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06/09/07 a.m. Notice the following ad that was in The Journal:
Hi, my name is Gary Alexander, and I’m a recovering Apocaholic. I preached the End of the World for the WCG from 1965 to 1975. Then, I did the same thing for the secular financial newsletter business (predicting Market Crashes, Dollars Collapsings, Wars, Disease, Famine—same Horsemen, new horses). In 1990, I woke up to see that the world is getting better by almost all metrics—and I became richer and happier by sharing this good news with others. I formed a whimsical group called “Apocaholics Anonymous.” To date, nobody in the Churches of God or the Doomsday press cares to join. Will you be the first? If you are on the fence, please read a list of books I can send you, or read my summary of why the Apocalypse will not ruin your retirement years. I was wrong for 25 years, and so were most of you. We don’t have to be wrong for the next 25 years.
While another ad claims that essentially the world will not have atomic war etc.
While it is true that many in the USA appear to be prospering now and that the USA has not been destroyed by war, the Bible warns against people like the above:
...knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:3-7).
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30).
The USA is so far in debt, it has no realistic way to get out of it. The becoming "richer" as Gary A. mentioned has really come as the result of the greatest shift from being a creditor to debtor nation that the world has ever seen. It is unsustainable and according to the Bible will contribute to the destruction of the USA (c.f. Habakkuk 2:6-8).
On other matters, my wife I have been in Greece the past week and a half and are scheduled to return today. My son Michael has been handling the updates for this page. So, those of you who have emailed me and who should have received a reply, but did not, should expect to receive one next week if appropriate.
We hope to be able to add some additional photos related to The History of Early Christianity from this trip.
06/07/07 a.m. The May 31, 2007 edition of The Journal is now out. It has an article about UCG's intended move to Texas (which has been covered here before), some comments related to S. Flurry's book "Raising the Ruins", information that the COG should pay attention to its early roots, and an update regarding Thailand.
Perhaps one of the most interesting items (at least for someone who lives in California) was the following story:
ARNOLD WHO?—Harry Sneider...a Church of God member since 1949, visits with a friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, film star and governor of California, Jan. 19, 2007, at the Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum during a promotion of the 2016 Olympic Games in L.A. The two men have been friends since 1969. Besides Mr. Schwarzenegger, Dr. Sneider has trained 20 athletes in nine sports and written a best-selling book, The Olympic Trainer. Harry and Sarah Sneider have three grown children, Debbie, Karl and Rob.
The front and back pages of the May issue are available at www.thejournal.org/issues/issue119/jf053107.pdf
On other matters, from The Journal:
Mr. Swenson said that “one of the controversies in evangelism we had in United [Mr. Swenson is a former elder of the United Church of God] was this statement, that the mission of the church is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all things.” In line with the traditional Church of God consensus on the second resurrection, “we’ve had people say in United and in the independent world that God’s done calling people. Now the job is just to prepare the bride.”
“Even if somebody had this great insight,” Mr. Swenson said, “I kind of think when Jesus returns He wants to find His servants so doing.” Mr. Swenson said no one needs to “change doctrine” (an apparent reference to the second-resurrection teaching), “to throw the baby out with the bath water, but maybe there are some things we can do.”
While it is not quite UCG's position that the job is now to prepare the bride, some do hold that view, and that has essentially been UCG's emphasis and financial focus. This year, however, it has greatly increased its spending for "Public proclamation".
Two articles of related interest may be:
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
On other matters, my son Michael recently completed a new quiz. This is one is entitled The Antichrist Quiz.
06/06/07 a.m. The date is not quite 666, but this may be a good time to remind people that the Church of God has been persecuted throughout history. Let's just focus on some of the persecutions from the Orthodox and the Lutherans. Notice the following:
There were binitarians (sometimes called Semi-Arians) Paulicians in Armenia who also kept the seventh-day Sabbath in the late fourth century, but this caused persecution:
Eustathius was succeeded by Erius, a priest, and semi-Arian...Erius also condemned fasts, stated feasts, prayers for the dead, and the celebration of Easter; he urged a purer morality and a stricter observance of the Sabbath. He had many followers, whose numbers were augmented by one of Paul of Samosota, from whom they were called Paulicians. Notwithstanding the opposition of the prelates, who invoked the secular arm to prevent the defection of their spiritual subjects, the tenets of this sect struck deep root in Armenia and many of its eastern provinces, and finally the great body of Christians in the former country, withdrew from the Episcopal communion, and publicly espoused the sentiments of the Paulicians...The bishops of Syria, Pontus, and Cappadocia, complained of the defection of their spiritual flocks...induced the Grecian emperors to commence, and continue for nearly two centuries, the most terrible persecutions against the Paulicians (Davis, Tamar. A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches. 1851; Reprinted 1995 by Commonwealth Publishing, Salt Lake City, pp. 20-23).
Those who influenced the Grecian emperors would have been associated with what is now called the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Furthermore, the Eastern Orthodox also oppressed the Bogomils. Notice this odd admission:
The Orthodox, as have all religions, berated other confessions and denominations. But Orthodoxy was always benign - no "jihad", no bloodshed, no forced conversions and no mass expulsions - perhaps with the exception of the forcible treatment of the Bogomils. It was all about power and money, of course. Bishops and archbishops did not hesitate to co-opt the Ottoman administration against their adversaries (Sam Vaknin Ph.D. The Crescent and the Cross - Religion and Community in the Balkans - The Communities of God American Chronicle - March 30, 2007).
Notice that the Orthodox claim to have not caused bloodshed, forced conversions, or mass expulsions of any group, except what they did to the Bogomils. I cannot comment on how they treated others, but obviously, they felt mistreating people that were associated with the true Church of God was acceptable (which the "Orthodox" also did earlier than this with the Paulicians in the Smyrna era).
The Lutherans decided to collectively condemn those who were against the trinity:
Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning the Three Persons, is true and to be believed without any doubting...They condemn all heresies which have sprung up against this article, as the Manichaeans, who assumed two principles... (The Confession of Faith: Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V. At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530. by Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560. Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau. Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, pp. 37-95.)
Overtime, many associated with Thyatira were called Anabaptists. The term means "re-baptizers" as they required that adults be baptized, so if someone had been baptized as an infant, they would have to be baptized later if they were to truly be in God's Church according to those who held Church of God doctrines.
The Anabaptists were condemned by the Lutherans because they did not support infant baptism, taught one could reject salvation, taught that Christians should not be soldiers, taught that there would be an end to punishments, and that Jesus would rule with His people on the earth:
Article IX: Of Baptism. Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace. They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children...
Article XII:...They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justified can lose the Holy Ghost...
Article XVI: Of Civil Affairs. Of Civil Affairs they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear civil office, to sit as judges, to judge matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, to award just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal contracts, to hold property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to marry a wife, to be given in marriage. They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices to Christians.
Article XVII: Of Christ's Return to Judgment. Also they teach that at the Consummation of the World Christ will appear for judgment and will raise up all the dead; He will give to the godly and elect eternal life and everlasting joys, but ungodly men and the devils He will condemn to be tormented without end. They condemn the Anabaptists, who think that there will be an end to the punishments of condemned men and devils. They condemn also others who are now spreading certain Jewish opinions, that before the resurrection of the dead the godly shall take possession of the kingdom of the world, the ungodly being everywhere suppressed. (The Confession of Faith: Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V. At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530. by Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560. Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau. Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, pp. 37-95.)
It should also be noted that Lutherans and other Protestants considered that those who relied on the Bible alone for doctrine promoted "ancient heresies".
In the sixteenth century, "Anabaptists" taught millenarianism and were condemned by Roman Catholics for that belief (Birch D. Trial Tribulation & Triumph. Queenship Publishing, Goleta (CA), 1996, p. lvii).
Look at this admission from the Protestant scholar and theologian H. Brown:
Although classical theology is certainly not without its problems, historically it is almost always the case that the appeal to the Bible alone...leads to the reemergence of ancient heresies...The Reformation began with the slogan "To the sources!" and sought to deal a fatal blow to the place of church tradition in shaping life and faith...Despite their efforts not to be influenced by the authority of tradition, each of the major Reformation churches found itself borrowing from the past and building up a traditionalism of its own...when the Anabaptists and other radicals discovered Scripture to be teaching things the Lutherans found detestable, Lutherans learned the usefulness of tradition...(Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 335,350-351).
It should be noted that the above is not limited to one Protestant scholar, even Martin Luther truly did not believe in rallying cry sola scriptura.
Furthermore, Martin Luther himself had many people killed. Notice the following:
"I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said that they should be slain; all their blood is upon my head. But I cast it on the Lord God, who commanded me to speak this way" (Werke, Erl. Edition, lix, p. 284 ‘Table Talk’ as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.96).
It is reported that 100,000 perished at that time. Martin Luther also advised his followers
...to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).
Hence, it would appear that Martin Luther had little problem persecuting those who differed from him, even if they felt their practices were based upon the Bible.
The above, and more (including the death penalty declared for those who kept Passover on the 14th), is in the article Persecutions from Church and State. It also discusses prophesied future persecutions.
06/05/07 a.m. How reliable is the Roman Catholic perception of early Church history?
Let's say that their scholars know that there is no proof of the commonly held position that Peter appointed Linus who appointed Cletus who then supposedly appointed Clement.
Portions of the early records are clearly in conflict. Notice:
Here are some of the claims about Cletus:
3. CLETUS OR ANACLETUS, ST. (76-88)..He made dispositions for the consecration of bishops and dictated the norms for ecclesiastical dress, prohibiting them from letting their beards and hair grow. He had a small chapel built over the tomb of St. Peter which was the nucleus on which Constantine erected the first great basilica in 324...(Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni, Roma, 1997, p. 1).
Notice what the Liber Pontificalis states:
III. CLETUS Cletus, by nationality a Roman, from the precinct Vicus Patricius, so of Emilianus, occupied the see 7 years, 1 month and twenty days. He was bishop in the time of Vespasian and Titus...
V. ANENCLETUS Anencletus, by nationality a Greek from Athens, son of Anthiocus, occupied the see 12 years, 10 months and 7 days. He was bishop is the time of Domitian from the the 10th consulship... (Translated by Louise Ropes Loomis. The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis. Originally published by Columbia University Press, NY 1916. 2006 edition by Evolution Publishing, Merchantville (NJ), pp. 7,9).
Yet at least one Catholic scholar claims:
At the present time no critic doubts that Cletus, Anacletus, Anencletus, are the same person. Anacletus is a Latin error; Cletus is a shortened (and more Christian) form of Anencletus (Chapman J. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Clement I. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV. Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).
How can people with two different nationalities, two different fathers, and two differing periods of leadership be the same person?
Obviously they cannot be.
The simple truth is that much of what is claimed about those first called "Bishops of Rome" was simply made up centuries later. The so-called idea of clear Apostolic succession from Peter through early bishops of Rome cannot be historically proven--and there are so many contradictions in the claims that it appears to be disprovable.
Interestingly, the Catholic scholar T.J. Campbell, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, admits this regarding Cletus/Anacletus:
That he ordained a certain number of priests is nearly all we have of positive record about him, but we know he died a martyr, perhaps about 91 (Campbell T.J. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Anacletus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
This means that his martyrdom is questionable. And also that statements such as that he dictated the norms for ecclesiastical dress, etc. are simply unfounded. Actually, he did not establish ecclesiatical dress. Notice:
The liturgical vestments have by no means remained the same from the founding of the Church until the present day. There is as great a difference between the vestments worn at the Holy Sacrifice in the pre-Constantinian period, and even in the following centuries, and those now customary at the services of the Church, as between the rite of the early Church and that of modern times...Four main periods may be distinguished in the development of the Christian priestly dress. The first embraces the era before Constantine. In that period the priestly dress did not yet differ from the secular costume in form and ornament. The dress of daily life was worn at the offices of the Church. In times of peace and under normal conditions better garments were probably used...The second period embraces the time from about the fourth to the ninth century. It is the most important epoch in the history ofliturgical vestments, the epoch in which not merely a priestly dress in a special sense was created, but one which at the same time determined the chief vestments of the present liturgical dress (Joseph Braun. Transcribed by Michael T. Barrett. Vestments. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
Furthermore, since according to the Liber Pontificalis it was bishop Cornelius who supposedly moved the body of Peter to its present location (nearly two centuries after Peter died), then it is not possible that Anacletus could have built a small chapel over the tomb of St. Peter that eventually became the basilica. Here is one written account (with the Latin afterwards):The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches this about Anacletus:
XXII Cornelius (Pope 251-253)...He during his pontificate at the request of a certain matron Lucina, took up the bodies of the apostles, blessed Peter and Paul up out of the catacombs by night; first the body of blessed Paul was received by the blessed Lucina] and laid in her own garden on the Via Ostiensis, near the place where he was beheaded; the body of the blessed Peter was received by the blessed Cornelius, the bishop, and laid near to the place where he was crucified, among the bodies of the holy bishops, in the shrine of Apollo, on the Mons Aureus, in the Batican, by the palace of Nero, on June 29. (Translated by Louise Ropes Loomis. The Book of the Popes (Liber Pontificalis. Originally published by Columbia University Press, NY 1916. 2006 edition by Evolution Publishing, Merchantville (NJ), pp. 25-26).
Hic temporibus suis, rogatus a quadam matrona Lucina, corpora apostolorum beati Petri et Pauli de Catacumbas levavit noctu: primum quidem corpus beati Pauli accepto beata Lucina posuit in praedio suo, via Ostense, iuxta locum ubi decollatus est; beati Petri accipit corpus beatus Cornelius episcopus et posuit iuxta locum ubi crucificus est, inter corpora sanctorum episcoporum, in templum Apollinis, in monte Aureum, in Vaticanum palatii Neroniani, III kal. iul. (The above is derived from Edmundson G. The Church in Rome in the First Century by THE BAMPTON LECTURES FOR 1913 at http://www.christianhospitality.org/pages_20items/pt2_first_church_rome.htm 11/19/05).
Whether he was the same as Cletus, who is also called Anencletus as well as Anacletus, has been the subject of endless discussion. Irenaeus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person. Tertullian omits him altogether. To add to the confusion, the order is different. Thus Irenaeus has Linus, Anacletus, Clement; whereas Augustine and Optatus put Clement before Anacletus. On the other hand, the "Catalogus Liberianus", the "Carmen contra Marcionem" and the "Liber Pontificalis", all most respectable for their antiquity, make Cletus and Anacletus distinct from each other; while the "Catalogus Felicianus" even sets the latter down as a Greek, the former as a Roman. Among the moderns, Hergenroether (Hist. de l'église, I 542, note) pronounces for their identity. So also the Bollandist De Smedt (Dissert. vii, 1). Dëllinger (Christenth. u K., 315) declares that "they are, without doubt, the same person"and that "the 'Catalogue of Liberius' merits little confidence before 230." Duchesne, " Origines chretiennes ", ranges himself on that side also but Jungmann (Dissert. Hist. Eccl., I, 123) leaves the question in doubt. The chronology is, of course, in consequence of all this, very undetermined, but Duchesne, in his "Origines", says "we are far from the day when the years, months, and days of the Pontifical Catalogue can be given with any guarantee of exactness. But is it necessary to be exact about popes of whom we know so little? We can accept the list of Irenaeus -- Linus, Anacletus, Clement, Evaristus, Alexander, Xystus, Telesphorus, Hyginus, Pius, and Anicetus. Anicetus reigned certainly in 154. That is all we can say with assurance about primitive pontifical chronology" (Campbell T.J. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Anacletus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
This causes a severe dilemma for the Roman Catholic Church. If there was both a Cletus and an Anacletus (which Hegesippus, the first one who allegedly made up the bishop list), it would suggest that Clement did not know Peter--and this is a major claim of the Roman Catholic Church, that he did. But if there is not both a Cletus and an Anacletus, then some of their earliest historical documents are clearly riddled with errors. And if all that is known for certain is that Anicetus was bishop of Rome in 154 (but the later book from Lopes says not until 155 A.D.), why does the Roman Church suggest that it is certain about its early origins?
The truth is that the researchers and scholars of the Roman Church actually are aware that there is no firm support for the general Catholic claims of apostolic succession.
The above and more is in the article What Do Catholic Scholars Really Understand About Early Church History.
06/04/07 a.m. CG7 announced:
The conference is from July 2 -7, 2007. Those who golf can get there a day earlier to register and golf. Unlike other COGs, CG7-Denver does not observe biblical Holy Days other than Passover and has conferences as opposed to the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. Two articles of possibly related interest may be:
General Conference President Whaid Rose, the board of directors, and the convention committee cordially invite you to join us in Overland Park, Kansas, for the 2007 Biennial General Conference Convention.
Each evening you'll"Celebrate the Journey" as you hear from well-known speakers in the Church of God (Seventh Day) on celebrating our church history and the journey with our heavenly Father.
Overland Park offers a myriad of attractions and activities, Family Day options, restaurants, superb convention facilities, and comfortable hotel rooms and suites. Our morning devotions, evening services, seminars, meals, and business meetings will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center next to the Sheraton Hotel. The children’s programs, NFYC, and SWORD will be held at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel conference rooms.
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?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D.
Last month, COCaic's David Hulme put together the following list which is part of his article titled A Partial List of Differences Between the Early New Testament Church and Today’s Christianity:
Consider some of the things the early church did not practice:
1. It did not observe Christmas, Lent, or Easter
2. It did not meet on the first day of the week, Sunday
3. It did not profess the Trinity
4. It did not participate in Holy Communion
5. It did not baptize infants
6. It did not advocate celibacy
7. It did not venerate saints
8. It did not think it was going to heaven
9. It did not have elaborate rituals
10. It did not build cathedrals
11. It did not take up political causes
12. It did not fight government
13. It did not withdraw from the world
14. It did not know itself as “Christian”
Consider some of the beliefs the early church did practice:
1. It observed annual holydays specified in the Hebrew Scriptures
2. It met on the seventh day of the week, Saturday
3. It believed that the Holy Spirit is the power of God, not a person
4. It commemorated Jesus’ death annually with bread and wine
5. It baptized adults by complete immersion in water
6. Its ministry married
7.Its saints were ordinary living people whom God had placed in His church
8. It believed the dead were dead and awaiting resurrection
9. It had simple ceremonies
10. It met in homes, halls and open places
11. It was politically neutral
12. It obeyed government authorities
13. It practiced social responsibility
14. It followed “the Way” defined by the law of God
While I am glad that COGaic now gives some idea of what it believes and does not believe, David Hulme is somewhat in error on the last point. According to the Bible in Acts 11:26 and 1 Peter 4:16, outsiders knew them as Christian, and early church writings confirm that this was a name that the early church also knew itself as. This, and other matters, are explained in the article about the Church of God, an International Community.
Documented details about many of the beliefs of the early Church can be found at the History of Early Christianity page.
06/03/07 a.m. What was the name of the early Christian church? What do the Roman Catholics and Living Church of God teach?
Notice the following:
The Name of the Church
Both groups recognize that the name of the early church was often "Church of God". Overtime, the RCs preferred Catholic which, while also in several of the early writings as a descriptor, is not used as the name of the Church in the New Testament.
Roman Catholic Church:
The Apostle Paul wrote:
PAUL called to be an Apostle of JESUS Christ, by the will of God, and Sothenes a brother, To the Church of God that is at Corinth, to the sanctified in Christ JESUS, called to be saints, with all that invocate the name of our Lord JESUS Christ in every place of theirs and ours (1 Corinthians 1:2, Rheims New Testament).
PAUL an Apostle of JESUS Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: to the Church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in all Achaia (2 Corinthians 1:1, Rheims New Testament).
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to converse in the house of God, which is the CHURCH of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15, Rheims New Testament).
(Note that I bolded the above, but did not capitalize anything--capitalization was by the RC translators).
What is commonly called 1 Clement begins with:
The Church of God which sojourneth in Rome to the Church of God which sojourneth in Corinth, to them which are called and sanctified by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, some of the earliest RC accepted writings refer to the church as the Church of God.
The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following:
St. Paul...summoned "the presbyters of the Church", and in the course of his charge addressed them as follows: "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost has placed you bishops to tend [poimainein] the Church of God" (xx, 28) (Joyce GH. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)..
The word Catholic (katholikos from katholou -- throughout the whole, i.e., universal) occurs in the Greek classics, e.g., in Aristotle and Polybius, and was freely used by the earlier Christian writers in what we may call its primitive and non-ecclesiastical sense. Thus we meet such phrases as the "the catholic resurrection" (Justin Martyr), "the catholic goodness of God" (Tertullian), "the four catholic winds" (Irenaeus), where we should now speak of "the general resurrection", "the absolute or universal goodness of God", "the four principal winds", etc...
The combination "the Catholic Church" (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about the year 110. The words run: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike] Church." However, in view of the context, some difference of opinion prevails as to the precise connotation of the italicized word...by the beginning of the fourth century it seems to have almost entirely supplanted the primitive and more general meaning...The reference (c. 155) to "the bishop of the catholic church in Smyrna" (Letter on the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, xvi), a phrase which necessarily presupposes a more technical use of the word, is due, some critics think, to interpolation...(Thurston H. Catholic. Transcribed by Gordon A. Jenness. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).
It probably should be mentioned that although Ignatius did use the expression "he katholike ekklesia" one time, he used the expression at "church of God" least three times in the other letters he wrote at that time.
The RCC has continued to sometimes use the expression "Church of God" throughout history. In the writings from the Second Council of Constantinople it uses the expression Church of God six times in reference to itself. Here is one of them:
But we, having a commandment to exhort the people with right doctrine, and to speak to the heart of Jerusalem, that is, the Church of God, do rightly make haste to sow in righteousness, and to reap the fruit of life; and kindling for ourselves the light of knowledge from the holy Scriptures, and the doctrine of the Fathers, we have considered it necessary to comprehend in certain Capitula, both the declaration of the truth, and the condemnation of heretics, and of their wickedness (Second Council of Constantinople, A.D. 553).
The Apostle Paul wrote:
Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32, NKJV).
Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? (1 Corinthians 11:22, NKJV).
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God (1 Corinthians 15:9, NKJV).
For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it (Galatians 1:13, NKJV).
Polycarp and the presbyters with him to the church of God that sojourns at Philippi (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians. In Holmes M. The Apostolic Fathers--Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI) p. 207).
Those in Polycarp's area wrote:
The church of God which sojourns at Smyrna to the church of God which sojourns in Philomelium (The Martyrdom of Polycarp. In Holmes M. The Apostolic Fathers--Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI) p. 227).
The Living Church of God teaches:
The biblical name of the true Church is "the Church of God." God names things what they are. The name is clearly stated in both singular and plural form in twelve different places in the New Testament—including Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:16; 1 Timothy 3:15. (Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. LCG, 2004).
At least nine times in the New Testament, and throughout history, the true church has used the expression "Church of God" though often with another word, like a city or the word "living". The term universal or "Catholic" was not in the Bible or shown in early writings to be the name of the true Church, simply a description of one aspect of it.
The preceding was taken from the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God? Have you read it yet?
06/02/07 a.m. FrontPageMag.com had an interesting article:
Last week, I had another conversation with an Israeli Arab construction boss by the unlikely name of Francis who was in charge of building a villa near our house in Herzelia. He told me that his family was Christian, and his name was given to him in honor of the Franciscan monks...
He went on to tell me...
“As a matter of fact, the whole Moslem world, not only the Arabs, simply couldn’t believe that the mighty Israeli Army that defeated the combined Arab forces in six days in 1967, and almost captured Cairo and Damascus in 1973, couldn’t defeat a small army of Hezbollah men. As usual the Moslems see things the way they want to see things. Most think that the present generation of Israelis have gone soft and can be defeated."
“The American bungling of the war in Iraq only added to their conviction that victory not only over Israel but also over the West is not only possible, but certain. The ramifications of these two bungling wars may bring an Islamic bloody Tsunami all over the West, not only in Israel. The sharks smell blood and these two wars gave them the green light to attack sooner than they had in mind. Your problem is that you are on the defensive and they have the option to choose the time and the places when and where to attack and there is nothing much you can do about it. When will you Westerners realize that half measures don’t work with people who are willing to die by the thousands for Allah to achieve their goal? In their eyes the Western World is simply an abomination on earth that has to be wiped out.”
He spoke quietly and I could just picture him in the school giving his students a lecture. I poured him another cup of coffee and encouraged him to continue.
“The Americans, the Europeans, and even you Israelis really don’t know what it is all about, do you? During the last generation hundreds of thousands of children have been taught all over the Moslem world in Madrass schools to become martyrs for Allah in order to kill the infidels. These youngsters not only are ready to do it, but are actually in the process of doing it. Bombs are going off all over the world killing and maiming thousands of people, not only on 9/11 in the US, in London Madrid and Bali, but in Africa, India, Bengladesh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many other places. The first signs of the Islamic Tsunami is already here, but the West doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand what is coming."
“The Americans, instead of realizing that this is as bad as World War Two, or even worse, are going to pull out of Iraq, handing it over to Iran on a silver platter. Next may come the Saudis and the rest of the Gulf states. When dirty bombs go off all over Western towns, who is going to stop the Iranians?"
“Now is the time to stop them, not only because they are developing nuclear bombs, but because Iran has become the base for all Islamic terrorist. They supply, money, men, and weapons to Islamic terrorist around the world, quite often through their diplomatic mail. Billions of petro-dollars that are pouring into Iran are being funneled into terrorist organizations world-wide. They believe, and perhaps rightly so, that the West will do nothing to stop them in achieving their goals. Is history repeating itself? Are the Iranians making the same mistake that Hitler made when he attacked Poland? Is the situation similar?"...
Is there a way to avoid the “Armageddon”?
“I think there are two ways to avoid it. One can be a major war which the West can win..."...“You said there are two ways to avoid Armageddon?” I remembered to ask him.“Sure, all the West has to do is follow Putin’s ways. He assassinates his enemies without blinking an eye. Assassinate the four or five Mullahs who run the show, Ahmadinejad, and a few more Iranian fanatics, and the War can be avoided. It may be difficult to do, but not impossible. With today’s hi- tech technology I am sure that new weapons against individuals are being prepared right now. I think it would be a better way of handling the matter than an all out war against Islam.”
I do not believe that Armageddon will be avoided. However, the Arabs will not be players by that time. http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27385
However, many events will involve the Arab-Moslem world and the Middle East. Here is a newly announced article The Bible and the Arab World In History and Prophecy.
In his latest semi-annual letter, LCG's RC Meredith announced:
In just the past six months, a combined total of 38 TV stations and radio stations began broadcasting the Tomorrow's World program for the first time. These stations reach 41 million households. They bring our total station count to 211 TV stations and 15 radio stations broadcasting in English, French, and Spanish...
The Tomorrow's World magazine circulation is now over 326,000, which is 20 percent higher than a year ago.
Two articles of related interest may include:
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and HWA expect from evangelists?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church.
06/01/07 a.m. Here are the most popular articles at the COGwriter site for May 2007:
I made additions to many of those articles during May. There are also additional links at the History of Early Christianity page as well.
From COGaic's Thomas E. Fitzpatrick:
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — Referencing recent reports from the front lines of the culture war, E.O. Wilson observes that in the continuing conflict between science and religion there are currently warriors and wimps. The warriors contend with and criticize their opponents over the origin of the universe, while the wimps deny the obvious differences implying that traditional Christian beliefs and scientific evidence can be reconciled. This age-old battle between evolution and creationism continues to be characterized by one group attacking the core convictions of the other, with the resultant response of counter attack and increased hostility...
Author Wilson, a secular humanist, laments that too much time and energy is wasted in arguing as adversaries over the origin of the creation. “Let’s not fuss over where it (the creation) came from! It’s here! It needs to be cared for!”
Written in the style of an impassioned letter to an imaginary pastor, The Creation declares the need for a dialogue of mutual understanding, respect and courtesy.
Can these two powerful social forces call a truce to address the transcendent issue of saving life on earth as we know it? Or do the definitive differences in opposing worldviews estrange these communities on all issues?
Wilson is convinced that they can come together and must.
Well, having read "both sides", I do not agree that it will happen short of conversion. It is only after scientists realize that there had to be a God of creation will they be willing to try to prove if the Bible is true, what is the meaning of life, etc. Several articles of possible interest may include:
Is God's Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what 'pseudo-scientists' refuse to acknowledge.
What is the Meaning of Life? What is your ultimate destiny?
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert Armstrong, and Augustine show?
On other matters, notice the following:
While everyone realizes that the Sabbath was kept by the children of Israel after Moses received the ten commandments on Mount Sinai, some have questioned whether or not the Sabbath was observed prior to this time.
The Bible does demonstrate that the Sabbath was in effect prior to Mount Sinai. Instead of listing the verses here, I would simply suggest reading the article Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? as it mainly contains biblical verses supporting the concept that all of the ten commandments were in effect prior to Mount Sinai.
But what about outside the Bible?
Remember, it was Jesus who taught that "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mark 2:27). He did not state that it was only made for a portion of humankind, like the Jews.
Does history indicate that others knew about the seventh-day?
According to a book by Chinese researchers, the seventh day cycle was known to the Chinese from the earliest times:
The week is not an institution based on natural phenomena, such as the day when the earth turns on its axis, the month with its lunar relationship, nor the year marking the earth's excursion about the sun. The week dates exclusively to the original days of creation, a period of time observed by the Chinese in spite of their thousands of years of isolation from the rest of the world and its customs.
An old Chinese saying, the returning seventh day...points up the fact that from very early times the Chinese have recognized the recurring seven day cycle which marks the week...
Even today, the seventh day of the first lunar month of the Chinese year is known as "the birthday of mankind"...Just as it was not the day of man's creation which was to be celebrated, but rather the following day of rest, so the Chinese celebrate the seventh day as a lingering memorial of God's creative work and the creation of mankind (Kang C.H., Nelson E.R. The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1979, p. 55).
Ethiopia has more people who keep some version of the seventh-day Sabbath than any other country on earth. Notice how long they claim to have been observing it:
W. W. Oliphant, an African church leader in the early years of the twentieth century says that the "Sabbath in Ethiopia [has] been kept from the days of Nimrod, about 2140 B.C. (read Gen. 10:8, 10), that is 700 years before the birth of Moses. . . . Africans or Ethiopians had been Sabbath observers from the days of Nimrod, the son of Cush" (Quoted in Bradford C.E. Sabbath Roots, The African Connection. L. Brown and Sons, Barre (VT), 1999, p. 26).
Noah's son Ham had a son named Cush. Hence, it is claimed that some of the descendants of Noah kept the Sabbath.
Nimrod founded Babel (Genesis 10:9-10). It should be noted that historians do believe that the ancient Babylonians taught that God ceased from His works on the Sabbath--however, they (the ancient Babylonians) twisted the reason and said that it was the seventh day that God ceased His destruction of humans through ceasing a six-day flood causing rain.
Be that as it may, it appears that various cultures were familiar with the idea of a seventh-day Sabbath prior to the giving of the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.
This makes total sense as God set-apart the Sabbath the day after creating humans. And the Chinese, those who became known as Babylonians, and all other humans lived fairly close together until the confounding of languages in Genesis 11:9. Thus, the idea that they would have known about the Sabbath, especially since Noah would have been expected to know about it, it certainly logical from a biblical perspective.
The above is included in the article The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad
05/31/07 a.m. Notice the comments from The Journal related to a conference where an independent COG leader (Guy Swenson, who, was formerly with UCG) mentioned comments from an SDA leader:
A doctrine with a problem
Mr. Swenson “knows a man who is in charge of evangelism in North America for the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Mr. Jacobs said, “and he
went to visit this man quite a few years ago now . . . He went there to learn how to do evangelism the way they [SDAs] did it.”
During the conversation with the Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Swenson explained the Church of God’s traditional teaching about the “second resurrection” and “great-white-throne judgment.” When Mr. Swenson had completed his explanation, the Adventist turned to him and asked: “How can you be motivated to do evangelism with a belief like that?”
The second-resurrection doctrine holds that people who are not converted during their life on earth before the Second Coming will come back to physical life during or after the Millennium, the 1,000 years that immediately follow the Second Coming. The significance of the doctrine is that no one—even if ill served by the inadequate efforts of missionaries and evangelists—will miss out on a chance at salvation. If they do not hear about Jesus and His sacrifice in this life in this age, they will hear about them and have opportunity to act on them after the second resurrection. That is the traditional belief of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God, and that belief is a comfort to many COG folks.
There is no problem with that doctrine. The problem is that we proclaim the Gospel out of love as we believe that living God's way of life is best not only after the resurrection, but also now. Also, one problem with the conference that Guy Swenson spoke at is that some of the speakers (like CEM's Ron Dart and Oasis' Pam Dewey) came out of CGI, a group that teaches against the position that there will be a physical place of safety.
While nearly all Protestants and Roman Catholics believe that this is the only day of salvation. We in the Church of God have a different view based upon what the Bible teaches. Here are some verses from the article Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the True Doctrine of Apocatastasis:
Acts 3:19-21, Peter states:
19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
Notice that the Bible makes clear that the idea of the times of restoration of all things, the apocatastasis, is not just a term limited to Acts 3:21 (where the Greek term apokatastasis is actually used), but that Peter is teaching that it is what God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began--essentially this is the theme of the Bible--how the God of love will offer salvation to all.
Notice that this time of restoration IS NOT YET here for all. But that it will come to pass.
James 1:18, James wrote:
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Does not the concept of a firstfruits specifically imply that there will be later fruits?
1 Timothy 2:1-6, Paul wrote:
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time...
Notice that God desires that all are to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Can not God make His desire, His will, come to pass? Also notice that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all--not just the relatively few elect--and His testimony will come to pass in due time. Are some improperly judging before due time?
Ephesians 1:10, Paul states:
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him.
Notice when He will gather all: in the dispensation of the fullness of the times. Does your church teach this? If not, does it really understand what the Bible teaches.
Psalms 77:7-9 asks:
7 Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
8 Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?
Since the intended answer to all those questions is "no", then it should be obvious that a time for God to be favorable and pour out His mercies will still come.
Isaiah 25:9 teaches:
9 And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
Notice that these people are not yet saved. This is a time in the future. When is the time? Actually it is the time the veil over then nations will be destroyed (Isaiah 25:7).
Psalm 65:1-2 shows that there is a time in the future that all flesh will come to God:
1 Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed. 2 O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.
Does your church really understand that?
Psalm 22:27-28 teaches :
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD's,
And He rules over the nations.
Has this happened? Are not many of the original families of the earth dead as nearly all perished in the great flood? Thus, this is something other than the millennium.
Psalm 72:4-5 teaches:
4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.
5 They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
Has this happened? Is this not for the future? Since this discusses "all generations" is it only for a millennium?
Psalm 86:8-9 teaches:
8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
9 All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
Since there are nations that died out during the flood and afterwards, how can this be unless God has a time in the future for this to occur?
Philippians 2:9-11, Paul states:
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Notice that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. How can they do that if they did not even hear the name of Jesus Christ in this life? Now it is important to distinguish just acknowledging Jesus is the Christ does not grant salvation--even the demons know (James 2:19). But certainly acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ is an important step and one that is necessary for salvation (Acts 2:38-39;4:10-12).
Lamentations 3:31-33, Jeremiah teaches that God has a plan of compassion for those He has cast off:
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32 Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies. 33 For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.
He does not afflict willingly, but according to His mercies for the plan which will allow Him to show the most possible compassion.
Ephesians 2:4-7, Paul states:
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Notice that His grace is shown in the ages to come. Has your church judged Him before the time?
Titus 2:11, Paul states:
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (NKJV)
Has the grace of God yet appeared to all men? Of course not. Thus, there is certainly a prophetic implication of this passage by Paul.
What about the expression "has appeared"? Does that mean that God's grace has been seen already by every one? No. There is a mistranslation of word order.
Here is the literal word order:
2014............. 1063...3588..5485. 3588. 2316. <9999 >......... 4992....3956.. 444
hath appeared... For.. the... grace... of.... God...that bringeth.....salvation to all..men (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft).
Thus a more literal translation is that:
It has appeared that the grace of God brings salvation to all men.
Paul goes on to state that for those who now know, they need to living Godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:12).
1 Corinthians 4:5, Paul states:
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.
Notice that God will be praised and that judgement is not be before the time when the Lord comes. Why then do most professing Christians have a judgement that condemns most who have ever lived?
1 Corinthians 15:28, Paul states:
28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Notice that this prophesy specifically states that a time is coming when all things will be subject to Him. This will be the time that all who have not had an opportunity will have an opportunity for salvation.
Revelation 21:3 teaches:
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Notice that there is a future time when they shall be His people.
As the following verses show, the truth of God will be hidden until a certain time:
26 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.
17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear.
2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
It should be clear to all that God has His time table for when He will have the truth known in order to call all. And that that time has not yet come.
Ephesians 3:8-11, Paul mentions that he was going to be able to preach things hidden to some of the Gentiles:
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Colossians 1:26-28, Paul says about the same thing:
26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 65:17-20, teaches when the hundred year period will occur:
17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
Notice that the above shows that there will be some who after everything is restored will be accursed. Thus while most will accept the offer of salvation, some sadly will wish to remain in their sins ("sin is the transgression of the law", 1 John 3:4, KJV).
1 Corinthians 4:5, Paul tells Christians:
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.
Notice that the time of final judgment has not yet come.
Want more information? One article of possible interest may be Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the True Doctrine of Apocatastasis . Here is a link to a booklet from LCG's RC Meredith titled Is This the ONLY Day of Salvation?
05/30/07 a.m. Throughout the ages people have wondered where things came from. Furthermore, they have wondered where God came from. The Bible itself gives some insight into this, although everyone will not necessarily be satisfied with the answers that it provides. So here is the first announcement of a COGwriter article titled Where Did God Come From?
The anti-COG AW site posted the following a couple of weeks ago:
Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University, is president of the semi-prestigious Evangelical Theological Society (ETS)... But what's this? Beckwith is stepping down and, along with his wife, entering communion with the Church of Rome!...This should set the papal cat among the Biblicist pigeons. Who's next? Bob Thiel?
No, as a former Roman Catholic, there are many reasons that the term "former" applies. Anyway, here is the first announcement of an article I have been thinking about for quite some time. It contains quotes from the Bible, Roman Catholic approved sources, and other sources to answer with strong documentation the question that the article poses.
I believe that people will be shocked to realize that scholars of the Roman Church admit that it originally had many doctrines which are still held by the Church of God and that it has added/changed many doctrines. It is titled Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God?
05/29/07 a.m. About 1400 years ago, Pope Gregory I announced:
About 1400 years ago, Pope Gregory I announced:
Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens.
It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, when he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lord's day to be kept free from all work. For, because he pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lord's day to be had in reverence; and, because he compels the people to judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed.
For this which is said by the prophet, You shall bring in no burden through your gates on the Sabbath day , could be held to as long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter. But after that the grace of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ has appeared, the commandments of the law which were spoken figuratively cannot be kept according to the letter (Gregory I. Registrum Epistolarum, Book 13, Letter 1 [In two manuscripts, one Colbert, and Vatic. F., " mense Septembri, indict. 6. " ] http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360213001.htm 04/15/07).
The idea of the Sabbath being a doctrine of antichrist was also confirmed later by a seventeenth century Catholic called Dionysius of Luxemburg who prophesied:
Antichrist...will teach that Saturday is to be observed instead of Sunday...He will read people's minds, raise the dead, reward his followers and punish the rest (Dionysius of Luxemburg, died 1682. as quoted in Prophecy For Today. TAN Books, 1984 version, p. 85. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, C.Ss, D.D. Bishop of Monterey-Fresno).
While I am not aware of that being taught in the Bible, it is apparently a teaching that some . A n article of possible interest may be
While I am not aware of that being taught in the Bible, it is apparently a teaching that someRoman Catholic's hold
n article of possible interest may beSome Doctrines of Antichrist.
CGOM-UK's latest newsletter states:
Many students of Biblical prophecy conclude that in the end-time there will arise an all-powerful world-dominating political and military entity in continental Europe. This final conglomerate of ten nations will in concert be a short-lived unstoppable force which will ally with a deceptive miracle-working religious power - seen as paganized Christianity. All who oppose their authority - which will be backed by the power of the Devil - will be hunted down and killed:
'...the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, those keeping the commandments of God, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ' Revelation 12:17
Current activity on both the political and religious fronts lends credence to this scenario. The moral and economic decline of the Anglo-Saxon nations contrasts with the strengthening of the European Union - a situation encouraged by the Vatican. A 'United States of Europe' under Catholic domination has long been its dream - a resurgence of the 'Holy Roman Empire'.
An article of related interest may be Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation.
Click here for previous COG news including CEM's move, UCG's move, UCG Council of Elders' changes, The Canon of the Bible, CGG & PCG and French immigration, Jews and the correct date of Pentecost, Unifying churches, Views condemning Millenarianism, WCG's "Feast" sites, John O's claim that Jesus was actually Greek, COGaic's David Hulme's claim that the early Church did not know itself as Christian, Why the Christians left Judea, Ambassador walking tour, the Pentecost Quiz, etc.
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Volume 11, issue 9 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2007