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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi & Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash, Mohammad Mokhber appointed Interim President

Monday, May 20th, 2024


COGwriter

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was announced dead following a helicopter crash. Here are related reports from CBS and ABC:

May 2o, 2024

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, along with the country’s foreign minister and others, were found dead Monday morning hours after their helicopter crashed in dense fog in a mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

The crash comes at a hugely tumultuous time for the Middle East amid the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month. Under Raisi, Iran has enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tension with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast such as Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. …

Iranians were quickly reassured that life would go on as it has by the country’s real top power, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Under the Islamic republic’s governing system, the president is not the ultimate decision maker, and all other government officials, along with the military and all law enforcement agencies, answer ultimately to Khamenei, who at 85 has ruled over the country since 1989. …

Khamenei expressed his condolences for Raisi in a message conveyed by state media on Monday morning, in which he also announced a five-day mourning period and confirmed that Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was stepping into the role until elections are held. … Raisi, a hard-liner, had been viewed as a protégé of Khamenei and some analysts believed he could even replace the octogenarian supreme leader when the ayatollah dies or steps down. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iranian-president-ebrahim-raisi-killed-helicopter-crash/

The helicopter crash in which Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and other officials were killed is likely to reverberate across the Middle East, where Iran’s influence runs wide and deep.

That’s because Iran has spent decades supporting armed groups and militants in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, allowing it to project power and potentially deter attacks from the United States or Israel, the sworn enemies of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. …

Israel has long viewed Iran as its greatest threat because of Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, its ballistic missiles and its support for armed groups sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Iran views itself as the chief patron of Palestinian resistance to Israeli rule, and top officials for years have called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Raisi, who was a hard-liner viewed as a protégé and possible successor of Khamenei, chastised Israel last month, saying “the Zionist Israeli regime has been committing oppression against the people of Palestine for 75 years.”

“First of all we have to expel the usurpers, secondly we should make them pay the cost for all the damages they have created, and thirdly, we have to bring to justice the oppressor and usurper,” he said.

Israel is believed to have carried out numerous attacks over the years targeting senior Iranian military officials and nuclear scientists.

There is no evidence Israel was involved in Sunday’s helicopter crash, 05/19/24 https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/helicopter-crash-reverberate-middle-east-irans-influence-runs-110379824

NBC posted the following related to Iran’s now interim president.

Who is Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s interim president?

May 20, 2024

First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, 68, has been named interim president until new elections are held within 50 days.

Like Raisi, Mokhber is believed to be close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who serves as the head of state. He became vice president in 2021 alongside Raisi, who was elected his boss.

Mokhber was once under sanctions by the European Union for alleged involvement in “nuclear or ballistic missile activities.” He also headed Setad, an investment fund linked to Khamenei that was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/live-blog/iran-president-raisis-helicopter-crashes-search-rescue-efforts-underwa-rcna152970#rcrd41984

Mohammad Mokhber’s alleged involvement in “nuclear or ballistic missile activities” might suggest that he believes both should be used–and most likely against the nation called Israel.

Furthermore, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is getting older and the death of Ebrahim Raisi likely will get him to think more about, not only a successor, but what he wants to accomplish before he dies.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants Israel gone. Here is an older report:

20 May 2020

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said he seeks Israel’s destruction but not the annihilation of all Jews,

Khamenei was commenting on a poster published on his website that used the words “final solution” in calling for Israel’s destruction, a term usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews during the Holocaust.

“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account.

of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said he seeks Israel’s destruction but not the annihilation of all Jews, after Israeli and American leaders accused him of encouraging genocide. He said Iran would support any nation or group that fights against Israel.

Khamenei was commenting on a poster published on his website that used the words “final solution” in calling for Israel’s destruction, a term usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews during the Holocaust.

“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Khamenei wrote on his Twitter account.

“This is ‘Eliminating Israel’” he explained, insisting “it will happen.” He also claimed Israel only understood force and didn’t adhere by any treaty agreements. “The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied,” he said. … “We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” the Iranian leader said. https://www.timesofisrael.com/khamenei-explains-final-solution-poster-i-favor-destroying-israel-not-jews/

With that in mind, it seems reasonable to conclude that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants to take more steps to eliminate Israel.

The Bible shows that God will allow what looks to be a Iranian-Syrian confederation to strike the nation of Israel and cause great damage:

1 The burden against the Valley of Vision.

What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops, 2 You who are full of noise, A tumultuous city, a joyous city? Your slain men are not slain with the sword, Nor dead in battle. 3 All your rulers have fled together; They are captured by the archers. All who are found in you are bound together; They have fled from afar. 4 Therefore I said, “Look away from me, I will weep bitterly; Do not labor to comfort me Because of the plundering of the daughter of my people.”

5 For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord God of hosts In the Valley of Vision — Breaking down the walls And of crying to the mountain. 6 Elam bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, And Kir uncovered the shield. 7 It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys Shall be full of chariots, And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. 11 You also made a reservoir between the two walls For the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, Nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning, For baldness and for girding with sackcloth. 13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,”Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 22:1-14 NKJV)

Elam is a reference to at least some in Iran. God’s word has the expression “the Syrians from Kir” (Amos 9:7), which is basically confirmation that Kir of Isaiah 22 would include Syrians. The Bible also tells of a time when Kir will be destroyed (Isaiah 15:1b) and also says that Syria’s capital Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1).While this does not mean that Kir must (or must only) be a reference to Syria, the fact that Syria is an ally of Iran is interesting.

In Isaiah 22: 8, “Judah” is a reference to those in the land commonly called Israel–God will allow Israel to be attacked! In Isaiah 22:9, consider that “the damage to the city of David” is a reference to at least part of Jerusalem–and notice that the damage will be great. The fulfillment of Isaiah 22:6-9 could lead to the prophesied peace deal of Daniel 9:26-27 and the countdown to the start of the Great Tribulation.

I ran across an old Eastern Orthodox Catholic writing a few days ago, that I had forgotten about:

Oracle of Baalbek: And the name of this King is concealed among the nations; and his name is similar to the last day, and it is written from the 18th letter. And when he will receive his empire, his name will be Anastasius, (Anastasois). This king is bald headed, handsome … In his day the Persians will rise up and destroy the cities of the East … (Tzima Otto H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, p. 64).

The above, which is believed to have been written over a thousand years ago during the Byzantine reign, is a prediction of a leader to rise up, that many Greco-Roman Catholic writings look forward to called the Great Monarch. He looks to be similar to the one that the Bible refers to as the Beast, the final King of the North of Daniel 11. Notice the belief that he will be around when the Persians–the Iranians–have destroyed cities in the East. Jerusalem was east (as well as south) of the old Byzantium Empire. This looks to be in alignment with Isaiah 22:6-9.

That said, last year, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following Bible News Prophecy video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel related to Iran and Israel:

15:03

Iran and Israel Conflict

European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrel, has been brokering the nuclear negotiations involving Iran and said that he thinks the deal is “in danger.” Iran blames the United States, whereas the USA says they are not delaying it. Israeli sources stated that Israel will stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Joe Biden says the USA would use its own military power to prevent Iran from getting such a bomb if need be. In 2021, Iranian lawmakers have submitted a bill seeking the government by law to commit to Israel’s destruction by the year 2040. Does the 22nd chapter of Isaiah point to damage coming to Israel from Iran and possibly Syria? Might Iran be concerned enough about limited progress with the USA to launch some type of attack? Is Iran the prophesied ‘King of the South’? Is it reasonable to think that the prophesied peace deal of Daniel 9:27 will not happen until after a military conflict. like a regional war? Should Christians watch the Middle East? Dr. Thiel and Steve Dupuie discuss these matters.

Here is a link to our video: Iran and Israel Conflict.

Matters in the Middle East are unsettled and a change of leadership in Iran may well lead Iran to take further military action against Israel this year.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here are links to two related videos Iran In Prophecy and  Iran and Israel Conflict.
Islamic and Biblical Prophecies for the 21st Century This is a free online book which helps show where biblical and Islamic prophecies converge and diverge.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Greco-Roman Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Greco-Roman Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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.
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.

Could 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? 2031 or ? There is also a video titled: When Does the 6000 Years End? 2031? 2035? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.

 

Mark of the Gospel, Venice, and Apostolic Succession

Monday, May 20th, 2024

The Casket Claimed to be that of Mark of Alexandria in Venice (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

My wife Joyce and I have visited St. Mark’s Square and the related church in Venice, Italy on several occasions.

People in Venice repeatedly have been told, and often believe, that they have the body of Mark, the Gospel writer. Essentially, the old Venetians stole a body from Alexandria, Egypt centuries ago. This was the body that the Alexandrians claimed was Mark, the writer of the Gospel bearing his name.

Here is the story behind one of the mosaics at the square:

The mosaic (said to be of Saint Alipio) that overlooks the first portal on the right hand side dates back to 1260. It tells the story of two merchants: Rustico from Torcello and Bruno from Malamocco who in 828 secretly stole the body of San Marco from Alessandria (Egypt). From the picture you can see the two merchants avoid the Muslim guards by hiding the body of St Mark underneath pork meat, (food considered dirty according to Islam) and calling out ‘canzir’ that in Arabic means pork. The disgusted guards reacted by not inspecting the load, enabling the corpse to be taken aboard the ship that set sail immediately for Venice. http://www.tours-italy.com/venice-about-st_marks_basilica.htm

San Marco means “Saint Mark.”

As it turns out, some believe that the arrival of the corpse of “Mark” in Venice fulfilled a private prophecy, which is one reason that this is accepted. Some also believe the idea that Mark indirectly founded Venice by founding a bishopric in Aquileia (which is about 125 km away). This seems to be based upon legends found in eighth century writings (Sethre J. The souls of Venice. McFarland, 2003, p. 28). Because of these legends, the Venetians claim that the gospel writer Mark founded their church (the Alexandrians also claim Mark).

As far as the ‘prophecy’ of Mark’s body goes, here is one account of it:

In the “legend of predestination,” ratified by Andrea Dandolo, Mark of the Gospel becomes Mark of Venice. An angel brings him a message while he pauses amidst the Venetian marshes. at the very site where Rivus Altus/Venice will rise centuries later: “Pax tibi, Marce, evangelista meus.” The message foresees Mark’s spiritual presence in the city. The arrival of his relics in 828 “confirms” the truth of that prophecy. (Sethre J. The souls of Venice. McFarland, 2003, p. 28).

Whether or not Mark was in Venice, many believe the Venetians taking of a body in Alexandria fulfills this prophecy. Yet, as will be discussed later, Mark’s body was not actually in Alexandria, thus in the physical sense, the prophecy is clearly false.

Some Religious History of Venice

Those in the ‘Patriarchate of Venice’ believe that the gospel writer Mark may have visited some of the outlying islands or at least one he ordained came to their area. Notice also the following:

The Venetian islands at first belonged to the diocese of Altino or the diocese of Padua, under jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Aquileia, believed to be the successor of St. Mark.

It is certain that during the Lombard invasion (568-572) many bishops of the invaded mainland escaped under protection of the Byzantine fleet in the eastern lagoons. The Archbishop himself took refuge in Grado, where he was claimed as Patriarch, during the schism of the Three Chapters. At the end of the invasion, many of the ancient diocese of the mainland were restored by the Lombards, while the Exiles supported the new sees in the lagoons. Two patriarchs emerged from the war and from the schism (at least solved in 698): Patriarchate of Old-Aquileia on the mainland and Patriarchate of Grado…

774. In that year, with the consent of pope Adrian I and the Patriarch of Grado John IV, an episcopal see was erected on the island of Olivolo (afterwards called Castello) with jurisdiction over Gemini, Rialto, Luprio and Dorsoduro. The first bishop, Obelerius, was invested and enthroned by the Doge of Venice, Maurice Galbaio, and ordained by the Patriarch. After Obelerius’ death, the doge named Christopher from Damiata in 798, a member of the Greek party (that is, the partisans of the Eastern Emperor). Patriarch John, a member of the Frankish party (the partisans of Charlemagne) refused to consecrate him, due to his extreme youth. A subsequent confrontation led to the murder of Patriarch John. John was succeeded by his nephew Fortunato from Trieste, who placed himself under the protection of the Frank-Lombard Kingdom and to a confused period, during which the chair of Olivolo was a long struggle. The same Duchy was invaded by the Franks, that besieged the (political) Metamaucus and were defeated and expelled only in 810. The victorious Greek party, led by the new ducal family of Parteciaci, in 812 moved the ducal see from Metamaucus to the more secure Rialto, at the center of the lagoon. A new city was created by the merger of the central islands, including Olivolo: that city was Venice. Finally, after the death of Patriarch Fortunato in 825, Orso, son of the doge John I Pateciacus, became bishop of the city. Under him, the relics of the Evangelist St. Mark were transferred from the Muslim dominated Alexandria of Egypt and brought to Venice…

In 1074 Bishop Henry, from the noble family of Contarini, was the first to bear the title of Bishop of Castello, indicating the complete merger of the island of Olivolo with Venice…Patriarchs of Grado began to reside in Venice more and more until in 1105 they definitely transferred to the city, with their own church at St. Silvestrus. For the next three centuries, three bishops resided in Venice: the Patriarch of Grado, the Primicerius of St. Mark and the Bishop of Castello, each one with his own jurisdiction.

The city gathered relics, especially from the East, and especially after the conquest of Constantinople. After 1204, the icon of the Madonna called Nicopoeia, which is still in St. Mark’s, arrived. (Patriarch of Venice, Wikipedia, viewed 06/09/13)

The diocese of Venice was basically created in 774 as suffragan of the Patriarchate of Grado. It is alleged that because the Venetians did not wish to have to fully accepted papal authority, that they decided to take the alleged body of Mark from the Eastern Orthodox of Alexandria Egypt in order to claim an apostolic tie that was not directly part of Rome. At this time, the “Great Schism” of 1054 (which is how the Eastern Orthodox describe it) had not happened yet and Rome officially still recognized their claimed ‘apostolic sees’.

This seemed to work for the Venetians for a while, especially when they were in the height of their power (they basically had a monopoly on making clear glass for some time, which made them fairly wealthy). But they eventually reunited with Rome.

In 1457, basically because in consideration of the political influence of the city, its bishops were accorded the title of patriarch by the Pope.

Within the Latin Church, Rome recognizes five Latin sees, including the Diocese of Rome. The others, which it accords the title of Patriarchate, also include Venice, Lisbon, the East Indies, and Jerusalem.

By tradition, the Patriarch of Venice becomes a cardinal at the consistory following his appointment, although the Pope is not bound by law to do this. So, basically the Venetians feel special and have more influence than the average Catholic diocese.

The fact that the biblical Mark was not part of a faith that would have encouraged the collection and adoration of relics does not seem to bother the Venetians.

Mark, the Alexandrians, and the Body

As far as Mark being the bishop of the Alexandrians, that is simply not true.

The fact that it is, at best, highly-questionable has long been known by the Church of Rome. Notice what the old The Catholic Encyclopedia taught:

A widespread, if somewhat late, tradition represents St. Mark as the founder of the Church of Alexandria. Though strangely enough Clement and Origen make no reference to the saint’s connection with their city…the chronology of the Apostolic age is admittedly uncertain, and that we have no earlier authority than Eusebius for the date of the foundation of the Alexandrian Church, we may perhaps conclude with more probability that it was founded somewhat later…the New Testament is silent in regard to St. Mark, for his activity in Egypt. (MacRory, Joseph. “St. Mark.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 17 Aug. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09672c.htm>)

A “late tradition” means that it was likely made up over a century later. The fact is that the biblical Mark could not have been the first “Bishop of Alexandria,” and probably did not even visit Alexandria. Origen wrote so much that it is almost inconceivable that he would not have pointed to a biblical connection to Alexandria if one actually existed. The fact that the New Testament does not mention Mark in Egypt (but instead mentions him in many other places) should show that there are major problems with the later tradition. Despite the facts, in late 2012, the then Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria as the “See of Saint Mark,” which it could not be (Pope Benedict’s Message to His Holiness Tawadros II. From the Vatican 11/14/12;. Zenit.org, November 19, 2012).

Perhaps it should also be noted that the body that is in Venice now is not even certain to be the body that was taken from Alexandria as the Venetians lost it. Here is an explanation:

In 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, St. Mark’s relics could not be found. However, according to tradition, in 1094 the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The newfound remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica. Copts believe that the head of St. Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in St. Mark’s Cairo’s Cathedral. (Wikipedia, viewed 06/03/2013)

Thus, the body is at best incomplete. It is not Mark’s body, and even what is there now may have been just thrown together from some bones not even from Alexandria. Mark is dead and in his grave and he did not appear to tell the Venetians where some of his body parts were.

It is not possible, according to the scriptural accounts, for Mark to have been the Bishop of Alexandria when the Alexandrians (and Copts) claim that he was. Those who falsely believe that (and those that falsely believe a lot of other theological lies) would not have that problem if they would truly heed Jesus’ words:

31 “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Allegory and fable is not on the same level as the literal truth of the word of God.

Mark is Not Mentioned as Being in Alexandria or Venice in the Bible

Since Mark is mentioned many times in the New Testament (never with the title of apostle or Bishop), the apparent dates and events in the Bible that mention Mark demonstrate that Mark could not have been the Bishop of Alexandria at that time. The Bible clearly shows that Mark was in, or traveling to, many other places. The area of Venice is not mentioned either, though it is theoretically more possible that Mark could have visited Venice than been Bishop of Alexandria.

As far as Mark and his locations, around 43-44 A.D., Mark is mentioned first in Acts 12:12, when he is praying in Jerusalem. Herod is noted as dying in Acts 12:20-23, which was in 44 A.D. (Radmacher, p. 1813). Sometime after Herod’s death, notice:

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark (Acts 12:25).

Thus, Mark was in Jerusalem and then went with Paul and Barnabas.

In 46 A.D. Mark spent time with Paul and Barnabas in the Antioch Church before he accompanied them as a helper on their first missionary journey.

Mark apparently went with Paul and Barnabas from around 47-49 A.D.

But Paul was not pleased with Mark and did not want him to accompany him on the next trip:

37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus (Acts 15:37-39).

Notice that Paul considered Mark unfaithful, and that Mark then went to the island of Cyprus (not Alexandria). There is no way anyone should have considered the unfaithful Mark to have been a faithful “apostle” at that time, around 50-53 A.D.

Later, Paul apparently changed his mind about Mark.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him) (Colossians 4:10).

This occurred around 60 A.D. and Mark is believed to have been with Paul in Rome then. He could have possibly passed by the islands near Venice then, but the Bible does not specify.

Around 64-67 A.D., Paul declared that Mark was useful:

11 Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

It should be noted that the Bible never mentions that Mark was ever in Alexandria, and gives no indication that he was a “bishop” over any area.

Instead the biblical account clearly contradicts the position of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria, that Mark was its bishop from 42-62 A.D. as Mark was in Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Cyprus, and other areas during this time. Plus, according to various historians, he was still alive in 67 A.D.

Also notice what other scholars have noted:

… Alexandria, the second home of Judaism, occupies no place in the development of the Church as depicted for us in the Acts. (Ramsay WM. The Church in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170. (London, 1893.) as cited/discussed in Studies in early church history: collected papers. C.H. Turner,editor, Clarendon Press, 1912, p. 165)

Alexandria and Mark’s connection to it should have been in the Book of Acts if Alexandria was founded and led by him.

Furthermore, even though Eusebius mentions Mark, he noted that there was a problem with those who professed Christ early in Alexandria:

1. And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had written, and first established churches in Alexandria.

2. And the multitude of believers, both men and women, that were collected there at the very outset, and lived lives of the most philosophical and excessive asceticism was so great, that Philo thought it worth while to describe their pursuits, their meetings, their entertainments, and their whole manner of life. (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book II, Chapter XVI, Verses 1-2, p. 33)

When Nero was in the eighth year of his reign, Annianus succeeded Mark the evangelist in the administration of the parish of Alexandria (Ibid, Chapter 24, p. 42).

It should be noted that Eusebius’ source or conclusion regarding Annianus/Anianos seems to be in error. The eighth year of Nero’s reign would be 61-62 A.D. and the Orthodox do claim that Anianos was a bishop there from 62 A.D.

However, this would seem to be a historical problem if he succeeded Mark upon his death.

Why?

Because according to Peter, Mark was alive when Peter wrote 1 Peter 5:13, which states:

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son…

Furthermore, according to Irenaeus (c. 175 A.D.), Mark was alive after Peter died:

Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter…(Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 1, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), p. 414.)

While it is not certain that Peter actually preached in Rome, if Irenaeus is correct that Mark functioned as Peter’s interpreter and later wrote after the death of Peter, then it would seem that Mark could not have died before 67 A.D., nor could he have been functioning as the Bishop of Alexandria. Thus, if there was an “Apostle” Mark in Alexandria in the 1st century, he would have been a false apostle and not the Mark who the New Testament discusses.

Probably little of this mattered to the old Venetians. They basically wanted to pretend enough to be Catholic that the Church of Rome could not brand them as heretics or apostates worthy of punishment. Having a body and claiming to have been related to Mark was politically-expedient. And whether or not this was a factor, for a long time the Church of Rome left Venice basically alone.

Pope Francis, however, teaches that Mark was the one that the Alexandrians, and thus by semi-extension Venice, had apostolic succession from (see Pope Francis’ appeal to Pope Tawadros II should concern Catholics and others).

Doctrines That Mark Would Have Held Should Matter

Of course, the gospel writer Mark would have had doctrines that the faithful and real Christians had.

Notice something that Mark was inspired to write:

19…Jesus…27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:19, 27-28)

But neither the Venetians nor the Alexandrians keep the seventh-day Sabbath as Jesus and Mark would have.

Mark was also inspired to write:

11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.'” (Mark 4:11-12)

30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32)

Yet neither the Venetians nor the Alexandrians teach or understand about the mystery of the Kingdom of God nor the real meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

To a great degree, the Venetians and Alexandrians hold to tradition above scripture in many areas. Jesus noted the same problem in His day, as Mark was inspired to report:

6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:6-9)

For those who want to learn more about what God inspired Mark to write, we have a series of sermons that cover every verse of Mark’s Gospel:

MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles, Mark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and Parables, Mark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and Restoration, Mark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & Taxes, Mark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and .

Mark, like the other Gospel writers, reported about Passover:

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”

13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”

16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

17 In the evening He came with the twelve. (Mark 14:12-18)

That Passover was on the fourteenth of Nisan as nearly all scholars will admit. That day was condemned by the Greco-Roman faiths, but Mark would have kept it then. Yet, those associated with the Venetians and Alexandrians do not.

The following also would have been doctrines that Mark would have held to that the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Venice do not hold:

Baptism was by immersion and did not include infants.
A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.
Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.
Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion.
Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.
Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings. Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do.
Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.
Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians. Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.
Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.
Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught. Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
The Kingdom of God was preached. You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same. See also the video : Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Lent was not observed by the primitive church.
Limbo was not taught by the original church.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians. A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians. A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor. There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians. Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.
Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
God’s Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ. There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.
Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and gospel proclamation.
Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.
The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.

The fact that the Alexandrians and Venetians of the Middle Ages did not have the same teachings or practices of the gospel writer Mark probably did not matter to the Venetians of old either.

Sadly, the fact that those associated with the Venetian and Alexandrian patriarchs today do not hold those practices should give them pause to consider, if Mark was their founder, how can they claim that if they do not do what he would have done or believe as he did?

Why is any of this important to Christians?

There are basically two reasons.

The first is the reality that the so-called ‘apostolic sees’ that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox claim simply do not hold to the teachings of the original apostles, hence none truly have ‘apostolic succession.’

The fact that their origins are often, directly or indirectly (such as the non-fulfilled “prophecy” about Mark returning to Venice), based on false or implausible information should show all that they do not have “the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

The second is that we who have that “love of the truth” need to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV) as to why we do not accept the improper Greco-Roman versions of church doctrine or history. The truth of church history needs to be restored and brought to light (cf. Matthew 5:14-16; 17:11).

The time is coming when the Beast power will rise up and, at first, I expect that he and his supporters will give lip service to the idea of the Greco-Roman apostolic sees as partial proof why they, and not groups like the Continuing Church of God, have ties to apostolic Christianity. They will be wrong, of course. But we of the faithful flock need to be able to explain why they are wrong and that is part of why I posted this about the claimed ‘see’ of Venice.

Only those who have the same teachings and practices of the apostles can possibly have true apostolic succession.

Which brings to the third point: we in the Church of God do have apostolic succession.

In the Continuing Church of God we trace our succession through what has been called the “Apostolic See of Ephesus,” but also sometimes called the “See of Smyrna.”

Some items to assist in your studies may include:

MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles, Mark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and Parables, Mark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and Restoration, Mark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & Taxes, Mark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and .
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, PassoverWhat Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & CelibacyEarly Heresies and HereticsDoctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, MeatsTithes, Crosses, Destiny, and moreSaturday or Sunday?The GodheadApostolic Laying on of Hands SuccessionChurch in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession ListHoly Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
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? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “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?
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
Laying on of Hands Succession and List Does the Church of God have laying on of hands succession? Does the Continuing Church of God have a list of leaders from the time of the apostles? Here is a link to a related sermon: Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession.

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! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
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? A related sermon is also available Christianity: 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? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation.
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.
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?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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?

RT: Russian economic growth hits 5.4%; ZH: Russia & China – Two Against One

Sunday, May 19th, 2024

COGwriter

RT reported the following:

Russian economic growth hits 5.4%

19 May 2024

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, the state statistics agency Rosstat said in a preliminary report published on Friday.

According to the estimates, Russia saw robust growth in retail turnover (up 10.5%), manufacturing (up 8.8%) and construction (3.5%) in January-March. …

The positive data comes despite multiple rounds of Western sanctions introduced since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

The measures have ranged from blacklisting most Russian banks and cutting them from the SWIFT interbank messaging system, to freezing some $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves.

As a result, GDP suffered a downturn in 2022, contracting 1.2%. However, data for 2023 showed that the economy has recovered, posting growth of 3.6%. Many analysts have attributed this performance to Russia’s trade pivot to the East, and economic policies implemented to offset the effect of restrictions. https://www.rt.com/business/597842-russia-economy-growth-quarter/

One of the unintended consequences of the Crimea-related sanctions placed on Russia by the Obama-Biden Administration was that Russia took steps to be more “sanctions-proof.” And while Russia is affected by the Western sanctions, they have not toppled like the USA and EU wanted. For example, notice the following Voice of America reported the end of March 2022:

Russia’s Ruble Rebound Raises Questions of Sanctions’ Impact

March 31, 2022

The ruble is no longer rubble. …

President Joe Biden promoted the success of the sanctions — some of the toughest ever imposed on a nation — while he was in Poland last week. “The ruble almost is immediately reduced to rubble,” Biden said.

https://www.voanews.com/a/russia-s-ruble-rebound-raises-questions-of-sanctions-impact-/6509012.html

While sanctions do impact the Russian economy, there are costs to those who impose them. US President Joe Biden’s statement of the ruble’s (also spelled rouble) demise to rubble were premature at best.

Sanctions and tariffs almost always have unintended consequences.

Yet, the Biden-Harris Administration announced higher tariffs against China last week (see Joe Biden hits Chinese electric cars with 102% tariff).

There is an expression that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

With that in mind, notice the following:

Ex-CIA Ray McGovern: Russia & China – Two Against One

May 18, 2024

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s extremely warm reception of President Vladimir Putin yesterday in Beijing sealed the increasingly formidable Russia-China strategic relationship. It amounts to a tectonic shift in the world balance of power.

The Russia-China entente also sounds the death knell for attempts by U.S. foreign policy neophytes to drive a wedge between the two countries. The triangular relationship has become two-against-one, with serious implications, particularly for the war in Ukraine. If US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy geniuses remain in denial, escalation is almost certain. …

Xi and Putin signed a strong joint statement Thursday, similar to the extraordinary one the two issued on Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. It portrayed their relationship as “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation…”

The full import of that statement did not hit home until Putin launched the Special Military Operation into the Donbass three weeks later. China’s muted reaction shocked most analysts, who had dismissed the possibility that Xi would give “best friend” Putin, in effect, a waiver on China’s bedrock policy of non-interference abroad. …

When Biden took office in 2021, his advisers assured him that he could play on Russia’s fear (sic) of China and drive a wedge between them. This became embarrassingly clear when Biden indicated what he had told Putin during their Geneva summit on June 16, 2021.

That meeting gave Putin confirmation that Biden and his advisers were stuck in a woefully outdated appraisal of Russia-China relations. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ex-cia-ray-mcgovern-russia-china-two-against-one

The Bideb-Harris Administration should have realized from its beginning that China wants Taiwan and it has long realized that Russia would be a better ally for the goal than the USA which opposes it.

China and Russia are already working together militarily (see Russia and China pledge more cooperation as they look to prepare a Eurasian military opposition to the West) and economically (see ZH: Make China Great Again!).

Furthermore, as I have long written, the biblical reality is that Russia and China will work together militarily (e.g. Revelation 16:12-16).

Here is something from my free online book, Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America?, discussing the three woes along with Russia and China:

In the last verse of Revelation 8 (verse 13) the word woe is repeated three times and is later connected to three angels and three trumpet blasts which correspond to the blowing of the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpets.

The first woe (5th trumpet) is described in Revelation 9:1-11. It involves a demonically-led force which causes torment (perhaps involving a plague of germ or chemical warfare) for those not having the seal of God (Revelation 9:4)—thus those of the 144,000 who were sealed in Revelation 7:4 are not tormented by this.

This woe looks to involve at least some of the European King of the North’s military and is consistent with something from Daniel:

44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. (Daniel 11:44)

Looking at this verse, what could be north and east of the European Beast power?

Russia, for one, which is both in Europe and Asia. Daniel suggests that it, and some of its allies, will face some of the fury of the King of the North as part of the first woe.

Despite some erroneous claims, Russia, itself, is NOT the prophesied “King of the North,” but it is prophetically pointed to as the power of “the far north” (cf. Ezekiel 38:6, 39:1-2).

Going on from the first woe comes the second woe:

12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:12-21)

Such a massively large army was not possible to be put together when Jesus had John pen the Book of Revelation in the 1st century. In the 21st century, however, it is possible, and that army would be expected to include Chinese, Indian, Russian, and other Asian peoples.

The European Beast empire will not last, but will fear what is coming.

Notice also the following from the Hebrew scriptures:

2 … A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.

3 A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. 4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. 5 With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array.

6 Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. (Joel 2:2-6)

During the second woe, the 200,000,000 man army looks to tie in with Joel 2:2 which discusses some of that army’s expected actions.

Before going further, understand that current projects like China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Europe’s Global Gateway are looking to connect Asia, Europe, and the Middle East in ways that look to be building infrastructure that a 200 million man army would use in order to get to Europe and the Middle East.

Peoples prophetically called Medes are also shown to destroy the final Babylon according to both Isaiah and Jeremiah:

1 The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw…

17 “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,
Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it. 18 Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; Their eye will not spare children. 19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. (Isaiah 13:1, 17-19)

11 Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it,
Because it is the vengeance of the Lord, The vengeance for His temple. (Jeremiah 51:11)

The fact that there are multiple kings of the Medes indicates that powers involved in this end time confederation represent multiple governments. This would seem to include Russia, Belarus, and likely Crimea, Donbas, and some others in Ukraine, some in Moldova, perhaps some from the nation of Georgia, and some in Iran, etc.

Anciently, “Darius the Mede” (Daniel 5:31) conquered old Babylon—modern “Medes” will help do the same to the end-time daughter of Babylon.

The following passages seem also to apply:

8 “Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; And be like the rams before the flocks. 9 For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon An assembly of great nations from the north country, And they shall array themselves against her; From there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; None shall return in vain. (Jeremiah 50:8-9)

Those who believe the Bible should leave the midst of end-time Babylon by then. Certainly, the above “north country” includes Russia, but other passages clearly point to others from Asia being involved (Jeremiah 51:27-29).

Notice some of what will happen to the coming European Babylonian Beast power led by a power from the farthest parts of the earth (Russia is the nation that is the farthest east and close to being the farthest north nation):

22 Thus says the Lord: “Behold, a people comes from the north country, And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth.

23 They will lay hold on bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”

24 We have heard the report of it; Our hands grow feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, Pain as of a woman in labor. 25 Do not go out into the field, Nor walk by the way. Because of the sword of the enemy, Fear is on every side. 26 O daughter of my people, Dress in sackcloth And roll about in ashes! Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us. (Jeremiah 6:22-26)

41 “Behold, a people shall come from the north, And a great nation and many kings Shall be raised up from the ends of the earth. 42 They shall hold the bow and the lance; They are cruel and shall not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea; They shall ride on horses, Set in array, like a man for the battle, Against you, O daughter of Babylon.

43 “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, And his hands grow feeble; Anguish has taken hold of him, Pangs as of a woman in childbirth.  (Jeremiah 50:41-43)

The “great nation” from the “farthest parts of the earth” includes Russia. There are also nations that will be confederate with it. Those would also include China and other nations in Asia, and particularly in the Far East. The “Daughter of Babylon” Jeremiah referred to is not ancient Babylon, but the end-time European power. The “kings … from the ends of the earth” seem to include South Africa and India, which are BRICS nations which have also conducted military drills with Russia and China.[i] Some nations in South America may also be involved as they seem to be part of the “ends of the earth.” Consider that Brazil and Russia already have a variety of military agreements.[ii] When the “daughter of Babylon” is in the process of falling, many will abandon supporting it. Jeremiah 50 is part of the second woe.[iii]

The second woe, according to scripture, ends 3 ½ days after the two witnesses are killed per Revelation 11:7-14. That is quickly followed by the third woe and the blowing of the 7th trumpet (Revelation 11:14-15).

Jesus returns with this trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:16) which is also the last trumpet when Christians rise up (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). While that is comforting for Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:18), this angers the nations (Revelation 11:15-18).

So, the nations that gathered in Armageddon to fight the forces of the Beast, despite issues between them, will unite to fight Jesus, Himself! This is also described in Zechariah 14 and Joel 3.

The third woe releases the seven last plagues (Revelation 15:1), with victorious Christians then pictured on the sea of glass (Revelation 15:2).

During the third woe, when God sends corrective punishments, because the non-Christians refused to repent:

9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Revelation 16:9)

Notice something else that happens during this third woe:

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12-16)

Forces from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean would be expected to gather related to ‘Armageddon’ as “the whole world” (Revelation 16:13-16) will be involved.

[i] Maromo J. SA-China-Russia military exercise … IOL, January 22, 2023; Pasricha A. India and China to Take Part in Joint Military Drills with Russia. Voice of America News, August 31, 2022

[ii] Shoigu lauds Brazil as ‘important strategic partner’ for Russia in Latin America. Tass, February 16, 2022

[iii] Lesson 36 – Feast of Trumpets – Why Christ Must Come Again! 58 Lesson Ambassador College Correspondence Course, 1969 revision

Russia and China are also part of the BRICS alliance. Related to the woes, we also put out the following video:

15:09

BRICS and the Woes of Revelation

The BRICS nations consist of Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa. In February of 2023, Russia, China, and South Africa held joint naval drills. In the Fall of 2022, India, Russia, and China held joint military exercises. Brazil also has a military cooperation agreement with Russia. The Book of Revelation uses the term woe three times in chapter 8 verse 13–those woes are then discussed in later chapters. Could the BRICS nations, along with the coming Babylonian European Beast power be involved in all three of the woes? Do the BRICS nations want to push aside the USA dollar? Is one of the woes tied to the rise of a 200,000,000 man army? Is there any connection to the second woe and the two witnesses? Do the woes correspond with the last of the seven trumpets in the Book of Revelation? Is one of the woes tied to Armageddon? Does Jesus return with the seventh trumpet? Will nations not be pleased when Jesus returns? Dr. Thiel and Steve Dupuie go over these matters.

Here is a link to our video: BRICS and the Woes of Revelation.

Anyway, yes, Russia, China, and others in Asia will work closer together, militarily as well as economically.

While the Bible also teaches that Europe will rise up, it shows Europe will eliminate the USA and its British-descended allies (cf. Daniel 11:39) as well as an Islamic power (Daniel 11:40-43), it also shows that a Russian-led Eurasian power will conquer Europe.

Steps towards all of those events are taking place.

Some items of related interest may include:

Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? Where did those people come from? Can you totally rely on DNA? Do you really know what will happen to Europe and the English-speaking peoples? What about the peoples of Africa, Asia, South America, and the islands? This free online book provides scriptural, scientific, historical references, and commentary to address those matters. Here are links to related sermons: Lost tribes, the Bible, and DNA; Lost tribes, prophecies, and identifications; 11 Tribes, 144,000, and Multitudes; Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty; Gentile European Beast; Royal Succession, Samaria, and Prophecies; Asia, Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Armageddon;  When Will the End of the Age Come?Rise of the Prophesied King of the North; Christian Persecution from the Beast; WWIII and the Coming New World Order; and Woes, WWIV, and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? There is also a video sermon available: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy as are two video sermonettes Russia, Ukraine, Babylonian Europe, and Prophecy and Ukraine in Prophecy?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? Are we close to the battle with Gog and Magog? Four related videos are available: Ezekiel 38 Gog and Magog War: Is it Soon?, Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?, Russia, Iran, Syria, & the Bible (Code), and Gog, Magog, Vladimir Putin, and Ezekiel 38?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? Here is a link to a related sermon: Asia in Prophecy. Two YouTube video are Is China THE Threat to the United States of America? and China: A King of the East.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? Japeth, Javan, Magog? Is there evidence that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel? What do Chinese writings and characters help show? What about the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Flood, and the Tower of Babel? Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? What about the Apostle Thomas? Did Confucius say anything to get the Chinese to possibly consider Christianity? Is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath? What about the Ten Commandments? What type of Church of God witness has there been to China? What has been happening with China that ties it together with prophecies in Revelation? What about the 200 million man army and Armageddon? What about the Belt and Road Initiative and end time Babylon the Great? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions. Watch also China’s Silk Road and Babylon the Great.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction Can the USA survive two full presidential terms? In what ways are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris apocalyptic? This book has hundreds of prophecies and scriptures to provide details.  A Kindle version is also available 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 your free Kindle reader app (or if you already have one or a Kindle),  you can go to: Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction (Kindle) to get the book in seconds.

Doomsday Clock: ‘It is still 90 seconds to midnight’ & A ‘plague’ comes before the fall

Sunday, May 19th, 2024


COGWriter

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says it is still 90 seconds to midnight according to its ‘Doomsday Clock’:

It is still 90 seconds to midnight

2024 Doomsday Clock Statement

01/23/24 https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/

I noticed a news item from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which pointed to the fall of Rome and disease today.

Here is some of what it says:

A ‘plague’ comes before the fall: lessons from Roman history

May 15, 2024

The Pax Romana—the 200-year “golden age” of the Roman Empire—was a marvel of diversity, connectivity, and unchallenged hegemony. By the middle of the second century AD, imperial Rome ruled territory across three different continents. Roughly one-quarter of the Earth’s population, some 60 million people, lived under Rome’s vast aegis, and the emperors of the age—most notably Marcus Aurelius—enjoyed the consent of those they governed. The Empire’s elites—witnessing the disciplined legions, widespread religiosity, cultural efflorescence, and dominant economy—likely expected their world order to endure forever.

In the year 166 AD, however, seemingly eternal Rome was caught completely off-guard as a deadly novel disease swept across the Eurasian landmass. It ransacked Rome’s cities for at least a decade and preceded centuries of decline. This major biological event—now known as the Antonine plague—appears to have been the world’s first pandemic. …

An interconnected, vulnerable ancient world. Historians still don’t know exactly where and when the pandemic entered Roman territory. But, again, historical circumstances conspired in favor of the novel disease.

An outbreak today can jump continents as quickly as an airplane can fly. Travel and transportation can facilitate the spread of infectious diseases. …

Marcus may have rallied Rome during the first wave. But when the plague struck northern Italy a few years later, he abandoned his friends and soldiers to a dark winter of sickness. Officials responded to drought and high grain prices with price controls, most likely disincentivizing production and making shortages even worse. In response to plague and war deaths in the legions, Marcus recruited criminals and slaves into the military. This proved fateful when, a few years later, many of them deserted and, now well-equipped and trained, turned on the cities of the Empire, pillaging and murdering in a crime wave that stretched from Asia Minor to western Europe.

While it might seem like the pandemic single-handedly caused the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, it was clearly more complicated than that. The western Roman Empire would muddle along for over 200 years, but its heyday ended with the Antonine plague. …

A globalized society is one which collaborates and coordinates—orienting markets, scientific research, and communication channels towards responding to threats and, even better, predicting and preventing them before they occur. And yet, like the Roman Empire, the strengths of the modern world order have inbuilt weaknesses. Travel and transportation are so cheap and easy that pandemic diseases seem virtually impossible to contain.  …

A vital part of our strategy must be to learn from the pandemics of the past. https://thebulletin.org/2024/05/a-plague-comes-before-the-fall-lessons-from-roman-history/

Jesus taught:

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 24:3-8)

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

Well, the Bible tells of seven seals being opened in the Book of Revelation.

The fourth seal involves the ride of the pale horse of death and pestilence–pestilence and related pandemics–unlike what we have seen with COVID, future pandemic deaths will be at a more massive scale:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

The “beast of the earth” will have to do with many things, including diseases/plagues.

Furthermore, sometime after the fourth seal is opened, the fifth seal will open and the Great Tribulation will begin.

That will lead to the end of the USA and its British-descended allies.

The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, wrote the following in 1979:

What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15…That will be a time when the UNITED Europe shall appear–the revival of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.” We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later “the beasts armies” will surround Jerusalem. Thirty days later the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain–and possibly the same day or immediately after, on the United States and Canadian cities. The GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall fully then realize, is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7. And Jacob’s name was named on Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16). At that time a third of the people in our nations will die, or shall have died, by famine and disease epidemics; another third will dies of the war–our cities being destroyed (Ezek. 6:6), and the remaining third will be carried to the land of our enemies as slaves (Ezek. 5:12). (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2).

Bible prophecy teaches that this warring Beast leader will be in place after the fourth seal of plagues and death is opened as well as just before the fifth seal is opened.

The coming European King of the North beast will gain power after a time of death and pestilence.

Related to the rise of the Beast after pestiliences, the Continuing Church of God is put out the following sermon on our ContinuingCOG channel:

1:16:57

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

As far as the doomsday clock itself goes, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about it when the doomsday clock was moved to three minutes before midnight over three decades ago:

January 15, 1984

I’m writing from Australia. But wherever I am, it is needful to keep in touch with the fast-moving world conditions. We all live in the same world. And the atomic scientists have now moved the DOOMSDAY CLOCK one more minute forward—from four to only THREE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT! …

Not too long ago if anyone mentioned “the end of the world,” people would have thought him to be a crackpot doomsday freak. But today the sanest atomic scientists and heads of nations are talking about doomsday and the END of this world.

These sober men are not wild-eyed religious fanatics. They KNOW what is actually happening. They know how the EVILS in this world are mounting. They know how the weapons of mass destruction have been produced that now can blast all human life into extinction.

AND THESE SOBER LEADERS ARE WORRIED! One said, “I am frankly scared!” They are bewildered, confused and perplexed. They see no way to stop what now seems inevitable!

That is because they don’t see GOD in their thinking. They know not what GOD says about it.

Yes, many events in the world are worrying scientists in the world–and for many of them, it is worse than it was decades ago. Of course, most scientists and leaders do not know that God has a plan.

Now it should be conveyed that, to a degree, changes of the ‘doomsday clock’ have mainly been meant to send a political message.

But are we closer to the end?

Certainly.

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.”

The Bible clearly teaches that the “end of the world” will come and that there will be specific events Christians should look for which will let them know how close “the end” is. 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.

As far as how close to the end we are, check out the following article: Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?

The end is coming soon, and 90 seconds to midnight is a little bit of a stretch, but we are not too many years from the start of the Great Tribulation now.

However, unlike what happened in Rome, one or more coming plagues may be caused by humans messing around with pathogenic microorganisms (e.g. watch Bird Flu and 4th Horseman’s Ride).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Might the U.S.A. Be Gone in 2028? Could the USA be gone by the end of 2028? There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2024, 2025, or 2026? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Tribulation in 2024? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
Biological Warfare and Prophecy. Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Bird Flu and 4th Horseman’s Ride The World Health Organization (WHO) is greatly concerned that the avian flu (H5N1) is passing to cows and goats and then to humans. Have farmers done anything, like feeding chicken manure to cows, that might have affected them? Were unnatural feedings of ground up animals to cows (which are vegetarians) the cause of ‘mad cow disease’? Does the avian flu have an exceedingly high mortality rate for humans? Have any scientists suggested bird flu could be 100 times worse than COVID? Are the USA and China working on making bird flu more infectious? If so, why? Can scientists control all that can happen with biological experiments? Did Jesus warn about pestilences? Could scientists, farmers, corporations, governments, or just regular consumers cause diseases like those that will happen during the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Dr. Thiel and Steve Dupuie address these topics in this video.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled Sorrows and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Here are links to shorter videos: These Signs of the 4 Horsemen Have Begun and Biological Weapons and the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Here is a version of that sermon in Spanish: El Cuarto Caballo, El COVID y El Surgimiento de la Bestia del Apocalipsis. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Greco-Roman Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. Two related sermons are available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? and The Godhead and the Trinity. A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Could 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? 2031 or 2025 or? There is also a video titled: When Does the 6000 Years End? 2031? 2035? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses some early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, CG7-Salem, Jerusalem 7DCG, and COG-7th Day-Denver. Here are two historical sermons: Sardis Church Era: Beginnings, Doctrines, and Leaders and Sardis: SDBs, SDAs, & CG7s.
6. 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.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 50+ Laodicean Prophetic Errors. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

BibleNewsProphecy: Christian Monks?

Sunday, May 19th, 2024

Monks Valley, Cappadochia, Turkey (Pexels)

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to suggest the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

14:48

Christian Monks?

What is a monk? Is this something Christians should strive to attain? What does the Jewish ‘Temple Institute’ teach? What about the Hebrew scriptures? What about the New Testament? What was the one thing that God said related to the creation in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Genesis that was not good? What did Jesus teach about one’s light shining and burying one’s talent? Are there both physical and spiritual monks? Are Christians to live as monks or serve others? When does the Church of Rome teach that monasticism started in the West? Are tonsures, such as those worn by priests of the Egyptian god Isis and the sun-god Mithra condemned in the Book of Leviticus? What did Jesus warn end-time Christians? How are Christians supposed to live? Do Philadelphian Christians have the type of love to support the fulfillment of Jesus’ commissions in Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20? Where is Monks Valley, Cappadocia? What work should you support? Are ‘independent Christians’ like spiritual monks? What is your purpose? Steve Dupuie and Dr. Thiel address these issues.

Here is a link to our video: Christian Monks?

The Bible shows that Christians are to love their neighbors, which means that they would tend to have neighbors to love and assist. Including ones that do not profess Christ. A monastic lifestyle looks to be in conflict with that.

Sadly, many who claim Christianity do NOT hold to its original teachings. And many end time Christians also do not hold to the right teachings when it comes to loving others.

Do not be like them.

God has a plan for you! Do not sell yourself short by living as a physical or spiritual monk.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery? Here is a link to a related video: Christian Monks?
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? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Independent/Unaffiliated: Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings support the end time Philadelphian work? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Unity. Watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy.
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
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?
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?
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 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. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.

NM: Scientist Warns Solar Storms ‘Could Easily’ Get Bigger

Saturday, May 18th, 2024

COGwriter

Scientists have raised solar storm concerns:

More Northern Lights soon as Sun storms strengthen

18 May 2024

There is good news for anyone who enjoyed the show-stopping aurora borealis last weekend – or missed it: there are almost certainly more on the way.

The huge sunspot cluster that hurled energy and gas towards Earth will rotate back towards us in around two weeks.

Scientists say it will probably still be large and complex enough to generate more explosions that could hit Earth’s magnetic field, creating more Northern Lights.

Since last Saturday, the Sun has continued pumping out increased radiation – a huge solar flare on Tuesday disrupted high-frequency radio communications globally.

And this hyperactive sunspot won’t be the last. The Sun is approaching what is called “solar maximum” – a point during an 11-year cycle when its activity is strongest.

That happens when the Sun’s magnetic poles flip – a process that creates sunspots that fire out material, generating space weather. …

Stories of its impacts on global communications, power grids and GPS have trickled in.

These storms are not just about pretty lights – there is a downside, explains Ian Muirhead, a space systems researcher at University of Manchester:

“We’re much more technologically dependent now than we were even in the last major storm in 2003. A lot of our services come from space – we don’t even realise – it’s the glue that holds together a lot of our economy.” …

Space weather is not just a threat remote from us on Earth – something happening out there. The government considers the risks from extreme space weather greater than from earthquakes or wildfires.

On its national risk register, which also covers health pandemics like Covid-19, extreme space weather is rated “four” for likelihood and impact. “One” is for events with the lowest risk, and “five” is the highest.

An extreme space storm – more powerful than the one last weekend – could cause deaths and injuries through power failures, according to the register.

“Mobile back-up power generation would be required in some areas for a sustained period, while damaged electricity transformers are replaced, which could take several months,” it warns.

Power in urban areas could be back within hours, it says, but for people living in remote areas by the sea, it could take months for electricity transformers to be replaced.

The worst-case scenario is what people in the space weather community call a “Carrington-level event”.

They’re talking about a huge solar storm one night in 1859 that saw aurora worldwide so bright that people started to make breakfast because they thought it was daytime. https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c163j8551ygo

Scientist Warns Solar Storms ‘Could Easily’ Get Bigger

Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Jonathan McDowell told the Daily Mail on Friday that the sun has not reached its “solar maximum,” the most active point of its 11-year cycle, in which great turbulence raises the sun’s energy output. Solar storms happen when radiation and plasma erupt from the sun and can overcharge earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, causing major damage to modern technology if strong enough.

“We could easily get much bigger storms over the next year or two,” McDowell told the outlet. The maximum will arrive next summer in July 2025. https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/sun-solar-flare/2024/05/17/id/1165219/

Because of the dependency of Western societies on electricity, computers, etc., the West is certainly vulnerable to massive upheavals in the event of a massive solar flare or something that affects the earth electrically (emp-type bombs also come to mind). I suspect that there will be major electrical sorrows and troubles before the end (cf. Mark 13:8b,c). And this could cause greater damage than Oxford has estimated.

Solar storms and the related damage were discussed in my 2022 book. Here are several passages related to them, which helps show what could happen if a massive solar flare-up did not miss:

Notice the following from N.A.S.A.:

Solar Storm Warning: Researchers announced that a storm is coming—the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)…

Solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science & Technology Center (NSSTC)…has confidence in the conveyor belt model and agrees with Dikpati that the next solar maximum should be a doozy. But he disagrees with one point…a storm is coming.

Solar outbursts have been proposed that could essentially wipe out modern civilization.

Notice a scenario that is based on a report from the U.S. National Academy of Scientists (although the precise date seems to be speculative):

IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light…Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun…

According to the NAS report, a severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people…

First to go – immediately for some people – is drinkable water…With no electricity to pump water from reservoirs, there is no more…There is simply no electrically powered transport: no trains, underground or overground…For hospitals, that would mean about 72 hours of running a bare-bones, essential care only, service. After that, no more modern healthcare.

The truly shocking finding is that this whole situation would not improve for months, maybe years…

There also seems to be a couple of Mayan predictions recorded in the 16th century that suggest some type of solar flare-up will affect the earth:

Chilam Balam (Mayan priest): Heaven and earth shall burn…It is the holy judgment, the holy judgment.

Napuctun (Mayan priest): It shall burn on earth; there shall be a circle in the sky.

Another N.A.S.A./N.O.A.A. report has indicated that the next solar cycle peak may be later, like May 2013… The Bible itself warns of a time of scorching solar heat (Revelation 16:8-9…)…

that flood and other prophecies are expected before 2030 (but after 2012)

Whether or not one believes secular scientists who assert that humans are causing “global warming,” and islands will be submerged, the Bible is clear that a time of high heat will happen, probably worsened by a solar flare-up of some type. It also mentions the islands being gone:

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory…every island fled away (Revelation 16:8-9, 20).

The signs will be powerful. And the Babylonian power will fall during the Day of the Lord (Revelation 18:2).

So, my 2012 book was right that the scorching heat and certain other prophecies would not happen until after 2012. But heat and others troubles will happen.

The Bible warns about a time in the Book of Revelation of solar disturbances:

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9)

Although at least one “2012” book has tried somewhat to tie the “solar flare” disaster into the Mayan date (Joseph LE. Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilization’s End. Broadway, 2008; and that author distanced himself from aspects of his book before the Mayan date), the prophesied real time of scorching solar heat cannot come for several years. Though electrical problems with solar flares have happened in the past, and those can occur almost any time.

On December 19, 2012 I reported:

Even though there could be some solar flare damage on 12/21/12, the “big one” that many scientists are concerned about will not happen this week. (see Solar flare threat is real, but the biblical ‘big one’ is not this week)

And there was no major solar storm damage then.

Of course, in the future, there are real electrical risks for the USA, Canada, UK, and other nations.

An emp incident could be a factor in the troubles that hit prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


17:43
Could problems with the electrical power grid caused by one or more electro-magnetic pulse bombs, solar flares, and/or other phenomena help weaken the USA to the point of allowing it to be taken over? Does such potential exist? If so, is this consistent with any biblical prophecies? What are some of the severe consequences that the USA would face in the event of an electrical power grid failure? Is there evidence in scripture that the USA will be taken over in the 21st century?

Here is a link to our video: Electrical End of the USA?

Are you ready spiritually to deal with what can happen in the USA? Even if you do not live in the USA, consider how its devastation could affect you and the country you are currently living in.

But most ignore warning signs. Will you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Electrical End of the USA? Could problems with the electrical power grid caused by one or more electromagnetic pulse bombs, solar flares, and/or other phenomena help weaken the USA to the point of allowing it to be taken over? Does such potential exist? If so, is this consistent with any biblical prophecies? What are some of the severe consequences that the USA would face in the event of a electrical power grid failure? Is there evidence in scripture that the USA will be taken over in the 21st century? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.

Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? Where did those people come from? Can you totally rely on DNA? Do you really know what will happen to Europe and the English-speaking peoples? What about the peoples of Africa, Asia, South America, and the islands? This free online book provides scriptural, scientific, historical references, and commentary to address those matters. Here are links to related sermons: Lost tribes, the Bible, and DNA; Lost tribes, prophecies, and identifications; 11 Tribes, 144,000, and Multitudes; Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty; Gentile European Beast; Royal Succession, Samaria, and Prophecies; Asia, Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Armageddon;  When Will the End of the Age Come?Rise of the Prophesied King of the North; Christian Persecution from the Beast; WWIII and the Coming New World Order; and Woes, WWIV, and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

PCG: Two World Powers Are Fighting for the Mediterranean Sea

Saturday, May 18th, 2024


PCG booklet focused on Iran

COGwriter

The latest post at PCG’s Trumpet website has the following by its Gerald Flurry:

Two World Powers Are Fighting for the Mediterranean Sea

The nation that gets control of the Mediterranean Sea will rule the Middle East. Iran is prophesied to have two big allies in Africa that are located on the Mediterranean Sea: Libya and Egypt. Libya is an ally already; Egypt will be. Egypt is probably within months of becoming an ally of Iran, the prophesied king of the south! …

Libya and Ethiopia are prophesied in your Bible by their modern names. Since these nations border the Mediterranean Sea, and Egypt borders the Red Sea, Iran will be greatly empowered. …

Germany possesses geostrategic vision, and has for a long time. It has started two world wars and many other wars as well. When we look into its history, we see how vitally important the Mediterranean is to its strategy. It is a top priority, central to its planning.

Germany and Iran are at war for control of the Mediterranean Sea. …

Germany is prophesied to lead the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. The 10 kings of this empire are uniting even now! Once they take the Mediterranean Sea, they will seize the entire Middle East. …

Though the world doesn’t see it, Germany is secretly planning to lead an alliance of moderate Arab nations to counter Iran (Psalm 83). …

Revelation 17 …. Verse 12 is being fulfilled now: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” 05/17/24 https://www.thetrumpet.com/29509-two-world-powers-are-fighting-for-the-mediterranean-sea

The above is filled with biblically inaccurate statements.

So let us look at many of them, mostly in the order they were written above.

First, Iran is not “prophesied to have two big allies in Africa that are located on the Mediterranean Sea: Libya and Egypt.”

Second, Gerald Flurry’s statement, “Egypt is probably within months of becoming an ally of Iran, the prophesied king of the south!” is wrong as Iran is NOT prophesied to become the King of the South.

Iran is basically east, not south, of Jerusalem. Its geographic location is one of the reasons it is not the prophesied King of the South of Daniel 11:40-43 (see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?).

Third, the statement, “Libya and Ethiopia are prophesied in your Bible by their modern names,” is not really accurate.

Regarding Libya, yes, there are various references to the word Libya in the Bible. However, many of the translations are questionable, as sometimes a word for an old area of Persia (Phut) is translated as Libya.

Basically Strong’s (from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) words 3864, 3865, & 3866 means people from the interior of Africa and seems to also include the areas west of Egypt. It is NOT limited to people in the nation currently called Libya (see also Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy).

Regarding Ethiopia, even though translators of the Hebrew scriptures sometimes used that word, that is NOT what the word is in Hebrew. The word translated as “Ethiopians” is the plural of the word Kuwshiy, which according to Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary means descendants of Cush. Or in other words, people of dark color–and it is commonly translated as Cush or Cushite in many Old Testament passages.

Here is how the Literal Standard Version renders several verses related to the King of the South:

40 And at the time of the end, a king of the south pushes himself forward with him, and a king of the north storms against him, with chariot, and with horsemen, and with many ships; 41 and he has come into the lands, and has overflowed, and passed over, and has come into the desirable land, and many stumble, and these escape from his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon. 42 And he sends forth his hand on the lands, and the land of Egypt is not for an escape; 43 and he has ruled over treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the desirable things of Egypt, and Lubim and Cushim [are] at his steps. (Daniel 11:40-43, LSV)

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible states:

Hebrew, Cushites – כשׁים kushı̂ym… The reference here, undoubtedly, is to the African Cush or Ethiopia, which bounded Egypt on the south. This country comprehended not only Ethiopia above Syene and the Cataracts, but likewise Thebais or Upper Egypt. A subjugation of Egypt would be, in fact, almost a conquest of this land.

It is not necessarily those from Ethiopia, and likely it is NOT referring to the current nation of Ethiopia (though it may include at least some in there).

The late WCG evangelist Raymond McNair wrote:

Daniel 11 also mentions some of the Mideast peoples who will be involved in that struggle among the nations at the close of this age. The belligerents will include the “King of the North,” the leader of the European Union (or its final outgrowth, called the “Beast”). The “King of the South” (an Islamic leader—apparently from Egypt {or} some other Muslim state) is also referred to. The following lands/peoples are specifically mentioned: Egypt, the Holy Land (Israel/Palestine), the Ethiopians (modern Cushites, south of Egypt), Libya, Edom, Moab and Ammon. Many descendants of the ancient peoples known as Edomites or Idumeans now live in the West Bank, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Arabia, Yemen, the Persian Gulf states, etc. (McNair R. Solving the Arab-Israeli Impasse! Copyright Raymond F. McNair 2005, Church of God—21st Century).

Notice that Raymond McNair realizes that Egypt or some other Muslim country is where the king of the South will come from, and that the term translated as Ethiopians really means the Cushite peoples who live in southern Egypt as well as elsewhere (others have said that the Cushites basically mean dark-skinned people, hence this could include peoples from Sudan, Somalia, sometimes called Eastern Cushites), and many of the other Islam-dominated nations in Africa).

So, Gerald Flurry is relying more on mistranslations than what the word of God actually teaches for Libya and the Cushite peoples.

Now, yes, “Germany possesses geostrategic vision” and “Germany is prophesied to lead the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.”

However, Gerald Flurry’s next statement, “The 10 kings of this empire are uniting even now!” is wrong as well as his related statement, “Revelation 17 …. Verse 12 is being fulfilled now.”

Notice what Revelation 17:12 states:

12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. (Revelation 17:12)

Revelation 17:12 is teaching of a reorganization.

That has not happened yet.

Nor are we within three years of that happening.

I will also add that Gerald Flurry has also often insisted that those ten kings are 10 currently existing nations, but that is not truly accurate either. For more details, check out the article: Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?

Gerald Flurry’s statement, “Germany is secretly planning to lead an alliance of moderate Arab nations to counter Iran (Psalm 83),” is also wrong.

Notice something that his son wrote back in 2012:

The Psalm 83 alliance not only tells us which nations will be allied with Germany, it also tells us by implication which Middle Eastern nations won’t—because they will have fallen prey to Iran’s radical agenda.

“Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia are missing from this [Psalm 83] list,” my father wrote in that 1994 article. That is because they will be allied with Iran.

That Iraq and Egypt have since fallen into the Iranian orbit is now beyond dispute.

Regarding Libya and Ethiopia, in February of last year, my father prophesied specifically that they would be the next dominoes to fall. Now, a year and a half later, Muammar Qadhafi is gone and the Islamist roots of the revolution are becoming clear.

Here is some of what the old Radio and Worldwide Church of God taught related to Psalm 83:

 Notice an amazing prophecy about the Middle East in Psalm 83:1-8. It is a time of war.

“Hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, Thine enemies… have taken crafty counsel against Thy people.”

They have dealt treacherously with Judah and Israel — with the Jews and with America and Britain! We are God’s people, Israel. The Jews are merely the tribe of Judah. But to continue:

“They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation.'” Isn’t this exactly what the Iraqi leaders have said? “For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against Thee…”

What nations are these in confederation against God’s people? Here is the answer of this prophecy! Here is what is yet going to take shape in the Middle East!

“Edom (Turkey), and the Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia); Moab (part of Jordan), and the Hagarenes (part of Arabia); Gebal (this is the ancient name for Byblos in Lebanon), and Ammon (Jordan) and Amalek (part of the Turks); the Philistines (the displaced Moslems from Palestine) with the inhabitants of Tyre; ASSUR IS JOINED WITH THEM: they have helped the children of Lot.”

Who is Assur? GERMANY!

So Germany — NOT atheistic, communist Russia — is ultimately going to support an Arab union against the Jews and against Israel — Britain and America! This is what prophecy foretells. (Hoeh H. GERMANY in Prophecy! – Part 2. Plain Truth, January 1963)

Notice especially prophetic Psalm 83. Here we find described a coming coalition of nations of the Middle East whose purpose will be to eradicate the name of Israel! They will say, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (verse 4). …

But this prophesied alliance in Psalm 83 will not endure long. The Bible reveals that meanwhile, in our time, a great European military dictator — known in the book of Revelation as the “beast” and in the prophecy of Daniel as the “king of the north” — will arise and ultimately descend upon the Middle East. … The beast’s intervention will have dire consequences for Israeli and Arab alike. Both Israel (“the glorious land”) and Egypt will be occupied by the beast’s troops (Dan. 11:40-42). In addition, “many countries shall be overthrown” (11:41 ). (Stump K. LEBANON’S FUTURE Foretold in the Bible! Plain Truth, September-October 1982)

King David of ancient Israel, in a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the coming Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations — a vast confederacy bound together in an effort to crush out the name “Israel” from the face of the earth! This Arab-Moslem confederacy may very well be the previously mentioned “king of the south” of Daniel 11 — a sphere of power encompassing vast portions of the Islamic world.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom [Esau or modern-day Turkey, a non-Arab but Islamic nation] and the Ishmaelites [Saudi Arabia]; of Moab [part of Jordan] and the Hagarenes [anciently these people dwelt in the land known as Syria today]; Gebal [Lebanon], and Ammon [modern Jordan], and Amalek [part of the Turks]; the Philistines [the modern Palestinian Arabs] with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [whose descendants, the Assyrians, migrated to Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen [helped] the children of Lot [Jordan and western Iraq]” (Psalms 83:4-8).

(Stump K. THE ARAB WORLD IN PROPHECY. Plain Truth, December 1979)

Psalm 83 is NOT a prophecy showing that Germany is secretly planning to lead an alliance of moderate Arab nations to counter Iran.

PCG does not have the “sure word of prophecy.”

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There are also two related videos: Iran In Prophecy and Iran and Israel Conflict.
21st Century Church of God Prophets Are there any true prophets in the 21st century? What about false prophets? What are scriptures and fruits to identify the true from the false? You you prove all things and test the spirits?

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?
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
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?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors? Most real Christians in the last days are Laodicean and hold to prophetic errors which, unless they repent, will prevent them from being protected from the coming Great Tribulation. Here is a link to a related video: 50+ Laodicean Prophetic Errors. Here is also a message translated into Spanish: Errores profecticos ensenado en las otras Igesias de Dios.
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now? Another could be Russia, Iran, Syria, & the Bible (Code).
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.

Sermon: Asia Minor and Early Apostolic Succession

Saturday, May 18th, 2024


COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God put together this sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:13:48

According to the words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul, was it possible for one city to be the continuous headquarters of the true Christian church for centuries? Where did Hippolytus of Rome and ‘Fox’s Book of Martyrs’ say that the original apostles went? What about Europe, the British Isles, India, China, Malaysia, Egypt, Africa, Iran, Antioch, and Asia Minor? Where were most of the books of the New Testament written to or from? Where did the last of the twelve apostles die? What were some of the early apostolic teachings that many changed? What about the change to Sunday? Were Gentiles keeping the Sabbath in the late second century? What about Passover on the 14th? Was Justin Martyr faithful or heretical? What about Melito and Polycrates? Was the Ephesian-dominated era replaced by that of Smyrna? What about binitarianism, millenarianism, and Sabellism? Who were the two possible groups with apostolic succession according to Tertullian? Were there bishops or elders in early Rome? Could apostolic succession have been passed from John (believed to be the the last of the original apostles to die) to Polycarp of Smyrna? Which early leaders had apostolic succession? Could the headquarters of the most faithful church have been moved from Jerusalem to Antioch to Asia Minor to Arsinoe to Antioch to Armenia to the Balkans to elsewhere in Europe to the British Isles and then to North America? Dr. Thiel address these matters and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Asia Minor and Early Apostolic Succession.

If you are interested in church history and what happened with the original church, you may also wish to read the book, which is available free online at the following link: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

The Continuing Church of God is NOT Greco-Roman Catholic, but neither is it Protestant. For some of the reasons why we are NOT Protestant, check out the free online book, Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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? Here is a link to two related sermons: Early Church: Jerusalem, Rome, and Apostolic Teachings and Asia Minor and Early Apostolic Succession.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Will Philadelphian Christians instruct many in the end times? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work. Here is a link to another: Preparing to Instruct Many.

Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible? Is the Bible complete? Are there lost gospels? What about the Apocrypha? Is the Septuagint better than the Masoretic text? What about the Textus Receptus vs. Nestle Alland? Was the New Testament written in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew? Which translations are based upon the best ancient text? Did the true Church of God have the canon from the beginning? Here are links to related sermons: Let’s Talk About the Bible, The Books of the Old Testament, The Septuagint and its Apocrypha, Masoretic Text of the Old Testament, and Lost Books of the Bible, and Let’s Talk About the New Testament, The New Testament Canon From the Beginning, English Versions of the Bible and How Did We Get Them?, What was the Original Language of the New Testament?, Original Order of the Books of the Bible, and Who Gave the World the Bible? Who Had the Chain of Custody?

Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.

Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how they develop love, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 160 different languages there.

Zenit: Greek Orthodox at Vatican: “walk together, pray together and work together” Greek Metropolitans: Your Excellency is a favorite of the Freemasons

Friday, May 17th, 2024


Freemason brotherhood symbol

COGwriter

Zenit.org (a pro-Vatican site) posted the following:

Greek Orthodox at Vatican: “walk together, pray together and work together”, Pope asks them to do so

On the morning of Thursday, May 16th, Pope Francis received in audience the Director General of the Apostolikì Diakonia of the Greek Orthodox Church and a delegation from the Theological College of Athens. Below is the English translation of the Pope’s speech, originally delivered in Italian.

I am very pleased to welcome you and I thank you for your presence as we join in commemorating two decades of cooperation between the Apostolikí Diakonía of the Church of Greece and the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity. I especially greet and thank His Eminence Metropolitan Agathanghelos, Director General of the Apostolikí Diakonía, who from the outset has been the inspiration and guiding force behind this collaboration. My thoughts also turn with fraternal affection to the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos, a man of deep faith and a wise pastor with whom I have met on the occasion of my travels in Greece. I am deeply grateful for the support that he has given and continues to give to the activities jointly promoted by the Apostolikí Diakonía and the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration.
By journeying together, working together and praying together, we prepare ourselves to receive from God the gift of unity that, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, will be a communion and harmony in legitimate diversity.

05/16/24 Greek Orthodox at Vatican: “walk together, pray together and work together”, Pope asks them to do so | ZENIT – English

Yes, Francis wants the Greek Orthodox, as well as other trinitarians, in unity with him.

Notice that the Bible teaches about a conspiracy that involves religious leaders:

23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. (Ezekiel 22:23-28)

Consider, also, that Pope Francis has deceptively claimed that those who do not support his ecumenical agenda are influenced by Satan (watch Pope Francis and the Devil’s Unity). Consider further that the Protestant Olav Fykse Tveit, who is the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, went so far as to falsely equate rejection of the ‘climate change’ agenda with blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (watch The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?). These religious leaders are projecting a false vision to get people to profane God’s holy plan of salvation and to not know the difference between the holy and the unholy, the clean and the unclean!

Despite Francis’ meeting with some of its leaders, there are other Greek Orthodox leaders which have had concerns about the Vatican and Freemasonry. Notice something from 2014:

To His Excellency, Francis,
Head of State of the Vatican City
Vatican City, Rome

Your Excellency,

With due respect and sincere love, we send you this Episcopal letter, …

Your Excellency is a favorite of the Freemasons, who, according to their own publications, were anxiously awaiting your election and rejoiced when you were chosen! In a statement by the “Grand Master,” G. Raffi, he stresses that, “With Pope Francis, nothing will be as it was before. It is a clear choice of fraternity for a Church of dialogue, which is not contaminated by the logic and temptations of temporal power. He is a man of the poor, far away from the Curia. Fraternity and the desire to dialogue were his first concrete words. Perhaps nothing in the Church will be as it was before. The simple cross he wore on his white cassock lets us hope that a Church of the people will re-discover its capacity to dialogue with all men of good will and with Freemasonry, which, as the experience of Latin America teaches us, works for the good and progress of humanity!” So here is the heart of the matter: “dialogue with all men of good will,” which means an intensifying of ecumenism! Are you not aware, Your Excellency, that Freemasonry promotes, through Ecumenism, the universal religion of Lucifer, as well as the fact that the source and womb of Freemasonry is the hideous International Zionism?…

Freemasonry is “pagan cult worship, an adversary of the pure Orthodox Catholic Church.” That is to say, it is clearly an antichristian and pagan religion. The Masons are “Satan worshipers and luciferists, followers of the religion of Antichrist.”…

There can exist no form of compromise between Orthodoxy and Papism, neither with its older nor its modern spirit, nor with its idolatry…

With respect,

+ Andrew of Dryinoupolis, Pogoniani and Konitsa

+ Seraphim of Piraeus and Faliro

(Letter to Francis. HOLY AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH OF GREECE. April 10, 2014. http://cdn.romfea.gr/images/stories/photos/2014/4/romfea1/spiti/Epistle%20to%20Pope%20Francis%20I.pdf viewed 04/20/2014)

The above from Greek Orthodox leaders contained a lot of anti-Rome statements, not just anti-Masonic ones (to see more, check out the article Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants).

That said, a decade after the complaints from some Greek Orthodox leaders, the Vatican still is working with the Freemasons.

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

14:58

Freemasons and Vatican Officials Seek Cooperation

On February 16, 2024, some high-level clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in Italy met with three Grand Masters of the Freemasons. Since the Vatican has prohibited its members from being Freemasons, why might this be? Are there related ‘globalist’ interests? Do the Freemasons assert that Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All), saying the Church had finally embraced “universal fraternity” is in line with “the great principle of modern Freemasonry”? Are there any biblical reasons to consider that the Church of Rome and the Freemasons may cooperate? What is Freemasonry according to the Freemasons? Could at least one of the kings mentioned in Revelation 17:12 be a Freemason or at least have ties to it? Are there any scriptures that suggest that the Freemasons may betray the Church of Rome? Steve Dupuie and Dr. Thiel address these matters.

Here is a link to the sermonette: Freemasons and Vatican Officials Seek Cooperation.

Destruction will hit Rome, and the Freemasons in Europe may well be major supporters of that.

Real Christians, however, are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan will one day, in my opinion, exploit the historical animosity between the Masons and the Vatican.

The Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:16:04

What is Freemasonry? How long has it been around? Does Freemasonry point to cataclysms, such as Armageddon in 2022? Were many US founders and presidents Freemasons? Is there a difference between the USA/UK Freemasons and those in continental Europe? Can a biblical Christian be a Freemason? Are Roman Catholics allowed to be Freemasons? Do the Freemasons have a plan that includes an ecumenical Pope? Are Rotarians Freemasons? What about the Illuminati? Are many conspiracies about the Freemasons false? Could Freemasonry play a role in the rise of Europe and the destruction of the Church of Seven Hills?

Here is a link to the sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.

Destruction will hit Rome and the Freemasons in Europe may well be major supporters of that.

Some items of related interest may include:

Freemasonry and the Destruction of Rome? What is Freemasonry? What about ties to the Illuminati? Could they be involved in the fulfillment of prophecy? Here is a link to a related sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Another video is related to China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (Silk Road project): watch Is China paving roads to Armageddon?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? Where did those people come from? Can you totally rely on DNA? What about other peoples? Do you really know what will happen to Europe and the English-speaking peoples? What about Africa, Asia, South America, and the Islands? This free online book provides scriptural, scientific, historical references, and commentary to address those matters. Here are links to related sermons: Lost tribes, the Bible, and DNA; Lost tribes, prophecies, and identifications; 11 Tribes, 144,000, and Multitudes; Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty; Gentile European Beast; Royal Succession, Samaria, and Prophecies; Asia, Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Armageddon;  When Will the End of the Age Come?Rise of the Prophesied King of the North; Christian Persecution from the Beast; WWIII and the Coming New World Order; and Woes, WWIV, and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.

Nanobots, 666, and eternal life?

Friday, May 17th, 2024

(Pixabay AI generated ‘nanobot’ photo)

COGwriter

Many are looking at nanobots to improve health and the human condition. Notice one such report:

Health Spotlight | Nanobots to the rescue

May 14, 2024

The fantastic voyage! Microrobots deployed inside a body were once science fiction and only imagined in the movies. But now, it’s becoming the basis of real science inside a lab.

Medical microrobots are, essentially, microscale devices. So, we’re talking devices five to 10 times thinner than the human hair,” said Dr. Wyatt Shields IV, University of Colorado Boulder. …

The bots are made out of polymer materials that are biocompatible using a technology similar to 3-D printing. They look like small rockets with three tiny fins. …

Although there’s still more testing to do, this work could one day turn what was once science fiction into science that changes the world. https://www.wishtv.com/news/health-spotlight-nanobots-to-the-rescue/

Let me add that back in 1966, my parents took me the the drive-in theater to watch a movie titled Fantastic Voyage where people were somehow shrunk to go into a microscopic submarine to remove a clot in someone’s brain.

While people cannot be shrunk like that, here is some general information from Wikipedia on the nanorobotics:

Nanoid robotics, or for short, nanorobotics or nanobotics, is an emerging technology field creating machines or robots, which are called nanorobots or simply nanobots, whose components are at or near the scale of a nanometer (10−9 meters).[1][2][3] More specifically, nanorobotics (as opposed to microrobotics) refers to the nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanorobots with devices ranging in size from 0.1 to 10 micrometres and constructed of nanoscale or molecular components.[4][5] The terms nanobot, nanoid, nanite, nanomachine and nanomite have also been used to describe such devices currently under research and development.[6][7]

Nanomachines are largely in the research and development phase,[8] but some primitive molecular machines and nanomotors have been tested. (Nanorobotics. Wikipedia, accessed 05/17/24)

While the mainstream does not seem to be too concerned about how nanobots can be misused, Michael Snyder posted the following:

We Are Being Warned That Nanobots Will Be Flowing Through Our Bodies “By 2030” And Will Be Used To Connect Our Brains To The Internet

May 16, 2024

Once thousands of nanobots are zipping around inside your body, will you still be in control of your mind, will and emotions or will the nanobots be running the show?  According to Google, a nanobot is “a hypothetical, very small, self-propelled machine, especially one that has some degree of autonomy and can reproduce”.  Scientists here in the United States have been working on nanobots that can travel through our bodies at astonishing speeds, deliver medicines to targeted locations, and even enter our brain cells.  Eventually, researchers hope to use nanobots to connect our brains directly to the Internet. …

Many are concerned that someday nanobot technology could potentially be used to completely enslave humanity.

Even now, scientists are developing nanobots that can actually go inside cells and transmit information to the outside world. …

Some experts even believe that someday nanobots will actually be capable of enabling humans to live indefinitely.  The following comes from an article entitled “Nanobots Will Be Flowing Through Your Body by 2030”

Ray Kurzweil, in an interview with Neil deGrasse, claimed that tiny nanobots in our bloodstreams will prevent us from dying in 2030 …

I certainly don’t want nanobots “flowing through my body” by 2030. …

What would our world look like if most of our brains were directly connected to the Internet by nanobots?

To me, the potential for tyranny would be off the charts.

A central authority with power over those nanobots could wield a tremendous amount of power over our thoughts, feelings and core beliefs. https://endoftheamericandream.com/we-are-being-warned-that-nanobots-will-be-flowing-through-our-bodies-by-2030-and-will-be-used-to-connect-our-brains-to-the-internet/

Being connected to the internet that way would pose many risks. The “by 2030” comment is interesting as a totalitarian system is likely to be in place then (see Could God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? ).

The Bible warns that a totalitarian system will be put in place:

15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:15-18)

When Jesus had the Apostle John pen this 1900+ years ago, there was no way to monitor most buying and selling. With computer software, including AI, much is already being done, and more will be done. Perhaps nanobots will be a mark of the beast.

We will see.

The fact that some believe that they will be able to reproduce themselves looks very dangerous from a personal and societal perspective. Any machine that can reproduce itself, particularly in a biological life form, poses dangers that scientists will not be able to thoroughly test for–even if all the intentions around it were benevolent.

Now part of the push for nanorobotics is to extend human life. Notice the following:

Futurists often claim that nanobots hold the key to eternal life. Inventor, author, and Google futurist Ray Kurzweil, in an interview with Neil deGrasse, claimed that tiny nanobots in our bloodstreams will prevent us from dying in 2030. According to Kurzweil, the nanobots will travel inside you on a molecular level, protecting your biological system and ensuring you’ll have a good and long life. 04/03/23 https://interestingengineering.com/innovation/nanobots-will-be-flowing-through-your-body-by-2030

The belief seems to be that nanobots will one day be able to figure out everything that promotes aging and death in the human body and fix it so one never dies.

An obviously worldly hope.

But, no, nanobots do not hold the key to eternal life.

Jesus does:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

9 … He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (Hebrews 5:9)

Are there other options to gain eternal life?

According to the word of God, the answer is clearly no. Notice the following from the Apostle Peter:

8 … “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:8-12)

Are there things that you can do to extend physical life?

Yes:

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  (Exodus 20:12)

26 “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

2 … Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, (Isaiah 55:2)

8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

Notice also:

10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:10-12)

While we can lead a longer life, we will all die, but God has a plan of salvation through Jesus:

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

So, what are we to do to be saved?

The Apostle Peter told the Jews:

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)

Notice what happened next:

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:37-39)

If God is calling someone, they need to repent, accept and obey Jesus, and be baptized.

The Apostle John was inspired to write:

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? …

11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:1-5; 11-13)

Nanobots do not believe in Jesus as Savior nor do they have the ability to keep God’s commandments.

While totalitarian forces may use them for nefarious purposes, we who believe in Jesus and keep His commandments are to be granted eternal life.

The Apostle Paul taught:

35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39)

Despite what we see going on in the world, both good and bad, we can have confidence in God and His plan of salvation through Jesus. It is not that nanobots cannot have any positive role, but they do pose risks and most certainly will not supply eternal life.

UPDATE 05/19/24. We just uploaded the following related video:

14:16

 

Nanobots, 666, & Eternal Life?

What are nanobots? Are they being researched for internal human use? Do they have potential to be connected to the internet? Have some claimed that they may be able to give eternal life to humans? What did Ray Kurzweil say? Might they be in place by 2030? Could they have any tie of support to the coming totalitarian 666 beast power? Is it wise for society to have potentially self-reproducing nanorobots reproducing in human beings? Are there things you can do that might extend your physical life? What is the real source of eternal life? Does the Bible teach eternal life as possible without Jesus? What are people to do if they wish to gain eternal life according to scriptures in the New Testament? Steve Dupuie and Dr. Thiel address these matters and more.

Here is a link to our video: Nanobots, 666, & Eternal Life?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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’?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.
About Baptism Should you be baptized? Could baptism be necessary for salvation? Who should baptize and how should it be done? Here is a link to a related sermon: Let’s Talk About Baptism and Baptism, Infants, Fire, & the Second Death.