COG Webcast



November 18th, 2023

Is Anti-Semitism Good or Bad Theology?

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Jesus said that a good tree would produce good fruit and a bad tree would produce bad fruit. When we consider the conflict between Hamas and the state of Israel, we realize it is a theological controversy. This controversy and the underlying anti-semitism has ancient roots and the tree has either produced good or bad fruit.
But we will start to examine the story beginning with the history of the Roman world at the time of the Jewish revolts in the first and second century. We will briefly look at the causes of a rising anti-semitism in the state and a subsequent adoption of anti-semitic bias in the early Roman church. We will consider the question of why the early Roman church fathers forsook their Hebrew roots and developed a new ‘Gentile Christianity.’

Then we will examine the scriptures to determine God’s attitude towards his people and how he dealt with them when they failed to live up to their covenant. God made and reiterated promises to his people, so we must ask whether the God we worship as Christians is a God who keeps his promises. Can we count on God to be good to his word? And if so, do we have the same mindset that God has when it comes to the issue of anti-semitism. More

November 11th, 2023

Salvation is of the Jews??

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In a time of rising anti-semitism, Jesus statement that ‘Salvation is of the Jews’ seems antithetical to many who consider themselves Christians. So what was Jesus talking about and how should it direct our thought and action today?
Understanding the context of this scripture gives us the first clue and provides us with more questions. Who were the Samaritans, what did they believe and what was their relationship to the scriptures? Answering these questions in their historical context helps us understand what Jesus said and why he said it. More

November 4th, 2023

Attached to God — The Remedy for Separation

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Are we ‘attached’ to God and what does this mean in daily life? Gordon Neufeld, an inspiring speaker has proposed a developmental model for human growth based on the power of attachment of children to nurturing parents. This model is also useful in considering our spiritual parent, our Father, and our relationship to him as his children. Just as children attach to parents and family life, so God’s children are in a deep and abiding, lifelong relationship with him. We need to be close to God, imitating his actions, loyal to his values, feeling loved and appreciated, and knowing that God understands our deepest yearning. And yet. there are times when we misstep, derail, and fall short of God’s expectations for us. What then? Is God only there for us when we please him? Or does God provide a remedy to bridge those things that separate us from God?
Consider this powerful hope that we have in God’s grace and mercy, so we can continue to walk with him even after we have stumbled. And then consider the implications for family life and mending relationships between parents and children. More

November 1st, 2023

Do You have a Generous Spirit?

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A spirit of generosity is an element that has united brethren for millennia, beginning in those very first weeks when the brethren in the Jerusalem church supported those who had travelled from afar with food and lodging. Our generosity towards others is an outgrowth of God’s generosity towards us, for not only has he provided all of our physical benefits but he has given us the great hope of eternal life. Paul in writing to the brethren in Rome, reiterated the vital importance of giving generously in our service to God and to those in our care. He asks us to reflect on whether our spiritual sacrifice reflects that generous spirit in the use of the gifts we have been given. Whether writing to the Corinthians or Ephesians or speaking with the Macedonians or the Greeks in Athen’s his generosity of spirit was evidenced in how he treated the believer and the non-believer. Are we living with a deep appreciation of God’s graciousness towards us and are we living with that same generosity of spirit in our interactions with others? It’s time to consider how we can better reflect God’s nature in this matter. More

October 30th, 2023

A Detailed Explanation of the Amazing Hebrew Calendar

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Thank you to the authors for all of their research and their clarification of contentious issues surrounding the Hebrew calendar. I do not know how I came to have this information and would appreciate knowing how to contact the authors. In the meantime I am posting it on the website as it is a valuable source of information to all who seek to keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths of God.

The Calculated Hebrew Calendar Made Simple
© Dwight Blevins
Carl D. Franklin
January 30, 2014 May 30, 2015 March 13, 2016

Introduction
We live and work in a very complex world. Among the seven billion people living on earth today, there are those who have sent machines into the universe to skirt the rings of Saturn and to rove and map the surface of Mars. Others have developed computer technology so incredibly minute as to be viewed only by a microscope. And by use of nanotechnology, man dreams of computers so small as to float about unseen amid the molecules of air.
In this busy and complex world, God has given us the Appointed Times to be days of festive worship and rejoicing. But for many, the calculated Hebrew Calendar is so complex that it has led to wrangling debates ending in frustration. Such things ought not to be. It is possible, in simple terms, to understand the workings of the calendar.

Like most of you, and like the world renowned newscaster, Bill O’Reilly, I’m a simple man among simple folks. By early childhood I came to realize that I am a being of average intelligence, unable to traverse many mountaintops in this difficult and complex world. By age ten I understood that I would never be able to conquer the heights of the future by a direct approach, going over the top; therefore I must search for ways around, though they be many times longer, to surmount the heights that rise before me.

Seventeen years in the writing, like a trip around the rings of Saturn and back, I have circled the heights of the Hebrew Calendar, exploring its complexities. Had I not taken this journey, I would never have arrived at the doorstep of simplicity. Now, finally, I can explain in simple terms how the Hebrew Calendar works.

In essence, all the calculations of the Hebrew Calendar have been reduced to a few simple pages. All arguments and opinions heretofore are pretty much null and void. They are water under the bridge of time.

Zechariah 4:7 and The Four Corners of Time

Every calendar in the history of man has attempted to measure time by either the solar or the lunar cycle. The Hebrew Calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning that it is based on the lunar cycle and aligned with the seasons of the solar cycle.
How can we know the Hebrew Calendar is accurate when there are so many variables? There are twenty-four hours in each day, but the divisions of the day are equal at only two points in the year. The months are no rock of stability as they are based on the lunar cycle, which is not a fixed period of time. The moon wobbles about, expanding and contracting its course with a variance from about 29.25 to 29.8 days, making an average of 29.53 days for a lunar cycle.
The solar year is 365 calendar days, but the solar cycle is actually 365.2425 days. The lunar year is also fractured. If it is to be aligned with the sun for maintenance of the seasons, it must be measured in rotations of 12 and 13 months, resulting in common years of 354.36 days (29.53 x 12) and leap years of 383.89 days (29.53 x 13).
In view of these astronomical facts, it may seem that there is no absolute standard by which to measure time in whole numbers. This is what some may think, but it is not the case.
More

October 22nd, 2023

Prayer — When Prayer is Under Attack

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There is a major push to remove prayer to God, our heavenly Father, out of the public square. Prayer has been challenged by those who don’t believe it can make.a difference.
So what should we be doing as people who believe and follow the scriptural narrative?
Jesus had a lot to say about prayer in response to the formulaic prayers of the religious leaders of his time. He knew useless repetitive prayers were unproductive. But he also used parables to teach the importance of praying faithfully and with persistence. God does hear our prayers and will answer, but perhaps not in the way we might expect or according to the timetable we have in mind. Consider the example of Hezekiah and the outcome of his prayers to God in the face of an overwhelming foe – the Assyrians who had conquered all the land outside of Jerusalem. Be encouraged by Hannah’s prayer and God’s speedy answer. And understand the importance of being patient and persevering as you examine the life of Paul and see the way in which God answered his prayer to be with the brethren in Rome.
Learn more about prayer and how to have effective prayers in your walk with God. More

October 14th, 2023

Hamas Attacks Israel: A Scriptural Reflection

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Two millennia ago, Jesus Christ had a message for the people of Judea that resonates in our world. He spoke of the tragedies of his time when the Galileans were murdered by Pilate and the Tower of Siloam fell and many were killed. He also reflected on the nature of Jerusalem and its people in his day and what the future had in store for the people of Israel in Judea.

This message harkened back to the Song of Moses written before Israel entered their promised land. It was a song recounting Israel’s wilderness experience and prophesying about the future of the people and the land. Many of its verses seem to have a partial fulfillment in our time – a time when the people of Judah have surprisingly returned to their inheritance and been re-established in the land centuries after the destruction of their temple state.

Listen to the prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah to gain insight into what was foretold by God. They reveal a picture of God’s justice, his mercy and his purpose for Israel that will be fulfilled in the future. God is faithful and he will deal justly with the evil-doers and those who turn to him for mercy. Consider the message of the prophets to us and be encouraged in spite of the times of trouble that we may be enduring at the present. More