Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir vows full control over Temple Mount; HRW blames Israel for crime of apartheid

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021


Itamar Ben Gvir (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

Israel365News (I365) reported the following:

April 27, 2021

Freshmen Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir (Religious Zionism) was recently sworn into the Israeli parliament on Monday.

During his opening speech, Ben Gvir lamented the hesitancy of the Israeli government to assert full sovereignty over Jerusalem and more specifically; the Temple Mount saying: “I will act to ensure that Israeli control returns to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount specifically.”

Ben Gvir connected his promise to the recent Muslim-instigated riots throughout Jerusalem that have taken place since the beginning of Ramadan saying: “So that images we saw the other day, of thugs beating police officers and shouting Hamas Hamas! while proclaiming ‘we are the owners – These images will not be heard nor seen.” https://www.israel365news.com/189808/new-lawmaker-vows-full-israeli-control-over-temple-mount/

Religious Jews have wanted control over the Temple Mount and have been disappointed, that although it was captured by Israel in 1967, it is under Islamic control because of a deal that the Israeli government made with the Jordanians.

That being said, I have warned for over a decade that the political situation in Israel would change, and some from a minority religious party would be a factor in that change, and Itamar Ben Gvir’s words confirm that principle. Yes, the situation in Israel will change as it must happen for certain biblical prophecies to be fulfilled.

It should be pointed out that religious Jews also blame the Israeli government for not allowing sacrifices, as the following helps demonstrate:

March 10, 2021

Blame is on the Government

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the former spokesman for the Sanhedrin, emphasized that a Temple structure is not needed in order to bring the Passover sacrifice and a temporary altar that can be assembled and disassembled in one day would suffice. …

Rabbi Weiss … “The only thing preventing the Jewish People from performing the Passover sacrifice is the Israeli government.” https://www.israel365news.com/188111/prominent-rabbis-ask-netanyahu-to-allow-the-pascal-sacrifice-on-temple-mount/

The current reason that animal sacrifices are not allowed on the Temple Mount itself is political. The Israeli courts have ruled that they can be performed, but because of the current tensions with the Muslims, they cannot be performed on what is called the Temple Mount.

Religious Jews want those sacrifices, and some type of daily sacrifices will be re-implemented according to Bible prophecies such as Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11.

That being said, notice the following Roman Catholic writings:

Abbot Herman of Lehnin (died 1300) Towards the end of the world “Israel will commit a terrible crime for which it will suffer death.” (Culleton, R. Gerald. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 151)

Catholic priest and writer R. Gerald Culleton (20th century): After the birth of Anti-Christ and shortly before the rise of the Great Monarch, the false doctrines were to multiply … In the last days before Anti-Christ, there are to appear many anti-christs… Towards the end of the world the Jews are to commit some atrocious crime for which they will be greatly persecuted … the Great Monarch … This Lion Monarch … together with the Great Pope or Angelic Pastor, shall appear after socialism … (Culleton, pp. 25,27,28,50)

Perhaps “after socialism” may mean after communism falls, like it mainly did in the late 20th century. True Church of God Christians with “Jewish practices,” who could be considered a type of “Anti-Christ” by Greco-Romans (see Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? ), are to be greatly persecuted around the time of the Great Catholic “Lion” Monarch (see Persecutions by Church and State).  The “atrocious crime” could refer to the “crime” of pointing out that the modern Roman Catholics are not the faithful representatives of true apostolic Christianity and that their apparent Great Monarch represents not the solution, but the ten-horned beast of Revelation. Or maybe it refers to the Jews re-instituting sacrifices. Or some Israeli attack or other action. Or perhaps a combination of factors.

Either way, the King of the North is prophesied to stop animal sacrifices per Daniel 9:27 and 11:31.  He may very well state that he is stopping international ‘crime’ by causing animal sacrifices to cease–despite having many other motives.

Back in 2009, I warned that the prophesied “starting of sacrifices in Israel might be perceived as the terrible crime” (2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, p. 302) that the King of the North may point to as a reason to stop them as is taught in Daniel 11:31.

That being said, Israel is now being accused of a ‘crime’ called apartheid:

Human Rights Watch: Israel committing ‘apartheid’ crimes against Palestinians

27 April 2021

In a report published Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Israel of pursuing policies of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.

Omar Shakir, the watchdog’s Israel and Palestine director, said the report was “the starkest finding HRW has reached on Israeli conduct in 30 years.”

The 213-page document alleges that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish domination over Palestinians and its Arab population.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the claims as “both preposterous and false.” https://www.dw.com/en/human-rights-watch-israel-committing-apartheid-crimes-against-palestinians/a-57346287

April 27, 2021

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the world’s best-known human rights groups said Tuesday that Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution because of discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within its own borders and in the occupied territories.

In a sweeping, 213-page report, the New York-based Human Rights Watch joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups who view the conflict not primarily as a land dispute but as a single regime in which Palestinians — who make up roughly half the population of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — are systematically denied basic rights granted to Jews.

Israel adamantly rejects that characterization, saying its Arab minority enjoys full civil rights. It views Gaza, from which it withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005, as a hostile entity ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas, and it considers the West Bank to be disputed territory subject to peace negotiations — which collapsed more than a decade ago. https://apnews.com/article/west-bank-race-and-ethnicity-middle-east-israel-jerusalem-7fc491f53d6e659d7fb9657e76747d03

Yes, there is a difference between how the Israelis treat Palestinians and Jews.

Tensions are rising, but the situation in Israel will change.

The religious Jews, for a time, will get some of what they want.

Yet, ultimately, the Israelis will not care for the changes that will come (cf. Isaiah 22:6-8; Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
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.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach? A related short video is also available: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?
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.
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”?
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach?
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.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.

Seventh-day Adventist ecumenical controversies and compromises

Monday, April 26th, 2021


Official SDA banner

COGwriter

Last year, Mike Gendron had the following in his March 2020 newsletter:

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

He also linked to the following article:

Seventh-day Adventists, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals Sign a Historic ‘Ecumenical Charter’ that Affirms Faith in ‘One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church’

The document that was signed is a pledge of commitment to each other. Adventists pledged a commitment to Rome, and Rome reciprocated that commitment. Make no mistake. The churches that signed this document promised to uphold the principles of the Ecumenical Charter which includes affirming an allegiance to each other.

• The Ecumenical Charter declares that the church is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” and therefore the “inescapable ecumenical task consists in making visible this unity.”

• The Ecumenical Charter declares that the churches are “called together in the unity of faith.”

• The Ecumenical Charter calls for the “visible unity of the Church of Jesus Christ in the one faith and in witness and in common service.”

• The Ecumenical Charter says that “the most important task of the Churches is to proclaim the Gospel together through word and action, for the salvation of all human beings.”

• The Ecumenical Charter states that the purpose of this document is to “to avoid harmful competition and the danger of new divisions.”

• The Ecumenical Charter recognizes “the spiritual gifts of the different Christian traditions” and appeals to every church to “welcome each other’s gifts.”

• The Ecumenical Charter laments the “painful sign of the division still existing between many Christian Churches” which according to them is due to the “lack of Eucharistic sharing.”

• The Ecumenical Charter encourages “ecumenical celebrations, common songs and prayers.”

The Ecumenical Charter was signed on the final day of the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A 17-minute sermon was given by Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Giovanni Caccamo to commemorate the ecumenical signing ceremony. [1] Pastor Giovanni Caccamo is the former Secretary of the Italian Union of Seventh-day Adventist Churches. …

There is a long history of ecumenism in Italy, and those responsible for this are at the highest levels of leadership in the church. …

Pastor Stefano Paris is the President of the Italian Union of Seventh-day Adventist Churches. He is the top Adventist leader in Italy. [6] [7] Not only does Pastor Stefano Paris oversee the churches throughout Italy, he is also a leading participant in the ecumenical movement.

Pastor Stefano Paris was featured in the 2019 Brochure advertising the 2019 United Nations Interfaith Harmony Week. When you look at the brochure you realize that the President of the Italian Union of SDA Churches is part of the “Interfaith Table of Rome!” …

The ecumenical crisis in Italy goes even higher than President Stefano Paris. Ted Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was in Rome with President Stefano Paris in 2018. Ted Wilson addressed specifically the ecumenical movement. …

In the above video Ted Wilson says we should not engage in the ecumenical movement or compromise our faith. But then he says that we must be in the “forefront” of making friends by being friendly with the leaders of other churches. These two statements are problematic when considering the current ecumenical crisis in Adventism.

Signing this Ecumenical Charter was not simply expressing friendship; it was entering into an ecumenical confederacy with the other churches. We have a major problem because we can’t seem to distinguish between being friendly and entering into ecumenical partnerships with Rome. Every time church leaders get admonished for engaging in ecumenism they respond with a reassuring smile and say, “No, that was not ecumenism, we were just being friendly.” 02/20/20 http://adventmessenger.org/seventh-day-adventists-roman-catholics-and-evangelicals-sign-a-historic-ecumenical-charter-that-affirms-faith-in-one-holy-catholic-apostolic-church/?fbclid=IwAR374C_ixIZwQaLFoCzA5-sLqPamu69pfUjJVctHWaoKK48y72DoRCO6Xlk

Now, it should be noted that the Inter-European Division of the SDA church denounced the signing, and issued the following press release:

Press release EUD: “Charta Ecumenica di Bologna”

Press release EUD: "Charta Ecumenica di Bologna"

Statement on the position of the Inter-European Division on the involvement of an Italian Seventh-day Adventist Pastor in the signing of the Ecumenical Charter of the Council of the Christian Churches of Bologna.

February 24, 2020 | CD-EUDNews.

Bern, February 23, 2020 [CD-EUDNEWS]. On Saturday, 25 January the pastor of a local church congregation in Italy signed a joint declaration with other faith groups which, while focused on respectful dialogue among and between different religious denominations, contained some statements which run counter to Seventh-day Adventist principles regarding inter-church relations.

The administration of the Inter-European Division (EUD) disapproves the signing of the ecumenical charter, and reaffirms its position concerning the involvement of church entities and representatives in ecumenical endeavours.

As a result, the EUD Officers wish to clarify the involvement of Seventh-day Adventist Pastors and Leaders in meetings and events with representatives of other religious bodies.

The EUD encourages all its entities to abide by and offer education on the valuable principles that are contained in the Bible, in the writings of Ellen G. White and the various documents and statements produced by the Adventist Church concerning our relationship with other religions and denominations. We confirm that:

1. The Adventist Church favours dialogue and cordial relationships of mutual respect and understanding with other religious confessions, at all levels of church organization.
2. We are fully convinced and strongly defend that freedom of conscience and religious liberty is a right inherent to all human beings, not as something that we claim only for us, but as a right to be granted to all, even to those who think differently from us.
3. Dialogue and mutual understanding however, do not mean however agreeing with the others, just for the sake of securing cordial relationships.
4. Our fundamental beliefs have been carefully and painstakingly built on the sure foundation of the Bible. These statements of faith define our identity as a church and should always be kept as our hallmark.
5. As representatives of Adventist Church, we should clearly speak on behalf of the community that we represent. Thus, we should not negotiate or compromise regarding anything that goes against the principles of our Church and its fundamental beliefs.
For further explanations, please consult the declarations and statements below.

We appreciate the statement of the Adventist Italian Union published on January 31. This clearly demonstrated that the event in Bologna does not change the official position of Adventist Church in Italy.

Statement of the Italian Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Dear sisters and brothers, we are aware of the discomfort, uneasiness and disappointment that has arisen from the news concerning an ecumenical event in which the Adventist Pastor Giovanni Caccamo took part and during which he signed a document entitled “Charta Ecumenica di Bologna”.

This event and the signing of the document do not represent the position of the Italian Union. As officers of the Italian Union, we were not aware of this programme which was a local initiative of the pastor of Bologna. We express our regret for the situation generated.

As officers and leaders of the church, we appreciate and support all initiatives that allow us to witness our faith with respect and friendship. It is our intention to ensure that our voice can be heard in every meeting, both ecumenical and otherwise, so that our faith can be shared with others.

However, we distance ourselves from any statement that undermines our evangelistic freedom or that leads us to conform to decisions made by others under the direction of one church. We cannot and will not recognize the authority of that church over our choices.

Therefore, even though the signed document may have good intentions as a whole, and despite the fact that we recognise the good intentions that inspired it – to establish a peaceful and respectful dialogue among and with the different religious denominations in the area – in some parts it does not reflect the official position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Aware of this, we distance ourselves from this document.

May the Lord help us to be good witnesses of the Faith and Grace received in Christ, knowing that our mission must never be conditioned by any earthly organization or power.

The Seventh-day Adventist Italian Union officers.

(Statement on the position of the Inter-European Division on the involvement of an Italian Seventh-day Adventist Pastor in the signing of the Ecumenical Charter of the Council of the Christian Churches of Bologna. Press release EUD: “Charta Ecumenica di Bologna”. February 24, 2020)

It looks like some SDAs want to get closer to Rome, while some want to get as close to the compromise line as possible.

Officially, “Seventh-day Adventists … stress the conviction that many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ” (How Seventh-day Adventists View Roman Catholicism. This statement was recorded on April 15, 1997, by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg).

Ultimately, more and more churches will realize that the Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and Methodists also signed that ‘Ecumenical Charter,’ and they do not have massive protests because of it.

This will, among other things, result in outlawing keeping the Sabbath in Europe and likely in most places throughout the world (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

But what about the Seventh-day Adventists?

Well, the SDAs have changed on many matters.

Originally they were NOT trinitarian, opposed crosses, nor did they observe Christmas.

As it turns out, their official logo now contains a cross:

The SDAs also consider themselves to be Protestant–yet Protestantism does NOT represent the true or original Christian faith (see also the free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism).

The SDAs also have a variety of other unbiblical doctrines, many of which do align with the Greco-Roman-Protestants.

Because of their trinitarian change, the SDAs are eligible to be part of the Vatican’s agenda.

In December 2020, the Vatican released a set of instructions on ecumenical matters.  It was titled The Bishop and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum. Basically, it says that if a faith professes Christ along with a trinitarian view, it is acceptable to the Church of Rome.

Related to that, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

21:28

Vademecum: Rome’s Trinitarian Ecumenical Handbook

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

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

Rome is pushing its ecumenical agenda, and SDA positions are allowing them to be closer to what Rome wants than many SDAs think.

My prayer is for all, including the SDAs, to seek the truth, change, and hold to “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Some items of related interest may include:

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 are two sermons in the English language: Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?and CCOG and SDA differences and similarities. Here is a link to an article in the Spanish language: Diferencias: SDA/CCOG: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666.
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.
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. Two related sermons are available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? and The Godhead and the Trinity. 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?
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this? Here is a link to a related video message: Is Jesus the Archangel Michael? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Se convirtió el Arcángel Miguel en Jesús?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are? Here is a link to a related sermon: Eastern Orthodox 40+ Similar Beliefs to the CCOG.
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome. Here is a link to a related sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism.
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
Can You Keep Your Job, Get Your Degree, and Keep the Sabbath? This article has some information on that. Here is a link to a related video titled: Can you keep the Sabbath and your job? What about college?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and three video sermonette are also available: Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document! and The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement and Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Freemasonry and the Destruction of Rome? What is Freemasonry? What about ties to the Illuminati? Could they be involved in the fulfillment of prophecy? Here is a link to a related sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

 

Chinese Decree Tells Religious Leaders to Support the Communist Party; USA Tells Religious to Support LGBTQ+ Abortion

Sunday, April 25th, 2021


(Public Domain Pictures)

COGwriter

China is clear that it wants religion in its image. And a new rule is to go into effect May 1, 2021:

New Chinese Decree Tells Religious Leaders to ‘Support the Communist Party’

April 24, 2021

The Chinese government is implementing a new decree on May 1 that will require all religious leaders to “follow the lead of and support the Communist Party.”

The decree, “Measures on the Management of Religious Professionals,” states that the preaching and teaching by religious professionals must in no way endanger China’s national security, promote extremism or divide the country.

It also requires religious professionals to resist the infiltration of foreign forces through religion. Religious leaders who violate the new decree will be subject to administrative sanctions and criminal charges.

“This decree goes against our religious beliefs, and the separation of politics and religion,” said Xu Yonghai, an elder at the Divine Love Fellowship of the Beijing House Church. “There will be a further narrowing of religious freedom and more severe crackdowns on believers.”

‘Sinicization’ of religion

“The church should not become a social group, let alone a political group,” said Xu, whose gathering was established in 1996 with a congregation mostly composed of dissidents and rights activists from across China.

He added that the decree promotes the implementation of the policy that “persists in our nation’s direction toward the Sinicization of religion.”

Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution says that citizens “enjoy freedom of religious belief.” It bans discrimination based on religion and forbids state organs, public organizations or individuals from compelling citizens to believe in — or not believe in — any particular faith.

It does not ban the Sinicization of religion, which is how the CCP shapes religious practices and thoughts to reflect its goals. It has been a key element of President Xi Jinping’s government since April 2016, when he delivered a speech at the National Religious Work Conference calling for the CCP to “actively guide the adaptation of religions to socialist society.”

At the 19th Party Congress in 2017, Xi emphasized that the CCP would “provide active guidance for religion and socialism to coexist.”

The issuance of the decree coincides with a push by the government-controlled national religious associations of Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Buddhism and Islam to require all believers to study topics such as the histories of the CCP, the People’s Republic of China and socialism to mark the 100th anniversary of the CCP in July. https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/new-chinese-decree-tells-religious-leaders-support-communist-party

As far as the Church of Rome goes, it already has accepted a lot of this, much to the dismay of many of its adherents (e.g., see ‘China Betrays Its Deal with the Vatican’).

Do NOT think that the idea that the government is above religion is only a Communist Chinese government position.

It, sadly, has long been the position of many judges and politicians in the USA.

And, it has been worsening, noticeably in 2020 and 2021.

Notice the following:

April 24, 2021

A webpage created by the Family Research Council, called “Tracking the Biden Administration,” shows that more than half of the president’s executive actions have had one focus.

To undermine “life, family, and religious freedom.” …

“The Biden trophies of his 100-day sprint include returning to the pro-abortion policies of Barack Obama and forcing taxpayers back into a partnership with the abortion industry, both at home and abroad. He has made clear that he places no value on the inherent dignity of human life. His actions deny the truth that every human life, born and unborn, possesses inherent dignity and deserves to be treated with respect.”

The report cites “accomplishments” such as authorizing tax funding of abortion overseas, donating to the United Nations Population Fund that cooperates with China despite that nation’s coercive abortion practices, advocating for adoption of the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment, allowing chemical abortion pills to be dispensed by mail, and authorizing taxpayer funding of research using the body parts of aborted babies.

“He has already racked up a record of targeting people of faith and faith-based organizations by demoting religious protections and demanding uniform affirmation of the transgender ideology. Those who hold to biological reality and the doctrines of the world’s major religions are being put in the position of either violating their consciences or being treated by the government as second-class citizens,” Perkins said.

“President Biden has consistently assaulted the very biological reality and science he claims guides his administration as he bowed to powerful interests who insist that girls can be boys and boys can be girls. He has even ordered schools to abolish girls’ sports and force boys and girls to use the same showers and locker rooms. By spending millions of defense dollars on gender reassignment surgeries, he is using the military to force moral and cultural change on society, which endangers our nation, as he must divert the military’s focus away from its mission of fighting and winning wars so that he can pursue his mission.” https://www.wnd.com/2021/04/biden-agenda-undermine-life-family-religion/

Former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr lamented the decline of the influence of religion in today’s society on Friday, suggesting the retreat of faith and how political leaders used COVID-19 to restrict it further was at least in part responsible for a diminished social and community life. …

Starr also pointed out the outbreak of COVID-19 invited political leaders to quickly restrict religious worship, banning church services, some of which at least initially were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — by the liberal bloc with Chief Justice John Roberts — in cases in California and Nevada. https://www.newsmax.com/politics/starr-religion-society-courts/2021/04/23/id/1018820/

As far as the Biden-Harris Administration, it made it clear that it considered LBGTQ+ ‘rights’ ahead of religious rights, even before it came into power.

Here is something from my book Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction:

As a non-partisan, it is sometimes difficult to write certain parts of this book as some people are bound to believe that I am intentionally taking a partisan stance.

I am not.

I am not a Republican nor a Democrat nor part of any political party. Nor do I consider myself an independent or some type of anarchist. My views would be that of a biblical Christian who earnestly holds to true and original Christian beliefs (cf. Jude 3). …

Many have questioned Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ morality. From their pro-abortion positions to their plan to globally promote the LGBTQ+ agenda while restricting religious rights of those who have differing standards, these would biblically be considered as noticeable moral flaws.

Notice also the following:

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team leader for US-owned media outlets wants to redefine freedom of speech and make “hate speech” a crime. Richard Stengel is the Biden transition “Team Lead” for the US Agency for Global Media …

“In general, hate speech is speech that attacks and insults people on the basis of race, religion, ethnic origin and sexual orientation,” Stengel wrote.

Does any of that matter? Global media, ‘big tech,’ and many governments have already censored scriptures (and even I have been directly censored by Vimeo, at least once, for tying certain world events in with biblical prophecies).

Notice also some of what the Bible says and it teaches:

8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever:

9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;

10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”

And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us.” (Isaiah 30:8-11)

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)

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

More and more people do not want to hear the truths related to the law of God or prophecies from His word.

Consider also that if some are insulted because their sins are called out, at least some associated with the Biden-Harris team want to make that a crime!

Yes, various ones want to further stifle religious speech to the point of persecuting those who hold to aspects of biblical morality.

(Thiel B. Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction. Nazarene Books, 2021)

Despite Joe Biden’s words about unifying the nation, he and Kamala Harris want the USA in their own image. Various reports point to the Biden-Harris Administration NOT wanting to grant religious exemptions for health-care workers from being involved in abortions and sex-mutilating operations. Or other religious people to act on their beliefs related to matters associated with the LGBTQ+ agenda.

So yes, various USA politicians and others are telling religious leaders to conform to a type of state religion.

Before Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took office, we put out the following video:

17:03

Biden-Harris & Hate Speech

Joe Biden has stated he would create a task force to deal with online threats and extremism. What does the first amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, to the US Constitution say? Is the Biden-Harris team committed to “advance LGBTQ+ equality in America”? Has the Biden-Harris campaign posted that giving more religious freedom is “hate against LGBTQ+ individuals”? What is the so-called “Equality Act” all about? Could Kamala Harris be more strident about this than even Joe Biden? Has the Biden-Harris teams appointed Richard Stengel to help deal with speech and communications and has Stengel called for the elimination of more aspects of free speech? Might he consider it wrong to quote scriptures that might be considered as “insults” by those opposed to biblical sexual morality? What about Canada’s position on some of this? Are various ones in governmental positions suggesting banning at least parts of the Bible (including those that show homosexuals can change)? Is believing the New Testament considered to be a bigger problem of prejudice than racial views? Does Big Tech (like YouTube) rely more on their ‘community standards” instead of the Bible? Is a famine of the word coming according to Amos and might that involve the internet? Should we call out sins, but be wise as to how, when, and where according to scripture? Where will the fake news ultimately lead to per 1 Thessalonians 5:2? Are Harris-Biden views promoting hate against those who hold to aspects of biblical morality?

Here is a link to the video: Biden-Harris & Hate Speech.

So, sadly, like the Chinese Communist Party, in the USA we are seeing a push to make religion in the image of political leaders.

Political leaders are also working with religious leaders around to the world to come to a type of interfaith and ecumenical agreement

The Bible shows that this will get so bad, that the entire world will end up worshiping a political leader, who the Bible terms “the beast;” and worship will be forced:

3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:3-8)

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

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)

We will see more and more, government actions trying to insist that government tops religion–and a coming totalitarian government will basically claim to be the religion.

Steps in China and the USA are consistent with what will rise up in Europe.

And that will be even worse than what China and the USA are doing.

Some items of related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? Japeth, Javan, Magog? Is there evidence that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel? What do Chinese writings and characters help show? What about the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Flood, and the Tower of Babel? Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? What about the Apostle Thomas? Did Confucius say anything to get the Chinese to possibly consider Christianity? Is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath? What about the Ten Commandments? What type of Church of God witness has there been to China? What has been happening with China that ties it together with prophecies in Revelation? What about the 200 million man army and Armageddon? What about the Belt and Road Initiative and end time Babylon the Great? A related sermon is also available: China’s biblical past and prophetic actions. Watch also China’s Silk Road and Babylon the Great.
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? Two YouTube video are Is China THE Threat to the United States of America? and China: A King of the East.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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! 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.
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?
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.
Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction Can the USA survive two full presidential terms? In what ways are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris apocalyptic? This book has hundreds of prophecies and scriptures to provide details.  A Kindle version is also available and you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to your free Kindle reader app (or if you already have one or a Kindle),  you can go to: Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction (Kindle) to get the book in seconds.

106th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Saturday, April 24th, 2021


Murdered Armenians 1915

COGwriter

April 24th marks the 106th anniversary of the date traditionally believed to have been the start of the Armenian genocide in 1915:

April 24, 2021 is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, marked annually to commemorate the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians a century ago, a mega-crime the nation of Turkey has never acknowledged. 04/23/21 https://www.wnd.com/2015/04/the-armenian-genocide-and-my-grandmothers-secret/

The US Congress has discussed it in the past and voted for it to be declared genocide by the Biden-Harris Administration, this past Wednesday:

April 22, 2021

A bipartisan group of more than 100 House members on Wednesday signed a letter to Biden calling on him to become the first U.S. president to formally recognize the World War I-era atrocities as genocide. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/president-biden-recognize-armenian-genocide-turkey-tayyip-erdogan/2579408/

It happened today:

April 24, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has formally recognized that the systematic killings and deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century were “genocide” — using a term for the atrocities that his White House predecessors have avoided for decades over concerns of alienating Turkey.

With the acknowledgement, Biden followed through on a campaign promise he made a year ago Saturday — the annual commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day — to recognize that the events of 1915 to 1923 were a deliberate effort to wipe out Armenians.

Biden used a presidential proclamation to make the pronouncement. While previous presidents have offered somber reflections of the dark moment in history via remembrance day proclamations, they have studiously avoided using the term genocide out of concern that it would complicate relations with Turkey — a NATO ally and important power in the Middle East. https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-turkey-government-and-politics-middle-east-europe-dbe6bc9ddac90c1393e6c33ff2220781

This will please Armenians around the world.

Notice a Russian report related to the Armenian genocide:

YEREVAN, April 22. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited earlier on Friday the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide memorial complex.

He examined the museum exposition, left a note in the book for official delegations and then laid a wreath at the eternal flame. “Thank you for preserving this memory so that the Armenian people’s tragedy is never forgotten,” the minister’s note says. http://tass.ru/en/politics/871829

Until today, the USA has repeatedly failed to officially refer to the slaughter as genocide. But it it has been made this year by President Biden.

Germany released a statement about it before:

April 24, 2015

YEREVAN — Armenia marked the centenary Friday of a mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as Germany became the latest country to recognize it as a genocide.

Turkey denies that the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey in 1915 constitutes genocide, and relations with Armenia are still blighted by the dispute.

Germany’s parliament approved a resolution Friday branding the killings a “genocide,” risking a diplomatic rupture with Ankara in a significant change of stance for Turkey’s biggest trade European Union trade partner.

The European Parliament refers to the killings as genocide, as did Pope Francis this month. The U.S. has refrained from doing so. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as recently as Thursday refuted the description of the killings as genocide. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/armenian-genocide-100th-anniversary-germany-becomes-latest-use-term-n347641

Here is some information about what happened over a century ago:

The Armenian Genocide (Armenian: Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն Hayots Tseghaspanutyun), also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern (Armenian: Մեծ Եղեռն, “Great Crime”), was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. (Armenian Genocide, Wikipedia, accessed 04/12/15)

The government of Turkey has tended to deny it was genocide, instead saying that most were killed in WWI and civil wars during that time. The Armenians strongly disagree.

Armenians still face issues. A while back, a COG member sent me the following:

My mom’s side relatives have lived in Aleppo, Syria all their lives, which has had a large thriving Eastern Orthodox Christian Armenian community for nearly a century. A number of them have left during the recent turmoil if they were able. An article in a recent daily news update on cogwriter referred to Christian persecution there. Well, the rebel groups are the ones bombing churches and persecuting those who refer to themselves as Christians (including Armenians). Two of my relatives were kidnapped by rebel forces (now released by ransom money). My relatives are upset at the so-called Arab Spring. It has destroyed the peace, the economy and their way of life, which they were happy with. The more secular Arab leaders like Assad have treated professing Christians very well for decades (though they may be harsh in other ways). The Armenians had no trouble with their religion, churches, schools, cultural activities, and speaking the language. They were highly regarded in the community. Now the rebels want to overthrow the regime and have a fanatical Moslem government, and, like you say, eventually try to establish a caliphate across the Middle East. They persecute any group calling itself Christian and are causing the disintegration of the Orthodox Christian communities.

The situation in Syria has been horrible, but hopefully, since ISIS lost its territories may be improving. I have been praying for those affected in Syria for some time and again ask others to also do so.

While the Continuing Church of God does not consider that the modern Armenian Orthodox are part of the Church of God, there are certain doctrinal similarities (as well as important doctrinal differences, see Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God).

The records of history demonstrate that as early as the first century A.D. there were Church of God Christians in Armenia. The Armenian Orthodox have claimed:

Christianity was preached in Armenia as early as the second half of the first century by the two disciples of Jesus Christ, namely, St. Thaddeus (John 14:22-24) and St. Bartholomew (John 1:43-51). During the first three centuries Christianity in Armenia was a hidden religion under heavy persecution.

The true Church of God has long endured persecution and I do believe that there were true Christians in Armenia for quite some time, though not really the way many Armenians understand it.

Around the time of Constantine it was known that there were binitarian Paulicians in Armenia who also kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Tamar Davis reported:

Eustathius was succeeded by Erius, a priest, and semi-Arian…Erius…condemned multiple marriages by the priests … Erius also condemned fasts, stated feasts, prayers for the dead, and the celebration of Easter; he urged a purer morality and a stricter observance of the Sabbath. He had many followers, whose numbers were augmented by one of Paul of Samosota, from whom they were called Paulicians. Notwithstanding the opposition of the prelates, who invoked the secular arm to prevent the defection of their spiritual subjects, the tenets of this sect struck deep root in Armenia and many of its eastern provinces, and finally the great body of Christians in the former country, withdrew from the Episcopal communion, and publicly espoused the sentiments of the Paulicians … The bishops of Syria, Pontus, and Cappadocia, complained of the defection of their spiritual flocks … induced the Grecian emperors to commence, and continue for nearly two centuries, the most terrible persecutions against the Paulicians.

Armenian scholar Nina Garsoian in The Paulician Heresy, wrote: “It would, then, appear that the Paulicians are to be taken as the survival of the earlier form of Christianity in Armenia” (p. 227). She also wrote that the Paulicians were “accused of being worse than other sects because of adding Judaism” (p. 213).

The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the Paulicians heretics because they were basically against idolatry and Catholic ritualism:

The Paulicians, as part of their heresy held … that all external religious forms, sacraments, rites, especially material pictures and relics, should be abolished. To honour the Cross was especially reprehensible.

Furthermore, note this historical writing about the Paulicians in Armenia:

From the earliest ages they have devoutly hated the error and idolatry of the Greeks. Like the primitive Christians, they have ever exhibited an unconquerable repugnance to the use or abuse of images, which, in the eighth and ninth centuries spread like a leprosy…and supplanted all traces of genuine piety in the visible church …

The Greco-Roman Catholic saint and doctor Jerome said that various of the Nazarene Christians were in Armenia in the fourth and fifth centuries (see Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes?). Some of the Paulicians and many of the Nazarene Christians were part of the Church of God. See also: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

In the eighth and ninth centuries, many of the Armenian Paulicians were forcibly resettled in the Balkans by Byzantine emperors. After being relocated to the Balkans, the Paulicians came to be called Bogomils.

The Eastern Orthodox also oppressed the Bogomils. Notice this odd admission from an Orthodox scholar (bolding mine):

The Orthodox, as have all religions, berated other confessions and denominations. But Orthodoxy was always benign – no “jihad”, no bloodshed, no forced conversions and no mass expulsions – perhaps with the exception of the forcible treatment of the Bogomils. It was all about power and money, of course. Bishops and archbishops did not hesitate to co-opt the Ottoman administration against their adversaries…

Notice that the Orthodox claim to have not caused bloodshed, forced conversions, or mass expulsions of any group, except what they did to the Bogomils. It is not completely clear how they treated others, but obviously, they felt mistreating people that were associated with the original Church of God was acceptable. Of course, some of the Orthodox began their persecutions much prior to the Bogomils with the early Paulicians (not just the Samosatans), various (like 4th century) Sabbath-keepers, and the Quartodecimans.

This type of persecution is consistent with what happened to true Christians in the Pergamos and Thyatira eras of the true Church of God.

The historian, Fred C. Conybeare observed this about the Armenians affiliated with the Paulicians:

They are accused by their Armenian opponents of setting at naught all the feasts and fasts of the Church, especially Sunday…The Sabbath was perhaps kept… they were probably the remnant of an old Judaeo-Christian Church, which had spread up through Edessa into Siuniq and Albania…We know that the Pauliani continued to keep Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan…Of the modern Christmas and of the Annunciation, and of the other feasts connected with the life of Jesus prior to his thirtieth year, this phase of the church knew nothing. The general impression which the study of it leaves on us is that in it we have before us a form of Church not very remote from the primitive Jewish Christianity of Palestine.

The following is from the Catholic Priest Basil Sarkisean’s work Manichaean Paulician Heresy and is from a 987 A.D. letter written by Gregory of Narek against the Paulicians (Note that I have left out additions by the editor/translator F. Conybeare):

Then among the observances which we know to have been repudiated by them as neither apostolic or divine the mysterious prayers of genuflexion…

The Font is denied by them…

the communion of immortality…is denied…

We know that they deny the adored sign, which God, made man, raised and carried on his shoulders.

Harvard scholar H. Brown wrote:

The Bogomils…Its doctrine of God is highly dualistic…There is no True Trinity

One of their so-called “dualistic” teachings was that this is Satan’s world. One scholar noted that an:

… important idea of Bogomils and Cathars, i.e. that this world is the kingdom of the devil.

Perhaps it should be noted that groups like the faithful in the Church of God also believe that this is Satan’s world (cf. Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:5; 2 Corinthians 4:4). This will change, however, when Christ returns (Revelation 11:15). This being Satan’s world is part of the reason that the Bible warns us to not love this present world (1 John 2:15-17).

Another reason that their teachings are called dualistic is probably because, as non-trinitarians (see also Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?), they would have most likely been binitarian (see also Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning).

Notice this from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The heresy of the Bogomili was started in the tenth century…followers called themselves Christians and considered their faith the only true one. In Bosnia they were named Paterines. The Paterines, or Bogomili…forbade intercourse with those of other faiths, disbelieved in war.

The true Church of God remains opposed to Christians participating in carnal warfare (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?).

It is of historical interest to note the following doctrinal admissions in the article on the Paulicians in The Catholic Encyclopedia (bolding mine):

They honoured not the Cross, but only the book of the Gospel. They were Iconoclasts, rejecting all pictures…

The whole ecclesiastical hierarchy is bad, as also all Sacraments and ritual. They had a special aversion to monks…

Since Gibbon the Paulicians have often been described as a survival of early and pure Christianity, godly folk who clung to the Gospel, rejecting later superstitions, who were grossly calumniated by their opponents…

In Armenia the sect continued in the “Thonraketzi” founded by a certain Smbat in the ninth century. Conybeare attributes to this Smbat a work, “The Key of Truth”, which he has edited. It accepts the Old Testament and the Sacraments of Baptism. Penance, and the Eucharist. This work especially has persuaded many writers that the Paulicians were much maligned people. But in any case it represents a very late stage of their history, and it is disputed whether it is really Paulician at all.

The following is apparently from the work History of Armenia by Chamich and is from a 1054-1058 A.D. letter written by Gregory Magistros against the Manichaean (Note that I have left out additions by the editor/translator F. Conybeare):

… they represent our worship of God as worship of idol. As if we, who honour the sign of the cross and the holy pictures, were still engaged in worshiping devils.

Those who opposed idols and icons (see What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?) were often persecuted (see Persecutions by Church and State).

Interestingly, The Catholic Encyclopedia article also admits:

The emperor Alexius Comnenus is credited with having put an end to the heresy. During a residence at Philippopolis, he argued with them and converted all, or nearly all, back to the Church (so his daughter: “Alexias”, XV, 9). From this time the Paulicians practically disappear from history. But they left traces of their heresy. In Bulgaria the Bogomile sect, which lasted through the Middle Ages and spread to the West in the form of Cathari, Albigensians, and other Manichaean heresies, is a continuation of Paulicianism. In Armenia, too, similar sects, derived from them, continue till our own time.

Notice that even some Roman Catholic scholars know that it is possible that some of the Paulicians were the survivors of an early and pure Christianity and that they had spiritual descendants that continued into the future (Alexius Comnenus died in A.D. 1118 and essentially dealt with the Paulicians at Philippopolis in the late eleventh century), such as those within the Thyatira era, and well into modern times! This, combined with Gibbon’s account, is supportive of the view that a laying on of hands continued from the beginning, through the late eleventh century and beyond. The Cathari were also known to be pacifists, as were the faithful among the Paulicians. Of course, there were many called by those names that were not faithful. But completely faithful or not, they were often persecuted.

There has long been a history of persecution against those who hold Church of God teachings. And the Armenians, including those that no longer hold Church of God teachings, have also been persecuted. The persecution and atrocious massacre by the Turks about a century ago is still an important issue for Armenians. The persecution of Armenians in Syria and elsewhere in the 21st century is atrocious as well.

Between civil war, chemical weapons, murders, deaths, and war crimes, it is terrible what the people in Syria, Armenian or not, have had to endure. They, along with all of us, need to pray “Thy kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10, KJV).

Some prophetic information related to Armenia is in the article: The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy.

Items of possibly related interest may include:

Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Turkey in Prophecy Do you know the Turkish people descended from? Did the Ottoman Empire possibly fulfill a promise in Genesis? Will Turkey support the European King of the North or Arabic King of the South? Will it betray one of them? Will Turkey be involved in the encouraging the destruction of Israel? Is Turkey going to become Catholic? Is Turkey mentioned in Psalm 83, Daniel 11, and elsewhere in the Bible? A related video is also available: What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy.
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”?
The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church.
The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
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?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There are also two related YouTube videos you can watch: Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated and God’s and Satan’s Plan for Jerusalem.
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?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
Is a Great Reset Coming? Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum has proposed a societal change that has been basically endorsed by the Vatican and many world leaders. Does the Bible prophesy a major reset? Here is a link to a related video: Will there be a “Great Reset”?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy.

Second Passover: Sunday after sunset

Friday, April 23rd, 2021


Unleavened Bread

COGwriter

April 25th, 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 Abid 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 April 25th 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: CCOG Passover Service.

Here is the link to the service in the Spanish language: Servicio de la Pascua 2021.

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.

Hank Hanegraaff, the Eastern Orthodox, and the changed WCG

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

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:

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?
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?

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

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021


Carlo Maria Viganò (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fratelli tutti is just another step.

A reader sent me a link to the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15:31

Pope Francis signs ‘one world religion’ document!

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

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

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

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

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

What about Freemasonry?

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

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

Here is some information from an actual Freemason website:

What is Freemasonry?

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

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

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

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

There are still Catholic concerns about it:

June 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vatican involvement is clearly shown with the beast:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1:16:04

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of related interest may include:

Freemasonry and the Destruction of Rome? What is Freemasonry? What about ties to the Illuminati? Could they be involved in the fulfillment of prophecy? Here is a link to a related sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Another video is related to China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (Silk Road project): watch Is China paving roads to Armageddon?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ and the Holy Spirit. Are those two even related? In this video, Dr. Thiel answers that and explains from the Bible what the ‘unpardonable sin’ is and how you can avoid it. He also discusses aspects of Christianity and the environment. This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’ and Origin of the Cross.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? Here is a link to a related sermon: Christians and the Environment (there is also YouTube video available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy).
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.

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

Earth Day 2021

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021


Unofficial Earth Day Flag

COGwriter

April 22nd is known as “Earth Day.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notice, however, the following:

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

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

Here is information about it for 2021:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


17:19

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

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

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

The Europeans will turn against its American ‘friend’:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. Two related sermon are available: Identifying the USA and its Destruction in Prophecy and Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.

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

Cardinals and what are biblical titles for the ministry?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021


Cardinal Vestments

COGwriter

Cardinals hold a high position in the Church of Rome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is that important?

Two reasons.

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

Second, it comes from paganism.

Here is some of what Alexander Hislop reported about that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is more on the origins of Cardinals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What titles did early Christians use?

The New Testament lists various clerical roles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of related interest may include:

The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, and Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Titles, Dress, & Celibacy.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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

Monday, April 19th, 2021


Pope Leo IX

COGwriter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Bacchiocchi observed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notice what the Protestant historian Kenneth Latourette stated:

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

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

In the third century, Hippolytus of Rome wrote:

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

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

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

As far as the Sabbath being biblical, let me point out that a series of articles in the Catholic Mirror, called The Christian Sabbath, essentially proved that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome. The change from the Sabbath was not biblical and Catholic scholars have admitted this.

Some items of related interest may include:

Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he? Here is a link to a related sermon: Marcion: The first Protestant reformer?
The Coming Persecution of the Church Jesus foretold persecution. Many are aware of some of the early persecutions, but few understand what teachings true Christians were persecuted for in the fourth century and beyond–some may seem shocking. At least two major persecutions are prophesied to come. Which doctrines are expected to be causes for the coming persecutions? Are the Greco-Roman churches planning on persecuting Sabbath-keepers, those who do not accept a non-biblical Mary, and those who do not wear crosses? This is a video.
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome. Here is a link to a related sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism.