Update 703


Scar Tissue; The Process or the Product?

On August 29 , 2015, Robb Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Scar Tissue,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “The Process or the Product?”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (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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Compose Ourselves with Self-Control

by Michael Link

When we lack self-control, negative consequences are often times the result. Have we been victimized and/or reciprocated in kind by being too quick to respond; quick to raise the fist; seeking revenge; quick to anger; losing control of our emotions; giving in to sin; not thinking before we act; acting on assumption rather than reality; falsely accused when put on the spot for our mistakes or even our beliefs; and questioned by the things that we do?

Taking control of our actions in the way we respond requires composure, which is the state of feeling or being calm and in control of oneself. We are supposed to be peacemakers, having self-control (Matthew 5:9).  We can’t let ourselves fall apart, but need to stay intact when we are faced with adversity.

How did Christ react when He was constantly put on the spot and tested to see how He would respond? Notice some of the things which He said in a given situation:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone… first” (John 8:7).  “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).  And after He was mocked, beaten and crucified, His response was to forgive, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

We are to imitate Christ.  When He was accused many times, He showed tremendous self-control, and in all the pressures with which He was faced and the demands of the ministry, He managed to maintain His composure to do the Will of His Father.  Are we not supposed to do the same?  We have the gift of the Holy Spirit within us to help us, and it is through God’s power and grace in our lives that we are able to respond to pressures with the same composure and self-control that Jesus showed in similar situations.  As Christ walked through the storms of life, keeping His composure, we are to do the same.  This is what God expects of us—that we are to conduct ourselves both inwardly and outwardly with the same character and grace that Jesus showed when He was on this earth.  Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” He shares His compassion with us, because He has experienced the same trials and temptations that we go through.

How do we show our self-control?  “… let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).  Prayer helps us in this regard and is a valuable tool that we should never be without and that can most certainly help us in any given situation. Prayer can be applied at any time; at any moment; in any environment; whenever we need help for even the quickest and simplest things, like when we are put on the spot and need to give a quick response.  So instead of seeking to respond in a way which is typically our initial reaction, if we are not careful, let us try another approach—that of self-control and composure.

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We begin with frightening signs that Russia might prepare for war against Europe; and while we experienced true heroism in France, we also saw violent acts in Germany by Neo-Nazis against refugees and the police, and observed the worsening situation in Europe pertaining to millions of refugees.

The UK is still battling with the question as to whether or not the coming referendum should be in favor of or against a Brexit. At the same time, Europe prepares for big business with Iran which has publically restated its declared goal of eradicating Israel.

We learned that Israel almost (!) struck Iran in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but due to some “intervention,” attacks were stopped “at the last minute.” On the other hand, fanatical Judaism is not helping Israel’s cause, either.

Hillary Clinton’s E-mail problems are escalating, and the White House and President Obama have indicated their preference for Joe Biden’s run for the Democratic nomination; in fact, strong suggestions are made that President Obama might have “set up” Hillary Clinton from the outset, by giving her the green light to use a private server.

We are reporting on China’s “Black Monday” and the consequences for stock markets in Asia, Europe and the USA, and we conclude with an article showing that homosexuality is a matter of choice and not genetic or biological.

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Russia Preparing for War Against Europe?

The Washington Free Beacon wrote on August 21:

“Russia is nearing deployment of a new missile capable of targeting… Europe with nuclear or conventional warheads… Pentagon officials said the new naval weapon can be equipped with both nuclear and conventional warheads and can reach most of Europe when fired from ships in the Black Sea… The new supersonic missile is capable of being used to strike targets both at sea and on land.”

Is America Responding?

CNN wrote on August 26:

“The U.S. Air Force will soon dispatch its most advanced fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, to Europe in a show of solidarity with allies that have concerns about Russian actions in Ukraine, Air Force leaders said Monday. ‘Russia’s military activity in the Ukraine continues to be of great concern to us and to our European allies,’ Air Force Secretary Deborah James, the service’s top civilian, said at a briefing…

“James said security concerns prevented her from disclosing exactly when and where the aircraft would deploy… [but] sending the F-22s to Europe is only part of what the Pentagon is doing to reassure allies…

“The U.S. military has been rotating various units through Europe for training and exercises this year. Air Force F-15s, F-16s and A-10s have been part of those rotations. Meanwhile, the Army and Marines have sent tanks and armor to the continent. And on Monday, 400 U.S. and allied paratroopers staged parachute assaults on two airfields in Bulgaria as part of Exercise Swift Response 15, which the Army calls ‘the largest U.S.-led airborne exercise in Europe since the end of the Cold War.’ The total exercise involves 4,500 airborne troops from 11 NATO nations.”

True Heroism

Newsmax reported on August 24:

“The proud father of the U.S. National Guardsman who averted a massacre aboard a Paris-to-Amsterdam commuter train tells Newsmax TV his son’s actions prove America must brush aside political correctness when it comes to fighting terrorism… On Monday, French President Francois Hollande awarded France’s highest honor to off-duty servicemen Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone, their student friend Anthony Sadler, and Chris Norman, a British business consultant.

“The heroic [unarmed] five sprang into action to overpower a 25-year-old Moroccan… who boarded the high-speed train on Friday wielding a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Luger automatic pistol, ammunition, and a box-cutter.”

It is good to see that some are still willing to risk their own lives to save others. Sadly, these heroic acts stand in grim contrast to a black American homosexual reporter murdering two white straight former colleagues during a live TV broadcast and subsequently killing himself. Predictably, the left and the right tried to make their case for and against gun control, as well as racial and sexual discrimination. However, it was reported that the murderer had several episodes of uncontrolled anger. It seems that Trump had it right when he blamed the incident on “massive mental illness” (Newsmax, August 27). Better yet, we might blame it on demonic influence.

“Merkel Finally Condemns Anti-Refugee Violence”

The Local reported on August 24:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference on Monday that far-right demonstrations over the weekend in the Saxon town of Heidenau were completely unacceptable. ‘There was an aggressive, xenophobic atmosphere that is in no way acceptable. It’s repulsive how the far right and neo-Nazis are trying to spread their hollow messages of hate,’ Merkel said at a Berlin meeting to discuss Europe’s refugee crisis with French President Francois Hollande. ‘But it’s equally shameful that citizens, even families with children, should once again support these things by participating,’ she added.

“Hollande told journalists that ‘no situation, however painful, can justify these acts.’ But he added that growing numbers of refugees were a burden for the countries that were taking on the greatest numbers. ‘We can see what tensions this can bring out,’ he said…

“After clashes erupted in eastern Germany over two nights between police and far-right thugs protesting the opening of a new centre for refugees, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said Berlin would not stand for hostility against the newcomers… Merkel, faced growing calls over the weekend to speak out on aggression against refugees following the clashes in Heidenau on Friday and Saturday night. Critics also took to social media using the Twitter hashtags #Merkelschweigt (Silent Merkel) and #Merkelsagwas (Merkel, say something)…

“Germany is bracing for a record influx of up to 800,000 asylum-seekers this year and has registered more than 200 attacks against shelters housing or due to house refugees since January…”

As usual, it took Angela Merkel a long time to react. The media again became upset with her because of her silence. Germans begin more and more to lose trust and confidence in her ability to lead the country. The refugee situation will not go away, but only intensify. A charismatic figure WILL arise in Germany to provide a “real alternative” to the current weak government… because Merkel’s days could be numbered.

AFP wrote on August 25:

Germany scrambled Tuesday to quell a wave of anti-migrant violence, as a new case of suspected arson hit a planned refugee shelter just hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel described xenophobic protests as ‘vile’. A week before 130 refugees are due to move into a temporary shelter in a sports hall in Nauen, a town near Berlin, the building went up in flames… The sudden surge in people coming from war zones such as Syria as well as countries that are not at war like Albania and Kosovo has… exposed anti-migrant sentiment, particularly in eastern Germany, which still lags behind the western part of the country in terms of jobs and opportunities 25 years after reunification…”

Does Berlin Take the Lead in Europe’s Immigration Problems?

The Independent wrote on August 24:

“Berlin took the lead in efforts to resolve the European refugee crisis yesterday by declaring all Syrian asylum-seekers welcome to remain in Germany – no matter which EU country they had first entered. Germany, which expects to take a staggering 800,000 migrants this year, became the first EU country to suspend a 1990 protocol which forces refugees to seek asylum in the first European country in which they set foot…

“All current expulsion orders for Syrian asylum-seekers will be revoked, the government said. New Syrian arrivals will no longer be forced to fill in questionnaires to determine which country they had first arrived in. In the first six months of 2015, Germany registered 44,417 applications from Syrian asylum-seekers.

“The decision piles further pressure on other EU countries – including Britain – which have used the 1990 protocol as the legal basis for refusing to take any share of the refugees  from the Middle East and Africa now pouring into Europe to escape war, oppression or famine. The decision came as Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President, François Hollande, held talks in Berlin to try to come up with solutions to the worst European refugee crisis since the immediate aftermath of  the Second  World War.

“They appealed last night for the creation of a new, Europe-wide asylum policy, in which all 28 EU countries would be expected to take part…”

But does Germany really take the liberal lead, as it is described above? Hardly! Please note the next article, discussing  German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere’s immigration plans. De Maiziere was engulfed in numerous scandals, and some view him as a somewhat ruthless politician who cannot be trusted.

Germany’s [de Maiziere’s] Expected Reaction

Deutsche Welle reported on August 26:

“German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere plans to reduce the number of asylum seekers in Germany through a series of legislative changes… According to reports on ‘Spiegel Online’ on Wednesday, other ministries with the German government have already been sent a four-page document with eleven proposals regarding the ‘Control of Asylum Migration.’…

“Under the reported legislative changes, asylum seekers would stay at an initial reception camp for six months instead of the current three. The aim of this particular measure is to enable authorities to deport rejected asylum seekers quicker…”

A Border Fence (Wall) Is Built in Hungary

The New York Times wrote on August 25:

“The latest surge of migrants crossing the Balkans has brought a record number to Hungary despite government efforts to quickly build a 4-meter (13-foot) high fence on the Serbian border to stop them…

“So far, the Hungarian border barrier consists of three layers of razor wire, which the government says will be laid along the 174-kilometer (109-mile) border with Serbia by the end of the month. According to Kovacs, the higher fence a few feet behind the razor wire is also being built ‘as fast as possible’…

“‘Building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention … will not stop migrants from coming or trying to come to Europe,’ said Francois Crepau, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. ‘Let’s not pretend that what the EU and its member states are doing is working. Migration is here to stay.’”

Britain has ongoing immigration problems as well.

BBC News reported on August 27 that “Net migration to the UK is at an all-time high, reaching 330,000 in the year to March… The figure – the difference between the number entering the country and those leaving – is more than three times higher than the government’s target. Immigration Minister James Brokenshire called the rise ‘deeply disappointing’”.

UK—In or Out?

Express wrote on August 21:

“The debate over whether to remain a part of the EU has split the country… The arguments both for and against [a Brexit] are varied and complex, so here are five simple reasons why we should cut our ties with the EU – plus five reasons we should stay put.

“Why should we leave the EU?

“1. It would save UK taxpayers money. The EU costs Britain £55million every day – and while we recoup some of that sum, most of it remains in the Brussels’ coffers. The Office for Budget Repsinsiblity estimates the figure is closer to £39.7 million a day when rebates and other receipts are taken into account. Either way, Britons contribute a lot of money to the EU.

“2. Better control of immigration. Membership of the EU means 450 million Europeans can freely live and work in the UK. Withdrawing from the union would give British politicians a stronger grip on who can and can’t come into the country…

“3. Decisions taken closer to home. Campaigners say the EU currently decides 75 per cent of laws affecting Britain. Leaving the union would mean British politicians could take direct action on key issues that affect the country…

“4. The EU is undemocratic. One of the most significant trade deals in a generation – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP – is being negotiated largely in private. And the European Commission, which proposes legislation, is not directly elected. Opponents say the EU is fundamentally undemocratic.

“5. Improved trade. Supporters of a Brexit cite increased opportunities to trade with the rest of the world as a key reason to leave the EU. Bi-lateral trade agreements with fast-growing export markets such as China, Singapore, Brazil, Russia and India would suddenly become available. There are also the examples of Norway and Switzerland, two of Europe’s wealthiest countries – and neither of whom are in the EU…

“Why should we stay in the EU?

“1. Jobs. It is claimed as many as three million British jobs rely on our continued membership of the EU…

“2. Britons benefit from being able to live and work anywhere in the EU. Going on holiday, finding a job abroad and retiring to Europe’s sunnier climes are all made easier by Britain’s membership of the EU. Most countries have an agreement with EU members to waive visas, making travel for those with a British passport both easy and cheap.

“3. Threat Britain would become less influential on the international stage. Most of our nearest European neighbours – and the US – want us to stay in. With the backing of the EU, advocates of the union argue Britain’s voice is enhanced on the world stage, giving us greater influence.

“4. Trade. The EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner, accounting for more than half of our trade. A staggering £400bn is brought in each year through buying and selling within the common market, dwarfing the £12bn we spend on the EU each year.

“5. City of London. Many businesses have threatened to quit the City of London if Britain withdraws from Europe. Top bankers… have spoken out to say London must stay in the EU to ensure it remains a ‘great financial capital of the world’…”

Some of the arguments—pro and con—are rather far-fetched and unpersuasive. In any event, God will see to it that at His time, the UK will leave the EU.

How Germany Puts Britain to Shame

On August 26, 2015, the Local published the following article with the provocative headline: “10 ways Germany puts Britain to shame.” We do not necessarily endorse, agree or disagree with some or even all of the points raised in this tongue-in-cheek article, but felt they might be of interest. (Our apologies ahead of time to our British readers.) But when understanding biblical prophecy, we realize that the article has a sober note. The article was written by Jörg Luyken who was born in Scotland and who “argues that his fellow Brits should pack their bags and move to Deutschland.” Sadly, quite a few Brits will do this in the future… but not voluntarily. Here is the ten-point list:

“1. … Why is the weather so terrible in Britain?…

“2. … Britain is crazily expensive…

“3. Music [in Germany] isn’t terrible…

“4. … Walk into a British bar or club and your nostrils will be assaulted by the stench…

“5. Germans are trusted to drink responsibly [not in Britain]…

“6. … and generally not to be criminals… there is still a basic pact between the German state and citizenry of being innocent until proven guilty. Invasions of privacy are abundant in Britain, as is obvious to any visitor who has dealt with the horribly officious airport security. Most galling, though, is the state’s love of perving on us with CCTV cameras. You can’t move a millimetre in London without being watched…

“7. Germans recycle properly… In Germany you get money back when you return empty cans and bottles. This makes a particular difference at festivals, encouraging people not to just drop their rubbish on the street. Because no such concept exists in Britain, plastic and paper cups are strewn everywhere.

“8. Getting around is easy-peasy (and affordable)Even in the British cities that have underground lines, you’ll spend about half a day navigating various forms of public transport just to visit a friend who lives at the end of your street. Because the wonders of overground rail and trams are commonplace in most major German cities, you can cross places like Berlin without having to pack three days’ rations first. And on weekends inner-city public transport runs 24 hours… Furthermore,… taking the train from Stanstead to London means you’ve already spent over double your holiday budget by the time you get to London…

“9. German politics isn’t (entirely) made up as it goes along… Britain is squabbling over borders that haven’t existed in practice for hundreds of years.

“10. But then at least Brits know how to cook a good Sunday roast…”

The last point was accompanied by a photograph which was meant to ridicule the accuracy of the statement.

“Greece Names New Prime Minister”

Deutsche Welle reported on August 27:

“The Greek president has appointed an interim prime minister as the country prepares for fresh elections in September…

“Vassiliki Thanou was appointed caretaker prime minister on Thursday by Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Thanou, head of the country’s Supreme Court, will be the first woman to hold the position as the country gears up for snap elections likely to be held on September 20.

“The 65-year-old will assume the post later on Thursday evening, and then appoint a cabinet to be sworn in the following day. Her appointment comes after parliament’s three largest parties were unable to find willing coalition partners.

‘Outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week after only seven months in office. Tsipras, facing a revolt from within his left-wing Syriza party, hopes to bolster support for the country’s new bailout program with a fresh election…

“Tsipras is expected to emerge victorious in the September polls, although it is uncertain if he will get enough votes to govern alone or be forced to seek another coalition, though he has already ruled out aligning with any opposition centrist parties. For his part, Tsipras’ maverick former Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis told Reuters news agency he will not partake in the ‘sad’ elections…”

Europe Anxious to Do Business with Iran—and Vice Versa

The Washington Post wrote on August 21:

“Congress is still deciding whether to approve the landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but European political and business leaders aren’t waiting for the outcome… It’s a measure of the radically different views on the deal on either side of the Atlantic. There’s little opposition to the nuclear pact in Europe, and little appetite to reimpose sanctions if Congress nixes the deal…

“German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel rushed to Tehran in the days after the agreement was signed, traveling alongside a business delegation with top officials from some of Germany’s largest companies, including Daimler, Siemens and ThyssenKrupp…

“French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited Tehran in late July. A French business delegation of nearly 100 executives will visit Tehran at the end of September. Top French firms including Renault, Peugeot and Total have all visited in recent months…

“Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi visited Tehran in early August, extending an invitation to President Rouhani to visit Rome. They traveled with a delegation of Italian financial firms, and bankers signed a government-backed financing deal to jumpstart Italian investment in Iran…

“British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond plans to visit Tehran on Saturday to reopen his nation’s embassy there, which has been closed since it was stormed by protesters in 2011. He will be accompanied by top British business leaders amid fears that they were lagging behind other countries in the rush to do deals in Iran…

“Austrian President Heinz Fischer plans to visit Tehran in early September, becoming the first European head of state to visit since 2004. He plans to travel with the foreign and economy ministers and other top business leaders. Vienna hosted a major E.U.-Iran trade conference just a week after the deal was signed…

“[Spain’s] Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo; Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister José Manuel Soria; and Development Minister Ana Pastor will lead a trade delegation to Tehran in early September…

“Polish economy minister Janusz Piechociński plans to visit Tehran in September with a business delegation. The country has started a development initiative called ‘Go Iran’ to promote between the two countries…

“Swedish Minister for Enterprise Mikael Damberg will visit with a trade delegation in the fall.”

Europe—modern Tyre and modern Babylon—is described in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation as a very powerful economic bloc with which just about everybody would want to trade.

Israel Almost Struck Iran in 2010, 2011 and 2012

The New York Times wrote on August 21:

“A former Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, revealed new details to his biographers about how close Israel came to striking Iran’s military facilities in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and why it did not despite his and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to do so, according to interview excerpts aired on Israeli television Friday night.

“Mr. Barak, who also previously served as Israel’s prime minister, said that he and Mr. Netanyahu were ready to attack Iran each year but that in 2010, the military chief of staff said Israel lacked the ‘operational capability’; in 2011, two key ministers waffled at the last minute; and in 2012, the timing did not work out because of a joint United States-Israel military exercise and visit by the American defense secretary.

“He noted that the two ministers who balked in 2011, Moshe Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz, ‘are the most militant about attacking Iran’ today… Mr. Barak was known at the time to be a prime advocate for a unilateral Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear plants, something Washington strongly opposed.

“In the weeks since the Obama administration and five other world powers signed a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear program, Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Yaalon — now defense minister — and Mr. Steinitz have all stressed that Israel retains a military option to stop Iran from making a bomb…”

It is clear that the time had not (yet) come in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Iran Releases Video Depicting Muslim Attack on Jerusalem

Newsmax reported on August 23:

“Two weeks after the Iran nuclear deal was announced, a video was released under the auspices of the Iranian regime which depicts an attack on Jerusalem by the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Muslim allies. The video declares: ‘Israel must be obliterated.’

“The animated video, produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, shows soldiers preparing for battle. One has the Revolutionary Guard insignia on his arm, another sports the emblem of the Iran-based Iraqi Shia Badr Organization, and a third wears a headband with Hezbollah’s logo… The soldiers are then seen marching toward Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Old City.

“Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also called for the destruction of Israel. He recently tweeted: ‘We spare no opportunity to support anyone fighting the Zionists,’ The Blaze website reported.”

It is mere insanity to try to strike a “deal” with an Iranian regime which is determined to destroy Israel. But then, maybe Iran is not alone with that desire?

Modern Judaism’s Fanaticism

JTA wrote on August 19 about the owner of a winery in Tuscany, Italy, producing Chianti wine for Israel, but being prohibited to touch the wine  in the process:

“… when it came time to open her signature bottle, the Terra Di Seta Winery’s Chianti Classico 2010 Reserve, she [the winery owner] yielded to Yossi Metzger, an intern with little winemaking experience and a kippah on his head. Metzger twisted the corkscrew and popped the bottle open. ‘We must be crazy to make kosher wine in Tuscany,’ laughed Pellegrini, who, according to Jewish law, cannot touch the wine because she is not Jewish.

“… keeping kosher means the vintners must surrender the actual winemaking process to others. According to traditional Jewish law, only religious Jews may produce kosher wine, and though Della Seta is Jewish, he [sic] does not observe Shabbat. So mashgiachs, or kosher supervisors, hired by the OK Kosher certification agency have to handle everything from the time the grapes come to the winery’s door to when the cork goes into the bottle…”

None of this is biblical. In fact, it is this kind of Pharisaical fanaticism which places true biblical beliefs in a bad light, and which Jesus strongly condemned.

Clinton’s E-mail Scandal—Did Obama Set Up Clinton from the Outset?

The Washington Times wrote on August 19:

“Mrs. Clinton is careening toward possible criminal charges involving her alleged mishandling of classified material on her personal email server while she was secretary of State. And President Obama is driving the bus. She and her team have, of course, reverted to form, blaming everyone but themselves: a ‘right-wing conspiracy,’ The New York Times, overzealous investigators. What they are missing, however, is the one figure who wants her taken out politically, and who has the power to do it.

“She and Mr. Obama have a long history as frenemies. Recall… President Bill Clinton’s famous put-down of Mr. Obama: ‘A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.’…

“If Mr. Obama does not want an investigation to go forward, it does not go forward. Witness the scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service, Benghazi, Veterans Administration and Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning… In those cases, he protested too much. His faux outrage was a ‘tell’ that he had no intention of investigating. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, he’s been quiet. Too quiet. That’s a ‘tell’ that he wants this investigation pursued, likely to the point of charging her.

“He has others talking, however. Each week, there are damaging new leaks about her personal email and server: that despite her denials, she did, in fact, have top-secret and other highly classified materials on the server, that the FBI is conducting a criminal probe and the bureau is ‘optimistic’ it can retrieve the wiped data, that she may have had a second server, that her top aides… are now also in investigators’ sights… These leaks are not happening by accident…

“It may be that Mr. Obama set her up from the start, giving her the green light to use a private server. The White House refuses to say whether she got prior approval, suggesting that they probably granted it. After all, a number of top administration folks had private accounts: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, among others. But they… weren’t likely presidential candidates. It could be that Mr. Obama gave her the OK knowing that he could use it against her at the opportune moment. Which would be now.

“This brings us to the certain presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden, the one person who can effectively give Mr. Obama that third term… The White House is even floating the idea of one-term for Mr. Biden, to reassure voters that they wouldn’t be making a long-term commitment (even though, as an extension of Obama’s presidency, it would be.)

“Like the Clinton investigation, this is not by accident. Once Mr. Biden joins the race, he will enjoy the full backing of Mr. Obama… The Democratic ticket will be Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren. That’s what Mr. Obama wants. And what Mr. Obama wants, Mr. Obama gets… And Mr. Obama is winning.”

CNN reported on August 24:

“Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama’s ‘blessing’ to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat… The President made clear he would not stand in his way or counsel him against a run, the senior Democrat said… While many top Democrats have already signed onto Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, several former Obama advisers tell CNN they would work for Biden if he jumps into the race…”

Breitbart added on August 25:

“White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest signaled that Joe Biden was a suitable candidate for president, as the Vice President currently weighs a potential run for president…”

Newsmax wrote on August 24:

“Hillary Clinton is facing a ‘dangerous’ situation where her email server is concerned, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Monday… ‘There are other statutes that deal with what happens to you if you are a custodian of public records and you, among other things, alter them or obliterate them,’ Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, said… ‘No. 1, that’s a felony, but that statute makes you unqualified, disqualifies you from holding any further office in the United States.’”

It appears as if the handwriting is on the wall…

China’s Black Monday

The Telegraph wrote on August 24:

“An unprecedented collapse in Chinese shares sent tremors through financial markets on Monday, triggering the ugliest day of global trading since the depths of the financial crisis eight years ago. Billions were wiped off indices across the world in a day of frenetic selling which saw the Shanghai composite suffer an 8.5pc decline, its worst one-day performance since 2007.

“The mass panic, dubbed ‘Black Monday’ by China’s official state news agency, was driven by investors’ dashed hopes that Beijing would inject a fresh round of stimulus into its economy at the weekend. China’s benchmark index has now lost all of its yearly gains after a relentless ascent that saw its valuation rise to record levels earlier this year.

“Asian markets crashed on the news, with Japan’s Nikkei closing down 4.5pc and entering official ‘correction’ territory. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 5.2pc, its steepest sell-off in 30 years.

“Emerging markets, most exposed to a waning Chinese economy, saw their currencies continue an abysmal summer rout. Russia’s rouble fell to an all-time low of 70.74 to the dollar, despite desperate attempts by the Kremlin to prop up its value.

“Contagion quickly spread west, decimating European indices, which all suffered record post-crisis losses… Fears soon engulfed Wall Street, where the Dow Jones lost 1,000 points minutes after the opening bell… The dollar… collapsed to a seven-month low against the euro…”

Newsmax wrote on August 24:

“As financial markets are rattled, real estate mogul and presidential hopeful Donald Trump took to social media to remind the public how he’s warned about the dangers of the Chinese economy for months…

“On Monday, the world stock markets plunged after China’s main index sank 8.5 percent — a catastrophic event that is being referred to as ‘Black Monday’ and… the biggest drop since the beginning of the financial crisis. ‘China is taking our jobs, they’re taking our money,’ Trump announce in an Instagram video. ‘Be careful, they [China] will bring us down.’”

Newsmax reported on August 24 about Televangelist Pat Robertson’s unique twist on things.  He said Monday “that the stock market fluctuations were God’s punishment for the United States government funding abortion provider Planned Parenthood.”Even though Planned Parenthood’s conduct regarding the abortion of babies is indeed despicable, Pat Robertson seems to forget that the stock market problem originated in China and not in the USA. In addition, God is very angry with the USA for MANY reasons.

The Washington Post reported on August 25:

“… in China, authorities appeared powerless to prevent a further slide in the country’s ailing stock market Tuesday, as the country’s main share index plunged for a fourth straight day…

“The People’s Bank of China cut its one-year benchmark lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.6 percent and its one-year deposit rate by the same amount to 1.75 percent… But experts said the moves were unlikely to be enough to rescue the stock market…”

US Stocks Rebound on Wednesday and Thursday

CNBC wrote on August 26:

“U.S. stocks shot higher on Wednesday, rebounding from six consecutive days of declines that pushed the major averages into correction territory… The major averages closed about 4 percent higher for their best day since 2011. The S&P 500 closed higher, out of correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite closed on the edge of correction, up 4.2 percent on the day. Gains accelerated into the close, with the Dow Jones industrial average ending up about 620 points after rising as much as 637.31 points… ‘From what I’ve seen so far this morning in trades it looks more like bouncing,’ said Tim Dreiling, senior portfolio manager with the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank… He said it’s ‘a coin toss…’”

Reuters added on August 27:

“Wall Street rallied more than 2 percent on Thursday [and]… fueled optimism that the worst of recent market turmoil was over.

“The Dow Jones industrial average scored its biggest two-day percentage gain since 2008, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite racked up their biggest two-day increases since 2009.”

Homosexuality—a Matter of Choice

Beitbart wrote on August 21:

“This week, YouGov released a poll questioning British people about their sexuality. The poll made headlines because nearly half of all 18-24 year olds said they were not fully heterosexual. More specifically, the poll asked people to rank themselves on the so-called Kinsey scale, a measurement named after fraudulent researcher Alfred Kinsey. The Kinsey scale ranges from 0 (fully heterosexual) to 6 (fully homosexual). All the other numbers represent a range of sexual attractions – 3, for example, would be fully bisexual, i.e. equally attracted to both sexes; 2 would be more attracted to members of the opposite sex than the same sex, but still attracted to the same sex.

“The poll showed that 88 percent of those older than 60 in the United Kingdom identified as completely heterosexual. In each succeeding age bracket, that number dropped: 78 percent for those aged 40-59, 58 percent for those aged 25-39, and just 46 percent for those aged 18-24. The number identifying as completely homosexual skyrocketed for younger generations as well: for those aged 60 or above, just 1 percent identified as homosexual, 3 percent of those aged 40-59, 9 percent of those aged 25-39, and 6 percent for those aged 18-24.

“This poll goes to the heart of the question of whether sexual orientation is purely biological, or whether it is societally impacted…  The argument that sexual orientation is solely a biological phenomenon is extraordinarily weak, and this poll proves it… The rate of non-heterosexual identification in Great Britain has skyrocketed 450 percent in two generations, according to this poll. As society grows not only more accepting of homosexuality, but outwardly celebratory of it… children are taught that morality has nothing to say about choice of sexual partner… people are punished for suggesting that society value heterosexuality above homosexuality… bisexuality becomes the ‘tolerant’ and ‘cool’ sexual orientation… Where once, people embraced the societally-approved standard of sexual orientation, reinforcing heterosexual feelings while rejecting homosexual ones, now they embrace all sexual attractions of every kind, enshrining them rather than treating them as aberrant exceptions to a general rule…

“The question is whether sexual orientation is biological and immutable, as LGBT advocates routinely insist, or whether sexual orientation can be impacted by environment, which would raise serious questions about the nature of educating children on sexuality. This study, now being championed as a great victory by the LGBT community, strongly suggests the latter is true: how we treat homosexuality as a society has massive influence on the sexual orientation of individuals within that society, for good or ill.”

Homosexuality is NOT biological, but socially impacted. People choose to become homosexuals… they are not born that way. We do not deny that a person might be born with certain tendencies which might be caused, perhaps, by biological genetics. For example, a child of an alcoholic might have a greater proclivity of becoming an alcoholic than someone else, and he or she must therefore be extra careful. But, a person is not born as an alcoholic or as a homosexual. And so, a person can choose to stop becoming a homosexual or practicing homosexual conduct, as well as being or becoming an alcoholic. They MUST do so, if they want to enter the Kingdom of God.

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What are Some of the Requirements Which We Must Fulfill so that God May Heal Us?

In a previous Q&A, we explained that God’s ministry has an important role to fulfill when we want God to heal us. The Bible is very clear that ONLY an ordained minister is permitted to lay hands on a sick person’s head and anoint the person with oil (as a symbol of the Holy Spirit), while he is praying audibly to the Father for His intervention, referring to Christ’s Sacrifice as a necessary requirement for God’s healing. The idea that just anyone (non-ministerial persons, including deacons and women) could lay hands on a sick person is biblically wrong—in fact, this false belief is VERY dangerous. Please read our Q&A on the concept of laying on of hands which proves that God has given His ordained ministers the exclusive right to lay hands on anyone for the purpose of “sanctification,” including in areas of baptism, healing, marriage, blessing of little children and ordinations.

We also pointed out in our Q&A on God’s ministry that there are certain requirements which we must fulfill in order to be granted godly healing.

One of these absolute important and necessary requirements is faith in God’s healing power (but there are additional requirements, which we will address in subsequent Q&As.).

At first sight, the issue of faith can be a complicated subject, especially when considering that we are to submit always to the Will of God. So, how can we have faith that God will heal us, when we might feel doubt at the same time that it is really God’s Will to heal us from our particular ailment?

We are addressing the issue of faith in God’s healing power in our free booklet, “Sickness and Healing–What the Bible Tells Us”:

“Although God may heal people with little or no faith in Him, He generally only does so, if we believe that He can and will heal us. But without faith, there is no reason to think that God will heal us.

“Christ healed a blind man, saying to him: ‘according to your faith let it be to you’ (Matthew 9:29). He healed the demon-possessed daughter of a Gentile woman when He saw the woman’s faith. He said to her: ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire!’ (Matthew 15:28). He healed a blind man, telling him: ‘Your faith has made you well’ (Luke 18:42).

“Sarah was healed and received a child, ‘because she judged Him faithful who had promised’ (Hebrews 11:11).

“Again, this does not mean that if we only have enough faith, we have an absolute unconditional promise that God will heal us immediately. More than faith may be involved. God may decide that it is best for us not to be healed right away. We need to always submit to the will of God, saying, as Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane: ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will… O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done’ (Matthew 26:39, 42). Christ did not doubt God’s power to intervene; likewise, we must never doubt God’s power to heal. Still, Christ was willing to submit to the Father’s will. Christ prayed to the Father, as it says in Mark 14:36: ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’

“Christ experienced what it was like to suffer in the flesh, so that He could become our merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14–16; 5:6–8). All of us need to be compassionate and merciful toward others. In going through trials and suffering, including [a prolonged] sickness, we develop empathy for others who are also afflicted with sickness (compare 2 Corinthians 1:3–7). This may be, at times, one of the reasons why God may decide not to heal us right away.

“Without faith, however, we have absolutely no guarantee that God will heal us, even though He otherwise might have done it. Notice the following revealing examples: We read that Christ ‘did not do many works’ in Nazareth ‘because of their unbelief’ (Matthew 13:58). We are even told in Mark 6:5–6 that He could not do mighty works there because of their unbelief.

“If we do not have enough faith in God, then we are to pray and fast in order to GROW in faith. Christ said that given enough faith, ‘nothing will be impossible for you’ (Matthew 17:20). At the same time, He explained to His disciples that they needed to pray and fast MORE in order to be given the kind of faith that was necessary to cast out a powerful demon (verse 21).”

As we can see, faith is necessary for our healing. But since it may be God’s Will not to heal us at this time or immediately, how can we have faith under those circumstances?

The answer may seem complex, but in fact, it is very simple.

Faith is the “evidence” of things not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1). The Phillips translation says: “Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.” The Living Bible states that faith “is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.”

We read that we are walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And we are told that when we ask something of God, we must not have doubt at the same time that God will fulfill our request. James 1:6-8 states: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Applying these statements to the issue of healing, the answer is clear: When we ask God to heal a particular ailment, we MUST believe, without doubting in any way, that God WILL heal us. We MUST believe that God will hear our prayers and intervene. If our approach is: I don’t know whether God will heal me, so I will give it a try to SEE what MIGHT happen and when or if it happens, THEN I will believe; then this reflects doubt that God WILL heal us.

As we pointed out in our previous Q&A, Paul asked God three times to remove from him a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). We explained that this thorn might have been a serious eye problem or a sickness like Malaria. AFTER having asked God three times in a formal way (apparently, he made three formal requests to the ministry for anointing), God made His Will known to Paul, showing him that He would NOT heal him from his sickness. We do not know how God “spoke” to him, convicting Paul that he would not be healed in this life, but we do know that when he asked God for healing, he had the absolute faith that he would be healed. God did not refuse to heal him because of lack of faith or because Paul’s mind was plagued with doubt.

The same must be the case for us when we ask God for healing. We MUST believe that God will heal us, and this faith must continue, until God makes it absolutely clear to us that He will NOT heal us in this life. But HOW can we be sure that God will not heal us in this life? The fact that He might not heal us right away is no proof, because God may test our patience. We read in Scripture that people were sick for many years, until God healed them (John 5:1-9; Luke 13:10-13).

Many give up and lose faith when God does not heal them right away. That is not the correct reaction. MAYBE their faith must grow; MAYBE God is testing their patience; MAYBE God wants to see renewed and continuing effort in their prayers, with fasting, to make those prayers more effective (James 5:16; Luke 18:7). MAYBE an additional request for anointing is in order, as we explained in our previous Q&A. (We are not addressing here the fact that belief in God’s healing does not prevent us from doing something for ourselves. This question will be addressed in a subsequent Q&A).

We should also not forget that it IS possible that our prayers can CHANGE God’s Will for us.  God announced to King Hezekiah that he would die, but due to Hezekiah’s heart-rending prayer with bitter tears, God changed His mind and added fifteen years to his life (Isaiah 38:1-5).

Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane does not teach us anything differently. Christ KNEW that He had to go through His ordeal, but as a human being, He WISHED so hard that there could be another way. Deep down inside, He understood, of course, that there was no other way (He Himself had inspired Old Testament writers to prophesy about His torture and crucifixion), but He just expressed His innermost feelings to the Father in prayer. But He always added that the Father’s Will had to be done, not Christ’s human will which did not want to go through these terrible events just ahead of Him. And He submitted to the Father’s Will in everything.

This must be our approach as well. We must never argue with God and oppose God’s Will for us, whatever it may be. But submitting to God’s Will has nothing to do with lack of faith.

When we ask God for healing, we MUST believe that our request will be granted. When we ask God for healing, we must not doubt at the same time by thinking that perhaps it is not God’s Will to heal us. Such a prayer would show doubt (Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 11:23). It would not avail anything, because why would we even ask God for healing in the first place? If in a particular case God does not intervene right away, or for a longer period of time, we must not lose faith and give in to doubt (Matthew 14:31), but rather, our faith must grow ever stronger (Romans 4:20, Living Bible), being totally convinced that God will answer our prayer of faith in His due time. And let us not forget that no sickness—no matter how severe—is beyond God’s power to heal. There is NOTHING too hard or impossible for God (Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37; Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Our newest booklet, “Do You Know the Jesus of the Bible?” will be sent to the printer shortly. We anticipate distribution during the Feast of Tabernacles to Feast attendees, and we will mail copies after the Feast to our subscribers and those requesting the booklet.

“Why Europe Supports the Anti-Israeli Iranian Regime,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Astonishing details have been revealed about Israel’s readiness to attack Iran in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and why it did not happen then.  Iran is still determined to obliterate Israel, and the question must be asked why countries are supporting a deal with Iran even though they know about Iran’s intensions. Could it be that prophesied economic interests, especially in Europe, are the determining factors?

“Den Wahren Jesus Erkennen!” is the title of this week’s German sermon. Title in English: “Get to Know the Real Jesus.”

“Brexit and/or Grexit?” the introductory message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Does the Bible give us any indication as to whether Great Britain will leave the EU–and whether or not Greece will leave the Eurozone? Once we understand how Britain and Greece are described in biblical prophecy, an interesting answer might emerge.

“Discipline,” last week’s sermon presented by Mike Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Discipline requires motivation, hard work, and keeping your eye on the goal.  For us to be good teachers and leaders, we need to be taught and led first ourselves through discipline.  This is our training process and as we continue to learn, through the examples in the Bible and the instructions from God by living His way of life, we will eventually achieve perfection.

As a reminder, here are the dates for the Fall Holy Days:

September 14—Feast of Trumpets
September 23—Day of Atonement
September 28 through October 4—Feast of Tabernacles
October 5—Last Great Day

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Making the Difference for Me!

by Delia Messier

There was a time in my life when it seemed that everything went wrong.  And I would end up sad and crying.

I asked myself: “How can I stop all of this sadness? Am I not supposed to be joyful, happy and content? But how can I, when so many things that are important to me are seemingly falling apart?”

Then, one day, out of desperation, I decided that I would try something. I decided that I would try to thank God for all the good things I could think of, everything big or little. As I thought about it more, the list got longer and longer. I was really surprised to realize how many wonderful things I had in my life. Even the air that I breathed was beautiful, and I had forgotten to be thankful for that.  There were so many things which I had taken for granted.

While looking for those “big” and “important” things in life, I had forgotten that everything was important for me.

So, I decided to be thankful for all the “little” things in my everyday life. At one time, I might have considered them only “crumbs,” but now I realized that they were gifts that I had overlooked and failed to appreciate in the right way. By the time I had finished my prayer, I was happy. I had to continue learning to be happy!  Every time I may start feeling really sad and disappointed, I remind myself that I need to thank God for all the good things I can think about, and that makes all the difference for me.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

©2024 Church of the Eternal God