Update 481


Common Misconceptions, Part 2

On February 26, 2011, Michael Link will give the sermon, titled, “Common Misconceptions, Part 2.”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Begotten and Born Children

by Norbert Link

As you will see from the announcements in this week’s Update, a new child was born on Sunday; and last Sabbath, a new child was spiritually begotten into the Family of God, through baptism. Those who understand the truth may want to contemplate again on the marvelous parallel between the begettal and birth of a human child, and the spiritual begettal of a child of God and his or her future birth into God’s Kingdom. Those who do not understand this amazing analogy and falsely believe that we are already born again when we receive God’s Holy Spirit, miss out on one of the most important truths in the Word of God.

As we know, the Greek word, which is variably translated as “begotten” or “conceived” or “born” or “brought forth,” is “gennao,” and it can indeed mean all of those terms—it is just a matter of context. However, when addressing the spiritual begettal and birth process, the Bible clearly says that a born-again person IS spirit and invisible (John 3:6, 8); and nobody, who is still human, is therefore born again. Christ also said that we must be born again to be able to see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). This is true as the Kingdom of God is the Family of GOD, composed of Spirit, and human eyes cannot see God or the Kingdom of God (1 Timothy 6:16). We even read that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). In order to be able to enter God’s Kingdom, we must be spirit, as God is Spirit (John 4:24), and we must be God, as God is God (1 Corinthians 15:49; Hebrews 1:1-3).

Still, the amazing truth is that when we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at the time of our baptism (after repentance and faith in the Sacrifice of Christ and belief in the gospel of the Kingdom of God), we are begotten by the Spirit, and we have thereby already become children of God; or, we might say, we have become part of the Kingdom of God “in embryo.” As begotten children, we must grow in the knowledge and understanding of the truth (2 Peter 3:18).

We are desirous of the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2), being nurtured by our “mother” (Galatians 4:26)– the church of God — as a new-born human child is being fed and cared for by his or her human mother (compare Ephesians 4:11-16, telling us that we are to be edified by the ministry to be able to grow up in all things into Christ). Notice the interesting analogy, which Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8: “But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you have become dear to us.”

And in that sense, Paul could also say that “in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, imitate me (1 Corinthians 4:15-16; compare Philemon 10). Of course, the One who REALLY begets us is God the Father (as a human father begets a child).

1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be REVEALED in the last time.”

When our salvation is revealed, at the time of Jesus Christ’s return, then the following breath-taking prophecy will become reality: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has NOT YET been REVEALED what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be LIKE HIM, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). Then we will be able to see the Kingdom of God. But not only that, we even read in Romans 8:19 that “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the REVEALING of the sons of God.”

As Spirit-begotten children of God, we ought to have the desire to become perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48); to become pure as Jesus Christ is pure (1 John 3:3); to overcome the world, Satan and self, as Christ overcame (Revelation 3:21; John 16:33; Matthew 4:1-11;  Romans 8:3) . John reminds us of the following plain facts, as they apply (or should apply) to, and define Spirit-begotten children of God:

“If you consider that he [Jesus] is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him” (1 John 2:29; New American Bible).

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1 John 4:7; New American Bible)

“For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world” (1 John 5:3-4; New American Bible). 

Christ draws this marvelous analogy between the birth of a humanly begotten child and the birth of a Spirit-begotten child, when He says in John 16:21-22:

“A woman, when she is in labor has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

Zion—our mother, the church of God—will give birth to the holy nation of God in one day (Isaiah 66:8; compare 1 Peter 2:9-10)—the day of Christ’s return. When that day arrives, we—who have made ourselves ready (Revelation 19:7)–will be truly born again and enter into the joy of our God (Matthew 25:21)—and trouble and pain and tears and death will not exist for us any longer (Revelation 21:4).

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The revolution in the Middle East has reached Libya, but Libya is not Egypt, and Gadhafi is not Mubarak. The Libyan dictator has been responding to the demonstrators with brutal and ruthless violence, and even his son, who has been hailed before as a moderate friend to the West, has uttered radical speeches. In the meantime, protests have engulfed the strategically important island of Bahrain, and the West is concerned, and so is Saudi Arabia.

All said, the USA and Europe have been rather uninvolved helpless by-standers, and their lack of influence and incapability have been sorely felt. Especially the EU is unhappy about its apparent paralysis, and even though words of condemnation have been given, the lack of unity among some of the member states has been sadly recognized. The EU understands more than ever that is must unite politically and militarily, to be able to intervene forcefully in trouble spots, because it realizes that it is right now in no position to do so, and German Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s words are just idle talk. (He said Tuesday night: “We can’t stand by and watch people be murdered.”)

The USA vetoed and thereby killed a UN resolution condemning Israel for its settlement policy, and it is in turn accused of hypocrisy.

Germany’s Angela Merkel suffered a huge defeat in the first of several state elections, and the country’s favorite politician, Theodor zu Guttenberg, is in big trouble over charges of plagiarism—or is he? At the same time, Mikhail Gorbachev speaks plainly about the dictatorship of President Putin and Russia’s false pretense of being a democracy.

The Church of England declared the marital or “partnership” status of their clergy as being irrelevant, while two Protestant churches in the USA do not see any problems with allowing Muslims to use their church buildings for the worship of Islam.

We are told by astronomers that a massive space storm is overdue, and “that the planet should prepare for a global Katrina-style disaster.” We report on the recent earthquake in New Zealand; mention some weird pagan customs in Northern Germany and Denmark; and conclude with a tribute to the “White Rose”—an anti-Nazi “resistance group committed to non-violence.”

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And Now… Bloodbath in Libya

Bloomberg reported on February 24, 2011:

“’It’s a massacre in there,’ said Mohamed Yehia after he crossed into Egypt at the northwestern town of Salloum, speaking of the deadly crackdown by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. ‘He is crazy. The world must know what he’s doing to his people.’ Yehia, 23, is one of thousands of Egyptians working in Libya who gathered their belongings and left the oil-rich country yesterday after Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, this week accused foreigners, including Tunisians and Egyptians, of inciting the ongoing revolt…

“Many of those arriving said they had seen mercenaries from Africa and elsewhere, some dark-skinned and some fair, some speaking French. They had been deployed to attack anti- government protesters in Libyan cities, including the capital, Tripoli, and Benghazi, which has seen some of the worst violence since the uprising began last week, the eyewitnesses said… ‘First the police attacked the protesters, but after they saw many of their people being killed, they sympathized and joined them. The army too,’ said Yehia.”

Europe’s Weak Response

Deutsche Welle reported on February 21:

“In a joint statement the European Council called for ‘an immediate end to the use of force against protesters and for all parties to show restraint’…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted by her spokesman as being ‘shocked’ at the ‘great brutality’ employed by Libyan security forces against the protesters… Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had harsh words for the Libyan leadership. ‘Nothing and nobody justifies the use of violence, murder and manslaughter to crush peaceful demonstrations,’ he said. ‘Anybody who seeks to intimidate citizens by threatening Libya with civil war shows that they are finished’… [The Local added on February 22 that Westerwelle also told broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday: “We can’t stand by and watch people be murdered.”]

“Italy, which has the closest business links with Libya among EU countries, appeared to be sending out contradictory messages with Foreign Minister Franco Frattini saying the EU should not ‘interfere’ in Libya… However, he suggested that Italy would not stand by and watch if reports of a self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate in Benghazi turned out to be true. ‘Would you imagine having an Islamic Emirate on the borders of Europe? This would be a really serious threat,’ Frattini said…

“The Libyan fallout is likely to be felt across Europe as oil prices continued to soar…”

In that regard, MoneyNews.com reported on February 22:

“Time magazine’s intelligence columnist reported on Tuesday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has ordered his security forces to sabotage the country’s oil facilities, citing a source close to the government. In a column posted on Time’s website, Robert Baer said the sabotage would begin by blowing up pipelines to the Mediterranean…

“‘Among other things, Gadhafi has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities,’ Baer wrote. ‘The sabotage, according to the insider, is meant to serve as a message to Libya’s rebellious tribes: It’s either me or chaos.’ The growing violence in Libya has forced a number of oil companies to shut in production in Africa’s third-largest oil producer and disrupted flows from the country’s export terminals.”

Europe will not want to stand idly by too much longer if their pocket books are affected by rising oil prices…

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Orders Killing of Gaddafi

AFP wrote on February 21:

“Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa on Monday that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Moamer Kadhafi should do so ‘to rid Libya of him.’ ‘Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Kadhafi should do so,’ Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who is usually based in Qatar, told Al-Jazeera television. He also told Libyan soldiers ‘not to obey orders to strike at your own people,’ and urged Libyan ambassadors around the world to dissociate themselves from Kadhafi’s regime…

“Qaradawi has celebrity status in the Arab world… [and] has in the past defended ‘violence carried out by certain Muslims.’ The West accuses the cleric of supporting ‘terrorism’ because he sanctioned Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. Britain and the United States have refused to grant him entry visas. The cleric, spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and longtime resident of Qatar, heads the International Union for Muslim Scholars.”

And there are still many naïve politicians and newscasters who claim that the Muslim Brotherhood is a harmless, non-violent, peaceful organization…

A Middle East Without Gadhafi

Haaretz wrote on February 21:

“President Shimon Peres said Monday he believed Libyan leader Muammer Gadhafi’s reign was nearing an end. It was an ‘irony of history’ that Gadhafi had recently expressed his desire for ‘a Middle East without Israel,’ but that it now looked like ‘there will be a Libya without Gaddafi,’ Peres said at the start of a four-day visit to Spain…

“The official part of Peres’ visit, which will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel, will begin on Tuesday… Israel and Spain established diplomatic relations on January 17, 1986, nearly four decades after the creation of the state of Israel. The lack of formal relations was attributed largely to Spain’s friendly relations with Arab countries during Francisco Franco’s 1939-75 dictatorship.

“However, as Spain joined NATO and the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union, in the 1980s, it began to increasingly seek a role as a mediator between Israel and Arab countries. Spanish-Israeli relations are also marked by the expulsion of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity from Spain in 1492. King Juan Carlos has apologized for the expulsion, but descendants of the expelled Jews have demanded stronger gestures, such as being granted the Spanish nationality.”

Sadly, prophecy shows that Europe, including Spain, will again become very hostile towards Jews, and past atrocities will be repeated, and even worse things are supposed to happen.

Big Opportunity for the EU in the Middle East?

Deutsche Welle reported on February 21:

“The EU finds itself presented with an opportunity to lead in helping a number of Arab states move toward democracy… the EU will offer its ‘support to civil society, youth and enhanced economic cooperation’… the [new EU] declaration… will also include an offer of a ‘new partnership’ with Egypt and Tunisia…

“However, revelations over the extent of business ties, arms deals and energy reliance between EU member states and governments such as those in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain have led some analysts to question whether the policies of certain individual member states have been holding the EU back from taking a strong, unified approach…

“Italy has strong ties with Libya… while Greece also has strong business links… France has been exposed as having strong links to the former Tunisian regime, while Britain has deep investment in Libyan oil fields and lucrative arms deals with Bahrain… It is quite likely that an internal struggle is underway within the EU between the Scandinavian and Northern European countries horrified at the repression of demonstrators, and southern European Mediterranean countries more anxious to preserve investments and commercial relationships…

“…  it was the major powers inside the EU rather than the EU itself which led the calls for restraint when the protests began and issued statements on their own individual positions as the wave of unrest spread… this is a critical time for the EU in the region with many opportunities arising for it to establish a new set of relations through its immediate and future involvement. However, if the EU fluffs its lines again, the chance to lead in the remaking of the Middle East will be lost and its credibility irrevocably damaged.”

As the next article shows as well, the EU is still not totally unified, due to national interests of certain countries. The Bible says that even the final ten European nations or groups of nations will not be totally united, but they WILL obtain great strength in the military field (Daniel 2:40-43).

“The West Has No Leverage in Libya”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 22:

“Condemnation of the violence in Libya has been universal in Western capitals. But dictator Moammar Gadhafi shows no signs of calling a halt to the brutal repression of protests in the country. The West simply has no leverage in Libya… what can the West really achieve? So far, the collective indignation from all manner of government officials in Europe and North America has had precious little effect…

“The West, after all, has little influence in Libya. Oil riches make the North African country largely independent and diplomatic relations have long been difficult at best… Washington has little contact with Tripoli. Indeed, the country spent years on the black list of states which support terrorism. Only in 2008 were diplomatic relations re-established… the US doesn’t even have an ambassador in Libya. The last one was temporarily recalled after the WikiLeaks revelations.

“The US government is now also forced to rely on its European allies to exert pressure on Libya. Several EU states have working relationships with Gadhafi, not least as part of regular regional cooperation among the Mediterranean states. But the EU, once again, is divided in its approach. On Monday, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels strongly condemned the regime’s crackdown on protestors. But they weren’t able to agree on any sanctions.

“Demands for punitive measures made by Finland and other Scandinavian countries were rejected. Italy in particular has resisted sanctions because the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn’t want to endanger its close economic ties with its former colony. It is also worried about a new wave of refugees from North Africa…

“British Foreign Minister William Hague spoke to Gadhafi’s second son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and demanded an end to the bloodshed. The British government is one of Libya’s main contacts in the West… In recent years, Gadhafi’s son has been an important link between the two governments. He owns a house in London, is in his mid-30s and studied for a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2003 until 2008. He was regarded as a friend [of] the West and as a reformer, and he moved in the highest circles in London. His contacts included Prince Andrew… Blair even called Gadhafi junior a ‘family friend.’ But Saif al-Islam seems to have turned radical in response to the uprising. London observers could hardly believe their ears when he declared in a speech on Sunday that the Gadhafis would fight ‘to the last bullet.’”

“Europe Should Intervene Militarily in Libya”

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 24 about the less than thrilled reaction of the German press to the indecisive stance of Europe and Germany towards the Libyan disaster:

“Gadhafi on Thursday showed no signs of giving in to the mass protests which have gripped Libya for over a week. While large parts of north-eastern Libya appear to no longer be under government control, the regime is still trying to beat back demonstrators…

“Several European governments are looking into options at their disposal to put an end to the ongoing violence in Libya. US President Barack Obama likewise said on Wednesday that his government was pursuing a ‘full range of options’ to pressure Gadhafi into stopping the attacks on demonstrators…

“German commentators argue on Thursday that it is time for Europe to take action.

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘The time for indecision has passed… it is time for Europe to stop playing the role of gentle admonisher… Even sanctions — such as travel bans or the freezing of assets — wouldn’t be enough… Europe must issue a credible threat. The best thing would be a COALTION WITH THE ARAB LEAGUE, Egypt and the African Union — a coalition which, outfitted with an United Nations mandate, could MILITARILY RE-ESTABLISH PEACE in Libya….’

“The conservative daily Die Welt writes: ‘… what about the United States? The global power has enough problems on other fronts. And Europe? There has been no lack of soft power, warm words and hot air… At least the European Union gathered the courage to stop all weapons deliveries to Libya which had been, hard as it is to believe, reliably delivered until now…. But what about sanctions? Threats of MILITARY OPERATIONS? The danger is in delay…”

These opinions are quite interesting, as according to the Bible, Europe WILL form a coalition with Arab nations (however, Egypt is not mentioned in that regard), and it WILL ultimately intervene militarily in the Middle East, undoubtedly with the stated desire to establish peace in the region. Europe recognizes that the “responsibility” for such action is placed on its shoulders. Due to its military engagement in other countries and its huge domestic problems, the USA is unable and unwilling to intervene militarily in countries such as Libya, and NATO just ruled out a military intervention in Libya, showing that Europe cannot rely on either the USA or NATO to take decisive actions.

Huge Demonstrations in Bahrain–Why Bahrain Matters…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 22:

“The Arab revolution has reached the tiny Gulf state of Bahrain, where Sunni rulers control a majority Shiite population. Western nations are following the protests with concern… The island nation has a smaller population than Munich, and more than half of its inhabitants are foreigners… the world is dependent on oil… and  two regional powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are both seeking to exert influence in Bahrain…

“About 70 percent of Bahrainis are Shiites. The Al Khalifa ruling family, however, is Sunni…

“[The Sunni kingdom of] Saudi Arabia is nearby; dangerously so, in fact. From Pearl Square in Manama, the Sheikh Khalifa Highway leads to the King Fahd Causeway, which connects the island nation with… Saudi Arabia…

“There are old family and tribal ties between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, where one-10th of the world’s total oil production is pumped out of the ground every day. For centuries, Eastern Province has also been home to Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority… This explains why the House of Saud is currently feeling nervous. If the fury among Bahraini Shiites spreads to their fellow [minority] Shiites in Saudi Arabia, the world’s most important oil-producing region could descend into conflict… Tehran already sees Bahrain as Shiite territory and, therefore, as a sort of 14th province of the Islamic Republic of Iran…

“Since the 1990s, the United States has used Bahrain as a base for the Fifth Fleet, a military force for the Gulf region that currently consists of 6,100 marines and civilian personnel. The fleet is the core of Washington’s Iran containment policy. Bahrain is ‘a place run by an oppressive and corrupt little regime, long coddled by Washington because the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered there,’ writes former CIA analyst Graham Fuller. And like in Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, the question that arises in Bahrain is how much longer the United States and Europe can afford such an ugly status quo.”

Bahrain’s Survival Threatened

The Washington Post wrote on February 23:

“… what happens in tiny Bahrain might have outsize repercussions… The Shiite-led protesters in Bahrain are demanding that their Sunni royal family grant them equal rights and an equal voice, and Saudi Arabia is worried their campaign might give ideas to its own large Shiite minority…

“‘Although we are friends, the [Bahraini] leadership is afraid of the Saudis,’ said one Bahraini observer with close ties to Bahraini security officials… Hamad is likely to tell Abdullah ‘we still don’t need’ Saudi military assistance, said the Bahraini observer…

“In recent years, an expanded American military presence has provided a counterweight to Saudi influence. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet is docked just south of Manama, somewhat easing Bahraini fears of a Saudi invasion, Bahraini observers said.

“‘Bahrain’s survival really depends on two countries, the United States of America and Saudi Arabia,’ said Mansoor al-Jamri, editor in chief of the independent Bahraini newspaper al-Wasat.”

If Bahrain fell into the “wrong hands,” grievous economic and military consequences might ensue for the USA and Europe.

USA Vetoes Resolution Condemning Israel…and Loses International Standing

Haaretz wrote on February 21:

“After hesitating until the very last moment, U.S. President Barack Obama decided to have his envoy veto the UN Security Council resolution condemning the settlements. The Palestinian-initiated proposal would have declared the Israeli settlement enterprise in the territories illegal. Fourteen members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, and only the U.S. veto kept it from being passed.

“The Palestinians lost the vote, but achieved their goal: They exposed for all to see the international isolation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration and embarrassed the U.S. administration by revealing it as two-faced.

“In explaining the veto decision, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, denounced the ‘illegitimacy’ of the settlements and stressed that Obama agreed with the resolution’s sponsors but had to oppose it for political reasons.

“Once again, the American superpower appeared to lose some of its prestige and international standing in order to defend the Israeli settlement enterprise, which enjoys the support of powerful patrons in Congress.

“Netanyahu celebrated his victory over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but he should view the U.S. veto as a warning. The world’s patience over continuing construction in the settlements is wearing thin. The Palestinians are making suspension of building a prerequisite for negotiations, a position which has international support…

“Instead of fanning the flames in the region and further heightening Israel’s isolation he should work to defuse tension, to listen to the international community and to present a practical program for ending the occupation and the conflict. Instead of acceding to the demands of right-wing cabinet members and approving major building plans in the West Bank, he should recognize the diplomatic damage that the settlements cause Israel…”

No matter what the current US Administration is doing, it seems like it can’t win and find any support—not even in Israel. At the same time, Israel is finding itself more and more in total isolation.

Obamacare—Constitutional or Not?

Fox News wrote on February 22:

“A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit claiming that President Barack Obama’s requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans…

“The case was one of several lawsuits filed against Obama’s requirement that Americans either buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014. Kessler is the third Democratic-appointed judge to dismiss a challenge, while two Republican-appointed judges have ruled part or all of the law unconstitutional. Kessler wrote that the Supreme Court will need to settle the constitutional issues.

“Three of the plaintiffs are Christians who said they want to refuse all medical services for the rest of their lives because they believe God will heal their afflictions. They say being forced to buy insurance would conflict with their faith because they believe doing so would indicate they need ‘a backup plan and (are) not really sure whether God will, in fact, provide,’ the lawsuit said. The two other plaintiffs have a holistic approach to medical care and prefer to pay for their health services out of pocket, in part because insurance often doesn’t cover their chosen methods of healing…

“Kessler rejected both arguments and ruled that Congress has the right to regulate health care spending under the Commerce Clause… She also said that anyone who objects to having health care for religious reasons can choose to pay the penalty instead…”

Same-Sex Marriages–Constitutional or Not?

The Associated Press wrote on February 23:

“In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a U.S. law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

“Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act ‘contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships — precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (U.S. Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.’…

“He noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional and that Congress has repealed the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy on gays in the armed forces.”

Heavy Defeat for Angela Merkel

Deutsche Welle reported on February 22:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) took a beating at Sunday’s state elections in Hamburg, obtaining just 21.9 percent of the vote – the party’s worst election results since World War II and a disappointment for Merkel as her party contests the first of seven crucial state elections this year. The opposition Social Democrats (SPD) won 48.3 percent of the vote, an increase from 34.1 percent in 2008. The SPD won 62 seats in the Hamburg state assembly, eking out an absolute majority…

“For Merkel, the result means the loss of three seats in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, making it harder for her government to push through federal legislation. In the last election in the northern city-state in 2008, the CDU’s share of the vote was 42.6 percent, more than double Sunday’s score. The drop of 22.1 percentage points was the steepest decline ever between two elections for the CDU.

“The result in Hamburg, where Merkel was born, will also send a signal to voters before the other state votes, especially in the southwestern region of Baden-Württemberg where her CDU is also in danger of losing power in March.”

The mass-circulation Bild wrote on February 21:

“This election victory is a political tsunami!… For the SPD, the election year of 2011 could not have started any better. If the Social Democrats succeed in emulating their Hamburg success in Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Berlin, we can look forward to some politically turbulent months.”

And Now… Guttenberg in Big Trouble…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 22:

“German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is under pressure to resign amid allegations he plagiarized parts of his Ph.D. thesis. Angela Merkel and other leading conservatives are worried the popular politician could fall, just when they need him to drum up votes ahead of crunch state elections…

“For days, fellow CSU members have been urging Guttenberg not to resign… everyone in the CSU knows that the future of their mandates and positions largely depends on this baron from the northern Bavarian region of Franconia…

 “The reaction in the media over the weekend and on Monday was generally devastating… Many Christian Democrats, including leading members of the party, feel that the entire affair could be extremely damaging. They sense that there could be much more to come…”

Deutsche Welle reported on February 23:

“German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s alma mater, the University of Bayreuth, on Wednesday revoked his doctorate in law amid allegations his thesis contained numerous plagiarized passages… [but] the committee did NOT determine whether Guttenberg’s infractions were intentional…
“The statement came after [Guttenberg had attempted to voluntarily relinquish his doctorate title and] German opposition lawmakers grilled Guttenberg over the plagiarism charges at a four-hour-long session in Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin… ‘You have cheated, you have deceived, you have lied,’ said Thomas Oppermann of the Social Democratic Party. ‘I find it intolerable that the chancellor decided an impostor and liar should still belong to the cabinet.’

“On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had ‘full confidence’ in her defense minister… Several German law professors had accused Guttenberg of blatant plagiarism, listing up to 70 passages in which he did not correctly cite their work. As tempestuous as Wednesday was for the defense minister, his troubles are not over yet. State prosecutors in Bavaria have confirmed at least two criminal complaints have been filed against him. The complaints allege Guttenberg violated copyright laws, and lied in a previous sworn statement that his thesis was entirely his own work.
“Many of Guttenberg’s political allies are keen to see him remain in office, since he is Germany’s most popular politician by far. Guttenberg, who has been listed as a possible future chancellor, has dismissed opposition calls for him to resign.”

… Or Is He?

The Local wrote on February 23:

“German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has grown more popular despite a plagiarism scandal… 73 percent of people are happy with Guttenberg’s political work, compared to 68 percent before accusations he copied large chunks of this doctoral dissertation emerged. A similar number (72 percent) said his decision to give up his doctorate title was sufficient to allow him to stay minister. Only 24 percent of those surveyed said he should step down…

“Internet sleuths have set up a collaborative website, or Wiki, to comb through the 475 pages of zu Guttenberg’s work, concluding there was evidence of unattributed copying on 270 of them. When the 14 pages of content and 65 pages of footnotes are taken into account, this amounts to more than two-thirds of the dissertation…

“Media commentators on Wednesday were divided on whether the minister should step down.

“The leftist Tageszeitung wrote: ‘How can one go on believing such a man in the future, when he testifies on critical events, for example regarding the German army?… The fact that she [Angela Merkel] is prepared to keep a liar in the cabinet in order to preserve her balance of power isn’t just unworthy of her office. It is a scandal…’

“But the centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung, while saying zu Guttenberg should be ‘ashamed’ of his actions, nevertheless said it could work in his favour. ‘Could the plagiarism affair even clear the path to the chancellery for him?’ asked the respected daily. ‘”Look,” says the baron to the people, “I’m one of you. A person who has weaknesses and who makes mistakes.”’”

Developments in Germany’s political landscape are of great importance. We know from Scripture that a strong political personage will arise in continental Europe, most likely in Germany, who will play a wide-ranging role in world affairs. We are certain that Angela Merkel is not that person; so we are to watch for further developments.

Gorbachev Dismantles Russian Myth of Democracy

The Associated Press reported on February 21:

“Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday described Russia as an imitation of democracy and accused its current rulers of conceit and contempt for voters, in his harshest criticism of the government yet. Gorbachev criticized Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his protégé, President Dmitry Medvedev, for saying that they will decide between them who should run for president in Russia’s March 2012 presidential vote.  ‘It’s not Putin’s business. It must be decided by the nation in the elections, by those who would cast ballots,’ Gorbachev said at a news conference…

“Gorbachev… called for a probe into last week’s statement by an assistant to the judge who convicted oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky who said that the judge did not write the verdict and read it against his will in the Moscow courtroom. Judge Viktor Danilkin found Khodorkovsky guilty in December of stealing oil from his own oil company and extended his prison term through 2017. The assistant, Natalya Vasilyeva, who is also the spokesperson for the court, said the verdict was imposed upon Danilkin when it became clear his own ruling would not please top Russian officials behind the politically driven case…

“Putin has been seen as the driving force behind the unrelenting legal attack on Khodorkovsky, who challenged him early in his presidency and has been imprisoned since 2003… Gorbachev also denounced the main pro-Kremlin United Russia party as a ‘bad copy’ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union…”

It is illusionary to think that Russia will ever become a democracy. Rather, it is destined to form a confederacy with other more or less non-democratic nations, such as China, Japan, India, North Korea, and Iran (Persia).

“Marital Status” Irrelevant for Church of England’s Clergy

Mail On Line wrote on February 19:

“The Church of England has infuriated traditionalists by dropping the requirement for clergy to disclose their marital status when they apply for new posts. Church officials say the changes have been introduced to mirror new secular employment and equality laws aimed at eliminating discrimination. But traditionalists say they further undermine the Christian view of marriage by hindering parishes from finding out whether candidates for jobs are divorced or in a gay ‘marriage’.

“One senior cleric said: ‘This opens the floodgates to divorce and remarriage being accepted as normal in the Church because they are no longer seen as a significant factor in appointments. It would also mean parishes being unaware until they have made their decisions that a clergyman’s personal life may be out of step with its position on issues such as civil partnerships. This is a slippery slope. It is another sign the Church is abandoning its traditional values.’

‘The Church has… bowed to liberal pressure over gay ‘marriage’ and ruled in 2005 that gay clergy can have civil partnerships but should refrain from sex…

“Rod Thomas, whose conservative evangelical group Reform represents 500 clergy, said the changes were unnecessary as the Church was not required to change its rules to reflect the rest of society.  ‘More significantly, the Bible makes clear that the personal circumstances of an individual are very important in deciding whether they should be leaders in God’s Church,’ he said.”

Sadly, the standards in our Western societies are so far removed from true Christianity, that nothing should surprise us anymore. The Church of England’s latest pronouncement is just one more proof as to how much our nations and religious leaders have turned their backs on God and His Word.

Christian Churches For Muslim Worship?

Fox News wrote on February 18:

“Two Protestant churches are taking some heat from critics for opening their church buildings to Muslims needing places to worship because their own facilities were either too small, or under construction… Dr. Alex McFarland, a Christian theologian and radio talk show host, charged these churches ‘have crossed the line from respect and tolerance, to … affirmation and endorsement…’ Dr. Jason Hood, an Evangelical theologian, says there are other ways Christians can share the love of Christ without building a bridge too far…

“McFarland says it’s good to remember the ‘political ramifications’ of Muslim-Christian interaction. ‘What if we went to Muslims and said “Hey, can we use your mosque for the worship of Jesus, the incarnate son of God, the one that said ‘no one comes to the Father but through him.”’ I doubt there would be a lot of reciprocity’. McFarland says the groups run the risk of creating something called ‘Chrislam’ – a combination of the two faiths that essentially ignores… the exclusive claims of both Christianity and Islam.”

The Bible seems to indicate that ultimately, prior to Christ’s return, one large religion, claiming to be Christian, will combine most religions under its umbrella.

Massive Space Storm Overdue

Mail On Line wrote on February 22:

“The world is overdue a ferocious ‘space storm’ that could knock out communications satellites, ground aircraft and trigger blackouts – causing hundreds of billions of pounds of damage, scientists say. Astronomers today warned that mankind is now more vulnerable to a major solar storm than at any time in history – and that the planet should prepare for a global Katrina-style disaster.

“A massive eruption of the sun would [send] waves of radiation and charged particles to Earth, damaging the satellite systems used for synchronising computers, airline navigation and phone networks. If the storm is powerful enough it could even crash stock markets and cause power cuts that last weeks or months… The chances of a disruption from space are getting stronger because the sun is entering the most active period of its 11 to 12-year natural cycle.

“The world got a taster of the sun’s explosive power last week when the strongest solar eruption in five years sent a torrent of charged plasma hurtling towards the world at 580 miles per second. The storm created spectacular aurorae and disrupted radio communications…

“Solar storms are caused by massive explosions on the sun. The explosions release waves of X-rays and ultraviolet radiation which smash into the Earth within minutes, disrupting radio signals and damaging the electronics of satellites. They are followed ten to 20 minutes later by a burst of energetic particles which cause even more havoc with satellites – and then 15 to 30 hours later by supercharged plasma which collides with Earth’s magnetic field. The plasma create the aurora – or Northern Lights – and can induce electrical currents in power lines and cables.

“Jane Lubchenco, head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said: ‘This is not a matter of if, it is simply a matter of when and how big. The last time we had a maximum in the solar cycle, about 10 years ago, the world was a very different place. Cell phones are now ubiquitous; they were certainly around  but we didn’t rely on them for so many different things…’”

Christ prophesied that we can expect strange cosmic disturbances in the heavens, which will affect the earth (Luke 21:25;  compare Joel 2:30).

Big Earthquake in New Zealand

The Telegraph wrote on February 22:

“More than 150 are feared dead after a major earthquake hit Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s biggest cities, in what the prime minister described ‘New Zealand’s darkest day’… The Queen, who is also New Zealand’s head of state, expressed her sadness at the 6.3 magnitude quake, saying she was ‘utterly shocked’ by the news…

“A state of emergency was declared following the quake, which struck at 12.51pm on Tuesday local time (2351GMT Monday), when office blocks and shopping centres in the city centre were bustling with people… Officials fear the death toll could double amid reports that more than 200 were trapped in collapsed buildings and wreckage of homes. Bodies were seen lying in the streets, untended until emergency services were able to reach them… Mr Key, the prime minister who has flown to the city, described what he saw as ‘utter devastation’…

“William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said Britain stood ‘ready to provide any assistance that we can… The ties that bind the UK with New Zealand are very close…’

“The chaotic scenes were far different from last September’s ‘miracle’, when no one was killed in a 7.1 magnitude quake. Tuesday’s much shallower quake, just two miles below the surface… has been described as the worst earthquake to hit the country in 80 years.”

Christ prophesied that in these last days, we will hear more and more about “earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7).

Mysterious Death of 100 Pilot Whales in New Zealand

AFP wrote on February 22:

“More than 100 pilot whales died in a mass stranding at a remote New Zealand beach, conservation officials said Monday… Pilot whales up to 20 feet (6m) long are the most common species of whale seen in New Zealand waters.

“… Earlier this month, 14 [pilot whales] died after beaching near the South Island tourist city of Nelson and 24 perished last month near Cape Reinga in the country’s far north. Scientists are unsure why pilot whales beach themselves…”

It is interesting that this particular mass killing occurred just before a strong earthquake struck Christchurch.

“Frisians Ward Off Evil Spirits With Bonfire Festival”

The Local wrote on February 22:

“North Frisians lit their traditional Biikebrennen bonfires on Monday night, celebrating the new year and warding off evil winter spirits in one of northern Germany’s most important folk festivals. More than 60 fires burned in coastal communities along the North Frisian Islands in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, in addition to some in nearby Denmark’s South Jutland region…

“Communities in the area often save their discarded Christmas trees from which they build massive towers for burning. A strawman symbolizing winter is also often burned, which has led some historians to conjecture that the practice derives from the pagan midwinter feast.”

Pagan customs and traditions are prevalent in our “Christian” societies. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible?—Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.”

Anniversary of Execution of White Rose Members

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 22 about the anniversary of the execution of Hans and Sophie Scholl, members of the German White Rose movement. The following was stated:

“Hans and Sophie Scholl are among those most closely associated with the anti-Hitler movement in Nazi Germany. The young siblings from Munich were part of the White Rose, a resistance group committed to non-violence. From June 1942 to February 1943, they secretly printed anti-war leaflets with slogans like ‘Down with Hitler!’ and ‘Freedom!’ which they distributed to the public. The group has been praised by many prominent personalities, including anti-fascist German novelist and Nobel Prize-winner Thomas Mann. To this day, the White Rose stands for courage, bravery and political responsibility…
“‘Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews?’ asks the fifth and second-to-last White Rose leaflet, which was written shortly before the group’s arrest by the Gestapo on February 18, 1943. ‘Do you want to be judged in the same way as your abusers? …Should we forever be the people hated and rejected by the whole world? No! So distance yourselves from the National Socialist subhumanness! Tear off the coat of indifference that covers your heart! Make a decision before it’s too late!’
“Franz Josef Müller, now 86, was a member of the White Rose. As a 17-year-old, he protested together with Hans and Sophie Scholl, Alexander Schmorell, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf and university professor Kurt Huber against the crimes of the Nazi regime… the activities of the White Rose [spread] beyond just Munich in southern Germany, reaching all the way to Hamburg in the north… Most of the Hamburg-based White Rose members had an academic background…

“Traute Lafrenz [a medical student in the early 1940s, now aged 91] helped deliver White Rose leaflets from Munich to Hamburg, where they were to be distributed. She was arrested by the Gestapo and later freed by American soldiers. After the war, she immigrated to the United States, where she worked as the director of an institution for mentally handicapped children.
“Lafrenz… was not the only Hamburg resident arrested due to connections with the White Rose – over 30 others suffered the same fate. Eight of them did not survive the prosecution, including Hans Conrad Leipelt who had helped Lafrenz transport the leaflets. Many of the accused were demonstratively tried for high treason at the so-called People’s Court and sentenced to death.
“Thanks to errors in the investigation process, Franz Josef Müller received ‘only’ a jail sentence. After the war he studied law and became a teacher.”

Hans and Sophie Scholl, children of a Protestant pastor, as well as others paid with their lives for what they believed in. They had the strong desire to warn their fellow citizens and make them aware of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, but they did not resort to violent means in doing so. The Church of God has the duty and commission to warn the world of impending disaster, due to the way we live, but we must not resort to violence, either. How dedicated and zealous are WE to finish the Work which God has given us to do—even if it costs our lives?

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Who is “that” prophet, mentioned by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy?

The Old and the New Testament speak about the appearance of “THE” or “THAT” prophet. The concept of such a prophet is first introduced in Deuteronomy 18:15, when Moses announces to the people:

“The LORD your God will raise for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.”

In his speech before the Sanhedrin, Stephen makes reference to this passage, in Acts 7:37.

We read in Deuteronomy 34:10-12 that after Moses’ death, “there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.”

But Moses was inspired to write that subsequently, a Prophet like him WOULD arise. Note, he is making reference to only ONE individual, not several or many. (The concept that Moses was just speaking of general successions of prophets is clearly not intended here.) It is true that God has spoken through holy prophets in the past, and it is also stated that He will use again some of His followers to prophesy in the future (compare Revelation 11:3, 6; Acts 2:17-20), just prior to the return of Jesus Christ (while including the warning that many false prophets will also appear as well, Matthew 24:11).

However, Moses speaks clearly about only ONE particular or unique Prophet, like him, and we are given clues as to what to look for. That Prophet would know God face to face, and He would perform signs and wonders in “Egypt” (note that Jerusalem is spiritually called “Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified,” Revelation 11:8), and He would act with mighty power in the sight of all of Israel.

At the time of Christ’s first coming, there was an expectation that that Prophet would appear. The people asked John the Baptist: “Are you the Prophet?” [or “that prophet,” in the Authorized Version], but John clarified that he was not the one (John 1:21). This he said, even though his father Zacharias declared, under inspiration, that John “will be called the prophet of the Highest” (Luke 1:76). And Christ said that John deserved to be called, “not just a prophet, but even more than a prophet” (Matthew 11:9). He continued to make clear that John fulfilled a unique role in that he prepared the way of the LORD Jesus Christ (verse 10).

John also said he was not the Elijah to come (John 1:21), but he did come in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). He was not the resurrected Old Testament Elijah, who had died, but he fulfilled the role of a prophesied “Elijah” (Matthew 11:14). He was a forerunner of the true and final future Elijah who would come and restore all things (that is, ultimately, Jesus Christ, compare Matthew 17:11-12; Acts 3:20-21). Likewise, John the Baptist came in the power and the spirit of “that “Prophet,” but he was not that Prophet himself. John confirmed that he was not THE prophet, about whom Moses had spoken. After all, we read that John did not perform one miracle and sign (John 10:41), but as we saw, it was prophesied in the book of Deuteronomy that that Prophet would perform signs and wonders, as Moses did.

Later, when witnesses saw the miracles and signs that Jesus did, they concluded that he was a prophet (John 9:17) and even “a great prophet” who “has risen up among us” (Luke 7:16). Some concluded that Christ was “truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14; compare John 7:40). It appears that Philip felt the same way, when he told his brother Nathanael: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). Later, in Luke 24:13, two somewhat disillusioned disciples who were traveling to a village called Emmaus, spoke to the resurrected Jesus whom they did not at first recognize, about the “things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Luke 24:19).

Jesus confirmed that He was a prophet (Luke 13:33), but surely, Jesus was not just one of the prophets. Jesus Himself said that He was sending prophets to the hypocritical people and leaders, and “some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city” (Matthew 23:34; compare Luke 11:49). Without dispute and contradiction, a prophet who sends other prophets is greater than the ones who are being sent (compare the principle in Hebrews 7:7; and the fact that the Father, the highest in the Godhead, sent Jesus Christ as Savior to the world; John 3:17; 8:42). In Hebrews 1:1-4, the difference between Jesus and all the other prophets is made very clear:

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers BY THE PROPHETS, has in these last days spoken to us BY HIS SON, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”

But was Jesus “that” special Prophet, who had been announced by Moses?

Matthew 17 sheds more light on this issue. When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, in the presence of Peter, James and John, and when the glorified Moses and Elijah appeared in a vision, a voice was heard from heaven, saying about Jesus: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Moses had told the people that they needed to hear that Prophet. Now the voice from heaven said that the people must hear Jesus. Peter had no doubt what this meant, and he would later write about this incident, as recorded in 2 Peter 1:16-21:

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent glory; ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed [apparently making reference here, in context and as we will see, to the prophecy in Deuteronomy, speaking of the rise of a Prophet like Moses], which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Later, Peter made very clear as to whom Moses referred, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, when he prophesied about the coming of the Prophet. We read his stirring sermon to the people of his time, in Acts 3:19-26:

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him shall you hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”

This inspired sermon reveals that it was Jesus Christ who came as THAT Prophet, and that we must hear and obey Him, and when we refuse to do that, we will be “utterly destroyed from among the people.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible includes the following comments regarding Deuteronomy 18:15:

“’The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet’…. the Messiah… who was a prophet mighty in word and deed, and not only foretold future events, as his own sufferings and death, and resurrection from the dead, the destruction of Jerusalem, and other things; but taught and instructed men in the knowledge of divine things, spake as never man did, preached the Gospel fully and faithfully, so that as the law came by Moses, the doctrine of grace and truth came by him; and he was… commissioned and qualified by [the Father] for the office of a prophet, as well as was raised from the dead as a confirmation of his being that extraordinary person:

“’…from the midst of thee’; he was of Israel, according to the flesh, of the tribe of Judah, and of the house of David, born of a virgin in Bethlehem… and was raised from the dead in the midst of them, and of which they were witnesses:

“’…of thy brethren’; the Israelites, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, and to whom he was sent as a prophet…

“’like unto me’… he was like to Moses in the faithful discharge of his office, in his familiar converse with God, in the miracles which he wrought…”

Moses was inspired to say that a Prophet like him would arise. As the New Bible Commentary: Revised explains, Moses was indeed a type of Christ, “both in his life and his office. Like Jesus his life was spared in infancy… he was a faithful powerful intercessor for his people.”

The Prophet who was to come was none other than Jesus Christ. Jesus has many titles and designations; apart from being the Son of God and the Savior and Messiah (the Anointed One), He is also the only Mediator between God and man, our High Priest and the King of kings and the Lord of lords; He is the Apostle of those apostles whom He appoints (Hebrews 3:1; Ephesians 4:11), as well as THAT Prophet of those holy prophets whom He sends. Anyone who misappropriates any of those titles to himself (or approvingly permits such misappropriations to be applied to him) is claiming privileges and designations which are limited and strictly belong to, and which are reserved for Jesus Christ; and such a person will have to give account for what he claims to be, says and does, whoever he might be.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

We are happy to announce that Dawn Blanks of California was baptized on Sabbath morning of February 19. Norbert Link conducted the baptism with the assistance of Michael Link, and in the presence of many of the San Diego brethren. We would like to congratulate Dawn and welcome her as a begotten child within the Family of God.

Frank, Shelly and Nicolas Bruno of Colorado wish to announce an addition to their family: Timothy James Bruno was born on Sunday evening, February 20, 2011 (8 pounds, 10 ounces and 20 inches long). Everyone is doing fine. Congratulations!

Our annual conference will be held in Rancho Bernardo, California, beginning on March 18. Please pray for God’s inspiration for the successful preparation of the conference.

A new StandingWatch program was posted on the Web, titled, “Where Is Your Hope?” Many in our Western World are looking for spiritual guidance by turning to eastern gods and goddesses. They feel disappointed by the confusing teachings of traditional orthodox Christianity, not realizing that according to the Bible, there is only one true hope for all of us. Do you know what that hope is?

A new German AufPostenStehen program was posted on the Web, titled, “Die Deutschen Kommen” [“The Germans Are Coming.”]. The program speaks of the merger between the NYSE and the German Boerse, and Germany’s economic future.

A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Im Anfang…, Teil 2” [“In the Beginning, Part 2”]. The sermon covers Genesis 1:1-26, including the fact that the earth became void and empty and that its surface was re-created.

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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