Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Simplicity in Christ

Friday, February 3rd, 2023

COGwriter

Are you familiar with the simplicity that is in Christ?

Are you sure you understand that?

The Apostle Paul wrote:

2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)

Related to the simplicity in Jesus the Christ goes, the following from the Apostle Paul conveys that:

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:8-9)

Jesus obeyed and suffered and became perfect. Jesus will provide eternal salvation for those that obey Him. Is that simple enough?

Notice that, according to the Apostle Paul, obedience IS A SALVATION ISSUE!

Sadly, most who claim Christianity do not understand that. They do not understand that because they tend to teach a different Jesus, do not believe they need to obey Him as He obeyed His Father’s commandments (John 15:10), and have adopted many practices that neither Jesus nor His faithful followers engaged in. And most of those who do teach that they should obey, reason around the obedience in ways similar to those of the ancient Pharisees whom Jesus denounced for such practices (e.g. Matthew 15:1-9).

The reality is that most who profess Christianity in today’s world do not adhere to what the original apostles taught. Councils of men, ecclesiastical politics, theological interpretations, philosophy, and higher criticism have all had their part in complicating the simple beliefs and practices of the original Christians.

Yet, as the Apostle Jude exhorted, true Christians are “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

But even by the time of Jude and Paul, false teachings and wrong philosophic influences had began to push forth a corrupt religion that began to call itself Christian.

Yet, the relationship of Christians with Jesus is not complex or confusing. It is simple, yet profound.

Here is what the Apostle Peter said needed to be done :

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

29. … Peter and the apostles … said, “We are obligated to obey God rather than men.

30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree.

31. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel.

32. And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32, AFV)

By obeying God we live the way of love that results from keeping His commandment (James 2:8).

The Apostle Paul also wrote:

5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, (1 Timothy 1:5)

Jesus said:

22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

17 … But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:17)

Notice that Jesus is talking about those who already claim Him, yet they need to endure to the end to be saved–hence, Jesus made it clear that just claiming His name is not enough. Those who want eternal life are to keep the commandments.

Basically, if we continue to strive to keep God’s loving commandments until our physical life ends we are to attain salvation (Matthew 10:22). And scripture teaches that will happen at the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Revelation 20:4-6).

Just calling Jesus ‘Lord” or thinking God has used you somehow does not make you a Christian! Jesus said:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus also said:

15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)

Yes, those who love Jesus keep the Commandments.

Here is something by the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God about those that failed to follow simple original Christianity:

Well, let’s turn for a moment over to 2 Corinthians, the eleventh chapter where the apostle Paul — this was in his time along around 50 AD or somewhere along in the middle, there, of the first century — and Paul is speaking here to the church at Corinth, in his second letter, then, in chapter eleven — 2 Corinthians. So Paul says, to the people in that church at Corinth:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety [he’s very clever, very subtle. There it mentions the devil as a serpent], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus…” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

They have come preaching a Jesus that did away with His Father’s law and His Father’s commandments!

Jesus said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments ” (John 15:10).

He said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done!” (cf. John 13:15)

But many have come in the name of Christ and preaching that Jesus is the Christ and saying, “the law is done away.” That’s a different Jesus; that’s a smart-aleck Jesus that knew more than His Father and did away with His Father’s law. That is not the real Jesus. The real Jesus KEPT His Father’s commandments and told us to do the same thing. Go back and read Matthew and Mark and Luke and John and see what He did.

“For [he continues] if he that cometh [that is false preachers, now] if he that cometh preaches another Jesus [another Jesus that knows more than His Father] whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Now he goes on talking about these false apostles coming in sheep’s clothing and claiming to represent Christ. In the thirteenth verse — just a few verses later — thirteenth, and fourteenth, and fifteenth verses — 2 Corinthians, the eleventh chapter:

“For such are false apostles [now here they are described — false apostles], deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel [now they’re not real apostles of Christ. But it says]; no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed as an angel of light. And therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

So it shows there false apostles coming to deceive the people. And that was even in the first century. (Armstrong HW. Revelation – Closed Book Until the End. World Tomorrow Radio broadcast, c. 1960)

“the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3) … It’s very simple my friends, the thing is — obey God. You have to surrender your way, you have to give up the traditions of the people and of the time and turn to God and the ways of God. That’s quite simple. And Jesus came and died for us because we have transgressed His ways and to pay the penalty of that transgression in our stead. Otherwise you wouldn’t need a Saviour; you need a Saviour because of your disobedience. Jesus died to take away your past sin, and your guilt — to reconcile you to God so you can receive God’s Holy Spirit, the love that will fulfill His law, to make it possible for you to keep the law of God. (Armstrong HW. False Gospels. World Tomorrow Radio broadcast, c. 1960)

Satan “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

Satan did not want Jesus to obey (cf. Matthew 4:8-10)–Satan does not want you to obey.

Information about what to obey, and how many have reasoned around properly obeying, as well as some prophecies about the Antichrist not obeying can be found in the free, online, book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

Now, here is an incomplete and improper view of the “simplicity’ from a Protestant named David J. Stewart:

“THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST,” which is THE GOSPEL. The Word of God plainly teaches that it is “SIMPLE” to get saved. How simple is it? Very, very, very simple!!! I mean, it is so simple that I can sum it up with just one word… “BELIEVE.” IT IS SIMPLE, FREE AND EASY TO BE SAVED!!! …

You don’t have to become a theologian to be saved… JUST BELIEVE!!! To believe means to “trust.” …

Adding even the slightest human effort will cancel one’s faith; such as, sacraments (water baptism, communion), prayer or good works. Either Jesus does ALL the saving, or else you don’t get saved!!! (The Simplicity that is in Christ. January 2017. http://www.jesusisprecious.org/fundamentals/simplicity_that_is_in_christ.htm viewed 01/17/23)

While we are saved by grace through faith, and not works (Ephesians ), it does require some human effort to obey. Obeying DOES NOT cancel one’s faith, but clearly demonstrates that the faith is real.

As far as belief goes, while that is needed, the Apostle James wrote:

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:19-24)

Demons believe, but will not truly obey. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther did not care for James’ epistle, not only did he refer to it as an “epistle of straw,” he would not accept verses like James 2:24.

It takes faith to truly obey–if you will not obey you do not have the real and right kind of faith. The New Testament is clear Christians are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

A Christian is simply one who believes the Bible and has God spirit (Romans 8:9), who believes in, obeys, and follows the lead and example of Jesus the Christ, but who refuses to accept traditions of men (cf. Mark 7:6:13) to the contrary.

Sadly, that is not the case with over 99% of people claim Christianity.

Christianity has a simplicity–strive to obey God and live His way of love.

Any other way is NOT the simplicity in Christ.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.
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 MessiahProphecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and deathJesus’ prophesied divinity200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He madeWhy 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 …
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how 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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

Can any lessons be learned from the ‘Groundhog Day’ movie?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2023


Groundhog Day Celebration in Punxsutawney (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

There is an odd observance on February 2 each year in North America that is called Groundhog Day:

Groundhog Day … is a popular American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2nd. It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

While the tradition remains popular in modern times, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather. … The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania, centering around a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, has become the most attended. (Groundhog Day, Wikipedia, accessed 04/25/20)

So, no this is not a biblical holiday, so why mention it?

Well, in 1993, there was a movie starring Bill Murray titled Groundhog Day. Since coming out, it has become a cultural icon, in a sense, in the USA and elsewhere.

Here are parts of a synopsis of the Groundhog Day movie from IMDb (Internet Movie Database):

On February 1, self-centered and sour TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray), news producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliott) from fictional Pittsburgh television station WPBH-TV9 travel to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities with Punxsutawney Phil, the Groundhog. Having grown tired of this assignment, Phil begrudgingly gives his Groundhog Day report the next day (February 2) during the festival and parade.

After the celebration concludes, a blizzard develops that Connors had predicted would miss them, closing the roads and shutting down long-distance phone services, forcing the team to return to Punxsutawney. Connors awakens the next morning, however, to find it is February 2 again, and his day unfolds in almost exactly the same way. Connors can change his behavior, but other people do and say the same things they did and said the previous day, unless Connors changes something. He is aware of the repetition, but everyone else seems to be living February 2 for the first time. This recursion repeats the following morning and the one after that, and over and over again. …

After briefly trying to rationalize his situation, and then thinking he is insane, Connors takes advantage of learning the day’s events and the information he is able to gather about the town’s inhabitants, and finds that his actions have no long-term consequences for himself. He revels in this situation for a time: seducing beautiful women, stealing money, even driving drunk and experiencing a police chase. However, his attempts to seduce his producer, Rita, are met with repeated failures. He begins to tire of, and then dread, his existence, starting the day by smashing the alarm clock and professing the inanity of Groundhog Day as a holiday in his newscast. (Groundhog Day, 1993. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107048/plotsummary)

Yes, Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors displayed what was warned about in the last days by the Apostle Paul:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (2 Timothy 3:1-2, NKJV throughout)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, (Galatians 5:19)

Phil Connors loved the world and wanted to pursue the works of the flesh. He did not care much about the following that the Apostle John wrote when his time loop began:

16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:16-17)

Yes, the world is passing away.

Consider also that the Bible calls the ‘pleasures of sin’ “passing” in Hebrews 11:25. So, since he had to repeat the same day over and over and over again, Phil eventually starts to see the vanity in this.

Back to the movie synopsis:

He opens his heart to Rita, and her advice helps him to gradually find a goal for his trapped life: as a benefactor to others. He cannot, in a single day, bring others to fulfill his needs but he can achieve self-improvement by educating himself on a daily basis. After seeing an elderly homeless man die, Connors vows that no one will die on “his” day and performs many heroic services each and every repeating day, including performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking man and saving a little boy who falls from a tree. …

Though the film does not specify the number of repetitions, there is enough time for Connors to learn many complex skills, such as how to play jazz piano, speak French, sculpt ice, and memorize the life story of almost everyone in town. … the intent in the original script was for the time-frame of Connors’ repeating days to be ambiguous, but longer than a single lifetime …Director Harold Ramis tried to leave the time-frame loop ambiguous as how many times Connors re-lives February 2, but it is strongly speculated by Connors (and the viewers) to be at least 10 years.

Do you ever feel that you have to deal with the same problems over and over again? Do you ever wonder if there is any point to it?

We know that there is as:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Now, back to the synopsis:

Eventually, Phil sees his own shadow, so to speak, and changes from an inconsiderate, callous egocentric into a thoughtful, kindhearted philanthropist, refining his understanding of human decency, which, in return, makes him an appreciated and beloved man in the town. …

He wakes … and finds the time loop is broken; it is now February 3. Phil is a different person than he was on February 1 …

Yes, the trial ended once he learned what he was supposed to learn, then he awoke to a different day. Notice what will happen to Christians:

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Getting back to Groundhog Day, Phil learned a version of the following:

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. (Proverbs 3:27)

He not only learned it, he practiced it.

Consider that every day we all have things to learn. While the actual days are not repeated, we are faced with multiple opportunities to build character. And yes, we often face the same problems, illnesses, pains, etc. each day.

When will those trials actually end?

Well, they will whenever you and I have learned all that God wants us to learn.

For some of those problems, they will not end until we die.

Jesus taught:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Yes, in a sense, life can be like Groundhog Day in the sense we have to go through a lot of the same or similar tests and trials to learn how to better live and serve.

It takes a while to build godly character, even for Christians:

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

Yes, we have hope. Hope, not only in this age, but also the hope of the resurrection.

The Psalmist wrote:

24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

As Christians we should rejoice in the opportunity each day provides to build character and give love. For more on YOUR purpose, check out the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

Remember Jonah:

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)

But God decided Jonah still needed to do the job, so there was a storm on the sea, and Jonah was tossed into the sea:


Portrayal of Jonah being swallowed by the fish (Wikipedia)

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)

If you have a task that you are supposed to do, and do not do it, yes, something may happen to you to get your attention. Do not wait to have to have negative things happen over and over again before you change.

Jesus warned:

14 … Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. (John 5:14)

Christians are to change and not repeat the same mistakes or sins each day. The Bible also teaches:

11 … God is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:11)

So, obviously, do not be wicked. Even if you do wrong, consider the following:

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; (Lamentations 3:22-23a)

Yes, God is merciful every day.

Furthermore, Christians are not to worry, but are to take things one day at a time. As Jesus said:

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. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34)

The Apostle Peter wrote:

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)

The Apostle Paul also wrote:

25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)

Yes, unlike Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, we are striving for an unperishable crown.

Just because you may have been a Christian for a long time, do not think that if you give up you also cannot become disqualified.

Remember, Jesus said:

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)

So, if you ever wonder why you keep going through a lot of the same tests and trials, consider that you are to endure and learn lessons.

With those lessons learned, you will be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

Don’t give up.

Take it one day at a time–but don’t waste each day.

David wrote:

2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. (Psalm 145:2)

So, there is something to do every day!

Furthermore, as the Apostle Peter wrote, we are to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).

Yes, make the best of each day.

Don’t be so stubborn that every day has to be a movie version of Groundhog Day.

We also put together a related video:


15:36

Lessons from ‘Groundhog Day’

Groundhog Day is a popular American tradition observed in the United States and Canada on February 2nd, that science shows is essentially based on a myth. In 1993, there was a movie starring Bill Murray as Phil Connors titled ‘Groundhog Day.’ It has become a cultural icon in a sense in the USA. In the movie, Phil ends up in a time loop where everyday is February 2nd. This goes on for at least ten years. At first, Phil pursues various lusts of the flesh. But eventually, he tires of the vanity of it all. Instead of being a selfish taker, he becomes a giver. Once he has learned whatever he is supposed to learn, he finally awakes to a new day and a new life. Are there lessons here for Christians? What are some of them? Can we learn anything from Jonah and his being swallowed by a great fish? What should Christians do each day? What shouldn’t Christians do? What about the mystery of God’s plan and the Kingdom of God? Dr. Thiel goes over these topics and more in this scripture filled video he relates to comments about the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’

Here is a link to our video: Lessons from ‘Groundhog Day’.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
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. Here is a video in Spanish: ¿Qué es un verdadero cristiano?
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 Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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?

Peter Waldo, the Waldenses, the Sabbath, and Succession

Friday, January 27th, 2023


Statue purported to be Peter Waldo
(photo by Alexander Hoernigk)

COGwriter

Did any of the Waldensians keep the seventh-day Sabbath?

Did all of them?

What about Peter Waldo?

Some have asserted that those who have called themselves some version of the term Waldensian always kept Sunday.

Seventh-day Adventist scholar Gerard Damsteegt has stated:

Although there is no record that Waldo and his followers observed the seventh-day Sabbath, we know that several movements related to the Waldenses were reported to observe this custom. Damsteegt PG. DECODING ANCIENT WALDENSIAN NAMES: NEW DISCOVERIES. Andrews University Seminary Studies, Vol. 54, 2016, No. 2, Autumn 2016, p. 254)

Actually, the above scholar actually provided evidence that Peter Waldo and his followers kept the Sabbath in the same article, more of which will be cited later.

First, let it be made clear that scholars who have looked into the Waldensians have concluded that at least some of them kept the seventh-day Sabbath.

Here is an old report from old English (where the letter ‘f’ was often used instead of the letter ‘s,’ so it is changed below) from a Baptist historian in the 18th century:

Some of the inhabitants of the Pyrenees, and of the adjacent states, and not those of the vallies of Piedmont, were the true original Waldenses, … Some of these christians were called Sabbati, Sabbatati, and Insabbatati, and more frequently Inzabbatati. Led astray by found without attending to facts, one says, they were so named from the hebrew word sabbath, because they kept the saturday for the Lord’s day. Another says, they were so called because they rejected all the festivals, or sabbaths, in the low latin sense of the word, which the catholick church religiously observed. (Robinson R. Ecclesiastical Researches. Francis Hodson, publisher. 1792, pp. 299-304)

So, there were multiple types of Waldensians, and many kept the seventh-day Sabbath.

Notice the following:

One of the primary sources of evidence of Waldensian Sabbathkeeping during the first half of the thirteenth century comes from a collection of five books written against the Cathars and Waldensians about 1241-1244 by Dominican inquisitor Father Moneta of Cremona in northern Italy.

Moneta passionately defended himself against criticism from Waldensians and Cathars that Catholics were transgressors of the Sabbath commandment. In the chapter De Sabbato, et De Die Dominico he discussed the significance of the seventh-day Sabbath of Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and contrasted it with the value of the Lord’s day, his term for the first day of the week. …

Sabbathkeeping among Waldensians was most widespread in Bohemia and Moravia, places to which they fled during papal persecution.

A fifteenth-century manuscript, published by church historian Johann Döllinger in History of the Sects {Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters (Munich: Beck, 1890), Vol. II, p. 662} reports that Waldensians in Bohemia “do not celebrate the feasts of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles, except the Lord’s day. Not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.” (Damsteegt PG. Were Waldensians Sabbath-keepers? Adventist World, September 6, 2017).

Here is a report from the Lutheran historian Johann Mosheim concerning a group in the 12th century and two of their tenets:

the denomination of the Pasaginians … The first was a notion, that the observance of the law of Moses, in everything except the offering of sacrifices, was obligatory upon Christians; in consequence of which they circumcised their followers, abstained from those meats, the use of which was prohibited under the Mosaic economy, and celebrated the Jewish sabbath. The second tenet that distinguished this sect was advanced in opposition to the doctrine of three persons in the divine nature. (Mosheim JL, Coote C, Gleig G. An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern: In which the Rise, Progress, and Variations of Church Power, are Considered in Their Connexion with the State of Learning and Philosophy, and the Political History of Europe During that Period, Volume 1. Translated by Archibald Maclaine. Plaskitt & Cugle, 1840. Original from Ohio State University, Digitized Aug 8, 2013, p. 333)

So, they kept the Sabbath, abstained from unclean meats, and were opposed to the trinitarian view. While not all the views that Mosheim had about the Pasaginians were Church of God views, apparently some called by that name were Church of God Christians. It should also be noted that Mosheim believed that there were two types of Waldnesians. One considered that the Church of Rome was a real Christian church, whereas the other considered the Church of Rome to be the harlot of Revelation 17 (Moshiem, p. 333). Others have written that one type of Waldensian was fairly close to the Greco-Romans, whereas the other type was much more independent of them (Froom LE. The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Volume 1. Review and Herald, 1950, p. 831).

In the seventeenth century, Peter Allix reported about beliefs of the early Waldensians from a critic and then made his own comments:

That the Law of Moses is to be kept according to the letter, and that the keeping of the Sabbath, Circumcision, and other legal observances, ought to take place. They hold also, that Christ the Son of God is not equal with the Father, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, these three Persons, are not one God and one substance; and, as a surplus to these their errors, -they judge and condemn all the doctors of the Church, and universally the whole Roman Church. Now, since they endeavour to defend this their error by testimonies drawn from the New Testament and Prophets, I shall, with assistance of the grace of Christ, stop their mouths, as David did Goliah’s, with their own sword. (Allix P. Some Remarks upon the Eccelisastical History of the Ancient churches of Piedmont. originally published 1690, Oxford reprint 1831, p. 169)

But here, first of all, we are to take notice, that the Waldenses and Albigenses had both of them the same belief… the difference between the Waldenses and the Church of Rome was not so small, that they could be looked upon only as schismatics, as the Bishop of Meaux has been pleased to imagine … the Waldenses, or disciples of Waldo, having been particularly famous for their refusing to swear, … Peter Waldo’s translating of the Bible, which must have been done before the year 1180, shews, that in France there was already a language different from the Latin tongue, (Ibid, pp. 173, 183, 184)

The above suggests that they held several Church of God doctrines, including binitarianism, non-swearing of oaths, and Sabbath-keeping.

The Petrobrusians (considered related to the Waldenses) kept the Sabbath and were condemned for it by the Roman Catholic saint Bernard in the 12th century (Andrews J. History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week. Reprint by Teach Services, 1998, p. 421). Notice the following from a Sunday-keeping writer (where I have typed it as originally written–knowing that now, the “f” charcaters below would have been an “s” in modern writing):

the feventh day Sabbath … In S. Bernard’s dayes it was condemned in the Petrobufiani. (In: White F, Bifhop of Ely. A Treatise on the Sabbath Day …. Richard Badger, 1635, p. 8)

So, yes, some of the immediate predecessors of Peter Waldo and the Waldensians kept the seventh-day Sabbath and were condemned for it. Peter Waldo likely was in contact with some considered Petrobrusians.

The Patarenes (considered related to the Waldenses) kept the Sabbath and were condemned for it by Cardinal Damian around the same time (Wilkinson B. Reprint by Teach Services, 1994, pp. 234-235).

Now what about Peter Waldo himself? Here is more from SDA scholar Gerard Damsteegt:

With few exceptions, Waldensians today deny that the ancient Waldenses kept the seventh-day Sabbath. However, historical evidence indicates that many did observe Sabbath during the Middle Ages. During the early part of the seventeenth century, the Swiss histo-rian Melchior Goldastus (1576–1635) commented on Emperor Frederic II’s Constitution of 1220 against heretics. He reasoned that the label insabbatati was used to describe heretics during the thirteenth century “because they judaize on the Sabbath,” that is, they kept the Sabbath like the Jews. He mentioned that the “Valdenses” were often called “Insabbatati,”14 indicating that during that time there were Waldenses who kept the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) as a day of rest. …

Primary sources show that, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, there were two groups of Waldenses–one group that observed Sunday as the Lord’s day, the other that kept the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible. Our research reveals that the title insabbatati could apply to (1) Waldenses who rejected Catholic festivals and holy days, or sabbaths, and observed only Sunday as the Lord’s day and (2) Waldenses who, in addition, rejected Sunday as a Catholic institution and kept the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible. The title sabbatati, as applied to heretics, was used to characterize Waldenses who stood out because of their observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. (Damsteegt PG. The ancient Waldenses: Did the Reformation predate Luther? Ministry, October 2017, pp. 23,24)

The Waldensian historian, Emilio Comba, admits that northern Italy was a stronghold of various dissident groups associated with the Waldenses, some of which kept the Sabbath and often influenced and merged with the various groups of the Poor of Lyon and Poor Lombards.Sabbath keeping among the Waldenses was most widespread in Bohemia and Moravia. An inquisitor’s manuscript from the fifteenth century reports that Waldenses in Bohemia “do not celebrate the feasts of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles, except the Lord’s day. Not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.” … Most historians identify Tourlupins with the Picardian branch of Waldenses. A company of them was arrested in 1420. Well-preserved manuscripts mention that they “upheld that the Saturday must be celebrated instead of Sunday.”

From the end of the twelfth century, opponents of the Waldenses called them insabbatati, insabbatatis, xabatati, xabatenses, sabbatati, sabatatos, inzabattati, insabbatatorum, and insabbatatos. These words can be traced back to the basic The first time the word insabbatati appeared in the existing Latin literature is in an edict issued in 1192 against heretics by Alfonso II, King of Aragon, (1152–1196), Count of Barcelona, and Count of Provence. This edict warned against the Valdenses (Waldenses) and identified them as Insabbatatos and Pauperes de Lugduno (Poor of Lyon). The edict, however, did not explain why Waldenses were called Insabbatatos. The next use of this term was in an 1197 edict issued by the son of Alfonso II, Peter II, King of Aragon, (1174–1213) and Count of Provence. This document called them Sabatati and Pauperes de Lugduno. …

From the various accounts of Waldenses rejecting holy days, festivals or sabbaths, it is not surprising that, as late as the time of archbishop James Usher (1581–1656), there were many who believed that insabbatati referred to those Waldenses who worshiped by judaizing on the Sabbath. Concerning the word insabbatati, Jesuit Inquisitor Pegne also admitted that “many used to think it came from Sabbath, and that they [Waldenses] observed the Sabbath according to the custom of the Jews.” …

Since the Middle Ages, historians have characterized the Waldenses by the uncomplimentary names insabbatati and sabbatati to indicate their unique attire by the type of shoes they wore, or their unique belief in rejecting Catholic holy days or festivals and practices. The research underlying this article has tried to decode the confusion surrounding these names. This has led to the following insights for historiography, previously unnoticed. From the analysis of the shoe theory, the research brought out that the wearing of perforated shoes was not introduced by or was not the custom of the Waldenses or the Poor of Lyon, but it was a custom introduced by the Poor Catholics and the Reconciled Poor. …

The term sabbatati also could have been used to describe some groups of Waldenses who followed the Jewish practice of resting on the Sabbath. This fits the meaning of both Insabbatati as depicting the rejection of Catholic holy days, Sabbaths, and teachings, and sabbatati describing the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath. Primary sources show that one inquisitor in the thirteenth century wrote a book against the Waldenses and Cathars in which he refuted their criticism that Roman Catholics observed Sunday instead of the seventh-day Sabbath. This is evidence that there were Waldenses and Cathars who kept the seventh-day Sabbath during the high Middle Ages. Additional evidence shows that several groups closely associated and considered part of the Waldensian movement did indeed keep the seventh-day Sabbath as early as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. (Damsteegt PG. DECODING ANCIENT WALDENSIAN NAMES: NEW DISCOVERIES. Andrews University Seminary Studies, Vol. 54, 2016, No. 2, 237–258)

While there may be debate regarding the precise year of Alphonso’s decree, notice the following:

Again to the South-West, about AD. 1190, we read of a public discussion between certain Valdenses and Catholics near Narbonne: and in 1194 of a Decree of Alphonzo II of Arragon against them …

[596] “Waldenses sive Insabbatatos, qui alio nomine se vocant Pauperes de Lugduno,…ab omni regno nostro, tanquam inimicos crucis Christi,…et regni publicos hostes, exire ac fugere praecipinius.” (Elliot EB, ed. The Horae Apocalypticae. Originally finished in 1860. Cross The Border Publishing, reprint 2018, Chapter VII and reference 596)

I have translated the above as follows:

“The Waldenses, or the Insabbatatos, who call themselves the Poor of Lyons by another name, … from all our kingdom, as enemies of the cross of Christ, … and the public enemies of the kingdom, to go forth and flee from the headlands.”

The fact that the followers of Peter Waldo may not have been publicly accused of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath until the late 12th century could possibly suggest that some who were earlier categorized as Waldensians did not then do so.

Yet, since Peter Waldo lived until 1205 in the 13th century, the fact that his people were called insabbatati by the end of the 12th century looks to be evidence that Peter Waldo and his followers were keeping the seventh-day Sabbath by then.

As far as Peter Waldo goes, it is my view that he initially (c. 1160-1179) may or may not have been a Sabbath-keeper, but became one, probably no later than 1180, after exposure to some in his region who held Church of God-type doctrines.

He is also in a succession list article that I wrote and that the January-February 2022 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel put out by the Bible Sabbath Association, which is not a Church of God group (though it has members that are in the COGs, as well as members who are not), published on pages 16-19:

Sabbatarian/Waldensian Apostolic Succession List?

By Dr. Bob Thiel

Could there be a list of successive Sabbath-keepers from the time of the original apostles to present?

Yes.

After seeing several published claims in the 19th and 20th centuries of apostolic succession related to a group known as the Waldensians [1-6], I contacted historians and librarians associated with the American Waldensian Society to see if they had a list to back up such claims—I also contacted leaders in several Sabbatarian churches.

Those I was in communication with were unaware of any such list, even though several documents claimed that early Waldensians (also known as Vaudois) had true succession and/or some type of list prior to the time of the 16th century Protestant Reformation [1-7].

However, to assist, the Waldensians referred me to Moravian scholar Dr. Craig Atwood as well as the Archivo Della Tavola Valdese–the historical archives of the Waldensian Church in Italy—for more information.

Dr. Atwood provided information that the succession of Moravian prelates was accepted by the British Parliament in 1749 (Acta Fratrum Unitatis in Anglia), because they claimed succession via the Waldensians [2, 7].

The Waldensians, or at least a Moravian portion, claimed to have originally descended from ‘‘a branch of the Greek church’’ from the 9th century [3]. Moravia is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. In the 18th century, the Episcopal Church seemed to accept the Moravians as having valid Greek church succession [3].

Some indicate that the Waldensians came from a branch of the 4th century Greek church [7], which would point to Asia Minor and Antioch. Another source seems to point to the Waldensians being a branch of the 3rd or 4th century Antioch church [8]. Even Roman Catholic sources acknowledge that there were Sabbath-keeping leaders in Antioch in the 3rd or 4th centuries [9]

While there were different groups called Waldensians by the Roman Catholics, some did keep the Sabbath as well as hold to other doctrines not held by the Roman Catholics or the bulk of the Protestants [10].

Although modern Waldenesians observe Sunday, notice the following:

Sabbathkeeping among Waldensians was most widespread in Bohemia and Moravia, places to which they fled during papal persecution. A fifteenth-century manuscript, published by church historian Johann Döllinger in History of the Sects, reports that Waldensians in Bohemia “do not celebrate the feasts of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles, except the Lord’s day. Not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.” [11]

Here is what Johann Döllinger published in Latin in the above source, with my translation below it:

festa divae virginis Mariae et Apostolorum non celebrant, solam diem Dominicam aliqui. Nonnulli vero cum Judaeis sabbatum celebrant, [12]

the festival of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles not celebrated, only some the Lord’s day. Not a few of the people celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews,

There were differences among the Waldenesians. Some kept the Sabbath. The succession list in this article only includes leaders, starting with the apostles, who seemingly kept the seventh-day Sabbath.

In the 14th century, the assertion of Waldensian apostolic succession was reported by a Dominican monk:

Waldenses … push back their beginnings to the age of primitive Christianity. Thus they deny that they first appeared as a set of heretics breaking off from the historical Church, and claim to have preserved the purity of the faith through the ages, while all the rest of the Church was degenerating and accumulating the corruptions against which they protested from the first.

Claim to apostolic origin. — This claim is first met with in a Dominican monk at Passau in the year 1316, who states that the Waldenses are the most ancient of all the sects, some even saying that this sect ‘duravit a tempore patrum.’ It was but a step to add that the Waldensian church was founded by St. Paul when on his way to Spain. [4]

The Latin duravit a tempore patrum translated to English means they ‘‘lasted from the time of the fathers.’’ While there could be groups with ties to Spain, since the Waldenses elsewhere indicated that they came from part of the Greek church originally (apparently Asia Minor/Antioch) [3,8], that would seemingly rule out Spain (though there were different groups called Waldensians).

The Catholic Encyclopedia says that earlier succession claims were made by other groups, such as those known as Paulicians and Cathari [13-14]. The 12th century abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, a declared doctor of the Roman Church, called, ‘‘The Cathari, a sect of the Waldenses’’ [15].

Reportedly, Waldensians ‘‘Being scattered abroad in various countries, … they supported amongst them the true apostolic succession of ministers and bishops, after the aforesaid manner of appointment, without break, down to the year 1450, about which time the separation of the Bohemian Brethren from the then prevailing religion of Bohemia took place for sufficient causes’’ [6].

A branch of the Greek Orthodox Church essentially approved Waldensian succession in 1451 through the acceptance of the ordinations of some Waldensian presbyters who accepted their church [5].

Interestingly in the early 1700s, John Potter, Anglican Bishop of Oxford/Canterbury, said the Moravian bishops (who claimed descent from the Waldenses) had ‘‘true succession’’ and made a point that ‘‘only those ignorant of church history could cast any doubt about it’’ [2].

But in this century, no Waldensian list dating back to the apostles has been found in modern Waldensian sources.

Marco Fratini, who works at the Waldensian Library in Italy, said that the archives there did not have such a list [16]. He also stated that such a list would be difficult to compile as there are a variety of doctrinal inconsistencies related to modern Waldensians. He is correct about that, but also there is the historical problem that people of various beliefs were termed Waldensians, not because they were all part of the same group, but because they were not in communion with, or were considered to be in opposition to, the Roman Catholic Church.

Notice also the following:

Roman Church they refused to give it the name of Catholic, and showed in what it had departed from true catholicity. The Vaudois, therefore, are not schismatics, but the continued inheritors of the church founded by the apostles. This church then bore the name of Catholic, [17].

That being said, Marco Fratini of Archivo Della Tavola Valdese also emailed me on September 3, 2020 to encourage me to send him such a list if I came up with one. In June 2021, I sent him a list with through 1525 that follows:

31 – c. 64-68 Apostles Peter and Paul c. 67
c. 98 – 102 Apostle John
c. 100 – c. 157 Polycarp of Smyrna
c. 157 – c. 160 Thraseas of Smyrna
c.160 – c. 167 Sagaris of Laodicea
c. 167 – c.170 Papirius of Smyrna
c. 170 – c. 180 Melito of Sardis
c. 180 – c. 200 Polycrates of Ephesus
c. 200 – c. 220 Camerius of Smyrna
c. 220 – c.254 Nepos of Arsinoe
c. 254 – c. 275 Unnamed Antiochian(s) or possibly Dorotheus
c. 275 – 312 Lucian of Antioch
c. 313 – 380 Unnamed Antiochian(s)
c. 380 – c. 470 Unnamed Antiochians or Unnamed Nazarenes
c. 470 – c. 500 Constantine of Antioch and Aushin
c. 500 – c. 645 Unnamed ‘Paulicians’
c. 645 – c. 650 Unnamed leader with New Testament from Syria
c. 650 – c. 684 Constantine of Mananali (Silvanus)
c. 684 – c. 696 Simeon
c. 697 – c.702 Sergius
c. 702 – c. 717 Paul the Armenian
c. 717 – c. 746 Gegnesius
c. 746 – c. 782 Joseph (Epaphroditus)
c. 783 – c. 800 Unnamed Paulician(s)
c. 801 – c. 835 Sergius (Tychicus)
c.836 – c. 919 Unnamed Paulicians
c. 920 – c. 950 Basil
c. 951 – c. 980 Jeremiah
1000s Sergius (27 years)
c. 1110 – 1140 Peter DeBruy (Pierre De Bruy)
1140 – 1155 Arnold of Brescia
1156 – 1181 Nicetas
1181 – 1205 Peter Waldo
1205 – 1224 Arnold Hot
1224- 1300 Unnamed Waldensians
c. 1310 – 1322 Walter the Lollard
1322 – c. 1335 Raymond the Lollard
c. 1335 – c. 1460 Unnamed Waldensians
c. 1460 -1492 Anthony Ferrar
1492 – 1525 Stefano Carlino or Unnamed Waldenesians

He responded to that list by stating:

Dear Dr. Thiel,

thank you for the exhaustive list.

I don’t know all of them, but it’s interesting. So I’m not able to suggest modification.

Best regards

Marco Fratini [18]

However, since we know that Anabaptists in Moravia were known for keeping the seventh-day Sabbath [19], and the Moravians claimed ties through the Waldensians, the following Moravian Sabbath-keepers could be added next of the list:

1526 – 1528 Moravian Sabbatarian Anabaptist ‘traveling minister’
1529 – 1540 Andreas Fischer

So, yes, there now is a list going back to the original apostles through the Waldensians and Moravian Anabaptist Sabbath-keepers. But, it is not as complete as preferred.

There are, of course, other possible lists and I expect to make modifications for other purposes, but for now this list looks plausible–even considering that several of the leaders on it were denounced by other churches based on real and fabricated teachings [cf. 20].

I invite others who have insight and could possibly help improve the list (and fill in gaps, if possible) to contact me.

My email address is COGwriter@aol.com

Bob Thiel

References

[1] Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association:…Annual Meeting with Constitution and By-laws and List of Members, Volume 17; Volume 19. The Association, 1919, pp. 190-191
[2] Podmore C. The Moravian Church in England, 1728-1760. Clarendon Press, 1998, pp. 210-239
[3] Martin JH. Historical Sketch of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania With Some Account of the Moravian Church. Philadelphia,1873, pp. 8, 51
[4] Adeney W. Waldenses, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics Volume 12. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922, p. 664; the cited earlier source for this was from ‘‘Contra Valenses, in Maxima Bibliotheca…, Lyons, 1677-1707, xxv, 262 ff’’
[5] On the Episcopacy of the Herrnhuters, Commonly Known as the Moravians. The British Magazine, volume 7. 1835, pp. 645-647
[6] Benham D. Notes on the Origin and Episcopate of the Bohemian Brethren. Dalton & Lucy, 1867, p. 104
[7] Atwood CD. Community of the Cross Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem. Penn State Press, 2004, p. 23
[8] Edwardson C. FACTS of FAITH. Christian Edwardson, 1943, pp. 18, 153
[9] Cardinal Newman, John Henry. The Arians of the Fourth Century. Longmans, Green, & Co., New York, 1908, pp. 7, 9
[10] Robinson R. Ecclesiastical Researches. Francis Hodson, publisher. 1792. Original from University of Chicago, Digitized Nov 19, 2015, pp. 299-304
[11] DamsteegT GF. Were the Waldensians Sabbathkeepers? Adventist World – November 11, 2017, p. 15
[12] Döllinger J. Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters (Munich: Beck, 1890), Vol. II, p. 662.
[13] Fortescue, Adrian. ‘‘Paulicians.’’ The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911
[14] Weber, Nicholas. ‘‘Cathari.’’ The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908
[15] Taylor A. The history of the English General Baptists of the Seventeenth Century. 1818, pp. 22, 24
[16] Re: I: Prima successione dell’elenco dei leader. Email from Marco Frateri to Dr. Thiel, September 2, 2020
[17] Muston A. THE ISRAEL OF THE ALPS. A COMPLETE HISTORYOF THE WALDENSES AND THEIR COLONIES. Translated by J.Montgomery. LONDON: BLACKIE & SON, 1875, pp. 11-13
[18] Re: Waldenian Prima successione dell’elenco dei leader. Email from Marco Frateri to Dr. Thiel, June 17, 2021
[19] Clasen CP. Anabaptist Sects in the Sixteenth Century: A Research Report. Mennonite Quarterly Review, VOl. XLVI, July 1972, pp. 256-279
[20] Hoeh, A True History of the True Church. Radio Church of God, 1959, pp. 18-19

Dr. Thiel is the overseeing pastor of the international Continuing Church of God, www.ccog.org. He also posts daily reports on Church of God and prophetic news at www.cogwriter.com

We put together a sermonette related to the above:

20:46

Jesus said that the true church would continue to the end of the age. Did any in the groups called Waldensians (or Waldenses), Vaudois, or Moravians have apostolic succession? Were there such claims over 500 years ago?  Did any group claim to have an actual apostolic succession list of bishops? Was such a list at least partially accepted by the British Parliament in the 18th century or the Greek Orthodox Church in the 15th century or others centuries ago? Could the Waldenses have came from the true church in Antioch or Asia Minor in the 3rd or 4th centuries? Do modern American Waldensians claim to have such a list? What about the ones associated with that church or its Archivo Della Tavola Valdese in Italy? Did Dr. Thiel put together such a list and share it with them? Can such a list be seen today? Dr. Thiel goes over that and some of his research into this topic, while also asking for others to help fill in the gaps or assist in improving the list in this video. Dr. Thiel also discusses its symbol with a candle on a lampstand pointing to the fourth star and Jesus words in Revelation.

Here is a link to our video: Waldensian Apostolic Succession.

The true Christian Church of God, and all of its true ministers, have laying on of hands succession from the original apostles to present.

And yes, we believe all who held succession did keep the seventh-day Sabbath, including Peter Waldo.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

 The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition. It claimed succession from the apostles. Here is a link toa related sermon: Thyatira, Succession, and Jezebel.
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?
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?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor. Do you know much about what he taught? A YouTube video or related interesy may be: Polycarp of Smyrna: Why Christians should know more about him.
Theophilus of Antioch This is one of the second century leaders of some Christians in Antioch and is considered a Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.
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.

From the grave, Pope Benedict XVI blasts sexual immorality, while from the Vatican, Pope Francis wants homosexuality de-criminalized

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

COGwriter

A book that the recently deceased Pope Benedict XVI wanted released after his death, blasts various aspects of sexual immorality:

Bombshell from grave! Pope Benedict, who is dead, unleashes on Catholics

Writes Church near ‘collapse,’ U.S. seminaries are centers of promiscuous homosexuality, perversion

January 24, 2023

A posthumous book written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the former head of the Catholic church, claimed that pornography, homosexual clubs and pedophilia had taken root within the church. …

in the fifth chapter. Benedict discusses the effect that pornography has had on the church and expressed extreme displeasure that porn was often rampant in seminaries.

“A bishop, who had previously been rector, had allowed seminarians to be shown pornographic films, presumably with the intention of thereby enabling them to resist a behavior contrary to the faith,” Benedict wrote. …

The book also mentioned “homosexual clubs,” specifically in the United States, that had grown in popularity among seminaries and noted that seminaries did not encourage their priests to remain abstinent in the traditional view of the priesthood, but instead “changed the atmosphere of the seminaries.” Benedict largely blamed the “collapse” of the foundation of the priestly vocation on the 1960s sexual revolution which resulted in “complete sexual freedom, which no longer tolerated any norm.” …

It was Benedict’s firm wish that the book be released after his death and entrusted its publication to Dr. Elio Guerriero, who also wrote Benedict’s biography, https://www.wnd.com/2023/01/bombshell-grave-pope-benedict-dead-unleashes-catholics/

Now notice something that Catholic News Service reported last year:

Cardinal Hollerich says church teaching on gays ‘no longer correct’

February 3, 2022

The president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union said he believes the current church teaching on homosexuality is wrong, not based in science.

In an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg …  spoke to KNA about the public campaign by more than 100 Catholic Church employees who recently outed themselves as queer in Germany. Queer is a collective term for people who are not heterosexual and whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

“I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct,” Cardinal Hollerich told KNA. He said it was time for a fundamental revision, and the way Pope Francis had spoken about homosexuality in the past could lead to a change in doctrine.

“What was condemned in the past was sodomy. At that time, it was thought that the whole child was contained in the sperm of the man, and that was simply transferred to homosexual men. But there is no homosexuality in the New Testament. There is only the mention of homosexual acts, which were partly pagan ritual acts. That was, of course, forbidden. I think it is time for a fundamental revision of the doctrine.”

The cardinal said it was important for the church to remain human. He added that he knew of homosexual priests and laypeople in the Archdiocese of Luxembourg. “And they know that they have a home in the church. With us, no one is dismissed because they are homosexual, with us no one has ever been dismissed because of that.” https://www.catholicnews.com/update-cardinal-hollerich-says-church-teaching-on-gays-no-longer-correct/

There are several points to make here.

The first is that Roman Catholic misunderstanding about sperm is of no relevance–plus lesbianism does not involve it.

The second is that homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament. Notice the following from a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible:

26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.

27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. (Romans 1:25-27, Douay-Rheims)

Early Christian leaders, after the New Testament was written, including the second century Polycarp of Smyrna and Melito of Sardis –which the the Church of Rome consider to be saints–also condemned homosexuality:

Knowing, then, that “God is not mocked,” we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory …For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since “every lust warreth against the spirit; ” and “neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter V. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

53. But in addition to this there were to be found among men many things still more monstrous and terrifying and brutal: father cohabits with his child, and son and with his mother, and brother with sister, and male with male, and each man lusting after the wife of his neighbor. (Melito’s Homily on the Passover)

Polycarp was appointed a church leader by the original apostles, knew the scriptures of the New Testament, and opposed homosexuality–and that was not based on Rome’s misunderstanding of science.

And the third is that the Church of Rome has long had a problem with homosexuality and other sexual sins in its clergy. A report from 2018 claimed that 1/3 of Catholic priests were active homosexuals and another 1/3 were active heterosexuals (see ‘Pope adviser urges rethink on Catholic celibacy’ Two-thirds of Catholic priests reportedly are NOT celibate). And of course, according to the Vatican’s supposed rules, there are to be none in either category.

Furthermore, Pope Francis made some comments related to being more accepting of sexual immorality in an interview:

January 25, 2023

Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin.” But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.” …

Francis quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church in saying gay people must be welcomed and respected, and should not be marginalized or discriminated against. …

Starting with his famous 2013 declaration, “Who am I to judge?” when he was asked about a purportedly gay priest, Francis has gone on to minister repeatedly and publicly to the gay and trans community. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he favored granting legal protections to same-sex couples as an alternative to endorsing gay marriage, which Catholic doctrine forbids. https://www.voanews.com/a/pope-francis-homosexuality-not-a-crime-/6933125.html

It is interesting, to me at least, that Pope Francis seems to be doubting the conversion of some of his church’s bishops. In theory, a bishop should be a converted person who believes and teaches the faith. As far as welcoming them, practicing homosexuals need to at least be striving to stop sinning to be properly welcomed in church.

That said, the Church of Rome has long had a major problem with its clergy and sexual immorality.

Here are some quotes from the book In The Closet of the Vatican put online by the National Catholic Reporter:

‘He’s of the parish,’ the priest whispers conspiratorially in my ear.

The first person who used that coded expression in front of me was an archbishop from the Roman Curia.

‘You know, he’s very practising. He’s of the parish,’ he stressed in a low voice, talking to me about the morals of a famous Vatican cardinal, a former ‘minister’ of John Paul II, who both of us knew well. …

About forty cardinals and hundreds of bishops, monsignori, priests and ‘nuncios’ (the pope’s ambassadors) agreed to meet me. Among them, alleged homosexuals, who were present in the Vatican every day, introduced me to their world of initiates. …

I installed myself in Rome, one week every month, regularly inside the Vatican, thanks to the hospitality of senior prelates who sometimes revealed that they too were ‘part of the parish’. And then I travelled across the world, through more than thirty countries, among the clergies of Latin America, Asia, the United States and the Middle East, to collect over a thousand statements. During that long investigation I spent more than a hundred and fifty nights a year reporting, away from home, away from Paris. …

The best-kept secret of the Vatican is no secret to Pope Francis. He knows his ‘parish’. Since arriving in Rome he has known that he is dealing with an organisation that is quite extraordinary in its way, and that isn’t restricted, as people believed for a long time, to a few lost sheep. It’s a system; and a huge herd. How many are there? … Let’s just say: they represent the great majority. …

The Vatican has one of the biggest gay communities in the world, and I doubt whether, even in San Francisco’s Castro, the emblematic gay quarter, though more mixed today, there are quite as many gays! …

‘How much filth there is in the Church,’ said Cardinal Ratzinger, who also discovered the extent of the ‘closet’ through a secret report by three cardinals, the content of which was described to me and that was one of the major reasons for his resignation. This report is said to reveal not so much the existence of a ‘gay lobby’, as was said, as the omnipresence of homosexuals in the Vatican, blackmail and harassment built into the system. There is, as Hamlet might have said, something rotten in the state of the Vatican.

The homosexual sociology of Catholicism also helps us to explain another reality: the end of vocations in Europe. For a long time, as we will see, young Italians who discovered that they were homosexual, or who had doubts about their inclinations, chose the priesthood. …

Here is the pope: threatened and attacked on all sides and generally criticized, Francis is said to be ‘among the wolves’.

It’s not quite true: he’s among the queens. https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/excerpt-closet-vatican

Sexual immorality is a big problem for the Church of Rome.

This should make it clear to Roman Catholics that their clergy is NOT filled with holy men.

The Apostle Paul warned:

9 Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake — the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites,

10 thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, New Jerusalem Bible–a Roman Catholic approved translation)

Note: Sodomites are homosexuals.

As far as change goes, the Bible says:

6 For I am the Lord, and I change not: (Malachi 3:6, Douay-Rheims)

Yet, a Roman Catholic cardinal was endorsing yet another unbiblical change.

The Bible prohibits and condemns homosexual behavior–the Bible calls it an abomination!

Here are some statements from the New Testament that are related to sexual immorality and specifically homosexuality and practices associated with homosexuality:

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:22-32)

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong and is dangerous. Early Christian leaders, like Polycarp of Smyrna and Melito of Sardis, also condemned illicit sexual behaviors including homosexuality:

Knowing, then, that “God is not mocked,” we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory …For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since “every lust warreth against the spirit; ” and “neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter V. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

53. But in addition to this there were to be found among men many things still more monstrous and terrifying and brutal: father cohabits with his child, and son and with his mother, and brother with sister, and male with male, and each man lusting after the wife of his neighbor. (Melito’s Homily on the Passover)

Real Christianity does not condone homosexuality. Homosexuality is not good for anyone.

As far as welcoming practicing homosexuals (as opposed to people who have homosexual tendencies, but do not commit sexual immorality), the Bible itself DOES justify religious segregation from those who claim to be true Christians, but who violate God’s laws regarding matters including sexual immorality:

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:11).

Furthermore, notice:

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:3-7)

The Bible condemns even the condoning of homosexual behavior (Romans 1:18-32).

The Bible says that true Christians can overcome practicing homosexuality and other forms of sexual immorality:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

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 10:13)

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. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:5-10, NIV)

But in this age, many who claim to be Christians, do not believe that.

Many do not know how to pray (to learn more about prayer, see Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?).

Almost no one has the faith they should (to learn more about faith, see Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen).

Some items of related interest may include:

Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There are also three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?

GCI promoting Lent and Easter

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

COGwriter

In its latest public letter, Greg Williams, president of Grace Communion International (the current name of the Protestant group that took over and changed the old Worldwide Church of God) had the following:

Lent AND Easter Preparation

January 25, 2023

In my recent trip to France, I engaged in a lively discussion with our leaders. They shared that many of the GCI members are former Catholics, and their view of Lent is based in traditional Catholicism. Based on their past experiences, they view Lent as a works-based practice that is intended for a Christian to establish their personal worthiness. It feels like a backward step into legalism, and a move away from the vicarious atonement of Jesus that alone makes us worthy.

The French leaders went on to express that the phraseology that we have used, “Easter Preparation” is acceptable, and our members can embrace it. For former Catholics, it aligns with our grace-based Christ-centered focus.

In the greater Christian community, Lent is celebrated by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians. The practices in observing Lent and the importance placed on it vary. The conundrum for GCI is that in primarily Protestant-based regions, using Lent as terminology to describe what we call Easter Preparation is acceptable and interchangeable, and therefore it has appeared in some of our GCI publications. Please understand that this is not intended to create confusion, nor is meant to be offensive to any of our former Catholic members (be they in France or any other country with strong Catholic influence).

It is extremely important to know that the GCI worship calendar is informed by GCI theology. …

For our members who have had challenging experiences and carry painful memories associated with Lent, please use the terminology “Easter Preparation.”

Calling Lent, Easter preparation, does not change the fact that both are of pagan origin.

That said, yes, Greg Williams is correct that the GCI worship calendar is based on GCI, not biblical theology. Furthermore, that theology was highly influenced by a Protestant who became an Eastern Orthodox Catholic (see RI’s Hank Hanegraaff, who advised WCG to apostatize, converted to Eastern Orthodoxy)–plus their changes were also influenced by many other Protestants. Additionally, however, the only way for Easter and Christmas to be part of their worship calendar was to accept decisions of Roman Catholics as neither come from the Bible.

Decades ago, I wrote an article blasting a “worship calendar” article that the changed WCG (now GCI) pushed–see Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?  That church was wrong then as well as now.

For more on Lent, Easter, and the Biblical Holy Days and calendar, check out the following:

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? Is Easter supposed to be Passover? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a related video: Amazing Facts About Easter.

Should You Keep 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. Two related sermons would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.

Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, 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: OUeåf/y^v„W#eåÿ Ù‘Ìf/NNýy^v„W#eåeåS†NÎ2013^tó2024^t0.

Now, back to Greg Williams’ letter:

Everything begins and ends with Jesus.

Well, if GCI believed that it would not promote Easter or Lent as Jesus did not

The reality is that GCI is focused on being and appearing to be Protestant to the world.

Its cross-containing logo (see picture at the beginning of this post) was intended to do that.

They certainly did not get that from the Bible or the practices of original Christians (for proof, check out the article What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?).

Protestant groups like GCI do not share the biblical hope of salvation.

According to their theology, most of the people who ever lived will not be saved, but will be tormented throughout eternity.

But that is NOT what the Bible teaches (for scriptural details, check out the free online book Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation).

The ‘Jesus’ that GCI claims to have its hope in, is just not the “God of salvation” that we in the Continuing Church of God worship.

 

Here is something from our book, Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism:

The Bible teaches that all of God’s commandments are righteousness (Psalm 119:172), not something to be set free from.

Notice a statement from a Protestant minister related to a Protestant preacher:

A preacher once said …, pointing to the Ten Commandments hanging on the wall …: “They are an offence to me. Jesus kept them for me. I don’t want to have anything to do with them.” (Murray W. What Is The True Christian Religion? New Age Press, 1947, p. 24)

Yes, Jesus did keep the commandments for He said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). The Bible teaches “All Your commandments are faithful” (Psalm 119:86). Yet, God’s Ten Commandments are not an offence to real Christians. Furthermore, Jesus did not say He kept them so others would not need to strive to do so.

Notice that the Apostle Paul wrote:

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

Like Jesus, the Apostle Paul also kept the commandments (cf. Philippians 3:5-6).

While many Protestants like to make statements such as “It’s all about Jesus,” it is only about their version of Jesus, not actually trying to imitate how He lived.

According to Jesus, it’s actually ‘all about love’ (cf. Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:34-35) and while Jesus is certainly part of that (cf. John 3:16-17, 15:9-17), He also taught that the commandments were aspects of that love (Matthew 22:37-40). While the Apostle Paul specifically taught that love was the purpose of the commandments (1 Timothy 1:5).

Christians imitate Jesus and the Apostle Paul by striving to keep the Ten Commandments. Many Protestants do not understand that. They also do not understand the statement by Peter and the other apostles that God’s Holy Spirit is “given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). Those who say Jesus is Lord, but practice lawlessness, will not be in His Kingdom if they do not truly repent (Matthew 7:21-23).

Those who strive to obey the Ten Commandments are those who properly will acquire the fruits of the Spirit:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 But those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)

However, some Protestants teach that it is ‘Pharisaical’ to try to keep the Ten Commandments. Many improperly teach that is why Jesus condemned the Pharisees. Yet, the Pharisees were condemned for their hypocrisy by Jesus because they did not properly keep the Ten Commandments (cf. Matthew 15:3-9; 23:13-29)—not because they actually did.

The view on the law remains one of the differences between many Protestants and the Continuing Church of God today. …

For example, the Apostle Paul wrote and warned:

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Corinthians 6:1)

Christians are to live differently once they have repented, accepted Jesus, and been baptized as they are “not to receive the grace of God in vain.”

Real Christians have repented, been baptized, and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Here is essentially the biblical definition of who is and who is not a real Christian:

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:9)

A real Christian has the Spirit of Christ, no one else is a true Christian.

Who receives that Spirit?

Only those who obey are given the Spirit of Christ (Acts 5:32). …

Gospel of the Kingdom

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

The message of the Bible includes the hope of the resurrection and the promises God made (Acts 26:6-8). It is the gospel, the GOOD NEWS, that God will intervene in world affairs and establish His kingdom on the Earth (Mark 1:14; Acts 20:25; Revelation 11:15):

3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:3-5).

The Protestants (in general) and the Continuing Church of God accept this plain teaching from Revelation 21, but tend to understand some of the ramifications of the Gospel of the Kingdom differently.

Lutherans essentially teach that the Gospel is about personal salvation in this age:

Lutherans showed how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always the vibrant, beating heart of the biblical and historic Christian faith and life. (What Lutherans Teach about The Gospel. Concordia Publishing House, November 23, 2015)

There is no Gospel but the Lutheran Gospel … It’s Still All About Jesus (There is no Gospel but the Lutheran Gospel by Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. YouTube, uploaded October 2, 2017)

In the Greek New Testament, the noun euangelion (‘gospel’) appears just over seventy times. … The word gospel most simply means ‘good news’. … In examining these texts, we discover that sometimes the word gospel refers broadly to all aspects of the salvation and new life that Jesus gives His people, and sometimes it is used narrowly to refer to what Jesus does for us outside of us. In other words, sometimes the term gospel refers broadly to Jesus’ work of justification and sanctification for and in His people, and sometimes it refers narrowly to Jesus’ work of justification. (Godfrey WR. What Is the Gospel? Ligonier Ministries, April 12, 2019)

Yes, personal salvation for those called in this age is an important part of the gospel—but it is not the only part.

Lutherans repeatedly neglect that the focus of Jesus and His early disciples was on the good news of the Kingdom of God. That message was one that showed that human civilization would be replaced and God’s government implemented. A government based on the laws of God (cf. Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2).

Here is a link to our free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

The truth is that GCI’s religion is not based upon enough on the true Jesus of the Bible. GCI does not understand the true hope. The book, Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants, goes into not only history, but numerous doctrinal truths that Protestants like GCI do not hold to–but instead teach against.

The “consequence” of being Protestant is that most who consider themselves will hear words from Jesus that they will not want to hear (Matthew 7:21-23).

If groups like GCI would actually focus on the word of God and act on it, they would better understand the real hope that Jesus offers.

Anyway, my hope for any still part of GCI is that they will study God’s word, agree to truly live by it, and pray that Jesus would set them free (cf. John 8:32) from Protestant errors and support the most faithful church.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
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? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’, The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement, and Origin of the Cross.
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.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Being Separate: What Did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible Teach About Where Not to Fellowship? Some believe that it is acceptable to attend groups called COG, but who are not actually. What did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible teach about this?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have. Here is a link to two related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan and Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan.
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.
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?
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración Una crítica basada

Evolutionists against Darwinism

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

COGwriter

A reader sent me a link to the following:

Evolutionists Against Darwinism

“A 2005 poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of American medical doctors reject Darwinism, stating that they do not believe humans evolved through natural processes alone. Thirty-eight percent of the American medical doctors polled agreed with the statement that ‘Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement.’ The study also reported that 1/3 of all medical doctors favor the theory of intelligent design over evolution. … The prestigious journal Science reported the following in 2006 concerning the United States: ‘The percentage of people in the country who accept the idea of evolution has declined from 45 in 1985 to 40 in 2005. Meanwhile the fraction of Americans unsure about evolution has soared from 7 per cent in 1985 to 21 per cent last year.’ In January 2006, the BBC reported concerning Britain: ‘Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll. Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons’” (“Evolution,” Conservapedia).

The following scientists do not hold to biblical creationism. In fact, some of them are strongly opposed to creationism. …

Michael Behe, Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania … “Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell. The progress has been hard won. It has required tens of thousands of people to dedicate the better parts of their lives to the tedious work of the laboratory. … The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell–to investigate life at the molecular level–is a loud, clear, piercing cry of ‘design!’ The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. … “This triumph of science should evoke cries of ‘Eureka!’ from ten thousands of throats, should occasion much hand-slapping and high-fiving, and perhaps even ben an excuse to take a day off. But no bottles have been uncorked, no hands slapped. Instead, a curious, embarrassed silence surrounds the stark complexity of the cell. When the subject comes up in public, feet start to shuffle, and breathing gets a bit labored. In private people are a bit more relaxed; many explicitly admit the obvious but then stare at the ground, shake their heads, and let it go at that” (Darwin’s Black Box, preface, chapter 11). …

He makes this bold statement: “Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no publication in the scientific literature–in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books–that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur or even might have occurred.” …

Paleontologist Niles Eldredge: “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seems to happen. … Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else.” … biologists Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders: “… the success of the [neo-Darwinian synthesis] are limited to the minutiae of evolution, such as the adaptive change in coloration of moths; while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the first place.” … biologist Jerry Coyne: “We conclude–unexpectedly–that there is little evidence for the neo-Darwinian view: its theoretical foundations and the experimental evidence supporting it are weak.” … geneticist John Endler: “Although much is known about mutation, it is still largely a ‘black box’ relative to evolution. Novel biochemical functions seem to be rare in evolution, and the basis for their origin is virtually unknown.” …

Klaus Dose: “More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.”

Behe examines biology textbooks and how they deal with evolution and concludes: “Many students learn from their textbooks how to view the world through an evolutionary lens. However, they do not learn how Darwinian evolution might have produced any of the remarkably intricate biochemical systems that those texts describe.” …

Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, … told the Diplomacy Post in March 2014: ‘A scientific hypothesis should be potentially falsifiable…. However,’ he added, ‘the idea of slow evolution by ‘infinitesimally small inherited variations’ etc. has been falsified by the findings of palaeontology… as well [as] genetics. Yet its adherents principally reject any scientific proof against Neo-Darwinism,’ he said, ‘so that, in fact, their theory has become a non-falsifiable worldview, to which people stick in spite of all contrary evidence.’ Scientists continue to support evolution despite the evidence that actually falsified evolution because ‘without Darwinism, philosophic materialism has lost its battle against an intelligent origin of the world.’ But Wolf had more to say. ‘According to Neo-Darwinism, all important problems of the origin of species are, at least in principle, solved. Further questions on the validity of evolutionary theory are thus basically superfluous. However, such a dogmatic attitude stops further investigations and hinders fruitful research in science.’ …

Francis Crick won the Nobel Prize he wrote: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going” (p. 88). Crick rejected Darwinism by concluding that there is no scientific evidence of a “primordial soup” in which life could have risen. He also stated that the beginning of the fossil record does not show evolution. Instead, it witnesses the sudden appearance of complex creatures. 08/14/19 repost https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/evolutionists_against_darwinism.html

As reported here before, over a thousand scientists (including yours truly) signed a petition related to flaws in Darwin’s evolutionary model (see 1,000+ scientists sign declaration of flaws on Darwinian evolution).

Evolution, as normally pushed by academia and the media, is not scientific. It is a seriously flawed model that breaks apart when people are willing to honestly look at its impossibilities and assumptions.

The Bible warns about false science:

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

Yes, many falsely cling to what is falsely called science.

Evolution is seriously flawed as can also be seen from our online animation: A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?

Notice something from our free online book Is God’s Existence Logical?:

Did most species slowly evolve like evolutionists have claimed for over a century?

No. And a study published in 2018 realizes this:

Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland … published findings … sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.

It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations—think ants, rats, humans—will become more genetically diverse over time.

But is that true?

“The answer is no,” said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution. (Hood M. Sweeping gene survey… Physic.org, May 28, 2018)

The study referred to above also concluded that about 90% of species, including humans, arrived at about the same time. While there are dating issues, this basically proves that the explanation of species’ development as evolutionists have long claimed as fact, was false.

The evolutionary theories of every type, from the cosmological evolutionary epochs, abiogenesis claims, and the theory of biological evolution all try to claim they may know how all life, matter and energy developed without a creator. Something that actual laws of science show is not true.

The truth is that for life to randomly begin and have the immediate ability to find/ingest/digest food and to reproduce ignores various laws of science.

The other truth is that evolution is accepted by many who do not actually want to live God’s way of life, nor do those “believers” tend to take seriously the prophetic warnings of the Bible. Actually the Bible is supportive of the idea that those who accept theories like evolution have allowed their minds to essentially de-evolve, in the sense that they wish to believe a lie (Romans 1:18-32).

Scientists who challenge many claims associated with evolution are shunned by many academic institutions, as there is a tremendous amount of pressure at most “leading” academic institutions to squelch research that is not in support of evolution as it will affect their beliefs. Thus, many in the academic world accept evolution, essentially like a false religion, since many of their friends and colleagues believe the evolutionary nonsense. Therefore, they assume that it must have been proven true. But it never has been.

Of course, with the mainstream media being willing accomplices, and being part of an anti-Bible agenda, evolution is treated like fact, without proof.

While species variation is something that God programmed in His creation, evolution, as the explanation for the origin of life, is unscientific and false. It also requires students to accept a belief that violates other known laws of biological science.

By the way, God apparently expects humans to realize that He exists through various aspects of His creation. Notice:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

Thus since life could not have randomly sprung forth, eaten, and reproduced, only a different type of entity (God) could have caused it to begin.

Evolution has led to the intentional ignorance of appropriate scientific methods. It became a religion for many in the 19th century, and remains one for many today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Here is a link to a related sermon: Evolution is NOT the Origin of Life. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Does it Make Physical Sense to believe in God? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Gap Theory? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here are links to two sermons: Gap Theory: Doctrine or Modern Heresy? and Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?

How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
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.

Valentine’s Day, Roman Catholics, and Muslims

Thursday, January 19th, 2023

COGwriter

February 14th is often celebrated as Valentine’s Day. Should you celebrate it?

Christians who may be tempted to compromise need to ask themselves about the origins of Valentine’s Day.

Notice what the Roman Catholics teach:

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year (The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/ValentinesDay/, January 31, 2004).

It is of interest to note that the same source states:

The Catholic Church no longer officially honors St. Valentine, but the holiday has both Roman and Catholic roots.

It is good that the Church of Rome no longer officially honors Valentine or the holiday. Roman roots refers to pagan roots.

Look at some of what the Muslims say about Valentine’s Day:

Question

What is the ruling on celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Summary of answer

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permissible because it is an innovated festival and it promotes love and infatuation. https://islamqa.info/en/answers/73007/ruling-on-celebrating-valentines-day accessed 01/01/2023

Celebrating the Valentine Day is not permissible because: Firstly, it is an innovated holiday that has no basis in the Sharee`ah…Christians were aware of the Pagan roots of Valentine’s Day. The way the Christians adopted St. Valentine’s Day should be a lesson for Muslims. In fact, the failure to fully separate Valentine’s Day from its pagan roots explains why Islamic scholars and a number of Muslims avoid adopting traditions of non-Muslims, even though they could possibly be Islamicized…We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices -…- Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage – Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins (Ruling on Celebrating Valentine’s Day. http://www.contactpakistan.com/news/news144.htm, January 31, 2004).

What is the ruling on Valentine’s Day?…Firstly: Valentine’s Day is a jaahili Roman festival, which continued to be celebrated until after the Romans became Christian. This festival became connected with the saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on 14 February 270 CE. The kuffaar still celebrate this festival, during which immorality and evil are practised widely…Secondly: It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate any of the festivals of the kuffaar, because festivals come under the heading of shar’i issues which are to be based on the sound texts…Partially joining in, at the very least, is disobedience and sin…it is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the ignorant and the mushrikeen (polytheists). (fatwa No. 73007. What is the ruling on Valentine’s Day? http://islamqa.info/en/ref/73007 viewed 02/04/12)

So, according to Muslims, it is improper to celebrate pagan holidays and the so-called “Christians” clearly adopted a pagan holiday.

In Pakistan and other Islamic-dominated lands, steps to minimize its impact have been taken:

Conservatives in Pakistan tacked up posters urging people to boycott Valentine’s Day on Thursday, saying it’s a western-inspired event that’s spreading vulgarity in their country…

For them, Valentine’s Day is nothing but an occasion to encourage illicit relations between the country’s young unmarried males and females. It’s a sign that Western culture and values are eating away the fabric of Pakistan’s traditional, Islamic society. Valentine’s Day, they say, is not a Pakistani holiday and not part of the culture here…

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, government officials and clerics in Jakarta called for young people to skip Valentine’s Day, saying it was an excuse for couples to have forbidden sex. Santana R. Valentine’s Day under attack in Pakistan. AP, February 14, 2013 http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2013/02/14/valentines-day-under-attack-in-pakistan)

Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, or PEMRA, sent a letter to TV and radio stations reminding them that the holiday is “not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos.” The report warns that “a large segment of society” has complained about “Valentine’s Day celebrations” and blames Valentine’s Day for “depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth.”…

The letter begins:

It is generally observed that in the past “Valentine’s Day” is celebrated on February 14 by all the satellite TV channels whether an Entertainment or News & Current Affairs channel. PEMRA has been receiving complaints from a large segment of society that Valentine’s Day celebrations are not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos and has, therefore, condemned its unequivocal propagation through media. Furthermore, such events have been perceived as a source of depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth as well as violating Code of Conduct developed by PEMRA in pursuance of Rule 15 & PEMRA Rules 2009. (Dewey C. Pakistani regulator warns media against promoting Valentine’s Day (Washington Post, February 14, 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/14/pakistani-regulator-warns-media-against-promoting-valentines-day/

Notice that because of sexual immorality associated with Valentine’s Day, many of the states in Malaysia have taken proactive steps to try to prevent the sinning associated with Valentine’s Day:

PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan Tantawi said the Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor governments have directed all local authorities to work closely with police and Rela in order to carry out operations to check immoral activities during Valentine’s Day…He said the National Fatwa Council forbids Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day because of elements of Christianity and sin. (Move on Valentine’s Day ‘sins’ Malaysia Star – Feb 8, 2011. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/2/9/nation/8024821&sec=nation)

KUALA LUMPUR – More than 300 volunteers between 19 to 25 years-old today joined a programme to make Muslims wary of the importance of not celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director of Family, Social and Community Division, Saimah Mokhtar hopes parents take the ban on Valentine’s Day celebration seriously as it has elements of Christianity and mixed with vices forbidden by Islam.

The programme called “Jerat Hari Valentine” (Valentine’s Day Trap) targets several locations in Kuala Lumpur, said Jakim director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha. (Bernama. Now Jakim wants parents to ban Valentine’s Day celebration. Malaysian Chronicle. February 3, 2013. http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=51672:now-jakim-wants-parents-to-ban-valentines-day-celebration&Itemid=2)

Notice that many of the Muslims associate Valentine’s Day with Christianity (obviously the false compromising kind) and sin.

In other words, Valentine’s Day causes the name of Christ (through the term ‘Christianity’) to be blasphemed among the Gentiles (Romans 2:24; Isaiah 52:5)!

Which is something that the Bible warns against doing:

24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. (Romans 2:24)

How does this pagan holiday help get the true gospel out?

It does not.

And that is the point.

Of course, Valentine’s Day is NOT a real Christian holiday and does have its basis in sinful pagan practices.

Jesus did not observe Valentine’s Day or anything close to it.

Valentine’s Day is not a biblical holiday.

It is essentially based upon lawlessness and does not edify Christ. 13 years ago, an article in Christianity Today stated:

There are more tales of the “origins” of Valentine’s Day than arrows in Cupid’s quiver. As expected, most have something to do with pagan ritual (pretty much every holiday—from Christmas to Mother’s Day—has something to do with pagan ritual). Four centuries before Christ, Romans had a day called Lupercalia. Without going too much into it, I’ll sum it up as a sexual lottery. Pull names out of a box at random and couple with a young member of the opposite sex. After a year, you get to pick another name (Olsen T. Then Again Maybe Don’t Be My Valentine. Christianity Today. February 12, 1999).

The modern practice of giving cards to ask/tell someone to “be my Valentine” seems to be a holdover from the ancient sexual lottery.

None who profess Christ should observe this February “holiday”–it simply is not a Christian holiday. It began as a sexual lottery and still has sexual ramifications, even in the 21st century. Modern Muslims and modern Catholics realize this, shouldn’t you?

For more information, please consider studying the following:

Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine’s Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true? There is also a YouTube titled Should Christians Observe Valentine’s Day?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, 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。.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
Should You Keep 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. Two related sermon would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.
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.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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?

Church of England blessing sexual immorality, Canada moving against scripture, and the USA the biggest promoter of childhood mutilizations

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Mobilising Faith Communities in Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict (15862086073).jpg
Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

The Associated Press reported the following:

January 18, 2023

LONDON (AP) — The Church of England said Wednesday it will allow blessings for same-sex, civil marriages for the first time but same-sex couples still will not be allowed to marry in its churches.

The decision followed five years of debate and consultation on the church’s position on sexuality. It is expected to be outlined in a report to the church’s national assembly, the General Synod, which meets in London next month.

Under the proposals, the Church of England’s stance that the sacrament of matrimony is restricted to unions between one man and one woman will not change.

However, same-sex couples would be able to have a church service with prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God’s blessing after they have a civil wedding or register a civil partnership. …

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, acknowledged that the proposals “will appear to go too far for some and not nearly far enough for others.”

“This response reflects the diversity of views in the Church of England on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage. I rejoice in that diversity and I welcome this way of reflecting it in the life of our church,” Welby said.

“I hope it can offer a way for the Church of England, publicly and unequivocally, to say to all Christians and especially LGBTQI+ people, that you are welcome and a valued and precious part of the body of Christ,” he added.

The church said bishops plan to issue a formal apology to LGBTQ people on Friday for the “rejection, exclusion and hostility” they have felt from within the church. https://apnews.com/article/anglicanism-england-wales-marriage-religion-5086b3376929156e5f41461193a67aa5?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=TopNews&utm_campaign=position_07

So, this is the result of a five year debate and consultation. Now, we will presume that those involved in this with the Church of England can actually read English. If so, this matter should have gone a different way and been closed in hours if not minutes.

Here is something that should have been clear enough to Justin Welby and others in the Church of England:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32)

While it is good that the Anglican Church of England will not perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the Bible clearly teaches that approving of sexual immorality, including homosexuality and lesbianism, is wrong.

Anglican and other Protestant scholars must realize that their churches do NOT hold to sola Scriptura, that the there was no faithful early church that resembled modern Protestantism, and that they have adopted many of the changes and traditions of the Church of Rome. This is detailed in the following free online book and sermons for those wishing more information:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

Although the UK is officially supposed to be Anglican, and supposedly that faith is based on the Bible, notice something someone just forwarded me a link to last Fall:

November 25, 2022

The Corwn Prosecution Service (CPS) argued that parts of the Bible are “abusive” and “no longer approproriate for modern society” in … a prsecution against a street preacher.https://www.theepochtimes.com/crown-prosecution-service-claimed-some-of-the-bible-is-no-longer-appropriate-to-modern-society-in-lawsuit_4883967.html

Of course, this attitude is not restricted to the UK.

Here is information related to Canada:

January 18, 2023

Canada … Bill C4 was brought into law on January 8. It’s known as the anti-conversion therapy law.

Bill C4, I would say, is this: It’s the next in the latest slide of a long dissent our nation has been on. It’s the next step by a nation that generally rejects God and His moral law, His eternal nature, and His divine power.

The tragic thing about Bill C4 is that it was voted into law in Canada without a single dissenting vote. The opposition and the government together unanimously voted into law Bill C4, that would say that the Biblical view on human sexuality “is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.”

The Bill goes on, if you’re to read it for yourself, to essentially criminalize the preaching, teaching, and counseling of the Biblical sexual ethic that would call men and women to conform to God’s design for human sexuality.

It’s shocking when you think about it, that not a single member in the House of Commons, 338 members of parliament, voted to defend the Biblical ethic of sexuality.

Not a single MP, across all party lines, voted to defend Biblical morality. https://harbingersdaily.com/canadas-ban-on-biblical-sexuality-how-did-we-get-here/

There have been other officials in Canada that have ruled against quoting certain scriptures as well as teaching various aspects of biblical morality.

Now, notice something about the USA:

Look who leads the world in children ‘changing their sex’

January 16, 2023

The United States is the most permissive country in the world in allowing children to pursue extreme transgender “transitions” such as puberty blockers and “surgeries” removing young women’s healthy breasts, a new report by the group Do No Harm reveals.

“The different approaches between the United States and Western and Northern Europe lead to a concerning reality: In the U.S., much younger patients are eligible for invasive surgeries and/or potentially irreversible and medically harmful dispensation of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones,” the report, “Reassigned,” states. …

The U.S. also leads European countries in allowing youth to pursue legal gender “transitions,” such as changing their designated sex on official government documents, according to the report. …

Fox News reports in covering the DNH report: “Laws vary in the U.S. by state, but overall, [compared to European nations] transgender youth in America have greater access to gender clinics, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries, in some cases without parental consent.”

“Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are routinely prescribed to minors in the U.S., and many patients experiencing gender dysphoria have undergone double mastectomies as minors to present as male,” WND reported last year with the Daily Caller News Foundation. https://www.wnd.com/2023/01/look-leads-world-children-changing-sex/

Mutilation of children should not happen–yet the USA is a leader in that.

This will end in death (cf. Romans 1:18-32) and destruction (cf. Daniel 11:39) at the hands of the European beast power (cf. Revelation 13:1-4).

While the three news items in this post are not (yet, perhaps as one or more be added) in it, notice something from my latest book Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America?:

Why America and its Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Allies?

Why would Europe ultimately destroy the U.S.A. and its Anglo-Saxon-Celtic allies?

There are several reasons.

One would seem to be because it is the nominally Protestant and religiously diverse/independent U.S.A. that most stands in the way of the goals of a future single ecumenical religion in Europe to dominate the world.

Only by eliminating the vast bastions of Protestantism, independence, and other “heresies” (which several other Greco-Roman prophecies seem to show is a goal) that are present in the U.S.A. and its Anglo-Saxon-Celtic allies, can such an ecumenical domination be attained in those lands.

Notice what one Roman Catholic priest has written:

Priest G. Rossi (19th century):  But boastful pride and presumption always go before a fall. With her large share of guilt, America cannot avoid her due share of punishment … If the world is not yet entirely converted to Christianity, the blame is not on the head nor in the conscience of the Catholic Church … Ah! wretched Protestantism shall have to answer for the loss of faith … English schism and heresy have squandered their treasures and abused their great temporal power, not only in persecuting-the faith in Great Britain and Ireland, but also in banishing the true religion of Jesus Christ from their vast American possessions … Their long-deserved punishment, however, is approaching from the North![i]

So, at least one respected Roman priest published that a northern power (the King of the North?) will punish Britain, and its descendants, including the U.S.A. and Canada, for their “pride” and Protestantism.

But why would God allow some of these nations to be destroyed, given that the Anglo-Americans have been in the forefront of distributing Bibles, helping in humanitarian matters, assisting with international disasters, etc.?

Because of their rebellion against Him (Hosea 13:16), their deep corruption (Hosea 9:9), increased sins (Jeremiah 30:14-15), their governments despising the word of God (Isaiah 30:12), and their refusal to repent (Hosea 11:5).

Related to increased sins, God states:

14 All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the chastisement of a cruel one, For the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased. 15 Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you. (Jeremiah 30:14-15)

As far as being apparently the first to be hit with the great tribulation, note that the Old Testament talks of “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), and the New Testament clearly teaches:

48 For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required (Luke 12:48).

The U.S.A. and its British-descended allies have been given much—and were given Jacob’s name (Genesis 48:16).

Yet, the three “most sinful nations” according to a 2010 BBC report based on the classic ‘seven deadly sins’—lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride’— were Australia, the United States, and Canada.[ii] The United Kingdom was 6th on that list. And while one can argue if other nations should be ahead of them on a sin-list, the reality is that the Anglo-nations promote a lot of sin. And they accept more and more sin. As far as New Zealand goes, one study found it had the highest promiscuity rate for women in the entire world.[iii]

Consider the following about American society in 2021:

Never before in our lifetime have we seen such an abundance of widespread corruption, treacherous behavior, and blatant hypocrisy within our government. Its ruling mandate has now become, “Do as I say, not as I do”. [iv]

More and more hypocrisy is being demonstrated by government and media leaders in the U.S.A.

The Bible, itself, teaches that the Assyrians will be used to punish “an hypocritical nation” (or hypocritical people, as the Hebrew can be translated as is done in Bishops’ Bible of 1568) that refuses to repent:

5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation (Isaiah 10:5–6, KJV).

1 … Israel … 3 … Ephraim 5 … the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent. (Hosea 11:1,3,5)

Christians all need to recall that when Jesus came, He clearly condemned the hypocritical religious leaders of His day (e.g. Luke 11:44), more directly than he condemned the physically more obvious sinners (Matthew 9:10–13).

This is not to say that non-Anglo-Saxon-Celtic nations do not have sin or that they will not be punished. The European Assyrians will clearly also be punished, per Isaiah 10:12-19, but the punishment will begin first on those who should have known better. That is, the punishment will begin on those who have claimed to live rightly, but have repeatedly failed to do so. Those who were the people of the covenant with Israel should have striven to be faithful. Those who receive biblical blessing should not be surprised when they receive biblical curses for disobedience (cf. Deuteronomy 28:1-68).

While the gospel warning message will be made fairly clear to the English-speaking peoples by the “Philadelphia Christians,” prior to Daniel 11:39, because the British-American nations are not likely to heed that warning, they will have to answer for their relative lack of response (cf. Ezekiel 33:7-9) and their survivors will be taken captive (cf. Habakkuk 2:7).

[i] Rossi, pp. 16, 255

[ii] ‘The Most Sinful Nation on Earth,’ February 2010, p. 30

[iii] New Zealand women most promiscuous Sydney Morning Herald AAP – Oct 13, 2007

[iv] Gendon M. God’s Prophetic Word Encourages Believers. PTG Newsletter, January 1, 2021

Notice, also, the following scriptures:

8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever: 9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; 10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us.”

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. 14 And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel, Which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments A shard to take fire from the hearth, Or to take water from the cistern.” (Isaiah 30:8-14)

So while what happened is not yet the famine of the word in the UK, it is consistent with what is prophesied to happen in Amos 8:11-12 (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word). Many want ‘smooth things.’

The farther one gets from the truths of the Bible, the more society is damaged.

Without national repentance, the USA and its British-descended allies will, relatively soon, be destroyed (cf. Daniel 11:39; Hosea 11:3a, 5b-7; Daniel 8:24-25; Isaiah 17:3; watch also Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028?).

But even if your nation will not repent, you can.

Instead of being unrepentant or lukewarm (Laodicean), you can become an ambassador for the Kingdom of God (see also the free online books Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian and Is God Calling You?).

Those who believe that the USA and its British-descended allies will survive and mpt be punished for their immorality are in error.

Some items of related interest may include the following:

Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? Where did those people come from? Can you totally rely on DNA? What about other peoples? Do you really know what will happen to Europe and the English-speaking peoples? What about Africa, Asia, South America, and the Islands? This free online book provides scriptural, scientific, historical references, and commentary to address those matters. Here are links to related sermons: Lost tribes, the Bible, and DNA; Lost tribes, prophecies, and identifications; 11 Tribes, 144,000, and Multitudes; Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty; Gentile European Beast; Royal Succession, Samaria, and Prophecies; Asia, Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Armageddon;  When Will the End of the Age Come?Rise of the Prophesied King of the North, and Christian Persecution from the Beast.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
The King’s Pedigree This is an article published by the Otago Witness in 1902 related to connections of the British Throne to the throne of King David of Israel. This also has some modern commentary inserted in italics.
THE QUEEN’S ROYAL DESCENT FROM KING DAVID THE PSALMIST This is a listing from Adam to the Kings of Judah through Queen Victoria put together in the 19th century. A list from 19th century to present is also included.
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy,Roman Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. Two related sermon are available: Identifying the USA and its Destruction in Prophecy and Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to three related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For. The Future King of the North, and Rise of the Prophesied King of the North
.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children.  What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on?  There are also three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda?  Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? A short video is available titled: Gay Gene? Born That Way?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.

Martin Luther King, Jr. saw Mithraism in the Greco-Roman-Protestant faiths

Monday, January 16th, 2023

COGwriter

Today is observed in the USA as Martin Luther King, Jr. day. This year marks the 40th anniversary of US President Ronald Reagan signing into law the bill that established Martin Luther King Day. Although I normally do not take this day off (nor presidents’ days unless sometimes when I am out of town), I thought it might be appropriate to quote some writings from the late Martin Luther King, Jr.

His birth name was Michael King, Jr. His father was also born Michael King, but the elder King changed his and his son’s names following a 1934 trip to Germany to attend the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin in honor of the Protestant leader, Martin Luther.

Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister who became best known as a civil rights activist.

January 15, 2023

President Joe Biden made a historical pilgrimage Sunday to “America’s freedom church” to mark Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, saying … that the civil rights leader’s life and legacy “show us the way and we should pay attention.” https://www.voanews.com/a/in-tribute-to-rights-leader-king-biden-invokes-battle-for-the-soul-of-this-nation-/6919321.html

As far as his legacy goes,  Martin Luther King, Jr. also noticed certain things about religion before he became well known as a civil rights leader.

Much of this is overlooked by most. This post might be the only place today to point out that in the middle of the last century, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about many things, including Mithraism. Mithraism was a religion that observed Sunday and had followers such as the Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century.

Here is some of what Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote about it in a paper dated November 23, 1949:

In Avesta, Mithra was the genius of celestial light…The doctrine of the immortality of the soul was another view which was very prominent in Mithraism …

Women were compelled to seek salvation in some other cult, for Mithraism excluded them entirely …

When Mithraism is compared to Christianity, there are surprisingly many points of similarity. Of all the mystery cults, Mithraism was the greatest competitor of Christianity …

That Christians did copy and borrow from Mithraism cannot be denied (King ML. The papers of Martin Luther King, Jr, Volume 4. Clayborne Carson, Ralph Luker, Penny A. Russell editors/compliers. University of California Press, 1992, pp. 213-214, 217, 222, 224).

Here are some of his writings dated February 15, 1950:

Mithraism … was suppressed by the Christians sometime in the latter part of the fourth century A.D.: but its collapse seems to have been due to the fact that by that time many of its doctrines had been adopted by the church, so that it was practically absorbed by its rival.

… the Church made a sacred day out of Sunday partially because … of the resurrection. But when we observe a little further we find that as a solar festival, Sunday was the sacred day of Mithra: it is also interesting to notice that since Mithra was addressed as Lord, Sunday must have been “the Lord’s Day” long before Christian use. It is also to be noticed that our Christmas, December 25th, was the birthday of Mithra, and was only taken over in the Fourth Century as the date, actually unknown, of the birth of Jesus.

To make the picture a little more clear, we may list a few of the similarities between these two religions: (1) Both regard Sunday as a Holy Day. (2) December 25 came to be considered as the anniversary of the birth of Mithra and Christ also. (3) Baptism and a ritual meal were important parts of both groups …

In summary we may say that the belief in immortality, a mediator between god and man, the observance of certain sacramental rites…were common to Mithraism and Christianity. (King ML. The papers of Martin Luther King, Jr, Volume 4. Clayborne Carson, Ralph Luker, Penny A. Russell editors/compliers. University of California Press, 1992, pp. 307, 309.)

Notice that Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly understood that the Sunday churches dropped the Sabbath, that “the Lord’s Day” essentially first meant the day of Mithra, and that the worlds’ churches did adopt many practices from Mithraism. Much of what now is called “Christianity” is a compromise with the religion of Mithraism.

I wish that Martin Luther King, Jr. and others would have emphasized this aspect of his writings more. I would also add that Christians faithful to the original teachings of Christ, the apostles, and the New Testament did not adopt the practices of Mithraism.

Actually, early records show that there were basically two main groups that professed Christianity. One that was mainly based upon the Bible, and the other that accepted doctrines from those who followed Simon Magus and Mithras.

While Dr. King was most known for his civil rights protests, he figured out that much of what passed for Christianity in his day was really a form that adopted Mithratic practices.

Does that include your version of Christianity? Are you sure?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis? Dr. Thiel is recorded in Vatican City and points to a variety of symbols and displays there and explains where some of them seem to have originated from. Specifically, he discusses the connection of the cave grotto and mitre to Mithraism as well as obelisks and certain other ties to Isis. He also briefly touches on some doctrines that those groups share.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
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?
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
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?
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.

What doesn’t Satan want you to believe now?

Friday, January 13th, 2023

COGwriter

Satan does not want people to be in the Kingdom of God.

He wants to dissuade you and others from doing so.

How does he do that?

Through lies and false witnesses.

While you might think you are immune to Satan, remember that the New Testament teaches:

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, (1 Peter 5:7-9)

Satan does not want you to truly have faith in God or His word.

Jesus said Satan the devil was a liar from the beginning:

44 … He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Some of Satan’s allies at Banned by HWA website continue to post lies about those of us in Continuing Church of God (CCOG) as well as other COGs.

That is consistent with Satan’s hope as he is called the “accuser of the brethren” which he does do day and night (Revelation 12:10), so it is no great surprise if his lying human assistants spread lies regularly.

If you are not part of a COG (Church of God), Satan hopes you will dismiss the true Christian faith as a false cult–this is something he and his followers have done throughout history (see also Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult?).

Jesus, Himself, said that people who claimed to believe the Bible often denounced God’s prophets:

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

Notice the following evil that was posted at Banned by HWA:

Bob Thiel has lied to us from day one about God speaking to him in dreams, that he is the only COG doing the work, that he is a prophet, that he is Elisha, Elijah, Zephaniah, Joshua, and many other appropriated personalities (about the only thing left to call himself is Legion). Has Bob ever apologized and will he EVErRapologize for lying to us?

Now the above is false witness from Gary Leonard (the webmaster of the above site and the one who posted that).

Satan hopes you will believe lies.

One of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

Yet repeatedly, Gary Leonard has borne false witness.

There is no point in me, Bob Thiel, apologizing for telling the truth.

Gary Leonard and those who believe his lies need to repent.

The truth is on December 15, 2011, LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour, while laying hands on me, was moved by the Holy Spirit to pray that God would grant me a “double portion” of His Spirit, which Gaylyn Bonjour said was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha as recorded in 2 Kings 2:9-13. He has always publicly concurred with me that is what happened.

Furthermore, on November 28, 2019, Gaylyn Bonjour stated that he believed that God answered his prayer regarding Him granting me a double-portion of His Spirit.

Additionally, on November 28, 2019, Gaylyn Bonjour also stated that he tells those who ask:

I have known Bob Thiel since 1986. He has always been honest, dedicated, and sincere.

And that includes what I have written about him, dreams, and the prophet matter. My teaching about what happened is accurate and not false. I have not lied about this.

The Book of Proverbs teaches:

16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly. (Proverbs 26:16)

Satan hopes that YOU will be lazy and not believe. Satan hopes YOU will not take the time to check out the truth on this. Satan does NOT want YOU to accept that God really has been providing and fulfilling dreams in the 21st century.

Satan wants YOU to think that there are no serious differences between the legitimate COGs so not being part of CCOG is fine.

Satan wants YOU, like most Christians these days, to be Laodicean and not see if these things are so?

Why?

Because he knows Jesus said for unrepentant Laodicean Christians, “I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:16-17).

The bulk of end time Christians do not truly believe that the New Testament shows that in the end of the last days God will provide dreams to His most faithful. God proceeded the start of the Philadelphia era with a dream to a woman and the start of the CCOG with a dream to a woman (see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).

And as far as seven men answering sensibly goes, in addition to myself and Gaylyn Bonjour, some may wish to read the testimonies of six others associated with CCOG who had confirmed dreams (5 of which are men, bringing the total to at least seven men). Details are in the article: Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God.

Now, what about the dream complaints from Gary Leonard?

The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages, mainly to men (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9), and possibly at least once to a woman (cf. Numbers 12:6; Judges 4:4-16). Though most dreams that people have are not from God (Ecclesiastes 5:7; Zechariah 10:2).

Well, although all real Christians claim to believe the Bible, many do not take all of it seriously enough. Satan wants true Christians to fall away or to be sufficiently Laodicean that they will not take various last days prophecies, such as in Acts 2:17-18 (see
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?), seriously enough to act upon that knowledge.

Like, for example, the following:

6 “Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

Notice that the above says that God will speak to His prophet in a dream.

People may say they believe it, but most Christians do not believe that God has done that with anyone in the 21st century.

For example, although most Christians believe that we are living in the end of the last days, they do not accept that the following really is happening now:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)

If God is not speaking to any in dreams, then it really is not the last days.

Yet, the Continuing Church of God DOES have the signs of Acts 2:17-18 (see Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?).

Satan does not want you to take inspired, confirmed dreams seriously. He wants you opposed, or at best lukewarm, to that biblical idea. Satan wants you to have enough doubts about God and His promises so that you will be “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

Consider that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, basically said the signs of Acts 2:17-18 were to come again in a 1981 sermon:

Joel 2:28-29 And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: (29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

So there is a time coming when God will start pouring out His spirit on human beings. … Day of Pentecost, 3000 were baptized. Peter preached a sermon. They were pricked in their hearts. God began to draw them. God was now… Remember He said, “I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh.” All right, there’s a duality of that. (Armstrong HW. Building The Temple. Sermon, February 14, 1981)

Those who once had a background with the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) should further realize that it taught the following:

Thank you for your question concerning visions or dreams. The Bible reveals that in times past servants of God were given visions and dreams for specific reasons and/or to convey special messages. … God has used this means of communication in the past and will do so again (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28) (L052 Worldwide Church of God, 1989)

As the WCG did not publicly acknowledge any such dreams after that letter was sent, the interpretation must be that God would later use dreams (it should be mentioned that the original date of L052 was prior to 1986–hence it was not a change by the Tkach Administration).

If these are the end of the last days, then God must be working some place.

Jesus warned that the faithful would be persecuted and insulted:

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NKJV)

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NIV)

Paul even claimed that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecutions” (2 Timothy 3:21). So, of course, keeping the same practices that Jesus of Nazareth, the Nazarene ringleader called the Apostle Paul, and others throughout history does not make one part of an inappropriate “cult” (see also Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes?).

Notice something that the Apostle Peter was inspired to write:

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

So, for those who wonder about the truth, this post contains “a defense,” a true response to some of the many false assertions at the anti-COG Banned by HWA website.

12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

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

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:12-16)

Those who believe the false assertions at the Banned by HWA website are among those that love and practices lies.

Those who do so should repent.

Jesus taught:

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45)

Gary Leonard remains in my prayers.

Which is more sensible? The truth or rants from accusers of the brethren?

Jesus said, of prophets, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

The Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing xWCG group in the 21st century. The fruits are there for those with eyes to see and “ears to hear” (Mark 4:23)–but non-believers (Deuteronomy 29:4) and the bulk of end-time Christians do not (cf. Revelation 3:14-22).

Anyway, what Satan continues to hope is that you will believe lies, not believe that God actually has sent fulfilled dreams to those in the Continuing Church of God, and that you will not look into the details to see if it is so–like the Bereans of old did in Acts 17:10-11.

If you are not part of CCOG, Satan wants you to stay away from it.

He does not want you to be dedicated or noble enough to see if what is written here (and in the related links) is really true.

Can you accept the truth or do you prefer the lying assertions from sites like Banned by HWA?

Some items of perhaps related interest include:

Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult? There are misleading statements on the internet that this article tries to address.
Banned by HWA and Ambassador Watch There are various ones that oppose the Church of God, but they will not prevail (Matthew 16:18).
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? Here is a link in Spanish: Sueños, la Biblia, la Iglesia de Dios de la Radio, y la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? Some in the West discount God’s calling of Gentiles, but the Apostle Paul wrote about the need for them to come to the truth before Jesus returns.
What is the Ezekiel Warning? Should the end-time descendants of Israel and Joseph be warned? What should the watchman warn about? Regarding a watchman, you can watch the following video: Go, Set a Watchman.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Preaching the Gospel in Over 100 Languages Which languages are being used to fulfill Matthew 24:14?
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember.
LCG: What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God, now led by Gerald Westin, and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?) See also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
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? 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.