Update 587



On May 4th, 2013, Eric Rank will give the sermon, titled, “Profit.”
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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Being Right

by Eric Rank

After reading about the events that occurred during the Boston Marathon bomb explosion in April, I was horrified like so many others. However, something I found very intriguing were the allegations that the bombing had been threatened ahead of time. The fact that people witnessed bomb sniffing dogs searching the grounds for explosives offers evidence that a bomb threat may have actually been called in. While the facts may remain a mystery, I could not help but reflect on the moral conundrum that the race officials would have been in, if in fact a bomb threat was received. In such an event a choice must be made to respond. Choosing to publicize the bomb threat may result in public panic, putting spectators in danger, potential humiliation if the threat was a fake, and a failed race event if cancelation was required. Choosing to keep the threat a secret, places the lives of spectators in danger, adds pressure to find the threatened explosives, and incriminates the race officials if the effort to find the explosives fails. One could make an argument that either choice is right, depending on the circumstances.

We may be fortunate enough not to be in the position to have to make life and death decisions right now, but we still have to make moral choices every day. When faced with a decision to make, especially when it involves a moral judgment, the clarity can blur between what is right and what is not. Fortunately, we have the Bible as our guide and rule book to help us judge righteously. Yet even then, the right decisions are not always obvious. In fact, we have proof that our moral judgment sometimes fails. As Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.” If our judgment and our actions based on such judgment were always righteous, we would not sin. While this is true, we cannot go through life refraining from making decisions just because it is difficult and we may fail. Moral paralysis is not an option for a Christian.

What we have to remember is the faith of Jesus Christ must guide our choices if we want to work towards becoming righteous. Any righteous decision that we may attempt on our own is doomed to failure without relying on God’s guidance. The carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7), and therefore cannot be relied upon to guide us down the path of moral righteousness. Paul understood this with clarity, teaching in Philippians 3:8-9, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith…” The righteousness that we work to attain originates with God.

It is reassuring to know that we have the resources at our disposal to be right according to the standards of God. The difficult challenge that we must take to heart is to remove from the equation our own human and carnal assessment of what is right. Only God can inspire us to act righteously, through the faith of Jesus Christ working within us.

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Israel’s request to Pope Francis for help begins our reporting; we continue with reports about Syria’s denial of its use of chemical weapons and the curse of chemical warfare in general; and we speak on the abortions conducted by Planned Parenthood; the American Jewish support of same-sex marriages; and the scandalous behavior of the Child Protective Services in collaboration with certain hospitals and the police in their endeavor to take away children from conscientious parents.

We speak about Germany’s leadership role in Europe and the perceived need to see the Eurozone develop into a fully-fledged political union; we present a report on Italy’s new government, which is not that “new” after all, and conclude with an announcement of the coronation of the new king of the Netherlands.

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Israeli Government Seeks Papal Help for Peace

Newsmax reported on April 30, 2013:

“Israeli President Shimon Peres warned Pope Francis Tuesday that the Middle East is ‘disintegrating’ and that the pontiff ‘has an important role’ to play in bringing peace to the region and the world.

“During their half-hour conversation, Peres said the Middle East is in ‘real existential danger’ and cited the severe lack of employment, of food and water. He warned that if these problems are not resolved, ‘violence and terror will gain a central place, as dangerous weapons fall into the hands of extremists.’

“An Israeli government statement said Peres spoke of the danger of Iran’s nuclear-weapons program and Syria’s ‘huge quantities of chemical weapons.’ He told the Pope that Iran ‘must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons and that Syrian chemical weapons must not fall into irresponsible hands’…

“In its statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis and Peres expressed hopes for a speedy resumption of peace talks and an agreement that draws on ‘courageous decisions’ and the support of the international community. A resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would contribute to peace and stability throughout the region, the Vatican said.

“The Israeli statement said Pope Francis suggested creating ‘a global meeting of hope with the heads of all the world’s faiths and to come out against violence and terror.’ The Pope also condemned anti-Semitism, saying it goes against the beliefs of Christianity and that it ‘must be opposed in every country in the world and every corner of the globe,’ the Israeli statement continued…

“’You have an important role in progressing peace and the belief in it,’ Peres said. ‘I turn to you and ask that within your sermons in front of millions of believers in the world you include the hope for peace in the Middle East and the whole world.’

“He said the Pope’s leadership ‘creates a new spirit of hope for peace, of dialogue between nations and of the promotion of a solution to global poverty and illiteracy.’

“’Sadly, there are many religious leaders in the Middle East and across the world who advocate terror and bloodshed and do so in the name of the Lord,’ he said. ‘We all have an obligation to stand up and say, in a loud and clear voice, that the Lord did not give anyone the authority to murder and carry out bloodshed. Your voice has a great impact in this matter.”

Peace will certainly come to the Middle East and to the whole world, but it will be brought about by the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God’s government over all people–not by this or any future pope! However, there is great prophetic significance in the attention now being given to Rome’s possible role in Jerusalem and the land of Israel. Please watch: “The Beast, His Mark, His Name and His Number,” available at StandingWatch.org, for in-depth analysis of what the Bible reveals about the meaning of today’s news and what you must do to be prepared for events that lie ahead!

Syria Denies Use of Chemical Weapons—Of Course It Would…

AFP wrote on April 27:

“US and British accusations that the regime in Damascus may have used chemical weapons are a ‘barefaced lie,’ Syria’s information minister told Russian television Saturday. ‘First of all, I want to confirm that statements by the US Secretary of State and British government are inconsistent with reality and a barefaced lie,’ Omran al-Zohbi said in an interview published on the Kremlin-funded RT’s website. ‘I want to stress one more time that Syria would never use it — not only because of its adherence to the international law and rules of leading war, but because of humanitarian and moral issues,’ Zohbi said in comments that were published in English on the website.

“US President Barack Obama on Friday warned Syria that using chemical weapons would be a ‘game changer,’ after the US, Israel and Britain all cited signs that the regime attacked with the deadly agent sarin.

“United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon has called on Syria to approve a UN mission of inspectors to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons in the spiralling two-year conflict. But Zohbi told RT that the Syrian government could not trust UN inspectors from Britain and the US… He added that the Syrian government would accept Russian inspectors…Along with China, Russia has blocked several UN Security Council draft resolutions threatening sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

This reminds us of Hitler’s denial of losing World War II when it was obvious that Germany had already lost. Even when Germany had to flee from the Russians, the Nazi propaganda spoke about “victorious retreat.” We are also reminded of Iraq’s lying propaganda spokesman during the US invasion. The fact that Syria vehemently denies any use of chemical weapons seems to confirm that they did use them. And to invite in Russian inspectors, while rejecting inspectors from the UN, the US and GB, does not give us much confidence in the veracity of Syria’s claims.

The Curse of Chemical Warfare

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 27:

“The use of chemical weapons is nothing new. Already in ancient times, the Persians ignited bitumen and sulfur crystals to produce gases to poison Roman soldiers. During the First World War, the use of chlorine gas was widespread, marking the start of the modern era of warfare involving weapons of mass destruction. Altogether, around 124,000 metric tons (137,000 tons) of chemical weapons were utilized during World War I, killing 90,000 people and affecting the health of one million others. German chemist and Nobel Prize-winner Fritz Haber was the key figure in the development of poisonous gases for usage in warfare.

“Chemical weapons have been controversial from the start. Already in 1925, the Geneva Protocol prohibited their use. Despite this, they continued to be employed in World War II, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Their destructive force was particularly evident during an attack on the Iraqi city of Halabja on March 16, 1988, in which around 5,000 people were killed.

“Efforts to ban chemical warfare continued, however, achieving success in April 1997 with the Chemical Weapons Convention, which has to this day been signed by 188 states. Not party to the agreement are Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria. The convention obliges members to destroy existing chemical weapons…

“Chemical weapons are typically lethal chemicals housed in munitions such as mines, hand grenades, bombs, spray tanks and rockets. They either suffocate, paralyze, or poison the victim. Initially, they consisted of poisonous gases, such as chlorine, or hydrogen cyanide; however, these proved to be too volatile. The industry then began producing liquid poisons, which not only affected the lungs but could enter the body through the skin and spread quickly. Particularly potent is mustard gas, which was first produced by a Belgian chemist in 1822 and used to maim and kill thousands of people during World War I.

“Sarin, whose use has been suspected in the current Syrian conflict, is classified as a nerve agent. Developed during World War II, it is fatal even in small doses. It can be inhaled, or can enter the body through skin contact…

“Although not always lethal, exposure to chemical weapons often has devastating health consequences, such as blindness, skin damage and birth defects. Some chemical weapons cause long-lasting environmental contamination. One of these is Agent Orange, a defoliant used by the US military during the Vietnam War. An estimated two to four million people are suffering its after-effects today in the Southeast Asian country…

“The production of chemical weapons is relatively simple. More difficult is the acquisition of the necessary ingredients. The Chemical Weapons Convention also applies to the production and sale of substances which might be converted into chemical weapons. Experts believe that such substances are traded on the international black market.

“In addition to everything else, chemical weapons tend to be highly durable. This is why chemical munitions from the First World War that are still sometimes found today in the German-French border region need to be disposed of with great care. Meanwhile, both the US and Russia are believed to still possess large stockpiles – going against the international convention.”

In Revelation 9:5-6, we read that weapons will be used to torment people for six months, but not to kill them. Apparently, the effect will be so painful that victims will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, but death will flee from them. Apparently, this describes the use and effect of some modern chemical and biological weapons.

Bird-Flu Virus Spreads

Reuters reported on April 27:

“China on Saturday reported its first case of H7N9 bird flu in the southern province of Hunan, the latest sign the virus that has killed 23 people in the country is continuing to spread… This week, the World Health Organization called the virus ‘one of the most lethal’, and said it is more easily transmitted than an earlier strain that has killed hundreds around the world since 2003… Chinese scientists confirmed on Thursday that chickens had transmitted the flu to humans.”

In these end times, more and more untreatable diseases will plague mankind.

God to Bless Planned Parenthood Abortionists?

The Washington Times wrote on April 26:

“President Obama offered a defiant defense of government funding for Planned Parenthood Friday and urged the group’s members to help his administration sign up more women for benefits under his besieged health-care law. The first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, Mr. Obama accused conservative politicians of trying to ‘roll back the clock’ on abortion rights and health-care services for women.”

CNS News added on April 26:

“President Barack Obama praised the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for saving lives and helping women and families in a 12-minute, 3-second speech on Friday, which was enough time for 7.6 abortions to take place at Planned Parenthood clinics, based upon the abortion data in their latest annual report. According to that annual report for 2011-2012, Planned Parenthood and its affiliated clinics performed 333,964 abortions in fiscal 2011. That averages one abortion every 94 seconds…

“The 2011-2012 report states that Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in ‘government health services grants and reimbursements,’ which it states includes ‘payments from Medicaid managed care plans.’ The report also shows that Planned Parenthood’s total assets top $1 billion dollars, specifically $1,244.7 billion…”

The Daily Caller added on April 26:

“President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to deliver a speech to Planned Parenthood on Friday. The organization is America’s leading abortion provider… USA Today reports that President Obama never once mentioned the word ‘abortion’ during his remarks, only the ‘right to choose.’… ‘Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless you,’ Obama concluded.”

We take note of the fact that the leader of the United States vainly calls upon God to bless those whose sole purpose is to murder unwanted babies!

Isn’t It Just Lovely?

The Times of Israel wrote on April 27:

“American Jews show among the highest levels of support for gay marriage, from all American subgroups measured in recent polls, according to figures published this week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. According to five polls of Americans in 2012 and 2013, with the most recent conducted in March 2013, 76 percent of US Jews support legalizing same-sex marriage, while 18% oppose and 8% did not express an opinion… The figure is remarkably high, particularly when compared to the number of Protestants (34%) and Catholics (53%) who support same-sex marriage.

“Jewish support is higher than the support among Democrats (61%), self-described ‘liberals’ (72%), and even among Americans without religious affiliation (75%)…

“The youngest adult Americans are twice as likely to support gay marriage as the oldest. Some 66% of Americans aged 18-29 support it, while just 33% of those over 65 expressed support. All religious groups and political subdivisions saw much higher support for gay marriage among the young. For example, 39% of Republicans aged 29 or younger support legalizing gay marriage, compared to just 16% of Republicans over 65. Among Catholics, support is twice as high (72%) among those aged 18 to 34 as it is among those over 65 (36%).

“Women were also more likely to support gay marriage (52%) than men (44%). The rate of attendance of religious services also has an effect on views on gay marriage… Those with lower attendance were twice as likely, at 60%, to support legalizing gay marriage, compared to the [lower] levels of support, 28%, from those with higher attendance.”

That American Jews should be at the forefront of fighting for ungodly conduct is surprising and telling at the same time.

Scandal—“CPS Takes Baby After Parents Seek Second Medical Opinion”

The Healthy Home Economist wrote on April 27:

“A Sacramento couple is without their 5 month old baby after Child Protective Services sent in the police to forcibly remove the child from their care. A hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 29, 2013 on the incident which was triggered when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took baby Sammy out of Sutter Memorial Hospital and sought a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente, a rival hospital, for Sammy’s flu-like symptoms.

“Anna and Alex were concerned about the quality of care baby Sammy was receiving at Sutter where he was admitted nearly two weeks ago. At one point, Anna questioned the antibiotics Sammy was being given and was alarmed that the nurse administering the treatment didn’t know why the child was receiving them. Anna claims that a doctor later said that Sammy should not have been receiving the medication.

“When doctors began discussing the possibility of heart surgery, the parents decided to leave without a proper discharge in order to have the child examined elsewhere… While at Kaiser Permanente, the police showed up at the request of Sutter. The police told the parents that staff at Sutter had told them that the child was in such a bad state that, as Anna put it, ‘they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.’

“After the police saw that baby Sammy was fine and examined medical records that clearly stated that Sammy was clinically safe to go home, they left. The attending doctor at Kaiser said, ‘I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents.’

“The next day, police came to Alex and Anna’s home. Alex met them outside and was slammed against the wall and pushed to the ground. His keys to the home were forcibly removed from him and the police entered the house to take the baby… News10 of Sacramento spoke with police on the situation and were told to talk to Child Protective Services. CPS said little about the case, only saying on Thursday, April 27 that the child was taken due to severe neglect…

“Sammy is currently in ‘protective custody’ at Sutter Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials refused to comment saying the case was with CPS and law enforcement and they would have to deliver a statement. Alex sums up the situation well. ‘It seems like parents have no right whatsoever,’ he said.

“Indeed. Parents are increasingly becoming irrelevant when it comes to decisions regarding their children’s medical care. Jodi and Scott Ferris experienced a similar traumatic event when they questioned the Hep B vaccination for their baby at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Their baby was also taken by CPS.

“The moral of this story? Tick off doctors and nurses at a hospital and they could very well sic CPS on you – with police breaking down your door in short order. Think long and hard before taking your children to the hospital my friends. Once you go through that door, the medical decisions about your child are no longer within your control.”

This scandalous report about incredible conduct of the police and CPS, as well as the staff of the Sutter Memorial Hospital, did not address a situation in communist Russia or China—it is happening in the so-called free United States. Obviously, our freedom to train our children is systematically being taken away from us. But the murder of innocent children through abortion is condoned and supported by governmental agencies. What incredible hypocrisy and a total reversal of right values!

Merkel’s Germany the Master of Europe

Mail on Line wrote on April 27:

“Angela Merkel does not look like a conqueror… Yet according to one of Germany’s most distinguished intellectuals, Mrs Merkel is ‘the uncrowned Queen of Europe’. In the European power stakes, no one comes close to competing with the German Chancellor… in just a few years, using the European Union as her vehicle, she has succeeded where Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler failed – turning an entire continent into a greater German empire… this is the implication of a devastating new book by the eminent sociologist Ulrich Beck, who teaches at the University of Munich and the London School of Economics.

“According to Professor Beck, one of the most respected scholars of his generation, Germany is now the undisputed master of Europe. And at its head is Angela Merkel…

“Angela Merkel’s Germany is the biggest economy in Europe and the fourth biggest in the world. It is the world’s second largest exporter, raking in some £915 billion every year. And while Britain’s budget deficit in 2012/3 is forecast to be a whopping £120 bn – or eight per cent of our gross domestic product – the Germans are expected to run a small surplus in 2013 and 2014, as they have done so often in recent years.

“All of that has left Mrs Merkel in an extraordinarily strong position. Uniquely amid the shattered economies of the eurozone, Germany stands relatively unscarred from the great financial crisis…

“In much of Europe, she inspires more fear than any other leader for decades. Yet in her native Germany, Mrs Merkel is hugely popular… The Germans have worked hard to become Europe’s top dogs, and unlike their neighbours they have managed their finances with scrupulous responsibility… Angela Merkel has succeeded where so many of her predecessors, with their strutting militarism, peaked helmets and soaring rhetoric, failed. She has made Germany the undisputed master of Europe.

“Not bad for a pastor’s daughter from rural Brandenburg. But as her career has shown, [she] always has the last laugh…”

As we have said for decades, Germany will lead Europe. But as we explain in our ongoing Q&A series on the ten revivals of the ancient Roman Empire, Mrs. Merkel is not the one who will be leading core Europe, consisting of ten nations or groups of nations. Another leader of German or Austrian decent is still going to arise on the world scene.

Eurozone Must Become a Fully-Fledged Political Union

The Guardian wrote on April 28:

“One of Germany’s most influential political thinkers has delivered a stark warning that its post-second world war liberal democracy cannot be taken for granted and its dominant role in managing Europe’s debt crisis could lead to disaster. Jürgen Habermas, the Frankfurt professor whose political thinking has helped shape Germany over the past 50 years, called for the EU to be turned into a supranational democracy and the eurozone to become a fully fledged political union, while lambasting the ‘technocratic’ handling of the crisis by Brussels and European leaders…

“‘The German government holds the key to the fate of the European Union in its hands. The main question is whether Germany is not only in a position to take the initiative, but also whether it could have an interest in doing so,’ he said. ‘The leadership role that falls to Germany today is not only awakening historical ghosts all around us, but also tempts us to choose a unilateral national course or even to succumb to power fantasies of a “German Europe”. ‘We Germans should have learned from the catastrophes of the first half of the 20th century that it is in our national interest to avoid permanently the dilemma of a semi-hegemonic status that can hardly hold up without sliding into conflicts.’

“Habermas’s wakeup call came at the end of a week of similar alarms being sounded on both sides of the country’s borders. The Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, in the presence of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin last week, said there were worries about German domination of the EU ‘everywhere, without exception’”.

And it will happen—a fully-fledged political (and military) union of the Eurozone under German leadership.

Return to Deutschmark Would Cause Serious Damage

The Local wrote on April 30:

“Ditching the euro would cost Germany at least 200,000 jobs and half a percentage point in growth, according to a new study which concluded that Europe’s biggest economy benefited from being within the eurozone.

“Even if Germany were to have to write off the majority of the money it has put into the various euro rescue packages, the study from the Bertelsmann Foundation concluded, it would still be better off sticking with the currency than bailing out. It is not only the large economic figures which benefit from Germany being in the eurozone, the study suggested – the average benefit from having the euro for individuals worked out at around €1,100 a year between 2013 and 2025…

“The Bertelsmann Foundation… did not take into consideration the fact that if Germany were actually to leave the euro, it would probably lead to the collapse of the currency union and a global economic crisis. ‘Germany’s membership of the currency union reduces the cost of international trade and protects against severe currency exchange fluctuations,’ said Aart De Geus, head of the foundation. ‘A return to the Deutschmark would cause significant damage. The Germans would lose income and jobs.’”

Core Policy of Anti-European Party “Insane”

Reuters wrote on April 28:

“A core policy of a new anti-euro party was criticized as ‘economically insane’ by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview published on Sunday. Support for the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which wants Germany to quit the euro and reintroduce the deutsche mark, is at 2 percent, according to a survey by Emnid pollsters also released on Sunday. ‘For Germany, it would be economically insane to exit the euro,’ Schaeuble told German weekly Focus, adding that Switzerland’s struggle with its soaring franc proved how problematic it could be to have a stronger currency.

“Schaeuble warned support for the AfD could still cost the ruling coalition crucial votes in September’s elections. Political analysts say it would be difficult for the AfD, launched a few months ago by a group of renegade academics, journalists and businessmen, to get above the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament in September…

“A majority of Germans continue to back the euro, opinion surveys regularly show, but the AfD is trying to tap into concerns about the mounting costs of bailouts for heavily indebted countries in the southern euro zone… Schaeuble told Focus that even thinkers who had been critical of his government’s bailout policy, such as Germany’s best-known economist Hans-Werner Sinn, believed in the euro. Sinn distanced himself from the AfD in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on Sunday. ‘I believe that it is worth fighting for the euro as such,’ Sinn said. ‘But I believe it is a big error to keep weak southern European countries in the euro at all costs. You do not thereby help these countries and you reduce the probability that the euro will survive,’ he said, adding that struggling economies such as Cyprus and Greece should temporarily leave the euro.

“Schaeuble said the AfD was merely a protest party, feeding on voters’ fears about the crisis. ‘A party, that is only against something, cannot be taken seriously. And it will not be successful in Germany,’ he said.”

Schaeuble is correct with his assessment that the AfD will not be successful in Germany, and that Germany will not abandon the Euro.

Italy’s New Government

Deutsche Welle reported on April 28:

“The cabinet formed by Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is a combination of left- and right-leaning party stalwarts, independents and newcomers. But, the mix could also be a recipe for power struggles…

“Italy’s new head of government managed to combine old and new when forming his government. New faces can be seen in the 21-person team, which includes seven women. One of them is newcomer Cecile Kyenge, a Congolese-born doctor and human rights activist and Italy’s first black minister. She was given the post of integration minister. Another newcomer is German-born Josefa Idem, a former canoeist and winner of multiple Olympic medals. She is now sports and equal opportunities minister…

“But sharing the bench with the new arrivals are members of the old government, who hold some of the most important posts. Infrastructure and Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi hails from former Prime Minister Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PDL) party, as does the new interior minister, Angelino Alfano, who is also assuming the position of deputy prime minister. The particularly high standing of the latter should help relieve Berlusconi’s disappointment over not being able to fill the justice minister post with one of his people. The new justice minister is Anna Maria Cancellieri, an independent left over from the interim government of Prime Minister Mario Monti…

“Berlusconi is pleased with the current political constellation. Although only a quarter of the population voted for his party alliance, he still gets a say in the new government…”

Berlusconi is just not going away…

The New King of The Netherlands

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 30:

“The rather reserved queen Beatrix of the Netherlands hands over her crown to her son Willem-Alexander. He’s somewhat closer to the people, and people across the country are celebrating their new king… Polls suggest that outgoing queen Beatrix (75) and her son, the new king Willem-Alexander (46), are very popular with the people. Almost 75 percent of the population thinks their parliamentary monarchy is the right form of government for the country…

“In a television interview, the new king said he wants to continue in the same vein in which his mother held office. ‘I want to be a king who builds on the traditions of his predecessors. I’m standing for continuity and stability in the country, but I also will be a king who will bring people together and mediate between them.’

“The Dutch constitution is very precise in defining the role of the monarch as head of state. The king can contribute to the formation of the government, since he can name the mediator in the coalition talks…

“The Dutch parliament was hesitant in 2002 when it had to give its legally required consent to Willem-Alexander’s marriage to the non-aristocratic Argentinian Maxima. Her father is controversial because of his role in the Argentinian military dictatorship and because of that he will not be allowed to attend the coronation ceremony. The three predecessors of Willem-Alexander on the throne all had German partners. The Dutch monarchy of Orange-Nassau traditionally has close ties to German aristocracy….”

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Would you please elaborate on the ten European revivals of the ancient Roman Empire? (Part 7)

The ninth resurrection of the Roman Empire under Mussolini and Hitler has ended, and one more revival is prophesied to occur. That last revival of the ancient Roman Empire has been in the making for quite some time, and its final configuration is not that far off.
According to the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, the last European revival of the ancient Roman Empire will be a unification of ten nations or groups of nations, which will give their power to the “beast”—a charismatic political and military leader. This political power bloc will be collaborating with a mighty Church organization claiming to be Christian, but it is a fallen church which has rejected the truth of God and has aligned itself with the political powers of this present evil world.
The last resurrection of the Roman Empire has already begun. And politicians KNOW that they are resurrecting the ancient Roman Empire.
On October 29, 2004, the member states of the EU signed the EU Constitution. Even though it was not ratified by all member states and therefore did not become law (it was later replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which became effective on December 1, 2009, and which included many of the provisions of the EU Constitution), it is still interesting where the EU Constitution was signed.
The EuObserver wrote on October 29, 2004: “Symbolically, the ceremony [took] place in the same room as the signing of the original Treaty of Rome by the then six member states – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg – in 1957.”
The original Treaty of Rome in 1957 gave birth to the unification of Europe. Der Stern Online wrote that that First Roman Treaty signalized “the beginning of the success story of Europe.”
The idea of a united Europe is very much alive. European politicians want it—it is the people who are concerned. But the time will come when the European politicians will have their say. Europe is destined to become a super power. The dream of a united Europe has been around for some time. According to Der Stern Online of March 25, 2004, ‘Voltaire said in 1767 that Europe will become a great republic of cultivated spirits. Shortly thereafter, Immanuel Kant spoke of a European House. In 1849, Victor Hugo coined enthusiastically the phrase, ‘United States of Europe’ – a slogan that was later used by Winston Churchill during a speech in 1943.”
But things really began to shape up with the introduction of the euro. On January 1, 1999, the euro was introduced. Today, it is one of the most powerful currencies in the world.
Business Week wrote on May 4, 1998: “The Euro will turn Europe into a Superpower.”
National Review wrote on October 26, 1998: “That monetary union is first and foremost a political project… French officials cite the Euro as a means by which to develop a global political counterweight to the world’s only superpower [the US]. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt says, ‘the arrival of the euro will… change the whole world situation so that the United States can no longer call all the shots.’”
Newsweek wrote in late 1998: “In January, the world will start getting used to a new currency. Whether you love the Euro or hate it, know this; nothing so big has ever happened before.”
Even though some European eurozone member states had and have to fight with economic hardship, it should have been clear to those who understand biblical prophecy that the euro was and is destined to survive—as it is the glue which binds together the Eurozone members politically.
On May 1, 2004, the (then) 25 member states of Europe celebrated the coming unification of Europe. Der Stern stated: “Great Europe is to become a world power – economically, culturally and perhaps even militarily.”
Mark Leonard wrote in “Why Europe Will Run the 21th Century (ed. 2005, page 7): “By creating the largest single internal market in the world, Europe has become an economic giant that, according to some calculations, is already the biggest in the world.”
The EUObserver wrote on July 16, 2008: “In 2005, the US was supplanted as the world’s largest single market by the EU… Many American firms suddenly had this new beast to deal with—the EU.”
And a beast it is—biblically speaking.
Very soon, ten core nations or groups of nations will rule continental Europe.  Although presently 27 member states exist, there is already much talk about a Europe of two speeds, or of the necessity to establish powerful core nations to rule the rest of Europe. Remember, the Bible speaks about 10 nations or groups of nations—not 27 or more members.
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 16, 2008:
“Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said… that it was time for a ‘Club of the Few.’ Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer likewise wrote… that ‘those who want political integration should move forward and those who are happy with just a common market should be left behind.’”
According to The Local, dated June 7, 2012, “Chancellor Angela Merkel said… that she would work towards a European political union even if that meant a two-speed approach.”
The EUObserver wrote on June 29, 2012: “… the phenomenon of a two-speed Europe not only becomes a fact of increased likelihood, but it is more and more politically acknowledged and approved.”
In fact, a core Europe already exists.
Der Spiegel Online wrote on December 19, 2005: “When EU finance ministers meet, the 12 ministers from the euro zone hold talks among themselves before they meet the [other] colleagues whose countries haven’t adopted the euro. In that pre-meeting, the most important decisions for the euro zone are made.”
Mark Leonard wrote in 2005 in “Why Europe Will Run the 21th Century,” on page 108: “There are already three ambitious projects that do not include all of the EU’s… members: the eurozone…; the Schengen agreement, which allows passport free travel…; and the Western European Union, Europe’s defence identity…”
Notice this statement, which was published in The Berliner Zeitung, dated July 2, 2008: “The idea of a core Europe or a two-speed Europe is not at all the heresy that some make it out to be. It has long been reality: Many states do not participate in one of the key issues of European integration: the single currency.”
There is strong historical and biblical indication that Britain will not be part of the final unification of Europe. The EUObserver hinted at this development, when it wrote on March 10, 2007: “The EU should go ahead and further integrate without the UK… Belgium’s prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has said. He added that [under certain circumstances], ‘the European Union must progress without Great Britain.’”
The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 24, 2007, that “Ms. Merkel’s team considers Britain one of the biggest obstacles to any agreement.”
According to a statement by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 2004, core Europe might NOT include Britain, but he felt that it would include countries like France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. However, this assessment might not be entirely correct. Certainly, countries like Germany, Italy France, Spain and Austria will be part of the core European configuration, and it is very likely that countries such as Poland and Hungary will be part of it. Whether Greece will be a part of it is not certain at all, but it is virtually assured that Britain won’t be a part of it.
In regard to Poland, Der Spiegel Online wrote on May 25, 2012: “Poland… has become the most astonishing success story in Eastern Europe. Relations between Berlin and Warsaw have never been better…  Berlin is already Warsaw’s biggest [trading] partner.”
Regarding Italy, the EUObserver wrote on March 4, 2013: “Italy indeed is a difficult beast to understand—let alone tame—for the other European countries, but it is an anchor, not an iceberg, for the European integration process.”
Regarding Britain, The Associated Press wrote on January 24, 2013:
“British Prime minister David Cameron wants nothing to do with a United States of Europe… Many in the EU, particularly among the 17 countries that use the euro, are on a drive for closer political unification, and that’s raised particular concerns recently in Britain… Britain’s relations with Europe have been strained since the end of World War II… It has stood against many efforts to forge closer ties, notably the creation of the euro…” Mail Online added on January 18, 2013: “… the EU’s mission for ‘ever closer union’ has always meant ultimately creating a federal superstate, something that is unacceptable to most Britons.”
And so, while Italy—a “beast”—will be part of the core nations of Europe, it is highly unlikely that Britain will be part of it. In fact, more and more voices are being heard insisting that the UK should leave the EU voluntarily or involuntarily. A vast majority of the British people are against the idea that their country should even stay in the EU.  In fact, Britain is not part of the 17 European states presently in the Eurozone, and it is virtually certain that it will not adopt the euro. This is of great biblical significance, because the Bible says that in the very end, the European power bloc, under the leadership of the “beast,” will fight a war against Britain.
Europe, under its core member states, will also become a strong and powerful military union. Europe’s leaders realize that a strong political union necessitates a unified European army. We have seen Europe—and Germany—getting more and more involved militarily in non-European countries. As America’s influence diminishes, Europe sees the need to fill the vacuum.
Under the headline, “German Chancellor Favors Creation of European Army,” Deutsche Welle reported on March 23, 2007:
“The European Union should move towards forming a common army, Germany’s Angela Merkel said in an interview focusing on the chancellor’s vision for the future of the bloc. Just ahead of weekend celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the foundations of the European Union, Chancellor Merkel said she envisioned a single European army for the future of the 27-member bloc in the next decades. ‘We need to get closer to a common army for Europe,’ she told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper… The call for a European armed forces is not new. Last year, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said his country wanted a new 100,000-strong European army created to work with NATO in trouble spots in the world or to defend Europe.”
Under the headline, “European Army Backed,” The Sydney Morning Herald wrote the following on September 20, 2012:
“Germany, France and nine of Europe’s most powerful countries have called for an elected European Union president and an end to Britain’s veto over defence policy, in a radical blueprint for the continent’s future… As well as calling for a single, elected head of state for Europe, the bloc demanded a new defence policy, under the control of a pan-EU foreign ministry commanded by Baroness Ashton, which ‘could eventually involve a European army’. In order to ‘prevent one single member state from being able to obstruct initiatives’, a reference to British opposition to a European army, the German-led group demanded an end to existing national vetoes over foreign and defence policy… The plan, which has the backing of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Portugal, is likely to increase calls for a British referendum on EU membership.”
The core member states of Europe will become militarily strong (Daniel 2:42), but at first, they will not be totally unified. The Bible says that their unification will be “fragile” (same verse). It will take the arrival of the “beast” to create a short-lived military unification “of one mind” (Revelation 17:12-13), which will be hostile towards Jesus Christ (verse 14).
As we will explain in much detail in subsequent installments, the European political unification will be closely connected with the Roman Catholic Church. In a sense, the Roman Church has been influencing the European unification process to a certain degree all along. As The Telegraph wrote in 1991: “The Common Market itself started under the inspiration of Catholic politicians—such as Adenauer of Germany, Paul-Henri Spaak, Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann… They were all deeply influenced by Catholic social teaching.”
Monnet believed in the Catholic vision that Europe should become a federal superstate. The Financial Times wrote on May 22, 1995, that the “idea of a united Europe” has been viewed as “essentially a Catholic concept.”
In the next installment, we will discuss the characteristics of and other interesting facts about the future political and military European leader, called “the beast” in biblical prophecy.
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

“The Beast, His Mark, His Name and His Number” is the title of a new StandingWatch program recorded by evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary: Is the beast alive? What is his mark? What is his name and his number? Will he be worshipped? Will he persecute the saints? Will he arise in Europe? Does the Bible tell us?
“Das Tier, sein Zeichen, sein Name und seine Zahl” is the title of the German language version of this program. It is available on AufPostenStehen.de.

“The Son of Man and of God,” is the title of the sermon given by Norbert Link this past Sabbath–here is a summary: Who was Jesus Christ when He was here on earth? Was He a Man? What He God? Was He the Son of Man and the Son of God? Was He fully God and fully Man? Was Jesus really dead? Did the Son of God die? Did Jesus overcome sin in the flesh? Was He God before He came to this earth? Is He God today? Is He our only Mediator between God the Father and man? Why was all judgment given to Him? Is it man’s potential to become God? Is the Trinity doctrine wrong—both the Greek Orthodox as well as the Roman Catholic version? What is the teaching of antichrist? 

“Neu! Der Brief an die Hebräer, Teil 2,” is this week’s German sermon. It is part 2 of the new series on Hebrews and covers chapters 3-5. The title in English is: “The Epistle to the Hebrews, Part 2.”

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Oh No!

by Laura Harris

No. It’s one of the smallest words in the English language, yet one of the most powerful. It has negative connotations, from expressing dissent to denial. But the word can also be self-preserving and liberating.

In my 20’s and well into my 30’s, I had difficulty saying “no” for fear of disappointing my co-workers, family and friends. I would begrudgingly agree and then complain about the task at hand. As a result, I would often neglect my needs and responsibilities. As I’ve matured in age and spirituality, I’ve realized saying “no” is an acceptable and accountable response in certain situations.

Early in my calling, prior to baptism, I worked for an organization that hosted many weekend events. In attempting to be a good employee, I rationalized that I could attend these functions to show support without working. Inevitably, I would field work-related questions and run errands during these activities. After several months of breaking the Sabbath, I felt confident enough in my faith to tell my supervisor I would no longer attend Saturday events. He was very understanding and supportive of my religious beliefs.

In his 9/1/12 sermon, entitled “Your Servant,” Dave Harris states that serving others is commanded by God, but like all things, it needs to be tempered with balance. How can we take care of our neighbor if we are not taking care of ourselves? Henry Cloud, in his book “Boundaries,” discusses how many people take on extra responsibilities in order to avoid conflict. This “fearful niceness” results in burnout, resentment and a sense of being out of control.

When considering a request for help, I need to ask myself:

Is there a genuine need?
Would I or my family be adversely impacted?
Would I be compromising my relationship with God?
By saying no to one thing, I am actually saying yes to another.

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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

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United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

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