Update 613


Fear and Wonderment

On November 16, 2013, Eric Rank will give the sermon, titled, “Fear and Wonderment.”

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 Only Way to Prepare

by Robb Harris

When Typhoon Haiyan hit land, it was declared to be the strongest recorded cyclone to make landfall on record. It was also the 4th most intense cyclone to ever be observed.  Based upon biblical prophecy, we clearly understand what is in store for a world in complete revolt against God. “But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows” (Mark 13:7-8). This is only the beginning!

It is difficult NOT to become complacent when we are surrounded by such outward rebellion towards God. As a whole, the world has tuned out and completely ignored any semblance of godly knowledge. Because of this, the world is unprepared for the return of Christ, and the judgment He is bringing. We cannot fall into the same state, the same trap with which Satan has so deviously ensnared the entire world.

Speaking about the recent cyclone in the Washington Post, Max Fisher states, “Why wasn’t the Philippines more ready? About 20 tropical cyclones hit the country every year, making it practically a routine. The arrival of typhoon Haiyan was certainly no surprise. Yet supposedly storm-proof shelters were destroyed and foreseeably necessary relief efforts have failed to come together. The single most important factor may be that, quite simply, this storm was just too big.”

Many stockpile silver, gold and food in order to survive world-wide calamities. What ALL survivalists fail to realize is that Christ’s judgment on this planet is simply too big to escape. All of mankind will fall under God’s Judgment—no fortified hole will hide anyone from this occurrence!

What are we stockpiling on a daily basis in order to prepare for the return of Christ? Spiritually, are we amassing the cares of this world or are we building up a stockpile of godly character? We don’t have time to put that question on hold, to get to it later once our own desires are fulfilled. Peter warns us why: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…” (2 Peter 3:10-11). We MUST prepare! And preparing for Christ’s return is only possible if we can “be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).

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We begin with an article about the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht (“Night of the Broken Glass”) in Germany and the sad realization that “the problems in Europe in 2013 are the same as in 1938,” and that then, as now, good people chose and choose “to look the other way.”

We discuss the attempts of the USA and others to strike a deal with Iran, while upsetting Israel. Commentators feel that “Israel and longtime ally the United States are as far apart as ever on how to deal with growing threats in the Middle East.”

We report on a planned meeting between Vladimir Putin and Pope Francis with potentially wide-ranging consequences; speak of the deteriorating relationship between Germany and the USA and Britain; focus on the curse of abortion; address the perhaps biggest storm in history which ever hit land, causing unspeakable devastation; and conclude with an interesting question, “What would happen if oxygen disappeared?”

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Times of Israel reported on November 8:

“As Europe prepares to mark the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht this weekend, there will be a certain sense of déja vu in the air. Earlier memorials have been characterised by emotional speeches and complex analysis as to how Kristallnacht could have come about in the first place. This year, the 75th Anniversary of the pogroms against Jews, their homes, their businesses and their synagogues, will be marked by – you guessed it – new calls to boycott Jewish businesses!

“But do not expect to hear anything about it in the commemoration events which follow a well-known pattern. The mistakes of past generations will be condemned in the harshest words possible, but anyone who dares to draw a parallel with today´s situation will automatically be dismissed…

“This year however, it will be rather difficult to pretend that anti-Semitism belongs only to the past. In one parliament after another, neo-Nazi parties are gaining ground. This is also true of the European Parliament in Brussels, where extreme right wing parties are expected to score new victories in the upcoming Spring election, and where the European Commission is busy preparing for new guidelines to boycott Jewish businesses in the disputed territories. When the new guidelines come into effect, on January 1st, 2014, any Israeli entity located ‘on the wrong side of the 1967 lines’ will be facing a financial embargo from the EU, as they forbid EU grants, prizes and loans from going not only to Israeli entities located beyond the Green Line, but also to Israeli entities that have any activity beyond the post-1967 lines.

“Other measures are already in place to start marking Israeli goods produced in the disputed territories. Once the EU starts implementing the new guidelines and marking Israeli goods, life will become increasingly difficult for any Jewish person… who chooses to stay on in the territories, as they will now be considered international outlaws.

“The lessons from Kristallnacht should not be forgotten. It all started with boycotts and demonstrations against Jewish businesses, academia and culture, but it did not stop there. Today’s campaigns of the delegitimisation of Israel have all the same ingredients as the events leading up to Kristallnacht.

“The EU guidelines, which in fact pre-determine where Jews can and cannot live, have been issued, despite the fact that they are in clear breach of Article 15 of the Mandate for Palestine which states that ‘No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the sole grounds of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the grounds of his religious belief.’…

“Nothing much seems to have changed in Europe since 1938. Yes, the EU has sworn never again to let down the Jewish people, but since the Yom Kippur war of 1973, the European Union has consistently taken the side of the Arabs… much of European civil society, consisting of trade unions, academia, churches and other non-governmental organisations, has stepped up its diplomatic war against Israel and is pressing for more sanctions and boycotts. When the World Council of Churches met recently for its annual meeting in Geneva, there was little concern for its persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East; but  there were four workshops on the issue of… the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The problems in Europe in 2013 are the same as in 1938. When the boycotts and singling out of the Jewish people began, the good people chose to look the other way. It is now high time to look in the right direction.”

Worldwide persecution of physical Israelites and Jews as well as spiritual Jews (true Christians) is prophesied to happen soon.

The War Against Circumcision

The Jewish Chronicle wrote on November 8:

“In a move triggering one of the gravest threats to European Jewry since the infamous Nuremberg laws, the Council of Europe’s parliament voted last month for countries, including the UK, to ‘take legislative and policy measures that help reinforce child protection’ in cases where young boys are circumcised for religious reasons. Endorsing a report by the Social Affairs and Health Committee, the Parliamentary Assembly voted to restrict religious circumcision performed by non-medical practitioners and initiate a debate on whether male circumcision should be prohibited until a boy reaches the age of consent.

“The problem, according to the report, is that ‘circumcision applied to young boys is clearly a human-rights violation against children,’ since it irreversibly changes the bodily form at a time when the child is unable to give full and informed consent. Since there is no medical justification for routine neonatal circumcision, the procedure is said to violate a child’s right to physical integrity. The report also expresses concern about circumcisions performed by non-medical practitioners in a non-sterile environment such as a private home or ‘a religious edifice’, presumably a synagogue. A footnote asserts: ‘There is clear evidence of regular deaths amongst new-born boys due to infectious diseases (for example, herpes) transmitted by rabbis or mohels (the traditional Jewish circumcisers)’.

“The report disparages the arguments that male circumcision is an integral and indispensable part of religious ritual, which, for thousands of years, has not harmed a child’s health; and that it is in the child’s best interests to be brought up in accordance with the fundamental tenets of his faith…

“The report and resolution are regarded as highly influential in Europe. Children’s ombudsmen from five Nordic countries have already agreed to work with their national governments to achieve a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of under-age boys…

“In Israel, however, these developments have been met with fury. The Foreign Ministry described the report and resolution as ‘appalling ignorance at best, or defamation and anti-religious hatred at worst,’ and ‘casting a moral stain on the Council of Europe’…

“Alarmingly, there is a subtle change between the report’s draft resolution and the final version approved by the Parliamentary Assembly. The report recognised that there needs to be a public debate concerning the balance struck between the rights and best interests of the child and the rights and religious freedoms of parents and families.

“But, in a breathtaking amendment, the Parliamentary Assembly deleted the reference to striking a balance — because when it comes to the rights and best interests of children, apparently there is no balance to strike.

“If the value of ancient religious practice is diminished to such a degree in the rhetoric of human-rights theology, it is only a matter of time before circumcision of Jewish boys is banned across Europe.”

European Denials

JTA wrote on November 12:

“The Council of Europe will not ban Jewish ritual circumcision of boys, its leader assured members of the Conference of European Rabbis. Thorbjorn Jagland, the council’s secretary general, said Monday in Berlin that he wanted to make it ‘absolutely clear … that in no way does the Council of Europe want to ban the circumcision of boys. It is a very important part of Judaism and of Jewish life.’…”

What Iran Is REALLY Up To!

The Washington Times wrote on November 8:

“Note to Iran: If you’re trying to assure world leaders that the new president brings messages of peace and compromise, you might not want to broadcast a lengthy documentary about attacking Israel with missiles. But that’s what Tehran television just did. The media outlet broadcast an hour-long documentary about Iran’s missile capabilities and how its security force would use them against foreign threats, Ynet News reported.

“Notable in the video was a simulated attack on Israel to take out its nuclear plants. The video went into great detail, showing computer-generated images of launches of Iran’s long-range Sejjil ballistic missiles, Ynet News reported. In the broadcast, Israel was only able to intercept some of the missiles — while others were direct hits.”

Netanyahu Feels Misled by Obama

The Times of Israel wrote on November 9:

“Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ‘in a state of shocked disbelief’ at [a possible, however so far averted] deal in Geneva [see articles below] over Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli television news reports said Friday night. Netanyahu, the reports on Israel’s Channel 10 and Channel 2 news said, had ‘an unprecedented confrontation’ with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Tel Aviv on Friday morning over the possible deal, which he publicly described as ‘a very, very bad deal’ and which he implored Kerry ‘not to rush to sign’ and to ‘reconsider.’

“The Netanyahu government is ‘in a crisis of faith’ with the Obama administration over the possible deal, Israel’s Channel 1 News further reported, in part because it apparently differs in content from the terms that Kerry had previously described to Netanyahu. Other Israeli reports said Netanyahu felt he had been ‘misled’ by the US over the terms of the deal… Israel, the TV reports said, also believes the US has been negotiating with Iran in a secret channel, without disclosing the content of those discussions to Israel.”

Divisions in Geneva Over Iran

The New York Times wrote on November 9:

“Negotiations on an agreement to temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program ran into headwinds on Saturday, as France questioned whether the deal would do enough to curb a nuclear reactor that will produce plutonium and to limit Iran’s enrichment of uranium… Mr. Fabius said that a draft of the agreement was unacceptable to France and that there was no certainty that this round of negotiations would lead to an agreement… France has taken a harder line than the United States in recent years on curbing Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear fuel that could be used in weapon..

“Under a compromise favored by the United States, Iran might agree to refrain from operating the facility for the six months of an interim deal, while continuing to work on the installation. But once the facility is operational, as early as next year, it will be very difficult to disable, since a military strike would ignite the plutonium inside. French officials also noted a difference between the United States and Europe on the issue of sanctions relief, which Iran is seeking in return for concessions…”

A Failed Deal

The Associated Press wrote on November 10:

“World powers’ efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran adjourned early Sunday… with failure to seal a deal…”

However, talks are scheduled to resume November 20.

“Vive la France!”

AFP wrote on November 10:

“Conservative leaders, fond of finger-pointing at France in recent years, lavished praise on Paris Sunday for blocking an agreement between Western powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. ‘Vive la France!’ Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, an outspoken voice on national security issues, wrote on his Twitter account.

“‘France had the courage to prevent a bad nuclear agreement with Iran,’ he said, after the weekend announcement of the failed agreement with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, known as the P5+1.”

The Times of Israel added on November 10:

“In Geneva on Saturday, France’s Foreign Minister Fabius gave very specific reasons for his objections to the emerging deal. He said Tehran was resisting demands that it suspend work on its plutonium-producing reactor at Arak and downgrade its stockpile of higher-enriched uranium. Which rather leads to a different question: Not ‘Why did France choose to stand alone against the deal?’ But, rather, ‘why did the other major powers consider the terms acceptable?’”

France–“No Sympathy for Israel”

JTA wrote on November 12:

“France’s posture in the talks between Iran and the major powers — Russia, Britain, the United States, China and Germany along with France — is not the result of its sympathy for Israel or its supposed aversion to confrontation, experts say. Rather it is the product of a complicated matrix of French interests stemming from the country’s centuries-old role in the region, longtime distrust of Iranian theocracy and a postwar insistence on forging its own foreign policies…

“France’s hard line is rooted in the country’s hostility toward Iran, said Heather Hurlburt, a senior adviser at the National Security Network, a Washington think tank. In the 1980s, the Islamic Republic conducted an assassination campaign against Iranian dissidents who had sought refuge in France, a history that generates significant rancor even today. The killings not only hit French national pride — France for centuries has seen itself as a safe haven for dissidents — but were all the more galling because France had protected Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini when he was in exile…

“Also salient are French ties to a number of nations in the region, particularly Syria and Lebanon. The French were among the Western nations pressing hardest to stop the Iran-backed Syrian government’s slaughter of civilians in the country’s grinding civil war — an intervention averted by a deal, brokered by Russia and the United States, to have Syria relinquish its chemical weapons capability. ‘For France, this was a rare opportunity for score settling with Iran, but also with the United States for humiliatingly pulling the plug on France’s plans to strike in Syria,’ said Afshin Ellian, an Iran-born lecturer on international public law at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

“France also has jealously guarded its independence in foreign policy, a legacy of the postwar leadership of Charles de Gaulle, who removed all French forces from the NATO command in 1966 even though France was a founding member of the alliance. France returned to full membership only in 1999…

“Several analysts also have suggested that France has its eye on a major arms deal it is negotiating with Saudi Arabia, a country nearly as adamant as Israel that Iran must not achieve nuclear capability. ‘The hidden player is Saudi Arabia, which is very familiar with Iranian deceit and would do anything to keep Iran from having nuclear arms,’ Guy Bechor, a lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, wrote on his website. ‘Saudi Arabia triggered the French move in exchange for its signature on massive weapons contracts from France.’”

USA vs. Israel – As Far Apart As Ever

USA Today wrote on November 10:

“Israel and longtime ally the United States are as far apart as ever on how to deal with growing threats in the Middle East. Analysts say the Obama administration needs to take Israel’s fears seriously, while the White House insists it is doing what is best for the security of Israel, the United States and the Middle East.

“Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator who has advised Democratic and Republican secretaries of State, said the rift may cause problems for the United States on multiple fronts, including a risk of dragging the United States into war with Iran. ‘How this will play out is not clear,’ Miller said. ‘I find it almost unimaginable this administration would conclude even an interim agreement with (Iranian President Hassan) Rouhani that left Israel angry and aggrieved and the relationship in even worse shape.’

“Miller said Israeli frustration with the United States may have been greater at points in the past but he’d never seen Israeli ire expressed as publicly as has been done in recent days by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Headlines in the Israeli press seem to agree. ‘If there were a synoptic map for diplomatic storms, the National Weather Service would be putting out a hurricane warning right now,’ said Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Chemi Shalev. ‘And given that the turbulence is being caused by an issue long deemed to be critical to Israel’s very existence, we may actually be facing a rare Category 5 flare up, a “superstorm” of U.S.-Israeli relations.’…

“The Iranian question is just the latest issue to severely fray relations between Israel and the United States in recent months, along with the U.S. decision to tackle Syria’s chemical weapons with diplomacy, and President Obama’s emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian standoff as being the major problem facing the Middle East. Israel complains that an increasingly radicalized Syria, the spread of Islamist ideology in Egypt and elsewhere, and a nuclear bomb in the hands of what Netanyahu has called ‘Islamofacist fanatic’  in Iran are the real problems for the world in the Middle East…

“Jonathan Rynhold, a senior researcher at Bar Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said the ‘crisis of trust’ isn’t just between Israel and the U.S. Most Middle East countries, he said, believe that a nuclear-armed Iran ‘would undermine the balance of power that has served everyone so well over the years.’ If Iran becomes ‘a nuclear threshold’ state, ‘Saudi Arabia will quickly obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan,’ which reportedly developed its own nuclear weapons with help from the Saudis, Rynhold said. ‘Egypt is already looking to Russia to supply it with conventional weapons and will, no doubt, seek to obtain nuclear capability, as will Turkey.’

“The breakdown over Iran came amid the extraordinary public barbs between the two longtime allies… Kerry… told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that Israel faced possible international isolation and violence with the Palestinians if his attempt to broker a peace deal for a Palestinian state failed. An agitated Netanyahu lashed back that ‘no amount of pressure’ would make Israel compromise on its basic security and national interests…

“Former U.S. negotiator Miller agrees that the rift between the United States and Israel may have serious consequences and soon. The frayed relationship makes it harder to gain Israeli backing for a final deal with Iran and to prevent a unilateral Israeli military strike. Such a strike, with or without Obama’s approval, would hike oil prices and threaten the U.S. economy, Miller said. And with the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet based in the Persian Gulf, it could cause the USA to be ‘dragged in and required to respond’ to an Iranian counterattack, he said.”

Sadly, the relationship between the USA and Israel will continue to deteriorate.

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Anti-Israeli Propaganda

The Times of Israel and The Associated Press reported on November 14:

“Republicans were left unconvinced after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s closed-door presentation to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, which was aimed at delaying a new round of sanctions against Iran. ‘It was an emotional appeal,’ committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker said, according to the US-based media outlet BuzzFeed. ‘I have to tell you I was very disappointed in the presentation.’…

“Sen. Mark Kirk called the officials’ presentation ‘very unconvincing,’ and added that it was ‘fairly anti-Israeli. I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me, and I think the Israelis probably have a pretty good intelligence service.’

“The BuzzFeed report cited a Senate aide who said that ‘every time anybody would say anything about what would the Israelis say they’d get cut off and Kerry would say “you have to ignore what they’re telling you, stop listening to the Israelis on this.”’”

North Korea’s Brutal Dictatorship and Murders

Fox News reported on November 12:

“As many as 80 people were publicly executed in North Korea earlier this month, some for offenses as minor as watching South Korean movies or possessing a Bible… the so-called criminals were put to death in seven cities across North Korea on Nov. 3, in the first known large-scale public executions by the Kim Jong-un regime… authorities gathered a crowd of 10,000 people, including children, at Shinpoong Stadium and forced them to watch the killings.”

The demons which plagued Nazi Germany are still alive and well today…

Pope Francis Will Meet Vladimir Putin

On November 7, Thomson/Reuters reported the following:

“Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 25, an encounter that could help mend strained relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church. Russian-Vatican relations have been fraught since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with Moscow accusing the Roman Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church, a charge the Vatican denies. But Putin is the first Kremlin leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to publicly profess religious faith — to the Orthodox church — and has several times advocated ending the long feud between the two major Christian churches…

“Another dispute between the churches concerns the fate of many church properties that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered confiscated from Eastern Rite Catholics, who worship in an Orthodox liturgy but owe their allegiance to Rome. Stalin gave the Catholic property to the Russian Orthodox Church, but after the fall of communism, the Eastern Rite Catholics took back many sites, leading to a rise in tensions…

“Francis is the first non-European Pope in 1,300 years. His predecessors came from countries — Italy, Poland and Germany — that were caught up in the 20th century’s two global conflicts as well as in the Cold War that followed World War II. Diplomats have said that Francis, an Argentine with no European political baggage, would have a far better chance of improving ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. There have been signs of a general warming between the western and eastern branches of Christianity. On March 20, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew became the first worldwide spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians to attend a papal inaugural Mass since the Great Schism split western and eastern Christianity in 1054.”

The Roman Catholic Church will indeed be successful in convincing other Catholic (Orthodox) churches and most Protestant churches to “return” to the fold of the “mother church.”

“St. Peter’s Bones”?

The Washington Post wrote on November 11:

“For the first time since they were discovered in the 1940s, the Vatican plans to display bones that are believed to have belonged to St. Peter. The remains will be exhibited at the leader of the 12 apostles’ tomb in honor of the end of the Year of Faith… pilgrims who make their way to St. Peter’s tomb will see ‘the relics traditionally recognized as those of the apostle who gave his life for the Lord on this spot,’ announced the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization in L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See’s semi-official newspaper.”

However, it is highly questionable that the Apostle Peter was killed in Rome, or that his bones are buried there. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.”

Sunday—The Day of Rest in France

npr wrote on November 8:

“Since 1906, Sunday has been deemed a collective day of rest in the country, and French law only allows stores to open on Sundays under very specific conditions — for example, if they’re in a high tourist area. Sunday work is also tightly controlled… A Paris court recently upheld the ban on Sunday work… Stores that choose to flout the Sunday work ban are fined $135,000 per day. Some of the larger home-improvement chains went ahead and paid it to stay open…

“Labor groups are leading the push to keep the ban on Sunday work… the Sunday lunch is still sacrosanct in France. In Paris, you see many people carrying bouquets of flowers to decorate the lunch table. But many young people don’t feel bound by such traditions… So far the French government has supported the court’s ruling. One politician said the greatest civilizations always have one day of the week when trade does not take place.”

France will not abrogate Sunday as its “day of rest”—and neither will the rest of continental Europe. In fact, more and more stringent laws to enforce the “holiness” of Sunday will be enacted. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Germany’s Hate/Love Relationship with the USA

The Economist wrote on November 9:

“Germany is disheartened by America… many Germans are now pleading with Angela Merkel, the chancellor, to grant Mr Snowden asylum… Most on Germany’s left and some on the right can’t wait to welcome him… Der Spiegel, a magazine, lists 51 German celebrities chiming in, with several even suggesting him for a Nobel Peace Prize.

“Legally, say scholars, Germany could refuse America’s demand for extradition if it declared Mr Snowden’s acts ‘political’. But everybody knows that this would be an unprecedented affront in the relationship with America…

“[The transatlantic] alliance (many Germans no longer call it a friendship) was always complicated. Germans have yearned for America since they migrated there en masse in the 19th century. Those who stayed behind dreamed of it… Germans still remember the Berlin airlift of 1948-49, when American ‘raisin bombers’ fed and saved West Berlin. This summer they enthusiastically commemorated the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin. They continue to admire George Bush senior for his effort to make German unification succeed in 1990…

“But Germans, especially on the left, always had a concomitant image of the ugly American… Now Mrs Merkel feels betrayed, as many ordinary Germans do… The emotion that runs through this public debate means that Mrs Merkel can no longer simply drop the subject…”

German Trust in United States and Britain Plummets

Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 8:

“A string of NSA spying scandals has sent Germans’ trust in the United States plummeting, with only a third saying they view their longtime ally as a trustworthy partner, a recent opinion poll has found… The results appear to be a strong indictment of the pervasive US surveillance programs uncovered through classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden — whom 60 percent of respondents consider a hero. Despite that strong majority support, Germans were evenly split over the question of whether their country should offer Snowden asylum, with 46 percent saying ‘yes’ and 48 percent saying ‘no.’…

“In the wake of the German government’s furious response, Washington has reportedly offered to negotiate with Berlin over a mutual no-spying agreement akin to the ‘Five Eyes’ deal it has with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. However no such deal has been publicly announced, and 92 percent of respondents in the poll said they expect the US would break the agreement and continue secret intelligence operations on German soil.

“The survey also found that Germans’ trust in the British government had also deteriorated to 50 percent, down from 80 percent four years ago. The Snowden leaks also revealed a number of heavy-handed espionage practices by GCHQ, the UK counterpart to the NSA, as well as a suspected interception post on its embassy grounds in Berlin.”

Germany will not remain a friend and an ally of the USA.

“Britain a Major Problem”

The Local wrote on November 8:

“Europe needs more integration, including a single finance minister for the bloc, if it is to remain competitive in the years to come – but Britain posed a major problem, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said…

“Britain would do its utmost to block any attempts to bring the 28-member European union closer together, as that would imply handing over more powers to Brussels, said the former chancellor on Thursday… ‘We need… to press ahead with Europe’s political unity, towards a kind of European federation,’ he urged.”

Japan Automaker Warns Britain

The Independent wrote on November 9:

“The chief executive of the UK’s biggest car maker has added to fears over the economic consequences of an exit from the European Union, by warning it would force a re-evaluation of the company’s presence in this country. Carlos Ghosn – the head of Nissan, whose plant in Sunderland employs 6,500 workers – said a vote by the UK to leave the EU would require the Japanese company to ‘reconsider our strategy and our investments for the future’.

“With David Cameron promising to hold a referendum on EU membership after the next General Election, Mr Ghosn’s warning is the latest note of caution from the business world over the possibility of an exit. The investment banking giant Goldman Sachs and the business lobby group CBI are among those who have also recently spoken out about such a move…

“In contrast, the former CBI director-general and ex-trade minister, Lord Jones of Birmingham, this week attacked the EU as a ‘job destroyer’, writing in The Times that Britain must be prepared to quit in order to be ‘a globally competitive economy worthy of the name’”.

The UK will leave the EU, leading to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, predicting that ultimately, war will break out between continental Europe and the UK.

Homosexuality Illegal in 41 Commonwealth Countries

The Guardian wrote on November 12:

“Homosexuality is illegal in 41 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, a report released on Monday reveals. Despite this, the forthcoming Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) in Sri Lanka has elected not to discuss the issue of anti-gay discrimination.

“Commissioned by the Kaleidoscope Trust and compiled by LGBT activists throughout the Commonwealth, the report calls for Commonwealth countries to repeal anti-gay legislation, with an immediate moratorium on enforcement. ‘If you look at the world as a whole, around about 40% of nations have state-sponsored homophobia,’ said Kaleidoscope’s spokesman, Douglas Pretsell. ‘Half of those – about 54% – are in the Commonwealth. If you look at the rest of the world not inside the Commonwealth, it’s only 24.5% – so the Commonwealth has a big problem…’

“Pretsell said the anti-gay laws were [a] hangover from British colonial rule. It exported laws – including those outlawing sodomy – to Commonwealth countries, where they persist backed by the prevalence of strong religious views among the populations. ‘It’s worth noting that in the vast majority of these countries, the laws sit there and they’re completely unused, so no one is ever prosecuted…’

“Australia did not completely decriminalise homosexuality until 1997 after a legal case was brought to the UN. From 2007-13 all forms of legislated discrimination were removed from Australian law… ‘In fact Sri Lanka has gone out of its way to refuse visas to any lesbian or gay group, to ban their own activists in the country…’

“Britain’s shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, singled out the host nation’s stance on gay rights, the Press Association reported. ‘Today’s report from the Kaleidoscope Trust highlights the ongoing concern about human rights – and in particular the rights of the LGBT community – within Sri Lanka,’ Alexander said… ‘As David Cameron departs for this week’s Commonwealth summit, the evidence that Sri Lanka is heading in the wrong direction is mounting…’

“A Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘The prime minister and foreign secretary will make clear their concerns about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka when they visit Colombo this week. The Commonwealth Charter, agreed by all Commonwealth members, explicitly states that we are opposed to all forms of discrimination and it is important that all members live up [to] these values. That is the message that we will be taking to the summit.’”

“British Colonial Rule” has now become the forerunner of attempting to abolish laws which they themselves enacted. Sadly, this “change of heart” is not motivated by godly standards.

“What Obama Forgot to Apologize For”

The Washington Times wrote on November 8:

“When he said Thursday that he was sorry for the health-care mess-up, he performed the mea culpa as well as — if not better than — anyone in recent history… He’s sorry that some people have been inconvenienced by HealthCare.gov’s computer disaster. He’s sorry that some people have lost the policies he promised they could keep. He’s sorry that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) wasn’t adequately ‘crafted.’

“But is he sorry that he intentionally misled people? I must have missed that part… The key to redemption… is the sense that the apology is heartfelt and sincere. Most important, the apology must be specific to the affront. In this case, the sin isn’t the mess but the promise the White House knew as early as 2010 it couldn’t keep… Did they really think no one would notice when they received cancellation notices and their premiums suddenly doubled on the exchanges?

“The other rule of effective apologies is that they must come from authentic remorse rather than at the tip of a sword. Obama had no choice once caught and it was no longer possible to deny reality. That reality was further enhanced when 16 Senate Democrats, 15 of whom are up for reelection next year, stormed the White House barricades to express their outrage to the president.”

True apologies and genuine repentance require a sincere willingness and desire to confess and depart from the wrong and to begin to do what is right.

More Confusion

The Associated Press reported on November 14:

“Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced changes under his health care law to give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled. The administrative changes are good for just one year… But it was unclear if state officials, who would have to implement the changes, would go along. Insurers also had concerns. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said the president’s proposal could undermine the new health insurance markets his law seeks to create.

“Obama’s proposal ‘may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond,’ said Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, speaking for the organization. At the White House, Obama acknowledged that ‘we fumbled the rollout of this health care law’ and pledged to ‘just keep on chipping away at this until the job is done.’…

“It’s unclear what the impact of Thursday’s changes will be for the millions of people who have already had their plans canceled. While officials said insurance companies will now be able to offer those people the option to renew their old plans, companies are not required to take that step.

“The main industry trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, said Obama’s offer comes too late and could lead to higher premiums, since companies already have set 2014 rates based on the assumption that many people with individual coverage will shift over to the new markets created under Obama’s law…”

The Weekly Standard added that “Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean questioned whether President Obama has the ‘legal authority’ to carry out the Obamacare fix the White House outlined today.”

The Hill wrote that “President Obama failed to put jittery Democrats at ease Thursday with a proposal he said would allow millions of people to keep their insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act… Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Obama ‘should have done that two weeks ago’ to spare the party a torrent of negative publicity… Obama’s job approval rating has dropped to 39 percent, the lowest of his presidency… When Congress was debating the landmark legislation in 2009, the president repeatedly promised: ‘If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.’ Democrats fear a public backlash if that promise is broken…”

Abortion Is Murder

The following article just came to our attention. Even somewhat dated, the information contained therein is as relevant and timely as ever.

Life News wrote on May 23, 2013:

“Dr. Anthony Levatino is a pro-life physician from New Mexico but, before having a change of heart on the issue of abortion he was an OBGYN who also performed abortions. Levatino did as many as 1,200 abortions — some of them after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Then, after his daughter died in a tragic automobile accident, he re-evaluated his position on abortion and stopped doing abortions…

“Dr. Levatino told members of a Congressional committee [the following:]

“‘Imagine if you can that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I once was. Your patient today is 24 weeks pregnant. At twenty-four weeks from last menstrual period, her uterus is two finger-breadths above the umbilicus.

“‘If you could see her baby, which is quite easy on an ultrasound, she would be as long as your hand plus a half from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump not counting the legs. Your patient has been feeling her baby kick for the last 2 months or more but now she is asleep on an operating room table and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy.

“‘The first task is remove the laminaria that had earlier been placed in the cervix to dilate it sufficiently to allow the procedure you are about to perform. With that accomplished, direct your attention to the surgical instruments arranged on a small table to your right. The first instrument you reach for is a 14-French suction catheter. It is clear plastic and about nine inches long. It has a bore through the center approximately ¾ of an inch in diameter. Picture yourself introducing this catheter through the cervix and instructing the circulating nurse to turn on the suction machine which is connected through clear plastic tubing to the catheter. What you will see is a pale yellow fluid that looks a lot like urine coming through the catheter into a glass bottle on the suction machine. This is the amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby to protect her.

“‘With suction complete, look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the end are located jaws about 2 ½ inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can.

“‘At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard–really hard. You feel something let go and out pops  a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

“‘The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you… If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again…

“‘I often hear the argument that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women’s lives in cases of life threatening conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy… But is abortion a viable treatment option in this setting? I maintain that it usually, if not always, is not. Before a Suction D&E procedure can be performed, the cervix must first be sufficiently dilated… In the mid second trimester, this requires approximately 36 hours to accomplish. When utilizing the D&X abortion procedure, popularly known as Partial-Birth Abortion, this process requires three days…

“‘In cases where a mother’s life is seriously threatened by her pregnancy, a doctor more often than not doesn’t have 36 hours, much less 72 hours, to resolve the problem. Let me illustrate with a real -life case that I managed while at the Albany Medical Center. A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia. Her blood pressure on admission was 220/160. As you are probably aware, a normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. This patient’s pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke. This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilizing the patient’s blood pressure and “terminating” her pregnancy by Cesarean section. She and her baby did well. This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion “to save the mother’s life” would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care.

“‘During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by “terminating” pregnancies to save mother’s lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.’”

Abortion is murder in the eyes of God. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?”. Please also view our new StandingWatch program, “Why Abortion Is Murder in God’s Eyes.”

Biggest Storm in History

Mail On Line wrote on November 9:

“A monster typhoon… [and] category-5 super typhoon Haiyan – Chinese for ‘sea bird’ – smashed into the eastern islands of the Philippines [on November 8] with winds nearly 150mph stronger than the St Jude storm which struck the UK in late October…

“More than 125,000 people were evacuated from towns and villages that lay directly in the typhoon’s path… The storm brought further misery to thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the island last month…

“The US Navy said the typhoon’s maximum sustained winds were 195mph, with gusts up to 235mph. Meteorologists said last night that made it the strongest storm to ever hit land… [An] US expert said he expected the damage in Guiuan, a fishing town of about 40,000 people that was the first to be hit on Friday, to be ‘catastrophic’.”

Reuters reported on November 10:

“One of the most powerful storms ever recorded has killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police official said on Sunday, with coastal towns and the regional capital devastated by huge waves. Typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through the province, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director… it also caused a storm surge and whipped up waves of 5 to 6 meters (yards).”

The Associated Press added on November 10:

“It wasn’t until Sunday that the scale of the devastation became clear, with local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island saying that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm’s impact can be assessed.”

Sadly, we can expect increasingly devastating natural disasters to continue on a rapid scale.

What If Oxygen Disappeared?

On November 9, The Independent asked the question, “What would happen if oxygen disappeared for five seconds?” It continued giving the following answers which they received from scientists:

“Everyone at the beach would get sunburn. Ozone is molecular oxygen, and blocks the majority of UV light. Every internal combustion engine would stall. This means that every airplane taking off from a runway would likely crash to the ground… Everyone’s inner ear would explode… Every building made out of concrete would turn to dust… Fires would go out… Many of the answers to this question will focus on what would happen during those five seconds, but after that, there would be a huge explosion due to the oxidation of all the oceans that have been converted to hydrogen… So, the Earth would suddenly become extremely cold for five seconds followed by a Big Bang.”

From this we can see that in spite of man’s denial of the existence of Almighty God and his rebellion towards His Will and His Law (Psalm 2:1-4), God, through Jesus Christ, sustains and “upholds” this earth (as well as the entire universe) “by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3).

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Can we attach any significance to certain numbers in the Bible? (Part 2)

In the last Q&A, we discussed the significance of numbers 1 to 6 in the Bible. In this Q&A, we will continue with pointing out the biblical importance for numbers 7 and 10.

Number 7 belongs to the most important numbers in the Bible.

It stands for completion and perfection, and it is generally understood and recognized in this way.

As we already mentioned in the previous Q&A, the number 6 can refer to something which lacks completion. For instance, God’s re-creation week was only completed on the seventh day with the institution of the Sabbath. Jericho was destroyed on the seventh day, after the Israelites had marched around the city for six days. Man was given six “days” of 1,000 years each to rule himself, but God will begin His rule over man and this earth with the Millennium (the seventh “day” of 1,000 years). In Old Testament times, individual debts were cancelled every seven years (Deuteronomy 15:1).

God also gave us the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, during which no leavened products (symbolic for sin) are to be consumed, as well as the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (symbolizing the Millennium); and God has made holy seven annual Feast Days (First and Last Days of Unleavened Bread; Pentecost; Feast of Trumpets; Day of Atonement; First Day of Feast of Tabernacles; Last Great Day).

The very first sentence in the Bible (Genesis 1:1) contains seven words in the Hebrew, showing that God’s initial physical creation of the heavens and the earth was perfect. The earth was not created in a state of confusion and destruction, but the earth became void and empty because of Satan’s rebellion against God.  

When reviewing Christ’s last sayings on the cross, as related to us by the four gospel writers, we find that He made important pronouncements on seven occasions (Luke 23:34; Luke 23:43; John 19:26; Matthew 27:46; John 19:28; John 19:30; and Luke 23:46). These sayings show that Christ had finished or completed the work which the Father had given Him to do, while He was a human being on this earth.

We also find that the book of John recorded seven miracles by Jesus Christ during His life as a human being (John 2:1-11; John 4:46-54; John 5:1-9; John 6:1-14; John 6:15-21; John 9:1-12; John 11:1-16, 25-26, 41). John recorded those miracles as sufficient, complete and perfect evidence for us to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, leading to eternal life (John 20:30-31).

Jesus identified Himself in the book of John as the “I am” (John 8:58-59)—the YHWH or God of the Old Testament—and He describes in seven ways how this applied to Him. He said: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5); “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7); “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14); “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25); “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6); and “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). Unless we are close to Jesus Christ, accept Him as our personal Savior and are part of His Body, the Church, which is a spiritual organism, we will not inherit eternal life and salvation.

The perfect armor of God consists of seven parts, namely truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer (Ephesians 6:14-18). It is this godly armor which helps us to fight against Satan and his demons.

The Church of God consists of seven church eras, as described in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation. Also, we read that the first deacons who were ordained in the New Testament Church were seven  men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:1-3).

The book of Revelation speaks of seven seals, containing prophetic events; of seven trumpets; and of the seven last plagues.

The physical nourishment in the Promised Land was described as consisting of seven parts, namely wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8). Likewise, God lists seven physical gifts for ancient and modern Israel, namely grain, new wine, oil, silver, gold, wool and linen (Hosea 2:8-9). In Matthew 15:36-37, Christ multiplied seven loaves of bread to feed 4,000 men, besides women and children, and after they had eaten, seven large baskets full of the fragments were left. All of this shows that God’s gifts are good and complete.

God reveals seven names of those who wrote the book of Psalms. Most were written by David (including Psalm 1-41; 51-59; 61-65; 67-70; 86; 101; 103; 108-110; 122; 124; 131; 133; 138-145), but other identified authors are the sons of Korah (Psalm 42; 44-49; 84-85; 87), Asaph (Psalm 50; 73-83), Heman (Psalm 88) , Ethan (Psalm 89), Moses (Psalm 90)  and Solomon (Psalm 72). All the psalms (as well as all the other passages in the Bible) are inspired of God, regardless as to who the human author might have been.

Seven men (identified by name) are called “man of God” in the Old Testament, namely Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1); David (2 Chronicles 8:14); Samuel (1 Samuel 9:6); Shemaiah (1. Kings 12:22); Elijah (1 Kings 17:18; 2 Kings 1:9); Elisha (2 Kings 4:7); and Igdaliah (Jeremiah 35:4). There are other men mentioned who are also called “man of God” (compare 1 Kings 13:1; 1 Kings 20:28; 2 Kings 23:17), but they are not identified by name. In the New Testament, Timothy is identified one time as a man of God (1 Timothy 6:11), but every true Christian is also referred to as “man of God” (2 Timothy 3:17).

Seven pairs of clean animals survived the Flood in Noah’s ark, to keep the species alive (Genesis 7:2-3). We also read in the New Testament that seven miracles were performed by Christ on the Sabbath. Seven demons were cast out of Mary Magdalene by Jesus (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2), as He had cast out seven nations from the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 15:1). All of this shows Christ’s complete and perfect dealing with men, both from a physical and also a spiritual standpoint.

We read of seven things which spiritually defile a man (Matthew 15:19; namely: evil thoughts; murders; adulteries; fornications; thefts; false witness; and blasphemies); and there are seven things which are an abomination in God’s eyes (Proverbs 6:16; namely: a proud look; a lying tongue; hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that devises wicked plans; feet that are swift in running to evil; a false witness who speaks lies; and one who sows discord among brethren).

On the other hand, God lists seven spiritual gifts which we can use for the benefit of others (Romans 12:6-8; namely: prophecy or inspired speaking; ministry or ministering to or helping others; teaching; exhortation; giving; diligent leading; cheerful mercy) and there are seven points showing unity in the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6; namely: one body; one spirit; one hope; one Lord; one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all).

We can be sure that God’s Word is always true, as it has been purified seven times (Psalm 12:6), and the Psalmist praised God seven times a day (Psalm 119:164). This is not to say that we need to carefully count the times in order to cease praising God when we have done so seven times—rather, it expresses completion and perfection in that we always have to be in a prayerful and thankful attitude. We have to forgive our brother not just seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22)—that is, always, when the brother who sins against us repents and asks for our forgiveness (Luke 17:3-4).

The righteous may fall seven times (so it may appear that he has been thoroughly defeated), but he will rise again every time (Proverbs 24:16), because God will raise him up.

The biblical number 10 is also of great significance.

This number stands for godly judgment.

For instance, God gave us the law of the Ten Commandments, which is still in force and effect today, and it is by that law that we will be judged. God also asked us to pay Him the tithe –ten percent of our increase – and we will be judged as to how diligent we are in fulfilling His command.

We find in Daniel 1:12-15 that Daniel and his three friends were tested for ten days to see whether their refusal to eat meat – i.e. unclean meat or meat sacrificed to idols — would harm them in any way, and the judgment was that it did not; further, the king of Babylon examined them in “matters of wisdom and understanding” and judged that they were ten times better than all his magicians and astrologers (Daniel 1:20).

God brought judgment upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians and their false religion, by striking them with ten plagues—the tenth plague was the death of every Egyptian firstborn. God told Abram that He would not destroy Sodom if ten righteous were to be found in it (Genesis 18:32), but Sodom was judged of lacking even ten righteous people. We also read that during God’s judgment, only ten out of one hundred people will be left in the cities of Israel (Amos 5:3).

There are ten generations from Adam to Noah (Genesis 5), and God judged the world at the time of Noah when He destroyed it in a Flood. There are also ten generations from Shem (one of Noah’s sons) to Abram (Genesis 11); we do not read about anyone after Shem and before Abram who was called in this life for salvation. But even though Abram was to become a chosen vessel in the service of God, that does not mean that he was perfect. After having resided for ten years in Canaan, he and his wife Sarai concluded that they had to produce offspring through Sarai’s handmaid Hagar, lacking the faith that God could fulfill His promise to give Abram and Sarai a son (Genesis 16:3-4).

In later generations, Jacob deceived his father Isaac and was subsequently deceived ten times by his uncle Laban (Genesis 31:7, 41), showing the righteous judgments of God.

At the time of Moses, the children of Israel rebelled ten times against God in the wilderness (Numbers 14:22), judging themselves as unworthy to enter the Promised Land (verse 23).

When Christ was here on earth, He cleansed ten lepers, but only one returned and thanked and gave glory to God, and he was a Samaritan (Luke 17:11-18). While he was judged as having been “saved by faith,” (verse 19, New Jerusalem Bible and New American Bible), the others were not described in this way.

In His famous parables about the talents or the minas, the number 10 plays again a dominant role. In Matthew 25, the kingdom of heaven is compared with a man who gives talents to three servants—one receives ten talents, one two talents, and the third one receives one talent. The man expected his servants to trade with the talents, and while the first two doubled their talents, the third one did not do anything with his talent, but hid it in the ground.  When the master returned, he rewarded the first two servants equally, but decided to take the one talent from the lazy servant and give it to the one who had been given ten talents at the outset. His achievement—to double the ten talents—was judged to be worthy of a greater reward than the achievement of the one who had been given five talents and who had gained five more.

In the parable in Luke 19—the parable of the minas—we are introduced to ten servants. Each one receives one mina, and during the master’s absence, nine trade with the money and achieve different results, but the lazy servant hides the money in the ground. At his return, the master rewards his servants in proportion to their achievements, and he takes away the mina from the lazy servant and gives it to the servant who has gained ten minas. He judged the one who traded the most as being most competent to receive an additional reward.

We read about ten virgins in the end time—five of them are being judged as being foolish, and five as being wise. The five foolish ones are not too concerned with using the Holy Spirit that had been given to them, while the five wise virgins—even though they also fell asleep—had still enough Holy Spirit within them to be able to prepare and make themselves ready for their Master’s return. The church in Smyrna was to be tested for ten days, but if they were judged to be faithful, they would inherit eternal life (Revelation 2:10).

We are warned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that according to God’s righteous judgment, ten categories of unrighteous people will not inherit the Kingdom of God—fornicators; idolaters; adulterers; homosexuals; sodomites; thieves; covetous; drunkards; revilers; and extortioners. On the other hand, we are told that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and ten things are listed to emphasize this fact: Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing can separate us from God. God’s judgment is on us today (1 Peter 4:17), and if we live worthy of our calling, we will be judged worthy of eternal life in His Kingdom.

In the next and final installment of this series, we will discuss the symbolic meaning of numbers 12 and 40.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new Member Letter has been written by Eric Rank in which he reminds us that we are to live as foreigners in this present world, while staying focused on God’s calling and the promise of His future Kingdom.

“Why Abortion is Murder in God’s Eyes,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Does God tell us that abortion is premeditated murder, which inflicts excruciating pain and torture on the aborted innocent child? This program gives you the facts, but be warned-the information is not pleasant to hear. But if you are a woman and unsure about when life begins or whether abortion might be an option to terminate your pregnancy and the life of your child, you NEED to listen to this program.
Rene Messier has prepared a new SW Talking Points program dealing with the question: “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?”

Brian Gale has prepared a new SW Talking Points program addressing “The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

This week’s German sermon, “Ärger, Zorn und Wut in der Bibel,” deals with anger and wrath–please note below for an English version of this important presentation.

Last Sabbath’s sermon, “Anger Management,” is now posted. Here is a summary of Mr. Link’s presentation:

Psychologists misunderstand the nature of anger and give oftentimes wrong advice as to how to deal with it. What does the Bible say about the causes of anger and wrath? Does God tell us very clearly how we are not to deal with anger; and how we can solve this devastating problem which could destroy us and others?

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Veterans’ Day and Carnival

by Norbert Link

While I am writing this article on November 11, 2013, I am reminded of the fact that this is a day with different significance for different people: Americans celebrate their Veterans’ Day, while Germans and other Europeans enjoy the beginning of the Carnival season. As dissimilar as these occasions might be, they have one thing in common: They are both man-made observances, which are not in accordance with the law of God.

I realize that on Veterans’ Day, Americans thank their veterans for their sacrifice and service for their country and their willingness to fight for our freedom. But as an American member of the Church of God, I must focus on my real allegiance. God has called me out of this world and made me an ambassador of a better kingdom. I have to remind myself that Veterans’ Day is focusing on the wrong things, since war is wrong, and no amount of “sacrifice” can or will make it right.

As someone who was born and grew up in Germany, I need to remind myself as well that God has called me out of the observance of Carnival, since Carnival is a Catholic holiday of pagan origin, which is totally contrary to the values and the Way of God.

I am truly thankful that God has opened my eyes so that I can see what is really important—and that Veterans’ Day and Carnival are reflections and manifestations of the passing pleasure of sin, while God and His Truth will remain forever.

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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