Update 666


The Prophets Hang on Love (Part 1)

On December 13, 2014, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled, “The Prophets Hang on Love” (Part 1).

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

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When You See!

by Dave Harris

Throughout the time since the Church of the Eternal God first began (July 2, 2001), along with our affiliates, the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship (Canada), the Global Church of God (United Kingdom)—now including Die Kirche des Ewigen Gottes (Germany), we have endeavored to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world.

We have emphasized explaining the fulfillment of prophecy—especially those things Jesus revealed to His disciples which would indicate the close of this Satan-ruled age and God’s powerful intervention to save the world.

We have come to a point in human history in which biblical prophecies are being fulfilled before us, and it appears that the generation which will witness the end times spoken of by Jesus Christ has arrived! Importantly, Jesus gave us key signs to watch for, and He very specifically declared, “‘See, I have told you beforehand’” (Matthew 24:25).

What we now see is the emergence of the final resurrection of the Roman Empire—the European Union led by and already ruled over by Germany. We see that the Catholic Church has survived worldwide condemnation for abusive priests to once again become the dominant religious voice in the Western nations. These two conditions which we are watching are foundational to the next occurrences in biblical prophecy—the revealing of the persons who are identified as the “beast” and the “false prophet” (compare Revelation 13).

In fact, the Bible shows that we should be watching for a man who will exert tremendous political and military control—even noting that he will be uniquely identified by the number “666” (See the Q&A in this Update). Furthermore, we understand that one in a religious office will be able to show great and deceptive miracles.

We have also been told to watch for other events:

“‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near’” (Luke 21:20);

“‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be’” (Matthew 24:15-21).

Most people in the world are ignoring the events of our time (compare Matthew 24:36-39); however, we must not allow ourselves to become blinded to the reality of prophecy being fulfilled! Rather, we are to be diligently watching and prepared with all readiness for not only these events, but for the promised return of Jesus Christ! Here is the sobering warning given to His disciples by Jesus:

“‘Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’” (Luke 21:36).

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In this special edition of Update #666, we are focusing on events related to the rise of a future charismatic political and military leader of German or Austrian descent, called the “beast” in the Book of Revelation, as well as his prophesied collaboration with the Roman Catholic Church under its end-time leader, the “false prophet,” and his shaky and finally hostile relationship with Russia and China, leading to a brutal military confrontation.

Also in this light, we are reporting on the predicted establishment of a united European Army (under German leadership) and focus on Germany’s current leader, Angela Merkel, who is not the “beast,” even though she might be an architect in preparation of future developments. We also remind our readers of the prophesied concept of a core Europe or a Europe with two speeds.

We are also reporting on developments within the Catholic Church and Pope Francis, who seems to want to be “a man for all seasons” and “for all people” – and animals. We add an article about depression during the Christmas holiday season—the most “holy” time for professing Christians, especially Catholics.

We continue with articles pertaining to the isolation of the UK from the EU, as well as America’s and Israel’s isolation in the world. All of this is prophesied to occur around the same time when the beast power rises to predominance—and speculations and possible scenarios bringing about the “end of the world.” We know that due to natural and man-made disasters, cosmic disturbances and the “Great Tribulation” which will be ushered in by the beast power, all flesh would be destroyed, if Christ were not to intervene.

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United European Army in Light of Putin’s Remarks?

The Telegraph wrote on December 4:

“Vladimir Putin excoriated the West in a speech on Thursday, comparing his foreign opponents to Adolf Hitler in their desire to destroy Russia… He added: ‘It also didn’t work out for Hitler, who with his man-hating ideas wanted to destroy Russia and throw us beyond the Urals…’

“Mr Putin justified the takeover of Crimea by saying that it was ‘where our people live, and the peninsula is of strategic importance for Russia’ as well as it being the setting for the baptism of the medieval prince Vladimir the Great in the 10th century…”

The Local wrote on December 5:

“The [German] government rejected on Friday the justification given by Russian President Vladimir Putin for annexing the Crimea in his annual state of the nation address. Putin said in his speech on Thursday that the Crimean peninsula was ‘just like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for those of Jewish or Muslim confession’ in its ‘civilisational and sacred meaning’ for Russians…

“Putin further recalled the last time when Western Europe and Russia had come to open war. ‘People should remember how it ended’ when Hitler broke the Nazi-Soviet pact to invade the USSR in 1941, he said…

“Putin’s speech came on the same day as the Social Democratic Party (SPD) called for a ‘United European Army’ in a strategy document. SPD defence spokesman Rainer Arnold wrote that… [it] was particularly pointless for different EU nations to maintain nationally isolated arms industries…”

Germany Heavily Dependent on Russia’s Fossil Fuel Supplies

The Local wrote on December 8:

“New figures released on Monday showed that Germany continues to be heavily dependent on Russia for its fossil fuel supplies as tensions remain high over Ukraine. The Federal Institute of Raw Materials (BGR) in Hannover reported that just two percent of Germany’s oil and 12 percent of natural gas were produced within the country in 2013. Those two fuels together account for 55 percent of German energy consumption, with Russia providing one third of the country’s imports.

“Germany is only self-sufficient in renewable energy, brown coal and nuclear energy, which together make up less than a third of the country’s power consumption… Around €142 billion worth of mineral raw materials was imported in 2013, a drop of five percent compared with 2012. Fuel made up the lion’s share of imports at around 70 percent.”

It can be easily foreseen what might happen if Russia was to threaten to cease selling fossil fuel supplies to Germany.

Alliance Between Russia, China and India

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 11:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have announced a deal for Moscow to help New Delhi build [at least ten, apparently as many as twelve] more nuclear reactors – to Washington’s chagrin… Putin added the two nations had also agreed to cooperate in building additional nuclear power plants for third countries.

“The high-level business talks came as Russia continued to suffer from sanctions imposed by the US and the EU over its role in the Ukraine conflict… India has opposed Western sanctions against Russia and looked adamant in disregarding a caution from Washington that now was not the right time to do business with Moscow… Reuters reported that Sergey Aksyonov, the new leader of Crimea, had also arrived in India for talks on boosting trade with the Black Sea region…”

In a related article, Deutsche Welle wrote on December 11:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India underlines his apparent determination to lessen the impact of Western sanctions over Ukraine by deepening ties with Asian countries… [He] is seeking to restore his country’s former prowess on the international stage…  Hence his recent attempts to improve ties first with China, and now with India…

“Narendra Modi was shunned by the West for many years because of his alleged role in a religiously motivated massacre in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. Moreover, Hindu-nationalist Modi distrusts the West’s domination of international organizations and the international media. He is said to reject the spread of Western culture throughout the world… Putin also knows what it is like to be shunned by the West… According to Indian sources, the chemistry between the two leaders is good…

“Since little has come of India’s nuclear deal with the US, Putin has now seized his opportunity… MILITARY COOPERATION is expected to focus on the development of a new fighter jet and a transport aircraft…  

“[According to] Modi’s perspective, the present level of bilateral trade with Moscow totaling a mere ten billion USD annually is only a fraction of trade volumes between Russian and China, and the Indian PM needs more trade… Against this background, it is hardly surprising that the Modi-Putin summit may shape ties between the two countries for the next decade…

“None of this bodes particularly well for US President Barack Obama’s visit to India next month. The West needs to sit up and take notice. A reinvigorated relationship between New Delhi and Moscow, an alliance of the needy, may have a greater impact on the so-called ‘Asian century’ than many had thought possible just a few months ago.”

The Bible prophesies the end-time emergence of the Kings of the East in opposition to the King of the North—the European power bloc under the “beast.” Russia, China, India and other Far Eastern countries will undoubtedly belong to the “Kings of the East.”

Europe’s and Russia’s Dispute Over Bosnia

The Associated Press wrote on December 5:

“The European Union urged Russia on Friday to leave the Balkans out of its dispute with the bloc over Ukraine, and let the region proceed on its path toward EU and NATO memberships. Moscow has said that because of its strained relations with the West, it no longer supports Bosnia’s membership efforts and that there is no consensus in Bosnia over the issue.

“The country’s Bosniacs and Croats tend to look westward, but Bosnian Serbs maintain close ties with Russia, object NATO membership and have obstructed EU-requested reforms…

“For the first time in 14 years, Russia last month abstained from the vote when the U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the EU-led military presence in Bosnia because the declaration mentioned the country’s European and NATO future too often. ‘We did not want the resolution to be used as an instrument to advance objectives that we were not part of and that is Bosnia-Herzegovina becoming part of NATO,’ or the European Union, Russia’s ambassador to Bosnia, Petr Ivancov, told the Associated Press in an interview…”

According to Zeit Online and Bild Online, dated December 6, more than 60 prominent German personalities from politics, economy, science, religion (Roman Catholic and Protestant) and culture warned in a mutual declaration against the return of war to Europe. Signatories include Luitpold Prinz von Bayern; Dr. Roman Herzog (former German President); Gerhard Schröder (former German Chancellor); and Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel (former Minister of Justice).

“Nobody wants war,” the statement reads, continuing: “But North America, the EU and Russia are moving undeniably towards it, unless the spiral of threats and counter-threats is not stopped. All Europeans, including Russia, are responsible for peace and security. Americans, Europeans and Russians have abrogated the main concept to ban war between them. At this time of great danger for the continent, Germany has a special responsibility for maintaining peace.”

The statement also admonished the German government, the media and politicians in general to report in a balanced way, without creating images of foes and enemies, and without demonizing entire populations and peoples. Rather, people should be freed from the worry of war. Also note the next section.

Merkel—The Best for Staying in Power

The Local wrote on December 7, 2014:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who entered politics when the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, is nearing a decade as leader of Europe’s biggest economy, her popularity ratings still sky-high. Often called the world’s most powerful woman, the pastor’s daughter, trained scientist and master tactician has outlasted a generation of world leaders, WITH NO OBVIOUS SUCCESSOR IN SIGHT… The stunning rise of Merkel, 60 — a twice-married, childless woman from communist East Germany, now often labelled the ‘Queen of Europe’ — defies political convention…

“She joined the nascent group Democratic Awakening, which later merged with the CDU, a party was then led by chancellor Helmut Kohl who fondly and patronisingly dubbed her ‘the girl’. Merkel’s political mentor was neither the first nor last politician to underestimate her and pay the price. When he became embroiled in a campaign finance scandal in 1999, Merkel stuck in the knife, urging her party to drop the self-declared ‘old warhorse’…

“Critics charge she has perfected the art of saying little and avoiding both offence and commitment, while lulling Germany into an apolitical stupor. ‘If politics means shaping reality with ideas, then Merkel is not a politician at all,’ wrote journalist Jakob Augstein. ‘If politics means staying in power, then Merkel is the best.’”

Deutsche Welle added on December 7:

“Angela Merkel has rejected criticisms of her Russia policy made by her predecessors as German chancellor… In an interview with Die Welt am Sonntag, Merkel reproached Russian President Vladimir Putin for standing in the way of East European countries that would like to join the EU or strengthen relations with it. Merkel said ‘Russia created difficulties’ for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, which had ‘on their own sovereign decisions, signed association agreements with the EU.’…

“The chancellor added that the fact ‘that Russia had broken its guarantees in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 guaranteeing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine must not be without consequences.’

“She also took on chancellery predecessors. Fellow Christian Democrat (CDU) Helmut Kohl, who left office in 1998, and Gerhard Schroeder, the Social Democrat (SPD) whose spot she took in 2005, say Germany’s Russia policy isolates Moscow…”

Core Europe

The Telegraph wrote on December 8:

“European plans to introduce a tax on financial transactions have fallen into disarray, with ministers failing to meet a year-end deadline that would have resulted in the so-called ‘Robin Tax’ being introduced at the start of 2016. Finance ministers from the 11 countries planning to introduce the levy had planned to sign off on a basic outline this week, but internal squabbling has forced further delays….

“The British Government has challenged the idea in the European courts… Latvia – which has expressed scepticism about the tax and does not plan to introduce it – assumes presidency of the European Council from Italy on January 1, another potential roadblock.

“Countries planning to introduce the tax: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia.”

It is interesting that many of the countries (but not all) proposing such a tax belong to the most likely candidates for the prophesied ten nations or groups of nations which will evolve from the current 28 European member states. A core Europe or a Europe of two speeds is clearly predicted. When those ten nations or groups of nations have manifested themselves, they will give their power and authority to the beast who will rule for only a very short time.

All Donkeys Go To Heaven!

The Express wrote on December 5 on its website, express.co.uk:

“‘All donkeys go to heaven!’ [The] Pope says the Kingdom of Heaven is open to ALL God’s creatures.

“POPE Francis has received an unusual early Christmas present of two donkeys, following his declaration that animals do, after all, go to heaven.
 “In his weekly audience in St Peter’s Francis quoted the apostle Paul who comforted a child who was crying after his dog died. ‘One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ’, Francis quoted Paul as saying. The Pope added: ‘Paradise is open to all God’s creatures.’

“His position is markedly different from that of Pope Benedict XVI [who] said that the other animals ‘are not called to the eternal life’. This week the pope was presented with the two donkeys, named Thea and Noah, by a company that produces donkey milk for babies that are allergic to other milks. After thanking him for the curious gift, a delighted Francis revealed that he too as a baby was fed donkey milk…

“At the service in St Peter’s Square the Pope also met and blessed rescue dogs… Two years ago Pope Benedict claimed that donkeys were not part of the Nativity. He wrote in his book about the childhood of Jesus that the presence of animals like cattle and donkeys in traditional Nativity scenes is based on little more than a myth and was probably inspired by pre-Christian traditions. ‘There is no mention of animals in the Gospels,’ he wrote.”

Women Bishops in the Catholic Church?

The Austrian edition of the Local wrote on November 11, 2014:

“Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger is a 58-year-old Austrian ex-nun, who made headlines when she was excommunicated by Rome in 2002… [She] came under the spotlight after she and a group of other Catholic women announced they had been ordained as priests by a retired bishop on a boat in the middle of the Danube. The so-called Danube Seven have inspired at least 100 other women to follow in their footsteps. In 2003 Mayr-Lumetzberger took it one stage further by being consecrated a bishop.

“She told The Local that there are very few women priests practising in Austria as the Catholic Church is so powerful here that it can be a difficult life for someone who chooses to make a stand… She says that in Austria and Germany she is now very well accepted and is asked to say mass and conduct weddings and funerals at churches and abbeys. She has ordained women priests herself, mainly foreigners, although she won’t say where they are from for fear of exposing them.

“Pope John Paul II, in 1994, told Catholics that not only were women excluded from the priesthood (because Jesus was a man and the reasoning is that the priest stands in the place of Jesus) but also that the question should not even be discussed. However, Mayr-Lumetzberger believes that Pope Francis is very much in favour of women’s ordination… ‘I was ordained by Argentinian bishop Antonio Braschi, the Pope is Argentinian and I believe sympathetic, and there is a Spanish priest in favour of women’s ordination who is very close to the Pope.’…

“After leaving her order she met her husband, Michael, a historian. He had been married before and had four children. Their wedding was not in church – because he was divorced – but they had a party in the parish house afterwards… She even ran courses for women who felt called to the priesthood. She further antagonised the Vatican by being consecrated a bishop. The ceremony took place in secret and she will not name the male bishops involved in her consecration in case they are disciplined by the Vatican.

“Mayr-Lumetzberger says that she has a good relationship with the official church, and that she is in contact with the bishops in Austria who do not treat her as an outcast. ‘We have unofficial networks–many of my peers are now in top positions in the Roman Catholic Church.’”

The reasoning that women should not be priests or bishops because Jesus was a male and because priests stand in the place of Jesus is of course utterly wrong and totally unbiblical. The reasons why there should be no women pastors or priests and why women should not preach in Church services or regarding activities related the Work of the Church, is explained by the apostle Paul in the Bible (compare 1 Corinthians 14:33-35; 1 Timothy 2:12). But it will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church will proceed under Pope Francis. Also note the next article.

Roman Catholic Church in Ireland Against Gay Marriages

The Christian Post wrote on December 4:

“The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has warned that allowing gay and lesbian couples the same rights to marry as straight couple[s] would be ‘a grave injustice,’ ahead of the country’s upcoming referendum on marriage in 2015. ‘To put any other view of unions on the same level as Christian marriage would be disservice to society rather than a service,’ Bishop Liam MacDaid said… ‘In a same sex union, children would be deprived of what a man and woman can give to children in a stable marriage.’

“The Irish bishops’ views mirror that of the Vatican’s major synod on the family, which over two weeks of meetings in October affirmed the traditional definition of marriage…

“Ireland legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, but still defines marriage between one man and one woman. In May 2015, however, it will become the first country to hold a nationwide referendum on whether gay marriage should be legalized. A… [October 2014] poll suggested that the majority of the Irish population would support such legalization. While 67 percent of those who responded to the survey said they would vote in favor of gay marriage, 20 percent said that they will not. A previous poll from November 2012 saw 64 percent of responders indicate they would support such a change, while 36 percent said no.

“Last week, Finland’s parliament voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, joining another 11 European nations that have approved of the practice. Nearly 8,000 members from the Lutheran Church in Finland announced that they will be resigning from the church after Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland, revealed that he is ‘rejoicing’ with the news.”

Depression During the Christmas Holiday Season

The Independent wrote on December 7:

“… nearly half of men admit that they actually feel depressed or sad over Christmas, a study by the Samaritans has revealed… Around 37 per cent say they feel lonely during a time that is traditionally spent with friends and family and 30 per cent say they are stressed and anxious due to relationship and financial difficulties…

“Men in the UK are three times more likely than women to take their own lives with most of those victims aged between 40 and 44…”

UK One Step Closer to Exit from the EU

The Express wrote on December 8 on its website, express.co.uk:

“Figures buried in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement show that our contribution will soar because the ­European Union’s overall spending is set to rise by £2.4billion. The European Commission will push for the extra spending when EU leaders meet to consider the budget in Brussels on December 18. The extra £400million will raise Britain’s annual contribution to £13.7billion.

“The calculations, which were conducted by a team in the Treasury, suggest the UK will not block the proposal. David Cameron has repeatedly demanded financial austerity from Brussels. But the Treasury failed last month to vote down the proposal when it was discussed by finance ministers.

“The issue of the EU budget has been a thorn in Mr Cameron’s side in recent weeks after the Commission slapped Britain with a bill for £1.7billion in backdated payments. George Osborne says that he managed to halve that bill to £800million, although critics pointed out that he simply agreed to pay what Britain owes, minus the sum returned as part of the UK’s budget rebate.”

The US Senate Report on CIA Torture

The National Journal wrote on December 9:

“A powerful Senate panel released Tuesday a long-awaited report on the Bush administration’s use of ‘enhanced interrogation’ practices, providing a harsh critique of the intelligence community’s methods for obtaining information from detainees in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The report charges that the practices—implemented by the Central Intelligence Agency in response to the attacks and as the U.S. entered into two wars in the Middle East—did not provide unique or actionable information that could not have been obtained through other means, including intelligence that eventually led to the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s landmark investigation has found.

“Moreover, the report charges the CIA systematically misled the White House, Congress and the public about the severity and importance of those interrogation methods for years, according to the report, while using techniques that were at times not directly approved by the Justice Department or central CIA leadership. The study, which examined more than 6 million internal CIA documents, also concluded that the agency’s management of its rendition, detention and interrogation program, especially during 2002 and 2003, was fundamentally flawed.”

Germany Condemns CIA Practices

Deutsche Welle added on December 10:

“The UN’s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, said on Wednesday that senior US officials who authorized and tortured prisoners in consonance with former President George W. Bush’s security policy after the September 11, 2001 attacks should be made accountable for committing human rights violations… International law prohibits granting immunity to government officials who allow the use of torture, Emmerson said… [The report] claimed that the CIA’s detention and interrogation program of al Qaeda suspects following the 9/11 attacks included harsh techniques such as waterboarding and ‘Russian roulette’ to force detainees into admission…

“The report sparked controversy all over the world, prompting US President Barack Obama to say that the CIA’s rights violations ‘did significant damage to America’s standing in the world.’ Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned the CIA’s activities as documented in the report, saying they amounted to a ‘gross violation of our liberal, democratic values’ and that ‘what was then considered right and done in the fight against Islamic terrorism was unacceptable and a serious mistake.’”

What we should take from this is that America has become again extremely unpopular in the world. True Christians are not part of this world. They are ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. They know that this world is ruled by Satan the devil, and all of his methods are evil. Whether we are looking at torture, war (with the infamous justification of “necessary casualties”), use of guns, abortion (when and how) or countless other issues, we must realize that in God’s new world, none of this will exist. Instead, God will rule with justice and fairness—which is not the case in today’s human governments. 

California Drought Worst in 1,200 Years

Newsmax wrote on December 5:

“A combination of record high temperatures and sparse rainfall during California’s three-year drought have produced the worst conditions in 1,200 years, according to a study accepted for publication by the American Geophysical Union.

“The state has gone through numerous periods of dry weather, with as little or less rainfall as the past few years, but scientists looking at the cumulative effects of temperature, low precipitation and other factors said that it all adds up to the worst conditions in more than a millennium… The study by the University of Minnesota and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said that warm, dry conditions have shrunk the supply of surface water from reservoirs, streams and the Sierra Nevada snowpack in the state, even as demand from people and farms has gone up, resulting in unprecedented scarcity…’

“In October, the AGU published a study by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City saying that the 1934 U.S. drought, which caused the upheaval known as the Dust Bowl, was the worst in 1,000 years.”

The Bible prophesies bad weather conditions for the USA in these end-times as part of the predicted curses God will bestow on a nation due to their sins.

“USA and Zionist Conspired Against Egypt”

Newsmax wrote on December 7:

“The Egyptian judge who acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak wrote that the United States and Zionists conspired to launch the January 2011 revolution that toppled Mubarak’s government… He backed up his claim by citing testimonies of ‘the nation’s wise men,’ including former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and former defense head Hussein Tantawi, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“The judge also said the Muslim Brotherhood was a key conspirator and aided efforts by Hamas and Hezbollah to infiltrate the country to bring down the Mubarak regime… Mubarak, now 86, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators during the revolution that ended his 30-year rule. An appeals court overturned the decision, and on Nov. 29 the judge dropped all murder charges against Mubarak, igniting demonstrations in Cairo that claimed two lives.”

Israel Attacks Targets in Syria

The Washington Post wrote on December 7:

“Israeli warplanes bombed targets in territory held by the Syrian government near Damascus on Sunday, underscoring the deepening complexity of the war raging on multiple fronts in Syria and beyond. Israel has carried out airstrikes in Syria on at least four occasions since early 2013, but these were the first attacks in many months and the first since the United States began bombing Syria in September.

“Whereas the U.S. raids have targeted positions of the extremist Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, however, the Israeli ones have all been carried out against government facilities in areas loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad… a statement from the Syrian army’s general command said Damascus International Airport and another site in the Damascus countryside were hit. Syrian journalists and activists said the second site was a small civilian airport in Dimas, northwest of the capital on the road to Lebanon. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an import-export warehouse was the target of the attack on the international airport… Israel and Syria have been in a state of war since 1948…”

The Times of Israel wrote on December 8:

“The Syrian and Iranian foreign ministries castigated Israel for airstrikes on two areas near Damascus, calling it an act of aggression that proved Israel was ‘in the same trench’ with extremist groups fighting the Syrian government…

“Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem claimed Israel was trying to compensate for losses incurred by Islamic extremist groups in Syria at the hands of the Syrian army. He did not elaborate. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham also denounced the… Israeli airstrikes, the Fars news agency reported, and accused Israel of collaborating with rebel groups against the ‘oppressed people’ of Syria.

“Arabic media reported Monday that two alleged Israeli airstrikes the day before had targeted advanced Russian-made air-defense missiles bound for Hezbollah.”

As we explain in our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy,” chapters 2 and 4, both Syria and Iran will be ultimately attacked and conquered by the beast power. Nothing is stated in the Bible that Syria will fight against Israel, but it is stated that Iran will, apparently together with the beast. Subsequently, the possibility is indicated that the beast will turn against Iran at the same time (!) when it will fight against Israel, the USA and the UK.

The End of the World

The Telegraph wrote on December 7:

“… many potential threats have been identified to our species, our civilisation or even our planet itself…

“Our solar system is littered with billions of pieces of debris, from the size of large boulders to objects hundreds of miles across. We know that from time to time these hit our Earth. Sixty-five million years ago, an object, possibly a comet a few times larger than the one landed on by the Philae probe last month, hit the Mexican coast and triggered a global winter that wiped out the dinosaurs. And in 1908, a smaller object hit a remote part of Siberia and devastated hundreds of square miles of forest… a dino-killer would certainly be the end of our civilisation and possibly our species…

“A genetically created plague… [is] possibly the most terrifying short-term threat – because it is so plausible… [The result would be potentially] catastrophic…

“Nuclear war [is still] the most plausible ‘doomsday’ scenario. Despite arms limitations treaties, there are more than 15,000 nuclear warheads and bombs in existence – enough, in theory, to kill every human on Earth several times over. Even a small nuclear war has the potential to cause widespread devastation… [The probability is high.] Nine states have nuclear weapons, and more want to join the nuclear club…”

The Independent wrote on December 8:

“Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned… the experts wrote in a letter that the danger of such a conflict was ‘underestimated or insufficiently understood’ by world leaders… 

“‘Tensions between nuclear-armed states and alliances in the Euro-Atlantic area and in both South and East Asia remain ripe with the potential for military miscalculation and escalation,’ says the letter… ‘In a vestige of the Cold War, too many nuclear weapons in the world remain ready to launch on short notice, greatly increasing the chances of an accident.”

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What is the Number of the Beast?

In Revelation 13:1, John sees in a vision a fantastic beast rising out of the sea, which has SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS. It is like a leopard, with feet of a bear and a mouth of a lion (Revelation 13:2). In the book of Daniel, chapters 2, 5, 7 and 8, we are told that, beginning with the ancient Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, there would arise FOUR world-ruling empires on this earth—the Babylonian Empire (Daniel 2:36), the Medo-Persian Empire under Cyrus, Xerxes and others (Daniel 5:28), the Greco-Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great and his four generals (Daniel 8:20-21), and finally, a fourth Empire (Daniel 2:33; 7:7). In Daniel 7:3-24, these four empires or kingdoms are compared with a lion, a bear, a leopard with four heads, and a terrible beast with TEN HORNS (Daniel 7:7).

Comparing these four beasts in the book of Daniel with the one beast in Revelation 13, we can see that the beast in Revelation is a conglomeration of those four beasts in Daniel. It has SEVEN HEADS, because it combines the HEAD of the lion, the HEAD of the bear, the FOUR HEADS of the leopard, and the HEAD of the fourth beast with ten horns. Virtually all Bible scholars confirm the historical fact that this fourth beast was the Roman Empire. It would have TEN successive resurrections or revivals, symbolized by the TEN HORNS.

The first three resurrections or revivals of the Roman Empire after its fall occurred under Geiseric of the Vandals; Odoacer of the Heruli; and Theodoric of the Ostrogoths. The fourth resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire occurred under Justinian in 554 A.D. Historians refer to this event as the “Imperial Restoration.”

The fifth resurrection occurred under Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse) in 800 A.D.; the sixth under Otto the Great in 962 A.D.; the seventh under Charles V of Hapsburg in 1530 A.D.; and the eighth under Napoleon (which lasted from 1804 A.D. until 1814 A.D., when Napoleon abdicated at the battle of Leipzig). The ninth resurrection happened under Mussolini and Hitler. We are observing right now the beginning of the tenth and final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire in continental Europe, under German leadership.

Revelation 13:17 tells us that no one will be able to buy or sell if he does not have the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name, which is 666.

The number 6 has great meaning in the Bible. It is the number of a man who is far from God or alienated from Him. The most famous combination of the number six is perhaps the number of the beast in the book of Revelation, namely 666. In the Greek, this number is written as 600 and 60 and 6. This number stands for total separation from God and the unconditional submission to Satan the Devil. Most people will be so deceived that they will worship Satan and his human instruments—the beast and the false prophet—while rejecting the true God and His Law.

The sixth commandment forbids murder in all of its different forms (Exodus 20:13), but man, separated from God, thinks that some kinds of murder are permitted, such as killing in war. Those who will worship and follow the beast and the false prophet will be so deceived that they will not only want to fight against other human beings in war, but they are even willing to fight the returning Jesus Christ, thinking perhaps that He is an Alien or “the Antichrist.” (For a correct understanding of the concept of “Antichrist,” please read our Q&A on that subject).

We were also told in Revelation 13:17 that the nations will accept the NAME of the beast and the number of his name.
The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary states that the “‘number of his name’ [implies] that the name has some numerical meaning.” The NAME can refer to a literal name, to an adopted name, or to a well-known expression associated with or describing the beast (such as “Heil Hitler” or “Il Duce”). In addition, when people accept his name, they accept what he stands for and what he does.

Revelation 13:18 continues that the famous “NUMBER of the beast” is the “number of a man.” We are told to “calculate” the number, which is 666. King Lateinos was the founder of Rome and the Roman Empire. In the Greek, every letter has a numerical value. The numerical value for “Lateinos” is 666. Therefore, the beast is clearly identified as the Roman Empire, as the number 666 identifies the founder of the Roman Empire–Lateinos. Iraeneus, a pupil of Polycarp (disciple of the apostle John) understood the 666 to  be the Greek word “Lateinos.” Clement stated that 666 applies to the “Latin Kingdom,” as written in Greek.

Many commentaries agree that the number of the beast—666—refers to Lateinos, the founder of Rome. In the Greek, L stands for 30, A for 1, T for 300, E for 5, I for 10, N for 50, O for 70, and S for 200. These total 666. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary states that the beast “may have a close connection with Rome, and so the name ‘Lateinos’ (666) may apply to him.”

Many claim that the number 666 is a reference to Nero, but there are several problems with this. Dummelow, “A Commentary on the Holy Bible,” explains: “It has been found that if ‘Neron Caesar’ be written in HEBREW letters, the sum of the letters is 666… to get 666, ‘Caesar’ has to be written defectively. If spelt, ‘Nero Caesar,’ the sum of the letters is 616…” In addition, to arrive at 666 even in the Hebrew letters, an artificial change for “Nero” to “Neron” has to be made. If it is spelled “Nero,” one does not reach the numerical value of 666.

In any event, we need to focus on Greek letters, not letters in Hebrew, Latin or any other language. The New Testament was written in Greek. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains that it is indeed the Greek language and the numerical value of its letters that need to be consulted to determine the number, as John wrote in Greek; the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet are expressly selected to denote Christ’s eternity, i.e. Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8, 11); and “the numerals by which the enigma is expressed… are Greek.”

Further, the number 616 is incorrect. Barnes explains that the number is indeed 666, and not 616, as sometimes proposed, as 616 is only contained in some falsified and corrupted versions.

Although the designation “beast” in Revelation 13 describes the Roman Empire, it can also refer to the representative or ruler of that Empire and especially to the end-time leader of the final revival of the Roman Empire (compare Revelation 16:13; 19:20). Likewise, the NUMBER of the “beast” may not only refer to the original founder of the Empire (i.e. Lateinos), but it is likely that the numerical value of the name of the final human leader—referred to as a MAN (compare again Revelation 13:18)—will also be 666.

The Ryrie Study Bible states that “Somehow, unknown to us, the number will play an important part in the identification of the Antichrist [the beast] in a future day.” And J.H. Blunt’s commentary writes that “the true and full application of it is not likely to be discovered until the personal Antichrist [the beast] himself has arisen, and then it may prove to be one of the signs by which he is to be readily identified.”

We need to emphasize that the number refers to a “man.” In other words, the reference is to a male and not to a female. Even though the general term “man” could refer to a human being in general (male or female), this is not the meaning in Revelation 13. For instance, we read in Revelation 13:8 that “All who dwell on the earth will worship HIM whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The Zuercher Bible points out that one would expect the statement that people would worship “IT”—rather than “HIM.” But saying that all the earth will worship HIM indicates that a MALE person is meant. We find the same expression in Revelation 13:14 where reference is made to the “beast WHO [not “it”] was wounded by the sword and lived.” This might also indicate the fact that not only the Roman Empire received a deadly wound and was healed (Revelation 13:3), but also, that the end-time human leader (“the beast”) will suffer a political defeat (so that one may think he has no future), but that he then will arise again from the historical abyss, so that many will marvel and follow him (compare again verse 3).

The Elberfelder Bible confirms in two footnotes their understanding that in verses 8 and 14, a MALE person is meant, as the pronoun is masculine (“he”), not feminine (“she”) or neuter (“it”).

It is also important to note that the number refers to the beast—the political military leader—and not to a religious figure. Therefore, all the calculations which in one way or another apply the number to a religious person, including the Pope, are not in accordance with Scripture.
However, the understanding of the beast’s “name” and “number” won’t be a sign that will be readily discernable by most, since we specifically read in Revelation 13:18: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast…”
One will need to have godly wisdom and understanding to figure out and calculate the number of his name. Most people will not be able to do so, and they will not believe it when it is revealed, because they will be deceived by Satan and the false prophet to believe a lie.

For further information, please read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy,” “The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation”  and “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.”

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

“Die Propheten Hängen an der Liebe, Teil 1,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. In English the title is: “The Prophets Hang on Love, Part 1.” Note that this sermon will also be presented by Norbert Link in English during this week’s Sabbath services.

For your information, here is a list of the forty booklets currently availble from CEG:

Europe in Prophecy: The Unfolding of End-Time Events
The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God
Don’t Keep Christmas
Is God a Trinity?
Do We Have an Immortal Soul?
The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families
And Lawlessness Will Abound…
The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord
God’s Commanded Holy Days
God Is a Family
Baptism—a Requirement for Salvation?
Angels, Demons and the Spirit World
Are You Already Born Again?
Sickness and Healing—What the Bible Tells Us
Jesus Christ—A Great Mystery!
Should YOU Fight in War?
The Fall and Rise of Britain and America
Are YOU Predestined to be Saved?
The Mysteries of the Bible
Teach Us to Pray!
Human Suffering—Why…and How Much Longer?
The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days
The Meaning of God’s Fall Holy Days
The Sacrificial System and the Tabernacle In the Wilderness
Is That In the Bible?—Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days
Is That In the Bible?—The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation
The Book of Zechariah—Prophecies for Today!
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians—How to Understand It
The Authority of the Bible
Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians—How to Understand It
Germany in Prophecy—The Mysterious Origin of German-Speaking Peoples
and Their Prophetic Destiny
Paul’s Letter to the Philippians—How to Understand It
Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy
Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever
The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire
Hidden Secrets in the Bible
Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?
When and How Will Christ Return?

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

©2024 Church of the Eternal God