Church of God


Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o

Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o

2016-08-03 @ 00:00 CDT

I haven’t been able to get to this blog for quite a while, not least because somehow I got locked out of it. But as my wedding to Yisraela Batya is 18d 16h and not much more at this writing (the time and date is Sunday, August 21, 2016, @ 5:00 PM), I think I need to write an update on what’s going on. (The above graphic is based on a design found here.)

Johanan Rakkav's Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

Johanan Rakkav’s Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

First, the timing of the wedding, to the day, hour, minute, and second if memory serves, may be tracked using a special timer I created here on Time and Second, we have made great strides in preparing for the wedding and the days immediately following, although there is still much to do. Third, we have made excellent progress in putting our financial houses in order – something which really delights me, as I often think I wouldn’t know a workable budget if it bit me on the ankle.

Yisraela Batya's Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

Yisraela Batya’s Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

As the days go on and my love for Yisraela blossoms more and more fully, so does my sense of responsibility. This is the second most important decision I will ever make, following only the commitment I made at Christian baptism.

In like manner Yisraela has a decision of like importance to make – once again, second only to the commitment she made to God and the Church of God at baptism. We both take our preparations and our mutual commitment very seriously.

As is usually the case, the bride is the busier of the two of us at the moment. That will change a few days after the wedding, when I have to coordinate the move and storage of my belongings during the last week or so of August.

Earthlight Orchestra: "Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)"

Earthlight Orchestra: “Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)”

For the occasion, I did my utmost to bring my favorite original song to perfection. A combination of Finale (with Garritan instruments), Scala, Audacity, and further professional mixing did the trick. The results may be heard (and purchased) here on CD Baby. The song, so long simply a work of imagination, is now dedicated in real life to my fiancee, Yisraela. ❤ – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Church of God, Culture, Daily Life, Music | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


Metaphysical Research Programs

Metaphysical Research Programs

2016-06-30 @ 10:45 CDT

This Commentary under my byline (real name, not pen name) may be found on the Tomorrow’s World Web site, and is a publication of the Living Church of God. – (יוחנן רכב)

Is the idea that the universe and everything in it—including life—came to be and then evolved by solely natural causes “just a theory”? Or is it something else entirely?

Sir Karl Popper (1902–1994) is regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science. Few if any knew the implications of evolution better than he. His answer to the above questions is telling. He called evolution, taken in the broadest possible sense, a “metaphysical research program” (Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, chapter 6.4, paragraph 11). What did Popper mean?

If evolution, taken in that broad sense, were simply a physical research program, then it would limit itself to studying the physical origins and history of the universe and of life within it. Then evolution really would be “just a theory”—a scientific explanation of physical reality that could be tested and, should the physical facts demand it, disproved. But Popper called evolution a metaphysical research program—an attempt to address questions which actually are beyond the scope of natural science. Among those questions are: What is the origin of the universe? What is its first cause? What is the ultimate reason for the existence of the universe? Is its existence even necessary? If those questions sound familiar, they should. They are the same questions religious people ask, all around the world. These same questions are asked by scientists who believe in special creation and intelligent design, rather than in evolution.

(Read more…)

Categories: Bible, Church of God, Internet, Science, YouTube | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment


The Puzzle of Europe

The Puzzle of Europe

2016-05-27 @ 08:30 CDT

This blog is a stub – one meant to keep as a “ready reference” an interesting (if short) article on The article is entitled, “Conflict analyst: EU would have ‘second most powerful military on Earth'”. I can well believe it. So why not have it? I mean in Europe’s long-term, if totally carnal self-interest.

 Jesús Núñez (EFE) - c/o

Jesús Núñez (EFE) – c/o

The original article is in Spanish. Here is a quote from the English version:

The EU would have “the second most powerful military” in the world if its members pooled its resources, insisted the co-director of the Institute of Studies on Conflict and Humanitarian Action in an interview with EurActiv Spain.

“If we added the capabilities we have in the EU together, we would automatically become the second most powerful military force on Earth and the reason we aren’t is because there is no political will. This is because each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion,” said Jesús Núñez, a conflict analyst.

According to Núñez, the EU has reached a point where it has to decide whether “to remain the eternal adolescent, going cap in hand to its parents, the US within the framework of NATO, at the weekend because it doesn’t want to fly the nest and be responsible for its actions” or finally become “master of its own destiny and focus on European defence”.

That is certainly the problem – no surprise really, given European history: “Each national government would rather be the head of a mouse rather than the tail of a lion.” But be careful what you wish for, Mr. Núñez – you might get it! Actually, “might” is too mild a word, because the need for a European military gets stronger every year, if not ever day. But history and biblical prophecy alike teach us a vital lesson: each time that lion arises, it’s trouble not just for Europe, but for everybody else within reach.

The biblical book of Revelation speaks of a time when, yet once more, the mice will get together to form a lion:

(Rev 17:12 RSV) And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
(Rev 17:13 RSV) These are of one mind and give over their power and authority to the beast…
(Rev 17:17 RSV) for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and giving over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The Living Church of God publishes two booklets on the topic and related topics: Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled!, and The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor, or Soon-Coming Reality? – in addition to many broadcasts found on the Tomorrow’s World Web site. – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Church of God, Internet, World News | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments


2015-11-26 @ 12:30 PM CST

(This was written on 2015-11-17 and sent as a proposed LCG Commentary to my supervisors. As it has not been accepted there for publication, I will put forward the text here as my personal thoughts about Thanksgiving. The hymn-melody given above is not what I’m used to in connection with the lyrics – but it certainly is inspirational!)

Almost immediately after Halloween was over, the local grocery store—part of a major chain in the United States—took down its Halloween decorations and put up decorations for Christmas. Where pumpkins, witches and skeletons once stood, Santa Claus now towers over grocery shoppers. One sees the same in local shopping malls and on private property outdoors: Christmas decorations are already up—and it’s not even Thanksgiving Day yet.

The motive is obvious: to encourage shopping for the Christmas holiday season. “Black Friday”—the start of the Christmas retail drive—used to be the day after Thanksgiving Thursday. Now, it’s essentially whatever day in November on which a retailer can post a “pre-Black Friday sale”. And Thanksgiving Day? For many, it seems to have become “Turkey Day”—if not even less: “Football Day”.

What has happened to Thanksgiving Day in the American consciousness?

Our American Thanksgiving Day has deep roots, but we need go back no farther than the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving, made on October 3, 1863, called upon the American people to give thanks for God’s manifest blessings, given even in the midst of such a terrible conflict. Lincoln set the last Thursday of the following November for a national day of thanksgiving, and in time this day was made a national holiday.

But how many today remember an earlier proclamation by President Lincoln? His Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day, made on March 30, 1863, called on the nation to fast and pray, seeking repentance before God and God’s deliverance in response. Who now in high political office would dare say the following words to the American people, even in the name of what Thomas Jefferson called “Nature’s God”—let alone of the God of the Bible?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

God heard the sincere prayers of the American people. President Lincoln acknowledged this when he proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving, six months later. The American people were grateful for God’s deliverance and blessings. Are we?

What was true for ancient Israel and Judah was true for the United States in Lincoln’s day, and is just as true for the United States and all the descendants of Israel and Judah now. It is just as true for any other nation which seeks to serve God in truth (Proverbs 14:34). As God said to King Solomon: “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Our free booklets, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy, Who Controls the Weather?, and Twelve Keys to Answered Prayer, are just three we could recommend on this topic. Wherever you are in the world, be thankful at all times for God’s blessings and deliverance as you obey Him! – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Church of God, World News | Tags: , , | 2 Comments


The Puzzle of Europe

The Puzzle of Europe

2015-11-18 @ 11:30 CST

Here is a list of all the Living Church of God (LCG) Commentaries, published under my byline, which I can find. More will be added as they are published. (The above graphic was published as the header of one of my Commentaries, “Watch Europe!” Its original source is unknown to me.)

Why the World Needs the Lamb of God

Has Science Made God Obsolete?

Our Values, God’s Values

Character and Personality

Tracking Cultural Trends

Religion and Society

Prediction Addiction

The World Next Door

Watch Europe!

Who Crucified Jesus?

Where’s Your Sense of Humor?

Why is America Losing Its Moral Compass?

A Metaphysical Research Program?

What’s It All For?

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Church of God | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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