Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

Sermon: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions

Saturday, May 18th, 2019
gui si eer tièn
Devil = Secret + Person + Garden

COGwriter

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

Where did the Chinese people come from? 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? 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? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel. 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? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions.
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? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal? Are there intentional mistranlations? A related sermon is available: The Didache, Ignatius, and the Lord’s Way.
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, 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 Ten Commandments in Hebrew This is a photo of a Hebrew document from the 2nd century, B.C.
Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question. A sermon of related interest is titled Were the Ten Commandments in Place prior to Mt. Sinai?
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for? A related sermon is titled Jesus, Pharisees, and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God–and here is a link to a related article in Spanish: Los primeros cuatro mandamientos: Amar a Dios. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese SAga‹ëT}f>y:r1ÿ ÝSÍ‹ëT}v„\1f/ª`vv„
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments: Cause and Effect Is everything random? Why do things happen? Are there just two ways? Should Christians keep the ten commandments? A related sermon is also available: Cause and Effect: Two Trees, Two Ways.
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
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 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Sermon: The Didache, Ignatius, and the Lord’s Way

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

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

1:16:26

Did early Jewish and Gentile Christians observe Saturday or Sunday? Are you ready to give a true answer to that question? The late Cardinal Danielou claimed that the Didache and Ignatius’s Letter to the Magnesians pointed to Sunday. Have those documents been intentionally mistranslated? How can someone who does not know koine Greek prove that? Does the Didache teach that Christians are to keep Sunday or might it be referring to Passover? What did the 7th century Paulini teach? Does Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians actually teach to no longer keep the Sabbath, but instead Sunday? Did Ignatius endorse all the Ten Commandments? Did Ignatius condemn those whose claimed Christianity, but would not keep “the law of Moses’? Did he condemn following Jewish traditions? Did the successors of Ignatius, such as Theophilus and Serapion keep Saturday or Sunday? What did Jerome teach about the Nazarene Christians? Did the Apostles and their early faithful followers keep the seventh day Sabbath? What is the earliest known reference to “Sunday” for professors of Jesus? What day did Jesus state was the Lord’s day? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: The Didache, Ignatius, and the Lord’s Way.

Some items of related interest may include:

Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal? Are there intentional mistranlations? A related sermon is available: The Didache, Ignatius, and the Lord’s Way.
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord?
Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday? What relevance is the first or the “eighth” day? A related sermon is also available: Sunday: First and Eighth Day?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, 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 Ten Commandments in Hebrew This is a photo of a Hebrew document from the 2nd century, B.C.
Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question. A sermon of related interest is titled Were the Ten Commandments in Place prior to Mt. Sinai?
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for? A related sermon is titled Jesus, Pharisees, and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God–and here is a link to a related article in Spanish: Los primeros cuatro mandamientos: Amar a Dios. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese SAga‹ëT}f>y:r1ÿ ÝSÍ‹ëT}v„\1f/ª`vv„
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments: Cause and Effect Is everything random? Why do things happen? Are there just two ways? Should Christians keep the ten commandments? A related sermon is also available: Cause and Effect: Two Trees, Two Ways.
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
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 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

7DULB: Crossing the Red Sea

Friday, April 26th, 2019


“The Crossing of the Red Sea” by Nicolas Poussin c. 1634

COGwriter

Today is the last day of unleavened bread.

Here is some information on it from the old Radio Church of God:

Over 3450 years ago, more than three million Israelites crossed the Red Sea dry shod! In this unusual photo the Red Sea stretches as a barrier between the desolate wilderness of Egypt in the foreground and the peaks of the Sinai peninsula which rise hazily on the horizon. …

Did God Almighty get His people safely across the Red Sea before daylight? Exodus 14:21-27. 10. Then on the daylight part of Wednesday, the seventh and last day of Unleavened Bread, was there great rejoicing? Since the seventh day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath, was there a Sabbath meeting in which newly composed congregational hymns were sung in memoriam and thanksgiving to God? Ex. 15:1-18, 20-21. (Lesson 34 – Days of Unleavened Bread – Your Part In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

After finally escaping Egypt, by crossing the Red Sea dry shod on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread (Lesson 35 – Feast of Pentecost – The Church In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

Here is some information about it from a Jewish source:

Exodus … On the seventh day after leaving Egypt, “the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold! the Egyptians were advancing after them. They were very frightened, and the children of Israel cried out to HaShem.” (ibid 14:10) All of a sudden, following orders was no longer an option. The Egyptians were closing in. This, as far as Israel was concerned, was not part of the plan. Something had to be done! This was a brand new reality for Israel, and they scrambled as they tried to wrap their collective brain around the threat to their continues existence. The people cried out to G-d, but then they quickly turned to Moshe: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us to die in the desert?” (ibid 14:11) At first glance this appears to be a feeble attempt at gallows humor, a cynical rebuke of Moshe. But on second thought, it is actually a very logical and insightful question: Would the G-d that wrought miracles in Egypt on our behalf, and humbled the greatest power on earth, do it all for naught? There must be some way out of here! …

And now Israel is looking to Moshe for instruction. This is also a new reality for Moshe. Up till now he has been confronting Pharaoh, a most powerful despot, to be sure, but a man, who by his own admission, doesn’t know and doesn’t recognize HaShem, the G-d of Israel, placing Moshe in a distinct advantage. But now Moshe must confront his own people whom he loves, who like him, know and trust in the G-d of Israel. Moshe seeks to console the people: “Don’t be afraid! Stand firm and see HaShem’s salvation that He will wreak for you today, for the way you have seen the Egyptians is only today, but you shall no longer continue to see them for eternity. HaShem will fight for you, but you shall remain silent.” (ibid 14:13-14) What Moshe says is true, but G-d reproaches him: “Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel!” (ibid 14:15) The children of Israel turn to Moshe, Moshe turns to G-d and G-d turns right back to Moshe, saying, what you have told Israel may be true, but it is not a matter of what they need to hear, but a matter of what they need to do: to extricate themselves form this situation, to move on, to overcome their adversaries, to overcome their own self-doubts. They need to make the first move. They need to move forward. They need to trust themselves before they can believe in me!

And so it was, on the seventh day after leaving Egypt forever, Israel found itself in an impossible situation, the impassable sea before them, and the world’s largest, most powerful army closing in behind them. This might seem like a familiar situation to us today, nothing unusual, especially to those who read the daily headlines, a situation that Israel finds itself in time after time. But this was very new to Israel at the time, a nation of seven days, a babe in the woods, whose great faith in G-d, and ultimately, great trust in themselves, G-d would immortalize with these words: “Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: so said HaShem: I remember to you the lovingkindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, your following Me in the desert, in a land not sown.” (Jeremiah 2:2) G-d had already understood what the infant nation of Israel had yet to begin to realize: Their great trust and faith in HaShem, and their great trust and faith in themselves, the children of G-d, the nation chosen by HaShem to bear witness to His great presence in our world. “Let them travel!” G-d told Moshe. Let them be free! Let them be independent! And as surely as I am your G-d, I will open before them a path to the future, a path to the promised land, to Jerusalem, to the Holy Temple! Chag Sameach! A joyful Seventh Day of Passover to all! (“Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel!” (Exodus 14:15). Temple Institute, Nisan 20, 5778/April 5, 2018 )

The Bible calls this day the seventh day of unleavened bread, not the seventh day of Passover:

15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat–that only may be prepared by you.
17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, (Exodus 12:15-16, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted)

Christians need to overcome the world and its sinful ways.

As far as the sequence of events, Passover was after sunset on the 14th of Nisan/Abib (Exodus 12:6) and the death angel passed-over at midnight (Exodus 12:23-29). During the early daylight hours on the 14th of Nisan/Abib, the children of Israel received gold and precious things from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36). They left Egypt at night of the 15th of Nisan/Abib (Exodus 12:42; Deuteronomy 16:1). Late on the 16th of Nisan/Abib, the children of Israel arrived in Succoth (Exodus 12:37). Later, apparently on the 18th of Nisan/Abib, Pharaoh decided to pursue them (Exodus 14:5). On the 20th of Nisan/Abib, Pharaoh’s armies get near the children of Israel (Exodus 14:9). On the 21st of Nisan/Abib, God parted the Red Sea and the children of Israel crossed it on dry land (Exodus 14:20-22,29). During the daylight hours of the 21st, the Egyptian army pursues and is destroyed (Exodus 14:23-28).

Here is something from the free online booklet Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?:

The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread

On the 21st of Nisan/Abib, God had the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:20-21). God called for the children of Israel to cross on dry land under the cloud (Exodus 14:20-22,29), where they were symbolically baptized (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). They endured their fleeing with their enemies behind them and the waters stopped on both sides of them. During the daylight hours of the 21st, the Egyptian army pursued them and was destroyed (Exodus 14:23-28).

Understand that it was on the Seventh Day of Unleavened bread that the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea and the army of Egypt was destroyed. The Seventh, the last, Day of Unleavened Bread pictures fully leaving the dead works of sin behind.

A Christian sequence of events starts from our acceptance of Jesus, repentance, and baptism (Acts 2:38-39). Christians endure to the end (Matthew 10:22) attaining to the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6) to be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

The crossing of the Red Sea may have other lessons for Philadelphian Christians. As they flee to a place in the wilderness just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, Satan will be angry with them (Revelation 12:13-16). During the time the Philadelphian Christians are being protected (Revelation 3:7-13), bad things will be happening in the world around them (Revelation 12:14-17). They will often need to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Furthermore, the New Testament also seemingly shows a fulfillment of the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the destruction of the world’s armies who will fight against the returning Jesus (Revelation 19:19-21).

The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread helps picture the end of the world’s systems and the emergence of the Kingdom of God.

The children of Israel had to fully leave the area where Egypt had influence. As Christians, we realize that we are to flee sin (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:18) and to want its influence to remain in the past (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Peter 4:1-4).

Christians should further realize that Jesus died for our sins. The Bible makes this clear:

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5)

Through biblical observances such as Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread (it is currently the Days of Unleavened Bread in 2018), Christians are better able to learn the price of sin through Jesus’ sacrifice, the prevalence of sin in the world, and the necessity to put sin out of our lives.

Just like the children of Israel had to leave the bondage of physical Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:6), Christians need to leave the bondage of spiritual Egypt (Revelation 11:8) of this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). Christians need to come out of sin, but they need God’s help in overcoming sin.

Verses to Memorize to Help with Overcoming Sin

Before going into sin and repentance, there are some portions of scripture that perhaps should be shown first. These are also verses that you really should memorize.

Here is the first:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Nearly every day I pray a slightly modified version of the above more or less as follows:

Father in heaven, let us trust in You with all our hearts and lean not to our own understandings. In all our ways help us acknowledge You and You will direct our paths.

If you sin, at the time you do so you are not obviously trusting in God with all your heart.

Interestingly, notice the verse that comes immediately after Proverbs 3:6:

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

So, we see that not trusting in God, but trusting in ourselves (vanity) can lead to evil. But that fearing and trusting God is the way to depart from evil.

Christians should also consider the following words of Jesus:

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

I would suggest that all memorize at least the first half of Matthew 6:33.

If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, this will help you overcome sin–unlike the children of Israel who did not seek God’s righteousness (cf. Romans 10:1-3).

There is another verse that all should memorize, and it is bolded below:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

The children of Israel saw the miracles, but although they went along with God’s physical plan, they did not truly repent. We, as Christians, all must however.

Putting Sin Out Requires the Help of Jesus

During the Days of Unleavened Bread we are to have no sin in our lives, symbolically, by having no leaven in our dwellings (see also Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread). This annual reminder helps Christians better focus on the need to try to live without sin.

Just as you are not to have a little leaven then, you are not to have a little sin as it affects you (cf. Galatians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:7; James 2:8-13)

Christians, however, still sin, but upon confessing them, Jesus will forgive them:

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

But that does not mean we are to deliberately and intentionally sin and remain in it:

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Sometimes the sin is so within one that it seems to defy human will. Notice some of what the Apostle Paul wrote:

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-25)

Jesus also said, “with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

We all have lost the struggle with sin at times, but through Christ we can overcome.

Jesus was tempted as we are and understands:

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

No matter how much you feel you messed up, you still can boldly go to the throne of grace to obtain mercy.

Do Not Put Yourself in a Place that You Are Tempted to Sin

There are also practical, physical, considerations that can help you overcome sin.

When you pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13, KJV), the implication is that you do not intentionally place yourself in areas to be tempted.

For example, if one is inclined to overly gamble, one should avoid going to casinos or visiting cities such as Las Vegas.

One who is inclined to smoke should not hang out with others who smoke. Nor should they ever buy cigarettes. However, since smoking is a very difficult habit to break, sometimes one may find replacement behaviors or some other physical item helpful to break the habit. But if someone wants to stop smoking, they really need to stop buying cigarettes. They should also repent and ask forgiveness of their sins each time they smoke (or commit any other sin).

As far one’s diet goes, God tells His people to “eat what is good” (Isaiah 55:2), thus Christians should be careful about their diets and not eat that which is not good for them.

Jesus lived without sin (Hebrews 4:5) and the Bible teaches that we do not have to allow sin in our lives either, but we are to put on Christ:

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)

When it comes to alcohol, one should not hang out with those that overly drink. Notice what the Apostle Peter wrote:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (1 Peter 4:1-4)

Peter even warns that some will think it strange if you stop such improper behaviors, but that is what Christians are to do. Furthermore:

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Christians are not to run with the crowd and go along with the world. Sin grows (James 1:15) and spreads (Romans 5:12).

When it comes to sexual immorality, the Apostle Paul wrote:

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

One flees sexual immorality by not getting oneself in a situation that could be somewhat expected to possibly lead to it, or immediately leaving a situation if it appears possible.

And Jesus taught:

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish (Matthew 5:27-29)

So, it is not just doing something wrong that is sin, but also wishing to do the sin is a sin. And if internet pornography is a problem for someone, then they should avoid the internet completely–at least for a while. They also should not go to improper movies, have or buy improper magazines, etc.

But you have to do more than avoid temptation: you are supposed to do good (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:35).

Now you may say that you do not have a problem with gambling, alcohol, drugs, fornication, or pornography, and if you do not, then that is good. But probably all of us have been guilty of the type of murder that Jesus warned against:

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger (Matthew 5:21-22)

And furthermore, notice what Jesus called the greatest commandment:

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

I would submit that this first commandment is the commandment that is violated the most, by probably everyone on the planet, Christian and non-Christian alike. Anytime you sin, you show God that you love something more than Him. The second is also violated a lot.

Basically, humans have a very difficult time getting sufficiently serious about God and His ways to put Him and them above EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, in their lives.

As Christians, it is just not enough not to sin, we are to do the work of God. Furthermore, consider that when you pray God is not limited to what He can give you–in other words do not neglect to pray for major change, not to just not sin, but to do and support His work.

Pray, study the Bible, meditate, fast, and live life as a Christian (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why? and/or the video version Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

If you have a problem to overcome, pray.

But you probably are telling yourself, I have done that before and still have not overcome.

So, then what should you do?

Pray.

And if that does not seem to help enough, then, pray more.

Take a lesson from those who successfully lose weight and keep it off. Surveys have found that the number 1 rule of successful weight-loss is to keep doing the right thing, even when it looks like one is failing. The scale might say someone is failing, but if they do the right thing anyway, and keep doing it, they are the ones that will be successful. Do not give up when discouraged or it looks like you keep failing. Even if you actually are faling, keep trying to do the right thing.

The Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It may be that for whatever problem you need to overcome, you will need to pray more than you have.

I will also add that if you are on your knees praying, that, at least for many problems, stops you from engaging in the improper behavior you need to overcome. Remember that although God’s thoughts are not your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-8)–He knows best.

Jesus taught and warned:

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)

Christians need to do the true work of God no matter what it costs. This involves personal growth, trusting and loving God, loving others, and supporting God’s end time work.

But there are rewards for doing so:

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalms 37:3-5)

We Christians must truly trust God and commit our ways to God.

6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. (Psalms 20:6-7)

If Christians truly trust in God, and not themselves, they will be saved.

That is part of why Jesus taught:

9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

Notice it is God’s will that is to be done and what we are to pray for, as well as His kingdom to come.

Notice what God really wants:

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Satan’s problem was that he refused to walk humbly. He was the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14)–he had it all–but his pride got in the way (cf. Ezekiel 28:17). Humans often let their pride get in the way (Proverbs 29:33)–and pride puffs people up (cf. 1 Timothy 3:6).

Yet, Christians are to try to think like God:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

Jesus had more than we humans can imagine, yet He was humble enough to give it up to serve and die for us. That is the attitude to have to truly overcome.

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

1:22:38

Is Christ’s Passover sacrifice the only thing Christians should pay attention to? What do the Days of Unleavened Bread picture? What happened historically on the seventh day of unleavened bread? Could Sodom and Gomorrah have been destroyed on the last day of unleavened bread? When and how long was the Red Sea crossing? Could Egypt represent ‘sin,’ Pharaoh ‘Satan,’ and Egypt’s armies ‘demons?’ Are then any end time parallels to the destruction to come after Armageddon? What about prophecies in Revelation 11 and 19? How can sin be overcome? What are some of the lessons that Christians should learn from all of this? Dr. Thiel addresses those questions and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: 7th Day of Unleavened Bread: Prophecy and Lessons.

Here is a suggested service for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread:

For those who wish another, here is a second service suggestion:

Suggested Sabbath Service

Here is a suggested Sabbath service for this week for our scattered brethren:

  • 2-3 hymns (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, contains the materials from the 1974 Bible Hymnal from the old WCG with new covers, plus ten additional hymns; there is also some Choral Accompaniment online).
  • Opening prayer.
  • Sermonette, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Nuclear bombers for the Beast?
  • Announcements (if any) and one hymn.
  • Sermon, which for most who receive this letter via email will be a recorded one. The one suggested for this week is: Exodus 26-32: Tabernacle, Golden Calf, and Book of Life. Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel.
  • Final hymn.
  • Closing prayer.

Note: If you have a slow internet connection, you can watch these by starting the video, then below it (and towards the right) look for an outline of a gear–if you click on that, it will allow the YouTube video to be played with lower video quality, but at least it will not stop often–you can select a quality as low as 144p. If your internet connection is still too slow and/or you prefer audio messages to audio-visuals ones, go to the YouTube link for the message, click on SHOW MORE related to the description. You will then see something that says, “Download MP3.” Below that is a link to an MP3 file. Most computers (and even some cellular telephones) will allow MP3 files to be downloaded and played. This is an option we have made available (but we are also looking into ways to improve that as well)–and, of course, we have written article options. Some people have found that if their internet connections are not fast enough, that they can simply listen to the messages that are found at the Bible News Prophecy online radio channel.

IN CASE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A ‘LETTER TO THE BRETHREN’ FOR ANY WEEK, REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY SERMON MESSAGES ON THE ContinuingCOG channel AND MANY SERMONETTE MESSAGES ON THE Bible News Prophecy channel. There are also some messages at the CCOGAfrica channel.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread What happened? Does this day have any type of fulfillment in the Book of Revelation? A related sermon video is also available: 7th Day of Unleavened Bread: Prophecy and Lessons.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese: QKg f/‘͉v„. Here is a link to a version in Spanish: Vencer al pecado. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How YOU Can Overcome Sin.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here are two YouTube videos intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:Leaven and Sin and Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
EXODUS Exodus sermons include Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?, Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation, Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy, Exodus 10-12: The Last Plagues & 21st Century Prophecies, and Exodus 13-15: Passover Protection and Armageddon. There is also more, such as the article: When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur?  Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Cuándo fue el Éxodo? ¿Ocurrió realmente? Also: Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? What happened to the ‘gods of Egypt’? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming? A related two-part sermon is available: Egypt and the Plagues (Part 1) and Exodus Plagues and Prophecy (Part 2). Also: Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread This article discusses parts of the Book of Exodus with some connections to the Days of Unleavened Bread. Related sermons are available Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?, Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation, Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy and Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus. Another sermon is Exodus, Judgments, and Jesus. Also Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses? What did Moses do wrong? Do you have a similar problem? Another article is Exodus 16-19 which covers all of those verses–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 16-19: Manna, Governance, and End Time Protection. Another article is Exodus 20 which covers all of the verses in that chapter–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments. Another article covers the verses in those chapters Exodus 21-24: These are the Judgments–here is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 21-24: Judgments. Here is a link to the article Exodus 25: Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seathere is a link to a related sermon: Exodus 25: Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. Here is a link to the article Exodus 26-32 Tabernacle, Sacrifices, & the Book of Lifehere is a link to a related sermon:Exodus 26-32: Tabernacle, Golden Calf, and Book of Life.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.

Do Christians Sin? This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests? A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
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.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
Living as a Christian: Strong Meat Can you handle solid spiritual food? A related sermon is available: Strong Meat: James 1-2 and Strong Meat: James 3-5.
Priorities and the Most Broken Commandment Which commandment is broken the most? Which one is most involved with what should be your top priority? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Most Violated Commandment and Priorities.
What are Your Priorities? The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote this.
Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled
What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available:
Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?

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?
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, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

How is the Seventh-day Adventist Church similar and dissimilar to the Continuing Church of God?

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

COGwriter

From time to time, I have received questions asking about some of the differences between the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) and the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) from a member of the SDA church.

But before going to them, let me point out some doctrinal similarities:

  1. Both claim to believe that the whole Bible, Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God (see also Read the Bible and the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God).
  2. Both believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (see also Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God).
  3. Both believe that all of the Ten Commandments are standards for God’s people today and that the seventh-day Sabbath is to be observed on Saturday. See also The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast and The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad.
  4. Both believe there is no consciousness for humans between death and resurrection. Though we have some major differences in understanding the resurrections. See Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? and What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrections?
  5. Both believe that Jesus Christ will soon return physically to the earth. Though, again, there are some major differences (see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).
  6. Both believe that the wicked will finally be annihilated, not suffer eternal torment. See The Second Death.
  7. Both believe that Christians should not eat biblically unclean meats (see The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats), though, because of the teachings of Ellen White, many SDAs take this further and avoid all meat.

There are, however, more differences than similarities.

Here are some of the differences:

  1. The SDAs accept Ellen White as God’s prophetess. CCOG does not. We see her as false on many points. Hence, CCOG sees no need to heed her pronouncements from a biblical perspective as some are in conflict with scripture and reality (see SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).
  2. Ellen White seemingly taught that the angel Michael became Jesus. CCOG strongly disagrees (see Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus?).
  3. Ellen White falsely taught that the Day of Atonement was October 22 in 1844, whereas in 1844, the Day of Atonement began at sunset September 22 and ran through sunset September 23rd (see http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=1844&v=1&month=x&yt=G&nh=on&nx=on&o=on&s=on&vis=on&a=on&D=on&d=on&set=on&heb=on&c=off&zip=&m=72).
  4. SDAs believe 1844 has a significance that CCOG says the Bible does not support (see SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).
  5. The SDAs changed to accept the Greco-Roman trinity. CCOG does not (see Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?).
  6. The SDAs changed to accept pagan holidays like Christmas. CCOG does not (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?).
  7. The SDAs consider themselves Protestant and the Protestants as Christians. CCOG does not (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants).
  8. SDAs do not keep God’s holy days. CCOG does (see Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).
  9. CCOG keeps Passover annually in accordance with the scriptures, whereas the SDAs keep some version of it quarterly, which is not biblical. See also Passover and the Early Church.
  10. SDAs do not understand God’s plan of salvation. CCOG does as we understand that God will offer salvation to all that ever lived (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).
  11. SDAs teach the USA is the two-horned Beast of the Earth. CCOG teaches that leader is the final Antichrist (see also Some Doctrines of Antichrist).
  12. SDAs do not clearly teach that 666 is the European Beast of the Sea, but CCOG does (see also Who is the King of the North?).
  13. SDAs do not believe that saints will be on the Earth during the millennium, CCOG does (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).
  14. SDAs use crosses as part of the symbols for their religion, whereas CCOG does not (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?).
  15. CCOG teaches the good news of the Kingdom of God and we do not believe the SDA church understands the full gospel or that it teaches it (see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).
  16. CCOG’s priorities are essentially Matthew 24:14 and 28:19-20, while the SDAs do not consider those the same way as CCOG. (see Behind the Work 2016: All Nations, Tribes, People, and Tongues and also MATTHEW Here are links to twelve sermons covering the 28 chapters of Matthew: Matthew 1-2: Greek or Aramaic, Jesus, and the Star?, Matthew 3-5: John the Baptist, Temptations, and the Beatitudes, Matthew 6-7: Charitable Deeds, the Rosary, Prayer, the Golden Rule, and Faith, Matthew 8-10: Married Clergy, Faith, Coming Persecution, and the Ecumenical Agenda, Matthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights, -14: Parables, Mustard Seeds, Birthdays, and Faith, Matthew 15-16: Tradition, Signs of the Times, and The Rock & Peter, Matthew 17-18: Transfiguration, Elijah to Come, Taxes, and Forgiveness, Matthew 19-20: Transgender? Divorce? Purgatory? The first shall be last?, Matthew 21-23: ‘Palm Sunday,’ Come as You Are?, and the Greatest Commandments, Matthew 24: Temple Destruction, Sorrows, Tribulation, and the Return of Jesus, and Matthew 25-28: Midnight Cry, False Christians, Resurrection, & Teaching what Jesus Taught.
    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 .
    LUKE Here are links to eight sermons covering the entire ‘Gospel of Luke’: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the Census, Luke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the Mount, Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the Ministry, Luke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and Signs, Luke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow Way, Luke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards, and Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence. The last sermon also covers Jesus’ words in the Book of Acts.
    JOHN Here are links to a seven-part sermon series covering the entire ‘Gospel of John’: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven, John 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles and the Bread of Life, John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day’, John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of Jesus, John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate, and John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.
    REVELATION
    This is a link to a sermon covering words Jesus spoke as recorded in the Book of Revelation and in first and second Corinthians: Revelation: Jesus’ Final Words.)
  17. CCOG traces its history from Acts 2 to present. The SDA church does not really do that. See also Continuing History of the Church of God.
  18. The SDAs remnant teaching is mistaken (e.g. Seventh-day Adventist President Ted Wilson’s Comments on the Remnant Church) as the ‘remnant’ taught about in Revelation 12:17 are non-Philadelphian Christians who are not protected in a place in the wilderness during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).
  19. The CCOG teaches more fully the meaning of life than the SDAs (see also What is the Meaning of Life?).
  20. CCOG seems to more clearly teach deification than the SDAs (see The Laodicean Church Era and also What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).
  21. The CCOG teaches more fully how to live as a Christian than the SDAs (see also Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian).

Just because both groups do accept the seventh-day Sabbath does not make them very similar.

There are significant and major differences.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is NOT part of the Church of God (though some few of their members possibly could be). Nor do we in the Continuing Church of God trace our history through that church.

Some items of related interest may include:

COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? 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, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.

Sermonette: Did Peter, Paul, & John keep Easter Sunday or Passover?

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

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


24:02

The fifth century historian Socrates Scholasticus wrote that those of Asia Minor said they kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan following the practices of the Apostle John, whereas those of the Romans and the West observed what is now called Easter Sunday following the practices of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Socrates claimed that neither side had written evidence to back up their claims. But what does the Bible reveal? Do the earliest records outside the Bible point to the apostles keeping the 14th of Nisan or Easter Sunday. What does the Catholic Encyclopedia reveal? What about the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox writings? Was Passover supposed to be a nocturnal observance or a Sunday morning one? Can you know? Does this make any difference for Christians today? Dr. Thiel addresses these points from the Bible, historical records, and later church writings.

Here is a link to the sermonette video: Did Peter, Paul, & John keep Easter Sunday or Passover?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
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. 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?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria?
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
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? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
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?
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?
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
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 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? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
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.
CCOG.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.

 

Ishtar is Easter

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019


Clothed Ishtar, early 2nd millennium BC (Marie-Lan Nguyen)

COGwriter

On Sunday, many will celebrate the festival called Easter.

Where did the name Easter come from?

Easter itself is not a Christian term but comes from paganism as even Roman Catholic and Protestant sources confirm:

The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity…Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn; German, Ostern. April was called easter-monadh. (Holweck F. G. Transcribed by John Wagner and Michael T. Barrett. Easter. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York)

ISHTAR was one of the most prominent of the deities of the Accadian and Assyrian Pantheon. Se was the Assyrian goddess of Love. She was the…Ashtoreth of the Jews or Hebrews. She is the planetary Venus, and in general features corresponds with the classical goddess of Love. Her name Ishtar is that by which she was known in Assyria, and the same name prevailed, with slight modifications, among the Semite nations generally. In Babylonia the goddess was known as Nana…

She may be identified with Eostre of the Germans, or Easter. To this goddess our Saxon or German ancestors sacrificed in April, which was therefore by them styled…Eostur-monath, and from thence arose our word Easter, which the Saxons retained after their conversion to Christianity, so that our Easter-day is nothing more nor less than Ishtar’s day…The name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the Resurrection (of Christ), which happened at the time of the passover…The English name Easter, and the German Ostern, are derived from the name of the Teutonic goddess Ostera (Anglo-Saxon Eostre), whose festival was celebrated by the ancient Saxons with peculiar solemnities in the month of April; and for which, as in many other instances, the first Romish missionaries substituted the paschal feast.” The Council of Nice “ordained (A.D. 325) that it should be kept always on a Sunday.” Thus we find that it was originally the festival of Ishtar, and occurred on the Sabatu of Elul, or the festival Sabbath of the Assyrians, which occurred in August or harvest time; and that it afterwards became united with the passover or paschal feast of the Jews, and finally adopted by the Christian Church as the Easter Sabbath, changing the date to the spring or seed time, or in April from the harvest month or August. Among the Assyrians it was the feast day of Ishtar and Nergal…

The Phoenician name of Ishtar was Astarte, the later Mendaean form of which was Ashtar. She was called Jeremiah, “the queen of heaven,” Jer. vii, 18, and xliv. 17-25…she was sometimes called “the goddess of the chase,” corresponding to Diana as well as Venus, the goddess of love. Mr. George Rawlinson says: “The worship of Ishtar was widespread, and her shrines were numerous. She is often called the “queen of Babylon”…It may be suspected that her symbol was the naked female form…(Hamilton LLC note. Ishtar and Izdubar, the epic of Babylon; or, The Babylonian goddess of love and the hero and warrior king, restored in mod. verse by L.L.C. Hamilton. 1884 Original from Oxford University Digitized Jun 19, 2007, pp. 207-208)

Ishtar is pronounced about the same as the English term Easter. Perhaps it should be mentioned that there was an Ishtar gate in ancient Babylon, hence there are a variety of connections between paganism/Babylon and Easter.

Basically, the adoption of Easter was the result of compromise with paganism. Some aspects of the adoption of its non-biblical symbols have been obscured, but some legends may cast some insight about it.

Here is one legend about the Easter egg and Easter:

According to ancient Babylonian legend, it is claimed that Ishtar caused the fish-goddess Atargatis to cause a great egg to fall in the Euphrates river where fish pushed it to shore and Semĩramis was miraculously born. The Easter egg – Ishtar egg – does not represent the stone rolled away from the tomb like the medieval church said it did…

The English word “Easter,” however, corresponding to the German Oster, reveals Christianity’s indebtedness to the Teutonic tribes of Central Europe. Christianity, when it reached the Teutons, incorporated in its celebration of the great Christian feast day many of the heathen rites and customs which accompanied their observance of the spring festival. That the festival of the resurrection occurred in the spring, that it celebrated the triumph of life over death, made it easy for the church to identify with this occasion the most joyous festival of the Teutons, held in honor of the death of winter, the birth of a new year and the return of the sun. (Deschesne D. Ishtar The Origin of the Easter Tradition. Fort Fairfield Journal ı April 12, 2006, p. 9)

Notice another view about Easter eggs:

According to Babylonian legend, a huge egg fell from heaven, landing in the Euphrates river. The goddess Ishtar broke out of this egg. Later the feature of “egg nesting” was introduced–a nest were the egg could be incubated until it hatched. A “wicker” or reed basket was used to nest the Ishtar egg (hence the Easter egg basket.)

The Easter egg hunt is based on the notion that if anyone found Ishtar’s egg while she was being “reborn,”she would bestow a blessing upon that lucky person. Because this was a joyous Spring festival, eggs were colored in bright Spring (pastel) colors.

The Easter Bunny. Among the Celts, custom dictated that “the goddess” totem would lay eggs for the good children to eat…Eostre’s hare was the shape that the Celts imagined on the surface of the full moon…

Since Ishtar or Eostre, was a goddess of fertility–and because rabbits procreate quickly–the rabbit became associated with the sexual act, and the egg became a symbol of “birth” and “renewal.” (Chapman TL. God’s Law of Love: The Perfect Law of Liberty Jehovah’s Ten Commands Still Apply Today. iUniverse, 2010, p. 133)

As there are various legends (including the idea that Ishtar was reborn every Spring from an egg) and ideas, the reality is that the Easter egg has a non-Christian origin.

The Catholic Encyclopedia makes various claims and admissions about Easter:

Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter…

Easter eggs

…The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter…

The Easter rabbit

The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility (Simrock, Mythologie, 551)…

Men and women

On Easter Monday the women had a right to strike their husbands, on Tuesday the men struck their wives… In the Neumark (Germany) on Easter Day the men servants whip the maid servants with switches; on Monday the maids whip the men. They secure their release with Easter eggs. These customs are probably of pre-Christian origin (Reinsberg-Düringsfeld, Das festliche Jahr, 118).

The Easter fire

The Easter Fire is lit on the top of mountains (Easter mountain, Osterberg) and must be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction (nodfyr); this is a custom of pagan origin in vogue all over Europe, signifying the victory of spring over winter. The bishops issued severe edicts against the sacrilegious Easter fires (Conc. Germanicum, a. 742, c.v.; Council of Lestines, a. 743, n. 15), but did not succeed in abolishing them everywhere. The Church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies...

(Holweck F. G. Transcribed by John Wagner and Michael T. Barrett. Easter. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, the Romans admit that the name Easter is the name of a pagan goddess, many of its practices are of pagan origin, and that the churches in Asia Minor (which they call the Orient) continued to observe Passover on the date that the Jews did, Nisan 14.

The Church of Rome adopted many of the customs of Easter, and considered the eggs as the emblem of the resurrection. Notice the prayer blessing of Pope Paul V, about 1610, on Easter eggs, which, in English, reads thus:

“Bless, O Lord! we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to thee on account of the resurrection of the Lord.” (Easter Eggs. Donahoe’s Magazine, Volume 5, T.B. Noonan, 1881. Original from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Digitized Jul 10, 2009, p. 558)

But the Bible gives no such teachings about the use of eggs.

Easter was not just a sunrise goddess:

Ishtar, she was both fertility and a war goddess. … Easter or Astarte is in effect the same worship of an old Babylonian sex cult instituted by Semiramis the warrior queen who had a lust for blood (Kush H. Faces of the Hamitic People. Xlibris Corporation, 2010, p. 164)

Ishtar was seen as the personification of the planet Venus, and together with Shamash, the sun god, and Sin, the moon god, she formed an astral triad. (Littleton CS. Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology, Volume 6. Marshall Cavendish, 2005 p. 760)

So, Ishtar/Easter essentially was a warring sex/fertility goddess and her name suggests that lust (sexual and/or for membership) was behind much associated with Easter. The vast consumption of candy in most cultures associated with Easter suggests that perhaps lust is still a factor about the holiday today.

The Bible itself also condemns certain practices, now associated with Easter, such as hot Easter buns/cakes (Jeremiah 7:18), the worship towards the sun in the east (Ezekiel 8:15-18), and the worship of Astarte/Ishtar/Ashtaroth (other spellings of the word Easter).

Even Protestant commentaries note that:

Jeremiah 7…Cakes to the queen of heaven (v. 18). Probably a reference to the Babylonian fertility-goddess Ishtar, goddess of the planet Venus (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

Jeremiah 7… What the sin is with which they are here charged-it is idolatry, v. 18. Their idolatrous respects are paid to the queen of heaven, the moon, either in an image or in the original, or both. They worshipped it probably under the name of Ashtaroth, or some other of their goddesses (from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.).

Thus, both Catholic and Protestant scholars acknowledge that Easter/Ishtar/Ashtaroth worship contains pagan elements.

Notice what the Encyclopedia Britannica stated in 1910:

There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers…The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb and the first fruits from the dead, continued to be observed (Easter. In: The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information Edition: 11 Published by Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 Item notes: v. 8 Original from Harvard University Digitized Jul 24, 2008, p. 828).

The biblical Passover has to do with the Lamb of God being killed for our sins–and early Christians kept that, not Easter. Related to Easter Sunday vs. a Nisan 14 Passover, the Continuing Church of God just put together this video its ContinuingCOG channel:

 

24:02

The fifth century historian Socrates Scholasticus wrote that those of Asia Minor said they kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan following the practices of the Apostle John, whereas those of the Romans and the West observed what is now called Easter Sunday following the practices of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Socrates claimed that neither side had written evidence to back up their claims. But what does the Bible reveal? Do the earliest records outside the Bible point to the apostles keeping the 14 of Nisan or Easter Sunday. What does the Catholic Encyclopedia reveal? What about the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox writings? Was Passover supposed to be a nocturnal observance or a Sunday morning one? Can you know? Does this make any difference for Christians today? Dr. Thiel addresses these points from the Bible, historical records, and later church writings.

Here is a link to the video: Did Peter, Paul, & John keep Easter Sunday or Passover?

Easter, which is named after the pagan goddess Ishtar/Astarte/Eostre, has to do with a fertility festival involving rabbits and looking to the east in early morning as pagans did. Early Christians did not keep it.

Those who wish to learn more should also study the following:

Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
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?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?
How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
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, 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?

Did the Apostles Peter and Paul choose Easter, with the Apostles John and Philip choosing Passover?

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

Did the Apostles choose different dates for the observance of the Christian Passover?

Some claim that Peter and Paul kept Sunday, while teaching that John and Philip kept the 14th of the month of Nisan for the Christian Passover.

But does that make any sense?

Could the date of Passover be at all important?

Many seem to believe the following written by the 5th century Eastern Catholic historian Socrates Scholasticus:

Quartodecimans affirm that the observance of the fourteenth day was delivered to them by the apostle John, while the Romans and those in the Western parts assure us that their usage originated with the apostles Peter and Paul. Neither of these parties however can produce any written testimony in confirmation of what they assert. (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter XXII. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890).

Is this true?

No.

But many believe this and related statements, hence they do not keep Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the biblical year (Exodus 12:2), which is often known as Nisan (Esther 3:7). Instead most who claim Christianity keep Easter Sunday.

Before going further, it may be of interest to note that ‘Easter’ is claimed to be Passover, Notice what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

1170 At the Council of Nicea in 325, all the Churches agreed that Easter, the Christian Passover, should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon (14 Nisan) after the vernal equinox (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 332).

From this, notice that it is taught that what is now called Easter was originally observed as a change in the date of Passover. It originally was not a Christian resurrection holiday.

Easter itself is not a Christian term, and its celebration contains pagan elements. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Easter notes:

The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring … Since Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, had been slain on the very day when the Jews, in celebration of their Passover, immolated the figurative lamb, the Jewish Christians in the Orient followed the Jewish method…For this observance they claimed the authority of St. John and St. Philip.

(Holweck F. G. Easter. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, the Romans admit that the name Easter is the name of a pagan goddess and that the churches in Asia Minor (which they call the Orient) continued to observe Passover on the date that the Jews did, Nisan 14. But it was not just Jews, but also Gentile Christians who did so.

Now, let’s consider if there is early evidence that the Apostle Paul observed Passover or Easter Sunday.

The Apostle Paul declared to the Jews that he kept the law, etc. in the Book of Acts. Near the end of his life he declared he kept the customs of his people:

17 … Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death.” (Acts 28:17-18)

If Paul did nothing against the Jewish customs, this means he kept the Sabbath, Holy Days, and the Ten Commandments. That meant he kept the 14th. Those who claim Paul kept Sunday are in error. So, Acts 28 provides biblical proof he kept the 14th.

And, we also have biblical proof that the Apostle Paul told the Gentile Corinthians to keep Passover:

7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

Now how were Christians to do this?

The Apostle Paul explains:

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

So Christians were to keep the Passover in the manner that Jesus observed His final Passover. Which was on the 14th at night.

The Eastern Orthodox also recognize that Passover was at night. Here is something from one of their priests:

Our earliest sources for the annual celebration of the Christian Pascha come to us from the second century … The feast, however, must have originated in the apostolic period … According to the earliest documents, Pascha is described as a nocturnal celebration … (Calivas, Alkiviadis C. The Origins of Pascha and Great Week – Part I. Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1992. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8504 viewed 11/04/2011)

Notice that this was kept from the time of the apostles and at night. This is NOT the case for Easter Sunday, which is observed in early morning.

Furthermore, while we in the CCOG (Continuing Church of God) consider Jesus’ use of the bread and wine to be the Christian Passover, groups like the Church of Rome call it the ‘Last Supper’ as we see from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Jesus and his disciples conformed to the ordinary custom, that the Last Supper took place on the 14th of Nisan (Mershman, Francis. “The Last Supper.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912)

So, even those of the Church of Rome admit that Jesus did this on the 14th of Nisan. And that is when we in the CCOG keep it!

Notice some passages that the Apostle Paul and Apostle Peter wrote:

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

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: (1 Peter 2:21)

Those who keep Passover on the 14th are imitating both Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Which Peter would have himself also done.

Although I believe that portions of the text were corrupted (and the extant editions contain what seem to be non-original additions), there is some interesting information in the so called The Life of Polycarp. This document seems to be based upon writings in the second century, but the extant version contains information/changes that seem to be added in the fourth century.

Interestingly, it suggests that this Passover “tradition” in Asia Minor may not have first came to Smyrna from the Apostle John, but even earlier from the Apostle Paul:

In the days of unleavened bread Paul, coming down from Galatia, arrived in Asia, … So in Smyrna he went to visit Strataeas, … Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, speaks to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost, reminding them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup; how that they ought most assuredly to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, … For here the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought neither to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians… (Pionius, Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2.  Translated by J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, 1889,  pp.488-506)

The Phrygians were like early Pentecostals. And Paul, according to the above, was saying to keep Passover at its proper time.

Anyway, it makes no sense that those of Asia Minor who continued to keep Passover on the 14th for centuries had the Apostle Paul coming and telling them to change it to a Sunday, and then they changed back.

What about the Apostle Peter?

Did he go to Rome and tell them to switch to Sunday?

No.

Some Catholic sources claim that  Pius of Rome was the one that formally decreed the Easter/Passover Sunday idea:

Pope Pius I is given great credit in establishing customs and norms of the Church. He wrote a decree indicating that Easter should only be on a Sunday, despite whatever customs had been practiced so far. However, it was up to Pope Victor I, at the end of the century, to enforce the decree. (Booton McCoy D. Pope Saint Pius I. Catholic365.com 09/30/15 http://www.catholic365.com/article/2463/pope-saint-pius-i.html retrieved 03/21/19)

So, the above admits that Sunday was NOT the original practice. Presuming the above account is accurate, Pius did not claim to get this from the Apostle Peter.

Furthermore:


Plain Truth, December 1962

“Pope Pius, who lived about 147, had made a decree, That the annual solemnity of the Pasch (Pasch is the Greek word for Passover), should be kept only on the Lord’s day” — Sunday — “and in confirmation of this he pretended, that Hermes, his brother, who was then an eminent teacher among them, had received instruction from an angel, who commanded that all men should keep the Pasch on the Lord’s day” — “Baal’s Day”! (From pp. 1148-1149 of Bingham’s Antiquities of the Christian Church. See also Apostolical Fathers, by Donaldson, p. 324)

If this letter was a deliberate forgery, it was invented after Polycarp’s time in an effort to lend weight to the pagan custom of Anicetus, bishop of Rome, who falsely maintained the Sunday observance of the eucharist. If it were not a forgery, then Pius himself was the author of this deceptive letter. (Pius died just prior to the visit of Polycarp to Rome)

This is the kind of deception by which Sunday was introduced into the professing Christian world! (Hoeh H. Where Did Jesus Command You to Observe SUNDAY? Plain Truth, December 1962)

Furthermore, Pius’ successor Bishop of Rome Anicetus did not state he got Sunday from Peter, but only early presbyters when he tried to defend the Sunday date against the date of the 14th advocated by the second century Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna (and he likely was so ordained in the first century A.D.).

Specifically, no further back than a practice of the Roman Sixtus, not Peter (Irenaeus. FRAGMENTS FROM THE LOST WRITINGS OF IRENAEUS. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. American Edition copyright © 1885).

Consider also that the late 4th century historian and Roman and Eastern Orthodox saint Epiphanius clearly understood that the church used to observe the 14th when he wrote:

Audians … they choose to celebrate the Passover with the Jews–that is they contentiously celebrate the Passover at the same time as the Jews are holding their Festival of Unleavened Bread. And indeed that this used to be the church’s custom (Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section VI, Verses 8,11; 9,2. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp. 420-421).

The idea that Peter kept Passover on Sunday seemed to develop in the fourth century. It likely came about related to the sun-god worshiping pagan Emperor Constantine who summoned Greco-Roman religious leaders to Nicea in 325 A.D.


Sculpture of Constantine’s Head
(Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST)

Related to deciding that Passover should be on Sunday, Emperor Constantine declared:

Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way. (Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III chapter 18)

Yet, Jesus did not declare that the Jews were detestable (He was a Jew) or that He changed the date of Passover. But apparently sun-worshipping Constantine felt otherwise.

As far as Easter Sunday goes, Socrates Scholasticus admitted:

The Saviour and his apostles have enjoined us by no law to keep this feast: nor do the Gospels and apostles threaten us with any penalty, punishment, or curse for the neglect of it, as the Mosaic law does the Jews. … So also the feast of Easter came to be observed in each place according to the individual peculiarities of the peoples inasmuch as none of the apostles legislated on the matter. And that the observance originated not by legislation, but as a custom the facts themselves indicate. In Asia Minor most people kept the fourteenth day of the moon, (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter XXII. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890).

So, Easter Sunday was not something from the apostles or scripture. And Jesus and Paul were keeping Passover on the 14th. But, what about John and the other apostles?

In the second century, Irenaeus stated that Polycarp kept 14 and that “these things had been always [so] observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant” (Irenaeus. FRAGMENTS FROM THE LOST WRITINGS OF IRENAEUS. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers.  American Edition copyright © 1885). Polycarp knew the Apostle John from the first century, and since Irenaeus also claimed to have known Polycarp, this is additional early evidence that John kept Passover on the 14th.

Additionally, we also have a second century account from Polycrates of Ephesus:

We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead ? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘ We ought to obey God rather than man’…I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book V, Chapter XXIV, Verses 2-7 . Translated by A. Cushman McGiffert. Digireads.com Publishing, Stilwell (KS), 2005, p. 114).

Note that Polycrates:

1) Claimed to be a follower of the teachings passed on from the Apostle John
2) Claimed that he was being faithful to the teachings of the Gospel
3) Relied on the position that teachings from the Bible were above those of Roman-accepted tradition
4) Claimed that he was being faithful to the teachings passed down to him
5) Was then the spokesperson for many in Asia Minor
6) Claimed he and his predecessors observed the time of unleavened bread
7) Refused to accept the authority of Roman tradition over the Bible
8) Refused to accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome–he preferred to be separate (cf. Revelation 18:4)
9) Claimed that his life was to be governed by Jesus and not opinions of men

Polycrates mentioned that the two apostles who died in Asia Minor kept Passover on the 14th, plus several Gentile Church of God leaders.

So, we have at least 2 second century accounts that the Apostle John kept Passover on the 14th–and one that mentions the Apostle Philip.

Now, in the New Testament, after Jesus’ resurrection, at least eight times in the Book of Acts and once in Galatians, we repeatedly see that John and Peter were mentioned together (they are named those times, and were also often with each other when not named).

Does anyone really believe that John and Peter did not observe the same date of Passover?

That would make no sense.

Furthermore, modern Roman Catholic scholars have accepted that fact.

As did early ones. For example, the medieval historian and Catholic Priest Bede (also known as “the Venerable Bede”) recorded from a Roman Catholic Abbot named Wilfrid, who was trying to justify near the beginning of the 8th century why it was acceptable to not follow the Apostle John’s practices regarding Passover:

Far be it from me to charge John with foolishness: he literally observed the decrees of the Mosaic law when the Church was still Jewish in many respects, at a time when the apostles were unable to bring a sudden end to that law which God ordained…They feared, of course, that they might make a stumbling block for the Jewish proselytes…

So John, in accordance with the custom of the law, began the celebration of Easter Day in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, regardless of whether it fell on the sabbath or any other day. … All the followers of St. John in Asia since his death and also the whole church throughout the world have followed this observance. That this is the true Easter and that this alone must be celebrated…(Bede. Edited by Judith McClure and Roger Collins.  The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.  Oxford University Press, NY, 1999, pp. 156-157)

Really, the Apostle John was afraid and that is why he kept the 14th?

That is absurd.

He kept the 14th because it was biblical and he kept what he learned from Jesus. That is the one true Passover!

John wrote:

6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:6)

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 4)

The truth is that Jesus and John kept Passover on the 14th after sunset.

Furthermore, John warned against those who did not follow his practices:

18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (1 John 2:18-19)

Notice carefully that John was inspired to write that those who did not keep his same practices were antichrists. Obviously, John must have been keeping Jesus’ practices too or he would have been among the antichrists. Instead, Jesus had John record the Revelation.

Anyway, the records we have from the Bible as well as early post-biblical literature support the view that the Apostles John, Paul, Peter, and Philip all kept Passover on the 14th and that none of them were keeping Easter Sunday.

The evidence from the Bible is from the first century and we also have other records of that in the second century. That simply is not the case for Sunday Easter for Peter or Paul.

Do not be deceived by the craftiness of Satan (2 Corinthians 3:11) or others he has influenced, the Christian Passover is on the 14th of Nisan (which is after sunset on the 18th of April in 2019). The 14th is when Jesus observed His Passover, the Apostles observed the Christian Passover, and the faithful have observed it in the centuries since.

Christians are “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (to Jude 3). And not fall for arguments that suggest otherwise (cf. Jude 4-8).

Keeping Passover on the right day, right time, and right way was important to early Christians.

Keeping Passover on the 14th was part of the original faith. Keeping Easter Sunday certainly was not.

Is imitating the true practices of Jesus and the Apostles important enough to you?

Related to all of this, the Continuing Church of God just put together this video its ContinuingCOG channel:

24:02

The fifth century historian Socrates Scholasticus wrote the those of Asia Minor said they kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan following the practices of the Apostle John, whereas those of the Romans and the West observed what is now called Easter Sunday following the practices of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Socrates claimed that neither side had written evidence to back up their claims. But what does the Bible reveal? Do the earliest records outside the Bible point to the apostles keeping the 14 of Nisan or Easter Sunday. What does the Catholic Encyclopedia reveal? What about the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox writings? Was Passover supposed to e a nocturnal observance or a Sunday morning one? Can you know? Does this make any difference for Christians today? Dr. Thiel addresses these points from the Bible, historical records, and later church writings.

Here is a link to the video: Did Peter, Paul, & John keep Easter Sunday or Passover?

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
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. 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?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria?
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
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? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
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?
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?
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
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.

 

Did Jesus Die on a Friday or a Wednesday?

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

COGwriter

What day of the week was Jesus killed on? Was He killed on “Good Friday” or perhaps on a Wednesday?

Does the Bible give us enough information to figure this out?

When the scribes and Pharisees asked Him for a sign, Jesus answered with:

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

While most people assume that Jesus was killed on a Friday and rose before sunrise on a Sunday morning, those who have “done the math” realize that this does not add up to three days and three nights. The Bible also teaches that He was killed on a tree (Acts 5:30).

Now, of course, while the English-speaking world uses the names Wednesday and Friday, the Jews did not use those terms. Basically, the question is, was Jesus killed on the fourth or sixth day of the week?

Although “the last supper” is often observed on a Thursday for those who point to Friday, most people do not seem to realize that even certain Greco-Roman sources taught that Jesus observed that meal (Passover) on a Tuesday (which is the third day of the week). The following was written around the late second/early third century:

For when we had eaten the passover on the third day of the week at even, we went forth to the Mount of Olives; and in the night they seized our Lord Jesus. (Didascalia Apostolorum, Chapter 21, verse 14. R. Hugh Connolly, version Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929).

So, that ancient source says the last Passover of Jesus was on a Tuesday night.

In the third century, the Catholic bishop and saint Victorinus wrote:

Now is manifested the reason of the truth why the fourth day is called the Tetras, why we fast even to the ninth hour, or even to the evening, or why there should be a passing over even to the next day…

The man Christ Jesus, the originator of these things whereof we have above spoken, was taken prisoner by wicked hands, by a quaternion of soldiers. Therefore on account of His captivity by a quaternion, on account of the majesty of His works,–that the seasons also, wholesome to humanity, joyful for the harvests, tranquil for the tempests, may roll on,–therefore we make the fourth day a station or a supernumerary fast (Victorinus. On the Creation of the World. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

The day commonly now called Wednesday is the fourth day of the week. The above account shows that the fasting occurred the fourth day (tetras means fourth) at the ninth hour (3:00 pm). That is the precise time of the death of Christ according to the Bible. Victorinus is admitting that later that day, there was the Passover time (as does the Bible). He also clearly states that Jesus was arrested on Wednesday. And that is correct (what is not correct is that the Bible allows that Jesus did not die until Friday, with a Wednesday arrest, which is what these sources seem to believe).

It may be of interest to note that, even in the 21st century, many of the Roman Catholics still teach that this Passover (which they call the Last Supper) was kept by Jesus on a Tuesday night and that He was betrayed on a Wednesday (Zanchettin L, ed. Meditations, Tuesday, April 11, Wednesday April 12. the WORD among us–The #1 Monthly Devotional for Catholics. 2006; Volume 25, Number 4, pp. 63-64). Many, however, seem to think that He was held for two days before He was killed, which differs from the biblical account.

I will state here that Jesus was not just arrested on a Wednesday, He was crucified then too, just before the first day of unleavened bread. As that Sabbath was a high day according to the Bible (John 19:31), and since the day before the high day was considered to be a preparation day, it was that day, and not a Friday, that Jesus was crucified on. If more professing Christians would keep the Holy Days, more would realize that.

It was also known, even by Roman supporters in the second century, that Jesus was buried for three days. Irenaeus wrote:

For the Judge of the whole world is thus proclaimed, who, having been hidden in the heart of the earth in a tomb for three days (Irenaeus. Fragments of Irenaeus, Fragment XXXI. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.).

Since the Bible clearly shows that Jesus was resurrected well before sunrise Sunday morning (when the women came to His tomb Sunday morning, “it was still dark” per John 20:1), there is simply no way that there were three days from Friday afternoon to prior to sunrise Sunday–let alone three days AND three nights. He had to have been killed on a Wednesday.

Jesus clearly taught that the sign He would give to prove who He was was that He would “be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Three days prior to the sunrise of a Sunday would be prior to a sunrise on a Thursday. And since Jesus was killed and buried when it was still light out (John 19:31), that means that Jesus had to have been killed on a Wednesday.

Some Protestant scholars have long realized that there is biblical support that Jesus’ resurrection may have been on Saturday with a Wednesday crucifixion. Notice what one wrote in 1907:

…the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the Sabbath“…Now, the Bible does not leave us to speculate which Sabbath is meant in this instance; for John tells us, in so many words, in John 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was “the preparation of the Passover” (emphasis added). In other words, it was not the day before the weekly Sabbath (that is, Friday), but it was the day before the Passover Sabbath, which came that year on Thursday–that is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday. John makes this as clear as day…

To sum it all up, Jesus died just about sunset on Wednesday. Seventy two hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at…Saturday at sunset, He arose again from the grave. (Torrey R.A. Difficulties in the Bible. Originally published 1907; Whitaker House; Updated edition, October 2003, pp. 168-169, 173).

Furthermore, see what the late Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper, and others have admitted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:40, New Living Translation) (Kovac, Joe. ‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day. Posted: March 16, 2008 5:24 pm Eastern. WorldNetDaily).

For Christians around the globe, Good Friday is one of the most important days of the year. And the Easter resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just the foundation of the entire faith, but a cultural touchstone.

But a new book that investigates Passion Week has reached the shocking conclusion Jesus Christ wasn’t actually crucified on that Friday at all.

“The Great Christian Lie,” by James C. DeSelms, argues Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the 13th of Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

DeSelms presents a detailed breakdown of everything Jesus and His disciples did during Passion Week, including an in-depth medical examination of exactly what Messiah endured during His crucifixion. He argues the resurrection took place on the Feast of First Fruits, showing a deep connection between the life of Christ and the biblical calendar and indicating the Passion of Messiah was the culmination of many of the biblical feasts.

Indeed, “The Great Christian Lie” is an invaluable guide for any believer who wants to understand the most important week in human history. It’s also a formidable assemblage of many of the prophetic proofs Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. 03/26/17 http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/stunner-about-passion-week-and-good-friday/#GYU9e7HwlutdIV20.99

Jesus was killed late afternoon on the 14th of Nisan which was a ‘Wednesday’ in 30/31 A.D.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from 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.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?

Which days this season should you keep?

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019


COGwriter

The Spring Holy Days will be here soon. Passover is observed by Christians after sunset on the 18th of this month. But many who profess Christ will instead observe Easter (which is actually supposed to be Passover) on April 21st in 2019.

Are they the same?

Which of those did the early followers of Christ observe?

The Continuing Church of God has the following sermon at its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:17:00

Which Spring Days should Christians observe?

What days in the Spring did Jesus, His disciples and early Christians observe? Did they observe Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost? Did they observe Mardi Gras, Carnaval, Ash Wednesday, Lent, or Easter? Did they use unleavened bread and wine or leavened bread with grape juice? Did they break unleavened bread or use round hosts? Which is the proper date for Jesus’ Passover? Are weekly observances of Passover proper? Does it matter which days Christians observe? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more by citing scriptures and historical sources.

Here is a link to the sermon: Which Spring Days should Christians observe?

Some items of related interest may include:

Examine Yourself before Passover This article goes into some of why real Christians are to do this. Two related sermons are Really examine yourself before Passover and Passover Examination.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
Unleavened Bread recipes A Serbian COG member, now CCOG elder, sent these recipes for those who would like more ways to prepare unleavened bread. Here is a link to recipes in Spanish: Recetas de Recuerdo.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? A related animation is available and is titled: Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here are two YouTube videos intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:Leaven and Sin and Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Is Mardi Gras Christian? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma? Here is a link to a related sermon: Lent, Ash Wednesday, Carnaval, and Christianity?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
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. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Was Jesus in the tomb for three days and three nights?

Monday, April 8th, 2019


Site of Calvary?

COGwriter

Was Jesus buried and in the grave for three days and three nights?

Some think He went elsewhere. Some claim Jesus had a descent to Hades.

An author wrote some of how a descent story about Ishtar and a descent story for Jesus became mixed:

Somewhere after 100 A.D., a false gospel, The Gospel According to Nicodemus, surfaces … in which Jesus is made to go on a quest into the Netherworld during the three days between His death and Resurrection, to free some Old Testament saints. The gospel of Nicodemus is never accepted, but it is a well-known fact of Church history that this idea of Jesus going on a quest, exactly like Ishtar, to free souls from imprisonment … ultimately approaches the level of official Church doctrine. This raising of the tale from superstition to dogma occurs at a politically correct time …

Clement espouses both story and the Friday crucifixion. In discussing Clement’s acceptance of the “Descent of Christ” as true, one author cautioned: “It is important to realize that Clement drew upon Pagan religion more systematically than any other Christian source before or since”.

Critical historians candidly admit that the “Descent” was derived from Pagan myth … The “other pagan religions” that the Descent Myth appears in are our most familiar stable of Sun gods: … Dionysus, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Krishna, Balder … All of them are derivatives of Tammuz (Alfieri A. The Darkness at the Crucifixion, Volume I. Ngenium LLC, New Jersey, 2005, p. 367).

The Clement above is the Clement of Alexandria, who around 190 A.D. blends Nicodemus and pagan sources in his writing known as the Stromata. Hence certain pagan stories about a descent into the Netherworld became blended with Christ, and this may have been a factor in the final adoption of the descent story and an Easter Sunday resurrection holiday, to replace a Nisan 14 Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. The Alexandrians, like various others who were not truly faithful, used false gospel accounts, see also The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History.

The Church of Rome calls the day before “Easter” “Holy Saturday.”

Now, the Bible does call the Sabbath day, which is on the Roman calendar day called Saturday, holy:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. (Exodus 20:8-9)

But that is not what Roman Catholics mean when they call today “Holy Saturday.”

The Apostle Paul taught that Jesus died and that is essentially like being asleep:

34 … It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:14)

Yet, many falsely claim that Jesus did not really die, but that He descended into ‘hell’/hades to preach to fallen angels and/or others after His physical death on the stake. This is what the Church of Rome teaches happened on the day they call Holy Saturday:

What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

Here on earth, Jesus’ disciples mourned his death and, since it was a sabbath day, they rested. …

What happened to Jesus while he was dead?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.

Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:

“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”

Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment.

This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/12-things-you-need-to-know-about-holy-saturday3

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479 (479 Cf. 1 Pet 3:18-19.) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 632)

While Jesus’ disciples mourned His death and would have rested on the Sabbath, when Jesus was dead, He was actually dead. Though He was raised from the dead on the day we now call Saturday.

There are several theological problems with the Roman view of ‘Holy Saturday”. Consider:

  1. If Jesus did not really die, which He did (Romans 5:8, 8:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:10), then He did not really give His life.
  2. Jesus said He would be like Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish (Matthew 12:40)–does anyone really claim that Jonah preached in ‘hades’ (called sheol in Hebrew) during that time? It is certainly not recorded that Jonah did that in the Old Testament.
  3. There is no New Testament teaching that Jesus descended into Hades to preach to various spirits or dead humans. Plus dead humans are dead (see Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? and What Happens After Death?).

On that third point, first let me quote the Bible:

27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:27)

That passage does NOT say that Jesus descended and preached. Consider also the word translated as Hades means the grave or place of the dead.

It is NOT the same word as Gehenna (which had a fire) that is often translated as hell in many New Testaments.

It is also NOT the same word as Tartarosas which is used as a place of restraint for fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4). The Bible never teaches that Jesus went there after He was executed.

Note, in his Latin Vulgate Bible, Jerome used the word for Tartarosas and not the word for Hades:

4 si enim Deus angelis peccantibus non pepercit sed rudentibus inferni detractos in tartarum tradidit in iudicium cruciatos reservari (2 Peter 2:4, Latin Vulgate)

Furthermore, realize that Acts 2:27 is a quote (per Acts 2:25) of something David wrote in the Psalms:

10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10)

Sheol also means grave or place of the dead. Notice the following where Sheol is translated as grave:

5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? (Psalms 6:5, NKJV; both the Catholic NJB and NABRE leave the word as Sheol, instead of using the translation as grave–see their Psalm 6:6)

So, in Sheol one will not give God thanks.

Now let me quote a statement from the late French Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie Danielou on whether the New Testament teaches the descent:

The Descent Into Hell…This doctrine appears nowhere in the New Testament,1

1 So W. Bieder, Die Vorstellung von der Hollenfardt Jesus Christi, p. 128

(Danielou, Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminister Press, 1964, p. 233)

Anyway, Jesus was dead for three days and three nights. Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity upon incarnation (Philippians 2:7) and did not receive it back until He was resurrected (cf. John 20:24-29).

As far as WHEN He preached to certain fallen angels, the idea is claimed to come from 1 Peter 3:18-20). So let’s look at that:

Jesus Christ was the same God who walked and talked with Moses in the wilderness — the same “I AM” (see Ex. 3:14) who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Paul makes this plain. “I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the [Red] sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea…. For they drank from the same supernatural Rock which followed them, and the [‘that,’ KJV] Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:1-4).

This same Personage in the Godhead presided over the Flood in Noah’s day. Peter gives us the facts: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put. to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he [Christ] went and preached unto the spirits [demons] in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:18-20, KJV). (Schroeder JR. Who Was Jesus? Good News magazine, November 1975)

The timeframe of the ‘descent’ was the time of Noah and that flood. Thus, it DID NOT happen during the time called the ‘crucifixion week.’

Many who profess Christ observe something they call “Good Friday.” They believe that Jesus was crucified and died that day and rose early Sunday.

But is that what happened? Is that what Jesus taught?

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:38-41)

Most people do not seem to realize that Jesus’ sign of His Messiahship was being in the grave for 72 hours. Yet most who profess Christ have rationalized this away.

A common Roman Catholic position seems to be that 3 days and 3 nights is at the most 40 hours. Notice:

Christ lay forty hours in the tomb (Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

However, their celebration of the Good Friday-Easter Sunday time period does not allow for Jesus to have been in the tomb for more than 36 hours as they teach that Jesus was placed in the tomb late Friday (just prior to sunset) and that when Mary Magdalene came to His tomb while it was still dark (John 20:1, hence probably a half hour or so before sunrise), He already was gone.

Interestingly, there was a shortened (Jesus was in the grave a full 72 hours), Friday to Sunday resurrection holiday to Osiris.

In order to justify a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday morning resurrection, most who do so have theologically relied, directly or at least indirectly, on the personal opinions of a late fourth/early fifth century writer named Augustine, who wrote:

Scripture again witnesses that the space of those three days themselves was not whole and entire, but the first day is counted as a whole from its last part, and the third day is itself also counted as a whole from its first part; but the intervening day, i.e. the second day, was absolutely a whole with its twenty-four hours, twelve of the day and twelve of the night. For He was crucified first by the voices of the Jews in the third hour, when it was the sixth day of the week. Then He hung on the cross itself at the sixth hour, and yielded up His spirit at the ninth hour…But from the evening of the burial to the dawn of the resurrection are thirty-six hours which is six squared. And this is referred to that ratio of the single to the double wherein there is the greatest consonance of co-adaptation. For twelve added to twenty-four suits the ratio of single added to double and makes thirty-six: namely a whole night with a whole day and a whole night, and this not without the mystery which I have noticed above. For not unfitly do we liken the spirit to the day and the body to the night. For the body of the Lord in His death and resurrection was a figure of our spirit and a type of our body. In this way, then, also that ratio of the single to the double is apparent in the thirty-six hours, when twelve are added to twenty-four (Augustine. On the Trinity (Book IV), Chapter 6. Translated by Arthur West Haddan, B.D. Revised and annotated by the Professor W.G.T. Shedd, D.D. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series One, Volume 3. Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D. American Edition, 1887. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Augustine admits that Jesus is to be in the grave for three days, yet decides that he can calculate using a non-accepted form of mathematics.

Even the Pope Emeritus (also known as Benedict XVI) does not seem to know how long Jonah or Jesus were “swallowed up”. Notice what he stated:

Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, so too Christ crucified was swallowed up into the heart of the earth (cf. Matthew 12:40) for the length of a Sabbath (Benedict XVI. Jesus Is Risen, and He Gives Us Peace. Easter Message, April 16, 2006. © Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana as reported by www.zenit.org/english).

The length of a Sabbath is one day and one night–about 24 hours. It is not three days and three nights. But Jesus and Jonah were “swallowed up” for 72 hours!

Martin Luther, who had been a Roman Catholic, also did not accept that Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights as he wrote,

How can we say that he rose on the third day, since he lay in the grave only one day and two nights? According to the Jewish calculation it was only a day and a half; how shall we then persist in believing there were three days? To this we reply that be was in the state of death for at least a part of all three days. For he died at about two o’clock on Friday and consequently was dead for about two hours on the first day. After that night he lay in the grave all day, which is the true Sabbath. On the third day, which we commemorate now, he rose from the dead and so remained in the state of death a part of this day, just as if we say that something occurred on Easter-day, although it happens in the evening, only a portion of the day. In this sense Paul and the Evangelists say that be rose on the third day (Luther M. Of Christ’s Resurrection from volume II:238-247 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI). It was originally published in 1906 in English by Lutherans in All Lands Press (Minneapolis, MN), as The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 11).

Hence the only way to have a “Good Friday” crucifixion and a pre-dawn Sunday morning resurrection is to twist what Jesus taught and deny that He would be buried for three days AND three nights.

If people rationalize away the only sign of Jesus’ Messiahship, perhaps that suggests that they are not really His followers?

What about you?

Those who wish to learn more should also study the following articles:

Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
‘Passion’ sequel: Descent into Hades Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’ movie grossed over $600 million. He is working on a sequel tentatively titled ‘Resurrection.’ The actor who plays Jesus (Jim Caviezel) said this movie will have “shocking” parts. One part, that has been reported, is the idea that Jesus went to Hades after the crucifixion and prior to the resurrection to preach to souls in “hell.”‘ Is that what the New Testament teaches? Is this something original to the Apostles and what is called the “Apostles” Creed’? Did Jesus really die? What do the terms Hades, Sheol, Tartarosas, and Gehenna signify? What does the Bible teach about when Jesus preaching in Tartarosas? Did Jerome include this in his Latin Vulgate? Is the ‘descent into Hades’ (Acts 2:27) the same as taught by the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’? What does the Bible teach us? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more in this video.
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 … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
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?
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, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.