Update 662


You Are Here

On November 15, 2014, Eric Rank will give the sermon, titled, “You Are Here.”

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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Are We Easy Targets?

by Norbert Link

We have heard it all before—we have read it all before—we are so familiar with it all—and then, when it happens, we are unprepared, astonished, dumbfounded and dismayed, and far too often, we react in just the wrong way.

I’m talking about Satan’s attacks and his evil devices, as well as our lack of discernment and closeness to God.

In the past, many fell for the Devil’s wrong teachings, which he brought into the Church of God through his human instruments. Unsuspecting and gullible Church “members” forsook the truth and followed errors. After all, how could those gifted and “friendly” ministers teach them anything wrong? So they listened to them and began to believe them—to their own hurt.

Others became upset about imagined or real offenses with their brethren. They did not realize that Satan was getting to them, and that God allowed this to see how strong they were to resist Satan and to stick to the truth and to the One who has all truth and inspires His TRUE servants to teach it in season and out of season. Many chose wrongly, left God’s true Church—the pillar and ground of the truth—and where are they today? Sadly, it is as if they had disappeared from the face of the earth.

Some few recognized the error of their way, repented and returned to the Body of Christ. When this happens, there is joy in heaven! Sadly, such right human conduct does not happen very often.

We can feel so righteous, so superior to others, so holy, just and good, that we can get offended if someone “less holy than us” makes mistakes or transgresses against us. Rather than repenting of our own sin of self-righteousness (which Herbert Armstrong described as the worst of all sins), tolerating and forgiving the other person’s weakness or shortcoming, we become indignant and think that we need to tell the whole world.

And when the “situation” is not “corrected” right away and in the manner in which we desire it, we leave God’s Church with anger and with a bad attitude. In all of this, we have been refusing to see the beam in our eye, while focusing solely on the imagined or real splinters in the eyes of our brethren. The terrible sin of self-righteousness and self-aggrandizement has won, and Satan delights in and celebrates his victory.

It is especially devastating and abominable when any one of us influences others to leave God’s Church with us. Certainly, everyone is responsible for his or her own decisions and ultimate fate, but woe unto anyone of us if we cause just one other person who believes in Christ to stumble. Christ said it would be better for us if a millstone were hung around our neck, and we were drowned in the depth of the sea!

Yes, offenses must come—it is impossible that they don’t—but they had better not come through us. Denying or justifying our bad influence on others (through what we say or what we do) will not save us in the Day of Judgment.

Sometimes people can get so frustrated with their lives and become so depressed that they face the real possibility of committing the unpardonable sin. They don’t seem to care enough to avoid this because they just want to be “freed” from their present distress. This very shortsighted approach is of course terribly dangerous and ungodly, and it is extremely foolish as well. 

When we leave God’s Church, we are cutting ourselves off from the vine—Jesus Christ, the Head of the Body. We will wither away and unless there is true godly repentance, we will ultimately be thrown into the fire to be burned up.

Thinking that we can solve or ignore our personal problems by just changing church organizations (even within the Body of Christ) is also useless and futile, because our problems will accompany us, no matter where we go. Unless we are willing to focus on, face and overcome OUR problems—not the problems of others—we are and will continue to be easy targets of Satan’s craftiness and deception.

We have heard the saying: “Never give up! Never surrender!” Far too many have done this. They have given in to Satan and his evil devices. Don’t you become one of his easy targets!

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We begin with comments and reports pertaining to President Obama and American politics as well as America’s failing war against ISIS; continue with the UK’s ongoing troubles with the EU; address further developments regarding Russia and the Ukraine, the West and China; address the potential turmoil which Israel is facing within the next few months; discuss difficulties of the Evolution theory; and conclude with divisions within the Catholic Church and remarks from Pope Francis about true and false Christianity, which should also be applied to his church’s teachings, as well as the ongoing discussion whether or not Jesus was married and had children.

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“Obama Should Pack His Bags and Leave”

The German mass tabloid Bild Online wrote on November 6:

“It would be best if [Obama] would pack his bags, leave the White House and move back to Chicago. What has gone so terribly wrong for the political Messiah? In one word: Everything! Obama did not make the world better, but he made it less American.

“Those who want to grasp dictatorial power are encouraged by his weakness. Those who want to live in freedom after the American example feel betrayed he wanted to be a good friend of the world, and he antagonized his most important allies from Berlin to Jerusalem. The only good news: The Obama tragedy will be over in 806 days. Too bad it is not over sooner.”

Obama–There Will Be No Troops on the Ground”—Except…

The Associated Press reported on November 7:

“A senior military official says that American military advisory teams will now go to Iraq’s western Anbar province where Islamic State militants have been gaining ground and slaying men, women and children. The teams are part of President Barack Obama’s new directive to expand the U.S. mission in Iraq by deploying another 1,500 U.S. troops to serve as advisers, trainers and security personnel. The official said it is likely that the bulk of the additional troops will be in Iraq by the end of the year. This would bring the total U.S. forces in Iraq to about 3,100, and would mark their first return to Anbar since the war ended.

“Obama is also asking Congress for more than $5 billion to help fund the fight. The White House says the troops won’t serve in a combat role, but will train, advise and assist Iraqi military and Kurdish forces fighting IS. White House press secretary Josh Earnest says Obama has also authorized the additional personnel to operate at Iraqi military facilities outside Baghdad and Erbil. Until now, U.S. troops have been operating a joint operation center setup with Iraqi forces there.”

Commentators expressed their fear that all of this might lead to another Vietnam with America again on the losing end. It was also criticized that there does not seem to exist any strategy and explanation of America’s clearly defined goals in Iraq and Syria; that everything is being decided ad hoc—on the spur of the moment; and that if Congress approves those measures, they bear the same culpability as the White House. Note also the next article.

America’s Mission in Iraq—Everything Going Wrong!

The Huffington Post wrote on November 11:

“In its early stages, I asked sarcastically, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ As the mission enters its fourth month, the answer to that question is already grimly clear: just about everything. It may be time to ask, in all seriousness: What could possibly go right?…

“The latest American war was launched as a humanitarian mission. The goal of its first bombing runs was to save the Yazidis, a group few Americans had heard of until then, from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (IS). Within weeks, however, a full-scale bombing campaign was underway against IS across Iraq and Syria with its own ‘coalition of the willing’ and 1,600 U.S. military personnel on the ground…

“The U.S. Department of State lists 60 participants in the coalition of nations behind the U.S. efforts against the Islamic State. Many of those countries (Somalia, Iceland, Croatia, and Taiwan, among them) have never been heard from again… There is no evidence that America’s Arab ‘allies’ like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, whose funding had long-helped extreme Syrian rebel groups, including IS, and whose early participation in a handful of air strikes was trumpeted as a triumph, are still flying.

“…in the end, the U.S. will either have to withdraw from Iraq yet again, or cede the western part of the country to IS, or place many, many boots on the ground…

“Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have just recently overrun key northern bastions previously controlled by U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups and once again, as in Iraq, captured U.S. weapons have landed in the hands of extremists. Nothing has gone right for American hopes that moderate Syrian factions will provide significant aid in any imaginable future in the broader battle against IS…

“You don’t have to have a crystal ball to see the writing in the sand in Iraq and Syria. The military can already sense the coming failure that hangs like a miasma over Washington…”

We have said it many times before… America is not going to win this or any other war prior to Christ’s return.

One Curse After Another

Bloomberg News wrote on November 7:

“The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the subsidies that are a linchpin of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, accepting a case that suddenly puts the law under a new legal cloud. Two years after upholding much of the law by a single vote, the justices today said they will hear a Republican-backed appeal targeting tax credits that have helped more than 4 million people afford insurance.

“A ruling blocking those credits might unravel the law, making other provisions ineffective and potentially destabilizing insurance markets in much of the country. The high court’s decision to hear the case comes days before the start of the law’s second open-enrollment season Nov. 15. A decision will come by June.

“The justices will consider an appeal filed by four Virginia residents seeking to block the subsidies in 36 states. The appeal says the Obama administration is engaging in a ‘gross distortion’ of the law’s wording by granting billions of dollars in tax credits to people in those states.

“A Supreme Court ruling against the administration would open a new period of uncertainty about the future of American health care. It would mean that more than half of the 7.3 million people who have bought Obamacare policies aren’t entitled to the subsidies they are receiving. The ripple effects might be even more dramatic. Without the tax credits, many of those people would find insurance so expensive that they would qualify for the law’s hardship exemption and no longer have to obtain a policy.

“That could raise coverage costs for insurers, forcing them to raise rates. Hospitals would be left to foot the bills for more uninsured patients.”

This is bad news either way. Obamacare is a curse for the American nation, but to repeal the tax credit provision would be an additional curse, as the astronomical rates of healthcare policies are already more than the average American can bear. To raise the rates even more would lead to the further destruction of the middle-class through America’s government and legal system.

No Discount–The UK Will Still Pay!

BBC News reported on November 7:

“George Osborne’s claim to have halved the UK’s £1.7bn EU budget surcharge has been challenged by his EU counterparts.

“The UK will pay two interest-free sums next year totalling £850m, instead of a larger lump sum by 1 December, after a rebate from Brussels due in 2016 appeared to have been brought forward. Mr Osborne argued the deal reached on Friday was a real result for Britain.

“But the Dutch finance minister said the UK would not get a discount. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Mr Osborne of ‘spin’ and said it was ‘a diplomatic disaster for the government.’

“Under the initial plan, the UK was due to get a 1bn euros rebate in 2015-6 but it will be allowed to bring that forward to the second half of 2015 to reduce the surcharge. But its 2016 rebate will be 1bn euros smaller as a result.

“…foreign ministers questioned whether the UK’s contribution had changed. Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the UK would ‘pay the full amount’, and Hans Joerg Schelling, from Austria, said ‘the amount cannot be put in question’. Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem added: ‘The UK has … a rebate, which they have had for a very long time and of course this mechanism of rebate will also apply on the new contribution. So it’s not as if the British have been given a discount today.’

“And Eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan suggested the deal achieved by the chancellor may not represent any reduction in the total amount. He said: ‘The EU sticks us with a bill. Ministers double it, apply the rebate, return to the original figure and claim victory. We’re meant to cheer? Britain is worse off in absolute terms, but a straw man has been knocked down.’

“UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Mr Osborne was ‘trying to spin his way out of disaster’, saying the UK was still going to pay the full £1.7bn.

“[Labour’s]  Mr Balls said: ‘By counting the rebate Britain was due anyway, they are desperately trying to claim that the backdated bill for £1.7bn has somehow been halved. But nobody will fall for this smoke and mirrors. The rebate was never in doubt and in fact was confirmed by the EU Budget Commissioner last month.’”

Die Zeit wrote on November 7:

“Cameron’s panic damages Europe. As Merkel became the strongest political in Europe, Cameron tries to make Merkel his strongest ally. But even as a closest ally, Markel cannot save the European skin of the British Premier.”

It reminds us of the Biblical prophecy—as a forerunner—that Ephraim (modern UK) will go to Assyria (modern Germany) for help, but Assyria cannot help them (compare Hosea 5:13)

Ukraine Under Attack?

Reuters reported on November 7:

“Ukraine’s military accused Russia on Friday of sending a column of 32 tanks and truckloads of troops into the country’s east to support pro-Russian separatists fighting government forces. A NATO military officer said on Friday the alliance had seen an increase in Russian troops and equipment along the border and was looking into reports of Russian tanks crossing into eastern Ukraine.”

Die Welt wrote on November 7:

“Moscow invades [east] Ukraine. Is the outbreak of war just a matter of time?”

America Russia’s Adversary?

The Financial Times wrote on November 10:

“According to Russian officials and security analysts, Moscow’s worst stand-off with the west since the end of the cold war has convinced Mr Putin’s government that it must moor its security interests to China because the Euro-Atlantic security architecture is broken beyond repair…

“Russian diplomats and analysts also said Moscow hoped to build the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, founded by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan in 1996, into a more meaningful security alliance.

“In a speech last month that left western observers bewildered for its rabid anti-Americanism and its lack of proposals for a positive agenda, Mr Putin bemoaned what he described as the destruction of the mechanisms that used to govern international security affairs… He accused the US of creating a world order in which brute force could become the only means for resolving conflicts…

“Mr Putin is under no illusion that things will get any easier. The next US president is almost certain to be more hawkish towards Russia than Barack Obama…”

While Russia’s relationship with America and Europe is deteriorating, a strong alliance between Russia and China is being formed.

Israel Faces Tough Months

Reuters wrote on November 10:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to keep his fractious coalition together as talk of early elections grows, but in trying to bolster himself domestically he runs the risk of further alienating international partners.

“To satisfy restive far-right parties in his government, Netanyahu has promised more settlement on land the Palestinians seek for an independent state, greatly aggravating the United States and the European Union.

“And in an effort to keep ultra-nationalists sweet, he has not denounced their calls for Jewish prayer at Jerusalem’s holiest site, although he has said a decades-long ban on such prayer will not be changed.

“That cautious approach has harmed Israel’s ties with Jordan, which oversees the holy site – known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount – prompting Amman to withdraw its ambassador for the first time since a 1994 peace treaty.

“It has also fueled the worst violence Jerusalem has seen in a decade, with daily rioting in the mainly Arab east of the city and talk of a new Palestinian uprising. ‘From the outside, it’s hard to understand why he’s doing what he’s doing,’ says one European ambassador, expressing frustration at what he regards as Netanyahu’s stubbornness… That suggests the next half year could be a tumultuous period, with Netanyahu trying to keep his ever more demanding coalition partners onside, even if that means throwing them bones that alarm the Palestinians and international allies.

“The question is whether Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since the first, David Ben-Gurion, can keep a handle on the growing unease his policy approach appears to be causing, or whether events might spiral out of control. With Sweden having last month become the first major Western country to recognize Palestine as an independent state, any miscalculation could provide other European countries with justifications to follow Sweden’s lead.

“And all the while, the Israeli prime minister is having to deal with a deepening security crisis as violence grows… And underpinning everything is the lack of any peace talks with the Palestinians. The last round broke off in April after months of largely fruitless sessions. Since then, relations between Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have worsened markedly…

“It was only a few months ago that Netanyahu talked of a ‘new horizon’ in the Middle East, saying the threat from Islamic State meant that countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt shared an interest with Israel in defeating Islamist extremism. Now, however, with Jordan having withdrawn its ambassador and Egypt on edge about developments at the Noble Sanctuary, which contains al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, that new horizon is starting to look distant and cloudy.”

Evolution Backwards?

The Washington Post wrote on November 5:

“Researchers report that they’ve found the missing link between an ancient aquatic predator and its ancestors on land. Ichthyosaurs, the dolphin-like reptiles that lived in the sea during the time of the dinosaurs, evolved from terrestrial creatures that made their way back into the water over time. But the fossil record for the lineage has been spotty, without a clear link between land-based reptiles and the aquatic ichthyosaurs scientists know came after. Now, researchers report in Nature that they’ve found that link — an amphibious ancestor of the swimming ichthyosaurs named Cartorhynchus lenticarpus.

“Ocean-bound ichthyosaurs had very long snouts (leading to their frequent comparison to modern dolphins) that were made for capturing fish and squid. This new animal [Cartorhynchus lenticarpus] had a shorter snout — more like a land-based reptile. It also had large flippers and flexible wrists, which would have allowed it to flop around on land like a seal.

“One of the most important differences between this new ichthyosaur and its supposed descendants comes down to being big boned: When other vertebrates have evolved from land to sea living, they’ve gone through stages where they’re amphibious and heavy. Their thick bones probably allowed them to fight the power of strong coastal waves and stay grounded in shallow waters. Sure enough, this new fossil has much thicker bones than previously examined ichthyosaurs.

“The animal lived about 4 million years after the worst mass extinction in our planet’s history [It] was probably one of the first predators to appear after that extinction.”
Now, how did it appear? Out of thin air? In any event, this is another aspect of the incredibly juvenile fairy tale of the Evolution fantasy. According to that theory and the survival of the fittest idea, higher life forms developed from lower life forms—birds from reptiles, and mammals from fish and reptiles. Also, it is alleged that reptiles roaming the sea and the ocean evolved into a higher species of reptiles living on land.

But there has always been a problem with ocean-bound mammals, which the Evolution concept cannot explain. And now we are asked to believe that higher developed land-living reptiles “DE-volved” again into sea-living reptiles, turning the survival of the fittest concept on its head. Evolutionists, make up your minds! Please read our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?”

Deep Divisions in the Catholic Church

The Washington Post wrote on November 10:

“Just a few years ago, former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke was riding high. A conservative leader in a conservative Catholic Church under a conservative pope, he seemed to fall into the Vatican’s favor after taking a few high-profile stands against the godless.

“The fights he picked always managed to make headlines. In 2004, the Wisconsin native said he would refuse to give pro-choice Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) communion. In 2007, he resigned from the board of a Catholic hospital after it invited Sheryl Crow, who is pro-choice, to play a benefit concert. And in 2009, he let the University of Notre Dame have it for giving President Obama an honorary degree.

“‘The proposed granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our president, who is so aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda, is rightly the source of the greatest scandal,’ Burke said.

“The reward for this holy work? In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI made Burke head of the Vatican’s supreme court. In 2010, he made Burke a cardinal. 

“These were the good times. Then along came Francis — the freewheeling Argentine pope who loves gays, loves divorcees and hates income inequality. After a few high-profile disagreements with Burke, Francis made him patron of… a charity. The Associated Press called the office ‘largely ceremonial.’

“It was as if Chief Justice John Roberts had been sent to call balls and strikes at a little-league game. The Catholic News Service expounded upon the seriousness of Francis’s [demotion] of the 66-year-old cardinal:

“‘It is highly unusual for a pope to remove an official of Cardinal Burke’s stature and age without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere…’

“‘Many have expressed their concerns to me,’ Burke said last week, as USA Today reported. ‘There is a strong sense that the church is like a ship without a rudder.’… For Francis, this seems to have been the last straw…  There are quite obviously deep divisions within the church. Archbishop Burke is one bishop who has chosen to confront them directly, as opposed to other bishops who may prefer to minimize them…”

“Pagan” Nominal Christians?

Breitbart wrote on November 7:

“Not all those who claim to be Christians really are, said Pope Francis Friday morning. Some are Christians ‘in name only,’ he said. ‘They bear the name of Christians but live a life of pagans.’

“In his homily at Mass, the Pope [said] that there have always been two types of Christian, those who truly followed Christ and those who only pretended to. At the time of Saint Paul, there were ‘worldly Christians, Christians in name only, with two or three Christian features, but nothing more.’ The Pope called this sort of people ‘Pagan Christians,’ whom St. Paul called ‘enemies of the cross of Christ.’

“‘In Paul’s time, the Pope said, the two groups of Christians ‘were in church together praised the Lord, and were called Christians.’ So what was the difference?, he asked. The second were ‘enemies of the cross of Christ.’

“The Pope went on to say that ‘even today there are many! We must be careful not to slip into the way of pagan Christians.’ These are the ones, he said, who are ‘pagans painted over with two brush strokes of Christianity, so they look like Christians, but are really pagans.’

“According to Francis, we all run the risk of becoming ‘Christians in appearance.’

“The Pope suggested that there are questions we can ask ourselves to know what sort of Christians we are. He said that all of us—the Pope included—need to ask ourselves: ‘How much worldliness is in me? How much paganism?’”.

These are good questions, but it is strange that they should be asked by the pope—the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. After all, it is the Roman Catholic Church which placed a Christian mantle over pagan concepts and worship practices.

For instance, the “Christian” celebrations of Sunday, Christmas and Easter are pagan to the core. They have NOTHING to do with the worship of Christ. In fact, God forbids us to worship Him in that way, saying that the pagans worshipped their sun and moon gods and goddesses on Sundays, Christmas and Easter, and that true Christians are NOT to worship the Father or Jesus Christ in that way or on those days.  For more information, please read our free booklet, “Don’t Keep Christmas.”

Was Jesus Married and Did He Have Children?

Beitbart reported on November 10:

“Did Jesus marry Mary Magdalene and have children? Although the Bible portrays Jesus as a single man, the idea that he may have had an earthly family continues to be a perennial favourite spawning numerous fictional works such as bestseller[s] The DaVinci Code and The Last Temptation of Christ, both of which were popular enough to be turned into Hollywood films.

“Now the authors of a new book, The Lost Gospel, claim to have uncovered real evidence that the marriage did indeed take place, and that Jesus had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, the Daily Mail has reported.

“The book draws its conclusions from a text found in the British Library, where it has lain for 20 years after the British Museum moved it there. It was bought in 1847 from a dealer who claimed to have bought the manuscript, a Syriac text written on vellum, from the St Macarius Monastery in Egypt…

“The authors were easily able to decode the basic symbolism, but what the authors eventually discovered is as surprising as it ground-breaking: the confirmation of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene; the names of their two children; the towering presence of Mary Magdalene (who was a Gentile priestess), a serious plot on Jesus’ life in 19 C.E. prior to the crucifixion; an assassination plot against their children; Jesus’ connection to political figures at the highest level of the Roman Empire—Emperor Tiberius and his protégé Sejanus;  and a religious movement that antedates that of Paul—the Church of Mary Magdalene…

“But not everyone is convinced. Commenting on the publisher’s blurb, Mark Goodacre, Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins as Duke University said: ‘If there are some grounds for caution, one might see them in the idea that this work will provide ‘the confirmation of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene’. ‘Since there are no ancient sources that speak of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene, it is not clear at this stage how a newly discovered work could provide ‘confirmation’ of this. The note that she is a ‘Gentile priestess’ is curious and, one would have thought, makes it unlikely that the work goes back to the first century, so too the idea that they had two named children.’”

This whole concept is ridiculous. There have been many ancient manuscripts about Jesus, containing fairy tales and outright nonsense, which are in clear contradiction to the Holy Scriptures. Fabrications and forgeries already circulated at the time of Paul. We point out in our free booklet, “The Authority of the Bible,” that Peter, Paul and John canonized the Scriptures, and no mention is contained therein of any marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, resulting in two sons, and that she was a Gentile priestess. On the other hand, the Bible does mention the marriage of the apostle Peter, his mother-in-law, and the fact that other apostles were married as well, and that their wives accompanied them on their travels, but no inkling of a wife is mentioned in regard to Christ.    

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Was the Neanderthal Man a Human Being?

The following reproduces much of the first part of a research paper which Norbert Link wrote in 1982 while studying at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. The relevance of the paper has not lost its impact, so we are bringing it to your attention at this point as a part of our ongoing series of articles on the creation of man and the pre-Adamic and post-Adamic world.

In 1856 the remains of a creature, later called “Homo Neanderthalensis”or the “Neanderthal Man,” were discovered in a cave in Western Germany. The remnants were carelessly dug up by two laborers so that many parts were lost. Only the skull and several parts of the skeleton were saved. Atonce a division arose in regard to the skull. Some scientists acknowledged it as modern and human and some thought it would belong to an unknown and primitive type of early man.

Even today, more than hundred years after this first discovery, the question still seems to be unanswered: Was the “Neanderthal” a human being as you and I or was he a primitive type of early man, not fully developed according to the evolution theory?

In order to answer this question, we have to recognize that scientific explanations in general may not be entirely correct. The Neanderthal is a good example which shows how interpretations of science can change.

The former belief of science was in many aspects different from what it is today. In the main two early discoveries of skeletons of the Neanderthal

Man led to the older scientific interpretations. The first find occurred – as mentioned above – in 1856. The surviving fragments were given to J.C.

Fuhlrott, founder of the Natural Science Society, who recognized a low skull with massive brows and bowed limbs, an ulna of the lower arm with an injury on it. He concluded that this skeleton was ‘antediluvian,’ that it was a fossil of a real man who had got washed into the cave by the Flood itself.

Professor Schaafhausen, however, anatomist at Bonn, who was asked to give his judgment next, stated that he was not sure at all that the skull was even ‘diluvial’; on the other hand, he felt that it must be older than such inhabitants of Europe as the Celts and the Germans. It is also interesting to note that Huxley, the great advocate of evolution, regarded the skeleton as one of modern man, as “Homo Sapiens.” Darwin kept silent. Only William King of Galway articulated his belief that the skeleton belonged to a primitive type of human and therefore named it “Homo Neanderthalensis.”

The next important discovery was made in 1908 in southern France. Three French priests had undertaken the excavation of a small cave near the village of La Chapelle-aux-Saints. Below the modern floor of the cave they found remains of a woolly rhinoceros, an extinct bison, a reindeer-and the skeleton of a Neanderthal-type man. The skeleton included the skull and most of the bones of the body. The remains of this skeleton were sent to the anatomist and paleontologist Marcellin Boule, director of the French Institute of Human Paleontology. He maintained that the body was that of an old man of the Neanderthal type and assigned its geological age to the Pleistocene period (120,000 – 10,000 B.C.). His memoir on this skeleton was published in 1908. In the main, he described it and with it the whole species of the Neanderthal Man as having massive brow ridges over the eyes and a puffing-out of the bone below the orbits, so that instead of a “canine fossa” there was a convexity. According to these examinations, the Neanderthal Man was viewed as a squat, stunted fellow about five feet one inch tall, or 155 cm. He was described as having a short, thick-set and coarsely built body and a shaggy covering of hair over most of the body.

However, since nearly thirty years [Note again: This article was written in 1982] we can find a changed scientific belief in the above-described appearance of the Neanderthals. This change started to take place in 1955, when William Strauss and A.J.E. Cave, professors of anatomy, re-examined the skeleton of La Chapelle-aux-Saints. They found that the forty-to fifty-year-old man was rotten with arthritis. The forward thrust of his head, noted by Professor Boule, was due to a wry neck, and the stunted stature and stooping posture were due to arthritic lesions in his vertebral column. Some scientists also realized that the great German pathologist Virchow had even stated in reference to the very first discovery of the Neanderthal Man in 1856 that this creature was a victim of disease and that he – Virchow – had upheld this conclusion for over thirty years.  At that time another important fact was brought back to mind, namely that the cranial capacity of that skull of La Chapelle-aux-Saints was very great, about 1,600 c.c., and that meant that the size of the Neanderthal’s brain was not less than that of modern man. Moreover, it was clearly asymmetric in the same way as that of modern man.

Since 1856, when the bones of the first Neanderthal Man were discovered, a very large number of remains of other creatures have been unearthed in caves of Europe, Asia and Africa. Among them are the Man of Spy, the Man of Krapina, the Man of Jersey, the La Guina Man, the Mousterian Man, the Peking Man, the Rhodesian Man and, of course, the Chapelle-aux-Saints Man. They all are classed together as the Neanderthal Man. Soon scientists realized that there was such variability in points of detail among the many known Neanderthal-type skulls that there was none that could be called “typical.” Therefore, many scientists believe today that the species had already divided up into a number of racial variants before the Neanderthal Man disappeared, comparable with the variants that can be seen in the races of living man today.  Some scientists go even further than that and state that the Neanderthal Man is no ancestor of the modern living man, but that he developed separately and independently of the modern man.

So, the scientific world today has no specific description of THE Neanderthal Man and it is not even sure that he was a forefather of modern man. However, most scientists profess that the Neanderthal was not a human being, although even this question is not kept without arguments. For example, Sir Arthur Keith, author of the book, “Antiquity of Man,” felt that the Neanderthal Man was certainly “not a dawn form of humanity.” And William Strauss and A.J.E. Cave wrote in their report about the fossil from La Chapelle-aux-Saints: “If he could be reincarnated and placed in a New York Subway – provided that he were bathed, shaved and dressed in modern clothing – it is doubtful whether he would attract any more attention than some of its other citizens.”

In recognition of this kind of confusion whether or not the Neanderthal man was a human being, we want to look very carefully at the archeological records discovered by scientists. Many scientists – and sometimes religious people as well – believe that the Neanderthals were no human beings. They feel that they are supported by some of the following discoveries.

The main argument for this belief refers to the primitive way in which Neanderthals lived. There is little doubt that they dwelled in caves which protected them from the cold during the cold seasons and that they hunted wild animals, either individually or collectively. When they had killed an animal, they used stones or stone tools to remove the skin and ate the meat raw or roasted over the fire, while they used the skin to cover their bodies and to sleep on. It is believed, too, that they ate carrion. But these facts do not prove by themselves that the Neanderthals were no human beings. Even today primitive tribes are known living in the same way the Neanderthals did-for example, the tribe of the Tasaday on the Philippine islands-and no scientist states that these people are not human.

Another argument why the Neanderthals are not considered as human beings is the assumption that their language capabilities were limited. Philip Lieberman and Edmund Crelin of Yale made a series of measurements of the skull of the fossil found at La Chapelle-aux-Saints. The measurements suggested that the Neanderthals lacked a modern pharynx and that they were unable to utter some vowel sounds or form some consonants. On the other hand, both scientists stated that Rhodesia Man, another creature of the Neanderthal race, had a slightly more modern pharynx. These controversial results do not prove that the Neanderthals were not human. First of all, do we know that the fossil from La Chapelle was representative for the whole race of the Neanderthals? As a matter of fact, this was not the case because the results were different in regard to the Rhodesia Man. Furthermore, these results prove that the Neanderthal Man could speak-and this is also true for the Chapelle-aux-Saints Man-although the vocabulary might have consisted of fewer consonants and vowel sounds. Therefore, limited language capabilities are also no proof for the assumption that Neanderthal Man was not human.

But there is still a third argument for this belief which is brought forth mainly by religiously-oriented people who state that the Bible mentions the Neanderthals as “nephilim” and distinguishes them herewith from the modern living man. In Genesis 6:4, the King James Version translates the Hebrew word “nephilim” with “giants” and reads: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” It is considered that these “giants” were descendants from the ancient Neanderthal types, from “pre-Adamic races.”

According to this theory, the Neanderthals were creatures without the spirit in man, and that means without understanding; they were not fully conscious of their own self-existence as we are self-aware and conscious. In other words, without the spirit in man, the Neanderthals should have lived on the level with animals (1 Corinthians 2:11).

However, the following discoveries will prove that the Neanderthal lived beyond that level and, therefore, that he was a human being. 

This ends the first part of the research paper. We will reproduce the second part in the next Update, which will present proof as to why Neanderthal Man was indeed a modern human being or “homo sapiens,” and how this can be reconciled with science postulating that the Neanderthal Man was about 40,000 or at least 30,000 years old.

The interested reader is referred to two Q&A’s related to the subject. One Q&A addresses the question of the existence of “giants” in the past and perhaps today, and discusses the “nephilim” in Genesis 6:4. The second Q&A discusses the origin of the “nephilim” and answers the question whether angelic beings had intercourse with women and thereby produced giants.

At this point, we would also like to quote the following article from the Washington Post, dated June 19, 2014, which we cited in the Current

Events portion of our weekly Update #645, June 26, 2014:

“In a cave in northern Spain, a team of scientists has retrieved the remains of 28 prehistoric humans, members of an enigmatic species that could be described as a little bit Neanderthal. They had Neanderthal faces, with heavy brows and protruding noses. They had powerful mandibles and mouths that could open extremely wide, indicating that they used their teeth as gripping tools. But they didn’t have the large skulls or other robust skeletal features seen in the prototypical Neanderthals who, hundreds of millennia later, roamed Ice Age Europe. “The discovery does not dramatically change the general picture of human evolution, but it complicates it a bit, providing new evidence that there were many distinct, and largely isolated, human species existing simultaneously.

“[Scientists] think these proto-Neanderthals possessed the power of speech and lived in social groups. There are few human ancestors more intriguing than the Neanderthals, who could be described as the best example in the history of the planet of an intelligent species that has gone extinct. They had large craniums and larger brains than modern humans (although that doesn’t mean they were smarter). They existed as recently as about 30,000 years ago, when their kind disappears from the fossil record.

“How they died out, and why, and to what extent they may have interbred with anatomically modern humans is an ongoing source of debate and contentiousness among highly credentialed scientists. But as a species, the Neanderthal vanished. In their place came anatomically modern humans, who evolved in Africa and are the ancestors of everyone alive today.

“The Neanderthals, [one expert] said, ‘obviously were very intuitively smart. They were great toolmakers. They were ingenious. They were resourceful. They were living through difficult times.'”

How smart they were, and why they were indeed human beings, will be shown in the next installment.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link 

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new member letter was written by Dave Harris. It will be sent out shortly. In the letter, Mr. Harris reminds us of the bad consequences of sin and disobedience, as well as the blessings for righteousness and obedience—collectively and individually. We will also enclose a copy of our new booklet, “When and How Will Christ Return?” 

We would like to thank all of our listeners and viewers who called in to thank us for the StandingWatch programs. In addition, here are some of the recent written comments we have received:

“Dear Evangelist Norbert Link and the Eternal Church of God. I live in the Philippines and I have just listened to your latest video about the Mid-term Elections. I listen to all of your videos and have downloaded many of them. For me personally, because I do not know what others believe or even think, Standing Watch is the best of the best. Please inform Evangelist Norbert Link.”

“It saddens me to realize how completely we have been hoodwinked. Your work is very much needed. It’s life changing & saving.”

“Dear friends at the Church of the Eternal God. Thank you for the internet simulcast of the Sabbath, and God’s annual Holy Days services. I really appreciate the time, effort and costs that it takes to prepare your sermon and sermonettes etc. and the set-up of TV cameras and sound equipment etc. Thanks again!”

“Zion—Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. The title in English is, “Zion—Past, Present and Future.”

“Appreciating Our Salvation,” the sermon presented by Robb Harris last Sabbath, in now posted. Here is a summary:

We have been given a wonderful opportunity to become members of God’s Family. That opportunity does not come without cost. Christ died to pave a way for our Salvation and we can show our appreciation by living as He lived—fulfilling God’s Will.

Sermons from Brian Gale and Rene Messier, which were given at the Feast in Germany, were posted on the British and Canadian Websites. They are:

Rene Messier, (Talking Points) “Rebuilding and Reclamation”.

Brian Gale (Global Trailer), “Do We Truly Realize What is Ahead?” and, “What We Can Look Forward To!” 

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

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

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