Archive for May, 2016

Jesus to return in 2017?

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


‘Rapture’ Painting

COGWriter

There are a lot of religious hobbyists and some have lengthy and biblically-flawed errors when it comes to end time prophecy.

Last year, a reader sent me some links to someone I had not heard of, Ron Reese, who is claiming that the end comes on October 5, 2022, and that Jesus would return in 2017. Here is some of what Ron Reese wrote:

The evidence for 11/11/15 to be the starting date for the 7-Year Tribulation is so strong that I feel compelled, and inspired to write this post with boldness and confidence. …

With still three Fall Feast Days left to be fulfilled by Jesus at His Second Coming, to COMPLETE God’s perfectly-orchestrated plan of Redemption, thru Jesus, we can say with complete confidence, the 2nd Coming of Jesus will be in the Fall of some year. Not the Spring, not the Summer, and not the Winter. The literal 2nd Coming has to be the Fall. Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles will see their fulfillment during the 2nd Coming of Christ in the Fall (when I say Fall, I am including all of September, for simplicity’s sake).

This means that if you believe in a full 7-Year Tribulation, and I do, then the Tribulation HAS to BEGIN in the Fall of some year, because it HAS to END in the Fall. The Tribulation is 2520 days long, or 7 Prophetic Years of 360 days each. There is a super-abundance of Bible Prophecy students pointing directly to Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 14-15, or Day of Atonement, Sept. 23-24, in 2015, to be the Day of the Rapture, and/or the start of the Tribulation. So very much has been written about the Fall of 2015 to be the start of the 7-Year Tribulation, that I am going to take that as a given for the purposes of this post. It is safe to say that a large majority of Prophecy students believe that 2015, and especially this Fall, will be the start of the Tribulation. I am definitely, unwaveringly, among that group. …

DAY OF ATONEMENT, Oct 5, 2022, is the day that I, and many Prophecy students, expect for the literal 2nd Coming of Christ. That is explained above. So, backing up 2520 days from that day, brings us back to 11/11/2015 TO BE THE FIRST DAY OF THE 7-YEAR TRIBULATION! THIS IS BY FAR THE NUMBER ONE REASON WE SHOULD BE EXPECTING 11/11/15 TO BE THE START DATE OF THE TRIBULATION, AND NO OTHER DATE. …

Day of Atonement, Sept. 23-24, 2015, is the Feast Day sandwiched between the solar eclipse of Feast of Trumpets, 2015, and the Final day of the much-written- about blood-red moon and lunar eclipse tetrad on Day 1 of Feast of Tabernacles, marking it as a very important day in end-times Bible Prophecy.

Much is also written in the Word about the THIRD DAY and about Jesus Returning on the THIRD DAY. Tuesday is the THIRD DAY of the week. November 11th of this year is a Wednesday, the day of the week for Jewish Weddings to take place (will this be our Wedding Day?), but part of it, because of time zone differences, will be on Tuesday in the U.S., as 11/11/15 occurs in Israel. Tuesday is known in Jewish tradition as the day when the Bridegroom comes for the Bride. Could our Wedding Day, our Rapture Day, be the same day as the Sudden Destruction on 11/11/15 in Israel, and Tuesday, 11/10/15 in the U.S.? Could Tuesday, 3/3/15, be pointing to the day of the week of the Sudden Destruction by the Satanic New World Order and the day of the week of the Rapture by our Lord?

The short answer to the three questions asked above is no, no, and no. Absolutely no. I commented about this last year and said that there will be NO ‘RAPTURE’ by Jesus in 2015 nor will the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9) happen then.

The bulk, if not all, of the “prophecy students” Ron Reese refers to are, in my view, religious hobbyists (including the ‘professional’ ones). They do not truly base their beliefs on the Bible (though they claim to). Unless there is a confirmation of a deal meeting the criteria of Daniel 9:27 (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), the seven year period they call the tribulation will also not begin.

One of the reasons I posted about this is because of the attempt to tie biblical Holy Days in with this. We saw a lot of this last year related to blood moons (see also Blood Moons and Prophecy). But the Bible prophecies that actually mention blood moons, in the sense Protestant prophecy watchers sometimes say, was simply not consistent with their 2015 occurrence.

Jesus is NOT coming in 2017.

But are we closer to the end?

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

Everyday we are closer to the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the millennial kingdom of God, which will be preceded by a time called ‘the end.’

Are we at the end now?

Well, as Jesus stated in Matthew 24:6, “the end is not yet.”

Notice specific events that precede the end. Notice what Jesus was asked and how His answer began:

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:3-14)

Currently, we appear to be in the time that Jesus called the BEGINNING of sorrows. And while that is closer to the end, the end is not yet.

Notice what happens after the beginning of sorrows:

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The above has not yet happened. A time of persecution is coming and the gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness. Once God believes that has happened to the degree He intended, notice that is when the end will come.

Then notice some specific signs that precede the start of the great tribulation as well as how bad a time the end will be:

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

Notice also that the prophesied blood moon does not come until after that:

12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12-13)

Since the Great Tribulation begins with the fifth seal and the biblically-prophesied blood moon occurs after the sixth seal is open, the remaining blood moon of 2015 is not a factor.

Notice also something that Jesus taught about His return:

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

It is the above return that Ron Reese says is the actual second coming (he and others consider the rapture in a different category) for October 5, 2022. However, it is also the same one where He gathers God’s elect–which did not happen on 11/11/15 as he indicated.

I also received the following email spam from another author calling himself “Eli Yah”:

· Timetable 15 (Tabelle 15) (page 135-140), together with your Bible will enable you to proof the year 2017 CE as the year Jesus Christ will return.

· Chapter 12 (Kapitel 12) (page 46) “The Daniel 9:24-27 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the year 2017 CE as the year Jesus Christ will return.

· Chapter 13 (Kapitel 13) (page 47) “The Isaiah 23:15-17 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the year 2015/2016 CE as the year when a dictator will take over the world.

· Chapter 14 (Kapitel 14) (page 48) “The Jeremiah 25:8-12 Prophecy” together with your Bible, and the footnotes will enable you to recognize the years between 1945 and 2016 CE as the years when the “End time Babylon” ruled the whole world.

This person basically considers this to be related to a 6000 year calculation. However, the calculation presented is based on some assumptions and is in error. I would add that Jesus is NOT returning in 2017. For information related to the 6000 years, please check out the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?

Anyway, one may wonder if Ron Reese’s errors about 2015 and “Eli Yah’s” about 2017 mean that prophecy is not important and that we should not care about the end?

No.

Jesus said that His followers should watch so that they could know when the end would be, as well as escape what is coming:

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

The Bible clearly teaches that the “end of the world” will come and that there will be specific events Christians should look to see which will let them know. The Bible also clearly teaches that those who properly watch, pray, and live their life as Jesus wants them to can be protected from the coming tribulation. Ron Reese’s and “Eli Yah’s” calculations (only a few did I post here) are not the basis for Jesus’ return.

They and others of his ilk hope that they will be protected, but unless they repent, they will not.

As far as who will be protected and where they will be protected, please check out the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
Blood Moons and Prophecy There were four ‘blood moons’ in 2014 and 2015. Some claimed that they could signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ–but was that possible? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Wormwood and Planet Nibiru Will the Earth be devastated by Planet X or Comet Encke? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Could Comet ISON be Wormwood of Bible Prophecy?
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are  available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture? Did the Bible teach that Jesus raptures Christians prior to the start of the Great Tribulation? What did Jesus Himself teach? Do the scriptural passages that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins point to prove their left behind pre-tribulation rapture assertions? Do all Christians get protected from the Great Tribulation? Who does the Bible teach will get protected? Is the Great Tribulation the ‘wrath to come’ that Christians are promised protection from? This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2015, 2016, or 2017? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. Here is a link to the video: Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2015?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Laodicean Warning for God’s People Is there really a place of safety? Do God’s people need to be warned? Warned for what?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.

EU’s post UK secret army plan

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


COGwriter

Several readers tipped me off to the following:

My 27, 2016

Brussels’ plans for EU army are ‘being hidden from Brits until after June 23 referendum’

Eurocrats fear plans will harm David Cameron’s pro-EU campaign

TOP secret plans to create a European army are being hidden from British voters until after the EU referendum, it is claimed.

Drawn up by the EU’s foreign policy chief, the proposals include setting up an army HQ and developing military and operational structures.

The plans have won key backing from Germany and other countries as the first step on the road towards an EU army, according to The Times. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/7178676/Brussels-plans-for-EU-army-are-being-hidden-from-Brits-until-after-June-23-referendum.html

May 27, 2016

Detailed plans to move towards the creation of a European army are being kept secret from British voters until the day after the June 23 Brexit referendum, it has emerged.

The plans involve establishing a new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters, according to the Times.

The first step towards such a plan is said to be supported by Germany and other EU member states.

The document, drawn up by the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, will be discussed by European leaders at a summit on June 28.

In an effort to avoid derailing the ‘Remain’ campaign, the policy plans won’t be sent to national governments until the day after Britons vote on June 23.

Until then, only a small group of officials can read the proposal, but they must do so under lock and key, leave their electronic devices outside the room and take handwritten notes only.

Extracts of notes taken by diplomats seen by the Times say: “The EU can step up its contribution to Europe’s security and defence.”

It says: “Our external action must become more joined up across policy areas, institutions and member states.

“Greater unity of purpose is needed across the policy areas making up our external action.” https://www.rt.com/uk/344563-eu-army-secret-referendum/

But I waited to report this to see if more would come out about it:

May 28, 2016

THE Minister in charge of Britain’s military has become the first member of the Government to confirm that if the UK remains under Brussels control it will be forced to join an EU army.

Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt made the warning following revelations in the Daily Express that the Lisbon Treaty obliges Britain to join the EU Army.It also follows further shocking revelations that a plan to create it will be tabled the day after the Britain’s EU referendum in a bid to keep the nightmare scenario hidden from British.A policy paper drawn up by the European Union’s foreign policy chief suggests the organisation could “step up” its contribution to security defence. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/673463/Britain-forced-EU-ARMY-leave-Armed-Forces-Minister

The reporting about the ‘secret army’ may get more in the UK to vote to leave the EU.

Whether or not the UK votes to remain in the European Union, a major European army will form.  One basically already exists, but a stronger one will form and one day take over the USA and the UK.

Last week, I recorded a video that goes over some biblical rationale for what will happen in Europe:

European Unity to be like Hitler?

Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, stated that the European Union wanted to be what Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte tried to create. Duncan Smith agreed. But European Council President Donald Tusk called Johnson’s comments absurd and then stated that the EU was the answer to the problems facing Europe. But what does the Bible teach about the future of Europe? Is European unity the answer or will it usher in something worse than Adolph Hitler? Dr. Thiel quotes Jesus and others in the Bible for those who truly want to know what will happen in a unified Europe.

Here is another link to the video: European Unity to be like Hitler?

Does the European leadership think they need their own military, one that will ultimately not be dependent upon the USA?

Yes.

Are they now trying to take steps to make this happen?

Yes.

Will a vote in the UK for it to exit from the European Union stop this from happening?

No.

The Bible prophesies that the final European King of the North Beast power will destroy the USA and its Anglo-Saxon descended allies, including Canada, and UK:

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

The ‘he’ is the final European King of the North Beast. And the strongest fortresses in the world belong to the USA and to a much lessor extent, its English-speaking allies (for a more detailed explanation of why the USA and its Anglo-allies are involved, as well as the dividing of their lands, please see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). Some would call this attack World War III (WWIII).

Daniel 11:24-25 seems to parallel this as it teaches that the King of the North has plans against the strongholds and succeeds against the prosperous:

24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.

25 “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. (Daniel 11:24-25)

Notice that the ‘he,’the European power, will first seem peaceful, but will have a great army! And the Europeans have a secret plan for the start of one!

Although Catholic translations of Daniel 11:39 seem to miss the idea of the ‘strongest fortresses,’ other translations of Daniel 11:39, including at least one Jewish one, support this idea:

39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price. (ESV)

39 He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.. (NASB)

39 Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. (NLT)

39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price. (NIV)

39 He’ll take action against the strongest fortresses. With the help of a foreign god, he’ll recognize those who honor him, making them rule over many, and he’ll parcel out the land for a profit. (ISB of 2012)

39 And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god; whom he shall acknowledge, shall increase glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price. (Jewish Publication Society of 1917)

How will the Europeans be able to do this?

For years, I have believed it would be because of technological advances as well as the USA trusting Europe too much. And Europe has made great strides in areas of military technology that relatively few seem to realize. For details, please check out the article European Technology and the Beast of Revelation as well as a related YouTube video titled Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation. And it has been plotting for years to develop its military capabilities.

Also, the Europeans will reorganize!  For details, check out the article Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?

While the Brexit (British Exit from the EU) vote is NOT the final reorganization of Europe, its outcome will have an affect on events that one day will.

World changing events are in progress, and next month’s vote in the UK may accelerate many changes in Europe.

Remember Jesus’ words:

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

Some items of 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”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White. Here is a link to a prophetic video Six Financial Steps Leading to 666?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here are links to two sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled Could Donald Trump be Apocalyptic?
Hillary Clinton in Prophecy Prophecy, Hillary Clinton? Are there prophecies that Hillary Clinton may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that she has already helped fulfill? Could Hillary Clinton be apocalyptic? Could Hillary Clinton be the final Antichrist? A video of related interest is titled Hillary Clinton and Bible Prophecy.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God? and The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
War is Coming Between Europeans and Arabs Is war really coming between the Arabs and the Europeans? What does Bible prophecy say about that? Do the Central Europeans (Assyria in prophecy) make a deal with the Arabs that will hurt the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Do Catholic or Islamic prophecies discuss a war between Europe and Islam? If so, what is the sequence of events that the Bible reveals? Who does the Bible, Catholic, and Islamic prophecy teach will win such a war?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. This article includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests?  Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies. Watch also the YouTube Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.

Sermon: CCOG Q&A: Original Order of Bible, Birth Control, Nicolaitans, and More!

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


COGwriter

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

 
1:15:02

CCOG Q&A: Original Order of the Bible, Birth Control, Nicolaitans, and More!

Dr. Thiel answers questions like: What is the original order of the Books of the Bible? Is birth control permissible? Is it appropriate to refer to clergy as ‘reverend? What type of ‘dog’ is referred to in Deuteronomy 22? Who were the Nicolaitans? And what is a cult?

Here is a link to the sermon: CCOG Q&A: Original Order of the Bible, Birth Control, Nicolaitans, and More!

Some items of related interest may include:

The Original Order of the Books of the Bible Do you know that the order of the books in most Bibles is not original? The believed original order is in this article.
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version.
The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing 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. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult? There are misleading statements on the internet that this article tries to address.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

The Sabbath Sentinel: Ignatius and the Sabbath

Friday, May 27th, 2016

COGwriter

Did early Christians keep Saturday or Sunday?

While there are various opinions about this, some of those opinions are not based upon biblical or historical fact.

The Bible Sabbath Association, which is not a Church of God group (though it has members that are in the COGs, as well as members who are not), published a version of the following in the latest edition (May-June 2016) of its The Sabbath Sentinel magazine:

Ignatius and the Sabbath

By Bob Thiel, Ph.D.

This is the second part of a multi-part series explaining why certain early documents that are claimed against the seventh-day Sabbath are misunderstood and not actually against it.

Many on the internet and elsewhere, have pointed to some basically 19th century translations of certain ancient documents in an attempt to support their contention that Sunday was observed early on by the original Christians. But do they?

Perhaps the most commonly cited major claim in favor of early Sunday worship is from Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians.

Here is what the Greek states:

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· [1]

Here is a fairly typical 19th century translation of verse 9.1, by Dr. J.B. Lightfoot:

If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer observing sabbaths but fashioning their lives after the Lord’s day, 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 [2].

But is that correct?

No, it is not. It should be noted that the word for ‘day’ is not in the Greek text.

Interestingly, like Lake and Hall/Napier, Dr. Lightfoot also failed to translate Κατα, which is in the text [3] as “according to.”

Yet, Lightfoot did translate Κατα as “according to” in three other places in this letter (verses 3.1,10.1, 13.2 [4]). He also failed to do so in his translation of the Didache, where he began verse 14.1 with “And on” [5]–an apparently intentional and improper translation as discussed above (Lightfoot translated Κατα as “according to” five other times in the Didache [6]).

It is sad that these translators, all born in the 19th century, all decided to selectively change the meaning of a word.

Why?

Well, in order to support Sunday worship.

Yet, even noted scholar Guy Fritz concluded that the text in Ignatius is too ambiguous to be used to support Sunday worship:

“in the study of the ‘Lord’s day’ in the early church … {it} cannot at the present time properly be introduced as evidence indicating its [Sunday] observance” [7].

The 19th century theologian John Kitto understood that neither the context nor the Greek required adding the word day. Thus he translated a highly relevant part of it correctly as follows:

…living according to our Lord’s life…[8].

John Kitto also made the following comments about the passage from Ignatius:

Now many commentators assume (on what ground does not appear), that alter κυριακήν [Lord’s] the word ἡμέραν [day] is to be understood … The defect of the sentence is the want of a substantive to which άvroύ can refer. This defect, so far from being- remedied, is rendered still more glaring by the introduction of ἡμέραν … the passage does not refer at all to the Lord’s day … it cannot be regarded as affording any positive evidence to the early use of the term ‘Lord’s day’ (for which it is often cited), since the word ἡμέραν [day] is purely conjectual [9].

Yet, almost all anti-Sabbath websites I have visited have ignored the scholars that understand the truth about Ignatius’ writings as they cite the mistranslations as “proof” of early Sunday observance—even though the actual Greek text does no such thing.

While in Greece, I was able to verify that the word in koine Greek translated as “Lord’s Day” in both the Didache and the Letter to the Magnesians, κυριακὴν, could not be translated as “Lord’s Day” as the Greek word for day is not present in the texts nor required by the contexts for either.

In Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians, like in the Didache (another ancient document some cite for ‘proof’ of Sunday), κυριακὴν would be better translated as “Lord’s way” or combined with the Greek word that follows it , ζωντες [10], “Lord’s way of life” or “Lord’s living.” This is also consistent with what Paul wrote:

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted).

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

It was the custom of Jesus (e.g. Luke 4:16) and Paul to regularly keep the Sabbath (Acts 17:2). The Sabbath was part of the Lord’s way of life, and Paul imitated Christ that way. Understanding Jesus’ life is critical to understanding Ignatius.

Furthermore, to better understand Ignatius’ letter, we should look at more of the context and not just verse 9.1. out-of-context, as some Sunday advocates have.

A more literal (though not grammatical) translation of the relevant portion from Ignatius’ letter appears to be:

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 keeping sabbaths 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.

According to a scholar of koine Greek who I consulted with, Dr. Theony Condos (a non-Sabbathkeeper), the first portion of 9.1 would grammatically be better translated as:

“If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer {Judaically} keeping sabbaths but according to the Lord’s way of life…” [11]

This is because she insisted that the term ‘but’ (or ‘contrariwise’ as translated earlier above) had to refer to the “Lord’s way” instead of the Sabbath.

There are at least two reasons for this. The first is that the godly prophets had been keeping the seventh day Sabbath. And the second is since the portion of the Greek term translated as the first part of “no longer” is a ‘qualified negative’ [12] the context supports that the ‘Judaic concepts’ (verse 8.2) are part of the qualification.  It may be of interest to note that the terms first, day, or Sun are not in the above passages.

She confirmed with me that this section is certainly speaking about the same ancient prophets throughout, hence since they actually kept the Sabbath (and not Sunday), she felt that the idea of Judaically would have had to been in Ignatius’ mind. And that this type of reference was required in English to properly understand what Ignatius was writing (and I also had this confirmed by others with a working knowledge of koine Greek).

This assessment is also consistent with later testimony from Jerome who mentioned that the Sabbath-keeping Christians he ran into did not adhere to the Jewish traditions–in other words, although they kept the Sabbath, the Nazarenes did not keep the Sabbath Judaically:

Jerome declares:

“On Isaiah 9:1-4

“The Nazarenes, whose opinion I have set forth above, try to explain this passage in the following way: When Christ came and his preaching shone out, the land of Zebulon and Naphtali [the region of Galilee] first of all were freed from the errors of the Scribes and Pharisees and he shook off their shoulders the very heavy yoke of the JEWISH TRADITIONS. Later, however, the preaching became more dominant, that means the preaching was multiplied, through the gospel of the apostle Paul who was the last of all the apostles. And the gospel of Christ shone to the most distant tribes and the way of the whole sea. Finally the whole world, which earlier walked or sat in darkness and was imprisoned in the bonds of idolatry and death, has seen the clear light of the gospel” (p.64).

In this passage, we find that the Nazarene Christians — like Yeshua the Messiah, Peter, James, John and especially Paul — rejected Jewish traditionalism, invention, and additions to the Torah or Old Testament. They referred to them as the “very heavy yoke of the Jewish traditions.” [13].

Thus, instead of proving Sunday and disproving the Sabbath, Ignatius (and indirectly even Jerome) seems to be warning against incorrectly observing the Sabbath as certain Pharisaical Jews insisted, with their antiquated fables. Or in other words, Ignatius was condemning the observance of traditions of men over the Bible.

Dr. Noel Rude, a self-described “grammar-freak” and linguist, felt that perhaps the following would be even more grammatically correct for the first part of verse 9.1:

“If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, no longer (Judaically) keeping sabbaths but living according to the lordly way…”[14]

And that seems to be consistent with how I feel this verse should be translated.

Ignatius was teaching that the godly prophets, who lived in ancient times, lived in accordance to the ways of Jesus Christ, and not after improper Judaic concepts.  There is no doubt that the ancient prophets (such as Isaiah) kept the Sabbath on the day now known as Saturday.

References

[1] Holmes M. The Apostolic Fathers–Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI) p. 154

[2] Ignatius. Letter to the Magnesians, Verse 9.1. Translated by J.B. Lightfoot. Apostolic Fathers, Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation. © 2001 Peter Kirby

[3] Ignatius.  Letter to the Magnesians. In: Holmes M. pp. 150-159

[4] Ibid

[5] The Didache. Translated by J.B. Lightfoot. Apostolic Fathers, Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation. © 2001 Peter Kirby

[6] Ibid

[7] Guy F.  Lord’s Day in the Letter of Ignatius to the Magnesians.  AUSS 2, 1964: 17 Cited in Bacchiocchi S. Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, p. 93

[8] Kitto J.  The cyclopaedia of Biblical literature, Volume 2.  American Book Exchange, 1881.  Original from Harvard University, Digitized. Jan 31, 2008 p. 270

[9] Ibid

[10] Ignatius.  Letter to the Magnesians. Verse 8. In: Holmes M. The Apostolic Fathers–Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004, p. 154

[11] Condos, Theony.  Meeting with Dr. Thiel regarding Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians.  Santa Barbara, California.  July 31, 2005 (in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011, Dr. Condos also served as the parish president for Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church)

[12] Strong J. Words 3371 & 3361 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, Abington, Nashville, 1890 , p.48

[13] The Mysterious Relationship of The Early Nazarene Christians and Rabbinic Judaism. http://hope-of-israel.org/nazarene.htm 02/25/16

[14] Rude N. Emails to COGwriter, 2/23/11 and 03/03/2011

Dr. Thiel has been interested in the Church of God for over 40 years. He was baptized by a Worldwide Church of God minister in 1977. He writes extensively. He is currently the Overseeing Pastor of the Continuing Church of God, one of the top ten groups (in terms of membership) whose leaders were once part of the old Worldwide Church of God. Hundreds of thousands know him as “COGwriter” as he writes over 1000 news posts and articles per year at www.cogwriter.com.

This is the second article I have had published in The Sabbath Sentinel (here is a link to the first: The Sabbath Sentinel: The Didache and the Sabbath).

The published article is basically an extract from my article Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath. Because of the restrictions in article length for The Sabbath Sentinel, I submitted just a few pages which they published.

It is my hope and prayer that those who read the submitted articles will see that early church history supports Saturday, and not Sunday, as the Christian day of rest. This article should be able to reach people we have not been able to reach in other ways. It is also my hope and prayer that those who read the articles will see that we in the Continuing Church of God have a true and proper grasp of early church history.

The series of articles expected to be published in The Sabbath Sentinel should also help non-Sabbath keepers realize that the historical evidence points to early, faithful, Christians resting on Saturday and not Sunday.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
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? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
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?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday? What relevance is the first or the “eighth” day? A related sermon is also available: Sunday: First and Eighth Day?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
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? Are mistranslations of these early writings relied on for false doctrinal positions?

LCG teaches prophets are rare, but look at the fruits

Friday, May 27th, 2016


Elijah in the wilderness

COGwriter

Sometime back, the Living Church News by the Living Church of God (LCG) had the following by its Dexter Wakefield:

Special Gifts

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:4–11).

Notice that each of these gifts is a practical tool for serving the needs of God’s Church and His Work. The much-misunderstood gift of “tongues” is not a matter of one person babbling and barking, while another “interprets” the noise. Rather, as happened on the first Day of Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit gave Christ’s followers the ability to speak and understand multiple languages they had not humanly learned. Similarly, the gift of “prophecy” is primarily the gift of inspired speech, and can be exercised in a strong sermon that covers no “new ground” but simply explains with clarity and power the meaning of Bible prophecy and end-time events. “Prophets” in the sense of Elijah are rare, and when we encounter a man who declares himself a prophet we had better be sure of his fruits before we listen to him. Most self-proclaimed “prophets” are deceived, or are cunning deceivers—or both—and those who have God’s Spirit have the ability, and the responsibility, to discern their fruits and their genuineness.

The Spirit of Revelation and of Prophecy

The Apostle Paul urged all of God’s people to use His Spirit for spiritual vision and the revealing of things that others cannot see.

Much of what he wrote above is correct.

Statement on 1 Corinthians

Let’s look at some of the statements in the order Dexter Wakefield wrote them. Let’s start with the following:

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “…to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits … the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually … (1 Corinthians 12:4–11)

Yes, as it states in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, there are differing gifts AND prophecy is one of them. But also notice that the discerning of spirits IS NOT taught as being given to all as he seemed to imply.

Gift of Prophecy

Let’s look at another of Dexter Wakefield’s statements:

Similarly, the gift of “prophecy” is primarily the gift of inspired speech, and can be exercised in a strong sermon that covers no “new ground” but simply explains with clarity and power the meaning of Bible prophecy and end-time events.

Dexter Wakefield is correct that most of the time, one with a prophetic gift is properly explaining biblical prophecy and end time events. That occurs in the Continuing Church of God.

It should be noted certain leaders of other COGs (including in LCG in several instances) have disqualified themselves on certain matters of prophecy, especially when they insist on matters that are wrong, or at best questionable (see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 and The Elijah Heresies and Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? and The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Furthermore, notice two other portions of the New Testament:

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? (1 Corinthians 12:27-29)

29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:29-33)

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:6).

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that not all are prophets. Prophet is an office and prophets are to prophesy. LCG’s position is that it has NO prophets (which is likely the case as I stopped attending late on 12/28/12).

But it should be noted that its top leader had repeatedly taught in the past that God may consider Bob Thiel to be a prophet (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Rarity Does Not Mean None

Dexter Wakefield continued with:

“Prophets” in the sense of Elijah are rare,

True. But rare does not mean that there are not and cannot be any. Now while Dexter Wakefield did not make that error, many in various COGs have concluded that rare means none. The New Testament is clear that God has prophets who prophesy (1 Corinthians 12:28-30) and will do so in the last days (Acts 2:17-18). Those in LCG and all other COGs need to realize this.

As far as ‘Elijah,’ the position of the Church of God since the beginning is that there would be three biblical ‘Elijahs.’ The original Elijah (e.g. 1 Kings 17:1), John the Baptist (Matthew 7:12-13), and an Elijah to come at the very end of the church age (Malachi 4:4-6) to restore all things (Matthew 17:11).

LCG has taught that Elijah will either be a man younger than its Roderick C. Meredith (Meredith, Roderick C. The Elijah Question. VTE 131, May 19, 2001) or that the Elijah is not a person but an “Elijah-type work” which fulfills the Elijah prophesies in Matthew 17:10-11 and Malachi 4:4-6 (Winnail D. The Mission of the Church. Living Church News, March-April 2006, p. 7). The Bible shows that ‘Elijah’ will be a person (see also The Elijah Heresies).

As far as rarity goes, I would ask, “How many people were told by an actual top evangelist in the Church of God that God may consider him to be a prophet?” In the 20th and 21st centuries, there is only one who comes to mind (details are in the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). So, while prophets are “rare,” and being told one is a prophet by an ordained evangelist is also rare, rarity does not mean that there are none.

As far as “Elijah” goes, he is to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:11).

Even the Living Church of God has taught about restoration–yet LCG has NOT restored what it says should be done. Here are some items published and written by its Dr. Meredith:

RESTORE TRUE CHRISTIANITY!

What would it mean to restore the original Christianity of Christ and the apostles? What differences would we find if the “original Christianity” of the New Testament was genuinely taught and practiced once again?

Wow! This restoration would involve far more than most of you probably realize! (Meredith RC. Do You Live by What Christ Taught? Tomorrow’s World magazine, May-June 2006)

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRUTH?

This magazine can give you the genuine answers to these questions because we in this Work of the living God are earnestly trying to restore “Apostolic Christianity”the original Christianity of those who lived in the time of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles. We feel that although most modern churchgoers are sincere and well-meaning, they are absolutely deceived regarding the major issues of life, death and the hereafter. They are certainly deceived if they think for one minute that they are practicing true “biblical Christianity!” Meredith RC. What Happened to the Truth? Tomorrows World magazine, November-December 2003)

RESTORING ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY…

Through this very Work, we are beginning to restore original Christianity. This is a major reason for this Work of the living God at the end of this age. All who respond to His teachings will certainly have a “head start” in preparing to be those kings and priests Christ is now training to assist Him in ruling all the world in the coming Kingdom of God. (Meredith RC. Restoring ORIGINAL Christianity! Tomorrow’s World magazine, July-August 2011)

The truth about early and apostolic Christians is that it is PROVABLY NOT IN LCG AND IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT than Dr. Meredith realizes (for details, check out October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet). When I was in LCG in 2011, I was trying to help them restore much of it; Dr. Meredith agreed, but then failed to keep his word. Dr. Meredith’s failure to keep his word on that and other matters was a major reason that the Continuing Church of God had to form.

Where has the historical knowledge of early Church of God been most fully restored?

In the Continuing Church of God!

A booklet which has proof of that would be: Continuing History of the Church of God.

Does this mean that nothing else is left to be restored?

No. But it does mean that based upon the criteria published by the LCG that CCOG is the group that has done this restoration the best. CCOG has also restored aspects of faith in God’s word (see Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen), prayer (see Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?), aspects of salvation (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis), and biblical prophecy better than LCG and other known groups (for a few examples, see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 and The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings and The Elijah Heresies).

Although I have not “restored all things,” nor am I insisting that I personally must be the prophesied Elijah like RCG’s David Pack falsely claims about himself, the reality is that I and CCOG have restored what Dr. Meredith repeatedly wrote needed to be.

Fruits

Dexter Wakefield continued with:

and when we encounter a man who declares himself a prophet we had better be sure of his fruits before we listen to him

I totally agree. The Bible talks about personal (Luke 3:8), doctrinal (Luke 6:43-45), prophetic (Matthew 7:16-20), and proclamation fruits (Matthew 7:16; John 15:16). The Bible encourages the production of “good fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

Would fruits of a real converted prophet include any of the following?

  1. Standing up against teaching wrong materials about Church of God history, some of which perpetuate Catholic myths? See October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet.
  2. Standing up against publishing “Fundamental Beliefs” that are in error and opposed to scripture? See December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs.
  3. Standing up against prophetic errors that are opposed to the Bible? See The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and LCG and PCG insisting on 10 or 11 ‘nations’ for the Beast? What does the Bible teach?
  4. Boldly proclaiming the truth to the world as a witness? See Isaiah 58:1 and Matthew 24:14.
  5. Praying for decades for the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1-5) and then unexpectedly being anointed for a double-portion of God’s spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-13).

Doing all of the above, as well as standing up against violent sports, made me unpopular in certain LCG circles. Because of that, improper statements were published about me (e.g. Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel). Jesus taught:

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Contrary to scripture I was publicly and wrongly attacked in September 2012. Despite that I endured and continued to try to work with LCG evangelists, ministers, and Council members. Despite this, several months later I again was publicly and wrongly attacked (see Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel) contrary to the Bible (Acts 23:5; Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1).

After the second attack, it was clear that further attempts at reconciliation would be futile as various evangelists had broken their word and it was not possible that LCG had the character to possibly hold the Philadelphia mantle or lead the final phase of the work (cf. Acts 23:5).

What about proclamation fruits?

Through my writings on COGwriter and for the Continuing Church of God, I have reached millions of people in over 220 countries over the internet. The Bible teaches that the work of God will be done, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6) and that is what has been happening through CCOG.

I have also reached millions regularly via radio interviews, plus have had hundreds of thousands of views of our videos on the Bible News Prophecy and ContinuingCOG YouTube video channels. Part of why I am using the term “I” is because Dexter Wakefield said to look at the fruits of one claiming to be a prophet.

We have also sent printed literature around the world and I have been to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Pacific, North America, and South America to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20). In most of those places, I have also been involved with baptisms.

The fruits are there. And those fruits are there WITHOUT THE DOCTRINAL HERESIES AND FALSE PROPHETIC PRONOUNCEMENTS OF OTHER COG GROUPS.

Jesus taught:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Focusing so much on English, like many groups do, does not seem to be adequate to fulfill Matthew 24:4; 28:19-20. Consider that the Apostle Paul wrote:

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  (Romans 10:14)

How can they hear if they do not understand the language of the message? Through my human direction, the Continuing Church of God has put out materials in more languages than apparently any Church of God group in history. Our magazine, to cite one example, has been put out in 14 different languages, with others being considered.  We now have arranged to get materials in 55 languages, with the hope to expand that at some point in time.

What about doctrine?

If I had been willing to compromise doctrinally while in LCG, I could have accepted a salary I was offered by Dr. Meredith on at least two occasions (it was not specifically predicated upon me being willing to compromise, it is just that I felt that unacceptable compromise would have been required if I was an employee of LCG). I did neither.

In terms of character issues, notice something that Jesus taught:

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:45-47)

No one ever “convicted me” of sin in that type of context.

Instead, like David was falsely accused of pride by an envious brother (1 Samuel 17:28), I, too, was on 12/28/14 in a letter from Dr. Meredith, and like David, I denied it (cf. 1 Samuel 17:29; Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel). It should be noted that in violation of Matthew 18:15-17, Dr. Meredith made that accusation publicly despite the fact that neither Dr. Meredith nor my local minister had EVER raised that subject with me nor made that accusation.

Which of us had the proper fruits? The one who tried to comply with Matthew 18:15-18 or the one who did not feel he was subject to those scriptures?

When I told LCG I would not be back on 12/28/12, I did so without having lined up groups to support me.

Would not a prophet truly walk by faith and not by sight (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7)? That is what what happened and I believe that this should be considered as another proper fruit.

As far as my genuineness, the fact that I still do not take a salary for this work should demonstrate that I am not any type of a hireling (cf. John 10:12-13; Ezekiel 34:2-6).

But what about other fruits?

The Apostle Paul admonished Christians to pray for the gift of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. For decades, I obeyed that biblical admonition. On October 3, 2008, Dr. Meredith (Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God) called me and said to me, “God may consider you to be a prophet.” Notice that this came from a long-time evangelist and did not first come out from me. It was Dr. Meredith who first brought up the topic about Bob Thiel being a prophet. I had never mentioned my prayers related to this prior to that telephone conversation, and when I did then, he concurred that I had been doing what the Bible said to do.

Furthermore, although at least two LCG ministers told me that I did not need to have hands laid upon me to be a prophet, I was not convinced. So, I prayed that if I was a prophet that God would arrange something to happen in Charlotte, NC on a trip I was going to make there in mid-December 2011. God answered that prayer in a manner that I did not expect when LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour anointed me and unexpectedly prayed that God would grant me a double-portion of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-13). Later that day, LCG’s top three evangelists told me that they would correct the issues that I had been bringing up to them for years (some in accordance with Matthew 18:15-18). Yet, they did not resolve matters when they said that they would. What kind of fruits were they displaying?

Do you believe that answered prayer can be the fruit of a prophet? If not, then consider that you might not be willing to understand how God often works.

Despite many issues, I was not willing to leave LCG until I was convinced that LCG could no longer possess the mantle for the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15; Revelation 3:7-12).

The Bible says that prophets will sometimes be given a dream by God (Numbers 12:6). And I had a dream that was confirmed. So did another who also became part of CCOG. Also, there was a third dream from another who became part of CCOG in 2014 as well (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God).

As far as prophetic fruits, I have made hundreds of prophetic statements and explanations that have been confirmed by subsequent events. Regular readers at the www.cogwriter.com website can search this site to find many. There were also at least 33 associated with my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect (those are listed in the beginning of the article titled End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something?).

For many, these are not dramatic enough or are always lucky guesses. If you believe that ALL of them are, that is your prerogative.

Yet, notice also something else that Jesus taught:

39 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 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. 42 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 12:39-42)

Those Jesus was speaking to would not have considered that Jonah being in the belly of the ‘great fish’ was a prophetic type of the Messiah. The Jews expected a conquering military Messiah. And while Jesus will return as such (Revelation 19), that is not how He came the first time. Most people pointed to the wrong signs, despite the truths that Jesus taught and the miracles the Father allowed Him to do (cf. John 5:30; 8:45; 10:37; 14:11).

JESUS CAME NEAR THE TIME WHEN MANY EXPECTED THE MESSIAH. YET, SINCE JESUS DID NOT APPEAR AS MANY EXPECTED AND THEY DISBELIEVED. SOME COUNTED ON SCRIPTURES THAT THEY WERE SURE WERE PROOF JESUS WAS NOT THE MESSIAH, BUT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND ALL ABOUT JESUS, THEY WERE WRONG.

Even great prophet John the Baptist (Luke 7:38) had doubts about Jesus (Luke 7:19-21), and Jesus then decided to say that those are blessed who were not offended because of Him (Luke 7:22-23). Some will be offended by the truth and not accept it–even many Christians.

Those in Jesus’ day expected something other than Jesus. Jesus (Matthew 23:29-35; Luke 11:49-50) and the martyr Stephen (Acts 7:52) made it clear that people who thought that they were God’s people repeatedly have not accepted God’s prophets–even though they thought that they would (Matthew 23:30).

The fact that I have correctly explained various aspects of end time prophecy that LCG originally agreed with me on but changed (e.g. Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?) is another prophetic fruit.

The Abilities of Those With God’s Spirit Vary

Here is Dexter Wakefield’s last statement above:

those who have God’s Spirit have the ability, and the responsibility, to discern their fruits and their genuineness.

Dexter Wakefield seems to be suggesting that this ability for discernment is universal among all Christians. That is flat out not the case. It also contradicts something he quoted from the Bible.

Let’s look at it again:

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “…to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits … the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually … (1 Corinthians 12:4–11)

Discernment is given individually. If all had the same discernment, there would not be the multitude of Church of God groups these days. Discernment is a blessing to those who have increasing love (Philippians 1:9), and that would include those having a growing love of the truth.

If those in LCG would place a higher emphasis on loving the truth, they would be able to discern that LCG does not properly understand critical aspects of end time prophecy. They would also realize that unless LCG changes to what the CCOG is teaching regarding prophetic sequences and the start of the Great Tribulation, that those in LCG will NOT be subject to protection from a great tribulation that LCG will not know will begin.

Jesus clearly taught that there would be different groups of Christians in the end times in Revelation 2 & 3, and that different ones had different strengths, needs, and abilities. Thus, there are differing degrees of discernment.

It should also be noted that while they may have the ability, those who are NOT Philadelphians are clearly shown by scripture to not actually discern this in the very end-times. The Bible only promises to protect the remaining “Philadelphia Christians” from the hour of trial that will come on the entire earth. LCG’s prophetic errors, unless they repent of them, will prevent them from knowing when that “hour of trial” will come (see, for example Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?). The non-Philadelphia Christians (and these are those who do have God’s Holy Spirit) will not be protected (Revelation 12:17) and instead will be turned over to the hand of the Beast power for a time, times, and 1/2 a time (Daniel 7:25b).

Jesus taught, to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), yet most these days seem to wish to use a different criteria. Jesus was misjudged by those who thought He did not meet criteria they strongly felt that they Bible required.

Consequences of Ignoring Prophetic Interpretations

Some in various COGs have improperly called me a false prophet. But generally not because of any false prophecies I supposedly made, but based on their criteria for prophets which differ from what the New Testament teaches (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Notice something from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

PERSECUTORS HAVE CALLED me a “false prophet.” Now how would you KNOW whether the accusation IS true- or false?…

Actually, it probably is not very important to you to know whether my persecutors are right or wrong, when they call me dirty names, hurl epithets, resort to innuendo, impute sinister motives, strive to discredit, attempt character assassination. What is important to YOU is whether what you read in The PLAIN TRUTH really is the truth – whether what you hear over The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast is true- not whether I , as an individual, am true or false.

I think our readers know by now that we always say: ” DON’ T believe what we say because you believe in us.” We say ” Listen with open mind, without prejudice, then CHECK UP in your own Bible-prove whether it is true, and BELIEVE what you find proved!” I don’t seek to induce people to believe in ME- I seek to lead them to believe in JESUS CHRIST! (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, May 1966, pp. 2)

Notice some prophetic teachings, and ramifications of some teachings that LCG holds that differ from the Continuing Church of God:

  1. The Great Tribulation begins with or after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43) (see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). This is not the order that Daniel 11 teaches (see Who is the King of the North?). LCG’s position is out of biblical sequence, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  2. The abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 occurs after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). Since this will not happen, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  3. The ‘Falling Away’ warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2 has mainly to do with the world and Protestants and not the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings ). LCG is thus not teaching its members many things that they need to know so that they will not be subject to falling away in the future. And while there will be COG supporters (in various groups, including likely CCOG) who will fall away (Daniel 11:30-35), LCG, in my view, is not properly preparing members for this.
  4. The man of sin who sits in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) is the Antichrist, not the Beast. Yet, this is the Beast (see Who is the Man of Sin?). So, when this happens, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand its prophetic ramifications.
  5. A Jerusalem temple will be rebuilt before Jesus returns. While this is remotely possible (and not all in LCG insist on this), it is not required (the “temple of God” in the New Testament has to do with a Christian, not Jewish, location; see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Since this will not happen as LCG sometimes seems to teach, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  6. The Beast power will consist of 10 or 11 current nations in the European Union (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). The European Union has 28 nation members with others hoping to join it. And while it may lose nations, the reality is that if the Beast power rises up when there are more than 11 nations in it, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin. Under Herbert Armstrong, the old WCG taught in at least a dozen documents (Plain Truth, Good News, Tomorrow’s World, booklets, Co-worker letter, Bible Correspondence Course) that this passage referred to 10 nations or GROUPS OF NATIONS. LCG should not have insisted on this as it recently did.
  7. The first verse in the Daniel 11 sequence relating to the beginning of the Great Tribulation is Daniel 11:40 (per LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs; see also December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs). LCG should teach that it begins with Daniel 11:39, which is shortly after Daniel 11:31, which is also consistent with the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; see also Who is the King of the North?). Those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  8. Jesus is NOT the one who will “will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6) as LCG taught in 2015, but that this is part of the work of the final Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6; details on LCG’s and CCOG’s positions are in the article The Elijah Heresies).
  9. The EU will NOT collapse like the old Roman Empire as LCG asserted in December 2015 as the LCG view is contrary to prophetic scriptures (some details on LCG’s and CCOG’s positions are in the article Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

Some will come up with their preferred rational as why not to agree with CCOG. Yet, on most of those points, the old WCG taught what I believe that the Bible teaches on them (on the one or two that it did not, one is consistent with a November 1979 HWA writing and on the other an advisor to HWA told me that HWA would have agreed with me on that as well).

Additionally, at least one LCG evangelist, and normally multiple LCG ministers, told me that I was correct on each of those points when I was attending LCG (and I suspect they would on the points that changed after I left). Instead of correcting its errors, LCG has instead insisted on positions that are in conflict with the Bible. LCG also has other doctrinal and character issues which are not appropriate fruits (see, for example, What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?). LCG also has backed off of teaching that Habakkuk 2:6-8 is an end time prophecy (which Habakkuk 2:3 teaches it is “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak”).

Many will read this post and ignore it as they feel that they personally will not be affected by this or they will figure out prophetic matters on their own in the future. That will be a mistake:

1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation,
2 Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!
3 Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the Lord’s anger. (Zephaniah 2:1-3)

Those who do not ‘gather together’ to support the one with the highest ordained position who is truly a faithful Philadelphian leader will not be protected (watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy). The time for all to humility is now and not hope to wait until later as that will not work.

The fact is that Laodiceans believe that they do not have need to listen to any of God’s end time prophets (Revelation 13:14-18). It astounds me how no one in LCG ever proved me false, but instead seem to prefer to believe false statements directed towards or about me. Or they hold to criteria for prophets that are not biblical.

Of course, most did not believe the great prophet John the Baptist (Luke 28:33), nor that Jesus was the Christ (Luke 28:34) as most of the people then had different criteria than God set (cf. Luke 28:35).

What about you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are  available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Does Revelation 17:12 teach ten nations or not? Why is this important to know?
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.
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?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Behind the Work: Go Therefore and Make Disciples How is the Continuing Church of God making disciples. What has been happening in the Continuing Church of God related to this and aspects of the final phase of the work. This ‘behind the work’ video shows New Zealand, Africa, Jerusalem, Vatican City, the USA, and the United Kingdom as well as one from Asia. Teaching and baptisms are shown.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted towards Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, German, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God and has articles in español/castellano.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

Was the original Church of God in Rome the Church of Rome?

Friday, May 27th, 2016

History of Early  Christianity

COGwriter

Did the early, faithful, first century, Christians in Rome hold to modern Church of Rome beliefs?

Was the early Christian church even possibly led by a pontiff from Rome?

If the Apostle Peter was the primary leader of the original Christian Church of God, then was his successor Linus? Or would it make more sense that it was the Apostle John?

Many would be surprised what Roman Catholic scholars admit and teach about early church history.

The Church of Rome teaches:

…that Peter founded the Church of Antioch, indicates the fact that he laboured a long period there, and also perhaps that he dwelt there towards the end of his life…It is also probable that Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor for it can scarcely be supposed that the entire period between his liberation from prison and the Council of the Apostles was spent uninterruptedly in one city, whether Antioch, Rome, or elsewhere… Peter returned occasionally to the original Christian Church of Jerusalem…The date of Peter’s death is thus not yet decided; the period between July, 64 (outbreak of the Neronian persecution), and the beginning of 68 (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

It is not biblically clear that Peter founded the church in Antioch (Stephen or Barnabas seems more likely, see Acts 11:19-22), but he probably spent a lot of time there Antioch (Galatians 2:11). However, it is clear even from Catholic history that Peter spent little time in Rome and thus did not fix his residence there. Even though certain scholars like J.P. Kirsch believe that Peter went to Rome, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, even he admits this about Peter:

we possess no precise information regarding the details of his Roman sojourn (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

No precise information means that the Roman Church has essentially relied on accounts, nearly all of which were written over 100 years after Peter’s death, that say that he was in Rome and/or died in Rome. This is especially true because the biblical accounts never specify Rome and those that do specify locations of Peter point to Asia Minor and Jerusalem.

Hippolytus, considered by Roman Catholic scholars, as one of their greatest early theologians wrote:

Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia (Hippolytus. On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

Thus even these Roman accounts suggest that Peter could not have been in Rome very long (and biblical evidence, Acts 3:1-11; 4:13; 8:14; Galatians 2:9, suggests he was often with the Apostle John). A careful reading of 2 Peter 1:14-18 and Matthew 17:1-5 indicates that Peter was with James or John right before he died. Yet, since James died in Judea (Acts 12:1) by 39 A.D. and there is no evidence that John was in Rome prior to 90 A.D., this would suggest that Peter was NOT in Rome when he wrote that “the laying away of my tabernacle is at hand” (2 Peter 1:14, RNT)–for more information on Peter’s death and burial, including information from Catholic scholars (such as the Antonio Ferrua who is credited for finding Peter’s body, but later stated that he did not believe that he found Peter), see the article The Apostle Peter.

Thus the statement “Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome” seems biblically and historically false.

Interestingly, when personally addressing the leadership for the Christians who lived in Rome, Paul never mentioned Peter or any who were later claimed to be Roman bishops, even though he listed at least 27 others (see Romans 16).

The Catholic Encyclopedia article about the Epistle to the Romans mentions this about Paul not mentioning Peter:

The complete silence as to St. Peter is most easily explained by supposing that he was then absent from Rome. Paul may well have been aware of this fact, for the community was not entirely foreign to him. An epistle like the present would hardly have been sent while the Prince of the Apostles was in Rome and the reference to the ruler (xii, eight) would then be difficult to explain. Paul probably supposes that during the months between the composition and the arrival of the Epistle, the community would be more or less thrown on its own resources. (Merk A. Transcribed by W.G. Kofron. Epistle to the Romans. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII. Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Another explanation is that Peter simply was not in Rome long enough for Paul or any early writer to consider that Peter was actually the bishop of Rome.

Note that it takes MONTHS from when Paul could have written the epistle and for it to get to Rome. How could Paul have possibly assumed that that Peter was not in Rome then and would not be in it for months? Only because he knew Peter was not some type of bishop of Rome! Because if Peter was the bishop of Rome, Paul would have most likely at least referred to him or his absence in this epistle, as at some time he would have expected Peter to read it in Rome. But this never took place. Since it is believed that “Romans was likely written in the fall of A.D. 57” (The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1997, p. 1876), it is most likely that Peter had not even been to Rome (as until at least 54 A.D. he had meetings in Jerusalem–see below).

Eamon Duffy, a Catholic scholar and a member of the Pontifical Historical Commission, observed:

Paul’s epistle to the Romans was written before either he or Peter ever set foot in Rome, to a Christian community already in existence (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p.8).

Some modern Catholic scholars have admitted that Peter and the other Apostles were not a bishops, and could not have taken up residence in any city:

A “bishop” is a residential pastor who presides in a stable manner over the church in a city and its environs. The apostles were missionaries and founders of churches; there is no evidence, nor is it likely at all, that any one of them ever took up permanent residence in a particular church as its bishop (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, p. 14).

The cited Catholic quotes show that the Church of Rome acknowledges that Peter labored long in Asia Minor (hence, he could not truly have been the bishop of Rome then as they are quite far apart–it normally took MONTHS to travel from Rome to Asia Minor in those days, plus there were no telephones or fast ways to communicate), tended to return to Jerusalem (which is near Asia Minor), spent little time in Rome, could not have been the bishop of any city, and that there are no precise details of anything that Peter did in Rome. While it is possible that Peter visited and even died in Rome (and this has been contested by some scholars), that of itself would not seem to be a reason for the city of Rome to have to be the place of the headquarters of the true church.

There also is no known early document that states that upon his death Peter bequeathed the cathedra to anyone (recall also that Jesus Himself died in Jerusalem, and the importance of His death to the Church is more significant than that of Peter). When Jesus discussed the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16) with Peter, this was in the Jerusalem area. When the Holy Spirit was given in Acts 2, this was in Jerusalem. Later, Peter and the other apostles spent a great deal of time in Asia Minor.

Furthermore, Rome was a Gentile area, not full of circumcised Israelites.

Who does the Bible teach had that responsibility? Look at what Paul wrote:

7. But contrariwise when they had seen that to me was committed the Gospel of the
prepuce, as to Peter of the circumcision
8. (for he that wrought in Peter to the Apostleship of the circumcision, wrought in me also
among the Gentiles) (Galatians 2:7-8).

Thus it does not appear that Peter was considered to be the bishop of Rome during Paul’s lifetime (and they both died about the same time) as Rome was clearly a Gentile area. If Peter, and he alone, had the keys, the fact that, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia “Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor” shows that PETER COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE BISHOP OF ROME FOR MUCH OF THE TIME THAT HE “HAD THE KEYS”! IT IS AN ABSOLUTE FACT THAT PETER WAS NOT THE BISHOP OF ROME BEGINNING WITH THE START OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH that began on the Pentecost after Jesus was resurrected (Acts 1-2). NOR COULD PETER HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN BISHOP OF ROME FOR MUCH OF THE THIRTY-PLUS YEARS AFTER THAT TIME AS HE TRAVELED WITHIN ASIA MINOR AND TO JERUSALEM REPEATEDLY.

Rome is simply not close enough to Asia Minor or Jerusalem for Peter to have been based out of Rome. Thus Antioch or other regions within Asia Minor would seem to have been the main areas that Peter possibly could have had an episcopate. Actually, the book of Galatians specifically mentions that Paul visited Peter on two occasions, and both of those were in Jerusalem and not Rome. Why? Because Rome was still not the headquarters of the Church at a very late time in Peter’s life. This is clearly documented from the Bible:

15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days (Galatians1:15-18).

21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ (Galatians 1:21-22).

1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me…
9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:1,9).

What does all that mean? According to The Catholic Encyclopedia,

St. Paul’s conversion was not prior to 34, nor his escape from Damascus and his first visit to Jerusalem, to 37 (St. Paul. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911).

Thus the earliest possible date for Paul to have made his second recorded visit to Jerusalem with Peter was 54 A.D. (3 years plus 17 plus 34 A.D., and it may have been later, like 57 A.D.). And from there, Peter told Paul to go to the Gentiles again. Hence Peter could not have become the Apostle to the Gentiles in Rome until much later (if at all)! Interestingly, The Catholic Encyclopedia admits,

It is comparatively seldom that the Fathers, when speaking of the power of the keys, make any reference to the supremacy of St. Peter (Joyce G.H. Transcribed by Robert B. Olson. Power of the Keys. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Also notice the following from a Roman Catholic priest and scholar:

The conferral of the power of the keys of the kingdom surely suggests an imposing measure of authority, given the symbolism of the keys, but there is no explicit indication that the authority conferred was meant to be exercised over others, much less that it be absolutely monarchical in kind…In Acts, in fact, Peter is shown consulting with other apostles and even being sent by them (8:14). He and John are portrayed as acting as a team (3:1-11; 4:1-22; 8:14). And Paul confronts Peter for his inconsistency and hypocrisy…Paul “opposed him to his face because he was clearly wrong” (Galatians 2:11; see also 12-14) (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., pp. 30-31).

Notice that even traditions of early Catholic writers did not teach that Peter was given sole authority as the devout Catholic historian von Dollinger noticed:

Of all the Fathers who interpret these passages (Matthew 16:18; John 21:17), not a single one applies them to the Roman bishops as Peter’s successors. How many Fathers have busied themselves with these three texts, yet not one of them who commentaries we possess–Origen, Chrysostom, Hilary, Augustine, Cyril, Theodoret, and those whose interpretations are collected in catenas–has dropped the faintest hint that the primacy of Rome is the consequence of the commission and promise to Peter!

Not one of them has explained the rock or foundation on which Christ would build His Church as the office given to Peter to be transmitted to his successors, but they understood by it either Christ Himself, or Peter’s confession of faith in Christ; often both together (Cited in Hunt D. A Women Rides the Beast. Harvest House Publishers, Eugene (OR) p. 146).

It was not until quite late that the Roman Catholic decided that Peter was the first bishop of Rome:

(254-57)…Stephen I seems to have been the first pope to have appealed to the classic “you are Peter’ text in Matthew’s Gospel (16:18) as the basis for Roman primacy…Peter was not regarded as the first Bishop of Rome until the late second or early third century (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., pp. 27,28).

Hence, it may be that the idea that Peter was the only apostle that church leadership could be traced through and that it must be Rome does not appear to have much early support.

It needs to be understood that as far back as the second century, both Irenaeus and Tertullian taught that some version of “apostolic succession” occurred in areas other than Rome. Furthermore, even into the 21st century, the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the legitimacy of churches of the Eastern Orthodox based in cities such as Constantinople , Jerusalem, and Alexandria who were founded by someone other than the Apostle Peter (which tradition states were founded by the Apostles Andrew, James, and the gospel-writer Mark, respectively). More information can be found in the article Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom?

It is important to note that several Catholic scholars recognize that there is no proof that anyone was actually considered to be a bishop in Rome until sometime in the second century. One such Catholic scholar, A. Van Hove, wrote this about early bishops:

  • This local superior authority, which was of Apostolic origin, was conferred by the Apostles upon a monarchic bishop, such as is understood by the term today. This is proved first by the example of Jerusalem, where James, who was not one of the Twelve Apostles, held the first place, and afterwards by those communities in Asia Minor of which Ignatius speaks, and where, at the beginning of the second century the monarchical episcopate existed, for Ignatius does not write as though the institution were a new one.
  • In other communities, it is true, no mention is made of a monarchic episcopate until the middle of the second century (Van Hove A. Transcribed by Matthew Dean. Bishop. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II. Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

In other words, although there were bishops in Jerusalem and Asia Minor in the first and second centuries, there is no mention of a monarchic episcopate (a bishopric) in other places, like Rome, until the middle of the second century.

Furthermore, even some more recent Catholic scholars understand that the New Testament provides no support for the idea that one of the apostles appointed someone to be “bishop of Rome.”

The consensus of scholars is that there was NOT an apostolic succession of bishops starting from Peter in Rome. And notice that according to Roman Catholic scholars, the first clear bishop of Rome was not until the middle or latter half of the second century:

ALTHOUGH CATHOLIC TRADITION, BEGINNING IN the late second and early third centuries, regards St. Peter as the first bishop of Rome and, therefore, as the first pope, there is no evidence that Peter was involved in the initial establishment of the Christian community in Rome (indeed, what evidence there is would seem to point in the opposite direction) or that he served as Rome’s first bishop. Not until the pontificate of St. Pius I in the middle of the second century (ca. 142-ca. 155) did the Roman Church have a monoepiscopal structure of government (one bishop as pastoral leader of a diocese). Those who Catholic tradition lists as Peter’s immediate successors (Linus, Anacletus, Clement, et al.) did not function as the one bishop of Rome (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., p.25).

To begin with, indeed, there was no ‘pope’, no bishop as such, for the church in Rome was slow to develop the office of chief presbyter or bishop…Clement made no claim to write as bishop…There is no sure way to settle on a date by which the office of ruling bishop had emerged in Rome…but the process was certainly complete by the time of Anicetus in the mid-150s (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes, 2nd ed. Yale University Press, London, 2001, pp. 9, 10,13).

…we have good reason to conclude that by the time of Anicetus (155-66), the church of Rome was being led by a bishop whose role resembled Ignatius or Polycarp (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, p. 143).

We must conclude that the New Testament provides no basis for the notion that before the apostles died, they ordained one man for each of the churches they founded…”Was there a Bishop of Rome in the First Century?”…the available evidence indicates that the church in Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than by a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, p. 80,221-222).

As I see the problem and its possible solution, it is not a question of apostolic succession in the sense of an historical chain of laying on of hands running back through the centuries to one of the apostles; this would be a very mechanical and individualistic vision, which by the way historically could hardly be proved and ascertained. The Catholic view is different from such an individualistic and mechanical approach. Its starting point is the collegium of the apostles as a whole; together they received the promise that Jesus Christ will be with them till the end of the world (Matt 28, 20). So after the death of the historical apostles they had to co–opt others who took over some of their apostolic functions. In this sense the whole of the episcopate stands in succession to the whole of the collegium of the apostles. To stand in the apostolic succession is not a matter of an individual historical chain but of collegial membership in a collegium, which as a whole goes back to the apostles by sharing the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission (Kasper, Cardinal Walter. Keynote speech from the Conference of the Society for Ecumenical Studies, the St. Alban’s Christian Study Centre and the Hertfordshire Newman Association at St. Alban’s Abbey, Hertfordshire, England, on May 17, 2003).

In March, 2006…I argued unity, unanimity and koinonia (communion) are fundamental concepts in the New Testament and in the early Church. I argued: “From the beginning the episcopal office was “koinonially” or collegially embedded in the communion of all bishops; it was never perceived as an office to be understood or practised individually” (Kasper, Cardinal Walter. Cardinal Kasper to Anglican Communion “The Aim of Our Dialogue Has Receded Further”. CANTERBURY, England, JULY 31, 2008 (Zenit.org)).

These are astounding admissions. These Roman Catholic scholars are essentially admitting that there was no possible succession of bishops beginning with Peter in Rome, there was NOT one bishop who led all of Christendom from the beginning, but that the succession of a bishop from the Apostle John to Polycarp did occur (and it occurred probably 60 years earlier).

When Ignatius wrote his various letters in the early second century, he referred to Polycarp as a bishop and mentioned bishops in nearly all of his letters. However, in his letter to the Romans he neither addresses it to any particular leader in Rome, nor does he ever refer to anyone as a bishop in Rome. While his letters show that there were Christians in Rome, they were most certainly not like the modern Church of Rome–not in dress, nor liturgy, nor in Holy Day observations, etc. Ignatius praised people like Polycarp, when he wrote him, and Polycarp held Church of God doctrines.  Furthermore, by the time Polycarp met who may have been the first “Bishop of Rome,” he tried to get him to change doctrine back to the original teachings, but the Roman Bishop Anicetus would not listen.

Various Catholic writings state that Hegesippus came to Rome in the mid-2nd century and asked about its early leaders. F.A. Sullivan and R.P. McBrien seem to suggest that those Romans apparently mentioned names of leaders they had heard of (as most would have had no direct contact with any from the first century) as there were no early records with names. Because there was, at the time of Hegesippus’ visit, a bishop of Rome and there had long been bishops in Jerusalem and Asia Minor, F.A. Sullivan also suggests that Hegesippus and later writers presumed that the early Roman leaders were also monarchical bishops, even though that is not considered to have been likely.

While there were certainly a lot of religious leaders in Rome, since the actual Christian Church (according the Catholics and nearly all those who profess Christ) began in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after Christ’s crucifixion, it is important to realize that both the Bible and Roman Catholic approved writings support the idea that there were true churches in the region the Bible refers to as Asia Minor (nearly all of which is now part of the country of Turkey) as well as true Christians in Rome. But they were not like the current Church of Rome, nor did Rome have significant Christian influence in other regions.

When the Apostle John penned the Book of Revelation, he was the last of the original 12 apostles to remain alive (and as an Apostle he ALSO would have been was part of the foundation of the church as Ephesians 2:19-22 teaches). And he specifically addressed Revelation “to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Revelation 1:4), and later listed those seven (vs. 1:11) all of which were in Asia Minor (here is an article on The Seven Churches of Revelation). He also never positively addressed the church in Rome in that or any other or his known writings (nor, except in his gospel account, did he ever mention Peter). Furthermore, The Catholic Encyclopedia records this about John,

John had a prominent position in the Apostolic body…the Apostle and Evangelist John lived in Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century and from Ephesus had guided the Churches of that province (Fonck L. Transcribed by Michael Little. St. John the Evangelist. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

But there is no scriptural reason to think that John only considered that the churches in Asia Minor were under his leadership. Actually, in one of his other letters, John also wrote “To the elect lady and her children” (2 John 1)–which appears to be a reference to the entire Church (see also Revelation 12:17). Hence he felt he had a leadership position related to the entire Church, not just those in Asia Minor.

This also appears to be confirmed from this quotation that Eusebius records:

Take and read the account which rims as follows: “Listen to a tale, which is not a mere tale, but a narrative concerning John the apostle, which has been handed down and treasured up in memory. For when, after the tyrant’s death, he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went away upon their invitation to the neighboring territories of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in some places, in other places to set in order whole churches, elsewhere to choose to the ministry some one of those that were pointed out by the Spirit…” (Eusebius. Church History, Book III, Chapter 23. Translated by the Rev. Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Referring to Irenaeus’ writings, Eusebius writes:

And in the third book of the same work he attests the same thing in the following words: “But the church in Ephesus also, which was founded by Paul, and where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the apostolic tradition.” (Eusebius. Church History. Translated by the Rev. Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Now John greatly outlived Peter and is believed to have lived as late as 95-100 A.D. John was an apostle, the early leaders of Rome were only presbyters. The Bible clearly teaches that apostles were first (I Corinthians 12:28). Notice that even Roman Catholic scholars understand:

Unlike Peter, the pope is neither an apostle nor an eyewitness of the Risen Lord (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., p.33).

Since that is true, it makes no sense that the Apostle John would be somehow subordinate to Linus, Anacletus, Clement, and Evaristus, all of whom have been claimed to have been pontiff after Peter died and while John was still alive.

What is true, and what does make sense, is that John had a disciple named Polycarp who became the bishop of Smyrna. While Ignatius may have had prominence in-between, his writings clearly endorsed Polycarp’s leadership. Polycarp was probably 25-30 years old when John died. Polycarp himself lived until his was martyred around 156 A.D. Look at what else is admitted by the Catholic historian Irenaeus about the early Church in Asia Minor, under the leadership of Polycarp:

Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 4, Verse 3 and Chapter 3, Verse 4).

So we have from this Roman Catholic source that Polycarp and his successors in Asia Minor (at least until the time that Irenaeus wrote this, around 180 A.D.) practiced the true teachings that they learned from the apostles (it should be noted that these churches had several doctrines that differ from those currently held by the Roman Church, some of which are documented in the article Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome). This is also later essentially confirmed by Tertullian (Tertullian. Liber de praescriptione haereticorum. Circa 200 A.D. as cited in Chapman J. Transcribed by Lucy Tobin. Tertullian. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIV. Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

While there were Christians in Rome from an early time, those we have information on who were faithful held to Church of God, not current Church of Rome doctrines.

Here is a link to a YouTube video titled: Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? 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. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
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!
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
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. It also discusses the concept of church eras.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing 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.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
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?

Donald Trump has the delegates; Barack Obama warns that world leaders are ‘rattled’

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


Donald Trump and Barack Obama

COGwriter

Donald Trump has gained enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee according to reports:

May 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president Thursday, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July. Among them is Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.

“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,238. With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-reaches-magic-number-of-delegates-to-clinch-nomination/2016/05/26/46b72f6c-234c-11e6-b944-52f7b1793dae_story.html

US President Barack Obama provided his views about this and how world leaders view Donald Trump:

May 26, 2016

President Barack Obama says world leaders he has spoken with are “rattled” by the presence of Donald Trump as a candidate in the 2016 presidential race – and offered his own harsh criticism of the bombastic billionaire.

Speaking to reporters in the coastal Japanese city of Ise Shima Thursday, after the first day of an annual summit of leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest nations, the president says the world is paying close attention because “the United States is at the heart of the international order.” …

Obama says his fellow leaders are “not sure how seriously to take some of [Trump’s] pronouncements,” which “display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines.” http://www.voanews.com/content/g7-leaders-begin-summit/3346701.html

May 26, 2016

(CNN)President Barack Obama touched on the rancorous U.S. presidential race at a press conference Thursday from the G-7 summit in Japan, saying that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s statements had his fellow world leaders concerned.

“They’re rattled by him and for good reason,” Obama said. “Because a lot of the proposals that he’s made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what is required to keep America safe.” “They are surprised by (Trump), not sure how to take some of his pronouncements,” the President added. Obama said the world is watching the campaign. http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/26/politics/obama-g7-ise-shima/

While Barack Obama and I have many areas of disagreement, I agree that Donald Trump’s rise has concerned world leaders.  And I also believe his rise has prophetic ramifications.

He has made statements that some feel will help keep the USA ‘safe,’ yet because of his lack of appreciation for biblical morality and biblical prophecy, Donald Trump has made statements that will get world leaders, in Europe in particular, to conclude that they must take steps to distance themselves from the USA as well as the need for protection from the military of the USA.

Some consider that Donald Trump is a sign that the USA is in decline. Notice the following from the German newsource Deutsche Welle:

History is being written right now in America. That is always exciting. But in this case it is also dramatic. An entire country is changing before our eyes. Though he may not have started it, Donald Trump is the man who is now speeding up and steering this process in a very dangerous direction. Like a bulldozer on a rampage, he is destroying the foundations of this freedom-loving and once so self-assured nation.

And the country is letting him do it. …

Has America given up?

The country seems rotten, like a once mighty tree that is leaning precariously. It remains to be seen if it can weather the gathering storm or will come crashing down.

In the eyes of a growing number of voters, the country’s elite, which only thinks of itself, is also rotten. It is an elite that, despite the country’s economic well-being, has starved the middle-class and robbed them of the fruits of their labor. The fact that more and more Americans are growing angry is understandable. But the conclusions that they are reaching are not. …

Searching for a tough guy

Trump is the tough guy many people feel could finally change things. Even if it seems stupefying: When he hammers away at the masses, repeating that he will “beat” the Chinese, the Mexicans and whoever else he has to in order to “make America great again,” he is guaranteed thundering applause. Even though he has not provided a single workable political policy. …

Fear and aggression

Trump’s success says a lot about Americans and about the state of the nation. But what can be inferred from these messages is not good. Not good for America and not good for Germany and America’s other allies.

The country is changing. Decency and politeness are apparently on the decline, mean-spiritedness and ruthlessness are rewarded. Global responsibility is being replaced by nationalist egocentricity. Fear and aggression are now coming together in an unholy symbiosis. Trump is the champion of this paradigm shift. Many think he’s great simply because he is so mean. …

It is also not a forgone conclusion that Hillary Clinton, should she be her party’s nominee, will be able to derail the increasingly likely Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. (Schließ G. Opinion: The changing face of the USA. Deutsche Welle, 5 March 2016. http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-the-changing-face-of-the-usa/a-19096986)

Consider also the following:

March 21, 2016

Donald Trump said Monday the U.S. should rethink its involvement in NATO because the defense alliance costs too much money.

In remarks to Blitzer, he said the U.S. pays a disproportionate amount to NATO to ensure the security of allies.

“Frankly, they have to put up more money,” he said. “We are paying disproportionately. It’s too much, and frankly it’s a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea.” …

Later in the interview, Trump qualified his remarks saying that the U.S. should not “decrease its role” in NATO but should decrease its spending. Still, the Republican presidential front-runner’s NATO comments could spur anxiety among the Western foreign policy establishment. http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/21/politics/elections-2016-final-five-highlights/index.html

Donald Trump wants NATO with the Europeans providing more military funding.

The Washington Post has suggested that German issues and Donald Trump’s rise may result in a similar leader in Germany (Noack R. Germany’s shrinking middle class may spawn a new Donald Trump. Washington Post, May 11, 2016)

The Bible tells of a vast economic power that will rise up in Europe and cause many to prosper (Revelation 18).  Many in Europe in general, and Germany in particular, are working towards that goal, despite biblical warnings of being part of it (e.g. Revelation 18:4).

Whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins the next election, the USA will one day be defeated by the Europeans.  Donald Trump’s political rise is affecting world opinion and that of the Europeans.

Though Pope Francis dreams of a European utopia (watch Pope Francis dreams of a Babylonian utopia), the world needs the Kingdom of God.

Some items 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/prime minister? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand. A video of related interest is available titled: Should Christians Vote?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled Could Donald Trump be Apocalyptic?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God? and The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
WTO/TTIP and the Babylonian Beast Will international trade agreements like WTO/TTIP/CETA lead to the fulfillment of end time prophecies concerning the Babylonian Beast power that the Book of Revelation warns against? What does the Bible teach? A related video would be WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
Hillary Clinton in Prophecy Prophecy, Hillary Clinton? Are there prophecies that Hillary Clinton may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that she has already helped fulfill? Could Hillary Clinton be apocalyptic? Could Hillary Clinton be the final Antichrist? A video of related interest is titled Hillary Clinton and Bible Prophecy.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 188 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition.

CG7 on keeping your job and keeping the Sabbath

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

COGwriter

CG7-Denver’s Bible Advocate magazine had the following article by Dr. Daniel Botkin:

“I’d like to keep the Sabbath, but I can’t. I have to work on Saturdays.”

Wrong. No one who believes in keeping the Sabbath has to work on Saturdays, at least not in America. Americans who work on the Sabbath do so by their own choice, not because they have to.

Sabbathkeeping Christians in Communist Russia were ordered by their oppressive government to work on Saturdays. Many of them chose to obey God rather than man, and they lost a lot more than some crummy job. They suffered imprisonment,exile, and torture for refusing to break God’s holy Sabbath. When we stand with these faithful saints before the Lord on Judgment Day, will any of us have the gall to say, “Well, Lord, I wanted to keep the Sabbath, but I couldn’t. I had to work”?

Informing your employer

How does a disciple of the Messiah go about getting every Sabbath off from his job?

First, you do not go in and ask your employer if you can have Saturdays off. You are not there to make a request; you are there to inform. You inform your employer (politely and respectfully, of course) that you will not be available to work from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Your employer may respond in a number of ways:

“I’ll see what we can do, but for now you’ll have to keep working Saturdays.”

“We can give you Saturdays off, but you’ll have to work on Friday nights.”

“We’ll try, but you may have to occasionally come in on a Saturday if we’re short of help.”

None of these responses is acceptable. Pharaoh tried three times to persuade Moses and Aaron to compromise the Lord’s demands (Exodus 8:25-29; 10:8-11). Moses and Aaron steadfastly refused to accept Pharaoh’s solution, and we must likewise refuse to accept an employer’s offer to compromise.

If your employer refuses to accommodate you, one solution is to look for a different job. However, that may not be necessary. If this particular job is important to you, you may want to inform your employer of his legal obligation toward employees’ religious practices. This should be done politely and respectfully, not in an obnoxious or threatening way.

What the law says

Many people do not realize that federal law requires employers to accommodate employees who need time off for religious reasons, unless the employer demonstrates that accommodation would result in undue hardship on the conduct of its business. You, the employee, do not have to prove the validity of your case. It is the employer who must prove that letting you keep Sabbath would cause undue hardship to his business. The burden of proof is on the employer, not on the employee.

Federal law considers the following solutions to be “reasonable accommodation” that would not cause undue hardship to an employer’s business:

• Securing a substitute worker (even if the employer has to secure the substitute).

• Flexible scheduling (flexible arrival and departure times, floating or optional holidays, flexible work-breaks, use of lunch time in exchange for early departure, staggered work hours, permitting an employee to make up time lost due to the observance of religious practices).

• Lateral transfer and change of job assignment.

The employer must offer the alternative that least disadvantages the individual (i.e., the employee) with respect to his or her employment opportunities. The employer can also be required to bear the extra costs of accommodating the employee, unless the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determines that it is “more than a de minimis cost.”

Sometimes an employer is afraid to give an employee every Saturday off for fear that other employees will see this and likewise demand every Saturday (or Sunday) off for religious reasons. However, according to federal law, this is not proof of undue hardship: “A mere assumption that many more people, with the same religious practices as the person being accommodated, may also need accommodation is not evidence of undue hardship.” The above legal information can be found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (sections 701[j], 703, and 717, eeoc.gov) and in Part XII Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.

These laws apply to labor organizations as well as to employers. The laws pertain not only to scheduling (though this is the most frequent accommodation needed) but also to other religious practices, such as a man’s right to wear a beard because of his religious convictions. The employer’s legal obligation to accommodate “pertains to prospective employees as well as current employees.”

Sabbathkeepers need to know that employees have legal rights to reasonable accommodations and that some employees take their employers to court to enforce these rights. Sometimes the employer wins the case, when it truly would cause undue hardship for the employer to accommodate the employee.

When undue hardship is not an issue, though, the law is on our side. Most employers are reasonable people and intelligent enough to know that it would be wiser for them to accommodate your need than it would be to refuse. Many employers will respect you for taking a firm but polite stand for what you believe. If they are smart, they will know that a person with strong convictions is likely to be a reliable, honest worker with integrity and will find a way to accommodate you.

Other options

Some employers are not so kind and understanding and will simply say, “No, you have to work on Saturdays.” In that case, you must pray and ask the Lord to show you what He would have you to do.

Would the Lord have you take your employer to court, or would He have you look for a different job? (You don’t need to pray about whether or not the Lord would have you keep working on the Sabbath. He’s already told you in the Ten Commandments not to do that!) Fighting for your legal rights in court is one issue, but there is also the issue of maintaining a good testimony as the Messiah’s disciple. Some questions to consider:

• Do I really want to work for an employer who lets me have the Sabbath off only because he was forced by the court to do so?

• Will going to court result in resentment or jealousy in my workplace, and do I want to work in such an atmosphere?

• Is this job really worth fighting for?

• Is it possible that letting me have every Sabbath off really would cause undue hardship for my employer’s business?

• Even if the court rules in my favor, would there still be some hardship, and would it be right to let my employer bear this inconvenience?

Keeping your job should be your third priority here. Keeping the Sabbath and your testimony are top priorities. If you can do this and keep your job, great. Personally, I would not feel comfortable forcing my employer to pay extra costs in order to accommodate me, even though the law can require the employer to bear these minimal costs. For the sake of my testimony as the Lord’s disciple, I would prefer to not exercise this legal right and pay the extra costs myself, unless my employer cheerfully insisted on bearing the cost.

If my employer is willing to bear some minor inconvenience in order to accommodate me, then I should be willing to bear some minor inconvenience to keep the Sabbath. Every situation is unique and has many factors to consider. If you do lose your job for the sake of obeying the Lord, the Lord will honor your sacrifice. He may not provide another job immediately, but He has promised to meet your physical needs if you seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).

True identity

So don’t let your employer or anyone else tell you that you have to work on the Sabbath. You are not called to be a slave to your job. You are to treat your employer with honor and respect, but he is not your Owner and Master.

If you are a disciple of the Son of God, then He is your real Owner and Master. You are called to be a servant in His kingdom, not a slave to the world system.

While laws vary in differing locations, as do interpretations of laws, most of the time in the USA (if unions are not involved) it is possible to keep a job and the Sabbath when there is a conflict. However, this does not mean that one will not have other problems or be somehow discriminated against in other ways. A past case in New Zealand protected a Sabbath keeper there (see NZ man awarded cash because of Sabbath-related termination).

I personally was nearly jailed (while working for the government) and threatened with job loss throughout my earlier careers, because I kept the Sabbath.  As it turned out I was not jailed nor fired, but there still is a risk for many.

It takes faith to keep the Sabbath when your job or livelihood (Exodus 34:21) seem to be at risk. But the Bible teaches that we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5;29).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
How to Observe the Sabbath? How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
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? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
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?
Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.

Could a type of cross be a ‘mark of the beast’?

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


Labarum Cross

COGwriter

Many people have pointed to various aspects of modern technology as being related to the ‘mark of the beast’ of Revelation. And while the final Beast power will utilize technology, could something as familiar as a cross be a mark of the beast?

Did you know that the “cross” became a military symbol after a sun-worshiping Emperor claimed to have a vision and a dream:

In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great was in Trier, Germany where he had an unexpected vision of a cross that appeared in the sky..Constantine’s soldiers, the majority of whom were pagans, placed the sacred image of the cross on their shields (Mangan C.M. In This Sign You Conquer, 10/15/03 Copyright © 2004 Catholic Online).

He {Constantine} said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens , above the sun, and bearing the inscription , Conquer by this…in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens , and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens , and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies….At dawn of day he arose, and communicated the marvel to his friends: and then, calling together the workers in gold and precious stones, he sat in the midst of them, and described to them the figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones…

Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the Saviour’s name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X in its centre…

The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his armies. (Eusebius. The Life of Constantine, Book I, Chapters 28,30,31).

This type of cross is known as a labarum:

The Labarum (☧) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ” (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ).It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I…

Though modern representations of the chi-rho sign represent the two lines crossing at ninety degree angles, the early examples of the Chi-Rho cross at an angle that is more vividly representative of the chi formed by the solar ecliptic path and the celestial equator. This image is most familiar in Plato’s Timaeus…Of Plato’s image in Timaeus, Justin Martyr, the Christian apologist writing in the second century, found a prefiguration of the Cross (Labarum. Wikipedia, viewed 03/04/09).

So, the Chi-Rho existed from at least the time of Plato (a pagan philosopher), but was adopted by Constantine centuries after Christ died. The heretic Justin was probably one who originally encouraged its adoption, and he apparently got it from Plato.

There is also a Catholic writer who indicates that the image or perhaps mark of the beast may be something that resembles that Constantinian cross:

Priest P. Huchedé (19th century): Antichrist will further make all men, great and small, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, bear a sign on their right arm or their forehead. (Apoc. 13:16). What this sign shall be time alone will reveal. Yet there are some {Catholic} commentators of the Holt Writ, who, according to a special revelation pretend to say that it shall be formed out of the Greek letters X and P, interlaced…which resembles the number of Christ. (Cornelius a Lapide in Epis. 2 to Thes.). No one can either buy or sell without this mark, as specified in the Apocalypse (13:17). (Huchedé, P. Translated by JBD. History of Antichrist. Imprimatur: Edward Charles Fabre, Bishop of Montreal. English edition 1884, Reprint 1976. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 24).

If the cross is a symbol of the future Antichrist/Beast power as Priest P. Huchedé indicates it will be (and it is in a book with an official imprimatur), perhaps those who come from faiths descended from Emperor Constantine should be concerned about their religion now–before it becomes even further removed from the original faith. The Bible indicates that the true Christians will NOT have the symbol/mark needed to buy or sell when the two beasts of Revelation 13 are in power, but only those that will follow those beasts will (Revelation 13:16-17)–and while crosses may not necessarily be required everywhere, other Catholic writings suggest that in certain places, they will be.

Although all real scholars admit that the original Christians would not kill or intentionally participate in military service, after Emperor Constantine claimed to see a spear in the sky with a traverse bar (see Constantine is Why “Christians” War), the group that accepted his authority then allowed him to convene what is known as the Council of Nicea in 325. A.D.

Astoundingly to some, there are writings that indicate that those who wear crosses will be persecutors:

St. Francis de Paul (1470): These holy Cross-bearers shall reign and dominate holily over the whole world until the end of time…(Culleton, G. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL),p. 157-161).

St. Bridget of Sweden (died 1373): …war shall end when an emperor of Spanish origin will be elected, who will, in a wonderful manner, be victorious through the sign of the Cross. He shall destroy the Jewish and Mahometan sects… (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times , p. 154).

Anne Catherine Emmerich (October, 1820): citizens and peasants, many of whom were marked on the forehead with a red cross. As this army drew near, the captives and oppressed were delivered and swelled the ranks whilst the demolishers and conspirators were put to flight on all sides (Emmerich AC. The Life of Lord Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations. Schmöger edition, Vol. IV. Nihil Obstat: D. Jaegher, 14 Februari 1914. Imprimatur: A.C. De Schrevel, Brugis, 14 Februari 1914. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 2004, pp. 290-291).

Notice what one claimed to be “Mary” allegedly stated in an apparition Pfaffenhofen, Germany on June 25, 1946:

I am the great Mediatrix of Grace. The Father wants the world to recognize His handmaid…My sign is about to appear. God wills it…I cannot reveal my power to the world as yet…Then I will be able to reveal myself…Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Pray and sacrifice through me!…I will impose crosses on my children that will be as heavy and as deep as the sea because I love them in my sacrificed Son. I pray, be prepared to bear the cross in order that the Trinity may be honored (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, pp. 217-218).

Real Christians would not pray and sacrifice through Mary.

In 1958, Matous Losuta of Czechoslovakia claimed that “Mary” stated:

All my children will receive and carry the sign of the cross on their foreheads (Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen. Thunder of Justice: The Warning, the Miracle, the Chastisement, the Era of Peace. Signs of the Times Illustrated by Kaleidoscope Graphics Staff Contributor Malachi Martin Published by Maxkol Communications, 1992, p. 331).

But this is not something that the Bible advocates. (More on Mary can be found in the article Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions.)

Thus, according to various Catholic mystics and writers, those that follow a persecuting power will wear some type of cross. And according to at least one Catholic priest, it is similar to the type of cross that Emperor Constantine used, and according to that same priest, it may be an important symbol for the beasts of Revelation 13 and their followers.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?

Government report declares Hillary Clinton broke email rules

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

COGwriter

A US government report shows Hillary Clinton’s emails broke government rules:

May 25, 2015

NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while U.S. secretary of state broke government rules and was not approved by State Department security officials, according to an internal government watchdog’s report released on Wednesday.

Clinton’s use of the private email server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, for government purposes has prompted several investigations, including an ongoing probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The email controversy has hung over her campaign for months. …

“OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server,” the report said, using an abbreviation for the office of inspector general.

The report said she should have discussed the arrangement with the department’s security officials. Officials told the inspector general’s office that they “did not – and would not – approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.” The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented “security risks.” http://www.aol.com/article/2016/05/25/politico-cites-report-clinton-did-not-comply-with-policy-on-ema/21383581/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D-528266905_htmlws-main-bb

May 25, 2016

Clinton’s use of private email for personal business was “not an appropriate method,” according to the Inspector General’s 78-page analysis.

The practice began before Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state, but the fact she conducted official business on her personal email account and private server were singled out as more serious.

“By Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the department’s guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated,” the report said. “Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.” http://www.voanews.com/content/state-department-faults-clinton-and-other-former-secretaries-for-email/3345505.html

Since early March 2015, I have referred to this matter as ’email-gate’ (see Hillary Clinton’s email-gate). Other sources also have called it that. Here is a mention of it from my book Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States:

Her boss when she worked on Watergate, Bernard Nussbaum, said Hillary was prone to temper tantrums (and that she insisted back in the 1970s that Bill Clinton would become President) (Baker P, Chozick A. Hillary Clinton’s History as First Lady: Powerful, but Not Always Deft. New York Times, December 5, 2014).It is alleged that Hillary produced false documents in that job and was fired from it because of integrity issues (Fader C. Fact Check: Was Hillary Clinton fired from Watergate investigation? Florida Times Union, March 8, 2014).

Speaking of documents, in 2015, Hillary Clinton was involved in something that could be called ‘Emailgate.’ While Secretary of State, she used a personal email account and failed to use an official State department email account for government business as is advised (Holland S. Democrats scramble to defend Hillary Clinton over email flap. Reuters, March 3, 2015). Some wondered if her purpose was to hide certain information (Holland S. Democrats scramble to defend Hillary Clinton over email flap. Reuters, March 3, 2015). (pp. 33-34)

FWIW, perhaps I should mention that a few radio interviewers asked me about Hillary Clinton and her emails last Summer. Beyond the lack of propriety on this, my response was that email-gate has the potential to cause her to lose the election and possibly the nomination. However, as most of her supporters do not seem to care, she could possibly win anyway as HILLARY CLINTON HAS LONG HAD SERIOUS INTEGRITY ISSUES. Email-gate is just one more example of legally questionable actions on her part. While Hillary Clinton seems to be a hard worker, various statements from her prove that she does NOT accept many aspects of biblical morality (i.e. homosexuality and abortion) and also has problems with personal integrity.

This does NOT mean that her political opponents are necessarily worse, but she has a long history of problems. The USA needs the return of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, whether or not Hillary Clinton is overly tainted with by her handling of State Department emails.

As a former member of the US military, and one who worked for two defense contractors decades ago, let me state that it is my personal opinion that the email situation with Hillary Clinton is criminal and if others did something like this (let’s say an under-Secretary of State) that person would have been criminally prosecuted. Hillary Clinton’s endorsement and promotion of abortion and the LGBT agenda is dear to many in the mainstream media and they seem to wish to act like the emailgate scandal is just political talk or some minor thing, and not indicative that Hillary Clinton should not become the next USA President.

Whether or not certain documents were marked as “top secret” at the time, Mrs. Clinton herself should have been aware that certain information was sufficiently sensitive to be to that level. This, at minimum, shows dangerously poor national security judgment on her part.

If the email situation escalates to where it legally should–in my view this means that Hillary Clinton will face criminal charges and be convicted for what she has publicly admitted she has done, this could result in a different Democratic nominee for her party. And/or result in a Donald Trump presidency.

As far as Donald Trump goes, should he actually become President of the United States, his flamboyance and brashness will offend the Europeans, and ultimately that will not turn out well for the USA (cf. Daniel 11:39).

Time is running out for the USA. We are getting closer to the end of the 6,000 years that God is allowing humans to rule themselves, prior to the return of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the millennial reign (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? and Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

And the end of the USA will come (cf. Daniel 11:39; Habakkuk 2:6-8) whether they believe it or not.

Pray (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Some items 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/prime minister? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children.  What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on?  There are also two YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?  Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic?  A related video is titled Could Donald Trump be Apocalyptic?
Hillary Clinton in Prophecy Prophecy, Hillary Clinton? Are there prophecies that Hillary Clinton may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that she has already helped fulfill? Could Hillary Clinton be apocalyptic? Could Hillary Clinton be the final Antichrist? A video of related interest is titled Hillary Clinton and Bible Prophecy.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Women and the New Testament Church What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women? Here is a related sermon titled: New Testament Women.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 188 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition.