Update 574


“The Inevitable” and “You Will Be Rewarded!”

On January 26th, 2013, Michael Link and Norbert Link will each give split sermons, titled, respectively, “The Inevitable” and “You Will Be Rewarded!” 
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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by Eric Rank

Last week Lance Armstrong, a professional cyclist who captured the admiration of millions of fans for his record-setting Tour de France victories, confessed to cheating during the races for each of his seven wins.  Lance Armstrong’s life will be turned upside down because his history of cheating and lying has stripped him of the core pieces of his identity. In the public view, he who was once an inspiring victor is now a cheating liar who can’t be trusted. Many people, including me, have inwardly defended him over the years as he endured the accusations of taking performance enhancing drugs to win races. Even though he has decided to come clean and tell the truth, many people who were once his fans will refuse to support him now because they feel deceived and betrayed. Because the trust of the public has been violated so blatantly, it will not be surprising to see even his professed genuine honesty called into question, as he begins the process of making right what he has done wrong. There is a long road ahead for Lance Armstrong, as he attempts to rise from this great fall.

Even though it is significant, the fact that Lance Armstrong cheated in order to win is not what is interesting to me about this story. What is interesting to me is the study of character and the effects of decisions made in the past and present. In a general way, this situation is something that is probably familiar to the life of a Christian, from many angles. Just as Lance Armstrong cheated and lied, people including Christians choose to do what is wrong and make mistakes. This is the sin that we work so hard to overcome. Just as Lance Armstrong negatively affected the lives of people directly and indirectly through his wrong behavior, when a Christian sins, there are ill effects. Just as Lance Armstrong has chosen to admit his wrongdoing and follow the right path even though it may be difficult, a Christian must turn from the wrong and do what is right and godly, no matter what the world around may think. And just as Lance Armstrong will suffer consequences of his past behavior, sin bears its ugly and disgusting fruit. You and I may not be world class bicycle racers, but we should all relate to this story.

There are several lessons that we can extract from this story, but the lesson of repentance stands out the most to me. Admitting when we are wrong and doing what is right is a primary duty of a Christian, and often it is not easy. Yet, repentance is absolutely required for a Christian. In Matthew 3:8, John the Baptist states that we must bear fruit that is worthy of repentance, meaning that merely acknowledging fault, but doing nothing about it is not enough. James 2:22 reminds us that our actions prove our faith. And we must have faith that following the righteous path will bring about results that are pleasing to God, even if the world around us rejects us. The fruit born of righteous behavior and a genuinely repentant heart is pleasing to God, if no one else.

Doing what’s right, even though there are negative consequences, is what characterizes integrity.  Integrity is an element that is tightly bound to the act of repentance because the change in course of action involves indicting ourselves and facing the consequences of our sin. By cheating, Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories have been stripped from him, and his eligibility to compete in professional events has been suspended. Beyond that, even by admitting his guilt, there will be consequences which may prevent him from being trusted. While I hesitate to extend much praise to him, admitting wrong takes serious self-examination and integrity for any man, including Lance Armstrong.

When we repent of sin, we are forgiven by God and spared from the penalty of eternal death, but this does not necessarily mean that other results of our sins will come of no effect. When David sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba and coordinating the murder of her husband Uriah, he repented, but the consequences of his actions were multiplicative. From that day forward, David’s house saw conflict, the baby conceived by David and Bathsheba died, and his own son committed sexual sins with some of David’s concubines in plain sight (compare 2 Samuel 12:10-14). Yet, David was forgiven for his sin by God because he had the right, repentant attitude and character. By admitting his fault and facing the consequences with a humble attitude, David demonstrated the trait of integrity in a way from which we can all learn. The life of a Christian must be lived with behavior that proves his or her integrity, because doing what is right is what God requires, no matter what.

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We begin with the terrible events in Algeria and the failure of the US foreign policy in that part of the world as well; continue with Egypt’s move towards an Islamist dictatorship—with the tacit approval of the USA; report on the unparalleled frictions between the USA and Israel; and quote articles documenting blasphemous praise for President Obama by the left-liberal press, coupled with incredible lies, while the future of the USA under the President’s second term looks terribly grim and hopeless.

We turn to Germany and continental Europe and its relationship with Great Britain; report again on further developments regarding the sickening discovery that meat products were sold in Ireland, Britain and The Netherlands, which were contaminated with horse and pig meat; and address the dangerously crazy world of scientists and the sect of Scientology.

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Algeria’s Brutal Response

The Associated Press wrote on January 20:

“In a bloody finale, Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the Sahara desert on Saturday to end a standoff with Islamist extremists that left at least 23 hostages dead and killed all 32 militants involved, the Algerian government said [Subsequent reports increased these numbers considerably.]

“The siege at Ain Amenas transfixed the world after radical Islamists linked to al-Qaida stormed the complex, which contained hundreds of plant workers from all over the world, then held them hostage surrounded by the Algerian military and its attack helicopters for four tense days that were punctuated with gun battles and dramatic tales of escape. Algeria’s response to the crisis was typical of its history in confronting terrorists, favoring military action over negotiation, which caused an international outcry from countries worried about their citizens. Algerian military forces twice assaulted the two areas where the hostages were being held with minimal apparent mediation — first on Thursday, then on Saturday.”

One has to ask whether such brutal allies are a blessing or a curse for the USA.

Algerian Stance Spoils U.S. Strategy for Region

The Washington Post wrote on January 19:

“The hostage crisis in Algeria has upended the Obama administration’s strategy for coordinating an international military campaign against al-Qaeda fighters in North Africa, leaving U.S., European and African leaders even more at odds over how to tackle the problem. For months, U.S. officials have intensively lobbied Algeria — whose military is by far the strongest in North Africa — to help intervene in next-door Mali, where jihadists and other rebels have established a well-defended base of operations… But Algeria’s unilateral decision to attack kidnappers at a natural gas plant — while shunning outside help, imposing a virtual information blackout and disregarding international pleas for caution — has dampened hopes that it might cooperate militarily in Mali, U.S. officials said. The crisis has strained ties between Algiers and Washington and increased doubts about whether Algeria can be relied upon to work regionally to dismantle al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa.

“‘The result is that the U.S. will have squandered six to eight months of diplomacy for how it wants to deal with Mali,’ said Geoff D. Porter, an independent North African security analyst… As the extremist threat has become more acute in recent years, the U.S. military has repeatedly pressed Algeria for overflight permission so its long-range reconnaissance planes can reach northern Mali from U.S. bases in Europe. Algiers has agreed at times, but it only approves flights on a case-by-case basis and often requires extensive advance notice, U.S. officials said. It withheld blanket permission unless Washington promises to share intelligence from the flights, including what they observe while over Algerian territory.

“U.S. officials said they are legally barred from doing so because of concerns that Algeria might misuse the intelligence to target people who are political opponents, not terrorists. The Algerian military and security services have a history of brutality and extrajudicial killings… At the same time, the United States has become dependent on Algerian intelligence to sort out a blurry constellation of jihadi groups, desert bandits, ethnic rebels and other groups…

“Feelings also remain raw in Algeria over the NATO-led military intervention in Libya. Although the campaign successfully toppled longtime ruler Moammar Gaddafi, the United States and its NATO allies did little to contain the aftershocks. The region was destabilized by a flood of weaponry and armed Tuareg nomads who had fought for Gaddafi but escaped across Libya’s borders. Many of those mercenaries have since teamed with AQIM to take control of the northern half of Mali. ‘This has just been an utter disaster. It was eminently foreseeable,’ [a] senior U.S. diplomat said of the ripple effects from Libya.”

The USA is not being blessed in just about anything it is doing… or not doing…

Years, Not Months…

The Telegraph wrote on January 20:

“The Prime Minister [Cameron] said that countering the rise of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the Sahel region will require an ‘iron resolve’ and greater military, diplomatic and economic engagement with the region… Mr Cameron acknowledged that the terrorist threat in North Africa had grown and he predicted a prolonged struggle to meet it. ‘It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months…’”

The Islamist threat might very well become one cause for Europe’s final unification with the goal of acting with “iron resolve and greater military engagement in the region.” Note also the next article.

Germans Distrust Islam

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 23:

“With the growing number of Muslims, and a series of failed terror attacks, distrust of Islam is rising… Islam appears to be encroaching on life in Germany and that bothers a lot of people…

“Only 19 percent of Germans believe that Islam is compatible with German culture… 46 percent of all Germans say there are ‘too many Muslims’ in Germany, and around 30 percent had specific concerns, for example, terrorist attacks… the fear of Islam is more widespread in economically well-placed Germany than in other European countries.”

Egypt’s Terror Regime of Fanatical Islamists

Fox News reported on January 16, 2013:

“The 15-year prison sentence given to a woman and her seven children by an Egyptian court for converting to Christianity is a sign of things to come, according to alarmed human rights advocates who say the nation’s Islamist government is bad news for Christians in the North African country… When the conversion came to light under the new regime, Nadia, her children and even the clerks who processed the identity cards were all sentenced to prison.

“Samuel Tadros, a research fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said conversions like Nadia’s have been common in the past, but said Egypt’s new Sharia-based constitution ‘is a real disaster in terms of [religious] freedom. Now that Sharia law has become an integral part of Egypt’s new constitution, Christians in that country are at greater risk than ever. The cases will increase in the future…’

“Tadros said the constitution limits the practice of Christianity because ‘religious freedom has to be understood within the boundaries of Sharia.’ He added that the constitution prescribes that the highest Sunni authority should be referred to as an interpreter of the religion clause contained in the constitution…

“Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice [said:] “This is another tragic case that underscores the growing problem of religious intolerance in the Muslim world. To impose a prison sentence for a family because of their Christian faith sadly reveals the true agenda of this new government: Egypt has no respect for international law or religious liberty’… ‘The U.S. State Department must play more of a role in discouraging this kind of persecution,’ Sekulow said. ‘The U.S. should not be an idle bystander. The U.S. provides more than $1 billion to Egypt each year. The State Department should speak out forcefully against this kind of religious persecution in Egypt.’”

Sadly, the USA has been a passive or idle bystander in far too many cases, including Egypt or Mali, while antagonizing its very few allies.

Frictions Between the USA and Israel

The Guardian wrote on January 19:

“Already fractious relations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have been further strained in the run-up to the president’s inauguration on Monday and the Israeli prime minister’s anticipated victory in Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu aides accused Obama of interfering in the Israeli election following publication of an article by Jeffrey Goldberg, which quoted the president as saying: ‘Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.’ Obama, wrote Goldberg, viewed Netanyahu as a ‘political coward’.

“The Goldberg article, along with Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as defence secretary, has been interpreted in Israel as clear signs of the president’s exasperation with Netanyahu and possible payback for the latter’s support of Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney, in the US election in November. Hagel is seen as ‘anti-Israel’ because of his questioning of Israeli government policy and the pro-Israel lobby in the US. Goldberg, who is known to be close to the president, wrote that Israel risked becoming ‘more of a pariah’ and that Obama was reluctant to invest fresh effort in the Middle East peace process in the face of Netanyahu’s continued settlement expansion…

“Obama and Netanyahu did not meet during the latter’s last visit to the US in September in what was seen as a White House snub. Obama has not visited Israel since taking office four years ago…”

The Times of Israel wrote on January 18:

“The relationship between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ‘the most dysfunctional’ ever between an American president and an Israeli prime minister, a veteran former American diplomat said Thursday.

“Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center who served under six secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations, added that while there had been strained personal relationships between the two countries top leaders in the past, this breakdown was unique in that it had not been corrected in four years, and would now likely be extended… he said, the two men ‘mistrust one another’ and ‘have very little confidence in one another.’ He blamed both men for the situation…”

The USA is going to lose all of its allies—even Judah (the state of Israel) will turn against the house of Israel (mainly the USA and Great Britain), and vice versa, and the once friendly relationship between the USA and Great Britain will also continue to deteriorate.

Major Setback for Netanyahu

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 23:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to form a broader coalition in order to govern in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, after his gamble to move to the right failed to pay off.

“The right bloc took a heavy hit following Netanyahu’s political gamble to join his center-right Likud party with right-leaning Yisrael Beytenu and to pepper its list with more hardliners, which evidently isolated voters and cost Netanyahu dearly at polls for the 19th Knesset… With… the biggest voter turnout since 1999, the right and left blocs are now evenly split, winning 60 seats each in the next Knesset in a surprising swing further to the left than recent polls suggested. Likud-Beytenu was still the highest polling political party despite its fall in fortunes, and Netanyahu immediately announced that he was commencing coalition negotiations…

“Should Netanyahu be successful, [Dr. Michael Widlanski, a lecturer in political science and communications at Bar Ilan University] said the biggest challenge his government would face would be countering Iran’s nuclear programme. ‘The US under Obama is not going to engage in any military actions. The question is, will Israel do something on its own, against the wishes of the US? I think that it’s a key issue that Israel will have to deal with within the next two years.’”

If Israel does, it could very well lose in that endeavor, as the Bible might suggest in Hosea 5:13, speaking about Judah’s “wound.” According to Der Stern, dated January 23, the election results do not give any hope that the volatile situation in the Middle East might improve.

Blasphemous Praise for President Obama

The Washington Examiner wrote on January 19:

“How did the rest of the media miss this? According to the new issue of Newsweek online, President Obama, who this weekend begins his second term–the third president in a row to do so–is ‘The Second Coming.’ With flattering photographs, the magazine edited by Obama fan Tina Brown holds out hope that in his second Inaugural Address, Obama can inspire and show that he can also lead.

“The conservative media watch dog, Media Research Center, first noticed the God-like cover. ‘Conservatives have long joked that the national press corps see Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Today, Newsweek – at least what’s left of it, an online product for tablets and e-readers – made it official,’ said Center Vice President Brent Baker. ‘Next to a side shot of Obama’s head, the “Inauguration 2013” cover story pronounces: “The Second Coming.”’

“Baker notes that the author, long-time Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas, gave Obama God-like qualities during his first year in office, saying on MSNBC, ‘In a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above… the world. He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.’”

This is appalling… and those engaging in such blasphemies will be held accountable by God.

The Lying Left-Wing Media

Breitbart wrote on January 18:

“But there it finally was: The Truth — and from NBC News, no less. Poverty’s up (from 43.6 million to 46.2 million), middle class incomes are down ($50k compared to $52k), the deficit’s exploded (from $10 trillion to $16 trillion), food stamp recipients have skyrocketed (33.5 million to 46.6 million), unemployment hasn’t budged, and the same number of people are without health insurance today as there were in 2009.

“Still, NBC News couldn’t even bring itself to report the most damning Obamanomics numbers: a population so despondent by a lack of jobs that enough people have dropped out to shrink the labor market to levels unseen since the 1980s. A chronic long-term unemployment problem unseen in this country since World War II. An unemployment rate disproportionately savaging blacks and Hispanics.

“Where was all this news during the 2012 campaign…? Rather than report Truth, the media locked arms and circled Obama’s palace in order to protect him from the mindless hordes of racist, sexist Neanderthals who dared criticize The Lightbringer. The media’s weapons of choice were distraction and lies… In order to pretend Obama’s policies worked and to win him reelection, the media completely rewrote and redefined what a successful economic recovery is. Then, before anyone could notice the sleight of hand, the media would quickly change the subject…

“Yes, the media won. It still pains me to say so, but… the media successfully pushed a failed president over the second term finish line… In the long game of history (that will eventually be won by Christ) there are skirmishes, fights, battles, wars, and existential wars. What the media is winning are nothing more than a series of high-profile battles, but it is doing so in a way that represents an existential threat to themselves.

“By every measure — economic, credibility — the media is dying a slow death from a poison it must ingest in order to win these battles, but a poison nonetheless. This poison has cost the media almost all of its credibility with the public, a problem that grows by the year. This, naturally, delivers economic consequences. Recently, The New York Times, Reuters, and Time Magazine reported massive layoffs. CNN is collapsing… The broadcast networks are losing viewers by the day. Newsweek is no more…

“And it is mostly due to the poison of bias the media gulps by the bucket in order to push its agenda — and that amount of poison has only increased with the arrival of the Lightbringer… The media successfully fooled enough people into believing Obama’s policies roared us back into a recovery to win Obama the chance to do four more years of damage. But no one’s fooled to the point where they’re buying newspaper subscriptions or advertisements. The result has been a series of high-profile media layoffs…

“It’s all a house of cards built on dishonesty, which only works for so long. Reality and truth will someday intrude…”

Yes, it will—when Jesus Christ  returns, but sadly, not before then… And that goes for the media on the left, center or the right…

Grim Outlook for America under President Obama’s Second Term

Deutsche Welle reported on January 17:

“Plagued by deep domestic problems, Barack Obama would love to outsource many international issues to the EU in his second term… Is the European Union willing and capable to preserve the current liberal European order at the moment when Russia has turned her back on the West, Turkey has lost hope of joining the EU and the European periphery lies in shambles? And would the EU be America’s reliable partner outside Europe at a moment when Washington lacks the resources and the appetite to be the global policeman while the world is in constant turmoil?…

“The financial crisis has made America feel the limits of her global power. [It] has forced Americans to take a closer look at their own country and what they saw was not inspiring… the president’s efforts will be focused to reform America and not to transform the world… But in order to buy time for his American rebuilding project Obama needs to know how effective the EU can be as a regional power and how ambitious the EU will be as a global power.

“It is now pretty obvious that the US does not have any resources to continue its commitment in places like the Balkans or Ukraine; Obama’s reset with Russia is history and Washington is eager to ‘outsource’ all Europe related problems to Brussels. But can Obama rely on the EU…? Many in Washington are skeptical but the President does not have much of a choice…

“When it comes to the world outside of Europe, Obama’s fears are even greater. If the euro crisis and a possible break-up of the European Union was a major concern for the White House in 2012, at the start of his second term it is Britain and not Greece that preoccupies the President’s mind… the decline of British influence in the EU can only mean more problems for Washington. That begs the logical question: Is the US influential enough to keep the UK in the EU?

“When it comes to big ideas in US-EU bilateral relations one quickly notices that they are mostly absent… So what should Europeans and the EU expect from Barack Obama’s second term? Not much… President Obama does not have a grand strategy for the EU. What he has instead are fears and hopes. And it will be the balance between fears and hopes that will determine his policies during his second term.”

The Curse of the Second Term

The Washington Times wrote on January 20:

“As President Obama embarks on another four years in office, he is mindful that history is littered with the wreckage of presidents’ second terms.

“George W. Bush had the double-whammy of an unpopular war and a calamitous recession. Bill Clinton was impeached over lying about sex with an intern. Richard Nixon quit rather than face impeachment for Watergate. Even Ronald Reagan, whose second term included the beginnings of his cherished collapse of the Soviet Union, was damaged by the Iran-Contra scandal.

“Mr. Obama is starting out on the wrong foot by feuding with Congress over the nation’s borrowing limit and gun control, said Al Zacher, author of the book ‘Presidential Power in Troubled Second Terms.’ He said the rare successful second terms have involved presidents who forged good relationships with strong congressional leaders, such as Mr. Reagan with Speaker Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill Jr. and President Eisenhower with Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson. ‘Getting along with Congress is the issue, and it was for the majority of those presidents who either succeeded or failed,’ Mr. Zacher said. ‘The odds aren’t there for Obama.’…

“If working with Congress is the key to a successful second term, Mr. Obama’s tone has been notable in reflecting his refusal to negotiate with lawmakers on the debt ceiling. During the final news conference of his first term, on Jan. 14, the president used the language of terrorism to describe House Republicans. He said Republican lawmakers were trying to hold Americans hostage and were ‘holding a gun at the head of the American people’ by demanding that Democrats cut deficit spending. Mr. Zacher said that attitude is reminiscent of President Wilson, whose inflexibility with Congress during his second term led to the failure of his League of Nations initiative…

“Mr. Obama’s team also understands that in the dubious history of second presidential terms, the opportunity to achieve anything significant is usually limited to the first year or so… By then, the jockeying is well under way in both parties among candidates hoping to replace the second-term president. ‘Only rarely do second-term presidents retain their power through more than 18 months or so,’ Mr. Zacher said.”

Not a good prospect indeed for the welfare of the USA.

Majority of Republicans Backpedal

The Associated Press wrote on January 24:

“The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Wednesday to permit the government to borrow enough money to avoid a… default for at least four months, defusing a crisis looming next month and setting the stage for a springtime debate over taxes, spending and the deficit. The House passed the measure on a bipartisan 285-144 vote as majority Republicans back away from their previous demand that any increase in the government’s borrowing cap be paired with an equivalent level of spending cuts…

“The measure would suspend the $16.4 trillion cap on federal borrowing and reset it on May 19 to reflect the additional borrowing required between the date the bill becomes law and then. The amount of borrowing required depends on the tax receipts received during filing season, but over a comparable period last year the government ran deficits in the range of $150 billion…”

Hillary Clinton Testifies in “Spineless” Senate Hearing Regarding Benghazi

Breitbart wrote on January 23:

“‘What difference does it make?’ Hillary Clinton shouted… outraged that a Senator would dare to ask why she spread the lie that a video provoked the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. At that point, the presiding chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), should have rapped the gavel sharply: ‘Madam Secretary, you are out of order.’

“Perhaps that is too much to expect of a Democrat. The majority party’s members fell all over themselves to heap praise on the outgoing Secretary of State and likely contender for their party’s presidential nomination in 2016. Few showed any interest at all in what happened in Benghazi, why the State Department failed to provide adequate security, why the White House failed to send help, and why the President ordered a cover-up.

“So the ranking member, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), ought to have interrupted. But he did not. The Senator who posed the question, Ron Johnson (R-WI), seemed chastised by Clinton’s outburst. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) asked a few pointed questions that went unanswered. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Clinton that her negligence had been a firing offense. But even he went out of his way to say he did not suspect her of bad motives.

“That is preposterous. Everyone knows what her reasons were, and she even knows that we know. President Obama did not want to admit the attack was a terror attack, even though he later pretended… that he had, in fact, done so. He could not even admit that the Ft. Hood attack in 2009 was a terror attack–why would he admit this attack, with an election at stake?

“When even the toughest inquisitor bends over backwards to offer the Secretary of State a way out, it is a sign that our constitutional system of checks and balances is broken. It is the Senate’s job to hold the Secretary of State accountable, not the other way around. Yet she went on the attack, implying that Congress was to blame for Benghazi because of its failure to fund more diplomatic security–a claim her own department has denied.

“Democrats echoed that message in both chambers of Congress on Wednesday, and offered paeans to her performance over the past four years… But the committee’s Republicans–all of them–should be rebuked for failing to defend the dignity and independence of the Senate. If Clinton’s testimony is any indication, not only will John Kerry walk to confirmation, but there is little hope for a serious challenge to Chuck Hagel when he comes before the Armed Services Committee next week. If the opposition will not do its duty, then perhaps Clinton is right: it makes no difference at all.”

God-Given Right to Bear Arms?

Breitbart wrote on January 23:

“NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre responded to Obama’s inaugural speech by pointing out that the 2nd Amendment protects God-given rights. Of these rights–the right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense–LaPierre said: ‘No government gave [them] to us and no government can take them away.’”

But God most certainly can, as He never intended man to use weapons to commit violent acts—whether in times of peace or of war.

European Guns Responsible for American Mass Murders

Deutsche Welle reported on January 23:

“After each massacre in the US, Europe laments America’s gun culture and violence. At the same time, European companies have no problem selling arms to Americans and supporting the NRA’s fight against tougher gun laws. It is not widely reported, but European firearms for a long time have played a pernicious role in US mass shootings and Europe’s gun makers are among the strongest backers of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“Handguns by Austrian arms manufacturer Glock and German-owned SigSauer were used in the most recent massacre in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and eight adults dead.

“A Glock gun was also used in the shooting spree inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012 in which 11 people were killed. A semiautomatic weapon by the Austrian gun producer again featured in the January 2011 massacre in Tucson, Arizona in which six people were killed and congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured. Two guns by Italian manufacturer Beretta were used to kill 14 people in Binghamton, New York in April 2009.

“And the worst massacre by a single gunman in US history was also perpetrated with European weapons: The Virginia Tech killing spree that left 33 people dead in 2007 was carried out with a German Walther and an Austrian Glock gun. All guns used were purchased legally. This list is by no means exhaustive, rather it is just the tip of the iceberg. European guns feature not only prominently in mass shootings, but they are a major player in US civilian gun sales…

“With a quarter of the civilian gun market in European hands, the continent is by far the biggest international seller into the US, dwarfing sales from Asia and Latin America. More than a dozen European nations – from Poland to Portugal, from Bulgaria to Britain – export guns to the United States to be sold to American citizens. But the lion’s share of European exports to the US stems from only three countries: Austria, Italy and Germany.

“Exporting 434,374 firearms – almost exclusively handguns – to the US in 2010 according to the ATF, Austria clearly leads the pack. Italy comes in second with 285,083 firearms destined for US civilians. Germany ranks third with 266,688 guns exported for the American market, according to the ATF. While most European guns sold in the US are imported, large players like Austria’s Glock, Italy’s Beretta or Germany’s SigSauer also produce guns directly at subsidiaries in the US…

“What’s more, selling guns to American citizens is apparently such a good business, that even European governments want a slice of the pie. The Belgian Herstal group which owns arms maker FN Herstal as well as the well-known American brand Browning, is ‘100 percent owned by the Walloon Region of Belgium,’ as the firm proudly proclaims on its homepage. ‘For more than 15 years now that group is in the hands of the Walloon government of Belgium, which means this is actually a government enterprise,’ Nils Duquet, a small arms researcher at the Flemish Peace Institute in Brussels, told DW. While Belgium and the Herstal Group are not one of the largest European civilian arms exporters to the US, the group’s production site is nevertheless a major employer in the economically depressed Walloon region of Belgium, adds Duquet…

“To counter any possible tightening of American gun laws, European companies do the same thing their US counterparts are doing: Support the NRA’s fight against tougher gun laws. The list of its biggest donors, honored by the NRA at the organization’s annual meeting in April 2012, reads like a Who-is-Who of European arms manufacturers… Combined, these European gun makers gave the NRA a minimum of $2,175 million in 2012. That figure does not include any smaller donation not publicized by the NRA….”

This hypocritical European conduct is appalling. While condemning America for its “gun violence,” they themselves actively promote and support it. Note the economic power of EU countries (“modern Babylon”), as described in chapter 18 of the book of Revelation.

Religious Freedom in Europe

Deutsche Welle reported on January 17:

“The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that religious freedom applies in the workplace, so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. But the member states have been left to interpret the ruling… the European Court of Human Rights… upheld the right to wear religious symbols at work, but also noted that in certain cases religious freedom can be restricted to protect the rights of others. Following that logic, the court ruled in favor of one case and against three others brought by British Christians. While the judges said that a British Airways employee could wear a Christian cross to work, they ruled against a nurse whose employers forbade her from wearing the crucifix, citing legitimate health and safety concerns.

“The court also ruled that Christians are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, even if their religious beliefs forbid them from cooperating with homosexuals. Specifically, the judges rejected a complaint filed by a city hall registrar who had been disciplined for refusing to officiate same-sex civil partnerships. And in another case, the court rejected the suit brought by a relationship therapist, who was fired for refusing to serve homosexual couples…

“The European court emphasized that the individual states will have to decide in which cases religious freedom must be restricted to protect the rights of others. That’s because religion plays a very different role in the public sphere in different European countries…”

This leaves much room for persecution of religious minorities in Europe.

Major Setback for Angela Merkel

Der Spiegel Online wrote on January 21:

“Things couldn’t be going worse for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The slim center-left victory in Lower Saxony bodes poorly for the conservative coalition in federal elections this autumn. Now the fight for the Chancellery will get more brutal than the incumbent German leader had imagined.

“Whoever believed in recent days that the state elections in Lower Saxony would foretell a conservative victory in federal elections this autumn has been put in their place. Nothing is certain. Angela Merkel, the queen of opinion polls, and her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have crashed and burned in the state. And what happened to state Governor David McAllister could also happen to Angela Merkel. Losing a few votes can mean losing an election…

“The Social Democrats (SDP) and the Green Party are celebrating their victory, but their momentum is easily overstated. They squeaked by… Voters, those erratic and unpredictable beings, let themselves have a bit of fun again with the parties — and they left them helplessly perplexed… This is no equal balance of horror; it’s a horrible balance of equals…

“Peer Steinbrück got lucky. The SPD managed their victory not because of, but despite their chancellor candidate… For the CDU and FDP… Sunday night was an unexpected and gruesome nightmare… The center-right base is not growing. It’s cannibalizing itself, while simultaneously crumbling, slowly and apparently without ceasing. The CDU-FDP marriage isn’t very popular as a political project, coalition or model… The FDP is Germany’s strangest party. It can register a big success, even though its top leaders do all in their power to achieve the contrary…”

Deutsche Welle added on January 21:

“Victory for the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens. It was an unexpected win… The losers are stumped, and election analysts are perplexed as well… A state election eight months before national parliamentary elections is automatically deemed a test case for Berlin – for government parties as well as the opposition. Chancellor Merkel has a problem now. Her man in Hanover, the very popular premier David McAllister, didn’t manage to stay in office despite being faced off against a comparatively dull contender Stephan Weil (SPD)… The FDP is now – all but officially – an unreliable partner for Merkel after the Lower Saxony election…

“When it comes to the SPD, only the most naive of optimists could have predicted such an outcome… It’s a small sensation – if not more…”

The election results also show the general dissatisfaction of the German people with ALL established parties… and until there is a perceived alternative, it will be difficult to predict what September will bring.

European Superstate Against British Interests

Mail Online wrote on January 18:

“David Cameron’s big speech on Europe may have been postponed, but the dilemma facing all the main political parties — not just the Tories — will continue to intensify. Much of what the PM would have said yesterday had already leaked out and his prepared comments were clearly intended to address widespread public disgust over the EU. For Europe’s economy is sclerotic and failing, its governance is corrupt, and Brussels will have to remove yet more powers from member states if it is going to have a prayer of saving the euro.

“In Britain, the pressure is growing in the opposite direction… For the truth is that the EU’s mission for ‘ever closer union’ has always meant ultimately creating a federal superstate, something that is unacceptable to most Britons…”

A European superstate is prophesied to occur—with Britain being outside its borders. On Wednesday, January 22, 2013, Mr. Cameron gave his postponed speech on Europe and Great Britain. Berlin and Paris reacted with frustration and anger. See the next article.

Berlin and Paris Angry with Britain

Der Spiegel Online reported on January 23:

“David Cameron has put himself on a collision course with the rest of Europe by pledging an ‘in or out’ referendum on Britain’s EU membership by 2017. He is demanding special privileges for his country and putting Britain’s partners under pressure — it’s a high-risk gamble that has angered Berlin and Paris.

“Germany and France on Wednesday criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron’s demands to claw back powers from the European Union and said his plan to hold an ‘in or out’ referendum was dangerous for Britain. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Britain cannot expect just to pick and choose the aspects of membership that it likes… French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: ‘If Britain wants to leave Europe we will roll out the red carpet for you.’ The tongue-in-cheek remark echoed Cameron himself, who once used the same words to invite rich Frenchmen alienated by high taxes to move to Britain.

“A referendum would be ‘dangerous for Britain itself,’ said Fabius. Responding to Cameron’s plan to renegotiate relations between the EU and Britain, he said Europe was like a football club. ‘You join the club but when you’re in it you can’t say: “I’m going to play rugby now.”’…

“[M. Cameron] had wanted to hold [his speech] last Friday in Amsterdam, in the spirit of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who chose the Belgian city of Bruges for a 1988 speech in which she lambasted what she called ‘a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.’… In the end, he decided to eschew the European mainland and address journalists in London instead…

“Cameron is banking on other governments helping him to convince the British. He is seeking support from traditional allies like Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. He is looking to Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular — he referred to her several times in his speech. It’s unknown what Merkel has offered Cameron in their face-to-face meetings. But Germany’s official reaction has been cool. Germany wants Britain in the EU, say government officials in Berlin — but not at any price. It’s up to the British to decide whether they can live with common rules. Germany, they say, won’t be blackmailed.”

The Daily Mail painted a slightly different picture, stating on January 23:

“The move received a cautious welcome from key ally Germany, when Ms Merkel said: ‘Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union. We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise.’”

This development reminds us of the prophecy in the Bible that Ephraim (Great Britain) will try to receive help from Germany (modern-day Assyria), but that Assyria won’t or can’t help them (Hosea 5:13; 8:9).

Pig and Horse Meat in “Beef” Hamburgers

CNN reported on January 16:

“The discovery of horse DNA in hamburgers on sale at supermarkets in Ireland and Britain is testing the appetite of meat lovers there… 10 out of 27 hamburger products… were found to contain horse DNA, and 23 of them tested positive for pig DNA… Alan Reilly, the chief executive of the Irish food authority, said there was a ‘plausible explanation’ for the pig meat finding its way into the burgers, since meat from different animals is processed at the same plants. ‘… for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable.’”

The Telegraph added on January 16:

“Beef contaminated with horse meat may have been sold in Britain for ‘years’… because of lax food regulations, experts say… The Food Standards Agency was criticised after admitting it had never carried out tests for horse meat on food sold in Britain. Seven of the leading supermarkets have cleared their shelves of frozen beefburgers after a supplier sold Tesco products which were 29 per cent horse meat… Irish scientists said they had discovered that the meat was contaminated two months ago. However, they did not act because they wanted to conduct further tests.”

Mail Online wrote on January 19:

“[A] Dutch meat supplier believed to be responsible for contaminating British burgers with horse meat was still operating last night despite being under investigation… Horse steaks used to be popular in the Netherlands but its consumption has grown out of fashion in the last 20 years. However the country remains a major processor of horse meat imported from abroad, largely south America. And horse meat has been used to bulk out more expensive meat in Dutch snack products in the past.

“In 2007 checks on popular Dutch snacks such as bitterballen, meatballs made from a mix of beef and veal, found horsemeat in almost a third (32%) of those tested. And in 2008 a Dutch consumer affairs programme found horse was still used by many producers of frikandellen [sic], a deep fried hot dog…

“Ten million burgers have been taken off supermarket shelves across Ireland and the UK as a result of the scandal.”

Eating meat from horses and pigs IS a health issue—it is not meant to be consumed by humans, regardless of what ignorant scientists or confused Bible teachers might tell you. The Bible refers to both animals as “unclean” in terms of consumption. These timeless health laws are still in force and effect today.

The Crazy and Dangerous World of Scientists

Mail Online wrote on January 22:

“Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA. His ambitious plan requires a human volunteer willing to allow the DNA to be put into stem cells, then a human embryo… this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life… Professor Church’s plan would begin by artificially creating Neanderthal DNA based on genetic code found in fossil remains. He would put this DNA into stem cells. These would be injected into cells from a human embryo in the early stages of life.

“It is thought that the stem cells would steer the development of the hybrid embryo on Neanderthal lines, rather than human ones. After growing in the lab for a few days, the ‘neo-Neanderthal’ embryo would be implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother – the volunteer… [Church] says Neanderthals were not the lumbering brutes of the stereotype, but highly intelligent. Their brains were roughly the same size as man’s, and they made primitive tools. He told German magazine Der Spiegel: ‘Neanderthals might think differently than we do. They could even be more intelligent than us.’

“Scientists say that his plan is theoretically possible, although in Britain, like most countries, human reproductive cloning is a criminal offence. But Professor Church’s proposal is so cutting-edge that it may not be covered by existing laws.”

According to Der Stern, dated January 23, Church is now backpedaling by claiming that he was misquoted, and that the concept to find “a human volunteer willing to allow the DNA to be put into stem cells” was just a general statement, not a direct appeal. Regardless, the question whether the Neanderthal Man was human or ape-like has been the topic of hot discussions in the scientific world. Much evidence suggests that he was fully human, and that God had given him the spirit in man. This would prove, of course, that the dating of his fossils is woefully inaccurate, as being far too old. This should not surprise us because we have proofs that the radio-carbon method, on which the dating is based, is terribly wrong and operates from wrong assumptions.

The Crazy and Dangerous World of Scientology

The New York Post reported on January 13:

“Tom Cruise will save the world from aliens — not on the big screen but in real life. His day job as an actor pales next to the billion-year contract of service he signed with the Church of Scientology… New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright details Cruise’s demigod status within the church, as well as the group’s ultimate purpose — protect humanity from aliens living in our bodies, who are bent on destroying us and ultimately the planet…

“Cruise was introduced to the religion when he was 23 years old by his then-girlfriend, actress Mimi Rogers. Seven years his senior, Rogers was an avowed member of Scientology; they married in 1987. Cruise was quickly intrigued, but he kept his initial participation low-profile… It took several years for church leaders to realize that for all of their celebrity acolytes — including John Travolta, Priscilla Presley, Kirstie Alley, Kelly Preston and Sonny Bono — they had a true superstar at their disposal. Cruise would later come to believe that in the hierarchy of Scientology, he was No. 3, behind only the founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard (known as LRH) and No. 2 David Miscavige, who goes by COB, for Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center.”

The Washington Post wrote on January 18:

“Scientology… is built on the nuttiest of founding myths, involving incidents that Hubbard said occurred 75 million years ago in something called the Galactic Confederacy, in which an evil overlord named Xenu sent human souls (thetans, in Scientology jargon) to Earth in space planes…

“[In] Lawrence Wright’s book on the church, ‘Going Clear,’…  it becomes impossible to regard Scientology — or, to be specific, the people who run Scientology — with anything like dispassion… Hubbard was a voluble, charismatic, imaginative man, a writer who liked to spin fantastical stories. He was also a liar, according to Wright… He was married thrice and had innumerable extramarital liaisons…

“Hubbard’s famously paranoid worldview is extensively documented here as well. When a negative reputation began to taint Scientology worldwide, he launched what was perhaps his most grandiose and outrageous scheme. He called it the Snow White Program. Starting in 1973, Wright asserts, Hubbard placed as many as 5,000 Scientologists as spies in government agencies all over the world, charging them with unearthing official files on the church, ‘generating lawsuits to intimidate opponents, and waging an unremitting campaign against mental health professionals.’

“In the United States, Wright says, the spies penetrated the IRS; the Justice, Treasury and Labor Departments; the Federal Trade Commission; and the Drug Enforcement Administration… ‘Nothing in American history can compare with the scale of the domestic espionage of Operation Snow White,’ Wright says. LRH, as he is called among Scientologists, died in 1986, and since then, under the leadership of a reputedly authoritarian and violent man named David Miscavige, the organization has grown ever more barbaric… Certain Scientologists, notably Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, haven’t been seen publicly in years. (Wright’s sources suggest she’s being kept under guard at a Scientology facility in Running Springs, Calif.)

“One of Hubbard’s innovations was a system of penance called the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), in which members who need religious remediation are allegedly consigned to live like medieval ascetics, without contact with the outside world, forced into labor and fed the most meager of meals. Custom furnishings for Cruise’s airplane hangar — “a dry bar, table and chairs” — were milled at an RPF base in Los Angeles, according to Wright…

“Mining Wright’s book, one encounters a long list of well-known people who have found in Hubbard’s teachings some degree of truth and help. Besides Cruise and John Travolta, there’s TV host Greta Van Susteren; actresses Anne Archer, Juliette Lewis and Jenna Elfman; actor Giovanni Ribisi and his sister… Marissa…”

Scientology is by far not the only surreal sect with unbiblical crazy ideas… but it serves as an example to reflect a God-defying society where everything goes and is believed, and where dangerous influences towards governments and their agencies are not realized or willfully ignored.

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Does Hebrews 9:4 contradict 1 Kings 8:9? What, exactly, was in the Ark of the Covenant?

We know that the Bible does not contradict itself, as God’s Word cannot be broken (John 10:35). When we come across a seeming contradiction, it is only because of a misunderstanding of certain passages, or because of an inaccurate or misleading translation.

In Hebrews 9:4 we read regarding the ark of the covenant or Testimony, that “in [it] were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant…”

However, in 1 Kings 8:9, we read: “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb…”

Several explanations are possible which would shed light on these passages, without attempting to create a contradiction.

Some refer to Exodus 16:32-34, saying that a pot with an omer of manna was laid up before the Testimony or the ark of the covenant, and they also refer to Numbers 17:10, stating that Aaron’s rod was placed before the Testimony. In addition, they point at Deuteronomy 31:26, which says that the Book of the Law was to be put “beside” the ark of the covenant (the Authorized Version says, “in the side of”).  The explanation goes on to say that the Book of the Law, as well as the manna and Aaron’s rod, were not “in” the ark of the covenant, but “before” or “beside” it.

In that context, Hebrews 9:4 is understood as not stating that the manna and Aaron’s rod were “in” the ark of the covenant or Testimony. It is pointed out that the Greek word for “in” in Hebrews 9:4 literally means, “at which place,” describing the “same location.” The conclusion is that the manna and Aaron’s rod, as well as the Book of the Law of Moses, were kept before or by the side of the ark of the covenant; they were in the same location or the same place as the ark, but they were not in it.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states the following:

“… how this pot [with manna], as well as Aaron’s rod, can be said to be in the ark, when it is asserted, at the bringing of the ark into the temple, at the dedication of it by Solomon, that there was nothing in it but two tables of stone, 1 Kings 8:9, and both the pot of ‘manna’, and Aaron’s rod, are said to be before the testimony, Exodus 16:34 and not in it, is a difficulty. Some… have taken notice, that the preposition [“in”] sometimes signifies ‘at’, or ‘with’, as in Colossians 3:1 and so the sense is, that these were near unto it in the most holy place, and might be in the sides of it, though not within it; for there were places in the sides of the ark to put things into, Deuteronomy 31:26. And certain it is from the above account from Scripture, that they were near it; and so, by the Jewish writers, they are always mentioned along with it: when that was carried away, and hid, they were hid with it…”

This has also been the explanation of the Personal Correspondence Department of the Worldwide Church of God, which wrote in a letter:

“The original Greek word translated ‘wherein’ in Hebrew 9:4 is hou. From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and other sources, we find that hou means ‘at which place.’ Hou is a general word which does not necessarily mean ‘wherein,’ ‘within,’ or ‘in.’ It simply means ‘in the same location as’… The book of the law, along with the pot of manna… and Aaron’s rod, was kept by the side of the ark, not in it. All of these items could properly be described as being hou–in the same place as—the ark.”

This is most certainly a valid and convincing explanation. But there is also another way of understanding the passages in question.

While concluding that the manna and Aaron’s rod were not in the ark, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary discusses the following two possibilities:

“In 1Ki 8:9; 2Ch 5:10, it is said there was nothing in the ark of Solomon’s temple save the two stone tables of the law put in by Moses. But the expression that there was nothing THEN therein save the two tables, leaves the inference to be drawn that formerly there were the other things mentioned by the Rabbis and by Paul here, the pot of manna (the memorial of God’s providential care of Israel) and the rod of Aaron, the memorial of the lawful priesthood (Nu 17:3, 5, 7, 10). The expressions ‘before the Lord’ (Ex 16:32), and ‘before the testimony’ (Nu 17:10) thus mean, ‘IN the ark.’ ‘In,’ however, may be used here (as the corresponding Hebrew word) as to things attached to the ark as appendages, as the book of the law was put ‘in the side of the ark,’ and so the golden jewels offered by the Philistines (1Sa 6:8).”

Others follow the rabbinical tradition that the pot of manna and the rod were inside the ark.

The commentary of Barnes’ Notes on the Bible writes regarding Hebrews 9:4:

“In 1 Kings 8:9, it is said that there was nothing in the ark, ‘save the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb,’ and it has been supposed by some that the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron were not in the ark, but that they were in capsules, or ledges made on its sides for their safe keeping, and that this should be rendered ‘by the ark.’ But the apostle uses the same language respecting the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron which he does about the two tables of stone, and as they were certainly in the ark, the fair construction here is that the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron were in it also.

“The account in Exodus 16:32-34; Numbers 17:10, is, that they were laid up in the most holy place, ‘before the testimony,’ and there is no improbability whatever in the supposition that they were in the ark. Indeed, that would be the most safe place to keep them, as the tabernacle was often taken down and removed from place to place. It is clear from the passage in 1 Kings 8:9, that they were not in the ark in the temple, but there is no improbability in the supposition that before the temple was built they might have been removed from the ark and lost. When the ark was carried from place to place, or during its captivity by the Philistines, it is probable that they were lost, as we never hear of them afterward.”

J.H. Blunt, The Annotated Bible, agrees, offering these additional thoughts:

“It is expressly mentioned, in the account of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, that at that time ‘there was nothing in the ark save the two tablets of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt [1 Kings viii. 9]. But this does not prove that the memorial pot of manna [Exod. xvi. 33,34] and the memorial rod [Numb. xvii. 10,11] were not in the ark at the time of which the apostle is writing, and Jewish commentators make the same statement as St. Paul respecting them. It rather expresses surprise that nothing was found there but the two tables, and that the priests had expected to find the manna and the rod of Aaron inside the ark.

“Probably both were taken out of it by ‘the men of Beth-shemesh’ when they ‘looked into the ark of the Lord’ while it was in captivity among the Philistines [1 Sam. vi. 19]. They were not of so sacred a character as the tables of the Law, and it may have been after their removal, and when the two tables were about to be removed also, that the men of Beth-shemesh were smitten.”

So, it is entirely possible that the pot with manna and Aaron’s rod were “near” or “beside” the ark of the covenant, but not in it, while it is also conceivable that they were in the ark at one time, but that they were subsequently removed, so that only the tables of stone were in the ark at the time when Solomon’s Temple was dedicated. In neither case would there be a contradiction between Hebrews 9:4 and 1 Kings 8:9.

Whatever the correct explanation, it is true that even in technical details, the Bible does not contradict itself, but we are called upon to search the Scriptures (Acts 17:11; Isaiah 34:16; Luke 24:27; and John 5:39 in the Authorized Version), “precept upon precept… Line upon line… Here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:10), in order to grow in the understanding of the entire Word of God (2 Timothy 2:7; Matthew 4:4; 5:18). We are to study and get to know the Scriptures (compare Matthew 22:29), “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, Authorized Version).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

The video and audio files for last Sabbath’s sermon, titled, “Living Without Fear?,” are now posted. Here is a summary of this presentation by Evangelist Norbert Link: What are you afraid of? Do you fear people or the future? Are you too fearful to make necessary decisions? Do you fear death? Are you afraid of God and His Word? Do you fear that you might forsake God? That you might not make it into His Kingdom? That you might stop repenting? Christ came to free us from fear. This sermon shows you how you can live without fear.

“Beware of Our Lying Media!” is our newest StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Summary: Can you trust our media? Can you believe what they tell you? They are charged now with lying to you about President Obama’s “success story” and committing blasphemy in attributing to him God-like status, while persecuting Christianity and the Bible. The facts are that there is no realistic hope for improvement of our economy during the President’s second term, and big and positive ideas for improving our damaged relationship with other countries are mostly absent.

This StandingWatch program will be broadcast also on radio beginning Sunday, February 17, 2013.

“Skandal—Pferde- und Schweinefleisch in Hamburgers” is the title of a new very revealing AufPostenStehen program. It discusses pork and horsemeat in beef hamburgers and poultry and calf-liver sausages. Title in English: “Scandal—Horsemeat and Pork in Hamburgers.”

“Neu! Alttestamentliche Gesetze—Gueltig oder Nicht?,” is the newest German sermon. “Old Testament Laws—In Force or Not?” is the title in English. It is part of a series and discusses certain Old Testament laws and explains what their role is for Christians today, including the Law of the Nazirite; laws regarding warfare; death penalty for crime; marriage duty of surviving brother; and limited access of certain people to the congregation of Israel.

We are pleased to announce ministerial assignments for this year’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread: Norbert and Johanna Link will travel to Germany; Brian and Jill Gale to California; and Rene and Delia Messier to Oregon. Services by the resident ministers will also be conducted in Colorado.

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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

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