Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

LSN: Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021


Carlo Maria Viganò (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

Life Site News (LSN) ran the following written by Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò:

Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’

From May 6-8, 2021, the fifth International Vatican Conference will take place, entitled Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul. Unite to Prevent & Unite to Cure. A Global Health Care Initiative: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health. The event is being hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Cura Foundation, the Science and Faith Foundation, and Stem for Life.

Michael Haynes of LifeSiteNews has reported (here) on the topics to be addressed and the participants, including the infamous Anthony Fauci, whose scandalous conflicts of interest did not prevent him from taking over the management of the pandemic in the United States; Chelsea Clinton, a follower of the Church of Satan and a staunch abortion advocate; the New Age guru Deepak Chopra; Dame Jane Goodall, environmentalist and chimpanzee expert; the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna; representatives of Big Tech; and a whole slew of abortionists, Malthusians, and globalists known to the general public. The conference has recruited five prominent journalists to be moderators, who are exclusively from left-wing media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Forbes.

This Conference – along with the Council for Inclusive Capitalism of Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the Global Compact on Education, and the inter-religious Pantheon to be held in June in Astana, Kazakhstan – is the umpteenth scandalous confirmation of a disturbing departure of the current Hierarchy, and in particular its highest Roman members, from Catholic orthodoxy. The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium. The same Roman Dicasteries, occupied by people ideologically aligned with Jorge Mario Bergoglio and protected and promoted by him, now continue unrestrained in their implacable work of demolishing Faith, Morals, ecclesiastical discipline, and monastic and religious life, in an effort as vain as it is unprecedented to transform the Bride of Christ into a philanthropic association enslaved to the Strong Powers. The result is the super-imposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved Modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry, and any perversion of the intellect and will. The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very Pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest Throne. 04/20/21 https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/vigano-on-vatican-health-conference-with-fauci-holy-see-is-making-itself-the-servant-of-the-new-world-order

This is not the only thing some have wondered about associated with Pope Francis.

Fratelli tutti was signed by Pope Francis last Fall (see Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti Calls for Giving United Nations Organization ‘Real Teeth’).

Human efforts with the Vatican are the way of peace that Fratelli tutti wants. The Bible teaches that the Messiah (Jesus) is the “prince of peace” (Isaiah 9″6), repentance is needed (cf. Acts 2:38), and true peace will come with the Kingdom of God.–not some type of interfaith efforts from Rome. The Bible also warns:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:16-18)

Those with proper fear of God would pursue peace biblically, and not compromise doctrinally to do so.

Now notice when Europe was still recovering from being devastated in World War II, after attending a conference related to the start of the UN, in the December 1948 issue of The Plain Truth Herbert W. Armstrong predicted a coming “United States of Europe” with Vatican involvement when he wrote:

It was the SERMON that shot forth that spark, impregnating the minds of world leaders in attendance. This amazing sermon was delivered by a foremost radio speaker of the Catholic Church, Bishop Duane G. Hunt of Salt Lake City … Without the guidance, supervision, authority of the Catholic Church, he told these men, they were laboring in vain …

This was the Roman Catholic bid to resurrect the so-called “HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE” ! And PROPHECY says they will succeed! … At the psychological time, the pope will step in … Thru this political movement, he will UNIFY … nations in Europe. It will be a “The UNITED STATES OF EUROPE,” but that probably will never become its official name. (Armstrong HW. Now It Can Be Told…The Plain Truth, December 1948, pp. 2,5).

Well, Pope Francis has continually been pushing aspects of a united Europe–one that resembles the prophesied Beast of Revelation 13:1-10 and 17:12-13.

Fratelli tutti is just another step.

A reader sent me a link to the following:

Frank Unterhalt, a diocesan priest of Paderborn, Germany has written an analysis of the new papal encyclical Fratelli Tutti, whose tone of religious indifferentism and the call to universal fraternity reminds him of the language and program of Freemasonry. He also reminds us all that the so-called Sankt Gallen (St. Gallen) Group – a group of progressivist cardinals who unsuccessfully tried to elect then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope in 2005 – played a major role in electing Pope Francis in 2013 and that their goals are now being implemented by Francis.

In his new statement (see full text below), Father Unterhalt makes it clear that this new papal document that is promoting a sense of equality among religions and downplays Catholic beliefs and positions is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching on the unique role of the Catholic Church for the salvation of man.

Reminding us of Nathan the Wise, a play written by the German poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Unterhalt points out that it is the goal of Freemasonry to establish a new “brotherhood” in which all religions are equal. This idea also appeared during the French Revolution which was, at its core, deeply anti-Catholic.

These congruences are for Fr. Unterhalt a sign for our “apocalyptic” times. …

With this statement and critique of Fratelli Tutti, Father Unterhalt joins the voices of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, both of whom have pointed to resemblances between this new papal document and Freemasonic thought. Both have also rejected the tone of religious indifferentism found in this new text. …

Fratelli tutti tries at the beginning (numbers 1-4) and at the end (number 286) to claim St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of a supposed interreligious brotherhood “without borders” by completely distorting his visit to the Sultan in Egypt 800 years ago. This path with the readiness to martyrdom had precisely not the goal of throwing itself at Islam in the desire “to embrace everyone” (number 3), in the noncommittal concealment of the Gospel in a weakening way, but rather in concern for the eternal salvation of souls to call for conversion to the true faith. …

Fratelli tutti … has repeatedly used … dreaming of “a single human family” (number 8) as an occasion to propagate a religious relativism. This intention was particularly striking in the context of the so-called prayer intention for January 2016, which was combined with a telling video. The symbols of the different religions were shown, equally placed next to each other. The child Jesus was also present — held in a circle next to the other signs in the camera and lined up in sayings of faith in Allah and trust in Buddha.

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres testified on September 4, 2014, after his audience in the Vatican, to his proposal to the Bishop of Rome to “found the ‘United Religions’” — developed out of the United Nations.[13]

The Grand Lodge of Spain, in view of the Christmas address of December 25, 2018, in the Vatican, has already expressed its enthusiasm and, in the name of all Freemasons, has joined the proclaimed “fraternity between men of different religions.”[14] In view of the latest brochure, the same Grand Orient is currently raising an even louder cry of euphoria when it states that in Fratelli tutti “universal fraternity, the great principle of modern Freemasonry,”[15] is now welcomed.

This idea has already been well advanced in the context of the Abu Dhabi Declaration. The Bishop of Rome, following up on the same document, established the so-called “Higher Committee for Human Fraternity” to implement it. The construction project “Abrahamic Family House” has already been launched in Abu Dhabi — an interreligious house with mosque, synagogue and church. The three buildings of the so-called “Abrahamic religions” look similar, are designed with identical dimensions and create the impression of equality. The common ground floor with teaching center connects the temples. The next step to the world-unifying religion is thus not far away.[16]

The Bishop of Rome recently proclaimed that man is obliged to obey the United Nations. …

The striving for universal ecumenism of religions has always been a concern of Freemasonry on the way to its actual goal, namely to bring about the breakthrough of that self-constructed religion in which all human beings are supposedly in agreement. …

When Fratelli tutti explicitly uses the crisis brought about by Covid-19 as an occasion to express the call “Let us dream, then, as a single human family” (number 8), one should be well aware of the clear statements of those behind the scenes who have already spoken out with the aim of a globalized New World Order. 10/19/20 https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/german-priest-says-new-papal-encyclical-has-masonic-tone-links-it-to-st-gallen-group

So, at least a few Roman Catholic clerics have noted similarities between Pope Francis’ Fratelli tutti and Freemasonry.

Well, in the Continuing Church of God, we noted similarities between Freemasonry and Pope Francis’ agenda well before was released Fratelli tutti. Plus we also warned about the Abu Dhabi declaration.

Related to the Abu Dhabi document that Cardinal-elect Guixot referred to, we put together a video related to that:

15:31

Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document!

On February 4, 2019, at the ‘ Global Conference on Human Fraternity,’ Pope Francis and leading Sunni Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb signed a document that some suspect may lead towards a “one world religion.” The World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary, Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, who also attended, pushed for religious leaders and institutions to push towards a particular cooperative agenda to help bring world peace. Will there be real peace or just a temporary one? Will destruction come to the USA and nations in the Middle East and North Africa? What will be some characteristics of this “one world religion’? Will all have the same religious practices? Might it have commonalities with the ancient Roman Empire? The Grand Mosque in the UAE was renamed “Mary, Mother of Jesus.” Will Catholic, Islamic, and even Hindu reverence for Marian figures play a role? Is that part of the plan? Should real Christians support the interfaith and ecumenical agendas or remain separate from them? What does the Bible teach? What did Jesus teach? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to that video: Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document!

One symbol that the Vatican used last year was a ‘Chrislam Cross.’ We also put together a video related to the Chrislam Cross and the interfaith movement:

20:30
What is Chrislam? What are the two forms of it? Did the Vatican unveil the Chrislam Cross? How does it look? Are Christianity and Islam theologically compatible? What does the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ say? What about the Bible and the Quran? Did Pope Francis and Sunni Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb sign an important interfaith document on February 4, 2019? Do biblical and Islamic prophecies point to a deal between the Europeans and Arabs that will be broken? Do Catholic and Islamic writings support the view that Mary and/or apparitions of ‘Mary’ may lead to temporary cooperation between the Arabs and Europeans? Will such cooperation bring lasting peace or war? Have any of the Eastern Orthodox warned of the danger in using ‘Mary’ to push the interfaith and ecumenical movements? Is there a ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus mosque? Should you wish to be part of the Chrislam movement? What does the Bible teach? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermonette video: The Chrislam Cross.

What about Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is a ‘secret society’ (meaning that although the group itself is known, its members are sworn to secrecy about much of what it is and does).

They have the word “Free” as centuries ago, masons were allowed to freely cross national borders in order to build massive buildings. While modern Freemasons are rarely builders of massive monuments anymore, they kept the term “Free,” which seems to imply they are free to learn more about the practices, etc. of Masonry.

Here is some information from an actual Freemason website:

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely recognized fraternal organization in the world. Founded in London, England in 1717, its current worldwide membership totals 3.6 million members, 1.6 million of which are in North America. …

As a fraternal organization, Freemasonry unites men of good character who, though of different religious, ethnic, or social backgrounds, share a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.

The traditions of Freemasonry are founded upon the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and its fraternal ceremonies use the working tools of the stonemasons to symbolize moral lessons and truths. For example, Masons are reminded at Lodge to “meet upon the level of equality, act by the plumb of uprightness, and part upon the square of virtue.” https://www.freemason.com/how-to-join/what-is-freemasonry/ access 08/25/18

Historically, there were some ties between the Freemasons and a group called the Illuminati in the 18th century. Some claim that the Freemasons are the Illuminati. Others believe that the Illuminati are like a subset of the Freemasons, whereas others feel that the Illuminati per se, no longer exist, but that many of their ideas live on in Freemasonry.

There are still Catholic concerns about it:

June 1, 2019

For the past 300 years, Freemasonry has done all in its power to do to the Catholic Church what the old heretics did to Christ, they wish to make it a merely human institution without divine powers. In this way, divorcing it from the divine assistance, they can overpower it. https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/ephesus-fatima-48248

Roman Catholics, historically, have considered the Freemasons to be a threat.

Both Freemasonry and the Vatican claim to be working towards world peace–and that is part of the hope in Fratelli tutti.

Now, consider that the Bible tells that of one to arise in Europe who will deceitfully arise promoting peace:

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. (Daniel 11:23-24, NKJV)

Some small group is going to back this leader. It is not certain that it is Freemasons or the Illuminati or something like that, but somehow there are supporters of the Beast’s agenda.

Consider that the Bible warns of a power with a compromised religion (Revelation 17) that is involved in politics:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:1-5)

It would seem reasonable that both the Vatican and the Freemasons would support this.

Let me add that it has long been my position, based on scriptures such as Daniel 11:38, that the Beast leader would, temporarily, feign Roman Catholicism. So much so, that he would perhaps initiate a ‘new order’ within Roman Catholicism.

I do not believe he will truly be a believer in Roman Catholicism, but will use that faith and persuade it to compromise. He and the false prophet/beast of the earth (this will be a type of what some call an antipope), will promote a compromised version of Roman Catholicism, but not really even believe that.

Vatican involvement is clearly shown with the beast:

7 … I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her … 9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:7,9)

According to even Roman Catholic scholars the seven mountains/hills are a reference to Rome.

Notice a similarity to how the Beast gains his power and what we previously read in Daniel 11:23-24:

12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)

Both the Vatican and the Freemasons have supported the European Union and various European goals. Some Roman clerics are warning about this, but it is still moving forward.

Now, although the beast and supporters appear to be in league with the Vatican (as the first 13 verses of Revelation 17 support), notice that supporters of the Beast will turn against the Church of Rome:

15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)

Well “that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” is a reference to the compromised Church of Rome.

Now, presuming that there was Masonic support for the rise of the Beast, there may also be Masonic support for the destruction of the Church of Rome.

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

Related to some of that, the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:16:04

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

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

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

In the CCOG, we have long warned that the Beast and False Prophet would advocate breaking all the Ten Commandments (see the free online book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast).

Carlo Vigano’s comments show that the Vatican has been taking steps in that direction.

Some items of related interest may include:

Freemasonry and the Destruction of Rome? What is Freemasonry? What about ties to the Illuminati? Could they be involved in the fulfillment of prophecy? Here is a link to a related sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Another video is related to China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (Silk Road project): watch Is China paving roads to Armageddon?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
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.
The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ and the Holy Spirit. Are those two even related? In this video, Dr. Thiel answers that and explains from the Bible what the ‘unpardonable sin’ is and how you can avoid it. He also discusses aspects of Christianity and the environment. This is a video.
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.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
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’ and Origin of the Cross.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? Here is a link to a related sermon: Christians and the Environment (there is also YouTube video available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy).
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.

The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy.

Earth Day 2021

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021


Unofficial Earth Day Flag

COGwriter

April 22nd is known as “Earth Day.”

A side-effect of the government lockdowns has been less pollution:

Last year, within a matter of weeks, hundreds of millions of people shuttered down at home and many of the biggest corporations on Earth halted operations at their facilities during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in a staggering decline in greenhouse gas emissions, which caused months of below-average pollution levels.

Yet, despite this temporary decline in emissions, researchers say aerosols such as soot, black carbon, and sulfate, caused a counterintuitive effect that deserves some explaining: The planet actually warmed up.

This observation comes from a study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which found that reduction of aerosols during the COVID-19 lockdowns “caused a small net warming during the spring months in 2020.” 02/23/21 https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/pollution-decreased-but-the-planet-warmed-during-covid-19-lockdowns

The above, as well as reports about various specific areas having less air pollution, brought the following scripture to mind:

34 Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate (Leviticus 26:34)

While COVID-19 is NOT the fulfillment of the above, it does bring to mind that humans have not allowed the land to rest as biblical proscribed (cf. Leviticus 25:1-7).

That being said, here is a little about the history of Earth Day:

By the late 1960s, air and water pollution had already achieved serious environmental damage in the USA. Acid rain damaged forests, smog plagued cities, and suburban sprawl in its own paved-over way extended urban blight. Yet little appropriate national legislation existed. There was no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Clean Water Act, or Endangered Species Act. Land, rivers, and people — whether in city or countryside — were all dumped on.

In 1969 that changed as two events grabbed the headlines: California’s pristine coast at Santa Barbara played host to a massive oil spill and Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught on fire. US Senator Gaylord Nelson, known from previous public service as Wisconsin’s “Conservation Governor,” flew back from Santa Barbara with an idea and on 22 April 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated by 20 million Americans across the nation.

Earth Day quickly went global. By the 30th anniversary in 2000, people in 184 countries were holding Earth Day celebrations. That year the focus was clean energy. A decade later, the 40th anniversary saw attention shift to climate change…

What was, on that first Earth Day, full-blown confidence that industrial-technological civilization and 3.7 billion people could right itself has in 2013 become a troubled doubt that global consumerism for the nearly doubled population—7 billion—can. http://blog.oup.com/2013/04/history-earth-day/

There are several scriptures that would seem to be appropriate for “Earth Day.” Here is one to look at:

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it (Genesis 2:15).

The concept of tending and keeping a garden suggests proper environmental stewardship.

Notice, however, the following:

18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18).

Thus, God is not pleased when humans abuse the environment.

Here is information about it for 2021:

Earth Day Network (EDN), the organizing body for Earth Day worldwide, announced today that the theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth.” The theme is being announced after consultation with members of the world’s largest network in 192 countries.

Many around the world have paid at least some lip service to reduction of pollution–particularly in the past several years.

Back in 2015, Pope Francis released his encyclical titled Laudato Si. This was well received in the international community and was consistent with the ‘New Universal Agenda’‘ Pope Francis endorsed that was adopted by the United Nations in September of 2015 then later adopted in Paris.

On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ against the Holy Spirit.

While Christians should try to properly tend and keep the earth, certain of the Vatican’s, WCC’s, and the United Nations’ plans go beyond that to include changes to society and governmental controls that look to lead to the rise of the Beast power that the Bible warns against.

It will take the Kingdom of God, not the international environmental movement, to solve the major problems associated with polluting the earth.

Anyway, after then US President Donald Trump began the process of pulling the US out of the Paris Accords, the US was declared a “rogue nation” and we then put out the following video:


17:19

Because of US President Donald Trump’s position on ‘climate change’ as well as certain executive orders from him, the USA has been declared a rogue nation by various ones in Europe, Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. How does Webster’s Dictionary define ‘rogue’? Is it possible that considering that the USA is a rogue nation will be part of the justification for it getting taken over in the future? What does the Vatican want done? Does the Bible teach that friends, who do not mean to takeover the USA will one day destroy it? Might ‘climate change’ be part of a false gospel?

Here is a link to our video: The USA Declared a ‘Rogue Nation’!

Despite the Biden-Harris Administration’s intent to support the Paris Accords, the prophetic reality is that the relationship with Europe will get worse than people expect.

The Europeans will turn against its American ‘friend’:

1 How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!

2 She weeps bitterly in the night,
Her tears are on her cheeks;
Among all her lovers
She has none to comfort her.
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
They have become her enemies. (Lamentations 1:1-2)

The Europeans will take over the USA per Daniel 11:39 (see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses).

This will happen, even though the Europeans do not think that they want to:

5 “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
6 I will send him against an ungodly nation,
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 Yet he does not mean so,
Nor does his heart think so;
But it is in his heart to destroy,
And cut off not a few nations.
8 For he says,
‘Are not my princes altogether kings?
9 Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 As I have done to Samaria and her idols,
Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?'” (Isaiah 10:5-11)

More on Assyria can be found in the articles Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History and Germany in Biblical Prophecy. More on Samaria can be found in the articles Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel and Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New.

Despite the Biden-Harris Administration, the USA is becoming more isolated from the international community and this will not end well for the USA.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? 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? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: 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?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.

Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos. Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction Can the USA survive two full presidential terms? In what ways are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris apocalyptic? This book has hundreds of prophecies and scriptures to provide details.  A Kindle version is also available and you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to your free Kindle reader app (or if you already have one or a Kindle),  you can go to: Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction (Kindle) to get the book in seconds.

Cardinals and what are biblical titles for the ministry?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021


Cardinal Vestments

COGwriter

Cardinals hold a high position in the Church of Rome.

Is this an office the Bible lists for the Christian church?

In recent times, popes have often held the office of cardinal prior to their election as pontifex maximus, a non-biblical title that came from paganism:

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): Antichrist will have a forerunner or prophet, who will prepare the way for him…This false prophet possibly at the behest of Antichrist usurps the papal supremacy…His assumed spiritual authority and supremacy over the Church would make him resemble the Bishop of Rome…He would be Pontifex Maximus, a title of pagan emperors, having spiritual and temporal authority. …Though he poses as a lamb, his doctrines betray him…His principles and dogmas to be accepted…it will comprise emperor-worship…with the persecution of true believers (Kramer H.B. L. The Book of Destiny, pp. 318,319).

The term ‘cardinal’ itself is not found in any version of the Holy Bible.

As far as cardinals go, the word comes from a term meaning hinge according to the Houghton Mifflin dictionary and The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Latin, serving as a hinge, from card, cardin-, hinge (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/cardinal)

By the term cardinal (Cardinalis)…an ecclesiastical cardo (Lat. for hinge). (Sägmüller, Johannes Baptist. “Cardinal.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 22 Feb. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03333b.htm>.)

Why is that important?

Two reasons.

First, this term does not come from the Bible (I also did a search of the Douay Rheims, and it is not in there either).

Second, it comes from paganism.

Here is some of what Alexander Hislop reported about that:

If there be any who imagine that there is some occult and mysterious virtue in an apostolic succession that comes through the Papacy, let them seriously consider the real character of the Pope’s own orders, and of those of his bishops and clergy. From the Pope downwards, all can be shown to be now radically Babylonian. The College of Cardinals, with the Pope at its head, is just the counterpart of the Pagan College of Pontiffs, with its “Pontifex Maximus,” or “Sovereign Pontiff,” which had existed in Rome from the earliest times, and which is known to have been framed on the model of the grand original Council of Pontiffs at Babylon. The Pope now pretends to supremacy in the Church as the successor of Peter, to whom it is alleged that our Lord exclusively committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven. But here is the important fact that, till the Pope was invested with the title, which for a thousand years had had attached to it the power of the keys of Janus and Cybele, * no such claim to pre-eminence, or anything approaching to it, was ever publicly made on his part, on the ground of his being the possessor of the keys bestowed on Peter.

* It was only in the second century before the Christian era that the worship of Cybele, under that name, was introduced into Rome; but the same goddess, under the name of Cardea, with the “power of the key,” was worshipped in Rome, along with Janus, ages before. OVID’s Fasti

Very early, indeed, did the bishop of Rome show a proud and ambitious spirit; but, for the first three centuries, their claim for superior honour was founded simply on the dignity of their see, as being that of the imperial city, the capital of the Roman world. When, however, the seat of empire was removed to the East, and Constantinople threatened to eclipse Rome, some new ground for maintaining the dignity of the Bishop of Rome must be sought. That new ground was found, when, about 378, the Pope fell heir to the keys that were the symbols of two well-known Pagan divinities at Rome. Janus bore a key, and Cybele bore a key; and these are the two keys that the Pope emblazons on his arms as the ensigns of his spiritual authority. How the Pope came to be regarded as wielding the power of these keys will appear in the sequel; but that he did, in the popular apprehension, become entitled to that power at the period referred to is certain. Now, when he had come, in the estimation of the Pagans, to occupy the place of the representatives of Janus and Cybele, and therefore to be entitled to bear their keys, the Pope saw that if he could only get it believed among the Christians that Peter alone had the power of the keys, and that he was Peter’s successor, then the sight of these keys would keep up the delusion, and thus, though the temporal dignity of Rome as a city should decay, his own dignity as the Bishop of Rome would be more firmly established than ever. On this policy it is evident he acted. Some time was allowed to pass away, and then, when the secret working of the Mystery of iniquity had prepared the way for it, for the first time did the Pope publicly assert his pre-eminence, as founded on the keys given to Peter. About 378 was he raised to the position which gave him, in Pagan estimation, the power of the keys referred to. In 432, and not before, did he publicly lay claim to the possession of Peter’s keys. This, surely, is a striking coincidence. Does the reader ask how it was possible that men could give credit to such a baseless assumption? The words of Scripture, in regard to this very subject, give a very solemn but satisfactory answer (2 Thess 2:10,11): “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved…For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Few lies could be more gross; but, in course of time, it came to be widely believed; and now, as the statue of Jupiter is worshipped at Rome as the veritable image of Peter, so the keys of Janus and Cybele have for ages been devoutly believed to represent the keys of the same apostle…

The priest who explained the Mysteries to the initiated was sometimes called by a Greek term, the Hierophant; but in primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries, his title, as pronounced without the points, was “Peter”–i.e., “the interpreter.” As the revealer of that which was hidden, nothing was more natural than that, while opening up the esoteric doctrine of the Mysteries, he should be decorated with the keys of the two divinities whose mysteries he unfolded.

Hence, from the mere jingle of words, persons and things essentially different were confounded; and Paganism and Christianity jumbled together, that the towering ambition of a wicked priest might be gratified; and so, to the blinded Christians of the apostacy, the Pope was the representative of Peter the apostle, while to the initiated pagans, he was only the representative of Peter, the interpreter of their well known Mysteries. Thus was the Pope the express counterpart of “Janus, the double-faced.” Oh! what an emphasis of meaning in the Scriptural expression, as applied to the Papacy, “The Mystery of Iniquity”! The reader will now be prepared to understand how it is that the Pope’s Grand Council of State, which assists him in the government of the Church, comes to be called the College of Cardinals. The term Cardinal is derived from Cardo, a hinge. Janus, whose key the Pope bears, was the god of doors and hinges, and was called Patulcius, and Clusius “the opener and the shutter.” This had a blasphemous meaning, for he was worshipped at Rome as the grand mediator. Whatever important business was in hand, whatever deity was to be invoked, an invocation first of all must be addressed to Janus, who was recognised as the “God of gods,” in whose mysterious divinity the characters of father and son were combined, and without that no prayer could be heard–the “door of heaven” could not be opened. It was this same god whose worship prevailed so exceedingly in Asia Minor at the time when our Lord sent, by his servant John, the seven Apocalyptic messages to the churches established in that region. And, therefore, in one of these messages we find Him tacitly rebuking the profane ascription of His own peculiar dignity to that divinity, and asserting His exclusive claim to the prerogative usually attributed to His rival. Thus, Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” Now, to this Janus, as Mediator, worshipped in Asia Minor, and equally, from very early times, in Rome, belonged the government of the world; and, “all power in heaven, in earth, and the sea,” according to Pagan ideas, was vested in him. In this character he was said to have “jus vertendi cardinis”–the “power of turning the hinge”–of opening the doors of heaven, or of opening or shutting the gates of peace or war upon earth. The Pope, therefore, when he set up as the High-priest of Janus, assumed also the “jus vertendi cardinis,” “the power of turning the hinge,”–of opening and shutting in the blasphemous Pagan sense. Slowly and cautiously at first was this power asserted; but the foundation being laid, steadily, century after century, was the grand superstructure of priestly power erected upon it. The Pagans, who saw what strides, under Papal directions, Christianity, as professed in Rome, was making towards Paganism, were more than content to recognise the Pope as possessing this power; they gladly encouraged him to rise, step by step, to the full height of the blasphemous pretensions befitting the representative of Janus–pretensions which, as all men know, are now, by the unanimous consent of Western Apostate Christendom, recognised as inherent in the office of the Bishop of Rome. To enable the Pope, however, to rise to the full plenitude of power which he now asserts, the co-operation of others was needed. When his power increased, when his dominion extended, and especially after he became a temporal sovereign, the key of Janus became too heavy for his single hand–he needed some to share with him the power of the “hinge.” Hence his privy councillors, his high functionaries of state, who were associated with him in the government of the Church and the world, got the now well known title of “Cardinals”–the priests of the “hinge.” This title had been previously borne by the high officials of the Roman Emperor, who, as “Pontifex Maximus,” had been himself the representative of Janus, and who delegated his powers to servants of his own. Even in the reign of Theodosius, the Christian Emperor of Rome, the title of Cardinal was borne by his Prime Minister. But now both the name and the power implied in the name have long since disappeared from all civil functionaries of temporal sovereigns; and those only who aid the Pope in wielding the key of Janus–in opening and shutting–are known by the title of Cardinals, or priests of the “hinge.”…

Does the Pope receive the adorations of the Cardinals? The king of Babylon, as Sovereign Pontiff, was adored in like manner…

The Papal mitre is entirely different from the mitre of Aaron and the Jewish high priests. That mitre was a turban. The two-horned mitre, which the Pope wears, when he sits on the high altar at Rome and receives the adoration of the Cardinals, is the very mitre worn by Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines and Babylonians. There were two ways in which Dagon was anciently represented. The one was when he was depicted as half-man half-fish; the upper part being entirely human, the under part ending in the tail of a fish. The other was, when, to use the words of Layard, “the head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man, while its scaly, fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human limbs and feet exposed.” Of Dagon in this form Layard gives a representation in his last work; and no one who examines his mitre, and compares it with the Pope’s as given in Elliot’s Horoe, can doubt for a moment that from that, and no other source, has the pontifical mitre been derived.

The mitre/hat shown in the photo at the beginning of this post is a version of the ‘fish hat’ that Alexander Hislop says came from paganism.

The Bible shows that worshipers of Dagon were destroyed by Samson (Judges 16:23-30).

As far as offices listed for the New Testament Church, the New Jerusalem Bible (a Roman Catholic translation) teaches the following:

11And to some, his ‘gift’ was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; 12 to knit God’s holy people together for the work of service to build up the Body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12, NJB)

28 And those whom God has appointed in the Church are, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after them, miraculous powers, then gifts of healing, helpful acts, guidance, various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)

5 The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to organise everything that still had to be done and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you, 6 that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character, husband of one wife, and his children must be believers and not liable to be charged with disorderly conduct or insubordination. 7 The presiding elder has to be irreproachable since he is God’s representative: never arrogant or hot-tempered, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor avaricious; 8 but hospitable and a lover of goodness; sensible, upright, devout and self-controlled; (Titus 1:5-8)

1Here is a saying that you can rely on: to want to be a presiding elder is to desire a noble task. 2 That is why the presiding elder must have an impeccable character. Husband of one wife, he must be temperate, discreet and courteous, hospitable and a good teacher; 3 not a heavy drinker, nor hot-tempered, but gentle and peaceable, not avaricious, 4 a man who manages his own household well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: 5 how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own household take care of the Church of God? 6 He should not be a new convert, in case pride should turn his head and he incur the same condemnation as the devil. 7 It is also necessary that he be held in good repute by outsiders, so that he never falls into disrepute and into the devil’s trap. 8 Similarly, deacons must be respectable, not double-tongued, moderate in the amount of wine they drink and with no squalid greed for money. 9 They must hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They are first to be examined, and admitted to serve as deacons only if there is nothing against them. (1 Timothy 3:1-10)

Many offices are listed in the New Testament, but none that sounds like Cardinals. Note that the NKJV has the term “pastors” in Ephesians 4:11 and “bishop” in 1 Timothy 3:1.

Here is more on the origins of Cardinals:

In Rome the first persons to be called cardinals were the deacons of the seven regions of the city at the beginning of the 6th century, when the word began to mean “principal,” “eminent,” or “superior.” The name was also given to the senior priest in each of the “title” churches (the parish churches) of Rome and to the bishops of the seven sees surrounding the city. By the 8th century the Roman cardinals constituted a privileged class among the Roman clergy. They took part in the administration of the church of Rome and in the papal liturgy. By decree of a synod of 769, only a cardinal was eligible to become pope. In 1059, during the pontificate of Nicholas II (1059–61), cardinals were given the right to elect the pope. For a time this power was assigned exclusively to the cardinal bishops, but the third Lateran Council (1179) gave back the right to the whole body of cardinals. The cardinals were granted the privilege of wearing the red hat by Innocent IV (1243–54) in 1244 or 1245; it has since become their symbol. (Cardinals. Encyclopaedia Brittanica. http://www.britannica.com/topic/cardinal-Roman-Catholicism accessed 01/24/16)

Certain of the garb of Cardinals were not adopted until over a 1000 years after Jesus was killed according to The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Chief among the insignia of the cardinal is the red hat, first worn by the legati a latere (cardinal envoys of the pope). It was granted to the secular cardinals by Innocent IV at the Synod of Lyons in 1245, and to the religious cardinals by Gregory XIV in 1591; the latter, it must be noted, continue to wear the distinctive habit of their order (Barmgarten, “Die Uebersendung des rothen Hutes” in “Hist. Jahrbuch”, XXVI, 99 sqq.). They also wear the red (scarlet) biretta, that was granted to them, probably, by Paul II (1464-71). They also have the right to wear scarlet, particularly a scarlet mantle, which according to tradition was probably granted them by Boniface VIII (1294-1303). They also wear a ring with a sapphire stone, and use the ombrellino that is held over them whenever they quit their carriages to accompany with bare heads the Blessed Sacrament, if perchance they meet It on their way. In their titular churches a baldacchino covers the cardinalitial throne, and they have the right to use in these churches the episcopal ornaments, i.e. the mitre of damask silk (since Paul II), the crosier and the pectoral cross. (Sägmüller, Johannes Baptist. “Cardinal.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 22 Feb. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03333b.htm>.)

Cardinals come from paganism. The Bible tells nothing of a College of Cardinals who would elect a Pontifex Maximus (a title that the Catholic Bishop Sircius took for himself in the late fourth century–it had long been a title pagan Roman emperors had).

The vestments they wear were not adopted until at least the fourth century by the Church of Rome (see also Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress?). Essentially, the office of Cardinal is a modified remnant from the worship of Mithras and Dagon, though it took the Church of Rome even more centuries for them to develop into the position that they now hold. Of course, that also helps prove that their precise position did not come from the Bible and such vestments that they use were not worn by the original Apostles nor other early Christian leaders.

Cardinals, and their garb, were adapted from paganism. This is one of the many reasons to consider that the final Antichrist will claim ties to the Church of Rome. I would like to emphasize that this leader will CLAIM ties to Rome, but ultimately will betray the Church on Seven Hills as that seems to be laid out in Revelation 13, 17, and 19.

The office of Cardinal does not come from the Bible. It comes from paganism. Cardinals also dress in ways that pagan leaders did, and not as the early apostles did.

What titles did early Christians use?

The New Testament lists various clerical roles:

11 And to some, his ‘gift’ was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11, NJB)

1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with their presiding elders and the deacons. (Philippians 1:1, NJB)

1 Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ; to all the saints in Christ Jesus, who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons. (Philippians 1:1, DRB)

28 Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood. (Acts 20:28 NABRE)

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae (Romans 16:1, NJB)

23 Greetings to you from Gaius, my host here, and host of the whole church. (Romans 16:23, NJB)

2 … Timothy, our brother and God’s minister (1 Timothy 3:2, EOB)

1 I urge the elders among you … (1 Peter 5:1, NJB)

We in the Church of God have used all of those titles at one time or the other and have leaders with nearly all of those titles today.

Notice something reported in Appendix A of the Eastern Orthodox Bible (bolding in source):

For instance, as seen in the New Testament literature itself, it is an indisputable fact that the earliest Christians used the terms “bishop” (“overseer”) and “presbyter” (“elder”) interchangeably:

Titus 1:5-7: For this reason, I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you, on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious. For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless, not arrogant…” (See also: 1 Tim 3:1-7; 5:17-22)

Acts 20:17-28: From Miletus he (Paul) had the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them… “Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God…”

Early Christian leaders had titles, basically the ones in those lists.

The New Testament listed positions are titles that the CCOG still uses to this day.

As far as titles go, we do not see terms like Archbishop, Metropolitan, or Patriarch used for the clergy in the New Testament. Nor are they found in the more widely used Greco-Roman translations of the New Testament.

Thousands of years ago, pagan emperors used to use the title Pontifex Maximus. This is NOT a title listed in the Bible. Nor is pope or cardinal.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
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?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Titles, Dress, & Celibacy.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
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?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
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.

Pope Leo IX, the Sabbath, and the Eastern Orthodox Schism

Monday, April 19th, 2021


Pope Leo IX

COGwriter

April 19th is a date that some in the Church of Rome honor, as one of their saints, Pope Leo IX (whose name had been Bruno). Here is some of what they teach about him:

Son of Count Hugh of Egisheim. Cousin of Emperor Conrad II. Chapter canon of Saint Stephen’s, Toul, France. Deacon. Soldier and officer in the imperial army. In 1021, while still in the military, he was chosen bishop of Toul, France, a position he held for 20 years. Commanded troops under emperor Conrad II in the invasion of Italy in 1026. http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-saint-leo-ix/

Although it is known that Christians were not militaristic, the Greco-Roman faith became militaristic around the time of Emperor Constantine (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?). Yet despite claims of being a Christian, Bishop Bruno was certainly militaristic.

We in the Continuing Church of God do not consider that Pope Leo IX was a real Christian, despite him being considered a saint of the Church of Rome.

Leo IX was believed to have been a factor in causing the Great Schism between the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox in 1054.

While politics and other doctrines are believed to have played a major role in the schism, some have suggested that the Orthodox tendency to somewhat honor the seventh day Sabbath (in addition to Sunday) was also a factor:

[A] treatise, entitled in Latin Adversus Graecorum Columnias was composed in the form of a debate about the year 1054 by Cardinal Humbert. The Cardinal had been sent by Pope Leo IX early in 1054 as the papal nuncios to Constantinople to endeavor to bring the Greeks into conformity with the religious practices of the Roman (Latin) Church. The mission however did not succeed. The treatise was composed as a further attempt to dissuade the Greeks from holding on to certain divergent religious practices such as veneration of the Sabbath…The Cardinal argues that the Latins in no way resemble the Jews in their observance of the Sabbath…He proceeds then to show the Greeks that they are the ones who judaize as they observe the Sabbath in the identical manner of the Jews.

Dr. Bacchiocchi observed:

R.L. Odom has persuasively brought out that the Roman insistence on making the Sabbath a day of fast contributed greatly to the historic break between the Eastern and Western Christian Church which occurred in A.D. 1054. (Cited in Bacchiocchi Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, p. 67)

So, Pope Leo IX had a Cardinal that was opposed to officially honoring the Sabbath and this was apparently one of various factors for the split with the Eastern Orthodox.

A split that has gone on for close to a thousand years, but one that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox are looking to resolve.

As far as Sabbath fasting goes, that seemed to originate with the heretic Marcion :

Marcion who fasted on the Sabbath to show his contempt for the God of the Old Testament whom he considered to be evil (Bacchiocchi S. Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday. The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome, 1975, p. 62).

Fasting on the Sabbath was a practice adopted by the Roman Church, but not the Churches in Asia Minor in the second and third centuries.

The Catholic and Orthodox saint Irenaeus noted that the faithful Church of God leader/bishop Polycarp opposed Marcion:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time — a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles — that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.”(Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Polycarp, and other true early Christian writers, kept all the ten commandments that were first mentioned in the Old Testament (an article of related interest may be The Ten Commandments and the Early Church). This is how Polycarp (and others) differed from many of the early heretics like Marcion (more on Cerinthus can be found in the article Cerinthus: An early heretic).

Another to specifically oppose Marcion was Church of God leader/bishop Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century). The Syriatic version of Eusebius’ Church History notes:

BUT as to Theophilus, concerning whom we have said that he was Bishop of Antioch, there are three treatises by him against Antolycus, and another which is inscribed “Against the heresy of Hermogenes,” in which he uses testimonies from the Revelation of John; and there are other books by him which are suitable for teaching. But those, who pertained to heretical doctrine, even at that time like tares were corrupting the pure seed of the doctrine of the Apostles; but the Pastors which were in the churches in every country, were driving them like beasts of the wilderness away from the flock of Christ; at one time by teaching and exhortation to the Brethren, but at another time openly before their faces they contended with them in discussion, and put them to shame; and again, also, by writing treatises they diligently refuted and exposed their opinions. But Theophilus, together with others, contended against them; and he is celebrated for one treatise, which was ably composed by him against Marcion, which, together with the others that I have already mentioned, is still preserved. And after him Maximinus received the Bishoprick of the Church of Antioch, who was the seventh after the Apostles.

But Philip, respecting whom we have learned from the words of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth,2 that he was Bishop of the church of the city of Gortyna, he also composed with accuracy a treatise against Marcion (Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, Syriac version, Book 4 (Extract), Chapter 24. Spicilegium Syriacum (1855). This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font/Polytonic Greek).

This is of interest because it shows that both Philip and Theophilus also wrote against the heretic Marcion (though the document, while apparently available to Eusebius, is currently unavailable).

Notice what the Protestant historian Kenneth Latourette stated:

Marcion insisted that the Church had obscured the Gospel by seeking to combine it with Judaism (Latourette KS. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: to A.D. 1500. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1975, p. 126).

In other words, the original true Church of God truly did combine faith in Christ with practices that Marcion considered to be too Jewish. And Marcion was denounced by leaders from Asia Minor for rejecting the true faith.

In the third century, Hippolytus of Rome wrote:

But Marcion, a native of Pontus, far more frantic than these (heretics), omitting the majority of the tenets of the greater number (of speculators), (and) advancing into a doctrine still more unabashed, supposed (the existence of) two originating causes of the universe, alleging one of them to be a certain good (principle), but the other an evil one. And himself imagining that he was introducing some novel (opinion), founded a school full of folly, and attended by men of a sensual mode of life, inasmuch as he himself was one of lustful propensities. This (heretic) having thought that the multitude would forget that he did not happen to be a disciple of Christ, but of Empedocles, who was far anterior to himself, framed and formed the same opinions,–namely, that there are two causes of the universe, discord and friendship. For what does Empedocles say respecting the plan of the world? Even though we have previously spoken (on this subject), yet even now also, for the purpose, at all events, of comparing the heresy of this plagiarist (with its source), we shall not be silent. This (philosopher) affirms that all the elements out of which the world consists and derives its being, are six: two of them material, (viz.,) earth and water; and two of them instruments by which material objects are arranged and altered, (viz.,) fire and air; and two of them, by means of the instruments, operating upon matter and fashioning it, viz., discord and friendship. (Empedocles) expresses himself somehow thus:- “The four roots of all things hear thou first: Brilliant Jove, and life-giving Juno and Aidoneus, And Nestis, who with tears bedews the mortal font.” (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies (Book VII), Chapter XVII. Translated by J. H. Machmahon. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight)

Marcion taught against the law and the Creator’s Sabbath–the seventh-day Sabbath. Marcion eliminated or overlooked many portions of the Bible. His attitude seems to have been similar to Luther’s in this respect (Martin Luther’s attitude toward the Bible can be found in the article Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

While the Church of Rome eventually condemned Marcion, sadly, its Pope Leo pushed for at least one of his non-biblical practices.

As far as the Sabbath being biblical, let me point out that a series of articles in the Catholic Mirror, called The Christian Sabbath, essentially proved 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. The change from the Sabbath was not biblical and Catholic scholars have admitted this.

Some items of related interest may include:

Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
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? and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he? Here is a link to a related sermon: Marcion: The first Protestant reformer?
The Coming Persecution of the Church Jesus foretold persecution. Many are aware of some of the early persecutions, but few understand what teachings true Christians were persecuted for in the fourth century and beyond–some may seem shocking. At least two major persecutions are prophesied to come. Which doctrines are expected to be causes for the coming persecutions? Are the Greco-Roman churches planning on persecuting Sabbath-keepers, those who do not accept a non-biblical Mary, and those who do not wear crosses? This is a video.
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.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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. Here is a link to a related sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism.

DW: 500 years after Luther and the Diet of Worms the ecumenical movement is strong

Saturday, April 17th, 2021


Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

COGwriter

Deutsche Welle reported the following:

500 years after Luther and the Diet of Worms the ecumenical movement is strong

16 April 2021

Showdown in Worms: Five centuries ago the monk and the emperor went face to face. Martin Luther refused to withdraw his criticism of what he saw as corruption and venality in the Catholic Church. The rest is history. …

Their showdown in April 1521 would later be seen as one of the decisive steps in what became known as the Protestant reformation.

Jubilation for Luther

Three and a half years earlier, Luther had shaken the Christian world when he published his famous Ninety-five Theses in the town of Wittenberg.

Already a well-known figure in the German-speaking world, he met with jubilation as he made his way from Wittenberg to Worms, further south. Contemporary sources report that he was accompanied by “a cheering crowd.”

Now, once again, there is a celebration in the city of Worms as it marks the 500th anniversary and this very special weekend. …

Ecumenical impact growing

And now, 500 years on? How successful is the ecumenical movement that aims to build bridges between the two main branches of the Christian church in today’s Germany?

Taking Worms as an example, the latest figures from March this year show that the city has a population of just under 85,000. Of that number, 28.3% are Lutheran Protestants, while 23.4% are Catholics. Jutta Herbert insists that Worms is not only a Luther city but also a cathedral city. That is: it is both Protest and Catholic.

“Here in Worms, Catholics and Lutherans work very closely together,” says Herbert, who speaks of “tried-and-tested cooperation.” Never before have ecumenical considerations been so central to commemorative events marking the historic days of 1521. Among the speakers during the main ceremony, Steinmeier will also be joined by the head of Germany’s Lutheran Protestant church, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm alongside the Catholic Bishop of Mainz, Peter Kohlgraf. https://www.dw.com/en/500-years-after-luther-and-the-diet-of-worms-the-ecumenical-movement-is-strong/a-57230023

Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and other Greco-Roman churches have been trying to use major anniversaries to push an ecumenical agenda.

An agenda, that Martin Luther, obviously was not in favor of when he left the Church of Rome.

That being said, the Roman Church has changed on many of the points that Martin Luther protested about.

So, yes, the sides are much closer together than they were 500 or so years ago.

Now, we in the Continuing Church of God are NOT Protestant nor part of the Roman Catholic-Lutheran ecumenical efforts.

Here is something related to the ecumenical movement that many Protestants have embraced from our free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism:

Currently, the Protestant world is split on ecumenism.

Notice something in favour of it from the Lutherans:

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary, Rev. Dr Martin Junge has sent greetings to the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), Cardinal Kurt Koch, to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Vatican’s ecumenical office. In the congratulatory letter, the Lutheran leader says that, for the past sixty years, this office has “forged a way forward on the path of ecumenism”. (LWF’s General Secretary sends greetings to PCPCU President recalling longstanding ecumenical relationship LWF, June 8, 2020)

Although the Lutherans and many Protestants in places like Europe seem to favour it, many American Protestants (particularly among the Evangelicals and certain Baptists) are currently opposed to it.

Early Protestant leaders were bitterly opposed to ecumenical unity with the Church of Rome:

(1) Martin Luther: … We here are of the conviction that the Papacy is the seat of the true and real antichrist …

(2) John Calvin: I deny him to be the vicar of Christ. … He is an antichrist — I deny him to be the head of the Church (John Calvin Tracts, Volume 1, pages 219, 220). (Standish CD, Standish RR. The Evangelical Dilemma. Hartland Publications, 1996, p. 162)

Samuel Lee (a seventeenth century Rhode Island minister): It is agreed among all main lines of the English Church that the Roman pontiff is the Antichrist (Samuel Lee, The Cutting off of Antichrist, p. 1). (Standish CD, Standish RR. The Antichrist is Here. Hartland Publications, 1988, p. 16)

As far as the final Antichrist goes, the position of the CCOG is that the false prophet of Revelation 16:13, 19:20, and 20:10 will likely be some type of antipope who will initially claim the Roman Catholic religion, but will betray the church of the “great city” of Rome (cf. Revelation 17:15-18). Consistent with a teaching sometimes ascribed to Polycarp, we teach that the King of the North Beast is 666. It is not likely that Polycarp would have taught that the Church of Rome was the Antichrist as it did not have a massive amount influence in Polycarp’s day. That being said, in the 2nd century both Polycarp and Polycrates denounced Rome for its change of the date of Passover, not holding to scripture, and essentially seeking ecumenical unity.

Yet now, even many American Protestant leaders like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren have endorsed aspects of ecumenical unity with Rome. Furthermore, the late Billy Graham was quite ecumenical with the Church of Rome (Bynum EL. Why We Cannot Support The Billy Graham Crusade. Tract # G-603. TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH, Lubbock, Texas).

In 2020 it was reported:

Almost two-thirds of Protestant pastors view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and their “brother in Christ.” … Five hundred years ago, Protestants were calling the Pope, “AntiChrist” as they were tortured and killed for their unwillingness to compromise … (Gendron M. Is Roman Catholicism Still a Mission Field? Proclaiming the Gospel newsletter, March 2020)

Martin Luther, himself, specifically taught that the Roman Catholic Church was the “great harlot of the Apocalypse” (O’Hare PF. The Facts About Luther, originally 1916, 1987 ed., p.9).

Let’s notice some of the “great harlot” chapter in scripture that Martin Luther said pictured the Church of Rome:

5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5)

9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. … 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:9,18)

Rome is the famous city of seven hills/mountains and even Roman Catholic scholars admit that Revelation 17:9 is a reference to Rome—though they say it is to the old Roman Empire and not their church (e.g. Kurz, W. What Does the Bible Say About the End Times? A Catholic View. Servant Books, Cincinnati, pp. 165-166).

Notice what the Church of Rome has taught:

The MOTHER CHURCH of Christendom lovingly invites the descendants of all the CHILDREN torn from her bosom by irrelevant issues to return to the practice of their forebears [meaning the Roman Catholic Church] (90 Common Questions about the Catholic Faith, by John O’Brien, p. 11 as cited in McNair R. Why Church Unity Eludes Theologians. Plain Truth, September 1968)

The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. … the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth. (Pope Paul VI. Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium. Promulgated on November 21, 1964)

In at least two places in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1163 & 1667) the Church of Rome calls itself the “Holy Mother Church.” And it wants unity with the Protestants it considers its daughters.

The idea that Rome claims to be the mother of the Protestants and other churches of this world is clear from the following which is on the outside of St. John Lateran Church, which is within the seven hills of Rome:

Inscription in the Basilica of St. John Lateran
(photo by Joyce Thiel)

Translated from the Latin it states:

Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World

The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, that contains its papal throne (Cathedra Romana), This is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope (it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican).

So, it is clear to all who will see that the Vatican claims to be the Mother of the World’s Churches. And the Bible warns that Mystery Babylon is the Mother of the WORLD’s churches. However, the Vatican is NOT the mother of the Church of God which preceded the formation of the Church of Rome and did not come from the Church of Rome. Yet, the Protestants did come from the Church of Rome (and even many Protestants who claim otherwise still hold Roman Catholic doctrines which are in conflict with scripture).

17th and 18th century Church of God writers considered that the Protestant (including Puritans who claimed to be “proper Protestants”) movement was a failure as it did not reform enough (Ball, p. 14) and because it retained papal pronouncements (Saller W. An Examination of a late book published by Doctor Owen … A Sacred Day of Rest. 1671, London, pp. 32,35; Ball, pp. 12,319; Philotheos, p. 67). A Sabbatarian of that period said he “abandoned Babylon’s customs and traditions” that Protestants had (Ball, p. 273).

The position of the late WCG evangelist Dean Blackwell was that the Protestant Reformation, itself, was prophesied to arise (Revelation 2:24-25) during the Thyatira church era (it did), to be unfaithful to scripture (it has been), and was essentially a Satanic plot to try to swallow up the faithful who believed in a version of sola Scriptura (Blackwell DC. A Handbook of Church History. Chapter V – Series: 1: Waldenses and Anabaptists. Ambassador College Thesis, 1973, pp. 20-21).

The essentially official position of the old Worldwide Church of God, itself, was that the Protestants were the harlot daughters of Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:4-5) and daughters of Jezebel (Revelation 2:22-23) that arose in the 1500s (and subsequent centuries). And that many of those remaining Protestants who would not repent, would be destroyed after the start of the Great Tribulation consistent with Revelation 2:23 (LESSON 51, AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6. Ambassador College, 1968). The CCOG prayer is that Protestants who do not respond now, but survive into the Great Tribulation, will be part of the “great multitude” that comes out of that tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14).

Lutherans, Anglicans, and Rome

Despite biblical warnings, many Protestants are pushing for more unity with Rome.

Without citing Rome, part of the claimed Lutheran doctrinal continuity is its adherence to Greco-Roman documents. Notice the following Lutheran teaching from 1577:

The Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, we pledge ourselves to them, and hereby reject all heresies and dogmas which, contrary to them, have been introduced into the Church of God. (Bente F, Dau WHT, editors. Concordia Triglotta: Die Symbolischen Bücher Der Evangèlisch-lutherischen Kirche, Deutsch-lateinisch-englisch. Northwestern 1931, p. 777)

But the actual Church of God could never have accepted the Athanasian Creed, such as it contains unscriptural parts such as:

And in this Trinity none is before after another; none is greater or less than another;

But the whole three persons are coeternal with each other and coequal, so that in all things, as has been stated above, the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is to be worshiped.

Therefore, whoever desires to be saved must think thus about the Trinity.

Jesus taught the Father was greater than He (John 14:28) and there is nothing in scripture stating that having a particular belief in the ‘trinity’ is necessary for salvation (cf. Acts 2:38). The acceptance of this creed shows another fallacy of the Lutheran view of salvation.

A Lutheran source asserts that the Athanasian Creed has been in use since the 6th century (The Athanasian Creed. Redeemer Lutheran Church. https://redeemer-fortwayne.org/what-we-believe/the-athanasian-creed/ accessed 06/22/20). Hence, it obviously does not reflect original Christian doctrine in many ways—but it was accepted by the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutherans, and other churches. It should perhaps be pointed out that the oldest known form of the “creed” (called the “old Roman form”) was NOT trinitarian.

Meetings and Declarations

Over the past several decades, the Roman Catholics have held a lot of ecumenical meetings to point out similarities. In terms of the Lutherans, two groundbreaking events of their ecumenical dialogue was a joint statement on the doctrine of Justification by Faith in 1983 and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) on October 31, 1999.

In February 2014, Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer pointed to that last document and stated:

The protests have been over for 15 years … If there is no more protests, how can there be a Protestant church … We now teach the same gospel, we now teach the same faith … The protest is over, the protest is over. Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?

In October 2017, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, presented a text by the Anglican community affirming a joint declaration by the Roman Catholic church and global Protestant bodies which was described as “a sign of healing after 500 years of division.”

Additionally, notice some from 2020:

A historical “Ecumenical Charter” was signed by Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and Methodists on January 25th, in Bologna, Italy. The charter says that “the most important task of the Churches is to proclaim the Gospel together through word and action, for the salvation of all human beings. (Gendron M. Catholics Seek Unity with SDA’s and Evangelicals. Proclaiming the Gospel newsletter, March 2020)

Yes, many within the Protestant world believe that they are basically unattached versions of the same church based in Rome. The ecumenical movement is pushing ahead.

The SDA signer of the “Ecumenical Charter” was SDA Pastor Giovanni Caccamo, who was the former Secretary of the Italian Union of Seventh-day Adventist Churches.

However, it should be noted that the Inter-European Division of the SDA church denounced that signing, essentially stating that it went too far towards unity (Statement on the position of the Inter-European Division on the involvement of an Italian Seventh-day Adventist Pastor in the signing of the Ecumenical Charter of the Council of the Christian Churches of Bologna. Press release EUD: “Charta Ecumenica di Bologna”. February 24, 2020). So, some SDAs have opposition. Yet officially, “Seventh-day Adventists … stress the conviction that many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ” (How Seventh-day Adventists View Roman Catholicism. This statement was recorded on April 15, 1997, by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg).

Notice, now, something written from a Protestant against those who dare to resist the ecumenical movement (bolding added):

The Latter Rain is God’s great end-time ministry. This concept, as revealed in the Bible, comprises the restitution of the church to it’s rightful place, the enormous last day revival soon to come, and the harvest of souls before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh promised to us in the last days and the restoration of apostolic and prophetic gifts. It has been explained like this, the latter rain, the latter reign and the latter rein; first the spiritual outpouring, then the spirit and Bride says come in power and authority and then the ingathering. (Atkinson J. The Latter Rain. The Latter Rain Page. http://latter-rain.com/eschae/latter.htm retrieved 03/29/19)

The worst churches in Christendom are not those that need to repent but those in pride that are unwilling to repent, especially those that are opposed to ecumenicism. They are easy to identify, they think that they are the chosen saints of God, they have an illiberal nature and are intolerant of others, self-righteous, they oppose dialogue, independent, a sinful spirit of division and particularistic exclusivism. … The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers As One Body We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory (Atkinson J. Ecumenical. The Latter Rain Page. http://latter-rain.com/kingdom/ecu.htm retrieved 03/28/19)

The assertion that Jesus came so that the world would be united in this age is false (cf. Matthew 10:34-38; information concerning the biblical truth about the “latter rain” can be found in 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).

Notice what Jesus actually taught:

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

Protestant and other religious leaders who profess Christ and the interfaith and ecumenical agendas clearly are overlooking what Jesus taught. Jesus taught His people should be willing to stand alone, even among family members. Let it be pointed out that in the first half of the 21st century a ‘revival’ will come to Europe and other lands. Many Protestants will applaud this and some have long hoped for this and some have called it “the blessed reflex” (Martin S. ‘The Blessed Reflex’ is Re-Evangelizing Europe. Love for His People, March 10, 2020). Yet, the Bible warns against the type of improper religious unity that will occur before the second coming of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul taught that true unity of faith would not happen until after Jesus returns:

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)

While getting along peaceably with one another is biblically promoted (cf. Romans 12:18), those who believe that true unity of faith comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. We are not ‘perfect’ until after He comes (cf. 1 John 1:8). The prophesied unity of faith does not happen prior to Jesus’ return.

Understand that Pope Francis considers “all believers” daughters of the Church of Rome:

“In drawing close to Mary,” the Pope elaborated, “the Church discovers herself, She finds her center and her unity.”

“The enemy of our human nature,” the devil, the Jesuit Pope warned, “seeks instead to divide, highlight differences, ideologies, partisan thinking and parties. But we do not understand the Church if we regard her by starting with structures, programs and trends, ideologies and functions. We may grasp something, but not the heart of the Church. Because the Church has a mother’s heart.”

The Holy Father encouraged all believers, as her sons and daughters, “invoke today the Mother of God, who gathers us together as a people of believers.” (Lubov DC. Pope on New Year’s Day: ‘Let’s Stand & Acclaim the Lady, the Holy Mother of God’ … ‘All Together Now, Three Times’. Zenit, January 1, 2020)

Pope Francis is referring to, at least, the Protestants as its daughters (cf. Revelation 17:5). Francis does not want people to look at true doctrinal differences, nor apparently warnings from the word of God. Francis wants unity—his way.

Lutherans tend to believe that the Church of Rome was the true church, but since it would not correct the errors it had, it had to form. Now that Rome has adopted nearly all the changes that Martin Luther objected to, Lutherans and many others seem to want to embrace unity with Rome.

Perhaps it should also be pointed out that the Muslims tend to revere Mary. Pope Francis has often used his version of ‘Mary’ to promote both ecumenical and interfaith unity.

Although some Protestants have warned that the Roman Catholic “Mary” may be the “image of the beast” (e.g. Hull. England’s Fall is Babylon’s Triumph: An Original Interpretation of the Apocalypse, with a Special Reference to the Greek Church. J. Pulleyn, 1855, p. 94), many Protestants have accepted unbiblical aspects of Marianism. A female involved with sorcery, signs, and lying wonders is warned against in scripture (cf. Isaiah 47:8-9; Nahum 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 18:7-8,23).

Do Not Be Unequally Yoked

We in the Continuing Church of God do not consider we should be yoked together with Protestants, as we do not see Protestantism as a reflection of the original and true faith.

While many of those who do not wish to accept the biblical and original Christian faith want unity with Rome, the Apostle Paul warned about believers being yoked together with unbelievers, including idolaters:

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”

18 ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Christians are to be separate from paganism. Those who accept the true God as their Father must realize that. Isaiah wrote:

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the Lord. (Isaiah 52:11)

To depart means to separate. Notice that Isaiah’s sentiments here are captured in the New Testament in Paul’s writing (2 Corinthians 6:17) and the Book of Revelation (18:2-4).

Notice also the following end time warning to not be part of the Babylonian religious system:

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4).

Sadly, even Christians have to be warned.

James berated those who wanted to be close to the world:

4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Throughout history, the truly faithful have resisted unifying with the Greco-Roman churches.

In the late 19th century, an important manuscript was discovered at the Etchmiadzin library by F. C. Conybeare, bearing the title The Key of Truth. Many scholars, having carefully studied this text, concluded that this was a very ancient religious manual belonging to the Paulicians of the 8th century. (Kasparian V., Archpriest. Defending the Faith. Publication financed by St. Leon Armenian Cathedral LADIES GUILD. Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, 2015, Burbank (CA), p. 113)

In The Key of Truth, the Paulicians of Armenia made these statements against the Greco-Romans:

Behold, O ye blind, how our Lord deems your procedure false and vain, and pronounces you to be deniers of him, and calls you children of Satan, as was written above. Lo, now do ye recognize right well your lying father; recognize of a truth your spirit; recognize even your false God. Nay, recognize also your teacher; yea, and furthermore do ye recognize the Pope, the Catholicos, and your president; and recognize your sham Messiah, and the rest. Of whom our mediator and intercessor, our life and refuge, doth manifestly speak, saying: ‘And that which he speaketh false, he speaketh out of his own, and his father is Satan.’ Thus our Lord Jesus and the holy universal and apostolic church saw and spoke as we wrote above. (Conybeare FC. The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1898, pp. 85-86).

Sadly, today, most who profess Jesus fail to truly recognize important aspects of the truth. And many want to make further compromises away from the truth for the sake of an unbiblical unity.

This unbiblical unity will result, not only in destruction of the final compromised church or the end-time religio-political alliance (cf. Revelation 17:14-18; 18:1-23), but also in persecution against true believers (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:7-10; 18:24). Such persecution will include beheading (cf. Revelation 20:4) and burning (Daniel 11:33).

Perhaps related to that, it should be noted that there is an Eastern Orthodox prophecy that looks forward to the time of the “public executioner of the Sabbatians {Sabbath keepers}” (Tzima Otto H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. The Verenika Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, pp. 127, 132-135, with a partial translation from page 240).

Also, there is a Roman Catholic prophecy that looks forward to the time the “sect” that does not go along with this unity will have its supporters executed and burned (Schmöger Carl E. The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Volume 2. Approbation: Bishop of Limbourgh Peter Joseph. TAN Books, reprint 1976, p.292). Quite unchristian of them.

Will you be on God’s side or the side of the Greco-Romans? The side of the word of God or the side of traditions and doctrines of men? The Father seeks those who worship Him according to true doctrines (John 4:23), as the truth sets us free from error (John 8:31).

Signs and Lying Wonders

Sadly, not all who claim to believe the Bible, truly live by every word of it.

Kenneth Copeland is a Charismatic Protestant and has embraced ecumenical unity with the Vatican. The author of this book saw him do that as he praised Pope Francis in a video. He then uttered gibberish, which he indicated was ‘being moved by the Spirit.’ Some of what the Pentecostals do seems to be faked or delusionally influenced by emotions that are whipped up or demonic. The Bible does not endorse the emotional whipping up of ‘the Spirit’ that various Pentecostals are involved in.

Many Pentecostalists believe they speak in tongues from God and give prophetic utterances.

Some of their ‘prophecies’ even seem to come to pass.

Are those proof of God’s approval?

No, not according to the word of God which teaches:

1 If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ — which you have not known — ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:1-4)

So, the word of God shows if the prophet does not keep and advocate keeping God’s commandments, he/she is false. The ‘prophecy’ from such, if not from their own imagination (cf. Ezekiel 13:17), is demonic.

Because God answers prayers, even sometimes for those not necessarily converted (c.f. Genesis 24:12-27), some consider answered prayer or other blessings as proof that their religion is right. But they should be cautious about that.

Consider also that many Roman Catholics are convinced that theirs is the right church because of various mystics, Marian apparitions, Eucharistic ‘miracles,’ stigmatics (stigmatics are people who display what they claim to be wounds of Jesus from a supernatural source), and incorruptibles (incorruptibles are dead people whose bodies do not decay like normal deceased humans). Of course, the Eastern Orthodox also have claims of Marian apparitions and miracles of various types. In addition, the Muslims have their version of stigmatics and some other religions have “incorruptibles.”

Throughout the church age, there have been those with signs and wonders.

Should we ‘believe our eyes’ without question?

No. The Apostle Paul warned about signs and lying wonders:

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

This does not mean that the CCOG does not believe that God cannot perform various miracles. We believe that He does, and has done so in relation to various healings, for example. Plus, we believe that God has shown the CCOG supernatural favor in regards to last days signs such as are listed in Acts 2:17-18.

But we do NOT accept things such as Pentecostal tongues/prophecies, Marian apparitions, stigmatics, incorruptibles, and ‘Eucharistic miracles’, as from God for primarily four reasons.

The first is that many of these signs are not scriptural (or are contrary to scripture).

The second, and perhaps most important, is that none of those we are aware of involved true Christians (though God can use false prophets, e.g. Balaam in Numbers 23-24).

The third is that they teach a gospel different than the Bible:

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8)

Christians are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, the message is considered more important than the messenger or something appearing to be supernatural.

Before getting to the last reason, it should be pointed out that whether or not someone is in the Church of God, God has a plan for all. God fashions all of us individually (Psalm 33:11-15) and all that you went through matters (see our free book, online at ccog.org, The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?), whether you are truly being called in this age (see our free book, online at ccog.org, Is God Calling You?) or the age to come (see the free book, online at ccog.org, Universal Offer of Salvation). Hence, we accept that God will sometimes answer prayers from those He has not called in this age, as well as, of course, from those He has.

The fourth, and last, of the primary reasons for Divine rejection is that the Greco-Roman-Protestant purveyors of signs and wonders do not have the biblical “fruits.”

Notice Jesus’ words:

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

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 7:15-23).

So, even those who believe that they cast out demons in God’s name, prophesy, do wonders, etc. are not accepted by Jesus if they were practicing lawlessness or preaching a false gospel (more on lawlessness can be found in the free online book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast).

Yes, Jesus will tell the vast majority of those who consider themselves Protestant (some in the non-Philadelphian COGs have considered themselves as a type of Protestant) that He never knew them (see also Luke 13:24-28).

Jesus also said:

24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able 25 once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us! ’ He will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or where you’re from.’ … 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness! ’ (Luke 13:24-25,27 HCSB)

Since “all God’s commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), Jesus’s words here look to be directed towards those who claim Christianity and even called Him “Lord,” but would not live as He taught.

A Protestant minister named Tommy Waller indicated on in a television interview (Focus on Israel, TBN, January 2020) that Jesus’ warning was to many exposed to Protestantism. Tommy Waller said Jesus twice was asking “Where are you from?,” and basically taught that many who thought they were Christian would be FROM some place that Jesus would not recognize as His church. Protestantism does not represent His church.

Are you one who will respond to the truth or is your faith based on feelings, on a foundation of sand?

Notice some statements from John Stuart Mill in 1869:

So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it. For if it were accepted as a result of argument, the refutation of the argument might shake the solidity of the conviction; but when it rests solely on feeling, the worse it fares in argumentative contest, the more persuaded its adherents are that their feeling must have some deeper ground, which the arguments do not reach; and while the feeling remains, it is always throwing up fresh intrenchments of argument to repair any breach made in the old. (Mill JS. The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, The Subjection of Women, On Liberty, Principles of Political Economy, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Memoirs. Google ebook, 2017)

Notice that John Stuart Mill highlighted the frequent reality that many opinions aren’t based on facts at all, but feelings. Sadly, this is the case of inaccurate theological opinions that many hold.

This author has a shared well and liked drinking from the water from the well. This author THOUGHT it was good and pure and making him healthy. Later, the author learned that it had unhealthy levels of arsenic. No matter how good the author felt about the water, the water still had always been contaminated.

That is often also the case with contaminated religion.

Even if you think God answered some of your prayers (He may have), even if you confessed Jesus as Lord, and even if you had special spiritual gifts—according to Jesus that is not real proof of your Christianity (Matthew 7:21-23). And according to the Apostle Paul, even if one or more ministers make you feel that they are “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15), that is not proof they are not Satan’s ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Feelings are not a proper biblical foundation. Eve made a disobeying decision based on feelings (cf. Genesis 3:6). Is it possible that your religion is based more on feelings than the word of God?

The Book of Proverbs warns:

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

11 A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. (Proverbs 29:11)

So, we see a warning against one who relies on feelings and is unwillingly to deal with sensible answers. And a warning about venting all feelings. Of course, this Satanically-influenced world (1 John 5:21) tells people to trust their feelings above the word of God.

The Bible essentially teaches that many are too lazy to accept the challenge to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV), but instead they are comfortable with leaders they think look good. They also think their feelings are more important than making wise (which means biblically appropriate for this purpose) decisions. But Christians are not to walk in the futility of mind or non-biblical feelings (Ephesians 4:17-19).

The Apostle Paul warned:

12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)

Some unfaithful ministers look real good.

Yet, God’s ministers are to “guard the deposit” (1 Timothy 6:20, BLB, ESV) or “guard the doctrine” (1 Timothy 6:20, AFV) of faith (or “truths” per the WNT) to which they have been entrusted and not fall for “opposing arguments falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20, BLB).

True Christians, ministers or otherwise, have the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9). While God knows who they are (2 Timothy 2:19), His word helps us identify those who are not real Christians.

Hence, we consider that the warnings in Deuteronomy 13:1-4, Matthew 7:15-23, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 apply to signs and wonders. Those warnings are also consistent with what the Apostle John wrote:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

19 … the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19).

The Bible gives the proper criteria to “test the spirits” to avoid being under Satan’s sway.

The New Testament also repeatedly warns about false prophets (Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; 2 Peter 2:1; Revelation 20:10), including at least one with Satan’s support in the end time who performs ‘miraculous’ signs (Revelation 16:13-14; 19:20). In other scriptures, such as Revelation 13:11-15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, it is clear there will be supernatural signs that are false, but overwhelmingly accepted by nearly all of humanity.

The final Antichrist will be a false prophet (cf. 1 John 4:1-3). Contrary to scripture, he will promote an improper unity (Revelation 13:11-18).

The position of the CCOG is that proper discourse among religions can be helpful. But scripture does not endorse the type of coming ecumenical unity that Pope Francis, many of the Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestant leaders seemingly endorse now. We believe the coming ecumenical-interfaith unity that many are promoting is not only contrary to scripture, but warned against by the word of God.

While peace and cooperation are normally very good, there are scriptural concerns about the type of ecumenism that many are promoting.

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and others need to be concerned about the type of unity that is actually being promoted.

Trinitarian unity is not biblical, but a compromise.

It is those of the original faith that will be with Jesus, whereas those that have compromised away from it will be His opposers.

Related to a recent Vatican document promoting unity, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) has put together the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

21:28

Vademecum: Rome’s Trinitarian Ecumenical Handbook

On December 4, 2020, the Vatican published handbook with instructions for Catholic bishops to promote unity with other professing Christian communities. The document is called an “ecumenical vademecum.” It was approved by Pope Francis and issued Dec. 4 by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It asserts that “Christ willed” the type of unity that the Church of Rome is now promoting. Pope Francis says that such unity is not optional, and has support from many government and religious leaders around the world including the World Council of Churches and the United Nations. The Vademecum pushes trinitarian unity as important–when did that become important? What did Emperor Theodosius decree about those who did not agree with his trinitarian declaration that was adopted by the Council of Constantinople that he had convened in 381 A.D.? Does the Bible teach about the type of worldly unity many promote? Is true “unity of faith” expected before the return of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God? Is teaching the opposite a false gospel? Are Christians to flee the coming end time daughter of Babylon according to the New Jerusalem Bible (a Roman Catholic translation into English)? Did the 18th century nun Jane le Royer warn against a group that sounds like the Continuing Church of God? What should those holding to the original faith do? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the video: Vademecum: Rome’s Trinitarian Ecumenical Handbook.

The push for false ecumenical unity is going forward–the Diet of Worms anniversary is additional evidence of that.

Those interested in learning more should consider studying the following:

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. 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?
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.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
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? Are there majoHere is a link to the sermon: Original Catholic Church of God?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
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Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
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Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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BIN on the role of Christianity and the 6000 year plan

Friday, April 16th, 2021

COGwriter

Last April, Breaking Israel News (BIN) posted the following:

The Role of Christianity in the 6,000 Year Hebrew Calendar of Redemption

April 23, 2020

A scientist applied his mind to the Bible and established a 6,000 year framework culminating in the final Redemption. …

Saul Kullok … is a Torah observant Jew who lives in Judea.

For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that has passed, like a watch of the night. Psalms 90:4

Kullok cited the Talmud (Tractate Avodah Zarah 9a) which states that the world will last for 6,000 years. This is broken down into three periods: for 2,000 years, the world stood empty, for 2,000 years the world existed “in Torah”, and the final 2,000 years will be the age when the Messiah may come, …

When viewed from a Christian perspective, the events described in the Christian Gospel also took place during one of the twilights contained in the 6,000 years for the Jewish Messianic process, within the years 3942-4000. According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born in 4 BCE. Therefore, his preaching and rise to prominence at the age of 22 years falls precisely into a twilight period in the Jewish Messianic framework.

“The main formation and the split of Israel took place in these time windows and the genesis and split of Christianity also took place in these twilights,” Kullok noted. …

John Enarson, who serves as the Christian Relations Director of Cry for Zion, noted that the 6,000 year redemption calendar which is based in Jewish tradition was adopted by early Christianity.

“The earliest followers of Jesus passed on the Jewish tradition of the millennial week for redemptive history,” Enarson told Breaking Israel News. “The New Testament even quotes Psalms 90:4 alluding to this belief. The belief later became called chiliasm, after the Greek word for a thousand years. As far as scholars can tell, chiliasm was the nearly unanimous view of early Christianity, lasting until the religion became more politicized in the Roman Empire of the fourth century. The early church expected the messianic kingdom of peace on earth to arrive at year 6000 and for a ‘sabbath rest’ of a thousand years to follow.” https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/149098/the-role-of-christianity-in-the-6000-year-hebrew-calendar-of-redemption/

Yes, early professors of Jesus taught the 6,000 years followed by the teaching of the millennial Kingdom of God.

And yes, Jesus came when He was prophesied to come–and even consistent with when certain Jewish scholars thought the Messiah should come (for details, check out the free online book Proof Jesus is the Messiah).

Part of the reason many Jews have been confused is that there has essentially been a Jewish coverup related to dates!

At the Feast of Trumpets, which they normally call Rosh Hashanah, Jews proclaim a New Year. The current one, from sunset September 29, 2019 to September 18, 2020, is the claimed year 5780 or 5780 AM (anno mundi).

The same Jewish scientist cited earlier realized that the Jews have based their calculations on picking a wrong year:

28 June 2018

For in Your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that has passed, like a watch of the night. Psalms 90:4 (The Israel Bible™)

The Hebrew calendar year 6,000, 222 years from now, marks the end of the age of the Messiah but scientist Saul Kullook, has calculated a different date, potentially bringing redemption much closer.

Kullook has made an intense study into physical-mathematical structures contained in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient tradition of Israel. …

As a preface to Kullook’s latest discovery, he cited the Talmud (Tractate Avodah Zarah 9a) which states that the world will last for 6,000 years. This is broken down into three periods: for 2,000 years, the world stood empty, for 2,000 years the world existed “in Torah”, and the final 2,000 years will be the age when the Messiah may come, depending on mankind’s actions. At the end of the 6,000 years, the Messiah must come, even if mankind has not prepared itself.

According to the current Hebrew calendar, the current year is 5778, meaning the age of the Messiah is set to end in 222 years, or 2240 CE. …

Kullook explained the discrepancy.

“Our current Hebrew calendar is based on the Rabbinical work Seder Olam Rabbah, introduced in the Second Century CE,” he said. “It provides the base for the current Hebrew calendar and calculates it according to the destruction of the First Temple in 422 BCE, which introduces a difference of 164 years in relation to the scholarly counting for past historical events.”

Kullook explained how the Seder Olam Rabbah came to this conclusion.

“Torah sources are in agreement that the biblical Exodus took place in the year 2,448 according to the Hebrew Bible chronology. After that, there were 480 years until the First Temple was built,” Kullook said, citing the Book of Kings.

In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv—that is, the second month—in the fourth year of his reign over Yisrael, Shlomo began to build the House of Hashem. I Kings 6:1

Kullook went on to describe the timeline.

“According to the Talmud (Tractate Yoma 9a), the First Temple was destroyed 410 years after it was built,” he said. “This means that the time of destruction of the First Temple according to the Hebrew Bible chronology was the year 3,338 (2,448+480+410). Hence, the year 4,000, from when the Messianic age starts, will have begun 662 years after destruction of the First Temple (3,338 + 662 = 4,000).”

“According to Seder Olam Rabbah and our current Hebrew calendar, the destruction of the First Temple took place in 442 BCE. This means that Seder Olam Raba and our current Hebrew calendar are out of synch with modern historical records concerning the destruction of the Temple. It introduces a difference of 164 years in relation to the scholarly counting for past historical events.”

“According to the counting of the Hebrew Calendar as set by Seder Olam Rabbah, the year 6000 will be in 222 years,” Kullook noted.”But if you figure the age of moshiach (Messiah) according to the Talmud and what we now know about the historical timing of the destruction of the First Temple, on this basis, the age of moshiach begins in 58 years.”

Stated simply, Kullook discovered that if you base the end of times, scheduled to arrive in the year 6,000 according to the current Hebrew Calendar which places the destruction of the First Temple in 442 BCE, the age of Moshiach will last until 2,240 CE. But if you base the end of times on a date of destruction of the First Temple in the historically accurate 586 BCE, the year 6,000 of the Hebrew chronology falls in 2076 CE.

“Because we are only 58 years away from the end of the 6,000 years of history, we can consider that we are, indeed, at the end-of-times,” Kullook said. https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/110117/scientist-recalculates-time-til-end-of-days/

Well, actually the 6000 years is over earlier than he calculated as his numbers do not add up with scripture. But before getting to that, let me state that according to that Talmud citation from Saul Kullook, the Messiah was to come about 2000 years ago, and Jesus did.

Anyway, I have heard various explanations of why the ‘official’ Jewish count of the age of the world is off.

Perhaps the most common is that a Rabbi did a calculation once, made a possibly deliberate error in a book called the Seder Olam over 1800 years ago and everyone kept following it. Though many keep following it, many Jewish scholars realize that it contained errors.

The numbers in the Bible are much clearer and I do not believe that they would be off for over 200 years because of overlapping reigns, differences in birth dates, etc. Plus, the 6000 years should be up in the next decade or so.

There is also a 1997 book written by an attorney and Orthodox Jew titled Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology with detailed explanations that tries to resolve much of this. Basically, according to a reviewer (http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_jewishlife3.php viewed 04/02/12), the book suggests that there was a misunderstanding about certain Persian kings and Daniel 9:24-27 and that this error was carried forward. The book’s author, Michael First, essentially shows that the current Jewish chronology is flawed and that something closer to the conventional chronology (like the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? uses) is the correct one.

Notice an admission reportedly from Jewish Rabbi Simon Schwab:

6. The gravity of this intellectual dilemma posed by such enormous discrepancies must not be underestimated. The unsuspecting students — including the pupils of our Yeshivoth and Beth Jacob High Schools — are faced with a puzzle that appears insoluble. How could it have been that our forebears had no knowledge of a period in history, otherwise widely known and amply documented, which lasted over a span of 165 years and which was less than 600 years removed in time from the days of the Sages who recorded our traditional chronology in Seder Olam? Is it really possible to assume that some form of historical amnesia had been allowed to take possession of the collective memory of an entire people? This should be quite like assuming that some group of recognized historians of today would publish a textbook on medieval history, ignoring all the records of, say, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Would this not seem inconceivable even for those who, unfortunately, do not possess the necessary emunas chachomim to accept the world of our Sages?

7. This enormous discrepancy between sacred tradition and secular data would appear at first glance to frustrate any and all hope that it might be possible to compile a comparative chronology acceptable to Orthodox Jewry and secular historians alike. To faithful believers in the veracity of our most sacred literature, both Biblical and Rabbinic, there seems to be left only the following two alternatives between which to choose: One: Faithfully to put our trust in the superior wisdom of our inspired teachers of Torah who have arrived at the absolute Truth and, consequently, to reject categorically and absolutely the right of any secular scientist, even the most objective in his field to contradict our convictions. In this case, it would mean that we would have to declare that these 165 years which our Tradition has ignored are, in fact, non-existent, and have been conjectured by secular historians out of the clear blue sky. According to this method of reasoning, it would follow that all the historical developments reported in connection with the timetable of ancient history referring to that period are not history but fiction and based on misinterpretation and misleading evidence. Or Two: We might accept the unanimous opinion of secular historians as coming as close to the objective truth as that is possible, but make an ingenious attempt to interpret the Biblical data and to treat the traditional Rabbinic chronology as mere Aggadic homily which may lend itself to symbolic or allegorical evaluation. This dilemma is most unfortunate. For it would appear that the only course to take would be either to “correct” secular ancient history by 165 years which we would then have to call “fictitious” or else to declare that our traditional calendar is based not on historical calculations but on Aggadic pronouncements. Even centuries ago, in his “Me’or Eynayim” (35), Azariah de Rossi, a controversial figure in the annals of our people, criticized the puzzling texts of Seder Olam and of the Talmud, much to the righteous indication of contemporary and later Rabbinic scholars (cf. R. David Gans in Tzemach David (#3448) and R. Jacob Emden to Seder Olam 30). (Breuer M, Breuer J. Jubilee Volume Presented in Honor of the Eightieth Birthday of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer. P. Feldheim, 1962, pp. 182-183)

Schwab reportedly also admitted:

4. The Torah-true historian is now confronted with a truly vexing problem. Ancient history of the Babylonian and Persian Empires presents us with completely different data. These figures can hardly be doubted for they appear to be the result of painstaking research by hundreds of scholars and are borne out by profound erudition and by ever increasing authoritative evidence. Sometimes small discrepancies of a year or tow at the most have yet to be accounted for, but complete agreement seems to be almost within reach at the present time…. Since according to Ezra (6:15) the Second Temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius I, the date following the secular chronology must have been 517 BCE; i.e., exactly 70 years after the date (again, established by secular historians) for the destruction of the First Temple (587 BCE). Consequently the first year of the era of the Second Temple was 517 BCE and not 351 BCE. As long as we cannot doubt the date given for the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) we are compelled to admit that the Bayis Sheini must have existed for no less than 586 years instead of the 420 years given by tradition. This amounts to a discrepancy of over 165 years compared with our Jewish way of reckoning!

5. Furthermore there are at least nine Persian kings beginning with Cyrus (seven of these reigned subsequent to the consecration of the Temple) until the beginning of the Greek Era, during a period of well over 200 years. Compare with these figures the statements of Seder Olam and of Talmudic-Rabbinic literature (Seder Olam 30, Rosh Hashanah 3b) which know of only four Median-Persians kings ruling over a period of not more than 52 years, of which only 34 years belong to the period subsequent to the building of the Second Temple. …

B. 1. There seems to be left, as yet unexplored, only one avenue of approach to the vexing problem confronting us. It should have been possible that our Sages — for some unknown reason — had “covered up” a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly “men of truth” to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves. 2. In the course of our inquiry, we do indeed find a Divine command conveyed by an angel to Daniel to “seal the words and close the book” at the end of a long prophesy which begins in Chapter 11:1 and ends at Chapter 12:4 in the Book of Daniel…. (Excerpts from Comparative Jewish Chronology (pp177-197) in Jubilee Volume for Rav Yosef Breuer by Rabbi Simon Schwab as cited in Avodah Mailing List Volume 11 : Number 018 Tuesday, May 27 2003. http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol11/v11n018.shtml accessed 06/05/16)

Perhaps it should be noted that allegedly a formal retraction of his “coverup theory” appeared in Schwab’s volumes of “Selected Writings” – but he insisted that even though the explanation was not tenable the problem remained.

Here is more about this:

Furthermore, the shortening as perpetuated in the Sedar Olam was deliberate!

While not openly admitting this, present day Jewish scholars acknowledge that there is something enigmatic about the Sedar Olam’s dating. For example, after stating that the commonly received dates from the Ptolemaic chronology “can hardly be doubted,” Rabbi Simon Schwab, nevertheless goes on to uphold his own tradition:

“It should have been possible that our Sages — for some unknown reason — had “covered up” a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly “men of truth” to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves.” (Emphasis Schwab’s)

This is an astonishing proposal. Schwab, along with other Jewish commentators, further suggests that the reason why God directed the sages of the 2nd century AD to become involved in falsifying the data was to confuse anyone who might try to use the prophecies of Daniel to predict the time of the Messiah’s coming.

This was supposedly done to honour Da 12:4: “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.” He adds that the reason the sages had adopted the non-Jewish Seleucid Era calendar was part of a scheme to do just that–to close up the words and seal the book of Daniel. Schwab also states that if the 165 years were included it would reveal “we are much closer to the the end of the 6th Millennium than we had surmised.” (Schwab mentions this date as the time when many rabbis expect Messiah to come.).

But can any sincere reader accept such a flimsy reason as justification for distorting history? It actually accuses God himself of perpetrating a dishonest deception.

Indeed, it is manifestly apparent that the real reasons for the deliberate altering of their own national chronology in the Seder Olam were: (1) to conceal the fact that the Da 9:25 prophecy clearly pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as its fulfillment and therefore the long awaited Messiah, and (2) to make that seventy week of years prophecy point instead to Simon Bar Kokhba! Rabbis in the century immediately following Christ Jesus had a tremendous problem with so direct a prophecy as Da 9:24-27. This chapter speaks of Messiah’s appearing 69 “weeks” (i.e., 69 sevens) or 483 years after the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. This 538 BC prophecy {Da 9:1} unmistakably points to the start of the ministry of Jesus Christ in 29 AD. Such must either be acknowledged and his person accepted or completely erased from Jewish consciousness. The latter could be accomplished if the 69 (or 70) weeks of years could somehow be made to apply to the century after the life of Christ. Then it would be possible for the rabbis to point to another messiah who, as circumstances would have it, was cut off in death some 100 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.

The 10th day of the month Ab (c. mid-August) is a great day of sorrow to Israel. On this day in 588 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple. Further, the second temple was laid waste by the Romans under Titus on the same day in 70 AD. And on this very day in 135 AD, at the conclusion of a 3 1/2-year revolt, the Romans crushed the army of the “messianic” Simon Bar Kokhba (also spelled “Cocheba”).

Bar Kokhba had been declared the long-awaited Messiah by the foremost Jewish scholar of that day, the highly venerated Rabbi Akiva (Akiba) ben Joseph. In 130 AD. Emperor Haddrian of Rome declared his intention to raise a shrine to Jupiter on the site of the temple, and in 131 he issued a decree forbidding circumcision as well as public instruction in the Jewish law. Having preached peace all his life, the 90-year-old Akiva gave his blessing to the revolution by proclaiming that Bar Kokhba was the “star out of Jacob” and the “sceptre out of Israel.” {Nu 24:17}

In his 98th year, Akiva was eventually imprisoned and condemned to death by the Romans. Among the many accolades heaped upon Akiva, that which elevated him as a pre-eminent authority, was the acknowledging of him as “the father of the Mishnah.” Such prominence gave great weight to the messianic expectancy Akiva placed upon Bar Kokhba.

Akiva’s students became some of the most prominent sages of the following generation. Among these was Yose (Josi) ben Halafta. Akiva’s influence on Halafta is apparent from a statement made concerning his education; it was merely said that Rabbi Akiva had been his teacher. As his mentor Akiva’s regard for Bar Kokhba would have been thoroughly imbedded in Yose.

The preceding overview explains why the Seder Olam is held in such veneration and why the Jews still use it for their national dating. Yet the fact remains that it is a dishonest attempt to conceal the truth with regard to the Da 9:24-27 prophecy.

By removing the 164 (or 165) years from the duration of the Persian Empire, Rabbi Halafta was able to make the 483 year Da 9:24-27 prophecy fall reasonably close to the years prior to the 132 AD revolt during thich Bar Kokhba rose to prominence as Israel’s military and economic leader. Then with Akiva proclaiming, “This is the King Messiah” followed by “all the contemporary sages regarding him as the King Messiah,” the Jewish populace united around this false hope. (Jones F. Appendix G: The Seder Olam Rabbah — Why Jewish Dating is Different. In: Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003. ISBN: 089051-360-0, pp. 932-933)

While I do not agree with all that is asserted in the above, the author is correct that the dating issue with the Jews seemed to be deliberate. Consider also the following prophecy:

4 … Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed. (Amos 2:4)

Many peoples have chosen to rely on lies, sometimes called tradition (though not all traditions are based on lies), instead of acting on the truth.

Many Jewish scholars realize the errors in the Seder Olam (First M. Jewish History in Conflict. Jason Aronson, Inc. Jerusalem, 1997, pp. 44-80), and several admit that the errors seemed to be to affect the interpretation of Daniel 9:24-26 (ibid). According to Michael First, some of the modern Jewish scholars in the latter category appear to include Hayyim Shvilly (ibid, p. 70), Benny Isaacson (p. 71), Ben Zion Wacholder (pp. 73-74), Jay Braverman (p. 74), Joseph Tabori (pp. 76-77), and Henry Guggenheimer (p. 78). Berel Wein is said to have admitted that “the Jewish way of counting is off 166 years” (p. 78), whereas Samuel Hakohen admitted that Jewish sages provided an incorrect chronology “to accurately predict the time of the coming of the Messiah” (pp. 78-79). Michael First also lists Jewish scholars in the 8th through 15th centuries (such as Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer, Josippon, Moses ben Samuel ka-Kohen Gikatilla, Rashi, Zerahiah ben Isaac ha-Levi Gerondi, Abraham ben David ha-Levi Ibn David, David Kimhi, Samuel ben Nissim Masnut, Isaac ben Joseph Israeli, Isaac Abravanel) who had problems and/or wrote in contradictions related to one or more parts of the Jewish chronology of the Seder Olam (pp. 183-198).

Michael First reported that Jewish Rabbi Simon Schwab said that the 165 years could be related to ‘Daniel’s secret’ (cf. Daniel 12:9) as the gematria (Gematria /ɡəˈmeɪ.tri.ə/ originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of alphanumeric code/cipher later adopted into Jewish culture that assigns numerical value to a word/name/phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to Nature, a person’s age, the calendar year, or the like. Source: Wikipedia 09/24/17) is 165, even though it is more like 168 or 169 years that was changed (First M. Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology. Jason Aronson, Inc., 1997, p. 75).

Notice also related to another Jewish leader:

Samuel Kedar (1984)

Samuel Kedar makes the same suggestion as Schwab. He writes that the Sages purposely stated an incorrect chronology in order to prevent people from using their chronology to accurately predict the timing of the coming of the Messiah. In certain instructions given to Daniel, the Sages saw a divine command to obscure a part of the Persian period. … Kedar even includes the same gematria as Schwab … equals 165 (First M. Jewish History in Conflict: A Study of the Major Discrepancy between Rabbinic and Conventional Chronology. Jason Aronson, Inc., 1997, p. 67).

I looked for more sources by Jewish writers, not those that claim to accept Jesus, to verify more parts of the above. So here is something from Josephus:

6. When therefore the generals of Antiochus’s armies had been beaten so often, Judas assembled the people together, and told them, that after these many victories which God had given them, they ought to go up to Jerusalem, and purify the temple, and offer the appointed sacrifices. But as soon as he, with the whole multitude, was come to Jerusalem, and found the temple deserted, and its gates burnt down, and plants growing in the temple of their own accord, on account of its desertion, he and those that were with him began to lament, and were quite confounded at the sight of the temple; so he chose out some of his soldiers, and gave them order to fight against those guards that were in the citadel, until he should have purified the temple. When therefore he had carefully purged it, and had brought in new vessels, the candlestick, the table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of incense], which were made of gold, he hung up the veils at the gates, and added doors to them. He also took down the altar [of burnt-offering], and built a new one of stones that he gathered together, and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, which the Macedonians call Apeliens, they lighted the lamps that were on the candlestick, and offered incense upon the altar [of incense], and laid the loaves upon the table [of shew-bread], and offered burnt-offerings upon the new altar [of burnt-offering]. Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years’ time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time]. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XII, Chapter 7, Verse 6).

The reason this is relevant is it shows that in the first century, at least one Jewish scholar said a period of time of 408 years elapsed from a prophecy of Daniel (probably Daniel 9:1-2) and the time that Antiochus descrated the Temple, whereas the Seder Olam uses a shorter amount of years for this span. Even Jewish scholars recognize this. Notice one:

In Summary, Josephus … is working from a different chronology then Seder Olam. (Shulman M. Daniel 9 – Its Chronology and Meaning. © Moshe Shulman 2010. p. 22. http://www.judaismsanswer.com/Daniel%209%20Chronology.pdf accessed 07/30/16)

According to the date assigned to the reign of Darius the Mede as beginning 374 B.C. (per the interpretation of Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003, p. 932), and since Antiochus is well known to have made that destruction in 167 B.C., there is over a 200 year difference here. And although Josephus may himself have too much time (that is hard to determine as the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede is debated, though more often presumed to be in the 6th century B.C. instead of the 4th century B.C. as the Seder Olam seems to point to). Thus, this reduction of time seems intentional in the Seder Olam, and likely is related to the rise of Christianity as the Seder Olam, did not come out until a generation after Josephus.

Speaking of Josephus, it has been speculated that one of his writings (Contra Apion, I, 8) support the view that the Jews tried to minimize the importance of the Book of Daniel (Derstine T. Anti-Messianic Basis of Jewish Chronology. Are We Living in the Year 5770? Persian Chronology in the Seder Olam. 2009; see also The Original Order of the Books of the Bible).

In the case of Akiva, he apparently believed so much in Bar Kochba that he felt he had to make a change in chronology that many Jews now follow. Notice something else related to him from the Jewish Talmud where he tried to tie Bar Kochba to a passage in Numbers 24:17:

Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai taught: Rabbi Akiva would expound, A star has risen from Jacob – “Kozba [Bar Kokhba] has risen from Jacob.” When Rabbi Akiva would see bar Kozba, he would say: “This is the anointed King – the Messiah.” Rabbi Yohanan ben Tortah said to him: “Akiva, grass will sprout from your cheeks and still the Messiah will not arrive.” (Yerushalmi, Taanit 4:5)

Yes, Bar Kochba was not the Messiah, but believing that he was (and that Jesus was not) seems to have influenced the ‘dating of the world.’ Akiva actually changed Bar Kosiba’s name (suggesting he was a disreputable son) to Bar Kochba, which for a time, seemed to prolong the myth he was Messianic.

Notice another Jewish observation about Bar Kochba:

The Sages called him not Bar Kochba (the son of a star) but Bar Koziba (the son of a lie). His real name was neither; it was Bar Kosiba. (Hammer H. One triumph and two tragedies. The Jerusalem Post, November 29, 2012 http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Judaism/One-triumph-and-two-tragedies accessed 08/01/16)

Yet because of their ‘greatest sages,’ Akiva tried to make others believe Bar Koziba was really the Messiah, many Jews seemed to accept/make calculation changes.

Yet, irrespective of why any of this may have happened, the fact is that the Jewish year is off by around 200 years compared to historical records and the biblical account.

Now let’s look at an excuse the Jews have for one of the comments in the Talmud (that is also quoted at the beginning of this article) from 2012:

Well, let me tell you what the traditional sources say about that. There is a time frame in which the Messiah has to come. The Talmud in Tractate Sanhedrin 97a says the following:

“The academy of Eliyahu taught the following Baraisa: The world is destined to exist for six thousand years: The first two thousand years were of nothingness; the second two thousand years were of Torah; the third two thousand years should have been the days of the Messiah, but because of our sins, which are numerous, the years that have gone from [the Messianic Era] have gone.”

From this passage in the Talmud we learn three things. First of all, we learn that the world as we know it will only last for 6000 years. I guess you can call it: Y6K – The Jewish Doomsday. [There are various traditions as to what is going to happen after the year 6000 – see the Talmud in Sanhedrin 97a. All agree, however, that Olam HaZeh, the physical world as we know it, will not last forever. Rather, those who merit it will morph into a new spiritual reality known as Olam HaBa, the “World to Come”, where they will bask in the splendor of G-d’s Divine Presence for all eternity.]

Secondly, we learn that the Messiah could have arrived to redeem us and bring us all to Israel as early as the year 4000 in the Hebrew calendar (which corresponds to the year 240 CE in the Julian calendar). Unfortunately, since we haven’t been good boys and girls, it is already the year 5773 and the Messiah still hasn’t shown up!

Most importantly, we learn that the Messiah has to come before the year 6000 – which means that he will definitely arrive within the next 227 years! Who knows, if we don’t get to see the Messianic Era, maybe our children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren will!

The truth is that we might be closer to witnessing the Messianic Age than we think. You see, there is a major chronological discrepancy between rabbinic chronologists for the destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE and the modern secular dating for it in 586 BCE – a difference of 163 years!

[Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_years_%28Jewish_calendar%29 to learn more about this discrepancy between the Jewish and conventional chronologies as well as the various attempts from Rabbis and historians over the years to reconcile them.]

This means that if the conventional chronology is correct, then we are actually in the year 5936 on the Jewish calendar, which is only 64 years away from the year 6000!! This means that many of us have a good chance of actually being there when the Messiah arrives. This is all very exciting!! I hope and pray that we all get to see the Messiah, may he come speedily and in our days. Amen! (Parshas Vayigash (5773) Y6K – The Jewish Doomsday. TORCH 2017 (2012) © https://www.torchweb.org/torah_detail.php?id=239 accessed 09/19/17)

Well, that is closer to the right amount (as well as closer to that done by Saul Kullook), but that is still off. The explanation for why the claim that Messiah did not come 1900 years ago, of course, is wrong. Jesus did come, but He was rejected (cf. 1 Peter 2:4).

Notice something else from the Talmud:

It has been taught; R. Nathan said: This verse pierces and descends to the very abyss: For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though he tarry, wait for him; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Not as our Masters, who interpreted the verse, until a time and times and the dividing of time; nor as R. Simlai who expounded, Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink a third time; nor as R. Akiba who expounded, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth: but the first dynasty shall last seventy years, the second, fifty two, and the reign of Bar Koziba two and a half years.

R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come. But, wait for him, as it is written, Though he tarry, wait for him. (Sanhedrin 97b. Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin)

Consider that the Babylonian Talmud dates from the 3rd to 5th centuries. By that time, some in Judaism realized, apparently based upon their improper understanding of Habakkuk 2, Daniel 9, and other materials, that the Messiah should have already came. Of course, Jesus did come (see The KEY To The Crucifixion Date which goes into more depth about Daniel 9), but they would not accept Him.

It should be noted that Jewish rabbis have generally decided to teach that the Messiah would come at/by the end of 6,000 years (as opposed to their earlier view of 4,000 years). Unless more Jews change their view of the chronology, many will believe that when Jesus returns, it will be too early, and thus once again deny Christ.

As far as what some Jews and others thought about the first century A.D. for the Messiah, check out the free online book Proof Jesus is the Messiah and/or article Was there an expectation among Judaism for a Messiah around the time of Jesus?

All that being said, yes, we are getting closer to the end of the 6000 years (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

And yes, there is a coming millennial Kingdom of God. And that is very good news!

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Was there an expectation among Judaism for a Messiah around the time of Jesus? Is there any evidence that any Jews expected a Messiah when Jesus arrived?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.

Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
What are Postponements? This was written by the late evangelist Raymond McNair and explains a lot about postponements and calculations.
Calculated or observed calendar? Did Jesus use a calculated calendar? This article addresses this issue that many wonder about.
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day. A video of related interest is also available: God’s or Satan’s New Year?
Hebrew Calendar and “Postponements” This late John Ogywn writing explains why the most faithful in the Church of God use the calendar that we do and answers such questions as “Did Jesus Observe the Postponements?”
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。.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history teach about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
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.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Men Have Forgotten God; MS: We Are Now Entering Full-Blown Tyranny In The Western World

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

COGwriter

Earlier this year, ZeroHedge posted the following by Mac Slavo:

Cult: Government Is Now The New Religion?

January 22, 2021

A new magazine cover of the Jacobin is striking a nerve after it appears that the magazine is saying the government is now god and our religion, to be worshipped. It sure begs the age-old question: who do you serve?

If we are ever to be free, we have to remove our consent. That goes for those who worshipped Trump as the messiah as well (and there were plenty.) …

It is way past time to figure out that this is the plan. One world government, worshipped under the one world religion where the very few control and enslave the many.

Democracy is mob rule. If voting mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/cult-government-now-new-religion

The above article had the following quote from Russia Today related to the magazine cover and some of what has been happening in the U.S.A.:

Biden’s larger-than-life, bare-chested figure is shown surrounded by ‘holy spirits’ of Twitter and ‘saints’. The latter include kneeling Democrat leaders in the US Congress, Dr. Anthony Fauci, fawning journalists, and manager-class devotees eagerly consuming the ‘holy scripture’ from what is probably the latest Barack Obama memoir. The former president himself is shown as a six-winged seraphim bracketed by the likewise angelic Hillary and Bill Clinton, with the trio gazing benignly from the heavens. A crowd of mask-wearing suburban laymen on Earth celebrates Biden’s ascension. A pair of Reaper drones complete the picture, providing a clear hint for the doubtful that the image should be taken with a grain of salt.-RT

Yes, we have a type of secular religion which is getting more and more dominant in the U.S.A. It is not new in the sense that belief in the disprovable explanation of evolution as the origin of life (see Is God’s Existence Logical?) is one of its long (and unscientific) foundations.

But as secularism has been absorbed by most of the media, academia, and government leaders, it is more dominant than before. And the goal for many is for it to take over more. Notice the following that came out last month:

“The Secular Democrats of America PAC prepared a report for Joe Biden and his transition team that outlines a roadmap to “boldly restore a vision of constitutional secularism and respect in the land for religious and intellectual pluralism.”

Sound harmless? No. They aim to make it illegal for businesses such as a baker that refuses to make a cake for a homosexual wedding. Calling it a hate crime. From now on it will be illegal if they have their way.

“In the document, the group argues that Trump has “empowered the religious right in ways no other administration has before, making significant advances in enacting their Christian nationalist agenda.” (More) I encourage you to read the whole report.

They even say the rise of Christian Nationalism is a national security risk. They want to de-radicalize us. It’s this that troubles me and should trouble everyone especially Christians. We have watched the watering down secularization of many churches in recent years.

The takeover of America this year by socialist /communists is the last straw in the brick for the great reset. https://iamnotashamedofthegospelofchrist.com/2020/12/20/democrats-draft-proposal-to-strip-religious-liberty/

Having read, as well as heard, Joe Biden’s words since his inauguration as President of the United States, sadly he seems to be pushing for many aspects that the secularists have pushed for, on racial and religious matters. He has also made comments that look to be supportive of squelching free speech and truth telling.

As Christians, we realize it is recorded that the Apostle Peter told government officials, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, NKJV). Related to COVID steps and LGBTQ+ matters, we have seen more government pressures reducing religious freedom in favor of a type of ‘group-think’ secularism. But we still must live as Christians.

Notice now the following from Chris Banescu back in 2018:

As a survivor of the Communist Holocaust I am horrified to witness how my beloved America, my adopted country, is gradually being transformed into a secularist and atheistic utopia, where communist ideals are glorified and promoted, while Judeo-Christian values and morality are ridiculed and increasingly eradicated from the public and social consciousness of our nation.

Under the decades-long assault and militant radicalism of many so-called “liberal” and “progressive” elites, God has been progressively erased from our public and educational institutions, to be replaced with all manner of delusion, perversion, corruption, violence, decadence, and insanity.

It is no coincidence that as Marxist ideologies and secularist principles engulf the culture and pervert mainstream thinking, individual freedoms and liberties are rapidly disappearing. As a consequence, Americans feel increasingly more powerless and subjugated by some of the most radical and hypocritical, least democratic, and characterless individuals our society has ever produced.

Those of us who have experienced and witnesses first-hand the atrocities and terror of communism understand fully why such evil takes root, how it grows and deceives, and the kind of hell it will ultimately unleash on the innocent and the faithful. Godlessness is always the first step towards tyranny and oppression!

Nobel laureate, Orthodox Christian author, and Russian dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his “Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag” address, given when he received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983, explained how the Russian revolution and the communist takeover were facilitated by an atheistic mentality an a long process of secularization which alienated the people from God and traditional Christian morality and beliefs. He rightly concluded: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/wests-rejection-god-will-end-misery-and-terror-solzhenitsyns-prophetic-1983-warning/ri23136 accessed 04/14/21

Here is some of what Alexander Solzhenitsyn said:


Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Dutch National Archives)

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/wests-rejection-god-will-end-misery-and-terror-solzhenitsyns-prophetic-1983-warning/ri23136 accessed 04/14/21

Alexander Solzhenitsyn died in 2008. He likely would have been horrified by what has been happening in the USA and many other parts of the world in the past several years.

Notice the following warning:

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)

Because the secularists do “not like to retain God in their knowledge,” therefore “God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” That is why we are seeing more and more promotion of sin and deceit.

Of course, it is not just happening in the USA. Notice the following related to Canada:

We Are Now Entering Full-Blown Tyranny In The Western World

April 12, 2021

If we accept what they are doing to us now, they are just going to keep pushing the envelope.  Over the past 12 months, authorities throughout the western world have used the pandemic as an excuse to impose Orwellian measures that we never would have accepted during normal times.  They are promising us that these measures are just “temporary”, but the pandemic has already been with us for a year and there are no signs that it is going away any time soon.  If those governing us are willing to go to such ridiculous extremes during a relatively minor pandemic, what are they going to be willing to do once things start getting really crazy?

Watching the events that have unfolded at a church in Edmonton in recent days has been a breaking point for me emotionally.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP received global attention when it put up a three layer fence around GraceLife Church in an attempt to keep people out. …

Needless to say, this draconian move made a lot of headlines, and on Sunday approximately 400 Christians gathered to protest at the church.  Most of them were just singing hymns or reading the Bible, but when a few of them started tearing down one of the fences, 200 heavily-armed riot police moved in.

I would expect to see this sort of a scene in communist China, North Korea or Iran.

This sort of thing was never supposed to happen in Canada.

Out of 4.4 million people living in Alberta, there have only been 2,013 deaths, and about half of those were among people 80 years of age or older.

If it isn’t safe to go to church, why are hordes of Canadians allowed to circulate through retail establishments every single day of the week? http://themostimportantnews.com/we-are-now-entering-full-blown-tyranny-in-the-western-world/

The following looks like biblical commentary on what we are now witnessing:

4 No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.

6 Their webs will not become garments,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
8 The way of peace they have not known,
And there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths;
Whoever takes that way shall not know peace. (Isaiah 59:4-8)

Many governments seem to use fear and are pushing towards totalitarianism–and more of that is prophesied (cf. Revelation 13:16-18).

Many on the left and right do not put a high enough priority on truth.

The Bible says to:

1 Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

A lack of love of the truth and the rise of the secularlist agenda are sins to be denounced.

That being said, more speech restrictions, censorship. and persecutions are coming (cf. Revelation 13; Amos 8:11-12).

As well as more lies:

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:12-15)

Do not be persuaded by the secular agenda or any agenda that places its faith in a political leader.

Also, do not fear and worry about this world. Jesus taught the following:

9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:9-11)

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

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 6:25-34)

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:29-32)

As Christians, we need to focus on Jesus and His coming Kingdom.

That, and no worldly political agenda, is our hope. This world’s governments, including the USA, will pass away. The Apostle John wrote:

17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)

And the USA may not last until 2028 (watch Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028?).

That should not depress Christians.

The Apostle Paul taught:

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Take comfort in the truth of the word of God and His coming kingdom.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the O. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ld Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: El COVID-19 ¿Conduce al 666?
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?
Lies Where did they originate? What was really the first lie? What happens for lies? Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese {,NN*ŒŠTŒWúwc_’v„aTs
Christian courage vs. cowardice As you courageous? What biblically is cowardice? Do YOU really understand this? Two sermons related to this article are available and are titled Courage and Cowardice and Cowardice and Overcoming Fear. A Spanish language article is also available: Valor Cristiano vs Cobardía.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von GottBerufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà. Here are links to the sermons Christian Faith and Increasing Faith.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and
What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
I have made the decision to follow God. Now what? Have you proven all things? Will you hold fast to that which is good? This article will help you do so. Here is a link to a related video: You Want to Follow God? Then Prove the Truth!
How Do I Become a Member of the Continuing Church of God? This article has scriptures, links, and other information for those interested in being part of the CCOG. Here is a link to a related sermonette: 10 Steps to Be a Member of the CCOG. Here is a link in the Spanish language: 10 pasos para ser miembro de la continuación de la Iglesia de Dios.
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.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
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?
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.

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? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, 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.
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Have Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses misidentified the Angel Michael?

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021


Michael in the Hebrew language

COGwriter

Did you know that the Seventh-day Adventist ‘prophetess’ Ellen White seemingly taught that the angel Michael was Jesus?

Did you know that the Jehovah’s Witnesses still teach that?

One raised as a Seventh-day Adventist told me that Ellen White held that view and that he found it blasphemous. When I asked him for citations, he sent the following that Ellen White taught:

Patriarchs and Prophets page 761—Again: Christ is called the Word of God. John 1:1-3. He is so called because God gave His revelations to man in all ages through Christ. It was His Spirit that inspired the prophets. 1 Peter 1:10, 11. He was revealed to them as the Angel of Jehovah, the Captain of the Lord’s host, Michael the Archangel.

Prophets and Kings page 572—For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus; and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel’s aid. “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,” Gabriel declares; “but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13.

Early Writings page 164—Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

The Story of Redemption page 206—Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

19 Manuscript release 106.2—Jude presents the example of Christ. He says, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil He disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (As cited in an Email to COGwriter@aol.com 11/06/16)

Those in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) believe that Michael is an angel, not divine. Nowhere does the Bible teach that Jesus was once Michael. We are also NOT Protestant, though the SDAs are (for details, see also Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses still teach that Jesus was the archangel Michael:

The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9) Under his authority are seraphs, cherubs, and angels. (The Truth About Angels. Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site. Appeared in The Watchtower November 1, 1995. http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/1995/11/1/article_02.htm 07/09/07)

Michael is a name given to Jesus in his role as a heavenly Ruler (Pay Attention. p. 289).

Michael [another name for Jesus] and his angels battled with the dragon…Revelation 12 (What Does the Bible Really Teach?Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, 2005, p. 89).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God, but the CCOG does.

The Bible is clear that Jesus was not an angel and that God did not exalt any angel like Jesus was exalted.

Notice what the Book of Hebrews teaches:

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son,Today I have begotten You”?

And again:
“I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?

6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

7 And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”

8 But to the Son He says:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

10 And:
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:1-14)

Angels, including archangels are ministering spirits–they are not part of the Godhead. For more details, see also Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus?

More information on the Godhead can be found in the following:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.

The archangel Michael is not Jesus, our Saviour.

Some items of related interest may include:

Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness? Could Michael be the restrainer? Here is a related article in Spanish: ¿Qué es lo que se restringe y quién lo está restringiendo en 2 Tesalonicenses 2:7?
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.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities. Here is a link to another sermon: Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses? A related sermon is also available: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Right and Wrong Teachings?
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related. A video is also available titled: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?

Sanhedrin accused of trying to usher in Antichrist

Sunday, April 4th, 2021


Organization of the Nascent Sanhedrin

COGwriter

Last month the reconstituted Sanhedrin again asked the Israeli government for the resumption of Passover sacrifices (see I365: Prominent Rabbis Ask Netanyahu to Allow the Passover Sacrifice on Temple Mount).

For promoting similar views in the past, the Sanhedrin has been accused of trying to bring the final Antichrist:

Viral Video Accuses Sanhedrin of Bringing Anti-Christ

An interview with the spokesman for the Sanhedrin was twisted into an evil conspiracy theory claiming that the Jewish elders are working to bring the Antichrist. …

A new film by “R$E” or “RoundSaturnsEye”, an independent Christian video company, focused on the Sanhedrin. In the video, the presenter interviews Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, about the activities of the Sanhedrin including the building of an altar, the red heifer, the minting of commemorative coins, and their plans to institute an Organization of 70 Nations.

The video then quoted a prophecy which is one of the sources for the belief held by some Christians that the Third Temple will be the “Temple of the anti-Christ.”

Rabbi Weiss understood from the outset that the movie was not intended to portray the Sanhedrin, or even the Jews, in a positive light.

“I answered in as honest and straightforward a manner as possible,” Rabbi Weiss told Breaking Israel News. “We have our red lines but there is no reason for either side, Jewish or Christian, to be angry or condescending. The Interviewer had his agenda that he was going to push forward no matter what. In the end, whatever we do is in the hand of God.” …

The Sanhedrin has existed for 15 years. It is frequently referred to in the Christian media, usually with respect though sometimes, like in the video, as an evil Jewish conspiracy. However, among the Jews, the Sanhedrin goes largely unacknowledged.

“Jews are terrified to express their own identity,” Rabbi Weiss explained. “They are afraid to reveal their inner truth. They are afraid to show this to the non-Jews. This has always been the case but it is even more so after the Holocaust. The goal of the Enlightenment, the secular movement within Judaism, that is now represented by liberalism, has its roots in the sin of the Golden Calf. It is an attempt to be even more of a goy than the goyim, to hide our unique identity as Jews.”

“Jews are required by the Torah to have a Sanhedrin. Not a Supreme Court or even a Chief Rabbinate. But even the Orthodox Jews in Israel want these things that are not based in the Torah. Ignoring the Torah requirement to have a Sanhedrin is an injustice against the nations who need what the Jews have to offer. The function of the Sanhedrin is to shine the light of the Torah into the world. So many from the nations want this, know that this is what they need to fix their courts, to fix the environment, to push away the darkness of lies.” 04/01/19 https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/125814/viral-video-accuses-sanhedrin-antichrist/

Now it is true that the Sanhedrin wants a Temple, wants animal sacrifices, wants political leaders to support its agenda..

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the word sanhedrin basically means “council.” A version of this word is found 22 times in the New Testament. Notice two of them:

55 And the chief priests and all the sanhedrim were seeking against Jesus testimony — to put him to death (Mark 14:55, Young’s Literal Translation).

1 And Paul having earnestly beheld the sanhedrim, said, ‘Men, brethren, I in all good conscience have lived to God unto this day;’ 2 and the chief priest Ananias commanded those standing by him to smite him on the mouth, (Acts 23:1-2, YLT)

As Dr. Weiss indicated, the current reconstituted, nascent, Sanhedrin, does NOT have universal acceptance in Israel–nor is it technically a part of the Israeli government. But it does have allies and some political influence–and it wants animal sacrifices.

The Sanhedrin seems to believe that a third Temple is needed to avert war:

The … nascent Sanhedrin … believe the Temple project is the only way to avert the outbreak of another Middle East war.

“The Temple, as a house of prayer for all nations, is the source of true peace,” said Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, a biblically mandated court of 71 elders, 04/15/18 http://www.wnd.com/2018/04/new-coin-minted-to-fund-building-jerusalem-temple/#LXIEspz5C9HJLs4i.99

The above, in a sense, reminded me of the view of certain ‘Fatamists’ that world peace will only happen if the Pope and all the Roman Bishops consecrate Russia–a false hope (for some details, see Pope Francis to ‘consecrate’ world to the ‘immaculate heart of Mary’).

Anyway, one of the reasons that another massive temple has not been built in Jerusalem is precisely to prevent a major war.

This has been the case for decades as even the late WCG Pastor General, Herbert W. Armstrong observed:

There has been much perplexity and discussion as to when the temple will be built to which Christ shall come. Malachi’s prophecy speaks of Christ’s second coming to His temple (Malachi 3:1-6). In Haggai’s prophecy it is referred to prophetically. Zerubbabel has been sent as governor of a colony to build the second temple 70 years after the destruction of Solomon’s temple. He built the temple to which Jesus came, though it had been enlarged and embellished by the Roman Herod. But speaking of this temple, as a type and forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come at His second coming , it is written, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the ‘ Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:9).

It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock … and build a new one there of greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s! (Armstrong HW. 7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Part 6. Plain Truth. August, 1979, p. 38)

So, is there another option for the Sanhedrin if building a massive temple is not?

Yes.

Before getting to that, notice something else from Herbert W. Armstrong as well as something Daniel was inspired to write:

11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days (Daniel 12:11)

Many of us are being tried and tested as NEVER BEFORE–and for our own good! But, verse 11, “from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away ….Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice–possibly at the wailing wall. (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2)

For animal sacrifices to be taken away, they first must start.

Can they start without a massive temple?

Yes.

Notice what the Bible shows:

6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. (Ezra 3:6)

One may argue that since it takes the participation of Jewish religious leaders in order for Jewish animal sacrifices to be resumed in the 21st century, that the above scripture is a moot point.

And it might be if there were no Jewish religious leaders that thought that they could not sacrifice without a temple.

I contacted the reconstituted Sanhedrin a decade ago to verify the view that animal sacrifices could be started before a temple is rebuilt.

The response I received was:

Rabbi Yeshayahu Hollander wrote:

רמב”ם, מעשה הקרבנות, פרק יט , הלכה טז והלכה יז:

טז [טו] מִי שֶׁשָּׁחַט קֳדָשִׁים בַּזְּמָן הַזֶּה, וְהֶעֱלָה חוּץ לָעֲזָרָה–חַיָּב: מִפְּנֵי שְׁהוּא רָאוּי לִקָּרֵב בִּפְנִים–שֶׁהֲרֵי מֻתָּר לְהַקְרִיב, אַף עַל פִּי שְׁאֵין בַּיִת, שֶׁקְּדֻשָּׁה רִאשׁוֹנָה קִדְּשָׁה לְשָׁעָתָהּ וְקִדְּשָׁה לָעֲתִיד לָבוֹא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ.
יז [טז] הַשּׁוֹחֵט קָדְשֵׁי גּוֹיִים בַּחוּץ, חַיָּב; וְכֵן הַמַּעֲלֶה אוֹתָן בַּחוּץ. וְהַגּוֹיִים מֻתָּרִין לְהַקְרִיב עוֹלוֹת לַה’, בְּכָל מָקוֹם–וְהוּא, שֶׁיַּקְרִיבוּ בַּבָּמָה שֶׁיִּבְנוּ. וְאָסוּר לְסַיְּעָן, וְלַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתָן–שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱסַר עָלֵינוּ לְהַקְרִיב בַּחוּץ; וּמֻתָּר לְהוֹרוֹת לָהֶם, וּלְלַמְּדָם הֵיאַךְ יַקְרִיבוּ לְשֵׁם הָאֵל בָּרוּךְ הוּא.

Translation:

Hichot Maasei HaKorbanot [The Procedures of Offering Sacrifices]

Chapter 19

Paragraph 17:

He who slaughters a Sacrifice in this period [when we have no Temple], and offered the sacrifice outside the Azara [the alloted area of the Temple] – is culpable, because the offering must be performed in the Azara, SINCE IT IS PERMITTED TO PERFORM SACRIFICES despite having no Temple, since the sanctity of the Temple is eternal.

Paragraph 18:

He who slaughters the sacrifice of a gentile outside the Azara is culpable, as is one who performs the offering. NON JEWS are permitted to offer burnt-offerings anywhere, on an alkter which they built. Jews may not help them in the performance of this sacrifice, since Jews may not offer sacrifices outside the Azara. But we may instruct them and teach them how to perform sacrifices to the Almighty God, Blessed be He.

Additionally, it is worth noting that on 5766, Rabbi Benyamin Fuss published a 445 page book on Sacrifices of non-jews, of which the text proper is of 372 pages [the rest are indices, etc.] called Torat Habamah: Regarding sacrifices on an Altar outside the Temple. (Email from the Sanhedrin webmaster Abrahamson to Bob Thiel September 17, 2008).

So, the Sanhedrin clearly believed it did not need a third temple to sacrifice.

Rabbi Yeshayahu Hollander is the English language spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin.

The webmaster of the Sanhedrin added the following in a subsequent email to me:

This quote comes from Maimonides’ (Rambam) work the Mishneh Torah.

The nascent Sanhedrin sees itself as the continuation of rabbinic jurisprudence, and must take into account all halachic works written to date, and proceed from there. (Email from the Sanhedrin webmaster Abrahamson to Bob Thiel September 17, 2008).

Therefore, it is a longstanding position of some Jewish scholars that Jewish sacrifices can be started on an altar and, as long as it is in the area of the old temple, that a physical temple is not first required.

This is consistent with Ezra’s previously quoted practice.

Furthermore, on December 10, 2018, the Sanhedrin performed an animal sacrifice to dedicate an altar they hope to use in the future for daily sacrifices. The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following related video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


6:57

Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!

The Reconstituted Sanhedrin performed a ceremony on December 10, 2018 to dedicate a new altar for the use of daily sacrifices. High Priest Rabbi Baruch Kahane officiated. How does this align with Bible prophecy? Daniel wrote three times that the daily sacrifices must stop, hence they first must resume. The Great Tribulation will begin shortly after these sacrifices stop. In this video Dr. Thiel, who has also been to Israel and spoken with The Temple Institute quotes several scriptures and explains why the actions by the Sanhedrin align with prophecy and the end times.

Here is a link to our newest video: Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!

There are three passages in the Book of Daniel showing that regular animal sacrifices will be stopped: Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11. They will be stopped by the Beast, also called the King of the North in Daniel 11.

Which means that they must be started first.

Some have misconstrued my opinions on another Jewish Temple.

The following, published by the old Worldwide Church of God just decades ago is quite similar to my position:

Is the construction of a temple in Jerusalem necessary to fulfill prophecy? The future holds some startling possibilities. Will there have to be a temple in Jerusalem before prophesied end-time events can take place? Must sacrifices be offered on the Temple Mount? Or will a physical building and sacrifices not be necessary until the Messiah has come and God’s Kingdom is set up on earth?

The answers are important for Jews and Christians alike! … Ever since the Six Day War, speculation has run rampant on whether, how and when the Jews would again worship on the Temple Mount, offer animal sacrifices or build a temple. …

Many fundamentalist Christians believe that three important events have to occur in the Holy Land before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. One is that Israel must again become a Jewish nation, second that Jerusalem must be a Jewish city and third that a temple must be built on the Temple Mount. Two of those three events have taken place.

Jews themselves are divided on the matter of the Jewish state and the building of a temple. Some ultraorthodox Jews do not even recognize the state of Israel and believe it should not be a nation till the Messiah appears.

On the other hand, the Jewish dream of centuries began to be fulfilled when Jews began to resettle in the Holy Land. By 1948 the Jewish state of Israel had been declared a nation. Many Bible students viewed this as a fulfillment of prophecy. Then in 1967, when Israel occupied all of Jerusalem, the West Bank territory and the Golan Heights, many felt the prophesied time of the end was at hand. It seemed to some that very soon the Jews would take over the Temple Mount, offer animal sacrifices and construct the long awaited temple.

But time has passed and a temple does not seem to be forthcoming. Many questions yet remain to be answered: Would the Dome of the Rock have to be torn down to construct a Jewish temple? Is the site of the Dome of the Rock even the site of the first and second Jewish Temples? Is a temple necessary to offer sacrifices? Could worship services be conducted on the Temple Mount apart from a temple? These and other questions are being given careful consideration.

The Jewish high court in 1983 decided that the Temple Mount was indeed a holy site for Jews. They also declared that Jews have rights of access and worship on the Temple Mount. However, the political situation in Jerusalem is so delicate that no move has yet been made to attempt Jewish worship atop the Mount.

For a number of years now, certain Jews have been undergoing preparation and education for Temple Mount service, should that become a reality. A 15-year training program of priests at Yeshivah Ateret Hacohanim is preparing priests for temple service. Other groups are studying priestly ritual and the manufacture of priestly garments. From the example during the days of Zerubbabel, it seems evident that religious worship services and a sacrificial altar could be set up even if no temple is built.

There is some support, if not for a temple, for a synagogue on the Temple Mount.

Archaeological studies have led some to believe that the site of the Holy of Holies was not where the Dome of the Rock is situated, but more than 100 yards to the north. If so, a Jewish structure could be built without destroying the Muslim holy place, if the political problems could be worked out. Prophecy will be fulfilled All in all, it makes for a great deal of speculation.

Some scoff at biblical prophecy. Others look eagerly for events to fulfill it. There is no doubt that some of the prophecies that looked forward from the Babylonian captivity were fulfilled, at least in type, in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Other prophecies about the temple will not be fulfilled until God’s Kingdom is established. (Kelly R. Coming – A Temple in Jerusalem? Part Two. Good News, March 1985)

Both the evangelical Christians and the activist Jews are in for a shock. Whether there is to be a literal Temple building or not, Christ will be coming back this time to a spiritual Temple (I Cor. 3:16-17; II Cor. 6:16), which is now, unperceived by the world, under construction by means of the education and training of God’s begotten children today. (Gene H. Hogberg, News Bureau. Pastor General’s Report, September 7, 1984)

My position is, and always has been, that I do not believe that the Jews will be allowed to completely tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a massive temple there. And that the Bible shows that animal sacrifices can be done without a massive Jewish Temple by the Jews.

The Sanhedrin has shown that it is trying to start those sacrifices.

While the Sanhedrin believes that it is simply following what the Bible teaches, because it does not accept Jesus, it pushes for animal sacrifices.

One day, those animal sacrifices will be re-instituted.

Between actions by leaders in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Israel, the end will come.

We are getting closer to that time–even though many Jewish leaders do not know how close to the end of the 6000 years we are (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? and/or watch Jewish Year 5779 or 5990?).

While I do NOT believe that the Sanhedrin has a conspiracy to bring on the final Antichrist, he will arise.

Biblical prophecies will come to pass (2 Peter 1:19).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Nascent Sanhedrin and Prophecy The reconstituted Sanhedrin wants the reimplementation of animal sacrifices. A related video is titled Sanhedrin pushing animal sacrifices. And a newer one is: Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here are links to two related videos in English: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World and The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building? There is also a video titled Might the oldest church building have prophetic ramifications?
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: N;ÿ Œf/’Y’jNº’ÿ Here is a link to a related English sermon video titled: The Man of Sin will deceive most ‘Christians’.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful among all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (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 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.

Holy Saturday Myths

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021


‘Holy Saturday descent’ icon (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

This Saturday is called ‘Holy Saturday’ by the Roman Catholics. The Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox celebrate the day called Pascha (which is the Greek word for Passover) by the Eastern/Greek Orthodox and called ‘Easter‘ by English-speaking Protestants and Catholics on different days (for the Orthodox it is a week later). Both also observe something called ‘Holy Saturday’ (which is a week from now for the Orthodox).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet, many falsely claim that Jesus did not really die, but that He descended into ‘hell’/hades to preach to fallen angels and/or others after His physical death on the stake.

Vatican News today called that “an ancient tradition” as opposed to a biblical teaching:

20 April 2019

Holy Saturday is the interlude between the pain of the death of Jesus and the joy of His resurrection. No liturgy is celebrated during the day. In silent expectation, the Christian community relives the loss of the disciples of Christ as recollection and meditation reign supreme. …

Even if everything seems to be silent, Christ is at work. In fact, according to ancient tradition, on this day, Jesus descended into the realm of the dead to save man and take him along with Him to heaven, where He precedes us and where He awaits us with open arms.

In the realm of the dead, Jesus meets Adam, the first man who here symbolizes the whole of humanity, shakes him out of his slumber and proclaims His salvation from which no one is excluded. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-04/holy-saturday-silence-expectation-mary.html

Here is some of what the Church of Rome has historically taught that happened on the day they call Holy Saturday:

What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

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

What happened to Jesus while he was dead?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It has been said that Mel Gibson’s upcoming Passion movie is promoting this error. Here is a video about that:

12:42

Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’ movie grossed over $600 million. He is working on a sequel tentatively titled ‘Resurrection.’ The actor who plays Jesus (Jim Caviezel) said this movie will have “shocking” parts. One part, that has been reported, is the idea that Jesus went to Hades after the crucifixion and prior to the resurrection to preach to souls in “hell.”‘ Is that what the New Testament teaches? Is this something original to the Apostles and what is called the “Apostles” Creed’? Did Jesus really die? What do the terms Hades, Sheol, Tartarosas, and Gehenna signify? What does the Bible teach about when Jesus preached in Tartarosas? Did Jerome include this in his Latin Vulgate? Is the ‘descent into Hades’ (Acts 2:27) the same as taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church? What does the Bible teach us? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to our video: ‘Passion’ sequel: Descent into Hades.

Do not let anyone mislead you that the ‘descent into hell’ position was taught in the Bible or was part of the original teaching of the Apostles.

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

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
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?
The Rich Man and Lazarus What was Jesus teaching in Luke 16?
Where are Enoch and Elijah? Booklet by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh.
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end? Here is a link to a related sermon: First death, Second death.
Study the Bible Course Lesson 15: What is “Hell”? What are the different words translated as “hell” in English? Does Gehenna mean something different than Hades. What happens? What about worms dying not?
Are The Wicked Tormented Forever or Burned Up? How does one explain Revelation 14:11 in light of Malachi 4:3? What happens to the incorrigibly wicked?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The 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?
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.