Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Did Christopher Columbus want to takeover Jerusalem as part of God’s 7000 year plan?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021


Portrait of a man said to be Christopher Columbus (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

A reader sent me a link to a paper about Christopher Columbus’ religious plans that contained the following:

The Libro is not really a book in the conventional sense, but rather a collection of passages culled from the Bible (Genesis to Revelation); numerous ancient authors such as Aristotle, Ptolemy, Seneca; church fathers such as Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostom; and medieval authors including Aquinas, d’Ailly, Joachim of Fiore, and Roger Bacon. It also includes extracts from the Qur’an and the writings of a number of Muslims such as Alfraganus and Averroes. This collection was meant to be used in the composition of a long poem to be presented to the King and Queen. The poem was never completed, but the original manuscript has, amazingly, survived, and today it is housed at the Biblioteca Columbina attached to the Cathedral in Seville.

It is believed the Libro de las profecı´as was compiled during the period between Columbus’s return from the third voyage in late October 1500 and the beginning of the fourth voyage in May 1502. However a passage referring to being in Jamaica in 1504 may indicate that he took a draft along on the final voyage in order to make additions or corrections suggested by his friend Fray Gaspar Gorricio, a Carthusian monk. …

The cover letter that Columbus inserted in the notebook begins: “Most Christian and very exalted princes, the reason which I have for the restitution of the Holy Sepulchre to the Holy Church militant is the following” (Libro 1500–1502 [Thacher 1904, vol. III: 660]). It is an urgent letter that warns them the end of the world will take place in 155 years. This date was arrived at by the common practice of using biblical genealogies to calculate the number of years from Creation, to Christ, to the current year. In this instance Columbus cites Elucidario astronomice concordie cum theological & hystorica veritate by his most crucial source—Pierre d’Ailly: “From Adam to our Lord Jesus Christ there are 5343 years and 318 days, according to the account of the King Don Alonso [sic; should be Alfonso] … adding to this 1501 incomplete years [i.e., the year he is writing], makes in all 6845” (Libro 1500–1502 [Thacher 1904, vol. III: 662]). The end point is fixed—the duration of the world is only seven millennia based on the notion that the seven days of Creation compute to seven thousand earth years. Columbus cites “St. Augustine who says that the end of this world is to come in the seventh millenary of years from its creation… [so] according to this account, there are only lacking 155 years to complete the 7000, in which year … the world must end” (op. cit). …

In late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Spain there was a widely circulated notion of “a last world emperor” who would fulfill what was known as the unum ovile et unun pastor prophecy of John, 10: 16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (my emphasis). This emperor would fight the Antichrist and reestablish Christian sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Holy Land. As noted, Columbus believed this ruler was to come from Spain; https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/columbus.pdf accessed 01/25/20

So, let us consider some of this and its possible ramifications.

First, yes, it was long believed that God had a seven-thousand year plan. The ‘school of Elijah’ has been credited as the source, and that would have been 8 or 9 centuries before Jesus was born on the earth.

Jews and early Christians believed this.

However, Christopher Columbus (known in Spanish as Cristóbal Colón) was in error about the timing.

Not only is the 7,000 years not up, the 6000 years God allowed humans to rule themselves is not yet up, but is quite close to being so (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

Next, the Book of Revelation says nothing about Christians trying to take over Jerusalem prior to the second coming of Jesus.

However, Catholic prophecies, which also discuss a coming human emperor (often called “the Great Monarch” who seems to have a lot in common with the biblical King of the North) do.

Notice some Catholic private prophecies/writings that support the view that this leader, like the biblical King of the North, has a major impact in Jerusalem towards the beginning of his reign:

St. Thomas a’Beckett (12th century): A knight shall come from the West. He shall capture … the three Crowns. He shall then sail … and reach Christ’s grave where he will fight. (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p.16)

Blessed Joannes Amadeus de Sylva (died 1482): Germany and Spain will unite under a great prince … After much slaughtering, the other nations will be forced to come into this union. There is no hope for the unbelievers until all of Germany is converted; then all will happen quickly … the time will be prolonged until all countries unite under the Great Ruler. After this union, mass conversions will take place … (Connor, Prophecy for Today, p. 34). Connor, p. 34).

Abbot ‘Merlin’ Joachim (died 1202) A remarkable Pope … shall recover the kingdom of Jerusalem … in order to obtain these happy results, having need of powerful assistance, this Holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the generous monarch of France (Great Monarch). (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 32)

Eastern Orthodox Scholar Helen Tzima Otto (2000): Of course, Jerusalem will be invaded in WWIII and finally liberated by the Great Monarch. (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, p. 316)

Monk Adso (10th century). “Some of our Teachers say that a King of the Franks will possess the entire Roman Empire. He will be the greatest and the last of all Monarchs. After having wisely governed his kingdom, he will go in the end to Jerusalem and will lay down his sceptre and his crown upon the Mount of Olives…” (Dupont, p.18).

It would seem that Christopher Columbus was aware of some of those Catholic prophecies.

Sadly, when many Catholics see some of what Jesus said that they should be looking for, instead of being concerned about this leader, they will apparently embrace him.

There are, however, some Catholics (apparently a minority) who could oppose this as the following suggests:

Catholic writer Paul Thigpen warns, “Looking for the Great Monarch, then, who does not appear in Scripture, might lead to overlooking the Antichrist who does. It might even lead to–a more disturbing thought–to mistaking the Antichrist for the Great Monarch. After all, lesser antichrists of the past such as Hitler and Stalin have seduced followers with visions of grand and glorious earthly kingdoms. Surely Antichrist of the last days will do the same.” (Penn L. False dawn: the United Religions Initiative, globalism, and the quest for a one-world religion. Sophia Perennis, 2005, p. 420)

Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): The False Prophet … will persuade all infidels, apostates and apostate nations to worship and adore him … Antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God” (I Thes. II. 4) … possibly one of the churches in Jerusalem or St. Peter’s in Rome … The False Prophet will proclaim the resurrection of the Roman Empire … The word “image” is in the singular number, indicating only one statue, which he may set up in the great church, St. Peter’s (Kramer H.B. L. 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. 320-323).

The King of the North, presuming he is also considered to be the Great Monarch, will be involved with Jerusalem and biblically is dangerous.

Additionally, some Catholic writers clearly have understood that the two-horned beast in Revelation 13 is likely to be an antipope and that a negative power will be established in Jerusalem:

Priest E. Sylvester Berry (published 1920): The two horns denote a twofold authority – spiritual and temporal. As indicated by the resemblance to a lamb, the prophet will probably set himself up in Rome as a sort of anti-pope…Antichrist will establish himself in Jerusalem…with his ‘lying wonders’… (Berry ES. The Apocalypse of St. John, 1920. Quoted in Culleton RG. The Reign of Antichrist. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 199-200).

Much of the above teaching is consistent with certain scriptures.

Although most in the Protestant world that watch prophecy, as well as perhaps most in the Catholic world, have confused who the Antichrist is (many modern Protestants think he is the Beast of the Sea), various Catholic sources have correctly declared that the False Prophet is (or likely is) the final Antichrist. This was also the position of the Catholic saint Augustine (Augustine. City of God, Book XX, Chapter 14. Translated by Marcus Dods. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 2. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/120120.htm>.Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, p. 117).

Anyway, part of the point of this post is to emphasize that Christopher Columbus was highly influenced by Catholic prophecy.

It was a driving factor for him. It partially led to him changing the world.

Do not think that in the 21st century that the world will not be affected by Catholic and other non-biblical prophecies.

Many are part of Satan’s plan.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and 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.

Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

WND: Postal worker refused accommodation by employer to not work on Sabbath, fired

Saturday, July 31st, 2021


© CCOG

COGwriter

WND reported the following:

Postal worker refused accommodation by employer to not work on Sabbath, fired

July 30, 2021

Gerald E. Groff … had started working at the Quarryville Post Office in Lancaster County in 2012, and was a Rural Carrier Associate.

He asked for a religious accommodation to observe Sunday Sabbath and it was granted.

“But when a conflict later arose between Groff’s duties as a mail carrier for USPS and his observance of the Sunday Sabbath, USPS offered only proposals that would still require Groff to work on Sundays and thereby violate his conscience,” First Liberty explained.

Groff sued after he was dismissed, and the district court claimed it was not necessary for a “reasonable accommodation” to eliminate the conflict causing the problem. …

The problem arose when the USPS, under a special agreement with Amazon, ordered its employees to start working on Sundays to make those deliveries. …

“USPS signed a contract to deliver packages for Amazon.com … including on Sundays. As an evangelical Christian within the Protestant tradition, Groff observed Sunday as the Sabbath. Groff sincerely believes he is obligated to refrain from work on the Sunday Sabbath, including his USPS work responsibilities,” the appeal explains.

While the scheduling options gave the managers great flexibility, “Quarryville Postmaster Wright informed … him that he would need to work on Sundays for find another job.”

Groff then transferred to a different station which was not involved in Sunday deliveries, but shortly later, that process was launched yet again. https://www.wnd.com/2021/07/postal-worker-refused-accommodation-not-work-sabbath-fired/

The dismissal, according to other aspects of the above article, is being appealed in the courts.

While Sunday is not the biblical Sabbath (see The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad), it certainly is not right to tell someone that they will not have to violate their religious convictions when they are hired, and then change the rules. That is wrong on several different levels.

Year ago, CG7-Denver’s Bible Advocate magazine had the following article by Dr. Daniel Botkin:

“I’d like to keep the Sabbath, but I can’t. I have to work on Saturdays.”

Wrong. No one who believes in keeping the Sabbath has to work on Saturdays, at least not in America. Americans who work on the Sabbath do so by their own choice, not because they have to.

Sabbathkeeping Christians in Communist Russia were ordered by their oppressive government to work on Saturdays. Many of them chose to obey God rather than man, and they lost a lot more than some crummy job. They suffered imprisonment,exile, and torture for refusing to break God’s holy Sabbath. When we stand with these faithful saints before the Lord on Judgment Day, will any of us have the gall to say, “Well, Lord, I wanted to keep the Sabbath, but I couldn’t. I had to work”?

Informing your employer

How does a disciple of the Messiah go about getting every Sabbath off from his job?

First, you do not go in and ask your employer if you can have Saturdays off. You are not there to make a request; you are there to inform. You inform your employer (politely and respectfully, of course) that you will not be available to work from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Your employer may respond in a number of ways:

“I’ll see what we can do, but for now you’ll have to keep working Saturdays.”

“We can give you Saturdays off, but you’ll have to work on Friday nights.”

“We’ll try, but you may have to occasionally come in on a Saturday if we’re short of help.”

None of these responses is acceptable. Pharaoh tried three times to persuade Moses and Aaron to compromise the Lord’s demands (Exodus 8:25-29; 10:8-11). Moses and Aaron steadfastly refused to accept Pharaoh’s solution, and we must likewise refuse to accept an employer’s offer to compromise.

If your employer refuses to accommodate you, one solution is to look for a different job. However, that may not be necessary. If this particular job is important to you, you may want to inform your employer of his legal obligation toward employees’ religious practices. This should be done politely and respectfully, not in an obnoxious or threatening way.

What the law says

Many people do not realize that federal law requires employers to accommodate employees who need time off for religious reasons, unless the employer demonstrates that accommodation would result in undue hardship on the conduct of its business. You, the employee, do not have to prove the validity of your case. It is the employer who must prove that letting you keep Sabbath would cause undue hardship to his business. The burden of proof is on the employer, not on the employee.

Federal law considers the following solutions to be “reasonable accommodation” that would not cause undue hardship to an employer’s business:

• Securing a substitute worker (even if the employer has to secure the substitute).

• Flexible scheduling (flexible arrival and departure times, floating or optional holidays, flexible work-breaks, use of lunch time in exchange for early departure, staggered work hours, permitting an employee to make up time lost due to the observance of religious practices).

• Lateral transfer and change of job assignment.

The employer must offer the alternative that least disadvantages the individual (i.e., the employee) with respect to his or her employment opportunities. The employer can also be required to bear the extra costs of accommodating the employee, unless the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determines that it is “more than a de minimis cost.”

Sometimes an employer is afraid to give an employee every Saturday off for fear that other employees will see this and likewise demand every Saturday (or Sunday) off for religious reasons. However, according to federal law, this is not proof of undue hardship: “A mere assumption that many more people, with the same religious practices as the person being accommodated, may also need accommodation is not evidence of undue hardship.” The above legal information can be found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (sections 701[j], 703, and 717, eeoc.gov) and in Part XII Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.

These laws apply to labor organizations as well as to employers. The laws pertain not only to scheduling (though this is the most frequent accommodation needed) but also to other religious practices, such as a man’s right to wear a beard because of his religious convictions. The employer’s legal obligation to accommodate “pertains to prospective employees as well as current employees.”

Sabbathkeepers need to know that employees have legal rights to reasonable accommodations and that some employees take their employers to court to enforce these rights. Sometimes the employer wins the case, when it truly would cause undue hardship for the employer to accommodate the employee.

When undue hardship is not an issue, though, the law is on our side. Most employers are reasonable people and intelligent enough to know that it would be wiser for them to accommodate your need than it would be to refuse. Many employers will respect you for taking a firm but polite stand for what you believe. If they are smart, they will know that a person with strong convictions is likely to be a reliable, honest worker with integrity and will find a way to accommodate you.

Other options

Some employers are not so kind and understanding and will simply say, “No, you have to work on Saturdays.” In that case, you must pray and ask the Lord to show you what He would have you to do.

Would the Lord have you take your employer to court, or would He have you look for a different job? (You don’t need to pray about whether or not the Lord would have you keep working on the Sabbath. He’s already told you in the Ten Commandments not to do that!) Fighting for your legal rights in court is one issue, but there is also the issue of maintaining a good testimony as the Messiah’s disciple. Some questions to consider:

• Do I really want to work for an employer who lets me have the Sabbath off only because he was forced by the court to do so?

• Will going to court result in resentment or jealousy in my workplace, and do I want to work in such an atmosphere?

• Is this job really worth fighting for?

• Is it possible that letting me have every Sabbath off really would cause undue hardship for my employer’s business?

• Even if the court rules in my favor, would there still be some hardship, and would it be right to let my employer bear this inconvenience?

Keeping your job should be your third priority here. Keeping the Sabbath and your testimony are top priorities. If you can do this and keep your job, great. Personally, I would not feel comfortable forcing my employer to pay extra costs in order to accommodate me, even though the law can require the employer to bear these minimal costs. For the sake of my testimony as the Lord’s disciple, I would prefer to not exercise this legal right and pay the extra costs myself, unless my employer cheerfully insisted on bearing the cost.

If my employer is willing to bear some minor inconvenience in order to accommodate me, then I should be willing to bear some minor inconvenience to keep the Sabbath. Every situation is unique and has many factors to consider. If you do lose your job for the sake of obeying the Lord, the Lord will honor your sacrifice. He may not provide another job immediately, but He has promised to meet your physical needs if you seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).

True identity

So don’t let your employer or anyone else tell you that you have to work on the Sabbath. You are not called to be a slave to your job. You are to treat your employer with honor and respect, but he is not your Owner and Master.

If you are a disciple of the Son of God, then He is your real Owner and Master. You are called to be a servant in His kingdom, not a slave to the world system.

While laws vary in differing locations, as do interpretations of laws, most of the time in the USA (if unions are not involved) it is possible to keep a job and the Sabbath when there is a conflict. However, this does not mean that one will not have other problems or be somehow discriminated against in other ways. A past case in New Zealand protected a Sabbath keeper there (see NZ man awarded cash because of Sabbath-related termination).

I personally was nearly jailed (while working for the government) and threatened with job loss throughout my earlier careers, because I kept the Sabbath. As it turned out I was not jailed nor fired, but there still is a risk for many.

Jesus taught that real Christians would face trials (Luke 22:28) and persecutions (John 15:20).

What about working to handle a seasonal surge or other such need? Here is what the Bible says about that:

21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. (Exodus 34:21)

So, no, the ‘busy season’ at work does not negate the Sabbath.

Aren’t you suppose to respect authority?

Yes, but there are limits:

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:26-32)

While the apostles accepted the authority of being arrested, they did not conclude that they needed to violate God’s laws. Notice also that the Apostle Peter declared that the Holy Spirit of God is given to those who obey Him–not to those who obey humans above God.

When scripture says to obey in all things, this is not a license to bear false witness for an employer, murder for an employer, or violate the Sabbath for an employer.

But yes, employers and others may judge:

18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)

But true Christians obey God–even if it does not look like humans will allow that. Consider also the following:

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:13-18)

It takes faith to keep the Sabbath when your job or livelihood (Exodus 34:21) seems to be at risk. But the Bible teaches that we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5;29).

In the case of Gerald E. Groff, here are some points related to his hoped for appeal:

“It is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of religion,” said Hiram Sasser, of First Liberty. “The USPS should have recognized Gerald’s sincerely held belief that he must observe the Sunday Sabbath and granted him a religious exemption. We must protect the rights of every American to practice their faith without fear of losing their job.” …

the appeal explains, “Title VII required USPS to provide Groff a reasonable accommodation for his observance of the Sunday Sabbath, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on USPS. In holding that a reasonable accommodation need not eliminate the conflict between work and religion, the district court embraced the wrong side of a circuit split that this court has not yet considered. Properly understood, Title VII requires that an accommodation eliminate the conflict between work and religion. This conclusion flows from the plain meaning of the word ‘accommodate,’ which conveys the need for effectiveness. A proposed ‘accommodation’ that leaves the religious conflict festering is no accommodation at all.” https://www.wnd.com/2021/07/postal-worker-refused-accommodation-not-work-sabbath-fired/

Anyway, we will see how the appeal goes.

But, as the USA becomes more and more secular, judges, employers, and others have become less tolerant for religious rights.

This will not end well for the USA.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Can You Keep Your Job, Get Your Degree, and Keep the Sabbath? This article has some information on that. Here is a link to a related video titled: Can you keep the Sabbath and your job? What about college?
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.
Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal? Are there intentional mistranlations? A related sermon is available: The Didache, Ignatius, and the Lord’s Way.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 一个不合理的神?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord?
Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday? What relevance is the first or the “eighth” day? A related sermon is also available: Sunday: First and Eighth Day?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

Temple Institute: The Foundation Stone In The Holy Of Holies

Friday, July 30th, 2021

COGwriter

In its newsletter today, the Temple Institute had the following:

The Foundation Stone In The Holy Of Holies

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder and head of the Temple Institute, describes the Foundation Stone (Even HaShtiyah) upon which the Ark of the Covenant once stood, during the time of the exile.

Back in 2013, I was able to visit the Temple Institute in Jerusalem (and took the photograph at the beginning of this post). While I was somewhat familiar with this group, I had not fully understood certain aspects of its position related to the Temple Mount or the so-called “fooundation stone” until I watched a presentation there.

Here is information that the Temple Institute teaches about “the foundation stone:”:

Our sages teach that the stone under the Dome of the Rock is called the “Foundation Stone,” for it is the very foundation of creation. It is the spiritual center of the world and the starting point of creation; all the prayers of all mankind assemble in this place before ascending on high to G-d. It was here that the Ark of the Covenant was placed within the Holy of Holies.(The “Foundation Stone” of Creation. http://www.templeinstitute.org/ctl_articles_2.htm viewed 11/10/13)

Being the King of the Universe, God could have chosen any location in the universe “to place His name,” “to dwell,” and “to rest His presence.” Where did He chose do to this? Jerusalem, and more precisely, the Temple Mount. (Deuteronomy 12:5, I Kings 8:29 & 11:36, Isaiah 37:16 & 60:13, Ezekiel 43:7, Zechariah 8:3, Joel 4:17, Psalm 32:13) If God is incorporeal and omniscient, why or even how could there be a precise location for His Presence to dwell? Couldn’t Rabbi Nachman have directed his sentiments anywhere, since God is everywhere? Yes, God is everywhere. Yet He chose to manifest Himself more intensely and to associate His Name with one specific place, Jerusalem. And even more precisely, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“In many places, when speaking of the Jerusalem, the Torah calls it, ‘The place that G-d will choose to make His Name dwell there.’ To the extent that we can understand it, this means that G-d associates Himself with this place. This is very difficult for the human mind to comprehend, and indeed, Solomon, the wisest of all men, found it impossible to understand. He thus said to G-d, ‘Behold, the heavens and the heavens of Heaven cannot contain you, how much less this House that I have built’ (1-Kings 8:27). Yet, he knew that G-d had somehow associated Himself with this place, as G-d Himself had proclaimed.” Aryeh Kaplan

The Temple Mount, where God chose to place His Name, is literally the point of creation; the place where the physical realm came into existence. And it is the place where everything we can’t see, i.e. the spiritual world, attaches itself to the physical. It is literally the portal between heaven and the earth. This precise point of creation on the Temple Mount is called the Even Shetiyah, the Foundation Stone.

It appears to me that the primeval point which G-d created out of nothing is what the sages called the foundation stone from where the world was founded.” – Nachmanides, Commentary to the Torah, Genesis 1,1

“When the Holy One, blessed is He, created His world, He created it like an infant born from its mother. For a fetus born from the mother, begins from its navel and expands outward to all four directions so too, the Holy One, blessed is He, began to create the world from the Foundation Stone and from that, the entire world was established.” – Midrash Tanchuma – Pikudei #3

Jacob saw a vision of this primeval point of creation that links heaven and earth. His vision is famously known as “Jacob’s ladder” and is recorded in Genesis 28.

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He encountered the place and spent the night . . . he took from the stones of the place which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! Angels of God were ascending and descending on it . . . Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely Hashem is present in this place and I did not know! And he became frightened and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and this is the gate of the heavens! Jacob arose early in the morning and took the stone that he placed around his head and set it up as a pillar; and poured oil on its top . . . and said this stone which I have set up as a pillar shall become a House of God.

Did you catch that? Even prior to the Temple standing, Jacob called the Temple Mount the “abode of God” and “the gate of the heavens.”…

Yet at the same time what an apt name – the place – as if it is the only place of real significance in the world. Jacob slept at the precise location of the future altar of the Holy Temple. No wonder it was the place where Adam, Cain, Abel, and Noah made sacrifices, according to Pirke de Rabbi Eliezar 31. And it was the place where Abraham bound Isaac to the altar. In fact the 12 stones Jacob gathered around his head before he slept came from the altar Abraham made and bound Isaac upon (A call to remember. August 5, 2013. http://www.templeinstitute.org/a-call-to-remember.htm)

They are placed on the Foundation Stone, the Even Shtiya, of the Temple Mount, the Holy of Holies. We Jews know that upon it, Yitzhak was bound, it was purchased by David from Aravna and over it Solomonn built the First Temple. (Medad Y. A Found(dation) Stone Lost. June 29, 2102; reprinted from Jerusalem Post Blogs. http://www.templeinstitute.org/archive/29-06-12.htm viewed 11/10/13)

So, claiming that this comes from the Bible as well as Jewish tradition, the Temple Institute claims that the stone that Jacob used as a pillar was the foundation for the creation of the world. Because of that, the Muslim structure must be removed from the Temple Mount area so a Jewish temple can be built there.

Here is what the Bible records about Jacob, the stone, and the related dream:

10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” (Genesis 28:10-22)

The Bible does not seem to place the creation importance on this particular stone itself that the Temple Institute places on it. It does NOT teach that this same stone was used by Adam, Cain, Abel, and Noah.

Jesus warned that the Jews sometimes relied on their own traditions above the Bible (Mark 7:9-13) and that is what the Temple Institute seems to be doing in some instances (see also The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World; here is a related video The Red Heifer and the End of the World).

That being said, the Temple Institute is preparing to perform animal sacrifices and has given statements showing that it is willing to do them without a new temple being built (only an altar and some implements with a Levite are biblically-required per scripture, and the Temple Institute has basically claimed to have all of that).

The Bible teaches that animal sacrifices will stop (Daniel 9:27; 11:31), which means that they first must start. And irrespective of Jewish traditions about a foundational stone, the Temple Institute and others have indicated a willingness to start the sacrifices when allowed. And that may very well happen after some type of peace deal is confirmed in the Middle East (cf. Daniel 9:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Now, getting back to the stone itself, there are other legends/traditions as well. Some (Jews and non-Jews) believe that David purchased it based upon the following account from the Bible:

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. 20 Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.”

And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:18-25)

Since this is a place that David sacrificed, if the stone was there, David could have purchased it.

While the Temple Institute seems to believe that the stone is below ground in the Temple Mount area, others have other views. Notice the following:


Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Scone, more commonly known as the Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone (though the former name sometimes refers to Lia Fáil) is a block of sandstone historically kept at the now-ruined abbey in Scone, near Perth. It is also known as Jacob’s Pillow Stone, Jacob’s Pillar Stone and as the Tanist Stone.

Traditionally, it is supposed to be the stone which Jacob used as a pillow. It was originally supposed to have been used as the Coronation Stone of the early Dalriada Scots when they lived in Ireland…

In 1996 the British Government decided that the Stone should be kept in Scotland when not in use at coronations, and on November 15, 1996, after a handover ceremony at the Border between representatives of the Home Office and of the Scottish Office, it was returned to Scotland and transported to Edinburgh Castle where it remains…

In the story of the threshing floor of Arvana, the story of the dedication of Jerusalem in the days of David, as it is told in the book of Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles), we find a verse that has no parallel in chapter 24 of Shmuel II, which is the original source for the compiler of Divrei Hayamim: “And David said: This is the house of God and this is the sacrificial altar for Israel” (Divrei Hayamim I 22:1). The phraseology is very similar to that of Jacob in the story of the ladder (“This is none other than the house of the Lord and this is the gate of heaven” [verse 17]), and it seems that this is an attempt to identify various places of ceremonial significance, Beit-El and Jerusalem, as one place. (Palgren H. Stone of Scone – Stone of Destiny – Jacob’s Pillow/Pillar Stone – BabyLon(don) & Rennes Le Chateau. October 1, 2005. http://www.redicecreations.com/winterwonderland/stoneofscone.html viewed 11/10/13)

We have seen a late work on prophecy gravely affirming that the Prophet Jeremiah died in Ireland, having been forced hither by the wandering sons of Ephraim. One of the few unquestionable facts connected with early Irish history, is the intercourse between Ireland and the Phoenicians, through Spain. The Israelitish settlers, according to the tradition, carried with them Jacob’s pillow or pillar, known as the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny, which secured a perpetual monarchy to the people so happy as to possess it. This stone, at the crowning of the first king of the Scots in Scotland, was borrowed… (The Christian remembrancer; or, The Churchman’s Biblical, ecclesiastical & literary miscellany. 1864. Original from Oxford University, Digitized, Oct 5, 2006, p. 2).

Here is something that the old Worldwide Church of God taught about its possible location:

Ancient Annals of Ireland

Now briefly let us consider what is found in the ancient annals, legends, and history of Ireland, and we shall have the scene of Jeremiah’s “planting,” and the present location of ‘lost” Israel.

The real ancient history of Ireland is very extensive, though colored with some legend. But with the facts of Biblical history and prophecy in mind, one can easily sift out the legend from the true history in studying ancient Irish annals. Throwing out that which is obviously legendary, we glean from various histories of Ireland the following:

Long prior to 700 B.C., a strong colony called “Tuatha de Danaan” (tribe of Dan) arrived in ships, drove out other tribes, and settled there. Later, in the days of David, a colony of the line of Zarah arrived in Ireland from the Near East.

Then, in 569 B.C. (date of Jeremiah’s transplanting),

Map shows Jeremiah’s trip to Ireland. He set up the dynasty In Ireland, which was overturned and planted in Scotland and later moved to England. – Ambassador College – (See PDF – Page 133-134)

an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a “saint,” came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called “Simon Brach,” spelled in different histories as “Breck,” “Berech,” “Brach,” or “Berach.” The princess had a

Hebrew name “Tephi” — a pet name, her full name being “Tea-Tephi.”

Modern literature of those who recognize our national identity have confused this Tea-Tephi, a daughter of Zedekiah, with an earlier Tea, a daughter of Ith, who lived in the days of David.

This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585 — when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Beside the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, an ark, and a wonderful stone called “lia-fail,” or “stone of destiny.” A peculiar coincidence (?) is that Hebrew reads from right to left, while English reads from left to right. Read this name either way — and it still is “lia-fail.”

Another strange coincidence — or is it just coincidence? — is that many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been coronated sitting over this stone — including the present queen. The stone rests, today, in Westminster Abbey in London, and the Coronation Chair is built over and around it. A sign beside it labels it “Jacob’s pillar-stone” (Genesis 28:18).

The royal husband of the Hebrew princess Tea was given the title Herremon, upon ascending the throne of his father. This Herremon has usually been confused with a much earlier Gede the Herremon in David’s day — who married his uncle Ith’s daughter Tea. The son of this later king Herremon and Hebrew princess continued on the throne of Ireland, and

The old Coronotion Chair in Westminster Abbey, London. Under it is a stone, labelled, “Jacob’s pillar-stone.” This is the same stone, brought to Ireland by Jeremiah, and upon which many kings of Ireland, Scotland and England have been coronated. Coronation of Queen Elizabeth of England. She continues the dynasty set up by Jeremiah in ancient Ireland.- Keystone Photo – (See PDF – Page 136)

this same dynasty continued, unbroken, through all the kings of Ireland; was overturned and transplanted again in Scotland; again overturned and moved to London, England, where this same dynasty continues today in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. (Armstrong HW. THE UNITED STATES and BRITISH COMMONWEALTH in Prophecy, Chapter IX, 1967)

I have seen what is supposed to be the above stone (it was in England when I saw it in 1992, but was moved to Scotland–it is no longer in Westminster Abby, but the throne built above it is still there as I saw that in 2018/2019 on a visit). Historically, many COG groups that had leaders in the old Worldwide Church of God, have tended to believe that Jacob’s stone is the Stone of Destiny that is currently in Scotland (but there is controversy–some believe the real stone is lost/hidden and a replacement is what is now in Scotland).

When I originally saw it in 1992, it looked sort of like the following (‘sort of’ because the throne was darker):


1855 Sketch of the coronation throne and Stone of Scone

As far as that stone goes, notice something from 1959 by the old Radio Church of God:

Why is the stone under the royal chair in Westminster Abbey in London called “Jacob’s Pillow Stone?”

In Westminster Abbey is an intriguing stone, steel gray in color, mixed with red veins, twenty-two inches long, thirteen inches broad and eleven inches deep. Attached to each end is a worn iron ring by which the stone may be carried. This rock is not beautiful, yet it is more important than all the crown jewels! On it Elizabeth II was crowned.

For centuries the kings of Scotland — the ancestors of the present British royal family — were crowned upon it. Upon this stone the ancient Irish kings of this same royal family were also crowned, even as far back as five and one-half centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ.

What is the true significance of this rock? Where did it come from?

Ancient Irish annals prove the rock — which they called “Lia fail” meaning stone of destiny — did not originate in Ireland, but came by way of Spain from the East. It was brought by a white-haired old man — a prophet — who also brought a daughter of an Eastern king. Through her marriage to the king of Ireland, she not only continued her father’s throne but also became the ancestor of a dynasty which has continued to Elizabeth II.

If you were to go to Westminster Abbey, you would see that this stone is labeled Jacob’s pillow stone or Jacob’s pillar stone! — traditionally the very stone upon which the patriarch Jacob rested his head that evening about 3700 years ago when fleeing from his father’s house!

Here is the astonishing origin of the coronation stone!

Turn to Genesis 28:11-22. Here you read that Jacob, tired after miles of walking, stopped for the night and took one of the stones to serve as his pillows. After dreaming in his sleep, “Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took THE STONE that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it” (verse 18).

This verse shows that Jacob used one particular stone. Although verse eleven of this chapter implies that Jacob used several stones, it is a mistranslation. The word “them” is in italics and not in the original Hebrew. It should be translated “and he took of the stones of that place, and put one for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.”

Now notice verse 22. Jacob poured oil on the stone and said: “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar shall be God’s house.” This stone was anointed, set aside to become a pillar or witness proving which is Gods house, which is the royal family God had chosen.

Many years later Jacob again speaks of this stone as a “shepherd.”

Notice Genesis 49:1. Jacob called his sons together and told them what would befall them in our day, “in the last days.” In verse 24, when speaking of Joseph’s descendants he interjects by saying that from the tribe of Joseph — not Judah — will be found “the shepherd, the STONE of Israel.”

This same rock — the coronation stone — accompanied the Israelites during their forty years wandering in the wilderness. Paul says in I Corinthians 10:4 that just as the Israelites had manna as a type of Christ, so they had, as a type of Christ, a rock which gave them water and which followed or went with them in their wanderings! Christ provides spiritual waters — the Holy Spirit, and Jacobs shepherd stone, a type of the Divine Shepherd, miraculously provided material water in the wilderness.

During those forty years the stone accompanied Israel. That is undoubtedly why the two iron rings fastened to either end are so worn. The stone and its rings could never have become worn by lying untouched in England’s Westminster, or Scotland’s Scone or in the halls of Tara in Ireland. It must have been worn during the wilderness wanderings.

As this stone is used in the coronation ceremonies to this day, let’s turn to a scripture which proves that this pillar stone was used in the family of David in the days of ancient Israel.

Open your Bible to II Kings 11:14. The event mentioned here occurred at the time when Josiah was proclaimed king in the temple and when wicked Athaliah, who had usurped the throne, was about to meet her doom. Notice what it says: “And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the Lord. And when she looked, behold” — what? “the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets.”

So it was the manner or custom even in that day to have the pillar of stone — Jacob’s pillar stone — used in the coronation ceremonies!

But how did that stone finally reach London, England, where it may be seen today?

The World today, in its ignorance, looks upon any government or throne as deriving its power from human authority, little realizing that it is God who sets up rulers and who breaks down thrones. Almost 3000 years ago God made an amazing promise whereby David’s dynasty would continue ruling through all generations and that he should never lack an individual to reign upon his throne. “I have sworn unto my servant David, Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations” (Psalm 89:3-4).

“David shall never want [lack] a man to sit upon the throne of the home of Israel” (Jer. 33:17). Notice it reads “the house of Israel,” not the “house of Judah.” Remember that after the days of Solomon, the children of Israel were divided into two houses, the House of Judah and the House of Israel. The throne of David ruled in the House of Judah until the days of Zedekiah. When the throne of David apparently was at an end, God caused the prophet Jeremiah to take king Zedekiah’s daughters (Jer. 43:5-7) and Jacobs pillar stone with him to transplant the throne of David from Judah to the House of Israel where Jacob prophesied the stone of destiny would be found in our day!

Jacob said that the stone which he anointed would be a pillar — a witness proving which is the house, the nation, the royal family that God has chosen. That stone is found today in England — in London’s Westminster Abbey.

The world may scoff and sneer at the truth, the world may deny the facts of history, but Queen Elizabeth is ruling over part of Israel — the tribe of Ephraim. She sits upon the throne of David! — the very throne that Jesus Christ shall take when he returns to rule the world. “And the Lord God shall give unto him [Jesus] the THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32-33).

Yes, on the throne of England reigns a daughter of David, a descendant of King Zedekiah’s daughter whom Jeremiah the prophet took to Ireland together with the stone of destiny. From the marriage of that young princess has descended a dynasty that has ruled Ireland, Scotland and England for over 2500 years! And all of them have been crowned over the some of destiny, Jacob’s pillow stone. (Plain Truth Staff. The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers. Plain Truth Magazine July 1959)

Thus, the old Radio and Worldwide Church of God did not hold to the position of the Temple Institute.

As far as the Stone of Destiny is concerned, we just made a video:


21:35

Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return

Do you realize that when Jesus returns, He will take up the throne of David? Could there be a throne, or part of that throne, on the earth today? What about the ‘Stone of Scone,’ also called the ‘Stone of Destiny’? What does the Bible teach about the throne of David? Where was it after 586 A.D.? Scripture cannot be broken.Does the Bible tell us anything about Jeremiah and the ‘kings daughters’? Are there ancient writings that give us clues? Were British kings anointed with oil like the ancient kings of Judah? Was a stone present for these coronations? What did the last King of England write? Will Jesus return as King of Kings to the throne of David? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues to provide comfort related to Jesus’ return.

Here is a link to our video: Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus Returning, David’s Throne, and the Stone of Destiny Will Jesus return to the throne of David? What about the Stone of Scone? Here is a link to a related video: Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
Nascent Sanhedrin structure and high priest: The plan is to start animal sacrifices this would fulfill prophecy! The reconstituted Sanhedrin wants the reimplementation of animal sacrifices. A related video is titled Sanhedrin pushing animal sacrifices.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here are links to two related videos in English: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World and The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
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.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
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 link to a video in Spanish: ¿Quién es el ‘hombre de pecado’? 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’.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?

‘Medford trans community and allies protest church’s anti-LGBTQ message’

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021


(Public Domain Pictures)

COGwriter

A church in Massachusetts drew the ire of the LGBTQ+ crowd and their allies for putting up a scripture from the Book of Genesis as well as a short comment:

Medford trans community and allies protest church’s anti-LGBTQ message

A few dozen of us gathered in Medford Square early Friday evening to protest an anti-LGBTQ sign across the street at the New England Baptist Church. The sign reads: “Male and Female He Created Them. Gen. 5:2. Gender Identity Solved.”

No one was demanding that the church remove the message, which is protected by the First Amendment. But members of the trans community and their allies wanted to let them know that their views weren’t welcome. https://dankennedy.net/2021/07/24/medford-trans-community-and-allies-protest-churchs-anti-lgbtq-message/

Notice that the above writer said that the view of the Bible from the Book of Genesis was not welcome.

Further, notice that Jesus referred to what Genesis taught:

6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ (Mark 10:6)

Jesus’ views are not wanted by many in Medford or elsewhere.

Here is more related to this Medford protest:

New England Baptist Church Pastor Joseph Hawkins told WBZ he doesn’t believe they are preaching hate or violence.

“This is a message of God’s truth and us trying to reveal it to our community,” he said. “It’s almost hypocritical that they can present their world view and we can’t.” https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2021/07/25/medford-protect-church-gender-identity-sign/?utm_source=wnd&utm_medium=wnd&utm_campaign=syndicated

God gave instructions to the first human beings, as well as intervened with others as we can see in books of the Bible, beginning with Genesis. That is NOT hateful rhetoric.

More and more are opposing the Bible–and pushing the view that quoting and teaching aspects of it amounts to “hate,” despite the fact that God is love (1 John 4:18,16). The advocates of sexual immorality do not wish to be told that their lifestyles are condemned as abominations in scripture.

Many in Canada do not want to tolerate portions of the Bible being publicly quoted. Back in 2017, the Continuing Church of God put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

 
15:57

In 2017, Lauri Skori of the Battle River School board told a religious school in Alberta, Canada that it could not teach/read certain portions of the Bible. In 2002, a court in Canada ruled against one who referred to certain scriptures that some homosexuals objected to. In 2017, there was “An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code” related to those who wish to be considered transgendered. Government officials in Canada and elsewhere have been ruling against the Bible. Is any of this prophesied? Will this get worse? What was the prophet Amos inspired to write?

Here is a link to our video: Canadian censoring of the Bible.

Because the Bible teaches that people can change and stop being sexually immoral, some felt that a proposed California bill against ‘conversion therapy’ literature could result in banning the Bible. In 2018, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel related to that:

Could we see a ban of the Holy Bible in North America? Have there been partial bans proposed and enforced by government officials in Canada? Do any USA politicians consider any biblical teachings as fraudulent and hence banning them is NOT a violation of the 1st amendment to the Constitution of the USA? Are there risks associated with AB 2943? Have politicians like Hillary Clinton and California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi called for long-held religious beliefs to change and “evolve with the times”? What about Jude 1:3 and 2 Timothy 3:14? Are there biblical prophecies about not being able to hear the word of God? Might we see more restrictions on explaining teachings of the Bible on the Internet and other forms of media? What are some of the verses that various government people do not want made public? Dr. Thiel provides facts on these issues and more.

Here is a link: Banning the Bible?

And now, of course, there is Big Tech.

YouTube banned one of our biblical anti-sexual immorality videos this year.

Sadly, we look to only be in the first stages of this prophesied censorship.

That being said, remember that Jesus said:

16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, (Matthew 10:16-17a)

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)

Because of His admonitions, we have not trusted YouTube, that is a reason we use other channels, like BitChute and Brighteon. Both of which have the censored video up. Here is a link to the BitChute channel:

Disney’s abominable promotions!

Is Disney promoting abominations? According to the Bible it most certainly is. In addition to “Out” which is focused about a homosexual male and “Onward” which also condoned homosexuality, it is a big promoter of “Pride Month.” So, much so that on June 27, 2021, Disney+ intends to stream “This is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular” hosted by “Nina West” that stage name of Andrew Levitt, who was born male but now dresses and performs as a female–contrary to scriptures like Deuteronomy 22:5. Is Disney inviting the wrath of God? Were pride, sexual immorality, and going after “strange flesh” reasons that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? What should parents and children do? What does the Bible teach? Dr. Thiel discusses and addresses these issues with scriptures and other information.

THIS VIDEO WAS REMOVED BY YOUTUBE AS IT DOES NOT WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT IMMORALITY AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN.

Here is a link to the YouTube removed video, from our BitChute Prophecy channel: Disney’s abominable promotions!

Now, the anti-biblical ones are going after BitChute as well (see ‘Now the EU is going after video platforms like BitChute that refuse to censor content critical of LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter propaganda’).

It should be pointed out that it is not just for pointing out sexual immorality that many want to ban the Bible and/or not hear its view.

Several weeks ago, an article published in Scientific American asserted:

Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy

July 5, 2021

The global scientific community overwhelmingly accepts that all living humans are of African descent. Most scientific articles about our African origins focus on genetics. The part of the story that is not widely shared is about the creation of human culture. We are all descended genetically, and also culturally, from dark-skinned ancestors. Early humans from the African continent are the ones who first invented tools; the use of fire; language; and religion. …

I want to unmask the lie that evolution denial is about religion and recognize that at its core, it is a form of white supremacy that perpetuates segregation and violence against Black bodies. Under the guise of “religious freedom,” the legalistic wing of creationists loudly insists that their point of view deserves equal time in the classroom. Science education in the U.S. is constantly on the defensive against antievolution activists who want biblical stories to be taught as fact. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/denial-of-evolution-is-a-form-of-white-supremacy/

The above author took a couple of swipes against the Book of Genesis as well in that article.

Acceptance of evolution is a denial of science.

While biblical stories and accounts are fact (for some proof, see the free online books Is God’s Existence Logical? and Proof Jesus is the Messiah), evolution as the origin of life most certainly is not. It goes against science.

Related to that, we put together the following related video:

16:57

Is Believing in Creation Racist?

Scientific American published an article titled, “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy.” Is that true? Does this article seem to be part of an effort to push people away from the Bible? Is evolution scientific or impossible? Did a Noble prize winner admit that ” spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible”? Are the biblical stories factual? Can you prove Creation vs. evolution? Are there proofs of Creation and that Jesus is the Messiah that people can check out? Are there warnings in the Bible about those who despise His word? Dr. Thiel goes over these matters and more.

Here is a link to our video: Is Believing in Creation Racist?

More and more we are seeing various ones protest aspects of the Bible.

They do not want the Book of Genesis to be believed nor do they want to hear scriptures in the Old and New Testaments that condemn sinful behavior.

The Bible warns against the type of moral decline that is occurring in the U.S.A.:

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: “Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. (Isaiah 30:12-13)

This will not end well.

The prophet Amos further warned:

11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Notice that the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. I do not believe that this means that there will be no more Bibles–but preaching aspects of it will be made illegal and that those wanting to better understand it will have trouble finding explanations.

The Medford protests were just a very small example of the opposition we are seeing, to the Bible, as it rises up and becomes more public.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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 two YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
USA pushing gender confusion On May 13, 2016, the Obama Administration sent notices to school districts around the USA on how it wants them to deal with toilets, lockers, sports, and other issues of interest to the LGBT crowd. The Obama Administration has redefined the word ‘sex’ as written in the 1964 Civil Rights Act as expanded in 1972. Does the Bible teach transgenderism? Are accommodations for those considering themselves transgendered helpful or evil? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing and other transgender issues? Does the Bible warn of terrible consequences for those who merely approve the LBGT agenda? This is a video.
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028?
Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians This is a scripture-filled dating guide. It discusses many aspects of dating, as well as who to not consider for marriage. Two related sermons are available: The Art of Christian Dating. and No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage? A short animation is also available: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
God Created Marriage Some falsely claim that God did not create marriage and that fornication is fine.  What does the Bible really teach? Here is a version in Mandarin Chinese y^R ZZYû.
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not always easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Why sex and marriage? What are each spouse’s responsibilities regarding sex in the marriage? What is not allowed according to God’s word? Why is there sex and why is there marriage? Parental discretion is advised as to whether or not everything in this article is now appropriate for their children. Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures, The Missing Dimension in Sex, and provides answers to questions many have had. A related sermon is available: Sex and Marriage.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does? Here is a shorter message: Mystery of Race.
What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? Some in the West discount God’s calling of Gentiles, but the Apostle Paul wrote about the need for them to come to the truth before Jesus returns.
What is the Ezekiel Warning? Should the end-time descendants of Israel and Joseph be warned? What should the watchman warn about? Regarding a watchman, you can watch the following video: Go, Set a Watchman.

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.

Reuters: Vatican reveals property holdings for first time in transparency drive; COGwriter: Will Rome use some wealth to support the Beast?

Sunday, July 25th, 2021


COGwriter

The Vatican released information about some of its wealth this weekend:

Vatican Reveals Details On More Than 5,000 Properties It Owns In First-Of-Its Kind Financial Disclosures

July 25, 2021

The Vatican revealed that it owns more than 5,000 properties last week after releasing information on its real estate holdings for the first time ever. …

Recall, just days ago, we wrote about a £30,000 per week luxury flat, owned by the Vatican, that was making news for receiving complaints about “hellish” noise.

Complaints about “loud events” with some involving DJs, were lodged with the local council, we noted. The unit is 9,000 square feet and houses a large garden and indoor swimming pool.

The property was bought among other luxury London properties in 2014 in a purchase that was “overseen by cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu”. Becciu was the first cardinal in modern times to be charged with financial crimes by the Vatican this year.

Other investments overseen by Becciu have been “under mounting international scrutiny as a result of the allegations brought against him”, the FT reported last week. The London flat, and other properties, are held through Jersey shell companies through a Vatican unit in charge of “charitable donations that are intended for the poor and needy”. https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/vatican-reveals-details-more-5000-properties-it-owns-first-its-kind-financial-disclosures

Vatican reveals property holdings for first time in transparency drive

The Vatican released information on its real estate holdings for the first time on Saturday, revealing it owns more than 5,000 properties as part of its most detailed financial disclosures ever.

The information was contained in two documents, a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first-ever public budget for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA).

APSA, a sort of general accounting office, manages real estate and investments, pays salaries, and acts as a purchasing office and human resources department.

Between the two documents – each with an unprecedented number of pie charts, graphs and maps – and two explanatory interviews, the Vatican issued more than 50 pages of financial material.

The 30-page APSA budget showed that it owns 4,051 properties in Italy and about 1,120 abroad, not including its embassies around the world. …

The documentation showed that APSA owns properties as investments in upscale areas of London, Geneva, Lausanne and Paris. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/vatican-reveals-property-holdings-first-time-transparency-drive-2021-07-24/

Here is other information on its wealth:

Тhе Саthоlіс Сhurсh іѕ thе lаrgеѕt аnd tорmоѕt Сhrіѕtіаn оrgаnіzаtіоn whісh hаѕ аn еѕtіmаtеd wеаlth оf mоrе thаn $30 bіllіоn аѕ оf 2021. Еѕtіmаtіоn оf іtѕ nеt wоrth соmеѕ frоm іtѕ оwnеrѕhір оf рrореrtіеѕ іnсludіng сhurсhеѕ, ѕсhооlѕ, рrеѕbуtеrіеѕ, hоѕріtаlѕ, nurѕіng hоmеѕ, оffісеѕ, tеnnіѕ соurtѕ, аnd tеlерhоnе tоwеrѕ.

Араrt frоm thеѕе, Саthоlіс Dеvеlорmеnt Fundѕ, Саthоlіс Сhurсh Іnѕurаnсе, Ѕuреrаnnuаtіоn, аnd tеlесоmmunісаtіоnѕ аrе thе rеѕоurсе оf thеіr wеаlth. 02/23/21 https://www.thewealthrecord.com/celebs-bio-wiki-salary-earnings-2019-2020-2021-2022-2023-2024-2025/other/catholic-church-net-worth/

There are other estimates that are at least double the above. No one is really sure:

Wealth of Roman Catholic Church impossible to calculate

There is no doubt, however, that between the church’s priceless art, land, gold and investments across the globe, it is one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth …

It is impossible to calculate the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church. In truth, the church itself likely could not answer that question, even if it wished to.

Its investments and spending are kept secret. Its real estate and art have not been properly evaluated, since the church would never sell them. 03/08/13 https://nationalpost.com/news/wealth-of-roman-catholic-church-impossible-to-calculate

Back in 2013, a few days after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he made the following statement:

“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/16/us-pope-poor-idUSBRE92F05P20130316

He has repeatedly told others to give to the poor. But in his time years as pontiff, the Vatican still retains its vast wealth and has not loosened its own purse strings significantly beyond what previous pontiffs did.

While on the surface the Pope’s words are what a ‘lamb’ may say, could it be part of the speech of a dragon (Revelation 13:11)?

The Bible warns about a leader that looks like a lamb to people, has the words of a dragon, but whose energetic-power is demonic:

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. (Revelation 13:11)

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13-14)

Notice that the above leader pushes a political agenda that many think looks good, but biblically is not. Pope Francis is working on an ecumenical and interfaith ‘Babylonian’ unity that the Bible repeatedly warns against (Revelation 17,18). To much of the world, Pope Francis looks like a lamb. His agenda aligns with those of the United Nations and many world leaders.’

So far, Pope Francis has repeatedly made statements about the poor (e.g. Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? and Pope tells United Nations to push wealth redistribution–a sign of Revelation 13 & 17?), but has not done much that seems tangible that way.

Francis has made publicly chiding comments to others to support the poor, one of his key positions.

National Catholic Register reported the following in 2017:

Caring for the poor is our ‘passport to paradise’, says Pope Francis

People have a basic choice in the way they live: either striving to build up treasures on earth or giving to others in order to gain heaven, Pope Francis has said.

“What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes,” the Pope said in his homily on Sunday, the first World Day of the Poor.

Between 6,000 and 7,000 poor people attended the Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, where altar servers included the poor, migrants or homeless. …

“All too often, we have the idea that we haven’t done anything wrong, and so we rest content, presuming that we are good and just,” the Pope said.

“But to do no wrong is not enough. God is not an inspector looking for unstamped tickets; he is a Father looking for children to whom he can entrust his property and his plans.”

If in the eyes of the world, the poor they have little value, he said, “they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our ‘passport to paradise. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/11/20/care-for-the-poor-says-pope-francis-they-are-your-passport-to-paradise/

While people should care for the poor (cf. Galatians 2:10, 6:7-10; James 2:15-17), giving to the poor is not our “passport to paradise.”

In the past, Pope Francis has condemned financial idolatry. On October 23, 2017, Zenit.org, a pro-Vatican news agency, reported the following:

“An idolatry that kills,” rather, that engages in “human sacrifices,” were the harsh words used by Pope Francis during the Mass this morning, October 23, 2017, to lament the present “rampant consumerism” and “attachment to money.”

Thus, stressed the Pontiff, whose words were reported by Vatican Radio, there are so many people hungry for money and for earthly goods, who already have “so much,” while there are so many “hungry children that don’t have medicines, that don’t have education, that are abandoned.”

“This idolatry makes many people die of hunger,” repeated Francis, who called the attention of those present to the plight of the Rohingya children.

“We think of just one case: of the 200,000 Rohingya children in refugee camps. “There are 800,000 people there” of which “200,000 are children. They have scarcely anything to eat, they are malnourished <and> without medicines,” lamented the Holy Father, who will visit Myanmar in about a month’s time and later Bangladesh.

“Our prayer must be strong: ‘Lord, please touch the heart of these people that adore the god, the god of money,’” continued Francis, adding: “it also touches my heart, so that I won’t fall in to that, that I may be able to see.”

Attachment to the god of money also causes war, even within “the family,” noted the Pope, thinking of the quarrels between brothers or parents over the inheritance. “We all know what happens when the inheritance is at stake: families split and end in hatred,” he observed. https://zenit.org/articles/santa-marta-an-idolatry-that-kills/

The Vatican has more than enough money to feed and better take care of those in Rohingya. But we did not hear of the Vatican parting with its vast wealth to solve this.

The Book of James teaches:

15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:15-16)

Pope Francis’ pattern to berate others for keeping money, while not selling off the Vatican’s vast wealth, has been a hallmark of his pontificate.

Consider that Pope Francis made a video in February 2017 related to that as well:

“Don’t abandon them,” appeals Pope Francis in his prayer intention on video for the month of February 2017, dedicated to “those who are afflicted, especially the poor, the refugees and the marginalized.”

In the video made public on February 2, the Pope said “we live in towns that build towers, commercial centers, engage in real estate business, but leave a part of themselves on the margin, on the peripheries.” 02/02/17 https://zenit.org/articles/dont-abandon-the-poor-and-the-refugees-exhorts-the-pope/

A year before that, Pope Francis made another call for others to give away their wealth:

Pope at General Audience Calls for Loosening of Purse Strings

February 10, 2016

“If the Jubilee does not come out of your pockets, it’s not a true Jubilee. You understand?”

Pope Francis said this during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square this morning, his last before taking off Friday on his Apostolic Journey to Mexico, Feb. 12-18, stressing that a call to loosen the purse strings to help the needy is throughout the Bible, not something the Pope has “invented.” …

Today, Francis stressed, we must ask ourselves what we have and what we can give to those who have nothing. “Ten percent, fifty percent,” he said, adding, “Let the Holy Spirit inspire each of you.”

“If I’m not mistaken,” the Pope went on to say, “More or less, I’m not certain about the figures, but about 80% of humanity’s wealth is in the hands of less than 20% of the population.”

How many fruits, the Pope exclaimed, are born from donating to those in need. https://zenit.org/articles/pope-calls-for-loosening-of-purse-strings-at-general-audience/

But Pope Francis did not empty the Vatican’s pockets in his ‘jubilee’ year. Here is information about his ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’ from his Bull of Indiction where he discussed it:

The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace. We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future. How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!

Notice that Pope Francis seems to think that the Kingdom of God is already here or at least within the Church of Rome.

It is not.

The Kingdom of God will not be here until after it has been sufficiently proclaimed to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) and Jesus returns to establish the millennial kingdom. However, since the Church of Rome now strongly teaches against the millennial kingdom, it tends to indicate that the Kingdom of God is here or within itself. It is not, though some who are to be in it are currently alive (see also the free booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

The Bible tells about an unfaithful harlot church that wallows in wealth (Revelation 17:1-9, 18:7). Having been to Vatican City numerous times, I have seen some of that wealth on display.

As far as Pope Francis himself, On March 22, 2013 he said:

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/francis-address-to-diplomatic-corps

Will he take specific steps, such as the wealth redistribution he advocates?

He has not yet.

Though he has repeatedly preached it for others.

In English, there is an expression that one should, “Put your money where your mouth is.” So far, Pope Francis has not done this to any substantial degree in the years since his election to become pontiff.

Could that change?

What might happen if Pope Francis finally sells off some of the vast treasures (such as jewels and land) of the Vatican and/or gives significant amounts of money/land away to the poor?

Well, if he does that, it will likely greatly enhance the pedophile-damaged image of the Church of Rome for the media and many others around the world. This will enhance the appeal of the religion that Rome will promote. Even if it gives away only a quarter of its vast wealth.

The Bible warns that the whole world will profit financially from the final end time Babylon (Revelation 18:9, 15-19). And in addition to trade, giving away wealth and land–in conjunction with the final King of the North (Daniel 11:24, 39), that the final Antichrist will support–will be a factor in the temporal success of this condemned system.

Notice that financial pressures will be something that the Antichrist is associated with:

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 13:16-17)

The “He” above is the two-horned beast (Revelation 13:11), also known as the False Prophet (Revelation 16:13), and Antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

The Bible also says that the merchants of the world will have gotten wealthy from the system that the Antichrist will promote:

2 Babylon the great…has become a dwelling place of demons…a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3…and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. (Revelation 18:2a,b,d, 3c)

So, there are several biblical prophecies that tie the power that the Antichrist supports with a type of deceitful prosperity. Did you notice the connection to a cage of birds above? Well, then notice then also the following:

27 As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
28 They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord.
‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:27-31)

So, the supporters of the Beast and Antichrist/False Prophet will prosper for a time, then God will punish them.

Furthermore, notice three Catholic writings/prophecies about the final Antichrist:

Saint Mechtilda (died 1299): Antichrist will, through base and false strategem, and with presents of gold and gems, attain influence over the worldly princes. They will look up to him as their Lord and God (Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, pp. 133-134).

Saint Ephrem (died 375): Antichrist will use worldly goods as bait. He will entice many Christians with money and goods to apostatize…The devil will help him find all the hidden treasures of the world, even those at the bottom of the ocean. With those treasures he will attain greater success for the reign of Satan than at any other time in past centuries (Connor, pp.73.74).

Saint Jerome (died 420): Antichrist…will gain support with many gifts and money. He will sell himself to the devil…(Connor E. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 74).

The Bible, by the way, does mention that the King of the North will end up with a lot of gold, silver, and precious stones (Daniel 11:38,43) and that a seven-hilled/mountain-based power will have “gold and precious stones and pearls” (Revelation 17:4).

But is it possible that before the Beast rises up that the Antichrist will use material items for bait?

Might the Antichrist use some of the wealth of the Vatican to support certain European nations/leaders?

Yes. And he may point to Pope Francis’ many statements (and, perhaps, his receipt of the ‘Charlemagne Prize’) as partial justification to use the Vatican’s wealth to support Europe.

Several years ago someone asked “Ask a Catholic” about that church’s wealth:

You said:

  • I’m wondering why the Catholic Church has such a huge amount of wealth, as can be seen in the beautiful buildings and costly objects in them, when Jesus clearly encourages us to sell all of our possessions and give to the poor?
  1. Because the historical riches it has going back to 33 A.D. are priceless and preserved for all Christendom
  2. Because the faithful believe in the Church and give what they can to support the Church, following the wishes you mentioned and what the Lord has asked from us.
  3. Because of the number of faithful that make up the Church are over 1.125 billion members worldwide, 65 million in the United States.

Nevertheless, the implication in your question is that the Church does not give to the poor and neither spreads the Gospel to those who have not heard it. This is a distortion of the great outreach and support work the Church has done worldwide for centuries. http://www.askacatholic.com/_WebPostings/Answers/2011_08AUG/2011AugWhyIsTheChurchSoWealthy.cfm

While the Church of Rome does some charitable works, it still has vast wealth and is not poor. We do not find that the Apostle Peter, who many erroneously claim founded the Church of Rome (even Catholic scholars realize that he did not, see What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?), accumulated wealth. Actually, Peter once stated:

6 “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

But this is not the case with the Church of Rome. In addition to historically receiving property and wealth from kings and emperors and the Crusades, the Church of Rome also gets a lot of bequeaths, which some believe is related to the belief that priests can help pray people out of a non-existent place called purgatory (Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?). And yes, people have been told that the more they give to the Church of Rome the more priests will pray for them.

The Vatican does have vast wealth. Yet, whatever was accumulated in/by the Vatican since supposedly 33 A.D. was originally not anything biblical (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

I suspect the time will come when the Vatican will actually sell/give away/pledge some of its wealth to influence world events and affect communities. Pope Francis has been hinting at this for 5 years, so at some point in time, he probably intends to take action to match his rhetoric. This will increase his popularity with the media, European leaders, and others in the world.

If Pope Francis does not end up doing this, he, at a minimum, has made various statements that the final Antichrist and the Beast, can point to as justification for wealth distribution/asset pledging.

He, himself, appears to be too old to fill the role of the final Antichrist, the ‘Peter the Roman’ of the Catholic Bishop Malachy’s list (see also The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman”).

Francis’ pushing the ecumenical and interfaith agendas, while watering down certain aspects of Roman Catholicism and claiming to wish to help the poor, will make it that much easier for an antipope, who according to various Roman Catholic writings would be the final Antichrist, to rise up.

The Vatican has a vast amount of wealth.

Some items of related interest may include:

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?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, and Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
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?
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 of related interest could be Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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?
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.
Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European? Another video is Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?
Christ or Antichrist? 1961 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
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?
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
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?]
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.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. 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.

Another scandal: Roman Catholic priests outed for using homosexual app

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

COGwriter

The Church of Rome is dealing with yet another sex scandal:

July 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Grindr, the gay hookup app that serves to facilitate anonymous homosexual encounters, condemned the Catholic publication The Pillar for outing one of its users, the now-former Secretary General of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, who apparently “engaged in serial sexual misconduct.” …

According to The Pillar report, Grindr was the source of a trove of commercially available data it had purchased that an analyst was then able to link to a mobile device used by Burrill, showing that he “visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference.”

The alleged covert homosexual activity by Burrill is especially troubling because of his powerful role at the USCCB directing diocesan and conference responses to clerical sexual scandals.

Those seeking to normalize and protect homosexuality within the Catholic Church took to social media this week to object to The Pillar story and protect Burrill.“This is a disgrace: spying on bishops and priests to see if they’re being chaste and celibate,” tweeted Father James Martin, SJ, perhaps the most outspoken force for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Roman Catholic Church. The Church teaches that bishops and priests (with the exception of those married before ordination, such as Eastern Rite priests or those in the Anglican Ordinariate) are to be celibate. …

“Here’s the bottom line: There isn’t a living breathing Catholic who understands the crisis in the Church who doesn’t know the overriding issue is homosexuality within the clergy and even the bishops,” said Church Militant’s Michael Voris.  “… 10 years ago, The New York Times correctly labeled the Catholic priesthood a gay profession.” https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/gay-hookup-app-grindrcondemns-outing-of-top-us-priest-who-used-it

July 23, 2021

The Archdiocese of Newark says it will investigate the possibility of clerical sexual misconduct, in response to questions from The Pillar about the use of location-based hookup apps at several parish rectories in the archdiocese.

While a spokesperson told The Pillar it is “not acceptable” to use apps “inconsistent with Church teaching,” the archdiocese has also expressed concerns about the “morally suspect” collection of app signal data. …

Maria Margiotta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Newark, told The Pillar on Friday. “It is not acceptable for any member of the clergy to use any app or website in a way that is inconsistent with Church teachings and their own religious vows. Similarly, it is inappropriate for anyone to use an app or website in a way that is inconsistent with Church teachings,” …

The analysis of commercially available signal data obtained by The Pillar, which was legally obtained and whose authenticity The Pillar confirmed, shows evidence that both homosexual and heterosexual hookup apps were used in parish rectories or other clerical residences with a frequency suggesting, in several cases, residence in those locations. https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/newark-archdiocese-to-investigate

It is terrible how prevalent homosexual behavior is amongst the Roman Catholic clergy.

Now, here is something else about Grindr:

The company touts its mobile platform as “The World’s Largest Social Networking App for Gay, Bi, Trans and Queer People” and says its users have to be 18 years old and older.

But the app is teeming with underage gay, bisexual and questioning boys, according to researchers, child exploitation specialists and users like Chavez who say they can easily lie about their age to gain access to the service. https://www.wgbh.org/news/national-news/2021/07/12/popular-gay-dating-app-grindr-poses-exploitation-risk-to-minors

So, gays, priests, children, and pedophiles use Grindr.

The very existence of such apps is wrong.

One thing this episode reminds me was the adultery-encouraging website Ashley Madison. Adulterers were subject blackmail, outing, etc. when data related to that website was released. The Continuing Church of God put out the following video on our Bible New ProphecyYouTube channel related to that:


19:18

The pro-adultery ‘Ashely Madison’ website was hacked and information released on many of its claimed 37 million registered members. Ashley Madison claimed that ‘life is short, so have an affair’ and that it was confidential. The vast majority of registered members were male). NBC offered tips for those whose identities are being released. What does the Bible teach about adultery or even seriously considering it? Is adultery wicked? The Bible warns that in the last times people will be inventors of evil things and whisperers like Ashley Madison promotes. Is adultery grounds for divorce? What did Jesus teach about this?

A written article of related interest is titled: NBC: ‘Exposed in Ashley Madison Hack? Here’s What to Do Now’.

Here is a link to our video: Ashley Madison: Your Sins Will Find You Out.

The Ashley Madison and Grindr outings brought the following scripture to mind:

23… your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23).

That being said, the Church of Rome should never have embraced a celibacy requirement for its priesthood.

Having such a requirement is UNBIBLICAL and the fruits have been horrific.

A while back a book came out that pointed out the pervasiveness of homosexuals and others in the clergy of the Church of Rome.

It claimed that around 80% had problems that way (see ‘Vatican Expels Former US Cardinal McCarrick’ and ‘Salacious new book says homosexuality is rampant at the Vatican’). As reported here earlier this month, the 80% homosexual figure is still being stated about the clregy of the Roman Catholic Church (see ‘Archbishop Viganò and the Spirit of Elijah’).

Various published reports have stated that the majority of priests have violated their vows of celibacy (see ‘Pope adviser urges rethink on Catholic celibacy’ Two-thirds of Catholic priests reportedly are NOT celibate and ‘Gay Priests, Secret Rules and the Abuse of Nuns: Some of the Vatican Controversies as Bishops Meet’).

The Apostle Paul warned:

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

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

Note: Sodomites are homosexuals.

It should be clear that many of those that have taken the vow of celibacy have not demonstrated that this leads them to be better spiritually.

The Bible shows that bishops and presbyters/elders were supposed to have a wife and children. This was partially to demonstrate they could handle a church as Paul wrote per the Roman Catholic approved Rheims New Testament:

1. FAITHFUL saying. If a man desire a Bishops office, he desireth a good work.
2. It behoveth therefore a Bishop to be irreprehensible, the husband of one wife,
sober, wise, comely, chaste, a man of hospitality, a teacher,
3. Not given to wine, no fighter, but modest, no quarreler, not covetous,
4. Well ruling his own house, chaving his children subject with all charity.
5. But if a man know not to rule his own house: how shall he have care of the Church of
God? (1 Timothy 3:1-5).

5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest reform the things that are
wanting, and shouldst ordain priests by cities, as I also appointed thee:
6. If any be without crime, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not in the
accusations of riot, or not obedient.
7. For a Bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not angry, nor
given to wine, no striker, nor covetous of filthy lucre (Titus 1:5-7).

Note that the term translated as priest in verse 4, presbyter, simply means elder. Also notice that the Bishop is also allowed to be married. In Eastern Orthodox circles, while their priests are allowed to be married, their bishops are not.

Clerical celibacy was NOT part of the original Christian faith.

Even the Apostle Peter had a wife (Matthew 8:14).

And sources like The Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledge that from the beginning, celibacy was not a requirement for church leaders:

Turning now to the historical development of the present law of celibacy, we must necessarily begin with St. Paul’s direction (1 Timothy 3:2, 12, and Titus 1:6) that a bishop or a deacon should be “the husband of one wife”. These passages seem fatal to any contention that celibacy was made obligatory upon the clergy from the beginning (Thurston H. Transcribed by Christine J. Murray. Celibacy of the Clergy. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Celibacy became an ideal for the clergy in the East gradually, as it did in the West. In the fourth century we still find St. Gregory Nazianzen’s father, who was Bishop of Nanzianzos, living with his wife, without scandal. But very soon after that the present Eastern rule obtained. It is less strict than in the West. No one can marry after he has been ordained priest (Paphnutius at the first Council of Nicaea maintains this; the first Canon of the Synod of Neocaesarea in 314 or 325, and Can. Apost., xxvi. The Synod of Elvira about 300 had decreed absolute celibacy for all clerks in the West, Can. xxxiii, ib., pp. 238-239); priests already married may keep their wives (the same law applied to deacons and subdeacons: Can. vi of the Synod in Trullo, 692), but bishops must be celibate. As nearly all secular priests were married this meant that, as a general rule, bishops were chosen from the monasteries, and so these became, as they still are, the road through advancement may be attained (Fortesque A. Transcribed by Marie Jutras. Eastern Monasticism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, the celibacy requirement for the Greco-Roman clergy did not occur until the fourth century–and many did not abide by it for centuries in various areas. Furthermore, a requirement for clerical celibacy contradicts the biblical teaching on this matter.

When the subject came up in the fourth century, a Greco-Roman bishop denounced it:

Paphnutius then was bishop of one of the cities in Upper Thebes: he was a man of such eminent piety, that extraordinary miraclas were done by him. In the time of the persecution he had been deprived of one of his eyes. The emperor honoured this man exceedingly, and often sent for him to the palace, and kissed the part where the eye had been torn out. So devout was the emperor Constantine. Having noticed this circumstance respecting Paphnutius, I shall explain. another thing which was wisely ordered in consequence of his advice, both for the good of the church and the honour of the clergy. It seemed fit to the bishops to introduce a new law into the church, that those who were in holy orders, I speak of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, should have no conjugal intercourse with the wives which they had married prior to their ordination. And when it was proposed to deliberate on this matter, Paphnutius having arisen in the midst of the assembly of bishops, earnestly entreated them not to impose so heavy a yoke on the ministers of religion: asserting that ” marriage is honourable among all, and the nuptial bed undefiled;” so that they ought not to injure the church by too stringent restrictions. ” For all men,” said he, ” cannot bear the practice of rigid continence ; neither perhaps would the chastity of each of their wives be preserved.” He termed the intercourse of a man with his lawful wife chastity. It would be sufficient, he thought, that such as had previously entered on their sacred calling should abjure matrimony, according to the ancient tradition of the church: but that none should be separated from her to whom, while yet unordained, he had been legally united…The whole assembly of the clergy assented to the reasoning of Paphnutius (Socrates Scholasticus. Book 1, Chapter XI. A History of the Church in Seven Books: From the Accession of Constantine, A.D. 305, to the 38th Year of Theodosius II, Including a Period of 140 Years. Published by S. Bagster, 1844. Original from Harvard University, pp. 53-54)

So as late as the early fourth century, the idea of required celibacy was opposed by most of the clergy.

The fruits of a supposed celibate priesthood have not been good.

Thousands and thousands have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic clerics.

Now, regarding scandals in the 21st century, consider (as I posted here before) that the Roman Catholics have a couple of prophecies about it facing scandals:

Ven. Holzhauser (17th century): The Great Monarch will come when the Latin Church is desolated, humiliated, and afflicted with many heresies (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, p. 114).

Nicholas of Fluh (15th century): The Church will be punished because the majority of her members, high and low, will become so perverted. (Dupont, p. 30)

We have seen that many perverts have been associated with the Church of Rome. These sex scandals have humiliated the Church of Rome (“the Latin Church”). So, if the first prediction above is correct, then we are very near the time that the “Great Monarch” will rise up. I believe he will do so this century, and likely within a decade or likely sooner.

Also, according to an Eastern Orthodox writer, the “Great Monarch” is also supposed to rise up during the time there are “very impious priests” (Tzima Otto, p. 53; see also The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies)–which would be consistent with the whole sex scandal issue among the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Many may find it of interest to realize that the Great Monarch that various Eastern and Roman Catholic prophecies look forward to seems remarkably similar to the King of the North Beast power that the Bible warns against. For details, check out the article The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies. We are getting closer to the time when that Beast will arise. The Great Monarch, for a time, will restore a CHANGED and even more ecumenical version of Eastern and Roman catholicism and many will go for it.

But irrespective of Greco-Roman Catholic prophecies, the revelations about the sex scandals and how the Church of Rome has handled many of them is showing major problems with the Church of Rome.

Pushing celibacy for the Roman Catholic priesthood has had terrible fruits.

Celibacy was NOT a belief of the original catholic church.

Some items of related interest may include:

Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, and Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more.
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?
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?
Why sex and marriage? What are each spouse’s responsibilities regarding sex in the marriage? What is not allowed according to God’s word? Why is there sex and why is there marriage? Parental discretion is advised as to whether or not everything in this article is now appropriate for their children. Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures, The Missing Dimension in Sex, and provides answers to questions many have had. A related sermon is available: Sex and Marriage.
Are any types of birth control scripturally allowed? Did Jesus make a statement that might be consistent with birth control? Are there any methods that might be appropropriate? What methods would be biblically prohibited? Here is a link a related video: Can Christians Use Birth Control?
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 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 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.

I365News: On 9th of Av: Netanyahu calls on world to recall Zechariah 8:4

Sunday, July 18th, 2021


David Robert’s The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem (1850)

COGwriter

Until sunset tonight is the 9th of Av on the Hebrew calendar. Israel365 News reported the following:

July 18, 2021

Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel and current head of the Likud-led opposition in the Knesset, posted a sentiment for Tisha B’Av on Facebook on Sunday night.

“Tonight we all commemorate the fast of Tisha B’Av. We remember the destruction of our temple and the tragedies that commanded our nation.”

Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem. Jews also refrain from wearing leather shoes and bathing. Jews also refrain from studying Torah, an act that brings great joy.

“In addition to mourning for the destruction, we will also remember the prophecy of the Zechariah that is taking place before our eyes in our generation.”

Netanyahu then quoted the Prophet Zechariah:

Thus said the lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Yerushalayim, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the squares of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the squares. Zechariah 8:4-5

According to Jewish tradition, Tisha B’av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar and a fast day, will be transformed into a joyous feast day in the Messianic era.

Jewish tradition also teaches that the 12 spies were sent into Israel on the ninth of Av, an event that led to Israel wandering the desert for 40 years rather than immediately entering into the land of Israel. https://www.israel365news.com/195006/on-9th-of-av-netanyahu-calls-on-world-to-recall-zechariah-84/

Here is something else from the Temple Institute about the 9th of Av:

The month of Av bears the burden of the first nine days of Av, which are days of mourning and introspection, focusing on the Holy Temple, which was destroyed on the 9th day of Av, 1948 years ago, and has yet to be rebuilt. But following the 9th of Av, specifically on the 15th of Av, also known as Tu B’Av, the month of Av transforms into a month of increasing joy, as we begin the process of spiritual rejuvenation, which continues into the month of Elul, which, in turn, leads us to Rosh HaShana, and the joy-filled holidays that fill the month of Tishrei. (Temple Institute Facebook page, accessed 07/14/18)

Before going further, let me state that what Jews now call ‘Rosh HaShana‘ the Bible refers to it as follows:

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.’ (Leviticus 23:23-24)

The related joy for Christians is to realize that Jesus will return on the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52), the seventh one. The start of the blowing of the seven trumpets of Revelation 8:5-6 is expected to be on the first day of the seventh month, that Jews today commonly call Tishri.

Here is something more about it the Jewish mourning day:

The Ninth of Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, has transformed from a day focused on mourning and remembrance of the Jewish people’s’ greatest tragedies to one with an aspect of “tikkun,” or fixing society’s ills. One need only glance at the title of the blogs on The Times of Israel, or Jewish writing in any modern publication, to see how a concerted effort is underway to reverse the baseless hatred that the sages say led to the destruction of the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago. 1 August 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-a-sorry-state/

Here is more information about what the Jews are observing:

The Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, begins on Saturday night this year at the end of the Sabbath and lasts until Sunday night.

Although this year the 9th falls on the Sabbath itself, Jewish law precludes mourning on the weekly day of rest and so the fast is moved forward, while the Sabbath is celebrated with customary joy until sunset, dusk serving as an intermediate period when it is forbidden to eat as well as evince signs of mourning. …

The Ninth of Av is a date marked by tragedy in Jewish history. On this day:

  • The Jews in the desert wept in fear after hearing the report of the spies, and G-d decreed, as recounted in Numbers 13-14, that they would not be allowed to enter the Land of Israel until that entire generation had died out. Our sages say that G-d’s words were a prophecy: “You cried for nothing, and I will give you a reason to cry for generations to come.”
  • Beitar, the last fortress to hold out during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135 C.E., fell to the Romans and over 100,000 Jews were slain.
  • A year later, the Temple area was plowed over, marking the last milestone of national Jewish presence in the Promised Land until the modern era.
  • The cruel expulsion of the Jews of Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 achieved its goal.
  • World War I erupted in 1914, causing untold suffering to the Jews of Europe and Palestine and setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp began, in 1942.
  • There is a more recent tragedy. The Jews of Gush Katif spent their last legal day in their homes in Tisha B’Av of 2005, and were expelled three days later. The “Disengagement” the forced expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews from their homes in northern Samaria and the Jewish Gaza region, was carried out by a government, headed by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy Ehud Olmert, who sent in soldiers and police, many of them dressed in black uniforms and riot gear, followed by bulldozers that destroyed the Jewish homes.

Twenty synagogues, however, were handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and within minutes, went up in flames. …

How prophetic that the Talmudic Sages said that while the First Temple was destroyed due to the sins of idol worship, murder and immorality, the Second Temple fell due to the senseless hatred (sinat chinam) of one Jew for another.

And despite the 2000-year-old fast and palpable longing for the Temple to be rebuilt on Judaism’s holiest site on Mount Moriah, UNESCO and the EU are entertaining proposals to recognize it as a Muslim site, ignoring all of the above. …

Still, our Torah sages also teach that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’Av and the saddest part of the regular daily prayers – tachanun – is not recited, in the anticipation of the final joyous Redemption that will render Tisha B’Av a day of joy. An old Jerusalem custom was to whitewash the walls of one’s home in the afternoon of the fast, in preparation for the Messiah’s expected arrival.

May we merit greeting the Messiah and be privileged to rebuild the Temple speedily in our time. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/216325

So, various Jews believe that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’Av. And a few days before this they mourn the loss of their two temples. While the Messiah will not be born then, He may return around then or within months of it.

Av (or Ab) is the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar (to see the months for the entire year, check out the free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

So, many believe that the Jewish fast of this day is mentioned in the Bible in the following verse:

19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’ (Zechariah 8:19)

The Jewish Encyclopedia notes:

Besides the Day of Atonement, which is the only fast-day prescribed by the Mosaic law (Lev. xvi. 29; see Atonement, Day of), there were established after the Captivity four regular fast-days in commemoration of the various sad events that had befallen the nation during that period (Zech. viii. 19; comp. vii. 3-5). These were the fast of the fourth month (Tammuz), of the fifth month (Ab), of the seventh month (Tishri), and of the tenth month (Ṭebet). (Greenstone JH, Hirsch EG, Hirschfeld H. FASTING AND FAST-DAYS. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)

AB, NINTH DAY OF:

The Fall of Jerusalem.

Day set aside by tradition for fasting and mourning, to commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans (586 B.C.) and by the Romans (70); a movable fast falling approximately in the beginning of August of the Gregorian calendar. In II Kings, xxv. 8, 9 it is stated that the Temple was burned on the seventh day of the fifth month; in Jer. xxxix. 8 no exact date is given; while in Jer. lii. 12 the tenth day of the fifth month is assigned as the date. In connection with the fall of Jerusalem three other fast-days were established at the same time as the Ninth Day of Ab: these were the Tenth of Tebet, when the siege began; the Seventeenth of Tammuz, when the first breach was made in the wall; and the Third of Tishri, the day when Gedaliah was assassinated (II Kings, xxv. 25; Jer. xli. 2). From Zech. vii. 5, viii. 19 it appears that after the erection of the Second Temple the custom of keeping these fast-days was discontinued. Since the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Second Temple by the Romans, the four fast-days have again been observed. It has indeed been suggested that the sacredness of the day is due to its being the anniversary of the fall of Bethar at the end of the Bar Kokba war, thus making it a national rather than a religious ceremony.

Waning Significance.

In the long period which is reflected in Talmudic literature the observance of the Ninth Day of Ab assumed a character of constantly growing sadness and asceticism. Still it seems that, about the end of the second century or at the beginning of the third, the celebration of the day had lost much of its gloom. Judah ha-Nasi was in favor of abolishing it altogether or, according to another version, of lessening its severity when the feast has been postponed from Saturday to Sunday (Meg. 5b). A tendency to a less ascetic construction is also noticeable in the Talmudic explanation of Zech. viii. 19—namely, that the four fast-days would become feast-days during times of peace; on which Rashi remarks: “Peace means when the oppression of the Jews on account of their religion shall have ceased” (R. H. 18b). The growing strictness in the observance of mourning customs in connection with the Ninth Day of Ab is especially marked in post-Talmudic times, and particularly in the darkest period of Jewish life, from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth. ( Landsberg M, Kohler K. AB, NINETH DAY OF. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)

We will see if this date may have future significance.

Jesus, referring to what is commonly considered as the ‘second temple,’ told His disciples around 30 A.D.:

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

2 “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2)

The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote about this related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple:

1 … But when Titus perceived that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the damage of his soldiers, and then be killed, he gave order to set the gates on fire. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 4, section 1)

1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. (Josephus. Wars of the Jews, Book VII, Chapter 1, verse 1)

So, there was not one stone left upon the other for the Temple and the related buildings (more on the destruction of Jerusalem can be found in the article Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?

The second century Greek writer Pausanius wrote that:

the city of Jerusalem, a city which the Roman king destroyed to its foundations. (As cited in Murphy-O’Connor J. The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. OUP Oxford, 2008, p. 159)

Notice something from what is likely an early third century writing:

But our Master did not prophesy after this fashion; but, as I have already said, being a prophet by an inborn and ever-flowing Spirit, and knowing all things at all times, He confidently set forth, plainly as I said before, sufferings, places, appointed times, manners, limits. Accordingly, therefore, prophesying concerning the temple, He said: ‘See ye these buildings? Verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another which shall not be taken away; and this generation shall not pass until the destruction begin. For they shall come, and shall sit here, and shall besiege it, and shall slay your children here.’ And in like manner He spoke in plain words the things that were straightway to happen, which we can now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among those to whom the word was spoken. For the Prophet of truth utters the word of proof in order to the faith of His hearers. (Clementine Homilies. Book III, Chapter XV)

While the above has a generational issue, the fact is that this is another apparent eye witness that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed as prophesied.

It may be of interest to note that although the second temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. not everything was obliterated.

Notice something from the Talmud about what happened to the Temple:

“Desolate lay Zion, in ruins moldered Jerusalem; the temple was but a heap of stones. Where once stood the sanctuary now grew weeds, and jackals howled in the Temple court where once David the Psalmist and his vast choir of Levites plucked the harp strings and raised their voices in songs of praise to the Eternal.” (Staiman M. Waiting for the Messiah: Stories to Inspire Jews with Hope. Jason Aronson, 1997, p. 29)

So, some Temple stones were left.

Some of its stones were seemingly used as the foundation stones as well as the original walls, of what seems to have been the first Christian church building:

The Judeo-Christians probably built their church, at that time called a synagogue, sometime in the decade after 73 A.D. For its construction, they could have used some of the magnificent ashlars from Herod’s destroyed citadel, not far away. Or perhaps they used the stones from the ruins of the Temple itself…with the intention of transferring some elements of the Holy Temple to a site becoming a new Mt. Zion (Zion III).

If that is so, the event may in fact be referred to in one of the apocryphal Odes of Solomon composed about 100 A.D. by a rival sectarian Judeo-Christian group. The fourth ode begins:

“No man can pervert your holy place, 0 God, nor can he change it, and put it in another place, because [he has] no power over it. Your sanctuary you designed before you made special places.” (Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, p. 736.)

Was this passage in condemnation of the effort of the Judeo-Christians who built the synagogue on Mt. Zion to transfer some of the holiness of the destroyed Temple to their place of worship on the new Mt. Zion by constructing it in part with stones from that Temple?

From this time on, the western hill of Jerusalem was referred to by Christians as Mt. Zion (Zion III). Very few places in Jerusalem can point to such an enduring tradition as Zion’s claim to be the seat of the primitive church. No other place has raised a serious rival claim…

By this time the Judeo-Christian synagogue on Mt. Zion had become known as the Church of the Apostles. It became known as the Church of the Apostles not only because the apostles returned there after witnessing Christ’s post-resurrection ascent to heaven, but also because the building was built, as we have seen, under the leadership of Simon son of Kleophas. Kleophas was known as a brother of Joseph of Nazareth, therefore Simon was a cousin of Jesus. Simon was later considered one of the apostles, outside the circle of the 12. For this reason, the house of worship built by Simon could rightfully be called the Church of the Apostles.

(Pixner B. Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1990: 16-35,60)

It may be that the above building will have a prophetic role. Details about that building, including some photographs my wife and I took related to it, are found in the article Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill.

In Daniel 9 we see that the Temple was prophesied to be destroyed:

25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:25-26)

As it turns out, Jesus came when that prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament) said the Prince Messiah would come.

Let’s look at an explanation from the old Radio Church of God about the Daniel 9 prophecy:

At the time of Jesus’ life on this earth, Herod — the king in Judea — the wise men from the nations to the east, and many of the priests, scribes, and elders, as well as the common people, realized that the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 was nearing its completion. The Messiah, the Prince, was eagerly looked forward to, to free them from the yoke of Roman oppression. The Messiah was expected because of an understanding of this prophecy. But He was misunderstood when He appeared in the fulfillment of this prophecy, because they refused to recognize the first portion of the prophecy and hung their hope only on the last portion. …

Here, very plainly, is listed the exact time at which the prophesied Messiah would appear to begin to do the work mentioned in verse 24. The command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. Much of the book of Ezra and the entire book of Nehemiah cover this particular event. Seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks equal sixty-nine weeks. So the prophecies show that from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 B. C. it would be 483 years until the appearance of the prophesied Messiah to begin fulfilling the works of verse 24. (Hill DJ. HERE’S WHY Jews Reject Jesus and Christians Reject Christ! Plain Truth, April 1962)

Adding 483 to the year 457 B.C. brings the year 27 A.D. (there was no year “zero” between B.C. and A.D.). That brings us to the time that Jesus began His ministry (apparently in the Fall of the year). His ministry is believed to have lasted 3 ½ years, hence the veil would have been torn in the Spring of 31 A.D.

Now in the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), rabbis gave reasons for the destruction of the Temple, such as Jewish disobedience related to the Sabbath, drinking parties, not properly teaching their children, lack of trustworthy Jews, and Jews disparaging Torah scholars—they did not tie it in with Daniel 9. They quoted scriptures including Jeremiah 5:1, 6:11,15, 17:27; Ezekiel 22:26; Isaiah 5:11-13; 1 Chronicles 16:22; and 2 Chronicles 36:16.

Let’s look at part of the Talmud that discusses some of this:

Rabbi Yehuda said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because they disparaged the Torah scholars in it, as it is stated: “And they mocked the messengers of God and disdained His words and taunted His prophets, until the wrath of God arose against His people, until it could not be healed” (II Chronicles 36:16). What is the meaning of: Until it could not be healed? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: It means that anyone who disparages Torah scholars cannot be healed from his wound.

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Do not touch My anointed ones and do My prophets no harm” (I Chronicles 16:22)? “Do not touch My anointed ones,” these are the schoolchildren, who are as precious and important as kings and priests (Maharsha); “and do not harm My prophets,” these are Torah scholars. (Shabbat 119b, vs. 9-10)

Despite the rabbinical interpretation, the Old Testament did NOT say this destruction would come related to the rejection of Jewish “Torah scholars.” The type of Torah scholars the Talmud referred to were not directly sent by God nor were they prophets. If those cited in the Talmud would have been more accepting of the literal meaning of the Hebrew scriptures, they easily could have seen this.

Understand that the New Testament does show that the Jews did taunt God’s anointed prophets like John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul. Early Jewish writings show that they also taunted those the Jews called Minim (Minim were Jews that rejected aspects of Judaism, like accepting Jesus). Hence, Talmudic scholars should have had a clue that the Jewish rejection of Jesus and others was part of the reason for the destruction of the Temple (which also, after the sacrifice of Jesus, was essentially obsolete for the need of animal sacrifices during the church age per Hebrews 9 & 10).

The Jews should have accepted Jesus, but as prophesied in the Bible, most rejected Him:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3)

21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matthew 27:21-23)

The Jews expected Jesus to come as a king. But on His first coming He came as a Prince.

Some may think that the Temple perhaps would have gotten destroyed upon Jesus’ death–but the prophecy in Daniel 9 does not so state.

However, if we look at the account in Matthew’s Gospel, we see some unusual events took place when Jesus died:

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:50-54)

It appears that the quake caused the ripping or tearing of the great curtain at the Temple entrance (“the veil of the temple”) in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

It has been reported from Christian sources that there was a sizeable stone lintel supporting the curtain which apparently tumbled to the floor below. The collapse of the lintel would have ripped the curtain in two and exposed the large doors sealing the Temple’s inner chamber. The episode resulted in the doors opening on their own accord, and likely exposing the Temple interior, the Holy of Holies chamber itself.

Moreover, it seems that the Chamber or Hall of the Hewn Stones (הגזית לשכת Lishkat ha-Gazit) built into the north wall of the Temple collapsed. The Sanhedrin met in this chamber when functioning as a court, but it suffered such structural damage then that the Sanhedrin had to abandon it.

That Christian explanation is consistent with the following that is in the Talmud:

The Gemara continues its question: And it is taught in a baraita: Forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sanhedrin was exiled from the Chamber of Hewn Stone and sat in the store near the Temple Mount. (Tractate Sanhedrin 41a, v.25)

Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the Sanhedrin was exiled from the Chamber of Hewn Stones and sat in the stores on the Temple Mount. (Shabbat 15a, v. 9)

The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was burned on August 30, 70 A.D. Whether 40 years is precise or approximate is not absolutely specified in the Talmud—but if we work back from 70 A.D. that supports either a 30 or 31 A.D. impalement of Jesus (it points to 31 A.D. if an inclusive “beginning with” counting method was used as in Leviticus 23:15-16).

That Temple’s elimination was also consistent with the following prophecy:

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)

This sounds like God had a transitioning period while He still accepted Jews religious first covenant practices until more of them had enough time to accept Jesus.

Plus, even the Apostles still went to the Temple after Jesus was resurrected.

But God did have the Temple itself “vanish” away, which should have left no doubt that the first covenant was obsolete.

Now the Jews fast. Yet consider the following:

1 “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression,And the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. 4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. 5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast,And an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free,And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:1-11)

On this day, the Jews should consider that the Temple destruction was tied in with the coming of the Prince Messiah. They should not just fast, but repent and accept Jesus.

When they do not do that, it is mainly just a day of mourning.

Instead it should be a day that points to repentance and accepting Jesus.

The destruction of the Temple shows that Bible prophecies do come to pass and that Jesus is the Messiah.

We now have the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

26:15

Jerusalem Temple Destruction and the Messiah

Was there any connection between prophesies of the Messiah and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D? On the 9th day of the fifth month on the Hebrew calendar, Jews fast because of the destruction of that Temple and other events that have befell the Jews. Did you know that the Jews tie the birth of the Messiah in with the month of Av? They also tie positive events from then to ‘Rosh Hoshana’ in the month of Tishri. Is there any relationship to Jesus and the first feast in Tishri? Did Jesus’ prophesies related to the Temple come to pass? What do Jewish and non-Jewish sources report about what happened to Jerusalem and the Temple? Did Jesus come when the Messiah was prophesied to start His ministry in Daniel 9? What happened when Jesus was killed? Was there a time of transition until the Temple was to be destroyed on August 30, 70 A.D.? What should Jews and others do related to the Messiah and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem? What seems to have happened to some of the ashlar stones that were part of that Temple? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Jerusalem Temple Destruction and the Messiah.

As far as Jews and others accepting Jesus as the Messiah goes, there is additional information and proof as why all should in our free online book: Proof Jesus is the Messiah.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
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.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.Nascent Sanhedrin and Prophecy The reconstituted Sanhedrin wants the reimplementation of animal sacrifices. A related video is titled Sanhedrin pushing animal sacrifices. And a newer one is: Sanhedrin makes burnt offering to dedicate altar!
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here are links to two related videos in English: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World and The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
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.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
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 link to a video in Spanish: ¿Quién es el ‘hombre de pecado’? 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’.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel.

WSJ: Is Pope Francis Leading the Church to a Schism?

Saturday, July 17th, 2021


Pope Francis (Pixabay)

COGwriter

Certain “traditionalist” Roman Catholics are upset about an announcement from the pontiff yesterday:

July 17, 2021

On Friday, the Vatican announced a new order that would barely affect most practicing Catholics: there are now strict rules for when and where the traditional Latin Mass can be conducted. Among other new regulations, priests can no longer decide to celebrate the Latin Mass; they must instead ask permission from their bishops, who should make sure that there is an organic demand from the actual faithful and that the priest is not seeking to celebrate the Latin Mass because he sees the normal, vernacular version of it as invalid.

The response to this news among a certain group of Catholics was immediate outrage. “The lack of mercy shown here toward traditional Catholics, Benedict XVI, and the young laity and clergy drawn to the Latin Mass is stunning,” the Catholic journalist Raymond Arroyo said on Twitter. “This will create the division that Francis claims to cure through this ill advised and destructive new law.” Others warned that such a decision would drive away enthusiastic young Catholics, or talked about how the traditional Latin Mass had drawn them to Catholicism in the first place. Some vowed to continue to attend—or in the case of certain priests, conduct—the traditional mass. Others spoke openly of their belief that Francis was evil and wrong. https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/07/latin-mass-pope-francis-traditionalist-critics.html

Yes, Pope Francis has upset some who call themselves traditionalists with this pronouncement.

Yet, while some Roman Catholics wrongly believe that the original Christians held “mass’ in Latin, that is simply not true.

Notice the following that is in my free online book, Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church:

Latin Mass and Liturgic Changes

Despite the view of some Roman ‘traditionalists,’ the original church liturgy was not in Latin nor did it resemble Roman Catholic mass. Notice three Roman Catholic reports:

In the third and fourth centuries A.D. … Latin began to replace Greek as the common language of the Roman world and soon became the language of the liturgy. Exactly how this change in the liturgy came about is uncertain. … Because Christians had not used Latin for worship prior to this, words had to be adapted or imported (often from Greek) to express Christian ideas, beginning the development of an ecclesiastical form of Latin. There is also evidence that the Roman Canon was influenced by prayers from the Eastern churches. (Tufano VM. When did we start celebrating Mass in Latin? US Catholic, June 18, 2010)

The word Mass (missa) first established itself as the general designation for the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the West after the time of Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604), … Mass goes back in … a custom that takes us at once into the third century (Pohle J. Sacrifice of the Mass. The Catholic Encyclopedia)

Roman Mass … and the established customs became “ritualized” over the centuries. … As early as the fourth century, fixed liturgical rites can be found in the Church. (The Traditional Latin Mass: A Brief History. MyCatholicSource.com, accessed 09/22/20)

Some assert Latin Mass began to be used by the Roman Bishop Victor c. 190. But even if the early use of Latin in the late 2nd century is true (and using the common language of an area for church services makes sense), Latin still was not the original language of original church services—that was Aramaic/Hebrew. However, Greek quickly became used as the New Testament epistles—which were written in Greek—help demonstrate.

Not only were original church services not in Latin, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia, they were not called Mass until the 7th century. Furthermore, as many rituals in Latin Mass came from the 3rd and 4th centuries, those practices were not really a part of the regular original services.

Roman Catholic sources clearly teach that ritualized Latin Mass was a change from the original catholic liturgy. More changes occurred in the 13th through 15th centuries (Jedin H, ed. History of the Church, Volume 2. Crossroad, New York, 1993, p. 326).

The Eastern Orthodox, also, have freely admitted that their liturgy CHANGED. Notice this from one of their writers:

The liturgical practices of the church at Antioch did not stagnate. As does every early tradition of the church, the liturgy continued to expand in content and meaning. (Lucas J. Liturgical Pattern and Experience in First Century Antioch. By the Waters: Selected Works by Students of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, vol 7, Fall 2008, pp. 40-52)

The original church liturgy did not have much resemblance to Eastern Orthodox services, which begin and end with the “signing of the cross.” The teaching that the “liturgical practices of the church at Antioch did not stagnate” demonstrates that what ended up in Antioch changed—hence the Eastern Orthodox admit that what they now have is NOT the original catholic liturgy.

Some claim that they follow the “Divine Liturgy of St. James.” However, that was not original, nor did James come up with it as The Catholic Encyclopedia and the OrthodoxWiki also understand:

… the famous liturgy of St. James. That it was actually composed by St. James the Less, as first Bishop of Jerusalem, is not now believed by any one; (Fortescue A. Liturgy of Jerusalem. The Catholic Encyclopedia)

The general scholarly consensus is that this liturgy originated in Jerusalem during the late fourth or early fifth century. It quickly became the primary liturgy in Jerusalem and Antioch. Although it was later superseded in Jerusalem and Antioch by the Liturgy of St. Basil and the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, it had already spread to other areas of the Church. (Liturgy of St. James. OrthodoxWiki, accessed 06/04/21)

So, what the Eastern Orthodox now do was not original.

Unlike how Eastern Orthodox church service were conducted, there were no icons, incense, signing of the cross, or leavened bread as part of the original church services. Nor “chanting” sermons nor hymns sung to Mary. None of the known current Eastern Orthodox litanies (‘petitions’ recited by the clergy and responded to in a recurring formula by the people) were originally used by early Christians either.

The CCOG {Continuing Church of God} maintains it has continued the original catholic church practices when it comes to church services, or the liturgy.

So, no, Latin mass is not an original tradition of the catholic church–but a change in liturgy.

That being said, various ones think that Pope Francis has taken steps that may lead to a schism. The Wall Street Journal reported the following:

Is Pope Francis Leading the Church to a Schism?

July 16, 2021

The threat of schism is alarming for any religious community but especially for the Catholic Church, whose very name is derived from the ancient Greek word for “universal” and whose core identity is inextricably tied to its global unity under the pope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, an official handbook of church teaching, defines schism specifically in terms of papal authority, as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Critics of the process under way in Germany, which is officially called the Synodal Path, say that proponents of change there are flouting the pope’s authority by challenging teachings of which he is the chief custodian. But German progressives deny any intention to break with Rome and insist they are taking their cues from the pope himself, who has encouraged free discussion of sensitive topics that were taboo under his conservative predecessors. The synod originated as a response to a 2018 report commissioned by Germany’s bishops on the clerical sex-abuse crisis, which called for a more positive attitude to homosexuality and for rethinking priestly celibacy and the church’s power structure. Organizers expanded the agenda to address the role of women.

People on both sides agree that the pope is now trying to restrain the progressive movement in Germany, disappointing many who cheered him earlier in his reign. https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-pope-francis-leading-the-church-to-a-schism-11626447418

So, there are liberal Roman Catholics thinking that Pope Francis is might cause a schism.

Pope Francis has been facing aspects of rebellion from the many who consider themselves ‘Conservative Catholics.’ Notice something from the past:

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. (The idea of a schism will be addressed towards the end of this post.)

Here is something he tweeted in 2019

Here is more information about that  2020’global event’:

Pope Francis invites religious, political leaders to sign ‘Global Pact’ for ‘new humanism’

In a renewed and enthusiastic endorsement of globalism, Pope Francis has announced he is hosting an initiative for a “Global Pact” to create a “new humanism.”

The global event, set to take place at the Vatican on May 14, 2020, is themed Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance.

According to a Vatican statement issued on Thursday, Sept. 12, the Pope is inviting representatives of the main religions, international organizations and various humanitarian institutions, as well as key figures from the world of politics, economics and academia, and prominent athletes, scientists and sociologists to sign a “Global Pact on Education” so as to “hand on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home.”

“A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism,” Francis said in a video message to launch the initiative. …

Referencing the “Document on Human Fraternity and World Peace for Living Together,” which he signed with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi last February, Francis explained that, in this new global village, “the ground must be cleared of discrimination and fraternity must be allowed to flourish.”

Readers will recall that the Abu Dhabi document aroused controversy for stating that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.”

“In this kind of village,” the Pope also said an “alliance” must be forged “between the earth’s inhabitants and our ‘common home,’ which we are bound to care for and respect. An alliance that generates peace, justice and hospitality among all peoples of the human family, as well as dialogue between religions.”

Not everyone is convinced that peace can be achieved by promoting the Abu Dhabi document, however. Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently observed that “however noble such aims as ‘human fraternity’ and ‘world peace’ may be, they cannot be promoted at the cost of relativizing the truth of uniqueness of Jesus Christ and His Church.” 09/13/19 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-global-education-pact

The above mentioned the Abu Dhabi document. We put together a related video related to that 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!

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.

Some of what he has been doing, particularly on the international stage, is a prelude to the coming final Antichrist.

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

Pope Francis, by betraying aspects of both, is setting a precedent.

The final Antichrist will rise up and, while feigning Roman Catholicism, will make changes and will betray that church (cf. Revelation 17:15-18).

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

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?
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’?
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? 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.
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?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats.

Americans believe in aliens more than Jesus :(

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021


Artist’s impression of female demon (Pixabay)

COGWriter

Many are convinced that there are aliens from outer space:

notice a report that even more Americans seem to believe in aliens than Jesus:

According to a National Geographic survey, 77 percent of all Americans “believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth”, and according to a recent Harris poll only 68 percent of all Americans believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God.
That means that the number of Americans that believe that UFOs have visited us is now greater than the number of Americans that believe what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ. With each passing year, the frequency of UFO sightings seems to keep increasing, as does the number of movies, television shows and video games featuring aliens and extraterrestrial life. It is almost as if the population of the planet is being primed for something. http://www.altheadlines.com/more-americans-believe-aliens-have-visited-earth-than-believe-that-jes-13253491/

Of course, most Americans do not truly know the Jesus of the Bible, they know of/about Him.

Now, if aliens mean spirit-beings like demons, then I too believe that they exist because the Bible teaches that (e.g. James 2:19). But I do not believe that was the intent of the question in the survey by National Geographic.

Although the New Testament is clear that Jesus was the Son of God (e.g. Mark 1:1), many no longer profess to believe the New Testament.

Secular Writers Taught That Jesus Existed

Yet, there is proof outside of scripture that Jesus existed.

Here is a quote from Suetonius. He discusses that around 49 A.D., the Roman Emperor Claudius banished all Jews from the city of Rome (this seems to be an incident also mentioned in Acts 18:2):

“He expelled the Jews from Rome, on account of the riots in which they were constantly indulging, at the instigation of Chrestus” (The Lives of the Caesars, Bk. V, 25).

Chrestus is believed to be a slang and derogatory reference to Christ. Suetonius was not a Christian and referred to them as holding to “a novel and mischevious superstition” (Life of Nero, 16.2), as cited in Bock DL. Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods. Baker Academic, 2002, p. 48.

Here are two quotes from the Jewish historian Josephus (first century):

Antiquities 18.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

Antiquities 20.9.1 But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

Notice a translation of a Latin quote from the first, and early second century Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus:

Annal. 15, 44…Christians…Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea where the mischief originated..(Annals of Tacitus. As cited in Giles JA. Heathen records to the Jewish scripture history:containing all the extracts from the Greek and Latin writers, in which the Jews and Christians. James Cornish, 1856. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Oct 17, 2008, p. 105)

So, secular sources from those that did not claim to believe in Jesus reported about Him.

For more historical and scriptural proofs, check out our free online book Proof Jesus is the Messiah. This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. Biblical prophecies come from God and should be accepted as undeniable proof of Jesus.

Let me also add that the James’ Ossuary is physical archaeological evidence that Jesus existed.

The first century inscription, translated into English, states “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” For additional information, here is a link to the sermon: James’ Ossuary, Fake News, and Jesus’ Birth.

The Second Century Writers Taught That Jesus is God

Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, and also God according to various Christian and professing Christian writers of the second century. And they also taught that He always had existed.

In “the oldest complete Christian sermon that has survived” (Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 102)–outside those in the Bible–sometimes erroneously referred to as Second Letter of Clement, there seems to be support for binitarianism. It was given perhaps within a year or so of John’s death (thus may be towards the end of the time of Ephesus), and begins with the following:

Brothers, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ, as of God, as “Judge of the living and the dead” (An Ancient Christian Sermon (2 Clement), 1:1. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 107)

Ignatius, who was known by Polycarp (and praised in this same Polycarp epistle, which is known as Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians), wrote around 108-120 A.D.:

For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized so that by His submission He might purify the water (Ignatius of Antioch, Letters to the Ephesians 18,2–note this is translated the same by at least three separate translations as done by Dr. Lightfoot, J.H. Srawley, and Roberts & Donaldson).

Polycarp of Smyrna, in the mid-second century, wrote:

But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who “raised Him from the dead (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Chapter 12 modified by R. Thiel to correct omission in translation).

For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist (Polycarp, Chapter VII. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead (Polycarp, Chapter IX. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Melito of Sardis wrote:

For the deeds done by Christ after His baptism, and especially His miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in His flesh. For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise…He concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before all ages (Melito. On the Nature of Christ. From Roberts and Donaldson).

These are the apparent positions of all groups that I am aware of that profess any form of Christianity, except those that are unitarian or affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thus, early Christians believed and taught that Jesus is God. Regarding Melito’s statement about the Deity hidden in Christ’s flesh after baptism, recall that Jesus taught that it was the Father in Him that did the works, and hence it was not Jesus’ deity that did them (John 14:10).

Even heretics in the second century, like Irenaeus, realized that Jesus was God. Notice excerpts from two of Irenaeus‘ writings:

…there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book IV, Preface, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus then the Word of God in all things hath the pre-eminence; for that He is true man and Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God. Jesus the Anointed of God, showing Himself to be the One who was proclaimed beforehand by the prophets (Irenaeus, St., Bishop of Lyon. Translated from the Armenian by Armitage Robinson. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. Wells, Somerset, Oct. 1879. As published in SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO, 1920).

The fact is that many in the second century taught that Jesus was God.

It is unfortunate that less and less Americans in the 21st century also believe that. Of course, that could partially explain the great moral decline in the USA.

Despite the fact that many do not wish to believe God (or truly believe in Him), God has a plan that involves humanity (see also our free book: Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation–a humanity that has been deceived by Satan and his supporters (Revelation 12:9).

Angels and Demons

The Bible clearly teaches that angels and demons have been to the earth.

And you could certainly make an argument that they could be considered as “aliens from outer space.”

But it is more than “UFO alien” believers that have been affected.

For example, something that claimed to be from space appeared to three small children in Fatima, Portugal, once a month for six months back in 1917. Even the current pontiff is a believer in those appearances.

But whatever appeared there, and I do believe that something did, it was NOT Jesus’ mother Mary as many hoped. The ‘lady’ that appeared resembled the goddess Diana and never actually stated that it was ‘Mary.’

Fatima Statue and Image of What the Children Saw

For more details on that, check out my book: Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions.

There is actually a lot of evidence of demonic visits/influence on the earth.

Regarding ‘aliens’ the Continuing Church of God put out this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:09:40

Alien Beliefs and the Return of Jesus

Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans believe in UFOs and aliens from outer space. Could there be any truth to reports of paranormal visits? What about the work of SETI? Are there one or more beings watching the Earth? Are we part of a ‘galactic zoo’? What do Roman Catholics, Protestants, and others believe? Are there many ‘UFO religions’? Does the Bible teach anything about this? What about visits from angels and demons? What about various apparitions? What about signs and lying wonders? Has Satan inspired prophecies to get people to fight against Jesus? Might the returning Jesus be considered ‘the Antichrist’ or possibly an attacking alien? Will the nations fail to recognize the returning Jesus and fight against Him? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Alien Beliefs and the Return of Jesus.

A while back we put out the following short video on poltergeists:


9:13
In August 2016, there were ‘paranormal’ sounds, moved objects, and even a levitated Chihuahua in Scotland that was reportedly seen by Scottish Police. A Roman Catholic priest was called in and ‘blessed’ the house. What is a poltergeist? Is any of this paranormal activity real? If so, can we expect more? Does the Bible teach that we will see signs and lying wonders? Are Christians supposed to believe what we see or not? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to our video: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.

Here is how Dictionary.com defines poltergeist:

noun

1. a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.

We should expect to see increases in such demonic ‘paranormal’ activity.

Why?

Notice the following prophecy written by the Apostle Paul:

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7)

So, the restrainer will be taken out of the way before the end. (For information on who the restrainer seems to be, check out the article What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7?)

After the restrainer is out of the way, we will see more signs and lying wonders:

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)

Thus we see that, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warned that towards the end, almost all would be deceived by signs and lying wonders.

Deception must be clever to work, and would need some type of ‘verification’ to be believed by the masses.

Throughout history multitudes have already been deceived by signs and wonders coming from statues and alleged apparitions of Jesus and Mary, as well as other demonic manifestations. They have felt that this was ‘proof’ that some false religion was true. But Christians are supposed to walk by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Also notice something that the Apostle John was inspired to write:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; (1 John 4:1)

While most, incorrectly, feel that they can properly test/discern the spirits, that is not the case. Even most real Christians in these end times are not doing that correctly (cf. Revelation 3:14-19; see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). However, the ‘Laodicean Christians‘ will not be deceived like the non-Christians will be–but they will have problems because of their improper priorities (consider also the video 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy).

A few years back, on the Protestant TBN channel, I saw a news item where a Roman Catholic woman was excited about ‘speaking in tongues’ etc. She talked about signs and wonders, and the Protestant commentator was encouraging this belief. Signs and lying wonders are associated with the ecumenical movement.

In the future, it is likely that the “interfaith movement” will employ “Mary,” signs, and other ideas as tools for improper unity for those who are not true, biblical, Christians (see Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Satan has a plan, and deceit, signs, and lying wonders are part of it (see also Satan’s Plan).

Supposedly ‘verified’ paranormal activity, Marian-claimed apparitions, and modern entertainment, to a degree have conditioned people to accept as real, improper manifestations, and will in the future.

The Book of Revelation shows that a massive deceit, in the form of wrong worship, will affect the world:

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.

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

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. (Revelation 13:7-14)

We are getting closer to the fulfillment of these verses in Revelation. Likely within the next decade or two.

Expect to see more ‘verified’ ‘paranormal’ activity.

This is part of Satan’s Plan.

Don’t fall for it!

Here are some links to items of possibly related interest:

Aliens from Outer Space Are there aliens from outer space? Have any visited the earth? Are they dangerous? Does the Bible teach that an alien army will come to the earth and take over? Here is a link to a related sermon: Alien Beliefs and the Return of Jesus.
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.
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.
What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness? Here is a related article in Spanish: ¿Qué es lo que se restringe y quién lo está restringiendo en 2 Tesalonicenses 2:7?
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: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
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 Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
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? 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? .
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
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’.
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?

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.

Laodicean Christians do not really believe what Joel wrote about dreams

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021


Michelangelo’s Imagined Depiction of Joel

COGwriter

Some observe a memorial to the death of the Prophet Joel on July 13th of each year.

Do you know much about what he was inspired by God to write?

Here is how the Book of Joel starts:

1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
5 Awake, you drunkards, and weep; And wail, all you drinkers of wine, Because of the new wine, For it has been cut off from your mouth. 6 For a nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion. 7 He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.
8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth For the husband of her youth. 9 The grain offering and the drink offering Have been cut off from the house of the Lord; The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord. 10 The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails.
11 Be ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished. 12 The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, The palm tree also, And the apple tree — All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.
13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. 16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes, Joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seed shrivels under the clods, Storehouses are in shambles; Barns are broken down, For the grain has withered. 18 How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, Because they have no pasture; Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.
19 O Lord, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field. 20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures. (Joel 1:1-20)

Here is something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong said about the first chapter of the Book of Joel:

We have had drought. There was the drought in the Middle West in 1934, and then the invasion of bugs and grasshoppers and locusts and everything in 1935. And many people from Kansas and South Dakota and sections in the Middle West like that, and from Oklahoma and places of that sort came out here to the Pacific coast at that time. My friends, that’s only a forerunner, that’s all. But when it comes in its full force and fury it’s described by the prophet Joel, and also Ezekiel says something about it. It’s described in other places in the Bible. Joel says, that it will be a time when the seed shrivels under the clods, the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are ruined because the grain has failed. How the beasts groan, he said, the herds of cattle are perplexed because there is no pasture for them. Even the flocks of sheep are dismayed. (Joel 1:17-18) What’s going to happen when that comes, my friends? What’s going to happen? That is the next thing now to occur. That and the flight of God’s own people…

Alright, now then, I was mentioning what Joel says here about this time of famine that’s coming. You’ve had a foretaste of it, you’ve been getting it — that’s only just little driplings like a great downpour of a deluge, a cloud burst that is going to come and you’ve had a few sprinklings of rain. Just a few little sprinkle drops; that’s all. Well, you people that have been getting these dust storms and all this drought that you’ve had, all you’ve had is just a little sprinkling. I want to tell you there’s a cloudburst of famine coming only it won’t be a cloudburst; it’s just the opposite. It’ll be a cloudburst of sun and no rain. Now, here is what we read in Joel again, there’s no pasture for these cattle. Even the flocks of sheep are dismayed. They haven’t minds to think it out or reason about it or anything they’re just going to be — you know their minds are so constructed; God did the thinking and created what brain they have and put it in there that it makes them automatically eat and they know they should eat grass. They should eat the pasture, and here there won’t be any. And they won’t understand it.

Joel 1: 19-20 “…Unto thee, O LORD, I cry: for fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,” [That’s the fire of the sun and hot days and the weather will be such it’ll just seem like a fire.] “…and flame…” [the very flame of the sun.] “…has burned all the trees of the field…” What are you going to do when there’s no pasture for your cattle, or for your sheep, or your hogs. And, some of you will know what I mean anyhow. And when the trees are burned up. And there’s no fruit. And your vines will be dried up and there’ll be no fruit on vines.

Joel 1:20 “Even the beasts of the field cry to thee because the water brooks are dried up,…” [Your rivers will be dried up, your river beds.] “…and fire…” [that is the fire of the heat of the sun] “…has devoured the pastures of the wilderness…” (RSV) (Armstrong HW. Outline of Prophecy 02 – Famine, Pestilence and Drought. Radio Broadcast)

Famine will come. It may be that the drought that many parts of the USA are experiencing could be a prelude to that.

Here is something from Joel chapter 2:

12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,”Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him — A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” (Joel 2:12-18)

Repentance is something that Joel proclaimed was needed and that is still the case today. Notice that he was saying that all, including the religious who felt that they were God’s people, needed to repent and gather together. That gathering together is something that the Philadelphians need to do in this end time–those who do not risk not being protected from the Day of the Lord, etc. (cf. Zephaniah 2:1-3).

Here are some comments from Herbert Armstrong on Joel 2:12-17:

Joel 2: 12-14 “Yet even now, says the LORD…” [through Joel,] “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning: (13) And rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return unto the [Eternal] your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…. (14) Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering…” [and so on?] Joel 2:17 “With a cry out, “Spare thy people, O [Eternal] make not thine heritage…” [our nation, our people] “… a reproach, a byword among the nations.”(RSV) (Armstrong HW. Outline of Prophecy 02 – Famine, Pestilence and Drought. Radio Broadcast)

Here is some more of what Joel wrote in chapter 2:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (Joel 2:28-31)

According to the Apostle Peter, there was a partial fulfillment of this (Acts 2:16) on the Day of Pentecost c. 31 A.D. (Acts 2:1).

But as verses such as verse 31 will not be fulfilled until after the start of the Great Tribulation, it is logical to conclude that God would still use dreams to sometimes convey parts of His message prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG), Herbert W. Armstrong, basically said so in a 1981 sermon (scripture is from the KJV):

All right, now there’s another prophecy for the people

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

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

Herbert W. Armstrong was correct about the time coming when God would pour out His Spirit as well as the duality (see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?). There was a duality to what Peter preached in Acts 2–and that duality is for our current time!

As it turns out, dreams had been given to at least three people who later became part of the Continuing Church of God which were essentially fulfilled (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God).

Yet, most people (including Christians) discount that, despite God inspiring Joel to write about it and the Apostle Peter to preach about it.

Laodicean Christians think they are great judges, but sadly do not believe that God has been using dreams in this century.

They do not seem willing to accept those prophecies God gave to Joel. Most do not know the biblical differences between true and false leaders or the signs that GOD says He uses.

Parts of Joel’s message have been at least partially fulfilled and the fulfillment of other parts will come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? Here is a link in Spanish: Sueños, la Biblia, la Iglesia de Dios de la Radio, y la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.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.

Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
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.
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?
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?