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Monday, February 7, 2011

As Bereans Did - Signing Off

Seeker of Truth started As Bereans Did in April, 2008. Boy, what a journey this has been! Walk with us down memory lane a while and reminisce of a more innocent age.

Our first post was published by Seeker of Truth on April 17th, 2008. The blog was started to refute the teachings of Ronald Weinland, but grew into a full-blown investigation into the doctrines and teachings of Armstrongism. xHWA shut down his old blog, Escaping Armstrongism, and joined ABD in March, 2009. Luc and Bill Hohmann joined in April, 2009. We’ve had a few guest writers as well, from time to time.

The point of the site was never to prove anyone wrong, as if to say that we had a pre-determined conclusion in mind and we worked to prove that out. Trust us, when we started, we were very much Armstrongists in most respects. Rather, the point of the site was to investigate matters and find the truth. If the truth was one thing or the other, we didn’t care. We just wanted to cut out all of the doctrinal bull, and get the story straight. All we knew at the beginning was that Ron Weinland did not have the truth. Now, three years later, we have investigated and written 229 posts and several pages touching on everything from HWA’s plagiarism, to his falsification of history, to his failed prophecies, to his perversion of Biblical doctrines that are numerous beyond counting.

While other sites focus on HWA’s personal flaws, we went for the meat and investigated the doctrine. The things we have learned in such a short time have utterly astounded us. Some of the things we learned we were not prepared for. As a collective work we believe that we have demonstrated to much more than just our satisfaction the Biblical illiteracy and outright heresy that is the false gospel of Armstrongism. Harsh criticism? Perhaps. But not undeserved in our opinion. Please do us the favor of walking in our shoes – shoes we’ve left right here for you to walk in – and see what we’ve seen before you dismiss us. Even if you go away in disagreement, we assure you the challenge our material offers will be a blessing to you. Go away unconvinced if you must, but go away stronger. Peace to you.

People do come and go. Until recently, we had not taken any real interest in the scale of the site. We didn’t know and we didn’t really care to know. We knew we were small and that was fine. But we would like to share with you that in the past year alone, As Bereans Did has had 5,400 unique visitors and 22,000 page views from no less than 89 countries or territories on all five continents around the globe (including every one of what HWA defined as the “modern-day” “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel.) Small potatoes? We’re perfectly content being small. This isn't about us anyway. We are small so that Jesus can be large. We did what we could with what was given to us. But we can still say As Bereans Did is truly a global outreach.

At times the stress of a project like this was overwhelming. There were days when we threw up our hands in frustration and quit – only to think of the people who might need what we were producing, and we would slowly come back to study and write a little more. We’ve had to lean on our friends so many times because, trust us, this kind of thing will drain the very life from a person’s spirit. Our focus on the worst days was you, our invaluable and indispensable reader. We thought, “If only this helps one person – just one person somewhere – even if we don’t ever know about it… it was all worth it.” That is why we are proud to share with you that since Seeker of Truth started As Bereans Did in 2008, we have been both blessed and privileged to see God move several people to cast off the shackles of Old Covenant legalism and step boldly into the New Covenant in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God!
Even so, what excites us most is what we don’t know. We don’t know how many more people have learned something here and paid it forward to others. We know that it is happening, but we have no idea to what scale or degree. Perhaps that’s for the best.

We have insisted that we get our praise from God. We have insisted that the glory go to Him, as it should. We are just people who studied something and wrote about it. Hey, we learned an incredible amount of things, too, as we went along! We are no better or worse than anyone else out there. We were given something to share, and we were given a venue to share through, and we were given an audience to share with. What did we really do but take what was given to us and hand it to those to whom it was meant to go? Not anything grand on our part, but amazing on God’s part. That’s the essence of the New Covenant – it’s not what we do, but what He does in us all. Amazing!

As Bereans Did is completely free to you.  It is a gift. This gift comes to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Take it or leave it – your choice.

As we said earlier, we learned a lot these past two years. Our chains fell off; the veil removed indeed, and genuine faith came in. We’ve made new friends. We’ve seen people come to grace and flourish. We’ve watched in joy as people made the life-changing realizations that come with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. We have been truly blessed beyond measure. And now, as it was so eloquently said, it is “Time to throw the torch to others, from our falling hands, I think.”

It is with bittersweet irony - a tear and a smile - that we announce this is the last regular post we will be sharing with you, dear friends. We have come into grace and it is time to push ahead. We have fought in this arena long enough. We have done what we can do. We have answered the challenge as best as we were able. We have preached the Gospel of grace and truth in the blood of Jesus Christ. We have praised God.
We wish to stop looking back and head into that brighter day. We have been planning this for months, and now it is time to say “enough is enough.” On to new and different challenges! We do not leave you with nothing; the site will stay up for what it’s worth.

We would each individually like to take the opportunity to write a little something in closing.

-------
-------Seeker of Truth-------

TIME TO LET GO

Wow. It seems like another life when I started ABD back in April 2008. I'm not the same person.
I was introduced to Weinland's book Gods Final Witness 2008 by my Mother. I read the book with an open mind, I had no reason to doubt. But as I read, I found things that contradicted scripture.

I listened to his sermons & attended FOT 2005. The people were wonderful. The deal-breaker was during one of the sermons. He was beating around the bush about something. I strained to figure out what he was trying to say... Where he was going. when it dawned on me. He was testing the water. He was trying to tell us that Jesus was created! That ended it for me. Scripture clearly refutes that.
When I got home from FOT I launched a full-scale, 10 month investigation into whether or not Jesus had a beginning and into the Old vs. New Covenant. I continued listening to his sermons in the mean time.

I've always wanted to be the best 'me' I could be - in every way - as a person. So I do my best not to lie to myself. Otherwise, how can I grow?

I wanted to know the TRUTH - regardless of WHAT it was. I asked for my spouses' views. I asked for my mothers views. They both seemed to make perfect sense.  I became so frustrated. I was getting absolutely nowhere. I stopped. I told God I had no preferences, that I just wanted His truth. For ten long months, night & day, I studied, I prayed. And when I emerged, I was walking in the New Covenant Grace of God.

However, I remained concerned for my family members who were followers of RW & for every other person in the world, hurting & hoping, who might discover him & believe he held the answers they needed. I was so worried, so concerned, I decided to step out of my comfort zone - out on a limb - & do something I'd never done before.

That was the birth of ABD, April 17, 2008. (Coincidentally the very day Ron Weinland said was the Sounding of the 1ST Trumpet - beginning the Great Tribulation, to which he was the Spokesperson (not mentioned in the Bible, btw) for, and one of, the Two Witnesses.

I grew up with Armstrongism etched into my brain. It wasn't an easy task to rewrite all that & replace it with truth.

ABD was an overwhelming project, and like xHWA said, it "will drain the very life from a person’s spirit." But we so longed to get others to dig, to investigate thoroughly, to not just take a person at their word but, to do As Bereans Did & search the scriptures daily to find out if what they were being told was truth or not. (Something RW condemned). ALWAYS question someone who challenges you NOT to question or doubt them! Keeping people ignorant is how they remain in power.  (Ignorant, meaning: Unaware because of a lack of relevant information or knowledge).

So we stressed to you, the readers, the importance of following the example of the Bereans with the reminder that we cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. (Which you see at the end of the majority of all posts). No one wants to stand before Jesus saying, "But Lord, I thought they were telling the truth. It made sense."

We can't pick what "sounds" good, like shopping in the Religious Doctrine Store picking, sorting & choosing. There is only one truth. God's Truth. Want that.

As we wrote and posted, you, our readers helped by showing us, with challenges, things we'd neglected to investigate and a new study would ensue, and thus we were on a continuous path of learning. We never claimed to have all the answers and insisted the reader understand that what we wrote was based on our current understanding, and to fully investigate and find even more scriptures of their own on the subject.

We wanted - we want - you to be honest with yourself and truly, in your heart, want God's Truth and not just what sounds good, and then investigate like your salvation depends on it... (moment of silence)... We want you to ask yourself, "Did I give it my all? Was I honest with myself? Do I really want the Truth... or am I just trying to prove what I want the truth to be?"

FAR DISTANT HILLS

How far over the far and distant hills is that place where my journey began. I stand here, on this hill, taking one last look, a smile on my face and a tug on my heart. For where I am, in the Grace of God is a sunny place, where I am led by an internal governor...  love. - Where no police are needed because you police yourself. -  No longer walking in single-file to the crack of the whip, where my body is forced to acquiesce but my heart is not. I shudder just remembering that way of life. How'd that nasty, black cloud get into my beautiful picture of green hills and sunshine?  :\

FOCUSING ON THE GOOD, NOT THE BAD ANYMORE

It's been a long while since I last wrote an article here at ABD. My heart just couldn't take dwelling on the Old Covenant any longer. It was engulfing the goodness of the New Covenant, and that's what I wanted to finally focus on - the good.

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Prov 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so he is...  The Armstrongism issue was depressing me.
I don't like a half empty glass. I prefer a half full glass. It puts a smile on my face & a spring in my step. It chases away those dark clouds & reveals the bright, warm sunshine.  -Can you feel it? Toasty warm... Okay, so everything's not perfect. That's not how God designed it. We must be refined, after all. That's how we learn, grow & prepare for the next phase in our life. We have to gain experience. It's a necessary part of our growth journey.

NEW BLOG?

It's possible, that at some time in the future, there may come a new blog related to ABD that focuses on Grace/NC. It's just the seed of an idea at this point, mind you. If it sprouts into something, we'll let you know with a post and a link here at ABD.

THANK YOU

Readers, thank you for your comments & thoughts that challenged & pushed us to keep learning.
I'm so grateful for new friends made - fellow travelers on a quest for Gods Truth.

I'm grateful for those who linked to us, those who, in their own ways, fought for truth - it was a pleasure (and in some cases a challenge, lol). I'm a better person for having shared a part of this journey with you.

I look at where I started, and where I am today... What a difference.

Thank you all/ fellow bloggers - our dear readers - and ABD Co-Writers/friends.

I could never have dreamed what God was working out through us all, His tools, or the friends he would bring us in the process. Just knowing someone was helped and had their burden lifted makes my heart swell with happiness.

Peace, joy & happiness to you.
~Seeker of Truth

-------
-------Luc-------

Thinking about my past in Armstrongism is not conducive to the mindset of looking forward to the future. Personally, I want to be looking forward to that future and not bogged down in my my former bondage. And what a beautiful future it is. In the midst of dark clouds of trouble and distress the almighty has sent us a message of certain victory because the Lord of all, Jesus, has finished his work and is just waiting for his fields to ripen and for the harvest to be brought in.

We are his harvest, and as the grain doesn't strive to be what the designer creates it to be, we need not struggle to make ourselves into the children of God. God alone creates, we simply allow him to do so. This is the one crucial choice the eternal Lord has given us to make. In Armstrongism it depended on our own struggle. However the issue was spun, and lip service given to God fighting our battles, there was uncertainty as the Old covenant rules were still required. The good news is that God creates his law of love in the hearts of his children and it becomes the law that determines their desires and the source of their actions. The Ten Commandments are part of the Old covenant as Deut 4:13-14 states, and however good such rules are for civil society, the child of God will be beyond needing these crutches.

It's been wonderful to see a few people discover that there is indeed freedom in Christ, and reasons for their hearts to be lifted with joy at the certainty of living with the King of Kings for eternity with no cause for fear or tears ever again. This blog has dealt with the issues of the past. For those who have not understood the simple truth of Deut 4:13, and are still in the quagmire of " 'but' some other verse seems to contradict this," I am sorry. Freedom is so near, yet so far. This blog has sufficient resources to address the issues that keep you in bondage. I pray that you will understand the heighth and breadth of the goodness of God and comprehend the freedom he provides. When you understand this then praises will spring up out of your heart as naturally as the rain falls and the sun shines. It will not be somber and done out of duty or fear, and not in the attitude of the Pharisee who feels he's in with God because of his own actions (keeping of laws). For the ones who have been aided by this blog to find freedom in the promise of Jesus, who have believed and have crossed from death unto life, I am so very glad to have been able to contribute some small offering towards that end. I hope that such understanding of the completeness of the Lords work will be passed on and freedom spreads virally.

-------
-------xHWA-------

All glory and honor is to God alone, forever.

I would like to thank everyone who reached down to pull me up when I could not help myself. Seeker and Luk and Bill, obviously. My dearest friends, you can never know how much you’ve helped me, and I can never in a hundred lifetimes repay what God has given me through you. Well done, good and faithful servants! Enter into Jesus’ rest.

The exCOG bloggers – you have all helped me. To each of you who I cannot name for the sake of space, peace and overflowing blessings to you! It has been my honor to fight this fight alongside you, each of us in our own way.
To all of the people who have written to me, and even contributed your stories here - nothing made me more excited than you all. All the best to you!
And to my personal friends and family behind the scenes - couldn't have done any of this without your tireless support. You're my lifeline.

To the people who have read my posts and loved them, hated them, or just had a new thought for the day… you were always the reason. This experience has healed me, I hope it heals you, and I hope it heals all who come to this fountain and drink. May you learn to be more than satisfied in Jesus Christ.

Now, a blessing on whoever takes up this torch. From those who have gone before I received this opportunity. They laid the foundation on which I built. Hopefully I have built something of value. (God knows and time will tell.) To those who come after I pass this opportunity “from our falling hands.” It will hurt you some days, it will leave you in tears some days, it will exhaust you beyond your ability to cope some days, but as God as my witness it is worth it. Do your very best for those who come after you, and may the joy that exceeds all explanation fill you to overflowing, be pressed down, and fill you again! This I pray for you and for the people you serve. This is an act of worship to God. The fruits of the Spirit are not for you, they are for others. God bless you and keep you and His face shine upon you and may you guide many into the New Covenant in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now a word to our readers.
Ask the tough questions! Do the research! Try to prove yourself wrong. The truth will stand whatever you throw at it. Then bring it up with your leadership and watch their reaction.
You are a branch attached directly to the Vine. You do not receive the Holy Spirit "through" any man. You are never in any danger with God for investigating and proving all things. Over and over and over again, Jesus tells us not to fear. So why do you fear? Because men have dangled the "carrot" of the first resurrection in front of you, and you are afraid to lose that? Or because men have waved the "stick" of the second resurrection in front of you, and you are afraid to get that? I have news for you, it's not their decision. Your eternity is Jesus' decision. Do not be afraid! TRUST HIM!

Finally, all thanks be to God.
(ROM. 11: 36) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. 

If you need wisdom, ask, and Jesus will be your Wisdom. If you need faith, ask, and Jesus will be your faith. If you need hope, ask, and Jesus will be your living hope. If you need love, ask, and Jesus, who is love, will be your love. If you need rest, ask, and Jesus will be your rest – even your Sabbath rest. If you need strength, ask, and Jesus, who never tires and never fails, will be your strength. If you need righteousness, ask, and Jesus will be your righteousness - in matchless excess of the Pharisees. Jesus is perfect as the Father is perfect, and if Jesus is in you, the fullness of the Godhead living in you, then He is your perfection. If you need forgiveness, ask, and He will rush to forgive you to the uttermost! Ask, and rivers of living water will flow from you. These rivers are God Himself, to whom be all thanks and honor and glory. He Himself will give to you what the law never could. He took your sin on Himself so that He Himself can be these things in you. Make every effort to understand what He did for you. It’s not about us and our meager efforts, it was always about Him. Hide your life in Him and let go of your fears and illusions; trust Him. This is faith. This is the New Covenant.

Now, off! Not into that good night, but into that brighter day. I will see you there!

"It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done before. A far better resting place I go to than I have ever known.”
–Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

"So long, and thanks for all the fish!"
-Douglas Adams, "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

COG Worldwide Association Claims False Roots (long version)

The FAQ on the Church of God A Worldwide Association website makes this claim: “We trace our history back to the first-century Church of God.” Oh no, they most certainly do not! They do not trace back at all. Rather, they presume. I would like to look in to this and why it is dead, dead wrong.

To make this easier on people who can't stand history, I’ll split this article up into two posts - the short version, and the long version. This post is...

THE LONG VERSION:

Look for yourself:

We trace our history back to the first-century Church of God. Jesus promised that from the time He founded the Church onward through His second coming to the earth there would always be believers who understood and held to the truth.
"‘I will build My church,’ Jesus said, ‘and the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). In other words, He promised that His Church would never die out."
The Church of God has always remained small in comparison to others, but Christ has kept His promise, His Church has survived, and it continues today.

Here is their logic and their presumption:
Jesus promised that His church would never end, and we are the “true” church, therefore, we must have always existed since the time of Jesus.

It is easy for a person within the organization to accept this. They accept without question that they are the “true” church. The fact of the matter is all Adventist organizations believe this about themselves. They cannot all be the “one true church.” Nor are they alone in this regard. There are many, many organizations who claim to be “the one true church.”
Allow me to demonstrate my claim that they believe they are the “true” church. This can be proved from the FAQ itself.

However, He also prophesied the rise of counterfeit churches throughout the ages (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Acts 20:29-30).
Secular history is not always helpful in tracing the history of the Church of God because it focuses principally upon churches that preach ‘another Jesus’ and a ‘different gospel’ (2 Corinthians 11:4).

Do you see? They have set themselves up as the “true” church by tearing other churches down as “counterfeit” and anti-Christ, most especially the Catholic Church. But if the history of the Catholic Church is so very false, then by extension so are all Protestant Churches. And if we ignore all groups and cults and what-not which are neither Catholic nor Protestant (for example the Coptics, the Orthodox church, and the Gnostics), that leaves whom? Why, them, of course!
But is this any proof, or just baseless accusation?

How do we know for sure that the COGWA is the “true” church? Two distinguishing marks are given.

GOSPEL MESSAGE

The lesser of the two marks (I say lesser because it is barely mentioned in comparison to the first mark) is the gospel that they preach.

Do not be fooled, valued reader. The gospel which Herbert Armstrong taught is a false gospel. The gospel preached to this hour by the COG splinter groups is the counterfeit.
We have a whole section in the Categories page about the gospel which Armstrongism teaches. If you would like specific suggestions, then please read “What Is the Gospel?” or “The Gospel In Detail”. Or if you just want a quick overview, look up the section on the Gospel in our FAQ page. This is a massive subject, so please excuse me if I take the easy way out and just quote a section of our FAQ.

HWA taught “Kingdom of God” means the second coming of Christ and the rule of God on Earth. The second coming is a portion of the Gospel, but not the most important portion. More important is our redemption, salvation, and glorification through the life, death, and life of Christ. The phrase “gospel of the Kingdom of God” is mostly used in Matthew. But we also see “gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (MARK. 1: 1), “gospel of the grace of God” (ACT. 20: 24), “gospel of God” (ROM. 1: 1; 15: 16; II COR. 11: 7; I THS. 2: 8-9; I PET. 4: 17), “gospel of the blessed God” (I TIM. 1: 11), “gospel of His Son” (ROM. 1: 9), “gospel of Christ” (ROM. 1: 16; 15: 19, 29; I COR. 9: 12, 18; II COR. 9: 13; 10: 14; GAL. 1: 7; PHP. 1: 27; I THS. 3: 2; ), “gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II THS. 1: 8), “gospel of the glory of Christ” (II COR. 4: 4), and “gospel of peace” (ROM. 10: 15; EPH. 6: 15). Out of the 101 appearances of the word “gospel”, the phrase “gospel of the Kingdom” only appears 4 times. None of these include any indication that this phrase exclusively means the second coming. This understanding is read into the text because this is what HWA taught. For comparison, “gospel of Christ” appears over twice as often at 10 times. As a matter of fact, the oft-used phrase, “gospel of the coming Kingdom of God” appears nowhere in the Bible.

“Gospel” means “good news.” The following is the good news Paul preached. Paul recorded for us what is believed to be the oldest creed in Christianity:

(I COR. 15: 1-5) 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

(I COR. 2: 2) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Elsewhere, Paul calls the Gospel the “message of the cross” (I COR. 1: 17-18). Why would he do that if the Gospel was only about the future Kingdom? He would not.

So, I implore you, with the utmost sincerity and gravity, do not make assumptions about the Gospel. The Gospel of Christ “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (ROM. 1: 16). You get this wrong, and salvation itself is at stake, unless you have believed in vain. Get this wrong, and you can build nothing of value on the Foundation. Get this wrong, and you may bring upon yourself the very wrath of God Himself.

(GAL. 1: 8-9) 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

And what Gospel did you receive from Paul? That Jesus Christ came as a literal, physical, fleshly man, was crucified for our sins on the cross and literally died, and was raised to life again on the third day. There is no other Gospel than this. There is no other way to salvation other than through what Christ accomplished on the cross. This is the good news! Jesus accomplished what He came to do. "Telesteo!" There would be no second coming and no hope for mankind if it weren't for this.

A LITTLE FLOCK

The first mark that they are the true church is, oddly enough, the size of the organization.

In comparison to these other churches, His description of the original group of disciples proved prophetic, for He called them a "little flock" (Luke 12:32). The Church of God has always remained small in comparison to others…
We find the origins of Sabbath-keeping in the colonies in a small group…
Although remaining relatively small, the Church of God grew in America.

But this is no proof at all. All groups are small in comparison to the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is the largest single denomination of any religion on earth. Just recently, the sum total of all Muslims on earth has surpassed this one Christian denomination.
Protestants combined are estimated to make up roughly 40% of Christianity (but there is no way to accurately measure this, since massive underground churches exist in oppressed areas of the world.) If we compare the sizes of the major Protestant denominations, they are also comparatively small. This gets increasingly true when we factor in the minor Protestant groups, like the Church of Christ or the Amish for example.
Then we have the many fringe groups, like the Mormons or the Adventists or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are also very small in comparison.

So the relative size is no proof at all. Jesus did say that He had a little flock. But what did He mean by that? He had 120 disciples; a very little flock. But did He intend that His church would be a little flock forever? The Bible doesn’t say. There were thousands of converts on the first Pentecost alone. In a single day the Church grew exponentially. So, we are only making assumptions when we claim that the church would always be little.

But notice how the Armstrongist groups have always played both ends of this. While claiming the little size is the sign, they also tout the growth and reach of their groups. Herbert Armstrong would often claim that his Worldwide Church of God grew at an annual rate of 33%.
The COGWA is no different in this:
In 1931 this Conference ordained a man whom God would eventually use to do a powerful worldwide work, Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986).
“Powerful, worldwide work,” eh? So the “true” church is a small group and a powerful, worldwide group at the same time. I call this playing both ends against the middle.

So we need a small group, but a large group. The Seventh-day Adventist church is the largest of all of the world’s Sabbatarian churches. They are small, yet large. They match the criteria. Why aren’t they the “true” church? So, I suppose we have to be very careful in our calculations on this.
Then, we have infighting between the various splinter groups that broke off of the Worldwide Church of God. Several of them claim to be the “one true church” to the exclusion of their own sister churches. The Philadelphia Church of God, for example, has made it a rule that its members cannot have anything to do with members of the other COG splinters.

And you just try to get the actual head-count in any Armstrongist splinter group. They won’t give it to you. Most of them don’t really know for sure. Some of them purposefully cook their books; counting only new members but never subtracting when members leave.
Think about it. If we calculate an annual growth of 33%, a church which starts with just one person will grow to over 1.5 million people in 50 years. The official number of members of the Worldwide Church of God never made it much past the mystical number of 144,000 people.

WikiPedia article on “Christian Denomination” has some fabulous charts to help you visualize the Christian denominations. Here is another resource on WikiPedia, “List of Christian denominations by number of members.

WE TRACE OUR HISTORY

Like I said earlier – no they don’t.
Two things. First, they are a new denomination; they haven’t traced anything. They get their information from the United Church of God from whence they sprang, and the UCG in turn got its information from the Worldwide Church of God from whence they sprang. As we documented in our article “True History of the True Church?,” Herbert Armstrong and Herman Hoeh plagiarized information from a book written by A. N. Dugger and C. O. Dodd of the Church of God (Seventh Day). So, in fact, the WCG got its information from the COG7 from which it sprang. The COGWA has done nothing but perpetuate someone else’s body of work. Second, the information couldn’t possibly be more faulty and unreliable. There is little if any truth to it. Let’s look at the COGWA’s specific claims.

Even so, we can find glimpses of the Church Jesus founded in Europe in the Middle Ages among the Waldensians and Anabaptists. The Church of God thrived for a time in England, but persecution eventually drove some believers to the American colonies in search of religious freedom.
We find the origins of Sabbath-keeping in the colonies in a small group led by Stephen Mumford in Rhode Island.

Here we see that three specific groups are mentioned: the Waldensians, the Anabaptists, and the Seventh Day Baptists [Stephen Mumford’s church.] Let’s look at them.

WALDENSIANS

It is a sad reality that almost every Christian-oriented cult with a bone to pick against the Catholics traces themselves back to the Waldensians. This is not something unique to Adventism/Armstrongism by any means. Who were they?

It depends on who you ask. Like I said, groups tend to trace themselves to the Waldensians, so you’ll get anything you want about this group, depending on who you ask. I strongly suggest that you ask them. They’re still around, you know. Wouldn’t they know best what their own history is? None the less, this is what the old Worldwide Church of God said about them:

Their enemies admitted that these people proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom of God, that they baptized repentant believers and obeyed the whole law of God.
-Herman Hoeh, “True History of the True Church”, p. 23

When I checked Herman Hoeh’s source material, specifically Jones’ “Church History”, I found this to be an outright lie.
Jones specifically says, on p. 80 of his book, that the Waldensians did not tithe. In fact, Jones relates this to us on p. 82:

An impartial review of the doctrinal sentiments maintained by the Waldenses; the discipline, order, and worship of their churches, as well as their general deportment and manner of life, not to mention their determined and uniform opposition to the church of Rome, affords abundant evidence of the similarity of their views and practices to those held by Luther, Calvin, and the other illustrious characters, whose labours, in the sixteenth century, contributed so eminently to effect the glorious Reformation.

I want you to know this - the Waldensians began as Catholics! One man who is credited with starting the Waldensian church, Peter Waldo, even went to Pope Alexander III and asked for permission to preach. Yes, they were Catholics in almost every way until they were anathematized in the Fourth Laterian Council. This made them for all practical purposes, Protestant. And they remain Protestant to this day. They have been members of the Presbyterian Church since 1895.
If the COG splinters trace themselves to the Waldensians, then they trace themselves to Protestantism and then ultimately to Catholicism, and that is inescapable fact.

ANABAPTISTS

I will not go into depth about the Anabaptists. Suffice it to say that the main groups who have come out of the Anabaptist movement are the Amish, Menonites, Brethren, and Friends movements. Do any of these groups match Armstrongism? No!

Herman Hoeh tied the Worldwide Church of God to the Anabaptists via a group called the “Peterobrussians”, which was started by a man named Peter de Bruys.

Philip Schaff, in the book “History of the Christian Church”, Vol. V: The Middle Ages A.D. 1049-1294, under section 81: “Peter de Bruys and Other Independent Leaders,” laid out the five main complaints against what Peter taught (which I paraphrase):
1) baptism of adults only, 2) church buildings and altars are useless, 3) crosses are idolatry, 4) the mass is useless, and the Eucharistic transubstantiation is not true, 5) prayers, alms, and good works for the dead are useless.

And that was really it. No Sabbath. No “correct church government.”
Once again, the Petrobrussians and related groups were Catholic reformers. Once again, if the COG splinters trace themselves to the Anabaptists, then they trace themselves to Protestantism and then ultimately to Catholicism, and that is inescapable fact.

SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS

George Benjamin Utter, in his book, “Manual of the Seventh-Day Baptists”, p. 17, says this:

In England, the controversy relative to the Sabbath commenced near the close of the sixteenth century. Nicholas Bound, D. D., of Norton, in Suffolk, published a book in 1595, in which he advanced the modern view concerning the ‘Christian Sabbath,’ that it is a perpetuation of the fourth commandment… Bound’s book was suppressed by order of Archbishop Whitgift in 1599. But its suppression was followed by the publication of numerous other works, in which every shade of opinion on the subject was expressed.

Groups of churches sprung up in various places. Mr. Utter counts eleven main groups, three of which survived into the 1800’s. It was a group in the London area that sent Steven Mumford to Rhode Island in 1664 where he preached the seventh day Sabbath to Baptists in the region.

The Newport Historical Society, in their online article “Welcome to the Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House”, says this:

In the 1660s, seven members of the First Baptist Church of Newport became convinced that the Ten Commandments should be obeyed literally, and began to observe the Sabbath on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. In 1671, they withdrew, formed the Seventh Day Baptist Church, and chose William Hiscox as their first pastor."

Do not forget – these are Baptists. The Baptists are Protestants. In every way they are Baptists except they have adopted the seventh day Sabbath. They had no such Armstrongist views other than the Sabbath. It was this complete compatibility that allowed Mumford to be successful among Sunday observing Baptists.
For the third time, if the COG splinters trace themselves to the Baptists, then they trace themselves to Protestantism and then ultimately to Catholicism, and that is inescapable fact.

THE TRUE HISTORY

The three groups which were mentioned in the COGWA FAQ are not ancestors of the Armstrongist splinters. If these three groups were ancestors, then they should trace their own roots in the exact same way Hoeh did. Yet they do not. They all trace their history, in three different ways, to the Roman Catholic Church.
If the COGWA claims to come from these groups, and these groups claim to come from the Catholic Church, then how could the COGWA possibly come from anywhere else?

Just like they do with the Old Covenant law, the Armstrongist groups have cherry-picked history. A little from here, a little from there, none of it contiguous - so long as the road doesn't lead to Rome!

So, where does Armstrongism really come from? Answer: the Adventist movement.

Somewhere between 1818 and 1831, a man by the name of William Miller, a Deist and Freemason turned Baptist (not Seventh Day Baptist for he was never a Sabbatarian), thought he had calculated when Christ would return (the Second Advent). Through the 1830s he preached powerfully and drew quite a following. These dupes of Mr. Miller were called "Millerites" because they followed the teachings of Mr. Miller and "Adventists" because they preached the Second Advent of Christ. In 1843-1844 his prophecies fell through. Twice! (But this pails when compared to Herbert Armstrong’s 200+ failed prophecies.)

According to Absolute Astronomy article on “Rachel Oakes Preston”, it was Ms. Preston, a member of the Seventh Day Baptist congregation in Verona, New York, who first introduced the Sabbath doctrine to Adventism. According to the Washington, New Hampshire SDA website, Ms. Preston moved her family to Washington, New Hampshire where she met a group of William Miller’s Adventists. It was between March 1843 and the autumn of 1844, immediately after the “Great Disappointment,” that Rachel’s Sabbatarian influence bore its fruit.
There is also the influence of one Millerite preacher, Joseph Bates, who learned about the Sabbath in Washington, New Hampshire. According to the Ellen G. White official estate website, Joseph Bates wrote a tract on the Sabbath in 1846 which influenced John and Ellen G. White.
According to the Ellen G. White official estate website, in an article titled “Ellen G. White: A Brief Biography”, under section “Marriage of James White and Ellen Harmon”, John and Ellen White accepted the Saturday Sabbath in the latter half of 1846.
After years of disagreements with Ellen G. White’s prophecies, Gilbert Cranmer officially split from the Adventists in 1860 and proceeded to form what became the Church of God (Seventh Day). It was the COG7 which first awarded Herbert W Armstrong his ministerial credentials in 1931. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Armstrongism does not trace its history to the first century A.D. Their history stops at the false prophet William Miller who founded the Adventist movement in the late 1830's. And that is a fact.

So, the FAQ on the COGWA website is dead, dead wrong. Did they “trace their history?” If they didn’t, then why do they say they did? If they did, then they know about what I am telling you, yet they persist in claiming something that is not true.
I suspect they know good and well that their FAQ is wrong. Notice how they completely skipped over their Seventh-day Adventist history, and their roots in Millerism/Adventism. Both William Miller and Ellen G. White are considered false prophets to the very Armstrongists who came from them. Why would they skip that if it weren’t for how damaging it would be to them to admit it?

How can the “true” church come from such a background of false prophets? Would the “true” church lie about its history like this?

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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11
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COG Worldwide Association Claims False Roots (short version)

The FAQ on the Church of God A Worldwide Association website makes this claim: “We trace our history back to the first-century Church of God.” Oh no, they most certainly do not! They do not trace back at all. Rather, they presume. I would like to look in to this and why it is dead, dead wrong.

To make this easier on people who can't stand history, I’ll split this article up into two posts - the short version, and the long version. This post is...

THE SHORT VERSION:

This is what you'll see if you look at the first few paragraphs of their FAQ...
What is the origin of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association?

We trace our history back to the first-century Church of God. Jesus promised that from the time He founded the Church onward through His second coming to the earth there would always be believers who understood and held to the truth.

"I will build My church," Jesus said, "and the gates of Hades [the grave] shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). In other words, He promised that His Church would never die out. However, He also prophesied the rise of counterfeit churches throughout the ages (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Acts 20:29-30). In comparison to these other churches, His description of the original group of disciples proved prophetic, for He called them a "little flock" (Luke 12:32). The Church of God has always remained small in comparison to others, but Christ has kept His promise, His Church has survived, and it continues today.

Secular history is not always helpful in tracing the history of the Church of God because it focuses principally upon churches that preach "another Jesus" and a "different gospel" (2 Corinthians 11:4). Even so, we can find glimpses of the Church Jesus founded in Europe in the Middle Ages among the Waldensians and Anabaptists. The Church of God thrived for a time in England, but persecution eventually drove some believers to the American colonies in search of religious freedom.

We find the origins of Sabbath-keeping in the colonies in a small group led by Stephen Mumford in Rhode Island. Henry Clarke wrote in A History of the Sabbatarians or Seventh Day Baptists in America: "Stephen Mumford came over from England in the year 1664; and brought the opinion with him, that the whole of the Ten Commands, as they were delivered from mount Sinai, were moral and immutable: and that it was the antichristian power which thought to change times and laws, that changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week" (1811, pp. 8-9).

Although remaining relatively small, the Church of God grew in America. A group of faithful believers in the state of Oregon incorporated in 1930 as the Oregon Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day). In 1931 this Conference ordained a man whom God would eventually use to do a powerful worldwide work, Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986).


The FAQ is thoroughly wrong. They didn’t “trace” anything. They presume much.

They presume that since Jesus promised that His church would never end, and since they see themselves as the “true” church, therefore they must have always existed since the time of Jesus. Proof? None. Oh, they'll quote a book or two. But check into it and you'll see it isn't so.
They borrow their information from the Worldwide Church of God. The one who "traced the history" was Herman Hoeh. Hoeh wrote the definitive history of the WCG, entitled “True History of the True Church.” This was mostly plagiarized from the COG7 booklet, “A History of the True Religion Traced from 33 A.D. to Date”. 
Funny, I didn't see that in the FAQ.

They do not come from the Waldensians. 
The Waldensians were reformers of the Catholic Church. One man who is credited with forming the Waldensians, Peter Waldo, even asked Pope Alexander III for permission to preach. They were anathematized in the Fourth Laternian Council. If the COGWA trace themselves there, then they trace themselves to the Catholic Church.
They do not come from the Anabaptists. 
The Amish, Menonites, Brethren, and Friends movements came from the Anabaptists. These groups bear very little resemblance to the Adventists/Armstrongists. Once again, they were reformers of the Catholic Church. Once again, if the COGWA trace themselves there, then they trace themselves to the Catholic Church.
They do not come from the Seventh Day Baptist church. 
Well, not directly anyway. Their belief in the Sabbath doctrine does come from there, but not their church movement itself. The Adventist movement was never associated in any way with the Seventh Day Baptist church. They merely adopted one precept from the Seventh Day Baptist church.

According to the original idea, that the church would never die out, there has to be an unbroken line. Problem is, these groups do not trace themselves to each other. How can the COGWA trace themselves to these groups? They cannot. It isn't good enough to say, "This group separated from the Catholic Church, so we were them. And that group 500 years later, they baptized by immersion, so we were them. Oh, and that other group over there, they kept Saturday Sabbath, so we were them, too." That's not "tracing." That's "making it up as you go along." That must be why, "secular history is not always helpful."
So, where do they come from? Answer: Ellen G. White and the Adventist movement.

In the late 1830’s, William Miller thought he had calculated when Christ would return (the Second Advent). In 1843 his prophecies fell through. According to record, it was one member of the Seventh Day Baptist congregation in Verona, New York, by the name of Rachel Oakes Preston, that introduced the Sabbath doctrine to Adventism. She moved her family to Washington, New Hampshire where she met a group of William Miller’s Adventists. It was between March 1843 and the autumn of 1844, immediately after the “Great Disappointment,” that Rachel’s Sabbatarian influence bore its fruit. John and Ellen G. White accepted the Sabbath in 1946. After years of disagreements with Ellen G. White’s prophecies, Gilbert Cranmer officially split from the Adventists in 1860 and proceeded to form what became the Church of God (Seventh Day). It was this group which first awarded Herbert W Armstrong his ministerial credentials in 1931. And the rest, as they say, is history.

They do not trace their history to the first century A.D. Their history stops at the false prophet William Miller who founded the Adventist movement in the late 1830's. And that is a fact.

So, the FAQ on the COGWA website is dead, dead wrong. Did they “trace their history?” If they didn’t, then why do they say they did? If they did, then they know about what I am telling you, yet they persist in claiming something that is not true.
I suspect they know good and well that their FAQ is wrong. Notice how they completely skipped over their Seventh-day Adventist history, and their roots in Millerism. Both William Miller and Ellen G. White are considered false prophets. Why would they skip that if it weren’t for how damaging it would be to them to admit it?

How can the “true” church come from such a background of false prophets? Would the “true” church lie about its history like this?



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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Valentines Day the Lupercalia?

Back in 2010 we found that the Adventist/Armstrongist teachings on Christmas are in error and the teachings on Easter couldn’t possibly be more wrong. While I was doing the recent series on Christmas, I began to wonder about other holidays. If we were taught so incorrectly on Easter and Christmas, what about the other holidays? Could I find one more where the church teachings were incorrect? You know, just to prove that this isn’t some fluke. So, Valentine’s Day sounded like a good choice.

A close friend of mine mentioned the word "Lerpercalia", and that’s what jarred my long-dormant synapses. Now I remember! 
During my time in the old Worldwide Church of God, we were told that Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) came from the Lupercalia (Feb. 15). The game was afoot. I checked in to it and I have found something that I thought was incredibly interesting.
So, whadda ya say? Care to find out if this is true?

Here is the
actual cave of the Lupercal, rediscovered recently, and brought to us by Bad Archaeology. Read the whole description; I'll quote the bits relevant to this study:
From literary sources, we know the Lupercalia was celebrated on February 15. Priests, known as Luperci, would sacrifice two male goats and a dog, and two young patrician youths would be smeared with the blood, after which it would be wiped off with wool dipped in milk. Leather thongs would be cut from the skins of the sacrifices, and the priests would run around the Palatine, striking everybody they came upon. Girls who were struck were thought to become extra fertile. The ceremony lasted until the end of the 5th century, when it was outlawed by Pope Gelasius.
Does sacrificing two goats and a dog, smearing a priest with the blood, cleaning him off with wool and milk, making sandals and running around the town slapping people sound like Valentine's Day to you?
I have read article after article that claims unequivocally that since young men would pair off with young women in Rome, then Valentine’s Day is certainly a pagan co-opt. I’m sorry, but these pairings were determined by lottery, lasted a year, and often resulted in marriage. Not what I would expect from a Valentine. 
Oh, wait. What's this? "The ceremony ... was outlawed by Pope Gelasius"?? Now, isn't that interesting!

Pope Gelasius I sent a letter to Senator Andromechus, mocking him for wanting to legalize the pagan celebration. This letter was spared being lost to history, and was recorded for us in Dr. Andreas Thiel’s book “Epistolae Romanorum pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt A.S. Hilaro usque ad.” Did you get all that? Say that five times, fast. Have fun finding that fat little pumpkin in English, though. So to give us a better idea of what this letter contained, I will quote from Thomas Hodgkin’s book Italy and Her Invaders” Volume 3, pages 443-445 instead:
Happily, however, we may now turn from this monotonous controversy to behold the Pope trampling out the dying, but not quite dead, embers of Paganism. There was still a party at Rome, with the Senator Andromechus at their head, who wished to keep up the old heathen orgies of the Lupercalia, that strange rite made memorable by Mark Antony’s share in it, on the day when, after running naked through the Forum, he knelt down and offered the diadem to Caesar. This custom had not been suppressed along with the other heathen observances, and now Andromachus and his party wished to perpetuate it. They pleaded that none of the earlier Popes had objected to the rite. It used to be thought that the touch of the Lupercalian’s thong [sandal] falling on the shoulders of the Roman matrons brought with it a peculiar good fortune [fertility]. It could, at any rate, do no harm to keep alive so ancient a custom. Gelasius replied, with bitter scorn, that though earlier pontiffs might not have been strong enough to suppress the heathen observance, he was, and would exercise his power. If Andromachus and his party really believed the Lupercalis to be a religious act, let them take the shame of it on themselves, themselves rush about like naked madmen through the streets, and not, as was now the custom, put off the shame of it on others, their inferiors in rank. The observance of the Lupercalia had not brought luck to Rome in past times, had not saved her from the sword of Aleric or the ships of Gaiseric. Nay, even in later days, the terrible scenes which marked the strife between Anthemius and Ricimer had not been averted by this silly and licentious rite. He could not lay down the law for pagans, but to Christians he spoke in a voice to which they must hearken. No baptized person, no Christian, should dare to take part in the impious orgy: if he did, he should be without hesitation cut off from the communion of the faithful.
We know not the result, but it cannot be doubted that such a mandate, coming from such lips, was sufficient to destroy the Lupercalian festival.
So - the Roman Empire officially outlawed the Lupercalia. The pagans still keeping it were outlaws. Senator Andromechus was begging for it to be legal again - and was denied by Pope Gelasius. The Catholic Church threatened excommunication for anyone taking part in it. They destroyed it. They did not absorb it. And anyone out there who says they did has only a broken leg to stand on.

Here is the essence of what I thought was incredibly interesting about this study.
Gelasius I was Pope from 492 to 496 AD. That is well past the time when the Armstrongist groups claim the Catholic Church had compromised with paganism. It was 110+ years after Emperor Theodosius I "the Great" declared Christianity the official religion of Rome and basically outlawed paganism. But here is Gelasius I, Bishop in Rome, telling the Roman Senate that had the Popes before him been influential enough they would have ended pagan practices themselves. As it turns out, Gelasius I was the first to be powerful enough to do such a thing. Did he compromise and absorb paganism? No. He fought against it; exactly like his predecessors did for 4 centuries.
Interesting, no? 
Now, allow your mind to wander a while and contemplate the many implications of this.

It is no secret that the Catholic Church institutes feasts for individual Saints on most days throughout the year, and all Saints on November 1st. It is believed that Valentine is the name of more than just one martyr. Perhaps there is only one St. Valentine, but more likely there could be as many as three. In the Catholic tradition, should this name not have a feast? Of course it should. Well, in 496 AD, this same Pope Gelasius who crushed Lupercalia also chose February 14th (not 15th) as the feast of the saint(s) named Valentine.

So, if I propose that this wasn’t another case of absorbing paganism, then one would ask - how did they get the pagan symbolism then?

Answer:
Geoffrey Chaucer.

According to the Virtual Museum, Chaucer is “
the Architecht of Valantine's Day". According to their article, Chaucer:
brought together the imagery of blooming spring and the tradition that birds choose their mates in spring to describe the courtship of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. In The Parliament of Fowles Chaucer also chose Saint Valentine as a patron for that marriage, which is the first mention of Saint Valentine in a love poem. Also in the poem are other symbols of love which came to be associated with Saint Valentine's Day: Cupid and Venus. Chaucer thus began a tradition of composing love poetry on Saint Valentine's Day.

Once I was able to track this little factoid down, I began finding it confirmed in several other places.
For instance, Jack B Oruch in his book “St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February” p. 534, says:
Although many critics speak of these two works as belonging to a “Valentine tradition,” and some even discuss ways in which Chaucer makes innovations in the “Valentine convention,” no evidence has been discovered of such a tradition, either literary or in social customs, before Chaucer.
So, Chaucer really was the first to come up with this stuff.

For another perspective, read “Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine” by Henry Ansgar Kelly. Or read the Infoplease.com, in their article “Valentine’s Day History”. I obviously don’t agree with everything in that article, but there is some good info there.

So, a lot of people say the Catholic Church co-opted Valentine’s Day from Lupercalia. Are they right? Here’s what I think happened --

In 392-393 AD, Emperor Theodosius I of Rome made the pagan rites and sacrifices illegal throughout the empire. This didn't utterly stamp out the practices, however. In 492-496 AD, Pope Gelasisus I effectively ended the practice of Lupercalia in Rome. He didn't absorb it. He didn't co-opt it. He instituted Valentine’s Day as a feast day for the saint(s) by that name. This feast had nothing at all to do with the practices of Lupercalia. It was nothing like we know it today, either. For one thousand years this day has been solely about the Saints’ feast. Along comes the English poet, Chauser, and now, for the first time, Valentine’s Day has romantic overtones and some pagan symbolism (Cupid, etc). That caught on, and here we are. From what I’m seeing, the Armstrongists are simply not in the right on this one.

There are a lot of ministers within Armstrongism who teach that history cannot be trusted. They claim all of the records were changed by the Catholics. They accuse the Catholics – without evidence, mind you - of being deceitful. They say it is a massive conspiracy by Satan to bury “the truth.” How does one prove this? If the entire historical record is so uselessly unreliable, how does anyone prove anything from history? It can’t be done!
And their solution to this dilemma is… to make up history. Yes, they turn right around and do the very thing they accuse the Catholics of doing! They make up another history, a history favorable to them, a history fabricated from nothing but ideology and imagination. Meanwhile they can neither prove the Catholics wrong nor themselves right.

Any reasonable person would have to disagree with this whole fiasco. Baseless claims on top of baseless claims. It’s patently ridiculous. I don’t accept, “We say they are wrong, and since they’re wrong, what we want to be true must be true.” I reject that.
They have never proven that history is unreliable. Meanwhile, we’ve shown here on this blog time after time that it is Herbert Armstrong and his ministers who have routinely changed history and distorted the record. That's not just an empty claim, or my opinion. We have proven this. One way we prove this is to go to their source material – if they have any. What have we found time and time and time again? They have misquoted, distorted, omitted, and lied. They say the source material says one thing, and we show you how that simply is not the case. There is no way to blame that on the Catholics!

I believe that history is plenty reliable. So long as we go in search of what actually is true, as opposed to going in search of what we wanted to find in the first place. Also, we need to use several of the best, most authoritative sources available. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that all sources are not equal.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed our walks through the history of the holidays. I hope they have been beneficial and educational to you. This is going to be my last walk with you like this. I’ve seen enough, so far as it goes, and the truth has truly set me free.

I hope you are inspired to prove all things, just as the Bereans Did. I hope you are set free to walk with our Lord Jesus Christ unencumbered. May you be emboldened and empowered by the truth. I pray for you all to find joy and peace in this life and the next. For all of you who are still in the COG groups, loved by God and sought after, may our Lord Jesus Christ lead you into the New Covenant in His blood. Step into the New Covenant!



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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11
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