Archive for the ‘WCG News’ Category

Herbert Armstrong’s death, legacy, and ‘Armstrongism’

Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Order of the Sacred Treasure

COGwriter

Hebert W. Armstrong died on January 16, 1986, at age 93 1/2. Many never heard of him, but multiple millions did.

Here is some of what he wrote about himself:

I was born July 31, 1892, of respected and upright parents who were of solid Quaker stock. My ancestors had emigrated from England to Pennsylvania with William Penn, a hundred years before the United States became a nation. My ancestry, through a paternal great-grandmother, traces back to Edward I, King of England.

I first saw the light of day in a red brick two-apartment flat on the northwest corner of East 14th and Grand Avenue, in Des Moines, Iowa. Of course I remember absolutely nothing of the day of my birth — even as you remember nothing of the day you were born…

When I was 6 the family moved to Marshalltown, Iowa, where my father entered the flour milling business…

Back to Des Moines we moved again in 1901, in early fall, after a year and a half in Union, this time near East 13th and Walker. I was now in the 4th grade. We lived a short distance from a Seventh-Day Adventist Sanitarium, with a bakery shop near the front entrance. I remember being sent often to this bakery for special “health” bread — probably whole wheat. The thing that most impressed me, however, was the impression on my boyish mind that these Adventists must be some kind of odd religious people, because they “kept Saturday for their Sunday.” Even at that age, anything different from common custom and general social acceptance automatically seemed strange — and if strange, then of course it seemed WRONG. Why do people assume that the rank-and-file of PEOPLE can’t be wrong?…

Our transportation, 1903-4, was horse and buggy — and my bicycle. Going to the factory in the morning, we had to use the whip on the horse occasionally to keep him trotting. But returning home in the evening, it was necessary to hold tight rein on him. He needed no urging to trot. He seemed to know his oats were waiting for him in our barn…

From earliest memory I was kept regularly in the Sunday school and church services of the First Friends Church in Des Moines…

During the years between 12 and 16, besides school, I had many Saturday and vacation jobs. I carried a paper route, was errand boy for a grocery store, special delivery boy for a dry goods store, spent one summer vacation as draftsman for a furnace company, and there were other odd jobs.

But at age 16, during summer vacation, I obtained my first job away from home. The job was waiting on tables in the dining room of a semi-resort hotel in Altoona, the next town east of Des Moines…

Of course, as yet, at age 16, there had formulated no definite GOAL to work toward, further than the general ambition to SUCCEED. Of what that success was to consist had to crystalize later.

Also, so far, it was pure VANITY. But it was a positive vanity, and that might be vastly preferable to a negative, purposeless humility. It was the first start toward later accomplishment…

In track I went out for the mile run in my Sophomore year only, but never was entered in the state meet. The best time I ever made was 5 minutes flat, on the Drake track, where the annual Drake Relays, nationally famous, are still run. Today the world’s best milers run the mile under 4 minutes!

I was an average student in school. But in final exams I always got grades of 95% to 98%…

AT AGE 18 I found a book in the public library, titled, “Choosing a Vocation.” It took the reader through a searching self-analysis, and a survey of vocations, occupations and professions, to place the candidate where he best fit.

A thorough study of this self-analysis and survey indicated that I would probably be most successful in the profession of journalism and advertising. And this, to me, was one of the truly exciting, thrilling professions.

It so happened that my uncle in Des Moines, Frank Armstrong, my father’s younger brother, was the most prominent advertising man in the state. He had led the movement of establishing Ad-Clubs in other cities over the state, and he was the first president of the state association.

I went to my uncle for counsel and advice. From that time, since I had chosen his field, he practically steered my life for the next eleven years, and I owe much to him. To me he seemed like a sort of second Benjamin Franklin, and on the whole I felt he had unusual insight, understanding, and sound judgment.

The place to begin in the advertising profession, he advised, was the want-ad department of a daily newspaper. This was the freshman class of the advertising school of hard knocks.

It was late December, 1910. Now the big question came: should I stay in school, and take courses in advertising and journalism in college or university?

“Well, Herbert,” he counseled, “that depends on you and how much ambition and drive you have. It happens that no college or university in the country has yet offered a course in this profession that is worth a plug nickel.

“Now I know,” he continued, “that nearly everybody has the delusion that an education is something you get at school — and higher education at the university. It’s like going to a hardware store or department store to purchase a lawn mower. People seem to have the idea that an education is something they have all wrapped up at the university, ready to hand it over to you when you buy it by paying the tuition. But it has always seemed to me that traipsing across the door-sill of a college classroom, or sitting in an arm-chair, is not putting an education into your mind. Education comes from study — from books — from lectures — from contacts — from travel — from thinking about what you see and hear and read — and from experience…”

I went home and thought it over thoroughly. Ambition is not only the DESIRE, but the determination and the will to achieve the desired goal. For two years ambition had burned fiercely within me. I wanted both success and to become a well-educated person. I knew I wanted these goals intensively enough to drive myself to any needed extent to succeed.

I told my uncle my decision. He assigned me to one year’s experience in want ads, and advised that I get a job in the want-ad department of the Des Moines Daily Capital, then published by Lafe Young, senior United States Senator from Iowa…

I did not ask The Capital if they needed any help. That was too negative — might have resulted in being turned down. I went straight to the manager of the want-ad department, told him I was entering the advertising profession, and had decided to join his staff because it offered the best opportunity to LEARN, and to advance. I got the job. The starting salary was $6 per week.

I had no conception, then, that the advertising profession was not, after all, to be my final life profession — or that this experience was merely the preliminary training needed for the ultimate bigger job later in life.

In those days I had developed a very excessive case of self-confidence. I was snappy, confident, self-assured — yet sincere, and in the intent of heart, honest.

On this want-ad job I soon became known as a “hustler.” On the street I hurried — walked rapidly. I was a dynamo of energy. Off nights I studied. Books were procured on advertising, on psychology, merchandising, business management, and English. All the leading trade journals were subscribed to and diligently read — primarily “Printers Ink,” and “Advertising & Selling,” the two leading trade journals of the profession.

My uncle directed the training in learning an effective style in writing…

…I was given a Real Estate beat, and the salary raised to $8 per week…

It was not long until Ivan Coolidge, then want-ad manager over at the “R & L,” asked me to drop over and see him. He offered me $10 a week if I’d leave The Capital and join the Register staff…

I had started out to spend one year in want ads at the Capital. The temptation had come to weaken and get off that schedule.

I took my uncle’s advice and stayed on the schedule.

Learning Rules of Success

Thus, at the early age of 18, some of the seven important rules of success were being learned.

The first success rule — I emphasize by repeating it — is fixing the right GOAL. Avoid fitting the “square peg in the round hole.” I was yet to learn the real PURPOSE of life, and the one true supreme GOAL. Actually I had set out on a wrong goal — that of becoming someone “important,” achieving business success and status for the purpose of making money. But at least I had made the self-analysis and the survey of vocations to find where I should fit within the realm of business, the field of this goal.

At least, ambition had been kindled. And, though little realized at the time, all this experience was building the necessary foundation for the worldwide activities of later life.

The second success rule is EDUCATION — fitting oneself for the achievement of the goal. I was getting, not mere impractical and theoretical classroom book education, but the combined education of book study at night and practical experience in the daytime. And even here, the self-education being received was precisely that required to properly prepare me for this present worldwide Work of God, without which this Work today could not have become a success.

The third rule of success is good, vigorous HEALTH. Food plays a major part in this, and I was not to learn of the importance of food and diet until I was 38 years old. But I had learned the importance of sufficient exercise, deep breathing, daily bathing and elimination, and sufficient sleep.

The fourth rule, drive, putting a constant prod on oneself, seems to have come naturally as a result of the ambition that had been generated at sixteen. There was always the sense that I had to hurry! I was learning to plunge into a task with dynamic energy.

The fifth, resourcefulness, or thinking about the problem at hand, was unconsciously being developed by experience. For example, the experience of the “goat work” job, and then in finding a way to get in room-for-rent ads faster by telephone, was an example of learning this rule by experience — thinking through and applying initiative, to a better way of solving a problem. Most people do such a job just as they are shown, without ever applying thought or resourcefulness to the activity.

And now, the sixth rule, perseverance, never quitting when it appears to everyone else one has failed, was being learned at the very low price of $2 per weekly lesson.

In 1947, and again in 1948, Ambassador College appeared hopelessly to have failed. It seemed everyone else knew we had come to the “end of our rope.” It has happened many times. But that $2 per week lesson learned at 18 turned a seeming hopeless failure into a worldwide ever-expanding success.

The seventh and most important rule, Divine Guidance, I was not to learn until much later…

For something like a year and a half I was kept in the Service Department of The Journal. There I received a most intensive and practical basic training in the true psychological principles of writing and designing advertisements…

I was never insincere. True, I had swung from a sense of inferiority, to one of supreme self-confidence.

But I was entirely sincere. Usually a bragging, conceited young lad who is cocky, is also an insincere flippant smart aleck. I was not. It seems I was, by nature, deeply sincere and in earnest, and although excessively self-confident, even snappy and cocky in manner, there was always with it a sense of earnestness and dignity. At least I thought I was right, and in my heart meant to be. Human nature wants to be good — but seldom does it want to do good. That natural desire in one to wish to consider himself good, I suppose, led to an attitude of sincerity.

Later, God had to take the self-confidence, conceit, and cockiness out of me. He replaced it with a different kind of confidence — an unbounded FAITH in God. I have far more ASSURANCE for the future today than I had then — many times over. But today it is based on what God is going to do — not what I am able to do…

After about one and a half to two years of training in advertising copy writing and layout, selling advertising space, office work in dictating and letter-answering, and composing room makeup with The Merchants Trade Journal, I was put on a new and unique activity.

I have never heard of anything like it. I became The Journal’s “Idea Man.”…

The Journal maintained an “Idea Man” who travelled all over the country, visiting stores in all lines, discussing problems and methods with merchants, checking on community and social conditions. The actual experiences of successful merchants, as sought out and reported by the “Idea Man” were written up by the editors into article form in the magazine.

The first “Idea Man” tour took me to New York state and back. This trip started in November, 1913.

I must have visited a number of towns across Iowa and Illinois, but the first that comes back to mind, now, is traveling across southern Michigan…

Perhaps I was entirely too proud in those days. Actually there is no “perhaps” about it. I was! Later I was forced to suffer for years to have this vanity and conceit crushed out, before I could ever have been fully prepared for the responsibilities of today.

But I was young then. And I have often wondered if it is not really better for a young upstart to be conceited, self-confident, cocky — and with it, ambitious, energetic in trying to accomplish something, than to be an ambitionless, spineless, lazy, shiftless fellow utterly lacking in spark, drive, and the zeal to try to accomplish something worthwhile.

Such ambitious fellows, of course, may not have right goals — they may not know the real PURPOSE of life, or the true way of life, and they may be energetically pressing on only toward more vanity, and “a striving after wind,” as Solomon puts it. But at least they are mentally ALIVE, and not dead! And once circumstances do shake them and bring them to themselves, and humble them and open their minds to the true values, they are already in the habit of exerting enough energy so that, turned at last in the right direction, something is REALLY accomplished.

At least one reader of this autobiography — and so far as I know, only one — has written very disapprovingly of it, condemning me for having been vain and conceited in those early formative years. I have stated all the facts about that over-abundance of self-assurance. Indeed I have put emphasis on it.

This, then, is one of the things I had to be changed from! This is a candid and true life story, and the bad is being told along with what good there may have been. But, if there was ego and cocky conceit, there also was ambition, determination, fire, drive, and honest and sincere effort toward what then seemed to be a right goal.

His later death seemed to mark the end of the predominance of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God and the start of the predominance of the Laodicean era instead. Many Laodicean groups have formed since his death, and in my view, several while he was still alive.

Despite the claim that he would follow in his footsteps, Herbert W. Armstrong’s chosen successor in the old Worldwide Church of God, the late Joseph Tkach, Sr., did not remain faithful to the teachings that many of us believe God inspired Herbert W. Armstrong to restore to the church. Here are Some Quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong on Laodicea and Holding Fast to Doctrine.

Since Herbert W. Armstrong’s death, many who declared that they believed the doctrines he claimed to restore to the Church of God, either repudiated everything or at least several of those doctrines. Some others, improperly, somewhat idolized him.

But then there are those who still agree with the following teaching of Herbert W. Armstrong:

Don’t believe me BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there.” (Herbert W. Armstrong, Plain Truth magazine, Sept. 1963, Personal pg.1)

Herbert W. Armstrong made mistakes, and often big ones. He also had his own character flaws, though not all the terrible things written against him are true (see 15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong).

But I do not want the focus of this post to be on the person of Herbert W. Armstrong, but on the biblically-correct teachings he claimed to restore to the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God that he claimed were lost through the ages by the time he encountered the Sardis era of the Church of God.

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

At least 18 basic and essential truths have been restored to the True Church since” the year 1933 (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, p. 251).

The only Church of God group I am aware of that specifically lists all of those truths, using his list, as part of their official beliefs is the Continuing Church of God. Notice that portion of the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:

1. True Gospel (An article of related interest may include The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church.)

2. Purpose of God (An article of related interest may include Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).

3. God’s Plan through the Holy Days (Several articles of possibly related interest may include Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?, Passover and the Early Church, and Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days?)

4. Proper Church Government (Two articles of possibly related interest may include The Bible, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government and Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians.)

5. Who and What is God? (An article of related interest may include One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning.)

6. What and Why is Man? (Two articles of possibly related interest may include What is the Meaning of Life? and Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?)

7. Spirit in Man (An article of possibly related interest may include Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?)

8. Firstfruits In this Age (An article of related interest may include Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2?)

9. Knowledge of What the Millennium Truly Is (An article of related interest may include Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan?)

10. Truth About the Holy Spirit (An article of related interest may include Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity?)

11. Christians are Begotten Now (An article of related interest may include Born Again: A Question of Semantics?)

12. Born-Again at the Resurrection (An article of related interest may include Born Again: A Question of Semantics?)

13. Identity of Physical Israel (An article of related interest may include Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel.)

14. How the Identity of Israel Opens Up Understanding of Bible Prophecy (An article of related interest may include Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel.)

15. Second and Third Tithes (An article of related interest may include Is Third Tithe Still Valid Today?)

16. Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters (Three articles of possibly related interest may include Europa, the Beast, and Revelation, Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Genuine Church of God?, and Hope of Salvation: How the Genuine Church of God differ from most Protestants.)

17. Satan has Deceived the Whole World (An article possibly related interest may be The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance.)

18. We Are to Be Separate (Two articles of related interest may include Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? and Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ?)

We in the Continuing Church of God do not simply believe these truths because Herbert W. Armstrong came up with a list. We believe them because they are biblically accurate and applicable, and consistent with aspects of church history.

Without going into more detail here, the second century writings of Theophilus of Antioch, for example, demonstrate that Christians believed that they were to be born again at the resurrection (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XV) and other early writings do demonstrate that there were those who professed Christ after the death of the original apostles that seemed to hold to those “restored truths.” Judeo-Christians of the first few centuries A.D. seemed to understand at least some of the identity of physical Israel and tried to get the gospel message to them (e.g. James 1:1).

Consider also, in his October 1979 Plain Truth article titled 7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Herbert W. Armstrong listed seven proofs that he felt that the Philadelphia portion of the true Church of God would have. These included knowing/teaching 1) Who and What is God?, 2) The Government of God and Creation of Holy and Righteous Character, 3) Who and What is Man?, 4) The Truth About Israel, 5) The True Gospel, 6) What and Why the Church?, and 7) The Priority of Teaching of the Reign of the Kingdom of God. He felt that the, then, Worldwide Church of God had all of those. We in the Continuing Church of God do as well.

Specifically related to those we teach:

1) The view that early Christians had on the Godhead,

2) The government of God (hierarchical with the Father as highest in authority and operates under His loving laws) and His goal of developing righteous character (Romans 5:4; Matthew 5:48) with doctrinal assistance from His ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16),

3) That God intentionally created humans physical (Genesis 2:7) and that those He calls (John 6:44) can become spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:45-48) in the family of God (Ephesians 3:14-19),

4) The identity of modern Israel and how that ties in with prophecy (cf. Genesis 48, 49; 2 Kings 12:19-20; 16:5-6; James 1:1; Daniel 11:39),

5) Christ’s gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 1:1-3),

6) That the church does the work of God (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; John 6:29; Revelation 3:7-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 16:9; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:25-32) in truth (Psalm 33:4; Isaiah 61:8; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15),

7) The proper priority of proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) and the soon-coming millennium (Revelation 20:4), while teaching disciples all things that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

After the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, his human successor entered into apostasy and renounced most of the unique Church of God doctrines. The true church continued as many left that organization and many other organizations have since formed. Apostasy has happened from New Testament times (e.g. 1 John 2:18-19) and is one reason why tracing true Christian church history can be difficult.

While many Church of God groups have leaders that claim most or all of those seven points, nearly all have failed to truly practice Herbert W. Armstrong’s points 2, 6, and 7, and have misunderstood some of the others. At least one group that believes it is a leader in 6 & 7 above, knowingly and intentionally, has made that proclamation with materials it knew contained doctrinal errors that were not the truth. That willingness to spread a false message shows that they are not leading the final phase of the work of God—the work of God MUST BE DONE IN TRUTH per Psalm 33:4. The LORD said, “I will direct their work in truth” (Isaiah 61:8), and those who knowingly publish and distribute doctrinal errors obviously are not accepting the LORD’s direction.

Many other groups discount points 6 & 7. Yet, here is also something that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote related to points 6 and to parts of point 7:

In Matthew 28:19-20, God’s order is 1) go and preach the Gospel (compare with Mark’s version, same words of Jesus, Mark 16:15); 2) baptize those who repent and believe; then after that, 3) teach them to observe the commandments” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, p. 523).

PURPOSE of the Church, 1) proclaiming the coming kingdom of God to the world and 2) feeding the flock.

The “loner”–the “individual Christian,” who wants to climb up into the kingdom some other way than by CHRIST and HIS WAY through his CHURCH–is not being trained in CHRIST’S MANNER OF TRAINING, to rule and reign with Christ in his kingdom! (Mystery of the Ages, p.270).

Herbert W. Armstrong also taught, “with modern facilities for mass communication – the printing press, radio, television, even the telephone by which one may reach another in any part of the world in a matter of minutes or less – can reach more people by far than all of the first century apostles combined.” (7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Part 6. Plain Truth, August 1979).

We in the Continuing Church of God are utilizing 21st century methods for mass communication including the printing press, radio, YouTube television, the telephone, and of course the internet, which can even be faster than the forms of mass communication that Herbert W. Armstrong used. We have reached multiple millions with the gospel of the kingdom and have the type of proclamation and prophetic truths that Jesus said should be the criteria to know the true from the false in Matthew 7:15-18.

These truths are also listed in our free booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today?

But many once part of the old Worldwide Church of God no longer believe several truths.

Jesus warned the Philadelphians to “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11), and this would seemingly have to include the doctrinal truths that were restored to the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God. The Bible also warns that people who seem to be believers will “fall away” from the truth and while that has happened in the past, it will again happen in the future (cf. Daniel 11:30-35; 1 Timothy 4:1). Some who once claimed to be Philadelphians have not held fast to that teaching either.

Herbert W. Armstrong ultimately believed that a dream, which had two proclamation parts, was a prophecy from God for him to enter the ministry, which he did, and he completed the first proclamation part of the dream. Thirty years after his death, the only group that has claimed to be working towards completing the second part of that dream is the Continuing Church of God.Three articles of related interest may include Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God, The Final Phase of the Work, and Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?

Most groups with leaders once part of the old Worldwide Church of God discount all dreams and have not placed the public proclamation of the kingdom of God to the world as their true initial priority (Matthew 24:14; 28:19), do not fully understand all of the restored truths, and have not valued the truth enough, hence they have shown that they are not the possessors of what has been called the “Philadelphia mantle” (leadership authority). The group with said mantle is also represented by the “woman” of Revelation 12:14-17.

The Book of Hebrews teaches:

1 Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1)

Why bring that up here? Because the word translated as “brotherly love” is the Greek word Philadelphia. Philadelphia was to continue, even into this Laodicean time, as well as be present (to a degree) throughout the history of the Church of God. Philadelphians are deeply caring people.

Here is something from the late Herbert W Armstrong: about the 30% growth his church once had:

Work started

THE WORK of God, which the Church had been added to back up and assist, was started by myself, with only my wife as full time assistant. I started the radio broadcasting program in January, 1934, and The Plain Truth, in February, 1934. The Good News, as the organ for our members, had started earlier in 1933.

The Work GREW. God continued to ADD to His Church such as HE called to back up the GREAT COMMISSION, and to develop the godly, holy and righteous CHARACTER to qualify them to be made kings and priests UNDER CHRIST after His return to earth as KING of Kings at the beginning of the millenial rule.

For 35 years the WORK OF GOD grew steadily at the rate of approximately 30 percent a year. I do not know of any organization, secular or of God, that has shown so remarkable growth, starting from NOTHING financially (though we started with something greater — FAITH in the living Christ HEAD of the Church and the WORK). This Work was built literally on FAITH. The living Christ blessed it richly, even though there was carnal opposition and persecution from the beginning.

UNMATCHED Growth

Read carefully now. As the Work grew, so did the human organization to work UNDER me in getting God’s Work done. Then, after this 35-year unmatched GROWTH with God’s blessing, I made a basic mistake, which I did not then realize was contrary to GOD’S form of organization. It was a detail that NONE in the Church realized was unscriptural.

It happened this way: As the work continued growing and growing, especially after the foundation of Ambassador College, my younger son, Garner Ted, had become converted. Mr. Roderick C. Meredith had entered Ambassador College as a student beginning its third year, fall of 1949. He was developing as a leader under me. He saw the rapid strides my son Garner Ted was making at the time, spiritually. My elder son, Richard D. (Dick), was growing spiritually too, but at a slower more steady rate.

Mr. Meredith began to urge me to make Garner Ted vice president under me, in the Work. I thought it a good suggestion. …

Christ built Work

Now to the CENTRAL TRUTH leading into today’s state of the Work. Brethren, READ THIS SERIOUSLY! Jesus Christ, the living HEAD of God’s Church, started this present era of His Work through me. I DID NOT BUILD THE WORK OR THE CHURCH — the living Christ built it, using me as His instrument and His apostle.

But I made the mistake, unrealizing that mistake, of allowing an office of authority to be injected BETWEEN ME AND THE MINISTRY AND CHURCH!

For the first 35 years of this Work, I was the sole human in supreme command, UNDER CHRIST. There was opposition and persecution — from without — but THERE WAS NO QUESTION OF WHO WAS IN CHARGE! During those 35 years the Church and the Work GREW AND GREW AND GREW! It had Christ’s BLESSING!

I knew that GOD’S FORM OF ORGANIZATION IS FROM THE TOP DOWN. I DID NOT REALIZE that allowing an office of authority to be interjected BETWEEN me and the Church was contrary to God’s form of human organization.

WHAT RESULTED? Great confusion grew in the Church — especially in and around headquarters. “WHO IS REALLY IN AUTHORITY?” many wondered, perplexed. The Work STOPPED GROWING. (Christ Puts Church On Bible Form Of Organization. Good News, June 5, 1978)

The Continuing Church of God has exceeded the 30% growth per year that the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God used to claim it had for decades. Many of those that we have with us did NOT have a WCG background as we reached people others had not. (As far as church governance goes, check out the article The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government.)

We are the fourth or fifth largest xWCG group and have been the fastest growing xWCG in the 21st century.

We have the type of growth that Herbert W. Armstrong said should indicate God’s blessing.

Part of Herbert W. Armstrong’s legacy is that he took the Bible to be the word of God and taught:

…the Bible tells us to PROVE all things (Armstrong HW. The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday. 1952).

Which of course, it does as the Apostle Paul wrote:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).

We in the CCOG urge all to do that.

More on Philadelphia-era doctrines and priorities can be found in the article The Philadelphia Church Era.

Now, various ones have called early church teachings as “Armstrongism” and have often misreported what was taught. To deal with some happening in the 21st century, the Continuing Church of God put together this sermonette on its ContinuingCOG channel:

21:14

The physical head of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God was the late Herbert W. Armstrong. What he taught has been derided as “Armstrongism.” What were some of those teachings? Was the old Worldwide Church of God some type of weird cult or did it strive to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints? Is “Armstrongism” improperly maligned and falsely described at GotQuestions.com? Are concepts such as the tribes of Israel, ‘soul sleep,’ and three resurrections unique to Herbert W. Armstrong or were they long part of original Nazarene Christianity? What about various holidays and Christianity? In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over his early experiences with “Armstrongism” as well as gives scriptures about persecutions that would affect Christians.

Here is a link to the sermonette: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?

Those interested in learning more about Herbert W. Armstrong, himself, should read the article Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?

Several items of possibly related interest include:

Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
What is Armstrongism? Did Herbert W. Armstrong raise a new faith or promote the original Christian faith? Here is a link to a related video: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?
15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that he felt he had restored at least 18 lost truths to the Church, here is Herbert W. Armstrong’s list given 12/17/83. This articles also has links to show that these truths were believed by professors of Christ in earlier times, hence they were not some invention of Herbert Armstrong.Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Lista de Herbert W. Armstrong de las 18 verdades restauradas. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
Do You Believe God Used Herbert W. Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Here are Some Quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong on Laodicea and Holding to Doctrine.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

Why does COGwriter quote Herbert W. Armstrong?

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022


Herbert W. Armstrong

COGwriter

Received the following in an email:

Herbert Armstrong. I notice you quote him a lot at COGwriter.com Sometimes i wonder why COG people do this? I ask this because i have noticed as i try to share the truths of God with people online anytime someone connects a COG to WWCOG, they will bring up how the WWCOG and Armstrong had false prophesied multiple times.

There are several reasons that Herbert W. Armstrong or materials from the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God, of which he has Pastor General, of are cited here.

But first, consider that all humans are flawed:

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)

The Bible makes that clear and even mentions serious sins that some of God’s servants have had (such as King David’s adultery & murdering, plus a wrong prediction by the Apostle Paul come to mind).

As far as false prophecies go, Herbert W. Armstrong had misunderstandings related to WWII and sometimes pointed to dates that he should not have–and we do not attempt to defend his errors. To his credit, however, he asserted that he was not a prophet. And as far as the internet goes, I have addressed many of the accusations against him in article titled: 17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong. Plus also in another article titled: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?

People can choose to believe the truth or lies.

We in the Continuing Church of God, believe that God used Herbert W. Armstrong to raise up the Philadelphia era of the the Church that Jesus discussed in Revelation 3:7-13. We believe God used him to restore various truths that the true church lost by the early 20th century (see The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made?).

The Continuing Church of God believes that we best represent the continuation of the Philadelphian part of the Church of God. Herbert W. Armstrong is one in the list of successors we trace our history through (see Continuing History of the Church of God).

So, Herbert Armstrong (or other Radio/Worldwide COG writers) is quoted to show that we continued the basic teachings that he did related to the Philadelphian era of the Church. Plus, we also do this to show that much of what we teach was taught by an earlier COG (which is also why we quote early 2nd century COG writers, like Polycarp of Smyrna). Many people, including those with a COG background, often do not realize what was taught on various matters–hence quoting those sources helps demonstrate that we in the CCOG are continuing with those teachings.

We have also restored more details and truth as would be expected in these last days.

Furthermore, we are also doing what the Apostle Paul wrote:

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

What does that mean?

It means that if Herbert Armstrong taught something we believe the Bible or various facts support, we are happy to present that. We do not exalt Herbert Armstrong or anyone else above scripture.

We strive not to teach error and do not teach that what Herbert Armstrong wrote is not subject to correction. The Bible, not Herbert Armstrong, is the standard that we go by.

Despite organization changes, successively and doctrinally we are NOT a new church. We teach Laying on of Hands succession from the apostles. We clearly trace our history from the Book of Acts to present (see Continuing History of the Church of God).

Therefore, we often quote Church of God leaders, not just from the New Testament, but also those from the second century A.D. to present. We do this to demonstrate the consistency of the doctrines of the true church as well as to show what “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) was in the period immediately after the death of the last of the apostles.

Now, let’s see what Herbert W. Armstrong taught related to himself and the Bible:

Don’t believe me BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE BELIEVE GOD!

(Herbert W. Armstrong, Plain Truth magazine, Sept. 1963, Personal p.1)

Now, the same 1963 issue of the old Plain Truth shows a bit more for that quote from Herbert Armstrong:

Don’t believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there. (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth. September 1963.)

That is great advice. And we would tell Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, LDS, and everyone else the same thing. Here is my own slightly expanded version of the above:

Don’t simply believe me Believe what the Bible really Teaches Believe the Truth Prove all things – Believe God!

And I will take it one step further. Irrespective of how any may view the role that God has for me, unless I am directly quoting the Bible, or preface a statement to something of the effect of “thus saith the Lord,” I am NOT necessarily stating anything that is not subject to later correction. We who are truly part of the Church of God only accept as inspired the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament and no other document. Therefore, although other current and historical documents/articles/books/booklet/posts by various Church of God leaders throughout history often have value, as they generally also tend to contain personal opinion, we do not consider that any of them are on the same level as sacred scripture, and hence believe that they can contain error.

That being said, Herbert Armstrong’s writing style often conveys many points in an understandable manner. A manner that we do not feel that we must re-word. A manner which provides variety. Hence, he is quoted.

Plus, none of us are experts in everything. Hence, citing others who have more expertise or perhaps a better way to say something helps the listener learn better. It also helps with time constraints to quote something when it is pertinent.

As mentioned before, he and/or the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God literature are quoted here is to show that certain points covered at COGwriter.com are consistent with the them. Hence, we truly are continuing those teachings. Teachings that groups outside the CCOG sometimes have forgotten or neglected to teach.

Still another reason for various quotes is to point out that the general prophetic outline that Herbert Armstrong taught is coming to pass.

For some examples, the old Iron Curtain fell, Germany reunited, the Europeans have their own currency, the United Kingdom has been leaving the European Union, the Europeans are working on building a unified military, relations between the Europeans and the USA are straining more and more, the USA is in decline as a world power, etc.

Another reason to provide quotes is that many anti-COG sources on the Internet sometimes misrepresent what Herbert Armstrong taught.

Related to one, GotQuestions.com (who still has not corrected something I brought up about a year ago), we put together the following:

21:14

The physical head of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God was the late Herbert W. Armstrong. What he taught has been derided as “Armstrongism.” What were some of those teachings? Was the old Worldwide Church of God some type of weird cult or did it strive to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints? Is “Armstrongism” improperly maligned and falsely described at GotQuestions.com? Are concepts such as the tribes of Israel, ‘soul sleep,’ and three resurrections unique to Herbert W. Armstrong or were they long part of original Nazarene Christianity? What about various holidays and Christianity? In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over his early experiences with “Armstrongism” as well as gives scriptures about persecutions that would affect Christians.

Here is a link to the sermonette: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?

Many do not understand true, original Christianity, so they bash/misrepresent Herbert Armstrong and/or teachings that he had.

In the CCOG we have never taught that Herbert W. Armstrong or any COG leader was the standard, the truth in the word of God is.

Herbert W. Armstrong changed his position on various matters and never claimed infallibility. Nor do we.

But, as a continuation of the true apostolic Church of God, we in the Continuing Church of God believe it is helpful to quote recent as well as ancient COG writers for their perspective and insight, as well as to show continuity.

All who profess Christ should, “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

The reason that we quote the Bible and other COG leaders is to help show that we do.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is Armstrongism? Did Herbert W. Armstrong raise a new faith or promote the original Christian faith? Here is a link to a related video: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18?
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. Two sermon-length videos of relaled interest are available Physical Protection During the Great Tribulation and Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3
from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
1. The Ephesus Church Era was predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D. The Church of James, Peter, Paul, and John, etc. Here is a link to a related video sermon: Ephesus Church Era.
2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D. The Church led by Polycarp, Melito, Polycrates, etc.Here is a link to a related video sermon: The Smyrna Church Era.
3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church. Here is a link to a related sermon video: Pergamos Era and the Antichrist.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition. It claimed succession from the apostles. Here is a link toa related sermon: Thyatira, Succession, and Jezebel.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses some early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, CG7-Salem, Jerusalem 7DCG, and COG-7th Day-Denver.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there.

LS: Why Can’t Science Explain Consciousness?

Monday, January 3rd, 2022

COGwriter

Notice the following:

Why Can’t Science Explain Consciousness?

For much of the 20th century, there was a great taboo against querying the mysterious inner world of consciousness — it was not taken to be a fitting topic for “serious science.” Things have changed a lot, and there is now broad agreement that the problem of consciousness is a serious scientific issue. But many consciousness researchers underestimate the depth of the challenge, believing that we just need to continue examining the physical structures of the brain to work out how they produce consciousness. …

The problem of consciousness, however, is radically unlike any other scientific problem. One reason is that consciousness is unobservable. You can’t look inside someone’s head and see their feelings and experiences. If we were just going off what we can observe from a third-person perspective, we would have no grounds for postulating consciousness at all.

Of course, scientists are used to dealing with unobservables. Electrons, for example, are too small to be seen. But scientists postulate unobservable entities in order to explain what we observe, such as lightning or vapor trails in cloud chambers. But in the unique case of consciousness, the thing to be explained cannot be observed. We know that consciousness exists not through experiments but through our immediate awareness of our feelings and experiences. …

While our current scientific approach offers no theory at all — only correlations — the traditional alternative of claiming that consciousness is in the soul leads to a profligate picture of nature in which mind and body are distinct. November 11, 2019. https://www.livescience.com/what-is-consciousness-mystery.html

Scientists cannot explain spiritual matters as their focus is physical. Consciousness may not be an entirely physical matter.

Being blinded by the evolutionary lie has impacted them. That is consistent with the following:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)

Although evolution as the origin of life is EASILY disprovable, instead they believe humans came from creeping things and their foolish hearts have been darkened.

Notice that some Chinese scientists have been hoping to find something that is not physical in the human brain:

Chinese scientists to try to find the HUMAN SOUL with £100m state-of-the-art brain scanner

Updated 20 December 2018

CHINESE scientists are developing a £100m state-of-the-art brain scanner to try and find the human soul.

They will use powerful magnetic forces to observe the structure and activities of every neuron in a living brain.

The aim is to build the world’s most powerful MRI device – which may one day be able to help answer one of life’s big questions.

The mystical soul, according to many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions, is the true essence of a living being.

Simply stated, it is said to be the part of a person that is not physical …

“It will show us a different world with phenomenon unseen before … maybe even the soul,” one scientist told the SCMP.

“We may for the first time capture a full picture of human consciousness or even the essence of life itself,” said another physicist. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8017068/chinese-scientists-to-try-to-find-the-human-soul-with-100m-state-of-the-art-brain-scanner/

It sounds like they are looking, not for life or the “soul” per se, but for what the Bible calls the spirit of man.

The Bible talks about the non-believers being “vain in their imaginations” (Romans 1:21, KJV)–and that is what this Chinese project sounds like to me–though the idea that the scientists have, that there is something non-physical, is a positive.

The Bible also teaches:

29…God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Unless God were to allow it, something physical will not find something spiritual.

Humans have the spirit of man in them, whereas animals, including the other primates, do not. The reality that there is a spirit in humans is taught in both the Old and New Testaments:

8 But there is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Many scientists will not admit that there is a spirit in man that God gave.

But there is.

Back in 1978, the old Worldwide Church of God put out a booklet written by Herbert W. Armstrong titled What Science Can’t Discover About The Human Mind. Here are some extracts from it:

WHY cannot the greatest minds solve world problems? Scientists have said, “Given sufficient knowledge, and we shall solve all human problems and cure all our evils.” Since 1960 the world’s fund of knowledge has doubled. But humanity’s evils also have doubled. …

But the greatest human minds have never comprehended that divinely-revealed KNOWLEDGE. It is as if God our Maker had sent his message to us in an unbreakable secret code.

And the greatest human minds have never cracked that secret code. Modern Science cannot understand it. Psychologists do not themselves understand of what the human mind is composed. …

There is virtually no difference in shape and construction between animal brain and human brain. The brains of elephants, whales, and dolphins are larger than human brain, and the chimp’s brain is slightly smaller.

Qualitatively the human brain may be very slightly superior, but not enough to remotely account for the difference in output.

What, then, can account for the vast difference? Science cannot adequately answer. Some scientists, in the field of brain research, conclude that, of necessity, there has to be some nonphysical component in human brain that does not exist in animal brain. But most scientists will not admit the possibility of the existence of the nonphysical.

What other explanation is there? Actually, outside of the very slight degree of physical superiority of human brain, science has NO explanation, due to unwillingness to concede even the possibility of the spiritual.

When man refuses to admit even the very existence of his own Maker, he shuts out of his mind vast oceans of basic true knowledge, fact, and UNDERSTANDING. When he substitutes FABLE for truth, he is, of all men, MOST IGNORANT, though he professes himself to be wise. …

MAN was made out of the dust of the ground. He receives his temporary human life from air, breathed in and out of his nostrils. His life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4, 6). But the lifeblood is oxidized by breathing air, even as gasoline in the carburetor of an automobile. Therefore breath is the “breath of life” even as the life is in the blood.

Notice carefully that MAN, made wholly of matter, BECAME a living soul as soon as the BREATH gave him his temporary physical life. The scripture does NOT say “immortal” soul. Man does not have an “immortal” soul. He IS a soul as soon as physical LIFE enters him.

The Hebrew word for “soul” is nephesh. In Genesis 1:20-24, animals are called nephesh three times — only the translators translated the Hebrew word there “creature.” Animals have the same temporary physio-chemical existence as man. Both die the same death (Eccl. 3:19-20).

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Again, God’s Word says: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek.18:20). Adam was a soul, and God said to him, in regard to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “… in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). But Satan denied this, and Adam and Eve believed Satan, as most of humanity has done ever since.

So let us UNDERSTAND! Man is FLESH and BLOOD — composed wholly of MATTER — and that living matter IS a living soul.

The SOUL is composed of physical MATTER, not Spirit.

I have explained that human brain is almost identical to animal brain. But man was made in the form and shape of God, to have a special relationship with God — to have the potential of being born into the FAMILY of God. And God is SPIRIT (John 4:24). To make it possible to bridge the gap — or to make the transition of MANKIND, composed wholly of MATTER, into SPIRIT beings in God’s Kingdom, then to be composed wholly of Spirit, and at the same time to give MAN a MIND like God’s — God put a spirit in each human.

In Job 32:8, we read, “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”

This is a great TRUTH, understood by but very few.

I call this spirit the HUMAN spirit, for it is IN each human, even though it is SPIRIT ESSENCE and not matter. It is NOT a spirit person or being. It is not the MAN, but spirit essence IN the man. It is NOT a soul — the physical human is a soul. The human spirit imparts the power of INTELLECT to the human brain.

The human spirit does not supply human LIFE — the human LIFE is in the physical BLOOD, oxidized by the BREATH of life.

It is that nonphysical component in the human brain that does not exist in the brain of animals. It is the ingredient that makes possible the transition from human to divine, without changing matter into spirit, at the time of resurrection. That I will explain a little later.
Let me make clear a few essential points about this spirit in man. It is spirit essence, just as in matter air is essence, and so is water. This human spirit cannot see. The physical BRAIN sees, through the eyes. The human spirit IN a person cannot hear. The brain hears through the ears. This human spirit cannot think.

The brain thinks — although the spirit imparts the power to think, whereas brute animal brains without such spirit cannot, except in the most elementary manner. ...

Just as no dumb animal can know the things of man’s knowledge, neither could man, by brain alone, except by the spirit of man — the human spirit — that is in man. So also, in the same manner, even a man cannot know — comprehend — the things of God, unless or until he receives another spirit — the Holy Spirit of GOD.

Stated still another way, all humans have from birth a spirit called “the spirit of man” which is IN THEM. Notice carefully that this spirit is NOT the man. It is something IN THE MAN. A man might swallow a small marble. It is then something in the man, but it is not the man or any part of him as a man. The man was made of the dust of the ground — mortal. This human spirit is not the soul. It is something IN the soul which itself IS the physical MAN.

Notice, further, verse 14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

So, from birth, God gives US one spirit, which for lack of a better term I call a human spirit. It gives us MIND power which is not in animal BRAIN. Yet that MIND power is limited to knowledge of the physical universe. WHY? Because knowledge enters the human mind ONLY through the five physical senses.

But notice that God had not completed the creation of MAN at the creation of Adam and Eve. The physical creation was completed. They had this “human” spirit at their creation. …

HOW has God planned to “bridge the gap” from physical to spiritual composition — to reproduce Himself out of PHYSICAL HUMANS THAT COME FROM THE PHYSICAL GROUND?

First, God put IN the physical MAN a “human” spirit. It is NOT, however, the human spirit that makes the decisions, comes to repentance, or builds the character. As I have emphasized, this spirit does not impart life, cannot see, hear, feel or think. It empowers the PHYSICAL MAN, through his BRAIN, to do these things. But this spirit RECORDS every thought — every bit of knowledge received through the five senses and it records whatever character — good or bad — that is developed in human life.

The human MAN is made literally from CLAY. God is like the master potter forming and shaping a vessel out of clay. But if the clay is too hard, it will not bend into the form and shape he wants. If it is too soft and moist, it lacks firmness to “STAY PUT” where the potter bends it.

Notice in Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O [ETERNAL], thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Yet God has given each of us a MIND OF HIS OWN. If one REFUSES to acknowledge God or God’s ways — refuses to repent of the wrong and turn to the right, God cannot take him and create Godly character in him. But the human CLAY must be pliable, must yield willingly. If the human stiffens up and resists, he is like clay that is too dry and stiff. The potter can do nothing with it. It will not give and bend. Also, if he is so lacking in will, purpose, and determination that he won’t “stay put” when God molds him partly into what God wants him to be — too wishy-washy, weak, lacking root of character, he will never endure to the end. He will lose out.

We are, in truth, the WORK OF HIS HANDS. Yet WE ourselves must do our part in this spiritual development. If we lazily neglect Bible study and prayer — or if we let other material interests become more important and we NEGLECT such great salvation, we lose out.

But if we have the strength of character to YIELD, OF OUR OWN WILL to put ourselves in God’s hands, HE will instill within us His SPIRIT and by it His righteousness — His character — open our minds to His spiritual knowledge. We have to WANT IT! We have to work AT IT! We have to PUT IT FIRST, above all else.

It must be GOD’S righteousness, for all of OURS is like filthy rags to Him. He continually instills His knowledge, His righteousness, His character within us — IF we diligently seek it and want it. BUT WE HAVE OUR VERY IMPORTANT PART IN IT. Then all credit goes to GOD.

As we receive the CHARACTER OF GOD through the Holy Spirit of God, more and more God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF IN us.

Finally, in the resurrection, we shall be as God — in a position where we cannot sin, because we ourselves have set it so and have turned FROM sin and have struggled and struggled AGAINST sin and overcome sin.

God’s PURPOSE WILL be accomplished!

Yes, God’s purpose will be accomplished.

But, this time of year, where people observe non-biblical holidays (watch, for example, Did early faithful Christians celebrate Christmas?), they tend to miss what God’s plan is.

And an overview of that plan is laid out in the biblical Holy Days. For some details, check out the free online booklet: Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Some items of related interest may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have.
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available:
Going on to perfection and building character.
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? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Biblical Keys to Happiness This is an article for those interested in biblical teachings about being happy. A related sermon is available and is titled: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?

Reuters: Swiss-EU relationship could fall apart if talks fail, EU’s Sefcovic says

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021


Switzerland outline (from Pixabay)

COGwriter

Last May, the Swiss basically walked away from a deal they had with the European Union (see ).

Switzerland and the EU are still having significant disagreements and the EU is concerned:

Swiss-EU relationship could fall apart if talks fail, EU’s Sefcovic says

December 28, 2021

BERLIN, Dec 28 (Reuters) – The European Union’s relationship with Switzerland could fall apart if negotiations over Switzerland’s place in the EU internal market fail, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, told Der Spiegel magazine.

Brussels has pushed for years for a treaty to cap an array of bilateral accords and require the Swiss to routinely adopt changes to single market rules. …

The European Union wants Switzerland to agree to a dynamic alignment of its laws with EU law, a level playing field, a mechanism to settle disputes and regular contributions to EU funds for poorer EU members. …

“We urgently need to know from Switzerland whether it seriously wants to negotiate with us,” Sefcovic said.

In November, the European Union urged Switzerland to set out a clear timetable for resolving the EU internal market issues by January.

“We have to know what we want to talk about when – so that it is clear that the discussion will not last 20 or 30 years,” Sefcovic told Spiegel.

EU-Swiss economic ties are governed by more than 100 bilateral agreements stretching back to 1972.

A collapse in relations over time could jeopardise Switzerland’s de facto membership of the EU common market that Bern is keen to maintain. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swiss-eu-relationship-could-fall-apart-if-talks-fail-eus-sefcovic-says-2021-12-28/

Switzerland is surrounded by the European Union, but has thus far refused to be officially part of it–though it has had many agreements with the EU.

The EU does not like to see the ‘Swiss hole’ in its map of Europe. It wants to make Switzerland join. In the past it has suggested severe economic measures.

Notice the following from last May:

Analysis: Swiss to pay economic price for ditching EU treaty

Switzerland will pay the price in lost exports, higher costs and diminished attractiveness as a business centre after deciding this week to pull the plug on a draft treaty binding it more snugly to the European Union, its biggest trading partner.

Popular concerns about yielding too much sovereignty sank the 2018 pact that would have had non-member Switzerland routinely adopt rules governing the EU’s giant single market, including the free movement of people. read more

While the eurosceptic far-right celebrated the demise of a what it saw as a “colonial” treaty and the left cheered the defence of measures to support high Swiss wages, businesses and economists warned there would be significant economic fallout. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swiss-pay-economic-price-ditching-eu-treaty-2021-05-27/

Actually, ultimately, the Swiss will pay more than an economic price as it will become dominated by Europe.

Biblical prophecy shows that Gad (Switzerland) will not remain isolated as it has been:

1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:

2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father. …

19 “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, But he shall triumph at last. (Genesis 49:1-2, 19)

The above is an end time prophecy as it is for “the last days.” It is a reference to Switzerland. A troop shall tramp Switzerland.

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh, while part of the old Radio Church of God, wrote the following:

Gad, which means “the troop” certainly designates Switzerland the only Israelite nation in which every man is mobilized for defense. Against Gad would come the foreign troops, said Jacob, but he will “trod upon their heel.” Moses declared that Gad does NOT “leap,” a characteristic of the colonizing or pillaging tribes. Gad “teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head” of the Holy Roman Empire, in whose territory “he chose a first part for himself, and there a portion of a ruler was reserved.” To Gad come “the heads of the people” as they do today to Geneva. No other nation on earth so perfectly fits this description of a nation of troops. (LOCATION OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL by Herman L Hoeh (ca. 1950s) http://www.giveshare.org/israel/locationtribes.html)

Related to Gad, let me add the following scripture:

20 And of Gad he said: “Blessed is he who enlarges Gad; He dwells as a lion, And tears the arm and the crown of his head. 21 He provided the first part for himself, Because a lawgiver’s portion was reserved there. He came with the heads of the people; He administered the justice of the Lord, And His judgments with Israel.” (Deuteronomy 33:20-21)

Switzerland, Geneva particularly, has had a history of being an “international lawgiver.” Note: Even though the migrations of some of the ancestors of Switzerland and Germany are similar, while some have erroneously taught that Germany is Gad, Germany has no history of being a recognized lawgiver–but instead primarily descended from Assyria (see Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History).

Switzerland will NOT be one of the safest places to be shortly before Jesus returns.

Have you wondered where the safest place to be is in turbulent times? Are you physically prepared for what is going to happen?

Some have wondered if Israelitish-descended nations, like Switzerland, could be part of the final Beast power. History shows us that at least parts of France, as well as essentially all of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Belgium were part of the so-called ‘Holy Roman Empire.’ Consider also that three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as ‘Holy Roman Emperors.’ The fact that at least part of the Israelitish peoples were part of the beasts in Daniel 2:40-43 and 7:2-8, should show all that it, for a time, can be part of the final Beast power (see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?)

While this news page often refers to prophecies for those descended from Judah, Ephraim, or Manasseh, some have wondered what is prophesied to happen to the descendants of the remaining tribes of Israel? Although the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) does not start with their immediate punishment (Ezekiel 5:1-3 seems mainly to point to Judah, Ephraim, and Manasseh), they too will receive punishment (bolded end of verse 4):

1 “And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. 2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. 3 You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. 4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel. (Ezekiel 5:1-4)

The bolded portion seems to show that the rest of the house of Israel will have tribulation after the modern nations that include the Anglo-descended countries will essentially be gone. This would include such countries as France, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Norway. The ‘small number’ in verse 3 appears to be about 10 percent as that is the amount that Isaiah 6:13 indicates will be left.

Consider also the following along with the reality that Switzerland is full of mountains:

12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Revelation 6:12-14)

17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:17-20)

5 O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the Lord.

6 For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways; They are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they are pleased with the children of foreigners. 7 Their land is also full of silver and gold, And there is no end to their treasures; Their land is also full of horses, And there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made. 9 People bow down, And each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.

10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty. 11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts
Shall come upon everything proud and lofty,
Upon everything lifted up —
And it shall be brought low—(Isaiah 2:5-12)

The above time frame is the Day of the Lord. It shows that various parts of Jacob/Israel are pleased with foreigners. They have silver and gold (cf. Revelation 18:11-12). They will end up hiding in the rocks (cf. Revelation 6:15-17)–while this hiding includes all associated with Babylon, it appears to be including various tribes of Israel, like Switzerland.

Mountainous Switzerland will be affected. Switzerland will not remain a safe place.

Of course, after Jesus comes and the Kingdom of God is established, all of that type of punishment will end (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). Switzerland will NOT be a real place of safety (Revelation 12:14-17) during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra), even if there is some truth to the view from a physical perspective that Switzerland is better prepared for disasters than other nations.

When the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) begins, most Christians will not be protected.

Switzerland will not provide real safety between the start of the Great Tribulation and the return of Jesus.

Those without a COG background, as well as some of those with one, may also find the following from the late evangelist Dr. Herman Hoeh of interest:

IF WORLD WAR III COMES – There Is a Way of Escape

You need to be prepared. …

Jesus’ Amazing Prophecy

Let’s notice Jesus’ prophecy of the “times of the Gentiles” in Luke 21:24.

When speaking of the Jews, Jesus told His disciples that “they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

This prophecy is not speaking of a period of peace, but of war. It is a message for our day — a time when the Gentiles are conquering and destroying, when they are ruling themselves contrary to the way of God who is Creator and RULER. …

Remember what Jesus said in Luke 21:24? That Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the very completion of the times of the Gentiles!

Since Zechariah 14:1-3 shows that Jesus Christ will return in order to deliver Jerusalem from the Gentiles, it is plain that THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST WILL PUT AN END TO THE TIMES OF PUNISHMENT ON THE GENTILE BABYLONISH SYSTEM! (Isaiah 27:13; I Cor. 15:52.) Then God will send His Son to rule the world!

As Christ said, of the second coming, “But of that day and hour, knoweth no man!” But … world-occurrences warn us that … it is very near! …

Way of Escape

But in this end-time of turmoil there is a place of safety-if you heed-until Christ does bring us peace.

It’s a vital part of the gospel of the soon-coming Kingdom of God! Jesus said, ” … except those days were SHORTENED, there should no flesh be saved!” (Mat. 24:22.) But He went on to say that God would supernaturally cut short the days, for the sake of the ELECT!

That is our only real hope for survival!

The intervention of God! Jesus Christ promised protection to His own elect! He PROMISED they would survive the prophesied holocaust to strike this unsuspecting world!

WHO are the Elect?

He said, “FEAR NOT, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12: 32).

He promised that somewhere on this earth, right now, there would be His own WORK! That work would be faith· fully performed, He promised, by His own true followers, who KNOW HIS VOICE, who would be preaching…”the Gospel of the Kingdom” as a WITNESS TO the WHOLE WORLD!

They would be preaching it, chapter- by-chapter, verse-by-verse, word-by-word, just exactly as it really IS, not as they might interpret it to be, or any man, woman, or organization of men or women would like to have it preached!

You NEED TO FIND WHERE THAT WORK IS BEING CARRIED ON! Why? Because it is ONLY THOSE who have an absolute guarantee of safety! The very elect are those who are the called and chosen, who have truly RE-PENTED of their own carnal ways, and have accepted the Holy ways of God! They are the ones who have been made members of the very BODY of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) performing HIS WORK! Jesus speaks of these faithful ones, in the Book of Revelation.

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia [the prophesied end-time Church of God, doing the work of God) write: … ‘I know thy works, behold, I have set before thee an open door II (Rev, 3:7-8).

The Apostle Paul spoke of a door flung open before him to PREACH THE GOSPEL (II Cor. 2:12). Remember, Jesus promised, “This Gospel of the Kingdom SHALL be preached in all the world . .. ” (Mat. 24:14), and promised to make a way for that message of hope and good news to go-by flinging open the massive DOORS of radio, the printing press, television, and personal evangelism. He promised those doors would remain , …. and no man can shut it, for thou has a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Rev, 3:8), Yes, the very elect would NEVER become corrupted by false doctrines, or be muzzled by boards of men-it would not deny the name of Jesus Christ, or His true doctrine! (Hoeh H. If World War III Comes–There is a Way of Escape. Plain Truth, June 1963)

Let me interject here that the Continuing Church of God is now getting that gospel out over the printing press, radio, YouTube television videos, personal evangelism, and the internet. We represent the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God that Dr. Hoeh mentions below:

Later, Jesus gave the exhilarating GOOD NEWS to those faithful ones who put the WORK of God far above their own personal considerations. He said “Because thou hast KEPT the word of my patience, I ALSO WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION [TRIBULATION) WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH!” (Rev. 3:10) . Yes, Jesus promised SAFETY. He promises supernatural PROTECTION to His own elect.

On the Wings of an Eagle

God brought the ancient Israelites out of Egypt on symbolic “eagles’ wings.” This symbolizes the loving care and protection of God for His own children. Notice, now, an amazing prophecy. It is about the same Church of God addressed in the promise of protection we have just read in Revelation 3.

“And to the woman [the Church] were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time from the face of the serpent” (Rev. 12:14), In this end-time prophecy, John writes of the last, end-time REMNANT Church which is to ESCAPE the terrible WAR and tribulation that will soon strike our heedless people, They are, just as the ancient Israelites, carried to a place of SAFETY … in the wilderness by the supernatural power of Almighty God, their Banner, their Shield, their Prorector!

Where Will They GO?

Now notice another amazing prophecy. Daniel was inspired to write of this impending nuclear war, and its immediate aftermath. He describes the rising BEAST power in Europe, a coming resurrection of the ancient ROMAN EMPIRE, symbolized as the “King of the North.” But the European power crushes and occupies these poorly equipped up-start countries.

“And at the time of the end [NOT back during the days of the Seleucidae of Syria]… the king of the north shall come… like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

“He shall enter also into the glorious land [Palestine], and many countries shall be overthrown, but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edam and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:40-41).

Why are these areas spared?

For a very special reason!

A PLACE of Protection

God promises His people will be flourished, provided for, in the “wilderness”! He will supernaturally protect them, carrying them safely there on symbolic “eagles’ wings. ” They may be taken by air, sea or land-the Bible doesn’t say. But where is this “wilderness” place God is readying?

Many Bible statements indicate it is in the areas anciently occupied by the Edomites, Moabites, and Ammonites, southeast of Jerusalem, in the rugged, barren mountains beyond the Dead Sea — the modern country of Transjordan (Dan. 11:41 and Isaiah 16:4-5).

Regardless of WHERE the “place” is that God’s Church is nourished and protected during these perilous times described in so many dozens of prophecies — the way to make sure you are going there is clear!

To those who will truly repent of wanting their own way, and who will come to God through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, He promises spiritual, supernatural, MIRACULOUS shelter!

Does this sound fantastic? Does it sound incredible? Have we strayed so far from our RULER and our SAVIOUR that we think Him UNABLE to save us? Is it ridiculous to most today to really believe in God above and His supernatural protection — His divine INTERVENTION in our own personal lives?

Of course not!

He is our Fortress! He is our Rock! He is our GOD! He will supernaturally bring His people to a place of safety! (Hoeh H. If World War III Comes–There is a Way of Escape. Plain Truth, June 1963)

Let me add that there are also other reasons that those regions will be spared as it is likely that they will work with the the King of the North against the final King of the South (cf. Daniel 11:25-26).

More on this place of protection can be found in the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra; there is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?

There will be a place of physical protection during the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord for the Philadelphian remnant of Christians, but it will not seem to be in any of the top ten nations that some believe would be safest.

Knowing where various peoples have come from, helps us better understand how the Bible teaches that various ones will be affected by end time events that are still to come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Could Switzerland be descended from Gad? Is it really prepared for what is prophecied? This article has clues.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so
‘Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Dan – the Irish’ Not part of the ‘144,000’ Could the Irish and Danes have descent from the tribe of Dan?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. Two sermon-length videos of relaled interest are available Physical Protection During the Great Tribulation and Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
This is PETRA! This is a 1962 Good News article by the late Dr. Hoeh.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2029 or 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? 2022, 2023, or 2024? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation start in 2022 or 2023? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
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.

Raymond McNair: You Need To Know Why – Fiery Trials are Necessary

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

COGwriter

Many of God’s people are enduring severe and/or numerous trials and difficulties.

Here is something that the late Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair wrote about difficulties for Christians in the July 1967 edition of the old Good News magazine. and which was included in the CCOG Letter to the Brethren: December 16, 2021:

You Need To Know Why – Fiery Trials are Necessary

Throughout its history, God’s Church has experienced many persecutions and tribulations. God’s children often experience severe trials and tests! Why? Do you know why a LOVING Creator has decreed that all of His children must go through their share of fiery trials? Read, and understand this. Trials are a vital part in developing spiritual character.

MANY FAIL to realize that TRIALS are really BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE — unpleasant though they may be at the time! You, brethren, need to understand why our loving Father has ordained that all His children must experience a number of temptations, trials, persecutions and tribulations.

God Almighty has deliberately designed the begettal and birth of a child in this life to be a type — an exact picture — of the spiritual begettal and birth which the child of God must experience — before he can be born into His Family.

We were born into this world under terrific pressure! In childbirth, both mother and child usually experience much stress and strain, as well as a certain amount of physical pain.

This is an exact type of the spiritual birth.

Christ said:

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

What are the very beginning steps toward salvation? (1) repentance (2) baptism and (3) the receiving of God’s precious Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). …

WE CAN ONLY BE BORN INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNDER STRESS AND STRAIN — UNDER PRESSURE!

You need to understand why this is necessary, and also how God will permit us to be sorely tried at times!

King David, a man after God’s own heart, will have a very high position of rulership in the Kingdom of God. He will be king over all Israel (Ezek. 37:24; Hosea 3:5; Jer. 30:9). In order to qualify for this high position of responsibility and service in God’s Kingdom, David first had to suffer many trials, persecutions and afflictions. His life was, in fact, full of tribulations.

He understood that God’s people must experience many trials and tests in this life:

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Ps. 34:19).

David made some very serious mistakes in his life, and had to be afflicted by God to learn his lesson — the lesson that SIN NEVER PAYS! …

Did David know why God had afflicted him? Certainly! “Before l was afflicted, I went astray [I sinned]: but now have I kept thy word” (Ps. 113:67). He then freely confessed that God was righteous in punishing him: “It is GOOD for me that I have been AFFLICTED; that I might learn thy statutes” (Ps. 119:71).

Much Tribulation

The zealous apostle Paul also understood the absolute necessity of God’s people going through tribulation in this world — in order to purify them. He exhorted the disciples “to continue in the faith, and that we must through MUCH TRIBULATION enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

He solemnly warned the evangelist, Timothy: “Yea, and ALL that will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION” (II Tim. 3:12).

Paul will certainly have a very high position in the Kingdom of God. The many temptations, trials, persecutions, tribulations and labours which he endured fully qualified him to receive a position of great responsibility.

Have you ever carefully noticed just how much this dynamic apostle suffered and endured for Christ’s sake?

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the cure of all the churches” (II Cor. 11:23-28).

In addition to these trials, Paul revealed that he had certain physical “infirmities” which Jesus Christ had refused to heal — in order to keep Paul humble — so he would look to Christ and glory in God, rather than in what he had done (II Cor. 12:1-9). Paul concluded:

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:10). …

The Fiery Trial

Did the Apostle Peter believe the life of a Christian would be an easy one? No! He revealed that the faith of the Christian must sometimes be sorely tried: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in HEAVINESS through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory it the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 1:6-7).

This same apostle was also inspired to give the following warning: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning THE FIERY TRIAL which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Pet. 4:12-13).

Christ’s exemplary life — especially during the three-and-one-half years of His earthly ministry — was not a life of idleness and ease but a life filled with constant trials of every sort! He was continually opposed, persecuted, slandered, criticized, and was finally crucified by the very people whom He loved — loved so much that He was willing to die for them!

Yes, Christ knew what real tribulation was. “In the world ye shall have TRIBULATION” said Jesus, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

How does God try and test us? How does He learn what is really in our heart?

We have already seen that God sometimes afflicts us in order to humble us or teach us an important lesson (Ps. 119:71; II Cor. 12:7-10).

God Chastens Us in Love

Yes, God Almighty has to chasten all of His sons and daughters — just as we have to correct our children:

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Heb. 12:5-6).

The apostle Paul then goes on to show that if we “endure chastening,” then God deals with us as with sons.

But if we will not receive this loving correction, then what does God call us? He bluntly calls us (spiritual) “bastards”! We are not really God’s sons at all but are merely pretending to be His sons.

Does Godly chastisement cause us to bear good fruit?

Notice why God chastens us.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS unto them which are exercised thereby” (verse 11).

God has ordained that this life will not be an easy life — for a very good reason. He knows that, if we have no severe trials and tests, then we become spiritually soft and flabby!

A comfortable mm is a complacent man. A comfortable man doesn’t want to change — doesn’t want to alter the status quo! Why should he? He is quite happy to let things continue as they are. Why change — when everything seems to be going along so very smoothly?

God Almighty knows that we need problems, temptations, trials, necessities, weaknesses, persecutions and afflictions to stir us to action — to stir us up enough to overcome cur spiritual lethargy!

God promises a special blessing on those who steadfastly resist and overcome temptations: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12).

How We Are Tried

What are some of the main ways by which we are afflicted? Ways by which we are caused to go on our knees to God in heartrending prayer? What are some of the trials which cause us to really cry out to God (as unto a merciful and loving Father) for help and strength to overcome our trials and tribulations?

PERSECUTION is one of the main ways by which God’s people are drawn closer to Him.

PHYSICAL NECESSITIES often cause God’s people to have to go to Him in prayer. When we don’t have the necessities of life (food, clothing, shelter) we are often brought to our knees before our heavenly Father.

WEAKNESSES, PHYSICAL INFIRMITIES AND SICKNESS are often the means by which God brings us back into line. When we are told that we may remain an invalid for the rest of our lives, or when we know that we may actually die of an incurable disease (unless God miraculously heals us!) then this brings us to our sober senses. Such a shock often causes us to get down on our knees in heartfelt prayer, beseeching our merciful God for mercy — for health and healing (II Kings 20:1-7).

OVERPOWERING TEMPTATIONS are often the means by which we are brought to the realization of how weak and wretched our human nature is. Through strong and persistent temptations (fears, worries and anxieties; lust and covetousness; hatred and malice; envy and jealousies) we are often sent to the throne of grace for additional strength to overcome our wretched nature (Rom. 7:14-25).

Has God solemnly promised to deliver us from all of our temptations — if we will only rely upon Him?

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not stiffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13).

When we really repent of our sins and turn from them, accepting the blood of Christ as the means by which our transgressions will be washed away, then we are assured by God that sin will no longer rule over us — will no longer dominate our lives.

God promises: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the [death penalty of the) law, but under grace [pardon)” (Rom. 6:14). Once we are forgiven our sins, God has solemnly promised that sin will no longer reign over us — will not control our lives!

A true Christian must continually suffer trials, tribulations, persecutions, pressures, hardships and temptations of every sort. But God will not let them overcome or defeat us as long as we steadfastly look to Him for complete deliverance:

“For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Is it God’s will that His children be kept under a certain amount of pressure? He knows that we need to have continual trials, tribulations and persecutions in order to toughen us up spiritually — in order to show us how weak and helpless we are so that we will always look to Him and rely on Him for everything!

Pressure is Essential

There are several analogies in the Bible — analogies which clearly show us why God permits us to have trials arid tribulations.

The Christian is compared to precious metals — gold or silver — which has to be put into a fiery furnace in order to burn away the dross and impurities. Also, gold and silver must become molten before it can be poured into a mould. This is true with the Christian. We must at least be heated red hot in order to be malleable enough to be able to be easily bent and shaped by the hands of our faithful Creator (see I Pet. 1:7; 4:12; I Cor. 3:12).

The Bible compares the saints to precious jewels or precious stones (Mal. 3:17). Again, it is interesting to note that diamonds, rubies and other precious jewels can only be made under terrific heat and pressure!

So it is with us. We must be subjected to the tremendous heat of our fiery trials and to the constant pressure of temptation, persecution and tribulation — in order to become a precious jewel in the sight of God!

God even compares His people to common clay in the hands of the Master Potter: “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isa. 64:8).

God would like to see us prosper and be in health (III John 2) ; hut He will even deny us these blessings if He knows that we need to suffer deprivation, affliction or persecution — in order to cause us to really look to Him as our Provider and our Deliverer from all our trials.

Jesus Christ will reject anyone who remains in a lukewarm condition (Rev. 3:15-16)! He doesn’t want to see us become spiritually drowsy — insensitive to our Creator’s wishes. God doesn’t want us to be spiritual drones.

Spiritual Exercise Is Vital

God Almighty knows that it is only through the constant spiritual exercise of problems, trials, tests, persecutions, temptations and tribulations that we develop real spiritual sinews and strength. If one doesn’t actually tire himself with a certain amount of strenuous daily exercise he can’t develop his body to its optimum and remain in the best physical health.

So it is spiritually. If we don’t daily exercise our spiritual faculties by overcoming and solving our spiritual problems, trials and hardships — then we will not remain in very good spiritual shape. We will then become spiritually weak and flabby. God doesn’t want this to happen!

Yes, brethren, whether we like it or not, this is the type of life our loving Father has ordained that we must lead. It is only those who constantly overcome who will make it into the Kingdom of God (Rev. 2, 3). Only those who exert themselves enough to hang on for dear life — to endure unto the very end — will be saved (Mat. 24:13).

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

We came into this world under terrific stress and strain — under pressure and anguish — and we will not be born into the Kingdom of God unless and until we have proven that we can withstand the pressures and strains of the everyday trials, tribulations, persecutions and temptations of this world.

“If Any Man Draw Back”

But, regretfully, some prefer to give up and quit — to turn back! What does God think of these quitters?

If we wilfully, deliberately sin against God, we will never receive forgiveness (Heb. 10:25-31).

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man DRAW BACK, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:38).

Yes, some are not willing to really fight, to endure, to labour, struggle and strive in order to make it into the Kingdom of God. Christ showed that we must really strain if we wish to make it into His Kingdom.

“STRIVE [struggle and strain] to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).

Furthermore, Christ revealed that it is only those who are so fervent in their desire to make it into God’s Kingdom that they are willing to be “violent” with themselves — who actually make it (Mat. 11:12),

Trouble Is Certain, But…

The truth of the matter is that we are going to have trials and tribulations — whether we obey God or not. Job declared:

“Man is born unto TROUBLE, as the sparks fly upward’ (Job 5:7).

Yes, we will have troubles whether or not we obey God. But if we obey Him, He will give us the needed wisdom and strength to overcome all our trials and temptations (I Cor. 10:13).

Hardships, trials and persecutions are certain to befall all who live an upright, godly life. But these tribulations are all designed by a loving Creator to teach us to go to God daily — completely trusting in Him for our every need, including deliverance from all our sore trials.

God declares:

“If thou faint in the day of adversity [hardship], thy strength is small” (Prov. 24:10).

An all wise, loving Creator God has deliberately designed life in such a way as to include many trials and afflictions. The Almighty even goes out of His way to rebuke and chasten us — in love — so as to keep us on the straight and narrow path.

Knowing this, should we not earnestly desire God’s correction? You need to learn to desire — and even PRAY daily for chastisement from the hand of God!

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” (Job 5:17).

Don’t ever forget that God corrects us for our good — because He loves us and longs to share with us the eternal inheritance of co-ownership and co-rulership of the whole Universe.

Can you now clearly see how trials, temptations, pressures and hardships have been put here as a blessing in disguise? These tribulations assist us in building the kind of perfect, godly character that we need to possess throughout all eternity.

Thank God for the blessing of these trials! It is through them that we develop godly character!

A minister who was assigned to three areas in which I lived used to teach that a diamond is a dirty hunk of coal that only developed because of pressure.

Notice also the following:

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Enduring trials, frustrations, and difficulties is not easy–but we need to do so in order to be the best that we can be in the coming Kingdom of God.

Some additional items of possibly related interest may include the following:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life, and why there is suffering. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, Mystery of Race, and The Mystery of YOU.
Why Does Man Suffer? Herbert Armstrong gives biblical reasons on this topic. I also wrote and added a section titled Suffering Has a Future Purpose.
Why Does God Allow Suffering? This is a pdf booklet put out by the old Worldwide Church of God that also answers questions about why God allows war as well as babies to die. Here is a link to a sermon titled Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Bert Otten on the Israeli origin of the Vikings

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021


Norsemen drawing (Pixabay)

COGwriter

Retired teacher Bert Otten, who was once part of the old WCG, sent me a paper with his reasons why he feels that many ‘Western Vikings’ are the descendants of the biblical tribe of Benjamin. He told me that I could edit and/or use what he sends in any way.

Here is some of his article:

The tribal area of Benjamin was a buffer area between the House of Israel and the House of Judah. People tended to stay in their cities and homes and thus a number of the Benjamites were taken along into the Assyrian captivity of the Ten Tribes. …

Benjamites:

Saul – First king of Israel. Fought 40 years successfully against the neighbouring nations, especially against the Philistines. Lost God’s favour. Went to the witch of Endor. Died on the hills of Gilboa with his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua (1Sam 9-31)

Jonathan – Hero and successor to the throne. Loved David, with whom he made a covenant. They would look after each others children (1Sam 20).

Abner – Saul’s cousin. Army commander of Saul and of Ishbosheth. Fought a hopeless civil war with Joab for some years. Abner had killed Joab’s brother with a single backwards thrust of his spear. Joab murdered Abner when he had come to surrender the northern tribes into David’s hands (1 Sam 14 – 2 Sam 3).

Ishbosheth – Son of Saul. Abner put Ishbosheth on the throne in Mahanaim (is in the tribal area of Gad). He was a puppet of Abner. Ishbosheth blamed Abner for taking Rizpah, his father’s concubine. The angry Abner decided to end the civl war and to deliver the north into the hands of David (2Sam 2-4).

Mephibosheth – Cripple son of Jonathan. Because of Jonathan’s covenant with David, Mephibosheth got a place at David’s court (2Sam 9, 16, 19)

Baanah and Rechab – Two leaders of warrior bands for Ishbosheth, during the civil war. They killed their king Ishbosheth and cut off his head to take it to David. Instead of receiving a reward, they were executed (2Sam 4).

Shimei – During Absalom’s rebellion Shimei expected a reinstating of the House of Saul. So during David’s flight, Shimei walked along with king David, cursing and throwing stones (2 Sam 16, 19).

Sheba – Sheba called for a rebellion of the tribes against David. He fled to Abel of Bethmaachah, but the inhabitants chucked his head over the wall to Joab, David’s general (2 Sam 20).

Esther & Mordecai – Jews of the tribe of Benjamin at the time of the Persians. They saved the Jewish people (Judah) in a valiant way (Book of Esther).

Paul – At first Saul persecuted the Church with the sword; later as Paul he preached the cross and wrote 1Corinthians 13, an Ode to Love (NT).

1st Clue: Benjamin: Joseph’s full brother

The sons of Rachel; JOSEPH, AND BENJAMIN (Gen 35:24).

But BENJAMIN, JOSEPH’S [FULL] BROTHER, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him (Gen 42:4).

And [Joseph] fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck (Gen 45:14, AV throughout, unless mentioned otherwise).

Joseph & Benjamin

There was a close tie between Joseph and Benjamin. All the other brothers were half-brothers to Joseph, but Benjamin was his only full brother. In Eretz Yisrael their tribal areas formed a whole. Benjamin lived south of Ephraim and Manasseh.

In the time of the judges the tribe of Benjamin was extinguished, all but for 600 men. 200 of those 600 got their wives from the daughters of Shiloh, so of the tribe of Ephraim. Rachel genes of the tribe of Ephraim (Joseph) were added to the tribe of Benjamin.

Vikings in the British Isles

During the Viking Age many Vikings settled in the British Isles. Many Britons have some Viking blood. … Vikings from Norway circled the whole and came from the north and settled in Scotland, Ireland (Dublin), Wales and the Isle of Man. Benjamin embraced Joseph in the Bible and in a sense Benjamin embraced Joseph on the map and mixed with Joseph.

Linguistic Loans

No wonder that the English language has many Old Norse loans: anger, awe, are, berserk, call, cast, egg, fellow, fog, gap, get, gun, happy, husband, ill, kid, kindle, knife, knot, law, leg, loft, low, mire, muck, odd, outlaw, wrong, wing, window, whirl, weak, until, ugly, trust, till, tidings, thwart, thrust, thrift, though, their, teem, take, sway, sick, etc.

2nd Clue: Benjamin: … in the west …

ON THE WEST SIDE [of the Tabernacle] shall be the standard of the camp of EPHRAIM [son of Joseph] according to their armies … And by him shall be the tribe of MANASSEH [son of Joseph] … Then the tribe of BENJAMIN …(Num 2:18-24).

The Tabernacle

There are three Rachel tribes: Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin. The Rachel tribes camped west of the Tabernacle, under Ephraim’s leadership. I believe that the western Vikings (from Denmark and Norway) are descendants of Benjamin and ended up in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. Ephraim and Manasseh ended up in the British Isles, all three far to the west.

Quite a few Vikings settled in the British Isles. Many Danes settled in Normandy, which got its name from the Norsemen. Many of these Normans (with Viking blood) crossed the Channel with William the Conqueror (1066) and settled in the British Isles too. So, in the Viking Age many Vikings went west.

Norse Vikings

About 500 years before Columbus (1492) and the English (1497), the Norse Vikings arrived in America. The Norse Vikings sailed their ships westwards to Iceland, Greenland and Vinland (New Foundland, Canada). The Viking colony in Greenland survived for about 450 to 500 years. The Viking Benjamites were the first in the New World and the first of the Israelites to go west. Later on to be followed by many others of the Lost Tribes.

3rd Clue: Benjamin, FIVE TIMES as much

And Joseph sent food to them from his table, but he sent FIVE TIMES as much to BENJAMIN as to any of the others. And they took wine freely with him. (Gen 43:34, BBE, Bible in Basic English).

To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and FIVE CHANGES OF RAIMENT (Gen 45:22).

Five times as much

When the brothers came back to Joseph, Benjamin with them this time, they set down to eat with him. Benjamin’s portion of food was five times as much. The other brothers got a set of clothing and Benjamin got five sets of clothing. We see that the Benjamites got an extensive area of land in Europe. The Western Vikings spread out over Denmark, Skane, Norway, Iceland and Faeroe Islands. …

4th Clue: Benjamin: a ravenous wolf

Benjamin is A RAVENOUS WOLF, in the morning devouring the prey, and at even dividing the spoil.” (Gen 49:27, RSV).

Jewish Encyclopedia

The Jewish Encyclopedia states about this: “[According to the rabbis]: His comparison to the ravening wolf (Cant. R. to viii. 1), “who devours his enemy” (Gen. xlix. 27) is referred to the men of Shiloh who stole their wives (Judges xxi.) or to Ehud or to Saul. By others it is referred to Mordecai and Esther (Gen. R. xcix. and Tan., Wayeḥi, 14; so also in the original text of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs [Benjamin ii]; whereas a Christian interpolation refers it to Paul). …

Vikings – wolves

There is no people that fulfilled this verse as the Vikings did during the three centuries of the Viking Age. In gangs they attacked early in the morning in hit-and-run style, and at evening they divided the spoil. The common sword of the time was the Ulfberht sword. Ulfberht probably was the name of a bladesmith or of a group of bladesmiths. Ulfberht translates into English as Bright Wulf.

Wikipedia: ‘Viking raid warfare’

Wikipedia: Vikings tried to gain a reputation for their first ever raids and piracy in many parts of Europe, especially England, Ireland, and Frankish territories. The term “Viking age” refers to the period roughly from 793 AD to the late 11th century in Europe. In this era Viking activity started with raids on Christian lands in England and eventually expanded to mainland Europe … While maritime battles were rare, Viking bands proved very successful in raiding coastal towns and monasteries due to their efficient warships, and intimidating war tactics, skillful hand-to-hand combat, and fearlessness. … Vikings’ tactics in warfare gave them an enormous advantage in successfully raiding (and later colonizing), despite their small population in comparison to that of their enemies. [Compare this to Ehud and the Moabites; Jonathan against the Philistines and the tribe of Benjamin against the other 11 tribes … few against many]. …

In the early Viking Age, during the late 8th century and most of the 9th, Vikings consisted of smaller tribal bands with a lack of any clear central authority, governance being rooted in tribal assemblies. …

The first known raid was on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the English coast in 793. This raid was also the first one that made a lasting impact on the British Isles and made the Anglo-Saxons aware of the Viking threat. …

These raids continued for the entirety of the Viking Age. These initial raids had a religious implication to them. Vikings would target monasteries along the coast, raid the towns for their booty, and destroy what was left. This caused mass fear …

The fast design of Viking ships was essential to their hit-and-run raids. For instance, in the sacking of Frisia in the early 9th century, Charlemagne mobilized his troops as soon as he heard of the raid, but completely missed the Vikings when he arrived. The Vikings’ ships gave them an element of surprise. Often traveling in small packs, or bands, they could easily go undetected, swiftly enter a village or monastery, pillage and collect booty, and leave before reinforcements arrived.

Viking military tactics succeeded mainly because they disregarded the conventional battlefield tactics, methods, and customs of the time. They ignored the unspoken rules of leaving holy sites untouched, and they never arranged battle times. Deceit, stealth, and ruthlessness were not seen as cowardly. During raids the Vikings targeted religious sites because of their vulnerability, often butchering the clergy at these sites in honor of a Pagan god. These religious sites also contained vast amounts of wealth, which the Vikings saw as opportunities to loot and plunder. …

Vikings attacked ships, not with the intent to destroy them, but rather to board them and take control. This is because Vikings originally based their battles around economic gains rather than political or territorial gains.

Odin & Wolves

Wikipedia: In Norse mythology, Geri and Freki (Old Norse, both meaning “the ravenous” or “greedy one”) are two wolves which are said to accompany the god Odin.

5th Clue: Benjamites: fearless

And EHUD put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly (Judg 3:21).

And the children of Benjamin were … 26,000 that drew sword … Among all this people there were 700 chosen men lefthanded … And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered 400,000 men that drew sword … (Judg 20:15-17).

And JONATHAN said to his young servant who had his arms, Come, let us go over to the armies of these men who have no circumcision … the Lord is able to give salvation by a great army OR BY A SMALL BAND (1Sam 14:6, BBE).

And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman … But MORDECAI BOWED NOT, nor did him reverence (Esther 2:3).

But some Jews came to that place from Antioch and Iconium, and got control over the people; AND AFTER STONING PAUL, they had him pulled out of the town, taking him for dead. But when the disciples came round him, HE GOT UP AND WENT INTO THE TOWN: and the day after he went away with Barnabas … (Acts 14:19-20, BBE).

Fearless Benjamites

Benjamites are often fearless fighters, think of Ehud, the civil war against the Benjamites (11 tribes against 1), Saul, Abner, Jonathan, Mordecai, Esther and Paul.

Left-handed Ehud went back alone and killed the Moabite king single-handedly (Judg 3). The Benjamites went to war 27,700 against 400,000, 1 tribe against 11 tribes (Judg 20). Saul, his cousin Abner, and Jonathan were great warriors. Jonathan once took an Philistine outpost together with his servant. Mordecai refused to bow for Haman. The apostle Paul was a fearless Benjamite too. After having been stoned he went back into the city of the people who had just stoned him! …

6th Clue: Benjamin: sword / violence

Therefore, my children, I tell you, flee the malice of Beliar; for he giveth A SWORD to them that obey him. And THE SWORD is the mother of seven evils … and first there is BLOODSHED; secondly, RUIN; thirdly, TRIBULATION; fourthly, EXILE; fifthly, DEARTH; sixthly, PANIC; seventhly, DESTRUCTION (Test. of Benjamin 7:1-2).

So Ehud made himself A TWO-EDGED SWORD … 21 And Ehud put out HIS LEFT HAND, AND TOOK THE SWORD FROM HIS RIGHT SIDE, and sent it into his stomach; 22 And the hand-part went in after the blade, and the fat was joined up over the blade; for HE DID NOT TAKE THE SWORD OUT of his stomach. And he went out … (Judg 3:16, 21-22, BBE).

And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, “I came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin … And the men of Gibeah rose against me THEY MEANT TO KILL ME, AND THEY RAVISHED MY CONCUBINE, AND SHE IS DEAD (Judg 20:4-5, RSV).

So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 men that drew THE SWORD; all these were men of valour (Judg 20:46).

Now when Saul had taken his place as ruler of Israel, HE MADE WAR ON THOSE WHO WERE AGAINST HIM ON EVERY SIDE … and whichever way he went, HE OVERCAME THEM (1Sam 14:47, BBE).

… so Abner gave [Asahel] a back blow in the stomach with his spear, SO THAT THE SPEAR CAME OUT AT HIS BACK; and he went down on the earth, wounded to death … (2Sam 2:23, BBE).

For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I PERSECUTED the church of God VIOLENTLY AND TRIED TO DESTROY IT (Galatians 1:13, RSV).

Benjamin & Violence (Sword)

There are tribes that are quite peaceful, like Asher, Zebulun and Issachar. Then there are militaristic tribes like Ephraim, Gad and Manasseh. The tribe of Benjamin was often involved in violence. That’s why Jacob prophesied Benjamin to be a devouring wolf.

Lefthanded Ehud single-handedly killed the king of Moab. The men of Gibeah raped a woman a whole night long so that she died. The Benjamites did not want to hand over the culprits, so they started a civil war of 1 tribe aginst 11 (Vikings avant la lettre). Abner, Saul’s army commander killed Asahel with a backwards thrust of his spear. Saul fought 40 years for his kingdom and died on the hills of Gilboa with his sons. Jonathan conquered a Philistine outpost all by himself and Saul/Paul persecuted the church with the sword.

Vikings and their sword

https://www.toptenz.net/10-horrifying-facts-vikings.php: The Vikings used a number of different weapons, like long axes and spears. Even their shields were used as offensive weapons. However, their most prized weapons were their long swords. The Vikings would name their swords like “Widow-Maker” and “Corpse-Bramble,” and the swords would be passed down generation to generation. As Viking boys grew up, their fathers would talk about all the men who died by the sword. This helped pass along their family history and instill the idea of nobility in battle. The swords were double edged and sharp enough to cut through a human skull, or cut off a limb with one slice. The men carried their swords at all times, usually on their back, and slept beside them. They needed to be armed all the time because of family disputes. Factions of Vikings were constantly at war, after all. Men were expected to be able to defend their homes, their families, and help defend their leaders and their leaders’ property.

Erik the Red & Violence

https://www.toptenz.net/10-horrifying-facts-vikings.php: The Vikings were fierce and dedicated warriors that were known for their brutality. And somehow, Erik Thorvaldsson was too violent for them. Better known as Erik the Red, he was born in Norway sometime around 950. When Erik was a child, his father was exiled over a murder, and his family moved to Iceland. This would become a theme for Erik. Erik gained his famous nickname because of his red hair and the fact that he was a volatile and violent man. This temper would get him in trouble around 980. While living in Haukadale, Iceland … Erik killed Eyiolf and an enforcer of his clan. The family of Eyiolf demanded justice, and Erik was banished [He went to Greenland].

Norsemen → Normans

Dutch Wikipedia: The Normans remained warriors above all and when the First Crusade was launched, Normans were the heart of it. The First Crusade contains conflicting aspects of Norman contribution to European history. The army of the Norman nobleman Bohemund commited such atrocities, that these are still a part of the collective memory of the peoples of the Middle East.

7th Clue: Benjamin: … tactics …

Then … he gave them a saviour, Ehud, … the Benjamite, A LEFT-HANDED MAN; and the children of Israel sent an offering by him to Eglon, king of Moab. So Ehud made himself a two-edged sword, a cubit long, which HE PUT ON AT HIS RIGHT SIDE under his robe … And Ehud put out HIS LEFT HAND, AND TOOK THE SWORD FROM HIS RIGHT SIDE, and sent it into his stomach (Jdgs 3:15-21, BBE).

Among all this people [of Benjamin] there were 700 chosen men LEFTHANDED; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss (Jdgs 20:16).

Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag … They were armed with bows, and were able to send stones, and arrows from the bow, WITH RIGHT HAND OR LEFT: they were Saul’s brothers, OF BENJAMIN (1Chron 12:1-2, BBE).

[Benjamite Paul]: By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness ON THE RIGHT HAND AND ON THE LEFT (2Cor 6:7).

But 600 men turned and fled to the wilderness UNTO THE ROCK RIMMON, AND ABODE IN THE ROCK RIMMON FOUR MONTHS (Jdgs 20:25).

And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed … of the Israelites that day 22,000 men (Jdgs 20:21).

And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed … of the children of Israel again 18,000 men; all these drew the sword (Jdgs 20:25).

Benjamites – warriors

Benjamites seemed to have enjoyed combat. They were not afraid to attack opponents with huge numbers. After the Gibeah atrocity 27,700 Benjamites attacked 400,000 Israelites

while normally the defence is chosen in such circumstances. With their bold attacks they even won two battles and the other 11 tribes initially withdrew (Jdgs 20).

Likewise the Vikings loved battle. …

Two-handed fighting

Left-handed fighting or two-handed fighting is mentioned three times in the OT. All three times in connection with the tribe of Benjamin. The fourth mention (NT) of weapons in the right and left hand is from the Benjamite Paul (2Cor 6:7).

The Vikings trained in two-handed offensive fighting. They had a short axe, but also the two-handed long dane-axe. They had normal spears, but also two-handed long spears. With these axes and spears they could stay out of reach of their opponents. …

8th Clue: Benjamin: loyalty / disloyalty

And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I WILL SMITE DAVID EVEN TO THE WALL WITH IT. And David avoided out of his presence twice (1Sam 18:11).

And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But JONATHAN, SAUL’S SON, DELIGHTED MUCH IN DAVID (1Sam 19:1, RSV).

Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, DO NOT I KNOW THAT THOU HAST CHOSEN THE SON OF JESSE TO THINE OWN CONFUSION, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? (1Sam 20:30)

AND SAUL CAST A JAVELIN AT HIM TO SMITE [JONATHAN]: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David (1Sam 20:33).

And … there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul. And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah … and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father’s concubine? Then was Abner very wroth … and said, Am I a dog’s head … So do God to Abner … as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; TO TRANSLATE THE KINGDOM FROM THE HOUSE OF SAUL, AND TO SET UP THE THRONE OF DAVID OVER ISRAEL … he could not answer Abner … because he feared him. And Abner sent messengers to David … saying … Make thy league with me … my hand shall … bring about all Israel unto thee (2Sam 3).

Shifting loyalties

Saul, Michal, Ishbosheth, Mephibosheth (2Sam 16), Jonathan, Abner,Shimei (2Sam 16), Baanah & Rechab (2Sam 4), Sheba (2Sam 20) and Paul, are all Benjamites. What they have in common is that, either they changed sides, or they became disloyal.

David was an army commander of Saul, but Saul tried to kill him again and again. Jonathan and Michal loved David and chose his side, against their father Saul.

Abner fought a civil war for years against Joab (David) for Saul’s son Ishbosheth. However the moment Ishbosheth admonished Abner over his father’s concubine, Abner turned against his boss and went to David to hand over the north to him.

Ishbosheth had warbands fighting for him with two Benjamite brothers, Baanah and Rechab. They betrayed the king they were fighting for and killed Ishbosheth during his sleep, decapitated him and took the head to David (hoping for a reward).

Shimei turned against his fleeing king David and threw stones at him. The Benjamite Sheba called (in vain) for rebellion against the House of David.

Saul / Paul first persecuted the Church, was converted and ended up fighting for the Church (Acts of the Apostles).

Selfish Viking Individualism

https://norse-mythology.org/the-vikings-selfish-individualism/

There’s a common Romantic image of the Vikings fighting their wars for the collective well-being of their nations and homelands, putting tribal loyalty above self-interest. That image could hardly be further from the historical reality. The Vikings weren’t dutiful soldiers selflessly sacrificing themselves for their people; they were mercenaries who, when it really came down to it, cared first and foremost for their own selfish gain. …

9th Clue: Benjamin: kingdom builders

Then Samuel took the bottle of oil, and put the oil on his head and gave him a kiss and said, Is not the Lord with the holy oil MAKING YOU RULER OVER ISRAEL, HIS PEOPLE? … (1Sam 10:1a).

And the spirit of God came mightily upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the LORD fell upon the people, and they came out as one man (1Sam 11:6-7).

Now when Saul had taken HIS PLACE AS RULER OF ISRAEL, he made war on those who were against him on every side, Moab and the Ammonites and Edom and the kings of Zobah and the Philistines: and WHICHEVER WAY HE WENT, HE OVERCAME THEM (1Sam 14:47, BBE).

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2, RSV).

And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. SO ALSO OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL WROTE TO YOU ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN HIM, SPEAKING OF THIS AS HE DOES IN ALL HIS LETTERS. THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN THEM HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction … (2Pe 3:15-16, RSV).

Saul of the OT & Saul of the NT

Benjamites are good organizers and kingdom builders. At the time of the judges Israel was a loose confederation of tribes. There was no central governance, no king. God used the Benjamite Saul to build the kingdom, which was later taken over by the House of David. …

Paul was instrumental in building that Church with his missionary journeys and his epistles. Paul wrote 13 of the 26 NT books. Paul was an able organizer and he was of the tribe of Benjamin. …

Vikings – organizers & kingdom builders

Vikings were not just plunderers in hit-and-run actions, but also good organizers. Otherwise they would never have been able to make these long journeys. …

Benjamites (Vikings) are good organizers and kindom builders. The Scandinavian kingdoms today are well organized states.

Perhaps I should add that my wife and I have been to Iceland once.

The Bible records various promises made to the tribes of Israel in Genesis 48, Genesis 49, and Deuteronomy 33. Many seem to have overlooked those, but those prophecies have been, and will be fulfilled.

While part of the old Radio Church of God, the late Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote:

Benjamin constitutes Norway and Iceland. The Icelandic people in reality a colony of Norwegians. Benjamin was given to David because Jerusalem, David’s capital, was in the tribe of Benjamin, not Judah. God said He would give David light in Jerusalem (I Kings 11:36). This verse could not refer to Judah which did not have to be given to the Jewish House of David. Benjamin was told to flee the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 6:1) which many of them did.

Benjamin is compared to “a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil” (Gen. 49:27). This is certainly an apt description of the Vikings who pillaged Northern Europe, and even Mediterranean regions. Almost all Viking raids came from Norway. It is also significant that Benjamin, the smallest tribe, still is the smallest today. There are fewer Norwegians (plus 148 thousand from Iceland) than any other Israelite nation. (Moses’ blessing in Deut. 33 has particular reference to this fact that Jerusalem was in the tribe of Benjamin.) (LOCATION OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL by Herman L Hoeh (ca. 1950s) http://www.giveshare.org/israel/locationtribes.html)

While there are various ways to look at those and other prophecies, let me conclude by stating that I do believe that those of Iceland and Norway are essentially descended from biblical Benjamin, though there is ethnic intermingling.

As far as Bert Otten goes, he tends to be more of a Messianic than a Church of God leader, but we do have some points of agreement (see also Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God).

That being said, knowing where various peoples have come from, help us better understand how the Bible teaches that various ones will be affected by end time events that are still to come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so
‘Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Dan – the Irish’ Not part of the ‘144,000’ Could the Irish and Danes have descent from the tribe of Dan?
Were the Ancient Tribes of Israel Black? Was Jesus Black? Some claim this is so. But what do the Bible and ancient artifacts show? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Were Ancient Hebrews Black? What About Jesus?
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?

Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.

Nicholas was not a Christian saint nor was he jolly; GCI, however, is promoting him

Monday, December 6th, 2021


Russian Iconic Portrayal of Nicholas of Myra

COGwriter

December 6 is the Greco-Roman Feast for Nicholas.

Greg Williams, president of Grace Communion International (the group that was part of the changed Worldwide Church of God) had the following in its December 2021 newsletter:

Believe it or not, even Santa can be saved! Far from being a dangerous fairy tale, Santa Claus in reality is an Anglicized form of the Dutch name Sinter Klaas, which in turn is a reference to Saint Nicholas, a Christian bishop from the fourth century. According to tradition, Saint Nick not only lavished gifts on needy children, but also  valiantly supported the doctrine of the Trinity at the Council of Nicea in AD 325. While the word Trinity­­–like incarnation–is not found in Scripture, it aptly codifies what God has condescended to reveal to us about His nature and being.

Santa Claus – St Nicholas – was a good Christian man who served others and believed in the Father, Son and Spirit.

No, Nicholas was NOT a good Christian man. Furthermore, not only is trinity not mentioned in the Bible, it was not believed nor taught by early Christians.

Additionally, it is wrong to tell children lies about Santa Claus. Nicholas is dead. He does NOT know who is naughty or nice. He does not have a sleigh with reindeer. He does not come down chimneys to give presents, etc.

Now who was the real Roman Catholic and Orthodox and GCI saint called Nicholas?

Here are some answers from a Catholic monsignor priest:

The Real St. Nicholas – Not Fat and Not Very Jolly Either.

(Dec 6) is the Feast of St. Nicholas. The real St. Nicholas was nothing close to the St. Nick (Santa Claus) of the modern age. He was a thin curmudgeonly man with a zeal for the Lord that caused flairs of anger. Compromise was unknown to him. The slow transformation of him into “Jolly ole’ Saint Nicholas is a remarkable recasting of him centuries in the making…

Enjoy this excerpt on the real St. Nicholas of Myra (aka Santa):

He approaches Arius, fist raised menacingly. There are gasps. Would he dare? He would. Fist strikes face. Arius goes down. He will have a shiner. Nick, meanwhile, is set upon by holy men. His robes are torn off. He is thrown into a dungeon…

Saint Nicholas. Paintings show a thin man. He was spare of frame, flinty of eye, pugnacious of spirit. In the Middle Ages, he was known as a brawling saint. He had no particular sense of humor that we know of. He could be vengeful, wrathful, an embittered ex- con….No doubt, Saint Nick was a good man. A noble man. But a hard man.

Nicholas was born in Patara, a small town on the Mediterranean coast, 280 years after the birth of Christ. He became bishop of a small town in Asia Minor called Myra. Beyond that, details of his life are more legend than fact….He became a priest at 19, and bishop in his twenties…Nicholas of Myra might not seem like the kind of person who relates to kids, and few acts attributed to him involve children.

St. Nicholas of Myra morphed into Santa Claus. (Pope C, Msgr. The Real St. Nicholas – Not Fat and Not Very Jolly Either. http://blog.adw.org/2012/12/the-real-st-nicholas-not-fat-and-not-very-jolly-either/ viewed 12/6/12)

So, Nicholas was a violent and hard man according to a senior Roman Catholic priest. Nor, biblically, was he a saint (cf. Acts 5:32).

Here are two more articles about him, with a Germanic focus:

Though they have similar outfits, Nikolaus is not to be confused with Santa Claus, who Germans call the Weihnachtsmann, or Father Christmas…

Each year on December 6, Germans remember the death of Nicholas of Myra (now the Anatolia region of modern Turkey), who died on that day in 346. He was a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles and giving gifts secretly, and is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children http://www.thelocal.de/society/20121206-15915.html

Children were often quite frightened of being questioned about their behaviour because they’ve been told that St. Nicholas will hurt them with his rod or even put them in a sack and take them away. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111206-15915.html

Notice the following from the St. Nicholas Center:

In 325 Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, which was the first ecumenical council ever held. More than 300 bishops from all over the Christian world came to debate the nature of the Holy Trinity, one of the early church’s most intense theological questions. Arias, from Egypt, taught that the Son Jesus was not equal to God the Father. This was the Arian controversy which shook Christianity’s very foundations. According to one account, when confronted by the unyielding Arias, Nicholas slapped him in the face. For such a breach of decorum, Nicholas was brought before Constantine, who stripped him of his office and had him thrown into prison. During the night, Jesus with his Mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way Nicholas was reinstated. (Bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas Center. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-of-myra/ viewed 12/05/14)

While Jesus is God, since Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), this should help prove that Nicholas was wrong to punch somebody who claimed to believe something like that–plus Christians are not to be violent (Luke 3:14; see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? ). Hence this helps demonstrate that Jesus’ mother Mary truly DID NOT appear to him, to get him acquitted of this. Mary, the mother of Jesus, did not appear to Nicholas (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

Perhaps I should mention that once when my wife and I were in Serbia, we were told that Nicholas is the most popular ‘saint’ in that Eastern Orthodox-dominated land.

Here is some of what the Eastern Orthodox have strangely claimed about him:

As a faithful bishop/shepherd, St. Nicholas was revered as a saint even before his death because of his great holiness and tender care of his flock. After the Blessed Mother and St. John the Forerunner (Baptist), Nicholas was the most revered saint in the early church. He is most honored in the East, especially in Russia. Throughout the world many churches are named for him—more than for any other saint. His ministry continues to this day as a powerful intercessor for the protection and advancement of the Church. (Orthodox America and St. Therese Byzantine Catholic Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/wonderworker/)

Of course, according to the Holy Bible, the only intercessor listed in the Bible is Christ (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25)–and Jesus is specifically called the “one mediator” (1 Timothy 2:5, Douay-Rheims). Nicholas is not one who should be revered and he is NOT our intercessor.

Christmas itself is not a biblical holiday, but a compromise with pagan festive and religious practices. It was not observed by early Christians, and even the Church of Rome did not observe it on December 25th until some time in the fourth century. And the English word for “Christmas” did not even enter the literature before 1038 A.D. It was not an original day observed by early Christians.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Does the Roman 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?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day. A video of related interest is also available: God’s or Satan’s New Year?
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.
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: OUeåf/y^v„W#eåÿ Ù‘Ìf/NNýy^v„W#eåeåS†NÎ2013^tó2024^t0.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
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?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
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.
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.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.

Many COVID steps are moves toward totalitarianism

Saturday, December 4th, 2021


COGwriter

Found the following article today:

December 4, 2021

In the Jewish religious tradition there is a recurring trope of the prophets, who foretell the fall of great empires still many years in the making.

In this tradition, the prophet appears from among the tyrannised subjects, and speaks to the masters of their violation of their covenant with God and the fatal consequences to follow from it. …

“facts” are a vulnerable thing to power, since all other possibilities expressible as lies or opinions are, prima facie, indistinguishable from facts.

In totalitarian governments, this lie is joined in by civic institutions coerced by the State, so that the media, law, and the frenzy of the mob itself can all be mobilised against a destruction of the facts in favour of a favourable story.

Conversely, established facts such as demonetisation’s impact on the Indian economy or the US election results are reduced to mere opinion, and hence dismissed as mere subjective points used in a differing story.

The purpose of this lying is to service “image-making” over and above the facts …

in modern totalitarian nation-states “the ‘image’ of political propaganda isn’t supposed to flatter the original like a portrait (which she says was the job of traditional statecraft and political propaganda), but to replace it.”

Therefore, “before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie, the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie, the standards of thought) no longer exist.” https://www.thequint.com/news/world/contempt-for-facts-hannah-arendt-fake-news-authoritarianism#read-more

Have we seen lies touted as facts and true facts dismissed as lies and conspiracy theories?

Sadly, yes.

The Wall Street Journal published the following about political change in the USA that the government and media have promoted:

Woke or Proto-Totalitarian?

I cheered while reading Garry Kasparov’s op-ed “‘Woke’ Is a Bad Word for a Real Threat to American Democracy” (Nov. 18). For people like me, who grew up in a communist country, his assessment of the current trend in American politics reflects what we know from firsthand experience. We can feel it in our bones. Shutting down debate, marginalizing and canceling people, denying free and open expression of opinions, destroying people directly or indirectly is the way that totalitarian regimes gain and maintain power. 12/01/21 https://www.wsj.com/articles/woke-totalitarian-communist-country-freedom-democracy-11638310331

Yes, the ‘woke’ movement has done that, but so has a lot surrounding COVID.

The ‘tweet’ at the beginning of the post lists a few of the steps that have been implemented already.

Furthermore, even telling people how to help their health and immune systems these days can result in censorship. For telling people to follow government guidelines on eating fruits and vegetables, exercise, and weight management, as well as other sensible items, YouTube retroactively removed our video (which is available still at the following link on a different video platform: COVID-19: Eat what is good!) and gave us “a strike’–which sets the stage, if YouTube wishes, to remove all our videos. Reasonable debate and free expression of opinion is being stifled in the USA and elsewhere.

Instead, a narrative that vaccines and restrictions are the answer keeps getting pushed.

And while the narrative calls that ‘science,’ consider the following:

Spanish Investigation Finds Vaccine Passports Have No Impact on Infection Rates

Details of the study, carried out by Spain’s inter-regional Covid committee, were obtained by El Pais and reported on by the Telegraph.

Looking at how the scheme has been implemented in other European countries, the experts found that mandating people show proof of vaccination to enter venues like bars, restaurants and cinemas “is not reducing levels of transmission.” …

The researchers also concluded that vaccine passport schemes “contribute to a false impression that vaccinated people do not get infected,” when in fact “around 40 per cent of those vaccinated are susceptible to infection and transmitting the infection,” the report states.

The only positives of such a scheme are that it “warns people that there is still danger from the pandemic and encourages vaccination uptake among the reticent.”

In other words, although vaccine passports have no discernible impact on their stated goal – reducing the spread of COVID-19 – they do succeed in keeping people fearful and compliant.

And perhaps that’s the primary goal.

“The findings are similar to evidence found by the UK government – that vaccine passports could increase Covid rates in the country,” writes Ken Macon. https://summit.news/2021/12/03/spanish-investigation-finds-vaccine-passports-have-no-impact-on-infection-rates/

The Dawn of Global Totalitarianism: ‘This Pivotal Moment’

By now, it should be abundantly clear: the proposed global rollout of Vaccine Passports has nothing to do with your health. Vaccine Passports are a Trojan horse being used to create a completely new type of controlled and surveilled society – a cold and calculating technocracy where the freedoms we enjoy today will become a distant memory. https://21stcenturywire.com/2021/12/02/the-dawn-of-global-totalitarianism-this-pivotal-moment/

The political risks of what nations have been doing related to COVID-19 are substantial. Totalitarian actions have been taken by places not considered to be dictatorships as their elected leaders have closed businesses, schools, restricted travel, etc.

Now, some have felt that the COVID crisis would break European unity. But ultimately, it will help lead to it. Related to that, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put together the following video for our Bible News Prophecy program:

14:13

Cardinal: Coronavirus could be the end of the European Union

Following statements from various political leaders, Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich voiced concerns that COVID-19 could lead to the end of the European Union as nationalism is pushing out European solidarity. Could the EU break apart? Could the Euro collapse? Does the Bible tell of unity problems for Europe in Daniel 2? Does the Bible teach that Europe will reorganize and give its power to a totalitarian dictator called the Beast from the sea? How will the prophesied European unity come about? What did Austrian researcher Tamara Ehs warn related to European democracy and authoritarianism? Was the late Herbert W. Armstrong correct about his apocalyptic 20th century warnings related to fear and religion uniting Europe? Will the ‘beast from the earth’ be the final Antichrist and a type of antipope? Does the Book of Revelation support the view he will betray the Vatican and/or the Church of Rome? Could European ideals include differences with the USA on the World Health Organization, differences on climate change, and fears about the the USA’s military be factors in the prophesied unity under the Beast? Could economic problems and fear from pestilences be a factor in dictatorial change coming to Europe?

Here is a link to the video: Cardinal: Coronavirus could be the end of the European Union.

When people are afraid and when they are desperate, they are more likely to accept a dictatorial leader. And people are getting more and more tolerant of being in a surveillance state.

Notice something published by the old Worldwide Church of God:

“You had to live in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

That is the frightening world of George Orwell’s 1984 — a world where two-way “telescreens” and unremitting surveillance make solitude an impossibility, privacy a punishable crime. It is the government of “Big Brother,” a government that pries into all aspects of citizens’ lives.

It is also a world which lies nearer at hand than most of us would like to admit. It is a world which many well-meaning people are unwittingly helping to usher in. …

This erosion of privacy can be traced to the workings of two main power centers; government and the news media. …

What ultimately happens when a government becomes so obsessed with security that laws are freely violated; when the media resort to extralegal, unethical and unconstitutional means to fulfill their highly touted “watchdog” role? What happens when people begin to reason that the “higher” interests of the nation transcend those of the individual — that people, to use the words of former FBI Director Clarence Kelley, “must be willing to surrender a small measure of their liberties to preserve the great bulk of them”?

To answer these questions, consider the following statement: “It is necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation … that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties and the interests of the individual.” The author? Adolf Hitler. (Radar S, Stump K. Big Brother Is Watching You: THE ASSAULT ON PRIVACY! Plain Truth, May 1979)

Yes, many in governments share that view from Adolf Hitler. The US has allowed many unconstitutional means because of COVID-19 claims. And Europe has had its lockdowns, etc.

And more we now have more surveillance technology than the book 1984 (which was first published in 1949) pointed to.

Related to that 1984 book and what was going on with civil liberties even before COVID-19, we put out the following video:


In 1949, the late George Orwell wrote a disturbing book about a totalitarian government called “nineteen-eighty four.” Despite laws that are supposed to protect freedom of speech and religion, we are seeing governments taking steps consistent with those that Geroge Orwell warned against. We are also seeing this in the media, academia, and in private companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. With the advent of technology, totalitarianism beyond what Orwell wrote is possible. Does the Bible teach the coming a totalitarian state similar to George Orwell’s? What about the Antichrist and 666? Will things get worse? What is the solution? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more. A written article of related interest is titled “Totalitarian controls getting closer–The Guardian pushing internet censorship.”

Here is a link to our video: Orwell’s 1984 by 2024?

With government actions, drones, and threats of actions related to COVID-19, we are certainly seeing a prelude to the totalitarian controls that the 666 Beast will implement (cf. Revelation 13:15-18).

Here are some statements published by the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God related to totalitarianism:

In a TOTALITARIAN state or nation, the STATE or government is considered ABOVE the individual and can regulate any and all facets of private life. (McNair R. Needed – a World SUPER-GOVERNMENT! Plain Truth, 1964)

 Even apart from the national sovereignty question, world government in the hands of man would be nothing short of mind-boggling. For instance, who or what decides who is in charge?

 Before any nation would bow the knee to such a world — ruling institution, an inordinate amount of power would have to be concentrated in the hands of a very few human beings — power that would lead to the establishment of a totalitarian state of the worst magnitude. As the Wall Street Journal put it some years ago: “It follows that for a world government to be effective, it would have to possess powers of compulsion undreamed-of in history’s worst nightmares …. No matter who were the magistrates of the world-state, they would have to trample on so many national and individual aspirations and attitudes, would have to deploy such an army of enforcers, that the most probable upshot would be a police-state on a colossal scale …” (Wall Street Journal editorials, November 14, 1963 and September 14, 1965). (Ritter G. 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Red Horse – War. Ambassador College Press, 1975)

History has shown that it does not take long for a desperate, frightened world to become even more selfish and cruel. In times of crisis, even the most freedom-loving people are willing to surrender some of their rights and freedoms in the interest of preserving their lifestyle and values. This can bring to power a form of government we have come to know as fascism, where all power — military, economic, political and even religious — is gathered in the hands of the state. It is not an attractive way of life to contemplate, especially while things are going well. But modern history has shown that in a crisis, people turn to a strong party, or a strong man, for leadership.

To preserve their prosperity, certain nations or groups of nations may look again to a form of fascism in the years ahead. A fascist government seems to bring stability and preserve the prosperity of those who go along with the system, while those who do not co-operate become “enemies of the state,” to be ruthlessly suppressed. Nationalism and religion become tools to be manipulated by the authorities, and history has shown that patriotism and piety can be a potent mixture. Ordinary, decent folk are sincerely deceived and swept along in the current, for the regime seems to be upholding and preserving values and traditions that are being threatened. In this paranoid, emotionally supercharged political climate, values and loyalties blur and people become intimidated, willing to betray friends and even family members to gain favor or to identify with the prevailing mood.

Most of us have never known a time like this, and it may seem farfetched. But this century has seen just such a tragedy befall some of the most cultured and advanced nations on earth, and the Bible tells us that it will happen again. Only this time on a terrifying worldwide scale.

The End of Freedom

The book of Revelation describes humanity held in the grip of just such a totalitarian superpower. The harlot woman of the Apocalypse represents a system that dictates the way the world ought to work. Those who go along with her decisions survive and even prosper. She wields her authority through a military and economic superpower — the symbolic “beast.” It imposes its harsh regime on the world, deciding who lives, who eats, who starves, who trades. It takes its cue from rigid regimes of the past. It makes the decisions over who gets which resources, who can produce what, and where they can dump their toxic wastes. It is ruthless and efficient and allows no opposition.

It might not be the ideal, but it may seem to be the only alternative to a complete collapse of the world system. So, the Bible tells us, most of the world will co-operate with this system, allowing “Babylon” increasing control of all aspects of life-economic, political, military, even religious.

“And he [the symbolic “beast”] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

Who will fill these roles in this nightmare vision of the future? The book of Revelation is like a screen play. The script has been written, and the main characters’ roles established. But the cast has not been chosen.
It is certainly not the intention of the reasonable leaders today to lay the foundation of such a monstrosity. They are careful architects, diligently drawing up plans for a peaceful, law-abiding future that will ensure peace and prosperity. But architects cannot always be sure what will become of the buildings they design.

These Bible prophecies should send a chilling note of caution through the corridors of power today. The nations of the world are like animals being herded into a trap. They feel the pressures driving them in new directions. They may till snarl and snap at each other as their old animosities surface They don’t realize that they are all being driven to the brink of ruin.

For behind the woman riding the beast is another power — the evil genius of Satan. This is his best effort to deceive mankind, using a religious, political, economic and military superpower by which he can direct the destiny of the world to his own end. (Babylon, Past, Present, and Future. Ambassador College Press, 1990).

Yes, Satan is behind the scenes. COVID-19 has been used as a prelude to move towards what is prophesied.

666 is coming! And it will be even worse than we have seen under past totalitarian regimes according to Jesus (cf. Matthew 24:21-22).

Notice, now, the following prophecies from the Old and New Testaments:

2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ 6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. (Daniel 7:2-8)

23 ‘Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses
;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled.
25 Destruction comes;
They will seek peace, but there shall be none. (Ezekiel 7:23-25)

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 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.

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

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 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 13:1-18)

The Beast that rises from the sea is a European power, just like Adolf Hitler was. Adolf Hitler was among the worst of the Gentiles (lest this sound like ethnic bashing, my ethnic background is similar to his)–and an even worse European leader will rise up.

The “Great Sea” that bordered the ancient lands of Israel (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16) is the Mediterranean Sea–and that is the sea that Daniel was referring to. Despite some false claims by some, the Beast power is not a nation like Russia, which does not border the Mediterranean Sea, but Europe which does (Russia, however, will be a factor in eliminating the European beast power, see also The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy). A comparison of the beasts in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 shows that they share many of the same characteristics (for some details, you may wish to watch the YouTube video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?).

Europe is the power that will control the “Great Sea.” And while the southern border of the Mediterranean Sea is currently under Arab control, the Bible shows that the King of the North will take over the Arab powers (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-9).

Adolf Hitler was credited for pulling the German economy out of the Great Depression and restoring German prestige.

The Bible teaches that Europe will reorganize and turn power over to a dictator:

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)

Yes, Europe will reorganize and ten dictators will turn power over to one called the Beast (see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

The late Herbert W. Armstrong taught:

there is a beast with ten dictators and in the territory of the ancient Roman Empire, Europe and around the Mediterranean. (Armstrong HW. Outline of Prophecy 13 – Russia’s Coming Attack On Europe! Radio broadcast, 20th century)

Suddenly the world will behold a UNITED STATES OF EUROPE! Some of the Balkan nations which have been under Russia’s boot will be members of it! TEN dictators in Europe will unite, in a gigantic European COMBINE, turning their united military power and resources over to the new LEADER of Europe! (Armstrong HW. The Hydrogen Bomb Shifts Trend. Plain Truth, 1950, p. 5)

TEN DICTATORS, receiving power “as Kings”-yet not being kings in the sense of inheriting thrones as continuous dynasties-will give their military and economic power co this coming Strong·Man political leader, called “the BEAST” in prophecy. You will read of what is soon coming … in the 17th chapter of Revelation … (Armstrong HW. Why DeGaulle Blackballed Britain. Plain Truth, 1963, pp. 4,32)

Yes, dictators will be put in place in Europe and will give their power to an even more totalitarian dictator.

The Bible shows that the coming Beast power will restore European power and wealth, as well as make much of the world wealthy for a time (cf. Revelation 18:3-18). So, this will be an even bigger scale than what Adolf Hitler was able to lead.

Consider also the following:


Vasnetsov’s 1884 impression of the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

The ride of the fourth horseman will result in the death of 1/4 of humanity!

That is much worse than what we now expect for COVID-19.

A dictator that the Bible refers to as the Beast will rise up and have power before the fifth seal of Revelation 6 is opened. The pale horse rides after the opening of the fourth seal.

This will get people to be willing to accept even more totalitarian controls.

The coming dictatorial Beast that will rise up will be much worse than Adolf Hitler. Here is a link to our latest sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation.

We will see the rise of a dictator and people’s fears about disease and economic issues will be a factor.

Steps under the guise of COVID are setting the stage.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the O. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ld Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: El COVID-19 ¿Conduce al 666?
Biological Warfare and Prophecy Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
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.

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?
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: Alemania en la profecía bíblic. Here are links to two English language sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New Who were the Samaritans? Do the represent true Christianity or something else? Here is a link to a related sermon: USA in Prophecy: Samaria.Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
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.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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.
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so.
‘Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Dan – the Irish’ Not part of the ‘144,000’ Could the Irish and Danes have descent from the tribe of Dan?
Could Switzerland by descended from Gad? Is it really prepared for what is prophecied? This article has clues.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
Is 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”?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.

What Will Each Church Member’s Duty Be in the Kingdom?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021


(Public Domain Pictures)

COGwriter

The old Radio Church of God published the following by Dr. Herman Hoeh:

What Will Each Church Member’s Duty Be?

HAVE you ever thought about what YOUR JOB will be in the Kingdom? About what Christ will have you  do in the millennium? About how you qualify for that responsibility?

What Christ Expects of Every Church Member

Salvation is a gift from God. It is absolutely free. But you can lose it!

Since salvation is something you can lose, then God must have set terms or conditions upon which He grants it.

It’s time you understood what those terms or conditions are.

First, notice how one may lose salvation – why some are thrust out of the Kingdom of God, while others are saved.

Jesus said of those who perish:

“Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30).

What made this man unprofitable?

Why did Christ refuse him admission into the Kingdom of God ? Wherein had he failed?

The answer is found in verses 21 and 23. To those who are to receive salvation, who will inherit the Kingdom of God, Jesus said: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

Do you grasp it? Do you see the difference? The unprofitable servant was not faithful in carrying out the few duties given him in this life! He had not learned to master his time, he had not learned to master his human nature, he had not learned to rule his family -or, if a woman – to rule her children. He hadn’t improved his mind or put his income to work-even though he knew better! All he could say to his Lord was – “I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid my talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” (verses 24 – 25).

He buried his talent. He was careless about life’s responsibilities. He didn’t call upon God for the help he needed. He lacked faith, which is a gift of the Spirit of God. He had not overcome. His Judge condemned him: “Thou wicked and slothful servant , . . ” (v. 26) .

Too many members in God’s Church today are like the unprofitable servant. An AWFUL fate awaits them unless they wake up! They are failing the ONE CONDITION Jesus Christ set for every church member: “To him that OVERCOMETH.”

But what does it mean to overcome?

The dictionary defines it as: “to master, prevail over, surmount, overwhelm, be victorious over, to win, to get the better of, to conquer.”

How many of you are mastering your job, your children, your human nature with God’s help? Are you surmounting obstacles? Gaining the victory over bad habits? Conquering your weaknesses?

In short – are you overcoming like Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel? Israel means, in Hebrew, “prevailer with God” – or, “ruler with God.”

Do you know what Jacob will be doing in the Kingdom of God? What this Philadelphia Era of the Church will be doing? What your individual responsibility will be? Everyone of us will be ruling under Christ – IF we have first, in this life, here and now, surrendered our wills to Him, and have let Him rule in and through us. No one will be there who has not come under Christ’s authority, or who has not learned to rule with Christ in the little duties and jobs we have in this life.

Different Degrees of Authority

But just as we do not all exercise the same kind of rule and authority now, so there are different kinds of responsibility in the Kingdom of God. Not all will have the same office. Not all will face the same duties. …

We are the Church that has been used to restore the truth and the pattern of God’s Government.  …

Notice that at the end of each of the seven stages in the history of God’s Church there is a definite promise for the Church which carries on God’s WORK during that particular period. You will find these seven promises recorded in Rev. 2:7, 10 and 11, 17, 26 to 28; 3:4 and 5, 12, 21. …

To each Church epoch DIFFERENT PROMISES are granted! … Some Churches are promised a special duty. …

All who overcome are to inherit the Kingdom of God-they will constitute the Kingdom. But they will not all occupy the same position in the Kingdom.

Jesus Christ does not occupy the same position as the Father. Yet both of them have eternally constituted the Kingdom of God.

The “saints shall judge the world” (I Corinthians 6:2), but some will be qualified to judge greater matters than others. “We shall reign on the earth” (Revelation  5: 10), but we shall not all reign over the same territory or people.

We shall all be priests – Peter calls us even now “a royal priesthood” (I Peter  2:9) – but some will minister in greater capacity than others.

It all depends on how we’ve overcome – how we strive against the attractions of the world and the pull of human nature.

When Christ comes to judge us, He will “give reward unto  .  .  .   small and great” (Rev. 11: I8). Some of us are smaller than others in God’s sight. Some have not  yielded to the law of God as much as others.  Some have not worked as hard on uprooting the power of human nature as others-they have not let God’s law govern their lives to the same degree as others.

In the Kingdom or Family of God there will be individuals of different degree. But for each individual there will be a responsibility, a job. Not the same job, of course! – for we are not all called to the same office. But every office is needed. An entire CIVILIZATION. God’s kind of civilization, God’s way and not man’s way. It will take literally millions of different jobs to create civilization as it ought to be.

YOUR JOB will be what you will find the most pleasure in doing.

We do not all get the same pleasure out of the same thing. That is why God has not called us all to the same office.

Notice, now, what the Church today is promised-and this includes you if you continue as an overcomer and resist temptation and end up as victor in your trials.

What This Church Is Promised

Open your Bible to Revelation 3:10-12.  Here is what it says: “Because  thou [this Church] hast kept the word of My patience” -we have patiently kept God’s word in a gainsaying world- “I,” responds Jesus,  “also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come  upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

If we hold fast to the end, notice what the reward of this Church will be in the  Kingdom of God: “Him that overcometh [this includes anyone, not just the ministry] will I make a pillar [or main support] in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, New Jerusalem: and  .  .  .  my new  name.”

In  Galatians 2:9 you will read that James and Peter and John seemed to be “pillar” in the early Church. They were leaders! That responsibility is what God promises to us in God’s Church today. We are to qualify – not for David’s office, not for the apostles’ offices – but as spiritual pillars or leaders – the main supports in God’s House [symbolically called “temple” in Rev. 3: 12) for all eternity. A pillar is the main support in a temple!

Think of it! Being able to judge at Headquarters in Jerusalem, all the varied problems of the whole world! No human court could begin to do what God promises we shall be qualified to perform.

Notice, too, the Scripture: “He shall go out no more.” We are never to be removed from that reward and responsibility. Think of that! We are to be at Headquarters – setting policies – determining those decisions that need to come to Headquarters. (Compare  Acts 15 with this.) …

But more than that, this Church – the Philadelphia era – is to have the name of the capital city of the universe – the Headquarters of the world. That is where we are to be centered. The pillars of the Church ought always to be at Headquarters so that all may appeal to it for decisions. All of you are being trained for this job now – even if it is only by learning to pray for the work at Headquarters and by sending to Headquarters your tithes for the conduct of the work of this Church. …

So let us all hold fast to the responsibility given us and do it the very best we can. We are all to be judged according to what we have. Many who seem to be small now will become great spiritual pillars tomorrow-and for all eternity. And some who seem to be greater today may not appear to be so great tomorrow. God is no respecter of persons. …

God will not make of you what you are not willing to become!

What wonderful truth about the Government of God which lies hidden within these seven small letters! What wonderful promises are open to us – undreamed-of powers to remake the world and to be happy doing it! And to think that God extends to this Church as a body the positions of “PILLARS” in His Work.

Not everyone called to be an apostle was an overcomer – Judas departed from the faith. And not every one of you will succeed. But God’s promise stands firm. We CAN – if we overcome ourselves – STAND TOGETHER AS PILLARS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Yes, life has a purpose and God really has a plan for you.

For more on God’s plan for you, check out our free online book titled The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available:
Going on to perfection and building character.
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? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses some early history of the Seventh Day BaptistsSeventh-day AdventistsCG7-SalemJerusalem 7DCG, and COG-7th Day-Denver. Here are two historical sermons: Sardis Church Era: Beginnings, Doctrines, and Leaders and Sardis: SDBs, SDAs, & CG7s.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!The World’s False GospelThe Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

ZH: Global Food Prices Hit Fresh Decade High In October; WCG: Inflation: a result of sin

Friday, November 5th, 2021


(Pixabay photo)

COGwriter

We have seen another month of increases in food prices:

Global Food Prices Hit Fresh Decade High In October

November 5, 2021

In October, global food prices continued climbing higher for the third straight month, hitting fresh decade highs, led by vegetable oils and cereals. Higher food costs contribute to more inflationary pressures for the working poor, central banks, and governments.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index, which tracks a basket of food commodities, averaged 133.2 in October, up 3.9 points (3%) from September and 31.8 points (31.3%) from October 2020. The index has risen three consecutive months and is now at a new decade high (could hit record highs in 2022).

World vegetable oil and cereal prices were the two biggest movers in the index. Edible oils jumped 9.6% on the month to set a record high. Cereal prices rose 3.2%, within the basket, wheat jumped 5%.

A combination of bad weather in the Americas, higher shipping costs, and labor shortages have disrupted global food supply chains. The latest energy crunch has sent fertilizer prices sky-high and will increase food prices in 2022. https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/global-food-prices-hit-fresh-decade-high-october

Let me add that some fertilizer issues as well as various COVID policies/reactions, including printing up money are important contributors to the rise in food prices.

Jesus predicted famines (Matthew 24:7) and the New Testament further predicts food inflation (Revelation 6:5-6).

Notice the following:

3 “A prudent man forsees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).

We are seeing food inflation.

Those who believe the Bible should consider scriptures related to food, shortages, and inflation.

Notice the following scriptures:

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep —
11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11, NKJV throughout except as noted).

15 “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15).

But won’t God provide?

3 “The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish” (Proverbs 10:3).

Yes, He will, but look at the next verses:

4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. 5 He who gathers in the summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son of shame. (Proverbs 10:4-5).

So, the Bible speaks well of those who gather in the seasons when they can.

Bible believers should take proper steps.

Notice also something from the New Testament:

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

You are not just to sit around and expect others to take care of you. For more on physical preparation (and some of its limits), check out the article: Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians.

As far as inflation goes, the old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

Inflation: a result of sin

Inflation is the bad result of human government’s failure to restrain its own covetousness and ambition. There are two ways in which this happens.

Sometimes, in order to stimulate the economy, the government will (through a complicated series of banking transactions) cause more money to come into circulation. Credit becomes easier. Businesses expand and hire more people. Wages go up and people buy more.

But while there’s more money floating around, there aren’t as many things to buy with that money. Sellers find they have to (and they want to anyway, of course) raise their prices just to make sure they don’t run out of products.

And, almost always at the same time, the government itself spends more money than it takes in. Its workers get pay raises, more people are put on the government payroll, more programs are started. Tax revenues don’t cover it all.

The government has to either a) raise taxes, b) cut back or c) in effect, print the money to cover its deficit.

Human nature being what it is, c is the most painless alternative in the short run, and so the government chooses it. The extra money circulates through the country, but again, there aren’t as many extra things to buy with that money. So prices go up.

Viewed this way, inflation is a kind of hidden tax that the government imposes on its citizens. The famous British economist of the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes, a man who, ironically, promoted the kind of government policies that led to our present inflationary troubles, admitted:

“By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens … The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction.”

Thus, in a sense, inflation is the result of the breaking of divine law. First, “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet,” which applies to governments as well as to private citizens.

More explicitly, since inflation is the result of government’s manipulation of the value of its money for its own ends, the plain command of Deuteronomy 25:14-15 is violated:

“Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight [in Bible times prior to the Babylonian captivity, the value of money was determined by weight], a perfect and a just measure shalt thou have.”

Another command prohibits the government of Israel from unjustly enriching itself at the expense of its own citizens: “neither shall he [the king or sovereign] greatly multiply to himself silver and gold” (Deut. 17:17).

We should also remember that it was the evil kings of Israel and Judah, Meahem (II Kings 15:18) and Jehoiakim (II Kings 23:37) who imposed special taxations on the people. (While they did not do so by inflation, the principle still applies.) Finally, perhaps the boldest condemnation of inflationary sin is found in Amos:

“Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, saying, when will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah [quantity] small, and the shekel [money required to buy something] great, and falsifying the balances by deceit” (Amos 8:4-5).

When we consider that poor people — especially those on fixed incomes — are particularly unable to cope with inflation, this scripture takes on added power. (Calkins J. Good News, October-November 1979)

Yes, many governments, including that of the USA, have concluded that printing more money is often the preferred approach to many things–it is, in essence, a form of stealing and false witness. And it does contribute to food inflation.

The increasing of debt the way the USA has been printing money will be a factor in its coming destruction (cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses).

Much more food inflation will be coming.

Let’s look at Revelation 6:

6 And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.” (Revelation 6:6, NLT)

Revelation 6:6 is discussing food price inflation.

Last month, we uploaded the following related video:

12:03

Food Inflation & the 3rd Horseman of the Apocalypse

The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, UN’s FAO, and others are reporting food price inflation as well as often selected shortages of some food items. Might it get worse? Did Jesus prophesy famines? One analyst stated, “WE haven’t seen anything yet” in regards to rising food prices. Should Christians prepare? What about helping others? Does the ride of the third horseman of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6:5-6) point to a coming time of severe food inflation. Is more food price inflation coming? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.

Here is a link to the video: Food Inflation & the 3rd Horseman of the Apocalypse.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled Sorrows and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the O. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ld Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: El COVID-19 ¿Conduce al 666?
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.
21 items to prophetically watch in 2021 Much is happening. Dr. Thiel points to 21 items to watch (cf. Mark 13:37) in this article. Here is a link to a related sermon video: 21 Items to Watch in 2021.
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?
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.
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.
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: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? 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.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
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.