COG News: Emphasizing News of Interest to those Once in the Worldwide Church of God
"For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (I Corinthians 11:19).

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Click Here for the COGwriter Home Page which has articles on various sabbatarian Churches of God (COGs) and articles supporting beliefs of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God.

07/03/06 a.m. Yesterday, the anti-COG AW site had this to say about me:

To provide a bit of an introduction, Bob regards the Bible - his non-Protestant canon (which actually is the Protestant canon) - as a given. It kinda dropped out of the sky one day, intact, fully formed and fluttering gaily down beneath a Holy Spirit parachute. Those nasty Church Fathers and proto-Catholics had nothing to do with it. If I understand Bob correctly, he champions a reconstruction where the Eastern church created the current canon before it invented ikons, pillar saints and liturgical chants, and was still under the influence of those mysterious and mythical COG leaders of the apostolic age.

If one somehow defines divine inspiration dropping out of the sky, then perhaps. But actually my article on The New Testament Canon does explain from the Bible and early church writings apparently how the New Testament canon was put together (there is also an article I wrote on The Old Testament Canon). Now it is true that the NT canon that the Churches of God use is the same of the Protestants, Romans, and the Orthodox, but that does not mean that they were responsible for it. And as far as the Old Testament canon, there is strong evidence that the extra books the Romans accept were added to it later--it should also be mentioned that although the Orthodox use those extra books, even they admit that they are not to the same inspired level as the rest of the Bible.

Regarding the true Church, even the Roman Catholic scholars acknowledge that there was a faithful church in Asia Minor, commonly called the Eastern church (please see the article Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome). Also, the Roman Church clearly teaches that even it once opposed idols/icons. As far as liturgical chants, etc., one may wish to read the article Were the Duties of the Early Elders/Presbyters Mainly Sacramental?

Now, even secular theologians now recognize that there were major changes in beliefs, structure, etc. of what is now considered to be "Christian" orthodoxy. Those with interest, may also wish to read the article on Apostolic Succession.

As far as those "mythical COG leaders of the apostolic age"--these leaders were NOT mythical. There is more information about some of them than there are about most of the early leaders in the Apostolic Succession lists of the Romans and especially the Orthodox. A listing of leaders can be found on the page called Timelines. The Timelines page has articles on the first claimed 16 leaders of the Roman Church as well as articles on 14 early COG leaders.

It is also true that the Eastern Orthodox Church, even today, shares some views with the Churches of God. An article of related interest may be Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God.

As far as changes within what is called Christianity, let me repeat a quote I posted here recently. Notice the following admission from a Protestant scholar who has great respect for Roman Catholicism:

It is impossible to document what we now call orthodoxy in the first two centuries of Christianity...But we can document for all the centuries since then (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 5).

Notice that this Protestant scholar admits that the views held now by "Christian" orthodoxy are IMPOSSIPLE to document for the first two centuries. This suggests that this is because of the many CHANGES that occurred in the larger groups.

Yet, we in the COG have been able to document that our beliefs were held in the first two centuries of Christianity--and this by mainly quoting the Bible as well as Roman/Orthodox/Protestant approved sources. Over two dozen such beliefs are documented at the Early Christianity page. These beliefs do show what the true church believed in the beginning, and that current "Christian" orthodoxy had to have changed its views as they often disagree with the earlier positions held by the true church.

07/02/06 a.m. Do you know that in the 1800s the sabbath was kept in China? Here is a link to an old Good News article, reformatted now, titled The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers. Here a few excerpts:

At the close of 1846 Hung journeyed to Canton after hearing that a Christian missionary from the West resided there. He studied there under Mr. Roberts, the missionary, for almost a month, and read new portions of the Bible. Young missionaries from abroad, also studying
under Mr. Roberts, were jealous of Hung’s talents and earnestness. They brought about his removal! Hung left the city somewhat saddened.

Returning to south-central China, Hung found that the number of villagers who listened to him and were baptized soon numbered almost 2000. They had to form congregations among themselves, and became known as “the congregations of the worshippers of God.” For short,
they were dubbed "God- worshippers."

Continuous study of the Bib!e convinced Hung that his people should not smoke tobacco or opium-which the British were selling to the Chinese-that they should refrain from intoxicating drinks except under special circumstances, and that the Sabbath should be observed on the seventh day. The missionaries were quite displeased about the fact that “the Sabbath is observed not upon the same day as in Europe, theirs being the Saturday of our reckoning.”

Hung further noticed that Jesus didn‘t rise: on Sunday morning, but “three days after his death ’!

The article was written by the late Dr. Hoeh.

LCG reported:

Michael Gill reports from Australia: We have had success with a new Sydney station added to our growing list!  TVS–Ch31 will commence airing the program on Sunday, July 16, at 6:00 a.m. with a repeat on Thursday at 5:30 a.m.  Also, we will commence broadcasting the Tomorrow’s World on radio in Sri Lanka starting on July 2 at 6:00 a.m.  It will be nationwide on the TNL network. It is exciting to see this progress and the message being both seen and heard by more and more people before the end of this age. 

Based on Thursday’s response, we expected a 3,000-plus weekend, and that did happen!  The record for Is This The Only Day of Salvation?-booklet offers was indeed shattered. 

This weekend we aired program #278, “Life After Death,” which offered ODS.  From Thursday through Sunday, we received 2,623 phone calls, and by the time this week is over, we are expecting nearly, 3,400 replies. 

This booklet came out in the fall of 1999 and has been offered 11 times on the telecast.  The last time it was offered was more than a year ago in program #242, “Is There Life After Death?”, and that program brought in 2,370 responses.  Thus, this week’s offer is bringing in about 1,000 more replies—a 42 percent increase—over last year’s record.—Wayne Pyle  

LCG's television responses, which were already the highest for any COG, keep increasing.

07/01/06 a.m. Last night, ICG's Mark Armstrong reported:

The Garner Ted Armstrong program aired on the “i” Network (formerly PAX), Thursday morning at 6:30 EST. and Pacific time, and we are scheduled for an additional twelve weeks on that network.  The program was on the subject of death and the resurrection, and brought (together with our other local stations) 576 responses with two hundred-seventy first timers.  We were disappointed to learn that Direct TV was airing an animal program during our time slot, even though the channel banner indicated Garner Ted Armstrong.  This should be corrected before airtime next week, with some compensation for the mishap. 

June 2006 is now history. These were the top 10 articles at the COGwriter site for June:

  1. History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church?
  2. Why Not the Restored Church of God? This group claims to be the most faithful. The information in this article suggests otherwise.
  3. Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
  4. Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
  5. Polycarp of Smyrna Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor.
  6. SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The COG is NOT part of the Seventh Day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, and differences in approaching doctrine.
  7. Church of God, Seventh Day Nearly all COG's I am aware of trace their history through this group. Do you know much about them?
  8. Joyce's Photos of Rome Some photos, including "Satan's throne".
  9. The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present .
  10. Christian Educational Ministries Ron Dart's confederation (not a church).

I am surprised that the RCG article was so popular as RCG is a fairly small group--but its internet presence is probably a major part of the reason. This is the first time that any of the "photo" articles made the top ten (this is also the first time that CEM made the list). There were updates to at least 8 of those 10 articles last month.

For the above list, I do not include popular items such as the three news pages, COGlinks (COG listing), and our newest site search. The site search (shown below) has become fairly popular now:

On other matters, in addition to differing understandings of salvation and the ten commandments, one of the reasons that the COGs are NOT Protestant is that we believe the Bible and do not believe that anyone, including Martin Luther, is entitled to change it.

Romans 3:28 states,

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law (NKJV).

Yet, Martin Luther, in his German translation of the Bible, specifically added the word "allein" (English 'alone') to Romans 3:28-a word that is not in the original Greek:

...Martin Luther would once again emphasize...that we are "justified by faith alone", apart from the works of the Law" (Rom. 3:28), adding the German word allein ("alone") in his translation of the Greek text. There is certainly a trace of Marcion in Luther's move (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 64-65).

Martin Luther reportedly said,

You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: 'Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,'…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word 'alone' is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).

This passage strongly suggests that Martin Luther viewed his opinions, and not the actual Bible as the primary authority--a concept which this author will name prima Luther. By "papists" he is condemning Roman Catholics, but is needs to be understood that Protestant scholars (like HOJ Brown) also realize that Martin Luther changed that scripture.

A second rallying cry for followers of Martin Luther was the expression sola fide (faith alone). But it appears that Martin Luther may have intentionally mistranslated Romans 3:28 for the pretence of supposedly having scriptural justification for his sola fide doctrine.

Romans 4:15 states, "because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression" (NKJV). In his German translation, Martin Luther added the word 'only' before the term 'wrath' to Romans 4:15 (O'Hare, p. 201). This presumably was to attempt to justify his position to discredit the law.

Martin Luther had a fairly low opinion of at least 6 books of the Bible. An article of possible interest would be Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?

06/30/06 a.m. Last night, UCG's World News & Prophecy arrived and contained the following from Darris McNeely:

The Bible points to Egypt

The Bible centers on this area of the Middle East in the fascinating prophecy about the king of the South in Daniel 11. In this prophecy (set at the time of the end, prior to Christ's return to earth), a conflict arises between two figures, the king of the North and the king of the South.

Notice verse 40: "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through."

Bible scholars have long identified the king of the North as the leader of a power centered in Europe. The king of the South is a leader of a power to the south of Jerusalem. (Directions in this and other biblical prophecies are determined from Jerusalem.)

Looking at the modern geopolitical picture, we conclude that this person, the king of the South, will likely be an individual who manages to unite the Arab/Islamic powers of the Middle East and mount some kind of push or attack that threatens the growing power of the king of the North...

Who this person will be and exactly which nations will make up this southern power is not known at this time. History teaches us that times and events usually bring great men to power at the moment of crisis to lead major movements. Often these people come out of relative obscurity and can be someone least expected to lead powerful forces.

But to carry on with Daniel's prophecy, verses 41-43 show the path that the king of the North takes in his response to the move of the king of the South.

"He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels."

Egypt and Libya are two North African countries specifically mentioned. This power from the north will occupy them.

Why is Egypt targeted? Is it the political center of this southern alliance? Egypt has once before attempted to unite Arab power into one bloc. In 1952 Egyptian General Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the corrupt monarchy of King Farouk. His dreams of a pan-Arabic league of states were never fully realized.

The above is either a change back to the more traditional position on the King of the South, or Darris McNeely's personal opinion. It differs from previous UCG speculation that Iran could be the King of the South (PCG specificially teaches that Iran is the King of the South, please see the article Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God)--but since Iran IS NOT South of Jerusalem, LCG has long said that it cannot be. UCG's above position is closer to LCG's, hence perhaps this will no longer be one of the Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God.

Information on the King of the South can be found in the article The King of the South.

Yesterdy, ABC News reported:

Has Noah's Ark Been Found?

Christian Archaeology Team Believes It Has Found the Ark 

ABC News June 29, 2006 — A team of Texas archaeologists believe they may have located the remains of Noah's Ark in Iran's Elburz mountain range.

"I can't imagine what it could be if it is not the Ark," said Arch Bonnema of the Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration (B.A.S.E) Institute, a Christian archeology organization dedicated to looking for biblical artifacts...

The Bible places the Ark in the mountains of Ararat, a mountain range theologians believe spans hundreds of miles, which the team says is consistent with their find in Iran. The Bible also describes the Ark's dimensions as being 300 cubits by 50 cubits — about the size of a small aircraft carrier. The B.A.S.E. Institute's discovery is similar in size and scale. "It is provocative to think that this could be the lost ark of Noah," Cornuke said Throughout history, people have been searching for the Ark to help prove God's existence.

"There's this idea, if we can prove that the ark existed then we can prove that the story existed, and more importantly, we can prove that God existed," said Bruce Feiler, author of "Where God Was Born."

I have no idea if Noah's Ark has been found, but believe that it does not need to be found to prove God's existence as I believe that the facts of biological science prove it currently. Three articles of interest may be:

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?

On other matters, I noticed that my COGlinks, List of Churches of God page did not have my article on CEM (though CEM's site was listed). Anyway, that was corrected and this morning I updated the article Teachings of Christian Education Ministries.

06/29/06 a.m. Yesterday, CGG reported this news story:

In France and in almost every other European country, Christianity appears to be in a free fall. Although up to 88 percent of the French identify themselves as Roman Catholic, only about 5 percent go to church on most Sundays; 60 percent say they "never" or "practically never" go.

But Islam is a thriving force. The 12 million to 15 million Muslims who live in Europe make up less than 5 percent of the total population, but the vitality of their faith has led some experts to predict that Islam will become the continent's dominant faith.

Princeton University historian Bernard Lewis, the dean of American Middle East scholars, flatly predicts that Europe will be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest."

George Weigel, a leading American theologian, frets about "a Europe in which the muezzin summons the faithful to prayer from the central loggia of St. Peter's in Rome, while Notre Dame has been transformed into Hagia Sophia on the Seine - a great Christian church become an Islamic museum."

Lewis and Weigel represent a trend among American thinkers who say they fear Europe's doom if it does not re-Christianize, and soon.

We in the COGs have long believed that the Bible teaches that there will be a revival of worldly Christianity (as opposed to true, COG, Christianity) in Europe. It makes sense that certain intellectuals will realize this before it occurs. The Vatican, and some of its prophets, throughout history, have taught this. The difference is that the Vatican considers this to be a good thing for the world, while we in the COGs see it as a major fulfillment of prophecies in the Book of Revelation about the Beast and the False Prophet: Europa.

06/28/06 p.m. In his latest newsletter, SDA Dr. Bacchiocchi reported:

Contrary to what some Adventists believe, Ellen White did not support the anti-Triniterian positions of some of our pioneers. On the contrary, she was largely responsible for leading most of our pioneers to accept the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. An exception was Uriah Smith, who remained anti-Triniterian to the end of his life (Bacchiocchi S. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 150. June 27, 2006).

What Dr. B. is clearly admitting is that the church that became the SDA church was originally anti-trinitarian, but that Ellen White changed it. This means that the SDAs understand that their claimed ancestors were NOT trinitarians. Any who believe that the SDAs have a traceable history like the COGs need to understand that THEY changed criticial and important doctrines in order to accept the "prophecies" and ideas of Ellen White. If God had wanted the true church to have those ideas, certainly He would not have waited until the end of the 19th century and then have His church move closer to positions held by Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.

His newsletter also featured an article by SDA scholar Dr. Jerry Moon that stated:

In 1846 James White dismissed the doctrine of the Trinity as "the old unscriptural trinitarian creed."2 A century later, in 1946, the denomination he co-founded voted a "Fundamental Beliefs" statement that specifically endorsed the doctrine of the Trinity. That most of the early leaders among Seventh-day Adventists held an antitrinitarian theology, and that a major shift has since occured, has become standard Adventist history...That Gane's characterization of Ellen White as a "trinitarian monotheist" is accurate regarding her mature concept of God, from 1898 onward. In the 1840s, however, she did not yet have all the components of that view in place. Her mature view developed through a 40-year process that can be extensively documented...At the core of the debate is the question whether Ellen White's position on the Trinity ever changed. Some assume that she never changed, that either she always believed in the Trinity or never believed in the Trinity.9 There is ample evidence, however, that Ellen White's beliefs did change...Brick by conceptual brick, (perhaps without even being aware of it herself) she was slowly but surely dismantling the substructure of the antitrinitarian view, and building a trinitarian view. In another clear break with the prevailing semi-Arian consensus, she declared in 1878 that Christ was the "eternal Son."41...In 1890, she followed up her 1888 affirmation of Christ's unity with the Father (in nature, character, and purpose) with perhaps her last major statement that can still be read ambiguously. "The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both."46 Retrospectively, this phrase harmonizes perfectly with her later statements (especially Desire of Ages, 530) that Christ is "self-existent" and that His Deity is not "derived" from the Father. It is also possible, however, to read the sentence from a binitarian (two-person Godhead) or even semi-Arian (Christ inferior to the Father) perspective...A pamphlet published in 1897 carried the next major component in her developing doctrine of God, that the Holy Spirit is "the third person of the Godhead." This concept would receive wider attention and more permanent form in The Desire of Ages (1898), where she repeated and emphasized the previous two points: "In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived," and the Holy Spirit is the "Third Person of the Godhead."49 In 1899 she confirmed the other side of the paradox, that in His "person," Christ was "distinct" from the Father.50 Here the essential trinitarian paradox of the unity of God in a plurality of persons is clearly articulated, and her trinitarianism is essentially complete. All that remains for her capstone statements of 1901 and 1905 is to affirm most explicitly that the three "eternal heavenly dignitaries," the "three highest powers in heaven," the "three living persons of the heavenly trio," are one in nature, character, and purpose, but not in person.51...

In the first part of our study we noted that the 1946 General Conference session voted the first officially Adventist endorsement of belief in the Trinity,81 just 100 years after James White's strong rejection of that idea in the 1846 Day-Star. This change was not a simple reversal. The evidence is that Ellen White agreed with the essential positive point of James's belief, namely that "the Father and the Son" are "two distinct, literal, tangible persons." Subsequent evidence shows that she also agreed with James's negative point: that the traditional, philosophical concepts held by many trinitarians did "spiritualize away" the personal reality of the Father and the Son.82

Soon after this she added the conviction, based on visions, that both Christ and the Father have tangible forms. She progressively affirmed the eternal equality of Christ and the Father, that Christ was not created, and by 1888, that an adequate concept of the atonement demands the full and eternal Deity of Christ. Only in the 1890s did she become aware of the full individuality and personhood of the Holy Spirit, but when she did, she referred to the Holy Spirit in literal and tangible terms much like those she had used in 1850 to describe the Father and the Son. For instance, at Avondale in 1899 she declared, "the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; . . . He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind."83

This confirms the fourfold hypothesis with which this article opened. First, E. R. Gane's characterization of Ellen White as a "trinitarian monotheist" is accurate regarding her mature concept of God, from 1898 onward. (Moon J. "Ellen White and the Trinity"1. ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 150. June 27, 2006).

Dr. Moon is admitting that the early Adventists were Semi-Arian, that is a Binitarian View! The view held by the faithful Church of God. So Dr. Moon admits that it was Ellen White who made a break with semi-arianism, but that even her writings at first seemed to support binitarianism. It also should be added that Dr. Moon also stated, "her husband James in 1846 when he condemned the "old unscriptural trinitarian creed" for "spiritualiz[ing] away the existence of the Father and the Son, as two distinct, literal, tangible persons."" In other words, Dr. Moon says that history shows that James White originally believed that the trinity was false, and the the Godhead consisted of the Father and the Son--a binitarian view!

Ellen White, the Trinity, and 666 are important ways that the SDAs differ from the COGs.

WCG sent me (and many others) an email yesterday that stated:

I know, theology is a boring subject. But, wait! Don’t turn the page. Theology is an exciting subject because it’s central to our Christian lives, and so is knowing something about the history of the church, our heritage. Studying historical theology also connects us to two millennia of history and the ancestral people of our church.

Two millennia of history. Yet the first two centuries describe a church quite different from the current WCG ( please see the Early Christianity page).

Do certain non-COG scholars understand that many teachings of what is now accepted as orthodox Christianity (many doctrines held by the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants) were not held originally?


Notice the following admission from a Protestant scholar who has great respect for Roman Catholicism:

It is impossible to document what we now call orthodoxy in the first two centuries of Christianity...But we can document for all the centuries since then (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 5).

Yet, we in the COG have been able to document that our beliefs were held in the first two centuries of Christianity. Over two dozen such beliefs are documented at the Early Christianity page.

P.S. This morning's page loads apparently did not work correctly and gave the impression the site was down. Hopefully, this is now fixed.

06/27/06 a.m. I have noticed that W. Dankenbring's TPM has a variety of articles attempting to prove that Passover should be observed on the 15th of Nisan, that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday, and the Friday was the first day of unleavened bread. Without going into all the errors of that here, I would like to point out that it is not possible for there to have been back to back sabbaths then:

Luke and Mark Prove that There Were Not Two Consecutive Sabbaths

The Bible records that Jews, including those that believed Christ at the time of His death rested on the Sabbath. Notice the following account:

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment (Luke 23:52-56).

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him (Mark 16:1).

Now if the above accounts are true (and they are), then TPM's argument about Friday being the first day of unleavened bread is impossible!


Because the first day of unleavened bread is a Sabbath that would have prevented the women from buying and preparing spices.

Notice that the women saw where the tomb was. After the Sabbath was past they bought spices (Mark 16:1), they then prepared the spices (Luke 23:56), then they rested on the Sabbath (Luke 23:56).

According to the COG this happened because they saw the tomb just prior to the evening on Wednesday, kept the Sabbath that was a high day (Mark16:1; John 19:31), bought spices after that Sabbath was past (Mark 16:1), prepared the spices on Friday (as it was not a sabbath) and rested on the weekly Sabbath according to the commandment (Luke 23:56).

TPM's sequence of events is not biblically possible. It is not possible for the women to have bought spices after the sabbath was past and then keep the sabbath according to the commandment if there were two sabbaths together! Apparently this sequence is not something that TPM has considered--it should be noted that if TPM wishes to argue that these are two different sets of women, it is illogical to conclude that they prepared the spices before they bought them.

The simple truth is that the Bible shows that Jesus kept Passover at a private location (Luke 22:15-19) on the 14th (the day prior to the high day, John 19:31) that would have gotten a lamb that would have been killed right after twilight (Exodus 12:6) as He sat down "when the hour had come" (Luke 22:14).

Note that even TPM teaches that the Passover was killed on the 14th. Hence the 14th is the Passover. Christians should be faithful to the practices of Christ--He could not have observed the Passover on the 15th as will be shown later in this paper.

TPM may wish to relook into its conclusions.

Do any scholars outside the COG understand that the church in Asia Minor knew what the New Testament books were first?

Well certainly. Notice what the late James Moffatt wrote:

Was not the Apostolic Canon of scripture first Asia Minor? Was not Asia Minor ahead of Rome in the formation of the Apostolic, Episcopal, ministry?...The real thinking upon vital Christianity for centuries was done outside the Roman Church (Excerpt of James Moffatt's review, p.292. In: Bauer W. Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, 2nd ed. Sigler Press Edition, Mifflinown (PA), 1996).

The above is the latest addition to the article The New Testament Canon - From the Bible and History.

Do you know that according to writers respected and accepted by the Roman Catholic Church that Simon Magus or his descendants taught doctrines such as:

...statues, revering a woman, the doctrine of the immortal soul, incantations, mystic priests, claiming divine titles for leaders, accepting money for religious favors, preferring allegory and tradition over many aspects of scripture, having a leader who wanted to be thought of as God/Christ on earth, and divorcing themselves from Christian biblical practices considered to be Jewish.

This and more is documented in the newest article to the Early Christianity page titled Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?

06/26/06 a.m. The Journal reported:

The Journal has learned that a member of the Church of God an International Community who was featured in an article in The Journal's Aug. 31, 2005, issue was murdered in Metairie, a city near New Orleans, La., May 22.
Alessandra "Sandra" Adams, 51, was jogging with her son and a friend of her son at Lafreniere Park around 9 p.m., reported The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper.
She and the two men separated, with her walking along a trail and the other two jogging. The men planned to contact Mrs. Adams by cell phone, then meet up with her and drive home.
The men did not see Mrs. Adams again until the next morning at 6:30 after her battered body was found in a gravel lot about a half mile away.

Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies said they are seeking a 25-year-old Mexican citizen, Edmundo Cerda-Anima, on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of Mrs. Adams...

Mrs. Adams had reportedly owned and operated Bourbon French Parfum Co., a shop that had been in her family for more than 100 years. She had also reportedly been in the real-estate business.
The Journal has learned that the "America's Most Wanted" Web site and television program have added Mrs. Adams' alleged murderer to its list of the nation's most-wanted suspected criminals. See for more information.

Church of God an International Community is apparently the fourth largest COG and is led by David Hulme.

(Christian Educational Ministries, led by Ronald Dart, appears to the be fifth largest COG--although it technically is not a church.)

Yesterday, I added an item of historical interest to the Early Christianity page. What was added was a slightly enhanced electronic version of Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary. It is a quick listing of nearly all the places and names in the Bible with a translation of their probably meanings.

06/25/06 a.m. Because of the recent death of G&S' Richard Nickels, I decided to review some of the articles again at G&S' website yesterday. Here are some interesting items on the Sabbath:


"The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the Apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to that purpose." Dialogues on the Lord’s Day, p. 189. London: 1701, by Dr. T.H. Morer.


". . . The Sabbath was a strong tie which united them with the life of the whole people, and in keeping the Sabbath holy they followed not only the example but also the command of Jesus." Geschichte des Sonntags, pp. 13, 14.


The Gentile Christians observed also the Sabbath. Gieseler’s Church History, Vol. 1, ch. 2, par. 30, p. 93.


"The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews . . . therefore the Christians, for a long time together, did keep their conventions upon the Sabbath, in which some portions of the law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council." The Whole Works of Jeremy Taylor, Vol. IX, p. 416 (R. Heber’s Edition, Vol. XII, p. 416)...


"Except ye make the Sabbath a real Sabbath [sabbatize the Sabbath, Greek], ye shall not see the father." The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, pt. L, p. 3, Logion 2, verse 4-11 (London: Offices of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898)...


"The seventh-day Sabbath was . . . solemnised by Christ, the Apostles, and the primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did in a manner quite abolish the observations of it." Dissertation on the Lord’s Day, pp. 33, 34, 44...

SPAIN – Council Elvira (A.D. 305)

Canon 26 of the Council of Elvira reveals that the Church of Spain at that time kept Saturday, the seventh day. "As to fasting every Sabbath: Resolved, that the error be corrected of fasting every Sabbath." This resolution of the council is in direct opposition to the policy the church at Rome had inaugurated, that of commanding Sabbath as a fast day in order to humiliate it and make it repugnant to the people...

PERSIA – A.D. 335-375

"They despise our sun god. Did not Zoroaster, the sainted founder of our divine beliefs, institute Sunday one thousand years ago in honour of the sun and supplant the Sabbath of the Old Testament. Yet these Christians have divine services on Saturday." O’Leary, The Syriac Church and Fathers, pp. 83, 84. (Coltheart JF. The Sabbath of God Through the Centuries. Leaves-of-Autumn Books, Inc. Payson, Arizona, 1954. 6/24/06).

More on the Sabbath can be found in the updated article The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad.

Here is some of what Richard Nickels wrote about Islam:

Too Harsh On Muslims? 

A reader from Australia, who claims he is a Christian, says he studied Islam in the Middle East.  He says we are too harsh on Muslims.  Here is my answer:

Muslims who follow their religion in all respects will put into practice the tenets of the Muslim faith, which include death to Jews, death to anyone leaving the Muslim faith, establishment of a worldwide Muslim government oppressing all who refuse to convert to Islam, oppression of women, slavery, and all sorts of related evils.  If you have studied the Muslim faith, you know what I have said is the Truth.  Truth is neither harsh nor kind; it is the Truth.

Muslims who say they respect other religions are either unfaithful Muslims, or they are using freedoms afforded to them in western countries where they live, to subvert and further their cause of worldwide domination and oppression.  A 1994 Public Television documentary gave speeches of Muslim leaders in America calling for death, destruction, and acts of terrorism, seven years before the Twin Towers were destroyed.

To my knowledge, there is not one Muslim-dominated country where Christians are given freedom to practice their faith, and freedom to share their faith with others.  Christianity is the religion of freedom and life, while Islam is one of many religions of slavery, death, and strife.  It has been rightly said, “The problem with Christianity is individual Christians.  The problem with Islam is Islam.”  Which one will you choose? (G&S Newsletter 67, September 2002).

He also reported the following quotes:

Statements by Islamic leaders:

“The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah,” Ayatollah Khomeini, cited in The Arabs, Journey Beyond the Mirage, by David Lamb, p. 287.

“Who relinquishes his faith, kill him . . . “ — Muhammad, founder of Islam, quoted on authority of Ibn ‘Abbas in Sahih of al-Bukhari (Part 9), 19. Attested by numerous Islamic scholars.

“I have been ordered by Allah to fight with people till they testify there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger,” — Muhammad, op. cit., (Part 1), 13.

Unlike true followers of Islam, true followers of Christ do not fight. An article of possible interest may be Military Service and the COGs.

On other matters, LCG's Douglas Winnail reported the following great news:

At an employee meeting this week, Mr. Meredith mentioned that we have had a 31% increase in television responses over last year and that we have received more than 1,000 “goto” requests so far this year.

LCG has long had the best television coverage and responses of any COG. The fact that responses are up 31% this year should be evidence of some of the fruits of LCG's gospel proclamation efforts.

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Volume 10, issue 12 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2006