Update 265


WHY Israel?

On October 28, 2006, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “WHY Israel?”

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.

Back to top

Holding the Faith

by Edwin Pope

Having now returned from a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles, where we
enjoyed a full plate of spiritual food during this year’s festival, we
each have received tremendous help to assist us as we return to our
respective places in this present world. We must not allow ourselves to
let down from the spiritual high we have received!

As we move
into the winter months of the year, we must use the knowledge and the
increase of God’s faith received during this eight day festival through
God’s inspiration, not letting the spirit of the upcoming seasons pull
us down from the spiritual high with which God has blessed us.

as we enter these months, when daylight is shortened and the darkness
of night grows long, the world enters its major festival season, which
has been inspired by the god of this world to lead God’s people and all
of mankind into darkness; we must continue to increase in the light of
God’s Word!

Many of God’s people, called and chosen, have been
caught up in the spirit of these days, having lost sight of many of
God’s truths warning His people to always be alert to Satan’s devices.
Our God hates these days because they have been inspired by the god of
this world to deceive His people and to lead them into false worship,
as much of the world is doing today! Our God says He is a jealous God
and He demands our loyalty to Him!

God tells us in Deuteronomy,
chapter 12, verses 30-31: “…do not inquire after their gods, saying,
‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise. You
shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination
to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods…”

God continues in verse 32: “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

us use the increased faith God has given us during these fall festivals
and let us be faithful to Him as the uninspired festivals of the god of
this world pass. We must look forward to the spring of the year and
God’s spring festivals, whereby we will picture again integral parts of
God’s master plan which are revealed in His Holy Days.

We must
keep our eyes set on God’s Truth, His Plan, and His goal for all of
mankind as we go through these months of winter, knowing that the
spring is just ahead, bringing again His wonderful festivals of the
spring. In the meantime, we must continue to grow in the grace and
truth of our God in hope of His wonderful Kingdom, soon to come to this
earth, when all confusion and error will be destroyed and the Way of
our God will be established throughout the earth and the universe!

Back to top

European Special Report

As we watch the political climate of Europe–particularly the European Union member states–there is evidence of a growing undertow of dissatisfaction in many of the nations. A strong feeling of nationalism seems to be gathering beneath the surface–a potential backlash against political scandal, foreign workers and violent demonstrations by angry religious minorities grows more likely.

Riots in France

France has once again experienced an outbreak of racial unrest. Although violent acts are mostly limited to neighborhoods populated by immigrates and native born children of these people, the potential for riots on a larger scale has government officials concerned. Reuters (October 23, 2006)–as reported in News.scotsman.com–had this account of renewed violence in the poor suburbs of Paris:
“One year after three-week long riots shocked France, new attacks in ethnically mixed suburbs have put police on alert and led locals to warn that violence will explode in poor neighbourhoods if poverty and unemployment persist.

“‘For several weeks, we have seen escalating violence,’ said Frederic Lagache from the Alliance police union.

“‘We have the impression that some people in difficult neighbourhoods want to mark the anniversary of the November 2005 violence … by attacking police.'”

The article further quotes Sherifa Kasdi, a teacher in one of the ghetto-like suburbs where violence is growing: “A boy who wakes up, has nothing to do, is doing badly at school and has no job prospects — It’s all setting the stage for future riots…”

In an AP article appearing in USA Today (October 24, 2006), this comment was made concerning the state of affairs of many of the poor: “Any jobseeker in France’s down-and-out suburban housing projects knows that if you want work, it’s better to be named Alain than Mohamed.”

More Unrest in France

An Associated Press article appearing on Comcast.news (October 25, 2006) reported more unrest in France:

“Hundreds of youths from the poor, immigrant suburbs that erupted in riots last year marched through Paris Wednesday to present a collection of 20,000 complaints to lawmakers and urge the disenfranchised to make themselves heard with a vote, not violence.

Hours later, six to 10 young people forced passengers off a public bus in a western Paris suburb and then [set] the vehicle on fire, officials said.”

The article also noted: “The events came ahead of Friday’s first anniversary of the riots by disaffected youths from the housing projects where people of Arab and black African descent live outside France’s big cities. Many in the country fear new violence with rising tensions in recent weeks.”

Riots in Hungary

From Canada.com (October 24, 2006): “Hungary’s prime minister and the main opposition party traded accusations of blame Tuesday for rioting that broke out in the capital and marred 50th anniversary commemorations of the uprising against the former communist government.
“The riots Monday in central Budapest injured 167 people and caused more than C$1 million in damage, authorities said.”

Unrest has continued to escalate as calls for Prime Minister Fernc Gyurcsany’s resignation for lying in this year’s earlier election gain a more violent tone. The article also stated: “Public health authorities said 167 people had been treated at hospitals, including 17 police – one of whom was seriously injured. Of the 150 civilians treated, 13 had serious injuries.”

UK Limits Migrants

Reacting to migration levels that strain its infrastructure and public services, the United Kingdom took decisive measures to stem the inflow of foreign workers. The Telegraph.co.uk (October 25, 2006) reported:

“There is to be a 20,000 annual limit on low-skilled workers entering Britain from Bulgaria and Romania when the former Soviet bloc countries join the European Union next January, the Government announced yesterday.”

This article also revealed a reason for this current move: “The decision to introduce restrictions follows the wildly inaccurate predictions of new arrivals before the entry of eight countries to the EU two years ago. Since then, more than 450,000 people have come to work in the UK, mostly from Poland and the Baltic states. That is 30 times greater than forecast, largely because Britain at the time was the only major economy to open up its labour market.”

Protective moves of this kind do find critics, because EU citizens are guaranteed free movement in member nations. Some see this as only superficial, believing that poor workers will continue to be exploited and that their presence will only exacerbate a growing problem.

Russia also Deals with Illegal Immigrants

The website of the Russian News & Information Agency (October 24, 2006) published an article reporting on steps now being taken in Russia to stabilize illegal immigration–the article stated:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged Tuesday to counter illegal immigration in the country, and at the same time to simplify the legalization of those living and working here.

“Millions of illegal immigrants from struggling former Soviet republics have flooded Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union, bringing with them a rise in crime and a wave of xenophobic sentiment in response.”

This article highlights what is becoming an issue for countries all over the earth–an influx of poor alien workers along with a rise in crime:

“Many traders in markets across Russia are from former Soviet republics in the Caucasus region and former Central Asian Soviet states, as well as China and Vietnam, and many are in the country illegally.

“The president said criminal groups control markets, whereas market administrations, agricultural producers and police play a secondary role there, adding that the situation has outraged many Russians.

“‘This is the key to the problems we have faced recently,’ Putin said, referring to a series of violent attacks on dark-skinned people in Russia and the two latest race-hate cases in a Moscow market and a northern town.

“An explosive device was detonated at the Cherkizovsky market in northeastern Moscow August 21, killing 11 people and injuring at least 49, mostly Asians.

“And two Russians were killed in a restaurant brawl with Chechen immigrants in the northern town of Kondopoga in early September, sparking racial mob violence in the community and a wave of anti-immigration protests elsewhere in the country.”

More Threats From Iran

As reported in the Jerusalem Post (October 20, 2006), both Israel’s prime minister and the Iranian president exchanged threatening words. This occurred as the U.N. Security Council ever-so-slowly draws up recommendations to curb Iran’s nuclear ambition.

According to this article: “Ahmadinejad called the UN Security Council and all its decisions ‘illegitimate’ and said the world body was being used as a tool of Iran’s enemies – the United States and Britain.”

Also reported was this ominous perspective held by the Iranian leadership–if not much of that nation’s population: “Across Iran, millions took to the streets on ‘Al-Quds Day,’ Arabic for Jerusalem – a national holiday established by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to assert Muslim claims on the holy city. Rallies took place in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and elsewhere across the Islamic world.

“Ahmadinejad, speaking to a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Teheran, threatened any country that supports Israel, and said the US and its allies had ‘imposed a group of terrorists’ on the region by their support of the Jewish state.

“…His comments came a day after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that Iran would have ‘a price to pay’ if it does not give up its nuclear ambitions – and hinted Israel might be forced to take action.”

Bible prophecy shows that the modern descendants of the House of Israel will become the scorn of the rest of the world–and that will arise because of their national sins. The two sons of Joseph–Ephraim and Manasseh, the nations of the British Empire and the United States, respectively–bear the name and birthright of Israel (the name God gave to Jacob). The current nation called Israel actually occupies the land of Israel and is more properly understood to represent the House of Judah. Startling prophecies concerning the fate of these nations are finding fulfillment in the news headlines of today! To understand more, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” available at www.eternalgod.org. Also, watch our video presentation at www.StandingWatch.org.

Will the U.S. Win?

In a recent interview with journalists, President George Bush expressed his concerns and deep frustrations over the war in Iraq. Correspondent Byron York reported in the NRO–nationalreviewonline, October 25, 2006:

“…In today’s Iraq, the president conceded, it is the enemy, and not the United States, that is defining what victory means.

“The frustration in the room stemmed not so much from internal divisions and paralysis in the Iraqi government, or lagging indicators like oil and energy production. Rather, it came from the fact that American forces simply do not seem to be winning the war — on anyone’s terms — and that most Americans are disinclined to leave the troops in Iraq without some clear movement toward victory.”

By contrast to the earlier willingness of Americans to strike out at terrorism, this war in Iraq now seems to be going nowhere. Correspondent York writes:

“‘People, most of them, are out there saying, “What are you doing? Get after ‘em,’” Bush said. He’s heard it himself. “I’m from Texas,” Bush continued. “My buddies are saying, are you doing enough, not are you doing too little. They want to know, are we winning. They want to know, this mighty country, are we doing what it takes to win?”‘

“It would be fair to say that no one fully knew the answer to that question. At times during the conversation, the president seemed vexed — not beaten, not downcast, but vexed — by conditions in Iraq. Bush didn’t say so, but from his words it seemed hard to deny that in some significant measure the insurgents and the sectarian killers are in control in the country, and that the fate of the American mission is in their hands.”

Back to top

Is the Biblical story of Noah's Ark based on fact, or is it mere fiction or folklore?

The Biblical account of Noah’s Ark is clearly factual. Some have
advanced arguments saying that Noah could never have built the Ark, and
that the Ark would not have been big enough to hold all the animals.
Both objections are without foundation.

Some of the following
material has been published in “The Good News” magazine, February 1980,
and in “Exploring Ancient History–The First 2500 Years,” Imperial
Schools, 1967.

Based on the Holy Scriptures, God spoke directly
to Noah, telling him of His decision to destroy wickedness from the
earth (Genesis 6:13). He told him to build a great ship through which
his family and all birds and land animals would be saved alive, while
God covered the earth with a flood (Genesis 6:14-21). The building of a
gigantic sea craft presumes a knowledge of workmanship with brass and
iron–showing that all the fundamental crafts of culture and society
were known in that day. God said that Noah would not have to go looking
for the animals, for they would come to him (Genesis 6:20), but he
would have to provide quantities of food and grain.

Skeptics have
claimed the Ark could not possibly hold all those animals and
provisions, but simple fact proves otherwise. The physical dimensions
alone, as given in Genesis 6:15, stagger the imagination: “The length
of the ark shall be three hundred cubits [450 feet-based on an 18-inch
cubit, its commonly accepted length, compare the notes in the margin of
the New King James Bible], its width fifty cubits [75 feet], and its
height thirty cubits [45 feet].” Based on the 18-inch cubit
measurement, the figures show that the Ark was ocean-liner size in
cubic capacity. It had a volume exceeding 1.5 million cubic feet, and
virtually the entire capacity of the Ark could be used for storage, as
it had no engine room or fuel tanks. It had three decks totaling more
than 2-1/2 acres of surface. The Ark had a capacity equal to more than
500 standard American railroad freight cars! That was equivalent to 175
modern one-bedroom apartments! No ship of such size was again built
until the 19th century AD!

Building the Ark, then, was not a
simple undertaking. Considering that all the work was done without the
help of modern equipment, it must have taken Noah and his
sons–undoubtedly with the aid of hired laborers and craftsmen–decades
to build and outfit it with supplies. Some suspect it may have taken
the full 120 years that God had allotted mankind (compare Genesis 6:3).

also must have possessed considerable resources and wealth, as enormous
quantities of timber, building supplies and foodstuffs–plus labor–had
to be purchased or obtained by barter. Yet, his wealth shouldn’t
surprise us. God demonstrates time and again throughout the Bible how
He physically blessed those who humbly served Him, like Abraham,
Daniel, Job and Joseph whom God raised from prison to wealth and

In addition to wealth and resources, Noah had to be an
engineer and an architect to direct the building of this enormous
vessel. He also had to employ thousands of servants–architects,
carpenters, craftsmen, contractors and sub-contractors (to use modern
terminology)–to fulfill all the details of this fantastic work! And
then, there was the task of collecting all the provisions for
sustaining them. Noah and his family may haven taken decades of
planning and preparation. All the zoological and botanical knowledge
necessary to carry this out took highly technical understanding and

But could Noah get all those animals into the Ark;
that is, was the Ark big enough for all those animals? To quote from a
publication of the Worldwide Church of God, dated 1980, titled “In The
Beginning–Answers to Questions from Genesis”:

“God specifically
instructed Noah to select one pair of every ‘kind’ of unclean animal
and seven pairs of every ‘kind’ of clean animal. The Bible term ‘kind’
refers generally to a group of creatures, all of which interbreed. The
horse kind could be represented, therefore, by one pair of animals
having the genetic potential to produce after the flood all varieties
we have today. The same would be true also for dogs, cats, etc. Second,
only air-breathing, terrestrial animals were included in the Ark…
This excludes all sea creatures and simple forms of life which could
survive the deluge.
“… Only 40 percent of the animal kingdom lives on land, and 70
percent of all species of land animals are insects. The remaining 30
percent of the terrestrial animal kingdom are on a mean average the
size of a rhesus monkey [or a medium-sized dog]. Most animals can be
maintained in small confinement for long periods and remain healthy…
Estimates of the number of land mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian
species on earth today total about 18,000.

“Recognizing that
only kinds, not species, were included, it would have been necessary to
have far fewer than 18,000 animals on the Ark… But let’s be liberal
and say 40,000 animals, whose average size is that of a rhesus monkey,
were on the Ark. How much room in the Ark would be needed for all these
animals? About 40 percent of the Ark’s 1.5 million cubic feet would
suffice! What about insects? Remember, the Ark had a storage capacity
of 500 freight cars. Two hundred cars would be occupied by mammals,
birds and reptiles. Giving every pair of known species of insects 16
cubic inches of space, another 21 such freight cars would be
required… [When] viewed from the perspective of simple arithmetic,
only about half of the space on the three decks would have provided
plenty of room to accommodate all those animals. That left the other
half of the ship for food and supplies and for Noah and his family.”

are no valid reasons to doubt the accuracy of the Biblical account
about Noah’s Ark and the Flood. We should take note of the fact that
Jesus Christ Himself confirmed its HISTORICAL accuracy. We read, for
example, in Matthew 24:37-39: “But as the days of Noah were, so also
will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days of Noah before
the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
marriage, until the day THAT NOAH ENTERED THE ARK, and did not know
until the FLOOD CAME and took them all away, so also will the coming of
the Son of Man be.”

The early apostles accepted the account of
Noah’s Ark as HISTORICAL FACT. Paul wrote in Hebrews 11:7: “By faith
Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly
fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he
condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is
according to faith.”

Neither did Peter doubt the historical
accuracy of Noah’s Ark. He spoke about the “days of Noah” in 1 Peter
3:20, “while the ARK was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight
souls, were saved through water.”

Today, many who profess to be
“Christians,” neither believe in the historical accuracy of “Noah’s
Ark,” nor in the return–or Second Coming–of Jesus Christ to this
earth. Peter warned of such ignorance and denial of God’s Word, which
will have serious consequences for those who are guilty of it. He wrote
in 2 Peter 3:3-7: “… scoffers will come in the last days, walking
according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His
coming?… for they willfully forget: that by the word of God the
heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the
water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded
with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by
the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men.”

Lead Writers: Norbert Link and Bill Grams

Back to top

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

We are presenting two reports covering the Feast of Tabernacles in the United Kingdom and in the United States:

Feast Report for the United Kingdom
by Brian Gale

Millennial type surroundings for the Feast of Tabernacles are not always easily available but the Global Church of God in the UK again held God’s autumnal festival at Chatsworth House in beautiful rural Derbyshire in central England. Six years out of the last seven, this venue has been used, and all the approaches to Chatsworth House for services ensure that the beautiful countryside including sheep, deer and other animals, form part of a wonderfully picturesque landscape. The Peak District in Derbyshire is the second visited National Park in the world (only Mount Fuji in Japan has more visitors) and Chatsworth House is the most visited stately home in the UK. It is no surprise, therefore, that visitors are so impressed with the surroundings which are appropriate to what the Feast pictures. It is very difficult to envisage any Feast site anywhere in the world which more accurately reflects a millennial setting of peace and tranquility – and the quality of surroundings.

There were a number of organised activities which included a social evening, a superb Feast dinner and a coach tour of the beautiful surrounding area. Other activities were suggested for those interested in the many attractions in the area.

A public lecture was organised in Derby where Evangelist Norbert Link spoke on “Europe in Prophecy.” Mr Link
has written a booklet on this subject and his dynamic presentation was appreciated by both church members who attended this lecture in Derby and those who accepted the invitations to attend that were sent out.

Of course, the main thrust of any Feast are the church services and the sermons and sermonettes that are given, and these carefully prepared messages were given by Norbert Link, Brian Gale, Bill Koeneke, Terry McQuire, Andrew Burns, Peter Cartwright and Edwin Pope (on DVD). These outstanding messages contained much millennial content which inspired all those in attendance.

The Global Church of God in the UK welcomed visitors, as they do to weekly Sabbath services so long as they worship in peace and harmony, and these are characteristics that will prevail in God’s Kingdom in the World Tomorrow.; The eight days passed quickly, and what the Feast pictures – the Kingdom of God – cannot come quickly enough!

Advertising Report.

Advertising in the UK for the recently produced booklet “Mysteries of the Bible” attracted nearly 1,100 replies. The usual media was used and, whilst the response was slightly short of the level expected (around 1,400 was expected), nevertheless this booklet was requested by many who would be new to the truth of God and other responses may still be forthcoming.

Feast Report for the United States
by J. Edwin Pope

The Church of the Eternal God, for the past three years, has been blessed with the beautiful surroundings along the central coast of California, in the area of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay for the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Set in the natural beauty of ocean, mountains, and rich rolling hills, with a beautiful harbor and with the magnificent Morro Rock rising out of the waters of Morro Bay, this wonderful area was again named as the site for the Feast of Tabernacles, 2006.

As one takes sight of the coastline, The Bay Estuary is one of the largest unspoiled coastal marshes in the state and attracts over 200 species of native and migrating birds, including hummingbirds, mockingbirds, and great blue herons, as well as being a reserve for the Peregrine Falcon. Marine life and land based animals are also found in abundance. Marine life includes such species as elephant seals, sea otters, and gray whales. Monarch Butterflies migrate by the tens of thousands into the coastal areas.

San Luis Obispo County has approximately one hundred miles of stunning coastline, from the dramatic shores of the northern coast (Ragged Point, San Simeon, and Cambria) to spectacular Morro Rock (Morro Bay) to the smooth, diamond white sands of the southern beaches (Oceano, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach), truly a delight for the sight of all who love the beauty of God’s great Ocean of the Pacific!

Truly God has blessed the church for these past four fall festival seasons by inspiring His Name to be placed in this area for His Feast of Tabernacles!

Many truly magnificent restaurants are scattered along the coast and other areas of this paradise, but the favorite
physical food of most as we assemble here each year is the wonderful fish and chips served magnificently by restaurants throughout the area.

The official meeting site once again was on the premises of the Sea Pines Golf Resort located on Morro Bay in the small community of Los Osos – Baywood Park. The Mediterranean type climate enjoyed in the area added significantly to the overall enjoyment of our fellowship together.

Adding to the beauty of the area is the fact that San Luis Obispo County is a world-class wine producing region, which has attracted award winning acclaim. The wines made here are among the best in the world. The area includes two incredible wine growing regions, with over 80 wineries which are said to match any in the world. In California, only Napa and Sonoma exceed the grape production of this region. The soils and climate are perfect for growing grapes used in the production of superior wines. Numerous varieties of wines are produced here. San Luis Obispo has been exporting wines for over two hundred years.

This wonderful area, where God has placed His name for His annual festival has surely been a blessing to His people.

Once again, we had several planned activities which added to the fellowship enjoyed by all as we rejoiced together in God’s wonderful festival. Most everyone participated in a “game night” as well as a “70’s disco dance,” both of which were organized by the young adults of the church. We also enjoyed, together, a wonderful southern style Bar-B-Que.

An additional event which has been one of the central events occurs on Thursday night – “the Farmers’ Market” held in downtown San Luis Obispo. This event involves more than 120 vendors. Farmers park their trucks in the center of the street and restaurateurs wheel out massive barbeque pits for grilling ribs, chicken, tri-tip and even calzones under the evening sky. There are various food booths that offer everything from sandwiches, pizza-by-the-slice, to warm-from-the-oven cookies.

Also, one can find freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, bouquets of garden-grown flowers, hand-pressed cider and other seasonal treats.

Arts and crafts plus live entertainment are also found in abundance.

The entire event is “a street fair and produce market” and covers six downtown city blocks. Local shops are open late for shopping.

During the eight day festival, spiritually we were served fantastically – eight (8) sermons, six (6) split-sermons, and seven (7) sermonettes – a total of 21 presentations covering in depth God’s Great Plan! Speaking were David Harris, Terry Grade, Bob Bourque, Rene Messier, Kalon Mitchell, Norbert Link (DVD), Bill Grams, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Gilbert DeVaux, and Edwin Pope.

This was truly a dynamic Feast of Tabernacles and all in attendance rejoiced in it. We were pleased to have several new families attend with us this year, and as usual several were unable to attend due to illness. These were kept in our prayers throughout the feast. We were pleased that once again we were able to send out via internet each day’s service, which many were able to pick up and thus able to enjoy with us God’s wonderful Feast of Tabernacles!

Back to top

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

©2024 Church of the Eternal God