Archive for June, 2010

Britain’s Roman “Full Birth” Abortions

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Wat Abortion

Bas-relief at Angkor Wat depicting a demon performing an ancient abortion.


Massive burials of infants killed during Roman times in Britain were just reported:

25 June 2010

Baby deaths link to Roman ‘brothel’ in Buckinghamshire

Archaeologists investigating a mass burial of 97 infants at a Roman villa in the Thames Valley believe it may have been a brothel.

Tests on the site at Hambleden in Buckinghamshire suggest all died at 40 weeks gestation, very soon after birth.

Archaeologists suspect local inhabitants may have been systematically killing unwanted babies.

Archaeologist Dr Jill Eyers said: “The only explanation you keep coming back to is that it’s got to be a brothel.”

With little or no effective contraception, unwanted pregnancies could have been common at Roman brothels, explained Dr Eyers, who works for Chiltern Archaeology.

And infanticide may not have been as shocking in Roman times as it is today.

Archaeological records suggest infants were not considered to be “full” human beings until about the age of two, said Dr Eyers.

Since “partial birth” abortions did not always work back then, apparently they often went with “full birth” abortions.  Just like today, many falsely wish to see the youngest humans as sub-human.

Now, the fact that in the UK, USA, China etc. millions of babies are intentionally killed through abortions these days is not shocking to many.  But it should be.

Of course, one of the many reasons that the Bible condemns extra-martial sexual relations is because of the effects on the family.  Killing what should be “family” members is perhaps the most gruesome of these effects.

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this?
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?

UCG Elects Dennis Luker as President

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Ancient Laodicea


The United Church of God announced today that it elected Dennis Luker as its new president.  Here is what UCG reported:

June 24, 2010

Council of Elders Chooses President

The Council of Elders of the United Church of God, an International Association, chose Dennis Luker, longtime minister currently living in Bothell, Washington, as president at the conclusion of two days of interviews and discussions June 23 and 24.

Mr. Luker was chosen from a list of four finalists that included Gary Antion, Bill Bradford, Roy Holladay and Dennis Luker. This list was narrowed down from a list that initially numbered 39 nominees recommended by UCG elders.

Mr. Luker assumes office immediately. The Council wishes to express its deep appreciation to Mr. Holladay, who as chairman of the Council served as interim president over recent months in accordance with the UCG Constitution and Bylaws. He will assist Mr. Luker in a transition period over the next few weeks.

The Council, as the governing board of the United Church of God, congratulates Mr. Luker and looks forward to working with him in the coming years.

David M. Johnson, Secretary

I did not believe that Roy Holladay, based upon various statements reported here would get the job this time.

I believe I met Dennis Luke once once quite a few years ago.  What this will mean for UCG’s future is unclear, to me at least, at this time.  Other than I suspect that he will not be UCG’s last president, based on UCG’s prior history.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
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.
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/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.

Australia Now Has a Female Prime Minister: Prophetic Ramifications?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Julia Gillard


Today, Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister:

Gillard Breaks With Tax Policies That Doomed Rudd

By Gemma DaleyJun 24, 2010

Julia Gillard began her job as Australia’s first female prime minister by promising to smooth relations with mining, its biggest industry.

The 48-year-old Wales-born lawyer took office today after ousting Kevin Rudd, whose slump in opinion polls threatened to make their Labor Party the nation’s first one-term government in 80 years. Rudd stepped down rather than face a party vote.

Why am I mentioning this?

Because this will partially fulfill a prophecy in Isaiah 3:12:

As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths…

Of course, women are influential in the English-speaking nations and it was not absolutely required that Australia would have a woman prime minister.  But since this has happened it is at least a partial, but significant, fulfillment of that prophecy.

Both biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies indicate the destruction of the English-speaking peoples and it would seem that a major attack by the European Beast power will occur in the next 4-12 years.  And if any of those Anglo-descended nations are to have female leaders to fulfill Isaiah 3:12 (the UK had Margaret Thatcher as prime minister and the USA has Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State), they need to have them prior to this destruction as it will result in the end to their nations.

Certain biblical, Chinese, and other prophecies, mentioned in the Arroyo Grande, California published book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, discuss that how Australia itself may become taken over.

By virtue of her timing, Julia Gillard may inadvertently pursue policies that will lead to the fulfillment of various end time prophecies.  Her role as Australia’s new prime minister will have prophetic ramifications.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
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?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.

Oldest “Portraits” of Four Apostles Found

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Orthodox Icon Shop


The oldest claimed portraits of the Apostles Peter, Paul, Andrew, and John were just publicly announced:

Oldest portraits of Christ’s apostles found
Reuters – June 23, 2010

Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ’s apostles.

The images in a branch of the catacombs of St Tecla near St Paul’s Basilica, just outside the walls of ancient Rome, were painted at the end of the 4th century or the start of the 5th century.

Archaeologists believe these images may have been among those that most influenced later artists’ depictions of the faces of Christ’s most important early followers.

“These are the first images that we know of the faces of these four apostles,” said Professor Fabrizio Bisconti, the head of archaeology for Rome’s numerous catacombs, which are owned and maintained by the Vatican…

The full-face icons include visages of St Peter, St Andrew, and St John, who were among Jesus’ original 12 apostles, and St Paul, who became an apostle after Christ’s death.

The paintings have the same characteristics as later images, such as St Paul’s rugged, wrinkled and elongated forehead, balding head and pointy beard, indicating they may have been the ones which set the standard.

Now, as the above shows, there simply were not early (first or second century) portraits of of these apostles.  Hence, whoever made their portraits did not see those apostles while they were alive nor spoke to anyone who could have seen what they actually looked like.

Despite this fact, notice the following from Eastern Orthodox scholar Leonid Ouspensky:

The Orthodox church has never accepted the paintings of icons according to the imagination of the artist or from a living model, which would signify a conscious and total break from the prototype.  The name which the icon bears would then no longer correspond to the person represented, and this would be a flagrant lie which the church could not tolerate…The ancient iconographers knew the faces of the saints as well as they knew those of their close relatives.  They painted them from memory or by using a sketch of portrait…all kinds of accounts, and particularly sketches…were preserved on icons. (Ouspensky L.  Theology of the Icons.  Translated by Anthony Gythiel and Elizabth Meyendorf, 1992. As cited in Clendenin, p. 48)

But theological scholar Daniel Clendenin commented that at least part of the above was false:

This general rule has frequently been broken or abused in the past few centuries. (Clendenin D.B. ed. Eastern Orthodox Theology, 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2003, p. 48)

The Orthodox never did have original sketches/portraits of Jesus, the original apostles, early martyrs, etc.  Hence, based upon Orthodox logic, since the iconographers did not actually know what the early saints really looked like, then all the icons of them are a lie.  And the truth is that they are lies since the earliest “portraits” of the Apostles seem to date from no earlier than the third or fourth centuries.

For what it is worth, I have personally visited several of the sites (catacombs in Rome, caves in Cappadocia, etc. that allegedly have the earliest “Christian” art and most of these images date from possibly the third, but mainly the fourth or later centuries (and the few I have seen in the catacombs that may have been from the second century are quite limited and do not look like the icons that I have seen in modern Orthodox churches–they mainly are supposed to be angels).

Furthermore, Orthodox priest and scholar Laurent Cleenewerck has admitted:

…one will not find in the early Church any clear exposition of the current Eastern Orthodox theology of icons.  (Cleenewerck L. His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism Between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches (An Orthodox Perspective). Euclid University Consortium Press, Washington (DC), 2007, p. 43)

Roman Catholic scholar A. Fortescue wrote:

Long before the outbreak in the eighth century there were isolated cases of persons who feared the ever-growing cult of images and saw in it danger of a return to the old idolatry. We need hardly quote in this connection the invectives of the Apostolic Fathers against idols (Athenagoras “Legatio Pro Christ.”, xv-xvii; Theophilus, “Ad Autolycum” II; Minucius Felix, “Octavius”, xxvii; Arnobius, “Disp. adv. Gentes”; Tertullian, “De Idololatria”, I; Cyprian, “De idolorum vanitate”), in which they denounce not only the worship but even the manufacture and possession of such images. These texts all regard idols, that is, images made to be adored. (Fortescue A. Transcribed by Tomas Hancil. Veneration of Images. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)

The fact that even Catholic scholars refer to it as “the ever-growing cult of images” should tell everyone that the Greco-Roman chruches obviously CHANGED on this particular point of doctrine and this was not an original practice of the apostles or their true successors.

Notice the following from the historian P. Carus:

There were Christians at the end of the third century who were in possession of pictures of Christ, but the Church fathers looked with scorn upon this practice. Eusebius plainly says to the Empress Helena that “such images are forbidden by the Jewish law and should not be found in churches.” He continues: “Some poor woman brought me two painted figures like philosophers, and ventured to say that they represented Paul and the Saviour—I do not know on what ground. But to save her and others from offence. I took them from her and kept them by me, not thinking it right, in any case, that she should exhibit them further, that we may not seem idolaters to carry our God about with us. (Carus P. The Open court, Volume 22. The Open Court Pub. Co., 1908. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Mar 14, 2008, pp. 663-664)

So even having certain pictures appear in perhaps the third century was worrisome to church leaders such as Eusebius as late as the fourth century.

Despite this, the local  Saint Barbara Orthodox Church (Santa Barbara, California) sponsors a “Greek festival” each summer here where selling icons are part of the activities.  The fact that Greco-Roman church leaders upon into the fourth (and sometimes later) century were normally opposed to them has not stopped this practice as it is still flourishing, even though the earliest images of the most important apostles (at least in the Greco-Roman historical sense) were not made until the fourth century should give all who associate with icons a reason to consider that their development and acceptance was a major change for the churches that accepted them.

Icons and portraits of the apostles were not part of the original Christian church.

For additional information, please check out the following:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Nail from Knights Templar claimed to date from time of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion Is it true?  Does it matter?  If not, what does?
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?

41% Believe Jesus to Return by 2050

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010


A new survey finds that over 40% of Americans believe that Jesus will return by 2050:

Jesus will return by 2050, say 40pc of Americans
More than 40 per cent of Americans believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth by 2050, according to a poll.
Telegraph, London – June 22, 2010

I agree that what can be considered as a world war (Revelation 9:13-19), paper money crisis (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-7), Jesus’ return (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and the planet being struck by something like a comet/asteroid/star (Revelation 8:10-11), will happen as all of them are consistent with prophecies in the Bible.

The results related to Jesus’ return are consistent with my own informal discussions with Southern Californians who do not have a COG background.  Actually, one woman I spoke with yesterday suggested that it would be several decades sooner than that.  And I agree.

On the other hand, there are those who have false dates.  Harold Camping of Family Radio falsely claims that Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 (see Harold Camping claims Jesus will return May 21, 2011, but that is not even Pentecost).  However, he will be wrong as that date is not possible.  Also, Ronald Weinland of Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom falsely claims that Jesus will return on Pentecost 2012, which is May 27, 2012 (see Will Jesus return by 2012 or in 2011?).  Now both of these “prophets” have changed their predictions in the past for the return dates and may do so again (though both may have credibility issues then, and Harold Camping’s advanced age may prohibit him from doing that).

Now, the Bible records a warning from the Apostle Peter that because of false prophets and false teachers, people will discount biblical truth:

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. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

The Bible also warns that in the latter days, many people will discount the idea that Jesus will return:

3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”  (2 Peter 3:3-4)

So the fact that 46% seem to believe that Jesus will not return, they will be in error.   As the following biblical prophecy shows, what the Bible says will come to pass:

5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:5-9)

Historically, professing Christians believed that Jesus would return 6,000 years after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden (for documentation of this, please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).  According to the calculations of the late Living Church of God evangelist John Ogwyn, the Bible indicates that the 6,000 years will be up around 2018 (it could be one year earlier or about seven years later as there are biblical reasons allowing variation on this).

Despite false teachers and scoffers rising up, the truth is that the Great Tribulation will begin relatively soon, Jesus will return, and the final Bible prophecies will be fulfilled.  But Jesus cannot return prior to 2017 and the Great Tribulation cannot begin prior to 2013.  Thus, He will not return in 2011 nor 2012.


Because Jesus cannot come until after a seven year deal is made that is discussed Daniel 9:26-27.  That deal has not yet been confirmed (though similar ones have been discussed, see Germany Wants EU Army and a Middle East Peace Deal), hence there is a least seven years until Jesus will return.

Yet, Jesus will return.  And scriptural indications are that it will be in the first quarter of the 21st century.

Some articles of possibly related interest may also include:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2010, 2011, or 2012? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008 (first April 17th, then June 2008, now December 14, 2008). Why does the Bible show that Ron Weinland is a false prophet? He also has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the Church of God.
Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible Harold Camping teaches that the rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and the world will end on October 21, 2011. What does the Bible show?
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.

UK Proposing Budget Cuts and Tax Increases

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Palace of Westminster in London


A new type of budget was proposed for the UK:

  • JUNE 23, 2010
  • Osborne’s Anti-Keynesian Budget

    Another government abandons the idea that it can spend its way back to prosperity.

    George Osborne presented the U.K. government’s emergency budget yesterday, with spending cuts and consumption-tax hikes intended to shrink public borrowing to 1.1% of GDP by 2016, down from 10.1% of GDP this year. Nearly 80% of that retrenchment comes as spending cuts rather than tax increases. The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s cuts are, on balance, good news for the British economy. Even more welcome, though, is that Mr. Osborne’s budget is the latest to depart from the short-lived Keynesian consensus that government can spend its way back to prosperity.

    Lord Keynes once famously said that in the long run, we’re all dead. It seems the post-panic revival of wanton deficit spending didn’t have to wait that long to return this idea to its grave.

    “Some have suggested that there is a choice between dealing with our debts and going for growth,” said Mr. Osborne. “That is a false choice.”

Whether the coalition government of David Cameron (David Cameron and the Direction of the United Kingdom) can survive this is another matter.  Coalition governments don’t tend to handle these types of situations very well.  Yet, unlike with Greece, the EU has already stated that it will not bail out Britain (see EU Will Not Come to Britian’s Financial Aid).  So, even the coalition partners likely recognize that something needs to be done.

But, I suspect that the United Kingdom will have various compromises, and will still end up with having too much debt.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
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”?
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? What MUST happen BEFORE the Great Tribulation?
Is Tony Blair Apocalyptic? The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom converted to Catholicism shortly after leaving his office and has been active in European affairs. What role might he play?

Refuting Sabbath Refuters

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Samuele Bacchiocchi


There are many who on the internet mislead people with their attacks against the seventh-day Sabbath.

The following is from a highly flawed, yet search-engine popular, website on a page which attacks the writings of the late SDA scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi:

Christians never kept the Sabbath from the apostolic age (33 AD) through the time of Constantine (325AD). Source:

The above page also make the following false claim:

We Speak truth in LOVE Source:


The truth is that all real scholars realize that Christians kept the Sabbath for centuries.  But first, let’s look at the Bible.  Acts 13:42-44 shows what the Apostle Paul did,

…the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

Also Acts 18:4 states,

And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Now, some may argue that does not prove he ever kept it.  But that is a false argument.  Notice what Paul himself claimed:

Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans (Acts 28:17).

If Paul was not keeping the Sabbath, he could not have made that claim.  Furthermore, it was the probably the Apostle Paul who wrote the following in the Book of Hebrews:

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).

The 17th century historian William Cave reported that the early Christians, both Jews and those in Asia Minor, kept the Sabbath. Notice his report:

…the Sabbath or Saturday (for so the word sabbatum is constantly used in the writings of the fathers, when speaking of it as it relates to Christians) was held by them in great veneration, and especially in the Eastern parts honoured with all the public solemnities of religion. For which we are to know, that the gospel in those parts mainly prevailing amongst the Jews, they being generally the first converts to the Christian faith, they still retained a mighty reverence for the Mosaic institutions, and especially for the sabbath, as that which had been appointed by God himself, (as the memorial of his rest from the week of creation,) settled by their great master Moses, and celebrated by their ancestors for so many ages, as the solemn day of their public worship, and were therefore very loth that it should be wholly antiquated and laid aside. For this reason it seemed good to the prudence of those times, (as in others of the Jewish rites, so in this,) to indulge the humour of that people, and to keep the sabbath as a day for religious offices. Hence they usually had most parts of the divine service performed upon that day; they met together for public prayers, for reading the scriptures, celebration of the sacraments, and such like duties. This is plain, not only from some passages in Ignatius and Clemens’s Constitutions, but from writers of more unquestionable credit and authority. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, tells us, that they assembled on Saturdays, not that they were infected with Judaism, but only to worship Jesus Christ, the Lord of the sabbath (Cave William, D.D. Primitive Christianity: or the Religion of the Ancient Christians in the First Ages of the Gospel. 1840 edition revised by H. Cary. Oxford, London, pp. 84-85).

While I disagree that Jewish converts were allowed to keep the Sabbath to “humour” them as Dr. Cave wrote (since nearly all the original Christians were Jews, all the original Christians did keep the Sabbath–Sunday was a later development), he at least does realize that early Jewish converts and those in Asia Minor (“Eastern parts”) kept the Saturday Sabbath.

According to an old, but probably modified in the 4th century document, Polycarp of the second century kept the Sabbath:

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

And on the sabbath, when prayer had been made long time on bended knee, he, as was his custom, got up to read; and every eye was fixed upon him…

And on the following sabbath he said; ‘Hear ye my exhortation, beloved children of God. I adjured you when the bishops were present, and now again I exhort you all to walk decorously and worthily in the way of the Lord, knowing that, when I was in the ministry of the presbyters, I applied so great diligence according to my power, and shall do this the more now when the greatest peril awaits me if I am negligent. For after the fear of the judgment, it were shameful to abate and relax anything having regard to men, and not rather to build up higher the zeal which has reached thus far. It pertaineth to you therefore to hold back from all unruliness, both men and women; and let no one imagine that I exact punishment from offenders not from conscientiousness but from human pride. For it has happened that some of those who were put into offices, when they ought all the more, as one might say, to strain every nerve in the race, just then relax their efforts, forgetting that, the greater honour a man appeareth to receive, the greater the loyalty which he ought to pay towards the Master, and to remember the words of the Lord how He himself said, On whom I conferred the more, from him let them demand the more abundantly in return; and the parable of those who had the talents committed to them, and the blessing pronounced upon the servant that watches, and the reproof of those who refused to come to the marriage feast, and the condemnation of him whose garment was not befitting the marriage festivity, and the entering in of the wise virgins, the saying Watch ye, and again Be ye ready, Let not your hearts be weighed down, the new commandment concerning love one towards another, His advent suddenly manifest as of rapid lightning, the great judgment by fire, the eternal life, His immortal kingdom. And all things whatsoever being taught of God ye know, when ye search the inspired Scriptures, engrave with the pen of the Holy Spirit on your hearts, that the commandments may abide in you indelible.’

Thus speaking in this way from time to time, and being persistent in his teaching, he edified and saved both himself and his hearers. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506)

Thus, Polycarp regularly kept the Sabbath and preached on it.

Even the Protestant scholars Roberts and Donaldson admitted that John’s practices could be considered supportive of the idea that the Sabbatarians were correct. They mentioned the following in a dispute about Passover which John kept,

…on the fourteenth day of the moon…The long survival of St. John among Jewish Christians led them to prolong this usage, no doubt, as sanctioned by his exampleThose who in our own times have revived the observance of the Jewish Sabbath, show us how much may be said on their side, and elucidate the tenacity of the Easterns in resisting the abolition of the Mosaic ordinance as to the Paschal, although they agreed to keep it “not with the old leaven.” (Introduction to Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus. By Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby).

Roberts and Donaldson immediately continued with,

Our author belonged to a family in which he was the eighth Christian bishop; and he presided over the church of Ephesus, in which the traditions of St. John were yet fresh in men’s minds at the date of his birth. He had doubtless known Polycarp, and Irenaeus also. He seems to have presided over a synod of Asiatic bishops (A.D. 196) which came together to consider this matter of the Paschal feast. It is surely noteworthy that nobody doubted that it was kept by a Christian and Apostolic ordinance. So St. Paul argues from its Christian observance, in his rebuke of the Corinthians. They were keeping it “unleavened” ceremonially, and he urges a spiritual unleavening as more important. The Christian hallowing of Pentecost connects with the Paschal argument. The Christian Sabbath hinges on these points (Ibid).

The “author” they are referring to is Polycrates, who claimed to continue what most Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox would consider to be Jewish practices. The points they are referring to is that if the Passover should be kept on the exact day and John did that as Polycrates wrote, then the Sabbath should also be kept on the exact day, the seventh day.  ( I should probably add that Justin Martyr is often cited as proof that the Sabbath was done away, but Justin was clearly a heretic–this is clearly demonstrated in the article Justin Martyr: Saint, Heretic, or Apostate?).

Historians also recognize that the Sabbath was kept in Jerusalem until after Hadrian had that city taken over in 135 A.D.  The historian E. Gibbon reported the following (bolding mine):

The first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were all circumcised Jews; and the congregation over which they presided united the law of Moses with the doctrine of Christ…

The Nazarenes retired from the ruins of Jerusalem to the little town of Pella beyond the Jordan, where that ancient church languished above sixty years in solitude and obscurity. They still enjoyed the comfort of making frequent and devout visits to the Holy City, and the hope of being one day restored to those seats which both nature and religion taught them to love as well as to revere. But at length, under the reign of Hadrian, the desperate fanaticism of the Jews filled up the measure of their calamities; and the Romans, exasperated by their repeated rebellions, exercised the rights of victory with unusual rigour. The emperor founded, under the name of Alia Capitolina, a new city on Mount Sion, to which he gave the privileges of a colony; and denouncing the severest penalties against any of the Jewish people who should dare to approach its precincts, he fixed a vigilant garrison of a Roman cohort to enforce the execution of his orders. The Nazarenes had only one way left to escape the common proscription, and the force of truth was on this occasion assisted by the influence of temporal advantages.

They elected Marcus for their bishop, a prelate of the race of the Gentiles, and most probably a native either of Italy or of some of the Latin provinces. At his persuasion the most considerable part of the congregation renounced the Mosaic law, in the practice of which they had persevered above a century. By this sacrifice of their habits and prejudices they purchased a free admission into the colony of Hadrian.

When the name and honours of the church of Jerusalem had been restored to Mount Sion, the crimes of heresy and schism were imputed to the obscure remnant of the Nazarenes which refused to accompany their Latin bishop. They still preserved their former habitation of Pella, spread themselves into the villages adjacent to Damascus, and formed an inconsiderable church in the city of Bercea, or, as it is now called, of Aleppo, in Syria.  (Gibbon E. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I, Chapter XV, Section I. ca. 1776-1788)

In other words, until 135 A.D. the Sabbath was kept by Christians in Jerusalem as it was part of what is commonly called “the Mosaic law”.  After Hadrian took over, many compromised and stopped keeping the Sabbath, while the faithful fled elsewhere and kept with the traditions that they learned from the Bible and the apostles.  The “Nazarene Christians” kept the Sabbath and this was recorded as still occurring centuries after the above incident by Catholic writers such as Epiphanius and Jerome.

Thus, to claim that no one kept the Sabbath after 33 A.D.  Is not speaking the truth in love–it is the spreading of lies and falsehoods.

Ignatius’ Writing?

However, the claim that probably needs the most refutation is the false claim that early second century writings did away with the Sabbath.  This is also false. Here is is what the Greek states from Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians:

Εί ούν οί έν παλαιοîς πράγμασιν άναστραφέντες είς καινότητα έλπίδος ήλθον, μηκέτι σαββατίζοντες, άλλά κατά κυριακήν ζώντες, έν ή καί ή ζωή ήμών άνέτειλεν δι’ αύτού καί τού θανάτου αύτού, <öν> τινες άρνούνται, δι’ ού μυστηρίου έλάβομεν τò πιστεύειν, καί διά τούτο ύπομένομεν, ïνα εύρεθώμεν μαθηταί ‘Iησού Χριστού τού μόνου διδασκάλου ήμών·

The above has been intentionally mistranslated by many.  I will not cite the mistranslation here, but for them and additional proof they are in error, please check out the article The Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath.

Here is a translation consistent with the Greek:

8.1 Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables, which are profitless.
8.2 For if even unto this day we live according to the manner of Judaic concepts, we admit that we have not received grace: for the godly prophets lived after Christ Jesus. For this cause also they were persecuted, being inspired by His grace to the end that they which are disobedient might be fully persuaded that there is one God who manifested Himself through Jesus Christ His Son, who is His Word that proceeded from silence, who in all things was well-pleasing unto Him that sent Him.
9.1 If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer {Judaically} keeping sabbath contrariwise according to the Lord’s way of life, on which our life also arose through Him and through His death which some men deny – a mystery whereby we attained unto belief, and for this cause we endure patiently, that we may be found disciples of Jesus Christ our only teacher –
9.2 if this be so, how shall we be able to live apart from Him? Seeing that even the prophets, being His disciples, were expecting Him as their teacher through the Spirit. And for this cause He whom they rightly awaited, when He came, raised them from the dead.

Notice what the Tkach WCG/GCI currently teaches about this passage on its website in an article written by its Michael Morrison:

Ignatius praised some who were “no longer observing the Sabbath.” Clearly, Ignatius did not observe the Sabbath. (Morrison M. Sabbath and Sunday in Early Christianity Part 2: Early Second Century and Justin Martyr. 1999)

Many amateur websites cite mistranslations of the same passage of Ignatius as proof that the Sabbath was done away by the beginning of the second century.  However, Michael Morrison, while making many errors, is not quite that foolish as he continued with the following:

It is debated, however, whom he is praising. In the previous section, he was talking about the Old Testament prophets, but it does not seem likely that he would accuse them of abandoning the Sabbath, even though some patristic writers cited the prophets’ criticisms of Sabbath-keeping (e.g., Isa 1:13). More likely, he is praising Jewish Christians who had given up the Sabbath — “those who were brought up in the ancient order of things.” This does not mean that all Jewish Christians had abandoned the Sabbath, but some had, and Ignatius was praising them to the Magnesian Christians. The lack of extensive argumentation indicates that the Magnesians, like Ignatius, did not observe the Sabbath, but that Judaizers existed who advocated the Sabbath. Furthermore, Ignatius praised some people for “living in the observance of the Lord’s Day.” The meaning here is debated, since “day” is not in the Greek, and a textual variant exists. Space does not permit a detailed discussion, but Ignatius’ attitude toward the Sabbath makes it likely that he was observing a different day, in a different way.

Notice the Michael Morrison realizes that the word “day” is not in the text and that there are other ways to view this passage.  Also note that he only claims that it was “likely” Ignatius was keeping a different day–that is false.  It is true that Ignatius kept the Sabbath in a different way than the Pharisees and that is basically what the passage in question indicates.

The reality is that a true understanding of the Greek shows that Ignatius was not doing away with the Sabbath.  Michael Morrison’s assertion that Ignatius did not keep the Sabbath is in error as that contradicts information in his other writings.

Sabbath-keeping in Asia Minor was publicly still going on to at least 364 A.D. or else the Eastern Church would not have convened a Council in Laodicea to excommunicate any who rested on the seventh day. Notice what the Council of Laodicea declared in English and Latin,

CANON XXIX. CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ (THE COMPLETE CANONS OF THE SYNOD OF LAODICEA IN PHRYGIA PACATIANA).

Quod non oportet Christianos Judaizere et otiare in Sabbato, sed operari in eodem die. Preferentes autem in veneratione Dominicum diem si vacare voluerint, ut Christiani hoc faciat ; quod si reperti fuerint Judaizare Anathema sin a Christo (Cited in Andrews, p. 362).

But although that Council tried to abolish the Sabbath, sabbath-keeping continued among the faithful. Around 404 A.D. Jerome noted,

…the believing Jews do well in observing the precepts of the law, i.e….keeping the Jewish Sabbath…there exists a sect among… the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of , the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe”—yet, Jerome considered them to be part of “a most pestilential heresy” (Jerome. Translated by J.G. Cunningham, M.A. From Jerome to Augustine (A.D. 404); LETTER 75 (AUGUSTINE) OR 112 (JEROME). Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series One, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D. American Edition, 1887. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

In the fifth century, the historian Socrates noted:

For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this. The Egyptians in the neighborhood of Alexandria, and the inhabitants of Thebais, hold their religious assemblies on the sabbath, but do not participate of the mysteries in the manner usual among Christians in general (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter XXII. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

The plain truth is that early Christians kept the seventh-day Sabbath.

Those interested in biblical and historical documentation that the Sabbath refuters are in error, should check out the following articles:

Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
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?
Justin Martyr: Saint, Heretic, or Apostate? Justin is considered one of the first Christian theologians and scholars. But did he support a Gnostic version of Christianity? Do you know what he taught about souls going to heaven upon death? This article shows from his own writings, what Justin really taught.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.

Forbes: Iran Preparing for War and the Mahdi

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


Tonight, Forbes reported the following:

There Will Be War

Reza Kahlili, 06.21.10…

Iran, for its part, is also preparing for an all-out war in the Middle East. Before even a vote was cast at the U.N. on recent sanctions, Iranian leaders had ordered the Guards to build up. Reinforcement troops have been dispatched to the Iraqi and Afghanistan borders. Hezbollah has been armed to the teeth, and Syria was presented with missiles carrying larger payloads and longer range.

Meanwhile Iran is busy pursuing its nuclear bomb project and enriching its supply of uranium faster than ever before, with the hope of testing its first nuclear bomb. Accomplishing this will fulfill the prophecy sought by the radical members of the secretive society of Hojjatieh, particularly its leader Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the person responsible for the initial election and fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Hojjatieh movement impatiently seeks the end of times and the return of Imam Mahdi, the last messiah.

The reality is that an Islamic leader known as the final King of the South is prophesied to rise up.  It is even possible that he will have various signs and wonders with him (cf. Matthew 24:24).  And although this leader will not rise up quite as the regime in Iran hopes that he will, this leader may come on the scenes quicker because of actions by Iran.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World (and Iran) In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?  How might Iran be involved?

Ronald Weinland’s Internet Fall

Monday, June 21st, 2010



Two years or so ago, I was reporting about Ronald Weinland about twice or more per week.  Now it is more like once or twice per month.


Because there is less need to address someone who has become less significant in the internet world (Ronald Weinland had almost no other media significance).

A couple of years ago, Ronald Weinland had a couple of websites with Alexa rankings below 100,000–in other words two of his websites were among the most popular 100,000 in the world (by comparison, the COGwriter website, this morning, had an Alexa ranking of 154,642–which is quite a decent ranking).

But here, as of June 21, 2010, are the current Alexa rankings for Ronald Weinland’s three primary websites:


In other words, it took time, but relatively few are paying the self-appointed prophet and one of the self-appointed two witnesses nearly as much attention.  The fact that his “prophecies” have repeatedly proven to be false and/or allegorical likely has contributed to that.

Speaking of the two witnesses, the site (an anti-Weinland site) had the following to say about Ronald Weinland’s sermon of June 19, 2010:

Ron had to disfellowship a member from Montana.  Ron doesn’t appreciate the competition, as the df’ed member believes himself to be one of the Two Witnesses.  Perhaps this member viewed this as an open position as Laura hasn’t done any prophesying recently — haven’t even heard her cackling recently.

Come to think of it, Ron hasn’t done much prophesying either.  He’s minimizing his prophecy, and hasn’t even taken note that next weekend is the opening of the window for the Fifth Trumpet that he gave last fall.  Saturday is the end of the first 280-day revised time that began with the Feast of Trumpets last fall.

Neither Ronald Weinland, his wife Laura (who he claims is the other of the two witnesses), nor any who have just left his group, are now functioning as one of God’s two witnesses.

But I have long written that Ronald Weinland would fall based upon biblical prophecy (I believe I have been warning against him longer than any on the internet).  And while he still, sadly, has followers who do not seem willing to see the truth of his false predictions and statements, eventually, based upon the following scripture, I believe that Ronald Weinland will fall further:

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.  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.  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).

Sadly, false prophets, false apostles, and other false teachers continue to arise and make it so people simply will blaspheme the way of truth that we in the Living Church of God teach. Unlike those of us in the Living Church of God who believe Jesus is God, Ronald Weinland is also “unitarian“–hence he truly does deny the truth about the Lord.

The internet popularity fall is simply one step of Ronald Weinland’s fall.  He may disagree with my assessments, but time will again prove me correct and him incorrect on this.

Why?  Because, the Bible is right.

Some articles of related interest may include the following:

Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008 (first April 17th, then June 2008, now December 14, 2008). Why does the Bible show that Ron Weinland is a false prophet? He also has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the Church of God.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2010, 2011, or 2012? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible Harold Camping teaches that the rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and the world will end on October 21, 2011. Like Ronald Weinland, he allegorizes too many scriptures.  What does the Bible show?
2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect This is a link related to a book by Bob Thiel (COGwriter). This also has YouTube videos related to 2012. The book is for those truly interested in understanding how prophecies inter-relate and who want to see a real sequence of end time events.  Unlike the false statements in Ronald Weinland’s books, events aligning with this one are actually coming to pass.

Chinese Yuan Revaluation?

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Chinese Renminbi Yuan


The following was somewhat expected:

China Signals a Gradual Rise in Value of Its Currency

Published: June 19, 2010

HONG KONG — China announced on Saturday evening that it would allow greater flexibility in the value of its currency, a move that could deflect growing international criticism of its fiscal policies and defuse one of the greatest sources of tension between Beijing and Washington.

The statement, by China’s central bank, was the clearest sign yet that the country would allow its currency to appreciate gradually against the dollar. World leaders are due to meet next week in Canada for economic talks, and China’s currency policies appeared bound to be a source of conflict…

Though China said its action was based on the interests of its own economy, it has been under steady pressure from the United States in recent months, in addition to nations in Europe and Brazil and India…

many economists inside and outside China have argued that currency appreciation is in China’s interest most of all.

China forex move could thwart U.S. hopes
Reuters – June 19, 2010
China’s decision to move away from its currency peg might mean the yuan weakens against the dollar instead of strengthens as Washington wants, Nouriel Roubini, one of Wall Street’s most closely followed economists, said on Saturday.China said on Saturday it would gradually make the yuan more flexible after pegging it to the dollar for nearly two years, a move that the U.S. government and others around the world have long been calling for.“This is the first significant signal in years of a change in Chinese currency policy,” Roubini, best known for having predicted the U.S. housing meltdown, told Reuters.But it remains to be seen how China would put the new system into practice including the composition of a basket of currencies that Beijing will use as a reference point for the yuan — also known as the renminbi — and the base date for that basket, he said in an e-mail.

“Since they have not changed the previous range for the band — plus or minus 0.5 percent — most likely on Monday China will allow the renminbi vs U.S. dollar to move,” said Roubini…

“Even if the Chinese were to allow a gradual renminbi appreciation relative to the U.S. dollar, the size of such appreciation would be modest over the next year, not more than 3 or 4 percent as the trade surplus has shrunk, growth is likely to slow down on China and labor/employment unrest remains of concern to the Chinese.”

Currency Revaluation to Be Gradual, China Says

Published: June 20, 2010

HONG KONG — The Chinese central bank announced Sunday afternoon that any changes in the value of the renminbi would be gradual, in a clear attempt to reassure the Chinese people that a move Saturday evening toward a more flexible currency would not result in a sharp or disruptive change…

The reason that this was expected is that in the long run this will be in China’s best interest for many reasons, including the fact that one day the USA dollar will eventually be worthless.  There are other benefits of this to China as it continues to purchase raw materials, etc. around the world.

In the near-term, China will use this revaluation (if it does allow it) for leverage in talks with the USA and European powers.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for China? Is it a “King of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?