Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Messianic Jews are not COG (nor are SDAs or SDBs)

Friday, May 20th, 2022


Logos of Messianic Jews

COGwriter

Although they keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, plus do not eat biblically unclean animals, Messianic Jews are NOT in the Church of God. They consider that the Protestants are real Christians.

Here is some of what one Messianic group says about their history:

Messianic Judaism as a distinct movement faded in the seventh century, there have always been individual Jewish Believers in Yeshua. Beginning in the early 1800s increasing numbers of Jewish people began believing in Yeshua. The modern Messianic Jewish movement came to fruition in the 1960s and 1970s. (What is Messianic Judaism? Congregation Shema Yisrael. viewed 09/07/14)

Furthermore, they tend to push 613 requirements:

So what relationship does the Gentile Christian have to the 613 laws of the Torah? The book of Acts records that Messiah’s Emissaries (the Apostles) and the Elders of Messiah’s Holy Community met to decide this very issue. In the Messianic Jewish community we commonly refer to this meeting, recorded in Acts 15, as “the First Jerusalem Council”. (What is Messianic Judaism. Congregation Shema Yisrael. http://shema.com/messianic-judaism/what-is-it/ viewed 12/30/19)

Let it be stated that the apostles did NOT meet to discuss the ‘613 laws of the Torah’ in Acts 15. There is no such thing biblically. Messianic Jews should not try to kid themselves that the list was the issue.

The list of 613 comes from Jewish tradition and a misnomer about pomegranates (supposedly they have 613 seeds, but they range from about 165 to over 1000). In Acts 15, we learn that the council of apostles and elders got together to decide whether or not Gentile Christians had to be physically circumcised. Many of the 613 ‘mitzvot’ are not laws of the Torah, but are Jewish traditions.

This Messianic movement considers itself to have the “same core beliefs” as professing Christian groups like Protestants (ibid).

While beliefs vary, Messianics tend to consider heaven the reward of the saved, that God is a trinity, Jesus was killed on a Friday, and that it is fine to celebrate Christmas and Easter (https://www.shema.com/frequently-asked-questions-12659/ accessed 12/20/19). Those are also positions of the SDAs (Seventh-day Adventists) and SDBs (Seventh Day Baptists).

The Messianics differ in that they advocate wearing things like tassels (specially knotted ritual fringes worn by observant Jews, also known as tzitzits) as well as “a Star of David, or a Star of David with a cross in it” (ibid). We in the CCOG do not. Some Messianic men wear head coverings known as kippah (also called a yarmulke) even at times they would be biblically-prohibited (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:4,7).

The New Testament demonstrates the apostles did not appear to look like Jewish rabbis or Levitical priests, though many Messianic leaders seem to try to do so. When, for one example, the Apostle Paul was arrested, the authorities did not recognize him as a Jew, but thought he was an Egyptian (Acts 21:37-38). Paul had to tell the military commander he was a Jew (Acts 27:39). Thus, Paul did not look like a Jewish rabbi, nor was he apparently wearing distinguishing phylacteries or tzitzits as the Messianic Jews do. Christians have God’s laws written on their hearts (Hebrews 10:16), hence do not need to wear visual reminders.

Many Messianics use Hebrew names for deity. For some of them, it is based on the wrong idea that the New Testament was primarily written in Hebrew or Aramaic, which it was not. Other than a very few Aramaic quotes, the New Testament was written in koine Greek. When one accepts that fact, one can see that God did not intend nor expect people to use Hebrew names for deity. Furthermore, because of the early lack of vowels in Hebrew, no one actually can be certain how those Hebrew names were originally pronounced.

Messianic Jews tend to consider themselves as at least similar to Protestants who accept Jesus, but believe that they should live somewhat like Orthodox Jews.

The Messianic Jewish movement is not part of the Church of God.

The Continuing Church of God has the following related sermon on our ContinuingCOG channel:

1:20:28

Although Seventh Day Baptists (SDBs), Seventh-day Adventist (SDAs), and Messianic Jews keep some version of the seventh day Sabbath, are they Protestant or Church of God. What do they claim? What do they teach? What do SDAs and Messianic Jews teach about their history? Do SDBs cite groups who held Church of God (COG) and not SDB doctrines? Which group teaches the original biblical Christian faith? How do the SDAs, Messianics, and SDBs agree with Protestants on issues such as salvation, history, and the Godhead, which differ greatly from the Continuing Church of God (CCOG)? Are there really 613 laws of the Torah? What are 28 ways the SDAs differ from the CCOG? Are ‘Black Israelites’ right about Jesus being a black African? Was the Day of Atonement on October 22, 1844 according to Rabbinical or Karaite Jews? Did the SDAs or COG come out of the Millerite movement? Did Ellen White make false prophecies that she insisted came from God? If so, what were some of them? Did the SDA church send out literature it knew was clearly wrong? Was Ellen G. White’s sanctuary interpretation the “complete system of truth”? Did SDAs once teach crosses were pagan, but now include them in their official logo? Which of the 4 church’s (SDB,SDA, Messianic, CCOG) doctrines have the most biblical and historical support? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon video: Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
Seventh Day Baptists are Protestant, not Church of God This article explains reasons why Baptists, include seventh day ones (SDBs) do not have the historical and doctrinal ties to the original church that many have claimed. Here are two related sermons in the English language: Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG? and Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses some early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, CG7-Salem, Jerusalem 7DCG, and COG-7th Day-Denver. Here are links to two historical sermons: Sardis Church Era: Beginnings, Doctrines, and Leaders and Sardis: SDBs, SDAs, & CG7s.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’, The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement, and Origin of the Cross.
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view? A related sermon is available: Truth about the Holy Spirit: What THEY do not want you to know!
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. A related sermon is available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
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.

 

Gospel writer Mark, Venice, and Apostolic Succession

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

The Casket Claimed to be that of Mark of Alexandria in Venice (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

My wife Joyce and I have gotten to visit St. Mark’s Square and the related church in Venice, Italy on several occasions.

People in Venice repeatedly have been told, and often believe, that they have the body of Mark, the Gospel writer. Essentially, the old Venetians stole a body from Alexandria, Egypt centuries ago. This was the body that the Alexandrians claimed was Mark, the writer of the Gospel bearing his name.

Here is the story behind one of the mosaics at the square:

The mosaic (said to be of Saint Alipio) that overlooks the first portal on the right hand side dates back to 1260. It tells the story of two merchants: Rustico from Torcello and Bruno from Malamocco who in 828 secretly stole the body of San Marco from Alessandria (Egypt). From the picture you can see the two merchants avoid the Muslim guards by hiding the body of St Mark underneath pork meat, (food considered dirty according to Islam) and calling out ‘canzir’ that in Arabic means pork. The disgusted guards reacted by not inspecting the load, enabling the corpse to be taken aboard the ship that set sail immediately for Venice. http://www.tours-italy.com/venice-about-st_marks_basilica.htm

San Marco means “Saint Mark.”

As it turns out, some believe that the arrival of the corpse of “Mark” in Venice fulfilled a private prophecy, which is one reason that this is accepted. Some also believe the idea that Mark indirectly founded Venice by founding a bishopric in Aquileia (which is about 125 km away). This seems to be based upon legends found in eighth century writings (Sethre J. The souls of Venice. McFarland, 2003, p. 28). Because of these legends, the Venetians claim that the gospel writer Mark founded their church (the Alexandrians also claim Mark).

As far as the ‘prophecy’ of Mark’s body goes, here is one account of it:

In the “legend of predestination,” ratified by Andrea Dandolo, Mark of the Gospel becomes Mark of Venice. An angel brings him a message while he pauses amidst the Venetian marshes. at the very site where Rivus Altus/Venice will rise centuries later: “Pax tibi, Marce, evangelista meus.” The message foresees Mark’s spiritual presence in the city. The arrival of his relics in 828 “confirms” the truth of that prophecy. (Sethre J. The souls of Venice. McFarland, 2003, p. 28).

Whether or not Mark was in Venice, many believe the Venetians taking of a body in Alexandria fulfills this prophecy. Yet, as will be discussed later, Mark’s body was not actually in Alexandria, thus in the physical sense, the prophecy is clearly false.

Some Religious History of Venice

Those in the ‘Patriarchate of Venice’ believe that the gospel writer Mark may have visited some of the outlying islands or at least one he ordained came to their area. Notice also the following:

The Venetian islands at first belonged to the diocese of Altino or the diocese of Padua, under jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Aquileia, believed to be the successor of St. Mark.

It is certain that during the Lombard invasion (568-572) many bishops of the invaded mainland escaped under protection of the Byzantine fleet in the eastern lagoons. The Archbishop himself took refuge in Grado, where he was claimed as Patriarch, during the schism of the Three Chapters. At the end of the invasion, many of the ancient diocese of the mainland were restored by the Lombards, while the Exiles supported the new sees in the lagoons. Two patriarchs emerged from the war and from the schism (at least solved in 698): Patriarchate of Old-Aquileia on the mainland and Patriarchate of Grado…

774. In that year, with the consent of pope Adrian I and the Patriarch of Grado John IV, an episcopal see was erected on the island of Olivolo (afterwards called Castello) with jurisdiction over Gemini, Rialto, Luprio and Dorsoduro. The first bishop, Obelerius, was invested and enthroned by the Doge of Venice, Maurice Galbaio, and ordained by the Patriarch. After Obelerius’ death, the doge named Christopher from Damiata in 798, a member of the Greek party (that is, the partisans of the Eastern Emperor). Patriarch John, a member of the Frankish party (the partisans of Charlemagne) refused to consecrate him, due to his extreme youth. A subsequent confrontation led to the murder of Patriarch John. John was succeeded by his nephew Fortunato from Trieste, who placed himself under the protection of the Frank-Lombard Kingdom and to a confused period, during which the chair of Olivolo was a long struggle. The same Duchy was invaded by the Franks, that besieged the (political) Metamaucus and were defeated and expelled only in 810. The victorious Greek party, led by the new ducal family of Parteciaci, in 812 moved the ducal see from Metamaucus to the more secure Rialto, at the center of the lagoon. A new city was created by the merger of the central islands, including Olivolo: that city was Venice. Finally, after the death of Patriarch Fortunato in 825, Orso, son of the doge John I Pateciacus, became bishop of the city. Under him, the relics of the Evangelist St. Mark were transferred from the Muslim dominated Alexandria of Egypt and brought to Venice…

In 1074 Bishop Henry, from the noble family of Contarini, was the first to bear the title of Bishop of Castello, indicating the complete merger of the island of Olivolo with Venice…Patriarchs of Grado began to reside in Venice more and more until in 1105 they definitely transferred to the city, with their own church at St. Silvestrus. For the next three centuries, three bishops resided in Venice: the Patriarch of Grado, the Primicerius of St. Mark and the Bishop of Castello, each one with his own jurisdiction.

The city gathered relics, especially from the East, and especially after the conquest of Constantinople. After 1204, the icon of the Madonna called Nicopoeia, which is still in St. Mark’s, arrived. (Patriarch of Venice, Wikipedia, viewed 06/09/13)

The diocese of Venice was basically created in 774 as suffragan of the Patriarchate of Grado. It is alleged that because the Venetians did not wish to have to fully accept papal authority that they decided to take the alleged body of Mark from the Eastern Orthodox of Alexandria Egypt in order to claim an apostolic tie that was not directly part of Rome. At this time, the “Great Schism” of 1054 (which is how the Eastern Orthodox describe it, had not happened yet and Rome officially still recognized their claimed ‘apostolic sees’).

This seemed to work for the Venetians for a while, especially when they were in the height of their power (they basically had a monopoly on making clear glass for some time, which made them fairly wealthy). But they eventually reunited with Rome.

In 1457, basically because in consideration of the political influence of the city, its bishops were accorded the title of patriarch by the Pope.

Within the Latin Church, Rome recognizes five Latin sees, including the Diocese of Rome. The others, which it accords the title of Patriarchate, also include Venice, Lisbon, the East Indies, and Jerusalem.

By tradition, the Patriarch of Venice is created a cardinal at the consistory following his appointment, although the Pope is not bound by law to do this. So, basically the Venetians feel special and have more influence than the average Catholic diocese.

The fact that the biblical Mark was not part of a faith that would have encouraged the collection and adoration of relics does not seem to bother the Venetians.

Mark, the Alexandrians, and the Body

As far as Mark being the bishop of the Alexandrians, that is simply not true.

The fact that it is, at best highly-questionable, has long been known by the Church of Rome. Notice what the old The Catholic Encyclopedia taught:

A widespread, if somewhat late, tradition represents St. Mark as the founder of the Church of Alexandria. Though strangely enough Clement and Origen make no reference to the saint’s connection with their city…the chronology of the Apostolic age is admittedly uncertain, and that we have no earlier authority than Eusebius for the date of the foundation of the Alexandrian Church, we may perhaps conclude with more probability that it was founded somewhat later…the New Testament is silent in regard to St. Mark, for his activity in Egypt. (MacRory, Joseph. “St. Mark.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 17 Aug. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09672c.htm>)

A “late tradition” means that it was likely made up over a century later. The fact is that the biblical Mark could not have been the first “Bishop of Alexandria,” and probably did not even visit Alexandria. Origen wrote so much that it is almost inconceivable that he would not have pointed to a biblical connection to Alexandria, if one actually existed. The fact that the New Testament does not mention Mark in Egypt (but instead mentions him in many other places) should show that there are major problems with the later tradition. Despite the facts, in late 2012, the then Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria as the “See of Saint Mark,” which it could not be (Pope Benedict’s Message to His Holiness Tawadros II. From the Vatican 11/14/12;. Zenit.org, November 19, 2012).

Perhaps it should also be noted that the body that is in Venice now is not even certain to be the body that was taken from Alexandria as the Venetians lost it. Here is an explanation:

In 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, St. Mark’s relics could not be found. However, according to tradition, in 1094 the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The newfound remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica. Copts believe that the head of St. Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in St. Mark’s Cairo’s Cathedral. (Wikipedia, viewed 06/03/2013)

Thus, the body is at best incomplete. It is not Mark’s body, and even what is there now may have been just thrown together from some bones not even from Alexandria. Mark is dead and in his grave and he did not appear to tell the Venetians where some of his body parts were.

It is not possible, according to the scriptural accounts, for Mark to have been the Bishop of Alexandria when the Alexandrians (and Copts) claim that he was. Those who falsely believe that (and those that falsely believe a lot of other theological lies) would not have that problem if they would truly heed Jesus’ words:

31 “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Allegory and fable is not on the same level as the literal truth of the word of God.

Mark is Not Mentioned as Being in Alexandria or Venice in the Bible

Since Mark is mentioned many times in the New Testament (never with the title of apostle or Bishop), the apparent dates and events in the Bible that mention Mark demonstrate that Mark could not have been the Bishop of Alexandria at that time. The Bible clearly shows that Mark was in, or traveling to, many other places. The area of Venice is not mentioned either, though it is theoretically more possible that Mark could have visited Venice than been Bishop of Alexandria.

As far as Mark and his locations, around 43-44 A.D., Mark is mentioned first in Acts 12:12, when he is praying in Jerusalem. Herod is noted as dying in Acts 12:20-23, which was in 44 A.D. (Radmacher, p. 1813). Sometime after Herod’s death, notice:

25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark (Acts 12:25).

Thus, Mark was in Jerusalem and then went with Paul and Barnabas.

In A.D. 46, Mark spent time with Paul and Barnabas in the Antioch Church before he accompanied them as a helper on their first missionary journey.

Mark apparently went with Paul and Barnabas from around 47-49 A.D.

But Paul was not pleased with Mark and did not want him to accompany him on the next trip:

37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus (Acts 15:37-39).

Notice that Paul considered Mark unfaithful, and that Mark then went to the island of Cyprus (not Alexandria). There is no way anyone should have considered the unfaithful Mark to have been a faithful “apostle” at that time, around 50-53 A.D.

Later, Paul apparently changed his mind about Mark.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him) (Colossians 4:10).

This occurred around 60 A.D. and Mark is believed to have been with Paul in Rome then. He could have possibly passed by the islands near Venice then, but the Bible does not specify.

Around 64-67 A.D., Paul declared that Mark was useful:

11 Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

It should be noted that the Bible never mentions that Mark was ever in Alexandria, and gives no indication that he was a “bishop” over any area.

Instead, the biblical account clearly contradicts the position of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria that Mark was its bishop from 42-62 A.D. as Mark was in Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Cyprus, and other areas during this time. Plus, according to various historians, he was still alive in 67 A.D.

Also notice what other scholars have noted:

… Alexandria, the second home of Judaism, occupies no place in the development of the Church as depicted for us in the Acts. (Ramsay WM. The Church in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170. (London, 1893.) as cited/discussed in Studies in early church history: collected papers. C.H. Turner,editor, Clarendon Press, 1912, p. 165)

Alexandria and Mark’s connection to it should have been in the Book of Acts if Alexandria was founded and led by him.

Furthermore, even though Eusebius mentions Mark, he noted that there was a problem with those who professed Christ early in Alexandria:

1. And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had written, and first established churches in Alexandria.

2. And the multitude of believers, both men and women, that were collected there at the very outset, and lived lives of the most philosophical and excessive asceticism was so great, that Philo thought it worth while to describe their pursuits, their meetings, their entertainments, and their whole manner of life. (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book II, Chapter XVI, Verses 1-2, p. 33)

When Nero was in the eighth year of his reign, Annianus succeeded Mark the evangelist in the administration of the parish of Alexandria (Ibid, Chapter 24, p. 42).

It should be noted that Eusebius’ source or conclusion regarding Annianus/Anianos seems to be in error. The eighth year of Nero’s reign would be 61-62 A.D. and the Orthodox does claim that Anianos was a bishop there from 62 A.D.

However, this would seem to be a historical problem if he succeeded Mark upon his death.

Why?

Because according to Peter, Mark was alive when Peter wrote 1 Peter 5:13, which states:

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son…

Furthermore, according to Irenaeus (c. 175 A.D.), Mark was alive after Peter died:

Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter…(Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 1, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), p. 414.)

While it is not certain that Peter actually preached in Rome, if Irenaeus is correct that Mark functioned as Peter’s interpreter and later wrote after the death of Peter, then it would seem that Mark could not have died before 67 A.D., nor could he have been functioning as the Bishop of Alexandria. Thus, if there was an “Apostle” Mark in Alexandria in the 1st century, he would have been a false apostle and not the Mark who the New Testament discusses.

Probably little of this mattered to the old Venetians. They basically wanted to pretend enough to be Catholic that the Church of Rome could not brand them as heretics or apostates worthy of punishment. Having a body and claiming to have been related to Mark was politically-expedient. And whether or not this was a factor, for a long time the Church of Rome left Venice basically alone.

Pope Francis, however, teaches that Mark was the one that the Alexandrians, and thus by semi-extension Venice, had apostolic succession from (see Pope Francis’ appeal to Pope Tawadros II should concern Catholics and others).

Doctrines That Mark Would Have Held Should Matter

Of course, the gospel writer Mark would have had doctrines that the faithful and real Christians had.

Notice something that Mark was inspired to write:

19…Jesus…27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:19, 27-28)

But neither the Venetians nor the Alexandrians keep the seventh-day Sabbath as Jesus and Mark would have.

Mark was also inspired to write:

11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.'” (Mark 4:11-12)

30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32)

Yet neither the Venetians nor the Alexandrians teach or understand about the mystery of the Kingdom of God nor the real meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

To a great degree, the Venetians and Alexandrians hold to tradition above scripture in many areas. Jesus noted the same problem in His day, as Mark was inspired to report:

6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:6-9)

For those who want to learn more about what God inspired Mark to write, we have a series of sermons that cover every verse of Mark’s Gospel:

MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles, Mark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and Parables, Mark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and Restoration, Mark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & Taxes, Mark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and .

Mark, like the other Gospel writers, reported about Passover:

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”

13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”

16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

17 In the evening He came with the twelve. (Mark 14:12-18)

That Passover was on the fourteenth of Nisan as nearly all scholars will admit. But that day was condemned by the Greco-Roman faiths, but Mark would have kept it then. Yet, those associated with the Venetians and Alexandrians do not.

The following also would have been doctrines that Mark would have held to that the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Venice do not hold:

Baptism was by immersion and did not include infants.
A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.
Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.
Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion.
Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.
Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings. Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do.
Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.
Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians. Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.
Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.
Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught. Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
The Kingdom of God was preached. You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same. See also the video : Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Lent was not observed by the primitive church.
Limbo was not taught by the original church.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians. A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians. A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor. There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians. Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.
Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
God’s Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ. There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.
Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and gospel proclamation.
Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.
The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.

The fact that the Alexandrians and Venetians of the Middle Ages did not have the same teachings or practices of the gospel writer Mark probably did not matter to the Venetians of old either.

Sadly, the fact that those associated with the Venetian and Alexandrian patriarchs today do not hold those practices should give them pause to consider that if Mark was their founder, how can they claim that if they do not do what he would have done or believe as he did?

Why is any of this important to Christians?

There are basically two reasons.

The first is the reality that the so-called ‘apostolic sees’ that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox claim simply do not hold to the teachings of the original apostles, hence none truly have ‘apostolic succession.’

The fact that their origins are often, directly or indirectly (such as the non-fulfilled “prophecy” about Mark returning to Venice), based on false or implausible information should show all that they do not have “the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

The second is that we who have that “love of the truth” need to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV) as to why we do not accept the improper Greco-Roman versions of church doctrine or history. The truth of church history needs to be restored and brought to light (cf. Matthew 5:14-16; 17:11).

The time is coming when the Beast power will rise up and, at first, I expect that he and his supporters will give lip service to the idea of the Greco-Roman apostolic sees as partial proof why they, and not groups like the Continuing Church of God have ties to apostolic Christianity. They will be wrong, of course. But we of the faithful flock need to be able to explain why they are wrong and that is part of why I posted this about the claimed ‘see’ of Venice.

Only those who have the same teachings and practices of the apostles can possibly have true apostolic succession.

Which brings to the third point: we in the Church of God do have apostolic succession.

In the Continuing Church of God we trace our succession through what has been called the “Apostolic See of Ephesus,” but also sometimes called the “See of Smyrna.”

Some items to assist in your studies may include:

MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles, Mark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and Parables, Mark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and Restoration, Mark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & Taxes, Mark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and .
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
Laying on of Hands Succession and List Does the Church of God have laying on of hands succession? Does the Continuing Church of God have a list of leaders from the time of the apostles? Here is a link to a related sermon: Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession.

Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
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?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years. It also discusses the concept of church eras. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation.
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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Hank Hanegraaff became Eastern Orthodox after helping WCG accept apostasy

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

TRANSFORMED FROM TRUTH

Worldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales

COGwriter

Mike Gendron had the following titled “The Consequences of Departing from the Faith” as his lead article in one of his newsletters, regarding Hank Hanegraaff who called himself the Bible Answer Man:

Hank Hanegraaff, known as the Bible Answer Man, was chrismated into the Orthodox Church last month. According to Orthodox teachings, Chrismation is the mystery by which a person is granted the gift of the Holy Spirit through the anointing of Holy Chrism. How could a man who spent so many years helping Christians identify various counterfeits now make the most foolish decision to join a counterfeit form of Christianity? Like its former protagonist, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox also teach a false and fatal gospel of salvation by sacraments and works. They are both to be accursed for teaching a gospel contrary to the Gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9).

How could the Bible Answer Man disregard the Bible when making a decision that has eternal consequences? Hanegraaff said, “I’ve been impacted by Eastern Orthodox people who have a very keen sense of Church history and have absolute fidelity to the essentials of the historic Christian faith.” It is hard to believe that someone who claims to know the Bible so well can say the Orthodox religion has “absolute fidelity to the essentials of the historic Christian faith.” Does Hanegraaff not know that the primary essential of the Christian faith is the non-negotiable Gospel of Christ? (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

The Orthodox people do not believe or proclaim the one-time, all-sufficient, unrepeatable sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the finished work of redemption. Instead, their priests continue to offer what they believe is the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ everyday on an altar. This Eucharistic sin-offering not only blasphemes Christ, but also rejects His victory cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30). By continuing their sacerdotal priesthood, the Orthodox also reject Jesus as the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). In the Orthodox Church forgiveness of sin and salvation can only come through its priests and its sacraments.

One of the immediate consequences for Hanegraaff’s conversion to the Orthodox Church was having his radio program booted from the Bott Radio Network. We applaud the network’s decision to discontinue the Bible Answer Man program after carrying it since the 1980’s. Hanegraaff’s perplexing decision to join an apostate church that long ago departed from the faith of the apostles, may have eternal consequences also. The Orthodox religion holds its people captive through an utter dependence on a superfluous priesthood for salvation, along with the idolatrous worship of icons, necromantic prayers and worship for the dead. … Hanegraaff has submitted to a much more corrupt religion (Gal. 2:5).

Throughout the New Testament, we are warned that there will be false converts, false teachers, and apostates in the church. We cannot judge anyone’s heart, but we must be fruit inspectors (Mat. 7:15-20). Only God knows if Hanegraaff is a true or a false convert. However, it is inconceivable that a true Christian would exchange a relationship with the One Mediator for a religion that offers ungodly mediators. Hanegraaff’s departure is not unprecedented. “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

We need to remember that the last days will be marked by widespread deception and growing apostasy. “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Paul exhorts the church to be on the alert. He wrote: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30). Only time will tell how many undiscerning people will follow Hanegraaff on the wide road to destruction.

We are living in a church age where many people are choosing to follow persuasive personalities rather than the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. These undiscerning people need to be warned that there are eternal consequences for those who follow the teachings of men without testing them with the supreme authority of God’s Word. The only way false teachers can succeed is when professing Christians put up with them (2 Cor. 11:4). May God give us the courage and boldness to contend earnestly for the faith that was signed, sealed, and delivered 2000 years ago (Jude 3).

How could “The Bible Answer Man” drift further away from the Bible?

To me that is an easy answer, I never believed that he truly believed the Bible. I reported some news of his transformation to Eastern Orthodoxy in the past when I first heard of it (see CRI’s Hank Hanegraaff, who advised WCG to apostatize, converted to Eastern Orthodoxy).

As far as the Eastern Orthodox go, though they have some good points, they are NOT a Bible-based church, but often rely on traditions and councils of men that differ from original Christianity. They actually sometimes have referred to themselves as the “Church of the Seven Councils”–and those councils were not intent upon heeding scripture. For documented details, check out the article: Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God. As far as the additional apocryphal books that the Eastern Orthodox accept, check out the article The Old Testament Canon or the free online book: Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible? Is the Bible complete?

The Eastern Orthodox, while claiming to be the original catholic church, do not hold to many important beliefs of early Christians. For documented details, check out the free online book: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

As readers of this page may recall, Hank Hanegraaff, himself, assisted in causing a major falling away from the truth (see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Here is an older report related to Hank Hanegraaff and the apostate leadership of the changed Worldwide Church of God (which now calls itself Grace Communion International):

WCG leaders aired doctrinal views on CRI’s radio program

By Dixon Cartwright

The pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God described to an international radio-talk-show audience Jan. 4, 5 and 12, 1996, the transformation of the WCG from a legalistic sect whose members were plagued by cognitive dissonance into a fledgling Protestant denomination coming out of a cave and seeking acceptance by the world of mainstream churches. Joseph Tkach Jr., WCG pastor general, and Greg Albrecht, editor in chief of the WCG’s Plain Truth magazine, appeared on The Bible Answer Man radio talk show with host Hank Hanegraaff on segments originating in a studio in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The Bible Answer Man is sponsored by Mr. Hanegraaff’s Christian Research Institute (CRI), which was founded by the late Walter Martin, who wrote Kingdom of the Cults, a book dedicated to exposing what he termed non-Christian sects, including the Worldwide Church of God. …

Mr. Hanegraaff noted that WCG leaders had contacted him “probably two or three years ago” and “we have spent quite a bit of time together over the last few years.”

On fire to help

Mr. Albrecht commented that he was “a longtime listener of the program, so it’s great to be on the show with you.” Mr. Tkach said he and other WCG leaders—he named specifically Mr. Albrecht, church-administration director Mike Feazell, treasurer Bernie Schnippert (who died in 2014) and computer-information-systems manager David Smith—“all have a fire in our belly to help others realize the pain of legalism and to escape it.”

Mr. Tkach said he hopes the experiences of the Worldwide Church of God will promote a “ripple effect throughout the entire Saturday-Sabbath-keeping community” so Sabbatarians can “realize the Sabbath in its proper perspective.”

Although Mr. Tkach and Mr. Albrecht couched their phrases in diplomatic terms when it came to describing the WCG of old and its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mr. Hanegraaff was more to the point in saying that Mr. Armstrong espoused “false doctrine.”

Mr. Albrecht noted that he could not “stand in judgment” of Mr. Arm- strong “in terms of the basis of his sal- vation,” but Mr. Hanegraaff noted that the WCG has “judged his [Mr. Armstrong’s] writings, and that is why you’ve changed them.”

Mr. Tkach responded, “You said that very well.”

The talk-show host asked Mr. Tkach to confirm that he personally, as well as the Worldwide Church of God, repudiates many of the former WCG teachings espoused by Mr. Armstrong: “You are comfortable in saying that Herbert W. Armstrong did deny essentials of the historic Christian faith; the Trinity would be a good example?”

“Absolutely,” replied Mr. Tkach. “I have no reservations in saying that some of the things that Mr. Armstrong taught were in major error.”

Of course, the statement that the WCG has repudiated its own core doctrines— and by extension the doctrines of the other Sabbatarian groups with origins in the Worldwide Church of God—is no surprise to readers of this newspaper. But it is instructive to hear some of the testimonials of their newfound faith from the lips of two of the principal apologists of the new teachings. (Cartwright D. The Journal: News of the Churches of God, #173, print date May 31, 2015)

I remember some of the false information that WCG leaders were giving at the time and recall a little bit from the falsely named ‘Bible Answer Man.’ WCG leaders kept telling the membership that the changes were not planned, but more information points to a plot to introduce heretical doctrines. The changed WCG basically became just another Protestant sect. Real Church of God groups, like the Continuing Church of God are NOT Protestant, as our histories and doctrines greatly differ (see details, for three examples, in the free online books Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism and Where is the True Christian Church Today? and Continuing History of the Church of God).

Hank Hanegraaff also wrote the Forward to J. Tkach, Jr.’s absurd Transformed book:

Foreword to Transformed by Truth, by Hank Hanegraaf

Foreword to Transformed by Truth, by Joseph Tkach

The Worldwide Church of God has embarked upon a course virtually uncharted in church history—a course that has taken them from the kingdom of the cults to the kingdom of Christ. In Transformed by Truth, Joseph Tkach, leader of the Worldwide Church of God, candidly describes the movement’s transformation from the perspective of his own personal awakening. During their pilgrimage from cultism to the cross, I have come to know Joseph as both a friend and as a brother in Christ. I have observed firsthand his courage, his integrity, and his absolute commitment to Scripture as the final court of arbitration.

The above related to the Bible is fantasy. It is false.

Joseph Tkach now endorses things like Easter, the Trinity, and Christmas–none of which came from the Bible. The Eastern Orthodox do as well, plus have many doctrines that are in conflict with an “absolute commitment to Scripture as the final court of arbitration”–for details, check out the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God.

Hank Hanegraaff’s assessment of J. Tkach’s theology, as well as his own, were and remain flawed.

They are practicing a version of Mithraism (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Neither of those men are following the biblical faith, which was the faith of the original faithful followers of Jesus, which is the faith still practiced in the Continuing Church of God.

As far as the old Worldwide Church of God goes, after Hank Hanegraaf’s ‘assistance’ it went further away from “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). It also sold its properties in Pasadena, changed its name to Grace Communion International (GCI), and has now relocated its main office to Charlotte, NC (see GCI purchased new facility in Charlotte, NC) and GCI’s J. Tkach reported on its move).

Both Hank Hanegraaf and GCI have gotten further and further away from the original Christian faith.

Some items of related interest may include:

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.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible? Is the Bible complete? Are there lost gospels? What about the Apocrypha? Is the Septuagint better than the Masoretic text? What about the Textus Receptus vs. Nestle Alland? Was the New Testament written in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew? Which translations are based upon the best ancient text? Did the true Church of God have the canon from the beginning? Here are links to related sermons: Let’s Talk About the Bible, The Books of the Old Testament, The Septuagint and its Apocrypha, Masoretic Text of the Old Testament, and Lost Books of the Bible, and Let’s Talk About the New Testament, The New Testament Canon From the Beginning, English Versions of the Bible and How Did We Get Them?, What was the Original Language of the New Testament?, Original Order of the Books of the Bible, and Who Gave the World the Bible? Who Had the Chain of Custody?
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.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
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.
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version.
The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. Several related sermon 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, and How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
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.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
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?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view? A related sermon is available: Truth about the Holy Spirit: What THEY do not want you to know!
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. A related sermon is available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it? Here is a link to a related sermon: Unitarianism? How is God One?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Thérèse of Lisieux, Signs, and Lying Wonders

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022


Thérèse at age 15

COGwriter

The Bible prophesies that there will be signs and lying wonders:

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

Now, consider that Thérèse of Lisieux was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint on May 17, 1925, by Pope Pius XI. She died in 1897. She became quite popular in the 20th century and is still popular now.

Her remains have traveled the world. They have been viewed, adored, worshiped and prayed to by various Roman Catholics in more than 40 nations. Some claim her remains have even restored sight to the blind. Several years ago, about two million turned out to see St. Terese’s remains when they were in Ireland (The Independent, August 23, 2009).

Here is some of what Catholic OnLine reported about her:

Over the years, some modern Catholics have turned away from her because they associate her with over- sentimentalized piety…

Therese became so ill with a fever that people thought she was dying. The worst part of it for Therese was all the people sitting around her bed staring at her like, she said, “a string of onions.” When Therese saw her sisters praying to statue of Mary in her room, Therese also prayed. She saw Mary smile at her and suddenly she was cured. She tried to keep the grace of the cure secret but people found out and badgered her with questions about what Mary was wearing, what she looked like. When she refused to give in to their curiosity, they passed the story that she had made the whole thing up…

Every time Therese even imagined that someone was criticizing her or didn’t appreciate her, she burst into tears. Then she would cry because she had cried! Any inner wall she built to contain her wild emotions crumpled immediately before the tiniest comment. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=105

Both biblical (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) and non-biblical sources suggest that signs and wonders will deceive many at the end. I believe that she, partially because of her promoting her false view of Jesus’ mother Mary, but also because of other false doctrines she promoted, has been used as part of Satan’s Plan.

Some of the warnings of the Bible about lying wonders will likely involve apparitions claiming to be Mary as well as people who have claimed to somehow see Mary.

The prevalence of such claims this century even caused the Vatican to issue statements and policies warning against many of them (see Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

It needs to be emphasized that just because a Catholic nun claims to have seen Mary and passes on messages, that this does not mean that the messages are from God–and even the Church of Rome teaches that (for some documentation please see Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?).

In August 1895, in her “Canticle to the Holy Face” Thérèse wrote:

“Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps. Ah, You know, Your sweet Face is for me Heaven on earth. My love discovers the charms of Your Face adorned with tears. I smile through my own tears when I contemplate Your sorrows”. (Wikipedia)

This should set off warnings to all as the reality is that she never actually saw Jesus’ face/image, hence to claim that it was His image that guided her steps cannot be correct.

The Apostle John wrote:

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

And that is what all should do. God’s true prophets do not ever claim God told them something and then been shown to have been in error.

Thérèse of Lisieux is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus” or “The Little Flower.” She was declared a Catholic ‘doctor of the church’ in 1997.

Pope Francis considers that the deceased Thérèse of Lisieux responded to his request for peace through his version of ‘Mary’ back in 2013:

On Sunday 8 September, the day after the long prayer vigil for peace in Syria – when some passages from texts written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux were read out – Pope Francis received a white rose as a surprise. Francis considers the flower to be a “sign” linked to the devotion of the saint. The Archbishop of Ancona and Osimo, Edoardo Menichelli broke the news, with Francis authorisation…

“The Pope told me he received the freshly-picked white rose out of the blue from a gardener as he was taking a stroll in the Vatican Gardens on Sunday 8 September,” Mgr. Menichelli said. “The Pope sees this flower as a “sign”, a “message” from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whom he had turned to in a moment of worry the day before.”…

Bergoglio mentions it in “El Jesuita” (“The Jesuit”), a book interview written by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti when he was still a cardinal. In a description the two journalists give of Bergoglio’s library in Buenos Aires, they write: “We pause before a vase full of white roses standing on a shelf in the library. In front of it is a photograph of Saint Thérèse. “Whenever I have a problem,” Bergoglio explained to the journalists, “I ask the saint not to solve it, but to take it into her hands and to help me accept it and I almost always receive a white rose as a sign.” Pope Francis’ devotion for the Carmelite mystic who died at the young age of 24 in 1897, was canonized by Pius XI and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by John Paul II in 1997, is common knowledge. http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/28151/

We are increasingly learning about supposed ‘signs’ associated with Pope Francis. This should give pause to those in the real Church of God:

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Pope Francis is a big promoter of Mary as well as the apparition in Fatima. He consecrated his pontificate to ‘Mary’ and even further had his pontificate consecrated to the Lady of Fatima (Pope Francis’ pontificate consecrated to ‘Lady of Fatima’). Now as far as ‘peace’ coming to Syria, what happened back in 2013 is that the USA decided not to intervene militarily because of Syrian use of chemical weapons–this did not lead to peace–instead it got opposition leaders to Syria’s President Assad to turn further away from the USA, and ultimately support the group calling itself the Islamic State. Thus, the flower ‘sign’ that Pope Francis allegedly received from Thérèse of Lisieux was not of God.

Thérèse of Lisieux was not a true prophet of God (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God), but instead is one of many throughout history that seems to have been used to set people up for the deception that is still going to come (Matthew 24:24) who do not truly have the “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

Some items of related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Greco-Roman 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 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 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’.
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?
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?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.

WND questioned if professing Christians would recognize Jesus when He returns

Monday, May 16th, 2022


Artist’s portrayal of Jesus’ return

COGWriter

Will most people that profess Christ recognize Jesus when He returns?

World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah, correctly, seems to doubt that:

When the Jewish people finally received their Messiah, the vast majority did not recognize Him.

When He returns, will Christians make the same mistake?

That’s the fear WND founder Joseph Farah expressed in an interview with Paul McGuire on “Apocalypse and the End Times” on GodTV. It was part of a wide-ranging conversation about how the last days will be far different than what many believers expect.

“Who is Jesus and how is he going to come back?” Farah asked. “You know, a lot of people missed Jesus the first time He came. Most of the Jews did not recognize Him as their Messiah. They had a misunderstanding of how the Messiah was going to come. And they were going a lot by man’s teaching rather than going back to the Scriptures. And I wonder, when Jesus does come back, if many people in the church are going to miss Him too.” …

“This Jewish guy is going to come back, on the Mount of Olives as prophesied, and He’s going to become King of Israel,” Farah said wryly. “And the whole world is going to center around Israel at this point. Are they going to recognize him? Or are they going to be fooled by an imposter that we call the Antichrist who is going to do all kinds of signs and miracles, et cetera?”

Truly becoming knowledgeable about the Bible and the roots of the Christian faith is a passionate concern of Farah’s, who urges all believers to examine their beliefs.

“More than a billion people in the world call themselves Christians – how many of them are authentic Christians?” he asked. …

“Did Jesus come to start a new religion? No – he preached only to the House of Israel during his earthly ministry. The Apostles did initially also and only later, decades later perhaps, did they recognize that perhaps Gentiles could be part of this, and it’s such a blessing that we are. The notion of replacement theology is why Israel still is the most controversial country in the world today.” …

He mourned the average Christian’s lack of knowledge about the Millennial Kingdom and the earthly rule of Jesus.

“If you ask the average Christian about that, they have no understanding,” he explained. “We’ve got to perfect and redeem this world. To bring it back to the Garden of Eden – that’s the goal, that’s what Jesus is coming back to do, and to rule and reign from Jerusalem with a rod of iron.

“Are people prepared for this sweet Jesus that they read about in the New Testament to rule and reign from Jerusalem with a rod of iron? These are questions I think it’s important for Christians to challenge themselves with.” 01/28/17 http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/how-christians-will-recognize-jesus-again/#Tv3LCrfs88QtYzZc.99

Joseph Farah, a non-Roman Catholic, is correct that relatively few who profess Christ believe in the millennial reign of Jesus, even though the Bible teaches it (Revelation 20:4-6; see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?). Few understand that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:5, 19:15). And even less understand the good news of the Kingdom of God. And most are sorely ignorant of the true history of the faithful Christian church (Jude 3; for details check out Continuing History of the Church of God and Where is the True Christian Church Today?).

What about Roman Catholics?

Well, officially they do not believe in the millennial reign, in spite of the fact that it admits that many of their claimed early saints taught the millennium. Now they strongly condemn this belief as a doctrine of Antichrist:

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 194).

It should be noted that the millennial teaching appears to be the only doctrine associated with Antichrist that is condemned in the current official Catechism of the Catholic Church (which is the first new one in hundreds of years). The one that has the imprimatur of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who is now called Pope Emeritus and was Pope Benedict XVI.

While some Catholic writings are correct, certain contradictory Roman Catholic writings/prophecies teach that Antichrist:

  1. Will cite scriptures as proof of His Messiahship
  2. Will keep and promote the seventh-day Sabbath
  3. Will teach against idols and an idol-related Mass
  4. Will teach that the Catholic religion is false
  5. Will renumber the Ten Commandments
  6. Will be Jewish
  7. Will “observe the Jewish rites”
  8. Will have supporters who teach against the trinity
  9. Will preach the millennial gospel of the kingdom
  10. Will preach that there is a coming future opportunity for salvation
  11. Will come after thunders, lightning, earthquakes, mountains being leveled, and great hail
  12. Will win the “battle of Armageddon”
  13. Will come after the destruction of the Roman Empire
  14. Will claim to be the Messiah
  15. Will have those that appear to be resurrected saints with him.

Jesus: said scriptures testified who He was (John 5:39), kept the seventh-day Sabbath, taught against idols, never advocated the wearing of crosses on the hand or forehead (cf. Revelation 13:16;20:4), taught that those who held to a religion based upon tradition over the Bible is false, taught all the ten commandments as the Continuing Church of God teaches them, was Jewish (John 4:9-10; Matthew 1:1-3; Luke 3:23-33), kept “Jewish practices” like Passover (Matthew 26:18) and the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2,10), has always had non-Trinitarian supporters, taught the millennial gospel of the kingdom, taught that there would be a future opportunity for salvation, shows that thunders/lightning/earthquakes/hail preceded His coming (Revelation 16:17-21), shows that the forces of evil gathered at Megiddo lose (Revelation 16:13-16; 19:17-21), that He will reign after the destruction of the Roman Empire (Revelation 19:2-8), and He will teach He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26). And His Apostles Paul and John were inspired to write that resurrected saints will come with Jesus and reign at His second coming.

Thus, it appears that certain private Greco-Roman Catholic prophecies have been given to warn the world that when Jesus comes He will be the Antichrist. This may be part of the reason that the Bible warns that people will be angry and will actually make war against/with Jesus when He returns:

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

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army (Revelation 19:19).

Thus, I believe that Satan inspired a lot of false prophecies and improper theology so that those who are not the very elect will be deceived (Matthew 24:24) and will actually fight against Jesus (Revelation 19:19). This is part of Satan’s Plan.

This is part of why all who profess Christ need to understand who the true Church has been from the beginning, who the true Church was in the intervening years, and who the true Church actually will be in the end (for more details, please go to the History of Early Christianity page, and/or the free online booklets Continuing History of the Church of God and Where is the True Christian Church Today?).

Furthermore, it needs to be understood that some Greco-Roman Catholics also seem to teach the ones that those of us in the COG consider to be the two witnesses, will be announcing Antichrist (e.g. Birch, p. 556) and that during the time we in the COG call the Great Tribulation there will be supernaturally-fed people opposed to the Roman Catholic church dwelling in caves and that they will be “the advance guard of the son of perdition” (Hildegard of Bingen. Scivias. Paulist Press, Mahwah (NJ), p. 301).

Sadly, many Greco-Roman Catholic prophecies and writings apparently are directed against those in the protected Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God and against Jesus Christ. Many pronouncements by supporters of Martin Luther did as well. Those that do not understand the truth about Jesus, church history, and prophecy will be deceived. But YOU do not have to be.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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 Greco-Roman 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?
Greco-Roman 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.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
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? 2029 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?
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.
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?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Wormwood and Planet Nibiru Will the Earth be devastated by Planet X or Comet Encke? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Could Comet ISON be Wormwood of Bible Prophecy?
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here are links to two related videos in English: Red Heifers and the Fate of the World and The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
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?.
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?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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, MeatsTithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?The GodheadApostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
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 HistoryThe First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & CharacterThe New Testament, Martin Luther, and the CanonEucharist, Passover, and EasterViews of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & BaptismScripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. SundayChurch Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s PlanSeventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of SalvationCrosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean MeatsThe Godhead and the TrinityFleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

Second Passover for those unable to keep the earlier one

Friday, May 13th, 2022


Unleavened Bread

COGwriter

May 13th, after sunset, is the 14th day of Iyyar on the Hebrew calendar. Those who were unable to keep the Passover on the 14th of Nisan (about a month ago) are authorized by scripture to keep the Passover then.

This is based upon the following passages of scripture:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the children of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did.

6 Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the children of Israel?”

8 And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”

9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the Lord’s Passover. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. (Numbers 9:1-13)

Centuries later, basically the entire tribe of Judah all did this one year (and had some from other tribes join them):

1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. 2 For the king and his leaders and all the assembly in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at the regular time, because a sufficient number of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people gathered together at Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 30:1-3)

Groups, such as the Continuing Church of God, observe the Christian Passover.

As most everyone knows, Jesus kept the Passover, from the time of His youth. Luke records:

His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast (Luke 2:41-42).

Jesus continued to keep the Passover throughout His entire life. He kept it once per year. Passover was an annual event for Him and others (Exodus 13:10) and was normally observed on the fourteenth day of the month of the first month (called Abib in Deuteronomy 16:1 or Nisan in Esther 3:7):

On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover (Leviticus 23:5).

And Jesus had his disciples also keep it and told them to keep it as a remembrance to Him:

7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” 9 So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” 10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.” 13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:7-20)

If you are baptized and were unable to keep the Passover on the 14th of Nisan, like is taught in Leviticus 23, you can keep it after sunset May 13th this year. For specific details as to how, please check out the article Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Here is a link to an online service:

Here is a link to the service in the Spanish language: Servicio de la Pascua.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out a CCOG Passover Service; here is a link to the service in the Spanish language: Servicio de la Pascua 2021. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.

Fatima Day 2022

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

COGwriter

May 13th is known as ‘Fatima Day.’ Why?

On this May 13, 1917, three young children claimed to see a female wearing a short skirt near Fatima, Portugal that many LATER declared was Mary, the mother of Jesus (though the apparition never referred to herself as Mary).

Years back, per Pope Francis’ request, Cardinal Policarpo consecrated the pontificate of Francis to the Lady of Fatima on this date after becoming pontiff (the following item was machine-translated from Portuguese):

May 13, 2013

D. José Policarpo maintained that the Church has to assert itself as a “place of conversion and forgiveness, because it expresses the truth always in charity.”

“So you consecrate Lady, you who are the Mother of the Church, the ministry of the new Pope: fill your heart the tenderness of God, that you have experienced as anyone, so that it can embrace all men and women of this time with the love of your Son Jesus Christ, “he said…

After the moment of consecration of the pontificate, at the end of Mass, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, D. António Marto, read a message sent by the Apostolic Nunciature in Portugal.

“The Holy Father expressed his satisfaction for the initiative and deep appreciation for the satisfaction of his desire in union of prayer with all the pilgrims of Fatima, which, at heart, gives apostolic blessing as a pledge of all goods,” referring text. http://www.agencia.ecclesia.pt/cgi-bin/noticia.pl?id=95487

Pope Francis has taken this even further as he consecrated the world before a statue that was flown to the Vatican from Fatima in October of 2013 (see Francis consecrated world to the ‘immaculate heart’ of an alleged ‘Fatima’ statue). Pope Francis takes this Fatima matter serious and it is part of his ecumenical agenda. Since Pope Francis values this day so highly, his actions will affect many, not just now, but later. He has mentioned Fatima throughout his papacy.

In 2017, Pope Francis flew to Fatima, Portugal to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fatima Day.

On March 25, 2022, he ‘consecrated’ Russia and Ukraine to the ‘immaculate heart of Mary’ in a manner similar to that which one of the children who saw the Marian apparition said the ‘Lady of Fatima’ said to do.

It should be noted that although many Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared in Fatima, the “Lady” that appeared did not call herself Mary, and according to the only physical descriptions of the three witnesses, could not have possibly been Mary of the Bible.

I wrote a book titled Fatima Shock! to warn people that in the future, apparitions that most people will think are Mary, will likely be part of the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns will deceive the world (it also gives more information of what the Fatimists really think of their previous pope as well as their view of the so-called undisclosed portion of the “third secret”).

Although most non-Roman Catholics do not think that Fatima can affect them, if they live long enough this century, they will find that this is not the case. Fatima is a much bigger deal than people realize and seems to tie into a variety of prophecies throughout the Bible (e.g. Isaiah 47, Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 17). How apparitions are likely to affect the world at the end seems to be a missing dimension in understanding prophecy by most who profess Christ (see also the video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy).

Pope Francis has personally taken several steps since becoming pope in March 2013 to direct people to Mary (see, for example, Pope Francis continues to direct his followers towards “Mary”). A lot of Catholic prophecy indicates that “Mary” will be a major factor in bringing people to the Catholic faith–which will be a changed faith. This changed faith is warned against in the Bible, yet steps are being taken to implement it.

The ‘Lady of Fatima’ reminds me of the woman warned about in Isaiah 47.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fatima Portugal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The “Lady of Fatima” is NOT the answer to humanity’s ills, despite many Catholics believing otherwise. We need the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom to eliminate war, implement peace, and bring in true prosperity. Pope Francis’ emphasis on his version of Mary is a deviation from scripture.

Having visited Fatima, it is and has been a major reason for tourism in Portugal and especially the region it is in. This is one reason why it is hard to find books in Fatima that tell the full truth about it (and my wife and I searched all the book stores we could find there about it–and they all sold pro-apparition books, and none we found sold books warning against believing it).

While I agree that something appeared there, what appeared was NOT Jesus’ mother Mary nor was it sent by God.

Some items of related interest may include:

Why Learn About Fatima? Fatima was the name of Muhammed’s favorite daughter as well as the location of a town in Portugual that had six monthly visits from a ‘Lady’ in 1917. What was really seen at Fatima? Why is Fatima important? What really appeared in Fatima, Portugal. Are their ecumenical plans and concerns related to this? How does any of this tie in with biblical and other prophecy? What type of sign or wonder was Fatima? Why do Christians need to know about this? This is a video sermon.
Fatima and Pope Francis Could end time prophecies be fulfilled by apparitions? May 13, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of a ‘Lady’ that appeared before three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. The Vatican announced that Pope Francis will declare them Catholic saints on the 100th anniversary–how did the children describe what they saw? Is it possible that Jesus’ mother Mary appeared at Fatima? Could signs and lying wonders come from apparitions? How could the Fatima hype be setting the world up for the end? Did the old Radio Church of God teach about Fatima? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more. This is a video sermonette.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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?
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of a new 186 page book (in the print version). And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roma”? This 186 page book provides information and answers. This book is available for USD$9.98 in printed form The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis.
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?
Why Should American Roman 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?
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? See also the video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill 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?
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
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.
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! is a highly documented book by Bob Thiel for those interested in the real truth about Fatima and how future apparitions may affect the future. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

Isaiah: What did he teach?

Monday, May 9th, 2022


1904 Artist’s Depiction of Isaiah

COGwriter

Some observe a memorial of the Prophet Isaiah May 9th of each year.

Here is some information about him:

The first verse of the Book of Isaiah states that Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah (or Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah (Isaiah 1:1). Uzziah’s reign was 52 years in the middle of the 8th century BCE, and Isaiah must have begun his ministry a few years before Uzziah’s death, probably in the 740s BCE. Isaiah lived until the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign (who died 698 BCE), and may have been contemporary for some years with Manasseh. Thus Isaiah may have prophesied for as long as 64 years.

Isaiah’s wife was called “the prophetess” (Isaiah 8:3), either because she was endowed with the prophetic gift, like Deborah (Judges 4:4) and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14–20), or simply because she was the “wife of the prophet” (as he is named, for instance in Isaiah 38:1). (Isaiah. Wikipedia, accessed 07/17/15)

The greatest of the Hebrew prophets of whom literary monuments remain. He resided at Jerusalem, and so contrasts with Micah, the prophet of the country districts. He was married (Isa. viii. 3), and had children (vii. 3, viii. 3). His bearing indicates that he could maintain his dignity in the highest society, as is shown by his freedom toward Ahaz (vii.) and his acquaintance with Uriah, the chief priest (viii. 2). The heading in Isa. i. 1 refers to Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah as the kings under whom he prophesied. This and similar headings, however, have no historical authority, being the work of later writers whose statements had no documentary basis and were purely inferential. It is true, moreover, that no prophecy can be shown to be as early as Uzziah’s time, except indeed the kernel of ch. vi. “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord,” etc. (vi. 1, R. V.), seems to come from a cycle of prophetic narratives, some of which (comp. viii. 1-3, 5; ii. 16), rightly or wrongly, claimed the authorship of Isaiah. Certainly the whole man is reflected in the grand vision of ch. vi. No personal consideration holds him back (contrast Jeremiah) from offering himself as the Lord’s spokesman, and though assured that no exhortation will affect the callous consciences of his hearers, he still goes in and out among his people as if hope existed; and perhaps (human nature is inconsistent) hope still persisted even when reason altogether denied its right. (Isaiah. Jewish Encyclopedia 1906)

A nearly complete copy of the Book of Isaiah was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. This copy helped prove that the Masoretic Hebrew text of Isaiah, that has been used by many translators, was extremely accurate.

As far as prophetic accuracy goes, Isaiah recorded that God can make predictions and make them come to pass:

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

Notice that God inspired Isaiah to write (around 700 B.C.) the following:

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb:

“I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; (Isaiah 44:24)

28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”‘ (Isaiah 44:28)

1 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held — To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: 2 ‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places , That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’ (Isaiah 45:1-7)

Cyrus did rise up and also had the Jews rebuild the temple:

Jews … returned to their city, Jerusalem and rebuilt their temple there under the auspices of Cyrus, that Persian conqueror who … in 539 B.C. overthrew Nabonidus, the last of the Chaldean rulers in Babylon. (Wells H. Outline of History. Jazzybee Verlag, 1919, p. 98)

in 538 [B.C.] Cyrus granted to the Jews, whom Nebuchadressar had transported to Babylonia, the return to Palestine and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 6, 1958, p. 940 as cited by Christian Courier, accessed 03/30/18).

God also inspired Isaiah to write that the Babylonian empire would be destroyed by the Medes (Isaiah 13:1,17). That happened:

Babylon fell to the Persians in 539 B.C.E. The Persians were an Indo-European-speaking people related to the Medes. Both peoples probably formed part of the great waves of Indo-European migrations into the Mediterranean, the Near East, and India. (Spielvogel JJ. Western Civilization: A Brief History, Volume 1, 8th edition. Cengage Learning, 2013, p. 38)

Isaiah also had a variety of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.

Since Isaiah lived 2700 plus years ago, could his prophetic writings still be applicable today?

Yes.

But first consider that God told Isaiah that there will be people who generally do not understand or will not sufficiently pay attention to what he wrote:

9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

10 “Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

And He answered:

“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man,
The land is utterly desolate,
12 The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. (Isaiah 6:9-12)

Few understand what Isaiah has written related to the 21st century–most will not understand until after the massive destruction occurs that God told Isaiah to write about.

Consider also the following that Isaiah wrote, which is not about the time the land is utterly desolate, but may have had fulfillment in the 21st century:

9 All the people will know —
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria —
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 ‘The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.” (Isaiah 9:9-10)

Essentially, in Isaiah’s day the leaders of ancient Ephraim and Manasseh (Samaria above) declared that they would rebuild. Some have stated that Isaiah 9:9-10 seemed to be related to what happened in the USA because of the 9/11/2001 attack.

Isaiah had warnings for leaders which apply in the last days:

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed (Isaiah 9:16).

We are seeing political leaders in many lands, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand erring by promoting sins that the Bible condemns.

There is a specific prophecy from Isaiah that should concern Germans and end-time descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh. It appears to be the longest prophecy involving Assyria in the Bible (see also Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History). And this seems to be directed towards the modern Germanic and perhaps other peoples in Europe (note: since it is the “king of Assyria” who is specifically mentioned in certain portions of Isaiah 10, it may be that many of the specifics are directed towards this end time king himself–while other parts of it are related to the peoples that support him–which are expected to include also non-Germanic ones).

Here is the first portion of it:

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

In the above passages, we learn that God will use Assyria to punish Jerusalem and Samaria and other lands. Other than the German tendency to cut off various nations in WWI and WWII, there are certain specifics that tie this in with the end time European power that God is going to use (see Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy). But also notice that Isaiah says that this will not seem to be the Assyrian/Germanic original intent to destroy, but it will happen anyway.

It should probably be mentioned that portions of Bible prophecy seem to tie the descendants of Manasseh as being prophetic Samaria (see also iritual Samaritans: Old and New). Isaiah wrote:

8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
9 All the people will know —
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria —
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 ‘The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still…

21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
Together they shall be against Judah.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 9:8-12,21)

(For more scriptures that help tie Samaria/Manasseh with the USA, see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel.)

Isaiah wrote that Assyria/Germany will be punished after it has invaded the modern descendants of Israel/Jacob and Judah:

12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”

13 For he says:

“By the strength of my hand I have done it, And by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, And have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. 14 My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, And as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; And there was no one who moved his wing, Nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”

15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood! 16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts, Will send leanness among his fat ones; And under his glory He will kindle a burning Like the burning of a fire. 17 So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, And his Holy One for a flame; It will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day. 18 And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, Both soul and body; And they will be as when a sick man wastes away. 19 Then the rest of the trees of his forest Will be so few in number That a child may write them.

20 And it shall come to pass in that day That the remnant of Israel, And such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, Will never again depend on him who defeated them, But will depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, To the Mighty God. 22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23 For the Lord God of hosts Will make a determined end In the midst of all the land.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” 26 And the Lord of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt.

27 It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. (Isaiah 10:12-27)

The famous third century Catholic theologian and Bishop Hippolytus of Rome tied Assyria in with the Antichrist/King of the North power:

But Isaiah also speaks thus: “And it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will punish (visit) the stout mind, the king of Assyria, and the greatness (height) of the glory of his eyes“…For when he has the power, he will begin to exalt himself against God, neither in truth fearing God, nor regarding the Son of God…And Isaiah also to the like effect: “Forasmuch as the people refuses…therefore, lo, the Lord brings up upon you the water of the river, strong and full, even the king of Assyria.” By the king he means metaphorically Antichrist…(Hippolytus. On the Antichrist, chapters 16, 57).

Although he believes that the final Antichrist springs from the tribe of Dan (Ibid, chapter 15), Hippolytus seems to be connecting attributes of the King of the North who exalts himself above God (Daniel 11:36-37) with the king of Assyria (Isaiah 8:3-8; 10:5-11) who is punished in Isaiah 10:12. The Bible is clear that Assyria will be an end time northern power that God will punish per Zephaniah 2:13-15, which seems to go along with Revelation 18:1-10. Jerome, in his passage involving Assur and Germany (for details see Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History), also mentioned Antichrist, hence he may have continued with Hippolytus’ view.

After some abandon idols of gold and silver, the punishment will come to Assyria/Germany:

7 For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold — sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves.

8 “Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man,
And a sword not of mankind shall devour him.
But he shall flee from the sword,
And his young men shall become forced labor. (Isaiah 31:7-8)

Isaiah also warned that God would strike with certain diseases:

17 So the sovereign master will afflict the foreheads of Zion’s women with skin diseases, the LORD will make the front of their heads bald. (Isaiah 3:17)

While the above is NOT COVID-19, it is a warning of another disease that will hit. And it will hit relatively soon.

Isaiah had messages for peoples in the 21st century.

Of course, Isaiah wrote about the millennium (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?) and many other subjects that are for the future. But those concerning the USA, its Anglo-Saxon allies, and the Germanic peoples are even more overlooked by most.

Hopefully, you will pay attention to what God inspired Isaiah to write.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here are links to two sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New Who were the Samaritans? Do the represent true Christianity or something else? Here is a link to a related sermon: USA in Prophecy: Samaria.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2022, 2023, or 2024? 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: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation start in 2022 or 2023? 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.

Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
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? Two related sermons are available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
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.
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?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
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.

‘Warning Signs of America’s Destruction – Jonathan Cahn’

Sunday, May 8th, 2022

COGwriter

Jonathan Cahn, a favorite ‘prophet’ of many American evangelicals is again spouting inaccuracies and has an upcoming movie with them:

Warning Signs of America’s Destruction – Jonathan Cahn

According to Cahn’s new upcoming movie called “The Harbingers of Things to Come,” we can turn it around, but it’s going to take repentance, prayer, faith and God to do it.  Cahn explains, “The harbinger is revealing the Biblical template of national judgment that begins with a strike on the land.  It happened in ancient Israel.  It’s a wake-up call, calling the nation back.  The nation is then given a span of time, years, to come back to God.  It’s mercy.  The same harbingers or warning signs that happened in the last days of Israel have now happened or have all appeared in America.  So, the warning is now for us.  Ancient Israel did not turn back.  It actually got worse, and that is exactly what happened.  In America, the strike came on 9/11, and all the harbingers, nine harbingers, all appeared starting with 9/11.  They were warning America of judgment.  We have followed the course of ancient Israel. . . . One of the things that ancient Israel did was lifted up its children on the alters of Baal and Moloch, and they killed their children.  Israel killed thousands, and we killed millions.  Therefore, this puts us in danger of judgment.”

So, how long do we have before God’s judgment starts?  Cahn says, “19 years before judgment.  When did it happen for America?  It was 9.11.2001.  Could it be the 19th year would be when great shakings would start coming on the land?  What’s the year?  It pinpoints the year 2020.  2020 is the year that the shakings come on.  The plague comes on.  Cities are burning.  We are still dealing with Covid.  We have been shaken and locked up, and all these things to this day. . . . In Jeramiah, he said a plague would come on the land in Israel.  We have a plague, and on the 19th year, the plague came.  What’s the name of this plague?  They call it Covid and then the number 19. …”

So, is the recent Supreme Court decision to limit abortion something that can help save America from Gods judgement? Cahn says, “It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but who knows? 05/07/22 https://usawatchdog.com/warning-signs-of-americas-destruction-jonathan-cahn/

Jonathan Cahn is a Messianic Jew who is known for promoting his well-selling books. But he is not known for being prophetically accurate.

Yet, World Net Daily, Pat Robertson, TBN, and others have improperly promoted him over the past eight or so years.

As far as Johnathan Cahn’s “who knows” response about America’s direction, God knows. The biblical reality is, without massive national repentance, the USA is doomed. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, there are still many states in the USA that will perform abortions.

Related to Jonathan Cahn’s comments, let me state that he has a history of asserting certain connections are biblical when they are not.

Furthermore consider, if his 19-year time of judgment was accurate, it would have ended in September 2020, which is 19 years after 9-11-2001. But there were more COVID deaths in 2021 than 2020, to mention one point. And as far as “shaking” happening after that, it was prior to September 2020 that there were the BLM/Antifa riots that burned buildings, etc. Hence his own logic is clearly flawed as he has contradicted himself.

As far as his history goes, in 2015, he said that would be the end of a so-called end of the Shemitah year. He says we are NOW in a Shemitah year. However, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WE ARE IN THE SHEMITAH YEAR, thus I believe any claims he or others make based upon that are irrelevant. I suspect that the last Shemitah year ran from sunset September 18, 2020 through sunset September 6, 2021. This coincided a bit with the COVID situation, as well as the debacle in Afghanistan.

Notice the following, that I posted on September 1, 2015 related to Jonathan Cahn:

Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger” and his other book “The Mystery of the Shemitah” are flawed (here is a link with some information related to him: Pat Robertson declared ‘Harbinger’ author as God’s prophet; is he right about 2015?). Also, his contentions about a temple must be rebuilt in this age are also biblically wrong (see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).

Some specifics on calculations related to the ‘Shemitah year’ are in the article The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance.

Sometime back, I saw an interview on CBN by Pat Robertson of Jonathan Cahn that was first broadcast 02/05/2013.

The interview screen at one point showed something that resembled two Power Point slides, apparently from Jonathan Cahn or one of his books. The first slide had the following information:

PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2015 Sep 13

ELLUL 29 SEPTEMBER 13, 2015

GLOBAL COLLAPSE?

So, the above is a prediction of a possible global collapse at the end of a year that is NOT the Shemitah year.

The second had the following information:

TETRAD
4 BLOOD MOONS

ELLUL 29

THIS SOLAR ECLIPSE IS WITHIN THE TRIBULATION TETRAD

Now if by tribulation, Jonathan Cahn meant the Great Tribulation, then it is not at all possible to begin then. I have gone over this before in various articles and videos, and I have directly debunked the ‘Blood Moon’ hypotheses of the Great Tribulation beginning in 2014 or 2015 (see Blood Moons and Prophecy and/or watch Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015).

Near the end of the interview Pat Robertson said:

God…has ordained this young man as His prophet…Jonathan…

Is Jonathan Cahn God’s prophet as Pat Robertson stated?

No, he is not.

Jonathan Cahn does not meet the New Testament criteria, plus his misunderstanding of various matters disqualifies him (to learn more about prophets, please see the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God and/or watch the video also titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God). …

Truly a lot is happening in September 2015. But the end is not yet (cf. Matthew 24:6). (Thiel B. The September ‘harbinger’ convergence? COGwriter, September 1, 2015)

Some, however, attempted to claim Jonathan Cahn was right about the Shemitah. Notice something also from 2015:

Over the weekend I saw the following at World News Daily (WND):

Markets tumbling in Shemitah’s wake

September 19, 2015

Before rushing to write off the effects of the biblical Shemitah cycle on the nation’s economy, critics might want to step back and take a look at what has already happened and the direction things are heading.

August brought a gut-wrenching correction to the stock market, with billions of dollars lost in a 10 percent drop-off in value.

The first two weeks of September saw a mild upswing as Elul 29, the day of reckoning on the Hebrew calendar, came and went with nary a jolt being felt.

But as Shemitah researcher Jonathan Cahn has pointed out, the real damage of the Shemitah often occurs in its “wake,” in the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The U.S. market took another big hit Friday, falling 290 points to close at 16,385. http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/markets-tumbling-in-shemitahs-wake/#M70lTa8lfhfK93xU.99

Was there devastation in the ‘wake of the Shemitah?

No.

First, this, in my view, was not a Shemitah year.

Second, as far as financial destruction to the stock market in the claimed Shemitah year by Jonathan Cahn, let me again state that the DOW Jones Industrial Average opening at the start of their claimed Shemitah year was 17,033.93 and the DOW Jones Industrial Average close today was 16,510.19. A reduction of about 3%.

Since the Dow Jones for the last trading day of this claimed Shemitah year (9/11/15) was 16,433.09, we have seen a slight rise so far in the ‘wake’ of the claimed Shemitah year.

While we could see drops the next week, I do not believe it is related to this claimed Shemitah (some specifics on calculations related to the ‘Shemitah year’ are in the article The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance).

Notice also something posted today at WND:

IT’S SUPERNATURAL!

Learn the significance of the Shemitah cycle

Exclusive: Sid Roth interviews prophetic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn has spent years studying the signs God revealed in the Bible so His people would not be caught unawares. The “harbingers” (warning signs) for ancient Israel are also happening here in America. http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/learn-the-significance-of-the-shemitah-cycle/#ZUA1jRTxvLDwUeJd.99

Jesus laid out a variety of signs which have not happened (cf. Matthew 24:9-20). Jesus said nothing about the ‘Shemitah’ being an important factor.

Here is, however, what Jesus taught would be the final signs:

5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.m (Mark 13:5-19)

While prophetically important matters occur regularly, the falsely identified ‘Shemitah year’ was NOT, of itself, something of biblical import.

Jonathan Cahn is a Messianic Jew and is NOT a true prophet of God. Jonathan Cahn hyped a period of time that did not need that type of prophetic hype.

He is probably best known for his book The Harbinger, which while it gets some items right, is partially-based on certain misunderstandings of prophecy that Jonathan Cahn has. (Thiel B. Dow Jones up in the ‘wake of the Shemitah’? COGwriter, September 15, 2015.

That all being said, Jonathan Cahn and others have pushed the idea that we are now in a Shemitah year (I disagree). Related to that the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

14:10

2022-2023 Shemitahs: Destruction/Reset?

Modern Jews claim that the period of time from sunset September 6, 2021 through sunset September 25, 2022 is a ‘Shemitah year.’ Some claim that this and the year that begins when this one ends (the claimed ‘jubilee’ is being called a ‘super shemitah”) and runs through 2023 may cause destruction or the Great Reset. Is this possible? Is Messianic Jew, Jonathan Cahn (of the Harbinger fame) a prophet of God as Pat Robertson has said or a false prophet? Was he right about the financial collapse of the USA in 2015? Are the Jews right about their Shemitah year being year 5982, or is 5991 closer? What about the beginning of sorrows? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: 2022-2023 Shemitahs: Destruction/Reset?

We in the Continuing Church of God strive to always rely on God and the Bible for our prophetic positions: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

Messianics, like Jonathan Cahn, do not.

Some items of related interest may include:

Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy?
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.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There are four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Do they signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
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?.
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?
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.
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.

I365: Jews begin building Third Temple on Israel Independence Day; COGwriter: Not really the right conclusion

Friday, May 6th, 2022


Model of ‘Second Temple’ by Daniel Ventura

COGwriter

Israel365News posted the following:

Jews begin building Third Temple on Israel Independence Day

May 6, 2022

While most Israelis were celebrating Independence Day by having family barbecues, a small group gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem and began chipping away at stones, preparing them to be used to build the prophesied Third Temple.

The event was organized by Rabbi Aryeh Lipo who envisioned it while on his way to the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in March. Lipo ascends to the Temple Mount on a daily basis (when the Israeli police permit Jews to enter) but was deliberating with a friend which was more important: to attend the funeral of a tzaddik (righteous Jew) or to ascend to the Temple Mount.

To honor Rabbi Kanievsky, he and a friend were learning a halachic (Torah law) ruling written by Rabbi Kanievsky in which he stated that the stones for the Temple had to be cut by Jews with the intention of honoring God’s name.

“We have a mitzvah (Torah commandment) to build the Temple. This mitzvah is not conditional or time-bound. We have this requirement at all times. So it is a pity that we are not actively engaged in it. Right now, it is politically complicated for us to begin building on the Temple Mount but that does not exempt us from this mitzvah.”

Rabbi Lipo realized that it was possible to begin to actually perform this mitzvah by preparing the stones that will be used to build the Third Temple. He explained that Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, the medieval Torah authority known as Maimonides or by the acronym Rambam, taught that the stones for the Temple building were cut outside of the Temple Mount and transported to the Temple Mount. Once on the Temple Mount, it was forbidden to use iron tools to form the stones. It was, of course, forbidden to use iron tools at any stage to form the stones for the altar.https://www.israel365news.com/269118/jews-begin-building-third-temple-on-israel-independence-day/

Manually moving some stones yesterday really should not be construed as the start of building what is called the third temple.

Steps have been taken by many others the past decade or so who hope for a massive Jewish temple to be built in Jerusalem.

While many prophecy watchers consider that such a temple is needs, notice something published several years back by the UK Express:

END of the world prophecies about the Christian Apocalypse and Great Tribulation claim the building of a third Holy Temple in Jerusalem will signal the end times – but is this really the case?

Prominent doomsday preachers in America have astonishingly claimed apocalyptic signs of the end times are unfolding before their eyes. Evangelical preachers like Paul Begley of West Lafayette in Indiana or Irvine Baxter of the Endtime Ministries recognise the Third Temple as a prophetic sign. Other biblical scholars, however, disagree with the claim the Third Temple will rise from the ground as a precursor to the so-called Great Tribulation. Dr Bob Thiel, of the Continuing Church of God, told Express.co.uk peculiar events will certainly unfold in the days leading to Armageddon.

But the building of the Third Temple is not one of these prophetic signs and not one to stay on the lookout for.

The Bible expert said: “From a prophetic perspective, there is no need for a massive Jewish Temple in Jerusalem prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

“After the execution of Jesus, the veil in the ‘Second’ Temple was miraculously torn and that building ceased to be the Temple of God as, from a perspective, there was no longer a need for animal sacrifices.”

According to Dr Thiel, there are two distinct prophetic possibilities concerning the Third Temple of Jerusalem.

The first prophetic path concerns the return of animal sacrifices before the Great Tribulation and the second concerns a passage in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Biblical prophecies related to animal sacrifices are outlined in the prophetic Book of Daniel, in particular, 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11.

But Dr Thiel argued there is no real need for a temple in order to resume the ancient and religious practice of animal sacrifice.

He said: “According to Ezra 3:6, the Jews sacrificed after the First Temple was destroyed and before the foundation of the Second Temple was laid.

“Furthermore, I have personally confirmed with representatives of both the Nascent Sanhedrin and The Temple Institute that they do not believe that they need to have an actual temple to resume sacrifices.

“Basically, they told me that they will implement regular animal sacrifices once they get official government permission.

“So, no a temple is not needed for animal sacrifices.”

Instead, Dr Thiel said what is needed is a sacrificial altar like the one dedicated by the Jewish council of the Sanhedrin on December 10, 2018,

The Bible expert said: “They do not need a massive Third Temple.” …

Hopes of the temple’s reconstruction were sparked last year at the time of Hanukkah when the Sanhedrin made their offering, as mentioned by Dr Thiel.

The event was widely lauded by the Christian conspiracy movement, and in particular, those who anticipate the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

Dr Thiel, however, fears those who wait for the Third Temple risk missing the Great Tribulation entirely if they focus on misleading claims of prophecy.

The biblical scholar argued the New Testament itself states this, although confusion stemming from Greek mistranslations of the term temple could be to blame.

He said: “The New Testament itself basically uses two Greek terms for temple: they are hieron and naos.

“While the Greek term hieron always seems to refer to a physical temple in the New Testament – usually a Jewish one, but sometimes a pagan one, for example, Acts 19:27 – the term naos does not always do so.

“Some have been confused about that as both are usually translated as the same English word.

“However, Naos frequently is used in reference to Christians as the ‘temple’ of God.

“Hence, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 seems to be pointing to a current or former Christian building or gathering place.

“And when Jesus returns, he comes to the Mount of Olives per Zechariah 14:3-4, which is not a place that a Jewish temple has ever stood.”

None of this is to say a Third Temple, or any sacrificial gathering place, cannot be built.

But Dr Thiel argued scripture itself does not teach or support the apocalyptic claim the Third Temple is a precursor to the Tribulation.

He said: “Scripture most certainly does not teach that some type of massive Third Temple, like various ones have proposed, will be built in Jerusalem prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

“Those who insist on that will not realise that the Great Tribulation is about to start until it is too late.”

Dr Thiel said his interpretation of the Third Temple is supported by the likes of Stephen Sizer, the former Anglican vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, in Surrey, England.

Other contemporary biblical scholars such Roman Catholic writer Thomas Nash have agreed the Third Temple will never even be rebuilt.

Dr Thiel said: “Jesus listed the signs to look for prior to the start of the Great Tribulation in the 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

“That is the only place in the Gospels that actually has the expression ‘great tribulation’ and that chapter does not list the construction of a Third Temple in Jerusalem is a sign to watch for.

“People should not insist that a Third Temple must be rebuilt prior to the start of the Great Tribulation but instead should study what Jesus actually said would happen first.

“And that includes identifying the abomination spoken of by the prophet Daniel as well supporting getting the ‘gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness’.

“Those are in Matthew 24 prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, building a massive Third Temple is not.” https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1097932/End-of-the-world-prophecy-Jerusalem-third-temple-israel-bible-great-tribulation

While I did not mention Armageddon, I did point to the fact that a massive Third Temple did not need to be built prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

Related to others who agree, I told the Express:

Because of the political situation between Israel and its Arab neighbors, various others religious writers like Anglican curate Stephen Sizer and the late WCG Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong also have felt that rebuilding a massive Third Temple would not happen prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, and that the Bible backed them up on that.

Furthermore, Roman Catholic writer, Thomas J. Nash has insisted that “the Temple in Jerusalem will never be rebuilt.”

As far as Herbert W. Armstrong goes, here is some of what he wrote about this:

God made a prophecy in the third chapter of Malachy…Continuing, “…shall suddenly come to His temple…” What kind of temple is He coming to? Are the Jews going to tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a new temple? Oh, no!… A holy temple! Christ is coming to His church! Christ is coming to His temple! Do we see that? The church is the temple. “…in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Armstrong, Herbert W. Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church. Worldwide News, March 6, 1981, p. 10)

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles [New Testament] and prophets [Old Testament], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy TEMPLE in the Lord” (verses 20-21). So God reveals here that the Church is: 1) the HOUSEHOLD or begotten FAMILY of God; 2) a building—a HOLY TEMPLE—fitly joined together—that is, well organized (and, of course, on GOD’S pattern). As a building—the HOLY TEMPLE to which Christ will come—it is built on a FIRM FOUNDATION: the apostles, chosen by Christ, and the prophets. …

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

It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock – now on the site of Solomon’s temple-and build a new one there of greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s! However, as the second temple Zerubbabel was building was a typical forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come, even so Zerubbabel was the typical forerunner of one Christ would use in building the far more glorious temple to, which Christ shall come in His GLORY!

Zechariah 4:9 : “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it . . .. ” And as Zerubbabel’s hands did finish that second temple, so shall the one Christ uses in building the temple to which He shall come in His GLORY!

And the Church of God of the present day shall be a “building fitly framed together [and growing] unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21). (Armstrong HW. 7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Part 6. Plain Truth. August, 1979, p. 38)

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

Let me also add here that the old Church of God the group that changed its name to Church of God (Seventh-Day) in the 20th century, published the following in the 19th century:

What is the ‘holy place’? I understand it to be the Church , which is called the temple. Turn to 1st Cor. 3:16, 17. (Watkins J. The Midnight Cry. Hope of Israel, October 28, 1863)

So, a published Church of God position in the 1800s was that the ‘holy place’ and the temple was the Christian church.

Here is what Jesus stated:

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15)

In that verse, Jesus says that we should look at Daniel (which is covered later in the paper: Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Jesus also taught that the one who reads this passage needs to understand something—perhaps Jesus’ comment itself suggests that the apparent idea that “a physical Jewish temple may be required” may not be correct.

Carefully notice that no temple of any kind is specifically mentioned in this passage. Bible literalists should realize that perhaps a future Jewish physical temple is not being referred to by Jesus here, but that Jesus is referring to either the area the temple was originally built at or to something else in the city of Jerusalem.

Thus, it seems improper to teach that Jesus is specifically teaching that a third Jewish temple will be rebuilt as there is no scripture in the entire New Testament that shows that He specifically taught that.

Despite the views of many that a massive third temple in Jerusalem has to be built before the start of the Great Tribulation/Apocalypse, the reality is that the Jews do not need a temple to be rebuilt before Jesus returns.

All that being said, the Bible does show that there will be daily sacrifices again in Jerusalem and that they will one day be stopped (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11) and that they can be done without a temple (Ezra 3:6).

While the Jews will use an altar and likely to put up a tent or an actual structure, no massive third temple is needed for the sacrifices or for prophecies for this age to be fulfilled.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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 two sermons The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work and God’s Temple in Prophecy. And here is a version of the latter one in the Spanish: El templo de Dios en profecía.
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.
Location of the Prophesied Physical Temple Leroy Neff gives his rationalse for the location of the coming temple.
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.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
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.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2022, 2023, or 2024? 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: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation start in 2022 or 2023? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.