|Live Services||“Buildings” and “False Accusations”|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Can we attach any significance to certain numbers in the Bible? (Part 3)|
|Forum||A Thankful Circumstance|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
“Buildings” and “False Accusations”
On November 23, 2013, Kalon Mitchell and Norbert Link will give two split-sermons, titled, “Buildings” and “False Accusations”.
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.
by Kalon Mitchell
One of my favorite activities in times past has been to sit and engage in people watching. There is something unique about observing others without actually interacting. I think at times that this is how God looks down on mankind in general. Sometimes I’ll be in my car and I’ll watch people even then, and it occurs to me: I am a God being, and all these people have the same exact potential! MIND BLOWING!
Of course, I am not really a God being yet, as I still bleed and such. But I am a God being in embryo. I am still in training. Does this make me any better than all those with whom I am around? Not at all! This present existence, and all the evil that surrounds us, is truly a life-long trial. When we stop and think about the trials that we go through, what stands out for us?
Do we take the time to ask questions of ourselves? Do we blame others? Do we shuffle off responsibility? We read in 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine (prove, test, understand) yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?- unless indeed you are disqualified.” Do we follow Paul’s admonition and take the time to do these things? This is not a two-minute drill. This is an intensive, ongoing process. Trials should lead to action, which is truly what matters.
So what actions do we take? There really are two important pieces: Love for God and love for man.
That’s it, plain and simple. Do we see the magnitude? It’s not love for self, it’s not love for things in this world. It’s love for God and others. Being willing to lay aside our own feelings and thoughts for the good of others. Whatever we struggle with, whatever we go through, it has the purpose of changing us—from thinking about our own selves to looking for the good and the benefit of others. After his conversion, it was Paul’s goal to serve others—to help and to edify them!
When we go through trials, we are being refined and made purposeful and useful to God. 1 Peter 1:7 gives this purpose for trials: “… that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Action! This is what it means to grow and bear fruit. Action! To step out on faith and do what God commands. Action to leave behind old feelings, thoughts, fears and frustrations, and to instead walk in holiness, peace and love.
Action is what will set us apart. I read something recently that really brought this point home for me: “To be humble-minded, meek in spirit – but BOLD in thought and action; to be truthful, sincere, generous; to be pitiful to the poor and needy, respectful to all and to be thankful for our lot and to envy none – this is indeed be gentle after the best model the world has ever seen, and is far better than being genteel!” (Samuel Wells).
“To be humble-minded, meek in spirit, but bold in thought and action; to be truthful, sincere, generous; to be pitiful to the poor and needy, respectful to all men; to guide the young, defer to old age; to enjoy and be thankful for our own lot, and to envy none—this is indeed to be gentle, after the best model the world has ever seen, and is far better than being ‘genteel’.” (1868, H. Friswell, The Gentle Life, p.13.)
We will become God beings, in time, if we learn to take action from the things we go through. We should do this for the purpose of helping others to become God beings as well! One day soon this will become our reality! Are we ready for that now?
We begin quoting from reports which will contribute to the ongoing deterioration of America’s relationship with Germany; focus on the coalition talks in Germany and the role which the Bavarian party CSU and their leader, Horst Seehofer, might play in the future; address the debacle surrounding attempts to “fix” Obamacare; and point out that both Democrats and the Republicans are divided amongst themselves.
We also address the possibility that the Jewish practice of “new moon celebrations,” which are not commanded in Scripture, might have derived from pagan idolatrous worship of moon gods and goddesses; and we conclude with three examples of “utter nonsense,” which sadly, some, if not many, may believe in—the concept that death is just an imagination of the human brain; the concept that civilization will end on February 22, 2014, based on an obscure Viking mythology; and the concept that aliens planted human life on earth tens of thousands of years ago. While the Bible condemns all of these false ideas, ignorant people might embrace them.
This Week in the News
Germany Complicit of Illegal US Wars?
The Local wrote on November 15:
“The Süddeutsche newspaper published an investigation in its Friday edition into America’s foreign policy and wars being conducted from German soil. It claimed: ‘The U.S. knows no limits. And Germany looks on—even asking where it can help.’ But on Friday afternoon the US Embassy’s press department in Berlin took the unusual step of sending out a statement attacking the ‘outrageous’ claims. It described the story as ‘full of half-truths, speculation, and innuendo’…
“The story in the Süddeutsche was particularly critical of the US drone war which it described as a ‘massive break with international law’, as well as its use of private firms to conduct spying operations. The newspaper launched the investigation with public broadcaster NDR and said it had spent months trying to shine a light on the secrets.
“It argued: ‘German agencies and politicians have obviously gotten used to American intelligence and military right here in their own backyard: tapping, code cracking, recruiting informants, observing suspects, kidnapping and abducting foreign enemies. The Germans have known all that for years. There’s no war in Germany. But where the U.S. army and intelligence agencies once protected the West during the Cold War, they now lead a worldwide secret war—a massive breach of international law. American soldiers—on bases in Ramstein and Stuttgart—are conducting a bloody drone war in Africa from within Germany… Germany acts as the headquarters for secret wars in Africa, the European hub for CIA operations and the training ground for drone attacks worldwide. And Germany’s location is indispensable,’ it argued.”
No Armed Drones for Germany… At Least Not For Now
The Local wrote on November 14:
“Members of the next German government have agreed to postpone the country’s purchase of armed drones indefinitely following controversy over their use and cost. A draft version of the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and the Social Democrats seen by news site Spiegel states: ‘We categorically reject illegal killings by drones. Germany will support the use of unmanned weapons systems for the purposes of international disarmament and arms control.’ It went on: ‘Before acquiring a qualitatively new arms system, we will thoroughly investigate all associated civil and constitutional guidelines and ethical questions.’…
“The move is a blow to outgoing defence minister Thomas de Mazière who was slated for spending hundreds of millions of euros on Euro Hawk drones which were never allowed to fly over German airspace. He revealed in May that talks were underway with both the US manufacturer of Predator drones as well as their Israeli competitor, which produces Heron drones, to buy 16 in the next few years.
“But the Social Democrats apparently signaled early on during the talks over forming Germany’s next government that they were in favour of delaying a decision on purchasing drones. The Christian Socialist Union, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, was also supportive of delaying the move. According to Spiegel, the working group on foreign and security policy also agreed to set up a commission to work on coming up with proposals in response to a controversial Conservative proposal to no longer seek parliamentary approval for all deployments by the Bundeswehr carried out within an EU framework.”
This will also be a blow to the USA and the Obama Administration, because they support and are engaged in drone warfare.
Europe’s Own Drones?
Haaretz wrote on November 19:
“European states took a first step on Tuesday towards developing a drone that could challenge U.S. dominance of the unmanned aircraft sector. Defense ministers meeting in Brussels instructed the European Defense Agency (EDA), the European Union’s defense arm, to start studying the military requirements and costs of a future EU surveillance drone that could be produced after 2020.
“The United States has used drones to kill suspected militants in countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, causing intense controversy about sovereignty and civilian casualties. But drones also have a wide range of civilian uses, including border control, fire-fighting and disaster monitoring. A factsheet from EDA, which groups all 28 EU states apart from Denmark, said ‘beyond 2020’ seemed a reasonable timeframe to produce a European medium altitude, long endurance drone… Eight European countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, signed an agreement to invest jointly in research into various drone components, including collision avoidance technology and automatic take-off and landing…
“EU leaders are trying to promote European cooperation in four key defense-related areas in the run-up to the bloc’s December summit which will have a defense focus. Apart from drones, the other areas are increasing air-to-air refueling capacity, government satellite communications and working together more closely on cyber defense.”
The EUObserver gave a slightly different report on November 20, talking about seven—not eight—European countries having signed the drone agreement. They omitted Britain:
“Seven EU countries have formed what France calls a ‘club’ to produce military drones from 2020 onward. The scheme was agreed in Brussels on Tuesday (19 November) at a meeting of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the EU’s defence think tank, by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.”
Watch Germany’s CSU and Horst Seehofer
Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 14:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the next government to be unified on its EU policy, but her sister party is resorting to populism. Bavaria’s Christian Social Union wants tougher provisions against deficit offenders and the ability to drive them out of the euro zone… the CSU, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s CDU, calls for repeat deficit offenders to exit the euro zone… The CDU and the SPD take a different view from the CSU and no compromise is in sight.
“… the party [CSU] wants bankrupt nations to leave the common currency. That’s precisely the position the CSU unanimously agreed to at a party conference last year. And it’s certainly not good news for Merkel, who would prefer to do without such potentially burdensome political outbursts on European policy. It’s also a sign that Merkel’s sister party won’t simply go along with policies from the chancellor that tend to be friendly towards the EU… the CSU adds another one of its pet demands — namely for national referendums on ‘European decisions of particular importance.’
“The CSU is also calling for more powers to be transferred from Brussels back to the EU member states as well as procedures for the restructuring of countries’ debts… CSU party boss Horst Seehofer is already preparing for European Parliament elections that are scheduled in May… With that in mind, it’s unlikely the CSU is just going to sit back and allow the CDU and the SPD to negotiate gently for the sake of Merkel’s party.
“In the note, the CSU also pleads for a smaller European Commission, the EU’s executive. ‘There has to be a reduction of the departments,’ said the CSU’s Thomas Silberhorn, who is negotiating EU policy issues on behalf of his party. ‘The only places where cabinets are this big is Africa, where all tribes have to be taken into consideration when building governments.’”
Some of what the CSU is planning to do sounds very familiar in light of biblical prophecy.
The End of the Merkel Era?
Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 19:
“The decision by the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) to open itself to a possible future alliance with the Left Party has unsettled coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and is a ticking time bomb that could topple her third government before the next general election, in 2017… the SPD’s party congress in the eastern city of Leipzig last week approved a motion to open itself to the option of a future coalition with the Left Party. It was a clever move that shows that SPD chair Sigmar Gabriel can match Merkel’s famed political cunning. The leftist option will put the conservatives under pressure in the ongoing coalition talks with the SPD, and will keep that pressure up throughout their shared government.
“Technically, the SPD, Greens and Left Party already have enough seats in the newly elected Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, to govern: They have 320 and they need 316 for an absolute majority, whereas the conservatives hold 311 seats. But no one expects the SPD to pull out of the coalition talks and team up with the Left Party in the near future. For that to happen, the Left Party would have to undergo a dramatic overhaul of its policies…
“The conservatives (CDU and CSU) feel they can no longer trust the SPD. Will it pull out of the government at some point? Will it hold Merkel ransom during her third term? And what options will the conservatives have if the SPD does pull the plug? Some conservatives are now calling for the party to foster deeper ties with the Greens, their only possible partners if the SPD abandons them.
“For the SPD, the grand coalition is the last stage before what it hopes will be the biggest shake-up in German politics since the SPD-Green government came to power in 1998, which ended 16 years of calcifying conservative rule under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl… Yet Merkel has more reason to be worried than her triumphant election win on Sept. 22 would have suggested. Her coalition with the SPD will have an overwhelming parliamentary majority, but her fate will be chained to an SPD leader who is already preparing the groundwork for the end of the Merkel Era.”
No Trade Deal Between EU and Ukraine
Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 21:
“The Ukrainian government announced on Thursday afternoon that it would cease preparations to sign a trade deal with the European Union… The statement followed the Ukrainian parliament’s failure just hours earlier to pass bills that would have allowed the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for medical treatment abroad…
“The trade pact, which would require the former Soviet republic to adopt EU governance and trade standards, is a source of tension with Russia, which has sharply criticized the measure… Moscow has attempted to hinder the trade deal, threatening economic sanctions and tougher travel regulations between the closely tied neighbors, then attempting to entice Kiev away from the pact with affordable gas prices.
“The failure of the Tymoshenko bills and the break-off of preparations for the deal is a victory for Russia in its struggle to maintain its influence in Ukraine. Russia is currently hoping the country will join its Customs Union with Kazahkstan and Belarus — a nascent rival to the European Union. On the eve of the vote, Russian politician Alexei Pushkov accused Europe of already treating Ukraine like a ‘half-colony.’”
The Battle for Gibraltar
The Telegraph wrote on November 19:
“Spain risked provoking a serious diplomatic incident on Tuesday after sending a survey ship into Gibraltar’s territorial waters and defying orders to leave by the Royal Navy. The Foreign Office said it had summoned the Spanish ambassador in London after the Ramon Margalef, a164ft oceanographic survey ship, defied repeated orders from British Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Sabre to leave the area… According to radio exchanges overheard by a local ship enthusiast onshore, the captain of the Spanish vessel insisted he was carrying out survey work with the permission of the Spanish government…
“David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, said: ‘Despite repeated diplomatic protests to Spain in relation to incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters in recent months, a Spanish State research vessel, the RV Ramon Margalef, undertook significant surveying activity in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters on 18 and 19 November for over 20 hours. When challenged by radio, the vessel responded that it was conducting survey work with the permission of the Spanish authorities and in the interests of the European Community. This comes only two weeks after dangerous manoeuvres by a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel in the vicinity of Royal Navy vessels in British waters put lives at risk and resulted in a minor collision.
“‘According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the waters around Gibraltar are indisputably British territorial waters, under United Kingdom sovereignty, in which only the United Kingdom has the right to exercise jurisdiction. Spain is a Party to this Convention and is fully aware of the legal position, yet has, over the past two years, increased the level of unlawful incursions by Spanish State vessels into British territorial waters from around five per month to around 40 per month. I strongly condemn this provocative incursion and urge the Spanish government to ensure that it is not repeated. We stand ready to do whatever is required to protect Gibraltar’s sovereignty, economy and security.’
“It is the third time the Spanish ambassador has been publicly summoned in relation to Gibraltar since the current Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took office in December 2011. The Government of Gibraltar condemned the actions of the Ramon Margalef and said it represents ‘yet another escalation of Spain’s campaign against Gibraltar on land and sea. This is an intolerable intrusion into British waters and constitutes a clear violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),’ a Gibraltar government spokesman said…
“Diplomatic tensions escalated over the summer when Spain imposed stringent border checks that lead to traffic delays of up to eight hours. Prime Minister David Cameron personally complained to Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy and called for Brussels to monitor the ‘disproportionate and politically motivated checks.’ But in a report published last week the European Commission absolved Spain of illegal checks saying their observers had found no evidence of infringement of EU border regulations.”
Monroe Doctrine Dead
AFP wrote on November 20:
“Secretary of State John Kerry has declared that a nearly 200-year-old policy which had governed Washington’s relations with Latin America was finally dead. Known as the Monroe Doctrine after it was adopted in 1823 by former President James Monroe, the policy had stated that any efforts by European countries to colonize land in North or South America would be viewed as aggressive acts and could require U.S. intervention.
“‘The doctrine that bears [Monroe’s] name asserted our authority to step in and oppose the influence of European powers in Latin America,’ Kerry told an audience at the Organization of American States. ‘And throughout our nation’s history, successive presidents have reinforced that doctrine and made a similar choice. Today, however, we have made a different choice. The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,’ he insisted to applause.”
Obamacare “Fix” – Confusion Galore
The Washington Post wrote on November 16:
“State regulators across the country said they were blindsided by President Obama’s decision to change a key health-law provision and spent Friday scrambling to make sense of it… The president tried to solve [the] issue — his broken promise that people who like their health plans can keep them — by allowing insurance companies to extend health plans that were supposed to be banned. But the move is adding to the confusion that surrounds the health-care law and throwing an element of uncertainty into the insurance market…
“Obama and senior White House officials met with more than a dozen insurance executives Friday afternoon… The executives noted that they could not act on Obama’s remedy for cancellations without the blessing of state regulators…
“Three states — Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — will not allow any changes in their insurance markets. Five states — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and Texas — will give insurers the opportunity to sell these plans… Other states, including [California, Colorado, Oregon] Maryland and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia, said they need more time to decide… [Note: According to the New York Times, dated November 19, thirteen states have said they will allow consumers to renew cancelled plans, while eight states have refused. California is expected to announce its decision on Thursday.]
“State officials in Georgia said they lack the statutory authority to allow insurers to provide the stopgap measure… In Montana, the main insurer, BlueCross BlueShield, is canceling individual policies by the end of the year. Reversing those cancellations would mean the insurer would have to develop new prices for those same plans, file them with regulators, and give consumers 45 days’ notice…
“Washington state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, quickly decided Thursday that he would not allow insurers to renew noncompliant plans as the president has asked…”
Obamacare Navigators Include Convicted Felons
The website of anncoulter.com wrote on November 13:
“In a weird confluence of the nation’s two most pressing issues — Obamacare and our insane immigration laws — this week we found out that the tens of thousands of ‘navigators’ hired by the government to enroll people in Obamacare will include convicted felons. Despite some ‘navigators’ having already been exposed as having arrest warrants against them, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has no plans to screen out the criminals… In addition to convicted felons, navigators are drawn from labor unions, community organizers, former ACORN staffers and front-groups for the Democratic National Committee.
“Call right up and give all your private financial and medical information to those guys! What could go wrong? (Before Obamacare was even online, Minnesota’s health exchange emailed the Social Security numbers and other identifying information for about 2,400 Americans to a man applying to be a ‘navigator’).”
Democrats Divided and in Opposition to President Obama
The Los Angeles Times wrote on November 15:
“Dealing a blow to President Obama’s effort to fix problems with his healthcare law, more than three dozen House Democrats voted Friday to support a Republican-sponsored bill to address the crisis, brushing aside White House warnings that the legislation would only make matters worse. Thirty-nine Democrats joined Republicans in a 261-157 vote to approve the legislation… which would allow insurers to continue selling individual policies that do not meet new federal standards.
“The Democratic defections, which the White House and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) had hoped to prevent, highlighted the growing unease among House Democrats over the botched rollout of the program and dissatisfaction with the administration’s proposed fix, announced by the president on Thursday… The vote was seen as a critical test of Democratic unity. The president sought to tamp down a revolt from congressional Democrats… It was unlikely that the Senate would pass a similar bill, and Obama has vowed to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.”
Bild Online commented that with this vote, Democrats gave Obama a lesson and a punishment. At the same time, the far left condemned Obama for even offering a one-year delay and his call for restoration of millions of canceled healthcare policies. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that “At stake… is more than the fate of one presidency or of the current Democratic majority in the Senate. At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama, of which Obamacare is both symbol and concrete embodiment.”
How can two walk together unless they are agreed?
Republicans Divided and in Opposition to Former President Bush
Deutsche Welle reported on November 15:
“Recent congressional debate over counterterrorism and Syria has revealed deepening fault lines among Republicans on national security. The party that launched the Iraq war has taken an increasingly isolationist turn… But after more than a decade of war, Americans have become increasingly critical of Bush-era foreign policy decisions. According to the pollster Gallup, 53 percent of Americans now believe the Iraq war was a mistake. And although 66 percent of Republicans still stand by the invasion, nearly a third of the party now regrets the misadventure.
“‘There really is a kind of international commitment fatigue among the general public and that includes a lot of Republicans,’ Colin Dueck, the author of Hard Line: The Republican Party and US Foreign Policy since World War II, told DW. ‘It’s just simply the case the people are in no mood in this country for further military interventions overseas.’
“One of the more stunning foreign policy confessions came recently from an old GOP warhorse, former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich. A foreign policy hawk who led Republicans to congressional dominance in the mid-90s, Gingrich also ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. ‘I am a neoconservative,’ Gingrich told the Washington Times, referring to the hawkish wing of the Republican Party. ‘But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take a deep breath to ask if our strategies in the Middle East have succeeded. It may be that our capacity to export democracy is a lot more limited than we thought,’ he said…
“Many elected officials now identified with the Tea Party, such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, are conservatives cut from a different cloth. They support ultra-conservative economic policies at home, but oppose military interventions abroad… The junior senator from Kentucky sought to force the White House to answer his questions about the drone program. Paul wanted to know whether or not the Obama administration thought it had the authority to launch drone strikes against American non-combatants on US soil. When he didn’t receive an answer, Paul spoke on the floor of the Senate for 13 hours, delaying John Brennan’s nomination for CIA director. The White House eventually took notice of the senator’s filibuster and responded, publicly stating that it did not have the authority to launch such drone strikes on US soil…
“The internal Republican battle over national security intensified during the summer, when the intelligence leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden ignited a firestorm of controversy over post-9/11 surveillance policies. Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a Republican associated with the Tea Party, proposed an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would have stopped funding for the NSA mass surveillance programs like PRISM… But Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and six other Republicans sent a letter to the party rank and file, encouraging them to vote against the Amash amendment… Ultimately, the Amash amendment narrowly failed by a margin of just 12 votes. Republicans were deeply divided on the issue, with 93 voting for the measure and 134 against.
“Just days after Amash’s amendment failed, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took aim at Paul, calling ‘the strain of libertarianism’ running through the Republican Party ‘a very dangerous thought.’ Both Christie and Paul are potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But during the debate over possible military strikes against Syria last September, Republican lawmakers gravitated increasingly toward Paul’s non-interventionist approach. According to a CBS tally at the time, 20 Republican senators were opposed to the strikes while 14 were undecided and only 8 were in favor. In the House, 155 Republicans were opposed to the strikes or were leaning toward opposing the strikes. Meanwhile, just 20 Republicans said they supported or were considering supporting military intervention.
“According to foreign policy expert Dueck, Rand Paul is better positioned to make the non-interventionist argument today than his libertarian father, former Representative Ron Paul. The latter ran in the Republican presidential primaries in 2008 and 2012 on an anti-war platform. But Dueck says Rand has a long way to go if he wants to win over the party. ‘The mood right now among a lot of Republicans is we don’t want to have anything to do with Syria; we don’t want to have anything to do with Libya – our main concerns are domestic; our main concerns are fiscal,’ Dueck said. ‘[But] even after all of the frustration of Iraq and even after everything that’s happened in the last decade, most Republicans tend to be more hawkish than the average American and significantly more hawkish than the average Democrat on defense and foreign policy issues,’ he said.”
A house divided cannot stand…
Bush In Support of Messianic Groups, Angering Jews
The Huffington Post wrote on November 15:
“Today, former President George W. Bush is giving the keynote speech in Irvine, Texas, at a major fundraising convention for a messianic religious group whose goal is to convert Jews to Christianity, so there can be the Rapture… [This] has caused outrage and heartbreak among Jewish leaders…
“I never once felt that George Bush had especially good, warm, caring feelings towards Jews. I always sensed that he was a born-again religious disciple who started wars in the Middle East that he referred to as a ‘crusade.’ That he explained to a Palestinian delegation, ‘God would tell me, “George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan”. And I did. And then God would tell me “George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq”. And I did.’…
“We know that George Bush is speaking today at a fundraiser for a group whose sole, publicly-stated goal is to convert Jews to Christianity to prepare the world for the Rapture. He knows who he’s speaking to. He can’t not, most especially with all the controversy…”
The Bible does not teach a rapture. The Bible does not teach that true Christians ought to “convert” people today to true Christianity. The Bible does not teach that we must fight in war today to make this world a better place. But if our political leaders believe this, then their actions will by necessity be extremely dubious and unbiblical.
Bible as Foreign Policy Guide on Israel
The Huffington Post wrote on November 15:
“Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) took to the House floor Wednesday for a speech on the Obama administration’s Israel policy, using the Bible for guidance. ‘There are many who have been aware of Scripture, and it has often been a guide in our relations with Israel,’ Gohmert said. ‘Some of us believe that the Bible is accurate. Certainly, so many prophesies have been fulfilled, and if that is true, this administration, unless they can find a verse that accurately says that those who betray Israel will be blessed, then this country is being dug in a deeper hole by this administration, and its betrayals of Israel’s trust and Israel’s friendship.’
“Gohmert accused President Barack Obama of pursuing policies not in Israel’s best interest. He mentioned the administration’s support for Israel signing an international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and quoted Genesis 12, which describes the consequences of ‘betraying’ Israel. ‘It seems appropriate … “I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee,”’ Gohmert said. ‘It was no accident that just minutes after Israel became a nation, the United States … became the first nation in the world to recognize what was prophesized throughout the Old Testament about Israel returning after its absence.’…”
Israel Doomed to Extinction?
The Washington Times wrote on November 20:
“Right around the time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was heading to Russia for an 11th hour attempt to influence a global deal with Tehran over nuclear development, Iran’s top religious leader was emphasizing the fated fall of the Jewish nation. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran wanted to have a friendly working relationship with Israel — but that Israel was ‘doomed to extinction,’ Ynet News reported.
“Mr. Khamenei also said, in remarks that were broadcast on state-run television: ‘I insist on stabilizing the rights of the Iranian nation, including the nuclear rights. I insist on not retreating one step from the rights of the Iranian nation. We want to have friendly relations with all nations, even the United States. We are not hostile to the American nation. They are like other nations in the world.’ In the next breath, however, the ayatollah spoke harshly of France’s stand with the United States in opposition of much of the nuclear deal being forged in Geneva, vowing that Iran would ‘slap aggressors in the face in such a way they will never forget it,’ Ynet News reported.”
What the U.S. Government Does Not Want You to Know
The website of cnet.com wrote on November 14:
“Requests from governments worldwide for user information have more than doubled since three years ago. Worse still, says Google, is what the US won’t let us tell you… The US government is on a data-gathering spree at Google, new data from the search giant reveals. Between January and June 2013, the US government issued nearly 11,000 requests to Google asking for user information, or about 42 percent of the global total. India was second with nearly 2,700 government requests.
“The collective requests from governments around the world during that six-month period have more than doubled in the three-and-a-half years since Google’s first government transparency report, which covered the second half of 2009. ‘And these numbers,’ Google said in a blog post Thursday, ‘only include the requests we’re allowed to publish.’
“It’s the things that Google can’t share about those data requests that really has the company hot and bothered. ‘We believe it’s your right to know what kinds of requests and how many each government is making of us and other companies,’ Google Legal Director Richard Salgado wrote in the blog post. ‘However, the US Department of Justice contends that US law does not allow us to share information about some national security requests that we might receive. Specifically, the U.S. government argues that we cannot share information about the requests we receive (if any) under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But you deserve to know.’”
Drug-Resistant Super-Bugs Grave Threat to Mankind
The Independent wrote on November 17:
“Drug-resistant ‘superbugs’ represent one of the gravest threats in the history of medicine, leading experts have warned. Routine operations could become deadly ‘in the very near future’ as bacteria evolve to resist the drugs we use to combat them… England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor John Watson, said: ‘I am concerned that in 20 years, if I go into hospital for a hip replacement, I could get an infection leading to major complications and possible death, simply because antibiotics no longer work as they do now.’
“About 35 million antibiotics are prescribed by GPs in England every year. The more the drugs circulate, the more bacteria are able to evolve to resist them… Writing in The Lancet, experts, including England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, warn that death rates from bacterial infections ‘might return to those of the early 20th century’. They write: ‘Rarely has modern medicine faced such a grave threat. Without antibiotics, treatments from minor surgery to major transplants could become impossible, and health-care costs are likely to spiral as we resort to newer, more expensive antibiotics and sustain longer hospital admissions.’…
“However, a leading GP told The Independent on Sunday that the time had come for the general public to take responsibility. ‘The change needs to come in patient expectation. We need public education: that not every ill needs a pill,’ said Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the Family Doctor Association… Antibiotics are also used in vast quantities in agriculture, fisheries and by vets, the resulting environmental exposure adding to bacterial resistance, with further consequences for human health.”
Japan Meltdown Warning to the World
The Telegraph wrote on November 19:
“The man in charge of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has warned that the meltdown of the plant in 2011 contains important lessons for the British government and its plans to build new nuclear power stations. Naomi Hirose, president of the company that runs Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), said the triple meltdown following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a ‘warning to the world’ and that Britain’s nuclear industry must be ‘prepared for the worst.’
“… he said that despite what the nuclear industry and the public wanted to believe, nuclear power was not 100 per cent safe… The British government recently stuck at deal with EDF Energy to build the first of a new generation of nuclear reactors in Somerset.”
Pagan Origin of New Moon Celebrations?
God decreed that the Feast of Trumpets is to be kept at the first sighting of a new moon, but the determination of the beginning of Trumpets was and is not only based on observation, but also on calculation. (Today, the dates for Trumpets and all of God’s Holy Days have been determined and fixed by the Hebrew calendar, as published by the Church of God.) In addition, God never ordered that there should be new moon celebrations (new moons were never viewed by God as Holy Days), but it is also true that Israelites and Jews began early on to observe and celebrate new moons with festivities. A new article in The Times of Israel (dated November 16, 2013) sheds some light on how and why new moon venerations might have begun:
“It’s easy to walk past the gray-brown slab of basalt in the Israel Museum’s archaeology wing and pay it no heed… But etched into the monumental stele’s pocked surface is a mysterious figure [a bull stele unearthed in Bethsaida] central to understanding the significance of the lunar god in ancient Canaan and the origins of the Jewish veneration of the new moon…
“The bull stele once stood atop an altar situated at the entrance to the ancient city of Geshur, the capital of an eponymous kingdom. It was one of several Aramaean kingdoms that ruled southern Syria and bordered the Israelites. Like the Israelites to the south, the Geshurites spoke a Semitic tongue, likely a blend of Aramaic and Hebrew… Scholars postulate that the altars were akin to those referred to as ‘high places of the gates’ in II Kings 23…
“King David married Maachah, the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur, forging a political alliance between Israel and its stronger neighbor. In 732 BCE, Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III embarked on a campaign of conquest and destruction in Canaan. Bethsaida, like many cities in the southern Levant, was put to the sword. The stele was smashed and cast down in ruin…
“In much of the ancient Levant, the bull was associated with storm deities, like the Canaanite Baal, or his Syrian cognate Hadad. A 15th century stele from Ugarit, in northwestern Syria, for example, shows a thunderbolt-wielding Baal adorned with bull horns… The bull’s head on the Bethsaida stele is surmounted by horns forming a clearly defined crescent moon, suggesting it may represent a lunar deity.
“Although the storm god [Baal] reigned supreme among the Arameans, as the Syrian kingdom fell under Assyrian influence, the moon god — particularly the new moon — found increased significance in the Aramean and Israelite pantheons… Nearly exact copies of the Bethsaida stele have been found at sites in Syria and southern Turkey — a staff topped by a bull’s head whose horns form the crescent moon.
“Scholars point to a lengthy tradition of theriomorphic… depictions of the moon god Sin-Nanna in Mesopotamian cultures. To the ancient Mesopotamians, the ‘horns of a bull or cow were seen to match the pointed curve of the waxing and waning crescents so exactly that the powers of the one were attributed to the other, each gaining the other’s potency as well as their own,’ writes Jules Cashford in her book ‘The Moon: Myth and Image.’ Tallay Ornan of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations argues that [the] Bethsaida stele intentionally conflates the bull and moon imagery in order to symbolize both deities…
“As for the Israelites and Judeans, she wrote in an email, seals unearthed at Jerusalem’s City of David indicate that moon god worship intensified in Israel and Judea under Assyrian domination during the period of the Bethsaida stele and after its destruction. It is precisely during this time period — the late First Temple Era — under Aramean and Assyrian influence, that Israel and Judah began venerating the new moon… a fairly extra-biblical tradition that was bestowed with quasi-holiness in an otherwise season-driven calendar.
“The Jewish lunar month — Rosh Hodesh – traditionally begins with the sighting of the first sliver of the waxing moon and religious time governed ritual observance of Judaism’s many holidays… The Talmud, codified centuries later, discusses in exhaustive detail the byzantine process of verifying eyewitness sighting of the new moon and the consequent declaration of the commencement of the new month…”
Israel and Judah are known for committing idolatry by worshipping the pagan sun-good Baal, who was pictured many times as a bull. But even though God clearly instructed how and when to begin with the celebration of the Feast of Trumpets, He never enjoined the Israelites to celebrate new moons. (See our Q&A on the issue of new moons.). It appears that this practice may be rooted in paganism and the worship of the “moon” god or goddess. The famous female idol called “Astarte,” also referred to in the Bible as the queen of heaven, was indeed a moon goddess. She was also known as Ishtar or Eostre—the modern name for “Easter” is derived from these designations.
Peter’s Bones in the Vatican?
The Guardian wrote on November 18:
“On 26 June 1968, as much of Europe was busy rebelling against authority and fighting for free love, Pope Paul VI made a dramatic announcement that put the Roman Catholic church back in the headlines for reasons other than its stance on women, abortion or contraception. Bones discovered in a Roman cemetery in the Vatican, he declared, had been identified ‘in a way we believe to be convincing’ as those of Saint Peter, the Christian martyr who is traditionally held to have been the first pope and died 1,950 years ago.
“But despite the 1968 announcement, the bones remained hidden. That will change on Sunday, when fragments are to be displayed in public… The fragments, contained in an urn usually kept in a private papal chapel, will be presented for public veneration in St Peter’s Square at a mass celebrated by Pope Francis.
“The decision to exhibit is controversial. No pontiff has ever said the bones are without doubt those of Saint Peter, and some within archaeological circles are fairly sure they are not…
“In his book, The Vatican Diaries, longtime observer John Thavis calls the affair ‘an embarrassment’ for the church. ‘The supposed bones of Saint Peter had been surreptitiously dug up by a meddling monsignor when the archaeologists weren’t looking; then they were thrown into a box and forgotten for more than a decade; then they were rediscovered by accident and became the focus of a feud between church experts,’ he writes. ‘The whole affair did not inspire confidence in the Vatican’s ability to exhume its own history, and it is little wonder that none of it is mentioned in the Vatican guidebooks.’…”
Utter Nonsense–When Scientists Babble Nonsense…
Mail On Line wrote on November 15:
“Most scientists would probably say that the concept of an afterlife is either nonsense, or at the very least unprovable. Yet one expert claims he has evidence to confirm an existence beyond the grave – and it lies in quantum physics. Professor Robert Lanza claims the theory of biocentrism teaches that death as we know it is an illusion created by our consciousness…
“He believes our consciousness creates the universe, and not the other way round, and once we accept that space and time are ‘tools of our minds’, death can’t exist in ‘any real sense’ either… Lanza… continued that as humans we believe in death because ‘we’ve been taught we die’, or more specifically, our consciousness associates life with bodies and we know that bodies die… Lanza, instead, said that when we die our life becomes a ‘perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.’”
Sadly, there will be some pseudo intellectuals who will actually believe this utter nonsense.
Utter Nonsense–End of Days—First the Mayas, Now the Vikings
Mail Online wrote on November 16:
“If Vikings were here today, the sounding of a distinctive horn in York would have created chaos. The ancient instrument, blown last night, signalled exactly 100 days until the end of the world, according to Norse mythology. Legend has it that the Norse God, Heimdallr, would blow the mythical Gjallerhorn to warn of the Viking apocalypse, also known as ‘Ragnarok’…
“Ragnarok, which translates to ‘Doom of the Gods’, is due to be preceded by the winter of winters. Vikings believed, prior to the apocalypse, three freezing winters would follow each other with no summers in between… All morality would disappear and fights would break out all over the world, signalling the beginning of the end. The wolf Skoll would devour the sun, and his brother Hati would eat the moon, causing stars to vanish from the sky and the Earth to be thrown into eternal darkness. Norse mythology experts have calculated that Vikings believed this will take place on February 22, 2014.
“On this day, the god Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ gods… There will be huge earthquakes, the sea will rear up and the soil and the sky will be stained with poison. The Earth will sink into the sea, paving the way for a new utopian world with endless supplies… The sound of the horn is supposed to call the sons of Odin to the battlefield, where Odin will ultimately be killed.”
We can dogmatically state—in case someone wonders—that the end of days will NOT occur in 2014. All of the above is just a myth and has no resemblance of reality… but sadly, some will even believe this utter nonsense.
Utter Nonsense–US Ecologist “Out to Lunch”
Mail Online wrote on November 14:
“A U.S. ecologist has claimed that humans are not from Earth but were put on the planet by aliens tens of thousands of years ago… Dr Ellis says that humans might suffer from bad backs because they evolved on a world with lower gravity… He suggests that Neanderthals such as homo erectus were crossbred with another species, perhaps from Alpha Centauri, which is the closest star system to our solar system, some 4.37 light years away from the sun… Dr Ellis said many people feel that they don’t belong and feel at home on Earth.‘This suggests (to me at least) that mankind may have evolved on a different planet, and we may have been brought here as a highly developed species.’
“One reason for this … is that the Earth might be a prison planet, since we seem to be a naturally violent species and we’re here until we learn to behave ourselves,’ he said… He is interested in whether humans came to Earth separately, perhaps by arriving on meteors and comets, before evolving into the species we know today. ‘My thesis proposes that mankind did not evolve from that particular strain of life, but evolved elsewhere and was transported to Earth (as fully evolved Homo sapiens) between 60,000 and 200,000 years ago,’ he says.”
This is more evidence as to how absolutely ridiculous scientists can get. Of course, if one is foolish enough to believe in the ungodly theory of evolution, then it is only a small step towards believing in aliens on other planets who transferred “evolved” or “evolving” life forms from those other planets to earth. All of this is utter nonsense.
Can we attach any significance to certain numbers in the Bible? (Part 3)
In the last two Q&A’s, we discussed the significance of numbers 1 to 7 and 10 in the Bible. In this final Q&A of this series, we will conclude with pointing out the biblical importance of numbers 12 and 40.
Number 12 is generally understood as being the number of foundations. Twelve is a combination of the number 2 (which can symbolize union) and the number 10 (which symbolizes godly judgment).
Jesus tells us that a day has twelve hours (John 11:9)—referring to the daylight portion—adding that the day is followed by the night (verse 10)—another period of twelve (dark) hours.
In the first book of the Bible, we are introduced to Jacob, who was later renamed Israel, and his twelve sons who are the foundation of the tribes of Israel (Genesis 35:22-26; 49:28; compare Acts 26:7; James 1:1). To be protected from the plagues of the Lord, God will seal 144,000 Israelites (12 times 12)—twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes (Revelation 7:1-8; since Dan is not mentioned, Joseph is listed with his son Manasseh, reaching again the number 12).
Moses and Aaron numbered the people “with the leaders of Israel, twelve men, each one representing his father’s house” (Numbers 1:44). Moses sent 12 leaders as spies into the Promised Land (Numbers 13:1-16), to indicate the potential future foundation or establishment of the nation of Israel in Canaan, but due to the rebellion of ten spies, they had to wait forty years before being allowed to possess the land.
We also read about 12 judges in the Old Testament, beginning with Othniel and ending with Samuel. In Samuel’s time, the people demanded to be led by a king. Even though God never intended for Israel to have a human king, He let them have their kings, the first king being Saul. King Solomon had twelve governors over all Israel, and each one made provision for one month of the year (1 Kings 4:7).
We are told that Jesus was 12 years old when He was found in the Temple to discuss God’s Law with the teachers (Luke 2:42-47). He told His surprised parents that He had to be about His heavenly Father’s business (verse 49).
Later, Jesus called twelve apostles (Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 6:13-16). But He knew from the beginning that one of them, Judas Iscariot, would be “a devil” and betray Him (John 6:64, 70-71; Luke 22:3). Therefore, after Judas’ betrayal, another disciple was chosen to replace Judas and become an apostle, to be numbered with the eleven, and his name was Matthias (Acts 1:15-26). From that time on, the Bible includes Matthias (no longer Judas) as part of the twelve apostles (compare 1 Corinthians 15:5; Revelation 21:14). Even before Judas’ actual betrayal, Jesus spoke in Matthew 19:28 of 12 thrones on which the apostles will sit (those who truly followed Him—not Judas, but Matthias), to judge the house of Israel.
Jesus said in John 17:11-17 that His Church was to be kept in the name of His Father. The Father’s name is GOD (compare John 20:17; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 3:4-15). We find 12 passages in the New Testament where the true Church is named “the church of God” [as the collective Body] or “churches of God,” [referring to the total of all local congregations]—sometimes also in connection with a place or location, or with the addition of an attribute describing characteristics of God the Father. The 12 passages are as follows:
“The church of God” (six times, namely: Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 10:32; 1 Corinthians 11:22; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 3:5); “The church of God which is at Corinth” (two times, namely: 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1); “The church of the living God” (one time, namely: 1 Timothy 3:15); and “The churches of God” (three times, namely: 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; and 2 Thessalonians 1:4).
We read that when Christ fed five thousand men, besides women and children, “twelve baskets full of the fragments” of the multiplied loaves of bread remained (Matthew 14:20), and when Peter was anxious to defend Christ with a sword, Christ told him to put his sword away, as He could ask His heavenly Father to send Him more than 12 legions of angels to protect Him (Matthew 26:53).
When focusing on the New Jerusalem which will descend from a new heaven to a new earth after the third resurrection (Revelation 21:1-2), we are told that that spiritual city—the bride, the Lamb’s wife—will have 12 gates, with 12 angels at the gates, with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them (verse 12). The wall of the holy city will have 12 foundations, on which will be written the names of the 12 apostles (verse 14). The city will be twelve thousand furlongs long (verse 16). The foundations of the wall will be adorned with 12 precious stones (verses 19-20), and the 12 gates will be 12 pearls (verse 21). Finally, we read that a “river” will proceed from the throne of God and the Lamb, and that in the midst of the street, and on either side of the river “was the tree of life which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month”—or twelve times a year (Revelation 22:1-2).
Another meaningful number is number 40. It is a combination of the number 4 (God’s revelation) and the number 10 (Godly Judgment), and it is widely understood as symbolizing God’s revelation in judging and testing man.
The many occasions when the number 40 plays a major role in the Bible should convince even the skeptic that these incidents are not merely “coincidental.” In fact, there are too many examples to list, but we are going to point out those which are most remarkable.
God’s flood at the time of Noah lasted for 40 days. God sent the flood to show His judgment of a rebellious world (Genesis 7:4, 12, 17; 8:6). In a somewhat related context, the punishment of a judged and condemned criminal could not exceed 40 blows or stripes (Deuteronomy 25:3).
We read that Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20). This was a good and godly-ordained marriage. Sadly, Isaac and Rebekah’s son Esau married two wives, when he was 40 years old (Genesis 26:34), but this marriage was not good or godly-ordained. We read that Esau’s two wives “were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah” (verse 35).
The Bible reveals the predominant role of the number 40 in the life of Moses, and it also plays a role in the lives of Aaron and Caleb. Acts 7:23 tells us that Moses was 40 years old when he visited the Israelites and slew the Egyptian, forcing him to flee from Egypt (verses 24-29). Acts 7:30 adds that Moses was staying for 40 years in Midian, tending the sheep of his father-in-law. We are also told that he was with the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness (Acts 7:36). Moses died when he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 31:2; 34:7), which means that God revealed Himself in the testing and judgment of Moses during three different time intervals: during the first 40 years in Egypt; during the next 40 years in Midian; and during the last 40 years in the wilderness with the Israelites.
We read that Moses was fasting for 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain to receive from God two tablets with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:18), but after he broke the tablets in his wrath, he fasted again for 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain until God gave him the Ten Commandments, which God had written on two tablets of stone which Moses had to cut (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25; Exodus 34:1, 4).
We read of two more occasions when holy men of God fasted for forty days and forty nights—Elijah (1 Kings 19:8) and Jesus (Matthew 4:2).
When Moses sent the twelve spies to the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb gave a good report. Caleb was 40 years old at that time (Joshua 14:7). The other spies gave bad reports, and Israel believed them and disobeyed God. Due to Israel’s rebellion, they had to wander and were tested and judged by God in the wilderness for 40 years (Numbers 14:33; Deuteronomy 2:7; 8:2-6; compare Joshua 5:6; Acts 13:18; Hebrews 3:9, 17; Psalm 95:10; Amos 2:10; 5:25). During this time of their journey in the wilderness, they ate manna for 40 years (Exodus 16:35), but there were times when they complained about God’s bread from heaven (compare Numbers 11:5-6).
Because of their rebellion, God decreed that they had to bear their guilt for 40 years according to the number of the 40 days in which they had spied out the Promised Land (Numbers 13:25; 14:34). This important prophetic principle—one year for one day—is critical to recognize; the reverse—one day for one year—is also correct. In Ezekiel 4:6, we read that Ezekiel was to “bear” the iniquity of the people of Judah for 40 days, according to the 40 years of their iniquity. God said that He laid on Ezekiel “a day for each year.”
We read that Aaron (as well as Moses and Miriam) did not enter the Promised Land, due to sins that they had committed. Even though they bitterly repented of their sins, they still had to live with the consequences. Aaron died in the 40th year after Israel had left Egypt (Numbers 33:38).
In Judges 13:1, God plagued Israel for 40 years because they did evil in the sight of the LORD. However, when they were under the rule of righteous judges, Israel had rest for 40 years (compare Judges 3:11 under Othniel; Judges 5:31 under Deborah; and Judges 8:28 under Gideon).
We read that Eli judged Israel for 40 years (1 Samuel 4:18), but he had not done so perfectly. King Saul ruled Israel for 40 years (Acts 13:21), but he failed miserably. On the other hand, King David—a man after God’s own heart—reigned over Israel for 40 years (1 Kings 2:11; 1 Chronicles 29:27). He was followed by Solomon, who also ruled Israel for 40 years (2 Chronicles 9:30), but he did not follow God fully, as his father David had done. Later, King Joash or Jehoash ruled in Jerusalem for 40 years (2 Chronicles 24:1; 2 Kings 12:1). He began ruling in a godly way, but ended up rebelling against God (2 Chronicles 24:22). We also read that because of sin, Egypt would be uninhabited for 40 years (Ezekiel 29:11-16).
Finally, we read that after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He spoke to the disciples for 40 days about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). After these 40 days, He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11).
In conclusion, not all numbers used in the Bible are of equal importance, and some numbers are of no importance at all. However, as we have seen in this series, there is most certainly important significance which we must apply to certain selected numbers, and God recorded them on purpose in His Word to teach us valuable lessons.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
A Thankful Circumstance
by Manuela Mitchell
An event that happened last month, when my husband was let go from his job, resulted in some unavoidable circumstances. We were, again, put into a situation similar to the one that we experienced 2 years previously. My husband, as determined and hopeful as he is, has been searching daily for work and quickly responding to any interview offered. As of yet, he remains focused and still on the hunt.
I have been researching insurance plans extensively because being a Type 1 diabetic and having a small child, I know that not having insurance is risky. Since last month, I have been unsuccessful in finding appropriate coverage. I am constantly denied due to my pre-existing condition or I am unable to afford the high premiums. What now? We have no medical coverage. I started to become anxious and scared that something could happen if we didn’t have insurance.
My employer, knowing of my situation, offered our son Sam and me coverage if I worked an additional day, meaning full time. Kalon and I had discussed putting Sam into pre-school so he could build some important skills and have a chance to properly socialize. Our goal was to put him into this school 2 days/week; that way childcare for 2 days of my week was covered. We interviewed with the school and absolutely loved what we saw and how the children responded. We were excited that the school was not religiously based but extremely disappointed that it still partook in the worldly holidays—several weeks before they occurred. Songs, movies, crafts and drawings pertaining to the holiday would be in Sam’s near future. Removing him from those activities would not be possible by the teachers as they did not believe it was fair to him to be treated differently than other 3-year-olds as he would not understand. So, that decision was final, which put us right back into our dire circumstance.
It is easy to lose hope, the desire to keep searching, the will and even faith. It is also easy to ask why and not to receive an answer. And, it is very easy to get depressed. I refuse to be overtaken by what is easy. I am fortunate that as a family, we are strong and can overcome anything with God’s loving help. I am blessed that we are healthy and alive. And as difficult and as heart-wrenching as this event has become, as silly as it sounds, I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to improve myself, to trust God and to handle any trial that has been given to me. I know and believe that in the end, it will all work out.
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
“Scientific Nonsense—Do You Believe It?,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Here are three examples of scientists who teach concepts of utter nonsense: Death is just an illusion; the world will end in February of 2014; and evolving human beings were placed on this earth by aliens. This program shows why ideas like these are in total opposition to God’s Word, and asks whether you know what the Bible says. Our free booklets, “The Theory of Evolution” and “The Authority of the Bible,” will help you to answer this important question.
“Eine Auferstehung für gottlose Sünder?,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. The title in English is, “A Resurrection for Wicked Sinners?”
StandingWatch Radio is now on a total of eighteen radio stations–all part of the Wilkins Radio Network, Inc. Recently, Wilkins has added live streaming to their services, and you can check the times and tune in to hear the programs being broadcast at: http://wilkinsradio.com/listen-live/. The live streaming allows anyone in the world to listen to these radio stations, and this will definately expand our own potential audience! All of the radio programs are available at our own site: http://www.standingwatch.org/radioPrograms.
StandingWatch Radio Schedule:
KWDF 840 AM Alexandria, Louisiana 10:30-10:45 AM Sunday
KLNG 1560 AM Omaha, Nebraska 1:15-1:30 PM Saturday
WFAM 1050 AM Augusta, Georgia 10:00-10:15 AM Saturday
WBXR 1140 AM Huntsville, Alabama 11:00-11-15 AM Saturday
WLMR 1450 AM Chattanooga, Tennessee 6:00-6:15 PM Wednesday
WSKY 1230 AM Asheville, North Carolina 5:00-5:15 PM Tuesday
WIJD 1270 AM Mobile, Alabama 5:30-5:45 PM Saturday
WNVY 1070 AM Pensacola, Florida 5:45-6:00 PM Monday
WCPC 940 AM Tupelo, Mississippi 5:30-5:45 PM Monday
KXKS 1190 AM Albuquerque, New Mexico 6:15-6:30 PM Friday
KCNW 1380 AM Kansas City, Kansas 11:00-11:15 AM and 6:00-6:15 PM Saturday
WWNL 1080 AM Pittsburg, Pennsylvania 12:45-1:00PM Friday
WBRI 1500 AM Indianapolis, Idian 1:45-2:00 PM Saturday
WELP 1360 AM Greenville, South Carolina 12:15-12:30 PM Tuesday
WVTJ 610 AM Pensacola, Florida 11:45AM-12:00 PM Saturday
WYYC 1250 AM York, Pennsylvania 11:15-11:30 AM Saturday
KIOU 1480 AM Shreveport, Louisiana 12:00-12:15 PM Saturday
WITK 1550 AM Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania 10:00-10:15 AM Saturday
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:
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