Update 299



On June 23, 2007, Bill Grams will give the sermon, titled, “Encouragement.”

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.

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Don't Be Surprised!

by Norbert Link

“Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” These words of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 5:11-12, stand in stark contrast to the following warning: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

Humanly speaking, we love it when we are well spoken of, and we don’t like it when people hate us, exclude us, revile us and “cast out” our names “as evil” (compare Luke 6:22). But if we shrink back from standing up boldly for the truth, so that we can be accepted by others, then Christ will have no pleasure in us. If we deny Him–through our words or our conduct–for fear that others may ridicule or even persecute us, then Christ will deny us (Matthew 10:33).

Don’t be surprised when you are the victim of malicious lies. Paul was, as he said in Romans 3:8: “… And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come’?–as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.”

As a true Christian, you can expect to be lied about. And you can expect that some may believe those lies. This might include misrepresentations from some of your friends or relatives. It might include business associates or even members of your church. Paul spoke about “evil reports” which were circulated about him, and that he was even accused of being a “deceiver” (2 Corinthians 6:8).

But, without perhaps realizing it, a person who lies about you and who may call you a deceiver has himself become a tool in Satan’s hands–that evil being who is the arch-deceiver and the accuser of the brethren, accusing them day and night (Revelation 12:9-10). It is therefore no surprise when his ministers, perhaps claiming to be servants of Christ, accuse true Christians (2 Corinthians 11:15). They act in this way so that they–or their self-invented “cause”–may appear “righteous” in the eyes of man; but their “end will be according to their works” (same verse).

Sometimes I wonder whether such evil workers of iniquity have “no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18). I ask myself, don’t they know that they will have to answer to God, in His due time? Do they even care? And then I have to remind myself: Don’t be surprised! It’s prophesied to happen. Christ said: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… but all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me” (John 15:20-21).

I have been lied about many times–as I am sure that you have been. And it is never easy to hear vicious rumors about yourself–knowing them to be absolute falsehoods and misrepresentations; KNOWING that these “evil things” have been “invented” by evil minds (compare Romans 1:30). Still, we ARE told NOT to hate such evil workers of iniquities–even though we surely are to HATE with all our being WHAT they are doing–but to “give place” to the wrath of God. We are to “bless those who persecute” us (Romans 12:14), always remembering the truthful saying of God: “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

I’m not saying that this is easy. I’m sometimes surprised how difficult it may be. Especially when malicious and vicious lies are being spread about us which are totally untrue–and when others believe those lies, even though they should know better. No, it is not easy to bless in such situations, rather than to curse (Romans 12:14), but this is what we are commanded to do. And we are to even rejoice in persecutions, knowing that God blesses us in such situations. Peter tells us: “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified” (1 Peter 4:14).

And so, we know that God will bring to light, in His due time, the true motives of everyone, and we are confident that God will praise the wrongfully accused (compare 1 Corinthians 4:5).

Don’t be surprised when persecution comes. But be certain that you are found in the role of the wrongfully accused–and never in the role of the wrongful accuser. After all, it IS a serious and “fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

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“Bush’s European Disaster”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 14 about “Bush’s European Disaster.” The article stated:

“The president’s trip was a pageant of disdain, delusion and provocation masquerading as a respite from his troubles at home… High officials of European governments describe U.S. influence as squandered and swiftly eroding… the country’s moral authority nil. Lethal power vacuums are emerging from Lebanon to Pakistan, and Europeans are incapable on their own of quelling the fires that burn far closer to them than to the United States through their growing Muslim populations and proximity to the Middle East… Even worse than Bush, from their perspective, would be another Republican president who continued Bush policies and also appointed neoconservatives. That would toll, if not the end of days, then the decline and fall of the Western alliance except in name only, and an even more rapid acceleration of chaos in the world order.

“… No president has had a more disastrous European trip since President Reagan placed a wreath on the graves of SS officers in the Bitburg cemetery. Yet Reagan’s mistake was unintentional and symbolic, a temporary and superficial setback, doing no real damage to U.S. foreign relations, while Bush’s blunders not only reinforced counterproductive policies but also created a new one with Russia that has the potential of profoundly undermining U.S. national security interests for years to come…

“Bush quite deliberately upset German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal for climate change at the G8… He also deprived Blair of a last achievement [who] has sacrificed his career to Bush’s fiasco…

“In Iraq, Bush’s policy is now to arm all sides in the sectarian civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. He claims to be devoted to nation building, which he previously dismissed, while he presides over a mass exodus of 2 million Iraqis, upholds law and order while holding tens of thousands of prisoners without due process…”

U.S. Missile Defense System in Poland?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 15:

“Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made clear Thursday that the United States would not alter plans to deploy parts of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, despite an unexpected proposal by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to use a radar base in Azerbaijan instead. During a session of defense ministers here, Mr. Gates also effectively secured NATO’s endorsement for an American plan to build the missile defense bases in Central Europe…”

Can Evolution and Creation Coexist?

USA Today wrote on June 12:

“During a televised debate among GOP presidential candidates last month in California, Sen. John McCain of Arizona was asked whether he believes in evolution. McCain first answered with one word: ‘Yes.’ Then he quickly added: ‘I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.’… [A] recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll suggests McCain’s attempt to have it both ways is not an uncommon view. One-quarter of Americans think evolution… and creationism… are both likely explanations…

“Whatever the reason, three of the GOP presidential wannabes standing with McCain that day gave a much different answer. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado answered with a show of hands when a reporter asked, ‘Is there anybody on the stage that does not agree, believe in evolution?’… Many Americans think the theories of divine creation and evolution can coexist.”

In spite of majority opinions, the simple truth is that Evolution and Biblical Teaching CANNOT co-exist. For the reasons, please read our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults?” Please also watch our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Why Do You Live?”

Kurt Waldheim Died

The Washington Post wrote on June 15:

“Kurt Waldheim, 88, a seemingly low-key diplomat who became secretary general of the United Nations and president of his native Austria only to be barred from the United States on suspicion of involvement in Nazi war crimes, died June 14 at a Vienna hospital… When Mr. Waldheim was put on the Justice Department’s ‘watch list’ of prohibited people in 1987, it was the first time in U.S. history that the head of a friendly country had been branded an undesirable alien suspected of war crimes with the German army in World War II. He remained on the list for the rest of his life…

“The facts about what he did during the war years were never clearly established, and there was no clear-cut proof that he participated in killings or other war crimes. But there was strong evidence that he concealed his role as a lieutenant between 1942 and 1945 with Nazi Army units involved in atrocities against Yugoslav partisans and lied about his whereabouts during that period. Although Mr. Waldheim was never tried, public disclosures in the mid-1980s included a secret 1948 finding by the U.N. War Crimes Commission that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him on charges of ‘murder’ and ‘putting hostages to death.’

“In a corollary development, the validity of which was never established, a former Yugoslav intelligence officer said that the Soviet Union might have used the information to enlist Mr. Waldheim as a Soviet agent after the war when he was serving in Austria’s diplomatic service. There also was speculation that he… had worked secretly for the United States in exchange for the CIA concealing his background.”

The European Summit–Success or Flop?

On June 21, 2007, Der Spiegel Online published an article, titled, “Europe Divided on How to Unite.”

It was pointed out:

“EU diplomats are now faced with reaching agreement on 15 outstanding objections to the so-called ‘draft mandate,’ an 11-page blueprint presented by Germany to the 27 member states on Tuesday. The European leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to try to hammer out a final deal on how to make the bloc work more effectively… The amount of unresolved issues, means that diplomats are expecting the meeting to go on well into the early hours of Saturday and one thing people can agree on is that a deal is far from guaranteed….

“The Poles have been using particularly emotional rhetoric in advance of the summit. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski told Polish radio on Tuesday that his objection to the proposed new voting formula went back to the country’s suffering in World War II. According to Thursday’s Financial Times, he said: ‘If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million.’ Poland’s current population is 38 million… Later Kaczynski told Reuters: ‘We realize we cannot stop the process (of reform) … that would be too risky for the future.’ He said there was a 50-50 chance of the summit reaching an agreement.

“Now the UK seems to be stepping into its old role as the main Euro spoilsport. Britain fears that a legally binding Charter could take precedence over its Common Law — unlike the other EU member states, Great Britain does not have a written constitution.”

The article continued:

“… the British and Polish attempts to water down the treaty have enraged other countries. Spain is insisting on the establishment of the role of European foreign minister, and the Spanish press reports that the Madrid government is threatening to use its veto on this point. And Luxembourg is also fuming at the Euro-skeptic saber-rattling in advance of the summit. Speaking on Germany’s ZDF channel on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker warned that if the summit failed then the EU could split into a two-speed bloc, with some European states further integrating ‘without the others.'”

And THAT is, according to Biblical prophecy, what might ultimately happen.

The Media Campaign Against or For the EU Summit

On June 15, the British tabloid, “The Sun,” started a media campaign against Tony Blair and Angela Merkel, in preparation for the EU Summit on Thursday. By way of background, “The Sun” used to be a conservative newspaper in the 1990’s, but it subsequently became a Tony Blair supporter for years. However, things changed again. “The Sun” is not known for in-depth analysis like the Daily Telegraph or the Times.  But they do have the finger on the pulse and seem to carry quite a bit of clout. The campaign shows the concern many have in Britain that Germany will control the Summit and that British sovereignty will be surrendered. Whether or not the statements in the article are completely correct, the campaign initiated by “The Sun” is remarkable. The tabloid wrote:

“The treaty will mean a giant giveaway of UK power. Our voting power will be slashed by 30 per cent — making it impossible to block barmy EU rules… Germany is pushing hard for a new treaty which includes many of the measures in the hated EU constitution. Its leader Angela Merkel has admitted the treaty will be virtually a carbon copy of the constitution… Chancellor Merkel wrote to EU leaders saying she wanted ‘to use different terminology without changing the legal substance’ of the rejected constitution.”

On June 16, Der Spiegel Online reported about a perceived British “anti German/anti-European media campaign,” directed primarily at Angela Merkel and Tony Blair. The magazine reacted in kind–with an anti-British piece, alleging that Britain has been “stubbornly” refusing to participate in any European integration for more than 20 years, and that Britain will continue with its “negative approach” toward European unification.

The British media campaign might not have been without consequences for Mr. Blair. Der Spiegel Online reported on June 19:

“Two days before the crucial summit on the EU treaty to replace the stalled constitution, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is digging in his heels. Britain, he says, will not give up any sovereignty. But he may be making life difficult for his successor… Britain continues to say that it is willing to block any treaty that smacks too much of a constitution and that transfers too much power to Brussels… Britain has a whole list of key areas that it will not compromise on… Blair… has his eye on the Eurosceptic press and the opposition Conservatives… The influential mass-circulation Sun newspaper last week launched a ‘seven days to save Britain’ campaign and urged Blair to stop a ‘surrender of British power to Brussels.’…

“With Blair leaving office next Wednesday, his successor Gordon Brown will have the frustrating experience of not being part of the extremely important negotiations in Europe, ones that will affect his future government. If Britain agrees to a deal this week, it will give Brown an influential position in Europe but give the Conservatives a gift in election campaigns and probably alienate the largely Eurosceptic press. But if the UK blocks the agreement, he will take over with Britain having annoyed leaders across Europe.”

Britain and Perhaps Poland Oppose EU Treaty

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 20:

“Most EU summits are dull affairs, but the week leading up to Thursday’s meeting on a new EU treaty has been a rollercoaster ride. After no small amount of saber-rattling, Poland finally looks like coming round — but now Britain has come up with a whole list of objections…

“With just one day to go until the leaders of the European Union gather in Brussels, it seems no one has any idea if the summit is going to be a resounding success or a huge flop. Germany, as current EU president, is attempting to revive parts of the aborted European constitution to create a new treaty, but has run up against Polish and British objections to the new agreement.

“Germany presented its draft mandate of the treaty on Tuesday to the 27 member countries, and now EU diplomats are trying to iron out the final sticking points before the leaders meet in Brussels Thursday and Friday. All 27 member states have to agree to a new treaty, and if Poland or Britain block the deal, it could plunge the EU into a prolonged crisis…

“On Tuesday a furious Jose Manuel Barroso lashed out at the two countries for their stance in the run up to the talks. The EU Commission president warned the countries that if they killed the deal, they would face isolation and could expect less generosity from Brussels in the future.”

Will Merkel Pull It Off?

The Times wrote on June 16:

“When Angela Merkel won her G8 breakthrough by knocking male heads together, the fawning Bild Zeitung dubbed her ‘Miss World’. With record 70 per cent approval ratings it seemed as if the German Chancellor could do no wrong.

“Now Ms Merkel faces an even tougher challenge to earn her tabloid laurels: in the next few days she has to come up with the outlines of a deal on the European constitution. If she fails, the continent could be heading for a two or multiple-speed Europe, an end of the old idea of political integration. The Miss World title would be forfeit.

“So, it is High Noon for Europe… The Chancellor should not be underestimated: she may pull it off… Time and again this canny 53-year-old politician… has outwitted some of the shrewdest strategic heads in Europe. It has been a remarkable transformation that has baffled her male colleagues in the Christian Democratic party… the real change has come from the engine room: a hard-nosed chief of staff, Beate Baumann, and a group of shrewd women advisers drawn from a network that secretly pulls many of the strings in Berlin… Out goes Thatcherite handbagging, in comes a more Machiavellian approach, using inside intelligence to play off one obstructive male against another…

“Slowly, she worked out how to spin a silky web of deadlines committing leaders to a ‘process’ rather than a hard and fast deal. That was her approach to the G8 summit in Heiligendamm and it worked; the same rules are being applied for the EU summit… It is often gay men who get the better of her — including Guido Westerwelle, the talented leader of the Free Democrats… Now, [he is] preparing himself for a future centre-right government…”

European Arms Sales Contracts

The Associated Press reported on June 19:

“Spain has agreed to end its opt-out from the European Union’s year-old code of conduct on arms sales… The director of the European Defense Agency said the decision… showed the success of the new system which has led to more than 200 defense contracts worth about 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion)… The entry of Spain and Hungary [last month] means 24 of the 27 EU nations are taking part. Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU at the beginning of this year are considering joining up, but Denmark decided in the early 1990s not to participate in the EU’s defense and security policy.”

Strong Support of European Citizens for EU Constitution

The International Herald Tribune wrote on June 20:

“Two out of three European Union citizens support the idea of a constitution, an EU survey showed Wednesday on the eve of crucial summit talks on forging a new treaty for the expanded bloc. Two years after French and Dutch voters rejected the draft constitution, 68 percent of French citizens and 55 percent in the Netherlands support some sort of constitution.

“In Poland, the country seen as a major stumbling bloc to consensus during the two-day EU summit, backing for a constitution rose 5 points from last fall, to 69 percent. [In] Britain, which also balks at some of the proposals for a new EU treaty to replace the constitution, support has historically been lukewarm, and it stood at 43 percent, lowest among the 27 EU member states.

“The overall rate of support for a constitution — 66 percent — was a 3-point increase compared to the rate from fall of last year. Support for EU membership is at its highest since 1994, with 57 percent backing in the EU, a 4-point hike since last fall. It was highest in the Netherlands at 77 percent and lowest in Austria at 36 percent.”

G4 Talks Collapse

Reuters reported on June 21:

“Talks between trade powers to salvage global trade talks collapsed on Thursday, throwing the future of the World Trade Organisation’s struggling round deeper into doubt. Ministers from the United States and the European Union (EU), representing rich nation interests, and Brazil and India, for the developing world, were quick to blame the other side for the failure. Without an agreement between the four powers at their meeting in Potsdam [Germany], diplomats and trade officials had warned that it would be difficult for the full 150-member state WTO to strike a deal as hoped by the end of July.”

Egypt Invites Leaders to Monday’s Peace Summit

The Associated Press reported on June 21:

“Closing ranks against Hamas, Egypt’s president invited Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders to a peace summit, officials said Thursday, the biggest show of support yet by moderate Arab states for beleaguered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting will take place Monday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh…

“Despite the talk about peace, however, the Hamas takeover has dealt a setback to statehood efforts, with the Islamic militants in charge of Gaza and Abbas in charge of the West Bank. Gaza militants fired nine rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot on Wednesday, slightly injuring one person. Hours earlier, Israeli troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles fatally shot four militants.”

Horrible Conditions in Ethiopia

On June 17, The International Herald Tribune published the following article about Ethiopia’s inhuman treatment of its own people. How long will the West stand idly by before responding to this “push” towards and “attack” on democratic freedoms, which are strongly advocated by Western societies? The article stated:

“This is the Ogaden, a corner of Ethiopia that the urbane officials in Addis Ababa, the capital, would rather outsiders never see. It is the epicenter of a separatist war in which impoverished nomads are fighting one of the biggest armies in Africa. What goes on here seems to be starkly different from the carefully-constructed image that Ethiopia – a country that America increasingly relies on to fight militant Islam in the Horn of Africa – tries to project.

“In village after village, people said they had been brutalized by government troops. They described a widespread and longstanding reign of terror, with Ethiopian soldiers gang-raping women, burning down huts and killing civilians at will. It is the same military that the American government helps train and equip – and provides with prized intelligence. The two nations have been allies for years, but recently they have grown especially close, teaming up last winter to oust an Islamic movement that controlled much of Somalia and rid the region of a potential terrorist threat.

“The Bush administration, particularly the military, considers Ethiopia its best bet in the Horn of Africa – which, with Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, is fast becoming intensely violent, virulently anti-American and an incubator for terrorism. But an emerging concern for American officials is the way the Ethiopian military operates inside its own borders, especially in war zones like the Ogaden.

“… the State Department, the European Parliament, and many human rights groups, mostly outside of Ethiopia, have cited thousands of cases of torture, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings – enough to raise questions in Congress about American support of the Ethiopian government. ‘This is a country that is abusing its own people and has no respect for democracy,’ said Representative Donald Payne, chairman of the House subcommittee on Africa and global health. ‘We’ve not only looked the other way but we’ve pushed them to intrude in other sovereign nations,’ he added, referring to the satellite images and other strategic help the American military gave Ethiopia in December, when thousands of Ethiopian troops poured into Somalia and overthrew the Islamist regime.

“According to Georgette Gagnon, deputy director for the Africa division of Human Rights Watch, Ethiopia is one of the most repressive countries in Africa. ‘What the Ethiopian security forces are doing,’ she said, ‘may amount to crimes against humanity.’ Human Rights Watch issued a report in 2005 that described a rampage by government troops against members of the Anuak minority tribe in western Ethiopia, in which soldiers ransacked homes, beat villagers to death with iron bars and in one case, according to a witness, tied up a prisoner and ran over him with a military truck.

“After the report came out, the researcher who wrote it was banned by the Ethiopian government from returning to the country. Similarly, three New York Times journalists who visited the Ogaden to cover this story were imprisoned for five days and had all their equipment confiscated before being released without charges… with the opposition poised to win a record-number of seats in Parliament, the government cracked down brutally, opening fire on demonstrators, rounding up tens of thousands of opposition supporters and students and leveling charges of treason and even attempted genocide against top opposition leaders, including the man elected mayor of Addis Ababa. Many opposition members are now in jail or in exile. The rest seem demoralized…”

Some Never Seem To Learn

AFP reported on June 18:

“Tony Blair on Monday strongly defended intervening in Iraq for the final time as prime minister before parliament’s top scrutiny body. In a robust farewell performance, Blair insisted ordinary Muslims craved democracy, saying that Islamist terrorists rather than the West were their worst enemy. He warned that the West would be making a ‘fundamental mistake’ if it gave up defending democracy when threatened with terrorism and slapped down those blaming coalition failures for the sectarian unrest since the March 2003 US-led invasion to topple dictator Saddam Hussein. And Blair, who steps down next week, admitted that he felt a heavy responsibility for the death toll in Iraq… Blair steps down on June 27 after a decade in power, leaving a legacy clouded by his decision to support US President George W. Bush in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

Britain Under Attack

AFP reported on June 19:

“Muslim radicals burned an effigy of Queen Elizabeth Tuesday as Pakistan summoned the British ambassador over Salman Rushdie’s knighthood and Iranian hardliners turned their fury on the monarch. Anger has mounted in the neighbouring Islamic republics since the British monarch gave the 59-year-old author of ‘The Satanic Verses’ the title of Sir Salman for services to literature at the weekend.

“The row has thrown Rushdie back in the eye of the storm, 18 years after he was sentenced to death by Iran’s revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for blasphemy in a fatwa that has never been revoked… Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz-ul-Haq on Monday said the award for Rushdie justified suicide attacks, prompting outrage in Britain, although he later withdrew the remark.

“Pakistan’s senate on Tuesday condemned the ‘blatant disregard for the sentiments of the Muslims by the British government.’… Legislators in North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, which is ruled by an alliance of hardline Islamists, called for Pakistan to sever diplomatic ties with London.”

Full Unity Among All “Christians”

On June 16, VIS published the following article:

“… the Pope and… Chrysostomos II, signed a Joint declaration… In the declaration, Benedict XVI and the archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus declare their ‘sincere and firm desire, in obedience to the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to intensify the search for full unity among all Christians. … We wish the Catholic and Orthodox faithful of Cyprus to live fraternally and in full solidarity…

“… during their meeting they… considered ‘the situation in the Middle East, where war and contrasts between peoples risk spreading, with disastrous consequences… Our Churches intend to play a role of pacification in justice and in solidarity and, in order for this to come about, it is our desire to promote fraternal relations between all Christians and faithful dialogue between the various religions that are present and operate in the region.’

“After making a call for all those who raise their hands ‘against their brothers’ to lay down their arms, the joint declaration calls for ‘every effort to be made to ensure that human rights are always defended, in all countries.’ Of these, ‘the primary right is that of freedom of religion. Not to respect it constitutes a grave offence to the dignity of man. … And hence, to profane, destroy or plunder the places of worship of any religion is an act against humanity and the civilization of peoples.’

“‘At a time of growing secularization and relativism, Catholics and Orthodox in Europe are called to offer renewed witness on ethical values,’ write the Pope and Chrysostomos II. Referring to the European Union, they highlight how ‘it cannot be limited to merely economic cooperation, it needs solid cultural foundations, shared ethical positions and openness to the religious dimension. It is necessary to revive the Christian roots of Europe, which have made its civilization great over the centuries, and to recognize that the Western and Eastern Christian tradition have, in this sense, a joint task to accomplish.’

“The Pope and the archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus indicate that ‘the rich heritage of faith and the solid Christian tradition of our lands must encourage Catholic and Orthodox to a renewed determination to announce the Gospel in our time, in order to be faithful to our Christian vocation and to respond to the needs of today’s world.'”

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Does the Bible say that "the faith OF Christ" lives in a Christian? I can only find references in the Bible that we must have "faith IN Christ."

The Bible teaches both. Unfortunately, many modern English translations–including the New King James Bible–have clouded the meaning by falsely rendering certain Scriptural passages.

It is of course true that we must have faith in Christ–including in His name, identity, role and function, His message, and His Sacrifice (Acts 3:16; 20:21; 24:24; John 3:14-15; 5:24; 11:24; 12:46). Before we receive the Holy Spirit, which God only gives us after repentance, belief, proper adult baptism and the laying on of hands through God’s true ministers–our faith IN Christ is the ONLY kind of faith we can have. But even this is not a “dead” faith, but a “living” faith–it is that kind of faith which manifests itself through works of OBEDIENCE (James 2:14, 17, 22, 26; Romans 1:5; 16:26; Acts 6:7). John 3:36 reads, correctly translated: “He who believes IN the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not OBEY the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (compare Revised Standard Version, “RSV”). In fact, without living, obedient faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ, we cannot even receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32).

Once we receive God’s Holy Spirit, and with it a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), Jesus Christ’s living FAITH resides in us. As we allow Christ to lead and direct our lives more and more, we also allow His faith in us to become more and more powerful. Not that Christ’s perfect and boundless faith needs to grow or become more effective, but WE grow to the extent that we allow Him and His faith in us to motivate us and lead us. Remember that Jesus could not do many miracles because of the lack of faith of the people (compare Mark 6:5-6; Matthew 13:58). It is through Christ’s faith in us that we can become more and more obedient and perfect. But if we refuse to take advantage of and use Christ’s faith in us, we will not grow toward perfection.

For proof that Christ’s faith must live in us, notice Galatians 2:16, 20. Please note that the New King James Bible, as well as most other modern translations, including the New International Version, the RSV and the Living Bible, incorrectly use the words “faith IN Christ,” rendering the passage as follows:

“… knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith IN Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith IN Christ and not by the works of the law… I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith IN the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (New King James Bible).

This false rendition is very damaging, as it totally clouds the biblical truth that we must have the faith OF Christ in us, and it is the faith OF Christ which justifies us. It is the living Jesus Christ, dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit, who makes us perfect through HIS faith–OUR faith IN Christ, even though necessary, could NEVER accomplish this.

Notice how the Authorized Version renders the passage of Galatians 2:16:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ… “

The Englishman’s Greek New Testament, an interlinear literal translation (“Interlinear”), clarifies that the literal Greek renders the phrase in verse 16 as “faith OF Christ,” NOT “faith IN Christ.” The Greek words for “Jesus Christ” or for “Christ,” are in the Genitive, meaning that the translation must be, “faith OF Jesus Christ” and “faith OF Christ.” On the other hand, in the phrase, “we have believed IN Jesus Christ,” the Greek words for “Jesus Christ” are NOT in the Genitive, showing that in that case, the rendering of belief IN Jesus Christ is correct. We first must believe IN Christ, in order to obtain the faith OF Christ.

The Authorized Version renders Verse 20 as follows:

“… and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God…”

In this case, the original Greek is a little bit more complicated. Literally translated, it says, according to “Interlinear”: “.. yet I live, no longer I, but lives in me Christ; but which I now live in flesh, in faith I live, that of the Son of God.” Some say that the rendering should be, “in faith I live, IN that of the Son of God,” adding the word “IN” to imply that we live through OUR faith IN the faith OF Christ. But the word “IN” is not in the original. It is more compelling, from the context and the structure of the sentence, to state that we live in faith WHICH IS the faith of the Son of God. Notice again the literal rendering, word for word: “in faith I live, THAT OF the Son of God.”

Additional passages also show that we must have the faith OF Christ, LIVING in us, in order to inherit eternal life.

Note, for example, Galatians 3:22, which is rendered incorrectly in the New King James Bible and other modern translations, but which has been translated correctly by the Authorized Version:

“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith OF Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

In the Greek, the words “Jesus Christ” are in the Genitive, mandating the translation, “faith OF Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 3:12 reads, in the Authorized Version (note that many modern translations, including the New King James Bible, again mistranslates this passage): “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith OF HIM.” The Greek word for “HIM” is in the Genitive, so that the translation “OF HIM” is correct.

It is Christ, through His Spirit, who dwells in our hearts through faith (compare Ephesians 3:16-17). He is the author and finisher of faith (compare Hebrews 12:2, but please note that the word “our” in “our faith” was added by the translator and is not in the original).

Another passage, which has been mistranslated in most modern versions, including the New King James Bible, but which has been accurately rendered in the Authorized Version, is Philippians 3:9:

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is THROUGH THE FAITH OF CHRIST, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

Again, the Greek word for “Christ” is in the Genitive, mandating the translation, “faith OF Christ.”

Notice that the New King James Bible translates James 2:1 correctly, as follows: “My brethren, do not hold the faith OF our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.” This rendering is correct, as the Greek words for “Lord Jesus Christ” are in the Genitive.

Notice also Revelation 2:13. Christ says to the church in Pergamos: “I know your works.. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny MY FAITH…”

Notice, too, Revelation 14:12: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith OF Jesus.” In this instance, the New King James Bible and the RSV render the passage correctly–while other modern renditions mistranslate this passage as well. But as in the passages mentioned above, the Greek word for “Jesus” is in the Genitive, so that “OF Jesus” is the only possible rendering.

Those, then, who KEEP God’s commandments AND the faith OF Jesus Christ, which dwells in them, will be saved. It is absolutely necessary that Christ’s faith dwells in us and motivates us to endure, persevere, and continue in our godly walk to inherit the Kingdom of God and eternal life.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock


Our 25th booklet, “The Meaning of God’s Fall Holy Days,” has been finalized and is ready to be sent to the printer.

StandingWatch programs

This week, we sent out an announcement regarding our new StandingWatch program #125

Unsuccessful G-8 Summit

Even though the press and politicians have described the G-8 Summit in Germany as a success, in fact, it was not. No binding agreements were reached–only the expression of a “desire” to perhaps do something together in the future. But German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has emerged as THE world leader. She is even called now “Miss World.” Why is this remarkable in view of end-time events?

View it now on Google.

A new StandingWatch program was recorded this week, titled, “Why Do You Live?”, and will be posted shortly.

One of the most successful StandingWatch programs so far has been the one on “American Hiroshima,” which received in excess of 2,000 views on Google, followed by “Iran’s Frightening Intensions” (over 1,000 views) and “What’s in Store for America” (840 views). These numbers do not include viewers of our StandingWatch Website.

Video Sermons

We also continue to post video-recorded sermons on Google Video. Norbert Link’s recent video presentation, “Bible Study–Christian Suffering” has been viewed over 1,130 times.

Internet Ad Campaign

We have started an Internet ad campaign in Great Britain, offering Mr. McNair’s booklet, “America and Britain in Prophecy.” So far, we have received 76 requests for the booklet.

We have also just begun an Internet ad campaign in the USA, offering our booklet, “Mysteries of the Bible,” and will soon begin a similar Internet ad campaign for the same booklet in Canada. After running the ad for about a day or two, we have already received ten requests.

Your ongoing prayers for the success of our efforts to preach the gospel and to feed the flock are truly appreciated.

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by Michael Link

For the past couple of months I had to learn a great deal of patience.  I have been constantly faced with situations where I had to make the right decisions, but ultimately would come to the conclusion that I need to put things into God’s hands. 

Lately, we have heard prayer requests for those in the Church who have been struggling in their quest for a job or a better job.  I am also one who would fit that category.  For example, assuming that the current job I have would bring forth fruit by now, including a few freelance jobs on the side, I had and still do have many questions in my mind as to what the purpose of all of this may be. I was hoping for greater things to happen by now.   I had a plan when certain things would be accomplished.  However, were my plans in conjunction with God’s plan for me?  Do I have enough patience as God has for me? 

I started thinking about that a lot more and came to the realization that God does have a plan for me, and He knows exactly when things are to come to pass for my sake.  I also know that I have a part to do as well.  I have kept my options open in terms of finding another job, and I have all the confidence that God will lead me in the right direction.  Most importantly, I have to have continuous faith and confidence that God’s plan for me will come to pass, and if I continue to have patience, it will come.

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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