|Live Services||What to Believe?; How Long Has God Been Working with You?|
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What to Believe?; How Long Has God Been Working with You?
On May 2, 2015, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “What to Believe?,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “How Long Has God Been Working with You?”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
by Norbert Link
All of us may be far too quick, at times, of making wrong assumptions, based on “facts” which seem to be rather compelling, only to find out later that our information and conclusions were not altogether correct… and many times, they were totally wrong.
In Jesus’ days, the Jews were not guiltless in this regard. Based on their preconceived notions, they were unwilling and unable to believe that Christ could have been the Messiah or even a godly prophet, and following their own ideas and human traditions as to how a righteous person had to behave, they accused Him of terrible things, since Christ did not live in the way that they thought He should. Especially the way Christ kept the Sabbath was a bone of contention for many. It is not that different today. Some, based on faulty understanding of Scripture, insist that we must not use public transportation or go to a restaurant on the Sabbath, proudly and self-righteously negating and rejecting the teachings of the Bible.
Christ challenged His audience when He said to them, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). When His rule is established on earth, He will “not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge…” (Isaiah 11:3-4). Hearsay and observation by eyesight might be very “convincing,” but they may be deceiving and may lead to wrong assumptions and conclusions.
The prophet Jeremiah was wrongly accused of defecting to the Chaldeans, after he had prophesied about the fall of Jerusalem and was then observed going into the land of Benjamin to claim his property among the people. As the “facts” seemed to speak against him, he was arrested and imprisoned in a dungeon for many days (Jeremiah 37:11-16).
King Saul was guilty of making wrong assumptions, which had terrible results. First he assumed that all his men had conspired against him, because he thought that they knew about David’s whereabouts, without telling him (1. Samuel 22:8). When it came to his attention that the innocent priest Abimelech gave David some of the holy bread, handed him the sword of Goliath, and inquired of God for him, Saul assumed and concluded that the priest was part of a conspiracy with David against him (1 Samuel 22:13); and as a consequence, he had the priest and almost his entire house murdered through Doeg, an Edomite.
Later, the priest Amaziah wrongly accused the prophet Amos of conspiring against King Jeroboam, as he did not like the message which Amos proclaimed under godly inspiration (Amos 7:10-17).
The Bible commands us to be very careful before we believe in the concept of a conspiracy. Hundreds, if not thousands of “conspiracy theories” are being circulated, especially on the Internet. Many are totally convinced that the moon landing never took place and that the American government was behind the 9-11 attack, and that just about everybody was involved in conspiracies to present false facts. Others believe in a conspiracy cover-up regarding UFOs, claiming that governments know of their existence, but deny them for whatever reason. Others see conspiracies pertaining to certain groups secretly “running” this world, including the Free Masons, the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, and whatever other of the many groups they may list.
First of all, none of this is material and relevant for true Christians, as it is Satan who, as the god and prince of this world, is ruling this earth, and whatever “group” he may use for this purpose is really of no consequence for us. In addition, no one knows for sure whether these things are so, and therefore, to state them with “conviction” and the self-righteous attitude of “I know it, and you don’t” is dangerous, since one might be guilty of lying, if these ideas turn out to be false. Isaiah 8:12 warns us: “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:12-13).
If we would only do this, we would not get involved in conspiracy theories, politics, governmental elections, jury duty, military service and war, and many other man-made institutions and concepts which are against the Will of God. As ambassadors of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, we are to announce and represent God’s coming rule on earth, when there will be no more false judgments and wrong assumptions, based on “convincing facts” which had been acquired through eyesight or hearsay. Let us work towards the goal of rendering righteous judgment, and let’s leave the world’s politics with its faulty ideas, traditions and concepts behind.
We begin with extensive coverage on the 100th anniversary of the genocide which was perpetrated by the Turks against Armenians in 1915, during the early days of World War I, and Turkey’s hostile and unforgiving reaction against all those who dare to tell the truth, even though some governmental leaders are too timid to do so, for political reasons.
We continue with extensive coverage on America’s descent into the abyss of sexual perversion, specifically focusing on the rising support for transgender and homosexual same-sex marriages and the incredible twisting of the Bible and “political accuracy” to get votes; focus on ridiculous Sabbath restrictions by orthodox Jews in Israel; and address America’s controversial drone strikes which have resulted in the loss of innocent people.
We speak of a terrorist plot directed against the Vatican and Pope Francis’ decision to visit Fatima in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a great hoax—or worse; address the European situation pertaining to Greece and its looming bankruptcy, barring fundamental concessions and restrictions by the Greek government and people; and point out the unbelievable German hypocrisy regarding NSA’s spying activities.
We conclude with two articles on the frightening situation at Yellowstone and the worst earthquake in over 80 years, striking Nepal, and an interesting discovery of dinosaurs which, according to Evolutionists, should not have existed.
This Week in the News
The Armenian Genocide Through the Turks
While many countries and leaders have recognized and labeled as genocide the slaughter of Armenians through the Turks, President Obama once again refused to use the term.
On April 23, The Washington Post wrote this:
“As he has for the last six years, President Obama on Thursday marked the day set aside to commemorate the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire without using the word ‘genocide.’… The statement… was again a bow to NATO ally Turkey, which has denied what took place was genocide… Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu [had] said that any use by Obama of the term would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on U.S.-Turkish relations…
“Turkey, the democratic successor to the Ottomans, has long denied what took place during the early days of World War I constituted a genocide. The word was first coined in 1943, at least partly referring to the Armenian tragedy but most commonly associated since then with the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany…”
The Huffington Post wrote on April 23 about the facts, clearly establishing that Turkish behavior was genocide:
“In 1915, more than 1.5 million Armenians were systematically annihilated by Ottoman-era Turkish authorities. Men, women and children were massacred, deported and condemned to death marches into the Syrian Desert where they died of thirst and starvation. No final rites, no burial — an assault on the dignity of a dignified and proud people. This indisputable tragedy of history has been acknowledged by innumerable scholars and historians, including the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and no less than 53 Nobel Laureates. The European Parliament and Pope Francis recently joined the chorus that honestly labels this horrific chapter of Turkey’s history a genocide.
“Hopelessly infected by the disease of denial, modern-day Turkish authorities have now made it clear they were never going to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the Genocide with anything approaching candor, honesty or the most minimal degree of self-reflection… In Turkey, anyone who uses the word ‘genocide’ to describe the massacre of the Armenians is subject to criminal punishment under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code…”
Even German President Gauck—after a long time of silence by German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel,—has now, for the first time, publicly used the word genocide.
Deutsche Welle reported on April 24:
“[During an] ecumenical ceremony in Berlin on Thursday evening… German President Joachim Gauck… referred to the massacres as genocide… In the run-up to discussions in the German parliament, the leader of the Central Council of Jews in Germany declared the killings to have been genocide… Turkey has fiercely lobbied to stop countries recognizing the 1915 massacres as genocide… On Thursday, it recalled its ambassador in Vienna over a condemnation of the killings as genocide by Austrian lawmakers…
“Genocide was defined by the UN in 1948 as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.’ More than 20 countries – France and Russia among them – have so far recognized the Armenian killings as genocide.”
However, Der Spiegel Online added on April 23:
“A total of 22 countries officially define the massacre that took place as such, although Germany, which is home to a large Turkish population, is not one of them… There are only rough estimates of the number of Armenians, Jews, Greeks and Yazidis who converted to Islam in order to prevent death or oppression at the time…
“At the time, Russia was standing in wait at the borders. The Ottomans, led by the Germany military, suspected the Armenians were collaborating with the Russian enemy… The Armenians were expelled. Officially, it was called deportation, but the reality is that the Armenians were sent on death marches into the desert where they starved, were attacked and murdered…”
Now discussions in the German parliament have begun to decide whether or not to refer to the massacre at least “indirectly” as genocide. So, America and Germany seem to be partners again–on the issue of being “careful” for political gain.
On April 24, The Local pointed out the politically-motivated conduct of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier who insisted on Friday that “calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday…
“Steinmeier has come in for fierce criticism this week, with one high profile politician comparing him to Germany’s First World War leadership. Both Gauck and Bundestag (German parliament) president Norbert Lammert condemned the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces a century ago as a ‘genocide’, the first time Germany has officially used the term… Germany also has a three-million-strong ethnic Turkish population deriving from a massive ‘guest worker’ programme in the 1960s and 1970s…”
Sadly, Israel does not fare any better.
The Washington Post wrote on April 24:
“…Israel and the United States… don’t recognize what happened a century ago as a ‘genocide.’ The reason for this skittishness is nationalist politics… For decades, the stubborn Turkish position compelled the United States, a staunch ally, to avoid ruffling Ankara’s feathers. The same was true for Israel, which, ironically until Erdogan’s rise, had close political and military ties to Turkey…
“Israel has a conspicuously close relationship to Azerbaijan, a Muslim-majority state that, like Armenia, emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Israel imports 40 percent of its oil from Azerbaijan and exports a considerable supply of weapons and defense systems to Baku. Armenia and Azerbaijan do not get along, and still feud over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a largely Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan that the two countries battled over shortly after winning independence in 1991.
“Last week, after the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesman said it was an example of European double-standards — since Armenia has yet to atone for its alleged role in deadly massacres in the 1990s. There are multiple, complicated layers of history here, but Israel knows what’s clearly in its interest. Azerbaijan, petro-rich and perched on Iran’s border, is a useful friend — at least more so than tiny, land-locked Armenia…”
But Israel will become bitterly disappointed about Turkey, when that country will collaborate with Europe against Israel. So, it’s all about politics and personal advantages. What a crying shame!!!!
Turkey Will Not Forgive!
Newsmax reported on April 24:
“Turkey on Friday condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for referring to genocide during commemorations of the 1915 mass killings of Armenians during World War I. The Turkish foreign ministry said that ‘we reject and condemn . . . [Putin’s] characterization of 1915 events as genocide despite all our warnings and calls.’ … The foreign ministry also condemned French President Francois Hollande, who attended the ceremony in the Armenian capital Yerevan. ‘Turkey rejects and condemns France’s unfair and biased approach,’ it said…
“In a separate statement, the Turkish foreign ministry lashed out against ‘unfounded accusations’ directed by German President Joachim Gauck, who characterized the 1915 killings as genocide and acknowledged that Germany bore partial blame for the bloodletting… ‘Turkish people will not forget or forgive German President Gauck’s statements,’ it added.
“Earlier this month, Pope Francis drew Turkey’s wrath after describing the 1915 killings as ‘the first genocide of the 20th century.’ Turkey summoned the Vatican ambassador in Ankara over the remarks and recalled the Turkish envoy to the Holy See…
“President Barack Obama on Thursday described the killings as ‘terrible carnage’ but avoided the term ‘genocide.’… Ankara also criticized Obama’s statement, which it said reflected a ‘unilateral point of view,’ and added, ‘We reject the discriminating and biased understanding of justice.’…”
America’s Descent into the Abyss of Sexual Perversion
CNN wrote on April 23:
“It’s only April, but 2015 may be remembered as the year the term ‘transgender’ fully entered mainstream consciousness. In January, President Obama condemned the persecution of ‘people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,’ becoming the first president to utter the word in a State of the Union address…
“Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity — their internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman — differs from what’s typically associated with their sex at birth. Some transgender people alter their bodies through hormones and or surgery, although many don’t…
“Now, between ‘Transparent’ and other shows, recognition from Obama and tabloid headlines about Jenner, the national conversation around gender identity appears to have reached a new level… For relatives and friends who are used to seeing someone as male or female, gender changes can be hard to accept. Transgender people have long been misunderstood and persecuted — as recently as 2012, the American Psychiatric Association classified them as having a mental ‘disorder.’…
“In December, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that transgender people will receive federal protection from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964…”
Judaism is not behaving any better, as the next article shows.
Abominable Jewish Twisting of the Bible
The Time of Israel, dated April 24, wrote the following:
“For Judaism, all this talk of transgender is old hat.
“In rabbinic literature, Judaism has held an ongoing 2,000-year conversation on the subject of gender, and terminology for the transgendered appears hundreds of times in the Midrash, Mishnah and Talmud. Even the biblical creation of the world could be interpreted through a transgender lens…
“In the midrash Bereshit Rabba, a biblical expositive text on the book of Genesis redacted around the 5th century CE, Rabbi Yirmiya Ben Lazar said that at the time God created the first man, He created him ‘androgynous.’ As stated in Genesis 1:27, ‘God created him in His image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.’
“The midrash continues that according to Rabbi Shmuel Bar Nachman, when God created the first man, ‘He created him with two faces and sawed them apart, and made them with two backs here, and two backs there.’
“Most streams of progressive Judaism accept and welcome the transgender community with open arms. There are a growing number of transgender rabbis who are spearheading the creation of new and innovative rituals, or the changing of existing liturgy to reflect more inclusive language.
“But the question of halacha vis-a-vis the Orthodox transgender community is much more complicated, and often fraught with emotional turmoil… for many, if not most, in the transgender community, surgery and cross-gender hormones are an integral part of their transition. These steps… present serious halachic problems, including ‘the prohibition of sirus — castration/sterilization, which is a Biblical prohibition for men (Leviticus 22:24) and at least a Rabbinic prohibition for women (Even HaEzer 5:11). Authorities understand the forbidding of cross-dressing (Deuteronomy 22:5) as including any procedure (including hormonal treatments) that leads to the appearance of another gender. Bodily mutilation is one of the other difficult issues…”
Let us be clear. According to the Bible, God created first a man, Adam, and then He created a female, Eve, out of the rib of the man. Eve was to be a helper to the man. By no stretch of the imagination can one twist the Scriptures to say that God created the human being as a transgender. In addition, the very concept of “transgender” is an abomination in the eyes of God.
American Jews and Buddhists Overwhelmingly in Favor of Same-Sex Marriages
JTA wrote on April 22:
“Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of same-sex marriage, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute… 47 percent said they strongly favor allowing same-sex couples to marry legally and 30 percent said they favor it. Nine percent of respondents said they oppose gay marriage, and the same percentage said they strongly oppose it…
“After Buddhists, Jews were more likely than any other religious group to support gay marriage. Among the survey respondents, 84 percent of Buddhists favored gay marriage, followed by Jews and the religiously unaffiliated, 77 percent; mainline Protestants (Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Unitarians), 62 percent; and Catholics, 61 percent.
“Those opposed to gay marriage outnumbered supporters among Jehovah’s Witnesses, with 75 percent opposed; Mormons, 68 percent; and white evangelicals, 66 percent.
“Overall, support for same-sex marriage rose sharply from 2003, when Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. Then, less than one-third of Americans supported gay marriage and 59 percent opposed. By early 2014, 53 percent supported gay marriage and 41 percent were opposed…
“Politically, gay marriage had support levels in 2014 of 64 percent among Democrats, 57 percent among independents and 34 percent among Republicans. The 2014 survey also showed a significant age gap, with 69 percent of millennials supporting gay marriage compared to 37 percent of those age 68 and older.”
This shows that many Buddhists, Jews, mainline Protestants and Catholics, especially the younger generation, have been drifting away more and more from godly standards, as revealed in the Bible.
The Change in Politicians on Same-Sex Marriages to GET More Votes
The New York Times wrote on April 26:
“Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception… Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.
“Republican presidential candidates are struggling to adjust to a rapidly changing legal, political and cultural landscape this primary season… Once a winning primary issue as well as a powerful wedge issue wielded against Democrats, opposing same-sex marriage has grown far more complicated for Republicans… it looms as a liability with general election voters, particularly independent ones, who are more supportive of same-sex marriage than more conservative Republicans…”
Of course, Hillary Clinton stated as late as 2004 that “heterosexual marriage is a fundamental bedrock principle of civilization.” Now she “evolved” into endorsing same-sex marriages (SSM).
Stupid Same-Sex Couple Decision by Oregon Judiciary
Breitbart wrote on April 26:
“An Oregon judge has awarded Lesbian couple Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer $135,000 for ‘emotional damages’ in a lawsuit against Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes Bakery. They are a Christian couple who declined to provide a wedding cake to the same-sex couple in 2013. In their lawsuit, the two women claimed they felt ‘mentally raped’ as part of a list of 88 symptoms of emotional distress they experienced at being refused a cake.
“The long list of symptoms included ‘acute loss of confidence, doubt, excessive sleep, felt mentally raped, dirty and shameful, high blood pressure, impaired digestion, loss of appetite, migraine headaches, pale and sick at home after work, resumption of smoking habit, shock, stunned, surprise, uncertainty, weight gain and worry’…
“The award will reportedly bankrupt the seven-member Klein family and force Sweet Cakes by Melissa Bakery to shut down. The Kleins’ lawyer, Anna Harmon, said that the damages awarded were not limited to the sale of business assets, but would be taken out of their personal funds. The important thing to realize is this,’ Harmon said, ‘This is real money that Aaron and Melissa are going to have to pay that otherwise would be used to pay their mortgage and feed their kids.’…
‘This past February, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) announced that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery must pay the lesbian couple damages for refusing to sell them a wedding cake. BOLI spokesman Charlie Burr said there was sufficient evidence that the bakers discriminated against the same-sex couple.
“A GoFundMe crowdfunding page in support of the bakery had been set up, but was deleted after the judge’s ruling Friday, since GoFundMe’s terms of service do not allow fundraising for people found in violation of the law.”
We really DO need some “no-nonsense judges” in this country. What an atrocity in the “religious” land of the “brave and the free,” purporting to guarantee free speech and freedom of religion, while suppressing and punishing religious convictions, which are based on the Bible (!). No wonder God is ANGRY with the USA, calling it an “ungodly nation” (Isaiah 10:6).
Christians Pledge Civil Disobedience in Same-Sex Marriage Cases
Fox News wrote on April 28:
“‘We will not obey.’ That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage. ‘We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,’ read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. ‘We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.’…
“The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association… And that means the possibility of Christians – people of faith – engaging in acts of civil disobedience.”
US Economy Not That Good!
Bloomberg wrote on April 29:
“The world’s largest economy sputtered to a near-halt in the first quarter, choked by a slump in U.S. business investment and exports that dimmed hopes for a meaningful short-term rebound. Gross domestic product rose at a 0.2 percent annualized rate after advancing 2.2 percent the prior quarter…
“The figures come as Federal Reserve policy makers meet, and the weaker-than-forecast reading signals officials will be in no rush to raise interest rates. While the economy is likely to bounce back from the temporary restraints of harsh winter weather and delays at West Coast ports, the harm caused by the plunge in fuel prices and stronger dollar will probably prove longer-lasting… Stocks fell as investors awaited the Fed’s statement. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 0.6 percent to 2,102.14 at 12:12 p.m. in New York.”
Anger in Baltimore and Elsewhere
Newsmax and AFP wrote on April 29:
“Thousands of young protesters marched through downtown Baltimore and demonstrated in New York on Wednesday demanding justice for an African-American man who died of severe spinal injuries sustained in police custody. In contrast to Monday, when violence erupted and stores were looted, the rally that started at Baltimore’s main train station was good-natured and included black and white demonstrators…
“The 2,000 National Guard personnel who have flooded the city this week kept a low profile, although authorities have said they are primed to swoop should the march spark unrest like that which flared following the funeral of Freddie Gray, 25, on Monday. His death was the latest instance in the United States of a black man succumbing at the hands of police — a situation that has stirred resentment among African Americans who believe they are the victims of police brutality.
“That anger sparked coast-to-coast demonstrations in major US cities after a white policeman shot dead an unarmed black teenager in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson in August. Baltimore authorities urged calm and warned that they would again enforce a citywide curfew beginning at 10:00 pm (0200 GMT Thursday) and lasting until 5:00 am. Tuesday night’s curfew was largely respected…
“Amid the violence on Monday, the Baltimore Orioles postponed two Major League Baseball games against the Chicago White Sox and opted to bar fans from Wednesday’s contest at Camden Yards. The 8-2 victory for the home team was played before empty stands.
“Among the many startling images to emerge from the riots in the city was that of an infuriated mother hitting her teenage son repeatedly for joining the demonstrations on Monday and dragging him away.”
The mother was hailed as a hero and a shining example on numerous left-liberal and conservative TV stations, calling her conduct appropriate “tough love.” It appears that for the time being, Child Protection Services wisely decided not to raise their voice to condemn spanking and physical punishment of children…
No Public Transportation on the Sabbath?
The New York Times wrote on April 25:
“Israelis frustrated with the lack of public buses on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays hijacked the Facebook page of the transportation minister during Passover… The minister, Yisrael Katz, derisively dismissed the ride-seekers as leftist sore losers after conservatives’ success in elections last month…
“As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to stitch together a new governing coalition that is expected to be made up of rightist and religious parties, a continuing struggle over Israeli identity is in the balance. The debate over transportation is part of a larger one over a so-called nationality bill that seeks to redefine the relationship between Israeli democracy and Jewish character, which was among the divisive issues that helped collapse Mr. Netanyahu’s previous coalition last fall.
“Controversy over public transportation predates Israel’s establishment in 1948 — Tel Aviv once banned horse-drawn carriages from its main street on Saturdays — but recent efforts to change the status quo, in which buses are idle in all but a few places, have met stiff opposition…
“Orthodox Jews do not use motor vehicles on the Sabbath and holidays because of prohibitions on igniting fuel, creating sparks and traveling beyond certain distances… adherents to these strictures make up perhaps a fifth of Israel’s population…
“Experts on religion and state say that Israeli politicians have for decades traded control over public transportation on Shabbat — along with marriage, conversion and rules at religious sites — to the Orthodox in exchange for their support on foreign policy. While allowing transportation services could actually reduce the number of drivers violating Orthodox rules, analysts said such specifics were less important than the symbolism…”
As we pointed out in our last Update, when discussing ridiculous Jewish Sabbath restrictions, this article serves as another example of Pharisaical unbiblical rules which are clearly condemned in Scripture. As at the time of Christ, orthodox Judaism has made a burden out of the Sabbath, which was created by God to be a joy for man. But without the lead of God’s Holy Spirit, man cannot and will not understand the intent of God’s Law, including the Sabbath law.
USA Will Continue Controversial Drone Strikes in Spite of Killing Innocent People
The Daily Beast wrote on April 24:
“The accidental slaying of a pair of Westerners won’t end—or even significantly change—the American unmanned air campaign that has been responsible for thousands of deaths. The United States’ controversial campaign of drone strikes will continue despite the accidental killing of a pair of Western hostages, four U.S. officials told The Daily Beast. These sources said they don’t expect the rules governing the strikes to change significantly.
“Defense officials told The Daily Beast there was no immediate discussion to suspend their drone program, including the use of ‘signature strikes,’ which target people based on patterns of behavior, even if their identity is unclear. American contractor Warren Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in one such signature strike in January.
“Officials said that the military conducts far fewer signature strikes than the CIA, which attacked the compound in Pakistan where the two men were being held. But while acknowledging that Weinstein and Lo Porto’s deaths were tragic, defense officials described them as unavoidable. ‘It’s a war. Tragedies unfortunately happen,’ one U.S. official said…
“‘They clearly have no idea, literally no idea, of who it is that they’re killing,’ Chris Anders, the senior legislative council at the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Daily Beast. ‘And there are thousands of people who have been killed through the drone program.’ Anders noted that the administration has acknowledged eight American citizens have been killed in drone strikes, but that only one of them was knowingly targeted…
“Elaine Weinstein, the widow of Warren Weinstein, criticized U.S. intelligence agencies in a statement Thursday for what she called ‘inconsistent and disappointing’ assistance during the years her husband was held by Al Qaeda. ‘We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families.’…
“The U.S. government’s hostage rescue policy has been notoriously disjointed, with agencies withholding information from one another…”
Newsmax added on April 27:
“President Barack Obama has gotten support with the drone strike deaths of two hostages from a very unlikely source — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. ‘I tend not to want to blame the president for the loss of life here,’ the Republican lawmaker and 2016 presidential candidate told Fox News. ‘I think he was trying to do the right thing.’… Paul’s statement seems a dramatic reversal of his attitude on drones. His past opposition to drone warfare has been well known…
“In 2013, Paul had conducted a 13-hour filibuster against CIA Director John Brennan over U.S. drone policy… Earlier this year, Paul told CNN that if a drone flies over his house, ‘They better beware, because I’ve got a shotgun’…
“However, Paul told Fox News, ‘So these people were in a war zone and probably got what was coming to them — the captors. Unfortunately, some innocent people lost their life.’”
These political maneuverings just to GET votes are so despicable. But Paul’s “dramatic reversal” might back-fire on him. War is SO wrong, and the practice of using drones to kill innocent people must be strongly condemned. There is NO excuse for such conduct.
2010 Al-Qaida Plot to Attack the Vatican
Newsmax and Reuters reported on April 24:
“The arrests of 10 people in Italy Friday linked to an al-Qaida plot to attack the Vatican and other cities represented a widening of the battle Islamic jihadists are waging against Christians around the world, terrorism experts said. ‘What disturbs me is the target, the Vatican,’ intelligence analyst Bob Baer told CNN. ‘We’re seeing a radicalization of Islam that I haven’t seen before. The Vatican is not a participant in any of the wars in the Middle East. There’s no justification that we can understand why they’re at war with the Vatican.’
“Noting the recent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Libya, Baer told Wolf Blitzer, ‘things seem to be getting worse rather than better’… the Vatican attack was planned for March 2010 as part of ‘a big jihad in Italy,’ said Mario Carta, head of the police unit on the case. Pope Benedict XVI was serving at the time. He was succeeded in March 2013 by Pope Francis. ‘We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,’ that Pope Benedict was a possible target, Carta said…
“Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that the issue was in the past and that Friday’s disclosures were not a matter for concern. However, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said: ‘We are all afraid because we don’t know what can happen.’”
The Miracle of Fatima—A Huge Fraud
On April 27, Zenit reported the following:
“Pope Francis is expected to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal) in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary… On May 13th, 1917, three shepherd children: Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto were visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary. After several months, almost 30,000 people witnessed ‘The Miracle of the Sun’, a phenomenon in which the sun spun and changed colors. The sign was promised by the Virgin Mary so that the faithful would believe. St. John Paul II credited the Blessed Mother with saving his life from an assassin’s bullet on May 13th, 1981. He later placed the bullet in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.”
IF the three children actually witnessed something, it was clearly NOT the “Virgin Mary,” as Mary, the mother of Jesus, is dead and awaiting the resurrection from the dead with all the other faithful servants of God who likewise died over the centuries and Millennia (Hebrews 11:13). Jesus is the ONLY one who has been raised from the dead to glory and immortality (1 Corinthians 15:22-24). The “apparition” and subsequent phenomenon of the “miracle of the sun,” if true, would have to be ascribed to demonic activities.
“Eurozone Slams Door on Greek Hopes”
The EuObserver wrote on April 24:
“Greece is no closer to agreeing a new deal with its eurozone creditors after the latest round of talks broke up acrimoniously, with one fellow minister describing the meeting as a ‘complete communication breakdown’… Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was on the receiving end of heavy criticism at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga. The meeting broke up on Friday lunchtime… without agreement on an economic reform package that would allow the remaining €7.2 billion of Greece’s bailout programme to be paid out…”
The Telegraph added on April 24:
“Time is running out for Greece, officials have warned at a crucial eurozone meeting in which finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was heavily criticised for stalling over urgent measures needed to release vital financial aid… Greece’s current €240bn programme expires at the end of June. Before then, the Greek government is trying to unlock the remaining €7.2bn to prevent the country from bankruptcy. Watchers had long given up hope of a deal being struck at today’s finance ministers’ meeting in Riga…
“Germany, the chief funder of eurozone bailouts, has taken a hard-line approach to Greece’s financial woes this year and officials have repeatedly expressed concern that Greece isn’t doing enough to meet its bail-out requirements… As the stalemate risks running into another month, the risk of a Greek default rises along with an exit from the single currency.”
The Financial Times wrote on April 24:
“Months of mounting tensions between Greece and its creditors boiled over at a high-level EU meeting on Friday with eurozone finance ministers angrily accusing their Greek counterpart of backtracking on commitments and failing to grasp the deep differences that still divide them…
“The contentious session undermined claims by Greek officials that a Thursday meeting in Brussels between Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, and Angela Merkel, his German counterpart, had narrowed the differences. The claims briefly sent the euro rallying in morning trading, but those gains evaporated after news of the differences emerged…”
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 27:
“Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may be ready to compromise with the EU and introduce reforms… Tsipras was finally ready to negotiate after he spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem in separate phone calls on Sunday. He then met Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis, causing the media in Greek to speculate that Varoufakis would be slowly removed from the position of chief negotiator in Greece’s talks with its creditors… ‘They want his head,’ said a headline in the Greek daily Ta Nea…
“Experts say that Prime Minister Tsipras will need to make tough choices, like cutting pensions and reducing public spending to convince his financers. If he does not agree, the country could default on its payments, but if he agrees to the reforms, he could face opposition from radical leaders in his own Syriza party. The toughest challenge for Tsipras would be to get support from the parliament on implementing pension cuts. However, advisors say Tsipras should decide on spending cuts through a referendum to solve the problem.”
Der Spiegel Online added on April 27:
“… new Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos categorically rules out his country exiting the euro zone and supports calls for German reparations payments in connection with Nazi war crimes… Although Greece is under tremendous financial stress, with the government now forcing hospitals, universities and public agencies to hand over their savings to the central bank, Pavlopoulos stated that his country would fulfill all of its obligations…
“After last week’s meeting of the Euro Group once again failed to deliver an agreement, most EU politicians do not share this view…
“Pavlopoulos clearly denied threats from other Greek politicians to confiscate property in Greece owned by the German state… The Greek president said the seizure of German property was not a consideration…”
New Scandal in Merkel’s Government… NSA Snooping and German Hypocrisy
The Local wrote on April 27:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office has known since 2008 of US economic espionage targeting European companies… but did not react, Bild said Monday, citing intelligence agency documents… The report is potentially embarrassing for the German government, which has always portrayed itself as a victim of spying by its allies, notably the United States.
“Germany reacted with outrage at revelations in 2013 by fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden that the NSA was conducting massive Internet and phone data sweeps, including in Germany. The revelations, which included claims the NSA tapped Merkel’s mobile phone, strained ties between Washington and Berlin.
“The documents cited by Bild refer to NSA attempts to keep tabs on telephone numbers and email addresses at EADS, the aerospace and defence group now known as Airbus and Eurocopter, which now goes by the name of Airbus Helicopters…
“‘It was definitely known for years in the chancellery that the NSA tried, with German help, to monitor German companies,’ Bild quoted an unidentified source from the Bundestag (German parliament) NSA inquiry committee as saying. ‘It is unlikely and would be highly unusual if the head of the chancellery would not have been informed about such an occurrence,’ the source added…
“German news weekly Spiegel reported last week that the NSA spied on European companies for years with the help of German intelligence. The American agency is believed to have provided the BND with mail addresses and mobile phone numbers which were then monitored by the Germans on behalf of the United States, Spiegel Online reported.”
The Local wrote on April 29:
“The government has been accused of lying to the Bundestag (German parliament) after it emerged last week that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office knew German spies were conducting economic espionage on behalf of the Americans. ‘We have no knowledge of alleged economic espionage by the NSA or other US agencies in other countries,’ the Interior Ministry wrote to the Bundestag on April 14th in response to a question from the opposition Linke (Left Party). Statements of this kind are signed off by the whole government.
“But it emerged last week that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) had been spying on German and European companies on behalf of the NSA. Further, officials at the Chancellery, which is responsible for overseeing the BND, knew about the economic espionage and did nothing.
“The Chancellery knew as early as 2010 that the NSA had asked the BND to target firms including arms companies EADS and Eurocopter, both since merged into Airbus.The NSA provided the BND with email addresses , phone numbers and other ‘selectors’ (identifying information) belonging to the company’s employees and asked the Germans to monitor their communications. A press release from the government last week said that the Chancellery was ‘now checking whether parliamentary answers in this case remain totally valid’…
“Linke MP Jan Korte told Der Spiegel on Wednesday that ‘the parliamentary answer from April 14th is very clearly a lie’. He wouldn’t believe ‘one more word’ from the government relating to spying, he said.
“The latest twist in the scandal puts Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière under pressure, as he was head of the Chancellery from 2005-09 and ultimately responsible for supervising the spies. Mass-circulation tabloid Bild singled de Maizière out for a broadside on Wednesday, saying that he was ‘lying in black and white’ [the German said: “Sie luegen wie gedruckt,” a very strong accusation] and illustrating the story with a picture of the minister with Pinnochio’s long nose…”
Deutsche Welle reported on April 29:
“De Maiziere… said on Wednesday the accusations were ‘untrue’ and could be disproved by documents, which needed to remain secret…
“Opposition Greens parliamentary co-leader Anton Hofreiter told the newspaper Rheinische Post: ‘Either the BND under Chancellor Merkel has gotten fully out of control or the government has lied to the public’… The opposition Pirate party leader in the North Rhine-Westphalia state assembly in Düsseldorf, Joachim Paul, said on Wednesday his party would ask Germany’s federal prosecutions office to press charges against Chancellery and BND officials. If there was suspicion of NSA economic espionage and the Chancellery was informed of this, then it would amount to treason, Paul said.”
The Local added on April 30:
“German intelligence services spied on top French officials and the European Commission on behalf of the American spy agency NSA, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung… A spokeswoman for the German federal government refused to comment when contacted by The Local on Thursday, saying only that it would answer to the parliamentary committees responsible for overseeing the spies in due course…
“Thursday’s revelations are likely to be the most damaging on a diplomatic level, in so far as they affect relations with one of the Federal Republic’s most vital allies.”
That the German government and highly controversial Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière would deny the accusations surprises no one. That the tiny opposition of the Left, the Greens and the Pirate Party will have any substantial influence in the matter is doubtful—rather, it is to be expected that criminal charges, if they were to be filed, would be immediately dismissed. But it remains to be seen how the German press is going to act and react, since left-liberal and conservative papers alike have begun to smell blood.
Hungary’s Maverick Leader
The Guardian wrote on April 29:
“Hungary’s nationalist rightwing leader, Viktor Orbán, has threatened to reintroduce the death penalty, outlawed in the European Union.
“The prime minister also reinforced his reputation as the EU’s main maverick with a powerful anti-immigration manifesto that equates migrants with terrorists, says immigrants are taking Hungarians’ jobs, recommends internment camps for illegal immigrants and states they should be forced to work.
“[Orban is a] persistent critic of the EU, who holds up Russia’s president Vladimir Putin as a model leader…”
But things will change in Hungary, insofar as the relationship with Russia is concerned, as it is very possible that Hungary will become part of the final ten core nations or groups of nations, leading Europe.
TWO Magma Chambers Underneath the Giant Volcano of Yellowstone National Park
Science wrote on April 23:
“Underneath the bubbling geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming sits a volcanic hot spot that has driven some of the largest eruptions on Earth. Geoscientists have now completely imaged the subterranean plumbing system and have found not just one, but two magma chambers underneath the giant volcano…
“Scientists had already known about a plume, which brings molten rock up from deep in the mantle to a region about 60 kilometers below the surface. And they had also imaged a shallow magma chamber about 10 kilometers below the surface, containing about 10,000 cubic kilometers of molten material. But now they have found a deeper one, 4.5 times larger, that sits between 20 and 50 kilometers below the surface… the deeper chamber does mean that the shallow chamber can be replenished again and again…”
Bild Online added that this new discovery is a time bomb for a natural catastrophe with unimaginable consequences for the entire globe. An eruption would be 1,000 times stronger than the one at Mount St. Helen in 1980.
Huge Earthquake Kills Thousands of People
The Huffington Post reported on April 25:
“A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday killed more than 1,800 people, caused a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest and left a wake of destruction across the broader region… The earthquake [was] the worst to hit Nepal in over 80 years…
“Powerful tremors also rocked neighboring countries, killing 34 in northern India, six in Tibet and two in Bangladesh, as well as two Chinese citizens on the Nepal-China border…
“Nepalese authorities struggled to assess the full scale of the damage across the remote Himalayan nation, with communications systems down in many areas. ‘We are totally cut off from most parts of our country,’ Nepal Disaster Management Authority official Ram Narayan Pandey told Reuters. Many feared the worst. ‘Almost the entire country has been hit,’ Krishna Prasad Dhakal, the deputy chief of mission at Nepal’s Embassy in New Delhi, warned.”
Following powerful aftershocks, The Associated Press wrote on April 27: “The official overall death toll soared past 4,000, even without a full accounting from vulnerable mountain villages that rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster.”
Deutsche Welle reported on April 28: “The United Nations has said the earthquake that hit Nepal on the weekend has affected 8 million people. The death toll has passed 5,000 and could rise sharply as aid workers struggle to reach remote villages.”
The Telegraph added on April 28 that “the country’s Prime Minister said the death toll could reach 10,000.”
Bizarre Jurassic Dinosaur Gives Plenty of Headaches to Evolutionists
The Guardian wrote on April 28:
“Fossil hunters in Chile have unearthed the remains of a bizarre Jurassic dinosaur that combined a curious mixture of features from different prehistoric animals. The evolutionary muddle of a beast grew to the size of a small horse and was the most abundant animal to be found 145 million years ago, in what is now the Aysén region of Patagonia. The discovery ranks as one of the most remarkable dinosaur finds of the past 20 years, and promises to cause plenty of headaches for paleontologists hoping to place the animal in the dinosaur family tree.
“’I don’t know how the evolution of dinosaurs produced this kind of animal…’ said Fernando Novas at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires… What’s surprising is that in this locality the most bizarre dinosaur is not the exception, but the rule. It is the most abundant animal we find,’ he added.
“… the animal belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs, which includes the carnivorous tyrannosaurs and velociraptors. But unlike its meat-eating cousins, Chilesaurus had switched diets and become a vegetarian…”
Or maybe, it was the other way around: Vegetarians became meat-eaters. For more information, please read our new booklet, “Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man.”
Does God Know the Future?
Does He know whether and when we will sin? Does He know how prophesied events will come to pass?
The answer depends on the circumstances.
First, let us quote from chapter 3 of our free booklet, “Are You Predestined to Be Saved?”:
“The Bible contains many unconditional prophecies—most of which are for the end-time—to be fulfilled just ahead of us. Many are familiar with the Olivet Prophecy that Jesus Christ gave to His disciples prior to His death. Also, the book of Revelation is a prophecy for our time. The longest cohesive and uninterrupted Old Testament prophecy can be found in the eleventh chapter of the book of Daniel. Biblical scholars understand that that prophecy culminates in end-time events. Some recognize that many verses in the 11th chapter describe historic events that have already come to pass, events that were still future at the time Daniel wrote them down…
“God clearly has determined—predestined—well ahead of prophesied events, what will happen in the future. Isaiah 42:9 quotes God as saying: ‘…”Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”‘ Isaiah 46:9-10 adds: ‘Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, “My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.”‘ Isaiah 48:5-7 continues: “Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you… I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them…”’
“How is this even possible? How could God know thousands of years ago what would happen and what certain men would do?
“Part of the answer is revealed in Scriptures such as Ezra 1:1: ‘Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom.’ We find here that God gave a prophecy to Jeremiah, and when the time of fulfillment had arrived, He influenced King Cyrus to act as prophesied. There are numerous examples in the Bible where such a course of action by God is described…”
To interject, we might also consider Isaiah 44:24-26. Sometimes, God inspires His servants to pronounce future events, and God “confirms the word of His servant and performs the counsel of His messengers” (verse 26). The NIV says that God “carries out” the word of His servant; and the revised Luther Bible writes that God “makes it true.”
To continue with the quote from the above-mentioned booklet:
“When the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, ‘four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind’ (Revelation 9:15). This Scripture tells us plainly that, thousands of years ago, God had decreed… that four angels would kill a third of man at a very clearly designated time… Verse 16 continues: ‘Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.’ Continuing in verses 18-21: ‘By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone… But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.’
“We should take note here of several facts: First, God told John almost 2,000 years ago that just prior to Christ’s return, an army of two hundred million would kill a third of mankind. But God also knew that the rest of mankind who would survive that attack would NOT repent. This is remarkable, as in another situation, man WILL repent (compare Revelation 11:13). So God knew when some would repent and when most would not. How does God know when some will repent? We can answer this question in part: Because it is GOD who grants us repentance (Romans 2:4)—so He knew in advance to whom He would offer the gift of repentance at a certain time. What escapes human understanding is the fact that, in addition to knowing when to offer the gift of repentance to some, God also knew in advance who would accept His gift…
“In addition, God outlines the history of the New Testament Church in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, pointing out, among other things, that there would be seven eras… God also describes the predominant characteristics of the Christians in each of those eras, well in advance of their existence (compare chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation).
“In subsequent chapters of the book of Revelation, God outlines the history of the false church, and of the political system which it will rule, pointing out that the Roman Empire would be resurrected ten times, and that the false church would direct seven of those resurrections. Further… both a religious leader [the false prophet] and a political leader [the beast] are clearly identified who will fight against the returning Christ, while two Christian leaders, the Two Witnesses, will prophecy for exactly 1,260 days, before they will be killed by the political leader in the city of Jerusalem. God knew all of this in advance. It is predestined to happen. These prophecies… are certain to occur.”
On the other hand, we must realize that generally speaking, God has decided NOT to know whether human beings sin, and that is particularly true for those whom He decided “before time began” (Titus 1:1) to call to the truth in this day and age. God has created man as a free moral agent, and even though God knows that we are dust, and that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21; compare Ecclesiastes 7:29), He has generally chosen NOT to know how we will act specifically in a particular situation. That is why He tests us in order to know how we will respond (Exodus 15:25; 16:4; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16).
As we have seen, there are exceptions. God knows, of course, how the beast and the false prophet will act in the future, but we must also realize that God will not call them for salvation in this day and age. Their opportunity to repent and follow God will be given to them later, in the Great White Throne Judgment period. Also, Christ knew “from the beginning” that Judas Iscariot would betray Him (John 6:64; 13:11; 17:12; Acts 1:16)… but Judas was never called for salvation, and he will be offered repentance in the Second Resurrection.
However, generally speaking, God has decided not to know ahead of time, whether or not we will sin, and because of this decision, He “learns” from human conduct. That is, when He noticed how evil and wicked mankind had become prior to the Flood, His reaction of surprise and dismay is clearly revealed in Genesis 6:5-7:
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every human intent of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was SORRY that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth… for I am SORRY that I have made them.'”
After God had anointed Saul to be king over Israel and had given him the Holy Spirit, He decided to take the Holy Spirit away from him and to replace him as king, when he rebelled against God. It is clear from the context that God did not know ahead of time—because He had CHOSEN not to know—that Saul would turn his back on God. We read that “the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel” (1 Samuel 15:35).
Also, we read that later, Israel and mankind in general would act in such a horrible way that God was utterly surprised that man could reach such a depraved state of existence, saying that man’s behavior never entered His heart and His mind (Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). The Living Bible gives the intended meaning, as follows: “… a deed so horrible I’ve never even thought of it, let alone commanded it to be done (7:31)… something I never commanded, and cannot imagine suggesting. What an incredible evil…” (32:35)
On the other hand, when God calls us and gives us His Holy Spirit, He is totally convinced that we can make it (Philippians 1:6). He even said about young David when He anointed him to be king, that he was a man after His own heart who would do all His Will (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). This does not mean that David would not sin, but it means that God knew and looked at his heart (1 Samuel 16:7), and He knew that David would repent of his sins, once they came to his attention. We also read that after God had studied and tested Abraham, He knew that he would teach God’s way to his children. God said: “For I know him, that he WILL command his children and his household after him, and they SHALL keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment…” (Genesis 18:19, Authorized Version.)
This then raises the question as to whether God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The answer is that God did NOT know, as He CHOSE not to know, but He realized, of course, that Adam and Eve could sin by disobeying Him, as they had been created as free moral agents. As to the questions as to what would have happened IF they had rejected the tree of knowledge and had chosen instead to eat from the tree of life, please see two of our Q&As on this topic, https://www.eternalgod.org/q-a-9333/ and https://www.eternalgod.org/q-a-3149/. We explain that they would not have become immortal right away, and that even after eating from the tree of life, they still would have sinned from time to time, as we do today, since NO HUMAN BEING exists who does not sin (1 Kings 8:46; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). (There is only one exception of a sinless human being, see below.) This means that regardless of Adam and Eve’s original decision in the Garden of Eden, Jesus Christ still would have had to come in the flesh to die for our sins. He was indeed predestined, from the foundation of the world, to be our Sacrificial Lamb (compare Revelation 13:8).
This brings up another question. Did God the Father and Jesus Christ KNOW, when it was decreed that the Son of God would become a man to overcome sin in the flesh, that Jesus, as a human being, would NEVER sin, so that He could become the perfect Sacrifice for us, making possible the forgiveness of our sins and our entry into the Kingdom of God?
First of all, both the Father and Jesus Christ had the absolute conviction and complete confidence that Jesus would NOT sin. This does not negate the fact that Jesus, as a man, having become totally flesh as we are today (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14; Romans 8:3), COULD have sinned. He had to struggle against sin so that He remained sinless throughout His human life (compare Hebrews 5:6-9; 12:3-4).
But more is involved. We read throughout the Old Testament, long BEFORE Jesus became a man, that He, as the Messiah, would succeed in the flesh (Isaiah 52:13, so the Luther Bible and the Menge Bible; the Revised English Bible says: “My servant will achieve success…”) and that He would subsequently rule as a glorified God being–with the glorified saints –on and over this earth in the Kingdom of God (compare for instance Isaiah 2:1-4; Daniel 2:44; 7:9, 13-14, 27; Zechariah 14:3-5, 9). That rule would only be possible if Jesus never sinned. Apart from the complete confidence that He would not sin, it APPEARS that God, who inspired the Old Testament prophecies, might have looked into the future… beyond Christ’s first coming, knowing that He would remain sinless, as otherwise, none of the Old Testament prophecies predicting as a certainty His rule on earth as the Messiah could come to pass.
This brings us to another important question. Even though God has decided NOT to know whether and when WE will sin and also, whether we will commit the UNPARDONABLE sin, He has the utmost confidence in us that we will NOT fail Him. He knows that MOST of those whom He has foreknown, predestined, called, chosen and justified in this day and age WILL remain faithful and will make it as glorified beings into His Kingdom (Romans 8:29-30; Revelation 17:14). He wants YOU to be successful. But then, even though King Saul had received God’s Holy Spirit, he lost it and will apparently end up in the lake of fire. And so, God warns all of us: “Hold fast what you HAVE, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11). The decision is ours.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
“Modern Judaism and True Christianity,” is the new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Jesus strongly condemned human traditions in Judaism which did away with the Law of God, including man-made Sabbath regulations, dishonoring parents and ritual washings. Today, it is not that much different. This program examines undue restrictions and liberal trends in modern Judaism, pertaining to the Sabbath, same sex marriages and transgender, which are all in total opposition to the Bible and true Christianity.
The program offers three of our free booklets (“Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?”; “God’s Commanded Holy Days”; and “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families.”)
“Die Zehn Europäischen Wiederauferstehungen des Ehemaligen Römischen Reiches,“ is our newest booklet which has been translated into German. It will be posted shortly on our German website. The English version is, “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.” Along with further translations, the additional printing of German booklets has become necessary, and work is under way to accomplish this in the near future.
“Gottes Sabbate— Für Uns Heute?” is the title for a new German AufPostenStehen program. Title in English: “God’s Sabbaths—For Us Today?” The program promotes and offers two of our free German booklets, dealing with the Sabbath and the annual Holy Days.
“Kennt Gott unsere Zukunft?” is the title of the German sermon for this coming Sabbath, which is based on the Q&A for this week’s Update. Title in English: “Does God Know Our Future?”
“Today,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Those who are called out of the world to understand God’s truth today have a distinct and awesome privilege. They are blessed with the raw materials necessary to understand God’s Truth, truly become obedient, and overcome sin by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This opportunity is unique because it is available in the present moment. Christians do not need to wait to take an active role in fulfilling the plan of God.
“Freedom From What?” is the title of the sermon presented by Robb Harris last Sabbath. It is now posted and here is a summary:
The world seeks freedom from oppression, yet the most oppressive tyrant of all keeps the world in spiritual slavery. Only through God’s Holy Spirit can we see the slavery Satan subjugates mankind with. And only by God opening our eyes can we see what true freedom is.
The speaking schedule for May have been posted on our website.
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