Continuing Church of God: Continuing what?

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)


As most readers now know, I am the physical leader of a group called the Continuing Church of God.

So, since the word “continuing” is part of the title, the question to be briefly addressed today is: Continuing what?

First, it needs to be understood that according to Jesus, the church itself would continue and the gates of Hades (death) would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Second, despite what the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics seem to wish to believe, the Bible is clear that no one city would remain the main location of the true church throughout the church age–it is the Church of God and not some particular city that is supposed to continue.

Let us look at what Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught on this matter:

22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes (Matthew 10:22-23).

14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come (Hebrews 13:14).

Since Christians have no continuing city, it is the Church of God, not some city such as Rome or Alexandria that was supposed to continue to lead Christ’s church.

While the Apostles Peter and Paul held leadership positions in the Church of God, after they died, the Apostle John rose to higher prominence, and despite certain Roman misinformation, John would have been the leading ecclesiastical authority on earth the last one to four decades of his life. He also wrote the last four to five books of the New Testament. Despite that, even the Apostle John had opposition (3 John 9-11).

But he also had supporters and followers. One that John apparently ordained was Polycarp of Smyrna. Unlike many in the so-called “apostolic succession” lists of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics, Polycarp was ordained by one or more of the original apostles according to relatively contemporaneous records, Polycarp wrote information that is still preserved (such as his letter to the Philippians), and a book/letter was written about him shortly after he was martyred (around 160 A.D.).

But was he faithful?

Well, according to pretty much all Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholics scholars, he was.

Notice some of what Ignatius wrote in the early 2nd century:

…to Polycarp, bishop of the Smyrnaeans…So approving am I of your godly mind, which is as it were, grounded upon an unmovable rock, that my praise exceeds all bounds…Do not let those who appear to be trustworthy yet who teach strange doctrines baffle you. Stand firm, like an anvil…Grace will be…always…with Polycarp (Ignatius. Letter to Polycarp. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers, Greek Texts and English Translations. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI), 2004, p. 194-201).

Irenaeus records this about Polycarp in the late 2nd century:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 4, Verse 3 and Chapter 3, Verse 4).

Notice that Irenaeus is claiming that Polycarp was appointed bishop (pastor/overseer) of the Church in Smyrna by the apostles in Asia (which would most likely have been John and Philip and perhaps some others) and that Polycarp continued the faith and practices of the original apostles. Notice that Irenaeus is claiming that there was a list of men who have succeeded Polycarp until the late 2nd century and that they held to the teaching of the apostles. Thus the only universally accepted apostle to “bishop” transfer of leadership for the 1st and 2nd centuries that continued until at least the end of the 2nd century was through Polycarp of Smyrna (more on “apostolic succession” can be found in the article simply titled Apostolic Succession).

So, what did Polycarp teach?

Well he taught the Bible, the kingdom of God, the resurrections, the commandments of God, the love of God, etc. Here is some of what he wrote in his Letter/epistle to the Philippians with some scriptural citations that I added:

Polycarp, and the presbyters with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.


I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because you have followed the example of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God (Colossians 3:12) and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days long gone by (cf. Philemon 5), endureth even until now, and bringeth forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 15:8), who for our sins suffered even unto death (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3), [but] “whom God raised from the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave” (Acts 2:24). “In whom, though now you see Him not, you believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8); into which joy many desire to enter (Matthew 13:17; cf. 1 Peter 4:13), knowing that “by grace you are saved, not of works,” (Ephesians 2:8-9) but by the will of God through Jesus Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10).


“Wherefore, girding up your loins” (cf. Ephesians 6:14;1 Peter 1:13), “serve the Lord in fear” (cf. Hebrews 12:28) and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and “believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory” (1 Peter 1:21) and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject (1 Peter 3:22; cf. Philippians 2:10). Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5). His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him (cf. Luke 11:50). But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also (1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Romans 8:11), if we do His will, and walk in His commandments (2 John 6;cf. Revelation 22:14-15), and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness (cf. John 7:18), covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; “not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing” (1 Peter 3:9), or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching : “Judge not, that you be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more” (Matthew 7:1-2, cf. Matthew 6:12,14; Luke 6:36-38), “Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20; Matthew 5:3,10).


These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because you have invited me to do so. For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom (cf. 2 Peter 3:15) of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and stedfastly taught the word of truth (Ephesians 1:13) in the presence of those who were then alive (cf. Acts 16:13). And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter (Philippians), which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbour, “is the mother of us all” (Galatians 4:26). For if any one be inwardly possessed of these graces, he hath fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that hath love is far from all sin (cf. James 2:8-9).


“But the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). Knowing, therefore, that “as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7), let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness (2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 6:11); and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord (John 14:15). Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity (Titus 2:4,5); and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet as respects the faith of the Lord, praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for all (cf. 1 Timothy 5:5), being far from all slandering, evil-speaking, false-witnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar is of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hid from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:25).

So, Polycarp realized that the true church was called the Church of God and that he placed a high priority on the scriptures and the doctrines in them, including the commandments and love.

This is what we in the Continuing Church of God also are striving to do.

Now, here are some of the beliefs that Polycarp and others in the early Church of God held to that we in the Continuing Church of God also hold to:

Baptism of Christians was by immersion and did not include infants.

The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor.

A Binitarian or Semi-Arian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.

Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.

Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion, which is when a spiritual begettal occurs.

Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.

Church Governance was properly hierarchical.

Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings; December 25th did not come from the Bible.

Circumcision, though not required, was long practiced by original Nazarene Christians.

Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance.

Deification of Christians (which begins after the first resurrection) was taught by the early leaders of the Church.

Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do.

Easterper se was not observed by the apostolic church.

The Fall (and Spring) Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.

The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.

The True Gospel included the kingdom of God and obedience to the law of God and was so understood by the faithful.

Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians.

Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.

Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.

Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.

Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught.

Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.

The Kingdom of God was preached.

Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same.

Lent was not observed by the primitive church.

Limbo was not taught by the original church.

Mary was the mother of Jesus, was blessed (Luke 1:28) and called blessed (Luke 1:48), but was not prayed to, etc. by true early Christians.

Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.

Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians.

Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.

Passover was kept annually on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor.

Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians.

Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.

The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians

The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.

Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

God’s Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ.

Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.

The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians–and in the order that the Church of God claims they are in.

Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and proclamation.

Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.

The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.

Unclean Meats were eaten by the early allegorists, but not by true Christians.

The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.

We in the Continuing Church of God are striving to best represent the most faithful remnant of the original Church of God that began on Pentecost in Acts 2 (c. 31 A.D.) and we believe and teach the doctrines of the original apostolic and faithful post-apostolic Church of God, and in particular, the Philadelphia-era of the Church of God.

The Apostle Jude wrote to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

How can one contend earnestly for the original faith if one does not know what what it consisted of?

Well, one of the goals of the Continuing Church of God is “To restore knowledge of more of the truths of original Christianity (Jude 3)” according to our mission statement and that is part of what we are striving to do. As well as to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God and His son Jesus the Christ.

The New Testament also says to:

32 continue with the Lord (Acts 11:23)
43 continue in the grace of God. (Acts 13:43)
22 exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
22 continue in His goodness. (Romans 11:22)
2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it (Colossians 4:2)
15 continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:15)
16 Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)
14 you must continue in the things which you have learned (2 Timothy 3:14)
1 Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1) or more literally, Let Philadelphia continue.

And we to be “continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT) which is also what we in the Continuing Church of God are striving to do.

Teaching the truth and love of the word of God to the world in general and those called in this age in particular (Matthew 28:19-20) is the mission of the Continuing Church of God. You can click here for Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ? This overview answers that and explains what the Church of God basically stands for. In the appendices provides information about certain complaints and as well as an overview about many COG-related groups.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos This is the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God in Tagalog, the primary language of the Philippines. Here is a link to the first Tagalog edition of the Bible News Prophecy magazine: MGA BALITA NG PROPESIYA NG BIBLIYA January-March 2013 edition.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a version in the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
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 essentially the most faithful in the Church of God, which is best represented by the Continuing Church of God.

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