Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

‘China tells Uighur Muslims they are abducting their families so they can cleanse their brains like they have a disease, leaked documents show’

Monday, November 18th, 2019


Uyghurs in Khotan, Xinjiang, China (Colegata)

COGwriter

We continue to see reports about religion and ethnic related persecutions around the world. Here is something related to China:

China tells Uighur Muslims they are abducting their families so they can cleanse their brains like they have a disease, leaked documents show

November 18, 2019

  • Leaked internal documents, published by The New York Times, show the extent of Chinese efforts to suppress the Uighurs and deflect criticism.
  • A seven-page manual instructs officials to tell Uighur students returning home to find their relatives were imprisoned because they had been “infected” by “religious extremism.”
  • The officials are instructed to liken the relatives’ conditions to cancer or other diseases.
  • In a Monday press conference, China did not deny the authenticity of the documents but accused The Times of trying to smear its counterterrorism tactics.

China’s Communist Party has a special manual instructing officials on how to deal with Uighur students who get back from university to find that their families have been imprisoned as part of the mass repression of the Uighur people. …

Former detainees have described detention centers as being overcrowded and having almost nonexistent hygiene standards. They have also recalled being shackled to chairs and forced to sing propaganda songs to get food.

Officials are also instructed to tell Uighur students that their relatives had been sent away “because they have come under a degree of harmful influence in religious extremism and violent terrorist thoughts,” which could lead to “severe” consequences if they acted on them. https://www.insider.com/china-uighur-detention-camps-cleanse-religion-leaked-documents-nyt-2019-11

This type of persecution reminds me of some of the old Soviet re-education camps as well as what George Orwell warned of in his book “1984.”

Do not think that it is only remote places in Asia that will take government steps against religion.

Notice a warning about a leader that will arise in Europe:

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:4-8)

The time will come when NOT worshiping the Beast or having his mark will be considered as religious extremism. Notice that the penalty will be more than a re-education camp:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:11-17)

So, murderous persecution is coming!

As far as China goes, it actually will see through the Beast’s facade earlier than many in Europe will.

That being said, hopefully China will soon be more tolerant of religious freedom and beliefs.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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.
What is the Synagogue of Satan? David Pack falsely claims these are leaders in what he considers to be “splinter” COGs. What is the truth about this?
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? Japeth, Javan, Magog? Is there evidence that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel? What do Chinese writings and characters help show? What about the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Flood, and the Tower of Babel? Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? What about the Apostle Thomas? Did Confucius say anything to get the Chinese to possibly consider Christianity? Is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath? What about the Ten Commandments? What type of Church of God witness has there been to China? What has been happening with China that ties it together with prophecies in Revelation? What about the 200 million man army and Armageddon? What about the Belt and Road Initiative and end time Babylon the Great? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions. Watch also China’s Silk Road and Babylon the Great.
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? Two YouTube video are Is China THE Threat to the United States of America? and China: A King of the East.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
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.
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.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White. Here is a link to a prophetic video Six Financial Steps Leading to 666?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
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. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
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.
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? 2027 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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
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.

BibleNewsProphecy: Pachamama: Pope Francis declares Black Madonna holiday

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

COGwriter

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

19:59

An Amazonian synod was held in the Vatican in October 2019 that featured naked female statues called Pachamama. On October 31, 2019, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis declared a new ‘holiday’ for the Black Madonna known as the Lady of Loreto. This is to observed by those who follow that on December 10th each year. What are “Black Madonnas” vs. “black Madonnas”? Are there ties between Black Madonnas and black female “Mother Earth” goddesses? Could the promotion of Black Madonnas and Pachamamas be related to steps towards a one world religion? Did a Catholic archbishop state that Pope Francis is moving “towards an Indistinct Universal religion” and a “worldwide and stateless Pantheon? Should real Christians be part of this? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Pachamama: Pope Francis declares Black Madonna holiday.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
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?
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’?
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?
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? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Fatima and the ‘Miracle’ of the Sun On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people witnessed what they considered to be a miracle in the sky in Fatima, Portugal. Was this a miracle from God? Can you be certain? A video of some related interest is Fatima and Pope Francis. Here is a link to the sermon: Fatima and the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?

Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
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.
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? A related video would be 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?
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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 ‘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.
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. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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? 2027 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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
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.
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.
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.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how 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 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.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how 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? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.

NCR asks, ‘Would Jesus Recognize Catholic Worship?’

Friday, November 15th, 2019


Pope Benedict XVI with Eucharist Host during Mass (Fabio Pozzebom/ABr)

COGwriter

The National Catholic Register reported the following:

Would Jesus Recognize Catholic Worship?

“It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments.” (CCC 1139)

You’ve seen pictures of splendid traditional Catholic worship. The clergy and servers are robed, the incense is billowing, the church building is magnificent. Would Jesus recognize such worship? …

They used set prayers and established readings as Catholics do with their liturgy and tables of readings. Furthermore, the worship of the “domestic church” for Jews was structured around seasons and feasts. Throughout the year, as Catholics do, they celebrated certain feast days and fast days. …

So would Jesus recognize the Catholic worship that goes on in the great cathedrals and Catholic churches? There are clearly differences between Catholic and Jewish worship, but think of the things Jesus would recognize … what we can glean from the Bible about Jewish worship — both in the Old Testament and from the Book of Revelation (where the worship of heaven is pictured) — all looks far more like a traditional Catholic Mass than the bare preaching rooms and long Bible lectures of the Protestants. 11/15/18 http://www.ncregister.com/blog/longenecker/would-jesus-recognize-catholic-worship

The above has several points that I would like to address–but the short answer to the headline question, from a Christian church perspective, is NO!

First of all, the Church of Rome does NOT have an eternal liturgy, because their own scholars admit that they changed it from the original (as well as the day of the week, which originally was Saturday).

Notice some comments from a Roman Catholic writer:

If you could travel in time and attend a Christian worship service in the first century, what would it be like? Would a Presbyterian feel at home? How about a Catholic? The following is a re-recording of a lecture I gave to a group in Charlotte, NC last year on the subject of “liturgy in the first century.” With the current lead article on Holy Orders and the nature of the priesthood, it is relevant to explore the subject of early Christian worship. To determine what sort of leaders the early Christians had, it helps to understand what sort of action the early Christians understood as right worship. The historical evidence bears witness that the early Christian liturgy was not compatible with Protestant theology …

The primary points of contact for our knowledge of the first century liturgy lie on one end with the Jewish liturgies, and the little data which can be gleaned from the New Testament, and the far later, but well documented, fourth century liturgies. We do have a few texts, reliable but vague, from the second and third century that help us piece together the puzzle. But ultimately our study lies in drawing on what we know from these ends, and reconstructing the development in-between. …

The Judeo-Centricity of Early Christianity

  1. For about the first 10 years of Christianity, it was almost exclusively composed of Jewish converts.
  2. The early Christians were in the habit of attending temple ..
  3. The early Christians continued celebrating in the Synagogues alongside the Jews on the Sabbath for several years in some places.
  4. Up to nineteen years after Christ’s resurrection, new converts to Christianity, generally speaking, had to convert to Judaism before becoming Christian. Namely, they were to be circumcised, to eat Kosher, and to follow the Mosaic Law…

Synaxis‘ is the Greek word meaning “meeting” and is the organic continuity of the Saturday Synagogue worship. When the Christians were no longer allowed in the synagogues, they continued celebrating approximately the same rite with added Christian developments and themes. The original liturgies would have been held, like the synagogue service, in Hebrew, and some of the words, like “amen” and “hallelujah,” survive to this day. In the early part of the first century, it is unlikely that the Synaxis would have be recognizably different from the Synagogue service except for the setting. …

Basic Structure

  1. Greeting and Response (The Lord be with you – or Peace be unto you)
  2. Lections & Psalmody (The Jews read in order of descending importance, starting with the Pentateuch. The early Christian kept the original order of the Synagogue, but as Christian Scripture became available, it was tacked on at the end. Thus the order of importance became reversed for Christians. They read in ascending order of importance)
    i. Old Testament Reading
    ii. Pslamody (or chanted Psalm)
    iii. New Testament Reading (sometimes included non-canonical books like 1 Clement)
    iv. Psalmody
    v. Gospel Reading
  3. Homily (Bishop delivers while seated)
  4. Dismissal of Catechumens by Deacon
  5. Intercessory Prayers of the Faithful
  6. Dismissal of the Faithful

Occasionally a collection would be taken for the poor at the end. …

By the end of the first century, the standard Christian liturgical observations would be as follows. On Saturday, you would attend the Synaxis. (Troutman TA. Christian Worship in the First Century. June 17, 2010. © 2017 Called to Communion. http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/06/christian-worship-in-the-first-century/#footnote_2_5127 accessed 01/01/17)

Secondly, it should also be emphasized that the Holy Days and festival seasons that early Christians observed did NOT include Easter, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, ‘Mary’ days, ‘saints’ days, etc. They observed biblical holy days like the Jews did, but with a Christian understanding of how Jesus fulfilled Passover and the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost and how God’s plan would fulfill the others. For some details, check out the free online booklet: Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Third, what is done for Catholic liturgy was not part of the original faith according to the The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Liturgy (leitourgia) is a Greek composite word meaning originally a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen. Its elements are leitos (from leos = laos, people) meaning public, and ergo (obsolete in the present stem, used in future erxo, etc.), to do. From this we have leitourgos, “a man who performs a public duty”, “a public servant”, often used as equivalent to the Roman lictor; then leitourgeo, “to do such a duty”, leitourgema, its performance, and leitourgia, the public duty itself.

it must be said that an Apostolic Liturgy in the sense of an arrangement of prayers and ceremonies, like our present ritual of the Mass, did not exist. …

But we find much more than this essential nucleus in use in every Church from the first century… first a synagogue service Christianized, in which the holy books were read, psalms were sung, prayers said by the bishop in the name of all (the people answering “Amen” in Hebrew, as had their Jewish forefathers), and homilies, explanations of what had been read, were made by the bishop or priests, just as they had been made in the synagogues by the learned men and elders (e.g., Luke 4:16-27). …

For the first period we have of course no complete description. ,,,

From about the fourth century our knowledge of the Liturgy increases enormously. We are no longer dependent on casual references to it: we have definite rites fully developed. …

Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch are the old patriarchal cities. As the other bishops accepted the jurisdiction of these three patriarchs, so did they imitate their services. The Liturgy, as it crystallized in these centres, became the type for the other Churches of their patriarchates. Only Gaul and northwest Europe generally, though part of the Roman Patriarchate, kept its own rite till the seventh and eighth centuries.

Alexandria and Antioch are the starting-points of the two original Eastern rites. The earliest form of the Antiochene Rite is that of the “Apostolic Constitutions” written down in the early fifth century. ,,,

In any case the old Roman Rite is not exactly that now used. Our Roman Missal has received considerable additions from Gallican sources. The original rite was simpler, more austere, had practically no ritual beyond the most necessary actions (see Bishop, “The Genius of the Roman Rite” in “Essays on Ceremonial”, edited by Vernon Staley, London, 1904, pp. 283-307). …

Rome

  1. The original Roman Rite, not now used.

(Fortescue, Adrian. “Liturgy.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910)

So, it is clearly taught that what the Church of Rome now practices as liturgy was NOT the original as it is admitted that “our present ritual of the Mass, did not exist.” Essentially, compromises with semi-Gnostics, apostates like Justin Martyr and Marcus, and the adoption of various practices that were associated with Mithraism. ended up with the type of liturgies that many are now familiar with.

Fourthly, when you go into a Catholic church or cathedral, it is filled with statues and icons. That was not something that early Christians tolerated, nor was this allowed in synagogues that Jesus would have visited (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

Fifthly, while the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1139) has claimed the liturgy is eternal, it has been reported that the Vatican again was pushing certain liturgical changes:

Pope invokes ‘magisterial authority’ to declare liturgy changes ‘irreversible’

ROME – Addressing a group of liturgical experts on Thursday, Pope Francis said that after the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and a long path of experience, “We can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.”

The declaration came in a speech on Thursday to Italy’s “Center of Liturgical Action,” which sponsors an annual National Liturgical Week.

By “liturgical reform,” Pope Francis meant the changes in Catholic rituals and modes of worship which followed from Vatican II, the most immediately visible elements of which included Mass facing the congregation …

Battles over liturgical practice have been a chronic feature of Catholic life since Vatican II.

A desire to maintain the older Latin Mass, for instance, was a primary force prompting French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to lead a group of traditionalist Catholics into a break with Rome. https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/08/24/pope-invokes-magisterial-authority-declare-liturgy-changes-irreversible/

And of course, the current mass and the “old Latin Mass” are not original Christian practices. Early Christian church services were in Greek or Aramaic/Hebrew, not Latin. Jesus would not have attended a synagogue where services were in Latin. Tertullian, the so-called “father of Latin theology” did not begin to write until around 190 A.D.–Latin was a change.

Sixthly, in Catholic ‘mass’ Jesus is supposedly sacrificed every time it is held. Yet, the Bible is clear that Jesus only needed to be sacrificed once:

11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12)

Although Jesus wanted His followers to have an annual memorial of His death (called Passover), Jesus does not need to be ‘re-sacrificed’ weekly or daily (Catholic priests are expected to do this through the Mass ritual each and every day).

Furthermore, as far as the use of a round host goes, early Christians did not use one. A careful comparison of what is taught in the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church along with eucharistic practices should make this clear to any truly interested in the truth (see also Early Christianity and the Eucharist?).

Article 3, under the Seven Sacraments of the Church in the Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses the eucharist. Section II asks and answers the question, What is this Sacrament Called? Several names are listed, including “The Breaking of Bread” (#1329).

It also states the following:

1339 Jesus choose the time of the Passover … And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them … (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 373)

Now the above is scriptural. Here are some related scriptures from Catholic translations of the Bible:

19 And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch.

26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. (Matthew 26:19,26 Douay-Rheims)

22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body. (Mark 14:22, Douay-Rheims)

19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. (Luke 22:19, Douay-Rheims)

Notice, it is very clear that Jesus BROKE the bread on Passover (Pasch means Passover).

The Apostle Paul confirmed that it was the practice of the early Christians to break bread:

16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? (1 Corinthians 10:16, Douay-Rheims).

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.

24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. (1 Corinthians 11:23-24, Douay-Rheims)

The Apostle Paul followed Jesus’ practice and broke bread. Furthermore, notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches in its article “Host”:

…the first Christians…simply used the bread that served as food. It seems that the form differed but little from what it is in our day. The loaves discovered in an oven of a bakery at Pompeii weighed about a pound each. One of these, being perfectly preserved, measured about seven inches in diameter and was creased with seven ridges which facilitated the breaking of the loaf without the aid of a knife. (Leclercq, Henri. “Host.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 28 Feb. 2011 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07489d.htm>)

Notice that the article in The Catholic Encyclopedia basically says that the practice of the first Christians, which is consistent with the Bible, was to use normal loaves of bread that resemble what is still in use today. And that it was broken. (The article never says where the round host actually came from, other than it was first mentioned in writing in the fourth century by Epiphanius and that earlier paintings in catacombs and bas-reliefs showed something like that. But I should state that the oldest early painting in a catacomb I am aware of has a woman, Priscilla, presiding over the ceremony, so the Church of Rome may wish to be careful about relying on that as they do not allow women to do that. Hence, the earliest picture of the eucharist host did not come from what is practiced in today’s Roman Catholicism–so the question from whence the Catholics adopted it remains.)

Thus, to have a Passover/eucharistic ceremony where the bread is not broken is certainly not imitating Jesus, the Apostle Paul, nor the early Christians. It is a change that the Church of Rome must have gotten outside of the Bible.

Yet, in the eucharistic ceremonies in the Catholic Church, the bread is not broken. Instead, it is a round host that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says can/should be worshipped and adored (CCC #1378, p. 385). Yet, there is no indication that the early Christians or the apostles did anything like that.

They basically taught that it was to be eaten.

Worshipers of sun-gods worshiped round symbols. Early Christians did not.

Many practices associated with sun-god worship, specifically Mithraism were adopted by the Church of Rome. Notice the following report from the Catholic scholar F. Cumont (bolding mine):

The priest was the intermediary between God and man. His functions evidently included the administration of the sacraments and the celebration of the services. The inscriptions tell us that in addition he presided at the formal dedications, or at least represented the faithful one on such an occasion along with the Fathers; but this was the least portion only of the duties he had to perform; the religious service which fell to his lot appears to have been very exacting. He doubtless was compelled to see that a perpetual fire burned upon the altars. Three times a day, at dawn, at noon, and at dusk, he addressed a prayer to the Sun, turning in the morning toward the East, at noon toward the South, at evening toward the West. The daily liturgy frequently embraced special sacrifices.

the orthodox and heretical liturgies of Christianity, which gradually sprang up during the first centuries of our era, could find abundant inspiration in the Mithraic Mysteries… it appears certain that the commemoration of the Nativity was set for the 25th of December, because it was at the winter solstice that the rebirth of the invincible god,* the Natalis invicti, was celebrated. In adopting this date, which was universally distinguished by sacred festivities, the ecclesiastical authority purified in some measure the profane usages which it could not suppress. The only domain in which we can ascertain in detail the extent to which Christianity imitated Mithraism is that of art. The Mithraic sculpture, which had been first developed, furnished the ancient Christian marble-cutters with a large number of models, which they adopted or adapted…(Cumont, pp. 166, 193,196-197).

Many of the doctrines and practices mentioned above were NOT held by the original Christians. For articles related to them, please see Do You Practice Mithraism?, Sunday and Christianity, What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?, Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?, and What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?

Cannot those who claim to be Catholic traditionalists see this? There are also ties with Egyptian pagan gods, etc. with the round host. For some details, check out Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist?

Seventhly, yes, there are problems with Protestant liturgy. Some because they are too close to the liturgies of the Church of Rome, others because they added other non-biblical practices, and all as they fail to teach the full truth of the Bible, God’s plan of salvation, and the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

As far as church liturgy goes, according to Roman Catholic writers, the Church of Rome does not follow the practices of the early Christians–nor do the Protestants. For details, check out the article What was the Liturgy of the Early Church?

Actually, it is groups like the Continuing Church of God who have church services, also known as liturgical practices, that are most consistent with those of the early Christians (watch What were early Christian church services like?).

The Church of Rome has implemented changes which were not part of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Speaking of changes, a little while back Roman Catholic bishops declared a new ‘sin.’ Notice the following:

Reading a letter on behalf of the bishops to congregants after a church service at St. James Catholic church in Emerald Hill, Harare on Aug. 20, Father Rungano Muchineripi said it is a sin not to vote, AllAfrica.com reported

“Men and women of God are getting tired of praying for issues to do with politics and the suffering of people due to bad governance, so it is high time Christians put their efforts together in registering to vote, choosing a people oriented government which is not evil.

“It is your responsibility to choose a government of your choice that gives you rights. People have a constitutional right to vote and it is a sin not to vote,” Rungano said.

A staunch critic of the ruling Zanu-PF party, which ruled uninterrupted since independence in 1980, Rungano said that parents should make sure that children who are 17 years old and will be 18 next year are registered too as voters. 08/24/17 http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/zimbabwes-catholic-bishops-say-its-a-sin-not-to-vote-urge-people-to-eject-ruling-party/60405.htm

As one who grew up in a Roman Catholic household, let me state that I was never taught that not voting was a sin. This is another political, not biblical, decision that is coming from a Roman Catholic bishop. The Bible warns of a religious system, based on the city of seven hills, that is too involved in politics of this world in Revelation 17. The Bible gives it the title of “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5).

We in the Continuing Church of God do not endorse political involvement like voting (see Should a Christian Vote?).

Anyway, there are more liturgical issues that the Church of Rome has (see What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? and/or watch What were early Christian church services like?).

As far as other doctrinal changes and which church holds to the original faith, check out the documented article: Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?

Some items to assist in your studies may include:

What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did IHS and the host come from?
Early Christianity and the Eucharist? What does ‘eucharist’ mean? Did early Christians tie it in with Passover? Should it be a rounded host?
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.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
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? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
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.
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president/prime minister? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand. A video of related interest is available titled: Should Christians Vote?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
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.
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? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
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?
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?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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?

‘Cardinal Burke: Pope would be leading a schism if he endorsed errors in Amazon Synod working doc ‘

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019


COGwriter

Many in the Roman Catholic world have been concerned about the recent Amazonian Synod that took place in the Vatican last month.

Notice the following:

November 12, 2019

Last month the Vatican and Pope Francis hosted the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, a meeting to discuss the challenges facing Amazonia and the Catholic Church therein that managed to be extremely wild and extremely predictable at once.

The wild part featured not just the expected debates about married priests and female deacons, but an extended meltdown over whether a wooden statue of a naked, kneeling pregnant woman, used in a ritual on the Vatican grounds, embodied indigenous reverence for the Virgin Mary or indigenous pantheism and nature-worship. …

Four years ago I wrote an essay describing the Francis era as a crisis for conservative Catholicism — or at least the conservative Catholicism that believed John Paul II had permanently settled debates over celibacy, divorce, intercommunion and female ordination. That crisis is worse now, manifest in furious arguments within the Catholic right as much as in online opposition to the pope himself. …

While the synod was going on, I conducted a long interview with one of the pope’s most prominent conservative critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke. … The Burke critique is simple enough. Church teaching on questions like marriage’s indissolubility is supposed to be unchanging, and that’s what he’s upholding: “I haven’t changed. I’m still teaching the same things I always taught and they’re not my ideas.” What is unchanging certainly can’t be altered by an individual pontiff: “The pope is not a revolutionary, elected to change the church’s teaching.” And thus if Francis seems to be tacitly encouraging changes, through some sort of decentralizing process, it means “there’s a breakdown of the central teaching authority of the Roman pontiff,” and that the pope has effectively “refused to exercise [his] office.” …

Burke himself brought up a hypothetical scenario where Francis endorses a document that includes what the cardinal considers heresy. “People say if you don’t accept that, you’ll be in schism,” Burke said, when “my point would be the document is schismatic. I’m not.”

But this implies that, in effect, the pope could lead a schism, even though schism by definition involves breaking with the pope. …

The importance of that waiting is the only definite conclusion that I can draw from the whole mess. https://www.registerguard.com/opinion/20191112/ross-douthat-what-will-happen-to-conservative-catholicism

Here is more about this:

Cardinal Burke: Pope would be leading a schism if he endorsed errors in Amazon Synod working doc

Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of perennial Catholic teaching, suggested that Pope Francis could be leading a “schism” if he were to put his “stamp” of approval on the Amazon Synod’s controversial working document that has been criticized by top-ranking prelates, including Burke, as constituting apostasy, heresy, and “false teaching”. …

“While the final document [from the Amazon Synod which concluded Oct. 27] is less explicit in the embrace of pantheism, it does not repudiate the statements in the working document which constitute an apostasy from the Catholic faith,” stated Burke.

“The working document doesn’t have doctrinal value. But what if the pope were to put his stamp on that document? People say if you don’t accept that, you’ll be in schism — and I maintain that I would not be in schism because the document contains elements that defect from the apostolic tradition. So my point would be the document is schismatic. I’m not.”

Douthat then pressed Burke to explain the implications of the Pope backing a document that is schismatic, stating: “But how can that be possible? You’re effectively implying that the pope would be leading a schism.”

To which Burke replied: “Yes.”

Douthat then asked: “Isn’t that a deep contradiction of how Catholics think about the office of the papacy?”

Burke responded: “Of course. Exactly. It’s a total contradiction. And I pray that this wouldn’t happen. And to be honest with you, I don’t know how to address such a situation. As far as I can see, there’s no mechanism in the universal law of the church to deal with such a situation.” …

Cardinal Burke told a Catholic conference in Detroit on Oct. 26 that “there is no question that the Church is currently experiencing one of the greatest crises which she has ever known.” 11/11/19 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-pope-francis-would-be-leading-a-schism-if-he-endorsed-amazon-synod-working-doc

Perhaps it should be pointed out that Cardinal Burke warned about the Amazonian Synod before it began (see Pope Francis invites religious, political leaders to sign ‘Global Pact’ for ‘new humanism’: Prelude to a schism or the Antichrist?).

Perhaps it should also be pointed out that in September 2019, Pope Francis said he was not afraid of a schism in the Church of Rome:

September 10, 2019

Pope Francis says he is not afraid of a schism within the Catholic Church, even as he confronts criticism from conservative Catholics about his leadership.

“I pray that there will not be schisms,” the Pope said Tuesday, “but I am not afraid.”

The Pope’s remarks came in response to a question from a journalist at a press conference aboard the papal plane. Francis was returning to Rome from Africa, where he spent six days in Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius.

A schism is a formal break within the church, usually due to disputes over Catholic teaching.

“There have been many schisms in the Church,” Francis said, referring to the institution’s long history of religious disputes. https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/world/pope-francis-schism/index.html

Francis basically has ignored protests as he pushes his interfaith and ecumenical agendas. Which is something he keeps pushing (e.g. see CNA: Theology in ‘dialogue with cultures’ renews humanity, Pope Francis says). Notice also a related video related to that agenda from earlier this year:

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 this year was a ‘Chrislam Cross.’ We also put together a related video related to the Chrislam Cross and the interfaith movement:

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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 and the Interfaith Movement.

Related to this Amazonian Synod and pagan female images, we put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


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Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion

In front of Pope Francis, on October 4, 2019, the Vatican hosted an Amazonian tree-planting ceremony in where people bowed down to a circle around to semi-naked pagan female images. Vatican News promoted this. Some Catholics are concerned that the Amazonian synod is leading to two Catholic faiths: the traditional one and one that is being called the “Amazonian Religion.” The Vatican has also been promoting an interfaith agenda with the Jews and Muslims with the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity,” and its first major project, the “Abrahamid Family House” (which is set to open in 2022). Are these good things for Christians? WIll they lead to the rise of Babylonian Beast and Antichrist power? What does the Bible warn about this? Do both the Bible and certain Catholic writings show that the Church of Rome will be betrayed by powers it will align with? Is some type of one world religion being worked on? If so, is the Vatican, World Council of Churches, certain Muslims, and the United Nations involved? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion.

Pope Francis took other steps after that Amazonian Synod as well. So here is a link to our latest BNP video:


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Pachamama: Pope Francis declares Black Madonna

An Amazonian synod was held in the Vatican in October 2019 that featured naked female statues called Pachamama. On October 31, 2019, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis declared a new ‘holiday’ for the Black Madonna known as the Lady of Loreto. This is to observed by those who follow that on December 10th each year. What are “Black Madonnas” vs. “black Madonnas”? Are there ties between Black Madonnas and black female “Mother Earth” goddesses? Could the promotion of Black Madonnas and Pachamamas be related to steps towards a one world religion? Did a Catholic archbishop state that Pope Francis is moving “towards an Indistinct Universal religion” and a “worldwide and stateless Pantheon? Should real Christians be part of this? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link: Pachamama Pope Francis declares Black Madonna.

Expect to see various changes in policies from the Church of Rome.

Interestingly, Roman Catholic writings have long predicted a schism. The word “crescent” below is a reference to Islam:

John of the Cleft Rock (1340): The White Eagle (Great Monarch), by order of the Archangel Michael, will drive crescent from Europe where none but Christians will remain–he himself will rule from Constantinople. An era of peace and prosperity will begin for the world. There will no longer be Protestants {there were no “Protestants” then and author Connor of that book suggests that perhaps this word should have been translated as heretics} or schismatics…God will raise up a holy Pope (Connor E. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, pp. 33-34)

JANE LE ROYER (d. 1798) … “When the time of the reign of Antichrist is near, a false religion will appear which be opposed to the unity of God and His Church. This will cause the greatest schism the world has ever known. The nearer the time of the end, the more darkness of Satan will spread on Earth, the greater will be the number of children of corruption, and the number of Just will correspondingly diminish. (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 127,128)

Ted and Maureen Flynn (readers and reporters Catholic prophecies): Catholic prophecy warns us of severe problems facing the papacy in these end times…chaos will be within our midst.  An Antipope will seize papal authority…It will be those who hold fast to the truths of the faith who will be labeled as the perpetrators of this horrible schism, according to some visionaries (Flynn, Ted and Maureen. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. 255).

G. Rossi (1873): It is not unlikely, but, on the contrary, a well-founded rumor warns us, that an attempt will be made at the first opportunity to thrust upon St. Peter’s throne an anti-pope, in order to create a schism in the Church Catholic. They have adopted the maxim: Division is weakness. Divide et impera. Divide to crush. (Rossi G. THE CHRISTIAN TRUMPET, OR, Previsions and Predictions about Impending General Calamities, The Universal Triumph of the Church, The Coming of Antichrist, The Last Judgment, and The End of the World. Compiled by PELLEGRINO [Gaudentius Rossi], A Missionary Priest with Superior’s permission. Boston, THOS. B. NOONAND & CO., 1873, p.97)

St. Francis of Assisi (died 1226): There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great Schism, there will be divers thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders to doubt, yea even agree with the heretics, which will cause my Order to divide. (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Reign of Antichrist, p. 130)

St. Hildegard (d. 1179): …this cardinal will proclaim himself Anti-Pope, and two thirds of the Christians will go with him. He, also well as Antichrist, are descendants of Dan (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Reign of Antichrist, Reprint TAN Books, Rockford, IL, 1974, p. 128).

Anna-Katarina Emmerick (October 1, 1820): The Church is in great danger … The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere.  I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived.  They all work for the destruction, even the clergy.  A great destruction is now at hand … (April 22, 1823): I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church.  They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church.  Everyone was admitted in it in order to be united and to have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description.  Such was to be the new Church (Dupont, pp. 66, 71).

Yves Dupont (reader and reporter of Catholic prophecies): prophecies are quite explicit about the election of an anti-pope…Many prophecies predict an anti-pope and a schism. (Dupont, pp. 34,60-61)

Pope Gregory the Great (died 604): In those days, near the end, hardly a Bishop, but an army of priests and two-thirds of the Christians will join the Schism. (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Reign of Antichrist, Reprint TAN Books, Rockford, IL, 1974, p. 122)

Basically, Catholic writings suggest that a schism will arise. Some Catholic writings say a schism will arise because of an antipope trying to push some type of ecumenical/interfaith unity. Some Catholic writings say a schism will arise because of a religion that opposes interfaith unity as well as the Catholic view of the Godhead.

Notice also the following two reports from a Catholic priest:

Priest Paul Kramer: The errors of Orthodoxy and of Protestantism will be embraced by that false church, it will be an ecumenical church because the Anti-Pope will be recognized by the world—not by the faithful, but by the world—by the secular world and the secular governments. (Kramer P. The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request. An edited transcript of a speech given at the Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary Seminar in Glendale, California, September 24, 2004.THE FATIMA CRUSADER Issue 80, Summer 2005, pp. 32-45 http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr80/cr80pg32.asp viewed 4/15/08)

Priest Paul Kramer: The Anti-Pope will be recognized as the legitimate Pope of the “church,” and the legitimate head of the Vatican State. That “church” will be united with all the false religions. They will be united together under the universality of the Masonic umbrella. In that motley ecumenical union will be the established religion of the so-called civilized world. This is how we will get into the time of great persecution such as the world has never seen. (Priest Kramer. As cited by Mario Derksen’s article The Blind Leading the Blind Memo to Chris Ferrara, Father Nicholas Gruner and Father Paul Kramer: Please, please take off the blindfolds! in TRADITIONAL INSIGHTS October 7, 2005 Volume 16, no. 250; http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/05Oct/oct7mdi.htm 10/10/07)

Some of the Eastern Orthodox look forward to this, but also expect an antipope near then:

Helen Tzima Otto (20th century): We have been told time and time again through the prophets that the Great Monarch and Papa Angelorum…will convene the 8th Ecumenical Council, which will reunify all Christians…The Emperor will spend three years waging wars against the non-Christian nations…{later will be} the end time schism of the Roman Catholic Church of the End Times and the rise of an antipope. (Tzima Otto, pp. xxv, 103, 122)

The Bible tells of reorganization coming to Europe (Revelation 17:12-13) and the rule by a European Beast dictator with religious endorsement (Revelation 13). It also tells of a compromised Church of Rome which will cooperate with the Beast dictator for a time (cf. Revelation 17:1-13).

Some have hinted that Pope Francis is an antipope. Nearly five years ago, we put out the following video:

Some cardinals and other members of the Roman Catholic clergy are concerned that Pope Francis has deviated from its traditional positions on matters such as homosexuality, salvation, fornication, remarriage, and other doctrines.  Australian Cardinal George Pell even mentioned ‘antipopes’ when discussing Pope Francis.  North American Cardinal Raymond Burke has raised many concerns about Francis’ pontificate.  Did Catholic saints teach that popes could become heretics?  Will the final pope not be Catholic? Is an ecumenical pontiff possibly the final Antichrist? What do both biblical, and even Roman Catholic, prophecies warn about?  Could Pope Francis be an antipope and final Antichrist?

Here is a link to our video:  Anti-Pope Francis?

While, in a sense Pope Francis is functioning like an antipope, he is either setting the stage for more of one to follow or he will become much more of one in the future.

What he has been doing is a prelude to the coming final Antichrist.

Pope Francis has been setting the antipope/antichrist stage by openly pushing views that contradict aspects of the Roman Catholic “living Magisterium” (which is the accepted “tradition” that is supposed to define Catholic doctrine and practice).

The coming ‘antipope,’ who biblically sounds like the final Antichrist, will not only reject scripture, but will betray the Church of Rome.

Pope Francis is setting a precedent.

Biblical prophecies show that Rome (cf. Revelation 17:1-9, 18) will be betrayed (Revelation 17:16-18) and that the Antichrist/False Prophet will survive that betrayal until Jesus returns (Revelation 19:19-20).

This means that both biblical and Catholic prophecies warn of betrayal of the Church of Rome by some ecclesiastical authority who sounds like an antipope.

Some wonder if Pope Francis is that ecclesiastical authority.

We shall see.

Even though his age could rule him out, he truly has taken steps consistent with being that ecclesiastical authority so far.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
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’?
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: Alemania en la profecía bíblic. Here are links to two English language sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of 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?
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? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
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?
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
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.
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? A related video would be 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?
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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 ‘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.
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. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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? 2027 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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
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.
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.
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.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.

CNA: Theology in ‘dialogue with cultures’ renews humanity, Pope Francis says

Sunday, November 10th, 2019


COGwriter

Pope Francis is now pushing his interfaith agenda by using a more sanitized “dialogue with cultures” expression:

Theology in ‘dialogue with cultures’ renews humanity, Pope Francis says

When theology and philosophy engage with cultures in creative ways, they become a powerful tool for renewing humanity with the Word of God, Pope Francis said Saturday, during the awarding of the 2019 Ratzinger Prize.

“This is true for all cultures: access to redemption for humanity in all of its dimensions should be sought with creativity and imagination,” the pope said Nov 9. …

“It is a duty for theology to be and remain in active dialogue with cultures, even as they change over time and evolve differently in various parts of the world,” he said. 11/09/19 https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/theology-in-dialogue-with-cultures-renews-humanity-pope-francis-says-56821

This “dialogue with cultures” has gotten Pope Francis criticism for how he handled the Amazonian Synod last month, including statements and practices associated with the pagan Pachamama statues (one is shown behind the lady in pink in the Tweet shown at the beginning of this post.

Anyway, notice the following reports:

Pope Francis is working frantically to usher in the One World Religion, and is experiencing success on a level not seen by any pope since Constantine. In just 2019 alone, Pope Francis has created the official Chrislam logo, signed a covenant of ‘human fraternity and world peace‘, and then commissioned a committee called the Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council to make it all a reality. Within mere months, that committee announced the opening in 2022 of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Wow, but after all that, Pope Francis now shows us he was just getting warmed up. Last month, he lead a worship service at the Vatican where be blessed the goddess Pachamama, the ‘mother of all the earth’. …

Pope Francis for many years now has preached the gospel of the New Age, has led multiple services for ‘Mother Earth’ , and kisses the feet of statues and prays to dead people. So this addition of Pachamama and the mother goddess is right up his alley. …

Archbishop Viganò: Pope Francis Serves as Catwalk For A “Satanic Plan”

FROM GLORIA TV: For Archbishop Viganó this is consistent with Francis’ aberrant Abu Dhabi declaration that alleges that “God wills all religions.” Viganó observes that Francis personally practiced the Pachamama cult in the Vatican gardens, in St Peter’s Basilica and during the Synod closing Mass by placing an idolatrous plant on the altar.

He calls this Pachamama show “an initiatory rite of the new religion” in order to align the Church with anti-human and anti-Christian strategies that dominate the globalist scene and are supported by those in power.

THE PACHAMAMA IS A FEMALE FERTILITY FIGURE, REPRESENTING MOTHER EARTH, VENERATED BY PEOPLES IN THE ANDES AND PORTIONS OF THE AMAZON. IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SYNOD, IT’S BECOME THE SHORTHAND WAY OF TALKING ABOUT SEVERAL SMALL FIGURINES OF A NAKED PREGNANT WOMAN THAT MADE THEIR INITIAL APPEARANCE AT AN OCT. 4 INDIGENOUS PRAYER SERVICE IN THE VATICAN GARDENS ATTENDED BY POPE FRANCIS, AND THAT POPPED UP SEVERAL OTHER TIMES BEFORE GOING ON DISPLAY IN ROME’S CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA IN TRASPONTINA NEAR THE VATICAN.

According to Viganò, a “satanic plan” is unfolding to change the Catholic religion, and Francis “serves as a catwalk to ferry what remains of the Catholic edifice towards an indistinct Universal Religion” and a “worldwide and stateless Pantheon.”  11/07/19 https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/pope-francis-welcomes-female-shaman-vatican-leads-worship-service-dedicated-to-inca-goddess-pachamama-amazon-mother-earth/

In the wake of the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, in fact, I would submit this proposition: “Pachamama” has become the new insider Catholic version of “Who am I to judge?” meaning a single word or phrase which, immediately upon utterance in front of another Catholic, whatever comes across their face will tell you everything you need to know about where he or she stands. …

The Pachamama is a female fertility figure, representing Mother Earth, venerated by peoples in the Andes and portions of the Amazon. In the context of the synod, it’s become the shorthand way of talking about several small figurines of a naked pregnant woman that made their initial appearance at an Oct. 4 indigenous prayer service in the Vatican gardens attended by Pope Francis, and that popped up several other times before going on display in Rome’s Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near the Vatican.

From the beginning, they aroused intense controversy among traditionalist and conservative Catholics, who saw their presence at the Vatican – at the far end of opinion – as quasi-demonic symbols of pagan idolatry, or – somewhere closer to the middle – as expressions of an uncritical embrace of all things indigenous, without the “purification” which Pope emeritus Benedict XVI insists is the heart of Christianity’s interaction with cultures. https://cruxnow.com/amazon-synod/2019/10/29/pachamama-has-become-the-new-catholic-insider-who-am-i-to-judge/

Related to this synod and pagan female images, we put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


22:31

Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion

In front of Pope Francis, on October 4, 2019, the Vatican hosted an Amazonian tree-planting ceremony in where people bowed down to a circle around to semi-naked pagan female images. Vatican News promoted this. Some Catholics are concerned that the Amazonian synod is leading to two Catholic faiths: the traditional one and one that is being called the “Amazonian Religion.” The Vatican has also been promoting an interfaith agenda with the Jews and Muslims with the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity,” and its first major project, the “Abrahamid Family House” (which is set to open in 2022). Are these good things for Christians? WIll they lead to the rise of Babylonian Beast and Antichrist power? What does the Bible warn about this? Do both the Bible and certain Catholic writings show that the Church of Rome will be betrayed by powers it will align with? Is some type of one world religion being worked on? If so, is the Vatican, World Council of Churches, certain Muslims, and the United Nations involved? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion.

UPDATE 11/11/19: Here is a link to our latest BNP video:


19:59

Pachamama Pope Francis declares Black Madonna

An Amazonian synod was held in the Vatican in October 2019 that featured naked female statues called Pachamama. On October 31, 2019, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis declared a new ‘holiday’ for the Black Madonna known as the Lady of Loreto. This is to observed by those who follow that on December 10th each year. What are “Black Madonnas” vs. “black Madonnas”? Are there ties between Black Madonnas and black female “Mother Earth” goddesses? Could the promotion of Black Madonnas and Pachamamas be related to steps towards a one world religion? Did a Catholic archbishop state that Pope Francis is moving “towards an Indistinct Universal religion” and a “worldwide and stateless Pantheon? Should real Christians be part of this? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link: Pachamama Pope Francis declares Black Madonna.

Expect to see various changes in policies from the Church of Rome.

Consider the following admonition from the Apostle Paul:

14 Do not harness yourselves in an uneven team with unbelievers; how can uprightness and law-breaking be partners, or what can light and darkness have in common?

15 How can Christ come to an agreement with Beliar and what sharing can there be between a believer and an unbeliever?

16 The temple of God cannot compromise with false gods, and that is what we are — the temple of the living God. We have God’s word for it: I shall fix my home among them and live among them; I will be their God and they will be my people.

17 Get away from them, purify yourselves, says the Lord. Do not touch anything unclean, and then I shall welcome you. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, New Jerusalem Bible)

Note that the above is from a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible. Beliar is a false god, and real Christians are not to be sharing pagan worship.

But is that not what the Pachamama cultural matter has been pushing?

It remains my view that the Church of Rome will compromise even further from its current beliefs and that the final Antichrist will feign some changed version of Roman Catholicism for a time (until he even more betrays that church; cf. Revelation 17:15-18).

Lest that sound like “Catholic bashing,” the idea of a Bishop of Rome being the final Antichrist is consistent with several Roman Catholic prophecies.

Conservative Catholics also may wish to consider the following Catholic private prophecies, which are shown below as cited in my book The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis?:

Catholic Prophets/Writers Have Warned that a Major “Antipope” is to Come

Various Catholic prophecies warn that a major “antipope” and major schism is to come. Since there has not been an antipope since the 15th century, for numerous reasons these could be interpreted to mean that a 21st century pope will be an antipope who will implement changes:

Anne Catherine Emmerick (May 13, 1820): I saw again a new and odd-looking Church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it…THIS IS BABEL.

Yves Dupont {writer interpreting A. Emmerick}: They wanted to make a new Church, a Church of human manufacture, but God had other designs…The Holy Father shall have to leave Rome, and he shall die a cruel death. An anti-pope shall be set up in Rome.

Anne Catherine Emmerich (January 12, 1820): There is now some question of Protestants sharing in the government of the Catholic clergy.

Anne Catherine Emmerich (July 1820): I came to the church of Peter and Paul (Rome) and saw a dark world of distress, confusion, and corruption…

Anne Catherine Emmerich (January 27, 1822): I saw many Christians returning to the bosom of the Church, entering through the walls. That Pope will be strict, he will remove the lukewarm, tepid Bishops—but it will be a long time before this happens.

Anne Catherine Emmerich (October 22, 1822): I saw in Germany among the worldly-wise ecclesiastics, and enlightened Protestants, plans formed for the blending of all religious creeds…

Anne Catherine Emmerich (April, 1823): They built a large, singular, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, and all denominations, a true communion of the unholy with one shepherd and one flock. There was to be a Pope, a salaried Pope without possessions.

Melanie Mathieu (19th century): Rome will lose faith and become the seat of Antichrist.

Jeanne le Royer (died 1798): I see that when the Second Coming of Christ approaches a bad priest will do much harm to the Church.

St. Gregory the Great, Pope (d. 604): In those days, near the end…an army of priests and two-thirds of the Christians will join the Schism.

Yves Dupont {reader and collector of Catholic prophecies}: “prophecies are quite explicit about the election of an anti-pope…Many prophecies predict an anti-pope and a schism “.

Catholic priest and writer R. Gerald Culleton (20th century): A schism of short duration is destined to break out…An antipope, of German origin, is to be set up, and finally Rome itself will be destroyed”.

Frederick William Faber (died 1863): Antichrist…Many believe in a demonical incarnation–this will not be so–but he will be utterly possessed…His doctrine as apparent contradiction of no religion, yet a new religion…He has an attending pontiff, so separating regal and prophetic office.

Blessed Joachim (died 1202): Towards the end of the world Antichrist will overthrow the Pope and usurp his See.

Merlin (7th century): There will come a German Anti-Pope. Italy and Germany will be sorely troubled. A French King will restore the true Pope.

St. Francis of Assisi (died 1226): There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great Schism, there will be divers thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders, to doubt, yea even agree with those heretics which will cause My order to divide, then will there be such universal dissentions and persecutions that if these days were not shortened even the elect would be lost.

Capuchin Friar (18th century): During these calamities the Pope shall die…three popes shall be simultaneously elected…the third…by force of arms, shall be placed on the throne.

Priest E. Sylvester Berry (published 1920): It has been a matter of history that the most disastrous periods for the Church were times when the Papal throne was vacant or when anti-popes contended with the legitimate head of the Church. Thus shall it be in those evil days to come.

Catholic writer and priest P. Huchedé (19th century): …the false prophet…will not be a king, nor a general of an army, but a clever apostate, fallen from episcopal dignity. From being an apostle of the Gospel he will become the first preacher of the false messiah…

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): This false prophet possibly at the behest of Antichrist usurps the papal supremacy.

Catholic writers Ted and Maureen Flynn (1993): Catholic prophecy warns us of severe problems threatening the papacy in these end times…An Antipope will seize papal authority…It will be those who hold fast to the truths of the faith who will be labelled as the perpetuators of this horrible schism, according to some visionaries.

Priest Paul Kramer reported: In 1999…Malachi Martin stated…that Our Lady’s words were very dry and specific and they foretold of a future “pope” (not the true Pope, but a heretical antipope) who would be completely under the control of the devil.

Priest Paul Kramer (21st century): The errors of Orthodoxy and of Protestantism will be embraced by that false church, it will be an ecumenical church because the Anti-Pope will be recognized by the world — not by the faithful, but by the world — by the secular world and the secular governments. The Anti-Pope will be recognized as the legitimate Pope of the “church,” and the legitimate head of the Vatican State. That “church” will be united with all the false religions.

Priest Paul Kramer (21st century): The counterfeit “Catholic” Church — the counter-church, the anti-church — the mystery of the dragon, whose tail swept down a third of the “stars of Heaven,” i.e. one third of the Catholic hierarchy under the leadership of a heretical antipope.

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): In accord with the text this is unmistakably a PAPAL ELECTION . . . But at this time the great powers may take a menacing attitude to hinder the election of the logical and expected candidate by threats of a general apostasy, assassination or imprisonment of this candidate if elected. This would suppose an extremely hostile mind in the governments of Europe towards the Church, because an extended interregnum in the papacy is always disastrous and more so in a time of universal persecution. If Satan would contrive to hinder a papal election, the Church would suffer great travail… one…destined for the papacy at the time will institute the needed reforms. A general council may decree the reforms…The lax clergy at the time will extol the conditions then existing…The dragon is a symbolic term for the evil world powers…They will try to make the Church a “state church” everywhere. This is only possible if they can subject the pope to their wills and compel him to teach and rule as they direct. That would be literally devouring the papacy.

Catholic author and collector of prophecies D. Birch (20th century): Many, many, of the prophecies refer to an Antipope for sometime in the future during which great calamities occur to the Church.

Even the Catholic saint “Pope Gregory the Great” warned that he believed that the time would come when most Catholics would fall for a changed church (which he called a “schism”) in the time of the end. Would this not take a leader that would be, or at least be like, an antipope or the final Antichrist?

As the list above shows, there are many Catholic writers/saints who have warned of some type of an antipope, maybe even the False Prophet, who could be ecumenical, would lead a compromised church, and may listen to the powers of governments in Europe and, possibly, elsewhere.

The Bible, itself, warns of a time when a European Beast will make some type of deal with an ecumenical Roman religious leader (the False Prophet) and later turn on a compromised church (cf. Revelation 17:15-18; 19:20).

(Thiel B. The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Nazarene Books, 2013, pp. 26-32)

The Bible warns that the world will follow and worship the final Beast power in Revelation 13:4,8. The Bible warns that a false religious leader who looks like a lamb, but has the words of a dragon will encourage this to happen in Revelation 13:11. He will lead people to an ecumenical/interfaith religion, and whether or not Pope Francis is the ‘beast of the earth of Revelation 13:11, he most certainly has advocated an ecumenical/interfaith agenda. Pope Francis has worked with Protestants, the Eastern Orthodox, the United Nations, Amazonians, and others to encourage this.

The Bible also warns that God’s people need to not be part of that system (Revelation 14:9-12; 16:2; 18:4). Jesus warned that most people would be deceived (Matthew 24:24).

Biblical prophecies show that Rome (cf. Revelation 17:1-9, 18) will be betrayed (Revelation 17:16-17) and that the Antichrist/False Prophet will survive that betrayal until Jesus returns (Revelation 19:19-20).

This means that both biblical and Catholic prophecies warn of betrayal of the Church of Rome but some ecclesiastical authority who sounds like an antipope. Some wonder if Pope Francis is that ecclesiastical authority. We shall see. Even though his age could rule him out, he truly has taken steps consistent with being that ecclesiastical authority so far.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Women and the New Testament Church What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women? Here are links to two related sermons: Women’s Roles in the Church and New Testament Women.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) 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?
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 three video sermonette are also available: Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document! and The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement and Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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.

Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There are also three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter You
What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
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.
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
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? Here is a link to a related sermon: Eastern Orthodox 40+ Similar Beliefs to the CCOG.
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.
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?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of a new 186 page book (in the print version). And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roma”? This 186 page book provides information and answers. This book is available for USD$9.98 in printed form The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis.

Confessions of a former astrologer

Saturday, November 9th, 2019


(photo from Pixabay)

COGwriter

Many are fascinated by astrology, but it is not the source of truth or real knowledge of the future.

The Guardian ran the following from a former astrologer named as Felicity Carter:

I was an astrologer – here’s how it really works and why I had to stop

Customers marvelled at my psychic abilities but was that really what was going on when I told their fortune? … the universe told me I wasn’t cut out for science, by sending me my second-year results. I dropped out to pursue theatre and also signed up for a one-year course at the Sydney Astrology Centre, a cavernous commercial building in a seedy part of town. …

Although astrologers use Nasa data for their calculations, horoscopes aren’t a true map of the heavens. The Babylonians who invented astrology believed the sun rotated round the Earth; modern astrologers still use Earth-centred charts, as if Copernicus had never existed. That’s only the start of the scientific problems.

The astrological meanings themselves derive from a principle called sympathetic magic, where things that look alike are linked together. Mars looks red, so it rules red things like blood. How do you get blood? You cut, so Mars rules surgery and war. …

Astrology is one big word association game.

I loved it, though I was losing interest in other mystical practices. …

When I saw the ad for a fortune teller, I pounced.

My credentials impressed the man on the counter (“My name is Ron,” he said. “My spirit guide is Blue Star. He’s on the intergalactic committee”) and I was hired.

We charged A$50 an hour, a significant sum at the time, and I wanted to offer value. No fishing for clues from me – I printed a horoscope or laid the cards and started interpreting immediately, intending to dazzle the customer with my insights.

Half the time, though, I couldn’t get a word in. It turned out what most people want is the chance to unload for an hour.

The range of problems faced by people who can afford $50 for fortune telling turned out to be limited: troubles with romance, troubles at work, trouble mustering the courage for a much-needed change. I heard these stories so often I could often guess what the problem was the moment someone walked in. Heartbroken young men, for example, talk about it to psychics, because it’s less risky than telling their friends. Sometimes I’d mischievously say, “Let her go. She’s not worth it,” as soon as one arrived. Once I heard, “Oh my God, oh my GOD!” as an amazed guy fell backwards down the stairs.

I also learned that intelligence and education do not protect against superstition. …

What broke the spell for me was, oddly, people swearing by my gift. Some repeat customers claimed I’d made very specific predictions, of a kind I never made. It dawned on me that my readings were a co-creation – I would weave a story and, later, the customer’s memory would add new elements. I got to test this theory after a friend raved about a reading she’d had, full of astonishingly accurate predictions. She had a tape of the session, so I asked her to play it.

The clairvoyant had said none of the things my friend claimed. Not a single one. My friend’s imagination had done all the work.

Yet sometimes I could be uncannily accurate – wasn’t that proof I was psychic? One Sunday, I went straight from work to a party, before I’d had time to shuck off my psychic persona. A student there mentioned she wasn’t sure what to specialize in – photography, graphic design or maybe industrial design?

“Do photography,” I said.

She looked at me, wide-eyed. “How did you know?” she said, explaining photography was her real love, but her parents didn’t approve.

I couldn’t say, “because my third eye is open”, so I reflected for a moment. Then it hit me. “You sounded happier when you said ‘photography’,” I said. My psychic teacher was right – the signals we pick up before conscious awareness kicks in can be accurate and valuable. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/06/i-was-an-astrologer-how-it-works-psychics?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Felicity Carter is correct that astrology is not scientific. It is not even consistent with itself as the signs people supposedly were born under are all off by about a month.

Notice the following:

Another fact must also be pointed out. Everyone’s astrological “sign” is wrong! The Zodiac charts were set more than 2,000 years ago, but since then the position of the Earth relative to other heavenly bodies has shifted. The earth is spinning on its axis, wobbling like a top, completing one great loop every 26,000 years.(10) The constellations are no longer in the same relative viewing positions they were in when the Zodiac charts were devised. “In effect, all of the constellations have moved,” said Fraknoi. “This puts the signs of the Zodiac off by one whole sign.”(11) Astrologers have stuck with tradition, even though their maps of the heavens are out of step with reality. Thus, right now everybody is reading the wrong horoscope!

Its Claim to Analyze Character Is Deceptive

We are fascinated by astrology’s claim to be able to reveal a person’s character. However, the system is especially deceitful and manipulative in this regard. Astrologers tell people what they want to hear. This classic technique is used by salesman, hypnotists, advertising experts, and not a few preachers. Psychologist Ray Hyman said, “To be popular with your fellow man, tell him what he wants to hear. He wants to hear about himself. So tell him about himself. But not what you know to be true about him. Oh, no! Never tell him the truth. Rather, tell him what he would like to be true about himself!”(12) This is the key to manipulating other people. The human mind is more willing to accept what is would like to believe rather than what evidence indicates is the truth. As an example, Hyman cites the following astrological analysis:

Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other time you are introverted, wary and reserved. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. You pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others’ opinions without satisfactory proof. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety, and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. . . While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you.(13)

Sound familiar? Does it describe your personality in any way? This spiel was first used in 1948, composed mostly from a news stand astrology book. Statements that supposedly would describe people born under various signs were combined together. This pitch is designed to apply to everyone but not seem that way. In a controlled study, psychologists gave a group of college students a detailed psychological questionnaire and then made a detailed analysis of each student. They gave the students a copy of their customized analysis and a copy of the fake psychological sketch found above. The students were then asked to identify which was which. Fifty-nine percent of the student thought the fake sketch was a more accurate description of their personalities.(14) (http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume34/GOT034263.html#N_3_ viewed 01/15/15)

The last one shows why some people believe in astrology. Sometimes, it feels right to them–even when it is wrong or ‘lucky.’ The Prophet Jeremiah labeled the human heart “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9)–people can deceive themselves and allow themselve to be deceived by Satan and his devices, including astrology.

Is astrology scientific? Notice the following:

Some expectations generated by astrology are so general that any outcome could be interpreted as fitting the expectations; if treated this way, astrology is not testable. However, some have used astrology to generate very specific expectations that could be verified against outcomes in the natural world. For example, according to astrology, one’s zodiac sign impacts one’s ability to command respect and authority. Since these traits are important in politics, we might expect that if astrology really explained people’s personalities, scientists would be more likely to have zodiac signs that astrologers describe as “favorable” towards science.1 If used to generate specific expectations like this one, astrological ideas are testable.

Relies on evidence? In the few cases where astrology has been used to generate testable expectations and the results were examined in a careful study, the evidence did not support the validity of astrological ideas.2

1In fact, physicist John McGervey did this study and found no bias towards particular signs. Hence, the results did not support the validity of astrological explanations. You can read about this study in McGervey’s book “Probabilities in Everyday Life.”
2For example: Carlson, S. 1985. A double-blind test of astrology. Nature 318:419-425.

(Astrology: Is it scientific? http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/astrology_checklist viewed 07/10/13)

That being said, sometimes demonic forces provide assistance to fortune tellers of various times.

Some have confused astrology and astronomy.

While various ancient astronomers often engaged in astrology, there was then and now a difference between astrology and astronomy.

To try to make this clear, let’s notice the difference between the two:

astrology: the study of the movements and positions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars, and the skill of describing the expected effect that some people believe these have on the character and lives of people (Definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/astronomy, viewed 7/10/13)

astronomy: the scientific study of the universe and of objects that exist naturally in space, such as the moon, the sun, planets, and stars (Definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/astrology, viewed 7/10/13)

Astronomy, logically noticing what happens in the sky, is endorsed by the Bible. Astrology, trying to make predictions on the sky’s affect on human beings, is not.

They are not the same, yet some try to get Christians to think that they are.

Notice some of what Jesus and His followers taught about astronomy:

1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. (Matthew 16:1-4)

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:29-30)

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord (Acts 2:20).

Jesus did not teach that humans were to see how the position of heavenly bodies would affect them based upon their birth (astrology), but to notice that God would use certain signs in the heavens to show weather or His return. That is a use of astronomy, not astrology.

The children of Israel were warned not to pay attention to astrology as the heathen did.

Notice:

19 And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage. (Deuteronomy 4:19-20)

By changing one’s actions based upon what a horoscope says, one is serving the stars which God clearly tells people not to do.

Notice also:

2 Thus says the Lord:

“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)

Now, the above is not saying not to pay attention to weather patterns, as Jesus Himself endorsed that:

Nor is it saying that there cannot be any signs in the heavens to ever pay attention to from a prophetic perspective, as Jesus said to notice specific occurrences in the heavens before He returns:

What the Bible was warning about was to rely on astrological and similar interpretations of the heavens to affect your life or future.

The Bible condemns astrology, not astronomy. Notice a biblical purpose for various heavenly bodies:

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:14-15)

2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exodus 12:2)

4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:4-6)

The Bible clearly teaches that the heavenly bodies are involved with the seasons (including holy days) and that is part of why they were made. But signally the start of Spring or Fall for example, is not the same as suggesting that there is hidden meaning in the stars related to your date of birth.

Astrologers will not save you:

13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels;
Let now the astrologers, the stargazers,
And the monthly prognosticators
Stand up and save you
From what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble,
The fire shall burn them;
They shall not deliver themselves
From the power of the flame;
It shall not be a coal to be warmed by,
Nor a fire to sit before!
15 Thus shall they be to you
With whom you have labored,
Your merchants from your youth;
They shall wander each one to his quarter.
No one shall save you.  (Isaiah 47:13-15)

If you want direction, trust in God:

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

4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)

One is to trust God and His word, not some pagan-inspired horoscope.

One major difference between God’s predictions and those of astrologers is that God can make His come to pass:

9 Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it. (Isaiah 46:9-11)

3 “I have declared the former things from the beginning;
They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it.
Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. (Isaiah 48:3)

If you want to know more about the future, believe the word of God:

9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9)

You should believe biblical prophecies that are properly explained by His true ministry (cf. Acts 8:30-31). Not astrologers.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Here are links to two videos Astrology, the occult, tattoos, and pornography and Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: 占星术准确吗?
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.
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Human Nature: Good or Evil? a Did God create humans evil or good? What is human nature? Where does it come from? Here are links to two related sermons: Human Nature: Its Cause and Solution and Human Nature: Where Did it Come From?
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
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.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Why Prophecy? Why is so much of the Bible devoted to prophecy? Some question or downplay the role of prophecy. This article gives some of the biblical reasons what it is important and explains why the world cannot end (the Great Tribulation will not start) until after biblically-required events occur.
How to Understand Prophecy This is the late Herbert W. Armstrong’s overview on understanding prophecy.
19 items to prophetically watch in 2019 Much is happening. Dr. Thiel points to 19 items to watch (cf. Mark 13:37), plus another, in this article. Here is a link to a related sermon: 19 items to watch in 2019.

Feast of Holy Relics?

Thursday, November 7th, 2019


Statue at Fatima Chapel and Image of What the Children in Fatima Said They Saw

COGwriter

November 8th is the day that the Church of Rome claims is for ‘Holy Relics.’ Its followers partially cite the Council of Trent from the 16th century as proof this is acceptable:

Feast of the Holy Relics

Protestantism pretends to regard the veneration which the Church pays to the relics of the Saints as a sin, and contends that this pious practice is a remnant of paganism.

The Council of Trent, on the contrary, has decided that the bodies of the martyrs and other saints who were living members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, are to be honored by the faithful. This decision was based upon the established usage of the earliest days of the Church, and upon the teaching of the Fathers and of the Councils. http://saints.sqpn.com/pictorial-lives-of-the-saints-the-feast-of-the-holy-relics/ viewed 11/06/13

Holy relics?

There are a few points to consider.

The first is that the Bible is opposed to the idea of ‘holy relics.’ Here is one admonition from the Apostle John:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).

The second is that those that the Church of Rome consider to have been early ‘Fathers’ and saints were opposed to them as well.

After John died, his disciple, Polycarp of Smyrna became perhaps the most well-known Christian leader in the second century.

Even though the Roman Catholics and Orthodox leaders consider that Polycarp was an important saint, note what Polycarp wrote in the mid-second century:

I exhort you, therefore, that ye abstain from covetousness, and that ye be chaste and truthful. “Abstain from every form of evil.” For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others ? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter XI. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Thus, Polycarp says that those who practice idolatry, even if they profess Christ, will be judged as a heathen!

In the early-mid second century there was an apologist named Marcianus Aristides who wrote the following to the emperor:

But it is a marvel, O King, with regard to the Greeks, who surpass all other peoples in their manner of life and reasoning, how they have gone astray after dead idols and lifeless images. And yet they see their gods in the hands of their artificers being sawn out, and planed and docked, and hacked short, and charred, and ornamented, and being altered by them in every kind of way. And when they grow old, and are worn away through lapse of time, and when they are molten and crushed to powder, how, I wonder, did they not perceive concerning them, that they are not gods? And as for those who did not find deliverance for themselves, how can they serve the distress of men?

But even the writers and philosophers among them have wrongly alleged that the gods are such as are made in honour of God Almighty. And they err in seeking to liken (them) to God whom man has not at any time seen nor can see unto what He is like. Herein, too (they err) in asserting of deity that any such thing as deficiency can be present to it; as when they say that He receives sacrifice and requires burnt-offering and libation and immolations of men, and temples. But God is not in need, and none of these things is necessary to Him; and it is clear that men err in these things they imagine (Marcianus Aristides. TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK AND FROM THE SYRIAC VERSION BY D. M. KAY. Apology of Aristides the Philosopher, Chapter XIII. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 9. Edited by Allan Menzies, D.D. American Edition, 1896 and 1897. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

It should be noted that Marcianus Aristides argued against the concept that it was acceptable to believe that the idols only represented God–he clearly teaches that God was not to be worshiped with idols.

Melito also wrote against idols. Melito was a bishop of Sardis and is considered to be a saint by both the Catholics of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox.

Here is what Melito wrote around 170 A.D.:

We are not those who pay homage to stones, that are without sensation; but of the only God, who is before all and over all, and, moreover, we are worshippers of His Christ, who is veritably God the Word existing before all time (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. From the apology addressed to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html 11/18/06).

For there are some men who are unable to rise from their mother earth, and therefore also do they make them gods. from the earth their mother; and they are condemned by the judgments of truth, forasmuch as they apply the name of Him who is unchangeable to those objects which are subject to change, and shrink not from calling those things gods which have been made by the hands of man, and dare to make an image of God whom they have not seen…

Who is this God? He who is Himself truth, and His word truth. And what is truth? That which is not fashioned, nor made, nor represented by art: that is, which has never been brought into existence, and is on that account called truth. If, therefore, a man worship that which is made with hands, it is not the truth that he worships, nor yet the word of truth…”

There are, however, persons who say: It is for the honour of God that we make the image: in order, that is, that we may worship the God who is concealed from our view. But they are unaware that God is in every country, and in every place, and is never absent, and that there is not anything done and He knoweth it not. Yet thou, despicable man! within whom He is, and without whom He is, and above whom He is, hast nevertheless gone and bought thee wood from the carpenter’s, and it is carved and made into an image insulting to God. To this thou offerest sacrifice, and knowest not that the all-seeing eye seeth thee, and that the word of truth reproves thee, and says to thee: How can the unseen God be sculptured? Nay, it is the likeness of thyself that thou makest and worshippest. Because the wood has been sculptured, hast thou not the insight to perceive that it is still wood, or that the stone is still stone? The gold also the workman: taketh according to its weight in the balance. And when thou hast had it made into an image, why dose thou weigh it? Therefore thou art a lover of gold, and not a lover of God…

Again, there are persons who say: Whatsoever our fathers have bequeathed to us, that we reverence. Therefore, of course, it is, that those whose fathers have bequeathed them poverty strive to become rich! and those whose fathers did not instruct them, desire to be instructed, and to learn that which their fathers knew not! And why, forsooth, do the children of the blind see, and the children of the lame walk? Nay, it is not well for a man to follow his predecessors, if they be those whose course was evil; but rather that we should turn from that path of theirs, lest that which befell our predecessors should bring disaster upon us also. Wherefore, inquire whether thy father’s course was good: and, if so, do thou also follow in his steps; but, if thy father’s course was very evil, let thine be good, and so let it be with thy children after thee. Be grieved also for thy father because his course is evil, so long as thy grief may avail to help him. But, as for thy children, speak to them thus: There is a God, the Father of all, who never came into being, neither was ever made, and by whose will all things subsist…

And then shall those who have not known God, and those who have made them idols, bemoan themselves, when they shall see those idols of theirs being burnt up, together with themselves, and nothing shall be found to help them (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. A DISCOURSE WHICH WAS IN THE PRESENCE OF ANTONINUS CAESAR, AND HE EXHORTED THE SAID CAESAR TO ACQUAINT HIMSELF WITH GOD, AND SHOWED TO HIM THE WAY OF TRUTH. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html 11/18/06).

Notice that Melito taught against the use of images/idols/icons AND then taught NOT to accept them even if it was handed down by fathers (in other words, do not rely on traditions that say that idols are correct). Since Melito is considered to be both a saint and a ‘father’ of the Church by those Roman Catholics and Orthodox, then they should heed what he said as it is consistent with scripture.

About the same time that Melito was around, Theophilus also was a church writer. Theophilus of Antioch is not only considered to have been a saint by the Catholics and Orthodox, he also is in the Orthodox list of successors from the apostles. Here is a little bit of what he wrote about idols:

The divine law, then, not only forbids the worshipping of idols, but also of the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon, or the other stars; yea, not heaven, nor earth, nor the sea, nor fountains, nor rivers, must be worshipped (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXXV. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume II. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

And concerning piety He says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I am the LORD thy God” …Of this divine law, then, Moses, who also was God’s servant (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter IX. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Other second century writers, though they were not in the true Church of God, such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, and Tertullian also wrote against idols.

Notice that Irenaeus actually wrote that when God was going to call Gentiles (basically quoting Isaiah 17:7-8), that they would no longer have or worship idols:

And that these promises the calling from among the Gentiles should inherit, to whom also the new testament was opened up, Isaiah says thus:

These things saith the God of Israel: In that day a man shall trust in his Maker, and his eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel: and they shall not trust in altars, nor in the work of their own hands, which their fingers have made. For very plainly this was said of such as have forsaken idols and believed in God our Maker through the Holy One of Israel. And the Holy One of Israel is Christ: and He became visible to men, and to Him we look eagerly and behold Him; and we trust not in altars, nor in the works of our hands.

(Irenaeus, St., Bishop of Lyon. Translated from the Armenian by Armitage Robinson. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, Chapter 91. Wells, Somerset, Oct. 1879. As published in SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO, 1920).

The Catholic Encyclopedia calls Athenagoras a “Christian apologist of the second half of the second century”. Here is some of what he wrote:

Because the multitude, who cannot distinguish between matter and God, or see how great is the interval which lies between them, pray to idols made of matter, are we therefore, who do distinguish and separate the uncreated and the created, that which is and that which is not, that which is apprehended by the understanding and that which is perceived by the senses, and who give the fitting name to each of them—are we to come and worship images? If, indeed, matter and God are the same, two names for one thing, then certainly, in not regarding stocks and stones, gold and silver, as gods, we are guilty of impiety. But if they are at the greatest possible remove from one another— as far asunder as theartist and the materials of his art— why are we called to account? (Athenagoras the Athenian. A Plea for the Christians, Chapter 15. Translated by B.P. Pratten. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0205.htm>).

Notice some of what Tertullian wrote:

The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry…

God prohibits an idol as much to be made as to be worshipped. In so far as the making what may be worshipped is the prior act, so far is the prohibition to make (if the worship is unlawful) the prior prohibition. For this cause–the eradicating, namely, of the material of idolatry–the divine law proclaims, “Thou shall make no idol;”…All things, therefore, does human error worship, except the Founder of all Himself. The images of those things are idols; the consecration of the images is idolatry.

(Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapters 1,4. Translated by S. Thelwall. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Furthermore, there is no evidence that any who professed Christ had idols/icons, such as what are seen in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, or even endorsed them in the second century. Thus, the early church was always against the use of idols and icons. Actually, the Roman Catholics clearly realize this as well as The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

Long before the outbreak in the eighth century there were isolated cases of persons who feared the ever-growing cult of images and saw in it danger of a return to the old idolatry. We need hardly quote in this connection the invectives of the Apostolic Fathers against idols (Athenagoras “Legatio Pro Christ.”, xv-xvii; Theophilus, “Ad Autolycum” II; Minucius Felix, “Octavius”, xxvii; Arnobius, “Disp. adv. Gentes”; Tertullian, “De Idololatria”, I; Cyprian, “De idolorum vanitate”), in which they denounce not only the worship but even the manufacture and possession of such images. These texts all regard idols, that is, images made to be adored (Fortescue A. Transcribed by Tomas Hancil. Veneration of Images. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Furthermore, notice an accusation against those who professed Christ in the second/third century (date uncertain):

Why have they no altars, no temples, no acknowledged images? (Minucius. Octavius. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 4, Chapter 10. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

It should be noted that no Christian prior to the late second or early third century is ever described as carrying an idol, having images in any worship services, or even wearing a cross (though some apostates started to advocate crosses in the second and third centuries).

The third point to mention is that it took councils of men to accept the relics for the Church of Rome.

It was not until the ninth century that the arguments over idols were resolved between the Roman Catholics and Orthodox (the Orthodox generally wanted them, but many Roman bishops/pontiffs up until that time fought against them). The Orthodox Church teaches this:

The Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 and 843) decreed the use of icons, following in the main the teaching of St. John of Damascus” (Litsas FK. A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology – Part 2. http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article9152.asp 8/27/05) .

…within Christianity itself there had always existed a ‘puritan’ outlook, which condemned icons because it saw in all images a latent idolatry…The final victory of the Holy Images in 843 is known as ‘the Triumph of Orthodoxy’…One of the distinctive features of Orthodoxy is the place which it assigns to icons. An Orthodox church today is filled with them…An Orthodox prostrates himself before these icons, he kisses them and burns candles in front of them…Because icons are only symbols, Orthodox do not worship them, but reverence or venerate them…icons form a part of Holy Tradition…The Iconoclasts, by repudiating all representations of God, failed to take to full account the Incarnation” (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, pp. 31-33).

Notice that the Orthodox call that acceptance of icons as “the victory of Orthodoxy” over those of anti-idol professing Christian faiths (the date appears to have been March 11, 843).

However, since the use of idols and icons was not the position of the first or even second century church, it is truly not orthodox to use idols and icons. (More information on the Orthodox Church can be found in the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God.)

One Protestant scholar noted:

For the Jews and the early Christians, all attempts to create a likeness of God were prohibited…Gradually this reluctance faded, and at the beginning of the eighth century we find images in widespread use in the East; in the West they were less common (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 212).

But why did idols win for the Greco-Romans? It is my opinion that the Romans felt that they needed unity with the Orthodox in order to put up a united front against Islam. Islam was properly against idols, and apparently Rome felt that its sometimes historically correct position against idols portrayed a divided “Christianity,” hence this was one additional major compromise for it.

The fourth point is that not only are the relics not holy, they often are not what people think.

At the beginning of this post are two statues. The first one is one normally in Fatima, Portugal, that Pope Francis had flown to Rome last month to bow and pray before. My wife and I saw this particular statue when we visited Fatima. While millions have bowed down before and/or prayed to this statue, I will mention again to all who will hear that the statue IS NOT DRESSED like what the three children at Fatima (Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta) claimed the ‘Lady of Fatima’ looked like in 1917. What they described was a young female with a short skirt as also shown at the beginning of this post. There is no possible way that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared in Fatima, Portugal before Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in 1917. Suggesting that the first image, which is not even an approximate representation of what was seen in Fatima, was somehow holy is wrong. It should also be pointed out that the relics of the Apostle Peter are also not in the Vatican according to various Catholic-related sources.

The Bible shows that the use of images will be forced upon the world in the end:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Revelation 13:11-15)

This will not end well for the Vatican (Revelation 17:15-17) nor for the rest of the world (Revelation 18).

The Bible does NOT endorse the ‘Feast of Holy Relics’ day.

For more information, please check out the following:

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? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
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.
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument.
Fatima Shock! YouTube Dr. Thiel highlights a few points of why no one would support Fatima, etc. as discussed in the documented book Fatima Shock!
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
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.
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 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? Here is a related YouTube video The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman”.
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? This is a YouTube video.
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.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
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.

Souls in Purgatory?

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019


Artist’s portrayal of Purgatory

COGwriter

Today is observed by Roman Catholics as All Souls Day.

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


1:13:16

Since the 1950s, groups like the United Nations and the United World Federalists have been working towards a one-world government. The world has problems like hunger, injustice, poverty, pollution, crime, and mistreatment. Is a one-world government the solution to these and other problems facing humanity? Will humanity bring about utopia? Will the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development succeed? What are the 17 goals and are there any problems with their attainment? Will the objectives of Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato Si’ and other efforts bring lasting peace? What about the World Council of Churches and other pushing for a one-world religion? Is any of this in conflict with scripture? Is the Kingdom of God here now? Will there be a conflict between the true followers of Jesus and the Babylonian one-world cooperation that the UN and Vatican want? What message did Jesus come to preach? Does God have the solution? Dr. Thiel addresses these and other matters.

Here is a link to the sermon: All Hallowed Saints’ Day of the Dead.

A Catholic source posted the following:

November draws us to the souls in purgatory – a place Our Lady of Fatima confirmed

November is the month traditionally associated with the Holy Souls in purgatory. The feast day associated with them, the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, “All Souls Day,” falls on Nov. 2 just after All Saints Day, which commemorates all those in heaven. On Nov. 2, we are particularly encouraged to pray for our departed relatives and friends who are waiting patiently to enter heaven, but we can also pray for them all through November, and indeed at any other time of the year.

Some people have tended to ignore or downplay purgatory, but when Our Lady appeared at Fatima she explicitly mentioned it during her very first apparition on May 13, 1917. After telling the children she was from heaven, she promised Lucia and Jacinta that they would go to heaven, and Francisco too, but that he would have to say many rosaries. Then Lucia asked about two girls who had died, friends of hers who used to come to her house to learn weaving.

She asked if one of them, Maria das Neves, was in heaven, and was told, “Yes, she is.” Lucia noted that she was about 16 years old. Then she asked about her other friend, Amelia, who was between 18 and 20 years old. To this question, Our Lady said: “She will be in purgatory until the end of the world.” https://wafusa.org/november-draws-us-to-the-souls-in-purgatory-a-place-our-lady-of-fatima-confirmed/

Before going further, a Catholic saint named Anne Emmerich also claimed to see purgatory and limbo. Despite her being a Catholic saint, Pope Benedict XVI essentially denied the doctrine of limbo some years ago.

As far as the Lady of Fatima goes, she made many false statements, including those that constitute a false gospel (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

Let it also be stated that there are no holidays enjoined in the Bible for October 31, November 1 or November 2 (see Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?). November does NOT draw real Christians “to the souls in purgatory.”

To determine if there is such as place as Purgatory, we should look at the Bible as well as the beliefs of early Christians.

The article quoted at the beginning of this post also has the following:

Jesus pointed to the importance of the soul when he said, in the words of the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible, “For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mark 8:36).

He also pointed to the existence of purgatory, when He said: “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”

This passage has been understood as indicating the necessity of ensuring we are purified before we die, otherwise the punishment due to our sins, even when they have been forgiven, will be exacted in purgatory.

The Catechism has this to say about purgatory: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (CCC 1030)

But no early Christian believed that Mark 8 was a reference to purgatory.

Early Christians believed that God had a plan that would offer salvation to everyone, not called in this present Church age, at/after the white throne judgment–this was based upon sacred scripture (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis). They believed in a doctrine that I have labeled as true apocatastasis. They believed that due to the judgment in Revelation 20:11-13, people would be offered salvation who had not previously rejected it. And as numerous previous quotes in this article will demonstrate, many objected to purgatory prior to the Protestant Reformation.

The Catholic Encyclopedia itself admits that early Christians did not teach its current concept of purgatory doctrine:

Some stress too has been laid upon the objection that the ancient Christians had no clear conception of purgatory, and that they thought that the souls departed remained in uncertainty of salvation to the last day…There are several passages in the New Testament that point to a process of purification after death. Thus, Jesus Christ declares (Matthew 12:32): “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come”…(Hanna, Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

Early Christians, who understood the language that the Bible was written in, did NOT teach nor believe in purgatory–purgatory was NOT part of the original Christian faith.

The Catholic Encyclopedia correctly states:

The modern Orthodox Church denies purgatory…(Hanna, Edward J. Purgatory. Transcribed by William G. Bilton, Ph.D. Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

The Eastern Orthodox have long realized that there was no such place as purgatory. Do not be surprised in the future if the Church of Rome drops, or at least modifies, its position about purgatory (see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? And the Protestants).

In the past, it has been reported that Pope Francis may not really believe in purgatory:

Christians asking is the pope still Catholic?

November 16, 2017

Is the pope Catholic?

It’s not a punch line.

It’s a question being asked about the current head of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, who critics believe is showing signs of abandoning fundamental Catholic doctrines – including the existence of hell.

In a recent address, Pope Francis declared “everything will be saved” upon Christ’s return.

“The thought that at the end of our history there will be merciful Jesus suffices in order to have faith and not to curse life,” the pope said. “Everything will be saved. Everything.”

That would suggest the church is opening up to “universalism,” the doctrine that everyone will ultimately be given salvation, according to Eugenio Scalfari, founder of the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

Scalfari, a major Italian journalistic and cultural influence, believes Francis has “abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven.”

Instead, the souls dominated by evil will “cease to exist.” The pope has also been accused of even warping the words of Scripture to make God appear less judgmental. …

Pastor Carl Gallups … agrees with Catholic dissidents that the pope has thrown the Catholic Church into confusion.

“Thus far, Pope Francis appears to have thrown the Catholic Church into further confusion since his reign. We are undoubtedly living in profoundly prophetic times. How people can miss this truth, right before our eyes every day, is beyond comprehension.” http://www.wnd.com/2017/11/christians-asking-is-the-pope-still-catholic/

Here is a link to a video: Popes Change on Limbo and Purgatory?

And even though he was not part of the true Church of God, notice what the Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant saint Justin wrote:

Justin also stated, “For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians” (Dialogue. Chapter 80).

While those of us in the Continuing Church of God would agree that souls die (Ezekiel 18:4) and are not taken to heaven upon death (Job:14:14; John 3:13), those in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches would seem to disagree with Justin here. His comments are also opposed to the idea of purgatory.

So what was taught in the second century?

Essentially after the judgment, it was believed that unsaved humans (those who did not become saints in this life) who did not knowingly reject God’s way of life would have 100 hundred years to live (in accordance with Isaiah 65:20) and that nearly all would then accept God’s offer of salvation. There was also nothing resembling All Saint’s Day nor All Souls’ Day taught by second century Christians, though some apostates may have kept pagan related practices (see also All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day).

In the late 4th century, Augustine started to come up with ideas that sound like modern purgatory. Eventually he and others challenged apocatastasis–which was an original Christian view. Notice that The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that various early leaders taught apocatastasis, that Augustine and others challenged it, and that purification was associated with apocatastasis:

St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his “Oratio catechetica”, ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil. Such purification will be painful, as is a surgical operation, but the restoration will ultimately be complete. And, when this restoration shall have been accomplished (he eis to archaion apokatastasis ton nyn en kakia keimenon), all creation shall give thanks to God, both the souls which have had no need of purification, and those that shall have needed it…

The doctrine of the apokatastasis is not, indeed, peculiar to St. Gregory of Nyssa, but is taken from Origen…

It was through Origen that the Platonist doctrine of the apokatastasis passed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, and simultaneously to St. Jerome, at least during the time that St. Jerome was an Origenist.

From the moment, however, that anti-Origenism prevailed, the doctrine of the apokatastasis was definitely abandoned. St. Augustine protests more strongly than any other writer against an error so contrary to the doctrine of the necessity of grace…

We note, further, that the doctrine of the apokatastasis was held in the East, not only by St. Gregory of Nyssa, but also by St. Gregory of Nazianzus as well; “De seipso”, 566 (P.G., XXXVII, col. 1010) grace…

In any case, the doctrine was formally condemned in the first of the famous anathemas pronounced at the Council of Constantinople in 543: Ei tis ten teratode apokatastasis presbeuei anathema esto (Batiffel, Pierre. Transcribed by Elizabeth T. Knuth. Apocatastasis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus it appears that the protests of Augustine eventually led to the condemnation of the doctrine of apocatastasis but the retention of purging/purification within Roman circles. The Greek churches, however never abandoned apocatastasis nor did they ever adopt the Roman purgatory.

Yet, concerning purgatory, a Catholic bishop-approved article claimed:

Fundamentalists may be fond of saying the Catholic Church “invented” the doctrine of purgatory to make money, but they have difficulty saying just when. Most professional anti-Catholics—the ones who make their living attacking “Romanism”—seem to place the blame on Pope Gregory the Great, who reigned from A.D. 590–604…

Whenever a date is set for the “invention” of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it?

…where are the records of protests?

They don’t exist. There is no hint at all…

It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief…(Catholic Answers. Purgatory. NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors. Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004. IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827 permission to publish this work is hereby granted. +Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004, http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp viewed 12/23/07).

History indicates that the above assertions are not quite accurate.

First of all, there seems to be no records of any major protest about the millennial teaching being abandoned by both Jerome and Augustine, hence having limited records of protest does not prove something did not change (see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

Secondly, history records that there was a condemnation of apocatastasis. Yet at that time, many Roman leaders realized that scripture did indicate that the opportunity for salvation did not clearly end at the first death.

Notice the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Certain Scriptural texts, e.g., I Cor. xv, 25-28, seem to extend to all rational beings the benefit of the Redemption, and Origen allows himself to be led also by the philosophical principle which he enunciates several times, without ever proving it, that the end is always like the beginning..The universal restoration (apokatastasis) follows necessarily from these principles (Prat F. Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. Origen and Origenism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

There are several passages in the New Testament that point to a process of purification after death. Thus, Jesus Christ declares (Matthew 12:32): “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” According to St. Isidore of Seville (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6) these words prove that in the next life “some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire.” St. Augustine also argues “that some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come” (De Civ. Dei, XXI, xxiv). The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n. 11) and other eminent theological writers (Hanna, Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

And if what Irenaeus and Origen taught earlier was not going to be doctrine, then the Romans figured that something needed to fill in. Hence came more discussion of purgatory and of its emergence within Roman pontifical circles.

Gregory the Great speaks of those who after this life “will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames,” and he adds “that the pain be more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life” (Ps. 3 poenit., n. 1) (Hanna, Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

This is quite different than what Origen taught, as Origen taught that somehow people would be purified on earth (which is consistent with the 100 year period referred to in this chapter, though Origen seems to refer to Zechariah 5) (Origen. Contra Celsus, Book VI, Chapter 26).

While it is clear that by the seventh century, purgatorial ideas were being taught, the idea was not taught so clearly to alienate the Greeks as they did not separate from the Romans until 1054 A.D. But those associated with the Churches of God quickly saw problems with it.

Not surprisingly, the book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma states that the Cathari and Waldenses (who preceded the Protestants by centuries) were amongst the earliest who were against the Roman teaching on purgatory:

The reality of purgatory was denied by the Cathari, the Waldenses (Ott L. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. Nihil Obstat: Jeremiah j. O’Sullivan. Imprimatur: +Cornelius Ep. Corgagiensis ei Ap. Amd. Rossensis, 7 October 1954. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1974, p. 482).

Since purgatory is not a biblical reality, it would make sense that those with the true Church of God would oppose such concepts. Actually, the Waldensians considered purgatory to be a doctrine of Antichrist, and the following appears to be from the 12th century:

“Antichrist is a falsehood, or deceit varnished over with the semblance of truth, and of the righteousness of Christ and his spouse, yet in opposition to the way of truth, righteousness, faith, hope, charity, as well as to moral life. It is not any particular person ordained to any degree, or office, or ministry, but it is a system of falsehood, opposing itself to the truth, covering and adorning itself with a show of beauty and piety, yet very unsuitable to the church of Christ, as by the names, and offices, the Scriptures, and the sacraments, and various other things, may appear. The system of iniquity thus completed with its ministers, great and small, supported by those who are induced to follow it with an evil heart and blind-fold—this is the congregation, which, taken together, comprises what is called Antichrist or Babylon, the fourth beast, the whore, the man of sin, the son of perdition. His ministers are called false prophets, lying teachers, the ministers of darkness, the spirit of error, the apocalyptic whore, the mother of harlots, clouds without water, trees without leaves, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, wandering stars, Balaamites and Egyptians.

“He is termed Antichrist because being disguised under the names of Christ and of his church and faithful members, he oppugns the salvation which Christ wrought out, and which is truly administered in his church—and of which salvation believers participate by faith, hope, and charity. Thus he opposes the truth by the wisdom of this world, by false religion, by counterfeit holiness, by ecclesiastical power, by secular tyranny, and by the riches, honours, dignities, with the pleasures and delicacies of this world. It should therefore be carefully observed, that Antichrist could not come, without a concurrence of all these things, making up a system of hypocrisy and falsehood—these must be, the wise of this world, the religious orders, the pharisees, ministers, and doctors; the secular power, with the people of the world, all mingled together. For although Antichrist was conceived in the times of the apostles, he was then in his infancy, imperfect and unformed, rude, unshapen, and wanting utterance. He then wanted those hypocritical ministers and human ordinances, and the outward show of religious orders which he afterwards obtained. As he was destitute of riches and other endowments necessary to allure to himself ministers for his service, and to enable him to multiply, defend, and protect his adherents, so he also wanted the secular power to force others to forsake the truth and embrace falsehood. But growing up in his members, that is, in his blind and dissembling ministers, and in worldly subjects, he at length arrived at full maturity, when men, whose hearts were set upon this world, blind in the faith, multiplied in the church, and by the union of church and state, got the power of both into their hands.

“Christ never had an enemy like this; so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, insomuch that the true church, with her children, is trodden under foot. The worship that belongs alone to God he transfers to Antichrist himself—to the creature, male and female, deceased—to images, carcasses, and relics. The sacrament of the eucharist is converted into an object of adoration, and the worshipping of God alone is prohibited. He robs the Saviour of his merits, and the sufficiency of his grace in justification, regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, establishment in the faith, and spiritual nourishment; ascribing all these things to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own *works, to the intercession of saints, and to the fire of purgatory. He seduces the people from Christ, drawing off their minds from seeking those blessings in him, by a lively faith in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and teaching his followers to expect them by the *will and pleasure and works of Antichrist. (A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments” as shown in Jones, William. The history of the Christian church from the birth of Christ to the xviii. century, Volumes 1-2, 3rd edition. R.W. Pomeroy, 1832. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Feb 6, 2009, pp. 337-340)

In the thirteenth century, the famed Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote the following:

Nothing is clearly stated in Scripture about the situation of Purgatory, nor is it possible to offer convincing arguments on this question. It is probable, however, and more in keeping with the statements of holy men and the revelations made to many, that there is a twofold place of Purgatory. One, according to the common law; and thus the place of Purgatory is situated below… Another place of Purgatory is according to dispensation: and thus sometimes, as we read, some are punished in various places, either that the living may learn, or that the dead may be succored, seeing that their punishment being made known to the living may be mitigated through the prayers of the Church.

Some say, however, that according to the common law the place of Purgatory is where man sins. This does not seem probable, since a man may be punished at the same time for sins committed in various places. And others say that according to the common law they are punished above us, because they are between us and God, as regards their state. But this is of no account, for they are not punished for being above us, but for that which is lowest in them, namely sin (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Appendix II, Article 1. Second and Revised Edition, 1920. Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol. Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius eneralis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ).

Even though it taught purgatory, clearly the Roman Church did not have an absolutely clear position on purgatory in the 13th century. But Aquinas taught that purgatory would be quite painful:

I answer that, In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire. With regard to both the least pain of Purgatory surpasses the greatest pain of this life…

Therefore it follows that the pain of Purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpasses all the pains of this life (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, Appendix I, Article 1.).

One Catholic scholar, E. Duffy, felt that in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII enriched the Church of Rome through the granting of a particular indulgence to the masses:

Boniface is a mysterious man, proud, ambitious fierce…It was Boniface who declared the first Jubilee or Holy Year in 1300, when tens of thousands of pilgrims converged on Rome to gain indulgences, adding enormously to the prestige of the papacy…(and in the process enriching the Roman basilicas, where the sacristans were said to have had to scoop in pilgrim offerings with rakes). This promise of ‘full and copious pardon’ to all who visited Peter and the Lateran after confessing their sins was the most spectacular exercise of power of the keys since Urban II issued the first Crusade Indulgence… Boniface…displayed some of the worst traits of clerical careerism, enriching his relatives at the expense of the Church, and waging a relentless was against family’s traditional rivals (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p. 160).

Indulgences are granted to allegedly reduce time in purgatory. Vatican coffers have received a lot of money from people who give donations to have priests pray for themselves or loved ones to hopefully have less time in purgatory.

Interestingly, when the Catholic Inquisitor Bishop Bernard Guidonis was disposing of those the Catholics refer to as heretics in the 14th century, he noted that some believed the following:

Again, they say that after Antichrist’s death these spiritual individuals will convert the entire world to the faith of Christ; and the whole world will be so good and benign that there will be no malice or sin in people of that period, except perhaps for venial sins in a few of them; and all things will be common as far as use is concerned; and there will be no one who offends anyone else or encourages another to sin. For there will be the greatest love among them, and there will be one flock and one pastor. According to some of them this period and condition will last for one hundred years. Then, as love fails, malice will creep back in and slowly increase until Christ is, as it were, compelled to come in universal judgment because of it (Gui B. From the Inquisitor’s Manual of Bernard Gui [d.1331], Chapter 5. Early 14th century, translated in J. H. Robinson, Readings in European History, (Boston: Ginn, 1905).

Thus, the idea that the Church of God long has taught, that God would offer salvation to all, is apparently documented, not only in the pages of the Bible, but through some of the writings of its enemies.

Also notice the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The doctrine of apokatastasis viewed as a belief in a universal salvation is found among the Anabaptists…(Batiffel, Pierre. Transcribed by Elizabeth T. Knuth. Apocatastasis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Universal salvation, it should be pointed out in this context, is not that God will save everyone, but that God will truly offer salvation to everyone who ever lived (see the online free book:  Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

Partially because of objections from the Protestant reformers, the Roman Catholics called together the Council of Trent in the mid-16th century, to define certain doctrines. Here is how it defined the purgatory doctrine:

“Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful” (Denzinger, “Enchiridon”, 983) (Hanna. Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

The more modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, while claiming it had roots in tradition, admits that purgatory was not clearly defined until two separate councils in the Middle Ages. Notice what it teaches:

The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect…The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent…This teaching is also based on…Sacred Scripture…Maccabeus…

The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them…Let us not hesitate to help those that have died…(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1031,1032, p. 291).

It should be clear that early Christians in the first and second century simply did not believe or teach the doctrine of purgatory.

The Church of God originally taught apocatastasis, not purgatory. And still does so today. God is a God of love and does have a merciful plan of salvation–and it includes getting the gospel out in this age (Note: The “short work” that Paul speaks of in Romans 9:28 and the completion of Matthew 24:14 will likely include massive news coverage of what the most faithful flock is teaching. This, of course, does not mean that the most faithful should sit around and wait and not do their part–cf. John 9:4; Matthew 9:37-38–as the priority of proclaiming the gospel remains). Of course, people should respond once they learn–those who reject the truth are risking committing the unpardonable sin.

Yet, God has always had a plan for the unsaved and those who did not truly ever understand His loving plan, it is revealed in scripture, and while there is an “age to come,” it is not the same as the relatively modern idea of purgatory.

Some items for further inquiry may include:

All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”? Here is a link to a related sermon: All Hallowed Saints’ Day of the Dead.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
Waldensian Treatise on Antichrist These are translated extracts from a likely 13th/14th century paper titled A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments.
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies? Here is a link to the video: Popes Change on Limbo and Purgatory?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? Here are some historical and biblical insight on this question. There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? Here are links to two related sermonette length videos: Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? and International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween?
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?
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. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Fatima and the ‘Miracle’ of the Sun On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people witnessed what they considered to be a miracle in the sky in Fatima, Portugal. Was this a miracle from God? Can you be certain? A video of some related interest is Fatima and Pope Francis. Here is a link to the sermon: Fatima and the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
What is the Gospel? True religion should be based upon the true gospel. What are some of the different gospels and where did they come from? Do you believe the true or a false gospel? Who is preaching the gospel? Here is a version in Korean ¼õÇLÇt·€ »4ÅÇÇx¬?
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 Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God, The Gospel of the Kingdom, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
All the Prophets Spoke of Apocatastasis The Apostle Peter said all the prophets spoke about “apokatastasis. Do you know what that is? Watch also ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
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’?

Daylight Saving Time ends for the USA, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, and Haiti tonight

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

COGwriter

Sunday, November 3, at two a.m., the USA and several other nations (Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, and Haiti) change their clocks to go back to Standard Time and off of Daylight Saving Time:

It’s that time of year again.

The “fall back” day is coming to clocks across the nation…
Remember, you’ll “fall back” and set your clocks back one hour. Many electronic devices automatically adjust when Daylight Saving…Time begins or ends. http://ames.patch.com/articles/fall-back-daylight-saving-time-2012-ends-sunday-4b97ab65

Since the mid-1960s, most of Arizona has refused to adopt daylight saving time. It is also not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2015/1031/Daylight-saving-time-Why-it-isn-t-going-away-video

New Zealander George Hudson proposed the modern idea of daylight saving in 1895. Germany and Austria-Hungary organized the first implementation, starting on 30 April 1916/ 1 May 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Here is something else related to it from Time:

That Daylight Saving Time began in Germany on May 1, 1916, in the hopes that it would save energy during World War I, according to Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time. But, though Germans were first to mess with their clocks, they likely got the idea from Britain—and from someone whose ideas about Daylight Saving had little to do with conserving fuel.

William Willett had in 1907 published The Waste of Daylight. Willett was inspired by an early-morning epiphany that “the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep” and yet there “remains only a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal.” Though he did mention that it would save money to reduce the use of artificial lighting, his main purpose was the increase enjoyment of sunlight. He lobbied Parliament for such legislation until his death in 1915—not living to see the law passed in England shortly after it was in Germany. …

Across the pond, the first U.S. law on Daylight Saving Time went into effect on March 19, 1918 for the same fuel saving reasons, about a year after the country entered the war. But again, though the official reason was fuel saving, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the major backer for the policy, Downing argues, because Americans getting off work while it was still light out meant they would be more likely to go out shopping in the evening. http://time.com/4549397/daylight-saving-time-history-politics/

Because of the clock change, sunset will be over an hour earlier next Friday in the USA, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, and Haiti.

Those of us who observe the weekly Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday may wish to remember this time change. In my own case, we will have to close our office earlier than normal for the next several months on Fridays.

This will affect not only those in the Churches of God, but others who keep the seventh-day Sabbath such as observant Jews, Messianic Jews, and Seventh-day Adventists.

Here is a link for Sunset Times for the U.S.A. (and international cities if longitudinal location is known).

Daylight Saving Time for Europeans ended last Sunday (see Daylight Saving Time ending in the UK, the EU, and Ukraine: sunset times will be affected).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is 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?
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
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.
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.

Pope Francis authorizes yet another Marian holiday: A Black Madonna connection to his interfaith environmental agenda?

Friday, November 1st, 2019


Lady of Loreto statue (Flyer20061)

COGwriter

The Marian-focused Pope Francis authorized another holiday for his version of Mary:

Pope Francis Adds New Marian Feast to Roman Calendar

VATICAN CITY— Pope Francis has decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Loreto be included in the Roman Calendar as an optional memorial to be celebrated on Dec. 10.

“This celebration will help all people, especially families, youth and religious, to imitate the virtues of that perfect disciple of the Gospel, the Virgin Mother, who, in conceiving the Head of the Church also accepted us as her own,” Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, stated in the decree published Oct. 31.

With the decree, the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto must appear in all calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Catholic pilgrims travel to the small Italian town of Loreto to stand inside the Holy House of Mary, preserved in a basilica, in which Tradition holds that the Virgin Mary was born, raised and greeted by the Gabriel the Archangel at the Annunciation. …

Pope Francis said in Loreto March 25. “The Holy House of Mary is the ‘home of the family,’” he said during his visit, noting that “in the delicate situation of today’s world, the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman takes on an importance and an essential mission.”

In a homily in 1995, St. Pope John Paul II called the Holy House of Loreto “the house of all God’s adopted children.”

10/31/19 http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-adds-feast-of-our-lady-of-loreto-to-roman-calendar

The title Our Lady of Loreto refers to the Holy House of Loreto, the house in which Mary was born, and where the Annunciation occurred, and to an ancient statue of Our Lady which is found there. Tradition says that a band of angels scooped up the little house from the Holy Land, and transported it first to Tersato, Dalmatia in 1291, then Recanati, Italy in 1294, and finally to Loreto, Italy where it has been for centuries. https://catholicsaints.info/our-lady-of-loreto/ accessed 11/01/19

The lighting in the photograph shown at the beginning of this post does not completely show the blackness of the face of that statue. The following link does have a photo more clearly showing the blackness of the woman and child in the statue: https://catholicsaints.info/our-lady-of-loreto/.

The Lady of Loreto is what is called a “Black Madonna.”

A woman who claims to be Roman Catholic (but, to me at least, is definitely more on the new age fringe Roman Catholic) has the following at her website:

The Mysterious Black Faces of the Madonna

By Ella Rozett

To many Christians Mary is the Heavenly Mother of all, and like a good mother she seeks to meet all the needs of her children. Especially as the mysterious “Black Madonna” she allows people to project their hopes, desires, and needs unto her, only to draw them ever deeper into divine mysteries.

She plays many roles for many different kinds of people: She is the heiress of the thrones of the pre-Christian goddesses. …

What exactly are Black Madonnas? Good question! Some are images of Mary the Mother of Jesus that portray her with pitch black skin, while her garments are colorful. Others are entirely made of a blackened metal or wood. Yet others simply darkened with patina, the normal aging process that all antique art and furniture undergoes. But – while countless very old statues are dark, only some of them have been honored with the special title “Black Madonna”, “Black Virgin” or “Black Mother of God”.

This title is a Catholic invention, unknown in Orthodox and Protestant Churches, except in the Anglican Church. Even on the rare occasion that Orthodox Christians revere a Catholic Black Madonna, they give her a different title. E.g. Our Lady of Loreto is known in the Russian Orthodox Church as ‘Increase of Reason’ because she is invoked especially to help with mental strength. See: “A Reasonable Look at the ‘Increase of Reason Icon’

Traditionally, a real Black Madonna is not something one can just produce; it is something that happens to a community when Heaven ordains it to be so. Countless wonderful legends tell of the sacred or miraculous origins of these images. …

French scholars tend to define only one type of dark Madonna as “authentically black”: … They are of Romanesque style, sculpted in wood in the 12th and 13th centuries … Their facial expressions are not tender and compassionate like those of later Marian images, but nobly aloof and sovereign. They portray a heavenly majesty far beyond our human realm of suffering. … They were enshrined at places that were sacred even before Christianity, pagan holy sites and natural “power spots” of exchange between heaven and earth. … They all have some connection to the Near Eastern Orient, i.e. the Holy Land or its neighbors, like Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia, etc. …

American scholars don’t have clear criteria for what constitues a Black Madonna. They simply acknowledge all who are claimed as such, at least 450 world wide, still counting. I think there are many more. …

Mother Earth, Pagan Goddesses, and Black Madonnas

Most Black Madonnnas have a strong connection to the earth. They are found buried in it (see Guadalupe de Caceres) or appear in trees (see Telgte), caves (see Montserrat), springs (see Font-Romeu), on mountain tops (see Dorres), by a sacred rock (see Le-Puy), and in the jungle (see Costa Rica). Often they are found with the help of animals guiding the way (see Olot). And so Pagan worship of Mother Earth turned into a Christian closeness to God’s sacred creation, mother nature.

One may wonder: as the Church appropriated Pagan objects of worship like trees, groves, springs, and rocks, did it value their sacredness or was it merely a ploy so that they could be controlled and gradually erased from people’s consciousness? I think both. …

In order to be able to keep venerating the same ancient trees, springs, and rocks that were consecrated to Pagan deities, Christians merely had to consecrate them to Christian saints. Many were baptized, so to say, in the name of Mary. Why her instead of Jesus? Because the feminine was always seen as more connected to nature and the earth: mother earth and father sky. …

Now, some of the most important Pre-Christian goddesses who were worshipped side by side with Christ, overtly until the 6th century, covertly until the 11th, are associated with the color black. Why? Going back to prehistoric times, black was the symbol for the earth and the Great Mother, the source of heaven and earth. The darker earth is, the more fertile, hence black is the color of fertility and creative power. …

Echoing that title of the goddess, Mary is called the “Gate of Heaven” (e.g. in the Litany of Loreto). …

ARTEMIS of EPHESUS was one of the most powerful goddesses of antiquity. She was a classic black Universal Mother and was older, more powerful, and more primal than her later Greek forms and her Roman equivalent Diana. … It does not seem a coincidence at all that it was here that the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431 proclaimed Mary “Mother of God”. …

Then there are Christian feminists such as Charlene Spretnak and myself. We acknowledge Mary’s sisterhood with the goddesses as well as the pre-Christian roots of her cult. …

In her book “Missing Mary” Charlene Spretnak suggests that the Church should not be afraid of the “pagan” roots of Mary but appreciate the added strength from deeper roots. After all the early church had no fear of using pagan temples as their foundations and hosts. …

Many Christian theologians think of Mary as divine. Even Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) called her “divine mother” during Pope John Paul II’s funeral mass. To distinguish her status from that of Jesus, it is only said that she became divine by grace, whereas Jesus was always divine by nature. http://interfaithmary.net/black-madonna-introduction accessed 11/01/19

So, we see that the Black Madonna is basically a carryover from pagan worship.

And Pope Francis made another holiday for ‘Mary.’

Do those who promote Black Madonnas not realize that the Bible says:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)

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)

Instead of keeping away from, and being separate from, pagan elements like idols, the Church of Rome embraces them. To be in God’s family, one does not go towards black madonnas such as some pontiffs have indicated–the Bible says to be separate from the unclean.

The Vatican’s recent Amazon synod has some Catholics wondering about their church’s view of pagan idols:

In the wake of the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, in fact, I would submit this proposition: “Pachamama” has become the new insider Catholic version of “Who am I to judge?” meaning a single word or phrase which, immediately upon utterance in front of another Catholic, whatever comes across their face will tell you everything you need to know about where he or she stands. …

The Pachamama is a female fertility figure, representing Mother Earth, venerated by peoples in the Andes and portions of the Amazon. In the context of the synod, it’s become the shorthand way of talking about several small figurines of a naked pregnant woman that made their initial appearance at an Oct. 4 indigenous prayer service in the Vatican gardens attended by Pope Francis, and that popped up several other times before going on display in Rome’s Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near the Vatican.

From the beginning, they aroused intense controversy among traditionalist and conservative Catholics, who saw their presence at the Vatican – at the far end of opinion – as quasi-demonic symbols of pagan idolatry, or – somewhere closer to the middle – as expressions of an uncritical embrace of all things indigenous, without the “purification” which Pope emeritus Benedict XVI insists is the heart of Christianity’s interaction with cultures. https://cruxnow.com/amazon-synod/2019/10/29/pachamama-has-become-the-new-catholic-insider-who-am-i-to-judge/

It should be obvious that the Black Madonna and Pachamama statues both represent mother fertility goddess worship. Pope Francis may be subtly (or really not so subtly because of the timing) trying to point out that female fertility symbols are something that the Church of Rome has embraced, so “get over” problems with the Pachamama controversy.

Related to the Amazon synod and the Pope’s agenda, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


22:31

Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion

In front of Pope Francis, on October 4, 2019, the Vatican hosted an Amazonian tree-planting ceremony in where people bowed down to a circle around to semi-naked pagan female images. Vatican News promoted this. Some Catholics are concerned that the Amazonian synod is leading to two Catholic faiths: the traditional one and one that is being called the “Amazonian Religion.” The Vatican has also been promoting an interfaith agenda with the Jews and Muslims with the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity,” and its first major project, the “Abrahamid Family House” (which is set to open in 2022). Are these good things for Christians? WIll they lead to the rise of Babylonian Beast and Antichrist power? What does the Bible warn about this? Do both the Bible and certain Catholic writings show that the Church of Rome will be betrayed by powers it will align with? Is some type of one world religion being worked on? If so, is the Vatican, World Council of Churches, certain Muslims, and the United Nations involved? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Vatican’s Babylonian Amazonian Religion.

Pushing his version of ‘Mary,’ as well as his environmental agenda, is something Pope Francis has been doing for years. They are both part of his ecumenical, interfaith, and European agendas (see also Pope Approves New Feast Day for ‘Mary’). Now, in 2019, he invented another ‘Marian’ holiday–this clearly should prove to everyone that this was NOT an original Christian practice (cf. Jude 3).

And last year, in 2018, he also declared one.

Here is some of what Wikipedia has on this:

In Roman Catholic Mariology, Mother of the Church (in Latin Mater Ecclesiae) is a title, officially given to Mary during the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI. The title was first used in the 4th century by Saint Ambrose of Milan, as rediscovered by Hugo Rahner.

The title “Mother of the Church” was used by Pope Benedict XIV in 1748 and then by Pope Leo XIII in 1885. The title was also used by Pope John Paul II and is also found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. …

In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church be inserted into the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost (also known as Whit Monday) and to be celebrated every year. (Mother of the Church. Wikipedia, retrieved 04/14/19)

Interestingly, even though some within the Roman Church believe that the woman in Revelation 12:1-6 is also Mary (cf. https://stpaulcenter.com/a-woman-clothed-with-the-sun-the-assumption-in-the-bible/), notice that in the comments in the Rheims New Testament (the Catholic-accepted translation of the Latin Vulgate into English), Catholic scholars correctly teach that the woman in 12:6 is the church fleeing persecution:

ANNOTATIONS Chapter 12

6. The woman fled. ] This great persecution that the Church shall flee from… And by enlarging the sense, it may also very well signify the desolation and affliction that the Church suffereth and hath suffered from time to time in this wilderness of the world, by all the forerunners and ministers of Antichrist, Tyrants and Heretics (The Original And True Rheims New Testament Of Anno Domini 1582., pp. 556-557)

Another Catholic priest wrote the following:

The woman of chapter 12 is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. The ancient interpreters beginning with Hippolytus and Methodius understood this was a figure of the Church. (Kramer HB. The Book of Destiny. Nihil Obstat: J.S. Considine, O.P., Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: +Joseph M. Mueller, Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, January 26, 1956. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 276)

If the woman was Mary, this would contradict the Catholic position that Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain as Revelation 12 teaches that pain was involved:

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. (Revelation 12:1-2, Douay-Rheims).

The Catholic Encyclopedia says this lack of pain situation was “the teaching of some of the principal Fathers and theologians: St. Ambrose [56], St. Gregory of Nyssa [57], St. John Damascene [58], the author of Christus patiens [59], St. Thomas [60], etc.” (Maas AJ. The Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia)

Here is what the important Catholic saint and theologian Hippolytus taught about Revelation 12 in the third century, as well as Catholic Bishop Victorinus in that same century:

61. By the woman then clothed with the sun, he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word, whose brightness is above the sun. And by the moon under her feet he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, upon her head a crown of twelve stars, refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded. And those, “she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered,” mean that the Church will not cease to bear from her heart the Word that is persecuted by the unbelieving in the world. “And she brought forth,” he says, “a man-child, who is to rule all the nations; “by which is meant that the Church, always bringing forth Christ, the perfect man-child of God, who is declared to be God and man, becomes the instructor of all the nations. (Hippolytus on Christ and Antichrist. Translated by J.H. MacMahon. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0516.htm>)

“Victorinus said this is “the ancient church of fathers, and prophets, and saints, and apostles” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, VII, 355) {Source: from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press}.

Those in the Continuing Church of God also believe that the woman in Revelation 12:1-6 is referring to the true Church of God, not Mary.

The following was in one of Mike Gendron’s earlier newsletters:

Another Mary Who Is Quite Contrary

In its refusal to submit to God’s Word as the supreme authority in matters of faith, the Roman Catholic Church worships another Jesus, teaches another gospel, and is deluded by another spirit (2 Cor.11:4). However, those soul-condemning errors are only the tip of the iceberg. Her deceptive practices and ungodly traditions also include the veneration of another Mary. The Mary of Catholicism is a twisted distortion of the Mary revealed in Scripture who also gave birth to James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters (Mark 6:3). Rome rejects the Scriptural proof of Mary’s other children by infallibly declaring she remained a virgin throughout her life. This counterfeit Mary is said to be another sinless mediator who is the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 494).The exaltation of the virgin Mary by Catholics is completely unfounded in Scripture. Outside of the Gospels, Mary’s name is mentioned only once and that is when she is praying with her other children and other believers in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Information about Mary in the Gospels is also very sparse. After the narratives related to the birth of Jesus, there are only three other references to Mary. The first is at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-5). Next is when she and the brothers of Jesus desired to talk to Jesus. Jesus responded that His mother and brothers are those who do the will of God (Mat. 12:46-50). One other reference is given when a woman in the crowd calls the mother of Jesus blessed, but Jesus does not affirm her. Instead He said blessed are those who hear the Word and observe it (Luke 11:27-28).

Roman pontiffs have created a Mary that shares the divine attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. They say she was conceived without sin, lived a sinless life, was bodily assumed into glory, is the mediatrix of all grace, is our advocate, and now reigns as Queen of heaven alongside the King of kings. Pope Francis declared, “The Immaculate ‘Virgin’ becomes the sublime icon of Divine Mercy that conquered sin. To her I entrust the Church and all humanity, especially the city of Rome.”

The idolatry associated with the Catholic Mary is evidenced in many ways, but primarily in the ungodly practice of praying to her. Prayer is one of the deepest forms of worship because it acknowledges the divine power of the person to whom we pray. This is why we never see any God-fearing man praying to anyone other than God in the Bible. Yet thousands of Catholics pray to Mary, at the same time asking for her help. The only way Mary could hear and answer those prayers would be if she were omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Yet, she is only human like all of us.

Mike’s Comment: As Christians, we esteem Mary as blessed among women, but to ascribe divine powers and attributes to her is blasphemous and idolatrous. Satan will use anything to persuade people to take their eyes off Jesus. Just as he deceived Eve by his cunning, Catholics who idolize Mary will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Our dear Catholic friends and loved ones need to be warned of how God hates idolatry. We must call them to turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thes. 1:9).

While Christians can call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), the Bible never refers to Mary as one to be venerated or prayed to.

Neither the Bible nor the apostles referred to Mary as any type of queen, nor as the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Sacred scripture clearly warns against doing anything, such as making cakes, to honor one known as “the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18-19; 44:17-25) and certainly condemns one called the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Some information is also in a video sermon Why Learn About Fatima?

The late Herbert Armstrong wrote the following related to Isaiah 47:

But WHO is the Power that will lay this YOKE of slavery upon, Britain and America? We begin to find this answer in the 47th chapter of Isaiah. Notice!

“Come down, and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon,” is the salutation of this chapter, verse 1. It is addressed, not to the ancient Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar. It is addressed to a descendant, or successor, of the ancient Chaldean Empire. It is addressed to a WOMAN. And in prophetic symbol the term “woman” represents a CHURCH (Eph. 5:23, 27, 32; II Cor. ll: 1-2; Rev. 19:6-9; Rev. 12:13-17, etc.). This “lady of Kingdoms” of Isaiah 47 is the same CHURCH pictured in Revelation 17 and 18. But let’s understand as we go along “… there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” (Verse 1).

This “lady” is no longer a virgin! She is a prostitute. She is to LOSE her throne over political kingdoms. Notice her moral and spiritual fall: “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered , yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance … ” (verse 3 ).

God Almighty Himself is going to take vengeance on her. This can result only from spirirual harlotry, which is sin.

Continue: “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shall no more be called The Lady of Kingdoms.” (Verse 5 ) . The Moffatt translation is more plain: “Sit thou silent in the dark.” Light represents TRUTH. Darkness represents error and SIN. She is a fallen woman. She has reigned over KINGDOMS of NATIONS. But, from the time of the conclusion of this prophecy, she shall no longer be called “The Lady of Kingdoms”- that is, the CHURCH that had a kingdom over the political civil kingdoms…

God will give the House of Israel of today-Britain and America-into the hand of this “Lady of Kingdoms.” She, through the armies and secret police of the nations she shall sit upon and rule, will very heavily lay HER YOKE of slavery, torture, and martyrdom on our peoples! (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN’S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962; he also said something similar in his Sermon dated November 27, 1982)

Here are some items from the late Radio/Worldwide Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair:

Fatima Portugal

THE Pope’s pilgrimage to Portugal is the biggest event ever to occur in this country!” an elated Portuguese exclaimed to me. This momentous occasion is the 50th anniversary of the first Fatima vision. It was on May 13, 1917 that three poor, uneducated Portuguese peasant children believed the Virgin Mary appeared to them, It is also the 25th anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! …

The Pope had come to Fatima to lead all Catholics worldwide in prayer for peace – peace within the Church, and peace in the whole world. …

“The first intention is for the Church …. We want to pray, as we have said, for its intemal peace.” Then the Pope gave a solemn warning to the ecclesiastical princes of the Catholic Church who do not agree with the official teachings of the Church.” What terrible damage could be provoked by arbitrary interpretations, not authorized by the teaching of the Church, disrupting its traditional and constitutional structure … ” …

The Pontiff then pointed to that great part of humanity which lives in hunger and in dire need.” Therefore, we say, the world i s in DANGER. For this reason WE HAVE COME TO THE FEET OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE to ask her for the gift, which only God can give, of peace.”

In the German Suddeutsche Zeitung there was an article in which it was revealed that Pope Paul VI had received a message in Fatima through the only remaining shepherd girl (who is now a nun). They were seen quite some time together and it appeared as if she had something to say to him. When asked in Rome, after his return, if his visit to Fatima was a success, Pope Paul said: ” I went to Fatima to pray for peace to the Virgin Mary and I received the answer how to, achieve this peace.”

There are many rumors that he did receive a message, but he has not wanted to divulge it.

Since the pilgrimage to Fatima, the Pope has spoken out on Jerusalem- demanding it become an international city. What most do not know is that there is evidence the Vatican has plans to move from Rome to Jerusalem … This event will stir the world! It will be the Pope ‘s final effort as the world’s peacemaker! (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL’S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47)

Jerusalem will become increasingly important to Catholics in the near future. The Papacy will, as previously reported in The PLAIN TRUTH, be moved from Rome to Jerusalem … Bible prophecy is very explicit on this point. Furthermore, according to a recent report in a leading German newspaper, the Third Fatima Message is reported (by inside, informed Vatican sources) to reveal that there will be a terrible World War III, during which (according to this Fatima Vision) both Rome and the Vatican will be destroyed! Could this possibly explain why the Vatican will be moved to Jerusalem? (McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967)

For even more information on Isaiah 47 as well as Fatima and other apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

The Bible warns against end time Babylon and says that God’s people should not be part of it:

1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

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. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1-8)

Despite the biblical warnings about this, Pope Francis wants to use ‘Mary’ as a springboard for the type of ecumenical unity that the Bible condemns. Notice, for one example, how Pope Francis specifically appealed to Mary to unite prior to giving his ‘Angelus prayer’:

And we entrust this, our prayer, to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church so that She, like a good Mother, may unite us. (Angelus Address: On the Thirst for Unity. January 25, 2015 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-on-the-thirst-for-unity)

The ‘Angelus prayer’ starts out with the words, “Hail Mary” and the pontiff’s goal is a Babylonian unity. The Bible warns against that (Zechariah 2:6-9) and shows that true unity does not come through ‘Mary’ but happens AFTER the return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 2:10-11; see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?).

The following was written over two decade agos by a member of the Orthodox Church and is warning people that false apparitions claiming to be Mary will lead to people to Antichrist:

“Mother goddesses” known in the ancient world were not just confined to the Near East and Mediterranean but are universal. The Kogi Indians, among whom we lived in Columbia, worship a spirit called Nabuba, the “Ancient Mother.” When Roman Catholics missionaries attempted to evangelize the Kogi int he last century, they used a not-uncommon strategy for drawing pagan peoples into Rome’s fold: rather than explaining the differences between the pagan mysthology and Christian truth, they found “equivalences,” Christ, under this syncretistic view, corresponds to the Kogi Sejukukui (a trickster god who faked his own death by hiding in a cave), while Nabuba is said to be the Virgin Mary. This confusion has led the Kogis to call their pagan temples “cansamaria,” a corruption of “casa de Maria” (house of Mary).

Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many? A recent issue of Orthodox Tradition (1966) contains the account of Matushka (wife of a Russian Orthodox priest) Katherine Swanson’s trip to Medjugorje, Croatia, to investigate the most famous of the recent cases of apparitions of Mary in the Roman Catholic world. In it she recounts a telling episode:

Our guide took our group for an audience with the “seers.” During this audience, a pilgrim asked one of the children the following questions: “Does the Virgin say that the Catholic Church is the true church?” The response given by the child provides clear evidence of the ecumenical content and religious relativism which, oddly enough, increasingly mark the “revelations” at Medjugorje: “Our Blessed Mother says that all religions are equally pleasing to God.

The Life magazine article, then, is yet another contribution to this line of thought. Given the idea that all paths are equally valid, then all “Marys” are equally valid, too. The author describes several of the Marys of our times: Miearculous Mary (such as at Medjugorje), Mediator Mary (Who, as the author quotes Fr. Andrew Greeley saying, lets people into Heaven through the “back door”), (Editors notes: the Orthodox Church of course never taught about the “back door”, and of course one only prays that this is a matter of a figure of speech, but let us not dwell on the “back door”, but the gates of Paradise, the Kingdom of our God). Mediator Mary of the feminists, and Mother Mary. This last one, Mother Mary, is the role which the author considers the most appealing to non-Catholics: “The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It is known that Muslins revere Mary as a pure and holy saint…Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world. Many Protestants, even some who still reject notions of a supernatural Virgin, miss Mary.”

To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn? The Protestant Reformation rejected the distorted view of Mary which had developed in the West since the Schism of 1054, and which would ultimately result in the Roman Church’s proclamation of their dogma of the Immaculate Conception. But Protestantism did not just reject the Western view of Mary; it ignored Her altogether, in effect denying Her role in the Incarnation and, consequently, the part She plays in our salvation. As Rome began to see her more and more as a “goddess,” a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity, as it were, the Protestants reacted by down playing Her position and refusing to honor Her at all, this in spite of the Gospel words:“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.”

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22.  http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/theotokos.htm viewed 05/11/09)

Notice what Bishop Kennedy of the Celtic Orthodox Church wrote:

The great deceiver of Fatima promises salvation to those who embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… We can be very certain that God did not send Mary to earth to change God’s eternal plan of salvation. It is just this kind of deceit that leads to other false statements about Mary; Mediatrix of all graces etc. The devil’s deceit is felt far and wide within the Church as is evidenced in the number of well meaning but deceived souls proclaiming Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. How would have such a statement sounded to the Apostles? This salvation we enjoy is from God in Christ; “The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all”. (1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6 NAB)… We should STOP THE DEVIL in his tracks and proclaim the vision of Fatima to be a fraud, a work of the devil and an abomination to God, Mary and to the Church. (Kennedy BJ, Bishop. The Fatima Affair. HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH / MONASTERY. Toledo, Ohio. http:// www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/fatima.html viewed 05/17/12 )

In the 21st century, various Catholics hope that Marian apparitions, etc. will be factors that will lead to ecumenical unity, sometimes preceded by what is called ‘inter-religious dialogue’:

“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land. She is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a “model” for the migrants, he told CNA.

The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.

Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said. Thousands of devotees “both Catholics and non-Catholics” flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. In this way, the friar explained, “Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue.” (Gonzales AA. Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/indian-migrants-in-holy-land-prepare-for-marian-feast)

This is dangerous!

The Apostle Paul warned that even someone appeared as an angel from heaven, if that representative tried to change the gospel, he/she should not be listened to, but should be cursed:

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. (Galatians 1:8, Douay-Rheims)

Many Marian apparitions have preached a gospel different than what the Apostle Paul and other real Christians taught, and putting Mary as one to turn to for salvation is also a false gospel.

The reality is that it is likely that false apparitions, claiming to be “Mary” may be among the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns are coming (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).

For even more information on Mary and Catholic teachings on the rise of an anti-pope/Anti-Christ, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

False Marian apparitions and telling people to turn towards Mary are parts of Satan’s Plan (see also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

Much of what many believe about Mary is contrary to the truth about Jesus’ mother.

God made no holidays for Mary.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
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 Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it?Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.