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03/27/07 a.m. Passover is coming soon (this Sunday after sunset), but many in the English-speaking world do not realize that Easter Sunday was instituted as a change of date for Passover and most languages (other than Teutonic ones like German and English) still use a term meaning Passover, Notice the following:
Paaske (Danish), Pask (Swedish), Pasqua (Italian), Pascoa (Portuguese), Paques (French), Pascua (Spanish)--which derives from Pascha. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-1224(198204)47%3A2%3C284%3AEAPOCA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-D
The English word "Easter" is not a biblical word. It is thought to be a translation of the name of the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess, "Eostre". In any case, it is an English word which is used today to translate the Greek term 'Pascha', which translates the Hebrew term for 'Passover'. http://greekorthodox.net.au/pages/Pascha_word.html
The Romance languages have adopted the Hebrew-Greek term: Latin, Pascha; Italian, Pasqua; Spanish, Pascua; French, Also some Celtic and Teutonic nations use it: Scottish, Pask; Dutch, Paschen; Danish, Paaske; Swedish, Pask; even in the German provinces of the Lower Rhine the people call the feast Paisken not Ostern. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05224d.htm
Yesterday, USA Today listed what it considered as the top 25 changes/trends in the past 25 years, especially in the USA. And while it got many correct and listed increases in various forms of immorality, it did not list increases in immorality, per se as one fo the trends. Furthermore, it left out that the USA has become the world's largest debtor nation (which most of us in the COGs consider to be the fulfillment of various prophecies, including those in Leviticus and Deuteronomy).
Two articles of possible interest may include:
Passover and the Early Church
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter?
On other matters, the URL for the website of Living University is http://www.livinguniv.com/.
There is also information at the News of the Living Church of God page.
03/26/07 a.m. After writing the article Why The Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick's Day, it occurred to me that I never put anything together about the forty-day period known as Lent.
One Catholic declared saint acknowledged:
Howbeit you should know that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist (Cassian John. Conference 21, THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF ABBOT THEONAS. ON THE RELAXATION DURING THE FIFTY DAYS. Chapter 30).
Notice that he admits that "the primitive church" did not keep Lent.
Anyway, a new article of possible interest may be Is Lent a Christian Holiday?
R. Wooten's United Christian Ministries announced:
A Christian Woman's Walk With Christ #5
Sponsored by United Christian Ministries, The Sabbatarian Church of God and Our Only Hope Web Ministry. Look for information for the July 2007 conference.
You are invited to the 5th annual "Christian Woman's Walk with Christ" in Fultondale, Alabama July 13 through July 15, 2007 to be held at the new Fairfield Inn.
Although UCM claims:
Our individual freedom in Jesus and the right to "work out our own salvation" has been one of the themes of our gospel. Church leadership should be present in order to:
The annual woman's conference seems to be its main expression of public proclamation (this is not to say that they do not preach sermons and travel to different areas, only that the most public thing that I am aware that they do is this woman's conference). Now I have no problem with teaching women, I just feel that there should be a lot more to public proclaiming salvation through Christ than that.
Speaking of women, an article of possible interest may be Women and the New Testament Church .
03/25/07 a.m. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. In it April Philadelphia Trumpet, PCG reported:
On March 25, Europe celebrates a golden anniversary—50 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome. It may have been apparent to few at the time, but the signing of that treaty in that ancient city on March 25, 1957, laid the groundwork for what is yet to become the singular most dominant force in geopolitics this century, the European Union...
By signing this treaty, six nations—Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux nations—placed control of coal and iron ore under their joint management, so none could individually exploit these resources for the manufacture of weapons of war. There followed six years of continuing diplomacy among these six nations, significantly led by France and Germany. These efforts created a common market, known as the European Economic Community (EEC). Signed in Rome on March 25, 1957, the eec Treaty, known as the Treaty of Rome, brought the six ECSC countries into a community whose aim would be to use trade, not war, to weld together a European community.
What was not publicized widely was the ultimate aim of the union’s founding fathers to take this trading combine into a final phase that would unite Europe economically, monetarily, industrially, politically and, finally, militarily...
It may be said that the spiritual birth of the European Union as a social and political system took place in Rome at the signing of that treaty 50 years ago...
...the EEC switched its sights to community enlargement during the ’70s and ’80s. In the 1970s, the EECopened its doors to Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1981 Greece joined, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. That same year, EEC members signed the first major amendments to the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act, ratified on July 1, 1987.
Enlargement—Building the Eastern Leg
The Single European Act was mainly an effort to hasten European integration. It amended the rules governing the operation of the main European institutions and expanded EEC powers, paving the way for a common foreign policy.
The true nature of the beast was finally emerging. Far from remaining true to its roots as a simple trading entity, the ultimate political aspirations of the founders of the EU were beginning to come into view. The eec was evolving into a political power.
I would like to add two points that the above article did not focus on.
The first is that what is now the EU began as a small organization involving three small countries located in the northern and western regions of Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, called the Benelux nations)--they then helped form the EEC.
Second, the Bible prophesied that this little horn would mainly expand South and East:
And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered (Daniel 8:9-12).
And while the above has had a past fulfillment, this prophecy seems to be dual (compare with Daniel 11:27-39). Anyway, the European Union has mainly expanded south and east of the Benelux nations. An article of related interest may be Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation.
This morning an earthquake hit Japan per this AP/AOL story:
TOKYO (March 25) - A powerful, deadly earthquake struck Japan early Sunday...
The magnitude-6.9 quake struck at 9:42 a.m. local time off the north coast of Ishikawa prefecture (state), Japan's Meteorological Agency said, about 225 miles northwest of Tokyo. The agency issued a tsunami warning urging people near the sea to move to higher land.
A small tsunami measuring 6 inches hit shore about 40 minutes after the quake, the agency said. The warning was lifted about an hour later.
Lower intensity temblors continued to strike the region throughout the afternoon. A strong temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 hit at 6:14 p.m., but there was no tsunami danger, the agency said.
The quake toppled buildings, triggered landslides, cut power, interfered with phone service, broke water mains and snarled public transportation. At least one person was killed and 162 others were hurt along the country's Sea of Japan coast, media reports said.
Fear of aftershocks and more landslides caused by the loosening of soil waterlogged by overnight rains continued to plague the quake zone.
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matt 24:7-8).
The Bible also shows that near the very end there will be one very large earthquake which will massively impact the islands on the earth. This is discussed in the article Islands and Bible Prophecy. There was also a 7.2 earthquake near the island of nation of Vanuatu today.
Speaking of prophecies, the COGs (other than CG7 and those that came from CGI) believe that the Bible teaches protection in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14), while evangelically-oriented Protestants believe in a "rapture". Here are two articles of possible interest:
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical 'place of safety' and includes quotes from the Bible and HWA on this subject
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach?
I hope to eventually write an article documenting what it appears that the Catholics and other Protestants believe as well concerning the end.
03/24/07 a.m. The March 2007 edition of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet contains chapter 6 of S. Flurry's 2006 book, Raising the Ruins. In it he states:
Mr. Armstrong...in Mystery of the Ages, he wrote in 1985, “At least 18 basic and essential truths have been restored to the true Church.”
But Mr. Armstrong never produced a written list himself. That task was left to the church’s editorial department. Richard Rice, who managed the church’s mail processing center, was the first one to compile a written list of the truths. It appeared in the Pastor General’s Report a few months after Mr. Armstrong died. Although the list wasn’t numbered, it included 18 points. The list church members are much more familiar with appeared five months later in the Worldwide News, with a short introduction by Mr. Tkach. According to Tkach, Editorial Services had prepared the list—and for the first time, it was numbered—there were 18 points of restored truth.
But there is nothing in Rice’s list or the one introduced by Tkach that says anything about the modern identity of Babylon. That’s because editors had been hard at work, even before Mr. Armstrong died, revising and omitting much of the church’s teaching about ancient Babylon and the development of the modern Babylonian religious system...
Less than four months after Mr. Armstrong died, Church Administration informed its ministers that several books would need to be “updated”...
Mystery of the Ages Serialization
Mr. Armstrong began serializing Mystery of the Ages in the July 1985 issue of the Plain Truth...
As with any serialization, one might expect editors to condense some portions of the text. But to do so in a way that completely alters the author’s clear intent cannot be considered an abridged version of the original text—rather a corrupt version.
The most glaring deletion occurs at the end of Chapter 6—“Mystery of the Church”—in the July-August 1986 Plain Truth installment...
The Plain Truth version then omits six paragraphs about the Philadelphia era and the leader who God prophesied to raise up during that era (Mr. Armstrong, as the church had always believed). Mr. Armstrong wrote, “To this era—or to its human leader—God had set before it an open door …. This church and/or its leader had but little strength. Neither were of great and powerful stature in Satan’s world but those of this era were faithful to the Word of God. Though much of the original gospel truth, imparted to the original apostles by Jesus in person, had been lost, it was restored through the Bible to this era of God’s Church who were faithful in keeping it.”
I am pleased that PCG has finally recognized that the Tkach listing of restored truths was incomplete and that WCG tried to revise history. Actually, the Tkach list left three of the restored truths out. The last three:
16. Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters
He immediately continued with, "Then the great deception, the counterfeit of Revelation 17:5, Babylon, the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, her daughter churches and who they are...Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived."
17. Satan Has Deceived the Whole World
He stated, "And the fact that Satan, the devil, has deceived the whole world. Brethren, Satan is the one who is guilty. Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived. And I think they really believe. God just hasn't opened any more truth to them. We don't sit in judgment of them. We're not judging them YET. We're going to do it and when WE judge them, then all truth will be opened and God will take away the blindness from their eyes so they can understand if they're willing. Today they couldn't understand it, even if they're willing. I dont think they're willing, either, as far as that goes."
18. We Are to Be Separate
He immediately continued with, "And how in Revelation 18:4 that God has called us out from among them, to be separate."
I should probably add that PCG has interpreted that last statement differently than HWA ever did as it forbids contact of its members with any that have a COG connection--that was NOT what HWA intended, but an extreme position of G. Flurry (please see the article Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God).
Also, perhaps it should be mentioned, that the revised version of HWA's Autobiography that was sent to nearly all WCG members in 1986/1987 had all references to Philadelphia and Sardis edited out. My wife and I documented this in an article that was published in The Journal four or five years ago.
We titled that article Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Those with a prior WCG background may find it of immense value.
In his April installment of the same book, Stephen Flurry concludes with:
Mystery of the Ages, as of mid-1988, was the church’s best-known, most-requested book. On the other hand, Tkachism believed it was “riddled with error.”
What would the Tkaches do?
Well, as he mentioned in that and the previous article, they would change it. And while PCG correctly has pointed out some of the revisionist practices that WCG did with HWA's writings, perhaps it should be noted that PCG did the same thing to the Mystery of the Ages!
While it is perfectly acceptable to revise one's own work (as HWA himself did), and if properly acknowledged, the work of others, PCG seems to have essentially followed the Tkach WCG's practices.
The following is from the article Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God:
Mystery of the Ages as God's Inspired Words and Prophesied?
PCG makes some true and some unusual claims about Herbert Armstrong's book the Mystery of the Ages:
The number one reason listed in the Pastor General's Report for discontinuing Mystery of the Ages was COST! That's right--COST! Now that is spiritual FRAUD! How could the WCG afford to donate $200,000 and more to various relief funds, and yet be unable to afford to print God's inspired words?! (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.129.).
Although I agree that WCG did not discontinue because of cost, it seems quite presumptuous to state that the Mystery of the Ages are "God's inspired words".
However, if PCG considers the Mystery of the Ages "God's inspired words", why did it edit portions out? In its 2003 version that it now controls, it edited out the statement on page 245 "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church". I presume that Gerald Flurry edited this out as it contradicts his own positions.
Robert Kuhne reports that Gerald Flurry's PCG has edited out at least four statements (numbers added by me) from HWA's Mystery of the Ages:
1) "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church". [MA, pg. 245 top, PCG first edition]
2) "Meanwhile, an individual few in Old Testament Israel did obey God and by becoming God's prophets, they became part of the very foundation of the New Testament CHURCH OF GOD. The Church is built on the solid FOUNDATION of the prophets (Old Testament) and apostles (New Testament), Jesus Christ himself being "the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20)." [MA, pg. 174 (both 1985 hardback & 2003 PCG copyright softback)]
3)"The prophets set in the foundation of the Church are those of the Old Testament, whose writings were used to form a considerable part of New Testament and gospel teaching and functioning. No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church." [MA, pg. 244 (1985 hardback), pg. 245 (1997 pirated softback)]
4) "All teaching came from Christ through the apostles -- and a few times Christ communicated to apostles via the prophets (of which there are none in God's Church today since the Bible for our time is complete)." [MA, pg. 350 (both 1985 hardback & 2003 PCG copyright softback)]
Presuming Robert Kuhne is accurate (as he has been) this suggests that some in PCG are attempting to "rewrite history"...
Notice another claim:
Revelation 10...So here we are in this transition. There’s a little a little book talked about and MOA in Verse 7 that’s talked about, that leads right into the second coming of Jesus Christ (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
Sadly, PCG who claims to be faithful and has accused WCG of rewriting history, has apparently done the same thing. Also, HWA never even hinted that his book Mystery of the Ages (MOA above) was prophesied in Revelation 10.
But sadly some feel because PCG has certain copyrights to HWA's materials, that somehow that makes them the most faithful. Do they not understand that PCG has changed it.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?
03/23/07 a.m. Legacy's Leon Sexton wrote:
The eating of these two symbols – the bread and the red wine – make up the main part of the Passover ceremony.
In addition, there is the foot-washing. Some Christian denominations choose to leave this out. But the Holy Bible includes it for a reason. In fact, the Church of God fellowship I was trained in traditionally put the foot-washing at the beginning of the Passover ceremony. However, the Apostle John puts it at the end.
I have looked at John's account and believe that Legacy has inaccurately made a change--Leon Sexton also really should look at Luke's account as well as the other Gospel writers.
CBCG's Fred Coulter looked into this earlier and noted:
Some confusion has arisen over the time of footwashing due to a mistranslation of John 13:2...A correct translation of this Greek phrase is "while supper is taking place"...In The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Berry uses the translation "supper taking place"...it is obvious that the time being designated was at or near the beginning of the Passover meal. John 13:2 could also be translated in the following manner: "As supper was beginning..." (Coulter F. The Christian Passover. York Publishing, Hollister (CA), 1999, pp. 242-243).
Anyway, today I updated the article on Legacy.
Ambassador is in the news:
History, density are uneasy neighbors in Pasadena
Los Angeles Times - March 23, 2007
Before Disney Hall and Segerstrom Hall, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena was renowned as one of the premier concert halls in Southern California.
Now it is at the center of tensions over the development of one of Old Town Pasadena's last relatively open spaces.
The 1,262-seat glass-and-concrete structure, surrounded by an elegant reflecting pool, opened in 1974 and is now owned by Harvest Rock Church, a nondenominational Christian congregation that draws about 1,000 worshipers each Sunday.
The auditorium is the cultural heart of the former Ambassador College campus, a 48-acre parcel that was owned by the Worldwide Church of God until 2004, when it began selling off the land in chunks to Harvest Rock, a school and two developers...
Critics say the city has gone overboard.
Sue Mossman, executive director of Pasadena Heritage, a historical preservation group, said she supports the Ambassador West plan because no historic buildings will be demolished but remains concerned about the effect it will have on the city's character. Critics say the city has gone overboard.
Essentially the plan is to build senior housing next to the auditorium.
In the latest issue of CG7's Bible Advocate, Jason Overman writes:
When the faith chapter, Hebrews 11, celebrates faith, it recounts mostly faithfulness. By faith Abel offered, Noah built, Abraham went, Jacob blessed, Moses refused, and Rahab received. Plainly, belief and behavior are inseparable. Further, we are invited to recall how this faith relates to God’s faithfulness: “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed . . . because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (v. 11). Hebrews beautifully conveys the rich textures of biblical faith.
Paul also blends faith with works, even fusing the two in the same sentence: “work of faith” (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11); “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). When Paul warns of those who “profess to know God, but in works they deny Him” (Titus 1:16), he sounds a lot like James.
These positive references to works indicate that Paul does not think of them as a theological problem. He regularly calls his congregations to good works (2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10) and in typical Jewish fashion believes that in the last judgment, God “will render to every man according to his works” (Romans 2:6, ASV; Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Matthew 16:27; 1 Peter 1:17).
Two articles of possibly related interest may include:
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG's I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is its president. Do you know much about them?
On other matters, I have again noticed that the term "Ronald Weinland" is one of the most popular ways search engines are finding the COGwriter website this month. If you do not know much about him or who he claims to be, you may wish read the article Brief Article on Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God.
03/22/07 a.m. Christianity Today reported:
Growth of Christianity Has Re-shaped Religious Landscape in China Christian Today - March 21, 2007
The growth of Christianity among intellectuals has fundamentally “reshaped the religious landscape in China”, says a leading Chinese academic and editor of what’s described as the country's “most authoritative” journal on religion. http://www.christiantoday.com/article/growth.of.christianity.has.reshaped.religious.landscape.in.china/10040.htm
Hopefully, this trend will reduce internet site blocks that prevent religious truth from being accessed by those in China. The Bible teaches that the Chinese will become more religious. Please see the article China, Its Biblical Past and Future : China in Prophecy.
CEM's Ron Dart reported:
It is a shock to see how long it has been since I have updated my site, but working on a book does interfere with daily postings.
The previous post was in 2006. He used to post at his blog much more often.
The Catholic News Service reported:
Pope: Truth, not trend, must guide Christians in dialogue with others
CNS - March 21, 2007
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Truth, and not what is "merely fashionable," must guide Christians as they enter into dialogue with those who hold different philosophies or religious beliefs, Pope Benedict XVI said...
The same news article had the following:
The pope's audience talk focused on St. Justin, the philosopher and martyr decapitated in Rome in 165 for being a Christian.
Pope Benedict explained that Justin spent his life pondering truth, particularly through Greek philosophy. His search led him to prayer, the study of the Jewish prophets and ultimately to Christianity.
He opened a school in Rome where he "initiated his students in the new religion, which he considered the true philosophy, the place where he found the truth and, therefore, the art of living justly," said the pope.
The truth introduced to the Jews and partially explained in philosophy finds its completeness in Christ, Pope Benedict said.
"The Old Testament and Greek philosophy are like two roads that lead to Christ," he said.
"The figure and the work of St. Justin mark the decisive option of the ancient church for philosophy, for reason, rather than for the pagan religion," which placed its emphasis on holding onto myths rather than using one's intelligence to seek truth, Pope Benedict said.
The truth is that Justin was an apostate, and even declared that at least one position held by the Roman Catholic Church means that one cannot be a Christian. How then can the Pope praise Justin? Surely he has read his writings. Those of you who would like to know what Justin really taught may be interested in reading the article Justin Martyr: Saint, Heretic, or Apostate?
Furthermore, I disagree with the Roman position that Greek philosophy is essentially as good as the Hebrew scriptures to lead one to Christ. Perhaps he and others should read the article Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings.
03/21/07 a.m. CGG has a link to the following news article from the Bend Weekly News for Oregon at its website:
Time is relative in determining chronology of Holy Week
by Michael Miller
There's a possibility that Good Friday should actually be Good Thursday - or maybe even Good Wednesday.
And there's a probability that Easter Sunday should be considered Easter Saturday Evening.
Whether the events of Holy Week, the days leading up to Jesus's death and resurrection, occurred as they are now celebrated continues to be an occasional topic of discussion and study, scholars like Kevin Zuber of Moody Bible Institute say.
The traditional chronology has Jesus having his Last Supper with his disciples on Thursday night, being crucified on Friday afternoon and being resurrected sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.
But the only clear time references of the events in the Gospels are that he was crucified on "preparation day" for a Sabbath and his tomb was found empty early "on the first day of the week." Jesus's own prophecy is that he would be in the "heart of the earth" for "three days and three nights" (Matthew 12:40).
Different calendars and understandings of time have to be taken into consideration, though.
Jewish days begin and end with sunset, meaning the "first day of the week" starts at sunset Saturday. Also, with the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning that fateful week, there may have been Sabbaths on two separate days that week - first the annual Sabbath of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and then the regular, weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week - much like there was recently. That means there could have been two separate preparation days in the same week. http://www.bendweekly.com/Living/3733.html
If Protestants kept the biblical Holy Days, they probably would have figured this out much sooner. But it is nice that some Protestant scholars are finally catching up the that which we in the COGs have taught for the longest time--since Jesus taught that He would be three days AND three nights in the grave AND He was put in the grave just BEFORE sunset on the first day of unleavened bread, the resurrection WAS NOT on Sunday (which was a title of a booklet that Herbert Armstrong wrote decades ago).
It should be noted that even early (and some later) Roman Catholics understood that the crucificion was on Wednesday and the resurrection was on Saturday, especially if there was to be a 72 hour period of Jesus being in the grave.
Notice the following which is in the article Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter?:
Jesus Was Arrested on a Wednesday and the Resurrection was Not on Sunday: How Long is Three Days and Three Nights?
In order to justify an Friday crucifixion and a Sunday morning resurrection, most who do so have relied directly or at least indirectly on the personal opinions of a late fourth/early fifth century writer named Augustine, who wrote:
Scripture again witnesses that the space of those three days themselves was not whole and entire, but the first day is counted as a whole from its last part, and the third day is itself also counted as a whole from its first part; but the intervening day, i.e. the second day, was absolutely a whole with its twenty-four hours, twelve of the day and twelve of the night. For He was crucified first by the voices of the Jews in the third hour, when it was the sixth day of the week. Then He hung on the cross itself at the sixth hour, and yielded up His spirit at the ninth hour...But from the evening of the burial to the dawn of the resurrection are thirty-six hours which is six squared. And this is referred to that ratio of the single to the double wherein there is the greatest consonance of co-adaptation. For twelve added to twenty-four suits the ratio of single added to double and makes thirty-six: namely a whole night with a whole day and a whole night, and this not without the mystery which I have noticed above. For not unfitly do we liken the spirit to the day and the body to the night. For the body of the Lord in His death and resurrection was a figure of our spirit and a type of our body. In this way, then, also that ratio of the single to the double is apparent in the thirty-six hours, when twelve are added to twenty-four (Augustine. On the Trinity (Book IV), Chapter 6. Translated by Arthur West Haddan, B.D. Revised and annotated by the Professor W.G.T. Shedd, D.D. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series One, Volume 3. Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D. American Edition, 1887. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
Augustine admits that Jesus is to be in the grave for three days, yet decides that he can calculate using a non-accepted form of mathematics. Notice that Jesus clearly said he would be in the grave for three days AND three nights:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).
Should we believe the Bible or human tradition? Does anyone really believe that single and double ratios of 12 are how Jesus expected His words to be understood?
The Roman Catholic position seems to be that 3 days and 3 nights is at the most 40 hours. Notice:
Christ lay forty hours in the tomb (Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia).
Even the current pope, Benedict XVI does not seem to know how long Jonah or Jesus were "swallowed up". Notice what he stated:
Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, so too Christ crucified was swallowed up into the heart of the earth (cf. Matthew 12:40) for the length of a Sabbath (Benedict XVI. Jesus Is Risen, and He Gives Us Peace. Easter Message, April 16, 2006. © Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana as reported by www.zenit.org/english).
The length of a Sabbath is one day and one night--about 24 hours. It is not three days and three nights. But Jesus and Jonah were "swallowed up" for 72 hours!
It may be of interest to note that writings prior to Augustine show that it was known that Jesus was arrested early on a Wednesday. The following was written around the late second/early third century:
For when we had eaten the passover on the third day of the week at even, we went forth to the Mount of Olives; and in the night they seized our Lord Jesus. And the next day, which was the fourth of the week, He remained in ward in the house of Caiaphas the high priest. And on the same day the chiefs of the people were assembled and took counsel against Him. And on the next day again, which was the fifth of the week, they brought Him to Pilate the governor. And He remained again in ward with Pilate the night after the fifth day of the week (Didascalia Apostolorum, Chapter 21, verse 14. R. Hugh Connolly, version Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929).
Now although the above account later states that the crucifixion was actually on Friday, that end portion of the Didascalia Apostolorum account does not agree with the scriptures. The Bible account does not allow for a holding period of a couple of days before the actual crucifixion (the biblical account specifically discusses the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread and this would not allow for such a delay). Thus, it was understood in the second century that Jesus' arrest occurred Tuesday night, and therefore must have been crucified on the following Wednesday.
Furthermore, notice what else was understood by some in the late second/early third century:
And again (there was) the day of the Sabbath; and then three hours of the night after the Sabbath, wherein our Lord slept. And that was fulfilled which He said: The Son of man must pass three days and three nights in the heart of the earth [Mt 12.40], as it is written in the Gospel. And again it is written in David: Behold, thou hast set my days in measure [Ps 38.6 LXX] (Didascalia Apostolorum, Chapter 21. R. Hugh Connolly, version. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929).
Notice that the above account teaches that Jesus was resurrected late evening on a Saturday. And while we in the COGs (Churches of God) would suggest that the resurrection occurred a few hours earlier, the above account (which is often used by Roman Catholics and others) shows that Jesus was NOT understood to have been resurrected on a Sunday!
Furthermore, according to a Roman Catholic nun called the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, Jesus was resurrected by 9:00 pm on a Saturday evening:
At the close of the Sabbath...I saw an angel appear to the Blessed Virigin. He announced to her that the Lord was near...It may have been almost nine o'clock when, in a solitary place near the gate, I saw the Blessed Virgin suddenly halt in her hurried walk...I saw the most holy soul of Jesus, resplendent with light and without a trace of wound...He uttered the words: "Mary, My Mother!" and appeared to embrace her. Then He vanished...
And I now had another vision...The risen Redeemer held in His hand a delicate white staff...At the instant the angel shot down to the tomb and the earth quaked, I saw the risen Lord appearing to His Blessed Mother (Emmerich AC. Edited by Carl E. Schmoger and translated by an American nun. The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations: From the Visions of the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich as recorded in the journals of Clemens Brentano, Volume IV. Nihil Obstat: Em. De Jaegher Can lib. cens. Brugis, 14 Februarii 1914. Imprimatur: A.C. De Schrevel Vic. Gen. Brugis, 14 Februarii 1914. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 2004, pp. 357,363,364).
And while there are many scriptural errors in the above accounts, this is an approved vision from the Roman Church and it too teaches seems to teach that Jesus was resurrected before the time we now commonly call Sunday. Later portions of the suggest that other "holy women" learned that Jesus was resurrected sometime on Sunday. Thus, it appears from A. Emmerich's account that she believes she saw Jesus resurrected on Saturday, Jesus appeared to Mary on Saturday, and that on Sunday He appeared to others.
In the third century, the Catholic bishop and saint Victorinus wrote:
Now is manifested the reason of the truth why the fourth day is called the Tetras, why we fast even to the ninth hour, or even to the evening, or why there should be a passing over even to the next day...
The man Christ Jesus, the originator of these things whereof we have above spoken, was taken prisoner by wicked hands, by a quaternion of soldiers. Therefore on account of His captivity by a quaternion, on account of the majesty of His works,--that the seasons also, wholesome to humanity, joyful for the harvests, tranquil for the tempests, may roll on,--therefore we make the fourth day a station or a supernumerary fast (Victorinus. On the Creation of the World. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).
The above account shows that the fasting occurred the fourth day (tetras means fourth) at the ninth hour (3:00 pm). That is the precise time of the death of Christ according to the Bible. Victorinus is admitting that later that day, there was the Passover time (as does the Bible). He also clearly states that Jesus was arrested on Wednesday. And that is correct (what is not correct is that the Bible does not allow that Jesus did not die until Friday, with a Wednesday arrest, which is what these sources seem to believe).
I will state here that Jesus was not just arrested on a Wednesday, He was crucified then too, just before the first day of unleavened bread. As that Sabbath was a high day (John 19:31), and since the day before the high days was considered to be a preparation day, it was that day, and not a Friday, that Jesus was crucified on. If professing Christians would keep the Holy Days, more would realize that.
It was also known, even by Roman supporters, in the second century that Jesus was buried for three days. Irenaeus wrote:
For the Judge of the whole world is thus proclaimed, who, having been hidden in the heart of the earth in a tomb for three days (Irenaeus. Fragments of Irenaeus, Fragment XXXI. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.).
Since the Bible clearly shows that Jesus was resurrected well before sunrise Sunday morning, there is simply no way that there were three days from Friday afternoon to prior to sunrise Sunday--let alone three days AND three nights.
Several articles of possibly related interest may include:
Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles which state that this should be a local decision. Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days which tells when those Holy Days actually are.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach?
Melito's Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? This article supplies some biblical answers.
03/20/07 a.m. Today marks the beginning of the new year as per God's comments in the Bible:
This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you (Exodus 12:2).
God then discusses various events (like Passover) that are to occur later in that first month.
It was about 11 years ago that the cogwriter site began, as it began about this time of year. Originally it was a free site from AOL and the old URL was quite long (it no longer works, but it used to be members.aol.com/GCGArroyo/home.htm). It began when a former GCG minister kept urging me to set up a local site related to the GCG videogroup that met in my house.
Prior to having the website, I was a frequent contributor to an online WCG-related forum (it may or may not still exist--I do not believe I posted anything there in the past nine years--but while I was doing some type of search several years ago, some postings from it came up--and someone there claimed that I had posted something and was arguing with someone and telling that person that he/she was me--this was funny, of course, as I had not posted anything there in years).
Anyway, once I had a COG-related website, I reduced my participation in that forum and now basically never post at any blogs or forums (actually I it has been many years since I posted at any blog--thus find it humorous even today when some insist that I do. And no, I have never posted at any anti-COG blog).
Anyway, getting back to the original website, the minister strongly encouraged it. And he, liked the name I chose.
However about a year later, Larry Salyer, now with UCG, but then with GCG, telephoned me at home and asked me to change the name to something else--this was in the Spring of 1998. He said, although there were no problems with me or my site, GCG was taking steps to protect its name--which he insisted legally included those initials. Although I thought that was a bit odd/inaccurate, I complied (I had no idea at that time that he was to become part of a takeover of GCG to occur six-seven months later).
Anyway, since I was with AOL and millions of names were already taken, I kept trying for new names for the website. I was looking for something like, "striving", "faithful", or other such single words, but the first ten or so names I submitted were not available.
It was sort of a fluke, but I tried "COGwriter" and it was available. I believe I emailed Larry Salyer back, told him I was dropping GCGArroyo and instead was going to use COGwriter--he wrote back and said that COGwriter would be fine (so if anyone "approved" the name COGwriter, it would have been Larry Salyer). Now I had spoken with various leaders then in GCG who liked my site, including Colin Adair (since deceased), Carl McNair (since deceased), Norbert Link (now in CEG), Dibar Apartian, Richard Ames, and Roderick C. Meredith (they were all in California back then, which is where I live).
And when the GCG takeover occurred in November 1998, the popularity of the COGwriter site greatly increased (and the visits to it still are increasing).
The COGwriter site remained an AOL free-site until about 23 months ago when I finally switched to www.cogwriter.com in order to get away from the ads that AOL kept imposing on the site. I had acquired the www.cogwriter.com URL a few years before when a reader of this page decided to buy it for me and give it to me as a gift I was not sure I wanted--but in 2005 I decided to fully utilize that name (prior to then www.cogwriter.com was simply a site that redirected to the AOL COGwriter site).
Anyway, contrary to claims once raised by RCG's David Pack and most recently raised at one of the anti-COG websites, I am not told what to post by anyone in LCG. I report what I feel is of profitable interest--and normally do some research in the morning, write up what I want to, and then post it. Of course that does lead to typos and similar errors (which at least one anti-COG site seems to relish)--but it normally insures that what I am posting is relatively timely (of course, many subjects are timeless, which helps on slower news days).
The existence and success of this site has long been an enigma for many formerly in the COG for several reasons. Some feel that the COG is only about making money, yet I accept none for this work. Some (and this includes most who consider themselves independents or semi-independents within the COGs) who misunderstand proper hierarchical church government cannot understand how a website such as COGwriter can exist and thrive for this many years as they do not believe that a COG with a governance like LCG should ever have allowed it. Some others rationalize that LCG's HQ must be approving what I post (not even possible, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph) or they would have shut me down (obviously not true).
The simple truth is that I believe that the Bible supports what LCG teaches. Hence, when I write a new article (which I am doing constantly) I really do not worry that LCG will have a problem with it, as I try to simply write what the Bible seems to support. Thus, LCG who really does believe the Bible does not have problems with my articles, etc. This does not mean that I do not ever speak with LCG's leaders (I do that frequently)--but normally what I speak to them about has little (if anything) to do with the website, but normally other matters (I write, consult, and do some research that various ones find helpful--and no I do not accept any salary or stipend for doing that).
As mentioned at the Who Is COGwriter page, the "keynote" verse for the COGwriter site is from Jude 3:
"contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints"
And that is what it strives to do, in spite of my flaws and limitations.
Yesterday I notice that after one enters the page of www.herbertwarmstrong.org, the next page states:
“Don't believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD!”
Herbert W. Armstrong, Plain Truth magazine, Sept. 1963, Personal pg.1
That is fabulous advice. And I would tell Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and everyone else the same thing. So this morning on the Who is COGwriter page, I placed 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!”
Now in that same issue of the old PT shows a bit more for that quote:
Now in that same issue of the old PT shows a bit more for that quote:
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.)
This is what I encourage readers of this website to do.
This is what I encourage readers of this website to do.
Legacy's latest letter arrived last night. In it, Leon Sexton wrote:
Legacy's latest letter arrived last night. In it, Leon Sexton wrote:
The Corinthians were not seeking peace with their brethren.. They were fighting among themselves in factions INSIDE the Corinthian congregation itself! They were separating themselves from one another! What did Paul say in 1 Corinthians 11 is the result of such conduct?
“…he brings judgment on himself as he eats and drinks. That
is why many of you are sick and weak, and several have died.”
The hurts and offenses were not being resolved! The result was sickness and even death. This is true in the Church today as much as it was in the first century! Church brethren today complain to me that the Church is not moving forward or not accomplishing the preaching of the Gospel like it used to. I think we can all agree that this is true. It is also true that we are separating into more and more factions.
Actually, while it is true that there are more and more factions, as far as accomplishing the preaching of the Gospel, on a per member basis, LCG's results have exceeded that of the old WCG. If people within the COGs would simply recognize that and support LCG, then the total impact (even with the reduced numbers overall) probably would exceed what the old WCG accomplished.
Some details are included in the article There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?
Click here for previous COG news (includes The Journal's reports on cooperation between certain semi-independent leaders, CBCG and Passover, COG critics, St. Patrick's Day, God's 6,000 year plan, LCG television results, Ignatius' view of the Godhead, HWA and the "false gospel". UCG's possible move, homosexuality, CGOM reporting Mayan/Chinese end of the world predictions, etc.
Click here to go back to the COGwriter home page
Click here for the Early Christianity page
Volume 11, issue 1 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2007