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Historical writings from those considered to be true Christians by the real COG and Roman Catholic Church, such as Polycarp of Smyrna (d. The most faithful of all of them appears to be the "If the Church is true all in her is true" (Cited in Schmoger Carl E. "The Church considers that her most important mission in today's culture is to keep alive the search for truth..." (Church's Mission Is to Seek Truth, Says Pope. John had a prominent position in the Apostolic body... Paul in opposing his enemies in Galatia names John explicitly along with Peter and James the Less as a "pillar of the Church"..Apostle and Evangelist John lived in Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century and from Ephesus had guided the Churches of that province (Fonck L. Some say, however, that according to the common law the place of Purgatory is where man sins. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.

Roman Catholic Church: The Catholic view is different from such an individualistic and mechanical approach. The Original Church in Smyrna Was Faithful Both teach that the original church in Smyrna was faithful to what was taught by the apostles. Christianity was preached to the inhabitants at an early date. More recently, devotion to Our Lady of Fatima was accepted and encouraged by the Church. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation... Commandment 4 "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Matthew -12). However, it may be of interest to read what noted historian K. Latourette observed about Origen as it is closer to the Roman Catholic position on purgatory, but closer COG position on the what will happen to those not converted in this age: Origen taught that ultimately all the spirits who have fallen away from God will be restored to full harmony with Him. When, therefore, all rational souls shall have been restored to a condition of this kind, then the nature of this body of ours will undergo a change into the glory of a spiritual body. A name given in the history of theology to the doctrine which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will share in the grace of salvation; in a special way, the devils and lost souls. All souls, all impenitent beings that have gone astray, shall, therefore, be restored sooner or later to God's friendship. Christian love should be shown to people of all ethnicities (Romans ; Luke -37). Irenaeus correctly indicates, that he seems to have similarities to the one who would be the final Antichrist. Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Some, in fact, rightly label it as ‘Roman-Easter’" (p. Of course, what is not generally realized by the speakers of non-Latin languages is that the Romans did not use the name "Easter" for their new celebration; they continued to call it by the Latin word for Passover, paschalis (Ogwyn J. Most religious leaders know that Easter is the name of an ancient pagan goddess (spelled Ishtar) and some even know that the custom of Easter observance is totally UNCHRISTIAN! XI, xxix; "Quod ipse [se imperator] fecerit, si canonicum est, sequimur; si vero canonicum non est, in quantum sine peccato nostro, portamus." In taking this line Gregory was undoubtedly influenced by his deep reverence for the emperor, whom he regarded as the representative of God in all things secular, and must still be treated with all possible respect, even when he encroached on the borders of the papal authority (Huddleston, G. And he who misses the murderous exhibition is grieved, because he was not doomed to be a spectator of wicked and impious and abominable deeds (Tatian. Which is plainly spoken of that city, when it was heathen, the head of the terrene dominion of the world, the persecutor of the Apostles and their successors, the seat of Nero, Domitian, and the like, Christ's special enemies, the sink of idolatry, and false worship of the Pagan gods (Annotations on Chapter 17 of the Apocalypse. Yet, it should be realized that there are Roman and Byzantine Catholic prophecies that look forward to Babel/Babylon being re-established. For Isaiah spake thus concerning this space of a thousand years: 'For there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come into their heart; but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I create'... I believe that as the last days come to an end so will the sixth day of creation (Culligan E. And while that type of "universal salvation" is interesting, those "saved" then combined with those who the Catholics teach were saved while alive earlier or in purgatory still only amounts to less than probably 30% of all humans to ever lived. Approximate Quotes from: A History of the Church of God--The Transition from Sardis to the Philadelphia Era. GUARDING THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH IS THE MISSION WHICH THE LORD ENTRUSTED TO HIS CHURCH, and which she fulfills in every age. At the press conference, along with Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, were the spokesmen of the different languages: in Spanish, Father Manuel Dorantes; in Italian, Father Bernard Hagenkord; in English, Father Thomas Rosica; and in French, Romilda Ferrauto. Polycarp and the presbyters with him to the church of God that sojourns at Philippi (Polycarp. 1 Corinthians 1:2) or another word, with it (1 Timothy ). The question at issue is, whether the Apostles did, or did not, establish in the Christian communities a hierarchical organization. The evidence thus far considered seems to demonstrate beyond all question that the hierarchical organization of the Church was, in its essential elements, the work of the Apostles themselves; and that to this hierarchy they handed on the charge entrusted to them by Christ of governing the Kingdom of God, and of teaching the revealed doctrine. I have tried to take space to MAKE IT CLEAR in this article (Armstrong, Herbert W. He was the Apostle to Israel while Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9). )—a bishop is essentially an elder who is a pastor or overseer (compare Acts 20 vss. John specifically taught what he learned from the beginning and the Bible is clear that John taught the truth of Christianity from the beginning (1 John 1:1-3; 2:3-4). I, therefore, brethren, am now 65 years in the Lord, who having conferred with the brethren throughout the world, and having studied the whole of the sacred Scriptures, am not at all alarmed at those things with which I am threatened, to intimidate me. (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NJB) But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, "There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism," that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God..us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. And when the synagogue was dismissed, many of the Jews, and of the strangers serving God, followed Paul and Barnabas: who speaking exhorted them to continue in the grace of God. While the Ephesians were told to live differently than the other Gentiles in whose nation they co-existed with, those with Justin Martyr could not be distinguished. There are several words rendered "repent" in the Bible. The Ten Commandments are precepts bearing on the fundamental obligations of religion and morality and embodying the revealed expression of the Creator's will in relation to man's whole duty to God and to his fellow-creatures. And this is prophesied to continue into the future, as the Apostle John was inspired to write,“the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation )... The worship that belongs alone to God he transfers to Antichrist himself—to the creature, male and female, deceased—to images, carcasses, and relics. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles' Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. In truth, the Eucharist performs at once two functions: that of a sacrament and that of a sacrifice... "In the Mandaean mass" writes Cumont ("Mysterien des Mithra", Leipzig, 1903, p.118), "the celebrant consecrated bread and water, which he mixed with perfumed Haoma-juice, and ate this food while performing the functions of divine service". Since Jesus was only to be sacrificed once, the idea of a daily or weekly 'sacrifice of the mass' is opposed to the Bible and the original faith. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. In St, Thomas' time (III:82:3), the deacons were allowed to administer only the Chalice to the laity, and in case of necessity the Sacred Host also, at the bidding of the bishop or priest. He is especially remembered for his zeal..he popularized, with the help of St. Hannan, Archbishop of New Orleans, November 19, 1974. 26 And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. (Matthew ,26 Douay-Rheims) 22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. (Mark , Douay-Rheims) 19 And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. (Luke , Douay-Rheims) 16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/04/13) Notice that even though they believe the Holy Spirit is a separate person, the Roman Catholics admit that comments in scripture about "Spirit" have different meanings/applications. Hippolytus of Rome, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910). Wherefore just as, before Christ, the mystery of Christ was believed explicitly by the learned, but implicitly and under a veil, so to speak, by the simple, so too was it with the mystery of the Trinity. Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. 40 For as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. But notice to WHOM Christ witnessed about the flood. 1973) When Did Jesus Preach to the Spirits in Prison? That it is not meet for Christians to bear arms (Hippolytus. But to the unbelieving and despisers, who obey not the truth, but are obedient to unrighteousness, when they shall have been filled with adulteries and fornications, and filthiness, and covetousness, and unlawful idolatries, there shall be anger and wrath, tribulation and anguish, and at the last everlasting fire shall possess such men (Theophilus of Antioch. For even the very word spoken to him testifies to him, saying, "Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations." But he was not a prophet unto the nations; and thus the truthful word of God makes it necessary, which it has promised to set forth, that he should be a prophet to the nations. The Church of God and sometimes with a location or another word associated with it (Armstrong HW. Many, in fact, addressed the situation of the divorced that have remarried civilly and wish to access Communion. I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy , NKJV). The Apostolic Fathers--Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004. Romans ) though often with another term, like a geographic region (cf. The Church Should Have a Hierarchical Governance Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of God believe in hierarchical governance. For a bishop must be without crime." These presbyters form a corporate body (1 Timothy ), and they are entrusted with the twofold charge of governing the Church (1 Timothy 3:5) and of teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)... This crucial crux chapter has been misunderstood, twisted and distorted. Peter, along with the Apostle John, played a prominent role in the early Christian church. This is especially true since none of those early “Bishops of Rome” claim to have held the position of apostle (or even bishop! For in Asia great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again in the day of the Lord’s appearing, in which he will come with glory from heaven, and will raise up all the saints; Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis… and my relatives always observed the day when the people threw away the leaven [Abib 14]. That Whitsunday belongs to the Apostolic times is stated in the seventh of the (interpolated) fragments attributed to St. In Tertullian (De bapt., xix) the festival appears as already well established (Holweck F. 11 Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost. And they going forth, they desired them that the Sabbath following they would speak unto them these words. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc. If real repentance is not equated with remorse, regret or even acts of penance, then what is it? deka, ten, and logos, a word), the Ten Words of Sayings, the latter name generally applied by the Greek Fathers. In New Testament times and throughout history, true Christians have stiven to obey the law of God, including keeping the Ten Commandments. Christ never had an enemy like this; so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, insomuch that the true church, with her children, is trodden under foot. Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. In the early part of the first century, it is unlikely that the Occasionally a collection would be taken for the poor at the end. By the end of the first century, the standard Christian liturgical observations would be as follows. The simple fact that numerous heretics...repudiated the Mass as "idolatry", while retaining the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of Christ, proves that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is something essentially different from the Sacrifice of the Mass. No prayers to dead saints (including Mary) are offered in COG services, and Passover is an annual event. The ancient Hydroparastatæ, or Aquarians, who used water instead of wine, were heretics in her eyes... Towards the close of the Middle Ages IHS became a symbol , quite like the SAINT BERNADINE OF SIENA 1380-1444... 19 And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. The Holy Spirit is inherent in the Father and the Son, and emanates from Them throughout the entire universe (1 Kings ; Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah ). Hippolytus was the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era (St. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), It is impossible to believe explicitly in the mystery of Christ, without faith in the Trinity... A booklet of related interest may be Should You Observe God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? Leaders of both groups in modern times realize that the idea of Jesus' descent into Hades to preach to dead humans after the crucifixion is not from the Bible. doctrine appears to be unknown in the New Testament. 15:3 and 20) but "WHEN once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing ..." (I Peter ). Yet these also have spoken beforehand of the punishments that are to light upon the profane and unbelieving, in order that none be left without a witness, or be able to say, "We have not heard, neither have we known." But do you also, if you please, give reverential attention to the prophetic Scriptures, and they will make your way plainer for escaping the eternal punishments, and obtaining the eternal prizes of God... Many think that there is Elisha, or Moses, with Elijah; but both of these died; while the death of Elijah is not heard of, with whom all our ancients have believed that it was Jeremiah. As the Divinely appointed teacher of revealed truth, the Church is infallible... The authority of that law is again and again insisted on by Christ and His Apostles. Since the Church is infallible in its teaching, it follows that if the Church of Christ still exists it must be teaching His doctrine (O'Reilly TC. (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/04/13) The Name of the Church Both groups recognize that the name of the early church was often "Church of God." Over time, the Roman Catholics preferred Catholic which, while also in several of the early writings as a descriptor, is not used as the name of the Church in the New Testament. Christ had declared that His kingdom should be spread among all nations, and had committed the execution of the work to the twelve (Matthew ). Rome is simply not close enough to Asia Minor or Jerusalem for Peter to have been based out of Rome. (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/07/13) The Church of God does not believe it is possible that Jesus used one city as the headquarters for nearly the entire church age. The next faithful leader in Asia Minor..Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. Scripture and Tradition Both groups have a different view of the applicability of tradition. Side by side with Scripture there is tradition, side by side with the written revelation there is the oral revelation. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV, Copyright © 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. This deposit was complete with the close of the apostolic age. Yet, many of the changes and "traditions" that this paper documents happened well AFTER the time of the original apostles, hence many should not be accepted as proper or biblical traditions. There are also shorterforms of the scapular ( Many Catholic devotions are based solely on private revelations: the Rosary, the Sacred Heart, and the Scapular are cases in point (Dupont, Yves. Yet, many give it extreme and blasphemous importance. "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow... xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil... Controversy arose during the third century about some of Origen's opinions...a synod of Constantinople in 543 condemned nine propositions attributed to him, notably concerning..final restoration of all... Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Rightly then does the apostle declare, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" for this (honour) does he ascribe to the changed condition which ensues on the resurrection (Tertullian. It is a change that the Church of Rome must have gotten outside of the Bible. If Irenaeus’ Marcus and the Orthodox’s Marcus are the same person, it is clear that one in the list of Alexandria's Orthodox successors was condemned by Irenaeus as a heretic. of the office, neither sacrificing nor lending his authority to sacrifices; not farming out victims; not assigning to others the care of temples; not looking after their tributes; not giving spectacles at his own or the public charge, or presiding over the giving them; making proclamation or edict for no solemnity; not even taking oaths: moreover (what comes under the head of We have continually included the emperors in these historical details; because from the time they began to profess the Christian religion, the affairs of the Church have depended on them, so that even the greatest Synods have been, and still are convened by their appointment (Socrates Scholasticus. After Emperor Constantine, Roman Pontiffs have crowned various ones as Emperors as well as encouraged Roman Catholics to hold other political offices. This, of course, changed within the Roman Catholic Church after Emperor Constantine arose. The other has the power to call down fire from Heaven and to shut the sky to prevent the rain (Elijah). What is the “Harlot City” in the Book of Revelation? The "day for a year" interpretation is taken from Ezek. Since this is the re-establishment, yet future, of the Roman Empire, which does not take place until the time of the first WOE, it appears that these "witnesses" are two literal men, not the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible, as some believe. They will announce God’s judgments to a world in rebellion against Him, and will confront the power of the Beast and the False Prophet. Many will celebrate at their deaths, since the False Prophet will have accused them of causing all of the world’s troubles. Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong, he shall recover the states of the Church, and reunite the exiled temporal powers. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, pp.247-248). A great prince of the North with a most powerful army will traverse all Europe, uproot all republics, and exterminate all rebels. Interestingly, even Roman Catholic scholars often teach that the Apostle John's references to Babylon in the Book of Revelation (circa 95 A. Notice what the commentary in the The author of the Commentaries upon the Apocalypse set forth in St. Thus Roman Catholic scholars often realize that it was commonly understood from the earliest times that Apostle John's biblical references to Babylon are referring to Rome. "..Chiliasm [the teaching of the Millennium] and Montanism were declared heretical and were excluded from the universal church; for they both denied this vision [the "Christ is the end of the ages" vision] and awaited still another period of more definitive salvation to follow after the age of Christ" (as cited in Birch, pp. The obligation of the natural moral law constitutes part of this revelation. However, the Roman Catholic Church believes there are thousands of times more actual Christians alive today than those in the genuine COG believe that there are (though COG believes that more will ultimately be saved than the Roman Catholics normally do). Apostolicity of doctrine requires that the deposit of faith committed to the Apostles shall remain unchanged. The fact that there are seven churches addressed and the number seven suggests completion, combined with the fact that the churches are listed in the same order as they would receive mail in the Roman times, is also consistent with the view that these churches were to represent the true church throughout the ages in a type of sequential order of predominance. Within the society of believers not only were the members united by common rites, but the tie of unity was so close as to bring about in the Church of Jerusalem that condition of things in which the disciples had all things common (ii, 44). NOR COULD PETER HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN BISHOP OF ROME FOR MUCH OF THE THIRTY-PLUS YEARS AFTER THAT TIME AS HE TRAVELED WITHIN ASIA MINOR AND TO JERUSALEM REPEATEDLY. 09/04/13) While Peter played a predominant role among the apostles, after his death, that leadership role would have passed to another apostle (John) and not to an elder who may have lived in Rome. The Apostle John died in Ephesus at the end of the first century. The adherents to this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, born of , the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again (Jerome. The handling of confession, forgiveness of sins, and repentance/penance are differences between the COG and the Roman Catholics (an article of possible interest may be History of Auricular Confession and the 'Sacrament of Confession'). Holy Scripture is therefore not the only theological source of the Revelation made by God to His Church. Together, Scripture and Tradition form the one sacred deposit of the word of God. 81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.” “And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. about fourteen to eighteen inches), and of such a length that it reaches not quite to the feet in front and behind. Thus, it should be clear that the dress of the Roman/Orthodox clergy did not originate from the Bible, but were later additions from source outside the Bible. A brown scapular originally was a wool object that sometimes comes in the form of metals instead. "Sister Lucia has said all Catholics should wear the Brown Scapular as part of the Fatima message" (Anon. "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam..eat things sacrificed to idols" (Revelation ). Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. We say, therefore, that the flesh rises again, but that when changed it obtains the kingdom... Hence, the earliest picture of the eucharist host did not come from what is practiced in today's Roman Catholicism--so the question from whence the Catholics adopted it remains.) Thus, to have a Passover/eucharistic ceremony where they bread is not broken is certainly not imitating Jesus, the Apostle Paul, nor the early Christians. And that it is due to a later Catholic tradition that unclean animals became food for Roman supporters. (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/04/13) While Tertullian (late second/early third century) suggests that it might be possible to be part of the world's governments, he had reservations about it. One has the power to smite the land with every plague and turn the waters to blood (Moses in the Exodus). The key to the question is this: A day in prophecy represents a year in fulfillment DURING the "times" of Israel's punishment. 2nd, at the END of their testimony, or "1260 days", it is "the BEAST THAT ASCENDED OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT" which kills them. 7) God will use these two men to perform miracles similar to those performed by Moses and Elijah. Just like John the Baptist was really not Elijah, but came in the Spirit and Power of Elijah, so the two witnesses may come in the Spirit and Power of Moses and Elijah. The Two Witnesses, 2007) A remarkable Pope will be seated on the pontifical throne, under special protection of the angels. There will be one common law, only one faith, one baptism, one religion... Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.36).

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