Update 541


The Seventh Trumpet

On May 19, 2012, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled, “The Seventh Trumpet”.

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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The Challenge

by Rene Messier (Canada)

One of the major responsibilities which Christ gave His Church is to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness. Failing to do so would have devastating consequences for all of us.

We understand that we can only move forward in this task, when God provides us with both the income and the opportunities or open doors. The fact that we are not a large group of tens of thousands of members does not diminish our duty to do what we can with what is being given to us.

This responsibility will be carried forward into the Millennium, after the return of Christ, and we know by what is written in the 14th chapter of the book of Zechariah that some nations will not accept the gospel message gladly and with open arms—because that message includes obedience to God’s laws and the keeping of the Sabbath and the annual Holy Days. It will require a change of heart for carnal people to accept God’s law, because the carnal mind is enmity against the law of God, and unwilling and unable to keep it. So, at first, man’s animosity towards the gospel message will continue to exist.

Notice Zechariah 14:16-19:

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

The gospel message includes a warning to this world, pointing at horrible times to come, before Christ returns. Today, many will not listen, but this must not discourage us to fulfill our commission. The major harvest of the sowing of the seed of God by God’s servants throughout mankind’s existence will come to fruition in the Millennium and during the Great White Throne Judgment period.

Just because we are small doesn’t mean we have no impact. A mustard seed almost looks like dust, yet it grows up to become a large tree. The challenge of proclaiming God’s gospel is before us now in this day and age, and this task will continue in the ages to come. Let us ensure that we are about our Father’s business in announcing to this world the only hope for all of mankind.

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We begin reporting on Angela Merkel’s defeat in the most recent state election, but we should not be too quick to jump to premature conclusions regarding her political survival or her goal to save the euro. We also address the ongoing crisis in Greece and introduce you to the exciting life of German Finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Turning our attention to the USA, we quote from an article, written by a homosexual author, stating that Mr. Obama became the first “gay president,” and we also report on the worldwide disappointment over his presidency, as well as the difference between the European approach and the American approach to the financial crisis.

We focus on attempts of some Arab nations to unite, trying to use the EU as a pattern; and we speak of dangerous developments in the Far East, including in Pakistan, India and China.

We conclude with articles of diverse topics: The mysterious death of many dolphins and seabirds defies scientific explanations; and the incredible increase of repeat abortions and preparations to implant microchips in humans irrespective of the obvious dangers–something which defies sound human reasoning and boggles the mind!

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Trouble for Angela Merkel…?

Der Spiegel wrote on May 15:

“Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity policy suffered twin blows in Europe when Socialist Francois Hollande, a critic of her strict approach, won the French presidency and Greek voters firmly rejected the painful reforms imposed on them. On Sunday came a further major setback for Merkel when her conservative Christian Democrats suffered a big defeat in an election in the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It weakens her at home at a time when opposition to her crisis strategy is mounting across Europe…

“German media commentators say the defeat is largely attributable to the weakness of the CDU’s candidate for state governor, Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, and that Merkel will be much harder to defeat in the 2013 general election. But they also say that the result is likely to make the left-wing opposition to her far more confrontational and less ready to compromise on upcoming issues such as the ratification of the fiscal pact, for which Merkel needs a two-thirds majority in parliament.

“Invigorated by their new-found strength, the Social Democrats and Greens are likely to demand concessions in return for supporting the pact that would enshrine budget discipline into the constitutions of 25 of the EU’s 27 member states, commentators say. The pact is central to Merkel’s increasingly unpopular strategy for… saving the euro…”

… Not Really…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 15:

“The chancellor’s personal approval ratings remain high, and opinion polls show the majority of Germans support her European strategy, which they see as the best way to limit the impact of the crisis on their personal finances… As long as that doesn’t change, Merkel won’t significantly soften her stance. Minor concessions are all France’s new Socialist president François Hollande… can expect… There is no question that Merkel faces a tougher time both at home and abroad, and that she is looking increasingly isolated after losing her main ally in Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy.

“But she will adapt and move on, as she has many times before, and her domestic support is likely to remain underpinned by Germany’s continued strong economic performance, confirmed again on Tuesday with stronger-than-expected GDP data showing a 0.5 percent rise in the first quarter thanks to a surge in exports… The chancellor said on Monday that the North Rhine-Westphalia election had been a ‘bitter, painful defeat’ for her party, but she signalled she would stand firm on austerity, saying: ‘It does not affect the work we have to do in Europe…’”

Greek Debacle Threatens Europe

The Telegraph reported on May 14:

“Raising the spectre of a Greek exit, the German chancellor said ‘solidarity for the euro’ was threatened by the ongoing political crisis in Athens. Stock markets around the world fell sharply with fears mounting that a euro break-up could lead to renewed financial turmoil… The cost of Spanish government borrowing also hit a record high since the single currency was introduced because of concerns that the crisis will spread… Attempts to form a new government in Athens have been thwarted…

“An outgoing Greek minister warned that the country could descend into ‘civil war’ amid the chaos of a euro exit… New elections may be held next month [Der Spiegel reported on May 15 that “Greece will hold a new election in June after President Karolos Papoulias failed on Tuesday to persuade parties to form a government”] and Greek voters are likely to be warned by European leaders that their country may be ejected from the euro if they do not support parties backing austerity measures… A report from Fitch, the credit rating agency, said yesterday that the British economy may not re-emerge from recession before 2014 if there is a ‘shock case’ of a disorderly Greek exit from the euro. Germany and the European Central Bank are thought to have drawn up detailed plans for a Greek exit for the euro…

“Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister,… said the advantages of Greece staying in the euro outweighed any perceived gain from exiting the single currency… ‘The price if they decide to leave the euro is very high. It would cause a huge amount of turbulence for all of us’… The Foreign Office also has plans to evacuate British citizens from Greece if it becomes dangerous…”

The Guardian added on May 14: “Chancellor Angela Merkel… stressed that Greece would ‘always’ be in the EU, a statement interpreted as meaning it might not always be in the euro…”

It is conceivable that Greece will give up the euro and depart from the eurozone, but it is not realistic to assume that the euro itself will be abandoned.

A Bank Run to Union?

Reuters wrote on May 17:

“A spreading bank run could hasten Greece’s exit from the euro zone but it certainly doesn’t have to end that way…

“…if things get worse in Greece, as they are almost certain to, depositors elsewhere in the euro zone may follow suit and withdraw money from banks in weaker countries. Deposits in Italian and Portuguese banks have dropped, relatively gently, though Italian deposits are still near earlier peaks.

“More withdrawals will be no surprise, whatever you think of the game of chicken between Greece and the rest of Europe. The opportunity cost of moving money is low, and even if the money is not deposited elsewhere, very low interest rates impose little penalty on cautious savers stuffing bank notes into mattresses.

“The logic is even less strong for a bank run in Spain, for example, forcing a disorganized euro exit. So long as Spain, or Portugal, is making minimal progress on reforms – and they are doing better than that now – there is even less incentive for the ECB to become spooked by a rush of questionable collateral onto its books.

“And if Spanish bank funds flee, the math will be the same for the ECB (European Central Bank) but the scale will be far different and argues further for forbearance rather than retribution. Something on the lines of a third of Greek deposits, or a bit more than 70 billion euros, have left its system. Extrapolate that to the Spanish system and you are looking at more than 500 billion euros.

“That could spook Germany and the ECB, but more likely it brings Europe into a sort of de facto fiscal union, in which the affairs, credits and debits of the players are so intertwined as to utterly resist detangling. The ECB will not end the euro on its own authority, and in the event of a huge bank run it will probably prove impossible for politicians to make the decision to pull the plug quickly. That will leave the south owing the north even more, but the north having less ability to collect or dodge. Some sort of common bond issuance or fiscal union might actually be hastened by a bank run, ironically enough.”

The inevitability of a growing European unification–in spite of contrary opinions–is coming to pass in this generation, and it is one of the great events of biblical prophecy which is now finding fulfillment. Our booklet, “Europe in Prophecy–The Unfolding of End-Time Events,” offers even more details, and it is available, free, at www.eternalgod.org.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble Recipient of Charlemagne Prize

Deutsche Welle reported on May 17:

“German Finance Minister and veteran of several governments Wolfgang Schäuble is seen as a man for tough jobs. On Thursday, he received the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in Aachen.

“Ever since the election in [the] fall [of] 2009, Wolfgang Schäuble has been the most important minister in Angela Merkel’s government. He’s the one with the most weight in political affairs, and, as the government’s real number 2, is deeply involved in international politics – a constant presence at every important international gathering. On Thursday, he [received] the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen for his service for European unification, an honor previously bestowed on the likes of Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, and indeed Merkel.

“Schäuble, a lawyer who hails from the Baden region of south-western Germany, is one of the most important players in the current efforts to rescue the euro… Now he’s being asked to take on a key formal position in solving the crisis by becoming head of the eurogroup…

“… in 1981, he started his long intense relationship with Helmut Kohl. In 1984, Schäuble became Kohl’s chancellery minister… Then when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, Schäuble became West Germany’s negotiator with the former communist East Germany over the Reunification Treaty. In less than twelve months, on October 3, 1990, unity had been achieved.

“But only a few days later, Schäuble was the victim of an assassination attempt. On October 12, in a public house in the town of Oppenau near his home in Baden, a psychopath shot him, injuring him severely. His life suffered a drastic change: from then on, he was confined to a wheelchair. Schäuble is a public servant with a strong, almost Prussian sense of duty. What followed was the fight of his life. He refused to give in, and took up his duties as interior minister after just six weeks.

“In January 2000 Schäuble had to admit that he accepted a DM 100,000 donation for his party from an arms trade lobbyist. Schäuble didn’t tell the whole truth to parliament: it’s an error for which he has never forgiven himself and for which he has publicly asked for forgiveness. As a consequence, in February 2000, he resigned as head of his party’s parliamentary group. He and Kohl became bitter enemies; in a television interview in April, Schäuble spoke of ‘an intrigue with criminal elements,’ and ‘a campaign to destroy me personally’…

“At that time, Angela Merkel was CDU secretary general. In December 1999 she wrote her now famous article in which she advised her party to ‘emancipate’ itself from Helmut Kohl… Once she became strong enough, she called [Schäuble] back into government. In 2005, he became interior minister in the grand coalition with the Social Democrats, and in 2009 he was unexpectedly given the finance ministry…

“Schäuble is passionate about Europe, and is committed to greater integration. The Franco-German alliance is particularly important to him. Whether it was the European single market in 1986, the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the Stability and Growth Pact in 1996 or the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 – Schäuble was there. He is highly respected in the EU, and across party lines in Germany. He’s flattered when people call him the last convinced European in Berlin, and he certainly doesn’t look tired of his job.

“He continues to repeat that the euro ‘is a stable currency, and, so long as we don’t make any serious mistakes, it will continue to be so… Europe has always emerged strengthened from every crisis. It’ll be the same this time,’ he insists. ‘In ten years we will have a structure that will be much closer to what one calls a political union.’ That’s his aim…”

Wolfgang Schäuble was born in 1942. He has been married since 1969, and the couple have four children. He defended the Iraq war and pleads for integration of Islam into German society, while stressing that certain core Christian doctrines must not be compromised. He is a convicted Protestant and still remembers the time when his Catholic father was excluded from the Catholic sacraments because his son Wolfgang was baptized by the Protestant church.

Obama the “First Gay President”

Newsmax wrote on May 13:

“President Barack Obama’s unplanned, sudden endorsement of gay marriage may pose potential political challenges for him in the upcoming months, but at least one news organization is proclaiming the married father of two the nation’s ‘first gay president.’ Newsweek on Sunday released the cover of their next issue, which features President Obama with a rainbow halo and the title of ‘The First Gay President.’… The article accompanying the cover was written by the news magazine’s nominally conservative blogger, Andrew Sullivan, who is an openly gay. ‘When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work,’ Sullivan said in a statement about the article…

“Obama only made his move after his hand was forced by Vice President Joe Biden, who last week said he was quite comfortable with gay marriage. The next day, Education Secretary Arne Duncan seconded Biden with his own support… some conservatives have applauded the move. Several pundits last week pointed out that before Obama, the highest ranking government leader to endorse legalized gay unions was former Vice President Dick Cheney…”

Indeed, President Obama’s official stance on this matter was predictable.

“Around World, Obama’s Presidency a Disappointment”

The Associated Press wrote on May 12:

“In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic… many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.

“In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives…

“Obama also has a strained relationship with Israel, where Bush was popular. Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been cool to one another in their handful of meetings. Obama’s Mideast envoy, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, made no progress during two years of frequent meetings with both sides before quitting last year…

“Obama remains popular in Japan, one of the United States’ closest allies, though that may be a matter of style over substance… America’s stature has taken a hit in Japan since the 2008 financial meltdown, which highlighted the excesses of U.S.-style capitalism to many Japanese.”

On the other hand, international confidence in a future Republican President is, overall, very low.

Germany and USA on Different Planets?

The Washington Post wrote on May 17:

“There are 4,169 miles between Berlin and Washington. But on economic policy, the two capitals sometimes appear to be on different planets. Germany has taken a tough-love, austerity-driven approach to solving Europe’s recession, pushing struggling countries to sharply cut public spending and chop their debt even as their economies slump. The United States confronted its own crisis with an $862 billion stimulus package in 2009, which brought debt levels to heights not seen since shortly after World War II but may have dulled the worst blow of its downturn.”

Those differences will contribute to an ever-increasing alienation between the USA and Europe.

Will Some Arab Nations Unite?

CNN reported on May 13:

“The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council will… discuss transforming their six nations into a union, similar to the European Union. The idea of the GCC nations to integrate into one entity — and replace what exists now as simply a cooperative — was first floated by Saudi Arabia in December… The GCC is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates… The GCC was formed in 1981, soon after Iran instituted a Shiite theocracy and went to war with primarily Sunni Iraq.”

While many in Europe question the institution of the EU, some Arab states see the great advantages of such a unity for their cause.

Paralyzed Relationship Between USA and Pakistan

The Economist wrote on May 12:

“Relations between the United States and Pakistan, supposed ‘strategic’ allies, have been paralysed since American aircraft mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops stationed on the Afghan border in November, in an awful ‘friendly fire’ incident. Now, like two bickering children unable to swallow their pride and make up, President Barack Obama’s administration is unwilling to apologise over the deaths, and the Pakistani government has refused to reopen its roads for supplying NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, after closing them as punishment… America is furious that Pakistan is not doing more to stop the Haqqani network, an Afghan insurgent group based in Pakistan’s tribal areas, from pulling off attacks in Afghanistan…

“The border deaths in November capped a year of plummeting relations. In January 2011 a CIA employee gunned down two men in the street in Lahore. In May Pakistan was humiliated by the American discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden in a northern Pakistani town… Strikes by American drone aircraft against suspected extremists in Pakistan’s tribal areas make a mockery of the country’s sovereignty. Worse, the strikes often hit the ‘wrong’ jihadi fighters as far as Pakistan is concerned—that is, groups with whom the armed forces have reached an accommodation in order to battle other outfits it regards as more dangerous.

“Pakistan also wants payments, stalled two years ago, that it is owed under an American programme to reimburse the country for its military operations along the Afghan border. Pakistan reckons it is owed around $2 billion… Once Pakistan gets the apology it wants, it should be willing to allow NATO supplies back through its territory. But it no longer wants to give free passage. A transit tax would be imposed on each container, with the sum now being haggled over between the two sides. Before the route was cut, NATO had already managed drastically to cut its logistical reliance on Pakistan, down to about 30% of supplies, with the rest going through a much more expensive route via Central Asia, or by air…”

As the next article shows as well, most Far Eastern countries will ultimately unite against the Western powers.

The Asian Arms Race

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 20:

“Asia’s military might appears to be growing by leaps and bounds these days. Just last month, China announced a significant increase to its military spending. Since then, North Korea attempted (and failed) to launch a rocket into space, the United States began a joint military exercise with the Philippines and, on Thursday, South Korea tested a missile whose range includes all of North Korea.

“The biggest headlines, however, have been reserved for India’s testing on Thursday of a long-range ballistic missile… When the rocket, the Agni V, becomes part of the Indian military’s arsenal in 2015, the country will become the most recent member in the exclusive club of nations that possess ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads — a group that includes China, Britain, France, Russia, the US and, it is widely assumed, Israel… Most attention… was focused on what appear to be Indian efforts to both catch up to China militarily and to underline its supremacy over neighboring Pakistan, which also has nuclear weapons… Furthermore, New Delhi has purchased nuclear submarines from Russia and is seeking to modernize its tank fleet. In 2011, the country was the world’s biggest purchaser of arms…

“Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘… The new economic powers in the [Asian] region are expanding their armies, naval fleets and nuclear capacities as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Those who had dreamed that the atomic age would slowly fade away following the end of the Cold War must now confront reality — and China and India are leading the charge. The two powers — which are slowly turning their regional weight into global influence — are counting on the nuclear deterrent. India’s test underlines this intention… An end to the arms race is not in sight. Even if the US wanted to, its influence in Asia would no longer be enough to slow this development.’”

Mysterious Deaths of Dolphins and Seabirds

The New York Times wrote on May 7:

“Late last year, fishermen began finding dead dolphins, hundreds of them, washed up on Peru’s northern coast. Now, seabirds have begun dying, too, and the government has yet to conclusively pinpoint a cause… At least 877 dolphins and more than 1,500 birds, most of them brown pelicans and boobies, have died since the government began tracking the deaths in February, the Environment Ministry said last week. The dolphins, many of which appeared to have decomposed in the ocean before washing ashore, were found in the Piura and Lambayeque regions, not far from the border with Ecuador. The seabirds, which seem mostly to have died onshore, have been found from Lambayeque to Lima…

“Over the weekend, the Health Ministry issued an alert advising people to avoid the waters around Lima and to the north… It advised people not to eat raw seafood… and recommended that people disposing of dead marine animals wear gloves and masks. The warning sowed confusion, given earlier government statements indicating that the seabirds were probably starving rather than falling ill from some disease…”

The Bible tells us that in these end times, more and more animals will die.

Abortion a Lifestyle Choice?

Mail on Line wrote on May 13:

“The Health Service [in Great Britain] is spending around £1million a week providing repeat abortions. Critics said figures revealed yesterday show thousands of women are using the procedure as a form of contraception. It is not unknown for some women to have seven, eight or even nine terminations in their lifetime.

“According to the statistics, single or unmarried women account for five out of every six repeat terminations. Around a third of all abortions carried out in England and Wales are repeats. The figures will fuel the debate on whether abortions, which cost the NHS up to £1,000 each, are being sanctioned as more of a lifestyle choice than a medical requirement.”

This sad development is by no means restricted to Great Britain. Please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”, which shows you from the Bible WHY abortion is wrong.

Microchips for Everyone?

Infowars reported on May 9:

“What would you do if someday the government made it mandatory for everyone to receive an implantable microchip for identification purposes? Would you take it? Such a scenario may not be as far off as you might think… In the United States today, millions of dogs and cats have been microchipped, thousands of elderly Americans with Alzheimer’s disease have been microchipped, and the U.S. military is developing ‘medical devices’ that contain microchips to monitor the health of soldiers. Once the government has microchips implanted in all of our soldiers, how long will it be before they want to put a microchip in all government employees for the sake of national security? Once the government has microchips in all government employees, how long will it be before they want to put a microchip in you?…

“The spread of implantable microchips is going to mostly be voluntary for right now. Large numbers of Americans have already taken them, and that number is going to greatly increase in the years ahead… We will be told that such programs are necessary to prevent identity fraud, to track criminals and terrorists, to crack down on tax evaders and to strengthen ‘national security’… some scientists are working on developing ‘edible microchips.’ These edible microchips would be used by doctors to monitor your health… if it was possible would you connect your brain directly to the Internet? It may not be as far off as you might think… But wouldn’t connecting your brain to the Internet also be incredibly dangerous? Couldn’t someone download ‘viruses’ directly into your brain? Couldn’t someone find a way to ‘control’ your brain remotely?… We will be sold on the ‘benefits’ of implantable microchips, but the public will rarely be told about the potential dangers…

“What would happen if a totalitarian government started requiring that all citizens have their ‘identities’ put on a microchip and implanted into them? It would certainly make it easier for a ‘Big Brother’ government to watch, monitor and track everyone… What would you do if you could not get a bank account without a microchip? What would you do if you could not go shopping without a microchip? What would you do if you could not get a job without a microchip? What would you do if you could not conduct a single financial transaction without a microchip?… Certainly most people would be very tempted to take the microchip so that they could take care of their families and lead fairly normal lives. Those that rebelled and didn’t take the microchip would be ostracized and would be considered enemies of the state. They would be hunted down and hauled off to prison… Don’t think that such a scenario is impossible.”

These are interesting questions. Even though the implantation of a microchip is NOT to be confused with the mark of the beast, spoken of in the book of Revelation, governmental control via microchips should not be underestimated. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

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Where is the Ark of the Covenant today? Will it be found prior to Christ’s return?

Numerous theories exist as to what happened to the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant. Some claim, based on the uninspired Second Book of the Maccabees, that Jeremiah hid it in a cave on Mount Nebo in Jordan when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem.  The non-inspired book of 1 Esdras claims that the Babylonians carried the “ark of God” to Babylon. There are also those who say that it is located today beneath the Temple Mount.

Others state that it was transported to Ethiopia, South Africa or another African country. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims to possess the Ark of the Covenant not far from the border with Eritrea. It states that the object is currently kept under guard in a treasury, and that it was allegedly brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I, who, it is postulated, left a forgery in the temple of Jerusalem.

Some Shiite Muslims believe that the Ark of the Covenant will be found by the Mahdi at the Lake of Tiberias, while some Catholics believe that it is kept in the Vatican’s Basilica of St. John Lateran, after having  survived the pillages of Rome by Genseric and Alaric I.

The Bible does not confirm that any of these ideas (and there are many more variations) are accurate. If there was evidence for the accuracy of any of those theories, it would have to be based on archeological and historical facts, but so far, none have been produced.

A popular idea postulates that the Jews will find the Ark of the Covenant prior to the coming of the Messiah, and that this occurrence will prompt the Jews to commence sacrifices in Jerusalem.

The Bible does not endorse this idea, either. It is strictly the product of man’s imagination, without any biblical evidence. Even though it is true that the Jews will bring sacrifices in Jerusalem prior to Christ’s return, and that the biblical evidence strongly suggests that they will be brought at a newly-constructed temple, there is no evidence that that temple will contain the original Ark of the Covenant, which was built under Moses.

Rather, it is to be assumed that the new temple will contain newly constructed things, such as an altar. Whether it will contain a newly constructed Ark of the Covenant, we cannot know for sure. It is interesting that the new millennial temple, as described in the book of Ezekiel, does not mention the Ark of the Covenant.

This is in harmony with a profound statement in Jeremiah 3:16 that when Jesus Christ rules in Jerusalem and the people of Israel and Judah multiply in the Promised Land, the Ark of the Covenant will no longer come to mind nor be remembered nor visited.

There are those who believe that the physical Ark of the Covenant, which had been built under Moses, was somehow transferred to God’s third heaven, and that it is located there today. This concept is based on passages such as Revelation 11:19 and 15:5 where we read that the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle will be seen in heaven.

However, this is a misunderstanding of Scripture.

What will be seen in heaven are spiritual things, which will apparently be manifested to the human eye for a short time. The ark, which will be seen, will not be the physical ark (there are no physical things in the third heaven, nor could there be), but these are the spiritual things after which the physical things were patterned. (For further information on this intriguing subject, please read our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World”).

When God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness and the Ark of the Covenant, He told him that he had to make it exactly according to the pattern that had be shown to him (Exodus 25:9).

Paul explains in the book of Hebrews that these physical things were indeed copies of the spiritual things. The Bible does in fact teach that there is a spiritual Ark of the Covenant, as well as a tabernacle and even a temple, in God’s third heaven, and that it is these spiritual things (not the physical copies), which will apparently be manifested to the human eye for a very short time, just prior to Christ’s return.

We read in Hebrews 9:11 that Christ came as a high priest by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, which is not made by human hands, and which is not part of this physical creation. Hebrews 9:23-24 adds that as the pattern of the physical things were purified, so the heavenly things had to be purified with even better sacrifices, and that Christ did not enter the holy places made with hands, which are just figures or copies of the spiritual, but He entered the third heaven itself.

It is in this context that we must understand the passages in Revelation 15:5 that the temple of the tabernacle of the covenant in heaven will be opened, and in Revelation 11:19 that the temple of God will be opened in heaven and that in His temple the Ark of the Covenant will be seen.

One of the reasons for this remarkable miracle might be that God will re-emphasize the continuing force and effect of His Law. Remember that under Moses, the two tablets of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, were placed in the Ark of the Covenant.

We see from the foregoing that the Bible does not tell us whether or not the original Ark of the Covenant is still in existence today, and it does not suggest that it will ever be found. The prophecy in Jeremiah 3:16 appears to state the opposite. To base prophetic propositions and speculations on the concept that the original Ark of the Covenant WILL be found in the future is not in accordance with the pure Word of God.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

Where will the marriage supper between Christ and His Church be held?

Revelation 19:7-9 states the following about the marriage between Christ and His Church: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb [Jesus Christ, compare Revelation 5:1-14] has come, and His wife [the Church, compare Ephesians 5:31-32] has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”‘…”

Please note that this Scripture does not say where the marriage supper will take place. Other Scriptures strongly imply that it will take place here on earth, after Christ’s return.

Christ gave a parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22, presupposing that the wedding feast or marriage supper will take place here on earth. We read in verse 11: “But when the king [who had arranged the marriage for his son, verse 2] came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.” In the parable, “the king” represents God the Father, and “the son” represents Jesus Christ. If the marriage supper were to take place in heaven, the guest without a wedding garment could not have been there — neither as a physical being nor as a fallen spirit being. He could not have been a disqualified saint, as there are no physical beings in heaven and as the disqualified saint would not have been changed to spirit. Nor could he have been a “fallen” spirit being, i.e., Satan or a demon, as by that time, Satan and his angels will have no more access to God’s throne in heaven. Revelation 12:8 speaks of a time, before the marriage supper, stating, “…nor was a place found for them [Satan and his demons, verse 7] in heaven any longer.”

Christ tells another parable in Matthew 25, comparing the Church with five wise and five foolish virgins, “who went out to meet their bridegroom” (verse 1). While the five foolish virgins tried to buy oil for their lamps, the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) came, “and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut” (verse 10). We then read that “afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!'” Christ, though, refused them entrance to the wedding supper. Where did the five foolish virgins go? Obviously, as physical humans, they could not go to heaven to try to get entrance there. Christ’s parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins clearly presupposes and implies that the events take place here on earth.

Nevertheless, some have suggested that the wedding supper will take place in heaven before Christ returns to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God. It has been suggested that Christ will come back to take His saints to heaven, have the marriage supper in heaven with them, and then return with His saints to establish the Kingdom of God.

However, the Bible does not teach that Christ will return “twice.” The Bible is consistent that Christ comes back a second time to reward His saints and, at the same time, to punish the wicked that are still alive (Matthew 24:27-39; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10). God’s saints will be resurrected and changed to immortality at the time of Christ’s return and at the sound of the seventh and last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). However, at the same time, that is, at the sound of the last trumpet, Christ will also begin His reign over the world (Revelation 11:15-18). There can only be ONE seventh and last trumpet. There cannot be a sound of the seventh trumpet to signal the resurrection of the saints and their “going to heaven with Christ” for the marriage supper, and ANOTHER seventh or last trumpet to signal the subsequent return of Christ with His saints from heaven to set up the Kingdom of God.

Rather, we read that Christ will return; that at that time, the saints will be resurrected and changed and meet Christ in the air; and that Christ and His saints will descend immediately together on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). That particular day is a twenty-four-hour-day, as Zechariah 14:6-7, 9 reveals.

Some have suggested that Revelation 14 speaks of a marriage supper in heaven. However, Revelation 14 does not mention a marriage supper. It states that the Lamb and 144,000 of those “who were redeemed from the earth” stand on Mount Zion (verse 1), and that they are “without fault before the throne of God” (verse 5). Although “Mount Zion” can refer to a spiritual mountain in heaven (compare Hebrews 12:22), it can also refer, of course, to the physical mountain here on earth. The saints might be standing, on Mount Zion, before God’s transportable throne, which was on earth before (compare Ezekiel 1). Or, verse 5 might just express the thought that they are without fault “in the sight of” God. The Greek word for “before,” i.e., “enopion,” literally means, “in the sight of” or “in the face of.” (Compare, Luke 1:15; 16:15; Acts 4:19). Even today, we appear daily “before” God’s throne in heaven, through prayer.

Another Scripture that has been used to suggest that the marriage supper will be in heaven, is Revelation 15:2. Again, this passage does not even remotely suggest a marriage supper. The passage states that saints are “standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.” This is another vision (verse 1), which, simply judging by its wording alone, without consideration of other Scriptures, does not have to take place in heaven. The sea of glass could very well be a reference to a sea of glass before Christ’s throne which will be here on this earth. In addition, we find in Ezekiel 1:22, 26, that Christ’s transportable throne has a firmament or crystal, in other words, a sea of glass. Note, for instance, that we read in Exodus 24:9-10: “Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.” In addition, the saints in Revelation 15:2 are portrayed as standing on a sea of glass, singing the victory song of Moses. This reminds us, of course, of God’s victory over the Egyptians, when they drowned in the Red Sea. Therefore, this vision might very well picture the saints’ symbolic victory over the beast power (compare verse 2), as ancient Israel was victorious over Egypt. This is especially true in light of the fact that Exodus 15:18 conveys a future victory of God and His people over God’s enemies: “The LORD SHALL reign forever and ever.” One must be careful not to deduce an entire teaching from a symbolic phrase.

A third Scripture quoted to support the speculation that the marriage supper takes place in heaven is Revelation 7:9-17. Again, nothing is mentioned in this Scripture referring to a marriage supper. We are told that a great multitude of all nations stands before the throne and before the Lamb. This is clearly another vision — such as the vision of dead souls under God’s altar that cry out with a loud voice (Revelation 6:9-11). Still, even when analyzing carefully the text of the vision in Revelation 7, we find that the described event does not occur in heaven. Revelation 7:14 says that the saints “washed their robes and made them white.” Verse 15 says, “Therefore they ARE before the throne of God, and SERVE Him day and night in His temple.” This cannot be happening in heaven, as the last part of the verse says that God “WILL dwell among them.” If this passage described a situation in heaven, God would ALREADY dwell among them.

The passage conveys, however, that those of the great multitude, who had to go through the Great Tribulation to become spiritually clean, will from that time on serve God daily in His temple — the Church, a spiritual organism, the bride of Christ. We are today the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 2:21). But we are not in heaven.

The idea that the marriage supper will be held in heaven is nowhere taught in the Bible. All Biblical passages strongly imply that it will occur here on earth, after Christ’s return to this earth.

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Norbert and Johanna Link and the entire family are saddened to announce the death of Norbert’s mother, who died peacefully on May 8 from congestive heart failure on their flight from Denver to San Diego. A Memorial Service in honor of Frau Link will be held on Sunday, June 10, at 12:00 noon, in the Ramona Women’s Club, where Frau Link attended services, when visiting the US. We welcome your continued prayers for strength and comfort, as well as your attendance at the Memorial Service.

Norbert Link’s most recent video-taped sermon, “Why?”, which was recorded on May 12, 2012, was posted on YouTube.

Proposed Feast of Tabernacles Newspaper

As decided during our recent conference and as previously announced, we would like to publish a special news edition for the Feast of Tabernacles 2012. As we are bombarded by negative news these days, signalizing the soon-coming end of this present evil world, we would like to concentrate on the news as it might be announced once Jesus Christ has returned and begun to establish God’s government on this earth. We would like our readers to contribute to this special news edition by  communicating first with and sending proposed articles to Mr. Brian Gale.

Set forth below are some guidelines:

* Assume that the date of the newspaper is 20 years into the Millennium

* No undue speculative situations

* Suggest a maximum number of words to 250 – 400 words per article

* All articles to be uplifting and encouraging for the future we are all looking forward to

* Anyone to be able to submit an article including children and teens

* It would be helpful if anyone who has an idea, to let Brian Gale know the subject so that he can try and avoid unnecessary duplication.

* All articles to be submitted to Brian Gale at bgofderby@btinternet.com

* Brian Gale to collate all of the articles and submit to Mr. Link and/or the editorial team.   Karen Myers has agreed to put the project together

* It would be helpful if articles could be submitted sooner rather than later in order to facilitate this project

Some suggested subjects:

• Churches in every area – Sabbath and Holy Days to be kept – only worship of the true God to be allowed

• Education – rewritten curriculum – evolution discarded

• Importance of marriage stressed – living together, rape, homosexuality  and other wrong sexual activities banned

• Food production upgraded

• Health – hospitals no longer needed

• War a thing of the past

• Crime rates drop to zero

• Urban renewal

• Property

• Finance

• Sports – and sportsmanship reintroduced

• Style/Fashion/Clothing

• Cruelty eliminated

• Improvement in technology (spam eliminated)

To help you see what we are envisioning, we are setting forth below two proposed articles:

Sportsmanship in Vogue Again

by Brian Gale

Towards the end of man’s rule, sportsmanship had been overtaken by the necessity to achieve results, seemingly, at all costs due to the rewards received by the “winners.” In fact, sportsmanship was rarely seen and when this happened, it  was looked on as something abnormal. Money ruled and fairness in play, and graciousness, were seen as weaknesses and not to be either encouraged or embraced. Money dominated and standards deteriorated badly.

Wikipedia had made these comments just a few years before Christ’s return: “Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. A sore loser refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a good sport means being a ‘good winner’ as well as being a ‘good loser.’”

However, as those who lived at that time will attest, theory and practice were often poles apart. Grantland Rice, a 20th century writer had written in his poem “Alumnus Football”: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost – but how you played the game.”

Now that the “One Great Scorer is in charge of events” on earth, sportsmanship is the order of the day. Sports are played by participants who perform to the best of their ability. If they win, they are modest in their achievements and are praised by their opponents; if they lose, they praise their victors. And that’s the way that sports should be played, and will be played, for the rest of the Millennium for the benefit of all concerned.

Irrespective of the result of any game or match, as the result of sportsmanship having been compulsorily reintroduced in the new regime, everyone is a winner.

Animal Cruelty Now a Thing of the Past

by Brian Gale

Much has been achieved in the past 20 years since Jesus Christ returned and set up the Kingdom of God on earth.  Many of those achievements are chronicled in this newspaper and one of the most encouraging is the way that animals are now treated.  Of many examples we could consider, let us review just one – that of dogs.

In the age of man, dogs were often badly and shamefully treated; many bought as a gift and soon discarded.  Specifically, many greyhounds who were used for racing which itself was primarily for betting purposes, were often abandoned when they were no longer able to race!  Worse was the fact that some of these had their legs broken and left in the wild to die when they became of no further use–such was the cruelty dished out to man’s “best friend”.  Pit bull terriers had been used in dog fighting so that illegal online gambling operations could flourish.

Many pedigree dogs had suffered from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding and had suffered acute problems because looks had been emphasised over health when breeding dogs for shows.  Examples had been of spaniels with brains too big for their skulls and boxers suffering from epilepsy. 

But that has all changed in the last 20 years.  Cruelty is now, quite simply, not allowed in any sphere of life.  And in the case of dogs, all breeds are now properly cared for and proving what a wonderful pet they are. Good pets enhance the nature of a child or pet owner, and whether they are large or small, they offer a special kind of companionship.  Dogs, and other pets for children, are important for youngsters to learn many important traits including compassion and responsibility.

Someone wrote that “Pets have more love and compassion in them than most humans” and that may have been true in the age of man.  But now, with right government and love permeating the whole of society, the nature of mankind has been transformed and our animal friends are now treated as they should be.

Pets are never critical and accept us for what we are and, at last, they are being rewarded for that approach.   Cruelty is out and care for others, including animals, is in.   What a great change that has been in society!

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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