Archive for March, 2008

Sabbath, Sunday, CG7, UCG, LCG, CGI, PCG, ICG, R. Ames, and R.C. Meredith in the News

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Tomorrow’s World Presenter Richard Ames with a “Telly” Award 

The following was in the news today:


‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day

Posted: March 16, 2008
5:24 pm Eastern

By Joe Kovacs

Two thousand years after Jesus walked the Earth, Christians are at war with each other concerning – as strange as it may sound – a day of the week mentioned in the Ten Commandments.The issue boils down to: “When is God’s Sabbath?” In other words, what is His holy day of rest?Most Christians today think it’s Sunday, when the majority of churches hold services.

But others confidently say it’s Saturday, calling Sunday worship “the most flagrant error of mainstream Christianity,” believing Sunday-keepers are victims of clever deception…

In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “Sabbath” appears 137 times. The word “Sunday” is absent, though its equivalent, the first day of the week, occurs eight times – nine if the “first day” of creation is counted.

Some examples of the use of Sabbath include:

  • “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” (Exodus 35:2)
  • “But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the sabbath day.” (Matthew 24:20)
  • “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:28)

Most biblical scholars have little disagreement when asked what day the Bible specifically calls the Sabbath.

“The seventh day, Saturday,” says Richard Bauckham, professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “No other day is called the Sabbath in Old or New Testaments.”

In 2001, Jan Marcussen, a Seventh-Day Adventist from Thompsonville, Ill., was so sure there was no Bible verse declaring the first day to be the Sabbath, he offered up to $1 million for clear, Scriptural proof.

“I didn’t get even one response claiming the $1 million from any theologian, bishop, cardinal, pope or anyone else,” Marcussen, author of “National Sunday Law,” told WND. “Why not? Because they can’t. [Observing Sunday as the Sabbath] is the biggest hoax the world has ever seen.”

But while the Bible never calls the first day of the week a Sabbath, the vast majority of Christians today gather for worship then. Many think Sabbath-keeping was either abolished or moved to Sunday once Jesus rose from the grave.

“There’s not a simple answer,” said Dr. Roger Felipe, a Baptist preacher from Marco Island, Fla., who is also director of programs for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, part of Trinity International University. “From [today’s] Christian point of view, the Sabbath is Sunday.”

There is little, if any, argument Jesus and His fellow Jews observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, as the Bible states, “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read.” (Luke 4:16)…

1998…Pope John Paul II…referred to the origins of Sunday-keeping.

“In the weekly reckoning of time, Sunday recalls the day of Christ’s Resurrection,” the pope stated.

But the idea Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday is not universal.

The Bible is actually silent on the precise moment of resurrection. Jesus’ followers came to His tomb before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), but they did not witness Him coming back to life. They merely found an empty tomb.

Even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., agreed with that timetable, telling WND in 2001, “I personally believe He was crucified on Wednesday evening … and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening.”

Most Christians today think Jesus died on a Friday and rose on Sunday. They point to Scriptures indicating a Sabbath day followed Jesus’ execution. But Sabbath-keepers claim it was not the weekly Sabbath of Saturday approaching. Rather, they say it was an annual Sabbath, a “high” holy day in the Hebrew calendar known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which supposedly occurred on a Thursday the week Jesus was killed. The Gospel of John mentions that Sabbath was the annual type.

“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) … .” (John 19:31)

In other words, Sabbatarians say there was more than one day of rest that week. Their timeline has Jesus slain on Wednesday – the day before the “high day” annual Sabbath on Thursday. They believe Jesus was in the grave for a full three days and three nights, finally arising Saturday evening, the second Sabbath of the week.

The mention of “three days and three nights” is important for many, as Jesus used that phrase to prove His divine identity:

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:40, New Living Translation)…

Beyond the resurrection issue, there are several Bible references to “the first day of the week,” none of which are clear on the Sabbath issue.

“The New Testament evidence is not conclusive, and nowhere ‘ordains’ or instructs [Sunday-keeping],” said Margaret M. Mitchell, professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago Divinity School…

Christian facts, pagan Mithras

One of the Roman names for this “Invincible Sun” god in the days of the apostles was Mithras. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithras and today’s Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs.

For instance, Mithraism’s sacred day of Sunday was said to be called “the Lord’s Day.”

Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithras was worshipped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the “mother of God” on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity; and had a “Last Supper” with his 12 followers before his death and resurrection at Easter time near the spring equinox…

Mithras (from Wikipedia)

For instance, Mithraism’s sacred day of Sunday was said to be called “the Lord’s Day.”

Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithras was worshipped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the “mother of God” on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity; and had a “Last Supper” with his 12 followers before his death and resurrection at Easter time near the spring equinox…

The Catholic Encyclopedia even refers to Sabbath-keeping as “the superstitious observance of Saturday,” noting it was forbidden by that council.

Coming to America

Christians observing the Sabbath on Saturday also spread throughout America, but in fewer numbers than Sunday-keepers.

The …Church of God (Seventh Day) – which boasts more than 200 congregations in the U.S. and Canada and a worldwide fellowship of more than 300,000.

Other Christians promoting Saturday rest include many offshoots of the Worldwide Church of God, such as the United Church of God, Living Church of God, Church of God International, Philadelphia Church of God and Intercontinental Church of God.

Messianic Jews, including Dallas-based Zola Levitt Ministries, are also seventh-day proponents.

Some Sabbatarians, such as Richard Ames of the Living Church of God, produce TV shows like “Tomorrow’s World,” asking, “Which day is the Christian Sabbath?”

On one program, Ames points to Luke 4:16 in the Bible and says, “It was Jesus’ regular custom to worship on the Sabbath, and since that time, and centuries before, the Jewish community has very carefully documented their observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday. In other words, history demonstrates that time has not been lost, that the seven-day cycle has been accurately recorded to this day.”

In another episode, Ames’ colleague, Roderick C. Meredith, calls Sunday observance “the most flagrant error of mainstream Christianity” and “the most obvious deception of all.”

“Do you realize that this deception is blinding millions of people from knowing God?” asks Meredith.

Despite such rhetoric, many Catholic and Protestant Sunday-keepers reject Sabbath-keeping on Saturday…

Back in Florida, Sunday-keeper Roger Felipe thinks God is not overly concerned with the Sabbath issue.

“Paul is very clear that we Christians don’t use [one particular day] as a determining factor if someone is right with God,” Felipe said.

At the same time, though, the minister supports the idea of resting one day each week to stay on track with God.

“Humanity has forsaken the importance of Sabbath rest,” he said. “God desires us to be renewed spiritually. We should observe a day … to be consecrated and to be devoted to God, to be renewed and refreshed. In terms of affecting the human quality of life, it would do us very well to observe a Sabbath rest.”

Notice how even truthful Sunday supporters admit that the Sabbath and not Sunday is the day that is biblical.  And some understand that Jesus was resurrected on Saturday.

It is because of “traditions of men” (called ” [today’s] Christian point of view” above) that most who profess Christ accept Sunday.

Of course, true Christians do not war (please see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? )–but Jesus and Paul did point out errors in religion based upon traditions.  And true Christians believe the commandments of God over the tradition of men as Jesus instructed us to do (Matthew 15:3-9).

However, since the Apostle Paul was mentioned in the article, Christians would well to heed the fact that he did tell Christians to observe a certain day–the seventh. 

Notice that the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience…There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NIV).

This clearly shows that the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that only those who will not observe it because of their disobedience argue otherwise. And that is why Paul observed it. Even Origen understood some of what Paul wrote above as he wrote:

But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, “There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism,” that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God…let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from…give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction…this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen’s Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).

Sunday is truly a tradition of men that has pagan connections.  Christians are to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? How clearly endorsed Sunday?

UCG asks, “Would Jesus Christ Celebrate Easter?”

Sunday, March 16th, 2008


Today begins what many commonly call “Crucifixion Week”.  But most have no idea of what really happened on what date (this is documented in the article What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?).

In its latest email, UCG wrote:

What would Jesus do?

Since Easter (with all the pagan symbols that have come with it) was adopted by the Catholic Church centuries after Christ’s ascension, should Christians observe this holiday and encourage others to do so?

Would Jesus Christ celebrate Easter?

He certainly could have told us to. So could the apostles, whose teaching and doctrine are preserved for us in the book of Acts and the epistles written by Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John. But nowhere do we find a hint of support for Easter or anything remotely resembling it. What we do find, as pointed out earlier, is clear instruction from Jesus and Paul to keep the Passover and other biblical—and truly Christian—observances.

Holy Scripture does not support this pre-Christian holiday and, in fact, condemns such celebrations. Because Scripture condemns pagan practices and the worship of false gods (Deuteronomy 12:29-32), we know that God the Father and Jesus His Son have no interest in Easter and do not approve of it.

Jesus, in fact, is diametrically opposed to religious rituals that supposedly honor Him but in reality are rooted in the worship of false gods. He makes clear the difference between pleasing God and pleasing men: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition'” (Mark 7:6-9).

Easter is a tradition of men, not a commandment of God. But it’s more than that. It is a pagan tradition of men that, like other traditions involved in the worship of false gods, is abhorrent to the true God. Jesus and His apostles would never sanction its observance because it mingles paganism with supposedly Christian symbolism and ritual. It is rooted in ancient pre-Christian fertility rites that have nothing to do with Jesus.

In reality, most of the trappings associated with Easter reveal that the holiday is actually a fraud pawned off on unsuspecting and well-intentioned people. God wants us to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24), not to recycle ancient customs used to worship other gods.

Even the timing of the events used to justify celebrating Jesus’ resurrection on a Sunday morning—that He was crucified on the afternoon of Good Friday and resurrected before dawn on Sunday morning—are demonstrably false, as an examination of the Scriptures shows.

For those who want concrete proof that He was indeed the Messiah and Savior of mankind, Jesus made a promise: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39-40).

Try as some might, there is no way to calculate three days and three nights from late Friday afternoon to Sunday morning before daylight. At most, this amounts to barely more than a day and a half. Either Jesus was mistaken, or those who say He was crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday are mistaken. You can’t have it both ways.

The truth is that Easter was a cowardly compromise by those who feared the Roman authorities more than the God of the Bible.

If you did not know this, you may wish to study further and read the following articles:

Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?

Living Church of God Announces 2008 US and Canadian Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Banner at 2007 Feast of Tabernacles in Tobago


The Living Church of God has announced its US and Canadian sites for the Feast of Tabernacles in 2008:

USA:                                          CANADA:

Branson, Missouri                   Lethbridge, Alberta

New Braunfels, Texas            Orford, Quebec

Newport, Oregon         Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Prescott, Arizona

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Last week, LCG announced many of its international Feast sites.  Some articles of related interest may include:

Living Church of God Announces 2008 International Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites LCG normally has over 40 sites in 30 different countries around the world.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians?
LCG 2008 Feast of Tabernacles’ Information Here is information on many Feast of Tabernacles locations for this year.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

ICG, LCG, and BP on the Economic Turmoil

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Strength of Dollars Have Long Been Part of the “Pride of the Power” of the USA 


In the past couple of days, several affiliated with the COGs have commented about the current financial turmoil.

Here is what ICG’s Mark Armstrong sent out last night:

News has it that the Federal Reserve is in a full-fledged crisis mode, moving rapidly to try to shore up America’s largest financial institutions. It’s being called the boldest action taken since the Depression. The stock market is nervous, recording wild volatility as investors bet on whether liquidity manipulations will stabilize the situation. This week has seen the collapse of Carlyle Capital, a $22 billion mortgage hedge fund, leading to concern over the viability of one of Wall Street’s top five banks, Bear Stearns.
 Today’s Wall Street Journal carried the following unnerving quote, “The involvement of the Fed — coordinating with the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission – made clear authorities were concerned about the risks to the broader financial system.”
 This comes in the wake of what’s been called a “meltdown” in the largest of the Federally guaranteed mortgage institutions. The dollar is losing its international value at a frightening pace, as it is constantly devalued alongside other currencies, including gold. and we are all watching it lose it’s domestic value as well as our basic necessities soar dramatically in price. Milk, eggs, butter, chicken, bread, have posted price increases in excess of 40% over the past year alone, and according to near unanimous agreement among experts, this can be attributed to the idiotic idea that our farm produce should be converted into ethanol. And that wrong-headed idea stems in large degree to the political clout of the environmental movement that is so self-important that it thinks that it can “save the planet” at the expense of its inhabitants.
 America has turned its back on God, religiously and socially.

Here is some of what LCG’s  D. Winnail sent out:

The beautiful blossoms of spring are beginning to burst forth here in Charlotte. However, political, economic and weather-related storm clouds continue to gather on the global horizon…

Grain and food commodity prices are increasing because of high energy costs, the shift to bio-fuel production, droughts, and the increased global demand for breads and cereals…Last year, wheat prices nearly tripled worldwide, while consumer prices for bread increased by about 50%. Other crops are also more expensive, including sunflower seeds, soybeans and canola—all major sources of cooking oil. Grain prices are forecasted to continue rising for well over a decade, while some suggest that to raise adequate amounts for everyone, we would “need another two or three globes to grow it all” (New York Times, March 8, 2008). Rising food prices are expected to lead to more starvation and anarchy in developing nations, while wealthy nations want to hold onto bio-fuel goals that suppress food availability (International Herald Tribune, March 6, 2008). God warned of hyperinflation and scarcity at the end of the age, especially related to grains and oil. “A quart of wheat for a denarius [day’s wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6). Will we see food grown in the U.S. “bread basket” sold abroad because it is more profitable, instead of being consumed at home? 

And here are some comments from an email I received this morning from Bruce Porteus of New Zealand:

For years the USA and the other Anglo-Saxon countries have lived beyond their means, relying on borrowing money from overseas creditors to finance their domestic consummation and military adventures abroad.  Domestic saving in the Anglo-Saxon nations have declined to almost zero, as a greater percentage of income is absorbed into serving debt to international bankers.  To maintain growth in the US economy, the Federal Reserve has continued to expand the money supply (print money) to allow the banking system to lend funds to stimulate domestic spending.  Under normal circumstances, this would be inflationary, but as the USA has exported these “created” dollars to finance its imports, the inflationary effect on the USA has been minimal to date.  This is about to change…

This past week we have seen the economic collapse of the US dollar and America gain momentum.  The average citizen still has not fully comprehended what the impact of the collapsing dollar will have…


We are now entering the time when there will be no more tricks to pull of the Fed’s bag, and we can solve our problems by creating money.  The economic collapse of the Anglo-Saxon nations could be sudden and have disastrous consequences upon our people.  It will be the precursor for the time described in the Bible of great tribulation. 

As I have written before, I believe we may be close to the time that Jesus referred to as the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).

Americans have long been proud of their dollar, but this is going to change (Leviticus 26:18).  And when crop failures also hit here (Leviticus 26:19-25), then watch out!

Habakkuk teaches:

2 Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie…
6 “Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
And a taunting riddle against him, and say,
‘Woe to him who increases
What is not his–how long?
And to him who loads himself with many pledges’?
7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly?
Will they not awaken who oppress you?
And you will become their booty.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
All the remnant of the people shall plunder you (Habakkuk 2:2-3,6-8).

The USA is the most debt-ridden country now in the history of the world having loaded itself up with T Bills and other “pledges”.  And while it has not happened yet, the appointed time (which is also discussed in Daniel 11) is coming when complete disaster will be here.

Several articles of related interest may include:

Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? There is a Mayan calendar prediction for change in 2012. 2012 changes were also centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans and the Hindu Indians (who were not even on the same continent). Do these Mayan/Hindu/Hopi prophecies have any value? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 This article explains how the Living Church of God views this, and compares this to Ellen White.
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”?

Oasis: What Bible Translation Do You Read?

Friday, March 14th, 2008



The “sister” website of George and Pam Deweys’ Oasis Ministries has a poll about which translation of the Bible do its visitors read (the Deweys were once affiliated with CGI, here is a link to some of the Teachings of the Church of God, International).  Here were the results when I checked:

Which Bible translation do you prefer for general reading?
King James Version  2% 1
Revised Standard Version  7% 4
New International Version  33% 18
New American Standard Bible  9% 5
New American Bible (Roman Catholic)  2% 1
New King James Version  35% 19
The New Living Bible  7% 4
The Living Bible (paraphrase)  0% 0
Amplified Bible  4% 2
Other  0% 0
54 votes total

While I normally quote the NKJV at the website, I sometimes find the NIV, KJV, and other translations helpful.

Since all translations are done by fallible humans, they all contain errors.  However, even the most flawed versions contain more truth than most non-COG groups have.

Several articles of related interest may include:

The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
Bible and Historical Resources on the Internet Electronic bibles, Two Babylons, early Christian literature, photos, and even links to old Herbert W. Armstrong materials. 

CGOM-UK, “Patrick was Not Roman Catholic”

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Postcard from 1912 Honoring “St. Patrick’s Day”


Because of its conflict with Easter observances, some Catholics have decided that today or tomorrow should be celebrated as “St. Patrick’s Day” (please see news item St. Patrick’s Day: Should it Be Observed At All? for more information).

James McBride of CGOM-UK sent me the following information he found related to Patrick:

There is another fact that proves that Patrick was not Roman Catholic. He worshipped on a different day than what the Roman Catholics worship on! Historically, the Celtic church observed the seventh day of the week in accordance with Holy Writ. A professor of church history at Princeton wrote, “It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.” Professor James C. Moffat, The Church in Scotland, p. 140. Another historian wrote, “We seem to see here an allusion to the custom, observed in the early monastic Church of Ireland, of keeping the day of rest on Saturday.” Blair’s, History of the Church in Scotland, Vol. 1, p. 86. (This quote is found in a footnote of Blair’s translaton of the Catholic historian, Bellesheim).

The Catholic historian, Bellesheim, also states the sentiments of Queen Margaret, for he wrote, “The queen further protested against the prevailing abuse of Sunday desecration. ‘Let us’ she said, ‘venerate the Lord’s day, inasmuch as upon it our Saviour rose from the dead: let us do no servile work on that day’…The Scots in this matter had no doubt kept up the traditional practice of the ancient monastic Church of Ireland, which observed Saturday rather than Sunday as a day of rest.” Bellesheim, History of the Catholic Church of Scotland, vol. 1, pp. 249,250.

William Skene wrote, “Her next point was that they did not duly reverence the Lord’s day, but in this latter instance they seem to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic Church of Ireland, by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labors.” William F. Skene, Celtic Scotland, vol. II, p. 349. (1877)

There was a great missionary student of Patrick’s schools in Ireland by the name of Columba, “the son of Feidlimyd, the son of Fergus.” J.H. Merle d’Aubigne, The Reformation in England, vol.1, p. 30.He was born in Donegal, Ireland, in 521 A.D., and was sent to Scotland as a missionary. “‘I will go’ said he, ‘and preach the Word of God in Scotland.'” Ibib, p. 30. Columba also kept the Bible Sabbath or Saturday which God commands in His decalogue. His last moments are recorded in history. “Having continued his labors in Scotland thirty-four years, he clearly and openly foretold his death, and on Saturday, the ninth of June, he said to his disciple Diermit: ‘This day is called the Sabbath, that is, the day of rest, and such will it truly be to me; for it will put an end to my labors.'” Butler, Lives of the Saints, vol. 6, p. 139.

History is very clear on the origin of Patrick and the day that he kept as the Sabbath, but let us go to the Holy Scriptures and find out WHY Patrick and the early Celtic Church kept the seventh day or Saturday as God’s holy rest!“It was the Sabbath among the Briton Christians 596-664, and then was still so with those who withdreww to the Isle of Iona and to Ireland rather than to submit to the laws commanding and enforcing Sunday observance.” Alonzo T. Jones, Lessons From the Reformation, p. 360.

Detailed history reveals that “In A.D. 664, Oswald, king of Northumberland, ordered Sunday observance. And the Sabbath keepers, ‘rather than to submit to it,’ withdrew to the Isle of Iona and to Ireland.” Ibid, p. 319. The Celtic Church fled from Sunday observance!

While I am not claiming that all the information above is certain (most early history exists in sketchy pieces), I do believe that what is now called St. Patrick’s Day is not to be celebrated by true Christians. 

It should be noted, however, that history does certainly show that the Catholic Church was disappointed to learn early on that the British Isles (including Ireland) held to practices closer to those of the original apostles than the Roman Church (please see the article The Pergamos Church Era).

Those interested in more on “St. Patrick’s Day” may wish to read the article Why The Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Evolutionists Try to Strike Back, But Ignore Science

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008



The anti-COG AW site posted the following today from the March 1, 2008 issue of New Scientist:

“Yet the idea still persists that the fossil record is too patchy to provide good evidence of evolution. One reason for this is the influence of creationism. Foremost among their tactics is to distort or ignore the evidence for evolution; a favourite lie is “there are no transitional fossils”. This is manifestly untrue.”

“Creationists simply have no answer for such irrefutable evidence.”

Of course, the above is false.

The history of evolutionist “proof” has been riddled with made-up “evidence”, lies, and ignoring the laws of science. 

For example, I remember looking at drawings supposedly of human and non-human embryos in a science text in school, only to learn later that the drawings were not accurate, but were modified to make the embryos look more similar in order to support “evolution”.

I also recall seeing pictures of dark moths on trees in the UK which supposedly proved some aspect of evolution only to later learn that those moths do not stay on trees and were pinned on them for purposes of making a photo for evolutionary “proof”.

Furthermore, some of the early so-called “missing link” skulls for alleged human “evolution” turned out to be scientific frauds even though evolution accepting scientists accepted this evidence, sometimes for decades.

What about this “transitional fossils” argument? 

Essentially, it seems that many evolutionists hope that if they can CLAIM some fossil is a “transitional species”, then this proves that there were some many other “transitional species” (which they never have produced complete evidence of) and that evolution is true.

But evolution has never actually provided that evidence.  Furthermore, the concept of “transitional” species violates at least one of the principles of evolution.  And that is, that the organism is developed to where it is best to survive.  Or in other words, since (according to evolutionists) there is simply random development and the fittest survive, then there is absolutely no reason why any species is or could be “transitional.

One so-called “transitional fossil” is supposed to be a reptile with feathers, allegedly proving that reptiles evolved into birds.  But, that has also been proven to be false.  Notice the following news items on that:

Paris – Palaeontologists have fired a broadside over a fossil which is the cornerstone evidence to back the theory that birds descended from dinosaurs.

The row focuses on Sinosauropteryx, a fossil found in 1994 by a farmer in Liaoning province, northeastern China, a treasure trove of the Early Cretaceous period some 130 million years ago.

About the size of a turkey, the long-tailed meat-eating dino was covered with a down of fibres that, Chinese researchers claimed, were primitive feathers.

That claim had the effect of a thunderclap.

Although the “feathers” were clearly not capable of flight, their existence dramatically supported a theory first aired in the 1970s that birds evolved from dinosaurs. As a result, a once-outlandish notion has become the mainstream concept for the ascent of Aves, as birds are classified.

But a new study, published by a team led by South African academic Theagarten Lingham-Soliar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, sweeps away the proto-feathers claim.

The two-branched structures, called rachis with barbs, that were proclaimed as early feathers are quite simply the remains of a frill of collagen fibres that ran down the dinosaur’s back from head to tail, they say.

The evidence comes from a recently discovered specimen of Sinoauropteryx, also found in the same Yixian Formation at Liaoning, that Lingham-Soliar put to the scrutiny of a high-powered microscope.

“The fibres show a striking similiarity to the structure and levels of organisation of dermal collagen,” the kind of tough elastic strands found on the skin of sharks and reptiles today, the investigators say.

The fibres have an unusual “beaded” structure, but this most likely was caused by a natural twisting of these strands, and a clumping together caused by dehydration, when the dinosaur died and its tissues started to dry.

The tough fibres could have been either a form of armour to protect the small dinosaur from predators, or perhaps had a structural use, by stiffening its tail.

The first known bird is Archaeopteryx, which lived around 150 million years ago.

What is missing are the links between Archaeopteryx and other species that would show how it evolved. But fossil record is frustratingly small and incomplete and this is why debate has been so fierce.

The birds-from-dinos theory is based on the idea that small, specialised theropod dinosaurs – theropods are carnivorous, bipedal dinos with three-toed feet – gained an advantage by developing plant-eating habits, growing feathers to keep warm and taking to the trees for safety.

From there, it was a relatively small step to developing gliding skills and then the ability to fly.

Lingham-Soliar’s team do not take issue with the theory itself.

But they are dismayed by what they see as a reckless leap to the conclusion that Sinoauropeteryx had the all-important “protofeathers”, even though the this dinosaur was phylogenetically far removed from Archaeopteryx.

The evidence in support of the primitive feathers lacked serious investigation, Lingham-Soliar says.

“There is not a single close-up representation of the integumental structure alleged to be a protofeather,” Lingham-Soliar says.

Given that the evolution of the feather is a pivotal moment in the history of life, “scientific rigour is called for”.

The study appears on Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a journal of the Royal Society, Britain’s de-facto academy of sciences.

And even if there were feathers, since this creature apparently did not fly, it makes no sense to claim that it was evolving into something that would fly.

Evolution normally attempts to try to explain life beginning without a creator.  Something that other laws of science show is not true. 

The truth is that for life to randomly begin and have the immediate ability to find/ingest/digest food and to reproduce ignores various laws of science.

The other truth is that evolution is accepted by many who do not actually want to live God’s way of life, nor do those “believers” tend to take seriously the prophetic warnings of the Bible.  Actually the Bible is supportive of the idea that those who accept theories like evolution have allowed their minds to de-evolve in the sense that they wish to believe a lie (Romans 1:18-32).

The plain truth is that evolutionists, and those that support them, are the ones that actually ignore science.

Articles of related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article by Wallace Smith which answers what many really wonder about it.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know?
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.

United Church of God COE on Bloc Voting, Finances, and Doctrinal Changes

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Pantheon of Rome: A Symbol of Unity Among Confusion 


The United Church of God recently posted the several items from its minutes of its Council of Elders’ meetings–which were mainly held last week.

One item concerned what it calls “bloc voting” and is dated 3/2/08:

Bloc Voting and the Proper Approach to Balloting

One of the agenda items listed for this quarterly round of Council meetings was to have a discussion on what constitutes bloc voting and the proper approach to balloting.

Mr. Dick presented a historical review of this topic. During the 1998 GCE meetings in Louisville, Kentucky, the Council ran into the only verifiable incidence of attempted bloc voting. A group of elders determined they would vote as a bloc for an agreed-upon group of candidates. It was brought to the Council’s attention at that time, and the chairman of the Council and the chairman of the Ethics Committee were instructed by the Council of Elders to talk with the elders involved. The elders were informed that evidence of bloc voting would invalidate their ballots. No evidence of follow-through was found, and the issue went away for nine years.

In 2007, another charge of bloc voting was brought to the Council. Again, the chairman of the Council and the chairman of the Ethics Committee were asked to investigate the charges…

Leon Walker then mentioned that he is concerned about any clandestine action in the form of alternative forums, in which an elder sends out a list of men suggesting they should be selected to be on the Council. Since there is a desire for transparency coming from the Council, there should also be transparency coming from the GCE.

Richard Thompson stated that bloc voting challenges the principle of seeking God’s Spirit to guide our actions. We need to go back into the rooms to pray before we ballot because we really do want to have God’s involvement. Richard Pinelli said that we all try to nominate the best man for the Council, but there should not be an alternate forum that promotes “their” men for the Council.

Bill Eddington, Bob Berendt, Aaron Dean and Roy Holladay each pointed out that there is a lack of understanding among the elders as to what can be discussed in relation to the choosing of elders for Council service. Bloc voting needs to be defined, and it must be stated why it is wrong. Larry Salyer stated that any form of influencing an elder by another elder is breaking the spirit of proper balloting. There should be no influence from one elder to another. Victor Kubik mentioned that we are not here to represent various constituencies, but we are here to represent the will of God…

Mr. Walker then mentioned the term lobbying. Sending out a list of men for nomination is a lobbying effort. It is true that we need to educate and take the “high road,” but the Council can’t hide its head over this problem. We can’t take 1 Corinthians out of the Bible. Problems were there in Corinth, and they had to be addressed. Mr. Dean also commented that this activity may involve just a few of the GCE, but that it needs to be communicated that wrong is wrong whether it is done by just two or by 100.

While it is opposed to voting in national elections, UCG using voting to elect its Council of Elders and to make various doctrinal changes.  It always seems to be concerned, however, when any group of its elders discusses ways to vote for people that the elders not at its headquarters may want. 

And the above “bloc voting” report is another such example. 

As a rule, UCG seems to advocate that its elders pray about who to vote for and not discuss their votes among themselves.  However, since most of the field elders have had little or no contact with those that they vote for and are not normally given much information about those on the ballot, sometimes they prefer to discuss them on the internet as well as to discuss the possibility to support a bloc of elders in order to affect some type of change within UCG.

Both such actions have historically been discouraged by UCG’s Council.

Related to finances, the February 29 report states:

Financial Update

Tom Kirkpatrick, treasurer, was unable to attend the meetings, so Mr. Kilough presented information about the financial condition of the Church. There have been no major changes since the December 2007 Council meetings. The February income was slightly up, but we are not tracking at this point to hit the 7 percent budgeted increase. As a result we are on pace to meet the operational budget this year, but not the $1.5 million “set aside” for the relocation budget. However, this would be addressed later in this conference in a financial proposal.

Related to doctrine, the March 4th report states:

Doctrine Updates

Leon Walker updated the Council on doctrinal issues. First, he presented an edit to the Passover ceremony. The edit sought to replace the phrase “Christ’s broken body” with the phrase “the scourging that Christ endured.” Mr. Walker mentioned that some manuscripts don’t have the term broken in 1 Corinthians 11:24, though other manuscripts do have broken. Luke 22:19 states, “This is My body which is given for you.” Also, the Scriptures tell us that none of His bones were broken. Mr. Walker explained that “to break bread” is an English idiomatic expression and does not imply that Christ’s body was literally broken. We should emphasize the healing aspect of Christ’s sacrifice. The edit was unanimously approved by the Council.

The next question discussed was whether women could be Feast choir directors. The determination of the Doctrine Committee was that this was not a doctrinal issue but an administrative issue. Mr. Walker stated that there is no need for a resolution on this question because it is something for the administration to deal with. Richard Thompson asked how choir directors are chosen. Mr. Franks responded that Doug Horchak is the overall Feast coordinator and that he has asked Steve Myers to be the overall music coordinator, who then proposes individuals to direct Feast choirs. The names of the choir directors are then approved by the Ministerial Services Team.

Perhaps I should add the the terms “to break” and “bread” are in the literal Greek in Acts 20:7 (thus “break bread” is not simply an “English idiomatic expression”) and if this was brought up by UCG’s Council it was not in the reported minutes.

UCG has previously made other changes related to Passover and the Holy Days (please see the articles UCG and Its Unleavened Bread Study Paper and Last Great Day study paper). 

The United Church of God is the largest of the COGs, but has a different approach to governance, gospel proclamation and a variety of doctrinal points than the Living Church of God does.

Articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. This is a subject Christians need to understand.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

Sony Buys Script for Maya 2012 Movie

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Ancient Mayan City of Palenque


The following announcement was of interest:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Sony Pictures has picked up disaster-movie king Roland Emmerich’s apocalyptic script “2012,” one of the first big projects to hit the market since the three-month writers strike ended on February 12.

While a deal almost was assured, many studios quickly dropped out of the hunt. Some didn’t like the story, describing it as a “Roland Emmerich greatest-hits package.” Others balked at the price tag. The project comes with a $200 million budget.

The script blends the idea of the Mayan calendar, which predicts the world ending in 2012, with natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, typhoons and glaciers plaguing the planet and a large cast of characters dealing with the mayhem.

Emmerich, known for such films as “Independence Day” and “Godzilla,” will direct the project from a script he co-wrote with Harald Kloser.  Sony is planning a July 10, 2009, release.

December 21, 2012 is when the Maya’s “Long Count” calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era. 

While some astronomical occurrences will happen then, some people suspect that the Mayan date may mark the end of civilization or perhaps the beginning of a time of great tribulation or the emergence of a new and better age. 

A few others seem to believe that December 22, 2012 may mark the beginning of a new and better era for humanity.

Personally, I suspect that the European King of the North may become more obvious around that time (and may be a leader, but not yet King at that time) and in retrospect may even claim that he is bringing in the positive era that some suggest the Mayan calendar may indicate  

As I have written before, while I do not believe that the Great Tribulation will start in 2012, 2012 is probably the earliest year that it can begin.

However, because of all the hype that will be associated with 2012, I suspect that it is more likely that the great tribulation will begin in 2013 or a couple of years from that.

More on 2012 and how other cultures have alluded to it is in the article End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something?

March 9, 2008: Ronald Weinland Ignored February 2008

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Ronald Weinland’s Book Which Falsely Predicts the Great Tribulation for 2008


This morning, March 9, Ronald Weinland of Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom, a self-appointed prophet and one who falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses posted a letter that included the following:

Last Sabbath we were in the Netherlands, and at that time I had to cut my sermon a little short as I was pretty worn out from the pace of activities I have been keeping ever since we returned from the New Zealand/Australia trip. As a result of pushing my voice in the Netherlands on Sabbath, I developed laryngitis and completely lost my voice for a couple of days. By Sabbath yesterday here in the United Kingdom, I was doing much better, but not well enough to give a sermon, so Wayne Matthews in Australia was able to fill in for me at the last minute.

While in the Netherlands, there were three ordinations, with one each from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The new elders were able to jump right in and baptize four people that Sabbath. Yesterday was a big day in London with the baptism of seventeen people.

Today we will have a wedding here in London, as I will be uniting in marriage a young man from Texas to a young woman from here in the London area. Then tomorrow, Laura and I will be returning to the U.S.

In the “Upcoming Trips” section, I have posted the cities for March 22 where we are going to have special services set up so that we can invite new people who are ready for baptism…

Ronald Weinland neglected to mention February 2008 in that letter and in today’s letter failed to explain how February fulfilled his previous prophecies about it (such as those made in his November 24, 2007 letter and his 2008 book).

And the truth is that his “prophecies” did not come to pass (more information on that is in the a news item titled February 2008 is Past Ronald Weinland).

Furthermore, he declared in a letter dated February 7, 2008 that that February 2, 2008 was the start of the 1335 days of Daniel 12 (Ronald Weinland Announced When He Claims Jesus Will Return). And based upon that, the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11 would have to begin March 18, 2008.

And instead of persecutions and fleeing from Jerusalem when it is surrounded by armies and the abomination of desolation set up (c.f. Daniel 11:31;12:11; Matthew 24:15-16) as the Bible teaches, Ronald Weinland is publicly announcing normal lectures to occur a few days later.

He and his followers simply do not understand end-time Bible prophecy and are deceiving themselves.

The the great tribulation will not begin in 2008 (please see 2007 news item titled At Least Two Wrongly Claim Great Tribulation Will Begin in 2008) and Ronald Weinland is NOT one of the two witnesses .

Sadly, Ronald Weinland is fulfilling prophecy, but not the way he explains it to his followers:

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber (2 Peter 2:1-3).

He is causing the way of truth, as those in true Church of God understand, to be blasphemed through his covetous and deceptive words. His followers should realize this soon. Hopefully some are starting to realize this now.

Those truly interested in learning about some of what the Bible shows MUST and MIGHT happen prior to the great tribulation may wish to read the following two articles:

Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Great Tribulation actually begin? What signs does the Bible show MUST happen first?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? There is a Mayan calendar prediction for change in 2012. 2012 changes were also centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans and the Hindu Indians (who were not even on the same continent). Do these Mayan/Hindu/Hopi prophecies have any value? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?