Update 38


April 13th

This week Edwin Pope will be giving a sermon…Building Blocks for Character. Services will begin at 2:30 P.M.CT.

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream”.

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"God's Tithes Belong to Him"

by Edwin Pope

We are all aware that April 15 here in the U.S. is income tax day. It is settlement time for one more year with Uncle Sam. Of course, he makes it relatively painless for a majority of taxpayers with the current withholding system established to collect taxes at the time a person gets paid, thus transferring a good part of the burden of the collection effort to the employers in this country.

God has a system of collection for funds due Him to be used in carrying out His work on the earth. He calls that system tithing. The big difference in the two systems is that God depends on the honor of the individual, thus allowing the individual to properly pay the funds due Him.

The thing many do not consider is that the obligation to pay God’s tithes is just as binding under God’s system as is the obligation to pay the U.S. Government for taxes due. Most people, today, are not even aware that such an obligation is due from them. But those called of God have been apprised of the truth in this matter. Yet, many have begun looking for any and every reason not to pay God’s tithes. This is a serious error!

Christ tells us in Luke 20: 25 to “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

God told Adam, in the Garden of Eden, that he was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest he die. (Gen 2: 16-17) He and his wife chose to go contrary to that command and established a pattern of death.

Today, God raises the question in Malachi 3: 8 … “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. When asked the question, “Wherein have we robbed You?” … The answer comes back … “In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.”

This nation is cursed, brethren, because it has failed God in the payment of His tithes. But even more critical, many in God’s Church, today, are suffering from this same curse, because of disobedience. Let us not be guilty of committing this sin against our Creator.

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Update on the Middle East

The headlines of this week’s European magazines and newspapers are quite telling. Germany’s Der Spiegel wrote on April 11, under “Worldwide Appeal for Holy War Against Israel”, that Islamic groups have asked all Muslims to join a Holy War against Israel and the West. Signers of this “appeal” are terrorist groups like “Hezbollah,” the “Brotherhood of Muslims,” “Hamas,” and other fundamentalist groups. One additional signer is allegedly Turkey’s former Prime Minister, Necmettin Erkaban. However, Mr. Erkaban’s lawyer denied that his client signed the appeal.

In another article, titled, “And the Tanks Keep Rolling,” Der Spiegel pointed out: “Israel is not impressed by the strong appeal of the international community. While withdrawing from 24 Palestinian villages, they attacked two new ones.”

Der Spiegel also interviewed Paul Spiegel, president of the Jewish community in Germany. He stated that the one-sided condemnation of Israel by Germany and the Europeans is shortsighted and not helpful. The critics, according to Mr. Spiegel, do not understand what terror really is. He also said: “The people who are condemning Israel in this country are at the same time sitting in restaurants that are not blown into pieces.”

Still stronger words were uttered to Der Spiegel by Michel Friedman, Vice-President of the Jewish community in Germany. He stated, “The Europeans are hypocrites.” He continued, “Europe has always been reluctant to strongly criticize the Arab world, and especially the oil-exporting countries, even if they are dictatorships…. Terror comes from Syria, Iran and Iraq… At best, Arafat is unable to stop the terror. At worst, he is a participant… Saudi Arabia and others could have solved a long time ago the problem of Palestinians living in slums… 73% of the Jews in Israel believe that there must be a Palestinian state… We cannot rule out that this thing will get bloodier. We need a change in generations to bring about peace.”

The German magazine, “Stern,” stated that Secretary of State Powell plans to meet with Mr. Sharon, as well as with Mr. Arafat. Mr. Sharon described a meeting between Mr. Powell and Mr. Arafat as a “tragic mistake.” The magazine continued that the United States, The European Union, the United Nations and Russia have demanded of Israel to immediately withdraw from occupied Palestinian regions, including Ramallah.

The LA Times reported on Thursday, April 11, that “Israel on Wednesday again refused to withdraw from the West Bank cities it invaded thirteen days ago and said a deadly suicide bombing on a bus earlier today showed why the offensive must continue. ‘I hope our great friend the United States understands that this is a war of survival for us,’ Sharon told reporters.”

On Wednesday, CNN carried live an address of former Prime Minister of Israel, B. Netanyahu, to several US Senators. He reminded Europe that 60 years ago, they did not lift a finger when millions of Jews were exterminated on European soil. He continued that now, when Israel is trying to fight against terrorists, Europe is again turning their back on Israel. He described this as shameful, stating at the same time that he did not expect more from most of the European governments, but that he is anticipating a lot more support from the United States.

Some observers are reminded, however, of the United States’ rejections of boat loads of Jewish refugees at the time of World War II, and are wondering what the United States, as well as Europe and Russia, will ultimately do to stop this present war in the Middle East.

What’s Next?

Although we all are focused on the daily barrage of mind blurring news stories out of the Middle East, huge events are waiting in the wings.

American policy seems squarely focused on the removal of Saddam Hussein. The public display by the U.S. President to placate Arab countries by calling on Israel’s Ariel Sharon to immediately withdraw from Palestinian enclaves is considered by many to be a less than veiled policy to hold onto Arab support for a future attack.

Iraq, more than Israel and Palestine, is poised to draw in worldwide involvement of nations who have both political and, more importantly, financial considerations of epic importance.

Historically, the nations of Israel and Judah never truly prospered in their alliances with other nations. What the modern nations of America, Britain and Israel are seeking still follows the same misguided approach. These modern coalitions do not address the core problem which is that of national sins and national punishment from God.

In the current episodes of international intrigue, we have just witnessed a kind of double standard in the war on terror. All of these events continue to set the stage for the time of the end prophesied throughout God’s Word. Let’s make sure we are watching with a committed sense of readiness as momentous prophecies now unfold before us!

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