Luxembourg, Belgium, and Prophecy

November 26th, 2020

Hengelhoef Sign 1997 Belgium 1997

1997 Feast Location and Brussels, Belgium

COGwriter

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote the following:

Asher “his bread shall be fat and he shall yield royal danties” (Gen. 49:20). This peculiar expression could have reference alone to Belgium and the kindred state Luxembourg. From Belgium have come the finest Flemish paintings, the royal tapestries which graced the halls of kings, fine cut diamonds, porcelain and Belgian lace. Belgium and Luxembourg are blessed above many another son of Jacob “Blessed be Asher above sons; let him be the favoured of his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil” prosperity. Iron and brass shall by thy bars; and as thy days, so shall they riches increase. Because of uranium, Belgium’s prosperity will continue to grow. (The above rendering of Deut. 33:25 is the correct it is highly obscure.) (LOCATION OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL by Herman L Hoeh, ca. 1950s)

Retired teacher Bert Otten, who was once part of the old WCG, sent me a paper with his reasons why he feels that many in Belgium and Luxembourg are the descendants of the biblical tribe of Asher. He told me that I could edit and/or use what he sent in any way.

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

Looking at the ‘prophetic clues’ one has to conclude that a core of the tribe of Asher once found its way to the people living in Belgium and Luxemburg (especially in the triangle Roermond-Lille-Nancy-Roermond)…

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1st Clue: Asher – happy

And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son. And Leah said, HAPPY am I [b_ashri], for the daughters will call me BLESSED [ishruni]: and she called his name Asher [asher: blessed, happy] (Gen 30:12-13).

And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Jacob a second son. And Leah said: ‘HAPPY am I! for the daughters will call me HAPPY.’ And she called his name Asher [HAPPY or BLESSED] (Gen 30: 12-13, JPS, Jewish Publication Society).

After four sons Leah has two more sons by her maid-servant Zilpah. Asher is Jacob’s 8th son. They will call me happy, and she names him ‘blessed, happy’, Asher! This predicts Asher’s nature: jovial, genial, friendly.

‘Burgundian’ lifestyle

The national character of most Belgians in general, and Walloons in particular, is that they are jovial, genial, friendly…

2nd Clue: Asher – his bread shall be fat

As for Asher, his BREAD [lechem] shall be FAT [shamen] … (Gen 49:20a, KJV).

Asher’s FOOD will be RICH … (Gen 49:20a, NIV).

Literally it says that Asher’s bread will be fat. It is noteworthy that bread in England and Holland has the form of a big brick, a loaf. In France they sell the typical French bread, long thin pieces of bread. In Belgium they sell bread in big, round, ‘fat’, loaves.

However, lechem also means food in general, and not just bread. Asher’s food would be rich in content, and it would be plenteous…

3rd Clue: Asher – royal dainties

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal DAINTIES (Gen 49:20b).

[Asher] will provide DELICACIES fit for a king (Gen 49:20b, NIV).

This is up to a point a repeat of the fact that Asher’s food would be fat or rich. We think of all the delicacies – fries, mussels, oysters, fish, venison, etc. – served in the Belgian cuisine, but ‘delicacies’ contains much more…

Belgian Beers

Wikipedia: For a comparatively small country, Belgium produces a very large number of beers in a range of different styles – in fact, it has more distinct types of beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. In 2011, there were 1,132 different varieties of beer being produced in the country…

Belgian Chocolate

Wikipedia about Belgian chocolate: Belgium is famed for its high quality chocolate and over 2,000 chocolatiers, both small and large…

Waffles and sweets

There are also Belgian waffles (Brussels, Liège), speculoos, vlaaien (Limburg), sweets, etc. Asher’s food would be rich and he would yield royal dainties.

Tapestries, lace, comic books

Delicacies or dainties is a translation from ma’adan:

Ma’adan – or (feminine) ma’adannah {mah-ad-an-naw’}; from ‘`adan’ (Strong, 5727); a delicacy or (abstractly) pleasure (adverbially, cheerfully):–dainty, delicately, delight.

Some writers about the tribes link this with the typical Belgian delicate tapestries (made for royalty!) and with Belgian lace…

4th Clue: Asher – friendly & favoured

And of Asher he said: Blessed be Asher above sons; let him be the FAVOURED of his brethren … (Dt 33:24, JPS).

And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be ACCEPTABLE to his brethren, … (Dt 33:24, KJV).

About Asher he said: “Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be FAVOURED by his brothers, …”(Dt 33:24, NIV).

Belgians – kind, friendly

Although Belgians may fight between themselves about language problems – a bloodless struggle – they are perceived by others as kind, friendly people. To my knowledge there are not many people who hate Belgians. The French and the Dutch may joke about Belgians, but they do not dislike them. The fact that they are liked by their neighbours, by other tribes, has favourable to them over time…

5th Clue: Asher – … iron … under your shoe

Thy shoes shall be IRON and brass … (Dt 33:25).

YZER en koper zal onder uw schoen zijn … (Dt 33:25, SVV, Dutch Staten Vertaling: IRON and copper will be under your shoe).

An important prophecy concerning Asher is about metal. And of Asher he said … IRON and brass (or copper) will be your shoe, or will be under your shoe. The triangle Roermond – Lille – Nancy – Roermond is closely connected with iron, coal and industrialisation. To speak of Wallonia is to speak of iron. A lot can be read about the Wallonian steel industry…

Wikipedia: Wallonia is rich in iron and coal, and these resources and related industries have played an important role in its history

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6th Clue: Asher – … brass … under your shoe

Thy shoes shall be iron and BRASS … (Dt 33:25).

Yzer en KOPER zal onder uw schoen zijn … (Dt 33:25, SVV, Dutch Staten Vertaling: iron and COPPER will be under your shoe).

As we saw: In the Middle Ages, Wallonia became a center for brass working and bronze working, with Huy, Dinant and Chimay being important regional centers (Wikipedia).

Belgium – Congo – Katanga – Copper

The Katanga Province of Belgian Congo was one of the world’s most important copper producing areas in the twentieth century until the 1960’s. Belgium became an important importer and exporter of copper. The copper was extracted by the Union Minière du Haut Katanga...

7th Clue: Asher – … dip his foot in oil

And of Asher he said … and let him dip his foot in OIL (Dt 33:24).

Many of the Lost Tribes prophecies are for the endtime only (acharit haYamim), for the last days…Palm oil

The modern fulfilment of this statement concerning Asher’s oil can be found in palm oil which Belgium extracted from the Belgian Congo for years. Wikipedia: Palm oil production in the Congo increased from 2,500 tons in 1914 to 9,000 tons in 1921 and 230,000 tons in 1957.

Palm oil is an important ingredient in food and non-food products like margarine, chocolate, cleaning products and cosmetics. Palm oil has become one of the most important vegetable oils.

In 1959 Belgian Congo was the sixth biggest palm oil producer of the world … Asher … let him dip his foot in oil.

8th Clue: 8. Asher, 9. Issachar, 10. Zebulun

… and [Leah] called his name Asher [8th son] … and [Leah] called his name Issachar [9th son] … and [Leah] called his name Zebulun [10th son] (Gen 30:13-20).

… of the tribe of the children of Zebulun, … of the tribe of the children of Issachar … of the tribe of the children of Asher … (Nu 34:25-27).

And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun … And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar … And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher … (Josh 19:10, 17, 24).

Leah Tribes

Leah had eight sons, six of herself and two by her maidservant Zilpah. She named all eight of them. So there are eight Leah tribes (and five Racheltribes)… There is a bond between Asher, Issachar and Zebulun in both antiquity and in modern times…Over the past 60 years there has been a close cooperation between these peoples within the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg). They live closely together as they once did in Galilee, in Erets Yisrael.

9th Clue: Asher – mighty men of valour

All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and MIGHTY MEN OF VALOUR, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was 26,000 men (1Chron 7:40).

And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, EXPERT IN WAR, 40,000 (1 Chron 12:36).

There were a few militaristic tribes, but Asher was not one of them. However, the Asherites were brave fighters. Although not an aggressive tribe, they could hold their ground when called upon…

Belgae – Julius Caesar

In his book Commentarii de bello GallicoJulius Caesar divides the Celts into three groups. The most northern group are the Belgae living in the area between the North Sea, Rhine, Seine and Marne. According to Caesar the Belgae were the bravest of the three groups. This quote from Caesar became very popular in the 1830’s in an attempt to enflame Belgian nationalism…

Belgium in WW I

The Belgians fought bravely under Soldier King Albert I against the German invasion.

10th Clue: Asher – peaceable, peaceful

And the prince of the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of SHELOMI (Strong <08015>, shlomi, peacable) (Num 34:27).

The tribe of Asher is a peaceful tribe, not looking for war or trouble. This can first of all be concluded by the absence of things. There are no violent, negative, warlike stories or individuals known from the tribe of Asher in the Bible. Asher has a modest Biblical history with an absence of ringleaders in evil. The prince of Asher in Numbers 34 is even called Ahihud ben Shlomi, son of Shlomi (peaceful).

Asher is very modest in The Testament of Asher. There is no bragging like in some of the other testaments of the twelve patriarchs.

The olive tree is the symbol of Asher. This can also be connected to peace, as the olive branch is a symbol of peace.

Belgians – neutral & peaceful

The Belgians were more or less given their independence and their colonies. They were neutral twice and were invaded twice by the Germans. They fought bravely in WW I and WW II to defend themselves and their colonies, but they never attacked other nations.

I should add that we have been to Belgium at least twice and Luxembourg at least once. There may also be some of Zebulon and Reuben in Belgium.

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.

While there are various ways to look at those and other prophecies, let me conclude by stating that I do believe that those of Belgium and Luxembourg are essentially descended from biblical Asher, though there is ethnic intermingling.

As far as future prophecies go, Belgium and Luxembourg fit some of the positive statements in Genesis 49. Some of the Israelite nations, including Belgium and Luxembourg. will temporarily support the coming European Beast power. But they will ultimately face tests and trials from that Beast power (cf. Ezekiel 5:4; 39:23,28). Prophecies, such as Ezekiel 5:4 seems to show that after the USA is eliminated, fire will spread to “all the house of Israel,” hence Belgium and Luxembourg will be impacted.

Knowing where various peoples have come from, help 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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
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?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so
‘Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Dan – the Irish’ Not part of the ‘144,000’ Could the Irish and Danes have descent from the tribe of Dan?
Could Switzerland by descended from Gad? Is it really prepared for what is prophecied? This article has clues.

Protestant Samaritans?

November 26th, 2020


Ancient Samaria

COGwriter

Sometime back, Shepherd’s Voice magazine had the following article by former GCG board member Norman Edwards:

For the mature Christian, the last words of Jesus Christ to His apostles are utterly vital. They certainly have application throughout the entire church age. They were not just for the first century.

Therefore, when they [the apostles] had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight ( Acts 1:6-9). …

Where to Witness

Once we recognize that the job of a believer is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be a witness, we need to consider that last part of Christ’s statement which tells us where:

“…in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

These areas were well known to the twelve apostles. They were in Jerusalem at the time (Acts 1:4); they had traveled through much of Judea during their ministry with Christ; they had traveled through Samaria, even though the Jews wanted little to do with the Samaritans (John 4:9); and to them, the “end of the earth” included the entire Roman Empire and whatever was beyond.

As we read the rest of the New Testament, we see that the Gospel went to all of those places. What do these four areas mean for believers today? Those in Jerusalem would be analogous to the believers in our congregation—those who are nearby us. Those in Judea would be those with similar beliefs to us, even though they are further away and lastly, the “end of the earth” is still everyone we know about—all seven billion of them—many with no knowledge of Christ or the Bible. But what about the Samaritans? Is Christ still telling us to evangelize the group of about a hundred people today who trace their lineage back to the original Samaritans and still practice that religion? Or is it something more important. The rest of this article will answer that question.

Who Are the Samaritans?

The Bible gives a lot of detail on who the Samaritans are and how their religion evolved. It is all worth reading to help us understand our situation today. Notice in 2 Kings 17:23:

23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

24 Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 25 And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land.” 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

29 However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt.

30 The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the LORD, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away. 34 To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the LORD had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, 35 with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying: “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; 36 “but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. 38 “And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. 38 “And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 “But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

40 However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. 41 So these nations feared the LORD, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children’s children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.

Notice that God himself sent lions among the Samaritans because they did not fear Him at all. When they began to fear the true God to some degree, the lions stopped. Yes, God himself had a hand in creating this half-way religion. He commanded them to fully obey Him, but let them remain under His limited protection even when they did not fully obey. Today, we know that the ancient Samaritans had their own version of the Old Testament, altered in places, but largely the same. But even with this knowledge of the truth, they continued their worship of many false gods, and did not obey the truth of the writings that they did have.

So is there a large group of people like this today, to whom we must be a witness? Yes! Mainstream evangelical Christianity! They use the Bible—with a few alterations and ignoring many parts to fit their doctrines. They also mix in the practices of other religions. Many celebrate holidays that contain Santa Claus, Yule logs, easter bunnies, Halloween evil spirits, the Roman Cupid, Leprechauns, etc. Their church building construction frequently makes use of steeples, gargoyles and the trappings of other religions.

They have doctrines that are partly true and partly erroneous. Most picture God as a “trinity”, a “three in one” concept found in Hinduism, even though the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible and the New Testament constantly refers to two divine beings (Acts 7:55-56; Rom 1:7; 15:6; 1 Corinthians 1:3, 9; 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:2-3; Galatians 1:1- 3; Ephesians 1:2-3, 17; 5:20; 6:23; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2-3; 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3; 3:11, 13; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2; 2:16; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:3; 1 Peter 1:2-3; 2 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:3, 2:22; 2 John 1:3, 9; Jude 1:1; Revelation 11:15). Most mainstream Christians teach an immortal, conscious soul that either goes to heaven or hell at death— rather than the Biblical “dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and are awaiting a resurrection (Daniel 12:1- 3; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15;51- 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 11:13, 39-40). Some Christians falsely teach that their human leaders sat in between the believers and Christ, and had authority over their salvation (2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Peter 5:3).

It is not within the scope of this article—or even within the scope of the lifetime of this author—to cover all the arguments and resolve all doctrinal differences. He has written much on these doctrines and will probably write more. But it is on this author’s heart to help everyone see how Christ deals with “Samaritans” today, and how Bible-adhering Christians should deal with the mainstream evangelical Christians of today.

How Did Christ Deal with Samaritans?

Some believers might expect that Christ would have nothing to do with people who have a wrong concept of God or who hold false doctrines. As a matter of fact, that was the approach the early Apostles took to the Samaritans. They wanted to kill them for their persecution of the truth:

And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village (Luke 9:52-56).

But Jesus told them they were of the wrong spirit. And so today, when Christians have different beliefs, they often become upset with each other and sometimes want to destroy each other. Sure, it is easy to be angry at a group that wants to destroy you. But Christ said we are of a wrong spirit if we think like this. We can read and see how Christ dealt with Samaritans. He talked to them. He shared things with them He had not yet shared with His apostles. Jesus shocked His disciples and the Samaritans as well! Read the whole account beginning in John 4:4:

But He [Christ] needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 “Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 “for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her? 28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him. 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 “For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world .”

43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

There are many principles that both Christ’s apostles then and we believers today need to learn:

1. Christ talked to the Samaritans apart from the disciples, while they were obtaining food— symbolic of spiritual knowledge— elsewhere. Even though the disciples had learned from the real Hebrew Old Testament and had learned much directly from Christ, they were not yet ready to realize that Christ could also work with people who knew substantially less than they.
2. The Samaritan woman asserts a doctrinal error, that Mount Gerizim is the place of worship rather than Jerusalem. Christ explains to the woman that Samaritans have doctrinal errors—that they don’t know what they worship, but then goes on to explain a greater truth that even his disciples did not understand: God wants believers who will worship in spirit and in truth anywhere.
3. The woman is convicted by Christ’s divine ability to show her sin. She quickly goes evangelizing others and brings them to Christ. They recognize Him as the “Savior of the world” in a spiritual way. They do not ask about setting up any kind of physical kingdom or whether Jews, Samaritans or somebody else will be in charge.
4. The Samaritans knew the Old Testament prophecies of a Messiah to come, and they accepted Jesus as that Messiah. This passage occurs shortly after the turning of water to wine at Cana (John 2:1- 11)—Christ’s first miracle! Many Samaritans accepted Jesus as Messiah long before His apostles realized He was the Messiah. See for yourself:

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16).

5. The Samaritans whom Christ taught did not begin to meet with the Jewish believers. If they did, they would have known Jesus was the Messiah. Christ did teach them for two days. Does the “thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8) principle apply here? Will there be spiritual Samaritans—people who accept Jesus but misunderstand some of the Bible for two-thousand years?
6. Christ told His disciples not to say that it is four months until the harvest, but to realize that the fields were now ready for harvest. What did He mean? It was not too long since Jesus was at the Passover (John 2:23), which was in the first month of the year (Leviticus 23:5). Approximately 50 days later was the Feast of Weeks where all males were commanded to appear (Exodus 23:17; Leviticus 23:15- 16; Deuteronomy 16:16)—in the third month of the year. It would have been sensible that Jesus and His disciples left Jerusalem immediately after Pentecost, when it would have been four months to the great fall harvest, the Feast of Ingathering or the Feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:34). Jesus’ disciples were continually looking to the Feast of Ingathering which pictures the return of Christ as King of the Nations. (Jude 1:14-15; Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 2:8-9; 149:5-9, etc.) Jesus was telling them to look at the spiritual Pentecost harvest four months earlier, with its two leavened loaves (Leviticus 23:17) perhaps representing a mixture of true and false doctrine. The Samaritans were ready then.

The parallels between the Samaritans and the modern day evangelical Christians are striking. Both understand that they are sinners in need of a Savior. They accept Jesus as that Messiah—more quickly than those with good knowledge of the Old Testament. They keep to themselves—do not mingle with the first century Jews or today’s Sabbatarian Christians. . .

This writer realizes that many Sabbatarian believers may be uncomfortable with this article.

(Norman Edwards granted me permission to post from that article as I normally do not post so much from sources where others may hold a copyright.)

While Norman Edwards goes into many points in that article that I disagree with (and most of those are not shown in the above extract), there are a couple of observations that I would make.

1) Protestants are among those who should be witnessed to (see also The Final Phase of the Work). Because they often claim to believe in the idea of sola Scriptura, those that really do believe they should rely on the Bible over tradition should be more open to the true Christian message and the true Christian Church (for information on the true church, see the free booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today?).

2) I consider the analogy between the Samaritans of old to various Protestants an interesting one; and I first wrote an article related to that back in 2010 (see Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New). I would point out that Jesus emphasized that the bulk of the Samaritans did not understand the truth about God nor how to worship Him. Jesus said this to the Samaritan woman after she talked about worshiping God:

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:22-24)

Many do not believe that Protestants and others can worship Jesus in vain, but Jesus said:

8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” (Matthew 15:8-9)

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

This happens a lot in the USA, and we are seeing a tendency to see even more ‘lawlessness’ (see also Mystery of Iniquity). Lawlessness is a mark of Antichrist. See also The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

Many Protestant leaders teach lawlessness (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants) as do most other leaders that profess Christ (see The Mark of Antichrist).

3) Many end time prophecies that mention ‘Samaria’ are referring to the United States (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel); watch also the video Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA? and/or watch the sermon: USA in Prophecy: Samaria.

Because of point three, I found the article by Norman Edwards very interesting. It is further support of the idea that prophecies related to Samaria would apply to a nation like the USA. Notice some quotes from a Jewish source:

Samaria was one of the capitals of Northern Israel and possibly its most important city. (Davidiy Y. The Tribes, 4th edition. Russell-David Publishers, 2011, p. 242)

From the West of England and from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland the United States of America received approximately 87% (sic. 87%) of its British immigrants in its formative period. In other words, early American society was formed largely by groups from the Tribe of Manasseh. Even today, more than half the white population of the U.S.A. may trace its ancestry back to Britain and Ireland with the British side being slightly larger than that of Northern and Southern Ireland origin. (Davidiy, p. 426. #Kephart, apparently a reference to– Calvin Kephart, “Races of Mankind, Their Origin and Migration,” N.Y. 1960, pp.437-438).

While the USA was overwhelmingly made up of descendants of Manasseh centuries ago, because of immigration and other matters, it is more mixed. Perhaps not mixed quite like ancient Samaria, but enough so that references related to Samaria sometimes have applicability to it now.

Yair Davidiy reported that some believe that the term America (which most say comes from the explorer Amerigo Vespucce, actual derived from the term Machir, which itself was a derivative of Manasseh (Davidiy, pp. 400-401). While the Western Hemisphere is referred to as North, Central, and South America, when the term ‘Americans’ is used, this is almost universally used to refer to those of the USA.

It should probably be mentioned that portions of Bible prophecy seem to tie the descendants of Manasseh as being prophetic Samaria. Notice, for example, the following:

8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
9 All the people will know —
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria —
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 ‘The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still…

21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
Together they shall be against Judah.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 9:8-12,21)

1″When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers takes spoil outside.
2 They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.
3 They make a king glad with their wickedness,
And princes with their lies. (Hosea 7:1-3)

So, we see that Ephraim and Samaria are separate and at the end we see Ephraim and Manasseh (who was referred to as Samaria) as separate. Hence, while Ephraim is not Samaria, sometimes it appears that Manasseh is (cf. Hosea 7:1-7). Isaiah 9 seems to suggest that some of the peoples who are alluded to in Psalm 83 (discussed later) will also harass Ephraim and Manasseh after they have suffered. Isaiah 9 ties the identity of Manasseh in with prophetic Samaria; Obadiah 17-18 seems to as well.

In addition to the intermingling that occurred in ancient Samaria, Samaria was part of the old territory of Manasseh:

The hill of Samaria was in the tribal territory of Manasseh, but apparently was not significantly inhabited until the time of King Omri (Ahab’s father). For the next 160 years, the city was the capital of the northern kingdom, apparently reaching a size of 150 acres (as large as Jerusalem in Hezekiah’s time). Samaria is well situated with steep slopes on all sides. (Samaria (Sebaste). http://www.bibleplaces.com/samaria.htm viewed 02/19/14)

23 Omri became king over Israel, and reigned twelve years. Six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 And he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; then he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill. (1 Kings 16:23-24)

Northern Samaria is often referred to by its biblical tribal designation: Manasseh. (Killebrew A. Biblical peoples and ethnicity: an archaeological study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and early Israel, 1300–1100 B.C.E. Society of Biblical Lit, 2005, p. 159)

Notice that Isaiah 9:9-10 ties the arrogant Samaritans in with making declarations to rebuild. After the attacks of 9/11/2001, various US politicians made statements consistent with the “we will rebuild” declaration. For example, notice the following quote that then Senator Tom Daschle made to Congress on 9/12/2001 related to the 9/11/2001 attack:

We will rebuild, we will recover.

Other US politicians have made similar statements. But notice that God calls those leaders, who leave God out, arrogant. While the USA has rebuilt in the area known as ‘ground zero,’ the USA is not finished being subject to attacks and ultimately, despite having the strongest military, it will be taken over (cf. Daniel 11:3).

The following also seems to be directed against the USA:

9 ‘Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; See great tumults in her midst, And the oppressed within her. 10 For they do not know to do right, ‘Says the Lord, ‘Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.'” 11 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, And your palaces shall be plundered.” 12 Thus says the Lord: “As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear, So shall the children of Israel be taken out Who dwell in Samaria — In the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch! 13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord God, the God of hosts, 14 ‘That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground” (Amos 3:9-14).

While most in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand believe that they will be protected by the USA, notice the following:

1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, To whom the house of Israel comes! 2 Go over to Calneh and see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory? 3 Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, Who cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your couches, Eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall; 5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; 6 Who drink wine from bowls, And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 7 Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed. 8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, The Lord God of hosts says: “I abhor the pride of Jacob, And hate his palaces; Therefore I will deliver up the city And all that is in it.” (Amos 6:1-8)

Those who think that they will be able to rely on the USA, possibly referred to as Mt. Samaria above, will be severely disappointed at a time in the future. And this includes those in the USA–including non-Philadelphian Christians “who are at ease in Zion.”

God seems to give a few reasons why those who are now the descendants (the Anglo-Saxons) of Israel will be punished:

6 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals. 7 They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name. 8 They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, And drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god. (Amos 2:6-8)

27 As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. 28 They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’ (Jeremiah 5:27-29)

The Anglo-Saxons sin are wealth, having wicked deeds, and selling out morality for money. Also notice that they are wearing clothes taken in pledge. This would seem to mean that they have imported most of their clothes with pledges–debt that they will not pay back.

Notice also:

3 O My mountain in the field,
I will give as plunder your wealth, all your treasures,
And your high places of sin within all your borders.
4 And you, even yourself,
Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you;
And I will cause you to serve your enemies
In the land which you do not know;
For you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever. (Jeremiah 17:3-4)

What heritage have the Anglo-nations let go of? Well, basing their laws on the Bible and forgetting that they are descended from Israel!

Notice also the following:

16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. (Hosea 13:16, KJV)

How do we know that the Anglo-nations in general, and the USA in particular, and not just the land of Judea are the target of some of the punishments? Well, other than the reference to Samaria above (which was not part of Judea), another reason is found in Daniel 11:39:

39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:39)

The “he” is the final King of the North, the Beast of Revelation 13. The “strongest fortresses” in the world belong to the USA, and to a lessor degree, its Anglo-allies. The current nation of Israel does not have the strongest fortresses. And dividing the Anglo-lands would bring much more gain, than the land of Judea (see also Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided?). As many Bible commentators realize, at the time of the end there is no power that resembles the USA. Isaiah warns that “The fortress also will cease from Ephraim” (Isaiah 17:3)–but unlike Manasseh, Ephraim simply does not have the strongest fortresses. Some would call this attack World War III (WWIII; see also World War III: Steps in Progress).

The USA has some similarities to ancient Samaria and some prophecies related to ‘Samaria’ seem to be directed towards the USA (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel and also Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy).

Some items of possibly related interest include the following:

COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New Who were the Samaritans? Do the represent true Christianity or something else? Here is a link to a related sermon: USA in Prophecy: Samaria.
The Good Samaritan A public domain claymation for younger people.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ? This overview answers that and explains what the Church of God basically stands for. In the appendices provides information about certain complaints and as well as an overview about many COG-related groups.
Behind the Work: Go Therefore and Make Disciples How is the Continuing Church of God making disciples. What has been happening in the Continuing Church of God related to this and aspects of the final phase of the work. This ‘behind the work’ video shows New Zealand, Africa, Jerusalem, Vatican City, the USA, and the United Kingdom as well as one from Asia. Teaching and baptisms are shown.
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? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
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. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work?
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
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?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?

Tackle football is not something to be thankful for

November 26th, 2020

(NFL from Wikipedia)

COGwriter

Today is the national holiday in the USA called Thanksgiving. And despite certain claims, its specific origins are not pagan. But, of course, no Christian needs to celebrate national holidays like it if they do not wish to (cf. Romans 14). And the Bible does condemn gluttony. And with COVID-9 this year, government officials have warned about family gatherings.

Yet, whether on this day or others, the Bible teaches that people should give thanks:

4 Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name (Psalm 30:4).

The Bible is full of admonitions to give thanks to God. The New King James Version of the Bible has the word ‘thank’ 25 times, ‘thanks’ 75 times, ‘thankful’ 3 times, and ‘thanksgiving’ 32 times. It also has the word ‘praise’ 237 times and ‘praises’ 11 times.

One thing that I have noticed on the day called Thanksgiving by those in the USA, is when I have been at many other places than the home I lived in, American football has been playing on television.

For many, other than food and family, football is a major focus of the Thanksgiving holiday for many in the USA.

When I was posting a video on YouTube before on giving thanks (watch Ingratitude and Giving Thanks), apparently because it mentioned ‘giving thanks,’ YouTube suggested that a ‘key word’ for the video should be ‘American football’ (which was not in the description).

Notice the following related to former US President Barack Obama:

Nov 22, 2012

For the fourth straight year, the Thanksgiving resolution from President Barack Obama fails to actually thank God — which is the fundamental reason why Thanksgiving is observed…

But, to President Obama, Thanksgiving is about food and football, according to his official remarks as distributed by the White House.

“For us, like so many of you, this is a day full of family and friends; food and football. It’s a day to fight the overwhelming urge to take a nap – at least until after dinner,” Obama said. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/22/4th-straight-year-obama-thanksgiving-resolution-doesnt-thank-god/

Should Christians support violent sports like American football?

A 1969 article by Eugene M. Walker put out by the old Worldwide Church of God had the following:

To many Americans Thanksgiving Day means sumptuous turkey dinners, family reunions and football games…There is nothing necessarily wrong with good food, family reunions…on Thanksgiving Day. But all too many use these activities wrongly and forget the purpose for the holiday. Many glut themselves with far more food than they ought to eat; few, however, stop to give God thanks for this food – even on Thanksgiving Day. Family reunions all too often turn out to be family brawls…Millions of others push and shove one another in large crowds at football games and parades, and kill one another on the highway as they madly strive to make sure they get their fair quota of pleasure. (Walker EM. Plain Truth, Thanksgiving Day: What does it mean to you? November 1969, pp. 39-41).

Notice he wrote that certain activities were not necessarily wrong. Of course, a friendly game of flag football and a family dinner should be fine. But what about violent professional or intercollegiate American football?

Over a decade later, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

Hostility toward the other is sin…

Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with physical injury. (Plain Truth, July-August 1984)

Wherever a game in sports involves ANTAGONISTS–in HOSTILE ATTITUDE to harm the other and/or to “GET” from the other–to get the best of the other–then a harmful, Satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is EVIL, not good…football,

(American football)…because football is such a violent body contact sport, it TOO OFTEN is played in an ATTITUDE OF HOSTILITY, and is too DANGEROUS and fraught with PHYSICAL INJURY . Therefore it must be BANNED so far as participation by God’s Church or people is concerned…This is sufficient to illustrate the application of the PRINCIPLE of God’s Law to sports. That participated in with an attitude of HOSTILITY toward the opponent is evil. That which HARMS mentally or physically an opponent is evil.

Satan is the author of COMPETITION based on hostility, harm to the opponent, GETTING by taking FROM an opponent–to his harm or loss. God’s way is LOVE TOWARD neighbor equal to love of self. (Armstrong HW. Not all sports are banned. Pastor General’s Report, Volume 2, Issue 36, September 5, 1980)

While I have even heard some people thank God for football, it is not a sport that I believe that the God of love would condone.

The person that Jesus stated was greater than all others born of women (Matthew 11:11), John the Baptist taught:

14 Do violence to no man (Luke 3:14, KJV)

The Apostle Paul taught:

Love does no harm to a neighbor (Romans 13:9).

What do sports like American football and boxing do? They harm people. Even if played according to all of their rules, American tackle football is evil because it actually physically harms many of its participants:

Doctor says letting kids play football should be considered child abuse

November 20, 2017

Dr. Bennet Omalu told Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein no one under the age of 18 should play football. But one local doctor and leaders of Metro Atlanta’s Pop Warner league say steps can be taken to protect children against brain injuries on the football field.

Hard hits are a part of football.

“I like playing football because of the hitting,” said 10-year-old Antrell Matthews, who plays for the Henry County Mustangs.

Hard hits to the head can lead to brain injuries including concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The symptoms of CTE are severe.

CTE is a degenerative condition linked to repeated head injuries. It is only diagnosed after death by studying the brain.

“Diminished intelligence, inability to control your moods, your emotions, your temper,” said Dr. Omalu.

November 23, 2016

This past Monday, 26 retired Florida football players sued the NFL and demanded the league give them workers’ compensation. The players say the league hid the fact that repeated concussions cause a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in which a person’s brain wastes away until he or she dies. In all, 141 retired players filed suit, but only 38 are named.

In the suit, the players compare the NFL to a group of tobacco executives, desperately shoving bad information under the rug as increasingly frightening concussion science came to light.

The NFL “routinely failed to care for Plaintiffs’ repetitive head injuries during their careers in any medically competent or meaningful manner that complied with any known published contact sports return-to-play guidelines at the time in which the injuries occurred,” the suit says.

Studies show players who live through multiple concussions and blows to the head often develop a fatal disease in which the brain wastes away, causing severe memory loss and confusion. Multiple investigations have shown the NFL knowingly hid the risk of CTE from its players, and in 2015, the NFL agreed to pay retirees more than $1 billion for CTE-related medical claims. But players say that since that decision came down, science has shown the NFL should be taking care of even more players. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/twenty-six-florida-football-players-sue-the-nfl-for-concussion-related-workers-comp-8943352

The most popular sport in America causes irreparable harm to many of its participants, some of whom will stammer through sentences after they retire, lose their memories and have their dinners served to them through intravenous needles…If they’re modern-day gladiators, we’re little more than howling, new-millennium Romans — with better-stitched togas and viewing angles. Now armed with more information than ever about football and brain injuries, we think long and hard whether our kids should strap on a helmet and pads. (Wise M. Super Bowl: NFL confronts the highest stakes. Washington Post, January 28, 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/super-bowl-nfl-confronts-the-highest-stakes/2013/01/28/b92e1fd8-69a0-11e2-95b3-272d604a10a3_story.html)

The NFL doesn’t have a PR problem. It has a reality problem. And it may be a grave one. Every month — and it seems every few days — the NFL is inundated by new, barely suspected revelations. What has the NFL become? Or is this what it has been for some time? Is the truth coming out of the shadows? The list is stunning. Its cumulative effect, not any one particular item, is the true confidence-shaking shock. The NFL is now the league of murder charges against Aaron Hernandez — gang execution style. The NFL is the league of murder, then suicide, with Jovan Belcher killing his girlfriend and then shooting himself in the head in a parking lot by his stadium as his coach and general manager watched. The NFL is the league of concussions, cover-ups for decades and in-house pseudo-science to discredit critical research. That is, until dementia, insanity and a $765 million settlement with its players hits the headlines. The NFL is a “League of Denial.” (November 6, 2013)

It would be wonderful if we could make the game safer, but there is far too much satisfaction as a player, owner, coach and consumer to quit. And there is no substitute “patch” for American football.

We are all too selfish to stop.

We now know, or highly suspect, that former players such as Dave Duerson and Junior Seau killed themselves due somewhat to the problems related to the brain trauma suffered in their long careers. We care, but not enough to stop…

You can disagree on the origins or the severity, but what is indisputable is that there is a far greater risk in playing football than we have ever been previously aware…The concussion issue in football is not only genuine, but it is never going away. Studies, and prevailing common sense, say that if you run into something continually at a high speed, eventually your body, and brain, will suffer as a result. http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/08/26/5110575/football-is-dangerous-but-we-cant.html#storylink=cpy

Research conducted on almost 100 deceased NFL players revealed that over 95 percent of them tested positive for the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

September 18, 2015

Research conducted on almost 100 deceased NFL players revealed that over 95 percent of them tested positive for the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

In a study published by Frontline on Friday, a total of 87 out of 91 players were found to have the disease. The CTE research was carried out by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University.

The chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Dr. Ann McKee, told Frontline that CTE is a “very real disease.”

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” McKee said. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

Although research had suggested that concussions were one of the likely causes of CTE, new evidence suggests that “minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football may pose” a greater risk than the occasional violent collision. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25307746/study-956-percent-of-deceased-nfl-players-tested-positive-for-cte

The truth about the harm the sport causes is something that professing Christians, and others, who think that they should watch American football, should think about.

Christians should give God thanks (watch Thanksgiving and Prayer), but not encourage violence in sports like American tackle football.

There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?

To close, perhaps I should mention that we do not ‘add a day’ to God’s holy days if we somehow observe Thanksgiving or other national holidays. National observances are NOT holy days, nor does anyone have to keep them. Jesus, however, observed at least one (cf. (John 10:22-23), setting an example that we can if we so choose. But not through encouraging violence.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Thanksgiving: Can Christians keep it? Is this American holiday appropriate? Why or why not? Two sermons related to giving thanks are also available: Thanksgiving and Prayer and Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.
Giving Thanks Are Christians supposed to give thanks? Why? Is unthankfulness warned against? Two sermons related to giving thanks are also available: Thanksgiving and Prayer and Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.

“Brexit: Next days ‘decisive’ for hopes of deal, says EU’s Ursula von der Leyen,” as PESCO moves ahead

November 25th, 2020


COGwriter

There still is no publicly announced deal related to what happens with trade in a post-Brexit world between the UK and the EU:

Brexit: Next days ‘decisive’ for hopes of deal, says EU’s Ursula von der Leyen

25 November 2020

The coming days in the Brexit negotiations will be “decisive” as to whether Britain and the EU are able to agree a free trade deal, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

But the former German defense minister warned that talks could still fail.

“The next days are going to be decisive. The European Union is well prepared for a no-deal scenario,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs.

“With very little time ahead of us, we will do all in our power to reach an agreement. We are ready to be creative”, she said.

“I cannot tell you today if in the end there will be a deal. There has been genuine progress on important questions.”

Her comments come some ten days after British prime minister Boris Johnson’s chief of staff, Dominic Cummings, quit Downing Street, prompting speculation that a deal was close. https://www.dw.com/en/brexit-next-days-decisive-for-hopes-of-deal-says-eus-ursula-von-der-leyen/a-55719127

25 November 2020

Britain has long said the EU is making unreasonable demands and is failing to treat it as an independent, sovereign state, especially when it comes to the control of its fishing waters. It insisted EU negotiator Michel Barnier was sticking far too long to negotiating lines which would make any compromise impossible.

It made von der Leyen’s concession to be “creative” all the more significant. It even applied to fisheries. For a long time, demands were that EU trawlers would be allowed to continue to roam British waters like before, as if Brexit had never happened.

On Wednesday, von der Leyen sounded more conciliatory. “No one questions the U.K. sovereignty in its own waters, but we ask for predictability and guarantees for our fishermen and fisherwomen who have been sailing in these waters for decades, if not centuries.”

Negotiators from both sides are still talking remotely after an EU official tested positive for COVID-19, forcing Barnier into quarantine. He might be free to travel and negotiate face-to-face again as of Thursday, and observers expect a breakthrough once that happens. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/government-news/2020/11/eu-is-willing-to-be-creative-to-get-a-brexit-trade-deal/

Both the EU and UK will face economic and other problems because of Brexit that some involved want to minimize.

At the same time, with what has been going on in the UK, the EU, and the USA since the Brexit vote, more in the UK are concluding that the EU wants control and to be a military power.

Notice also:

IF ever there was a kick up the backside to Boris to get on with real Brexit or wave the EU cheerio it should be the report released this week by a powerful German political party which called for a new EU army.

The second most popular political party in Germany, the SDP, … published its plans for a new force – rather than a battlegroup. It would be formed of units from different EU countries and would report directly to a newly appointed EU Commissioner for Defence.

During the European Parliament elections of 2014, in a head to head debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg, the latter told the nation that talk of an EU Army was ‘a dangerous fantasy’.

He stated: “The idea that there’s going to be a European Airforce, a European Army: it is simply not true.”

… last month the majority of MEPs concluded that the EU’s overall level of security and defence would be best served if there was a “coherent, strategic and joint use of resources”.

So an EU military.

“No member state can protect itself alone against the common multifaceted threats that the EU faces in its security and defence today,” warned MEPs as they discussed policy on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

The latest ‘factsheet’ from PESCO earlier this month reveals not only the existence of the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS – which sounds like the noise a pro-remain minister makes when he realises this stuff has gone public) but that it has started a process of closer cooperation in security and defence. EU member states have agreed to accelerate the EU’s work and acknowledge the need for enhanced cooperation, increased investment and developing defence capabilities together.

If this isn’t an EU military, I don’t know what is.

MEPs recommended that countries who are part of PESCO need to move on from that “national focus” towards a European defence ideal. 11/21/20 https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/1362198/EU-army-news-Brexit-latest-european-superstate-military-Barnier-Boris-johnson

Nick Clegg was wrong. The Europeans are prophesied to have their own “great army” (Daniel 11:25)–those who preached the idea that a European military was a fantasy were deluding themselves.

The idea of a European Army is real. Shortly after Emmanuel Macron’s public call for one 2 years ago, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


15:25

PESCO and a Great European Army

In November 2018, French President Macron called for a “true European army” because of China, Russia, and the USA. Some others in Europe have echoed that sentiment. On November 9, 2018, US President Donald Trump called that an insult, but the next day said that the USA wanted “a very strong Europe.” Emmanuel Macron referred to Donald Trump as “my friend” and indicated a desire to strengthen Europe’s military spending. In December 2017, 25 European nations agreed to be part of a military alliance called PESCO. Europe also has NATO and IEI. Will Europe end up with “a great army”? Has Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty gotten some to say that Europe must rebel against the USA? Is the idea of a United States of Europe and a European army a “paranoid fantasy” or a biblical reality? Will the USA regret Europe becoming a stronger military power? Will the USA be betrayed by “friends” such as its continental European allies? Does the Bible teach any or all of this? Are there connections to the Beast of Revelation or the King of the North of Daniel 11? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters in this video.

Here is a link to the sermonette video: PESCO and a Great European Army.

Europe sees more and more of a need to take military steps–on its own, so it can be a power that does not need to rely on the USA.

Since the June 2016 Brexit vote, the EU has taken several stances that the UK does not like, including stances that the EU used to pretend it did not really have (particularly on building its own military–e.g. PESCO). Glimpses of the true colors of the European project (e.g. Daniel 2:41-43; Isaiah 10:5-8) have re-assured some in the UK that leaving the EU is in its best interest.

Of course, Church of God (COG) writers have long taught that the UK would not be part of the final Beast power that will arise in Europe. Notice some statements put out by the writers once part of the old Radio Church of God, old Worldwide Church of God, and/or the current Continuing Church of God years before the Brexit vote:

Here is Britain trying to GET IN on this uniting of Europe! … It is this same daughter of ancient Babylon who is to lay the YOKE of captivity and slavery on America and Britain. …

Britain is allowing itself to get mixed in with European foreigners … When God brings Britain DOWN-the rime of JACOBS’ S TROUBLE -the only time when the DAUGHTER of Babylon will be sitting astride a united MILITARY EUROPE. … in prophecy, the NAME Jacob or the name Israel, often refers to the two great nations descended from Ephraim and Manasseh. These are Great Britain and the United States. (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN’S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962)

Bible prophecy clearly shows that Britain will not be one of the … NATIONS comprising the final United States of Europe (McNair R. A Strong United Europe. Tomorrow’s World, February 1970, p. 17).

the soon-coming resurrected “Holy Roman Empire” – a sort of soon-coming “United States of Europe” – a union of ten nations to rise up out of or following the Common Market of today. Britain will NOT be in that empire soon to come. (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential, Chapter 1. Everest House, 1978)

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the general position within the Churches of God is that Britain will not remain in the EU and will pull out at some point. (Thiel B. Tony Blair a Catholic EU Leader? Church of God News, June 26, 2007. http://www.cogwriter.com/news/prophecy/tony-blair-a-catholic-eu-leader/)

It should be understood that ultimately, Britain will NOT thrive as part of the EU but will be taken over by the final European Beast power–yet its former Prime Minister is promoting something that will not help the peoples of the UK. (Thiel B. Tony Blair Calls for a Strong, Elected, EU President Church of God News, June 9, 2007. http://www.cogwriter.com/news/prophecy/tony-blair-calls-for-a-strong-elected-eu-president/)

Ephraim (modern Great Britain) will not be part of the “Beast” power, so we can expect some significant change that will push the British out of the EU. (Davis. D. Ireland says “No!” to EU power grab. Commentary, July, 1 2008)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will not be an equal part of the European Union. Britain will either pull out or be forced out or at least truly lose its sovereignty. Many of the Anglo-peoples of the UK, USA, etc. that are not killed will to be scattered and many will be made slaves (Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?). That is what the Bible shows will happen during the Great Tribulation.

As far as this “Beast King” goes, he could possibly be the next EU president, but a restructure ultimately will be needed in Europe for the King of the North to have the type of power that the Bible indicate he will have (Revelation 17:12-13). The EU is not ready for that yet.

However, Tony Blair’s statements today are pointing to one more step towards certain biblical prophesies being fulfilled as he is realizing that the UK wants to pull out of the UK–and that is something will happen (directly or indirectly).

The final King of the North (Daniel 11:27-40) will take over the UK, USA, and their Anglo-allies according to Bible prophecy (cf. Daniel 11:39). While more people in the UK are starting to realize that the EU poses dangers to it, most have no idea how dangerous the rising Beast power in Europe will become (cf. Revelation 13:1-4; Daniel 11:39). Britain will ultimately NOT thrive as part of the EU but will be taken over by the final European Beast power. (Thiel B. Tony Blair ‘Deeply Worried’ that UK May Leave EU. Church of God News, August 18, 2012)

Back in the early 1990s, when I was vice president of an irrigation equipment manufacturer, I told our British sales representative, who was visiting the factory in California, that one day the UK would separate from Europe. He flat out told me that could not possibly happen. And he gave reasons, but they were not biblical ones–I told him he was in error. The Brexit vote shows that he, who was not part of the Church of God, was in error.

Many critics have claimed that there is no truth to the COG position that the Anglo-Americans (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel) are descended from Israel’s son Joseph (through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh).

However, because of our understanding of that, COG writers have long taught that the UK would not be part of the final Beast power. Essentially, COG writers predicted Brexit decades before the Brexit vote. Including myself over 25 years ago, and Raymond McNair nearly 50 years ago.

Boris Johnson said he was going to get the UK out of the European Union and that is consistent with what Church of God writers have predicted based on our knowledge of the Bible, its prophecies, and aspects of world history. He also wants a major trade deal with the USA.

There will be short term confusion and difficulties from Brexit.

The EU acts like it holds most of the power here and has attempted to push Boris Johnson in its direction through making a threatening economic prediction (e.g., see ‘Cliff-edge Brexit will hurt UK more than EU, says Von der Leyen’).

Brexit will cause some economic harm to both the UK and the EU.

Yet, as regular readers of this COGwriter Church of God News page are aware, for over a decade I have stated that the UK would get closer to the USA on trade and farther away from the EU (watch, for example, Trade Disputes: CCOG Warnings Are Coming to Pass and/or Trade Wars: Are COG warnings coming to pass?). US President Trump’s tweet to Boris Johnson regarding his party’s victory and Brexit are consistent with that.

Despite the view that “EU leaders believe they hold most of the cards” (BBC, 12/13/19), the reality is that Brexit will cause economic harm to the European Union.

Of course, the EU has various advantages. It has made various trade deals and it is working on deals with many others around the world, plus it uses sanctions less than the USA does.

But it still will have problems, including internal ones (cf. Daniel 2:41-43).

And the UK?

The Bible looks to be pointing to the UK having prosperity before a coming European Beast power takes it over:

23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. 25 “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. (Daniel 8:23-25a)

Now for that to happen, Europe will have to reorganize (Revelation 17:12-13). And financial pressures will be a factor. Not getting regular payments from the UK to the EU coffers, plus having trade barriers with the UK , will be factors in harming the EU economy, for a time.

While the UK and USA see economic benefits associated with Brexit, the Europeans will not forget.

US President Donald Trump will also remain in the memories of the Europeans.

The USA and UK will be taken over by a German-dominated Europe (Isaiah 10:5-11; see also Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy).

Europeans will one day succeed militarily against the USA (Daniel 11:39) and UK (cf. Isaiah 17:3)–so much so, that the world will marvel (cf. Revelation 13:1-4).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Why Prophecy? Why is so much of the Bible devoted to prophecy? Some question or downplay the role of prophecy. This article gives some of the biblical reasons why prophecy should be important to Christians. Here is a link to a related video: Christians, Why Prophecy?
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 version of the article in the Spanish language: Alemania en la profecía bíblic. Here are links to two English language sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Trade Disputes: CCOG Warnings Are Coming to Pass Trade tensions and talks of trade wars have escalated. US President Donald Trump has put Europe, China, Mexico, and other lands on notice that he wants to change how international trade with the USA has been going. Tariffs, retaliatory tariffs, and even more tariffs are being implemented. Is this all just happenstance? Are we yet in a trade war? What will Europe do? Has the Church of God been warning about trade disputes and a coming trade war for decades? What about the Continuing Church of God (CCOG)? What has been warned, what has been happening, and what will happen? Will trade disputes be a factor in World War III (WW3)? Dr. Thiel explains what has been taught and what to expect.
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.
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
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?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
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?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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? 2027 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? 2020, 2021, or 2022? 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 la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.

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?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
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.
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.

‘Why I’m Convinced The End Begins in 2026—And What You Can Do About It’

November 25th, 2020


COGwriter

A reader forwarded me a link to the following by Sabbatarian Tim McHyde:

Why I’m Convinced The End Begins in 2026—And What You Can Do About It

Since learning in 2001 that Yeshua must return in a Sabbath year, I’ve had to rule out three consecutive Sabbath year cycle windows for the final 7 years (2003-2009, 2010-2016, 2017-2023). This same insight enabled me to easily rule out every date-setting prophecy theory along the way, bringing comfort to many scared readers. With the next possible window for the 70th week coming next decade (2024-2030), I’m ready to share why I believe, based on the real end time sign of Mt 24:14, that this can be the one.

To be clear as possible about my position on 2026:

  • I’m not saying “thus saith the Lord” or doing this “in God’s name.” I offer you no hard proof in signs or wonders that would accompany such a statement by the prophets.
  • As such, I am not a prophet nor making myself out to be one.
  • I am not a “watchman” nor am I here to “warn” anyone, either.
  • I am not even making a “prediction” nor a definitive statement that “the end will for sure come in 2026.” For an example of a definitive statement from me, go to my article “Jesus cannot/will not come back in 2018.” Note that those who make doomsday date predictions are usually surprised or confused when they fail to happen. I won’t be because I already know it is possible I misunderstood given I did not hear the audible voice of God explicitly say “2026 is it.”
  • I’m only sharing my conviction that 2026 is the end.
  • I’m sharing this revelation to bless and build up brethren (1Co 14:26) who want or are waiting for confirmation that time is short. …
  • If 2026 must be ruled out early in the 2020s, I will be relieved with nothing to apologize for because my conviction shared below coupled with my teaching on repentance to escape what is coming will only help listeners to prioritize God in their life. Urgency about the end is a blessing when you have been told what the Bible says to do about it.
  • Finally, my “reputation as a teacher” is not “on the line” as my 2026 date is not a teaching as much as sharing a revelation I am convinced is from God (1Co 14:26). In other words, a teaching of mine would be that the 70th week will come in some Sabbath year cycle. My conviction is that God has confirmed that 2024-2030 is the right cycle, making 2026 the “beginning of sorrows.”

By the way, I hope my conviction is wrong. 06/09/2017 https://escapeallthesethings.com/2026-in-prophecy/ accessed 10/14/18

Anyway, I had seen this before, but decided since someone else brought it up, to address some of this here.

Please understand that Jesus DID NOT say to calculate the Sabbatical year, Jubilee year, or anything similar to figure out when the end would be.

So, be careful about doing so yourself or relying on those who mainly point to such calculations.

That being said, there is a possibility that 2026 is a Sabbatical or Jubilee year.

Now, while certain events did happen in 2020 we did not see certain prophesied events take place (like the confirmation of the deal of Daniel 9:27), therefore Jesus will not return in 2026. That is simply too early at this stage.

To prove that, we need to look at what Jesus said would happen.

Let’s look at Matthew 24:

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:1-5)

Jesus warned that people would deceive many.

To help those with the love of the truth, He gave many specific signs to look for:

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:6-14)

Tim McHyde is correct that Matthew 24:14 is a pivotal step that must be fulfilled before the end comes.

And that is something that we in the Continuing Church of God are working hard to help fulfill. See also our free online booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This booklet is available in over 100 languages as you can find if you scroll down at the home page at www.ccog.org

Now, see what Jesus said happens after the “gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations“:

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.
18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:15-22)

Jesus referring to Daniel does add a time period. More on that can be found in the article The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27.

As far as WHEN Jesus will return, notice what He said:

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

So, since Jesus returns AFTER the tribulation is over, many have correctly figured out that this would be seven years after the deal of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed. If that does not happen by the end of 2020 (and it is not expected then), Jesus will not return in 2027 either.

Now, Tim McHyde did not state that Jesus would come in 2026, only that he believed that the beginning of sorrows would start then. Well, there is evidence that this has begun.

But we need to watch events to see other things that Jesus pointed out.

As far as watching goes, Jesus taught:

37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:37)

Let us notice here something that the Bible teaches:

10 … Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

Prophecy is important.

But part of the point of prophecy is to get YOUR spiritual life in order. That is more important than knowing the date.

Enough people predict dates that some, by chance, will get it right.

But notice something else that 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)

In order to “be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man,” you need to get your spiritual life in order.

The following may be of assistance:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?

Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?

Do not let people in or out of the COGs deceive you on prophecy. Believe the Bible.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (2 Timothy 2:15-16, KJV)

While the end is coming relatively soon, believe what the Bible teaches and do not be misled by calculations.

As it turns out, there are many biblical signs related to the Great Tribulation and Jesus’ return that few understand today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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? 2028 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?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2020, 2021, or 2022? 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 la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020? Here is a link to the Spanish version of that video: ¿Podría la Gran Tribulación comenzar en 2020?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
The ‘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. A short video is also available titled Trump’s Deal of the Century and Daniel 9 27?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to these Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
Do You Hold to these Laodicean Prophetic Errors? Most real Christians in the last days are Laodicean and hold to prophetic errors which, unless they repent, will prevent them from being protected from the coming Great Tribulation.
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.

 

Should a Christian give thanks?

November 25th, 2020

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)

COGwriter

The fourth Thursday in November is the American holiday called Thanksgiving. Unlike most holidays observed in the USA, this one is not of pagan origin. Hence, the vast majority in the Church of God (COG) consider it an “optional” (not biblically-required) holiday.

According to Wikipedia:

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. It is the only other country outside of the United States that officially observes the day as a holiday.

Jesus Himself seemed to observe a national Jewish, as opposed to a biblical, holiday called the Feast of the Dedication as it is recorded in the New Testament that He went to the Temple during it (John 10:22-23).

As Americans know, the history related to the USA Thanksgiving involves a group of people commonly known as the Pilgrims.

They were a dissenting religious group considered to be outside of mainstream “Christianity”. The Pilgrims felt that the only way to freely practice their religion was to physically separate themselves from the Church of England that had persecuted them. First, to flee persecution, these “Separatists,” moved to the English Midlands. Then they went to Amsterdam in 1607. In 1609, they moved to the more religiously tolerant Netherlands. But they decided that this would not do. Finally, they began their voyage to America in 1620. It took months to cross the sea and they lost many during that voyage as well as after coming to America. In spite of all their sufferings and the death of half of their company, in October 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest. In 1863, US President Lincoln made a proclamation that ultimately led to Thanksgiving becoming a US holiday.

The persecutions of the Pilgrims somewhat remind me of the history of the Church of God (a related article of interest may be Persecutions by Church and State)

One song that comes to mind to me at this time (and is in the old WCG hymnal, as well as CCOG’s hymnal with the title Oh Give Thanks and Praise the Eternal!) is based on 1 Chronicles 16:8-13 upon which says:

8 Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
11 Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
12 Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
13 O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!

Those of us who understand God’s plan of salvation, should be thankful for being part of those chosen in this age. This is consistent with the following admonition from the Book of Psalms and one from Saint Paul:

4 Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name (Psalm 30:4).

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Anyway, the Bible is full of admonitions to give thanks to God. In the NKJV the term “give thanks” is used 40 times and the term “giving thanks” is used 5 times–and nearly all of these verses are discussing giving thanks to God. The term “thanksgiving” is used 24 times. Here are a few of them:

14 Offer to God thanksgiving (Psalms 50:14).

30 I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30)

2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. (Psalms 95:2-3)

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. (Psalms 100:4-5)

It is certainly appropriate to thank God for calling us, blessing us physically, and for the opportunity to understand the purpose of life and God’s way of life, the sacrifice of Jesus, and for the opportunity for salvation that He has given to us. We can be grateful for the understanding of God’s great plan that the Kingdom of God will bring peace and abundant prosperity.

Despite the fact that we and the peoples of the world will be punished for our sins, God does have a plan to bring peace and prosperity (see the article Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan?) and will offer salvation to all (please see the article Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

While Christians can observe national holidays, presuming they can do so without sinning, they do not have to keep holidays like Thanksgiving. While he was mainly referring to fast days, the following from the Apostle Paul seems to be applicable here:

5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. (Romans 14:5-6)

If one has a problem of conscience keeping Thanksgiving, then one should not. But, either way, Christians should thank and praise God.

Give thanks and praise the Eternal!

The Continuing Church of God has this sermon from on its ContinuingCOG YouTube channel:


1:14:34

Are you thankful? Does the Bible teach that you are supposed to be? What did Dibar Apartian write was ‘the most common sin’? What does the Bible say about thanks and praise? Is ingratitude warned against? Is unthankfulness prophesied? Can the thankful commit the unpardonable sin? What should you be thankful for? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Thanksgiving: Can Christians keep it? Is this American holiday appropriate? Why or why not? A sermon related to giving thanks is also available: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.
Giving Thanks Are Christians supposed to give thanks? Why? Is unthankfulness warned against? Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
Living as a Christian: Strong Meat Can you handle solid spiritual food? A related sermon is available: Strong Meat: James 1-2 and Strong Meat: James 3-5.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing? This biblical article on music is in response to an advertisement critical of WCG’s 1974 The Bible Hymnal. It also address early church practices here.
The Bible Hymnal via Amazon. This is the paperback edition of the hymnal used by the Continuing Church of God. It consists of all the songs that were part of the 1974 edition of ‘The Bible Hymnal’ used by the old Worldwide Church of God, plus ten other hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum. The songs in this book are essentially the Psalms and other passages in the Bible set to music. To access it free online, click: The Bible Hymnal. Amazon sells a hard copy of The Bible Hymnal for $8.99.

‘The Germans are Back!’

November 24th, 2020


Old Weimar Republic

COGwriter

The German economy is in the news:

November 24, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — Business confidence in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, fell for a second consecutive month in November as a resurgence of coronavirus infections led to partial shutdowns across the continent, a closely watched survey showed Tuesday.

Still, the decline was smaller than economists had predicted. And official data released separately on Tuesday showed that the economy performed a bit better in the third quarter than previously reported. https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-confidence-germany-europe-economy-cea825db354b17af868fa7cd46bd0b5b

German remains the economic engine of Europe.

Notice now the following, somewhat satirical, article:

The Germans Are Back!

Break out the Wagner, folks … the Germans are back! No, not the warm, fuzzy, pussified, peace-loving, post-war Germans … the Germans! You know the ones I mean. The “I didn’t know where the trains were going” Germans. The “I was just following orders” Germans. The other Germans.

Yeah … those Germans.

In case you missed it, on November 18, the German parliament passed a law, the so-called “Infection Protection Act” (“Das Infektionsschutzgesetz” in German) formally granting the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wants under the guise of protecting the public health. The government has been doing this anyway — ordering lockdowns, curfews, travel bans, banning demonstrations, raiding homes and businesses, ordering everyone to wear medical masks, harassing and arresting dissidents, etc. — but now it has been “legitimized” by the Bundestag, enshrined into law, and presumably stamped with one of those intricate official stamps that German bureaucrats like to stamp things with.

Now, this “Infection Protection Act,” which was rushed through the parliament, is not in any way comparable to the “Enabling Act of 1933,” which formally granted the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wanted under the guise of remedying the distress of the people. Yes, I realize that sounds quite similar, but, according to the government and the German media, there is no absolutely equivalence whatsoever, and anyone who suggests there is is “a far-right AfD extremist,” …

As the Protection Act was being legitimized (i.e., the current one, not the one in 1933), tens of thousands of anti-totalitarian protesters gathered in the streets, many of them carrying copies of the Grundgesetz (i.e., the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany), which the parliament had just abrogated. They were met by thousands of riot police, who declared the demonstration “illegal” (because many of the protesters were not wearing masks), beat up and arrested hundreds of them, and then hosed down the rest with water cannons.

The German media — which are totally objective, and not at all like Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda in the Nazi era — dutifully reminded the German public that these protesters were all “Corona Deniers,” “far-right extremists,” “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxers,” “neo-Nazis,” and so on, so they probably got what they deserved. Also, a spokesperson for the Berlin police (who bear absolutely no resemblance to the Gestapo, or the Stasi, or any other notorious official-ideology-enforcing goons) pointed out that their water cannons were only being used to “irrigate” the protesters (i.e., not being aimed directly at them) because there were so many “Corona Denier” children in their ranks. https://consentfactory.org/2020/11/22/the-germans-are-back/

Despite the satire, yes, there are connections. The powers in Germany are moving towards a time when even more totalitarian controls will be implemented. The “Infection Protection Act” (“Das Infektionsschutzgesetz” in German) is a step towards legalizing totalitarian and other restrictive actions.

What has happened with the novel coronavirus is essentially paving the way for what is coming. Related to that, back in April, the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:16:57

The 6th chapter of the Book of Revelation tells of the ride of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. What do each represent? Is the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, part of the fourth horseman? Does the Bible point to around 2 billion people dying from hunger, war, and the beasts of the earth? Was the ancient Roman Empire impacted by pestilences? What about the black death, also known as the Bubonic plague? Are disease epidemics part of the beginning of sorrow and troubles that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24 and Mark 13? Does the pale green horseman represent Islam? Could genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or synthetic biology cause or contribute to coming pandemics? Is chemical and biological warfare (CBW) a real threat to humanity? What about a doomsday bug or antibiotic resistant superbugs? Is fear a contagion that will help people move away from democracy? Will scientists be able to stop what is coming? Is the good news that the Kingdom of God will? Could COVID-19 be setting the stage for the rise of the ‘prince,’ who will become the totalitarian Beast of the Sea (also known as 666 and the King of the North)? Is this leader similar to the Great Monarch of Greco-Roman Catholic prophecies? When is the Great Monarch supposed to arise according to the Eastern Orthodox? Why might Europe be less affected by the ride of the third horseman that the US, Canada, and the UK? Are governments taking steps now, consistent with the words of Adolf Hitler? What seal represents the start of the Great Tribulation? Which Christians did Jesus promise to protect from the coming “hour of trial”?

Here is a link to the sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation.

As far as the Germans being back, notice the following from the old Radio Church of God way back in 1964:

The “German Problem” is not dead. Germans are thinking more than ever of an undivided Reich – and of an undivided Europe! (Kelly R. The March for an Undivided Germany. Plain Truth, September 1964)

Germany has since reunified and is pushing for a united Europe under its image.

Now, some in Germany want more than that. They also want other territories that Germany ceded after WWI and WII back.

A couple of months ago, Deutsche Welle reported the following:

The Reichsbürger movement in Germany

1 September 2020

Reichsbürger translates to “citizens of the Reich.” The nebulous movement rejects the modern German state, and insists that the German Empire’s 1937 or 1871 borders still exist and today’s country is an administrative construct still occupied by Allied powers. For them the German government, parliament, judiciary, and the security agencies are puppets installed and controlled by foreigners. https://www.dw.com/en/the-reichsb%C3%BCrger-movement-in-germany/g-41074914

Yes, various ones in Germany feel that they have been occupied by the Allied powers–basically meaning the USA. They want that to end and for Germany to rise up.

The Reichsburger movement basically wants Germany to get its Weimar Republic borders and to stop non-Germanic immigrants from coming into Germany.

The Reichsbuerger movement is not the only “right wing” movement that has seen growing support in Germany.

The political party called AfD (which in English stands for “Alternative for Germany”) has made gains in Germany over the past few years.

The reasons that German voters gave suggest that many in Germany want a strong leader to stand up against crime, terrorism, and Islam.

Such a leader will come.

The rise of the Reichsburger movement is consistent with that as well.

We in the CCOG have always expected a reorganization in Germany, as well as elsewhere in Europe, of a power actually worse than Adolf Hitler.

To most, Europe currently looks divided and unequal in various ways. Yet, the Bible prophesied that:

41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

The Bible is showing that there will be a unity problem with Europe. It will take a strong leader to make Europe’s coming, temporary unity stronger.

The Bible clearly shows that a reorganization will come to Europe and power will be given to a dictator:

12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)

(More on the reorganization is discussed in the article: Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?)

The Bible shows that the European beast leader, also called the King of the North, will arise promising peace.

21 And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. 22 With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. (Daniel 11:21-23, NKJV)

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

(To prove this leader will be European, please watch the video: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?)

Prior to Daniel 11:39-43, Europe will one day support a dictatorial strongman. The Bible calls him the Beast of the Sea (Revelation 13:1-10) and the King of the North (Daniel 11:40).

What about the view of some Worldwide Church of God writers that this dictatorial leader will be German?

Well, people are starting to notice that Europe is already being dominated by Germany (see ‘Undemocratic’ European Union has become a German empire).

As far as the Germans go, consider the following article which also has some scriptures:

Yes, “those Germans” will truly be back, all satire aside.

This will NOT end well for the USA (Daniel 11:39), its British-descended allies (Isaiah 17:3; Daniel 8:24-25), and ultimately the Germans themselves:

Notice the prophecies!
“O Asshur, the rod of Mine anger,” declares God. Here is a prophecy concerning Germany — the descendants of Asshur today! “The staff,” says God, “in their hand is Mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation (that is, Israel — America and Britain today), and… I will give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isaiah 10:5-6). (Hill DJ. What Is GERMANY’S DESTINY? Plain Truth, March 1962)

… the modern nation of Germany is referred as ancient Assyria! (Please read our CCOG article “Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History,” explaining Assyria’s modern identity.)
“O Assyrian, the rod of MINE anger, and the staff in their hand is MINE indignation. I WILL SEND HIM against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath .. will I give him a charge (command), to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isa. 10:5, 6).
Yes, God is going to take the nation of Germany at the head of a United Europe into his hand as a club to punish the nations of Israel for their rebellion against Him! “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few” (vs. 7). Germany, those living in Germany, even the German government, may not yet know that they are going to join in a treaty with the Russians to destroy the United States and bring it to its knees — it is not in his “heart” to think so, but on the other hand it IS in his “heart” to destroy — the very characteristic of the Assyrian, the modern German, is a harsh, cruel, iron dedication to militarism. and destruction! This is just the kind of nation God needs to use as a rod in His hand to punish His people!…

Despite the face char it is God who will use Germany to destroy America, Germany must be destroyed as well for HER rebellion against God — “I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, by the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent!” (Isa. 10:12, 13)

The USA, itself, is becoming more and more of “an hypocritical nation.” It will be destroyed by a German-led force in what could be called World War III.

The final Beast leader looks prophesied to be at least partially German. Furthermore, all the leaders of the old Holy Roman Empire were as well.

Germans and other Europeans will get sufficiently frustrated with democracy (as well as will be deceived by various signs and lying wonders–2 Thessalonians 2:8-12) that they will support a dictatorial leader over Europe.

While Germany has its own problems, its rise is demonstrating that Germans that it intends to lead Europe.

We are getting closer and closer to WWIII.

Some items of possibly related interest may also include:

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?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
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 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 are links to two sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
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?
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. Two related sermon are available: Identifying the USA and its Destruction in Prophecy and Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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? 2027 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?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2020, 2021, or 2022? 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 la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020? Here is a link to the Spanish version of that video: ¿Podría la Gran Tribulación comenzar en 2020?
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.
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?

COVID vaccines make people sick, and two doses seem to be required

November 24th, 2020


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

CNBC reported the following:

When will the world reach ‘herd immunity’? Citi weighs in

November 24, 2020

Citi Research showed that “herd immunity” may not start to form until late-2021. Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a population develop protection against a disease, and it can no longer spread easily within the community.

The bank said in a Monday report that developed economies, many of which have secured vaccine pre-orders, will first experience the economic benefits of herd immunity. …

Citi said there are uncertainties that could alter the timing of its forecasts for when herd immunity will be reached.

Those factors include:

  • Efficacy of vaccines and Covid-19 reproduction rate, which refers to the number of people that an infected individual goes on to infect.
  • The speed at which mass production of vaccines can be ramped up.
  • People’s acceptance to a vaccine.

The bank, citing a survey by Ipsos and the World Economic Forum, pointed out that vaccine acceptance appeared to have fallen in recent months. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/24/citi-on-when-covid-19-vaccines-will-result-in-herd-immunity-globally.html

There have been better ways to attain “herd immunity,” but governments in most parts of the world have ignored them. Instead they have put their faith in vaccines.

Some are concerned that the vaccines currently being promoted have enough side-effects that many will not want to take them. CNBC also reported the following:

Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’

Public health officials and drugmakers must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting Monday with CDC advisors as states prepare to distribute doses as early as next month.

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association noted that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines require two doses at varying intervals. As a practicing physician, she said she worries whether her patients will come back for a second dose because of the potentially unpleasant side effects they may experience after the first shot.

“We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” Fryhofer said during a virtual meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, an outside group of medical experts that advise the CDC. She is also a liaison to the committee. “They are going to know they had a vaccine. They are probably not going to feel wonderful. But they’ve got to come back for that second dose.”

Participants in Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trials told CNBC in September that they were experiencing high fever, body aches, bad headaches, daylong exhaustion and other symptoms after receiving the shots. While the symptoms were uncomfortable, and at times intense, the participants said they often went away after a day, sometimes sooner, and that it was better than getting Covid-19.

Both companies acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild Covid-19, such as muscle pain, chills and headache. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/23/covid-vaccine-cdc-should-warn-people-the-side-effects-from-shots-wont-be-walk-in-the-park-.html

Since for most who get COVID, they feel like they got the flu, or a mild case of it (two people I know who were diagnosed with COVID-19 had no symptoms at all), some will question why they should risk making themselves sick. Particularly if they get ill from the first of two shots.

However, many will have no choice. Already, Quantas Airlines (properly spelled as Qantas) has said it will require a COVID vaccine:

No vaccine, no flight says Quantas

November 24, 2020

No vaccine, no flight, warns Quantas CEO Alan Joyce.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be a non-negotiable condition of international air travel, the head of the Australian airline said in an interview with the local television show A Current Affair on Monday.

“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,’’ he said.“ Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that’s a necessity.”

Joyce added that he expected other airlines to make the same prohibition. “If anti-vaxxers want to try alternative airlines, they won’t be travelling far. I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,’’ he noted. https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/11/24/no-vaccine-no-flight-says-quantas/

This is a totalitarian and wrong approach. But this is the direction we are seeing in the world. The Bible shows that totalitarianism will increase in the end times (cf. Revelation 13).

Sadly, yes. Even anti-vaxxers like myself (our children were never vaccinated) may be forced to do this. We in the CCOG are striving to reach people all around the world per Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20–and in modern times, air transport is necessary for personal visits.

Furthermore, it is believed that other rules against personal liberties will be maintained after the vaccines begin.

Last month, Voice of America reported the following:

Coronavirus Measures Will Not End When Vaccine Arrives, Experts Say

October 27, 2020

The arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine will not mean people can throw their masks away, experts say.

Face coverings, social distancing and rigorous hand-washing still will be required for some time. How long depends on factors including how good the vaccines are and how long protection lasts — questions that will not be answered when the first shots arrive.

For starters, a vaccine may not be 100% effective.

“This vaccine is not likely to be a suit of armor,” said Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease professor William Schaffner.

Seasonal influenza vaccines, for example, have ranged from 60% effective at best to 10% at worst in recent years.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set the bar for COVID-19 vaccine efficacy at 50%.

A partially effective vaccine might help high-risk groups such as front-line health workers or those with underlying health problems, but it might not be right for the general population, said former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Chief Scientist Jesse Goodman, an infectious disease professor at Georgetown University.

“Certainly that’s not the vaccine you would ideally immunize 300 million people with,” he said. “Even if everybody was immunized, that’s probably not enough immunity in the population to stop the virus from spreading.”

Vaccinated but infectious

On the plus side, even a less-than-perfect vaccine could help if it means people get less severe illnesses and stay out of the hospital, experts noted. People who get flu shots tend to get milder cases than the unvaccinated, even when the vaccine is not very effective.

On the other hand, “there is the risk that even the vaccinated people may unconsciously spread infection,” Goodman said.

Some experts call this a “worst-case scenario”: a vaccine that works well enough to prevent patients from getting sick, but not well enough to stop them from spreading the virus.

The vaccine could produce an immune response that does not completely block the virus, but tamps it down enough so that the patient does not develop symptoms.

However, asymptomatic patients can still be infectious. That is one of the factors that makes COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, so hard to control.

Also, the vaccine may not protect everyone equally.

There may be “big, big differences” in how children, adolescents, adults and seniors respond to a vaccine, said University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research Director Paul Duprex. Influenza vaccines tend to not work as well in older people, for example.

People with some underlying health conditions may respond better or worse than others. Also, there may be differences among different ethnic groups.

“Biology is not black and white,” Duprex said. “Biology is a super gray thing.” https://www.voanews.com/covid-19-pandemic/coronavirus-measures-will-not-end-when-vaccine-arrives-experts-say

Governments have liked having lockdown and other powers, so do not expect all COVID-blamed restrictions to go away immediately. But because many restrictions were more political than scientific, we may see the media’s attitudes change towards COVID after the USA presidential inauguration in January .

As far as vaccines go, notice that a study found that those over 65 who got the flu vaccine were more likely to die from COVID-19:

Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly

October 25, 2020

A recently published study in PeerJ by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”

To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.

The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”

The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths. https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/10/25/positive-association-found-amongst-covid-deaths-flu-shot-rates-worldwide-in-elderly/

Now, this does not prove that vaccines are the cause. It may be that those who are less healthy tend to get vaccines. But, the study supports the view that getting a vaccine is not sufficiently boosting overall immunity.

Of course, the mainstream is highly pushing flu shots this year–as well as COVID vaccines.

For what it’s worth, I do not get the flu shot. When I was in the US military in the 1970s, I was required to get it once or twice (I tried to object, but military rules forced it)–but I have not gotten one since. Nor have has my wife nor any of our children. But we may be forced to get the COVID one.

Last November, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

14:06

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report in November 2019 that stated that an American died every 15 minutes from an antibiotic-resistant infection. It reported that an additional one dies about every 45 minutes from Clostridioides difficile. Another CDC report warned of the superbug Candida auris. In China, two recently died of the pneumonic plague, whereas in May 2019, to Mongolians died from the bubonic plague after eating a rodent kidney. Dr. Thiel explained that the flu is often associated with pigs and the Ebola virus from eating fruit bats. He also cited scriptures about which animals God said could be eaten and some of which should be avoided. Dr. Thiel also went over an NPR report which stated that more who get the live polio vaccine are paralyzed from that type of polio than the ‘wild’ kind. Dr. Thiel explains some scriptures about preventing disease as well as those that show that humans will not sufficiently repent and solve infectious disease problems before Jesus returns.

Here is a link to our video: Superbugs, antibiotics, and vaccines.

Government ‘public health experts’ tend to push fear and vaccines.

This is part of a totalitarian agenda that Satan is encouraging that will not end well (cf. Daniel 11:35-44; Revelation 13).

The idea of ‘herd immunity’ presumes that the ‘herd’ will have many with strong immune systems–something that mask-wearing does not truly promote, but that healthy living does. It is not that there are no places for masks, but supporting the immune system needs to be emphasized much more than it has been by most.

While we should pray, not be fearful, rely on God’s protection, and support the work of Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20, taking care to attempt to improve our health during a time with multiple strains of the coronavirus is something all should do.

The mainstream media has downplayed the vaccine risks, yet puts its hope in that and fear tactics. It tends to minimize telling people what they can do to help themselves other than hide/cover up/distance in fear.

Sadly, instead of focusing on how people can improve their health and strengthen their immune systems, we are seeing fear, ridicule, censorship for Facebook/YouTube/Twitter, and the expansion of government control over people’s lives as the official means repeatedly pushed by much of the mainstream media to deal with aspects of the coronavirus. Facebook pulled two of my posts–one of which it later allowed when I provided LESS proof (Facebook was opposed to listing a particular reference)–and the other of which is still basically here at COGwriter (see COVID interview: Dr. Fauci takes isolated vitamin D and synthetic vitamin C).

To the most faithful, Jesus said:

32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

And that is the case. Christians should not live in fear.

But we also realize that our confidence is not in a vaccine, but in Jesus.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Should Christians Exercise? What does the Bible teach? What are some of the benefits and risks of exercise? Here is a link to a related video: The Plain Truth About Exercise.
Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans? A related online sermon is also available: Africa: Its biblical past, present, and future. A video of possible interest is: Nairobi Conference: All About Love.
How Do I Become a Member of the Continuing Church of God? This article has scriptures, links, and other information for those interested in being part of the CCOG. Here is a link to a related sermonette: 10 Steps to Be a Member of the CCOG.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
Christian courage vs. cowardice As you courageous? What biblically is cowardice? Do YOU really understand this? Two sermons related to this article are available and are titled Courage and Cowardice and Cowardice and Overcoming Fear. A Spanish language article is also available: Valor Cristiano vs Cobardía.
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?

Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the O. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ld Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: El COVID-19 ¿Conduce al 666?
Biological Warfare and Prophecy Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos. Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.

Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
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.
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? 2027 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? 2020, 2021, or 2022? 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 la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.

Complain less and be thankful

November 24th, 2020

COGwriter

Are you grateful for what you have or are you mainly a complainer?

I regularly hear from poor, and often hungry, people in Africa. Their situations and problems remind me how grateful those of us in Western cultures should be for at least the physical blessings we have.

Do you give thanks to God? Does the Bible actually say to do that?

Does the Bible say anything about people who are not thankful?

Should you be giving thanks to God? For what?

What are some of the fruits of not being thankful?

This article will address those subjects and more. (Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.)

Unthankfulness was prophesied.

The New King James Version of the Bible has the word ‘thank’ 25 times, ‘thanks’ 75 times, ‘thankful’ 3 times, and ‘thanksgiving’ 32 times. It also has the word ‘praise’ 237 times and ‘praises’ 11 times.

Thanks and praise must be important to God. And God must think it is important for us to know.

Yet, the Bible teaches that in the last days, people will be selfish and unthankful:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Notice that God does not want His people to associate much with the selfish who are unthankful. God wants His people to have gratitude, not ingratitude.

Unthankful people are often unhappy, and often unloving.

Notice what is prophesied towards those who will not serve God with joy:

47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. (Deuteronomy 28:47-50)

Oddly, people seem to think that complaining makes them happy. Many are selfish and seem to think that complaining is better for them than giving thanks.

Some seem to complain because they are Christian! Yet, God expects His people to be joyous:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

People who are joyous and longsuffering tend to be thankful.

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


1:14:34

Are you thankful? Does the Bible teach that you are supposed to be? What did Dibar Apartian write was ‘the most common sin’? What does the Bible say about thanks and praise? Is ingratitude warned against? Is unthankfulness prophesied? Can the thankful commit the unpardonable sin? What should you be thankful for? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.

Some items of related interest may include:

Giving Thanks Are Christians supposed to give thanks? Why? Is unthankfulness warned against? Here is a link to two related sermons titled: and Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing? This biblical article on music is in response to an advertisement critical of WCG’s 1974 The Bible Hymnal. It also address early church practices here.
The Bible Hymnal via Amazon. This is the paperback edition of the hymnal used by the Continuing Church of God. It consists of all the songs that were part of the 1974 edition of ‘The Bible Hymnal’ used by the old Worldwide Church of God, plus ten other hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum. The songs in this book are essentially the Psalms and other passages in the Bible set to music. To access it free online, click: The Bible Hymnal. Amazon sells a hard copy of The Bible Hymnal for $8.99.
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.

JR: Is everything you know about Second Coming wrong?

November 23rd, 2020

‘The Rapture of One in the Field’ etching

COGwriter

Are Protestants who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture wrong? They are according to another Protestant, Joel Richardson. Notice the following:

Is everything you know about Second Coming wrong?

Filmmaker, evangelist and renowned bible prophecy teacher Joel Richardson says it is a time of change for the church, especially when it comes to teachings about the End Times and the rapture. The author of the New York Times bestseller “The Islamic Antichrist” recently appeared with Joe Schimmel on Rick Wiles’s TruNews radio program to discuss the what he believes is the false doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture.

Wiles himself supports the pre-tribulation position, stating, “I personally do not believe that by the year 2020, any credible person will be teaching the secret pre-trib rapture doctrine. I think the events that are coming in the next five years will utterly destroy the doctrine.”

The pre-tribulation school of thought has been an important force in American Christianity for decades, with proponents such as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice. This school holds believers will be raptured before the great tribulation during the End Times, thus avoiding it. In contrast, Richardson believes the rapture will not occur until during the tribulation period. Thus, believing Christians will not be spared the persecution and calamities of the End Times. http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/is-everything-you-know-about-second-coming-wrong/#RkMvkBqFXqsI4wzt.99

Joel Richardson is right that the Bible does not teach a pre-tribulation rapture. Whether or not any ‘credible person’ will teach that after 2020 can be debated, but the arguments in favor of it are simply biblically disprovable.

Pre-tribulation “rapture” proponents essentially teach that certain verses that refer to Christ returning cannot be referring to the same return (they teach He comes twice, years apart), hence they believe that theirs is the only biblically defensible position. Notice the following from ‘Left Behind’ authors Dr. LaHaye and J. Jenkins:

There are far too many conflicting activities connected with His return to be merged into a single coming…

Since we know there are no contradictions in the Word of God, our Lord must be telling us something here (LaHaye T, Jenkins J. Are We Living in the End Times? Tyndale House, Wheaton (IL), 1999, pp. 98.100).

Between the two statements above is a page listing 24 scriptural passages that the book indicates supports the pre-tribulation rapture and 22 supporting the second coming. However, the passages are not actually quoted, just listed.

To show that those supposed “pre-tribulation rapture” scriptures are NOT in conflict with a single return, I have all of them in an article titled Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?

The first few of which are in this post. Dr. LaHaye and J. Jenkins listed John 14:1-3 as a “Rapture Passage.” It states:

1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

The above passage simply states that Jesus has a place for His followers, that He will return, and that His followers will be with Him. This has no discussion of when.

The next listed “Rapture Passage” was Romans 8:19:

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

The above does not mention any rapture and is not in conflict with occurring at the Second Coming.

The next listed “Rapture Passage” was 1 Corinthians 1:7-8:

7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, the since the Second Coming occurs after the Great Tribulation, the passages above do not prove a pre-tribulation rapture.

The next listed “Rapture Passage” was 1 Corinthians 15:51-53:

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Again, the above does not prove a pre-tribulation rapture and is not in conflict with being associated with the Second Coming.

Now, while Joel Richardson is correct about the fact that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is wrong, his book about the Islamic Antichrist is also wrong.

Years ago, someone forwarded me the following that Joel Richardson wrote:

EU collapse: Doom for popular Bible prophesies?
WND – May 30, 2010
By Joel Richardson [author of “The Islamic Antichrist“.]

Nearly 20 years ago, I intently watched as a very popular Christian television prophecy teacher declared, “The present formation of the European Union is literally the fulfillment of Bible prophecy right before our eyes!”

According to this teacher, the creation of the European Union represented a biblically prophesied revived Roman Empire. Because the last-days empire of the Antichrist, as described in the books of Daniel and Revelation, is portrayed as a 10-nation alliance, this teacher confidently declared that when the number of EU member states reached 10, this would signal the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

Soon, the number of EU member states reached the magic number 10, just as this teacher had predicted. Then the number reached 11, and then 12. Soon there were 20. Today there are 27 member states. The teacher’s very confident predictions failed. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=160393

There are many problems with the above. But the one to mention here is that the Bible does not say that the Beast power will only have ten nations. Notice what the Bible actually states:

12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)

The above prophecy is clear that the Beast power will be composed of ten kings who did not previously have a specific kingdom. Or in other words, the prophecy in Revelation 17:12-13 is most certainly not teaching that the Beast power will be composed of ten nations in the form that they existed prior to some type of structural reorganization. The fact that some prophecy “experts” may have indicated otherwise does not in fact change the actual prophecy from the Bible (see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

Joel Richardson also wrote:

Since 1993, with the official formation of the European Union, many prophecy teachers have set their prophetic imagination like flint on Europe, confident that someday soon, the EU would invade the Nation of Israel and actually dominate the whole earth.

Surely we are witnessing the emergence of the restored Roman Empire that will ultimately come to be controlled by the Antichrist himself, they would declare. But the present harsh realities in Europe may soon cause all of this Euro-centric, restored Roman Empire prognosticating to come crashing down…

As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece’s economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive.

However, it is precisely because there will be problems in Europe that it will need a powerful leader to rise up and lead it. The Bible is clear that the union in the Beast’s territories will be “fragile” (Daniel 2:42-43). It also is clear that the Beast leader will be successful from a military perspective (Revelation 13:1-4). While the Bible does tell of a power from currently Islamic nations in North Africa and the Middle East, it also shows that the forces that support the final Antichrist will defeat it (Daniel 11:40-43).

He later wrote more things about an Islamic Antichrist that were wrong (watch Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?).

For more details about why Joel Richardson is wrong about THE Antichrist, etc., check out the article Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? (there is also a related sermon online titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European?)

So why bother to post about any of this?

Because there are many false and heretical leaders that lead people astray on biblical prophecy (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?). And it is not just Protestant-type rapturists or those who misunderstand about Islam and Bible prophecy.

The Sardis and Laodicean Church of God groups do not understand prophecy, the work, enough of the truth, etc., and that is part of why they will have to go through the Great Tribulation. CG7, a group believed to represent Sardis, takes a preterist view that basically most end time prophecies were fulfilled long ago and are for the past. The Laodiceans have so many prophetic misunderstandings, that unless they repent and change (Revelation 3), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will start until it is too late (a listing of 30 prophetic errors that are held by Laodicean groups are included in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

Now, getting to a major part of the subject of this post, it needs to be understood that the Bible does not teach a pre-tribulation rapture of the church nor a mid-tribulation one as Joel Richardson seems to advocate. Notice that the Bible shows that Jesus will return AFTER the tribulation, not before it:

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

Yet, the pre- and mid-tribulation rapturists ignore or try to reason around these scriptures. More details, including some of the scriptures they tend to claim support their view, are documented in the article Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?.

Many fail to realize that the Bible teaches that Jesus promised to protect ONLY the Philadelphian Christians from the ‘hour of trial’ (Revelation 3:7-10), the rest of the Christians will go through the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (Revelation 12:17), and the place where the Philadelphians are protected is in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-16). Heaven is not a wilderness and Christians are not going to be there during the Great Tribulation as the rapturists teach.

Those who wish to know more about the truth about end time prophecies may wish to study the following:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
This is PETRA! This is a 1962 Good News article by the late Dr. Hoeh.
Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European? Another video is Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?
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.
Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture? Did the Bible teach that Jesus raptures Christians prior to the start of the Great Tribulation? What did Jesus Himself teach? Do the scriptural passages that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins point to prove their left behind pre-tribulation rapture assertions? Do all Christians get protected from the Great Tribulation? Who does the Bible teach will get protected? Is the Great Tribulation the ‘wrath to come’ that Christians are promised protection from? This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
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?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Laodicean Warning for God’s People Is there really a place of safety? Do God’s people need to be warned? Warned for what?
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. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?