|The Sabbath–P P F
|This Week in the News
|Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
The Sabbath–P P F
On March 19, 2011, Rene Messier will give the sermon, titled, “The Sabbath–P P F.”
NOTE: Due to the annual conference, there will be no Update for the week ending March 25. The next Update will be published for the week ending April 1.
by Rene Messier (Canada)
We must be committed to the Work of God in supporting its effort to preach and publish the gospel of the kingdom of God in all the world as a witness. The gospel is a message of good news from the God Family, including the fact that God’s government will be established on the earth at the return of Christ. We manifest our financial commitment to God not only by tithing to the Work, but also by additional financial means. Tithing is required; but if we only carry out our duty, then we are rendered unprofitable servants. Luke 17:7-10 makes this very clear, quoting Christ’s words as follows:
“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
A much better way of telling how deep our commitment to God and His Work is, is by focusing on our offerings to God. They will show where our heart is, and where we want our treasure to be. Matthew 6:21 tells us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We are commanded to tithe, and we are commanded to give offerings. The amount of the tithe—ten percent of our increase or earnings—is pre-determined. The amount of our free-will offerings is not. And how we determine these amounts is indicative of where our heart really is.
In fact, there are two types of offerings mentioned in Scripture. The first category refers to the annual Holy Day offerings which we are commanded to give on each of the seven Holy Days. Deuteronomy 16:16-17, referring to the three Holy Day seasons (in the spring, in the beginning of summer and in the autumn), states:
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
In order to give an offering which is pleasing to God, we need to think about it and plan for it ahead of time. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
The other type of offering refers to those kinds of additional occasional contributions which we might decide to give to the Work of God throughout the year, apart from the bi-weekly or monthly tithe and the seven annual Holy Day offerings. These also show to God where a person’s heart really is.
What is interesting to note again is that no fixed amount is mentioned in the Bible as to how much we give for offerings. The criteria we are to use are how much we are blessed, not only in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual food and knowledge that one receives from God through His servants. This is something on which one cannot put a price tag. Rather, it is like the famous pearl of great price.
Of course, when we pay God’s tithe and give Him an offering, we are not to boast about it, but we are doing it quietly, discreetly, and from the heart. God can and will, in His due time, bless us openly when we behave with a right attitude. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
We begin reporting about Japan’s terrible earthquake and its consequences, including an ensuing nuclear crisis and a plagued economy. The political fallout can be felt around the world, including in Germany.
Voices warn us that a similar catastrophe could happen in the USA, and a scientific report claims that the American continent will be hit by a major earthquake during the month of March. California is especially mentioned as one of the most likely locations—others focus on the New Madrid fault in Missouri. We also note the eruption of volcanoes during the time of the Japanese earthquakes and aftershocks.
A thought-provoking analysis on Libya by Der Spiegel shows the dilemma the West is facing, with no real solutions in sight. More and more voices seem to advocate the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, but especially Germany is reluctant to agree to it, fearing that it would be drawn again into another unpopular war. However, we note that ultimately Germany—not France—will be placed in the position of a powerful leader over a European army, destined to invade the Middle East.
We are also observing the ongoing violence in Bahrain, and the arrival of foreign troops in the country (especially those from Saudi-Arabia) might backfire and prompt Iran to become more involved.
This Week in the News
Terrible Consequences of Japan’s Mega Earthquake
As the news unfolds, it is becoming frighteningly obvious that the Japanese government, as well as many international press releases, at least until recently, do not tell us the whole story about the catastrophic events of the nuclear power plants in Japan, following last week’s devastating earthquake. The very few news releases which have been showing the scope of the horrible situation were, and still are, classified as “sensational irresponsible reporting.” However, it seems that the main media has been behaving terribly irresponsibly, and that we are facing, what might be perhaps the biggest nuclear catastrophe outside the horrors of war.
Mail On Line wrote on March 16:
“Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant was abandoned for hours today, as soaring radiation forced emergency workers to flee for their lives and authorities were reduced to spraying reactors with police water cannons… And in an extraordinary attack, the French government accused the Japanese of losing control of the situation and hiding the full scale of the disaster… Industry Minister Eric Besson said: ‘Let’s not beat about the bush. They have visibly lost the essential of control (of the situation). That is our analysis, in any case, it’s not what they are saying.’
“In a sign of mounting panic, Cabinet Secretary Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has already warned that the long-range cooling efforts may not work…The biggest concerns centre around the four over-heating reactors, and in particular radioactive steam pouring out of the plutonium-fuelled reactor number three which exploded on Monday. Plutonium is far more hazardous to health than uranium, which is used to power the other five reactors on the site.
“There has been damage to four reactors at the Fukushima , three of which were hit by explosions and another caught fire. Reactor number four is the second highest concern after a nuclear fuel storage pond was exposed to the atmosphere after a fire. A fifth and six reactor, which were previously unharmed, were today being sprayed with water amid reports that they too were heating up…
“The turn of events caused European energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger to warn that Tokyo had almost lost control of events. ‘There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen,’ he told the European Parliament.”
Newsmax wrote on March 14:
“Japan’s central bank rushed to bolster markets on Monday in the wake of the country’s worst disaster since World War II… Markets swooned at the shock of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami that may have killed more than 10,000 and has left millions of people without power, water, or homes. The Nikkei average closed 6.18 percent lower on Monday… Investment bank Credit Suisse put economic losses from the quake at no less than $171 billion…
“Japan’s central bank doubled its asset buying scheme to 10 trillion yen ($122 billion) and held interest rates at 0-0.1 percent after it earlier said it would pump a record 15 trillion yen into the banking system… The disaster shut down about a fifth of the country’s nuclear power generation capacity. Thermal plants also closed, forcing the world’s third-biggest economy to instigate rolling blackouts to conserve energy… Economists said that the triple blow of quake, tsunami, and nuclear accident is set to damage the already struggling economy harder and longer [than] initially expected…
“Companies that trade with Japan face a loss of business and worries that governments will look at nuclear power less favourably. On Wall Street, S&P 500 futures were down 0.3 percent on Monday…”
Oil Prices Will Go Nowhere But Up…
Deutsche Welle reported on March 14:
“The question many experts are now asking is whether the natural catastrophe that shook Japan could cause a new tremor in the country’s economy, the world’s third largest after the US and China… Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, stopped production at all 12 of its plants in Japan. Nissan shut down its four factories, and Honda has halted production as well. Consumer electronics heavyweights Canon, Sony and Panasonic have also put production on hold, and the country’s large oil refineries and steelmakers have suspended operations as well…
“Before the quake, Japanese capital markets were already under pressure. The country is battling a huge debt burden, twice as high as its annual economic output… What the world could experience in the long term… are higher oil prices. Japan is the world’s third-largest oil importer. And given the likelihood that the country will rely less on nuclear energy and more on oil in [the] future, prices on global markets will go nowhere but up.”
Japan Earthquake Alters Coast Line, Changes Earth’s Axis
On March 12, 2011, VOANews.com reported the following:
“The massive earthquake that hit Japan on Friday was so powerful that it changed the shape of the country’s coastline and shifted the earth’s axis. Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake moved part of Japan’s land mass by nearly 2.5 meters. Experts say that the huge shake, caused by a shift in the tectonic plates deep underwater, also threw the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.”
The Bible predicts that the earth’s axis will change even more as a consequence of future devastating earthquakes. For more information, please see our two-part StandingWatch programs, “Earthquakes in Prophecy, Part 1” and “Earthquakes in Prophecy, Part 2.”
Could It Happen AGAIN in the USA?
CBS News reported on March 12:
“Not only could a disaster like the one that hit Japan Friday happen in the United States – one already has, and could again, experts said… Dr. Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, [said:] ‘Every time an event like this happens, it’s a wake-up call for us here in America that we need to be prepared.’ McNutt said the exact scenario that we saw happen in Japan has already occurred, in the Pacific Northwest. ‘
“‘Brian Atwater, who’s a specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey, has looked back into the geologic record and seen evidence that, on the 26th of January, at 9 p.m., in the year 1700, there was an earthquake that generated a tsunami … offshore Oregon … that was actually historically recorded in Japan,’ McNutt said. ‘It was the same magnitude as this event. It happened then. It could happen again… I think what this event in Japan has shown us is that something like a wall of water that is six feet high, running six miles inland, or even higher, is something that we are equally unprepared for…’
“‘The most obvious place [said James Gaherty, seismologist and Lamont associate research professor at Columbia University] is the Pacific Northwest, the coast of Washington and Oregon…’”
It Surely Can…
The Huffington Post wrote on March 14:
“… the nuclear problems in Japan were much worse than being reported at that time… there has been a partial meltdown at Fukushima… making a complete meltdown once again possible… overall, the U.S. media… downplayed the possibility of a similar problem at a U.S. reactor…
“First, the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California is less than 100 feet above sea level. That’s not high enough to be safe from a major tsunami, as the Japanese experience showed. Second, the most dangerous earthquakes anticipated in the U.S. are not in California, but along the New Madrid fault in Missouri, where quakes greater than 8.0 are expected, not as often as in California, but still too often for comfort. And unlike California quakes, which are relatively localized in their impact, New Madrid quakes affect huge areas — and the nuclear plants in the Midwest have not really been designed for the possibility of an ultra-large quake in the region.
“But really, the big issue is not whether the next U.S. nuclear disaster will look just like Japan’s… [But] something went wrong, and the cooling systems in the reactors failed. Every nuclear power plant in the world, and every plant currently under construction, shares that vulnerability. Exactly what goes wrong — what takes down the cooling system — is unpredictable… That’s not reassuring — it’s terrifying.
“… we shouldn’t listen to experts who tell us ‘it can’t happen here’… There are too many ‘worst-case’ scenarios to include them all in a design basis or an operating plan. How many different forms could a terrorist attack take? And how many of those are adequately taken into account in the design of nuclear reactors?…”
Russia Warns: America Will Be Hit in March by Major Earthquake
Real News Reporter wrote on March 12:
“A new report released today in the Kremlin prepared for Prime Minister Putin by the Institute of Physics of the Earth, in Moscow, is warning that the Americas are in danger of suffering a mega-quake of catastrophic proportions during the next fortnight (14 days) with a specific emphasis being placed on the United States, Mexico, Central America and South American west coast regions along with the New Madrid Fault Zone region…
“Raising the concerns of a mega-quake occurring, this report says, are the increasing subtle electromagnetic signals that are being detected in the Earth’s upper atmosphere over many regions of the World, with the most intense being over the US Western coastal and Midwest regions. Important to note [is] that Russian and British scientists are at the forefront of predicting earthquakes based on these subtle electromagnetic signals and have joined in an effort to put satellites in space to detect more of them.
“More ominously in this report are Russian scientists confirming the independent analysis of New Zealand mathematician and long-range weather forecaster, Ken Ring, who predicted the deadly Christchurch quake and this week issued another warning of a quake to hit on or about March 20th…
“Most ominous in this report, though, is its warning that the fault-riddled State of California may be about to suffer its most catastrophic earthquake in decades as new reports for this region show the mass death of millions of fish… just like the mass stranding of whales on New Zealand beaches days prior to the February 22nd destruction of Christchurch…
“As this report concludes… as of yet, ‘no firmly reliable’ method for predicting earthquakes has been scientifically recognized…”
Whether or not a major earthquake will strike the American continent and especially California within the month of March, it appears extremely likely that especially California WILL be hit by a major earthquake one of these days…
Volcanoes Erupt in Japan and Russia
On March 13, Times Life reported:
“A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half miles) into the air, a local official says. It was not immediately clear if the eruption was a direct result of the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake… The 1,421-metre (4,689-feet) Shinmoedake volcano in the Kirishima range saw its first major eruption for 52 years in January. There had not been any major activity at the site since March 1.”
On March 11, planetsave.com stated the following:
“The major earthquake that hit Japan today may have just triggered some volcanoes in Russia as well. While reports are still vague on the incident, there is a strong correlation between the two occurrences. In Russia, there are reports that earthquakes [were] felt during the eruption. In the Russian Far East, there has been a strong volcanic eruption… While this eruption does not seem to be a significant threat to the people in Russia, the fact that an earthquake in Japan could have triggered a volcano eruption in Russia does have some significance.”
We also heard in January about a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna in Italy. We can expect more and more worldwide volcanic eruptions with devastating consequences, as we are nearing the return of Christ.
“Nuclear Fallout” in Germany
Deutsche Welle reported on March 14:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday pledged a three-month pause in her government’s plan to extend the running times of Germany’s nuclear power plants. She said that this would mean that some of the oldest reactors will be turned off, at least temporarily, almost immediately. Merkel said that the risks of a meltdown at the Fukushima atomic reactors in Japan, triggered by the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the region, had shown the world that nuclear safety should be reevaluated.
“‘The events in Japan have taught us that something, which all scientific data suggested to be impossible, could become a reality after all,’ Merkel told reporters in Berlin… ‘It’s taught us that risks that were considered absolutely improbable still aren’t impossible.’ Even though Germany and Europe are unlikely to experience a magnitude 8.9 earthquake or a tsunami, Merkel said, the Fukushima example had shown that Japanese state-of-the-art safety precautions were not infallible.”
However, this assumption is a fallacy. The Bible predicts that at least one huge earthquake (apparently exceeding the magnitude of 8.9) will strike Europe and destroy the city of Rome. And there are further biblical indications that big tsunamis will strike the coastlands of Europe as well. We have of course known for many years that nuclear power plants and atomic reactors are not foolproof and that they can become extremely dangerous. The following article plays out some of the unsettling scenarios involving nuclear power plants.
German Voices on Nuclear Energy
On March 14, Der Spiegel quoted certain German daily papers, pertaining to the nuclear disaster in Japan and the potential political and economic consequences for Germany and Japan, as follows:
“Center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:
“‘The events in Japan, which geographically couldn’t be much further from Germany, will influence politics in this country. They could soon start changing majorities and make governing even harder for the center-right coalition… It’s not good news because in the end, for example in Baden-Württemberg, it will only take a few percentage points more or less to determine the election outcome… For Merkel, it is hard to imagine a greater accident at present than the loss of a CDU governor in Baden-Württemberg… The unpopular government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has been on the brink of collapse in recent weeks. It seemed paralyzed, distracted, disoriented and divided. Now it has to lead the country through what may be its worst disaster since 1945. Can it? In the Soviet Union the Chernobyl disaster accelerated the downfall of a broken, paralyzed political system’…
“Conservative Die Welt writes:
“‘The earthquake of March 11 was no terrorist attack. But its political and psychological consequences will be as great as 9/11 because it has shown what a terrorist attack on nuclear plants would look like… The high-tech democracy Japan has shown what could happen if an Internet attack on German or French nuclear reactors were to happen… Or if a determined, technologically skilled terrorist group were to seize control of a power station…’
“The mass-circulation Bild tabloid writes:
“‘The nuclear accident is giving even firm supporters of nuclear power cause for thought, because the unthinkable happened in Fukushima. But even if we wanted to, we couldn’t switch off all nuclear reactors overnight. Because the lights would literally go out…’
“Left-wing Berliner Zeitung writes:
“‘This hasn’t hit a run-down Soviet reactor, a badly constructed Russian plutonium machine which supplied the army with material for their nuclear weapons, as was the case with Chernobyl in 1986. Then and ever since, the builders of nuclear power stations in Europe, North America and Japan boasted that a serious accident could be virtually ruled out thanks to superior Western nuclear technology. Every country — Germany, the US and Japan — claimed to have the world’s best reactors. Everything was secured several times over, all conceivable problems could be handled, all eventualities were prepared for, they said. The disaster at [Fukushima] shows: It’s simply not true… The radioactive fallout from Fukushima won’t hit Germany, but the political fallout has already arrived. People are alarmed and there is major uncertainty about “peaceful” nuclear power, not just among diehard anti-nuclear campaigners.’”
Libya—“The West’s Nightmare”
On March 14, Der Spiegel Online published a rather lengthy article on the situation in Libya. We are quoting interesting extensive “must read” excerpts, as they show convincingly the many problems which the West is facing in regard to Libya. No easy answers present themselves, and it seems that the situation will get much worse, no matter what the West will or won’t do, and regardless as to who is ruling or will rule Libya. Real hope does not lie in man’s feeble efforts to attempt to create lasting peace and true freedom anywhere on this planet. Only Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace—will enforce peace on earth, when He returns, and He will then proclaim for mankind true and lasting freedom and liberty. Let us pray to God that His Second Coming will occur very soon.
The magazine wrote:
“There are times when some politicians and diplomats in Europe and the United States wish that someone would die. They wish that a head of state or government would give the order to dispatch a number of aircraft or launch a few missiles. They don’t speak openly of this, of course, but they do say these things under their breath. ‘Why doesn’t somebody just shoot him?’ they ask. Usually, this hope is directed by Europe toward America.
“This is again such a time. A number of politicians and diplomats are quietly hoping that they will hear one morning on the radio that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has died during the night. According to this scenario, the news bulletin will then inform listeners that an American bomber squadron has safely returned to its aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.
“The current situation calls to mind former US President Ronald Reagan. He tried to eliminate Gadhafi back in April 1986. At the time, Reagan ordered 36 laser-guided bombs to be dropped on the Bab al-Azizija military compound, Gadhafi’s command center in the suburbs of Tripoli. Gadhafi survived. Reagan was derided for the failed mission and sharply criticized for the attempt. Some Western countries view such actions as murder — and thus unacceptable.
“When it comes to war and the West, it always boils down to a question of ethics. Now all eyes are directed toward US President Barack Obama. What will he do? He has the arsenal required to make a renewed attempt, but he apparently also has greater scruples… The same holds true for the Europeans. At their summit in Brussels on Friday, European Union leaders called for Gadhafi to immediately resign. Although a military operation has not been ruled out, it has been made contingent on the approval of the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union. Speaking after the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel underscored that she was highly skeptical about a no-fly zone. The EU is relying on economic sanctions for the time being.
“This is a nightmarish situation for the West. For years, Europe and America have courted Gadhafi and regarded him as a valuable business partner, without giving so much as a second thought to the suffering of his people. Now a large proportion of this oppressed population is fighting for its freedom, but the West is doing little to halt the advances made by Gadhafi’s loyal supporters. The West wants to help, but it remains helpless…
“As politicians in Europe and America grapple with the issue of Libya, they are strongly influenced by the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two predominantly Muslim countries have been attacked and occupied, also with the aim of creating a better world according to Western models. But these have not been success stories. The regimes backed by the West have been dubious, to say the least, and the security situation remains precarious… The negative experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have sown doubt in America and Europe about the morality of these missions…
“Military action is also being discussed… But Obama continues to hesitate, and this lack of action is drawing increasing criticism… former presidential candidate John McCain and independent Senator Joe Lieberman are both criticizing Obama’s reluctance to intervene… McCain, for his part, is calling for a no-fly zone… That step, however, is highly controversial in Washington. The US military, which has already been stretched thin by its deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, has remained rather reticent in its comments. Establishing a no-fly zone would be a ‘challenge,’ says General James Mattis, the commander of US Central Command. The US military would first have to destroy Libya’s air defenses, he says…
“For the EU it will be even more difficult to come to a joint position on Libya, although that didn’t stop French President Nicolas Sarkozy from unilaterally taking action. Last Thursday, France recognized the Libyan National Transitional Council in Benghazi as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people… Furthermore, government officials in Paris say that the French president wants to use targeted air strikes to weaken the Gadhafi regime… In Berlin, the Chancellery was indignant over the French initiative. At the summit in Brussels, Merkel voiced her clear opposition: ‘We cannot recognize the transitional council,’ she told the assembled heads of state and government…
“Merkel also clearly expressed her reservations with regard to a no-fly zone: ‘What is our plan if we create a no-fly zone and it doesn’t work? Do we send in ground troops?’ she asked before adding: ‘We have to think this through. Why should we intervene in Libya when we don’t intervene elsewhere?’ It was a sharp rebuff for Sarkozy…
“Until recently, France and Germany have had their separate areas of responsibility: While Paris looked after the Mediterranean area, Berlin was more oriented toward Eastern Europe. But in internal discussions, [Foreign Minister] Westerwelle has already made it clear that this will no longer be the case. Much to the annoyance of the French, Berlin now also wants to have a greater say in the Mediterranean region…
“Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Westerwelle agree that nothing good will come from a no-fly zone over Libya. They both fear that Germany could be drawn into the civil war in this way. The government also knows, though, that economic sanctions are only effective over the long term, so Berlin doesn’t want to entirely rule out the option of military intervention. The obstacles are significant, however, since China and Russia are showing little inclination to approve such a mission in the UN Security Council.
“The German government’s hesitant stance also arises from the fact that Germany recently won a non-permanent seat on the Security Council. Although this presents an excellent opportunity for Westerwelle to play a more prominent international role as foreign minister, it also means that Germany will probably have to participate in the mission if the Security Council approves a no-fly zone. Anyone who claims a leading role in New York must be prepared to assume certain responsibilities.
“The opposition also supports the German government’s position. No one in Berlin is calling for a no-fly zone without a mandate from the Security Council… The clearest arguments against a military intervention by the West are presented by Rainer Stinner, the foreign policy expert in parliament for the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), which is Merkel’s government coalition partner. ‘Anyone who proposes a no-fly zone should (also) say who will enforce it,’ he contends. Such a decision could lead to aerial combat and other fighting, he says. ‘Should we then send in the German Luftwaffe?’…
“The chairman of the National Transitional Council, former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil, is not a charismatic figure… His National Council is hopelessly divided and could only agree on three points: Gadhafi must go, the West should impose a no-fly zone, but Western troops should not fight on the ground. Nobody knows what kind of state these men want to build, or what freedoms it would guarantee. President Hamid Karzai — intensely pandered to by the West — has turned out to be a corrupt ruler in Afghanistan.
“In Libya there is also no solution that would genuinely satisfy the West. There is no clear, promising vision of the future of this country without Gadhafi — but there is no doubt that it will be disastrous with Gadhafi. Is military deployment the answer? Germany could easily be drawn into another war at a time when the majority of Germans already oppose their country’s military presence in Afghanistan…”
Many of the above-quoted comments should make us pause to think and reflect on the accuracy of biblical prophecy, all leading to the worldwide catastrophic climax ushering in the return of Christ and the establishment of a better world. The cited excerpts include comments about the uncertainty of Libya’s future with or without Gadhafi; the helplessness of the West and the unwillingness of any political leader to lead—except perhaps for the questionable attempts by the French, who are, however, in no recognized position to lead; and the fact that Berlin, which was so far oriented toward Eastern Europe, now also wants to have a greater say in the Mediterranean region.
Arab League Agrees to No-Fly Zone, But…
The EUObserver reported on March 14, 2011:
“The Arab League has given the green light for Western powers to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, prompting France to step up its campaign for military action. The 22-member league in a resolution on Saturday (12 March) called for the UN Security Council to quickly issue a mandate for a no-fly zone in Libya…
“The Arab League development comes after the UK and France failed to persuade no-fly sceptics at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday. German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle continued to voice concern… ‘We don’t want to get pulled into a war in North Africa,’ he explained… German ally Austria called for an EU fact-finding mission to visit the rebel stronghold in Beghazi. Italy and Malta… also remain reticent.”
However, the Bible shows that ultimately, Germany, as the future leader of a unified European army, will be pulled into a war in the Middle East.
But in the Meantime…
Deutsche Welle reported on March 16:
“Efforts by Britain, France and the Arab League, acting through Lebanon, to impose a no-fly zone have met with stiff resistance at the United Nations… A draft resolution that diplomats said would ban ‘all flights‘ in Libyan airspace and allow ‘all necessary measures to enforce compliance‘ was distributed. China and Russia were believed to have been behind the opposition movement, while Germany, India and the United States were said to have doubts about the plan… In a final communique, the ministers made no mention of plans for a no-fly zone, agreeing instead that the UN Security Council should put more pressure on the Gadhafi regime ‘including through economic sanctions’…
“Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters that along with Germany, Russia had argued that a no-fly zone would not be effective and could be counterproductive. Germany’s hands-off approach clearly pleased Gadhafi, who praised its stance in an interview on Tuesday with German television station RTL. ‘Germans have taken a good stance on our situation, unlike many other Western countries,‘ Gadhafi told RTL… He said that in the future, only Russia, India and China would get Libyan oil or other Libyan business. But because of its opposition to the no-fly zone, Germany could also possibly get oil, he said, adding: ‘Germany … not France … deserves a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.'”
And Then…Another Switch…
Haaretz wrote on March 16:
“The United States, France and Britain on Wednesday urged the UN Security Council to take swift action on a proposed no-fly zone over Libya, as Washington suggested it might have decided to back the plan… [U.S. Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton told CBS television: ‘For the Arab League to call for military action to protect civilians in Libya, against a member of the Arab League, was an extraordinary statement of leadership and real conviction’…”
The imposition of a no-fly zone [identified by Mrs. Clinton as “military action”] would mean outright war—another unpopular war which the USA and its allies would be drawn into—and a war which could not be won.
Violence in Bahrain
CNN wrote on March 14:
“Foreign troops arrived Monday in the strategically and financially important Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain after a month of citizen protests, the Bahraini government said. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s giant neighbor to the west, appears to have provided at least some of the troops, who arrived under the banner of the Gulf Cooperation Council. In a statement, the government described the troops as ‘coalition forces’ but did not say what countries were represented. Their mission was equally vague… The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six Gulf states — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar…
“The arrival of the troops followed a day of clashes between protesters and security forces that resulted in the hospitalization of more than 1,000 people, human rights activists said… Simon Henderson, director of the Gulf and energy policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy… noted that the administration of Barack Obama has been urging political dialogue but said Monday’s move was not what the U.S. president meant. ‘Sending in Saudi forces is hardly encouraging political dialogue,’ Henderson said. ‘The great danger is, it will actually worsen the situation by encouraging Iran to get involved. Not militarily, probably, but certainly diplomatically and rhetorically.’
“The underlying concern is that Iran, an overwhelmingly Shiite state, could seize the opportunity to meddle in Bahrain’s internal affairs. Bahrain has a Shiite majority population, but its rulers are Sunni. Saudi Arabia’s eastern province is home not only to many of the country’s rich oil fields but to its largest concentration of minority Shiite as well. In recent weeks, Shiite demonstrators there have protested the Saudi government, whose leaders are overwhelmingly Sunni. The Saudi government would presumably be concerned that any uprising by Shiite Muslims in Bahrain could inspire the Shiite population in nearby Saudi Arabia to follow suit.”
The situation in Bahrain and in other Middle Eastern countries continues to escalate. There seems to be no peace in sight. Truly, Christ’s words come to mind, when addressing the end-time “beginning of sorrows”: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6).
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
Due to the annual conference, there will be no Update for the week ending March 25. The next Update will be published for the week ending April 1.
Our annual conference will begin on Friday, March 18, and is scheduled to last until Wednesday, March 23. Please pray for God’s inspiration and guidance for the success of the conference.
The German translation of our booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery,” was sent to our Graphic Designer for finalization.
The terrible earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunamis should remind us of Christ’s warning in the Olivet prophecy that great earthquakes will strike this earth prior to His return. But He also spoke of religious deception, wars, famines, disease epidemics, the Great Tribulation and the heavenly signs. It is important to know the prophesied sequence of these events, leading to His Second Coming.
The Bible predicts that much greater earthquakes than the one in Japan will soon strike this earth. The books of Revelation and Isaiah give us many details as to what will happen, and why. Even Jerusalem will be hit by a huge earthquake, and so will be many other cities.
A new German AufPostenStehen program was posted on the Web, titled, “Erdbeben in Biblischer Prophezeiung” (“Earthquakes in Biblical Prophecy”).
Norbert Link’s new video-recorded sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (Part 4).”
A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Im Anfang, Teil 5” (“In the Beginning, Part 5”).
by Kalon Mitchell
Growing up in the Church of God, I’ve heard my fair share of people’s stories about how God has helped them in a personal way–whether it be with blessings or protection. And through the years, He has done the same for me on several instances. The most recent intervention occurred just the other day.
As I was driving home from work, winding up the large hill with hair-pin curves that I always take home, there, around the tightest turn, came a large diesel truck towards me. It was hauling a 5×20 covered trailer behind it. I could see that for a truck that size, it was rounding the corner way too fast, and that it was coming into my lane. So I slowed down to a stop about forty feet away and watched as the events played out before me. As the truck continued around the corner, the back right tire on the trailer hit a large rock that was off to the side of the road.
I watched in disbelief as the trailer started to tilt and continued to do so more and more. I could see it coming—the trailer was going to flip, rip off its hitch, and the truck might flip too; and truck and trailer would all come crashing into me, possibly even pushing me off the side of the mountain.
Then it happened. The trailer drove on one wheel in about a 45 degrees angle, and I thought for sure the trailer was about to tip over, but all of a sudden, it slammed back on to the ground. As truck and trailer passed me, the driver had a shocked look on his face. I gave him a big thumbs up.
As I started to drive away, I was hit by the fact that there was no physical way that the trailer should have done that. The only explanation was that God was indeed watching out over me. I said a prayer, thanking God for sparing my life. I was reminded again that God observes us at all times. He is always right there, not around the corner. It is true: I am not to tempt Him by placing myself in harm’s way, but when there are unforeseen instances where I need His protection, He will and does watch over me.
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
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