Faithfulness In Little Things
This Sabbath, Edwin Pope will be presenting the sermon, “Faithfulness in Little Things.”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream”.
"The True Original"
by Dave Harris
If your task were to cut shingles, you would start with an original pattern shingle and make all your cuts from that original. Failure to do so would cause you to end up with shingles of many different sizes. In the same vein, whenever someone has something printed, the best quality is achieved by working from the original. Blurred and indistinct images occur whenever copies of copies are made.
How closely are we duplicating our Christianity from the Original?
We are exceedingly fortunate that we have the Bible as our reference point. 1 Peter 2:21 shows that our example is Christ, and we “…should follow His steps.”
If we take the steps of our lives in this way, then we have assurance that we can enter the “narrow gate” spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 7:14.
He also added these sobering words in this same verse: “…difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Isaiah faced similar challenges in his time. In fact, he was inspired by God to prophesy of our days — the climatic and unparalleled end of this age. There is a significant key to the task he faced that was given to him by God’s pointed warning: “for the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and INSTRUCTED me that I should not walk in the way of this people…” (Isaiah 8:11).
Isaiah was further instructed to fear and obey God. That was how he would be able to not drift over into the path of those who were in rebellion against the true God. We face the same deadly challenge.
How close you and I are to Jesus Christ and His explicit pattern of living can be measured by how much we all walk in the way of this people. Modern society is racing headlong into catastrophe, and we must never let down in the very difficult and ongoing battle to walk as Christ walked.
In the end, when Jesus returns to establish God’s supreme rule and authority, an amazing promise will find its fulfillment in our lives: “…but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2).
In the meantime, we all have much to accomplish, individually. Let us all be careful to NOT walk in the way of the people of this age, but let us carefully follow Jesus Christ — the true Original!
This Week in the News
U.S., IRAQ, AND THE REST OF THE WORLD
On Monday, August 26, Vice President Cheney stated in a somber speech that a strike against Iraq would be advisable sooner rather than later. He pointed out that “the risks of inaction are far greater than the risk of action,” and accused those who disagree of “wishful thinking or willful blindness.”
The rest of the world was quick to condemn what USA Today described as, “the rising rhetoric from Vice President Dick Cheney.”
On Wednesday, August 28, America’s allies in the Arab world opposed an attack on Iraq. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt warned that Arab leaders would not be able to contain outrage in the street in such an event. Saudi Arabia joined Mubarak in reiterating opposition to a U.S. attack. King Abdullah II of Jordan had already stated earlier this month that he rejected U.S. war threats against Iraq.
In addition, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the United States on Wednesday to resist attacking Iraq.
The present position of the German government under Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder against an attack on Iraq is well known. Mr. Schroeder reiterated on Wednesday that “Germany wouldn’t take part in an attack — at least not under my leadership.” While Mr. Schroeder had called an attack on Iraq “an adventure,” Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called it “a mistake.” He added that we need to tell the United States that they are going the wrong way.
While the Chancellor-Candidate of the CDU/CSU, Edmund Stoiber, had — until recently — vouched support for the USA, he surprised the world this Wednesday by stating that, at this time, he and his party would be unable to support and participate in an attack on Iraq. Earlier this week, Canada had likewise refused to give any support to the United States.
In a perhaps all-too-common indecisive fashion of political duplicity, the British government has repeatedly said it is too early to make a decision about whether to participate in such an attack. On Wednesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said on condition of anonymity that Britain has “100% agreed with the U.S. that you have to deal with the issue of weapons of mass destruction.” He added, however, according to USA Today, that “equally, there is a route for Saddam to resolve the issue by giving unfettered access to U.N. inspectors and for him to comply with U.N. sanctions.”
This, however, would not satisfy the Bush administration, as it has been President Bush’s declared goal to see Saddam deposed.
Are we beginning to see, in these political maneuverings, the formation of alliances against the United States, Israel and possibly Great Britain? If we do, we can be certain that the day of Christ’s return is much sooner than many would like to think.
“U.S. STEEL FIRMS LOSE ANOTHER IMPORTANT BATTLE”
With this headline, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, August 28, that the U.S. steel industry suffered its second trade setback as a government panel ruled against imposing anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled steel from five countries (Japan, Australia, India, Sweden, and Thailand). The other defeat occurred one week earlier, when the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office decided to substantially increase the number of imported steel products that are exempt from the tariffs that President Bush imposed in March. This means that nearly a quarter of all steel imports can now enter the United States under normal rules.
While many big U.S. steel companies reacted harshly to the decisions, the European Union and Japan were pleased by the move. Although they vowed to continue pursuing complaints against the tariffs at the World Trade Organization, their praise for the exclusions indicated that they are no longer likely to follow through on threats to retaliate immediately by slapping punitive duties on U.S. exports, according to the Washington Post.
Analyzing what has just occurred, it seems obvious that the United States has given in to pressures from foreign countries. They have thereby set a signal, which might backfire in the long run.
WEST NILE VIRUS IN EUROPE
Bild Online reported on Wednesday that the West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and which has killed so far at least 22 people in the United States, is not uncommon in parts of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. At least one expert has now warned that Germany is not immune from this disease as well, especially since the flooding has left ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The paper continued that the danger is real, and that we don’t know of any medications or immunizations against the disease.
The disease is primarily transmitted by a mosquito of the type “Culex pipens,” which predominantly bites birds. However, recently infected mosquitoes have been found which belong to the type “Aedes albopictus.” This type is known to especially bite humans.
The Bible warns of old and new diseases which will plague mankind. The West Nile virus would most certainly fall into that category.
Sabbath For Jews Only?
Isn’t the Sabbath for the Jews only, and didn’t God introduce the Sabbath to the Jews for the first time in Exodus 16?
It is not correct that the Sabbath is mentioned for the first time in Exodus 16, or that God introduced the Sabbath to the people at that time. The Sabbath is mentioned in the very second chapter of the Bible, where God set it aside as HOLY, to be USED by man for a HOLY purpose.
God created the Sabbath at the time when He created man. We read in Genesis 2:2, “He RESTED on the seventh day from all His work…Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work.” The word for “rested,” in the Hebrew, is “shabath,” and it means, according to Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, “to cease, rest, keep Sabbath.” God created the Sabbath at the time of the creation of man, by RESTING or ceasing from His work, and He “sanctified” that day, that is, He “set it aside for a holy purpose.”
Later, we read, in Exodus 20:11 that God had “rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the SABBATH day and hallowed it.”
Also, we read that God made the Sabbath for MAN — not only for the Jews or the Israelites (Mark 2:27).
The reason that God had to re-introduce the Sabbath to the people in Exodus 16, is that they had come out of slavery in Egypt, where they had FORGOTTEN to keep the Sabbath. They were under hard bondage and forced to work every day, and they were obviously not allowed to keep the Sabbath. So, in time, they got used to not keeping it. Note what God said to Moses, after they had, for the first time, gone out on the Sabbath to gather manna: “HOW LONG do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath…” (Exodus 16:28-29). The people had not kept God’s Sabbath for a very LONG time — that’s why God is asking, “HOW LONG do you refuse” to keep it holy?
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