Update 661


Appreciating Our Salvation

On November 8, 2014, Robb Harris will give the sermon, titled, “Appreciating Our Salvation.” 

The live services are available, over video and audio, at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Death With Dignity?

by Robb Harris

This week Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman facing a rare and debilitating form of brain cancer, chose to end her life. Maynard “suffered increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms. As symptoms grew more severe she chose to abbreviate the dying process by taking the aid-in-dying medication she had received months ago,” stated a spokesman for Compassion & Choices.

Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist who has battled ALS for over 20 years, commented on assisted suicide in 2006, saying, “I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”  Recently he has changed his position and feels those with terminal illness and pain should be able to end their lives as they see fit.  “We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?” he told the BBC, noting that there should be adequate protections so that no one is condemned to die against their wishes.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, over 40,000 suicides were reported in 2012, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the US.  Suicides are nothing new but legalizing them is a growing change.  Many of the arguments supporting legal suicide seem plausible, especially when we hear such emotional stories. But emotions should not rule our will!  We must submit to the Will of God, of which most of the world has no knowledge.  “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, Common English Bible, CEB).

An opponent of assisted suicide, Diane Coleman, President of Not Dead Yet, said this week, “Brittany Maynard’s story is incredibly heart-wrenching. When you look at assisted suicide based on one individual, it often looks acceptable. But when you examine how legalization affects the vast majority of us — especially those most vulnerable — the dangers to the many far outweigh any alleged benefits to a few.”

One fundamental point lacking in most arguments either for or against assisted suicide is this:  What is God’s Will?  We understand this world is ruled by Satan, and he imposes his will mercilessly upon it.  But that doesn’t negate God’s Will or His desire for humanity.  God alone wills who should live or die.  “The LORD! He brings death, gives life, takes down to the grave, and raises up!” (1 Samuel 2:6, CEB).

While Christ was alive on earth, He knew that His death had been pre-appointed.   He agreed to die, not with dignity or in comfort with loved ones. Instead He died a most undignified and painful death.  His brethren abandoned Him during His trials.  And during His last moments on earth, even God the Father separated Himself from His Son, “and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46).

Christ did not commit suicide, but He agreed with the Father as to the time and manner of His death. He gave the world opportunity—eternal life because of His sacrifice.  We owe the Creator nothing less than to live a life, like our elder brother, constantly fulfilling God’s Will. 

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We begin with reports on the USA, its mid-term elections and its prophesied demise in these end times and address the ongoing discussion of the coming exit of the UK from the EU.

We continue speaking of new elections in Eastern Ukraine; the debate on man-made global warming; an alleged spectacular finding which would prove the historical accuracy of a biblical narrative; the turmoil in the Middle East surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Germany’s dilemma; the controversial revelation of Apple’s CEO as to his sexual orientation; post-birth abortions; the “rudderless” Catholic Church and interesting brain discoveries.

We conclude with articles on suicide and the belief in extraterrestrial life.

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Mid-Term Election and the Ebola Virus

BBC News reported on November 3:

“There are two stories running big in the United States at the moment – the mid-term elections and Ebola. For Barack Obama, it is as though the two have become horribly confused. For it seems all the Democratic Party hopefuls fighting in the key Senate seats… are treating him as though he were infected by Ebola. That is to say they want Mr Obama to go through the 21-day quarantine that health workers from West Africa are undergoing. In a sealed tent, somewhere in the White House. And nowhere near their states. He is being kept away from the key swing states. When he has turned up, some candidates have cited ‘scheduling difficulties’ or ‘diary confusion’ to explain why they didn’t meet him…

“In truth, there is not much love for the Republicans either… All of which begs the question – what difference will it make if the Republicans do take control of the Senate [which they did, see next article]… Some are predicting that it will be gridlock on steroids. In other words, just like before – only worse… The Republicans will be looking at the presidential elections in 2016, and it is not a great campaign slogan to say ‘we controlled both houses, and got nothing done’. And the same pressure will be on the president…”

The US Mid-Term Election Results and Consequences

BBC News reported on November 5:

“The Republicans have won control of the Senate in the US mid-term elections, increasing their power in the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Republicans also increased their grip on the House of Representatives and now control both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006….

“The Republicans will now have the power to complicate, if not block completely, Mr Obama’s agenda in the last two years of his tenure in the White House. Control of the Senate will also enable the Republicans to stymie his ability to name new federal judges, cabinet members and senior government officials.”

The Next Two Most Dangerous Years for America

Charles Hurt wrote the following in The Washington Times, on November 5:

“If President Obama suffered a ‘shellacking’ in the 2010 elections, then what he endured Tuesday night was nothing short of a vicious gangland beatdown the likes of which have rarely been seen before in the history of electoral politics. This, of course, is a wonderful and well-deserved outcome. But beware: America now enters the two most dangerous years of her existence — or certainly the most dangerous since the Great Depression and possibly going all the way back to the Civil War.

“Not to dismiss the promising results of Tuesday’s election. Voters clearly and forcefully rejected the party, politics and policies of President Obama. They slapped his socialist agenda back into the days of Soviet gulags, where it belongs. His grand visions of mighty government ruling unchecked over desperate ghettos have been snuffed out…

“The silver lining for Democrats today is now they now have the perfect excuse… And this is where things get very, very dangerous for America. President Obama still has two more years left in his final term. Already, he has demonstrated again and again that he has no regard for the constitution or the legitimacy of laws when they do not suit his agenda. He flaunts his disregard for the constitutional process, dismisses laws he doesn’t like and rewrites others.

“He mocks the powers of Congress. The Supreme Court has slapped him down more than any president in recent times. All of this as he tells us he is an expert on constitutional law. Now come his very explicit threats to pass more illegal and unconstitutional presidential edicts to grant amnesty to illegal aliens already in the United States. This, in turn, will issue invitations for millions more illegals to come streaming across the border.

“It will not end at immigration. Unchecked power is addictive. Disowned by Democrats and made to feel irrelevant in this election, President Obama’s enormous and unjustified ego is deeply wounded. He is frustrated and feels caged, cornered. This is when people like him are most dangerous…

“President Obama is not a listener. He is not a negotiator. He is not a learner. He will just take what he wants. It is easier that way. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s court-packing scheme during the Great Depression was nothing like the strains this president has put on Constitution. Indeed, not since the Civil War has America faced such a dire threat to her existence as a lawful, constitutional republic…

“To bind the union, Abraham Lincoln took an economic and political war and elevated it into something higher. He made it about emancipating slaves and won. And saved the Republic. This president does the opposite. He got elected promising to elevate politics but instead finds unity and sows discord, often inciting racial divisions.

“America’s only hope today is that President Obama finally turns to the bust of Lincoln he keeps in the Oval Office and listens…”

The USA—The End of a Global Power

The Washington Times wrote on November 2:

“The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago… It was the beginning of the end of the American republic, and the end of the beginning of the American empire.

“The Cold War victory left the United States with no rival superpower… So we embraced practices emblematic of the Soviet Union, for instance, detention without accusation or trial or indiscriminate spying on citizens without warrants… we became arrogant… and thrilled by objectless, purposeless domination for the sake of domination.

“The United States paradoxically came to resemble the global tyranny the Cold War was fought to defeat…

“A 1992 draft of a Defense Department document authored by Paul Wolfowitz urged U.S. military force pre-emptively to destroy any pre-embryonic new rival… Few if any in the nation’s political leadership asked then or later why U.S. global domination achieved not through the peaceful influence of example but through the sword would advance justice or promote an elevated moral order…

“And then came the predictable gratuitous wars and spiraling national debt.

“We evicted Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 to reinstate a tyrannical dynasty. We dispatched troops to Somalia to alleviate a humanitarian crisis and got Black Hawk Down and the Al Shabab terrorist organization.

“We rained bombs on Bosnia and got an ethnically partitioned nation between Muslims, Croats, and Serbs.

“We initiated war against Serbia over Kosovo and set a precedent for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.

“We continued war in Afghanistan long after the perpetrators of 9/11 had been killed or captured.

“We invaded Iraq in 2003 and joined its sequel internecine war against the Islamic State in 2014.

“We have carried the global, perpetual war against international terrorism to Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, the Philippines, and elsewhere.

“We endowed the president of the United States with power to exterminate any person on the planet whom he decrees based on secret, uncorroborated evidence may endanger the national security now or in the future…

“Whom the Gods would destroy they first intoxicate with limitless power…”

It is indeed correct that with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Europe, the political landscape began to dramatically change. Europe, under German leadership, is predestined to play an important leading role in these end times, while the downfall of America and the UK is likewise prophesied. This is due to the fact that God gave His blessings to these two powers, in fulfillment of His unconditional promise to Abraham, but He also predicted that His blessings would be taken away again if these powers would continue sinning against Him. As this proved to be the case, we are observing the beginning of the prophesied downfall of the USA and the UK, as well as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

UK’s Exit from the EU Possible

The Guardian wrote on November 2:

“David Cameron has been warned by German chancellor Angela Merkel that she would rather see the UK leave the European Union than change freedom of movement rules, according to reports. Downing Street on Sunday did not deny that the conversation had taken place, after German newspaper Der Spiegel said Merkel had rejected Cameron’s demands for a cap on unskilled migrants. Sources told the newspaper that the chancellor said demands for any changes to freedom of movement rules represented a ‘point of no return’ and that this would be it for the UK’s membership.”

BBC News added on November 2:

“This is the first time that Mrs Merkel has acknowledged that the UK’s exit from the EU is possible, Der Spiegel said… A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Cameron would make a speech on immigration before Christmas, and stressed ‘you can be sure he will always put Britain first.’”

BBC News wrote on November 3:

“Chancellor George Osborne has insisted the UK will pursue its ‘national interest’ in Europe despite German warnings about its future in the EU… The suggestion that Angela Merkel would rather see Britain leave the EU than accede to changes to the EU’s freedom of movement principle has raised political temperatures in the UK. Within the political establishment in Berlin there is increasing frustration with the UK. They do not know what David Cameron wants and are increasingly sensitive to demands that appear to be endlessly changing…

“Speaking to journalists on Monday, Mrs Merkel’s spokesman – Steffen Seibert – said this was ‘not a bilateral matter between Germany and Britain but between Britain and all of its European partners’. It was up to the UK to ‘clarify’ what wider role it wanted to play in the EU, he added…

“UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he took the German warning seriously, saying that their ‘politicians do not bluff’ and it was not possible to have an ‘a la carte menu’ in Europe. ‘David Cameron will fiddle around the edges and end up satisfying nobody,’ he told the BBC. And Labour said Mr Cameron was ‘losing allies and influence’ in Europe. ‘His weakness within his own party means he now risks pushing Britain towards exit from Europe altogether,’ said shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.”

Once the UK will have exited from the EU, the beginning of the UK’s downfall will have begun.

Elections in Eastern Ukraine

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 3:

“Germany has criticized Moscow for recognizing the results of the elections in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Russia has said the polls amount to a ‘mandate’ for the separatist leaders to negotiate with Kyiv… The outcomes of Sunday’s elections came as no surprise, with the favorites winning easily. Interfax cited local elections officials who said that Alexander Zakharchenko won with almost 79 percent of the votes cast in Donetsk, while Igor Plotnitsky took 64 percent in Luhansk. Elections held in the rest of Ukraine late last month produced a pro-Western parliament…”

The EUObserver added on November 3:

“German chancellor Angela Merkel [was] warning at the last EU summit in Brussels that the vote is designed to create another Russia-sponsored ‘frozen conflict’ in Europe, alongside Transniestria in Moldova and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.”

With the elections in Eastern Ukraine, Russia has received new “encouragement” for their course towards the take-over of the entire Ukraine.

Weather Channel Founder John Coleman Challenges Man-Made Global Warming

Newsmax reported on November 2:

“The idea that there is significant man-made global warming is ‘a whole lot of baloney,’ Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman insisted on CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Sunday morning. ‘The government only gives money to scientists who will present their hypothesis,’ said Coleman, a meteorologist who helped found The Weather Channel 32 years ago. ‘They don’t have any choice; if you are going to get the money, you have to present their position. Those are the ones the government pays for. That doesn’t make it right, that only means it’s bought and paid for.’

“But Coleman, who debunked climate change in a letter to UCLA last month, told show host Brian Stelter Sunday that he resented him introducing him as a climate change ‘denier.’ ‘That is a word meant to put me down,’ he told him. ‘I’m a skeptic about climate change, and I want to make it… clear that [Weather Channel CEO David] Kenny is not a scientist, I am.’… ‘There is no consensus in science,’ said Coleman. ‘Science isn’t a vote. Science is about facts. If you get down to the hard cold facts, climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now.’…

“Coleman said he and other scientists will ‘keep battling’ but meanwhile, he hopes that people will research online and find websites that ‘present the papers that show that none of this alarmism about ice and heat waves and droughts, none of it is happening.’”

Coleman, now retired, stated in the interview that he was not only the co-founder, but the founder of the Weather Channel. His voice in the debate on man-made global warming cannot be easily dismissed.

Remains of Pharaoh’s Drowned Army Found?

World News Daily wrote on October 24:

“Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib… The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site.

“Many clues on the site have brought Professor Gader and his team to conclude that the bodies could be linked to the famous episode of the Exodus. First of all, the ancient soldiers seem to have died on dry ground, since no  traces of boats or ships have been found in the area. The positions of the bodies and the fact that they were stuck in a vast quantity of clay and rock, imply that they could have died in a mudslide or a tidal wave.

“The shear number of bodies suggests that a large ancient army perished on the site and the dramatic way by which they were killed, both seem to corroborate the biblical version of the Red Sea Crossing, when the army of the Egyptian Pharaoh was destroyed by the returning waters that Moses had parted. This new find certainly proves that there was indeed an Egyptian army of large size that was destroyed by the waters of the Red Sea during the reign of King Akhenaten…”

If proven to be true, this would indeed be a tremendous testimony for the accuracy of the Bible even in historical respects.

The Status Quo Will or Won’t Change?

The Associated Press reported on November 2:

“After months of escalating violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday made his clearest attempt yet to cool tempers, saying he won’t allow changes to a long-standing ban on Jewish worship at the Muslim-run site, despite such demands from ultranationalists in his coalition. Netanyahu’s reassurances to Muslims came just days after the religious feud over the Old City shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, threatened to spin out of control.

“Israel closed the compound for a day last week, a rare move, after a Palestinian shot and wounded a prominent activist who has campaigned for more Jewish access to the site. Angered by the closure, Jordan, the custodian of the mosque compound, warned it might seek diplomatic sanctions unless Israel halts what a Jordanian official said were ‘repeated violations’ at the site. The U.S. has urged Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to show restraint…

“It remained unclear to what extent Netanyahu is willing to clash with coalition members lobbying for a greater Jewish presence at the shrine, the holiest in Judaism as the site of former biblical temples… On Saturday evening, Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party, a key coalition partner, ignored appeals to tone down the rhetoric. At a rally for Yehuda Glick, the rabbi wounded by the Palestinian gunman last week, Ariel was quoted as saying that ‘the status quo on the Temple Mount will change.’

“Under that status quo, Muslim authorities reporting to Jordan continued to administer the site, home to the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, after east Jerusalem’s capture by Israel in 1967. Jews were allowed to visit, but not to pray there…

“The wrangling over the shrine comes at a time when a negotiated solution for Jerusalem, claimed by Israelis and Palestinians as a capital, is out of reach. U.S.-led peace talks collapsed earlier this year, and there’s not enough common ground between the sides to warrant resumption. Netanyahu rejects any withdrawal from east Jerusalem – the area sought by the Palestinians as the capital of a future state. Instead, the Israeli leader is promoting housing construction for Jews in east Jerusalem, including an announcement last week that plans for more than 1,000 new settlement apartments there would move forward…

“In Israel, Jewish access to the Temple Mount has turned from a fringe issue into a mainstream idea. After 1967, most rabbis considered Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount a sacrilege. But since the 1990s, nationalist clerics have been pressing for an increased Jewish presence, triggering angry reactions by Muslims who argue the site is exclusively theirs…”

CS Monitor wrote on November 2:

“Today Moshe Feiglin walked on the holiest site in Judaism and posed for photos in front of the Dome of the Rock, a revered Muslim shrine that rests where many believe the Jewish Temple once stood. In doing so the Israeli member of parliament fueled growing Muslim-Jewish tensions around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount…

“Mr. Feiglin’s action was a direct challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call this morning for parliament to exercise ‘responsibility and restraint’ around the Temple Mount complex…

“Feiglin, like Yehuda Glick, the rabbi currently recovering from the murder attempt last week, favors building Judaism’s Third Temple on the site, which would require the destruction of both the Dome of the Rock and, many Muslims believe, the nearby Al Aqsa mosque…

“For both Israelis and Palestinians, this compound is not only a sacred space but the front-line of their battle for sovereignty over Jerusalem…”

The Middle East will engulf in utter chaos when the Jews begin with the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem Is Ours!

On November 5, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the following speech to the Knesset at a session marking the 19th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (published by The Times of Israel, dated November 6):

“The murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is a low point in the history of our people, a despicable and contemptible act that threatened to drag us into the depths of self-destruction…

“If there is one idea around which we have all united for hundreds and thousands of years, it is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is different than most world capitals: It is not just a capital city, it is our heart and soul and it is the foundation for our existence as a sovereign nation. Ten days before his murder, at an event marking 3,000 years of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin said, ‘In Israel there is one subject on which we do not disagree – the wholeness of Jerusalem and its continued existence and strengthening as the capital of Israel. There are not two Jerusalems; there is only one Jerusalem. As far as we are concerned, Jerusalem is not a subject for compromise and there is no peace without Jerusalem.’ Rabin later emphasized, ‘Jerusalem was ours, it is ours and it will remain so forever.’

“Distinguished guests, over the past several months, and especially over the past several days, we have witnessed a campaign of wild incitement against the State of Israel… This front of hatred is directed at all of us… we must stand together and say clearly and without apology: Unified Jerusalem is our capital and it will remain so. We are in a battle for Jerusalem. It may be a prolonged battle. I am certain we will be victorious. For some people, the issue of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem is an instrument of political struggle. Our presence in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years, is called a provocation. They simply want to uproot us from here. They try to rewrite history, deny our brave affinity for Jerusalem and claim that we are trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, spread lies that we want to harm or destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque or change the prayer arrangements for Muslims on the Mount…

“No country in the world is willing to barter over its capital. Yitzhak Rabin said the same thing when he established his government 22 years ago. ‘The government is determined,’ he said, ‘that Jerusalem is not up for debate. The coming years will be marked by an expansion of building in Greater Jerusalem. All Jews, religious and secular alike, swear, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.”’ May these words from Yitzhak Rabin serve as a beacon for us and may his memory be blessed.”

Increasing Strife

Reuters reported on November 5:

“Increasing strife over Jerusalem’s most volatile holy site plunged relations between Israel and Jordan into crisis on Wednesday, with Amman recalling its ambassador for the first time since the countries’ 1994 peace treaty.

“In a sign of tensions, a Palestinian rammed his car into pedestrians in Jerusalem’s city center on Wednesday, killing an Israeli paramilitary border policeman before he was shot dead by police. More than a dozen people were injured.

“In a second attack later, a van driven by a Palestinian hit three soldiers in the occupied West Bank. One was seriously injured and two others suffered moderate wounds, an Israeli ambulance service spokesman and police said.”

The Times of Israel wrote on November 6:

“Jerusalem is starting to burn. Religious fervor is intensifying… ”

Turkey Gets Involved

In a related article,  Times of Israel wrote on November 6:

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israeli actions on the Temple Mount ‘barbaric and despicable’ on Thursday, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported. In a press conference before departing for Turkmenistan, Erdogan added that ‘Israel is preparing the ground for the failure of inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue around the world… Israel has already been isolated in the Middle East, but if such actions continue, Israel will also become marginalized at the world level,’ he continued. ‘The occupation of al-Aqsa is not only a concern of Palestinians or Arabs, but of the whole Muslim world… Israel’s barbaric behavior will leave it alone in the world,’ Erdogan told Anadolu.”

The Middle East will engulf in utter chaos when the Jews begin with the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.

Germany’s Dilemma

The Local wrote on October 31:

“Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State…

“The PKK, which is believed to have 13,000 supporters in Germany, has been banned in the country for many years in response to its armed struggle against Turkey. In the early 90s the PKK attacked Turkish government buildings in Germany and in 1993 even stormed the Turkish Consulate in Munich. As recently as 2012, Germany’s parliament reaffirmed the ban on the PKK. The parliamentary state secretary for the interior ministry said at the time the PKK was a ‘destructive’ force which undermined ‘peaceful co-existence’ between Kurds and Turks in Germany.

“In northern Iraq, German weapons and training are being delivered into the hands of the PKK’s one-time Kurdish rivals, the peshmerga, but their fighters have not been able to put up the same level of resistance as the PKK and the two groups are increasingly working together. It means arms the German government provides to the peshmerga could end up with a group classified as a terrorist organization by the EU.

“But with a fighting force of 15,000, the PKK is Germany’s and the West’s best hope of staving off Isis advances and German Kurds are joining the fight, putting domestic security forces in a difficult position…”

Apple CEO–Proud to Be Gay

USA Today wrote on October 30:

“Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly confirmed he is gay in an opinion piece published Thursday, making him the highest-profile chief executive to come out… ‘While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,’ writes Cook. ‘So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.’

“Reaction has been mostly positive… Public confirmations of sexuality have increased in Hollywood, and have started to appear in the sports world…  But it’s rare to see in the business world, which makes the revelation by Cook — head of one of the world’s most profitable companies — a much bigger deal….”

God does not bestow a “great gift” of homosexuality on anyone. God calls it an abomination. Another abomination is covered in the next article.

Acceptance of Post-Birth Abortions on the Rise

The College Fix reported on October 29:

“A trend seen by prolife activists that frequently engage college students on campuses nationwide is the growing acceptance of post-birth abortion, or killing the infant after he or she is born, campus prolife outreach leaders tell The College Fix… not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet ‘self-aware.’ ‘We encounter people who think it is morally acceptable to kill babies after birth on a regular basis at almost every campus we visit,’ said Mark Harrington, director of Created Equal. ‘While this viewpoint is still seen as shocking by most people, it is becoming increasingly popular.’

“Campuses where the high school, college students, local activists and staff members of Created Equal have encountered this opinion include Purdue, University of Minnesota, and University of Central Florida. And at Ohio State earlier this year, the group captured a debate on video between one of its members and an older woman on campus who defended infanticide…

“Kristina Garza, spokeswoman for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a prolife organization that often sets up anti-abortion displays on campuses along the West Coast, said her group also frequently encounters college students who accept infanticide. ‘For those who are firmly for abortion, because they understand it kills a human being, it’s very easy for them to accept killing a human being after birth,’ Garza said…

“Garza said there’s an explanation for it. For one, the arguments put forth by Peter Singer and other philosophers who support infanticide are given as reading assignments to college students. Singer wrote in 1979 that ‘human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons … [therefore] the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.’”

The Catholic Church–A Ship Without a Rudder?

USA Today reported on November 2:

“A senior American cardinal in the Vatican says that under this pope, the Roman Catholic Church is ‘a ship without a rudder’’ and the faithful ‘are feeling a bit seasick.’

“Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput complains that a recent Vatican conference called by Pope Francis produced ‘confusion,’ adding, ‘Confusion is of the devil.’ A group of conservative lay Catholics say they felt ‘betrayed’ by a preliminary report from the conference that proposed a more welcoming attitude toward gay men and lesbians… for these and other U.S. Catholic conservatives and traditionalists, the papacy of Francis also seems to be infuriating, worrying or just plain puzzling…

“Many conservatives struggle to get a handle on Pope Francis, who since taking office last year warned against an ‘obsessive’ concern with culture war issues, such as abortion and gay marriage; encouraged discussion of church teaching on things like contraception and divorce; and asked, regarding gay men and lesbians who profess religious faith, ‘Who am I to judge?’’…”

Interesting Results of Brain Study

CBS News reported on October 31:

“When researchers showed disgusting images of snakes, roaches, garbage, vomit, mutilated bodies and open wounds to participants in a Virginia Tech study, they found significant differences between the way liberals and conservatives reacted, on a neural level… The more strongly a person’s brain reacted to seeing disgusting images, the more likely they were to hold conservative views. The same discrepancy did not exist in their responses to positive images.

“The authors point out in the paper, published in the journal Current Biology, that this is the first brain study to find multiple points of differentiation in activity when comparing the emotional processing of images in liberals versus conservatives. Several parts of the brain lit up in conservatives, while others were activated in liberals… Indeed, watching the brain’s reaction to a single disgusting image was sufficient to guess each subject’s political orientation…

“The study did not determine exactly how or why liberal brains differ from conservative ones, only that the two types of brains lit up in two different patterns when viewing the same images.” 

The Right To Determine When to Die?

USA Today wrote on November 2:

“Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old face of the controversial right-to-death movement, has died. She captivated millions via social media with her public decision to end her life… The statement said Maynard suffered ‘increasingly frequent and longer seizures, severe head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms.’ She chose to take the ‘aid-in-dying medication she received months ago.’…

“One commenter on Twitter posted… ‘To die with dignity still eludes many. May you find peace.’ Another had mixed feelings. ‘Brain cancer is a horrific way to die but, being raised traditional Catholic, suicide still a no-no,’ a commenter wrote.

“Maynard was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor. She moved with her family from California to Oregon, where she could legally die with medication prescribed under the [Oregon law.]

“Tim Rosales, spokesman for Patients Rights Action Coalition based in Princeton, N.J., said that for every Brittany Maynard, there’s a Barbara Wagner, an Oregon woman who fought her insurance company when it said it would cover drugs for her suicide but not for chemotherapy to fight her lung cancer. ‘We have to look at assisted suicide in much broader terms,’ Rosales said in a phone interview Sunday evening. ‘Obviously, we’re very saddened to hear the news about Brittany Maynard. However, that being said, suicide or assisted suicide sends the wrong message to a lot of young people [who] are [in] the country, particularly those who are dealing with psychological or physical challenges or serious illnesses.’

“An evangelical inspirational speaker and Catholic seminarian who has brain cancer has been outspoken about Maynard’s decision. ‘I understand she may be in great pain, and her treatment options are limited and have their own devastating side effects, but I believe Brittany is missing a critical factor in her formula for death: God,’ said Joni Eareckson Tada last month…

“Four other states, including Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico, allow patients to seek help from doctors in dying… Under the Oregon law, the person must be capable, an adult, live in state and have been diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months.”

According to the Bible, we are not to take the life of a human being, including our own life. However desperate and painful a situation might be, we are to trust in God and His decision as to when our life will end. At the same time, suicide is quite different from the ending of artificially prolonged life.

“How to Prepare Earth for Extraterrestrial Life”

On September 25, 2014, Collective Evolution and the Huffington Post reported the following:

“A couple of months ago top US astronomers gathered in front of congress to let them know that extraterrestrial life exists without question. Their main argument was the size of the universe, emphasizing that there are trillions of stars out there, with one in every five most likely harboring an Earth-like planet. It’s also important to keep in mind that planets do not have to be ‘Earth-like’ in order to harbor life… This time, NASA and the Library of Congress have teamed up bringing together scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians from around the globe for a two day symposium in order to discuss how to prepare the world for extraterrestrial contact, whether it be microbial organisms or intelligent beings…

“One of the theologians present was Brother Guy Consolmagno, who is the new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. This is what he had to say: ‘I Believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can’t even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting.’ He is urging the public not to be so surprised when extraterrestrial life is discovered, because it will be discovered. He even said that he would be happy to baptize them, if it’s intelligent extraterrestrial life that’s discovered. The Vatican has been very open to the idea of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and they’ve expressed these views for a very long time…

“In the United States alone, at least half of all Americans say that we’re not alone in the universe. Fifty percent of Americans already believe that there is some form of life on other planets, while only seventeen percent think that there isn’t. A quarter of Americans believe that intelligent extraterrestrial visitors have already come to Earth and have been doing so for a long time…

“Scientists estimate that at least 10 billion habitable Earth-sized planets exist in the milky way alone (one galaxy out of billions)…

“Some of the most extraordinary statements about UFOs and extraterrestrials come from persons who have held some of the highest positions known…”

As we pointed out in our recent Q&A series on pre- and post-Adamic life, there is no biblical evidence that there is any extra-terrestrial life. The Bible teaches quite the opposite. But it is interesting that according to the Book of Revelation, mankind will try to fight the returning Jesus Christ, riding on a white horse, and accompanied with an angelic army on white horses. Will mankind be so deceived to believe that hostile extraterrestrial beings will try to take over the world?

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Is there a biblical basis for someone who has been removed from fellowship or has left the Church of God to return?

Let’s first examine the question about those who are disfellowshipped.. 

Paul stated: “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20). The Church of God in Corinth experienced just such a situation when one among them committed incest, and the sinning person was put out:

“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:4-5).

Carefully note that while the punishment was public and forceful, Paul’s objective was to protect the Church and to save the individual (compare 2 Corinthians 13:10). That is what happened, for, we find that later on, Paul told the members to restore him to fellowship because of his repentance:

“This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much SORROW. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:6-11).

The key to understanding this example is the fact that the man repented of his sin. His sorrow was deeply felt. He did not become bitter and resentful against God to the point of rejecting Him in his life.

Another example is found in the Old Testament. In this case David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife and then arranged his murder.  When Nathan the prophet confronted him with God’s judgment, David immediately admitted his sin:

“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die’” (2 Samuel 12:13).

David repented of his sins. In Psalm 32:1, 5 and in Psalm 51, David pours out his heart in praise to God for forgiving and restoring him. Quoting from some of what David wrote reveals the kind of attitude that God will accept from those whose sins have separated them from the Church of God:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11).

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

God’s fervent desire is for those who are sinning to repent:

“‘But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord GOD, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’” (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

Those who have been called into the Church of God and then choose to leave, for any number of reasons, must wake up—before it is too late! Jesus taught in a parable known as “The Prodigal Son” about the willingness of the father to have his son return:

“‘And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” And they began to be merry’” (Luke 15:20-24).

This parable reflects the attitude of God, Himself, as we can also note in verses 7 and 10 of Luke 15:

“‘I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance… Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’”

In His messages to the Church of God, from its beginning to the time of His return, Jesus Christ sternly warned many in generation after generation to repent! (Compare Revelation 2 and 3.) Why? For a whole multitude of reasons—which could ultimately lead to some having their names blotted out of the Book of Life! (Compare Revelation 3:5.)

Those who remain faithful to God and Jesus Christ also bear a responsibility to fellow members who stumble in their calling:

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).


“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Galatians 6:1-3).

The ominous truth for the Church of God during the coming years is that a falling away will continue and become even worse! In recent years we have witnessed the wholesale departure of long-standing members and ministers—often embracing the very doctrines they had once rejected as false and inspired by Satan—the spiritual ruler of this world. God’s commandments, statutes and judgments—all laws of life—were cast off as burdens, and membership within the true body of believers was summarily rejected. 

Coming to the irretrievable state of having committed the unpardonable sin is a process of hardening of one’s heart and spiritually searing the conscience, so that a person no longer cares or even wants to repent. Judgment is then self-imposed—the second death and eternal destruction.

God—through Jesus Christ—will judge all of us according to our ways. That judgment is now on the household of God—the Church (compare 1 Peter 4:17). The beginning point for anyone who has left the Church is to repent! The ministry is very willing to counsel anyone who seeks restoration in the Church!

And unless some might erroneously believe that they have committed the unpardonable sin by being out of the Church, consider what Daniel wrote:

“‘And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END; because it is still for the appointed time’” (Daniel 11:35).

If you are among those who have become separate from the Church of God, NOW is the time to turn back to God!

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

“Mid-Term Elections—Victory or Defeat for America?,” is the title of a new StandingWatch Program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

The U.S. mid-term elections were held—with a stunning victory for the Republicans and an equally stunning defeat for the Democrats and the President. But even though the Republicans have gained the majority in the House and the Senate, will this drastically change the political landscape of America? Or are those correct who predict a “gridlock on steroids” for the next two years and warn that we are now facing the “two most dangerous years of America’s existence”? Why is it that others state that the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago was the beginning of the end of the American Republic? This program gives you answers and offers our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.” It also encourages our viewers and listeners to give us feedback to our programs in writing or via the telephone.

“Probleme mit Anderen Sind Lösbar!,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. In English, the title is, ”Probems with Others Can Be Solved.”

“The Sword of the Spirit,” the sermon from last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Paul admonishes us to take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. This is a vital part of the armor of God. Paul does not refer to a physical sword, and when we take the spiritual sword, we must know what God’s Word is; how God’s Spirit motivates us; and why we must speak and do the Word of God. Only then will (we) be able to conquer Satan and his servants.

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Is Spanking Your children–Out of Control Parenting?

by Delia Messier
When my nephew was 9 years old, his parents asked me if I could take care of him for one week. They were worn out and at their wits end with him.  His behavior had gotten so bad that they were afraid of him, and not knowing what he might do to them when they were asleep, they would lock their bedroom door at night.
I was willing to take him but with the understanding that I would spank him if and when necessary.  They would not spank him themselves, but they knew that I would treat him with love and respect, so they agreed to the condition.
When they left him with me, the first thing I did was to take him aside and explained to him how precious he was to all of us. And that while he was with us, I had expectations of him and also cited the things that would not be tolerated; letting him know that if necessary I would spank him, and how this would be done.
As the hours passed that day, he went out of his way to test me, and he received the appropriate corrections, which were always followed with hugs and kisses. I would let him know that I cared for him and what kind of person he was and what kind of person he would grow up to be—and that I was helping him to be this person that he really wanted to be!
The next morning things continued the same, but by 10 am he asked to call his father. “Sure,” I said, thinking that he had had enough!  “Hi Dad,” he said,  “I LIKE IT HERE, CAN I STAY LONGER?”
Today, my nephew has grown up with children of his own, and some years ago he expressed to us that he was very thankful for those spankings and that they changed his life.  Is spanking your children out of control parenting? Or is it children who are never spanked who have out of control parents?

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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

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