We must not cause others to sin, especially we must not cause others in the Church of God to sin. Christ has harsh words for those who create stumbling blocks for others.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matthew 18:6-7).
"Then He said to the disciples, 'It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones" (Luke 17:1-3).
In my last post, and in several previous posts (see links below), I have shown that to pay attention to non-biblical prophecies in order to know the future is contrary to the spirit of God's instructions in Leviticus 19:31, Leviticus 20:6, and Deuteronomy 18:9-14. As Deuteronomy 18:14 says, "God has not appointed such" for His people and for the members of the Church of God.
But it seems to me that Dr. Bob Thiel has appointed for the members of the Church of God what God has not appointed for us. For he has appointed for us, in his COGwriter blog, a diet of non-biblical prophecies mixed in with Biblical prophecies, history, and current events. These non-biblical prophecies claim to come from the spirit world, but we know they are not from the Bible and they are not from servants of God who believe and obey the Bible. If they come from the spirit world, as they claim, they are from Satan and his demons, not from God, and fall within God's prohibition against paying attention to the occult and non-biblical sources in the spirit world, such as witches, soothsayers, sorcerers, mediums, spiritists, diviners, etc., which God calls "abominations" (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
Who reads Dr. Thiel's blog, members of the general public or members of the Church? Both to a degree, but the percentage of Church of God members who read his blog for information about "Church of God News" and for some of his commentary about how world events relate to Bible prophecy is greater than the percentage of the general public that reads his blog. Probably a significant percentage of members of various Churches of God, plus scattered Church members who are not able to attend with any major fellowship, check his blog from time to time to know what is happening in the various Church of God fellowships. But the percentage of members of the public, not associated with the Church of God, who read his blog are miniscule.
Can posts about non-biblical prophecies be causing members of the Church of God to sin?
Some members of the Church of God may have been involved with the occult before they repented and were baptized. For them, it can still be a temptation if they allow their minds to dwell on it. To feed these people a diet of pagan prophecies from the demonic spirit world is like waving an alcoholic drink under the nose of a former alcoholic, enticing him to drink, saying, "just a little won't hurt". Or it can be like a woman parading in sexually enticing clothing in front of a single man who must resist the temptation to lust.
Probably, most members of the Church of God have never been involved in the occult, and for them, pagan prophecies are new, and some of them may be introduced to a new sin they have not been involved in before.
Which is worse?
This world is filled with occult influences. More and more movies and entertainment contain elements of the occult. Some find this enticing and interesting, and some of those who have become actively involved in this stuff have become demon possessed, according to what I have heard from ministers in the Church. This can be a serious sin. And reading about what the demons predict for the future, through prophecies inspired by those demons, can be a starting point into this kind of sin. It can be a temptation, first to read these prophecies, because they are "interesting" (so what?), then to weaken in regards to watching the occult in movies and TV, then to reading astrology, etc. People who do such things are sinning against the spirit of God's law given in Leviticus 19:31, Leviticus 20:6, and Deuteronomy 18:9-14. THIS STUFF CAN BE DANGEROUS. And those who publish such material for Church of God members can be leading Church members into sin. It might be better for them if a millstone were tied to their necks and they fell off their boat a few miles from the Californian shoreline (Matthew 18:6).
And if this applies to those who publish such material, would it not also apply to those who give financial support to those who publish such material?
Let no one assume that the occult is not a temptation for any Church of God members. Once, at the Feast of Tabernacles in a major COG fellowship, I was having dinner with about a dozen members, and one woman, as I recall, wanted to know our birthdates. She was into astrology, and when someone pointed out that it is not biblical, she said something like, "yes, but astrology is true".
And all of this is so unnecessary. There are plenty of things to write about, blog about, talk about, that are of interest to the Church of God and the public without using non-biblical prophecies. The Bible is loaded with prophecy, and it is interesting and spiritually profitable to see how current events are lining up with Bible prophecy. There are many doctrinal matters to talk about. Probably the majority of the posts in Dr. Thiel's blog do not contain pagan prophecies, and those posts can be interesting, informative, and safe.
I encourage Dr. Thiel, for his sake and the sake of the spiritual health of members of the Church of God who may read his blog, to avoid publishing posts about non-biblical prophecy and just stick to the Bible when it comes to prophecy. He may be doing more harm than he realizes, not just to the Church of God, but to himself.
For how is it possible, if God sees that through his teachings some members of the Church of God became involved, step-by-step, in demonism and risk losing their salvation in the long run, how is it possible that Dr. Thiel would himself escape God's judgment in this matter if he causes others to sin and be lost?
This is the seventh post I have recently published on this subject. Here are some related posts in this blog on this subject of avoiding non-biblical prophecies, in order from first to last:
"Robert Thiel Leaves Living Church of God to Start a New COG Group", December 29, 2012, link:
"How Can Bob Thiel Be a Prophet", January 4, 2013, link:
"Don't Play with Fire", January 5, 2013, link:
"Bob Thiel Response and My Reply", January 25, 2013, link:
"Putting Scriptures Together", January 26, 2013, link:
"Why Did God Kill King Saul and Turn the Kingdom over to David?", April 20, 2013, link: