White E.G. Will America Survive? 1888; Reprint, 1988 by Inspiration Books East, Jemison (AL), p. 405).

Now while I do believe that Ellen White was correct that prophecy is important, I do not believe that the message of the Bible is that the Advent movement is correct because of her sanctuary interpretation. It is the Bible, and not Ellen White's interpretations, that unlock the mysteries of God and which is the complete system of truth. It is because SDAs accept a lot of Ellen White's writings as truth, they cannot see many of the truths of the Bible. If you are an Adventist, should your "system of truth" be the Bible or traditions outside of it? Please pray about that.

For additional information, please see the article SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666.

While Protestants tend to blast Roman Catholics for relying on traditions of men above the Bible, the simple truth is that Protestant scholars not only realize that Protestants do this, they actually teach that relying on human traditions is more important than the Bible. Look at this admission from the Protestant scholar and theologian H. Brown:

Although classical theology is certainly not without its problems, historically it is almost always the case that the appeal to the Bible alone...leads to the reemergence of ancient heresies...The Reformation began with the slogan "To the sources!" and sought to deal a fatal blow to the place of church tradition in shaping life and faith...Despite their efforts not to be influenced by the authority of tradition, each of the major Reformation churches found itself borrowing from the past and building up a traditionalism of its own...when the Anabaptists and other radicals discovered Scripture to be teaching things the Lutherans found detestable, Lutherans learned the usefulness of tradition...(Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 335,350-351).

It should be noted that the above is not limited to one Protestant scholar, even Martin Luther truly did not believe in rallying cry sola scriptura and even discounted several books of the Bible (an article of related interest may be Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?). (The Anabaptists are mentioned in the article on the Sardis Church era).

The reality is the fact that Protestants, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics accept tradition, they call many biblical practices that were enjoined upon and practiced by the early New Testament church, heresies. But if practices were original and based upon the Bible, can they logically be called heresies?

The Bible is clear that in the end-times, it is needed for all to have a "love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). And only traditions and teachings in accordance with the truth are acceptable to God.

Two Protestants Who Moved Further Away from the Truth

Protestant leader named Marty Sampson lost his religion in 2019. He was being praised by atheists for doing so.

His announcement came after a well-known Protestant dating-marriage author, Joshua Harris, renounced his beliefs and offered apologies to the LGBTQ crowd.

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

Here is some information related to Joshua Harris:

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

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

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

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

Apparently Joshua Harris now considers biblical morality bigotry. He needs to be asking God, not the LGBTQ crowd, for forgiveness.

Here is some information related to Marty Sampson:

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

August 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t.

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

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

Before going further, let me mention that the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon related to Hillsong its ContinuingCOG channel: Music, Hillsong, and the False Gospel. We also put a sermonette related to the departure of the two Protestants Losing Religion (and HOW NOT TO!).

Now, let’s deal with his other points.

Do ministers fail?


And this was prophesied:

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Paul also warned about them:

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

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

How many miracles happen?

As many as God feels are needed for His plan.

In addition to miraculous healings, God also sometimes intervenes with prophetic dreams (watch Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule). And we in the Continuing Church of God do talk about them (for details see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God). As well as other fulfillments of Acts 2:17-18 (see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?).

Now as to his point about contradictions, no, the original biblical text had no contradictions–but various translations do. Yet, much in the Bible does contradict what passes for ‘Christianity’ in the 21st century.

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

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

Actually, that is NOT His plan, but a distortion that many Protestants and others have.

As to his claim no one talks about it, the reality is that in the Summer of 2019, the Continuing Church of God put out eight sermons as well as been promoting the reading of a new book that deals with the errors in misunderstanding God’s plan for those not called to be true Christian believers in this age:

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

So, yes, the truth about God's plan has been covered. But apparently not properly by those that Marty Sampson associated with.

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

The Bible also teaches:

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

The Bible also warns about false science:

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

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

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

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

June 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers seeking to reproduce the findings found discrepancies in the data and asked the original researcher for the original data. The researcher was unable to produce the original data. This led the lead researcher to request that the study be withdrawn. Even supporters of same-sex marriage acknowledged that the study and the conclusions drawn from it were fraudulent.

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

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

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

Don’t put your trust in unreliable humans:

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

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

Getting back to Marty Sampson, since he lost his religion, he has been praised by atheists:

August 12, 2019

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

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

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

Either way, it would be completely unfair to say he wasn’t a True Christian™. Yes he was. He just woke up.

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

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

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

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

A religion that no one should ever want to lose.

The Bible Contains Truth and CCOG Teaches the Bible

The Bible contains truth. God's word is truth.

Christians are supposed to accept and think on the truth:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Knowing the Bible is something that Christians need to do so they can be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Notice a way to tell which church is the correct one:

4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. (Psalms 33:4)

Only a church that does God's work in truth would possibly be the one that God endorses (see also Where is the True Christian Church Today?). Recall that Jesus said that knowing the truth sets one free (John 8:32).

While it is difficult to measure which church has the most truth, let me state that when it comes to church history and prophecy, that would have to be the Continuing Church of God in the 21st century. There are many links in the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God. To see some more details on that consider Continuing History of the Church of God and The Laodicean Church Era (prophetic differences between CCOG and other COGs are summarized there). For longer versions and more details, there are numerous articles at the and websites that go into more depth on matters of history, doctrine, and prophecy.

There is more truth about church history and prophecy at the and CCOG websites than any other group that I am aware of.

How can you know if that is actually true?

Well, we would recommend that you be like the Bereans of old:

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:10-11)

The Bereans did not know whether or not the Apostle Paul was who he claimed to be, but after hearing him, that thought he could be a teacher from God. They did not spend their time trying to disprove him, but searched the scriptures daily to verify that he was teaching the truth. That is what we in the the Continuing Church of God suggest you do today.

What if you do not fully agree with one or more of our teachings?

Pray about it. But also realize:

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Humble yourself and realize that there may be growth that the Continuing Church of God needs, but that there certainly is growth that we ALL need in our personal life. Consider that either you may not be correct or the time for this to be better understood may not be here yet. God had to tell the prophet Daniel that it was not time for him to understand various prophesies that God had revealed to him per Daniel 12:9-10.

And while records of history can often be reliable, we caution you that sometimes historians/politicians/reporters 'spin' matters and translators soemtimes mistranslate, so be cautious if a 'fact' seems to be in conflict with what we teach. If we do have an actual factual error in our materials, we always strive to correct them. But what many people sometimes think of as facts are often opinions.

Why pay attention to some teacher other than your own opinion?

Because of what the Bible teaches:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Just because you have a view or opinion does NOT mean that your view is true. Lucifer was probably wiser than all regular humans (Ezekiel 28:3-13), but he deceived himself. By doing so, he did not believe the truth, but a lie. And Jesus said that he was the father of lies (John 8:44).

Notice the following:

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

Notice that there are people who love and practice lies. They will not truly obey God's commandments and do not have the proper love of the truth. Do not be like them.

While it is true that all humans have sinned and the CCOG is not perfect, CCOG does stand for the truth and is regularly researching and updating its materials to correct typos and best present the truth as Jesus would have us do.

Thiel B. CCOG and What is Truth? (c) 2015/2019 0928

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