Archive for October, 2008

Vatican Claims to be Mother of World’s Churches

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Catholic Church Claims to Be Mother
Inscription in the Basilica of St. John Lateran


Nearly all familiar with the Book of Revelation realize that it contains the following statements:

3 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:3-6, 9, 18).

Even Catholic scholars admit that Rome has seven mountains/hills (Tertullian even called it that in the early part of the third century when he wrote “I appeal to the inhabitants of Rome themselves, to the native population of the seven hills“) and that it seems to fit the description in the Book of Revelation (which they normally call the Apocalpyse):

…the Apocalypse was an inexhaustible quarry where to dig for invectives that they might hurl then against the Roman hierarchy. The seven hills of Rome, the scarlet robes of the cardinals, and the unfortunate abuses of the papal court made the application easy and tempting (Van den Biesen, Christian. “Apocalypse.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 5 Oct. 2008 <>).

Note: some Protestant scholars falsely teach that this is referring to Babylon in Iraq–this is wrong because the Iraqi Babylon is located on a flat plain and not seven hills or mountains like Rome is).

Are you aware that the Church of Rome has made statements indicating that it is the Mother of the World’s Churches and that those groups that came out of her (like the Protestants and somewhat according to the Romans, the Orthodox ) are her daughters?

Perhaps it would be best to first start out by translating from the Latin, the inscription shown in the photo at the beginning of this article.

Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World

That inscription is in Latin in the Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, that contains its papal throne (Cathedra Romana) and is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope (it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican).

So it is clear that the Vatican claims to be the Mother of the World’s Churches.  And Babylon certainly is the Mother of the WORLD’s churches.  However, it is NOT the mother of the Church of God which preceded the formation of the Church of Rome (see The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 and Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome) and did not come from the Church of Rome.

Notice what the Church of Rome considers those in other churches to be:

The Dominus Iesus declaration, which has been written by a close aide of Pope John Paul II, says that the Roman Catholic church is the “mother” of all Christian denominations and that it is incorrect to refer to the Church of England and other Protestant churches as “sister” organisations on a par with Rome.(Vatican declaration provokes churches.  BBC, September 5, 2000.

Perhaps I should add here that since the Church of Rome so highly condemns the beliefs of the Living Church of God as essentially apostate, it does not really consider itself to be its mother–which of course it is not.

Hence while the Bible is clear that there will be a false church, based out of the city of seven hills (Rome), who will somehow be a mother of abominations, the Church of Rome itself acknowledges that Rome is the city of seven hills, is the mother of worldly churches, and considers other churches to be its daughters.

Since most Protestant scholars admit that their religion sprang out of Rome, this should give them pause.

And for those Protestants who do not believe that their religion came out of the Greco-Romans, they should look into the beliefs and practices of the early faithful church and compare what they believe now to what the early true church believed (see The History of Early Christianity).  For if they do that, they will find that they have a lot more in common with the Greco-Roman religion than the true religion of Jesus Christ and His immediate followers.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. ArmstrongThis article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?

2008 & Change God Approves

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Barack Obama
Barack Obama


In 11 days we should learn who will be the next President of the United States.  This has been a really long campaign.

While watching parts of the Democratic convention in August 2008, I listened to Barack Obama and thought about ones of his slogans, Change You Can Believe In.

He gave a speech at that convention outlining those changes.  Some of which I agreed with, and many of which I did not.  This was not change I could believe in.

It occurred to me that the proper slogan for perhaps any campaign should be Change God Approves.  But, I figured that no major US presidential campaign would dare to propose such a slogan, and would be even less likely to attempt to follow that.

A week or so after the Democratic convention, I watched parts of the Republican convention.  John McCain’s new slogan was America First.  And while the religious right seemed to be thrilled at that time with John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin for his vice presidential nominee, they seemed to ignore the fact that America First could not be a slogan that any real Christian should endorse.

A Christian is always to put God first.

And neither of the major candidates has indicated that they intend to do that.

That is one of the many reasons that I do not endorse any of them nor their running mates.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”. Might Bible prophecy be fulfilled if he is elected president?
Barack Obama Carries Hindu Monkey God Although there are some strange and false stories about Barack Obama, this one seems to be true.
Might Sarah Palin Fulfill Prophecy? Why might Sarah Palin fulfill Bible prophecy?
Barack Obama is Not the Antichrist Some have suggested that he may be, but neither he nor John McCain will be.  Find out why they cannot be.
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.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Catholic writings indicate this, but what does the Bible show?
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 This article explains how the LCG views this, and compares this to Ellen White.  Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama are 666.

Why Europe Can’t Survive As Is

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Union for the Mediterranean

Blue: Members of the European Union Union for the Mediterranean
Green: Other members (primarily from the African Union & Arab League)
Striped green: Libya is currently only an observer member in the Union for the Mediterranean
Do population trends bode well for the Europeans in this Union?


Things cannot continue as they have been in Europe.  Without change, Europe simply cannot survive long as it has been because of its declining birth rates.  Birthrates less than the replacement rate must result in change.

In the current issue of LCG’s Tomorrow’s World magazine, after explaining that Israel is not producing enough children for the Jews to maintain their majority in that land, Gerald Weston wrote:

One could just as accurately write a headline, “Why Europe Can’t Survive.” Like Israel, Europe is approaching a time of decision—and Europe’s enemies are well aware of it. Last April 11, Yunis Al-Astal, a Palestinian cleric who is also a member of his nation’s parliament, told worshipers at Friday prayer, broadcast by Al-Aqsa Television, “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesied by our prophet Muhammad.” Al-Astal foretold that Rome, Europe and eventually the whole world would be subjected to “conquests through dawa [proselytization] and even military conquests.” Westerners have grown used to hearing outlandish and preposterous boasts by frenzied fanatics in the Middle East, so it is understandable that most people have not taken comments like Yunis al-Astal’s seriously. But maybe, this time, they should!…
Europe, just like Israel, is facing a crisis of demographics. Put simply, Europe—or, more accurately Europeans—are going out of business! Ethnic French, Germans, Greeks and Italians are not producing enough children to sustain the populations of their nations. Meanwhile, with the vigor Europeans and North Americans once had, Muslim families are producing babies. This means that as the newly burgeoning populations grow, their religion and culture will clash with the existing European order—but one side will be on the rise, gaining new voters with each new election, while the other will be on the defensive, forced to face the reality of its ultimate defeat!
European leaders recognize that their ethnic and religious heritage is threatened. Author Mark Steyn reminds us that this was not lost on Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he chose his “name for the papacy: Benedict XVI. Born in Umbria in 480, St. Benedict was the man who ensured, during the Dark Ages, that the vital elements of Roman and Greek civilization were preserved and that, by infusing them with Christianity, they would emerge in a new and stronger form: the basis for Europe and Western Civilization. Referring to his namesake, Pope Benedict XVI once quoted a Benedictine motto: ‘Succisa virescit.’ Pruned, it grows again” (America Alone, p. 126).
Speaking to a crowd gathered to observe the 850th anniversary of the famous Austrian shrine known as Mariazell, the pope discussed what he called “the crisis of Europe.” In his homily, he decried the moral relativism of post-modernism as an “attitude of resignation with regard to truth,” and added, “I am convinced, [this] lies at the heart of the crisis of the West, the crisis of Europe. If truth does not exist for man, then neither can he ultimately distinguish between good and evil.”
Benedict further declared, in front of the 30,000 faithful who braved cold and rain to hear him, one particular manifestation of the crisis in the West: “Europe has become child-poor: we want everything for ourselves, and place little trust in the future” (Reuters, September 8, 2007).

How Child-Poor Is Europe?

Demographers tell us that it takes an average of 2.1 births per woman for a country to maintain its population. Yet Europe currently has an average birthrate of just 1.38! This means Europe’s population is aging, with too few children being born to support the vast social welfare systems most Europeans have come to take for granted…
When a nation fails to reproduce itself, it must either die out or look to immigrationEuropean birthrates are among the world’s lowest, but there is a baby boom in Muslim countries…
Al-Astal’s bold prediction of an Islamic Rome may seem absurd at first, but when we look at demographics and history, the facts are on his side! Western secularists may find it difficult to admit that their cherished worldview could be replaced by an ideology as radically different as Islam, but this is indeed what the facts tell us—at least on the surface.
But is an Islamic world truly the future? Or are there some surprises down the road, which neither Muslim clerics nor secular analysts can foresee?
The good news is that al-Astal is wrong; there will be no Muslim conquest of the whole world. The bad news is that a time of worldwide war is ahead, which will bring unprecedented suffering to our planet. Thankfully, there is good news after the bad. The coming time of suffering will end with the return of Jesus Christ, and His establishment of the Kingdom of God on planet Earth.
Before Christ’s return, however, the world will come to a breaking point—a point of explosion that was long ago prophesied. A clash of religions and civilizations is in the making. When the flashpoint comes, there will be catastrophe beyond all imagination…

The Ride of Four Horsemen

In Revelation 6, the Bible describes four “horsemen” whose rides bring terrible destruction upon our world. The Apostle John writes that when he opened the first seal on a mysterious scroll handed to him in vision, “I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (v. 2)…
Put plainly, this first horseman looks like Jesus Christ, but represents false Christs or false messiahs! Jesus tells us that before the prophesied end-time wars, famines and pestilences, we will see an upsurge in false saviors—including many who claim to be following Christ.
False religion will set the stage for prophesied war, famine and pestilence in which billions of human beings will die. At one point, an army of 200,000,000 will kill a full third of humanity! (Revelation 9:12–18). This is not the result of precision strikes by “smart bombs.” This is all out, no-holds-barred, fight to the death, winner-take-all warfare!
Complacent Westerners, secure in their comfortable mindset, may believe (or hope) that such a calamity could not possibly occur in our modern, enlightened, civilized world. But consider the choices Israelis and Europeans will soon face. They must either give up their religion, culture and national heritage—effectively cease to exist—or they must take some very drastic and unpleasant steps. It is inconceivable that the Jewish state will quietly hand over power to internal enemies who have openly declared a desire to see Israel destroyed. Israel’s Jewish leaders will choose Israel over democracy…
The Bible tells us that neither Europe nor Israel will submit quietly to the demographic crisis—and that time is running out for them to act. We can be sure we are entering into momentous times, when nations and groups of nations will feel forced to act in ways quite contrary to what their hearts and long-cherished values now lead them to believe are possible.
There is good news beyond the coming demographic crisis, but human beings will first need to learn some painful lessons. A clash of cultures, religions, and nations is on the near horizon, just as prophesied in the pages of the Bible..

Of course Europe will survive, but not as is.  This lack of replacement rate reproduction will be one of the reasons that I believe it will move to eliminate vast amounts of Muslims within its borders.

Short of opening up immigration from say, Latin America (which to a degree probably will happen, but will still change Europe as it now is), it is simply is not possible for Europe to change this trend of its own decreasing population in the near term.

This may also be one of the reasons that the Europeans will decide to make the military moves that it is prophesied to make against the Anglo-American nations (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel) and the Arab nations (see The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy) in the future.

Despite the declining “native” populations, the Europeans will rise up for a while.  But that will not last either.

Several articles of possibly related interest may 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”? What is ahead for Europe?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What is the Book of Revelation trying to tell us about them? Does the first one deceive many?
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 (the Hindus may have some predictions for the next decade as well). Do these Mayan/Hindu/Hopi prophecies have any value? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?
Mexico, Central America, South America, and Brazil in Prophecy What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?

What’s Ahead for Latin America?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Antigua, Guatemala


When the COGwriter website discusses America, it most often (though not always, e.g. Absolut Reconquista by Mexico?) is discussing the United States and/or Canada.

What’s ahead for the Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples of Latin America? Do current and historical world conditions give some clues to the fate of Mexico in prophecy? What about Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela in prophecy? What about Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama? Might Belize and Guyana be in a separate category? What about Suriname and French Guiana?

Do you realize that the Bible does gives clues as to what will happen to these peoples?

In all of these lands, the people are either of European heritage, indigenous, or a mixture of indigenous and European. But either way, most people in all of the nations of Latin America have some type of ethnic tie to Europe. And the vast majority of the people in Latin America speak some type of a European language.

The ancient Romans developed a system of laws, courts and administrative skills to manage their empire. Today, that Roman law forms the basis of legal codes in France, Italy, the European Union, and in the Latin American countries. Roman law also undergirds Roman Catholic canon law (Civilization Past & Present, Wallbank, 6th edition, pp. 87–88). European and Latin American legal systems much more closely resemble each other than they do of the American and British systems (the US American system is based on the British system).

Most of the peoples in Latin America are Roman Catholic. And this is true of nearly every nation there. Religion, thus, is a major cultural tie to Europe.

Certain parts of Latin America are also politically quite connected to Europe. French Guiana is actually part of France and uses the Euro as its currency. Suriname still maintains close ties to the Netherlands. There exists certain legal connections between those of Portugal and Brazil which ties those nations relatively closely. Guyana used to be part of the British Commonwealth (however, because of ethnic reasons, I suspect that in the end it may decide to be more closely aligned with the rest of Latin America and continental Europe than with the UK). Most of the Spanish-speaking nations have ties to each other as well as Spain.

Because of the cultural, ethnic, language, legal, and religious ties between Europe and Latin America, the two regions will likely cooperate more in the future. These ties will be primarily economic, but also may include some type of military cooperation.

While the world generally considers that Mexico and the rest of the Latin American nations are “developing”, the fact is that they have truly been developing. Several are not only becoming economic powerhouses, they have been able to do this without the massive debt accumulations that many other nations have (like the U.S.A.). And while not all of Latin America is poised for major economic activity on the world scene, once major players such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil), and Chile develop a bit more, they will have an impact not only on the entire world, but also on the other Central and South American countries that they also trade with.

With the U.S.A. and its Anglo-Allies ultimately basically out of the picture, the future power of Europe will make Europe an economically attractive trading partner (and because of its military abilities in the future, it is likely to be an attractive military partner) to those in Latin America.

Notice that the Bible says that all trading nations will become wealthy trading with Babylon (the restored European Empire):

For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury (Revelation 18:3, NKJV).

Thus, the resource (Mexico and Venezuela are major oil exporters), and even agriculturally (Chile and Argentina are leading exporters of agricultural products), rich Latin American countries, including Brazil (which is also one of the world’s most successful rising manufacturing nations), appears to be prophesied to attain wealth from the coming restored European Empire. Immigration from Latin America to Europe is very likely to dramatically increase, so that even many of the poorer in Latin America may benefit economically in that way.

Tourism will also benefit the nations in Latin America as Europeans start to visit there more when the USA and its Anglo-Allies will no longer be quite the destinations that they once were.

Latin America, for a while, will basically become much more prosperous.  But being aligned with a power that the Bible warns against will not be good for it in the long run.

For more information about Bible prophecy and Latin America, please see the following articles:

Mexico, Central America, South America, and Brazil in Prophecy What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they suffer in the future?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?

How Does the Living Church of God Differ From Traditional Protestantism?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Martin Luther and other Protestant Reformers Condemned those Who Believed in a Literal Millennium and the Age to Come


Perhaps the most often asked religious question I have heard is, “How is the Living Church of God different from Protestant faiths?”

Other than the fact that the Living Church of God is not Protestant, the most obvious proof of that is from our history and practices.

While most Protestants trace their history through the Catholic Church until the time of the reformation led by Martin Luther, the Living Church of God (LCG) traces its history from the first Pentecost after the crucifixion of Jesus through early leaders such as Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Melito, and Polycrates (more information can be found in the articles Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome and The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 as well as the History of Early Christianity page). While there are many beliefs within the Protestant world (which makes having all encompassing statements almost impossible), this paper will most often referred to the predominant historical beliefs within Protestantism (mainly by its leaders/theologians) on the subjects it addresses.

While history is the most obvious difference, probably the two biggest theological differences relate to teachings concerning the law and salvation, especially the time of restoration (apokatastasis). (Note: When this article uses the term ‘Church of God’, it normally refers to the Living Church of God and does not includes those groups who also use that name which teach against the ten commandments, are non-Sabbatarian, are ‘Pentecostal’, and/or are trinitarian. Some of the beliefs mentioned in this article are also not held by groups that do not believe in the observance of the Feasts mentioned in Leviticus 23.)

Contrary to what some seem to feel, the message of the Living Church of God is one of hope for all humankind.

While the biblical message does include one of repentance (Acts 2:38), it is more than that. It includes the hope of the resurrection and the promises God made (Acts 26:6-8). It is the gospel, the GOOD NEWS, that God will intervene in world affairs and establish His kingdom on the Earth (Mark 1:14; Acts 20:25; Revelation 11:15):

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-5).

The Protestants and the Living Church of God accept this plain teaching.

But who will be saved and who will not be?

The Bible shows who will, and who will not, be there:

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

But sadly many (though not all) Protestants seem to have a differing view.

In its Ten Commandments article, Wikipedia reported:

Modern Evangelicalism, under the influence of dispensationalism, commonly denies that the commandments have any abiding validity as a requirement binding upon Christians (Ten Commandments. Wikipedia, viewed 7/30/08.

And sadly, this is a fairly common view as the following quotes may help demonstrate:

The 10 commandments are Abolished

Today Christians keep the Law of Christ which is superior! 1 Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2 ( viewed 7/31/08).

The Ten Commandments Were Abolished
Saturday, 5. July 2008, 22:51:09

Introduction The ten commandments are no longer lawful: they are not binding on the Christian. Christian scripture says the ten commandments were abolished Ephesians 2:15; a bible believing person is no longer bound to follow them; in fact ( viewed 7/30/08).


One of the Ten Commandments was not carried over into the Law of Christ

Not all of the Ten Commandments were carried over into the law of Christ (Jeffrey W. Hamilton, preacher. La Vista Church of Christ. viewed 7/30/08).

Of course, we in the Living Church of God disagree with those who do not realize that the true Christian church never believed that the Ten Commandments were somehow done away (see The Ten Commandments and the Early Church).

All flesh will see the salvation of God

Another major difference between the Living Church of God and traditional Protestantism is that we observe biblical Holy Days like the Last Great Day (which is observed today).

This day pictures that even though many have been deceived throughout the ages, that God will give everyone a real opportunity for salvation.

Protestants, who do not observe these days, seem to feel that this current age is the only possible time of salvation, even though they will normally admit that most who ever lived have never even heard the truth about Jesus and know that the Bible teaches there is, “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The biblical truth is that salvation will be offered to all who ever lived, a few in this age, and everyone else in the age to come.  Yet although they often claim “sola Scriptura” Protestant scholars have tended to reason around these clear passages. Notice one such example (bolding in the version cited):

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. The writer makes plain at the outset of Jesus’ ministry that He had a universal message. (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

But of course, Luke 3:6 does not state only that the message is universal, it teaches that all flesh SHALL see the salvation of God.

Hence, the billions throughout history in Asia and Africa (and elsewhere) are not condemned to suffer forever for following practices they really do not understand. (Three articles of related interest may include Asia in Prophecy, Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future, and Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

It is recognized that many “Protestant” doctrines are more based upon tradition than scripture. One Protestant scholar went so far as to indicate that “sola scriptura” leads to the acceptance of “ancient heresies”:

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

But if the “heresies” are in the Bible, then is it not the Protestant and other non-biblical views that are truly heretical?

One of the reasons that the early Protestant leaders such as Martin Luther and John Calvin misunderstand salvation is that they denounced those who taught the millennium.

Luther and Melanchthon, Zwingli and Bullinger, and Calvin and Beza repudiated the millenarian doctrine (Cogley, Richard W.  The fall of the Ottoman Empire and the restoration of Israel in the “Judeo-centric” strand of Puritan millenarianism. Church History.  June 1, 2003. viewed 12/24/07).

Notice this condemnation by certain followers of Martin Luther:

Article XVII: Of Christ’s Return to Judgment…They condemn also others who are now spreading certain Jewish opinions, that before the resurrection of the dead the godly shall take possession of the kingdom of the world, the ungodly being everywhere suppressed. (The Confession of Faith: Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V. At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530. by Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560. Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau. Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 95.)

The truth is that the Protestant world in general plays lip service to “the Bible alone” but sadly has traditions that contradict it.

More information on the millennium can be found in the article Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?

The Apostle Paul Makes it Clear that Not All Have Been Called Yet

The Apostle Paul wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else. Look how he makes it clear that God did not call all of Israel and that God has allowed people to be blinded until it is time, but that eventually “all Israel will be saved”:

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.” I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, If by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, Do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins” (Romans 11:7-27).

Notice that many were blinded. God did not allow them to see in this age. And these include those that have long been dead. Are they doomed to eternal torment by a loving God because He allowed them to be blinded now?


Jesus explained, “If you were blind, you would have no sin” (John 9:41).

Furthermore, notice Luke 23:33-34:

…they crucified Him…Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Since Jesus felt those who physically saw Him, heard Him, and had Him crucified should be forgiven, certainly Jesus does not think that those who do not understand about Him now should be condemned.

Does your church understand this? Do they understand that those that crucified Christ rejected Him as their Lord and Savour, yet Jesus wanted them to be forgiven? What would be the point of them being forgiven if they are destined to spend eternity frying in eternal torment as they clearly rejected Jesus?

Well, there would be no point.

It should also be noted that when Paul uses the term “all Israel”, he seems to be referring to “spiritual Israel” (as opposed to physical Israel). For earlier in Romans he wrote, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

Peter also taught:

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. ‘And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead (Acts 3:19-4:2).

Notice that Peter was teaching that Jesus will be in heaven until “the times of restoration of all things” and that all the families of the earth would be blessed, and that this has to do with the resurrection from the dead.

Also, related proof exists in the Old Testament as the Psalms seem to be related to what Paul wrote in Roman. Note that the following prophecies really have not been totally fulfilled yet:

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad (Psalm 14:7).

Notice also that God promises to:

“pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28)

And read the following passages in Isaiah:

“For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the LORD, your Redeemer (Isaiah 54:7-8).

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths” (Isaiah 2:2-3).

Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, And nations who do not know you shall run to you (Isaiah 55:5).

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him (Isaiah 30:18).

Notice that Isaiah 54:7-8 shows that God has forsaken some temporarily but that He will have mercy. Isaiah 2:2-3 specifically shows that all nations and many people will come to learn God’s ways. Notice that Isaiah 55:5 shows that nations who did not know God will come to God! And Isaiah 30:18 shows God will wait and have mercy–because He is a God of justice!

Notice that the concept that God does not allow some to understand is repeated in the New Testament:

Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight (Luke 10:21).

Does anyone honestly feel that the general Protestant position that the majority who have ever lived (including those that are now living) are doomed to suffer forever? Certainly the God of love and justice did not come up with a plan that would fail for most of humankind.

Now when will they be saved? They will be saved and have their sins forgiven after the return of Christ. Notice, Romans 11:26-27,

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins”. Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

How do we know that this does not occur until after Christ returns again?

Because all Israel has not yet been saved! For Christ will come again out of Zion and “He will turn away ungodliness”. Furthermore, notice that Paul is teaching that those to be saved include those who are now enemies concerning the gospel. And that even those among the enemies will be saved. How can that happen without a resurrection when these enemies will have a proper opportunity for conversion?

Why is the Gospel to Be Preached Now?

Since God wants all men to be saved, and part of the purpose of preaching the Gospel is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), is saving everyone now God’s intent?

Notice what Jesus taught,

“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 24:14).

The Gospel is NOW to be preached AS A WITNESS!

Jesus even taught that those of old will rise up,

The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here (Matthew 12:41-42).

Jesus is telling the Pharisees and others that they should have at least understood what those in Nineveh understood or even the Queen of Sheba, for they currently received a greater witness. And He was telling them that they will be a further witness!

The Old Testament shows that Jesus was intended to be a witness, “Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people” (Isaiah 55:4).

John the Baptist was a witness, “John bore witness of Him” (John 1:15). Though Jesus also taught, “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish–the very works that I do–bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36).

“I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).

The disciples were to bear witness, “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning (John 15:27).

Paul was told, “For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard” (Acts 22:15) and “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you” (Acts 26:16).

Peter was a witness, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed” (1 Peter 5:1).

John and the other disciples were witnesses for, “the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us” (1 John 1:2) and “we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true” (3 John 12).

The Bible does also call Christian martyrs witnesses, “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God” (Revelation 20:4). The word translated as witness here is marturia (mar-too-ree’-ah), and it is from that word that the word martyr is derived.

Clearly the Bible teaches that the word of the gospel was and is to go out as a witness. And this witness will play a role in the ultimate conversion of those not called or incorrigibly wicked in this age.

Unlike traditional Protestantism, we in the Living Church of God believe that since God is love, all wise, etc. that certainly He was able to come up with a plan of salvation that would result in the vast majority of humans who ever lived to be saved.

The biblical holy days, which are not observed by traditional Protestants, help to show this plan.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. ArmstrongThis article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
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? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians?  What is the Last Great Day?

Last Great Day Begins Tonight

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Straight Path in Tobago
A slightly difficult uphill and narrow way in Tobago


Today is the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The seven day Feast of Tabernacles is immediately followed by the eighth day, which begins tonight at sunset.

Christians normally call this the ”Last Great Day” based on these statement from Jesus in John 7:37-38,

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

It is on that last day that those predestined in this age will be the praise to Christ’s glory to those on the earth in a way that has not happened before.

Jesus was clear that only a few will find this way in this age:

23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24 Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able (Luke 13:23-24).

14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14).

So only some few will be called in this age. And there is an “age to come” (Matthew 12:32) where even infamous sinners will have an opportunity (cf. Matthew 10:15;11:22).

According to an old, but probably modified in the 4th century document, it seems that Polycarp observed the Feast of Tabernacles in the second century including the Last Great Day:

I will give the narration in order, thus coming down to the history of the blessed Polycarp…

So also he pursued the reading of the Scriptures from childhood to old age, himself reading in church; and he recommended it to others, saying that the reading of the law and the prophets was the forerunner of grace, preparing and making straight the ways of the Lord, that is the hearts, which are like tablets whereon certain harsh beliefs and conceptions that were written before perfect knowledge came, are through the inculcation of the Old Testament, and the correct interpretation following thereupon, first smoothed and levelled, that, when the Holy Spirit comes as a pen, the grace and joy of the voice of the Gospel and of the doctrine of the immortal and heavenly Christ may be inscribed on them. And he said that they could not otherwise receive the impression of the seal which is given by baptism and engrave and exhibit the form conveyed in it, unless the wax were first softened and filled the deep parts. So also he thought that the hearts of the hearers ought to be softened and yield to the impress of the Word. For he said that it unfolded and opened, like closed doors, the minds of recent comers; and accordingly the prophet was bidden by God, Cry out mightily and spare not, Raise thy voice as a trumpet. What must one say, when even He that was gentler than all men so appeals and cries out at the feast of Tabernacles? For it is written; And on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506.)

The Living Church of God states this about the eighth day of the feast:

Old Testament meaning

…Adjacent to the Feast of Tabernacles, this eighth day is considered a separate Feast.
(Leviticus 23:36, 39)

New Testament meaning

Pictures the coming “Great White Throne Judgment” at which all of humanity not previously called will have the chance to hear the True Gospel and accept salvation. [The Holy Days]

Most of the small groups that observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the eight day that follows it are in basic agreement with the statements quoted from the Living Church of God.

Here is some of what the late Herbert W. Armstrong taught about the Last Great Day:

This eighth day, technically a separate feast, is called “the last day, that great day of the feast” (John 7:37).

What does this final holy day represent?

Notice what Jesus preached about on that day: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink . . . out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive . . .)” (John 7:37-39).

This was Jesus’ sermon giving the meaning of the last great day!

Now turn to Revelation 20. After the Millennium, what happens? A resurrection! The dead stand before God. This couldn’t include true Christians today, as they will appear before the judgment seat when Christ returns. It couldn’t refer to those converted during the Millennium. They have already inherited the Kingdom during the Millennium, after living out a normal life-span. Those in this resurrection must be those who died in ignorance in past ages! They are not brought to life until after the Millennium (Revelation 20:5).

This is that judgment day mentioned in Matthew 10: 15. It is a time when Gentiles who died in ignorance will be given an opportunity to receive salvation. Ezekiel 16:53-55 makes this very plain. Even those in Israel who died in their sins will be given their first opportunity to understand the truth of God and His way (Ezekiel 37). The prophet wrote that God would pour out His Spirit on those resurrected (verse 14). This is precisely the salvation that Jesus mentioned in His sermon on that great day of the feast in the autumn of AD 30.

This eighth day, which immediately follows the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, pictures the completion of the plan of redemption. It is just prior to the new heaven and the new earth. All parents and children, young and old will be resurrected. Notice that the “book of life” typifying salvation is opened (Revelation 20:12). Revelation presents the final view of the “judgment day” as the present material heaven and earth are perishing and the faithful are receiving their eternal reward at the throne of Christ. The wicked those who disobey are seen perishing in the lake of fire! What a marvelous plan! All will have an equal opportunity (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays–or God’s Holy Days—Which?, booklet).

Isaiah prophesied how long the White Throne Judgment period would last. During this time Christ and the resurrected saints will rule. It is the time of the second resurrection. The earth will be as peaceful and productive as the Millennium itself. Children who died will live again for one hundred years, building character through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Older people who had died without knowing God’s plan for them will also be resurrected to live for one hundred years. The close of the one-hundred-year White Throne Judgment is pictured by John in Revelation 20:11-12…100 years of testing…Isa. 65:20. (Bible Correspondence Course, Lesson 39. 1954, 1965 Edition).

A major reason that I became part of the old Worldwide Church of God and now the Living Church of God is that in addition to proving all things from the Bible, I truly believe that since “God is love” (1 John 4:16) that He has a plan of salvation that will ultimately result in everyone being called and nearly every one who ever lived being saved.

Two must read articles to demonstrate the truth of those doctrines are Hope of Salvation: How the COGs differ from most Protestants and Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis.

Polycarp and Infant Baptism

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

“Martyrdom of Polycarp” from Ceiling of the Church of St. Polycarp, Smyrna (now called Izmir, Turkey)


Do you know that some Catholics actually claim that the ancient 2nd century text known as the Martyrdom of Polycarp proves infant baptism?  Is this true or have inaccurate assumptions been made?

For those unfamiliar with Polycarp, perhaps it should be mentioned that he was a disciple of the Apostle John and was put in charge of the Church of Smyrna. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox revere him as a saint.  We in the Living Church of God trace our early history from Peter, Paul, and John through Polycarp, but we do not endorse infant baptism.

So if Polycarp endorsed infant baptism, then we in the Living Church of God would have a problem.  But did he?

Some Catholics think so.  Notice the following false tradition that supposedly proves infant baptism (I have read similar claims from other Catholic writers.  Note: Any bolding is in the source):

St. Polycarp, who was the disciple of the Apostle John himself (as well as an associate of the Apostle Philip). And, in AD 155, St. Polycarp said this at his execution:

“Polycarp declared, ‘Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me injury. How can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” (Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp 9 c. AD 156)

Now, it is well documented that “The Martyrdom of Polycarp” was written the year after the saint’s execution; and so the quote above is extremely reliable. It is also well documented that Polycarp was 86 years old at the time of his death. Therefore, if the saint claims to have served Jesus for 86 years, it therefore follows that he was Baptized as an infant. And, in another place, we are told that Polycarp was Baptized by none other than the Apostle John! 🙂 Therefore, at least in the case of St. John, we can show conclusively that the Apostles Baptized infants (Bonocore MJ. Infant Baptism.  Apolonio’s Catholic Apologetics. viewed 10/06/08 ).

Now while the above may at first sound plausible, the truth is that Polycarp never claimed to have been baptized as an infant–there is no evidence that John ever baptized any infant. Nor did Polycarp claim he was 86 years old when he died.

An ancient manuscript called the Harris Fragments shows the following with one addition from me in {}:

Polycarp…He was… {an} old man, being one hundred and f[our] of age.  He continued to walk [i]n the canons which he had learned from his youth from John the a[p]ostle.(Weidman, Frederick W.  Polycarp and John: The Harris Fragments and Their Challenge to Literary Traditions.  University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame (IL), 1999, pp. 43,44).

Thus, if Polycarp lived to be 104, then he was baptized at age 18, and therefore was not baptized as an infant. Hence, the Harris Fragments are one other way to help disprove mythological traditions that are simply not biblical.  True history supports the positions of the Living Church of God.

No early true Christian advocated, nor practiced, infant baptism.

The Bible is clear that baptism requires repentance and belief of Christ, something that infants simply are not capable of.

Notice what the Apostle Peter taught:

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

The Apostle Paul taught:

And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8).

The original practice in the New Testament was immersion after belief and repentance.

Infant baptism was never the practice of the true church.  There is no incident of infants being baptized in the entire Bible, nor in the early true church.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Baptism and the Early Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians Did Polycarp refer to all the books in the New Testament? This is Roberts and Donaldson’s translation, corrected by me in one place, where they made a small error in translating Latin by omitting one word.
Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor. Do you know much about what he taught?  Does the Living Church of God or the Church of Rome more faithfully follow his teachings and practices?

Feast of Tabernacles in the 21st Century

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

By COGwriter

As most who are readers of this page at this time are not at the Feast of Tabernacles now, I thought a series on the sites we attended might be of interest.  This is part three of the three-part series.

In 2000, my family went to Jamaica for the Feast of Tabernacles.  This was the first year that the Living Church of God (with that name) had a feast site there.  About 100 attended that year.  Although we took a lot of pictures, I only found the following one:

Banana Boat in Jamaica, 2000

In 2001, we went to Tugan, Australia for the feast.  Probably around 300 attended that year.  This may have been the favorite feast site for our older two sons (they hope the Feast in Australia will be in this area again).  Below is the building services were at, and a park photo.

Church Members at the Feast of Tabernacles in Tugan, Australia 2001

In 2002, we went to Barbados for the feast.  70-100 attended.  A hurricane almost hit and added additional excitement to this feast site.

Members at the 2002 Feast of Tabernacles in Barbados in the Living Church of God

In 2003 and 2004, we went to Kauai, Hawaii for the feast.  About 200-500 attended.  We stayed in different places each time.  There was teen bowling activity (1st photo) and Dr. Jeff Fall spoke (2nd photo).

In 2005, we went to Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Around 800 attended.  A hurricane threatened, but did not cause problems until the day after the feast ended.  That resulted in a hotel we were to stay being closed and caused a variety of problems, but we got through them.

In 2006, we went to Antigua, Guatemala for the feast.  We were the only non-Latin family to attend, so translations were provided for us.  Also, since I do not speak Spanish, my two sermons (the only live sermons not in Spanish there) were translated for the attendees.

In 2007, we went to Crown Point, Tobago.  Tobago is a small island and is part of the country known as Trinidad and Tobago.  At family day, two of our sons joined with the local church brethren to play cricket.

Trinidad & Tobago Welcome Cricket Game in Tobago

In 2008, we are schedule to go to Evian, France for the feast–which is where we should be today.  At some point in time, I probably will comment on that.  But since this post was written before we got there, there is nothing to say about it yet. ;)

Three articles of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus? Should you?

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.

Rapturists Misunderstand Bible

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

A Shofar made from an animal horn is the type of trumpet the Bible normally speaks of.


The past week or so, I have been reporting a lot about what many consider to be “Jewish Holy Days”.  Many do not seem to understand how God’s Holy Days help explain His plan of salvation.

But additionally, understanding and observing the Holy Days can help prevent certain major prophetic misunderstandings.

Millions of Protestants around the world (and especially within the United States) believe in something called a pre-tribulation rapture.  Essentially they believe that before the tribulation, that Jesus will return and remove all the saints from the earth.

Notice what one Protestant scholar, Dr. J.F. Walvoord wrote:

As is brought out in the doctrine of the Rapture (1 Thes. 4:14-17), not only will living Christians be caught up into heaven without dying, but those Christians who have died will be resurrected.  Both will receive their  bodies which are suited for heaven.  As Paul stated, they will be imperishable and never subject to decay. (Walvoord JF.  The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook: All the prophecies of Scripture contained within one volume.  Victor Books, Wheaton (IL), 1990, p. 464)

On page 485 of that same book, Dr. Walvoord shows that (he believes) the tribulation starts after this.   And that Jesus’ Second Coming is years later.

And even though he actually quotes ! Corinthians 15:51-53, he does not seem to understand what it says.  Notice:

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 (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

And what did Dr. Walvoord and the other pre-tribulation rapturists not notice?

Well, that this resurrection occurs at THE LAST TRUMPET!

Those of us in the Living Church of God realize that there are many trumpets to be blown.  And this is normally mentioned at least as often as every Feast of Trumpets.  And while people COULD look into the Bible and determine this on their own (cf. Revelation 8 & 9), many simply do not.

Bizarrely, Dr. Walvood does teach that seven trumpets are blown after his claimed rapture (p. 551) and that Jesus comes at the seventh one (p. 575), yet does not seem to understand that since Jesus comes at the LAST TRUMPET (1 Corinthians 15:52), that it is the seventh and LAST TRUMPET in Revelation 11:15-19.

Thus there is no possible pre-tribulation rapture as he and Dr. Timothy LaHaye (Left Behind series co-author) teach.  Actually Dr. LaHaye seems to teach the same as Dr. Walvoord about 1 Thesalonnians 4:13-18  and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 as well as the seven trumpets of Revelation (LaHaye T., Jenkins J.  Are We Living in the End Times?  Tyndale House, Wheaton (IL), 1999, pp. 96-97, 186-192).

Yet, one does not need to be a doctor to realize that the LAST TRUMPET comes after the first six.  And apparently at least two Protestant doctors are confused–and have misled many.

Some articles of possibly related interest include:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?
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.
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more 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.

Feast of Tabernacles in the 1990s

Friday, October 17th, 2008

By COGwriter

As most who are readers of this page at this time are not at the Feast of Tabernacles now, I thought a series on the sites we attended might be of interest.  This is part two of three.

In 1990, our family went on the Mediterranean cruise for the Feast of Tabernacles.  Over one thousand attended.  This cruise began in Venice, Italy, went to Greece, and to several of the churches of Revelation 2 & 3.

Here are photos of Venice, the cruise ship, many there, and the isthmus of Corinth:

Venice Grand Canal Ship used for the 1990 Feast Cruise

Poeple who attended the Cruise Cruise Ship Going to Isthmus of Corinth

Additional photos at or related to that 1990 Feast are included in Joyce’s Photos of Corinth, Joyce’s Photos of Ephesus, Joyce’s Photos of Pergamos, and Joyce’s Photos of Smyrna.

In 1991, we went to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).  Over 1,000 (perhaps 2,000 or more) attended.  Below is a picture of Victoria Harbor and the children’s choir at the Feast:

Victoria, B.C. Harbor, Canada Children's Choir in Victoria, B.C.

In 1992 was our first trip to the Caribbean and we went to the Bahamas.  Over 500 attended.  Below is the children’s choir, as well as the view from our hotel room of the tip of Paradise Island:

Children's Choir in the Bahamas Tip of Paradise Island, Bahamas

In 1993, we went to Eastbourne, England for the Feast of Tabernacles.  Around 1500 attended that year.  Below is a picture of Eastbourne, as well as a castle not too far from the city:

Eastbourne, England Castle near Eastbourne, England

In 1994, we went to Eugene, Oregon for the Feast of Tabernacles.  Over 1000 seemed to be in attendance.  While there we visited 3-4 places of historical interest to the old Worldwide Church of God (some photos of two of those are included in the articles 6. The Philadelphia Church Era and The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians?)–what struck me was that no one other than us was ever at any of those places.  This was our last year at a Worldwide Church of God feast site.  The first picture is a welcome to Oregon, while the second is near Florence Oregon:

Welcome to Oregon Dune Buggy near Florence Oregon, 1994

In 1995, we attended our first Feast of Tabernacles site outside the Worldwide Church of God.  The Global Church of God site we attended was in Del Mar, California.  Around 700 were in attendance.  It is near San Diego.  The first picture is in Del Mar, while the second is of San Diego:

Del Mar GCG Feast San Diego 1995

In 1996, we attended the Feast of Tabernacles in Penang, Malaysia.  About 70 attended.  We were one of only 2 American families there.  This was the first feast site I spoke at (I gave two sermonettes).

Penang Attendees at Penang Malaysia Feast Site, 1996

In 1997, we attended the feast in Hengelhoef, Belgium.  Several hundred were in attendance.

Hengelhoef Sign 1997 Belgium 1997

In 1998, we attended the feast in Branson, Missouri.  At this site, Dr. Meredith and I became better acquainted, which helped when the Global Church of God crisis erupted the next month.  The second picture is from a place called “the Holy Land” and is a short drive away in Arkansas:

Branson Sign Ten Commandments in Holy Land, Arkansas

In 1999, we attended the feast in Anchorage, Alaska.  This was the first time my wife or I ever attended the same feast site more than once.  However, it was different than the previous time (1982) and there was a significant reduction in the sizes of the glaciers I remembered from the prior visit.

Musk Ox, 1999 Glacier, 1999

In the 1990s, there were over 100 feast sites pretty much every year, and thus we tended to have a lot of choices about where to attend.  Though even now, the Living Church of God has over 40 sites.

Three articles of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus? Should you?

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.