REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD AND THE TEACHINGS ABOUT THE DEAD IN CHRIST: BELIEF NUMBER 30


Many sincere Christians believes that those who have done one good deeds or the other during their stay here on earth were instantly taken to heaven to be with Christ in holy bliss when they die. In fact many denominations teach that there is a transition of life after death to another world. We would not be focusing on other denomination other than The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). This is not the first time a rebuttal would be written against the false teachings of life after death. In November 29, 2015, a short article entitled “Pastor Adeboye false claim: The Bible or his claim, which is true?” was written by the same author against the false claim of Pastor E. A. Adeboye who, at a private prayer session with the family of late Mrs. Hannah Awolowo, the wife of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, openly said:

“By the special grace of God and because of my interaction with Mama (Mrs. Hannah Awolowo), I have no doubt at all that she is in HEAVEN NOW.”

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I previously thought this statement was made as a result of his personal conviction not as a general belief of the world church. But to my surprise, this statement is a reflection of what the World Church of the RCCG teaches. The following statement was taken from their statement of belief number 30 about the dead in Christ which says:

“THE DEAD IN CHRIST: We believe that a brother who sleeps in the Lord is with Christ already – Phil. 1:21-23; I Cor. 5:1-9. Paul said that it is better to come out of this flesh and be with the Lord forever in our Heavenly home. Further still he emphasizes that ” But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep that ye sorrow not even as there which have no hope” I Thess. 4:13-18. Therefore all members should separate themselves from the things of this world in worshiping the dead by which we become idolaters – Deut 14:1.”

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The Church believes that a brother who dies in Christ is already with Christ in heaven. This is not what the Bible teaches. But on the contrary, the Bible teaches that: “The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later.”

Let us carefully search the Scripture to know what the truth is pertaining to this topic. This would not be an in-depth study but enough to ignite in the studious student a desire to dig deeper into the Scripture to know truth for him or herself. I would direct us after studying this article to download a PDF study guide that deals with this issue thoroughly at the bottom if the article. Those who are interested in the previous article written in relation to this topic can be viewed by clicking here. If you are also interested in reading the first open letter we can click here.

WHERE DO WE GO TO AFTER DEATH?

The question one need to ask is this: Where do we go to when we die? Do we go to heaven, hell or another world?

Job said, “Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.” Job 21:32. The Psalmist wrote about the predicament of all sons of Adam. He said, “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.” Psalms 89:48. All born of Adam shall surely die the first death. This death is different from the second death which would be accrued to all who had chosen the side of Satan before they died or before the second coming of Christ. No man shall deliver his soul from the hands of the grave; all shall experience the first death and they shall go to the gates of the grave. (Isaiah 38:10)

Whether righteous or wicked, we all shall make our bed in the grave until we are called forth to either receive eternal life or eternal damnation. It is said of the wicked, “That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.” Job 21:30. Take note the phrases, “the day of destruction” and “the day of wrath,” for these seemingly two events are in fact one. It will occur after the millennial reign. At this point, only the wicked shall be resurrected for eternal destruction in hell fire. The righteous will not take in this destruction for at that point they are already in the new Jerusalem with Christ and His Holy angels. “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” Job 14:12. Man shall not awake from the grave where he sleeps until Christ comes again to reward man for that which he has done while he lives here on earth.

What about the righteous or those who have lived good and acceptable lives?

Righteous Job said, “O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Job 14:13-14. Job whom the Bible recorded as being perfect, upright, one who feared God and hating evil is not taken to heaven after death but will remain in the grave until the resurrection morning when the voice of Christ shall call him from his grave. Paul also noted this point when he wrote to the believers in Corinth about what we shall be like when Christ shall be revealed the second time. He said, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor 15:51-52. Those that are asleep in Christ shall be raised incorruptible and be given immortal flesh. But those who shall not see death or fall asleep are those who would be alive when Christ shall come the second time. During this period, when the last trumpet of Christ voice shall sound, both the death in Christ and the righteous living in Christ shall be changed and be given an incorruptible flesh.

The order of this event is given by Paul. He said, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” 1 Cor 15:22-23. Christ the firstfruits was the first to resurrect, then followed by those who had lived a Christlike life before their death and those who would be alive when He shall come in the cloud of glory. Adam gave nothing but death to his posterity while Christ gives all who are in Christ abundant life but now and eternally. Only those that are in Christ are eligible to receive this incorruptible flesh. Though the gift of immortality is available to all but only they that are in Christ would experience it. It is only God, through His Son Jesus, that has the prerogative to determine who is entitled to this gift. No man in this side of life is given the power to determine who is to be with Christ or not in the heavenly mansion. Therefore, Pastor Adeboye’s claim of knowing where Late Mrs. Awolowo is false.

 IS DAVID IN HEAVEN?

We have previously read what Job didn’t go to heaven when he died, he would remain in the grave until the resurrection morning. Let us take David as another example. For it was declared of him as “the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” Acts 13:22. When David died the Bible emphatically made it clear that David didn’t go to heaven. “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand” Acts 2:34. Where David is presently was pointed out to us by Peter when he gave an evangelistic sermon on the day of Pentecost. Peter said, “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” Acts 2:29. He is in the grave sleeping just like any other believer in Christ from the time of Adam until today except for some whom we would study about later on. In fact it was also written of David that “after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption” Acts 13:36. The Bible in Basic English translated this verse beautifully. It reads: “Now David, having done God’s work for his generation, went to sleep, and was put with his fathers, and his body came to destruction” Acts 13:36 (BBE). David’s body was destroyed and he is sleeping with his fathers. Please take note of the phrase “with his fathers.” Who are the fathers? These are those of the lineage of Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Judah etc. The Bible said they are all sleeping, waiting for Christ second coming.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” 1 Thess 4:16. The dead in Christ from Adam to David and from David to this day shall hear the voice of Christ and shall be the first to rise and be transformed. This is a great blessing. After this transformation, the righteous living shall follow and both groups shall be caught up together to meet with the Lord in the cloud of glory while the brightness of Christ coming shall instantly kill the wicked until their final destruction after the millennium reign (1 Thess 4:17). God shall wake the dead with a great sound of trumpet. This trumpet is the voice of Christ shall call forth the dead in Christ. (Matt 24:31; John 5:28, 29). Jesus said both the righteous and wicked that have died are in the grave. It is these all that are in the graves that shall hear is voice. (John 5:28).

DEATH IS SLEEP. SLEEP IS DEATH.

The Bible often uses the word sleep to refer to death. In the case of Christ, he referred to Lazarus as one sleeping while in reality he was dead. “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.” John 11:11-13. Sleep is death, death is sleep. Therefore, to Christ, all that have died in Christ are only but sleeping to be awaken at the resurrection morning by the voice of Christ. David also illustrated his own death in like manner when he writes, “Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” Psalms 13:3. Paul, as we previously quoted, wrote, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” When Paul was describing those who had died after seeing Christ ascension, he used the word sleep to signify death. “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” 1 Cor. 15:6. He said the some of those that saw Jesus ascending have fallen asleep while the greater part remain with them. For more examples see 1 Cor. 11:10; Eph 5:14; 1 Thess. 4:13-15.

If there were no resurrection of the dead in Christ, “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” and their faith in Christ is in vain. 1 Cor 15:17, 18.

DOES THE DEAD KNOW ANY THING WHEN THEY DIE?

The Preacher said, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Eccl 9:5. The dead knows nothing. Mrs. Awolowo is unconscious of that is going on here on earth. She is neither in heaven or hell. He has fallen asleep, waiting for the Lord to either call her up in the first resurrection or second resurrection. About the feelings and emotions of dead it is written that “their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished” “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Eccl 9:6; Psalms 146:4. While we are alive we are to praise the Lord and give him glory for the dead cannot praise Him in the grave. “While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” Psalms 146:2.

Psalmist said, “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalms 115:17. If the righteous dead are in heaven they should obviously be praising the Lord, but the Bible said these people go down to their grave in silence. The dead cannot and does not praise the Lord. King Hezekiah, in his prayer of thanksgiving, said, “The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” Isaiah 38:19. “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” Psalms 6:5.

WHAT ABOUT MOSES AND ELIJAH? Luke 9:27-36

On the mount of transfiguration, “two men … Moses and Elias … appeared in glory.” These where not spirits or disembodied souls, but “two men.” Elijah never died. He was translated without seeing death. 2 Kings 2:11. Moses “died” and was “buried.” Deuteronomy 34:5-6. Yet the book of Jude reveals that Michael came from heaven and, “contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses.” Jude 1:9. Moses was also raised, that’s why the devil protested. Then Michael said, “the Lord rebuke thee.” Hence it was a living, resurrected Moses and a living, translated Elijah that appeared on the mount. Immediately prior to this appearance, Jesus told his disciples that they would soon “see the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:27. On the mount they saw God’s kingdom in miniature. Jesus was there, so was Moses (representing all resurrected saints), and Elijah (representing all translated saints at the Second Coming). Both groups are described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.[i]

MY PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

Am not writing this article to judge any minister but to awaken the curious Bible student to start questioning what they were thought from their childhood using the Scripture and through prayer. For many shepherd have gone out to deceive soul and to lure them into eternal damnation. The Scripture emphatically warned that many false Pastors, Prophets and Teachers shall arise in the last days, they shall come “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” they shall deceive men, women, young, old, wise and the foolish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thess. 2:9-12.

A writer, commenting on this verse, beautifully wrote:

“The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your Heavenly Father and say, Enlighten me; teach me what is truth  . . . You should store the mind with the word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God”— Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land . . . My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:1, 6. Many shall perish not because the information for knowledge is lacking at their disposal, but because they have refused to make use of the information given to them from heaven through the Scripture. To the Law and to the Testimony, all truth and teachings must be tested. (Isaiah 8:20). The Gospel would be hid to them that are perishing, but to them that are searching daily from the mines of the Bible and drinking daily from the Spirit of Christ; the Gospel shall be Power to save from sin and darkness that has envelop this world. (2 Cor. 4:3, 4; Rom 1:16)

The most important truth we all need to take from this is that those who haven’t loved the truth while they were living shall not have the opportunity to repent in the grave or hope for truth to save them. The gospel Prophet wrote, “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.” Isaiah 38:18. Truth must be received here and now. We all must live the according to truth as it is in Christ Jesus. Solomon the preacher gave the following advice as we live our lives here on earth. He said:

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Eccl 9:10

For thorough and in-depth study of this topic especially the study about the Abraham, the rich man and Lazarus, and other misapplied text in the Bible download a PDF version of an article entitled, “what happens when we die?” by clicking here.

[i] What happens when we die? http://www.what-happens-when-we-die.com/WhatHappensWhenWeDie.pdf

 

GO AND SIN NO MORE


I am not an expert in writing about sin and how to overcome it, especially when i remember how the evil one, Satan, have used me to vindicate his claims that man will continue sinning until Christ comes. In fact when writing on such a topic I often place myself on a danger zone making me Satan’s number one target to tempt, lure and to draw away from Christ. But my hope is placed on this powerful statement written over 100 years ago:

Christ’s Object Lesson, 157

In the whole Satanic force there is not power to overcome one soul who in simple trust casts himself on Christ.”

So brethren, i need your prayers daily as we journey together in this world full of sin and evil.

Writing such a solemn and sacred topic does not mean i have attain the point where i could boast by saying, “I have no more sin to confess.” But one thing i know is that, the Bible is full of precious promises for us who are longing to “go and sin no more. Lest a worse thing come unto us.” This is just a short article of encouragement to all, like me, who are not only desiring to live out this commandment of Christ, but who also seeks to bring glory to Christ which is none other than the perfection of the character of His people.

THE END IS NEAR

Review and Herald, December 23, 1890 par. 19 

“The end is near! We have not a moment to lose! . . . One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other — Christ our righteousness.”

John 5:14

“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

John 8:7, 11

“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her . . . She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

1 Cor. 15:34

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (KJV)

“Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” (RSV)

WARNING: Strong faith is needed to believe the statements we are about reading in this article.

Review and Herald, March 10, 1904 par. 26

“He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.”

WHY DID JESUS DIE?

1 Peter 2:24

“[Jesus Christ] Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Titus 2:14

“[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 441. 4

Christ has not died for you that you may possess the passions, tastes, and habits of men of the world.”

1 John 3:5-9  contains the most amazing and mind stretching promises I have ever read in the Bible. It has the most seemingly impossible statements that only one with the mind of Christ could understand and experience. let us read these verses carefully.

1 John 3:5-9 

“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

GREAT DECEPTION

Wait a minute! Did we get what Apostle John wrote?

He said if we sin, either in thought or deed, we are of the devil. No matter how much we try to play around this statement, it is a factual statement that no man can gainsay. In Christ is no sin! Outside of Christ is continuous sinning! For it is impossible for Christ to be a minister of sin.

I had previously been in great deception believing that i am in Christ and at the same time cherishing known sins. It is a deception to believe we are in Christ or we are Christians when we have not overcome our sinful habits as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. We must do all in our strength, cooperating with Divinity, to overcome all our hereditary and cultivated sinful habits and way of life.

We are of the devil when we claim to be in Christ but at the same are indulging in open or secret sins. Apostasy is written on our foreheads and our sins are written beside our name in the books of heaven. Unless we ask for repentance and confess our sins, we are in a lost condition.

WE CANT BLAME OUR SINFUL NATURE WHEN WE SIN

When we sin, we often find excuse for our sin. There is no excuse for sin. We can not blame anyone for sinning. We can not even blame the weakness of our sinful nature for God has given us the divine power, in Christ Jesus, to overcome and bear fruit unto righteousness. Our only hope is  Christ working in us to will and to do of His perfect purpose. We must have the assurance that we are born of God. When we are born of God, Jesus keeps us from falling because we are not connected to Him by creation. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.

The Ministry of Healing, p. 180

“The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

1 John 5:18 (RSV)

We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 1, p. 341.

“Fallen man is Satan’s lawful captive. The mission of Christ was to rescue him from the power of his great adversary. Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot successfully resist so terrible a foe unless Christ, the mighty Conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength. God alone can limit the power of Satan. He is going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. He is not off his watch for a single moment, through fear of losing an opportunity to destroy souls. It is important that God’s people understand this, that they may escape his snares. Satan is preparing his deceptions, that in his last campaign against the people of God they may not understand that it is he.”

It is a fearful thing to note that Satan, in this last days, is preparing his forces against the people of God to lead them not to understand this basic truth of Salvation. We may know all the details in Bible prophecy, we may know all the Bible verses offhand to back up our present truths, we may observe all the health laws, but if we can be deceived in this basic point of truth, then Satan must have accomplished his work of deception in the lives of God’s professed Children.

But God forbid! God shall surely raise a remnant, called the 144,000, that will disgrace the campaign of Satan. They will live a life so perfect as that of their Master Jesus Christ. For it is written:

Matt 5:48

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 311. par. 2-3

“This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.

HOW DID JESUS OVERCOME?

Note: Jesus never had advantage over us, for if he did, then he would not be a perfect sacrifice and example for you and I. He took all of man’s fallen nature that He might be a merciful and faithful high Priest (Hebrew 2:16, 17; Romans 8:3).

John 6:38

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 5:19-20

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 5:30

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 8:28-29

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

The Youth’s Instructor, April 25, 1901

The enemy was overcome by Christ in his human nature. The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory.

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE TODAY?

John 15:5

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

1 Peter 2:1

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.

Phil 2:14-16

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 4, p. 534. 535

Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of His will. But many who profess the faith know not what true conversion is. They have no experience in communion with the Father through Jesus Christ, and have never felt the power of divine grace to sanctify the heart. Praying and sinning, sinning and praying, their lives are full of malice, deceit, envy, jealousy, and self-love. The prayers of this class are an abomination to God. True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 657

Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness.

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

“All who profess godliness are under the most sacred obligation to guard the spirit, and to exercise self-control under the greatest provocation. The burdens placed upon Moses were very great; few men will ever be so severely tried as he was; yet this was not allowed to excuse his sin. God has made ample provision for His people; and if they rely upon His strength, they will never become the sport of circumstances.”

Philippians 4:13 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.

Tit 2:11-14 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching [Training RSV] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

I Know how many times i have fallen into sin and this thought is often discouraging to me as i strive for perfection of character before my probation closes. One thing i have come to understand when ever i fall is that Christ is ready to take be back. But Satan is always ready to discourage us from coming to Christ. But Christ promise is this to all who have fallen or have backslide:

1 John 2:1

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Testimonies Vol. 5, 177

Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. . . Mercy is still extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in all our wanderings: “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” The blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the pleading voice of His Spirit. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.”

Do not give up O tempted soul! Do not give the devil any room to tell you it is impossible to overcome your habits! All you need do is to tell him:

“For this same reason Christ died for me. That i might be made free from all iniquity.”

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REDEEM CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD (R.C.C.G) TO REVIEW THEIR FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF NUMBER 40 (Part One)


Such topic as this is not my favorite to write on but I feel there must be a way to awaken the sincere Bible student on matters pertaining to salvation.

Some might rashly cut the knot by judging the article by its title without reading the article to know what it contains. This article is solely and specifically for members of the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) which is arguably Nigeria fastest growing Pentecostal denomination and to all other Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches worldwide.

Andrew Rice, writing in The New York Times, calls the RCCG “one of [Africa’s] most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith.”[i]

This letter is a broader view of a previous article that was written on the 9th January, 2016 which I titled, “Rebuttal to Pastor E. A. Adeboye False teaching about the Sabbath.” I am writing this article on a theological ground and not to castigate any personality but to point out, with the use of the Bible and other extra Biblical sources, the hidden deception in the system. I was once a member of this lovely and sincere group of people for years and I know for sure that many true worshipers are in this system. Therefore, am writing from experience.

Some one might say, “Who are you to sit in the sit of Judgment to Judge the man of God and his Church?” To such person I will reply, “The LORD admonished us test all spirits and character if they are of God with the use of His Word that is revealed in the Bible.” After reading this letter, i plead with all who are convicted by it to invite as much as they can find to read and print this letter and distribute it to their Redeem Christian Church of God friends or any other Pentecostal friend in other denomination. This letter can be printed an-open-letter-to-the-redeem-christian-church-of-god-2 in PDF version.

The aim of this article/letter is to point out one particle belief that the denomination hold in high esteem and that is belief number 40. According to their official website, the RCCG outlined 40 fundamental beliefs that the world Church are to obey strictly.

BELIEF NUMBER 40

I am very sure and certain that many of the members in this Pentecostal Denomination are ignorant of their fundamental beliefs not because the beliefs are not available at their disposal but they have refused to search and study for themselves what the church actually belief.

It is true that many of the beliefs outlined on their websites are Biblical but some are not and one of the unbiblical beliefs or doctrine being taught is that of belief number 40. After this study, we will be looking at other doctrines that are being taught in the church and see if they are biblical or not. The other beliefs can be found on their website by clicking this.

Belief Number 40 read thus:

THE LORD’S DAY: We believe that the first day of the week called Sunday is a special day which the believers should separate as the Lord’s day during which time are to gather to worship – Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10. The Lord resurrected on the first day of the week – Mark 16:9; Ezek. 31:12-14.”[ii]

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Although our focus will be on belief number 40, we also need to look at one other belief upon which this study will be based. The other belief is belief number 1.

Belief number 1 says thus:

THE BIBLE TEACHING: We believe that the entire Scripture, both Old and New Testament are written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – II Tim. 3:16-17. All the Christian teachings and the Christian attitude of the Children of God are such as are established in the Holy Bible – II Tim. 3:10-15; II Peter 1:21; John 17:17; Ps. 119:105.

We believe that the Bible is the written and revealed Will of God. Man’s position to God, the way to obtain salvation, woe and destruction awaiting sinners that refuse to repent and everlasting joy that is kept for the born again souls. All the Bible teachings are holy, what the Bible reveals as the will of God are such that we should accept, and whatever God writes in the Bible and His Law are to remain unchangeable; for the Heavens and Earth may pass away but the Word of God stands forever. Deut. 4:22; Rev. 22:18, 19; Matt. 24:34-38.”[iii]

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According to the official website of the RCCG, the authority of the Bible is undisputable. The Bible reveals “the will of God” to mankind. The RCCG also belief that “both Old and New Testament” and “His Law” are “unchangeable.” Though the heavens and the earth may pass away, the Bible and the Law of God will “stand forever.”

If truly the RCCG up hold the Bible teachings as it is claimed on their website, then we need to ask them the following question:

“Why Do You Keep SUNDAY as the LORD’s DAY instead of SATURDAY the Seventh Day?”

Their likely response to this question is given in belief number 40 that was previously quoted:

Because “The Lord resurrected on the first day of the week[iv]

But wait a minute!

Is this really true?

Let us ask our sincere brothers and sisters in RCCG the following questions:

  1. Did Christ’s resurrection, on the first day of the week, give us any authority to transfer God’s Holy Day, Saturday, to Man’s Holiday, Sunday?
  2. If it is true that Christ’s death has given us the right to transfer the solemnity of the Lord’s Sabbath to Sunday, why didn’t God announce to us through any of His Prophets or Apostles or even Christ just as He inspired the Prophets and Apostles to write much about the Sabbath? At least we were told that, ‘Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets’ Amos 3:7. Would God have changed His 4th commandment that talks about the Sabbath, the seventh-day of the week or Saturday, without revealing the reason why this change was made in the Bible?
  3. Did Christ observe Sunday, the first day of the week? If he did I will prefer to observe Sunday rather than Sabbath (or Saturday). At least if I were to follow any one’s example it should be that of Christ and not the example of the PASTOR. For the Bible says, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”1Pe 2:21. I will prefer to follow the examples and steps of Christ for man cannot be trusted.
  4. Did any of the Apostles Observe SUNDAY or the so-called LORD’s DAY?
  5. Which of the days did Jehovah call the LORD’s Day?
  6. As a believer can I separate to myself any day and call it the LORD’s Day? Because according to belief number 40, the RCCG said, “the believers should separate as the Lord’s daySunday as their day of worship because Jesus Christ resurrected on Sunday which they rightfully call the first day of the week.
  7. Since the RCCG belief that the Law of God is unchangeable, why are they not keeping all of God’s Ten Commandment which reveals our relationship with God and our fellow neighbors?
  8. Will they be lost if they ignorantly keep Sunday as the Sabbath while sincerely worshipping God of Heaven?
  9. Is the Sunday-Sabbath controversy a matter of salvation?
  10. Why is the whole world worshipping on Sunday and a few are still worshipping on Sabbath (Saturday)? How did this change occur? (See: Dan 7:25).

I throw these ten questions out to all sincere Bible students in Redeem Christian Church of God and to other Churches to answer from the Bible. When I say the Bible, I mean the King James Version Bible or the New Kings James version for those who prefer more modern English.

Now with your Bibles in your hands, I would like us to answer these questions and many more in this letter to RCCG.

WHICH IS IMPORTANT: HIS LIFE, HIS DEATH, HIS RESURRECTION OR HIS HEAVENLY MINISTRATION AS OUR HIGH PRIEST?

All Modern Pentecostal Denominations have one thing in common and that is the observance of Sunday. They all claim, like RCCG, that the reason for Sunday observance is because “Jesus Christ resurrected on Sunday— the first day of the week.” Some say, “The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost on Sunday.” While some gives many other reasons.

Is Christ’s resurrection more important than His death?

If Christ had not died on Friday afternoon would there be any resurrection on Sunday morning? Emphatically, No!

Lets us see some Bible text to drive this point home and clarifying that Christ Life, death and Heavenly ministration as our advocate are as important as His resurrection.

  1. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Rom 5:10. Take note: Paul said we were reconciled or justified by Christ’s death and not by His resurrection. He also said we shall be saved by His life and not by His resurrection. Yes it is true that our faith would be in vain if Christ had not resurrected just as Paul noted in 1 Cor. 15:12-19, but His life and Death is what will give us reconciliation and Salvation from Sin.
  2. “He gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal 1:4. Without His death there wouldn’t be deliverance from sin and evil.
  3. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” Gal 3:13. It is Christ death that delivered us from the curse of the law (not the ten commandment law because the ten commandment does not contain any curse but instructions)
  4. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. “ Tit 2:14. Again, we see that Christ gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity.
  5. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin. Hebrew 9:22. If Christ had not died on Friday we all will be lost forever.
  6. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”Heb 3:1; 4:15. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1Jn 2:1.

Christ’s life, death and ministration as high priest are important as His resurrection. If we choose to exalt one of His saving act above the other, by attaching a day to it, then one can easily make Friday the LORD’s Day since on that day Christ redeemed me from my sins and through His blood I can come boldly to the Father for forgiveness and sanctification of life.

If Christ had not lived as human He would not have been a perfect sacrifice for my sins. If He was not in all point as human like me, then He would not have been my example. Christ died on the Cross as the Lamb that was slain for the remission of man’s sins. If He had not died, he wouldn’t have resurrected. If Christ had not resurrected, He would not be in heaven interceding for my sins with His blood. If Christ had not gone to heaven, the Holy Spirit would not have come as His representative. All of these act are important and not the date which they occurred.

Thus, Christ’s resurrection didn’t give us any right to change His Holy Sabbath day to Sunday. But the RCCG believed that Christ resurrection had abolished the Sabbath without any Biblical authority or validation.

I repeat: Nowhere in the Scripture were we instructed to separate the FIRST DAY (SUNDAY) as a day of worship. But there are many placed in the Bible where we were strictly commanded to keep the SEVENTH-DAY (SABBATH or SATURDAY) as God’s designated day for worship. 

DID CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES KEEP THE SABBATH?

To ask this question is to ask another: “Did Christ and the Apostles Keep the LAW which He gave at Mount Sinai?” Let the Bible speak for us.

The Christ’s purpose concerning the Law was prophesied by Isaiah even before Christ was born into this world. It reads, “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable” Isaiah 42:21. If you read the context from verse one, it is clear who Isaiah was talking about. The servant who will bring forth Judgment is none other than Jesus Christ (vs. 1). When Christ came in His first coming he magnified and honored the Law of God. The word magnify in Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary defines it as, “To make great or greater; To extol; to exalt; to elevate; to raise in estimation.” While honor means, to “esteem due or paid to worth; high estimation. To Reverence. Dignity; exalted rank or place; distinction.”

The reason why Christ came to magnify, honor, or elevate the Law when he came was because the house of Israel and all other nation have made void the law of God. For it is written, “It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.” Psalms 119:126.

The Law was made null and void when Christ was here on earth and for this reason came He to magnify and exalt it to its right position. It was written about the Law in the time of Christ that “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:7-9 (See also: Matt 15:1-9).

The people rejected the commandment of God to keep their traditions. That means the traditions were irrelevant not the commandment of God. In Christ’s statement, the traditions were not salvation but the commandment of God, when broken, will lead to eternal death.

Christ’s attitude toward the Law of God is to fulfill the Law and not to destroy it. He Himself said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matt 5:17. To fulfill, as Thayer Greek lexicon defined it, is “to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full. Render it full, i.e. to complete.

Christ in many instance in the New Testament magnified the Law. Let us see some instances:

Christ magnified the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13):

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matt 5:21-22.

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:15.

Christ magnified the seventh commandment (Exodus 20:14):

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matt 5:27-28.

Christ Himself kept the commandments. He said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”John 15:10. This commandment is the Ten commandments and every other commandment that are not ceremonial in nature. He said that the Law which was given at Sinai will stand forever even when the heavens and earth shall pass away. “For verily I say unto you” said Christ, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt 5:18.

Many Christians don’t know that one of the reasons Christ came to earth was to teach us how to keep the Law perfectly and to fulfill the Law in us. Paul wrote, “ For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4.

Note what Paul said. He said, the Law could not save us or justify us because all have broken the Law. Therefore, Christ came in the same sinful nature as you and I to fulfill that which the righteous Law could not do. The Law is righteous but I am carnal. The fault is not with the Law if am unable to keep it, the fault is with me because I am carnal and walk in the flesh. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. The carnal mind cannot and will never obey the Law but he that is spiritual can obey it because Christ is the one working the work of obedience in him “that the righteous law might be fulfilled in us.” It is totally an impossibility for a carnal mind to obey the Ten Commandments because it the “law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good . . . For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:12, 14.

In order for Christ to perfectly fulfill the Law in us, he needed to die for our stead. The reason being that, we are all without strength to obey one single commandment without Him. It was written of Christ, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. We are all born without strength, ungodly, sinful and under the curse of sin, but Christ came to free us from the power of sin and to give you and I the strength to obey Him perfectly.

Let me ask my SUNDAY KEEPERS this QUESTION:

“If the Law could have been abolished by Christ, as some suggest He did, would that not have been easier to have done instead of coming into this world to die a criminal death?”

“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. The Law produce wrath upon the Law breaker and not the Law keeper. Where there is not Law, there would be nothing to break because the Law is not in existence. But where there is a Law and it is broken, then the Law demands punishment upon the breaker.

It is plain that, if the Law of God demanded that Christ needed to die for the Adam’s sin that was committed, that means that, the Law is RIGTHEOUS and still alive. The curse placed upon the transgressor was death and Christ took it upon Himself to die for humanity in order to release the sons and daughters of Adam from the curse.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Gal 3:13. As it was pointed earlier, when you look at the Ten Commandments, there is no curse in the Ten Commandments therefore the curse of the Law is the punishment accrued to all that transgress the Law which is death. “For the wages of sin is death.” Rom 6:23. “Sin is the transgression of the Law” 1 John 3:4. Therefore, death is the portion of all that sin or transgresses the Law of God.

But our brothers and sisters in RCCG wants us to believe that the 10 Commandment are not abolished. Some even say, “We only have 9 commandments and not 10.” They claim that the Fourth commandment is for the Jews and not for the Christians.

Let us now answer the initial question asked: “Did Christ and the Apostles keep the Sabbath?”

Christ and the Sabbath

It was written of Christ: “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Matt 12:8. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Matt 18:11. The Son of man is Jesus Christ, for it is He who has come to save that which was lost. The Son of man is the Lord of the Sabbath day.

Take note that the text in Matt 12:8 didn’t say the Son of man is the Lord of the first day but of the Sabbath day. Nowhere in the Bible did the Father and Christ claim any other day for themselves order than the Sabbath day. The reason being that the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day while the other 6 days were made for man to do his work.

It was Christ who made all things including the Sabbath. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3. All things include Time, days, month, and years. Christ, the Word made flesh, created the Sabbath. He didn’t create it because He needed to rest; He created it for man’s sake. God knew man would forget Him if He didn’t out in place an instrument that will always remind man that God was the one who created the heaven and earth. That was why Christ said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” Mark 2:27. The Sabbath was made for the benefit of mankind. It was made to bring back the mind of man to his creator. God knew man will forget and for this reason He wrote with His finger on tablet of stones these solemn words:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Ex 20:8-11.

Christ while on earth kept the Sabbath just as He commanded us at Sinai. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”Luke 4:16. The word custom means “Frequent or common use, or practice; a frequent repetition o the same act; hence, way; established manner; habitual practice.” The same Greek word ‘etho’ translated as ‘custom’ in Luke 4:16 is translated as ‘manner’ in Acts 17:2 which says, “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

I am not surprise Paul is following the same manner or custom of Christ. Although Jesus Christ was the Lord, Maker, and an observer of the Sabbath, He was watched and spied upon by the scribes and Pharisees on this day just to accuse Him of breaking the law of God because they didn’t understand the essence of the Sabbath has many Christians today. “And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him.” Luke 6:7. Christ met their false accusation, ideas and reasoning with this question:

“Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” Verse 9.

The Sabbath was designed by God as a day to do good and to save lives but the Pharises didn’t understand the purpose of the Sabbath because they have exalted their traditions above the Ten Commandments. They have lost the essence of the Sabbath but Christ came to deliver the people from the false theories surrounding the Sabbath. Verse 11 reveals the Satanic spirit that filled the mind of the leaders of the Church in the time of Christ. “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” “And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Mark 3:6. They wanted to destroy the same person who gave them the Sabbath in the first place for doing good and for saving lives. It is for this reason Christ came to deliver the Jews from the satanic misconception associated with the keeping of the Sabbath.

“They were angry because, notwithstanding the fact that by the miracle performed Christ had given evidence that He was from God, He had shown no respect for their views of Sabbath-keeping, but, on the contrary, had shown these to be wrong. Wounded pride, obstinacy, and malice, therefore, combined to fill them with madness; and they went out immediately and held council with the Herodians,— their political enemies with whom they disagreed in the matter of paying tribute to a foreign power,— for the purpose of accomplishing His death.”[v]

When Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath day, and told him to take up his bed and walk, the Jews persecuted Jesus for the good He did. “Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” John 5:16.

It is a fact worthy of note that over the question of proper Sabbath observance the Jews not only persecuted Jesus, but first took counsel to kill Him. Not the least of the malice which finally culminated in His crucifixion, was engendered over this very question of Sabbath observance. Christ did not keep the Sabbath according to their ideas of Sabbath-keeping and so they sought to kill Him. And they are not alone. Many today are cherishing this same spirit. Because some do not agree with their ideas regarding the Sabbath, or Sabbath observance, they seek to persecute and oppress them,— seek laws, and alliances with political powers, to compel respect for their views.”[vi]

Christ justified His acts of mercy on the Sabbath day by saying, “Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.” Matt. 12:12. Not the word “Lawful.” Webster 1828 Dictionary defined it as any of the following: “Agreeable to law; conformable to law; allowed by law; legitimate. That is deemed lawful which no law forbids, Constituted by law.” In other word Christ is saying, “For this reason it is agreeable to the Law or conformable to Law or allowed by the Law to do well on the Sabbath day.”

In Luke 13, Christ healed a woman who had been sick for eighteen years on the Sabbath but because the Leaders were under the satanic deception of what the Sabbath should be, they were filled with indignation and anger against Christ for loosing this woman on the Sabbath. One of the Jewish leaders replied Christ and the people in indignation because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, “There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Luke 13:14. Christ met his hypocritical and satanic sentiment by saying, “Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass [donkey] from the stall, and lead him away to watering? and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Verses 15, 16. This reply had positive effect on the people and negative effect on the leaders of the Jewish Church. The people had been taught false teaches over the years in relation to how they were to keep the Sabbath and never knew the Sabbath was actually a day to do good and save lives, either the live of humans or that of an animal. “And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” Verse 17.

Christ, in some other places, justified His act of mercy, justice and saving lives on the Sabbath day by asking them the following questions: “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day? And they could not answer Him again to these things.” Luke 14:5, 6. In fact it is imperative to know that, Christ’s working of miracles on the Sabbath day brought great perplexity and division among the Pharisees and Sadducees so much more that they couldn’t understand how He could be breaking the Sabbath and at the same time working miracles. They knew for sure that it wasn’t possible to be breaking the Sabbath and at the same time work miracles by hand of God. “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” John 9:16.

“The working of these wonderful, beneficent, and gracious miracles on the Sabbath was an evidence that Christ was from God, and that His views of Sabbath-keeping were right. By these miracles God was setting the seal of His approval to Christ’s views and teachings respecting the Sabbath, and to His manner of observing it, and thus condemning the narrow and false views of the Pharisees. Hence the division.”[vii]

The false theories and ideas which the Jewish leaders and Priests held concerning the Sabbath and its observance, and due to the conflict which Christ had with them in consequence, many of the professed followers of Christ, after the death of Christ and His disciples, a little later and in this present day were led into the error of rejecting the Sabbath itself as being Jewish, and, without any divine command or Scripture warrant, to substitute another day in its place.

The Apostles and the Sabbath

If we should ask our beloved RCCG members why they keep Sunday instead of Saturday it is likely they would a unanimous reply that the Apostles kept Sunday and for this reason we all are to keep Sunday. In fact they quoted the following Bible text to support their claims in the website:  Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10. Let us see if this claim is actually true and if these texts are actually what they say they are.

It is imperative to note that the first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in the New Testament, six of which are found in the four Gospels, and refer to the day on which Christ arose from the dead. See Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19. The other two (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2) refer to the only religious meeting held on the first day of the week after the ascension, in apostolic times, recorded in the New Testament, and to a systematic accounting and laying by in store at home on that day for the poor saints in Judea and Jerusalem. A diligent Bible student will take the Scripture as it read without adding or taking out of it.

Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2 are the two most used text by Sunday keeper to substantiate the fact that Sunday is more sacred than the Sabbath day. As I have previously said, these are the only two texts that suggest the Apostles met for any religious meetings on the first day. Before searching the Scripture to know if Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2 is actually talking about a day set apart by the apostle for worship, let us study the other text in the New testament which talks about the first day of the week.

According to the Scripture, the Sabbath precedes or comes before the first day of the week as it is revealed in this text: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” Matt. 28:1. The Sabbath had to pass in order for the first day of the week to begin. The Bible clearly defined what this first day of the week is. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Ex. 20:10. The Sabbath that ended before the first day of the week was ushered in is called the seventh day. This seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord not Sabbath of the Jews. The Sabbath was so important to the disciples and followers of Christ that after the crucifixion, the women who followed Jesus had to return to prepare spices and ointment and to observe the Sabbath because it was already late on Friday to do anything. “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56. But Mark 16:2 and Luke 24:1 only talked about the day Christ resurrected and not the day the disciples met for worship. In John 20:1, 19, the Bible talks about the gathering of the disciples in a room for fear of the Jews and not for worship. “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” John 20:19. The reason why they gathered was not for worship. It should be noted that the doors were shut and they assembled for fear of the Jews since they have succeeded in killing their master they were afraid they leaders might seek them. They were restless and fearful and for this reason Jesus appeared to them to strengthen them and encourage them. But many Sunday worshippers over look this fact and use this text as a proof text to support their Sunday sacredness theory. Christ never commissioned the disciples to gather for church service or any religious meeting at this time and on this day.

In fact if John 20:19 was the only text to support Sunday because Jesus appeared to them on this day we might probably have accepted but it is interesting to note that Christ appeared to the disciples many other times after is resurrection on other days apart from Sunday. (See. Mark 16:12-14; Luke 24:33-36, 41-43; John 20:26)

Before explaining Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2 let us see John 20:6 which says, “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.” John 20:26. After eight days is an indefinite expression. This is not to be taken as the eight day but after the eight days. If the Christ met with them on the first day of the week as verse 19 had shown, then counting eight days from Sunday evening will carry us to Monday of the following week. Therefore Christ met with the disciples on Monday not on Sunday. Shall we then take Monday as our Sabbath because of this? Definitely No!

Paul and the first day of the week

Let us now look at the two most used texts by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and other Evangelicals and Pentecostals to support the Lord’s Day (Sunday) sacredness.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Acts 20:7

Milian Lauritz Andreasen gave an excellent exposition of this text in his classic book called, “The Sabbath: Which day and why?” pages 50-52. He wrote the following commentary as follows:

“Here a definitely religious meeting is recorded. It was held upon “the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” Paul was leaving “on the morrow” on a long journey. We are informed that he “continued his speech until midnight.” A young man was sitting in a window, and “as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” Verse 9. Paul, however, restored him to life, bread was broken, and Paul continued to speak “even till break of day.” Then he took his departure, and went on foot a distance of about eighteen miles to meet the ship which was to take him on his way.

There are several questions that confront us in this account. First, When was the meeting held? The record shows that it was held in the evening, for there “were many lights in the upper chamber,” and Paul spoke till midnight, and then continued “till break of day.” The question is whether the meeting was held on Saturday or Sunday evening. As is known, the Bible reckons the day from sunset till sunset, while the common present reckoning is from midnight to midnight. When the Bible speaks of the first day of the week, the time from sunset Saturday till sunset Sunday is meant. Ordinarily a meeting held in the evening of the first day of the week would mean that it was held Saturday night; but there are indications that it was not always so reckoned, and hence it may be that this particular meeting was held on what we call Sunday night.

This is the only record in the New Testament of the disciples meeting the first day of the week ‘to break bread. Acts 2:46 states that they continued “daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house.” This states that they broke bread daily, which would, of course, include the first day of the week; but there is no record that bread was broken only on that day, to the exclusion of other days. . .

The question in which we are interested is that of whether this meeting on the first day of the week proves that this day was the Sabbath; that is, whether the disciples were observing the first day of the week as the Sabbath at this time, and whether Paul was observing the first day with them, meeting with them, speaking to them, and breaking bread with them. This is an important question that deserves study.

It is to be noted that the account of the meeting says nothing about the Sabbath. It would have been easy for Luke to insert a word, stating that this meeting was held on the Sabbath. That he does not do this is significant. It seems clear that the reason for the meeting’s being recorded in the Bible is the fact that a miracle was performed. A dead man was brought back to life again, and Luke notes this unusual happening. It was not often that such an event took place, and Luke recorded it.

The other events of the meeting are mentioned incidentally, and apparently were not of chief concern. We are not for instance, told the subject of Paul’s talk. We know, therefore, that it was not the sermon that impelled Luke to report the meeting. If the meeting had anything to do with the observance of the first day of the week, we may be sure that Luke would have reported this most important fact. Also the fact that nothing is said of Paul’s speech, is proof that it did not deal with the subject of a new Sabbath. All that Luke says about the speech is that Paul “continued his speech until midnight,” “was long preaching,” “talked a long while, even till break of day.” Luke was not greatly impressed with the content of the sermon.

There are other questions that call for consideration. If the meeting was held Saturday night, which to many seems most likely-then Paul had a long journey ahead of him for Sunday. Would Paul have undertaken such a journey on the new Sabbath? Luke, who is the author of the book of Acts, as well as of the third Gospel, in reporting the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, makes note of the fact that the women did not attempt to embalm the body on the Sabbath, but “rested the Sabbath day,” and that this resting was “according to the commandment.” The time of the writing of the book of Luke and that of Acts are not far apart. Is it conceivable that he would not faithfully make a record of such a drastic change as that from Saturday to Sunday, had such a change occurred? If this particular meeting took place on Saturday night, Paul started his journey of eighteen miles at daybreak to get to his boat. This would hardly be an auspicious introduction of the first-day Sabbath, either to the church there or to New Testament readers. . .

If the holding of a meeting on the first day of the week is proof of that day’s being the Sabbath, or that it has any bearing on the Sabbath question, what shall we say of the meeting which Paul held in Antioch on the seventh-day Sabbath? Acts 13: 14. That would balance the argument, for now we have the record of one meeting held on the Sabbath and one on Sunday. But Paul held a meeting the next Sabbath also! Verse 44. That would make the argument twice as strong for the Sabbath as for Sunday! But that is not all. In Thessalonica he held meetings on three Sabbaths. Acts 17:2. That makes the argument five to one in favor of the Sabbath. But even that is not all. At Corinth he stayed “a year and six months,” and “he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:11, 4. A year and six months are seventy eight weeks and the same number of Sabbaths. Added to the previously recorded five Sabbaths, this makes a total of eighty-three recorded meetings that Paul held on the Sabbath, and the ratio is now eighty-three to one in favor of the Sabbath as against Sunday.

We, however, reject any such reasoning. The number of times meetings are held on a certain day has no bearing whatever on the question of that day’s being the Sabbath. But to any who believe that the fact that Acts records a meeting as being held on Sunday has any bearing on the question of that day’s being the Sabbath, we submit the above computation.”[viii]

RCCG also quoted 1 Cor. 16:2 as evidence that we are to keep Sunday in their fundamental belief statement. This text reads thus:

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor 16:1-2.

As noted rightly by Andreasen:

“Some have thought that this refers to a collection to be taken in the churches on Sunday, and that Paul was giving directions in regard to how it should be done. It is to be noted, however, that neither church nor meeting is mentioned. Each man was to lay “by him in store.” “By him” means “by himself,” or “at home,” as it is also translated. “In store” means that he should keep it until it was called for.”

English Standard Version translated 1 Cor 16:1, 2 as follows:

“Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”

Good News translation of 1 Cor 16:1, 2 is

“Now, concerning what you wrote about the money to be raised to help God’s people in Judea. You must do what I told the churches in Galatia to do. Every Sunday each of you must put aside some money, in proportion to what you have earned, and save it up, so that there will be no need to collect money when I come.

NIV translate it thus:

“Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

“Those who use this advice of Paul’s as an argument for Sunday sacredness – a most curious use indeed-make several mistakes. They fail to note that this is not a public collection. They fail to note that this is not speaking of a church service. They fail to note that this money is not to be given in a collection to be taken then and there, but is to be kept “in store” until such time as it is called for. They fail to note that this setting aside of funds is to be done “by him,” that is, by each person, at home, not in church, not in company, but by himself.

They fail to note that the gift of each is to be proportionate to the prosperity with which God has blessed him, and that this calls for a weekly accounting, to determine the income, and a weekly laying aside according to the amount of income. This might in some cases involve considerable bookkeeping, which would be altogether inappropriate to do on the Sabbath, but which Paul considers to be good work on Sunday.”[ix]

The following verses shows how many times the Apostles kept the Sabbath in Acts:

“But when they [Paul and his company see vs. 12] departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” Acts 13:14-15

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” Acts 13:27.

“And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:42-44.

Note that it was not the Jews that were begging Paul but the Gentiles. The wanted Paul to preach to them the next Sabbath and when this day came, many Jews and Gentiles assembled to hear Paul on this day and not Sunday. Many claim Paul used the Sabbath to minister to the Jews and Sunday to the Gentiles but nowhere in the Bible is that fact found. Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles on the Sabbath and go about his craft trade on every other day including Sunday.

And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont [habitually or customarily] to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Acts 16:13

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” Acts 17:2-4. [Note: 3 Sabbath days means three weeks.]

“And he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. . . And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. “Acts 18:4, 11

“Here were at least sixty-two Sabbaths on which Paul preached in one city. The record further says that he worked at his trade; and we may justly infer that Paul worked at tent making just as many Sundays as he preached on Sabbaths. But if we place with these sixty-two Sabbaths, the three he spent at Thessalonica, the one at Philippi, and the two at Antioch, we have a record of sixty-eight Sabbaths on which the Apostle held religious services while he held only one on the first day, which was only a night meeting immediately following the Sabbath.”[x]

 Which Day is the LORD’s Day?

The Redeem Christian Church of God also quoted Revelation 1:10 as one of their proof text for keeping Sunday. The Phrase the LORD’s Day is derived from Revelation 1:9, 10 which says:

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. ” Rev 1:9-10

In fact this text proofs the opposite of what the Sunday worshipper supposed it proved. Let us ask the Lord Himself which day He designated as His day.

“Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:28 Jesus, the Son of man, is the Lord of the Sabbath and not the Lord of Sunday. Although He created all the 7 days but He has specifically sanctified and blessed the Sabbath day as His holy day. Gen 2:1-3 gave us a clear answer to when the first Sabbath was given to man as a day set apart for rest and worship. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Gen 2:1-3

The Lord did three things on the Seventh-Day:

  1. He rested on the Seventh-Day;
  2. He blessed the Seventh-Day;
  3. He Sanctified it.

For every other days He created, He only pronounced them very Good, never did He rest, blessed and Sanctified them. This is what the Bible said not me.

Who else beside Christ claim the Sabbath as His day?

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words” Isaiah 58:13.

The Father Himself called the Sabbath the Holy of the LORD and there is a blessing attached to all who honor Him by keeping His Sabbath. “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:14.

The reason why God calls the Sabbath His Holy Day is shown in Exodus 20:11

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Ex 20:11.

Both the Father and the Son share the ownership of the Sabbath because through the Son the Father created all things. When the Son rested on the First Sabbath in Eden, the Father also rested with Him to commemorated the birth of a new world. (Heb. 1:1, 2).

I am ready to recant my letter and write a letter of apology to the RCCG leaders with they can show me from the Scripture which other day the Father and the Son claim as the Lord’s Day apart from the Sabbath. I would be digging deep in the part two of my letter to the RCCG and in Part Two, I will be considering some text in the writings of Paul that seems contradictory such as: Col 2:16; Romans 14:5; Gal 4:10; Hosea 2:11. But when we take the whole Bible that’s talks about the issue we would come to a right conclusion and not just taking one text and build a doctrine on it.

I therefore plead with the Leaders of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to direct its members back to the true day of worship which the LORD gave to humanity in Eden and repeated at Mt. Sinai, even the Sabbath of the LORD Jehovah.

“The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent” Acts 17:30 (ASV)

Watch out for part two of this letter. Stay bless till then!

[i] Rice, Andrew (12 April 2009). “Mission from Africa”. New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2011.

[ii] http://rccg.org/who-we-are/our-beliefs/

[iii] http://rccg.org/who-we-are/our-beliefs/

[iv] Ibid

[v] Bible readings for the home circle (1914), p. 431.

[vi] Bible readings for the home circle (1914), p. 431.

[vii] Bible readings for the home circle (1914), p. 434.

[viii] M. L. Andreasen (1948), The Sabbath: Which day and why?, The Review and Herald Publishing association Washington D.C., p. 50-52.

[ix] Ibid

[x] Bible readings for the home (2008), p. 392

THE SEAL OF GOD AND THE MARK OF THE BEAST: THE RISE AND FALL OF KINGDOMS (PART ONE)


There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy; but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.[i]

When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.[ii]

Beginning from this study, we would be doing an in-depth Bible study which would run for days on the seal of God and the mark of the beast. But in this present article, we would begin our study by looking at one of Bible most fascinating prophecies revealed to mankind in Daniel chapter 7. No diligent student, who with prayerful mind, after studying this chapter using line upon line method or proof text method, will leave without a true revelation of the Power of the Almighty God in the affairs of humanity. After the series of study in the next few days, the purpose is for all, who like me, are preparing for the revelation of the Son of God, to have a better understanding of the Power of God to deliver us from sin and to keep us from sinning until Christ appears in the cloud of glory to harvest His saints. We shall see the Gospel revealed in the Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation as we open the Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to us in a new and marvelous way.

THE RISE AND FALL OF KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD

“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” Dan 7:1-3

The light that Daniel received direct from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw . . . are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon have come to pass.[iii] To Daniel was given a vision of fierce beasts, representing the powers of the earth.[iv]

In Daniel’s dream, we could see four winds of the heaven striving upon the great sea. In Bible prophecy, the great seas, mighty waters and rushing waters represent people, multitude of people, tongues and nations. “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Rev 17:15.

“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.” Isa 17:12-13.

While the four winds that strove upon the sea, that is, upon the people or nations represents war, calamity, death and destruction from the four corners or quarters of the earth. “A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Jer 25:31-33.

“The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.” Jer 49:34-36.

From the sea, in Daniel’s vision, came forth 4 beasts diverse [different] from one another. The beasts in Daniel 7:3 represent Kings, Kingdoms, powers of the earth and nations. “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.”Dan 7:17

THE FOUR KINGDOMS

Let’s see the descriptions of the four beasts or kingdoms.

Babylonian Kingdom

“The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Dan 7:4.

The Beast is a Lion having wings. His wings were plucked. The beast was lifted up, that is, exalted and was made to stand upon the feet as a man. He was later given the heart of man. To know this beast is to know what nation or kingdom, symbolized as lion, which broke Israel’s bones.

“Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.” Jer 50:17

It definitely was Assyria but Babylon. The reason being that, Babylon was the nation with the great eagle’s wings that broke Israel’s bones.

“And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar . . . Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon.” Eze 17:3, 12.

Babylon reigned for 68 years from 606 BC538 BC.

Medes and Persian Kingdom

“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” Dan 7:5

This kingdom is depicted as a bear that raised himself up on one side. He has 3 ribs in between his teeth and he devours much flesh. Historically, Babylon was followed by the combined dominion of the Persian and Mede empires. Daniel 5:28-31; 6:1-3 also revealed to us how Babylon was conquered by Darius the Media. In Daniel chapter 2 verses 31-32, the Kingdom was represented by the images of silver breast and arms. While in chapter 8, it was represented by a two-horned ram. Just as we could see in verse 3 of chapter 8 that one of he horn was higher than the other, so the bear of Daniel 7:5 raised up itself on one side, meaning to raised up one dominion.

The Medes were at first more powerful than the Persians but afterward, the Persian become more powerful than the Medes to fulfill the prediction that “the higher came up last.” (8:3). The Medo-Persian ram was prophesied in Daniel 8:4 that it would push “westward, and northward, and southward” conquering three geographical locations of Lydia, Babylon and Egypt respectively. These three nations also represent the three ribs between the teeth of the bear in Daniel 7:5. The second kingdom, Medo-Persia reigned for 207 years from 538 BC – 331 BC.

Grecian Kingdom

“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Dan 7:6

Again, historically, Medo-persia was followed by Greece. This four winged beast correspond to the belly and thigh of brass on the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2: 31-32, and the goat of Daniel 8:5-8.

Unlike the first beast which has just two wings, the leopard has four wings. These wings give the connotation of his swiftness in addition to the speed associated to a leopard. A leopard is swifter and faster than a lion and a bear. The swiftness of this nation was identified in Daniel 8:5 as a goat which came from the “west on the face of the earth, and touched not the ground.” He came from the west showing that Europe was westward of Asia.

Historians made us to understand that Greece, under Alexander the Great, was good at catching their prey off guard because of the speed at which they moved. Alexander conquest was accomplished speedily. Alexander gave the final death blow to the Medo-Persian kingdom at the Battle of Arbela in 331 B.C. where Darius the third was defeated. The four wings of fowl and four heads of Daniel 7:6 correspond to the four horns Daniel 8:22 which represents “four kingdoms [nations]” that “shall stand up out of the nation [of Greece] but not in his power.” These four kingdoms represent the four divisions of the Greek empire.

“It is also remarkable to note that Alexander’s son, by Roxana, was named Alexander Aegus, or the son of the goat; and some of Alexander’s successors are represented on their coins with goat’s horns.”[v]

It was said by some historians that as Alexander was dying on his sick bed, his generals asked who was to take the kingdom and rule. Alexander’s reply was “to the strongest.” Through much fighting the kingdom was divided amongst the four remaining generals and hence the four heads. The decisive battle was the battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. where Antigonus was killed and thus the four divisions as follows;

  1. Cassander-Macedonia and Greece.
    2. Lysimachus – Thrace, parts of Asia, Hellespont and Bosporus in the north.
    3. Ptolemy – Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele-Syria in the south.
    4. Seleucus – Syria eastward.

The Grecian empire reigned from 331 B.C -168 B.C.

Rome the dreadful and strong Kingdom

“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Dan 7:7

This fourth kingdom after Greece is said to be dreadful, terrible and strong exceedingly. These characteristics reveal that the nation after Greece would be far stronger than every other nation before it. It is said to have greet iron teeth which was used to devour and brake in pieces “all the beasts that were before it.” He also stamped under his feet the residue that he was unable to destroy with his teeth. This beast is also diverse from every other beasts or nation before it.

What nation does this beast represent? It is none other than the Iron kingdom of Rome. One striking characteristic that corresponds to Daniel 2:40 is the Iron teeth which this beast has. In Daniel 2:40 we were told that the “fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breath in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.”

It is also said that this dreadful beast has 10 horns. These horns represent 10 kings or kingdoms or nations. “And the ten horns out of this kingdom [Rome] are ten kings that shall arise.” Daniel 7:24.

History has chronicled the fact that Western Rome was split into 10 divisions by 476 A.D. The last emperor, Romulus Augustus, moved the seat of power to the east, Constantinople. The ten divisions are as follows;

Ostrogoths (Italy but Exterminated), Franks (French), Alemanni (Germany), Heruli (Italy but Exterminated), Burgundians (Switzerland), Vandals (Northern African but Exterminated), Suevi (Portugal), Anglo-Saxons (English), Lombard (Italy), Visigoths (Spain).

The Little Horn Kingdom

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Dan 7:8.

Just as we noted above, three kingdoms were exterminated or “up rooted” by the little horn as he came up among the 10 nations that already existed. We were also told the meaning of Daniel 7:8 in verse 24 that this little horn that arises out of the 10 kings will not only be diverse from the rest of the 10 kingdom already in existence but “he shall subdue three kings” out of the 10 kings.

Historically, this little horn (king or power) was responsible for the extermination of Ostrogoths, Heruli and Vandals.

According to Wikipedia, the Vandal kingdom “collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the province for the Eastern Roman Empire.”

The Heruli king Rodulph lost his kingdom to the Lombards at some point between 494 and 508. Most historian takes the year 493 AD as the year of extermination.

Ostrogoths were annihilated from history in 538 AD.

“The 3 horns were the Heruli, Vandals and the Ostrogoths. All three held to the doctrine of Arianism, (this teaches that Jesus is not “God” but that is in fact a created being, he came forth from the Father at some time in eternity past). These were vehemently opposed to the Papacy and were obstructing them from rising to full supremacy. Odoacer, king of the Heruli, took the throne of Italy in 476 A.D.”[vi] The other 7 nations still exist today and they are the nations of Europe.

From the above text, the little horn has some other identifying characteristics. These characteristics are not exhaustive but it will help us to lay foundation for our future studies:

  1. This little horn or little kingdom arises out of the fourth beast/Rome, vs. 8, 24.
  2. It arises after the 10 horns/10 divisions of western Rome, vs. 8, 24.
  3. As he arose he plucked up 3 horns by the roots/exterminated 3 kingdoms of western Rome, vs. 8, 24.
  4. Diverse, or different, from the others, vs. 24.
  5. Began little but became more stout, greater or more arrogant than his fellows, vs. 8, 20.
  6. Arises among the 10 horns/10 divisions of western Rome, vs. 8.
  7. Eyes like the eyes of man, speak great words, which is blasphemy against the Most High, vs. 8, 25.
  8. He would also think to change times and laws, vs. 25.
  9. The little horn seeks to wear out, that is persecutes the saints, vs. 25.
  10. The little horn would reign for a time, times, and the dividing/half a time, vs. 25.

So far, we have seen the characteristics of the little horn but we haven’t identified who specifically this little horn is. In our future studies we would identify the king, kingdom or nation that this little horn is representing. In part two we will talk about the composite beast of Revelation 13.

 

Reference:

[i] Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 112

[ii] Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 114.

[iii]Ellen G. White, Letter 57, 1896.

[iv]Ellen G. White, Letter 32, 1899.

[v] Benson commentary on Daniel 8:5.

[vi] Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 4, chapter 36, pg 58.

CAN YOU EVER DENY CHRIST?


Someone may say with pride:

“How on earth can I ever deny Christ? I am an Elder, a Deacon, a Pastor, a bible and church worker? I can never ever deny my saviour.”

Well, you are not the first to ever boast about this, Elder Simon Peter also boasted vehemently about this:

He told Christ, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” Mark 14:29.

In fact the account of Matthew gave us a clearer glimpse to the response of what Peter and the other apostles when Christ said, “all ye shall be offended because of me this night.” To the above response in Mark, Peter added, “Though I should DIE with thee, yet will I not DENY thee.” We were told that, “likewise also said all the disciples” Matthew 26:31, 33, 35.

I will not DENY YOU LORD. Peter and the other disciples were very sincere. They never knew that a great test in their character was about to fall upon them. If only they had understood what Christ meant earlier on they would have held tenaciously to Christ word Peter and the other disciples would have asked for grace to withstand the coming storm of test.

We all know the end of the story. Peter, not long after he made this boastful sincere promise, DENIED Christ. Someone may say, “That was Peter, I would not have denied Jesus.” Well Paul said, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1Co 10:11-12

Not until recently when I came across the following quotation below in Counsels for the Chruch, p. 81, I truly didn’t understand what Christ meant when he said:

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Mat 10:32-33

THE COMING FLOOD

Whenever I read this passage my mind is often directed to the future when we shall all pass through the great test that will come upon all humanity—The Sunday Law Test. During this period, all will be tested to either receive the mark of the beast or the seal of God. It is true that this text could be applied to that period of time, but it is equally true that none of us shall gain the victory during this great test if we fail to confess Christ in our daily lives. It should be clearly noted that “character is revealed by a crisis . . . Character is revealed by circumstances. Emergencies bring out the true metal of character.”[i] Thus, our daily decision with Christ will determine how we shall stand in that great and solemn hour that is before us.

The Sunday law test is the crisis that will reveal the Character of all Christians. It is the fire that will try all heart. It will reveal to the unfallen world on what we have being building our Character on, either on solid rock or on sand. Christ said:

“whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Mat 7:24-27

The flood is coming! The whirlwind is at hand! The great torrent of rain is about to test all characters. How shall we stand when this time come upon us. Let us heed the word of Christ and live by them daily. It is only by this can we withstand the flood of the coming crisis. We all must be forming godly Character now, today, to withstand the hour of temptation coming ahead of us.

The wise man is the man that builds his house on the solid rock. He daily confesses Christ and lives by His word against the coming flood. He daily denies the world and self to gain the victory over Satan through faith in Christ Jesus.

But those who deny Christ in their daily lives are building on sand, they are foolish men who do not hearken to the word of Christ and when the great coming crisis falls upon them, they are blown away like the chaff.

“In our mingling in society, in families or in whatever relations of life we are placed, either limited or extended, there are many ways wherein we may acknowledge our Lord and many ways wherein we may deny Him.”[ii]

The question then should be, “How can I deny Christ today if thone who were with Christ could easily deny Him?”

WAYS WE MAY BE DENYING CHRIST:

“We may deny Him in our words, by speaking evil of others, by foolish talking, jesting and joking, by idle or unkind words, or by prevaricating, speaking contrary to truth. In our words we may confess that Christ is not in us. In our character we may deny Him by loving our ease, by shunning the duties and burdens of life which someone must bear if we do not, and by loving sinful pleasure. We may also deny Christ by pride of dress and conformity to the world, or by uncourteous behavior. We may deny Him by loving our own opinions and by seeking to maintain and justify self. We may also deny Him in allowing the mind to run in the channel of lovesick sentimentalism and to brood over our supposed hard lot and trials.”[iii]

In this series of discuss, we shall be studying ways we might have been denying Christ and how we can confess Him before the world in order to withstand the coming great flood of the UNIVERSAL SUNDAY LAW ENACTMENT. This is a very crucial topic and it’s a matter of life and death. For Christ said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Mat 10:32-33. We shall be studying the above quotation from Counsels for the Church, p. 81 to understand what it means to deny Christ.

 

 

[i] Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, September 17, 1895

[ii] Ellen G. White, Counsels for the Church, p. 81.

[iii]Ellen G. White, Counsels for the church, p. 81.