Since the true Church of God has continued from the time of the original apostles, the name Church of God also specifically traces its history from the original apostles like Peter, Paul, and John through through their faithful descendants like Polycarp, Polycrates, and certain other known early leaders/bishops in Asia Minor until the early third century, certain known leaders/bishops until around 135 A. An interesting fact is that many prominent Roman Catholic Church scholars contend that statements implying that there were actual bishops of Rome who succeeded Peter are inaccurate as there were no leaders who held the title "Bishop of Rome" until about 80-90 years after Peter died (an article of related interest may be What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? It should be noted that neither the Roman Catholic Church or COG believe that their respective members are the only ones part of the Christian Church. The Bible clearly shows that Jesus walks in the midst of these seven churches (Revelation 1:9-13), showing that somehow they represent His church for the church age. Though in these days the Christians still availed themselves of the Temple services, yet from the first the brotherhood of Christ formed a society essentially distinct from the synagogue. Peter bids his hearers accept baptism is none other than that they may "save themselves from this unbelieving generation". IT IS AN ABSOLUTE FACT THAT PETER WAS NOT THE BISHOP OF ROME BEGINNING WITH THE START OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH that began on the Pentecost after Jesus was resurrected (Acts 1-2). Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc). 69–155AD) had been a personal disciple of the Apostle John and was one of the few church leaders of his day to hold fast to the Truth... the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. Specifically real COG, like Ignatius, believes that it has the power to forgive those who strayed from the truth to come back to church services. The The Council, as is evident, held that there are Divine traditions not contained in Holy Scripture, revelations made to the Apostles either orally by Jesus Christ or by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and transmitted by the Apostles to the Church. Public (or universal) revelation is that revelation contained in the Sacred Scrpture and Sacred Tradition transmitted by the Church. Other orders and numerous religious congregations (both male and female) have also adopted the scapular from the monastic orders. Description It consists essentially of a piece of cloth about the width of the breast from one shoulder to the other (i.e. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John ). Concerning the relatives of our saviour.) The resurrection is first, and afterwards the kingdom. But I should state that the oldest early painting in a catacomb I am aware of has a woman, Priscilla, presiding over the ceremony, so the Church of Rome may wish to be careful about relying on that as they do not allow women to do that. Justly, therefore, did the apostle call all such "carnal" (Irenaeus. Hence, it is clear that well into the second century, the laws concerning clean and unclean meats were considered to have been in force for Christians. However, Christians are expected to listen to (and pray for, 1 Timothy 2:1-3) governmental authorities (1 Peter -17) and pay their taxes (Matthew -21), yet if there is a conflict between the laws of men and the laws of God, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts , NLT). But we, deeming that to see a man put to death is much the same as killing him, have abjured such spectacles (Athenagoras. That these are Moses and Elijah figures is evident in their powers. Does this mean a literal 1260 day, or 3 ½ years, or does each day symbolize a year, meaning actually 1260 years? In each case the "day for a year" involves Israel's PUNISHMENT only. Therefore we think a literal interpretation of 3½ years for their "prophesying" the more logical in this case. JOANNES MABILLON, OF THE BENEDICTINE CONGREGATION OF S. Many nations and their princes that are living in error and impiety [at that time] shall be converted, and an admirable peace shall reign among men during many years, because the wrath of God shall be appeased through their repentance, penance, and good works. Jesus said that Christians would be kept in His Father’s name (John ), which most often is simply “God” in the New Testament, hence “Church of God.” The most faithful Church of God in the end times in the Book of Revelation is the Philadelphian one, but since only a remnant of that is left, the term Philadelphia remnant Church of God is an appropriate description of the portion of the Church of God that holds fast to Philadelphia era teachings. The COG teaches that the Bible shows that the Church, while always existing, will be in the wilderness for a time (Revelation 12:6) and does not have a continuing city (Hebrews ), hence although the true Church itself would continue, it would not always clearly visible, nor could it be in one city for multiple centuries. And while most professing Christian faiths claim to have the faith of Jesus and His original apostles, many do not know what the original apostles or their faithful successors actually believed. Polycarp, xvi), a phrase which necessarily presupposes a more technical use of the word, is due, some critics think, to interpolation...(Thurston H. The means of salvation which he indicates is baptism; and by baptism his converts are aggregated to the society of disciples (ii, 41). If Peter, and he alone, had the keys, the fact that, according to Peter pursued his Apostolic labours in various districts of Asia Minor" shows that PETER COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE BISHOP OF ROME FOR MUCH OF THE TIME THAT HE "HAD THE KEYS"! Wilfried replied, 'Far be it from me to charge John with foolishness: he literally observed the decrees of the Mosaic law when the Church was still Jewish in many respects, at a time when the apostles were unable to bring a sudden end to that law which God ordained…So John, in accordance with the custom of the law, began the celebration of Easter Day in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, regardless of whether it fell on the sabbath or any other day.' (Bede (Monk). Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles...(Irenaeus. Perhaps some heretics may claim Apostolic antiquity: we reply: Let them publish the origins of their churches and unroll the catalogue of their bishops till now from the Apostles or from some bishop appointed by the Apostles, as the Smyrnaeans count from Polycarp and John, and the Romans from Clement and Peter; let heretics invent something to match this (Tertullian. ..believing Jews do well in observing the precepts of the law, i.e....keeping the Jewish Sabbath…there exists a sect among… Although 'The Catholic Encyclopedia' cited Ignatius and others as early proof of confession and penance, Ignatius' own position is essentially the same one that is held by the Church of God. 151) The Catholic Church teaches us that divine revelation is of two kinds. The Brown Scapular Some in the Church of Rome revere something called the brown scapular. The scapular (from Latin, scapula, shoulder) forms a part, and now the most important part, of the habit of the monastic orders. "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Luke 4:8). The original true Church of God has never taught the doctrine of purgatory, but has instead taught the apocatastasis’ teaching that salvation would be to all who ever lived (for more information on this important topic, please see the article titled Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis). For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians (Dialogue. Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life (Hegesippus. ( Notice the article basically says that the practice of the first Christians, which is consistent with the Bible, was to use normal loaves of bread that resemble what is still in use today. (The article never says where the round host actually came from, other than it was first mentioned in writing in the fourth century by Epiphanius and that earlier paintings in catacombs and bas-reliefs showed something like that. " For men of this stamp do indeed say that they believe in the Father and the Son, but they never meditate as they should upon the things of God, neither are they adorned with works of righteousness; but, as I have already observed, they have adopted the lives of swine and of dogs, giving themselves over to filthiness, to gluttony, and recklessness of all sorts. Now, I should add that the Liber Pontificalis was composed in the fifth/sixth centuries and has a reputation, even amongst Roman Catholic scholars, for arbitrarily assigning events with certain "popes" (some of this is documented in the article What Does Rome Actually Teach About Early Church History? It would seem, however, that this could not have been assigned any earlier than Eleutherius because of Irenaeus' writings. Thus, historically, the Church of God has taught that its members not participate in secular juries and secular politics. What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers? Who does not reckon among the things of greatest interest the contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those which are given by you? Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 12, On the words Incarnate, and Made Man. They have power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. 1st, they "prophesy" or preach a final warning to the world during "1260 days." (Verse 3). Now these two "witnesses" END their "1260 days" prophesying AFTER the "times" of Israel's and Judah's punishment have ended. BERNARD, ABBOT OF CLAIRVAUX TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH FROM THE EDITION OF DOM. This great Monarch shall assist the Pope in the reformation of the whole earth.
It probably should be mentioned that although Ignatius did use the expression "he katholike ekklesia" one time--he used it when addressing the Smyrnaeans (who we in the Church of God claim our descent through--hence we are the most faithful descendants of the original "catholic church"), while he used a version of the expression at "church of God" least four times in the other letters he wrote at that time (see The Church is catholic, that is, universal, open to all cultures, to all continents (Benedict XVI Makes Appeal for Solidarity With Africa. In the writings from the Second Council of Constantinople it uses the expression Church of God six times in reference to itself. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God (1 Corinthians , NKJV). The first two “eras” of the Church of God (and the first two shown in the Book of Revelation) were those of Ephesus and Smyrna and lasted from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (c. The Roman Church also has a college of cardinals--cardinals are the "hinges" of the church and the concept comes from from pre-Christian times (please see the article Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? The more prominent the Apostles become in the Evangelical narrative, the more conspicuous does Peter appear as the first among them. et imposuit Simoni nomen Petrus"; Luke -14: "Et cum dies factus esset, vocavit discipulos suos, et elegit duodecim ex ipsis (quos et Apostolos nominavit): Simonem, quem cognominavit Petrum . ." On various occasions Peter speaks in the name of the other Apostles (Matthew ; ; Luke , etc.). Few have ever noticed that Peter was the real leader. Is it logical that the one who wrote the last books of the Bible would be the primary leader of the church until he died? In the closing decades of the second century, Polycrates, a faithful church leader who had been personally trained by Polycarp, arose... Pentecost (Whitsunday) A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost (Exodus ; Deuteronomy ). Now God's work was all finished at the beginning of the world; 4 as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify (Gibbons, James Cardinal. For it is called the first day of the week, and so from it are reckoned the second, third, fourth, and so on to the seventh day of the week, which is the Sabbath. The sacred text says that "on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done"..that God "rested on this day and sanctified and blessed it"... And it is not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the Apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to that purpose. We should not be like certain Muslims and whip our backs, while effectively saying, "Look at our suffering, God, so hear us." The late John Ogwyn wrote: Godly Sorrow Leads to Repentance Many people equate repentance with being sorry. Specifically, Simon Stock’s apparition (which could not have been Mary) indicates that one can sin and not suffer the flames of eternal torment if they die wearing a scapular. The fact that Lucia endorsed the scapular, as well as the rosary, should also show all that her “private revelations” were beyond scripture and Catholic dogma as well. In the fourth century, Aphraates wrote: Clearly the congregation of the house of Israel, to which the ten commandments were given. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing (Polycarp. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. Jesus kept and taught the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy ; 10:4). He opposed reverence for crosses, emphasis on huge church edifices, the fable of purgatory, prayers for the dead with their inevitable heavy bribes paid to the greedy religious leaders who falsely claimed to represent God. While we in the COG are still opposed to idols and icons, the Roman Catholic Church eventually embraced them. The sect denied the formula "ever-Virgin Mary" used in the Greek and Roman Liturgies. But ultimately our study lies in drawing on what we know from these ends, and reconstructing the development in-between. The Judeo-Centricity of Early Christianity ‘ is the Greek word meaning “meeting” and is the organic continuity of the Saturday Synagogue worship. 604), the early Church having used the expression the "breaking of bread" (fractio panis) or "liturgy" (Acts 13:2, leitourgountes); the Greek Church has employed the latter name for almost sixteen centuries. Our hymns are almost all psalms and other biblical passages set to music (they can be found here: ). There are two Eucharistic elements, bread and wine, which constitute the remote matter of the Sacrament of the Altar... The loaves discovered in an oven of a bakery at Pompeii weighed about a pound each. GOD IS SPIRIT, GOD IS LOVE “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John , NKJV used throughout). Semiarians/binitarians were essentially the majority of professors of Christ until the latter portion of the fourth century--and those in the true Church of God never accepted this change towards pagan beliefs. We in the real COG do not accept that the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens." ... The fact that Irenaeus states that things are clear and unambiguous in the Sacred Scriptures (and he only refers to the New Testament teachings in the above passages) is clear evidence that he felt that the canon was known. Therefore, do not be sceptical, but believe; for I myself also used to disbelieve that this would take place, but now, having taken these things into consideration, I believe. "Signum sacro sanctum efficax gratiae" -- a sacrosanct sign producing grace, is a good, succinct definition of a sacrament of the New Law... Or who will be our advocate, if we have not been found to have holy and righteous works? However some other Catholic writers do not seem to understand this (and some of those quotes are in the later section on the Millennium). Therefore their preaching is three years and six months, and the kingdom of Antichrist as much again.
The Roman Catholic Church itself has continued to sometimes use the expression "Church of God" throughout history. A bishop is sort of like a supervising elder--the Church of God tends to normally use the term pastor or regional pastor instead of the term bishop, consistent with what Priest Sullivan admitted above (though the term bishop is sometimes used in the CCOG). Though of irresolute character, he clings with the greatest fidelity, firmness of faith, and inward love to the Saviour; rash alike in word and act, he is full of zeal and enthusiasm, though momentarily easily accessible to external influences and intimidated by difficulties. 2008 In founding God's Church, Jesus worked primarily through one man, Peter, even though He originally chose His 12 disciples. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Even if some question that, the fact is that because John was an apostle, he was also capable of passing on any legitimate form of “apostolic succession” himself. The next faithful leader in Asia Minor..Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna... 3 We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Even leading Roman Catholic scholars know that the Bible itself endorses the Saturday Sabbath, though it now endorses something called "the eighth day"--a term never found in the New Testament to denote a day of worship: But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Sabbath is the seventh day, but the Lord's Day, coming after the seventh, must needs be the eighth, and is also to be reckoned the first. The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in devotion and sermons. God is not interested in penance, but repentance and change. Devotion for the Scapular of Our Lady of Carmel was born in the 13th century when after being purchased from Palestine by the Saracens, the Carmelite brothers encountered great difficulties in getting established in Europe and elsewhere . Should one who eliminates any part of Catholic dogma be considered as a Catholic saint? Both have idolartrous and blasphemous beliefes related to them. (Thiel B, Pastor/Overseer/Bishop, Continuing Church of God) Preparing man for this life, the Lord Himself did speak in His own person to all alike the words of the Decalogue; and therefore, in like manner, do they remain permanently with us, receiving by means of His advent in the flesh, extension and increase, but not abrogation (Irenaeus. Hence Clement endorsed the same order of the ten commandments that the COG still endorses. Which should be bound, the original commandments or the renumbered ones? He further rejected the Catholic MYSTERY teaching that the priest in the Mass produced the literal flesh of Christ. Peter's baptizing in the Tiber (De bapt., iv); similarly; in later periods of evangelization, missionaries baptized in rivers as is narrated of St. Thus, the early church was always against the use of idols and icons. 09/04/13) Tertullian, Origen, and Melito wrote in the latter portion of the second/early third century. This doctrine..afterwards modified so as to teach that, although Our Lord was born of Mary through the Holy Ghost, afterwards Joseph and Mary lived in wedlock and had many other children. We do have a few texts, reliable but vague, from the second and third century that help us piece together the puzzle. accessed 01/01/17) The word Mass (missa) first established itself as the general designation for the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the West after the time of Pope Gregory the Great (d. Thus, this is a liturgy very much like those that the original Christians would have been used to. Since Christ is present under the appearances of bread and wine in a sacramental way, the Blessed Eucharist is unquestionably a sacrament of the Church... It seems that the form differed but little from what it is in our day. This most basic of Christian doctrines took several hundred years for the magisterium to define in a way that would do justice to all the various aspects of the revelation that God had given us in Christ. ) whose current religion had a trinity of sorts when he pushed for this (see also Do You Practice Mithraism? Emperor Constantine did not possess God's Holy Spirit, but instead his mind had "been blinded by the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4, NJB). A name frequently given to the conservative majority in the East in the fourth century...showing that the very name of father implies a son of like substance...rejected the Divinity of the Holy Ghost... It should be noted that the early church did not celebrate Christmas, and the Roman Catholics have no proof that they did prior to 354 A. Nor that they held feasts to Mary before the seventh century. 389) 631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. Those who wage war justly aim at peace, and so they are not opposed to peace, except to the evil peace, which Our Lord "came not to send upon earth" (Matthew ). Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace" (Aquinas Thomas. He also mentions Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians, Galatians, and Thessalonians by name. And if so, this shows that the church in Asia Minor had the complete biblical canon very early on. According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, accepted today by many Episcopalians, the sacraments of the Christian dispensation are not mere signs; they do not merely signify Divine grace, but in virtue of their Divine institution, they cause that grace in the souls of men. Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come. The kingdom of God was also a significant part of what is believed to be "the oldest complete Christian sermon that has survived" (Holmes M. 6:9 Now if even such righteous men as these are not able, by means of their own righteous deeds, to save their children, what assurance do we have of entering the kingdom of God if we fail to keep our baptism pure and undefiled? Perhaps I should add emphasize that the two-horned beast (also known as the false prophet or the final Antichrist) is mainly a religious, not a military leader. Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 09/04/13) Many non-Catholics and non-C OGr's do not realize that the false prophet is both the two-horned beast and the final Antichrist (see SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666), and is not the ten-horned Beast--but it is nice that many Roman Catholics understand that the COG position has historical support amongst their leaders. I will give to my two witnesses, and they shall predict a thousand two hundred and threescore days clothed in sackcloth." That is, three years and six months: these make forty-two months.
Her members do not constitute a sect nor will they consent to be known as such, because they do not belong to a party called into existence by a human leader, or to a school of thought sworn to the dictates of a mortal master. Keynote speech from the Conference of the Society for Ecumenical Studies, the St. "And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read" (Luke ). "are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Commandment 5 "For God commanded saying, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death'" (Matthew 15:4). These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew -20). All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark ,23). Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed, the body shall be made spiritual, the world of matter shall be transformed, and there shall be, in the universe, only peace and unity... It was destined, nevertheless, to be revived in the works of ecclesiastical writers... The biblical festivals show that Christ was truly sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7) and Christians are to live without the leaven of hypocrisy, malice, and wickness (Luke 12:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6-13). For this observance they claimed the authority of St. Every Sunday of the year was a commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ, which had occurred on a Sunday. Is it acceptable to Christ for Christians to worship Him as the heathen worshiped their chief god? Rome, weakened in temporal power, shall forever preserve her spiritual dominion, and shall enjoy great peace…At the beginning, in order to bring these happy results, having need of a powerful assistance, this holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the generous monarch of France (Great Monarch). 31-32) Despite the fact that the current Pope seems to warn against certain aspects of Babylon, Europe is trying to become the end time Babylon and the next pontiff (even if he makes some anti-Babylon statements) may be the one who truly supports the final Babylon. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, seven times that of the day, when He shall heal the anguish of His people, and do away with the pain of His stroke." Now "the pain of the stroke" means that inflicted at the beginning upon disobedient man in Adam, that is, death; which [stroke] the Lord will heal when He raises us from the dead, and restores the inheritance of the fathers, as Isaiah again says: "And thou shall be confident in the LORD, and He will cause thee to pass over the whole earth, and feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father." This is what the Lord declared: "Happy are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching. Hence it is commonly known as the "millennium", while the belief in the future realization of the kingdom is called "millenarianism" (or "chiliasm", from the Greek chilia, scil. ...a large number of Christians of the post-Apostolic era, particularly in Asia Minor, yielded so far to Jewish apocalyptic as to put a literal meaning into these descriptions of St. The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Volume 2. He will "ape" the role that John the Baptist performed in preparing the people to for the arrival of the Messiah" (Birch, DA.
She is the sole custodian of the complete teaching of Jesus Christ which must be accepted in its entirety by all mankind. To stand in the apostolic succession is not a matter of an individual historical chain but of collegial membership in a collegium, which as a whole goes back to the apostles by sharing the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission (Kasper, Cardinal Walter. "And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue" (Mark 6:2). And they could not answer Him regarding these things" (Luke 14:3,6). These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew -20). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...adulteries, fornications... The evolution will be long, incalculably long in some cases, but a time will come when God shall be all in all. From the moment, however, that anti-Origenism prevailed, the doctrine of the apokatastasis was definitely abandoned... 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”,,, By observing the days that the Bible enjoins, Christians can come to understand more deeply God’s plan of salvation, and some of the steps taken toward salvation. Since Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, had been slain on the very day when the Jews, in celebration of their Passover, immolated the figurative lamb, the Jewish Christians in the Orient followed the Jewish method... In the rest of the empire another consideration predominated. Would it matter to Christ if a Christian took symbols of fertility — which all the world recognizes as such — and held them up as symbols of Him? The city of Babylon shall then be the head and guide of the world. That the whole creation shall, according to God's will, obtain a vast increase, that it may bring forth and sustain fruits such [as we have mentioned], Isaiah declares: "And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every prominent hill, water running everywhere in that day, when many shall perish, when walls shall fall. For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one (Irenaeus. In hundreds also and in thousands the observation of the sacred number is by no means passed over, for not without a meaning did the Lord say: "I have left the seven thousand men, who have not bent their knees before Baal." Therefore the shadow of the future rest is figured in time in the days, months, and years of this world, and therefore the children of Israel are commanded by Moses, that in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, a rest should be established for all at the "memorial of the trumpets;" and that no servile work should be done, but a sacrifice be offered to God, because that at the end of the week, as it were the sabbath of the world, spiritual and not bodily work is required of us ( The evangelist John has spoken of these two resurrections in the book which is called the Apocalypse..Apostle John says in the foresaid book, "And I saw an angel come down from heaven. The duration of this glorious reign of Christ and His saints on earth, is frequently given as one thousand years. The two enemies of the Church..firmly resolved to destroy the pious and learned men that stand in their way" (Schmoger Carl E. 29-30) "The "False Prophet" arrives - - the Precursor of Antichrist.
By COGwriter Nearly everyone in the West feels that they know about the Roman Catholic Church, but few understand what many of its original beliefs were. They form part of a Church which embraces all space and in a certain sense both time and eternity, since it is militant, suffering, and triumphant. Alban's Christian Study Centre and the Hertfordshire Newman Association at St. "Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths" (Luke ). Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy? "But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath... So ought not this woman..loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. It was through Origen that the Platonist doctrine of the apokatastasis passed to St. The doctrine of apokatastasis viewed as a belief in a universal salvation is found among the Anabaptists...(Batiffel, Pierre. The biblical festivals also help show that while some are predestined to be called in this Church Age (Ephesians 1:4-12; Acts 2:1-47), there is an age to come (Acts ; Matthew ), and the destiny of all others is to be presented an opportunity for salvation on the Last Great Day (John -38; -48; Romans -21). (Statement of Beliefs, Continuing Church of God, viewed 09/04/13) Protestants tend to put people in only two categories, the saved and the condemned. Because the Sunday after 14 Nisan was the historical day of the Resurrection, at Rome this Sunday became the Christian feast of Easter... In the Neumark (Germany) on Easter Day the men servants whip the maid servants with switches; on Monday the maids whip the men. These customs are probably of pre-Christian origin (Reinsberg-Düringsfeld, Das festliche Jahr, 118)... Easter supposedly embodies a number of "converging traditions;" most scholars try to associate Easter with the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, and the King James version of Acts 12:4 even mistranslates Pesach (Greek for Passover) "Easter." Christians of Jewish origin celebrated the Passover festival, which fell on the evening of the full moon (the 14 day of the month of Nisan, the first month of the year). The Bible, itself, warns against being part of the new Babylon (Revelation 18:4-5). Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down [to meat], and will come forth and serve them. John's Apocalypse; the result was that millenarianism spread and gained staunch advocates not only among the heretics but among the Catholic Christians as well... Irenaeus of Lyons, a native of Asia Minor, influenced by the companions of St. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist.
Additionally, most realize that they know very little about the doctrines of the Church of God (CCOG). This claim that the Catholic religion is the only genuine form of Christianity may startle some by its exclusiveness. Alban's Abbey, Hertfordshire, England, on May 17, 2003). And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mark -12). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke ). The Catholic doctrine of purgatory supposes the fact that some die with smaller faults for which there was no true repentance, and also the fact that the temporal penalty due to sin is it times not wholly paid in this life... Yet, both the Roman Catholics and the COG believe that there is something different for those that are not incorrigibly wicked. The Easter Rabbit The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. Passover therefore fell on different days of the week from year to year. And it could possibly include a cross as one of its symbols, as ancient Babylon did as well (Hislop A. First published as a pamphlet in 1853--greatly expanded in 1858). Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation 09/04/13) While both the Roman Catholic Church and the COG teach that the Bible warns about a revived Roman Empire called Babylon, the Roman Catholic Church sometimes teaches that a future revival of the Holy Roman Empire--including being called Babylon by one of its prophets--is a good thing, while the COG considers that the future revival that certain Roman Catholics are waiting for is something that the world needs to be warned about! And if He shall come in the evening watch, and find them so, blessed are they, because He shall make them sit down, and minister to them; or if this be in the second, or it be in the third, blessed are they." Again John also says the very same in the Apocalypse: "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection." Then, too, Isaiah has declared the time when these events shall occur; he says: "And I said, Lord, how long? Polycarp, adopted millenarian ideas, discussing and defending them in his works against the Gnostics (Adv. In the West, the millenarian expectations of a glorious kingdom of Christ and His just, found adherents for a long time. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, p. It is important to understand that according to the Bible, the false prophet is NOT and cannot be a precursor of the final antichrist (please see the article Doctrines of Antichrist), hence those later Catholic interpretations appear to be in conflict with scripture.
Revelation 2 and 3 shows the history of the church... The true church is mentioned in Revelation 12..was a persecuted church..was always small... The true Church has always had its biblical name... As explained in a press conference today, between Wednesday afternoon and this morning there was a total of 93 interventions from synod fathers. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it (Galatians , NKJV). The church of God which sojourns at Smyrna to the church of God which sojourns in Philomelium (The Martyrdom of Polycarp. The Apostolic Fathers--Greek Text and English Translations, 3rd printing 2004. Throughout Christian history, the true church has normally used a version of the expression “Church of God” (or Church of Christ, cf. 1076 The Church was made manifest to the world on the day of Pentecost by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/04/13) Strictly speaking, both groups believe that God had followers since Abel, but that a distinctly Christian Church was obvious by Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Frequently the Saviour turns specially to Peter (Matthew ; Luke , etc.) (Kirsch, Johann Peter. Peter, Prince of the Apostles." The Catholic Encyclopedia. The Jerusalem conference showed that PETER was preeminent over even Paul, although Paul was the ONE MAN God worked through primarily in the ministry to gentiles... (Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, accessed 09/04/13) Peter was one of the original 12 apostles chosen By Christ. It would be illogical that John, an original apostle, would be subservient to any of the four claimed “bishops of Rome” (after Peter) while he lived. Polycrates wrote Victor: "We therefore observe the genuine day [Passover]; neither adding thereto nor taking therefrom. All these observed the fourteenth day of the Passover according to the gospel deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith… Whitsunday, as a Christian feast, dates back to the first century... 6 It remains the case, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the good news were prevented from entering by their refusal to believe…9 There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest reserved for God's people, 10 since to enter the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his. But they passing through Perge, came to Antioch in Pisidia: and entering into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbaths, they sat down... Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this. The concept of penance is that certain good actions can atone for previous bad ones. I should perhaps add that a Catholic woman, who owns some scapulars, specifically told me that Catholics should not wear the scapular as a “good luck charm” and that repentance is necessary for salvation for humans. Catholics who accept Simon Stock as a saint should ask themselves if he was correct, why Catholic dogma would teach the following (bolding in original): The fact that Simon Stock stated that all one had to do was to die while wearing a scapular, to avoid the punishment "capital sins" is opposed to Catholic dogma (Ott, cf. And when they had lost this first commandment, also the nine which are after it they could not keep, because on the first depend the nine (Aphrahat. Called also simply THE COMMANDMENTS, COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, or THE DECALOGUE (Gr. Matthew -48, ), Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that He “would exalt the law and make it honorable” (Isaiah ). Actually, the Waldensians considered purgatory to be a doctrine of Antichrist, and the following appears to be from the 12th century:.. Mary Was Not Originally Adored Both groups agree that Mary was not originally adored. Certain Arians, Eudocius and Eunomius, were great supporters of the teaching. The original liturgies would have been held, like the synagogue service, in Hebrew, and some of the words, like “amen” and “hallelujah,” survive to this day. With the name "Love Feast" (agape) the idea of the sacrifice of the Mass was not necessarily connected..Church intends the Mass to be regarded as a "true and proper sacrifice", and will not tolerate the idea that the sacrifice is identical with Holy Communion... That is consistent with what Jesus' early true followers did. The Catholic Church is aware of no other tradition and in this respect she has ever been one with the Greeks. Eventually the right meaning was lost, and erroneous interpretation of IHS led to the faulty orthography "Jhesus"... Innovations like that were NOT part of the earliest tradition of the Christian church and although they were denounced, have been adopted by supporters of Rome. “God is love” (1 John 4:8,18) (The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil). Knight).) and the Father, but so as to represent the Former as a Divine Person almost completely separate from God (Ditheism) and at the same time altogether subordinate to the Father (Subordinationism)... But all of these blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and do not count him in the Godhead with the Father and the Son (Epiphanius. It should be noted that birthdays were not even observed by early Christianity. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him. Christ did the preaching, NOT during the three days and nights when He was DEAD in the tomb (I Cor. Admitting, therefore, the proof which events happening as predicted afford, I do not disbelieve, t (sic) I believe, obedient to God, whom, if you please, do you also submit to, believing Him, lest if now you continue unbelieving, you be convinced hereafter, when you are tormented with eternal punishments; which punishments, when they had been foretold by the prophets, the later-born poets and philosophers stole from the holy Scriptures, to make their doctrines worthy of credit. The same enumeration had been made in the Decree for the Armenians by the Council of Florence (1439), in the Profession of Faith of Michael (Kennedy D. For this soul has a resurrection in them that believe, the body receiving the soul again, and along with it, by the power of the Holy Spirit, being raised up and entering into the kingdom of God (Irenaeus, St., Bishop of Lyon. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, Chapter 42. The kingdom of god means, then, the ruling of God in our hearts; it means those principles which separate us off from the kingdom of the world and the devil; it means the benign sway of grace; it means the Church as that Divine institution whereby we may make sure of attaining the spirit of Christ and so when that ultimate kingdom of God Where He reigns without end in "the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:2) (Pope H. For all afflictions, however many there are, shall be sent by their messengers in their word.
Rome, October 15, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Rocío Lancho García The Synod of Bishops is debating the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris, on “The Mission of the Family Today,” which includes some of the most delicate issues regarding the support of families in difficult situations and suffering. Here is one of them: But we, having a commandment to exhort the people with right doctrine, and to speak to the heart of Jerusalem, that is, the Church of God, do rightly make haste to sow in righteousness, and to reap the fruit of life; and kindling for ourselves the light of knowledge from the holy Scriptures, and the doctrine of the Fathers, we have considered it necessary to comprehend in certain Capitula, both the declaration of the truth, and the condemnation of heretics, and of their wickedness (Second Council of Constantinople, A. Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God (1 Corinthians 15:9, NKJV). The predominant biblical name of the true Church in the New Testament is “Church of God.” Variants of this expression are clearly stated singular and plural forms in twelve different places in the New Testament (Acts ; 1 Corinthians 1:2; ; ,22; ;15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians ; 1 Thessalonians ; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:5,15). 31) until about the mid-fifth century (whose followers were sometimes called Nazarenes by outsiders–the Continuing Church of God traces its history through the original Nazarenes of the first through fifth centuries). In the list of the Twelve on the occasion of their solemn call to the Apostolate, not only does Peter stand always at their head, but the surname given him by Christ is especially emphasized (Matthew 10:2): "Duodecim autem Apostolorum nomina haec: Primus Simon qui dicitur Petrus. ."; Mark -16: "Et fecit ut essent duodecim cum illo, et ut mitteret eos praedicare . When Christ's words are addressed to all the Apostles, Peter answers in their name (e.g., Matthew ). Acts 15: Here is the crux chapter, not generally understood... Among these are John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord...observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. Since John seemingly outlived Peter and all the other original apostles, it should be no surprise that church leadership would have transferred to him. Victor of Rome sought to intimidate the churches of Asia Minor into conforming to the Roman Easter practice. Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil; Pentecost ("Pfingsten" in German), is the Greek for "the fiftieth"... 5 And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. Paul visited many parts of Asia Minor and established there the first Christian churches; in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Acts there is a vivid and circumstantial description of all the chief phases of his Apostolic activity (Asia Minor. But this is what we are most at a loss about: that you, professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from the nations, in that you observe no festivals or Sabbaths…you do not obey His commandments (Dialogue with Trypho. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. But from Lord's Day to Lord's Day is eight days...(Augustine. But for us a new day has dawned..eighth day (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 345,349. But real repentance is not simply "being sorry," nor is it the equivalent of the penance practiced by some religions. Obviously, any who believe his claims about the scapular must accept that repentance (which the Bible requires for salvation, Acts ) or confession (as understood by the Church of Rome) is not necessary. Neither the wearing of a scapular nor the recitation of the rosary is even listed as part of Catholic dogma in (Ott, cf. According to Priest Gobbi, on February 26, 1991, another apparition claimed: The scapular and the rosary are . They lost the first commandment—that in which He warned them saying:—I am the Lord your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt. In the, New Testament through various teachings (e.g. Converted followers gathered around Peter of Bruys. Freed from the errors of Cathars and Catholics, a spiritual gospel was once again being widely preached (LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place ..." Rev. Since purgatory is not a biblical reality, it would make sense that those with true Church of God would oppose such concepts. An article of possible interest may be What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? The earliest reference to this sect appears in Tertullian, and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (Homilia in Lucam, III, 940). When the Christians were no longer allowed in the synagogues, they continued celebrating approximately the same rite with added Christian developments and themes. There were current in the early days of Christianity other terms... In our services, we teach as well as actually "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). The first element is wheaten bread (panis triticeus), without which the "confection of the Sacrament does not take place" (Missale Romanum: De defectibus, sect. The second Eucharistic element required is wine of the grape (vinum de vite)... One of these, being perfectly preserved, measured about seven inches in diameter and was creased with seven ridges which facilitated the breaking of the loaf without the aid of a knife. From the third century the names of our Saviour are sometimes shortened, particularly in Christian inscriptions (IH and XP, for Jesus and Christus). These Greek monograms continued to be used in Latin during the Middle Ages. 127) Notice that the IHS and the use of the sun as a symbols were innovations according to a book with the Imprimaturs of a Catholic bishop and that the promoter was properly condemned as a heretic when he initially promoted them. God’s ways are higher than those of humankind (Isaiah 55:9). Although Catholic writers have had many definitions of binitarians or "Semi-Arians" (most of which disagree with the Church of God position), one that somewhat defines the binitarian view would possibly be this one from Epiphanius in the mid-4th Century, Semi-Arians..the truly orthodox view of the Son, that he was forever with the Father..has been begotten without beginning and not in time... Nor do we accept a transfer from Passover to Easter, or the addition on non-biblical holidays. 633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Your Bible plainly states the TIME element in these verses. Whereas up to the year 175 there was not a single Christian soldier, in 416, by an edict of Theodosius, only Christians were allowed to enlist (De Rosa, Peter. For all the apostles taught that there were indeed two testaments among the two peoples; but that it was one and the same God who appointed both for the advantage of those men (for whose sakes the testaments were given) who were to believe in God (Irenaeus. At the same time, I met with the sacred Scriptures of the holy prophets, who also by the Spirit of God foretold the things that have already happened, just as they came to pass, and the things now occurring as they are now happening, and things future in the order in which they shall be accomplished. The Council of Trent solemnly defined that there are seven sacraments of the New Law, truly and properly so called, viz., Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony. For such is the state of those who have believed, since in them continually abides the Holy Spirit, who was given by Him in baptism, and is retained by the receiver, if he walks in truth and holiness and righteousness and patient endurance. As published in SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. As men grew to understand the Divinity of Christ they grew to see that the kingdom of God was also that of Christ -- it was here that the faith of the good thief excelled: "Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom." So, too, as men realized that this kingdom stood for a certain tone of mind, and saw that this peculiar spirit was enshrined in the Church, they began to speak of the Church as "the kingdom of God"... Current Similarities in Prophetic Understandings--The Two Witnesses While the Church of Rome and Church of God have many differences about the final two witnesses, there seems to be agreement among some leaders in both groups about who the two witnesses are like. "If any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies." That fire proceeds out of the mouth of those prophets against the adversaries, bespeaks the power of the world.
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.