On February 11, 2006, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled, “Attitude!”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 pm Pacific Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
Is It Worth the Fight?
by Norbert Link
In our day-in and day-out struggle to live a Christian life, we may
sometimes become discouraged and frustrated–even to the point of being
willing to quit. We may look at others–especially Hollywood
celebrities–who seem to have it so easy: a fine mansion with a fancy
swimming pool, several expensive cars, nice clothes, a high
position–yet, they don’t walk God’s way of life. And so, we might
wonder: Is it really worth it? Why can’t I live like that? Why can’t I
have all these beautiful things? Wouldn’t it be better if I had not
been called in this life–so I could enjoy what I’m now missing?
thoughts are not unusual, nor are they new. But they are not right.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 23:17-18: “Do not let your heart envy
sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For
surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.”
God tells us in Malachi 3:18 that ultimately, at the time of Christ’s
return, we “shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” It says
that we will “again” discern these things at that time. This means that
we should have already discerned it before that time; that is, NOW!
When we walk in God’s way, we will reap blessings in this life. John
10:10 tells us that Christ came to give us life “in all its fullness”
(Living Bible). We are to enjoy the lifestyle that God offers us.
Rather than envying others for what they have, we are to thank God for
what He has given us–and what He will give us in a very few years from
The Christian life is supposed to be a life filled with joy
and happiness. It is not supposed to be a continuous burden for us,
causing us to constantly moan and groan all day long. We are not to
regret what we gave up, and are giving up, for Christ. Paul expressed
it very succinctly: “But what things were gain to me, these I have
counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for
the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I
have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I
may gain Christ… if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection
from the dead” (Philippians 3:7-8, 11). Paul did not envy the
evildoers. Neither did Moses. He had it all, but he left it all behind,
“choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to
enjoy the passing pleasures of sin… for he looked to the reward”
Overall, we should be happy people. Others
should be able to see that we identify with God’s Word, because we want
to and love to do it–because we understand that it is good for us to
live in the way that God tells us. If others observe us and conclude
that we are deeply unhappy people who only grudgingly do what we are
“commanded” to do, they might have a hard time wanting to live God’s
Way of Life.
The Bible predicts that many will fall away. They
will cease to live God’s Way of Life. They will begin to envy the
wealth of the sinners, wanting to be like them. They will cease to do
good, thinking that it does not pay to do so. They will reason in this
way: “While I suffer, the sinners live happily ever after.” But this
concept is a deceptive self-delusion. Sinners DO suffer–even though
their suffering might not always be obvious to casual observers. As
Brian Gale explained in his editorial in Update #229, many take their
own lives, become alcoholics or drug addicts. Their marriages fail.
Their family life is in shambles. The late millionaire Jean Paul Getty
once said: “I would gladly give all my millions for a happy marriage.”
And when it’s all said and done, many millionaires lose all of their
money and become heavy debtors.
Christ tells us time and again
that we are “blessed” or “happy” when we follow His example. And people
should be able to see how happy it makes us to live God’s Way of Life.
For instance, we are happy when we are peacemakers, because we are
accomplishing something which is good and lasting. Anyone can start a
fight or a war, but only very few are willing and able to advocate
peace, and to step in and stop the fight.
Ultimately, it boils
down to how we look at life. Proverbs 15:15 says: “All the days of the
afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual
feast.” Even when we mourn, we can be happy. We can look around us and
cry and weep about the evils that are being done, but this does not
have to affect our life in such a way that WE become depressed. We know
that we have a future, and that knowledge should give us great
happiness. And, we are to share this happiness with others, as they
have a future, too–although they might not know it yet. That is why
God’s Church has to continue to forcefully preach the gospel of
God–the GOOD and HAPPY news of God’s Kingdom which is going to be
restored on this earth. Our zeal for God will motivate us to
wholeheartedly participate in this commission–but the depressed,
frustrated and self-centered person will shrink away from that
We all may have met people who refuse to be
“happy,” unless they find something about which they can be unhappy.
They just love to complain. They are unable to live in peace with
others. They are not an example to follow. Rather, we must show
happiness in our lives–even and especially in times of trials. When
the early apostles were beaten because they were Christ’s disciples,
“they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they
were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). People
saw how they reacted. The trial did not break them–rather, it made
them stronger. They refused to become unhappy, but rather rejoiced “to
the extent that [they partook] of Christ’s sufferings, that when His
glory is revealed, [they] may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter
Yes, it IS worth the fight! Our trials are “manifest
evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that [we] may be counted
worthy of the kingdom of God, for which [we] also suffer” (2
Thessalonians 1:5). With God on our side, how could we be anything but
happy? So, let us all notice, and take great courage from these
inspired words in Psalm 146:5-10: “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob
for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and
earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who
executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The
LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the
blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the
righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the
fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The LORD shall reign forever.”
This Week in the News
Violent Demonstrations in the Arab World
As The Associated Press reported on February 4, “Thousands of Syrians enraged by caricatures of Islam’s revered prophet torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus on Saturday–the most violent in days of furious protests by Muslims in Asia, Europe and the Middle East… In Gaza, Palestinians marched through the streets, storming European buildings and burning German and Danish flags. Protesters smashed the windows of the German cultural center and threw stones at the European Commission building, police said.”
The article tried to explain that “at the heart of the protests” were “12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad first published in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten in September and reprinted in European media in the past week. One depicted the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse.” The article continued that “The drawings have touched a raw nerve in part because Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.”
However, this is only seemingly a correct assessment of the situation. In reality, the facts are much more complicated–or much simpler, depending on one’s viewpoint.
As Luxembourg’s RTL reporter and Islam expert, Antonia Rados, explained in an interview with Bild Online, dated February 4, the demonstrations are instigated by a radical Muslim minority of extreme fundamentalists. “For them, Islam is not a religion but a political ideology. They bitterly hate all Western values, such as equality of men and women, separation of church and state and the freedom of the press.” The cartoons were published as early as September, but, as Antonia Rados explained, the radical elements have waited for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, to create hostility against the West amongst the pilgrims.
On February 3, 2006, Der Spiegel Online published the following editorial by Best-selling author and Muslim dissident Ibn Warraq:
“The cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten raise the most important question of our times: freedom of expression. Are we in the West going to cave into pressure from societies with a medieval mindset, or are we going to defend our most precious freedom — freedom of expression, a freedom for which thousands of people sacrificed their lives? A democracy cannot survive long without freedom of expression, the freedom to argue, to dissent, even to insult and offend. It is a freedom sorely lacking in the Islamic world, and without it Islam will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. Without this fundamental freedom, Islam will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth. Unless we show some solidarity, unashamed, noisy, public solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, then the forces that are trying to impose on the Free West a totalitarian ideology will have won; the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest. Do not apologize.”
On February 6, 2006, Der Spiegel Online published another article, discussing the violent demonstrations in the Arab World against Europe and the USA, and even the Catholic Church–even though the USA and the Vatican condemned the cartoons. The magazine stated:
“In an essay appearing in the right-leaning Die Welt, [Tariq] Ramadan, [Islam expert and professor at St. Anthony’s College in Oxford] says what we are witnessing is very definitely not a ‘clash of civilizations’ nor is it a ‘confrontation between enlightenment principles and religion.’ Rather, radicals on both sides are defining the debate, Ramadan argues. ‘The majority of the people around the globe are watching the excesses (on both sides) in disbelief, wondering what is wrong with this world?”
The magazine, Der Spiegel Online, somewhat disagreed, pointing out: “Islam… was not always the mercurial, intolerant religion it has become today… Today, the Muslim world has a gigantic, insolvable problem: After centuries in a leading role, the religion is now intellectually moribund… Among many Muslims, this has led to resentment towards the West and a resulting chip on the shoulder. And there is nothing left of the tolerance preached in the Koran. There is no religion at present that is as intolerant as Islam…”
In quoting from another German paper, Der Spiegel Online stated: “Over at the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung, the editors seem to have tossed up their hands and are preparing for the end of the world… [With] the West joining together to confront the danger presented by radical Islam, the fronts are hardening. The paper urges calm, but doesn’t seem to have much faith that such appeals will be heeded.”
UPI reported on February 7, 2006, that “A Moscow museum has announced it will exhibit the entire series of cartoons of Mohammed that have caused riots throughout the Islamic world… ‘We must show the whole world that Russia goes along with Europe, that the freedom of expression is much more important for us than the dogmas of religious fanatics,’ Samodurov said. [Yury Samodurov is the director of the Sakharov Museum and Public Center in Moscow.] The exhibition reportedly will open in March. Lawyer Yury Shmidt has said he will invite French philosopher Andre Glucksmann and French novelist Michel Houellebecq to the opening ceremony to read lectures about the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.”
On February 6, 2006, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician forced to go into hiding after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh [who was murdered by Islamists]. Ali responded to the Danish cartoon scandal, as follows:
“There is no freedom of speech in those Arab countries where the demonstrations and public outrage are being staged. The reason many people flee to Europe from these places is precisely because they have criticized religion, the political establishment and society. Totalitarian Islamic regimes are in a deep crisis. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren’t preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they’re just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don’t allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they’ll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless… We could see the same thing happening that has happened in the Netherlands, where writers, journalists and artists have felt intimidated ever since the van Gogh murder. Everyone is afraid to criticize Islam… How can you address problems if you’re not even allowed to clearly define them? Like the fact that Muslim women at home are kept locked up, are raped and are married off against their will — and that in a country in which our far too passive intellectuals are so proud of their freedom!… [In Holland] we’re finally turning our attention to young girls who are sent against their wills from Morocco to Holland as brides, and adopting legislation to make this practice more difficult.”
Regarding Iran’s reactions and threats, Der Spiegel Online published the following piece on February 8:
“Iran has upped the ante in the cartoon culture wars by cutting off trade ties with Denmark and threatening to do the same to other European countries… A major Iranian newspaper even says it will hold a contest for the best anti-Jewish Holocaust cartoons in a totally unrelated tit-for-tat escalation of the dispute… Most German papers on Wednesday agree that the current situation is becoming increasingly dangerous and that Ahmadinejad is using the crisis to gain political capital in Muslim countries. The general consensus is that he hopes to create support for Tehran in the international dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. These days, Ahmadinejad has few friends even in his backyard, but the brouhaha over the Muhammad cartoons… could fuel enough anti-western sentiment for other regional powers to join Tehran’s team.”
On February 9, 2006, The Associated Press published another piece of information, which provided a str
ong indication who is actually behind the violent demonstrations in the Arab world. The article stated:
“Police killed four people Wednesday as Afghans enraged over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad marched on a U.S. military base in a volatile southern province, directing their anger not against Europe but America… In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran and Syria of instigating protests in their countries… The United States and other countries were looking into whether extremist groups may be inciting protesters to riot, said Yonts, the U.S. spokesman in Afghanistan… Zahor Afghan, editor for Erada, Afghanistan’s most respected newspaper, said the riots in his country have surprised him. ‘No media in Afghanistan has published or broadcast pictures of these cartoons. The radio has been reporting on it, but there are definitely people using this to incite violence against the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan,’ he said. Afghans who rioted Wednesday said they heard about the cartoons on the radio but none questioned had seen printed versions.”
In light of these reports, there can be little doubt that extremist fanatics, including certain anti-Western Arab governments, are instigating and supporting these violent demonstrations against Western values. Be sure to listen to our newest StandingWatch program, titled, “Europe and the Middle East.” In the program, Norbert Link discusses the current violent demonstrations in the Arab world and shows from the Bible how EUROPE will ultimately deal with the situation.
Bush Budget Plan a Headache
The Associated Press reported on February 6, 2006, about President Bush’s budget plan for the next year, as follows: “Bush’s $2.77 trillion blueprint forecasts a record $423 billion deficit for the current year and improves upon that figure in 2007 largely by lowballing cost estimates for the war in Iraq… His proposal projects $70 billion in new funds to execute the war in Iraq through the end of September… At the same time, Bush proposes to kill or dramatically slash 141 programs for savings of almost $15 billion. Congress is likely to reject many of the cuts, such as a proposal to kill the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides food aid to the very poor… [Republican] Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania… said proposals for [cuts in] education and health spending were ‘scandalous.’…
“With the increases for the Pentagon, this year’s Iraq and Afghanistan war costs, and new tax cuts for health care, the budget shows that deficits over the five years ending in 2011 would total nearly $1.2 trillion. Democrats charged that the real picture is worse and that Bush was understating future deficits by leaving out major items such as the long-term costs of the Iraq war.”
The article continued:
“For mandatory programs providing fixed benefits such as Medicare, farm subsidies and Medicaid and whose spending rises each year as if on autopilot, Bush is proposing $65 billion in savings over the next five years, much of it from the rapidly growing Medicare program for the elderly. The proposal would reduce spending on Medicare over the next five years by $36 billion, or less than 2 percent. Most of the reductions would come from smaller inflation adjustments for hospitals, nursing homes, home health care providers and hospices. Higher-income seniors would see increased premiums… ‘Hospitals already are stretching scarce resources to respond to the daily challenges of providing care to all who come through our doors,’ said Dick Davidson, president of the American Hospital Association. ‘Cuts to these resources will have a negative impact on the availability of care for the patients and communities we serve.'”
In light of these grim pictures, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”
Domestic Spying–Legal Or Not?
As AFP reported on February 6, “US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insisted that listening in on Americans’ phone and email conversations without a warrant was a necessary part of the US ‘war on terror’. Gonzales defended a secret government program, which has provoked a storm of opposition, in testimony to skeptical lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee. President George W. Bush authorized the domestic eavesdropping without the usual court warrants after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Gonzales asserted that the ingenuity and determination of Al-Qaeda to launch new strikes against the United States made it necessary to devise equally creative means to combat terrorism.”
The article continued:
“Senator Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said that Congress was well aware of the risks posed by terrorism, but that efforts to combat it must remain within established law. Specter said he was skeptical of the administration assertion that the president, as commander-in-chief of the military, has the authority to use whatever means he deems necessary to combat terror. He noted that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows the government to conduct eavesdropping without a court warrant during a period of 72 hours, after which it must seek a warrant from a special FISA court. ‘The president of the United States has the fundamental responsibility to protect the country, but even … the president does not have a blank check,’ he said.”
In a related article, UPI reported on February 6:
“Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says President George W. Bush’s warrantless surveillance program appears to be illegal. Appearing on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Specter called the administration’s legal reasoning ‘strained and unrealistic’ and said the program appears to be ‘in flat violation’ of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”
America Has Enough To Do…
On February 7, 2006, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with U.S. Gen. James Jones, who is “the top NATO commander in Europe and leader of all United States forces in Europe.” The following exchange was quite interesting:
“SPIEGEL: The US is not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in many other places as well. Worldwide about 350,000 US soldiers are deployed right now. Has America still got the capacity to fight another war if necessary — for instance if Iran became a serious crisis? And how long could the only superpower sustain another conflict?
“Jones: That is a hypothetical question. The US is a big country with many resources and if it chooses to undertake certain things it usually finds a way to do it. But I’m not predicting another conflict. I think we have got enough on our hands right now.”
Afghanistan Five Years Later
On February 2, 2006, topix.net republished an article, which was first published by opednews.com. The following interesting and unflattering status report of a failed experiment was given:
“Afghanistan has been a policy disaster from the get-go. The country is ravaged by war and unemployment, security beyond the capital of Kabul is virtually nonexistent, and malnutrition rates are higher among children anywhere, other than sub-Saharan Africa… Afghanistan excels in one thing alone; the production and export of opium, a booming business which now provides 90% of the world’s heroin… ‘The new Afghan government promised us new schools, clinics, water pumps, but it has done nothing at all. People are so disappointed. At least the Taliban would grade the roads, build madras’s, while this government has done nothing,’ said Nyamatullah, Zabul tribal leader… The western media has done an impressive job in convincing the American people that progress is being made in Afghanistan when, in fact, the country continues to languish in destitution and chaos… The majority of the new Afghan Parliament is comprised of warlords and ex-Taliban fighters… This has… ensured that the countryside has remained under the control of the regional warlords…
“There’s been no ‘transformation’ of Afghanistan. As the New York Times reports, ‘Afghanistan does not have a viable economy. Its government is largely reliant on foreign aid (while) it struggles with an insurgency’….. ‘The country of 25 million people has some of the worst economic and health indicators in the world. 6 million people rely on food aid, 80% of the people are illiterate, and there is virtually no industry.’
“In the last year the resurgent Taliban have increased their attacks, further destabilizing areas in the south and prompting President Karzai to publicly announce that he would provide amnesty for Taliban chieftain Mullah Omar… The corporate media has done the American people a grave disservice by characterizing this drug-dependent settlement as a burgeoning democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth… Like Iraq, American troops have become the impetus for hostilities; the focus of blame for the country’s grim predicament.”
The article concluded with the following remarks of timeless validity:
“Afghanistan illustrates the shortcomings of a foreign policy that depends entirely on war to achieve its objectives. Neither peace nor security can be achieved under occupation.”
For more information on the futility of war, please read our free booklet, “Should YOU Fight in War?”
How important is it for a woman to study deeply into the "hidden secrets" of the Bible? After all, isn't a woman perceived to be quite inferior to a man in the Bible? Isn't a wife supposed to ask her husband about Biblical truth? A man can teach spiritual things to others, but a woman is not supposed to teach. So, what good does it do for her to obtain deep spiritual insight, just for herself–as she can't share it with anyone else?
It is true that the Bible teaches that the roles of men and women in
this day and age are different, whether it is in a marriage
relationship, or insofar as teaching or preaching in Church is
concerned. The Bible says that the husband is the “head” of his wife (1
Corinthians 11:3), and it is stated in God’s Word that a woman is to be
silent during Church services (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). But the
different roles and responsibilities assigned by God to men and women
IN THIS DAY AND AGE do not make women in any way inferior to men!
Please note that not only a woman, but also a man, unless he is
ordained, is not to preach to others in Church. This task is reserved
for the ministry (Romans 10:14-15)–but again, this does not make
ministers in any way “superior” to non-ordained members–men or women,
alike. [For more information on the different roles and
responsibilities of men and women, and especially husbands and wives,
please be sure to read or re-read our free booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families!”]
said that God the Father is greater than He (John 14:28). So, there is
different authority even within the Family of God (1 Corinthians 11:3).
BUT, it is also said that God the Father and Jesus Christ are “ONE”
(John 10:30), and that they are “EQUAL” (John 5:18; Philippians 2:6).
They are both God beings, sharing the same glory and essence. And even
though Christ will always be the FIRSTBORN among many brethren and He
will, therefore, always be higher in authority than any of His
born-again brethren, they will still become EQUAL with Christ and with
God the Father (1 John 3:1-2. The Greek words, translated as, “we shall
be like Him,” actually mean, “we shall be equal with Him.”). Again, we
see that different levels of authority do not make a being superior or
The fact that the husband is “head” of the wife (1
Corinthians 11:3), does not make him superior to the wife. Rather, both
men and women are EQUAL in Christ. We read in Galatians 3:28-29: “There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is
neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus. And if
you [both men and women, Jews or Gentiles, employers or employees] are
Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the
promise.” Men AND women are the temple of the living God, and God
the Father receives us as His sons AND daughters (2 Corinthians
It is true that if a woman has a spiritual or
Bible-related question, she should ask her husband about it, if her
husband is converted (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). This requires that the
husband has the answers or can find out the answers. But it also
requires that the woman herself has enough spiritual understanding of
God’s Word, so that she can recognize the answer as being in accordance
with the Bible. She is not just to take her husband’s word for it, but
she is to show herself approved in the Word of God, so that she can
distinguish between error and truth. Far too many wives have left the
Church, when their husbands did. They did not have enough spiritual
knowledge to recognize the error of their husbands’ ways, and rather
than remaining faithful to God’s Truth, they followed their husbands,
when they departed from it.
We also need to understand the
limits of the husband’s “authority” or leadership. For instance, a
woman is to submit to her husband IN THE LORD (Ephesians 5:22).
Submission does not necessarily mean obedience. All of us are to submit
to, or be submissive or subject to, worldly authorities or governments
(Romans 13:1), but we are not to obey them if they order us to do
something which is contrary to God’s Word. Peter said that we must obey
God, rather than men or human governments (Acts 5:29; 4:19). The same
is true for wives–they are not to obey husbands who insist that they
do something that is against God’s Will. But this requires that a woman
knows whether a request is godly or ungodly. Such knowledge can only
come from an intimate and deep study of God’s Word, including its
“hidden secrets,” coupled with meditation and contemplation as to how
to apply God’s instructions in our daily lives.
As we point out in our booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families!,”
the physical and spiritual responsibility of a woman in this day and
age is of tremendous importance. And it requires that the woman becomes
intimately familiar with all aspects of God’s Word.
context, it is important to realize that women ARE to teach in the
future. Both men and women are called to learn today how to become
teachers in the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 30:20-21). At that time, they
will be called upon to teach all of mankind. They have to prepare for
this task now. It is therefore very important that men and women in
God’s Church study the Scriptures to learn as much as they can from
God’s Word. God IS revealing His hidden truths to God’s people
today–men and women alike (Romans 16:25-27). The converted woman’s big
task of teaching others WILL COME in the Kingdom of God. Students
preparing to become instructors learn today, so that they can teach
later, what they have learned. They would turn out to be bad teachers,
if they would not acquire knowledge today, which is necessary for their
We also read that women are to teach today as
well. Older women are to teach younger women (Titus 2:4). Mothers are
to teach their children (Proverbs 1:8; 29:15; 1 Timothy 2:15).
Converted wives are to teach their unconverted husbands (1 Peter
3:1-2), generally through their conduct, rather than through words.
But, in order to be able to conduct themselves in a godly way, the
woman must study God’s Word to learn how to live righteously.
most important task for a young mother is to teach her children to
learn the fear of God. The Bible contains many examples about righteous
mothers who were able to bring up their children in the admonition of
the Lord, even though they were single, or their husbands were opposed
to God’s Way of Life (compare 1 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Timothy 1:5). But
in order to bring up a child in God’s Way of Life, the young mother had
to have learned God’s Way of Life herself. She had to have continuously
study ALL of God’s Word–because Paul tells us that ALL Scripture is
inspired by God, to be used for doctrine, reproof and correction, and
for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). We all need to study
God’s Word for our admonition and example (1 Corinthians 10:11). We are
not to pick and choose, differentiating between what Scriptural passage
may seem to be interesting or important to us, and which one may not
Even though a woman is not to teach or to preach during
Church services, Paul nevertheless emphasizes that she is to LEARN
God’s Word (compare again 1 Corinthians 14:34-35). And as a married
team, both husband and wife can advise others, in private, about God’s
Way of Life and related issues (compare Acts 18:24-26). If marriage
counseling is necessary, married ministers will have their wives
participate in the counsel of the married couple, whenever possible.
And a man is most certainly well advised to listen to the wise counsel
of his wife (Proverbs 31:26).
In addition, both men and women
are called by God to inherit salvation, and a woman must work out her
own salvation with fear and trembling, as much as a man is required to
do (Philippians 2:12). We are all told to “Test all things; hold fast
what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Men and women alike are to be
ready to give a defense or an answer to anyone WHO ASKS about the hope
that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). It may just be that a child or a
teen, a relative, a co-worker, a neighbor or a friend, wants an answer
to a question which the woman did not study into, because it did not
seem important to her. And it could very well be that the kind of
answer which is being given might initially decide whether or not the
person asking the question will positively or negatively respond to
God’s Truth–whether or not his or her interest is kindled to learn
more about God’s Way.
We are to be ready to give a defense or
an answer to EVERYONE who asks (see again 1 Peter 3:15). The questions
which we might be confronted with may not just relate to our daily
Christian way of life. They might very well include doctrinal issues.
We might be asked questions regarding evolution and the creation of
man; the Trinity; Christmas and Easter; Sunday and Sabbath worship;
God’s annual Holy Days; Heaven and Hell; the Destiny of Man; the
resurrections; the Immortal Soul; the Gospel; the Inspiration and
authority of the Bible, including the Old Testament; Noah’s Flood;
whether or not we are already born again; the Family of God; the time
of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection; Christ’s return; what the
Bible says about World War III; abortion and fighting in war; etc. etc.
etc. The list of potential questions is seemingly endless–and a
converted woman, as well as a converted man, needs to know, from
Scripture, the answers to these questions, so that they CAN give a
“defense” to those who ask.
We have prepared numerous booklets
and Q&As with the intent to help the body of Christ, as well as
those who are being called by God–men and women alike–to learn more
about God’s Truth. Converted members of God’s Church–regardless of
gender–should make good use of these tools, by studying them very
thoroughly. We strongly recommend that you study our literature
together with the Bible. Scriptures quoted in our literature should be
checked and perhaps even marked in God’s Word. All of us–men AND
women–are admonished to study God’s Word to show ourselves “approved”
to God (2 Timothy 2:15, Authorized Version).
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A new StandingWatch program
has been posted on the Web. It is titled, “Europe and the Middle
East.” In the program, Norbert Link discusses the current violent
demonstrations in the Arab world and shows from the Bible how Europe
will ultimately deal with the situation.
A new member letter has
been written and will be sent out early next week. In the letter, Brian
Gale addresses the important subject of Passover preparation.
Our new booklet on the Mysteries of the Bible has entered the second review cycle.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom