Update 343


According to Your Work

On Saturday, May 10, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “According to Your Work.”

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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Be Patient

by Michael Link

It is no surprise that the times we are living in become increasingly difficult, especially when the price for needed material things is skyrocketing. The price of gas is breaking records throughout the world, and as a result, other prices are being affected, like food, for example. Truckers especially are taking the hit, because they need to transport supplies to our local supermarkets, and so, food prices are being raised.

Many are becoming more conscious of their spending habits and starting to become impatient. Are we starting to feel this way? We know that it is going to get worse, and our patience will be tested more and more. God requires that we have faith during times like these, and that we should eagerly wait for Christ’s return. In the first chapter of James, verses 2-4, it says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” 

We certainly must not give up, but look to God for help. When we go through these trials, how is it that we should react? As we struggle during these times, “… we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance [endurance or patience]; and perseverance, character; and character, hope  (Romans 5:3-4).”

We know that the end is near–that Christ will return soon. Now is not the time to give up, nor should it ever be, but we have to believe that we can make it and that we will be blessed when we endure until the end (James 5:11).  Just as we have patience during these hard times, God also has a tremendous deal of patience with us. The worst case scenario would be to let Him down. 

What are we to do then in these struggling times? The answer can be found in these inspired words, recorded for us in James 5:7-8:  “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

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Emptying the U.S. Bread Basket

The Washington Post wrote on April 28:

“Across America, turmoil in the world wheat markets has sent prices of bread, pasta, noodles, pizza, pastry and bagels skittering upward, bringing protests from consumers. But underlying this food inflation are changes that are transforming U.S. agriculture and making a return to the long era of cheap wheat products doubtful at best.

“… in… North Dakota… many farmers are cutting back on growing wheat in favor of more profitable, less disease-prone corn and soybeans for ethanol refineries and Asian consumers… Wheat’s fall from favor, little noticed when it was cheap, has been long coming. Though still an iconic symbol of American abundance — engraved on currency and praised in song — the nation’s amber waves of wheat have been increasingly shoved aside by other crops. The ‘breadbasket of the world,’ which had alleviated hunger and famine since World War I, now generally supplies only a quarter of world wheat exports.

“U.S. farmers are expected to plant about 64 million acres of wheat this year, down from a high of 88 million in 1981. In Kansas, wheat acreage has declined by a third since the mid-1980s, and nationwide, there is now less wheat in grain bins than at any time since World War II — only about enough to supply the world for four days. This occurs as developing countries with some of the poorest populations are rapidly increasing their wheat imports… That poses serious concerns for countries that historically have counted on the United States to have inexpensive wheat on hand to cushion shocks…”

America No Longer Leads

On May 3, Newsweek published an incredibly naive article about a man-made prosperous and wealthy future of America. These concepts are unbiblical–of course, we concede that the writer of the article probably does not understand biblical prophecies. (For you to understand what is prophesied, please read our free booklets, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” and “Europe in Prophecy.”) However, Newsweek does make some interesting comments about the present situation–although the overall picture which it paints is also far too optimistic and unrealistic. Nevertheless, we do agree with the following excerpts:

“In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the ‘wrong track.’ In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month’s response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistic—a financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism… And—for the first time in living memory—the United States does not seem to be leading the charge. Americans see that a new world is coming into being, but fear it is one being shaped in distant lands and by foreign people… The world has shifted from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism…

“For the last 20 years, America’s superpower status in every realm has been largely unchallenged—something that’s never happened before in history, at least since the Roman Empire dominated the known world 2,000 years ago. During this Pax Americana, the global economy has accelerated dramatically… At the military and political level, we still live in a unipolar world. But along every other dimension—industrial, financial, social, cultural—the distribution of power is shifting, moving away from American dominance. In terms of war and peace, economics and business, ideas and art, this will produce a landscape that is quite different from the one we have lived in until now—one defined and directed from many places and by many peoples.”

The Future of the American Dollar

On May 5, Der Spiegel Online wrote the following, somewhat speculative article about the perceived future of the American Dollar. The magazine stated:

“There’s a growing sense among currency traders that the US dollar might finally stop its long slide against other major currencies. The euro almost hit $1.60, a record high against the dollar, on Apr. 22… But since then, the buck has been on a modest upswing. The euro traded at $1.54 on May 2.

“… recent lifts for the dollar have come from hopes for a second-half recovery for the US economy, and worries that other countries’ economies are slowing, which could force their central bankers to cut rates. For some politicians and popular commentators, the weak dollar can be a sore spot. Listed alongside economic ills such as financial market turmoil, high oil prices, falling home prices, and weak consumer spending, the falling dollar is seen as a symbol of declining American prestige…

“High oil and commodity prices can already be partly blamed on the dollar’s weakness, which points to a big disadvantage of a weak currency… The price of oil is up almost 17 percent since the beginning of the year when priced in dollars, but it’s still up 11.6 percent in euros…

“The future direction of the dollar depends on a wide, complex array of variables, currency experts say. Factors that could weaken the dollar further include more financial instability in US markets, more interest rate cuts from the Fed, and evidence of slower-than-expected US growth… Even if the dollar stops its slide, it will remain quite cheap by historic standards. Against the dollar, the euro has jumped 37 percent from five years ago, when it was trading at $1.12. As any American tourist in Europe will tell you, the dollar’s purchasing power has also fallen to what seem like artificially low levels… Whether or not the buck regains its bang, that’s a tall order.”

Cyclone May Have Killed More Than 100,000 People

Times on Line wrote on May 5:

“As many as ten thousand people could have died in the catastrophic storm which ripped across Burma on Saturday, and the number is likely to rise [by now it is estimated that more than 100,000 people have died, see below]… Apart from the loss of life… the disaster may have far reaching secondary effects. The flooding and destruction of sanitation systems increases the risk of epidemics, including malaria and typhoid, and adds to pressure on villages where many people subsist [on] less than a dollar a day.

“The stricken area is Burma’s richest agricultural region, and the cyclone must have wrought terrible damage on the rice crop. World rice prices are at a record high already, provoking food riots in more than 30 countries. Burma is a net exporter of rice, and the destruction of crops in the Irrawaddy Delta will only add to upward pressure on international prices. Burma may be unable to keep its promise to sell rice stocks to other more needy countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where a cyclone last year destroyed crops.”

The Associated Press added on May 7 that “The Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that five states hit hardest by Saturday’s cyclone produce 65 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s rice. The region also is home to 80 percent of its aquaculture, 50 percent of its poultry and 40 percent of its pork production.”

Reuters reported on May 8:

“Desperate survivors cried out for aid on Thursday nearly a week after 100,000 people were feared killed by Cyclone Nargis, as pressure piled up on Myanmar [formerly known as Burma] to throw its doors open to an international relief operation. The United States was awaiting approval from the ruling junta to start military aid flights, but the U.N. food agency and Red Cross/Red Crescent said they have finally started flying in emergency relief supplies after foot-dragging by the generals…

“Approval for such a flight would be significant, given the huge distrust and acrimony between the former Burma’s generals and Washington, which has imposed tough sanctions to try to end 46 years of unbroken military rule. Aid has barely trickled into one of the world’s most impoverished countries, although experts feared it would be too little and too late to cope with the aftermath of Nargis, which also left one million homeless. Witnesses have seen little evidence of a relief effort under way… The storm pulverized the delta on Saturday with 190 km (120 mph) winds followed by a massive 12 ft wave that caused most of the casualties and damage, virtually destroying some villages. It was the worst cyclone in Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people were killed in neighboring Bangladesh.”

Der Spiegel wrote on May 5:

“… the only thing the military junta [in Burma] appears to care about is keeping its hold on power… Burma, already the poorest country in Southeast Asia, shows all the signs of total collapse… But the government… doesn’t appear to have the situation in hand or be able to coordinate disaster relief… many deaths could have been prevented in Burma if the government had warned its people about the impending disaster. But nothing of the kind happened…”

Erupting Volcano in Southern Chile

Reuters reported on May 8:

“Chile evacuated the last military personnel from the vicinity of an erupting volcano in its remote Patagonian region before dawn on Thursday, after it spat a surge of fiery material. But a few civilians refused to leave two villages near the Chaiten volcano in southern Chile which began erupting last week for the first time in thousands of years… The military and a few journalists drove around 50 miles south of the volcano to the village of Santa Lucia after earth tremors and an electric storm at its peak around midnight… A strong smell of sulfur hung in the air…

“Chaiten volcano lies 760 miles south of the capital Santiago and has showered ash on towns as far away as in neighboring Argentina… The long dormant 3,280-foot (1,000-metre) Chaiten volcano began erupting on Friday and the huge plume of volcanic ash is clearly visible on satellite images cutting a swathe across South America’s southern tip. Experts say the volcano could continue belching out vast clouds of ash for months and could rumble on for years.

“Chile has the world’s second most active string of volcanoes behind Indonesia. It is home to 2,000 volcanoes, 500 of which experts say are potentially active. Around 60 have erupted over the past 450 years.”

China’s Secret Nuclear Submarine Base

The Telegraph reported on May 2:

“China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base that could threaten Asian countries and challenge American power in the region… Satellite imagery… shows that a substantial harbour has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers. In what will be a significant challenge to US Navy dominance and to countries ringing the South China Sea, one photograph shows China’s latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbours. Other images show numerous warships moored to long jettys and a network of underground tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island.

“Of even greater concern to the Pentagon are massive tunnel entrances, estimated to be 60ft high, built into hillsides around the base. Sources fear they could lead to caverns capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. The US Department of Defence has estimated that China will have five 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles… The location of the base off Hainan will also give the submarines access to very deep water exceeding 5,000 metres within a few miles, making them even harder to detect.”

Don’t Attack the Roman Church!!!

The New York Times published a telling article on May 4, which is interesting in light of the debate pertaining to Barak Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Especially the left-leaning press is trying to attack John McCain for his refusal to distance himself from “televangelist John Hague.” What’s the discussion about? Hagee is perceived as being anti-Catholic for commenting on the 17th chapter of the book of Revelation. Notice the following excerpts from the New York Times’ article:

“… a white televangelist… John Hagee… pokes at the image of a woman… her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is ‘the Great Whore,’ Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking ‘the blood of the Jewish people.’ That’s because the Great Whore represents ‘the Roman Church,’ which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust… On Feb. 27, he stood with John McCain and endorsed him… Mr. Hagee, it’s true, did not blame the American government for concocting AIDS. But he did say that God created Hurricane Katrina to punish New Orleans for its sins, particularly a scheduled ‘homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came.’… Even after Mr. Hagee’s Catholic bashing bubbled up in the mainstream media, Mr. McCain still did not reject and denounce him…”

How Russia Suppresses Religious Liberty and Freedom

The New York Times wrote on April 24:

“Just as the government has tightened control over political life, so, too, has it intruded in matters of faith. The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers… This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Mr. Putin’s tenure…

“The [Russian Orthodox] church’s hostility toward Protestant groups, many of which are based in the United States or have large followings there, is tinged with the same anti-Western sentiment often voiced by Mr. Putin and other senior officials… On local television last month, the city’s chief Russian Orthodox priest, who is a confidant of the region’s most powerful politicians, gave a sermon that was repeated every few hours. His theme: Protestant heretics…

“Protestants here must receive official permission before doing anything remotely like proselytizing… Vladimir Kotenyov, a Baptist minister, said his church had given up asking. ‘Naturally, it will be perceived as propaganda directed at our population,’ Mr. Kotenyov said. ‘”What kind of propaganda are you preaching?” they would ask. “An American faith?” This is how they think: If you are a Russian person, it means that you have to be Russian Orthodox.'”

Putin Stays in Power

The Associated Press reported on May 8:

“Vladimir Putin was named prime minister of Russia Thursday after a fervent speech full of ambitious plans that overshadowed his low-key successor and suggested that he will keep a strong hand in ruling the country. Putin promised to build on Russia’s economic recovery and work to satisfy its people’s dreams of comfort and prosperity… Putin’s unprecedented move from the Kremlin to the No. 2 post will keep him politically prominent for the foreseeable future and could serve as a springboard back to the presidency. It has Russians wondering who will really hold the country’s reins…

“[Putin] said Russia’s economy could surpass Britain’s this year and become the world’s sixth-largest… Critics say the show of solidarity by mentor and protege masks fears that Putin has navigated Russia into a dangerous period of political uncertainty… Putin, 55, a longtime KGB officer, served as prime minister for five months in 1999 under Boris Yeltsin, who stepped down on Dec. 31 of that year and handed him the presidency. Putin was elected to his first term three months later.”

European Superstate in the Making

The Telegraph wrote on May 3:

“The European Union will open its own embassies under a plan critics fear represents a ‘power grab’ by Brussels officials pushing for a federal superstate… The ‘Embassies of the Union’ would be controlled by a new EU diplomatic service created by the Lisbon Treaty… Working papers circulating in Brussels suggest that more than 160 EU offices around the world, including in member states, would become embassies… Equally controversial is a proposal for EU ambassadors who would be accountable to the European Parliament.”

Far-Reaching New Powers for Brussels?

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 5:

“The EU’s monetary affairs commissioner has called for far-reaching new powers for the European Commission. He would like Brussels to have greater control over economic policy in euro zone countries — and even wants its members to speak with one voice on the international stage…

“Opponents of the European Union claim that Brussels already has too much influence over the internal affairs of the EU’s 27 member states. They are unlikely to be thrilled by the news that a leading EU official is calling for far-reaching new powers for the EU’s executive branch when it comes to member states’ economic affairs — and even foreign policy… The euro zone currently consists of 15 EU member states, including Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland, who have adopted the euro as their currency.”

“Most Germans Feel No Responsibility for Israel”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 5:

“A new survey reveals that most Germans [53 percent] feel their country has no special responsibility for Israel, despite Germany’s official foreign policy of support for Israel. And only 13 percent of Germans are in favor of providing military support to Israel if the country came under attack [while 81 percent responded in the negative].

“Israel is celebrating its 60th anniversary this Thursday [May 8,which marks the 60th anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar. This is] an event which will be marked with particular attention in Germany. Six decades after the Holocaust, Germany is very aware of its historical obligations to the Jewish state, and the country’s right to exist is a cornerstone of German foreign policy… The attitudes revealed in the survey contrast with German government doctrine that the country has a special responsibility to the state of Israel.”

As we have warned earlier, this official German foreign policy–as well as the vast majority of blind-sighted reporting in the German press–is backfiring. The average German is getting tired of being told how much supportive he must be toward Israel. Sadly, biblical prophecy reveals that within a few years from now, German and European policy toward Israel will drastically change for the worse.

Israel Marks 60th Birthday Amidst Conflict

AFP reported on May 8:

“Israel on Thursday celebrated its 60th anniversary with displays of military might… Military air shows were among the crowd-pleasers with warplanes going through their paces in sunny skies even as a dark cloud hung over the political future of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is under a corruption investigation. Crowds also thronged military bases which opened their gates to the public to show off some of the mighty arsenal used by an army well tested in six decades of conflicts…

“Sixty turbulent years after its creation in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust, Israel remains mired in a seemingly intractable conflict with neighbours still technically at war and with the Palestinians still struggling for their own state… The Jewish state enjoys a stable economy on a par with most Western states, a powerful military, a booming high-tech sector and what is thought to be the region’s sole if undisclosed nuclear arsenal. Israel also enjoys strong support from the United States…

“Palestinians stayed away from the celebrations and marked the anniversary with commemorations of the ‘Naqba’ — Arabic for catastrophe. The term refers to the creation of some 760,000 Palestinian refugees after the shock defeat of the Arab armies which invaded immediately after Israel was established.”

A German Missile Shield for Europe?

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 5:

“The party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to unveil a new foreign policy platform this week that would have as its centerpiece the goal of creating a missile shield to protect Europe from a nuclear attack, as well as provisions for extended missions by the German military abroad.

“The controversial plan by the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) would seek to consolidate more foreign policy authority within the Chancellery, the German equivalent of the White House, by creating a National Security Council within the chancellor’s office, which would have ‘its own staff’ with the capacity to coordinate security policy…

“The plan is already coming up against resistance from the SPD. The party opposes a missile shield, and resistance within the SPD to foreign military deployments is growing… Meanwhile, the deputy chair of the Green Party group in parliament, Jürgen Trittin, lambasted the plan… Guido Westerwelle, leader of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party, told the Flensburger Tageblatt: ‘We are very alarmed because we fear that the axis of our foreign policy is being shifted massively. What could be most dangerous is if this is preparing the way for regular deployments of the German military on domestic soil.’…

“CDU foreign policy specialist Willy Wimmer [said:] ‘It is unworthy of a democratic party’… to release a paper that would fundamentally change the country’s security policy coordination ‘without a cautious internal discussion.’ He said it would provide the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, with a ‘totally changed role in the country.’ He added that it created the impression that the report’s authors wanted to pick up where Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg left off in the early part of the 20th century. ‘For people like Hindenburg, the army was a state within a state,’ he said.”

Whether or not the plan will be adopted this week, it shows the THINKING of the German Chancellor and others within the German government. As biblical prophecy clearly shows, sooner or later, that thinking will prevail.

German Reaction to Gordon Brown’s Debacle

Der Spiegel Online reported on May 5:

“Britain’s Labour Party suffered a devastating defeat in last week’s local elections and then lost the mayoral race in London… The opposition Conservative Party made strong gains across the whole country, beating Labour even in its strong holds in parts of the north. The Conservatives also wrested the coveted London mayoral position from Labour, which the eccentric Boris Johnson won.

“British newspaper commentators spoke of a ‘blood bath for Labour’ and a ‘massacre.’ Media commentators in Germany lay the election defeat squarely at Brown’s feet, pointing in particular to his economic policies as chancellor…

“Spiegel Online writes: ‘Last [fall], boosted by a short grace period Brown, who was seen as a modest, serious anti-Blair, considered holding an early election… But after the Conservatives … improved their standing in the polls, he drew back, and then did not have the courage to admit he did so out of caution. The British do not like that kind of behavior. They like people who — when it gets tough — demonstrate courage and succeed. People who hesitate have a tough time on the island, where the stiff upper lip resistance to Hitler is seen as the nation’s “finest hour”‘…

“The financial daily Handelsblatt writes: ‘With hidden taxes he took with one hand and gave with the other through tax credits and other special programs… Companies are threatening to move abroad, because they are fed up with ever more complex taxes. And Labour’s core supporters are rebelling against the abolishment of a low tax rate, which Brown himself introduced a few years ago. Once Britain had a simple tax system, light regulation and a slim state. Brown’s micro-management has turned these into a bureaucratic apparatus, which creates a new problem every time it tries to solve one.'”

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Would you please explain Christ's sayings in Luke 14:26? I thought we were not to hate others?

Let us note and review carefully what Christ said in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”

However, Christ also commanded us to love even our enemies (Luke 6:27), and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). As the Bible does not contradict itself (John 10:35), it is therefore obvious that Jesus’ sayings in Luke 14:26 cannot mean that we actually are to HATE our fellow man. But what DO they mean?

The word for “hate” is “misei” in the Greek. In the overwhelming majority, this word does refer to malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, including a right feeling of aversion from what is evil. However, as the Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine explains, it can also describe the “relative preference for one thing over another, by either expressing aversion from, or disregard for, the claims of one person or thing relatively to those of another… as to the impossibility of serving two masters… as to the claims of parents relatively to those of Christ…”

According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, the Greek word “misei” can also convey the meaning of “to love less,” or “to postpone in love or esteem.”

When discussing Paul’s statements in Romans 9:13 in a previous Q&A, expressing the thought that God “loved” Jacob and “hated” Esau, we pointed out the following:

“God’s statement that He loved Jacob and HATED Esau must be understood as saying that God loved Esau LESS BY COMPARISON… We might… note that the Bible itself sometimes defines ‘hate’ as ‘love less by comparison.’ “In Luke 14:26 we read that Christ tells us, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not HATE his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.’ In the parallel passage, in Matthew 10:37, the word ‘hate’ is defined as ‘love less by comparison.’ We read, ‘He who loves his father or mother MORE than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter MORE than Me is not worthy of Me.’ In other words, we must love them LESS, by comparison, than Jesus Christ. We are to love the Father and the Son with all our heart and our strength and our mind (compare Matthew 22:37). God must always come first in our lives. At the same time, we are to LOVE — not hate — our neighbor AS ourselves (compare Matthew 22:39). We are not to hate our neighbor, including our own family. We are to love them LESS than God, though, by comparison.”

This conclusion is shared by the vast majority of Biblical commentaries.

For instance, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains:

“Christ must be loved supremely, or he is not loved at all. If we are not willing to give up all earthly possessions, and forsake all earthly friends, and if we do not obey him rather than all others, we have no true attachment to him.”

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible writes:

“… not that proper hatred of any, or all of these, is enjoined by Christ; for this would be contrary to the laws of God… and divine revelation: but that these are not to be preferred to Christ, or loved more than he, as it is explained in [Matthew 10:37]; yea, these are to be neglected and forsaken, and turned from with indignation and resentment, when they stand in the way of the honour and interest of Christ, and dissuade from his service: such who would be accounted the disciples of Christ, should be ready to part with their dearest relations and friends, with the greatest enjoyment of life, and with life itself, when Christ calls for it; or otherwise they are not worthy to be called his disciples…”

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible states:

“‘And hate not…’ Matthew, [in Matthew 10:37] expresses the true meaning of this word, when he says, He who loveth his father and mother More than me. In [Matthew 6:24] he uses the word hate in the same sense.”

The People’s New Testament explains:

“Hate not his father. In just the same sense that he hates his own life also. That is, these must all be given up, turned away from, if we have to choose between them and Christ.”

Wesley’s Notes points out:

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father – Comparatively to Christ: yea, so as actually to renounce his field, oxen, wife, all things, and act as if he hated them, when they stand in competition with him.”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible elaborates:

“… A man cannot be Christ’s disciple but he must hate father, and mother, and his own life. He is not sincere… unless he [loves] Christ better than any thing in this world, and be willing to part with that which he may and must leave, either as a sacrifice, when Christ may be glorified by our parting with it (so the martyrs, who loved not their lives to death), or as a temptation, when by our parting with it we are put into a better capacity of serving Christ. Thus Abraham parted with his own country, and Moses with Pharaoh’s court…

“Every good man loves his relations; and yet, if he be a disciple of Christ, he must comparatively hate them, must love them less than Christ, as Leah is said to be hated when Rachel was better loved. Not that their persons must be in any degree hated, but our comfort and satisfaction in them must be lost and swallowed up in our love to Christ…

“When our duty to our parents comes in competition with our evident duty to Christ, we must give Christ the preference. If we must either deny Christ or be banished from our families and relations (as many of the primitive Christians were), we must rather lose their society than his favour…

“Every man loves his own life, no man ever yet hated it; and we cannot be Christ’s disciples if we do not love him better than our own lives, so as rather to have our lives embittered by cruel bondage, nay, and taken away by cruel deaths, than to dishonour Christ, or depart from any of his truths and ways… When tribulation and persecution arise because of the word, then chiefly the trial is, whether we love better Christ or our relations and lives… Those that decline the service of Christ… and are ashamed to confess him, for fear of disobliging a relation or friend, or losing a customer, give cause to suspect that they love him better than Christ.”

In conclusion, nothing must be more important for us than our love for God and our willing and loving obedience of His Word and Law. Those who teach that they are not duty-bound to keep His Law do NOT have within them the LOVE of God (1 John 5:2; 2 John 6). It is God’s GREATEST commandment to love HIM with all our heart and soul and mind (Matthew 22:37)–much more–in comparison–than anyone and anything else. And we ONLY love God truly if we keep His Word (1 John 2:5).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new member letter for May, written by Dave Harris, was sent out this week, together with a hard copy of our new booklet, “Is That in The Bible?–Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.” Both the member letter and the booklet are posted on the Web. In the letter, Dave Harris emphasizes the fact that the Church of God has a commission and mandate to preach the gospel in all the world as a witness, and he shows how our three organizations are fulfilling our part in this awesome task.

Norbert Link’s recent StandingWatch program No. 166, “Food Shortage in the USA,” has broken all viewing records. The program is posted on StandingWatch or Google Video or YouTube. On You Tube alone, more than 1,250 people viewed that program by the time of this publication.

A new StandingWatch program (#167) has been posted on StandingWatch or Google Video or YouTube.

The program is titled, “Why Unprecedented High Gas Prices in the USA?” In the program, Norbert Link discusses the fact that the President blames Congress, and Senators blame the President. Oil companies report all time profits, thanks to record high oil prices. Republicans and Democrats propose certain actions but tell us that even if they survive “election-year partisanship” and interest groups, they would not affect the gas prices in the short term. WHY is it that the most powerful nation on earth seems to be helpless to deal effectively with this situation?

The following video-recorded sermons by Norbert Link have been posted on Google Video:

BIBLE STUDY: Alcohol–Friend or Foe? (May 21, 2005)

BIBLE STUDY: Why Not Heaven, Part 1 (March 4, 2006)

The following video-recorded sermons by Edwin Pope have been posted on Google Video:

BIBLE STUDY: Do Not Quench the Holy Spirit (August 20, 2005)

BIBLE STUDY: Communicating With Our God (October 29, 2005)

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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