Are there ‘last days’ signs or manifestations of the Holy Spirit prophesied?
If so, should we be seeing and accepting them today?
Is that relevant today?
Will you believe the word of God?
Does any Church of God (COG) have 17 or so confirmed last days’ manifestations/signs of Holy Spirit shown in Acts 2:17-18?
The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG), Herbert W. Armstrong, basically said so in a 1981 sermon (scripture is from the KJV):
All right, now there’s another prophecy for the people …
Joel 2:28-29 And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: (29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
So there is a time coming when God will start pouring out His spirit on human beings. … Day of Pentecost, 3000 were baptized. Peter preached a sermon. They were pricked in their hearts. God began to draw them. God was now… Remember He said, “I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh.” All right, there’s a duality of that. (Armstrong HW. Building The Temple. Sermon, February 14, 1981)
Herbert W. Armstrong was correct about the time coming when God would pour out His Spirit as well as the duality. There was a duality to what Peter preached in Acts 2–and that duality is for our current time!
On that Day of Pentecost, here is some of what the Apostle Peter taught:
14 … “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:14b-18)
This is a prophecy, according to the Bible, for the last days.
We are in the last days (see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).
Therefore, dreams and prophesy were expected for our day!
Has this happened in the 21st century?
While Herbert W. Armstrong was alive, the Personal Correspondence Department in the old WCG sent out a letter on dreams and stated the Bible showed that future dreams from God to His people were expected.
It then had a date change added to it and here is a quote from that one:
Thank you for your question concerning visions or dreams. The Bible reveals that in times past servants of God were given visions and dreams for specific reasons and/or to convey special messages. …God has used this means of communication in the past and will do so again (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28) (L052 Worldwide Church of God, 1989)
As the WCG did not publicly acknowledge any such dreams after that letter was sent, the interpretation must be that God would later use dreams (it should be mentioned that the original date of L052 was prior to 1986–hence it was not a change by the Tkach Administration).
Yet, despite what the Acts 2:17-18 supports, most Church of God groups (and scattered ‘independents’) do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today, nor do they seem to accept that God actually sometimes speaks in dreams in the 21st century.
The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages, mainly to men (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9), and possibly at least one or more times to a woman (cf. Numbers 12:6; Judges 4:4-16; see also Matthew 27:19).
Yes, most dreams are not from God (Deuteronomy 18:22), but consider that confirmed dreams related to the Christian church would be in a different (and biblically prophesied) category (Matthew 10:41; Acts 2:17-18).
Some seemingly despise prophecies, despite the warning not to:
20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21)
Most Christians are not properly testing all things and holding fast what is good. Instead, they seem to discount parts of the Bible, while telling themselves that they really believe all of it.
Many in various COGs appear indignant/dismissive of the very idea that God would use dreams or prophets. Many do not understand what the Bible or what certain leaders have taught about prophets (for some details, see Church of God Leaders on Prophets). Part of the reason for this is pride, but also that the self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ outside of the Continuing Church of God have tended to have proven to be false (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?).
But that does not mean God doesn’t ever use dreams or have any in the office of prophet or ever pour out a ‘double-portion’ of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15) as happened when an ordained minister so prayed and anointed me (Bob Thiel) on December 15, 2011.
In the Old Testament, God gave a sign people could see that showed the mantle of leadership passed to Elisha (2 Kings 2:14-15). And for the last days, the Philadelphian Christians are those who kept God’s word (“kept My word” Revelation 3:7-8), and hence are willing to believe the confirmation signs that were at least partially prophesied in the New Testament in Acts 2:17-18. This was not said of the non-Philadelphians and the mantle does not pass to any of them (for more on the mantle, check out the article: Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle).
The Apostle Peter (Acts 2:17-18) and the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29) taught that there would be some with prophetic dreams in the end times.
Since a dream from a woman (Loma Armstrong) preceded the start of the Philadelphian era of the Church of God (for details, see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God), does it not make sense that God would give a dream to another woman (in this case Fesilafai Fiso Leaana) prior to the formation of what became the most faithful Philadelphian continuation (cf. Hebrews 13:1, literal), which is the Continuing Church of God?
Yet, many non-Philadelphians have concluded that there are not, cannot be, and/or that no stock should be placed on dreams.
But since Peter said that was a last days prophecy, then THE WORD OF GOD IS CLEAR THAT SOME OF GOD’S MOST FAITHFUL WOULD HAVE TO HAVE DIVINELY-INSPIRED DREAMS and/or prophetic abilities at this time. WILL YOU NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD WOULD BE DOING WHAT HIS WORD SAID HE WOULD BE DOING IN THE LAST DAYS?
At least seven people associated with the Continuing Church of God have had confirmed prophetic dreams (for details, see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God). Is this happening anywhere else in the COGs?
The Bible shows that God most often works with prophets through a dream:
5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. 6 Then He said,
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:5-6)
Notice that the above says that God’s plan is that He will speak to His prophets in a dream.
As the Apostle Peter was inspired to speak in Acts 2:17-18, dreams and prophets were prophesied in the New Testament for the last days!
Chart of Some CCOG-Related Dreams
K. Sani Mao
One dream was on the validity of the Sabbath, but the second showed a ‘C’ meaning CCOG or COGwriter to align with.
Began following COGwriter, and later became part of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) in November 2018.
c. December 2008
The dream showed evangelist Roderick Meredith, who had long called Bob Thiel a friend and who he was on regular speaking terms with, would stop speaking with him. He would drop down as Bob Thiel rose and their lines crossed–seemingly a mantle passing.
There was also another dream related to Isaiah 6:8 and apparently the passing of the mantle; the precise year unclear.
Dr. Meredith stopped speaking with Bob Thiel in the Spring of 2012. CCOG formed December 28, 2012. The mantle seemingly passed sometime between 2009-2011.
The passing of the mantle potentially related to Bob Thiel was specifically brought up by Gaylyn Bonjour in 2011 and 2012.
This began to fulfilled no later than December 28, 2012 with the official formation of the CCOG.
December 8, 2012
Fesilafai Fiso Leaana
Approximately 10 people would separate from LCG, including Shirley Gestro and go to a group. A second part was related to the Ark of the Covenant.
The fulfillment related to departure from LCG and 1o people going to CCOG occurred within several weeks of the dream and included Shirley Gestro (CCOG did not form until 3 weeks after the dream). The part related to the Ark of the Covenant was partially fulfilled during September 2013.
c. November 2013
God wanted Frederick’s father Evans to join with Bob Thiel to do the work that would grow. Also, this work would have involvement from New Zealand.
The number of CCOG Africans went from a dozen to the almost three hundred (that had been with Evans) in 2014, to over 4,000 by 2019. Also, Frederick said he was unaware that CCOG had any New Zealand component before having that dream and New Zealand has played important roles (editing, literature and article promotion, online radio, etc.) in supporting CCOG.
c. March 1, 2014
Bob Thiel would be speaking to a large group that would all be black, with him the only white person.
Fulfilled March 17, 2014 when Bob Thiel spoke before church leaders in Nairobi, Kenya.
c. January 2017
Bob Thiel would anoint him with oil.
Fulfilled on February 9, 2017. Nimrod did not have any reason to know that he would be ordained by Bob Thiel as a deacon as Bob Thiel did not do any ordinations in his previous trips to Africa. Also Bob Thiel did not learn of his dream until about two weeks after the ordination.
Alexsandar Veljic would get to Manipur, despite visa and travel issues that looked to prevent him, plus Sani Mao would be anointed with oil.
Alexsandar Veljic arrived in Manipur on January 10, 2019 and ended up anointing Sani Mao as a deacon on January 12, 2019 as Bob Thiel had tentatively authorized (but had not let Sani Mao or anyone in India know).
The above list has dreams that were given to different ones of different ages in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the South Pacific. Some others affiliated with the CCOG had dreams that may have been of God, but they were not the type specific enough to CCOG, but more personal, hence are not in the above list. For more details on the dreams, confirmations, and dreamers, see the article Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God.
While some others outside of CCOG could have dreams from God, if any of the dreams in the above list were from God (and their confirmations suggest that several must be), then they should be considered as God’s approval of Him placing Bob Thiel to be in a prophetic leadership role.
How many dreams or people with confirmed dreams will it take for people to accept that the dreams’ prophecy in Acts 2:17-18 is being fulfilled in the Continuing Church of God and, to this degree, in no other church?
Jesus taught that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16).
Isn’t seven people with confirmed dreams related specifically to the Continuing Church of God enough to take them seriously?
Of course, many will discount dreams, their confirmation, and true teachings as proper proof of anything they do not wish to believe. Many claim to want more dramatic signs (Matthew 12:38; 1 Kings 19:11-12), but God does not always do it that way (Matthew 12:39-42; 1 Kings 19:12-14).
It is bizarre that so many people who claim to believe in Bible prophecy are so dismissive of dreams.
Laodicea is made up of two Greek words which basically mean “people decide” or “people judge.” These are Christian people who ARE NOT deciding by God’s biblical criteria, but their own (often as influenced by others). And while divine interventions like healings can occur among all Christian groups consistent with James 5:13-17, in the end times, dreams are listed as something the Holy Spirit will cause or have manifested in the last days.
Oh, Laodiceans think they are right. But notice this warning from the Old Testament:
8 You shall not at all do as we are doing here today — every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes — 9 for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 12:8-9)
And thinking they are right, using THEIR criteria (even though they think it is God’s criteria or from scripture), Laodiceans decide something is more important than the right work and the intervention of the Holy Spirit, as we have seen in the CCOG related to dreams and prophecies. And yes, these statements in Deuteronomy 12:8-9 was “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Laodiceans (and others) have not entered the promised millennial rest yet, and should accept God’s interventions. But, like the children of Israel, who often experienced more dramatic interventions, the Laodiceans will not accept and change.
It is not that God expects anyone to go against their conscience, but sometimes Laodiceans have THEIR list of pet doctrines they think must be the way they interpret scripture and they tend to miss the proverbial ‘forest for the trees.’ Subjects such as makeup (see Makeup and the Philadelphia Era of the COG), Sabbath strictness (see The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad and/or The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast), the identity of the tribes (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel), misunderstandings about governance (see The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government), misunderstanding about organizations (see WCG-claimed Adherents: Comments on the Teachings of Ron Wallen, Philip Neal, Kenneth W., GRUMPS, Jesse Arellano, and others who Profess(ed) that WCG has God’s Authority), and lack of close congregations (see Attending the Church of Choice and Congregations of the Continuing Church of God), have been used as excuses as to what is more important. This is not proof their pet doctrines are necessary wrong, but their attitudes about them often are.
Many simply do not believe that certain points of truth or prophetic accuracy are important enough reasons to change. Many who go to the COGwriter Church of God News page seem to be like those God told Ezekiel about:
30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass — surely it will come — then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 33:30-33)
Similarly, most people who see this article will not make the changes that they should.
Non-Philadelphians tend to think NOT making a commitment, or sticking with a poor one, is better than to do what needs to be done. That is not correct. Remember the man in the parable who buried his talent (Matthew 25:24-30)?
All Christians should KNOW that they should be doing right and supporting the right work in the end times. Yet, many tend to not consider that the following truly means what it says:
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).
Even though they probably do not consider themselves as Laodicean, those who seem to wish to remain Laodicean (or at least part of Laodicean groups or independents) look to be judging against God by not accepting clear proof of God giving dreams or inspiring prophecies in the 21st century.
The reality, based on Jesus’ words in Revelation 3 to the churches, is that most end time Christians will not be Philadelphian–and it is the Philadelphians that have the work that Jesus praised (Revelation 3:7-13). It is the non-Philadelphians that will not accept dreams from God or listening to His prophets until it is too late (cf. Revelation 3).
The biblical reality is that true prophets have always been rejected by many. Consider what Jesus taught:
41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. (Matthew 10:41)
Jesus is prophesying there will be prophets and that the prophet will have to tell people that he/she is a prophet. This happened repeatedly with the Old Testament prophets as well.
Jesus did NOT say that until YOU see something YOU think is miraculous enough, you should receive the prophet. He said to receive the prophet in the name of the prophet. In other words, Jesus is saying to pay attention to what the prophet says and accept his/her teachings and you will receive a prophet’s reward.
If the prophet does not claim to be a prophet (and also provide evidence) how else can anyone know if the person is a prophet? Hence, it is needful for a prophet to ‘defend’ and sometime explain, the prophet status.
Now consider something that Jeremiah was inspired to write:
28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. (Jeremiah 23:28)
Some do not want to hear about dreams, but the word of God says that God’s prophets, as well as people used for one or more prophetic dreams, should truthfully tell them. Some are critical of me and others in the CCOG telling about them.
Yet, notice the following:
29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:29-31, NKJV) 32 And *we* are [his] witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit also, which God has given to those that obey him. (Acts 5:32, Darby Bible)
In these times, Christians still ought to obey God and not men. And when it comes to proclamation, also be witnesses of what has happened.
Therefore, that is something we in the Continuing Church of God are doing–and yes, that includes telling about confirmed dreams.
What about prophetic matters beyond dreams?
Here is something that Herbert Armstrong wrote in 1985:
In these last days, according to biblical prophecy, knowledge, spiritual as well as material, was to be increased. The true Church of God was to be set back on the track, restoring the glorious knowledge of the faith once delivered to the saints in the days of the original apostles. (Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages, 1985)
Would not spiritual and prophetic knowledge include making predictions inspired by God and having a better understanding of prophecy than the non-Philadelphian COGs?
Look also at the following chart:
Coincidences or Divine Intervention?
Category Event Fulfillment Prediction During late August 2008, Bob Thiel told LCG minister Davy Crocket that unless evangelists would implement certain matters that God was about to strike a top LCG leader with something. LCG’s top evangelist, Roderick C. Meredith, suffered a ministroke on September 19, 2008. Prayer On February 4, 2009, Dr. Meredith asked Bob Thiel to pray that he would live another 7 – 15 years, so Bob Thiel did. Dr. Meredith died on May 18, 2017–a little over 8 years after that prayer. Predictions In July 2009, Bob Thiel’s book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect went to press. By December 22, 2012, 32 predictions in that book were at least partially fulfilled. For details, go to https://www.cogwriter.com/Confirmed2012BookEvents.htm Speculative
On June 24, 2010, Bob Thiel warned that “Certain biblical, Chinese, and other prophecies…discuss that how Australia itself may become taken over. By virtue of her timing, Julia Gillard may inadvertently pursue policies that will lead to the fulfillment of various end time prophecies.” On November 10, 2011, because an agreement with Julia Gillard, US troops were stationed in Darwin, Australia, and by November 18, 2011 China pointed to this as a reason to consider military action against Australia. Speculative
From 2010 to 2015, Bob Thiel made and/or posted speculative predictions related to Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. By late 2017, 7-11 predictions (depending on how they are included) related to Herr Guttenberg were at least partially fulfilled. For details, go to https://www.cogwriter.com/karl-theodor-zu-guttenberg-king-of-the-north.htm Prayer Although told by two LCG ministers (Dr. Jeff Fall and Gary Ehman) in the late Fall of 2011 that he did not need to have hands laid on him to be a prophet, Bob Thiel prayed that something would happen related to his ‘prophet’ situation in a planned December 2011 trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. On December 15, 2011, Gaylyn Bonjour anointed Bob Thiel and prayed that he be granted a double-portion of God’s Spirit. Gaylyn Bonjour said this was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle, that he realized what he may have unintentionally did, and that what he did could not be undone. This answered Bob Thiel’s prayer. Gaylyn Bonjour also confirmed on November 28, 2019 his belief that his prayer was answered. Prayer On December 16, 2011, Richard Ames prayed that Bob Thiel would continue his evangelical/prophetic efforts and LCG evangelists Dr. Meredith and Dr. D. Winnail gave Amen concurrence–as did Bob Thiel. Bob Thiel has continued evangelical/prophetic efforts and has been the human leader of the fastest growing COG group in the 21st century, known as the Continuing Church of God. These show the fruits of a true prophet, consistent with Jesus’ criteria in John 7:15-20. Prediction On December 19, 2011, Bob Thiel tried to meet with Dr. Meredith to tell him that it seemed God was telling him that his wife Sheryl was about to be struck with something serious. In Dr. Meredith’s letter dated 1/12/12, he reported that his wife Sheryl (who was much younger than he) was stricken with stage four cancer. She later died on November 29, 2013. Predictions In a book published on January 19, 2017, Bob Thiel listed many predictions related to the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. Plus he published others at cogwriter.com By mid 2019, events aligned with at least 19 predictions related to the Trump Administration. For details go to https://www.cogwriter.com/donald-trump-prophecy.htm
Clearly the above are not all coincidental nor the only result of analytical news skills and biblical knowledge, particularly on those that were related to the health of Dr. and Sheryl Meredith.
If only two of the confirmed dreams and/or prophetic fulfillments were the result of something from God (cf. Matthew 18:16), then this is Divine validation of Bob Thiel’s prophetic status. And since no other COG has God’s confirmation of a prophetic leader like this, this is something that any claiming to be true Church of God Christians should pay attention to. And, of course, anyone who accepts and truly understands biblical church governance realizes that prophets are only considered second to apostles (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)–so if there are no accepted apostles today, those outside of CCOG should consider that they need to properly respond to Philadelphian biblical church governance (see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government and Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle).
Speaking of dreams and governance, back in 1980 Herbert W. Armstrong had a dream and made a statement about governance:
I remember I had said to this man in the dream, ‘Well, the REAL QUESTION is whether this is GOD’S Church or the PEOPLE’S Church! If it is GOD’S Church, then GOD is running it, and revealing what we shall believe and teach. GOD has the ‘say so’. God runs it through Jesus Christ, who is the HEAD of the Church. And Jesus Christ runs it through His chosen apostle, whom HE, not men, chose, prepared and now guides and leads. Those men are getting your eyes off of GOD — you are leaving GOD out of the picture — out of the Church. You are looking only at people! (Armstrong HW. Shall We All Leave THE CHURCH OF GOD and Join ‘THE CHURCH OF PEOPLE’? Good News, September 1980)
Christians should accept biblical governance and look to the proofs and signs God provides as opposing to look to the approval of humans, which most tend to do.
In a sermon titled Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era, Herbert W. Armstrong stated:
It’s been seeming more and more to me, as the years go by, that the Bible was written primarily for the Philadelphia Era of the Church … (Armstrong HW. Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era, Sermon. December 17, 1983).
Thus, he would be saying that passages such as Acts 2:17-18, Joel 2:28-29, would directed to the main continuing Philadelphian remnant of the Church of God.
Consider that the Bible shows that part of the final phase of the work is being done by God’s Spirit through His people (with God and angels directly handling other parts, e.g. Revelation 14:6-11), but many will not have the faith to believe:
6 This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
5 Look among the nations and watch —
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you. (Habakkuk 1:5)
It is God’s Spirit that provides the signs of Acts 2:17-18. CCOG has them! Can you believe since it is being told to you?
Most will not believe, but that was prophesied in places more than just Habakkuk 1:5:
6 “Don’t say such things,” the people respond. “Don’t prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!” (Micah 2:6, New Living Translation)
16 … You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, And do not spout against the house of Isaac.’ (Amos 7:16)
People will not want to hear!
COG’rs and Protestants tend to state that they believe every word of God, but to a degree they remind me of a woman in 2015 emailed who me that was associated with a Laodicean COG. She asked me to interpret a dream for her. I gave her an interpretation, but she did not act on it. I have not heard from her since giving the interpretation she asked for. There are others in CCOG that have had dreams as well that are not included in this article (some additional ones are in the article:
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).
This sort of reminds me of the following involving Jeremiah:
1 Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near 2 and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), 3 that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do.”
4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard. Indeed, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever the Lord answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you.”
5 So they said to Jeremiah, “Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the Lord your God sends us by you. 6 Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”
7 And it happened after ten days that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, 9 and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him: 10 ‘If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,’ says the Lord, ‘for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.’ (Jeremiah 42:1-12)
1 Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them, all these words, 2 that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, “You speak falsely! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.’ (Jeremiah 43:1-2)
People CLAIM they will abide by the word of God, but often they are not comfortable with certain parts and will rebel.
In 1981, Daryl Hall and John Oates released a song, titled I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do). Here are some of the lyrics:
I’ll do anything
That you want me to do
If you are a Philadelphian Christian, that will be your attitude.
The lyrics of I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) immediately continue with:
Yeah, I’ll do almost anything
That you want me too, ooh
But I can’t go for that, no
No can do
I can’t go for that, no
No can do
I can’t go for that, no
No can do
I can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Can’t go for that
Have you decided you cannot go for the idea that God has been using dreams like His word prophesied He would in the last days?
4 … It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4)
Notice Jesus said EVERY WORD.
Now consider that Jesus condemns those with the ‘people decide’ attitude in Revelation 3:14-19. Are you one who will not believe? Or are you one who “Can’t go for that,” meaning that you refuse to accept that God is using dreams to make it clear to those with eyes to see and ears to hear where His Philadelphian church is.
Sadly, most end time Christians are Laodicean and WILL NOT accept a true prophet of God, including the two witnesses, until it is too late for them to take sufficient action!
And the Laodiceans that do accept, but will not take action as they should, end up in the same ‘boat,’ so to speak, as the disbelieving judgmental Laodiceans.
Jesus told the Laodiceans:
16 … I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (Revelation 3:16-17).
Most Laodiceans don’t think they really need to pay attention to dreams or to accept that God would be working with a true prophet in these days.
Consider the following which will affect God’s people:
26 Disaster will come upon disaster,
And rumor will be upon rumor.
Then they will seek a vision from a prophet; (Ezekiel 7:26)
Will you wait until it is too late (cf. Zephaniah 2:1-3; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra)? Will you wait until after prophesied disasters to hit before heeding God’s messages and messengers?
Would you, instead, follow the lead of one that did meet all of the biblical requirements for a prophet as he tried to follow Christ? If you heard about one, what would you really do?
If you believe in biblical church governance and do not accept any self-appointed “apostles,” should you not consider the Continuing Church of God as its top human leader meets the prophetic criteria (see also Church of God Leaders on Prophets) and that the CCOG has the confirmed fruits of Acts 2:17-18?
The Bible shows that with New Testament era prophets that God ordains and has humans anoint them. I (Bob Thiel) was ordained by God and anointed by a COG minister. Oddly, many seem to prefer that humans always BOTH ordain and anoint.
Do not be Laodicean (Revelation 3:14-18) about this–“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).
God expects Christians to accept the criteria in His word.
The Laodiceans do not want to hear prophets and even Jesus has to knock to get them to pay even minimal attention:
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus did NOT say He would knock the door down to force Laodiceans to change! He said He would knock. Can you accept His knocking?
Jesus also told the Laodiceans to “anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Revelation 3:18). The salve is responding to the work of God’s Spirit as His word teaches how it would impact the last days (cf. Revelation 3:22). Jesus “advised the spiritually blind Laodiceans to buy eyesalve of Him that they might have spiritual vision” (The Seven Cities of Asia Minor. Study guide for Ambassador College. Quotes from 1947 book by Taylor Bunch).
Will you answer Jesus’ criteria in the Bible? Do you have the proper spiritual vision to realize that prophetic dreams were to exist in these last days?
Although Jesus gave many signs (John 2:11; 6:2, 26; 7:31; 9:16; 11:47; 12:37), the people apparently wanted different ones:
37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37-38)
Jesus denounced those who wanted different signs from Him (Matthew 12:38-39). Non-Philadelphians are often unwilling to accept God’s signs–that’s the biblical reality. God does not always show signs or manifestations of His Spirit the way many seem to think He has to.
Remember that in Jeremiah 42, a remnant of the children of Israel approached Jeremiah and said that whatever God told him regarding where they should abide that they would listen. After Jeremiah told them the word of God, they decided that they would not accept it and did things their way.
Those who discount the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18 today are unwilling to believe the prophesied word of God, just like those who made excuses to not take the right action in Jeremiah’s day.
The New Testament warns:
40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:
41 ‘Behold, you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you.’ (Acts 13:40-41)
The Laodiceans were prophesied to have the wrong work and were condemned for it (Revelation 3:14-22). They are unwilling to accept the correct work in the end time, even when they are told.
The New Testament further warns Christians:
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:12-19)
Sadly, many are lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22) and have a heart of unbelief in the signs that God said He would use in these times.
The Apostle James was inspired to write:
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)
If you have read this article, thus far, you have been able to observe that many have received dreams that were confirmed. Will you go away and discount or forget what you have learned?
Despite claims from many that all the Church of God groups are basically the same, with only minor doctrinal differences, etc., the reality is that ONLY the Continuing Church of God has the last days’ signs that God was prophesied to provide. Do NOT deceive yourself that standards beyond God’s are the way to ‘judge’ a church. Since God is providing fulfilled dreams and prophecies to the CCOG, this makes it clearly stand out for any who totally believe the God of the Bible.
Make the right decision today. Be a Philadelphian and be able to enter the rest from the coming hour of trial (Revelation 3:7-13). Those who will not believe the signs God provides will not enter in the place of protection from the coming great tribulation (cf. Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 26:20-21; Revelation 12:14-16).
The apostles were confirmed by signs that followed them (Mark 16:20). God provided signs bearing witness to early Christians according to His Spirit and will (Hebrews 12:2). There have been signs that have confirmed the Continuing Church of God. Plus, consider that the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God pointed to a dream that preceded its formation as part of its confirmation that it had God’s blessing.
Don’t think dreams are too weird or that you must have something more publicly dramatic (cf. 1 Kings 19:11-12).
Notice something that Jesus said to religious people:
43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:43-47)
Believe the truth!
The Apostle Peter warned that scoffers would rise up in the last days who discount Bible prophecy (2 Peter 3:3-7) and quite a few scoffers seem to like to improperly scoff about me and the CCOG in these end times. God will judge (1 Samuel 2:25; Romans 2:16), and those who have the “love of the truth” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:10) should be willing and able to discern it (Malachi 3:18; Hebrews 5:14).
If you personally feel that you should negatively judge me or the CCOG, please base that judgment upon what we actually do, say, and/or write, and do not rely on inaccurate scoffers who misrepresent us and what we strive to stand for. The Bible does not look favorably towards those who wish to believe lies (Revelation 22:15).
Perhaps it should be mentioned that Moses, Jeremiah, Amos, and the Apostle Paul also had to repeatedly ‘defend themselves’ from a variety of critics and unbelievers as well as assert the positions that God put them in.
Even Jesus did so (cf. John 8:43-47).
- Do you believe the Bible?
- Are these the last days?
- Are dreams and prophecies expected in the last days?
- Has the CCOG had confirmed dreams and prophecies?
- Do 7 confirmed dreams and 10 sets of prophecies point to God’s Spirit working in a Church?
- Has the CCOG had more of them than any other group?
- If much of the Bible is focused on the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God, wouldn’t you expect that the main Philadelphian representative would have the outpouring of God’s Spirit in relation to dreams and prophecy?
If your answer to most or all of these questions is yes, what will you do?
Please accept the criteria that God, not some organization claiming to best represent Him, has set for determining who is a true prophet of God. Do not add non-biblical criteria, which is what most have done.
If you are uncertain about what to do, please be like the Bereans and search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11), “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:2-3), and do what God, above what any human, would want you to do (Acts 5:29).
The Continuing Church of God is the only COG organization with so many of the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18.
Would not that be expected of the most faithful continuation of the Philadelphian (cf. Hebrews 13:1, literal) era in the last days? Part of Philadelphia was to “continue” (Hebrews 13:1, NKJV), “remain” (Hebrews 13:1, YLT).
Can you accept the last days signs and prophetic criteria that God established in the Bible?
A related sermon is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Here is a link to a version of this article in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18?