Update 608


Overcome Doubt

On October 12, 2013, Eric Rank will give the sermon, titled, “Overcome Doubt.”

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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“Back to Reality”

by Michael Link

Perhaps the most enjoyable time of the year for us has just ended. We kept the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day with those of like mind, which pictures God’s magnificent future plan when He will place His kingdom on earth to rule in peace and harmony. However, at that time it will not only last 8 days but for eternity. The world today has no clue about what we have just finished celebrating.  And yet during this time, we left the cares of the world behind. Worry was in the hindsight and replaced with joy while we focused on what was good and appropriate during those 8 days. A different attitude was expressed, an attitude we all wish we could experience throughout the year. Now that we have returned home from the Feast of Tabernacles, we are surrounded by the snares that are placed by the god of this world – Satan the Devil.

How are we doing since returning from the Feast? Has that attitude we experienced just a couple of weeks ago diminished now that we are “back to reality?” The world can be very distracting, and sin can creep in at every opportunity. And as the world continues in its destructive ways, for example, keeping days that are not endorsed by God, we are faced with making choices – to live by what God commands us or to fall victim to Satan’s clever tactics. Don’t be fooled – thinking that we can easily avoid Satan’s schemes. It takes effort!

Paul admitted just how easy it was to sin. He struggled with human nature, as you and I still do. He states in Romans 7:14-20: “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

Satan will not quit, which is why we need to be aware of what we are doing at ALL times. We will slip and fall, but the important thing is what we do next – we get back up! We make goals for ourselves, hoping that we can accomplish them. We pray to God, hoping that we can live according to His Way, and that we don’t fall into temptations. And when we do sin, we hope God will grant us forgiveness when we ask for it. We were certainly in a more favorable environment to control our actions during the Feast. Now that we are “back to reality,” how are we doing?

Nothing has to change! We can maintain that same attitude we shared, as difficult as it may be to do – especially in this world, today. We can use the knowledge and the wisdom we have, look to God for help and we will be fine. This “reality” we are a part of now is only temporary, and that which is only temporary will eventually lead us to something far greater – eternity!

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We begin with reporting on the biblical role of government and the lack of confidence of most Americans in the US economy; continue with interesting articles on swearing in court; the devil; immoral America and the soon-coming return of Christ; and the Vatican’s wrong position on divorce and remarriage.

We address America’s controversial military intervention in Libya; while speaking of Germany’s current and future role in world affairs—all in startling compliance with biblical end-time prophecies.

Turning to the environment, we report on the dangers of fracking and the ongoing problems with Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

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Our Government Is Responsible to God

The Huntington Post wrote on October 3:

“One of the most depressing things I heard on the first day of the government shutdown was that it was a record fundraising day for both parties. Washington, D.C., is no longer about governing; it is just about winning and losing. But the people who will lose the most during a government shutdown — and then an impending United States government default on paying its debts — are those who live day to day on their wages, those at the lower end of the nation’s economy, and the poorest and most vulnerable who are always hurt the most in a crisis like this…

“Jeremiah, speaking of King Josiah, said, ‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well.’ The subsequent line is very revealing:  ‘“Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord’ (Jer. 22:16). Of Solomon, the Scriptures say, through the words of the queen of Sheba, ‘Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness’ (1 Kings 10:9). Psalm 72 begins with a prayer for kings or political leaders: ‘Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. … May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor’ (Ps. 72:1-4).

“… government… needs to play the important and modest role of servant. The criteria for evaluation and judgment of civil authority is whether it is serving the people, whether it is guarding their security, whether it is maintaining a positive and peaceful social order, whether it is helping to make the lives of its citizens better, and, in particular, whether it is protecting the poor… Transparency, accountability, and service are the ethics of good government. ‘Of the people, by the people, and for the people’ is still a good measure and goal of civil authority. But people of faith will ascribe ultimate authority only to God, to whom civil authority will always be accountable.”

American Confidence in Economy and Government at Frightening Low

The Huffington Post wrote on October 8:

“The partial government shutdown has Americans nearly as freaked out about the economy as the event that triggered the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new survey by Gallup. U.S. economic confidence last week suffered its biggest one-week drop since Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008, Gallup reported…

“If lawmakers do not increase the country’s borrowing limit by October 17, the government won’t have enough money to pay its bills and will be at risk of defaulting on some of its debt. Although it is difficult to predict what will happen if Congress does not come to an agreement by then, several experts have warned that a U.S. default would ignite an economic crisis much larger than the global disaster that followed the end of Lehman.”

In this context, the following article by Breitbart, dated October 8, is quite revealing:

“A new Fox News poll shows that a majority of American voters–58 percent–would vote ‘no’ on raising the debt ceiling. Only 37 percent of American voters would vote to raise the debt ceiling. An even bigger majority–62 percent–would only vote to raise the debt ceiling after ‘major cuts in government spending.’…”

“According to The Washington Times, dated October 10, “The number of American voters who think the country is headed in the right direction fell by 11 percentage points over the past week, placing it at its lowest level in two years, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. Just 17 percent of likely voters said they think the United States is on the right track, a sign that the ongoing government shutdown and fight over the debt limit is taking its toll on public confidence.”

One has to wonder on what planet the 17 percent live who believe the country is heading in the right direction…

China Warns the USA

The Independent wrote on October 8:

“China, the biggest foreign creditor of the United States, has waded into the American budget crisis, warning Congress that it must resolve the political impasse over the debt ceiling without further delay.

“The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Zhu Guangyao, told America’s deadlocked politicians on Monday that ‘the clock is ticking’… ‘We ask that the United States earnestly takes steps to resolve in a timely way the political issues around the debt ceiling and prevent a US debt default to ensure the safety of Chinese investments in the United States,’  Mr Zhu told reporters in Beijing. ‘This is the United States’ responsibility,’ he added…”

At the same time, President Obama and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, have been accusing each other publically for causing the shutdown [now in its 10th day], while the media is wading in and taking sides, making a meaningful agreement between Republicans and Democrats even more difficult. Fox News reported on October 10: “A Republican proposal to approve a short-term increase in the debt ceiling was thrown into doubt late Thursday, as Senate Democrats insisted the partial government shutdown be lifted before talks can proceed — and a White House meeting broke up with no deal announced.”

America’s Downfall

MarketWatch wrote on October 8:

“Foreign policy analysts at home and abroad have been predicting for years the inevitable decline of American power, often with a fair amount of schadenfreude and sometimes even with glee. But now that political dysfunction in Washington is accelerating, the downsizing of the world’s only remaining superpower, all you hear is whining… So what did you expect American decline to look like?

“Get used to it, folks… So sad. The end of the American gravy train really is in sight… the nightmare is likely to continue for some time, with unforeseeable consequences for us and for the rest of the world… we are in the process of destroying our democracy. Sooner or later, history tells us, the United States of America will go the way of Rome and other empires…”

Swearing in Court

The Daily Mail wrote on October 6:

“Defendants and witnesses in British courts will no longer swear on the Bible to tell the truth under controversial plans being considered by a powerful body of judges… Existing religious oaths have, for hundreds of years, required Christian witnesses to hold the Bible and state: ‘I swear by almighty God that I shall tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’

“Followers of other faiths are given copies of their sacred texts with Muslims swearing on the Koran and Jews on the Old Testament, for instance. Those who choose instead to make an affirmation are required to ‘solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm’ the truth of their evidence.

“Under [the new] proposal,  the holy books would be removed and the oath would read: ‘I promise very sincerely to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and I understand that if I fail to do so I will be committing an offence for which I will be punished and may be sent to prison.’”

Under New Testament injunctions, Christians should indeed not swear or raise their right hand in court, but instead affirm to tell the truth. From that standpoint, a simple sincere promise to tell the truth would indeed be the preferable course of action in court settings.

Scalia: The Devil Is Alive

CNN wrote on October 7:

“As the Supreme Court begins its new term Monday, the devil is not on the docket – but the Evil One apparently is on the mind of Justice Antonin Scalia. New York magazine has published a fascinating new interview with Scalia in which the outspoken jurist tackled a number of topics. But none seemed to surprise Scalia’s interviewer, Jennifer Senior, more than his views on Satan… [Scalia] is one of a record six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court… the justice said… ‘I even believe in the devil.’…

“Scalia said the devil has gotten ‘wilier’ and convinced people that he and God don’t exist. The justice added… that disbelief in God ‘certainly favors the devil’s desires… Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil.’”

Left-liberal newspapers and websites such as CNN scoff at the idea of a devil, but the devil is real and very much alive. Please read our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World.”

Graham: Immoral America and Christ’s Return

Newsmax wrote on October 6:

“In an exclusive interview… Billy Graham tells Newsmax that President Obama’s ‘hope and change’ mantra is nothing more than a cliché and warns that the nation faces increasing threats to civil and religious liberties from its government. Graham… said America is drenched in a ‘sea of immorality’ and suggested that the second coming of Christ is ‘near.’ … ‘Our country is turning away from what has made it so great,’ he continued, ‘but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.’…

“Many believing Christians believe in a coming Armageddon, a final battle between good and evil prophesied in the book of Revelation. Graham tells Newsmax it is not wise to ‘speculate’ about the dates of such a battle, but he adds that the Bible says that there ‘will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord. I believe all of these signs are evident today,’ Graham wrote, adding that ‘the return of Christ is near. Regardless of what society says, we cannot go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming,’ he says.”


Vatican Comes Out Strong

The Local wrote on October 10:

“The Vatican pledged on Thursday to take action against a German diocese which gives out Holy Communion to Catholic divorcees who have re-married. The Freiburg diocese in southern Germany said it would give communion to the divorcees in defiance of official Catholic policy which has upset the Vatican…

“The Vatican already condemned the decision on Tuesday with spokesman Federico Lombardi saying it risked causing ‘confusion’ and did not mean that Catholic Church policy on the issue had changed.

“Under Catholic doctrine, marriage is for life and breaking the sacrament means not being able to receive the Eucharist if the marriage is not officially annulled by an ecclesiastical court.”

The Catholic Church will remain steadfast to its hard-and-core doctrines, even though they are not in harmony with the Bible. The Vatican’s position on divorce and remarriage is clearly unbiblical.

US Guilty of Kidnapping a Libyan Citizen?

The Washington Times wrote on October 7:

“Libya’s interim government is seeking answers after U.S. special forces over the weekend captured al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi in Tripoli, calling the operation a ‘kidnapping of a Libyan citizen.’… From Indonesia where he is attending a regional summit, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said al-Libi is a ‘legal and an appropriate target for the U.S. military under the Authorization of the Use of Military Force’ enacted in September 2001.

“Libyan authorities called the raid ‘news,’ indicating they did not know about the raid before it happened. The U.S. and Libya have no status of forces agreement that would allow U.S. military operations on Libyan soil.”

CNN added on October 8:

“Libya’s General National Congress on Tuesday demanded that U.S. officials hand over al Libi, spokesman Omar Hmidan said. He also demanded that Libyan authorities and al Libi’s family have access to him in the meantime. The developments come as 200 heavily armed U.S. Marines headed to an Italian naval base, poised to fly at a moment’s notice to Libya should the U.S. Embassy come under assault from angry crowds in the wake of al Libi’s capture.”

Deutsche Welle reported on October 8:

“The US capture of a suspected al Qaeda chief from his own home in Libya once again puts the focus on the legality of Obama’s version of the ‘war on terror.’ The Libyan government’s role is also ambiguous… The Libyan government denies involvement and even fore-knowledge of the early morning commando raid, but eye-witness accounts (from al-Liby’s relatives) insist that Libyan soldiers were also involved.”

Deutsche Welle added on October 10:

“Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan has appealed for calm in his first comments since being freed from captivity earlier on Thursday. His abduction was in apparent retaliation for the US capture of an al Qaeda suspect.” It stated that “many militia groups accused the Libya government of colluding in the [US] operation…”

As it has been the case with other African and Middle Eastern nations, the Arab Spring will become a frosty winter for the US.

Germany to the Rescue?

BBC News wrote on October 6:

“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has raised the possibility of Germany acting as a mediator to try to end his country’s 30-month-long civil war…

“Mr Assad said he ‘would be delighted if envoys came from Germany’. But he stressed that Damascus would not negotiate with rebels unless they laid down their weapons. Mr Assad again denied claims that his troops had used chemical weapons, blaming the rebels instead.”

However, as Deutsche Welle reported on October 8, “[current and soon former] German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle categorically rejected the offer”—that is, for now. In this context, please note the next extremely interesting article.

Germany To Lead a Holy Roman Empire in Europe

The Local wrote on October 8:

“In the last week Germany’s president Joachim Gauck has called on the country to take more responsibility in the international arena and told the Germans: ‘Our country is not an island.’… But is it time for Germany to step up on the global stage? At an event at the US Embassy in Berlin on Monday The Local asked US author and foreign policy expert Professor Walter Russell Mead for his view…

“Professor Mead argued German foreign policy has been relatively successful in Europe. Asked if Germany should play a greater global role, he said: ‘Germany is playing a larger role in the world than people appreciate… Europe is doing what it wants, in many ways led by Germany. We would hope Germany would continue to play the leading role it has played in the past.’

“Professor Mead… also praised Germany’s success in the Ukraine where the country has signed a deal with the EU, luring the country away from Russian influence… He added it was ‘quite remarkable’ that Germany had achieved this without it being perceived as some sort of German interference. This ‘quiet but very effective’ diplomacy ‘strikes me as an example that the world could use a lot more of and doesn’t appreciate enough,’ he added…

“On the subject of Europe and the Eurozone, Professor Mead… urged Germany to lead a Holy Roman Empire rather than a Prussian conquest. ‘Any discussion of Germany’s world role must begin with Europe,’ he told reporters…

“Professor Mead called for Germany to lead a Holy Roman Empire in Europe – a loose federation of states – instead of aggressively imposing austerity…  ‘Are you going to have a King of Prussia or the Holy Roman Emperor? The Holy Roman Emperor is the more sustainable…”

Those with ears to hear should listen. The Bible shows us that Germany will indeed lead another revival of the ancient Roman Empire… a final revival of ten nations or groups of nations under a “Holy Roman emperor”—the “beast.”

Fracking Produces Annual Toxic Waste Water Enough to Flood Washington DC

On October 4, the Guardian published an article with the following headline:

“Growing concerns over radiation risks as report finds widespread environmental damage on an unimaginable scale in the US.”

It continued:

“Fracking in America generated 280bn US gallons of toxic waste water last year – enough to flood all of Washington DC beneath a 22ft deep toxic lagoon, a new report out on Thursday found… The full extent of the damage posed by fracking to air and water quality had yet to emerge, the report said…

“A number of recent studies have highlighted the negative consequences of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which have unlocked vast reservoirs of oil and natural gas from rock formations. There have been instances of contaminated wells and streams, as well as evidence of methane releases along the production chain…

“The report said the drilling industry had used 250bn gallons of fresh water since 2005. Much of that returns to the surface, however, along with naturally occurring radium and bromides, and concerns are growing about those effects on the environment.

“A study published this week by researchers at Duke University found new evidence of radiation risks from drilling waste water. The researchers said sediment samples collected downstream from a treatment plant in western Pennsylvania showed radium concentrations 200 times above normal… ‘Fracking waste-water discharged at treatment plants can cause a different problem for drinking water: when bromide in the wastewater mixes with chlorine (often used at drinking water treatment plants), it produces trihalomethanes, chemicals that cause cancer and increase the risk of reproductive or developmental health problems,’ the report said.”

The New York Times added on October 9:

“France and Bulgaria have already banned it, and in Britain the government’s attempts to promote it have led to heated demonstrations in the countryside. It is complicating Germany’s attempts to wean itself from fossil fuels and forcing Russia to recalibrate the energy-export strategy that sustains its economy.

“Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has already revolutionized the energy business in the United States, which is now 87 percent self-sufficient for gas, and it is transforming environmental policy, too. Now the temptation to follow the United States in extracting shale gas from rock on a large scale is presenting Europe with contentious trade-offs that could affect the Continent’s economic competitiveness, test its commitment to curbing climate change and determine its place in a 21st-century version of the Great Game.

“The early signs are that densely populated Europe, with citizens generally more sensitive to environmental concerns and more willing to tolerate high energy costs, is unlikely to embrace the technique as the Americans have. As an indication of the skepticism, European Union lawmakers gave initial approval on Wednesday to a measure requiring companies to conduct extensive environmental audits before fracking for shale gas.”

When Christ returns, He will “destroy” those who “destroy” the earth.

Overflowing Tank Cause of New Leak at Fukushima

The Associated Press reported on October 3:

“Another day, another radioactive-water spill. The operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant says at least 430 liters (110 gallons) spilled… The amount is tiny compared to the untold thousands of tons of radioactive water that have leaked, much of it into the Pacific Ocean, since a massive earthquake and tsunami wrecked the plant and sent it into meltdown in 2011. But the error is one of many the operator has committed as it struggles to manage a seemingly endless, tainted flow…

“The tank is one of about 1,000 erected on the grounds around the plant to hold water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel in the broken reactors… The overspill, the latest of several mishaps in less than a month, prompted the Nuclear Regulation Authority to summon the utility president and reprimand him in public… The new leak is sure to add to public concern and criticism of TEPCO and the government for their handling of the nuclear crisis. In August, the utility reported a 300-ton leak from another storage tank, one of a string of leaks in recent months. That came after the utility and the government acknowledged that contaminated groundwater was seeping into [the] ocean at a rate of 300 tons a day for some time…”

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Are Christians supposed to make this a better world?

Much confusion exists as to whether true Christians are to attempt and do what they can to make this world a better place—to improve sad conditions by voting for “better” leaders; to fight against dictatorships to replace them with democratic politicians or to invade democratic countries to replace them with dictators; to engage in missionary activities in poor countries to build hospitals there or engage in other charitable work; or to desperately try to save some souls through evangelistic campaigns in an effort to proselytize or convert others—only to realize with frustration and disappointment that all these noble efforts are destined to fail.

The reason for these failures is that this is not God’s world, and that true Christians are called out of this world to prepare for a better world. However, that better world will not come through human efforts, but it has to be created for us by God Himself.

Today, true Christians are not OF this world—even though they are IN this world—and although they are certainly called upon to help those in need, when they have opportunity and when it is in their power, they are not commissioned to attempt to eradicate evil here and now. Rather, they are to let God work through and in them to become better persons. They are to show by their lives to those whom they come in contact with how to be true ambassadors for Christ, representing a heavenly kingdom which will be established on this earth—after this present evil world with its philosophies and its educational, political, legal and religious systems has been DESTROYED.

Many years ago, Herbert W. Armstrong, the late human leader of the Worldwide Church of God who died in 1986, explained very clearly what the role of a true Christian in today’s world should and should not be. In this Q&A, we quote from some of Mr. Armstrong’s writings on the topic, which have not lost any of their relevance for today’s Christians—just the opposite is true.

In his article, “How Would Jesus Vote for President?”, which was published in The Good News in October of 1984, he made it clear that Christians are not to participate in the political processes of the country in which they might live, and they are NOT to vote in governmental elections, as this is not God’s world. He explained that when Adam and Eve refused to obey God, they adopted instead the thinking of Satan the devil, who became the ruler and god of this present evil world. Mr. Armstrong stated:

“This Babylonish principle of government, intertwined with economic manipulation, has ruled the world… under various  forms — whether called oligarchy,  monarchy, dictatorship, autocracy, democracy communism or Nazism… this is the origin of what we call  CIVILIZATION… it is a system based upon exploitation of the people, aggression, regimentation, delusion and deception…  Babylon  means ‘CONFUSION’. Competition and strife have produced confusion in the world. And God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Should Christians strive to make this a BETTER WORLD?”

He continued:

“Most churchmen today, viewing everything from the perspective of this world TODAY, blindly assume this is God’s world. They see certain forces of evil in it, and these they feel they must oppose. They see the Christian duty to be that of working to make this a better world. That concept is a wrong viewpoint altogether. This is not a world of God’s making. This is Satan’s world! Satan is the invisible god of this world, he is the author of its organization,  its basic philosophies, its systems of government, business,  society, yes,  and RELIGIONS! This thing we boast of as civilization is in actual fact, Satan’s handiwork, not God’s!…

“All nations — not just the heathen powers, but all nations, including ours — are deceived, swayed, led, by Satan (Revelation 12:9, 18:3,  20:2-3).  The Bible speaks of this world as ‘this present evil world’ (Galatians 1:4, AV)…”

In addressing some of the reasons why Jesus Christ came as a human being into this world, Mr. Armstrong stated:

“Into such a world, in His own due time, God sent forth His own Son, born of the human virgin Mary. WHY did Jesus come? To get into politics, to strive against the forces of evil in this world, to make this a better world for humanity to live in?…

“What was His message? Certainly not a Gospel merely about Himself — a Gospel of merely accepting Him and then, as part of this world, helping to make it better!… What Jesus taught was that this present world, with its governments, its religions, its economies, its society, is an evil world – it is Satan’s world – it is a world in competition against and AT WAR AGAINST – His Coming Kingdom – THE WORLD TOMORROW!… No, Jesus did not enter into THIS world’s politics! He called His disciples out of this present evil world — out of all its customs and philosophies and ways to a life of SEPARATION  from the world…

“Jesus did not try to reform Caesar. He did not try to make this a better world, Rather, He preached the doctrine of a radically different world to come and He called His followers out of all participation in this present evil world and to allegiance to His KINGDOM that is to come….”

Mr. Armstrong continued to explain very powerfully that as true Christians, we are not to have any part today in the politics and wars of this world. He also showed that the time will come when we WILL rule—but that time has not yet arrived.

“These present governments are to run their course ‘until the . . . time came for the saints [converted Christians] to possess the kingdom [of God].’ That time has not yet come… When Jesus comes again, it is proclaimed: ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’ (Revelation 11:15) Then it is, as Jesus has said. ‘He who overcomes,  and  keeps  My works until the end, to him will I give power over the nations — he shall rule them’   (Revelation 2:26-27). The smashing of the present governments of the world is pictured in Daniel 2.34-35, 44. Then Satan shall be shorn of power to rule the world (Revelation 20:1-4). His qualified successor Jesus Christ, shall then be inaugurated into office.”

These words should be more than sufficient to show us why we are not to take part in the rotten and deceitful politics and wars of this world—and that applies to EVERY country. But Mr. Armstrong elaborated on this theme and concept, making additional comments in his remarkable booklet, “A World Held Captive,” (cp. 1984). In it, he explained in more detail WHY true Christians are NOT to be engaged in attempting to make this world a better world. He wrote:

“Adam had been created with the potential to be born a son of GOD [when being changed into a God being]. Even though not as yet even a begotten son of the GOD FAMILY [as he had not even partaken of the tree of life, symbolizing the gift of the Holy Spirit], he had been created as potentially just that. Once he succumbed to Satan’s WAY of choosing to ‘do his own thing,’ in rebellion against a deliberate command of God, he became spiritually the property of Satan. He actually had succumbed to the GOVERNMENT of Satan, choosing the LAW of that government, leading automatically into attitudes of self-glory, coveting, competition, desire to GET rather than God’s way of GIVE.

“All humanity came out of Adam and Eve. The present world was FOUNDED in them. The WORLD has ever since been HELD captive! The world had thus chosen THE WAY of the kidnapper [Satan the devil], rather than of the potential Parent [God the Father]!…[Adam] was led by Satan, and the whole world family, started through Adam, was DECEIVED into building a civilization that became SATAN’S WORLD — a WORLD HELD CAPTIVE…”

Again discussing some of the reasons why Christ did and did not come to this earth, Mr. Armstrong wrote:

“Jesus, during his earthly ministry, likened this world to a building. In Ephesians 2:20-22 the Church is likened to a building. Jesus, in referring to the present evil world, said it is built on a foundation of the sand of Satan’s way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition and strife, violence, rebellion, contention, unhappiness, suffering and death. THIS WORLD IS DOOMED TO CRASH! And great shall be the fall thereof.

“Jesus did not come to repair or remodel or make over this building — this world — this civilization. Its foundation is faulty — that of Satan. Its superstructure — its systems of government and legal systems of law and justice, its systems of faulty and materialistic education, its religions, its social systems and customs — all its superstructures faulty, producing discontent, unhappiness, contention, competition and strife leading to violence and destruction, anguish, suffering, poverty and death. Those are the supporting columns and beams of the superstructure of the building that is this world. Jesus did not come to reform this world — to bring it a ‘spiritual revival’ — to pray for it or to save it or any of its ways.

“The [true] Church [of God] is the start — the embryo — of an entirely NEW and DIFFERENT BUILDING. Jesus called those God has chosen to draw OUT from among this world and its ways… Jesus said He would build His Church. His Church was that new building — that new civilization — that new world, in embryo. He also said the Church would never die. The rains would fall (Matthew 7:24-27), the floods would come, the hurricanes would blow, but this NEW house built on the solid rock foundation would ALWAYS stand!”

These words, as quoted above, are as true today as they were when they were written in 1984. Sadly, most have never understood them, and they do not grasp them today, and even some of those who did comprehend them at one time—or at least it seemed that they did–have now adopted the wrong way of thinking that they ought to try to make this a better world. They will never succeed in this futile effort.

The Church of God has the commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world as a witness, and then the end of this present civilization and this evil society will come (Matthew 24:14). THEN—not before then—Christ will return to make an end to Satan’s rule and displace him. THEN, He will establish God’s government and righteous rule on this earth. THEN, the wonderful world tomorrow—the better world—will start. True Christians are to stand watch and prepare for THAT better  world… while coming out of modern Babylon (Revelation 18:4) and leaving THIS evil world behind.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Many do not know the real reasons. And how does God’s punishment relate to us today—and especially to those who do know the truth of the Bible? The answer to these questions may be found in our recorded video sermon presented by Norbert Link and titled, “Today’s Sodom.”

Norbert Link’s video-recorded Feast sermon, titled, “Feast of Tabernacles 2013: How Zealous Are We?,” was posted on YouTube.

“America Is Politically Bankrupt,” is the title of one of two new Standingwatch programs presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

The temporary shutdown of the American government is strongly condemned by the worldwide community. Many feel that America cannot be saved; that America’s democracy is falling; and that America is politically bankrupt. Sadly, the Bible agrees with this assessment. The ill-conceived Obamacare or “Affordable” Care Act and its terrible “implementation” is only one symptom, exemplifying the fact that promises of politicians cannot be relied on. It is high time that God the Father sends His Son Jesus Christ to our earth to make an end to man’s mismanagement and to restore the Kingdom of God and establish righteous rule on this planet.

“Timeline of Biblical Prophecy and Rome’s Ten Revivals,” is the title of the second StandingWatch program. Here is a summary:

What is going to happen in the future? Does the Bible give us an outline or time table of events, leading to the return of Jesus Christ, and beyond? What, if anything, do developments in Europe tell us? Will there be a final revival of the ancient Roman Empire? Our free booklets, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever,” and “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire” give you the startling and surprising answers. Copies of both booklets are waiting for you.

We posted the first SW presentation by Rene Messier for the Canadian audience, titled, “SW Talking Points: The Nature of God.”

“Warum Menschliches Leid?,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen presentation by Mr. Link. “Why Human Suffering?,” is the title in English. It promotes our newly printed German Booklet on Human Suffering.

Norbert Link’s video-recorded German sermon on the Day of Atonement, titled, “Jesus und Satan,” was posted on our German website (www.aufpostenstehen.de) and also on YouTube.

“Neu! Die Herrliche Welt des Millenniums,” is the title of the German sermon to be presented this Sabbath in Germany. In English, the title is, “The Beautiful World of the Millennium.”

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Not Up To Us

By Ben Agbayani

Prior to the Feast of Tabernacles, I went to the extent of having a nerve block injection treatment for about a month, as I thought that I will be facing uncertainty to the max. During every visit I would receive 12 to 16 injections for 5 consecutive weeks; unfortunately, the injections never gave me any form of relief.

Having a spinal condition from the last flight I took a few years ago, I experienced so much pain and suffered from takeoff and landing. I was hoping not to experience the same on this flight bound for Vail, Colorado.

The day came, and we checked in for the flight from Toronto to New York. Sitting beside my wife as the plane started to head for the run way, I was so nervous and anticipated what would happen during takeoff. I was holding my wife’s hand, and I was not able to feel any form of pain as if the takeoff did not happen at all. Upon reaching New York and as the plane descended, my wife held my left hand and talked to me. I was waiting for that landing bump to occur, but it never happened.

Soon, we boarded our flight from New York to Denver. Again, the takeoff was so smooth. A few hours later, as we were prepared for landing at the Denver International Airport, my wife again took my hand and we talked as the plane descended. As we waited for that bump, we kept on talking. We did not realize that the plane had landed and was already heading for the gate.

We were so speechless and in awe of what happened between takeoff and landing of the two flights. The Eternal intervened and took charge as if the airplane was delivered by His hand so that we could enjoy our first Feast of Tabernacles.

We again realized that it is really not up to us to rely on our own strength, but our trust in God is what makes everything work for our own good.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

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