Update 690


Update on the German Work; Good Fruit

On May 30, 2015, Norbert Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Update on the German Work,” and Mike Link will present the sermon, titled, “Good Fruit.”

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

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Easy Prey

by Dave Harris

Over the decades I have had close contact with literally thousands of members in the Church of God. The beginning for me was hearing The World Tomorrow broadcast at age fifteen. A couple of years later, I met someone who was part of what was then called the Radio Church of God. That was followed by my attending Church services in Springfield, Missouri, and then being accepted to Ambassador College in the fall of 1964.

In those years of 1960’s and 1970’s, there was tremendous growth. Every aspect of the work of the Church flourished. There was inspiring unity, a kind of singleness of heart among the majority of people. Occasionally, however, some left the Church even when it was at its strongest. The reasons were varied, but those who remained carried on. The prevailing attitude was that this would only happen to the few, but just the opposite has proven to be the case!

Now, in May of 2015, tens of thousands of members who were once in the Worldwide Church of God have faded into a dizzying array of groups. While some struggle to remain faithful to God, most have allowed themselves to be reabsorbed into the society they once rejected!

My reflection on what has transpired is something we should know all too well. But this isn’t just history—it is our struggle of this time, and it will be true in the days ahead. It is because Satan seeks to stamp out anyone and everyone who is a member in the Church of God.

Looking back, it seems that we were easy prey for Satan. Our mistake in times past was that we didn’t really take precautions—we didn’t heed the warnings we all heard! But know this, while we can learn from what has happened in recent years, the real test remains—to finish!

Jesus outlined the challenge set before us:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and THERE ARE FEW WHO FIND IT” (Matthew 7:13-14)

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We are living in strange times, and even “nature” seems to “behave “crazily.” While California is suffering from a severe draught, Texas and other US states are plagued with rain and flooding, and Israel, India and other countries are experiencing an “unprecedented” “brutal” heat wave, paralyzing industries and killing more than one thousand people.

In this report, we begin with Ireland’s popular vote by referendum to legalize same-sex marriages, and the repercussions this may have for other European countries; address the ongoing NSA and BND scandal in Germany which may have huge consequences for Angela Merkel and her party; speak of Russia’s aggressive conduct towards the West; and point out European ambitions and controversial plans to create a naval force to combat people-smugglers operating from Libya.

 We report on David Cameron’s hopeless attempts to change continental Europe’s thinking and the German and French rejection of his ambitious European plans; and address the election of a right-wing Catholic president in Poland who is considered to be a nationalist and a “moderate Eurosceptic,” while still supporting Poland’s EU membership.

 We continue with a disturbing article, stating that criminals hacked into more than 100,000 IRS records pertaining to individual US taxpayers; and report on the dilemma of many conservatives and Republicans in the USA, as they face a conflict between their Catholic membership, their personal belief and their official relationship with Pope Francis.

 We conclude with reports on God’s awesome universe and the fanciful opinion of intellectuals believing that it created itself and that all life on earth evolved—an unscientific and unbiblical hypothesis which Pope Francis has chosen to adopt as well–and with a warning to parents to be aware as to what (demonic) activities their children and teens may be engaged in.

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Catholic Ireland Leads the Way

Deutsche Welle reported on May 24:

“After Ireland’s citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in a historic referendum, members of Germany’s Green party have called for the recognition of same-sex marriage in Germany as well… Ireland voted by a landslide in favor of changing the constitution to recognize marriage between same-sex couples. It marks a significant step in a predominantly Catholic country where homosexuality was a criminal offense until 1993.

“Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal in Ireland since 2010. Similar recognition was introduced almost a decade earlier in Germany with the Civil Partnership Act in 2001… German partnerships, however, do not provide couples with exactly the same tax and adoption rights as marriage…

“Ireland is set to become the 19th country in the world to allow gay marriage, as well as the first to do so by referendum. More than 62 percent of the 3.2 million votes backed the change, while 37.9 percent opposed it…”

The Local added on May 26:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is feeling the pressure from opposition MPs, its own gay supporters and its Social Democratic Party (SPD) allies to look again at allowing gay marriage after Ireland’s popular ‘yes’ vote on Friday. Linke (Left) party leader Gregor Gysi told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the Irish decision came at a time of  ‘cultural revolution’ that would have been ‘unimaginable’ just a short time ago…

“The CDU is already facing pressure from within its own ranks to change, with the Federation of Gays and Lesbians in the CDU calling for the party to change its tune. ‘The clear “yes” in Ireland is a signal. In Germany, something has to change in our party, too,’ federation leader Alexander Vogt told Spiegel Online. ‘Frau Merkel doesn’t need to dash forward any more. She just needs to jump aboard the train.’”

The Local added on May 28:

“Three days after Ireland voted ‘Yes’ to gay marriage in a referendum, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert defended the moves that aim to ensure equal treatment for gay couples without granting them the right to legally wed. ‘We will, in Germany, have to find our way,’ he told reporters… ‘It isn’t an equalization with marriage … Putting it on the same footing as marriage is not a goal of this government.’”

“Germany has since 2001 allowed civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, granting many but not all the rights extended to heterosexual spouses. Critics in particular point to gay couples still being forbidden from adopting children together in Germany.”

The EUObserver wrote on May 23:

“Following the referendum, parliament will introduce a bill to amend the Irish constitution. The Irish Times says the law will pass before the summer break. The new wording in the Irish charter is to say: ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex’.

“The vote means Ireland joins several other EU member states allowing same-sex marriage including Belgium, Denmark, France, Spain, and the Netherlands – the first in the world in 2001.”

Many commentators consider the referendum by overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland as a protest vote against the Catholic Church itself, as trust and confidence in the church has strongly diminished, which is largely due to the pedophile scandals, involving Catholic priests and the perceived attempts by the church to cover them up. Please also see the next article.

 “Defeat for Humanity”

 The LAT reported on May 26:

 “A close aide to Pope Francis on Tuesday denounced Ireland’s vote last week to legalize same-sex marriage, calling it a ‘defeat for humanity.’ Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, told reporters he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the outcome of the Friday referendum in Ireland, in which many voters defied the Roman Catholic Church by favoring marriage for same-sex couples…

“Although Francis made headlines in 2013 by saying ‘Who am I to judge,’ when asked for his views on homosexuality, he has fiercely defended heterosexual marriage and traditional family values. During his trip to the Philippines in January, Francis said the family was ‘threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage.’… The Vatican views homosexual acts as unnatural. In November, Francis said at an inter-religious conference that ‘children have the right to grow up in a family with a father and mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.’

“On Monday, the Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, called the Irish vote ‘a defeat’ and ‘a challenge for the whole church.’ The newspaper quoted Swiss Cardinal Georges Cottier as saying the result of the referendum was linked to ‘the pedophilia scandal that has rocked the Irish Church.’ Thanks in part to the Vatican’s influence on Italian politics, Italy has long resisted rulings on gay unions. But the Irish vote has galvanized the Italian government, led by prime minister Matteo Renzi, to push ahead with its own planned legislation on civil unions, which would allow couples of the same sex to be recognized by law.”

On this issue, the teaching of the Catholic Church and the Vatican is biblically correct. On the issue of Evolution (see article below), their teaching is wrong.

How the “Yes” Vote Came About

On May 27, Breitbart published the following article:

“The world has now seen that last Friday Ireland voted 62 percent to 38 percent in favor of same-sex marriage. The symbolic significance of the vote can hardly be missed. Once-Catholic Ireland is now a ‘modern, tolerant, secular and inclusive’ society in the eyes of our peers in the Western world…

“I was one of the leaders of the No campaign. I am a national newspaper columnist and have been for 21 years. In January 2007, I founded something called The Iona Institute. We are a small think tank dedicated to arguing for the rightful place of religion in public life and for the importance of traditional marriage.

“In almost all that time, same-sex marriage (preceded by civil partnerships) has been on the political agenda. Until recently, we were the only organization in the country arguing against same-sex marriage on a consistent basis. More recently, we were joined by Mothers and Fathers Matter (to which I am an adviser).

“Arrayed against us was every major political party, all of the mainstream media, every relevant NGO, an army of celebrities, and enormous financial resources. On our side was a very badly weakened Catholic Church, discredited by the child sex abuse scandals and its own authoritarian part.

“The Catholic Church did not play a front-of-house role in the campaign because it knew if it did, it would have been counter-productive. Instead, the Catholic bishops limited themselves to issuing pastoral letters on the subject, which some priests read out at masses and some did not.

“The Yes side in the campaign has also benefitted hugely from millions upon millions of American dollars… The money came from an American foundation called Atlantic Philanthropies, and it was used to turn the LGBT lobby into one of the most formidable lobbies the country has ever seen… The money from America is almost all one way, from the pockets of American liberals into the pockets of Irish liberals.

“But the Irish media cared not a whit about the fact that the LGBT lobby here is so lavishly funded with American dollars…

“By changing the Constitution as we have done, the Irish people, whether they know it or not, have now declared that the marriage of two men or two women is as ‘natural, primary and fundamental’ to society as the sexual unions of men and women. In addition, for the first time in any country ever, two married men or women can go into a court of law and say they have a constitutional right to have children…

“Roughly 30 percent of posters put up by the No side during the campaign were illegally torn down by Yes side activists who often boasted about it on social media. Torrents of abuse was directed at No side speakers on social media on a daily basis. The result was that many ordinary No voters were scared to speak to journalists because of what would then be directed at them as a result.

“Members of our police force, in full uniform, helped out at voter registration drives on behalf of the Yes side. The head of Twitter in Ireland called for a Yes vote. Former Irish President Mary McAleese broke with all previous practice by other past presidents by calling for a Yes vote. (Our presidency is largely a ceremonial role.)

“In this atmosphere, it was a minor miracle that the No side managed to garner 38 percent of votes cast, amounting to almost 750,000 voters. If we had any major media on our side or any major political party, the whole business would have been a much closer-run operation.

“In any event, it is done. An 87-year-old priest wrote to me Wednesday and expressed very well what happened here in Ireland: ‘Compassionate care of homosexual people was confused with the nature of marriage.’ I cannot sum it up any better than that.”

One-Third of Germans Feel Betrayed by Merkel

Deutsche Welle reported on May 24:

“Tension in ties between the United States and Germany heightened yet again Saturday when the mass-market ‘Bild’ newspaper reported that US intelligence agencies had started reviewing their cooperation with Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, as reports emerged that confidential information was leaked to the media by a German parliamentary committee.

“Allegations that the BND helped the NSA spy on European companies and officials has also strained Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition and damaged her popularity…  A US official said the leaks were worse than those attributed to Snowden, according to ‘Bild.’…

“Pressure is increasing on Merkel as critics accuse her staff of allowing the BND to help the NSA… A poll conducted last week found that one in three Germans feels deceived by Merkel… The Social Democratic Party, the junior member in Merkel’s so-called grand coalition government, has seen support increase as the surveillance scandal goes on…”

The German press reported on May 26 that according to new revelations, Angela Merkel had prior knowledge of the fact that there would be no “no-spy” agreement between the USA and Germany, long before this fact was officially admitted, suggesting that Merkel and her friends intentionally lied to the German people.

Putin’s Ongoing Persecution of Dissenters

The Associated Press reported on May 24:

“President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law Saturday giving prosecutors the power to declare foreign and international organizations ‘undesirable’ in Russia and shut them down. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the measure as part of an ‘ongoing draconian crackdown which is squeezing the life out of civil society.’

“The law is part of a Kremlin campaign to stifle dissent that intensified after Putin began his third term in 2012. His return to the presidency had been accompanied by mass street protests that Putin accused the United States of fomenting. Russian suspicions of Western intentions have been further heightened because of tensions over Russia’s role in the conflict in Ukraine…

“U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said the United States is ‘deeply troubled’ by the new law, calling it ‘a further example of the Russian government’s growing crackdown on independent voices and intentional steps to isolate the Russian people from the world.’”

Sadly, this is very true, but most Russians don’t care; rather, they admire and support Putin’s conduct.

 Russia Goes on the Attack against Germany

 Deutsche Welle reported on May 25:

“Foreign affairs politician Karl-Georg Wellmann has been stopped from entering Russia, where he was to take part in talks on ‘the future of Ukraine’… Wellmann is the head of the German-Ukrainian group in the German Bundestag, and a known critic of [the] Kremlin.

“Russian authorities banned Wellmann from entering Russia until November 2019… officials only informed of the move after he landed in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday night. He was then asked to take the next flight to Berlin… Wellmann returned to Germany on Monday morning, after spending the night in the transit area at Moscow’s airport…

“Wellmann, who is a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU), has been sharply critical of Russia’s actions in east Ukraine. He has urged tougher sanctions on the Kremlin and called Russia a ‘warmonger’ for allegedly supporting the rebels… While in Moscow, Wellmann had intended to meet Konstantin Kosachev, the international affairs committee chairman in Russia’s upper house of parliament, as well as Sergei Glazyev who is economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, the German politician told Focus Online.

“Wellman also said that he suspected Russian authorities of having created a whole list of Western officials that they intend to keep out of Russia… ‘Because the list is not public, you only know that you are on it only when you are in the entry hall,’ Wellmann said.”

… and the USA

Reuters reported on May 28:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s right to host the 2018 soccer World Cup on Thursday and accused the United States of meddling outside its jurisdiction in the arrest of top officials from world governing body FIFA.

“Putin said the arrests in Switzerland on Wednesday were an ‘obvious attempt’ to prevent FIFA head Sepp Blatter’s re-election this week [Deutsche Welle said that Blatter is expected to win Friday’s polls against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, even though Europe and the USA have pledged to support Prince Ali, according to the New York Times] but that the 79-year-old had Russia’s backing. ‘If anything happened, it did not happen on U.S. territory and the United States has nothing to do with it,’ he said. ‘This is yet another blatant attempt (by the United States) to extend its jurisdiction to other states.’

“The world’s most popular sport was plunged into turmoil this week when seven senior soccer officials were arrested on U.S. corruption charges to face extradition from Switzerland. Swiss authorities also announced a criminal investigation into the awarding of the next two World Cups, including the 2018 tournament which was granted to Russia in 2010 by a committee containing two of the indicted FIFA officials…

“‘Unfortunately, our American partners use such methods to achieve their selfish aims and illegally persecute people,’ [Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko] said, citing former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, both of whom have evaded prosecution in the United States for divulging secret information by hiding abroad. ‘I do not rule out that in the case of FIFA, it’s exactly the same,’ Putin said.”

Tanks Don’t Need Visas

 Newsmax wrote on May 26:

“‘Tanks don’t need visas,’ Russia’s deputy prime minister reminded western nations in an assertive weekend interview timed with the start of a massive military exercise. Dmitry Rogozin was reacting to a question about visa bans by the U.S. and European countries being imposed on him and other Russia politicians and business leaders connected with the Ukraine dilemma, when he quipped ‘tanks don’t need visas’…

“Reuters and AFP reported that Russia’s Defense Ministry kicked off air force exercises in the Ural mountains and western Siberia involving 12,000 soldiers and 250 aircraft. The maneuvers are meant to prepare for a larger drill in September, called Tsentr-2015. NATO began a dueling military exercise with Germany, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and the U.S. gathering in the Artic for two weeks of maneuvers…

“On Sunday, Rogozin posted a message on Twitter that Russia is not a threat to the West, which is facing ‘collapse under the onslaught of ISIS and gays.’… Tensions between the West and Russia seemed to increase Monday when Germany complained about Moscow denying a German lawmaker [Karl-Georg Wellmann] into Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis…”

EU Plans for Military Involvement

BBC News reported on May 18:

“EU ministers have approved plans to establish a naval force to combat people-smugglers operating from Libya. The aim is to launch the operation next month, with a headquarters in Rome under an Italian admiral, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said. The EU is struggling to cope with a surge in illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe…

“The UK is playing the lead role at the UN Security Council in drafting a resolution that would give the EU a legal basis for using military force against people traffickers… It is not clear how destroying boats at sea would stem the flow of migrants. If there are plans to destroy boats on standby before they leave Libyan shores then that would require a significant amount of intelligence on the ground. EU member states have no official presence in Libya…

“The mission could mean operating in areas controlled by a potentially hostile Islamist militia, and EU forces taking considerable risks to destroy boats and infrastructure used by smugglers…

“EU officials have said repeatedly that there will be “no boots on the ground”. But there will need to be an effort to disrupt the onshore operations of the smuggling gangs if the mission is to achieve its objectives. That could well involve the use of special forces, something that will not be advertised in advance. And there will be huge risks involved for the EU – political and military. It’s just that doing nothing is an even less attractive option.”

The EUObserver wrote on May 26:

“Another leaked EU paper on the Libya boat-sinking operation says it could harm Europe’s image and create false hope the warships are there to rescue people. The paper, drafted by the EU’s military committee, a branch of the foreign service, on 12 May was published on Monday (25 May) by whistleblower site Wikileaks… It says there’s ‘a risk to EU reputation’ if ‘loss of life be attributed, correctly or incorrectly, to action or inaction by the EU force’.

“It also says military activity in Libya risks ‘destabilising the political process by causing collateral damage, disrupting legitimate economic activity, or creating a perception of [the EU] having chosen sides’ between Libya’s rival authorities. It adds: ‘the information strategy should avoid suggesting that the focus is to rescue migrants at sea but emphasise that the aim of the operation is to disrupt the migrant-smuggling business model’…

“The military paper notes the warships, despite their mandate, will be in a tricky position if they encounter migrants whose safety is at risk, because ‘preservation of human life at sea is a legal obligation’ under international law… It also contradicts EU foreign service press statements there won’t be military activity on land… it says smugglers’ land-based ‘enabling assets (logistical facilities, fuel, communication equipment)’ are also targets.”

The UK might not be part of this planned EU endeavor. See the next articles.

Cameron Soon All Alone?

 The Telegraph wrote on May 26:

“Germany and France have agreed a pact to bring the Eurozone closer together without the need for treaty change in a potential blow to Britain’s plans for EU reform… The Prime Minister told Mr Juncker that the British people are ‘not happy with the status quo’ and believe that the EU needs to change ahead of a referendum on Britain’s membership by the end of 2017…

“After the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, Mr Cameron will embark on a two-day diplomatic offensive to make his case with visits to Denmark, Holland, France, Poland and Germany…

“Earlier Mr Cameron spoke to Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and the two men agreed to re-open talks over how to end the civil war in Syria and stop the rise of Isil.”

The Guardian added on May 26:

“Germany and France have forged a pact to integrate the eurozone without reopening the EU’s treaties, in a blow to David Cameron’s referendum campaign. Sidestepping Britain’s demands to renegotiate the Lisbon treaty and Britain’s place in the EU, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, have sealed an agreement aimed at fashioning a tighter political union among the single-currency countries while operating within the confines of the existing treaty…

“The Franco-German initiative, likely to be endorsed by the 25 June summit, would definitively close the door on treaty renegotiation… The Franco-German policy proposal, said Le Monde, ‘shows that French and German leaders do not have much in common with David Cameron’.”

The Local wrote on May 23:

“Germany and France have agreed to forge closer Eurozone ties without reopening the bloc’s treaties… The move is seemingly designed to undermine UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate his country’s ties to the EU… Die Welt newspaper said the agreement represented ‘Berlin and Paris showing Cameron the red card’…

“Cameron wants EU heads of state to agree to reopen treaties so he can renegotiate Britain’s ties to the EU and win back some powers from Brussels, while at the same time allowing for closer cooperation among eurozone nations. The PM’s chief requirement is a change to laws surrounding access to benefits by EU migrants. Cameron wants restrictions on benefits unless migrants have lived in the country for four years. He is also expected to demand an opt-out from one the EU’s core principles of forging an ‘ever-closer union’ between member states.

“But it seems Hollande and Merkel have an entirely different agenda on the table… ‘Given that Cameron is about to go on tour around Europe and meet several heads of state, this move by Merkel and Hollande can’t be just coincidence,’ Philippe Marliere, professor in French and European politics at the University College London told The Local. ‘It’s clearly a signal of intent to show Cameron that “whatever he wants to get from us, we aren’t budging when it comes to treaties and the monetary union.”’”

Express added on May 26:

“Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate Britain’s role in the European Union will fail, Ukip’s deputy chairwoman [Suzanne Evans] has warned… The Prime Minister hopes to win ‘major concessions’ from Brussels – but Suzanne Evans claimed that he ‘won’t even get close’ to securing Britain’s independence… Evans also urged Britain to further its relations with the old Commonwealth and Anglosphere after leaving the EU, She said: ‘It’s the non-EU countries that mostly do the best trade with the EU.’”

Mr. Cameron’s desperate attempts to find allies and supporters for his cause, wherever he may be able to find them—inside and outside the EU—will not prevent the occurrence of the prophesied truth that the UK will find itself isolated and not helped by its allies in the very near future.

Austria to Repatriate Much of Its Gold Reserves from Britain

The Local wrote on May 28:

“Austria’s central bank announced on Thursday it would repatriate a large part of its gold reserves currently stored in Britain, after auditors warned of the risk of bulk storing in a foreign country. Until now the Austrian National Bank has kept 80 percent of its 280 tonnes of gold, worth around €8.6 million ($9.3 million), in London.

“But by 2020, the Bank of England’s stock of the precious metal will be reduced to 30 percent, while Austria will hold 50 percent and Switzerland 20 percent…

“Vienna confirmed it would begin to gradually repatriate 92.4 tonnes this summer. A further 47.6 tonnes will be transferred from Britain to Switzerland. Austria’s move echoes an announcement by Germany in 2013, which said it would repatriate all of its gold stocked in France as well as some of the reserves held in the United States, to ensure at least 50 percent was kept on German soil by 2020.”

 What’s Going on in Poland?

 Times of Israel wrote on May 26:

“Leaders of Poland’s Jewish community said Polish Jews are ready to cooperate with the country’s new right-wing president, who has criticized his predecessor’s apologies to Jews over the Holocaust.

“Andrzej Duda won Sunday’s presidential elections in Poland. Duda, whose father-in-law Julian Kornhauser is a well-known Polish-Jewish poet, garnered 52 percent of the vote, according to official results certified on Sunday night. His opponent, former president Bronislaw Komorowski, received 48 percent of the vote. Duda, a conservative politician, criticized the president’s apologies in recent years for the massacre that Polish farmers perpetrated against their Jewish neighbors in Jedwabne. The 1941 Jedwabne pogrom, in which dozens of Jews were burned alive by villagers who trapped them inside a barn, was exposed in the early 2000s by the historian Jan Gross. The discovery triggered furious reactions by Polish nationalists who claimed there was too little evidence to support the allegations, which they said falsely depicted Poland as a perpetrator nation instead of a victim of Nazi occupation.

“Komorwski said of Jedwabne during campaign debate that ‘the nation of victims was also the nation of perpetrators.’ Duda called Komorowski’s apologies an ‘attempt to destroy Poland’s good name.’… Duda is a member of the conservative right-wing Law and Justice Party. On Monday he announced that he would resign from membership in the party in order to serve as an independent president…

“Duda, a 43-year-old lawyer, will be taking office in August for a five-year term. Duda, a Roman Catholic, traveled on Monday to the Jasna Gora shrine in Czestochowa, and prayed there…

“Duda’s win is a serious warning for the ruling pro-EU government, in power since 2007, before fall parliamentary elections. It could herald a major political shift in the European Union’s sixth-largest economy, a country that has been able to punch above its weight in Europe without belonging to the 19-nation eurozone. Poland’s influence is underlined by the fact that one of its own, Donald Tusk, now heads the European Council in Brussels…

“Poland’s president has limited powers, but is the head of the armed forces, and can propose and veto legislation…

“In Moscow, the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin congratulated Duda and ‘expressed confidence that building constructive relations between Russia and Poland, based on the principles of good neighborly relations and the mutual respect of interests, would strengthen security and stability in Europe.’”

The EUObserver added on May 25:

“Duda’s presidency will also influence Poland’s stance on the European scene, especially if Law and Justice wins parliamentary elections in October which past experience shows is likely… If it happens it is going to be a conservative and nationalistic shift in one of the most pro-European countries in EU… Duda is considered to be moderately eurosceptic. He thinks that Poland should not follow European mainstream politics which he sees as driven by Germany, but he supports Poland’s EU membership.”

IRS Hacked and Under Attack

 The Associated Press reported on May 26:

“Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part [of] an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday. The thieves accessed a system called ‘Get Transcript,’ where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said…

“Identity thieves, both foreign and domestic, have stepped up their efforts in recent years to claim fraudulent tax refunds. The agency estimates it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds to identity thieves in 2013… ‘That the IRS — home to highly sensitive information on every single American and every single company doing business here at home — was vulnerable to this attack is simply unacceptable,’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. ‘What’s more, this agency has been repeatedly warned by top government watchdogs that its data security systems are inadequate against the growing threat of international hackers and data thieves.’’

 Republicans and Conservatives Clash with the Pope

Newsmax wrote on May 25:

“As Pope Francis makes pronouncements that are increasingly more progressive, this poses a problem for Catholic Republicans, Politico argues. The Vatican recognized Palestine as a state earlier this month, Pope Francis is expected to release an encyclical, which is a teaching document, addressing climate change by the end of June, and climate change will also be a topic he is expected to highlight when he addresses Congress in September. This is in addition to statements the pontiff has made previously about softening the church’s views on gay marriage, divorce and birth control.

“Catholic and conservative political activist and Iowa state treasure candidate Sam Clovis told Politico that ‘in northwest Iowa, we are discussing this a great deal, and sometimes it’s hard for us to reconcile the pronouncements we read from the Holy Father with our conservative principles.’ Politico contends that this may also present a problem for potential Catholic candidates for president such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Clovis, who also ran for Senate, told Politico that Bush’s Catholicism is ‘going to cause a lot of problems’ for him in Iowa ‘because Republicans are simply not going to take him seriously.’ …”

Our Awesome Universe

The Website of engadget.com reported on May 24:

“… imagine looking at something with the brightness of 300 trillion suns. That’s how intense ‘the most luminous galaxy found to date’ is, so much so that NASA has created a new classification for it and the 19 other similar galaxies it has discovered: extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs… This particular one is located 12.5 billion light years away, which means it started forming soon after the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago…”

Let’s put it in another way. GOD created it about 13.8 billion years ago (assuming these figures are remotely accurate).

 Flashback–The Erroneous Viewpoint of Pope Francis

The Independent wrote on October 28, 2014:

“The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’, Pope Francis has declared… Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they ‘require it’. ‘When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,’ Francis said.

“He added: ‘He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment… The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it…’

“Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, told the Italian news agency Adnkronos: ‘The pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendents from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.’”

The pope’s comments are not only in total opposition to and rejected by the Bible, but they also make no sense. If he truly believes in the Evolution concept, then God did not create any human beings—rather, a cell developed in an original soup of gases. The comment by Bignsami about the big bang “creating” the universe is even more fanciful.

Teaching of Creationism (to Be) Prohibited … but Evolution Must Be Taught in Schools

On May 24, the website of heraldscotland.com stated the following:

“Campaigners who called for an official ban on teaching creationism in schools have welcomed a ‘clear statement’ from a Scottish Government minister it should not be taught in science classes…

“In England and Wales, the teaching of creationism as scientific theories is prohibited in schools.

“A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: ‘Education Scotland does not identify creationism as a scientific principle, and it does not form part of the learning and teaching of science in our schools.’”

“Charlie Charlie” No Harmless Game!

CNA Daily News reported on May 27:

“A game that purports to invoke a Mexican demon – known as ‘Charlie, Charlie’ and considered to be a simplified version of the Ouija board – has gone viral on social media among young people…

“Scores of short video clips, mostly by teens, show players shrieking and running out of view when the pencil apparently moves on its own and points to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ after they say a phrase inviting the demon.”

Parents beware—and know what your children and teens are doing… including in school.

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Will Satan Deceive Man After the Millennium?

Some claim that Satan will be deceiving those who will be resurrected at the time of the Great White Throne Judgement period. That resurrection is referred to as the Second Resurrection and described in Revelation 20:11-12 and in many other places in the Bible. Others dispute that Satan will still be active at that time. Who is correct? Does the Bible give us clear answers?

God tells us that when Christ returns, Satan and his demons will be banished and thrown into a prison (the “bottomless pit” or the “abyss”), so that they will not be able to deceive the nations anymore. At that time, the Millennium of Christ’s rule over man will begin here on earth.

We explain this in detail in chapter 5 of our free booklet,Biblical Prophecy–From Now Until Forever:

“After Christ’s return and His battle with the hostile armies of this world, He will deal with the real author of destruction and deception—Satan the devil, along with his demons. We read in Revelation 20:1-3: ‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold on the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.’

“We read that Satan will be thrown into the ‘bottomless pit’… that same fate awaits all the demons under his control… When Satan and his demons will be placed in the ‘abyss’ [same Greek word as for ‘bottomless pit’] at the beginning of the Millennium, they will be as good as dead—unable to influence and deceive the nations any longer during that time period (compare Revelation 20:3)…[Later] Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41). Their torment will be spiritual, as they will see all of their evil works destroyed by fire (compare 2 Peter 3:10–13), and their influence on others will be gone forever. Their final fate might be revealed in Jude 13, referring to ‘wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.’ Compare, too, 2 Peter 2:17.

“Even though only Satan the Devil is specifically mentioned in Revelation 20:1-3, as the one who is being thrown into the abyss, it is obvious that the demons are included. This also becomes clear when reviewing carefully the fate of Satan and his angels at the time when the Millennium ends. Revelation 20:10 says that the Devil will be cast in the lake of fire, and that ‘they’ will be tormented day and night… We read in Matthew 25:41 that the lake of fire was ‘prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Therefore, it will be the devil and his demons who will be tormented in the lake of fire, for as long as that lake exists. Since spirit beings cannot die (compare Luke 20:36), they will be tormented—in a spiritual way—while being confined to the lake of fire, when they come to the realization that they are unable to deceive man anymore, and when they see all their ‘works’ and evil ‘accomplishments’ replaced by the good and prosperous ways of God…

“The same is true for Revelation 20:1-3, which mentions that Satan—the ruler of the demonic world—will be bound in the abyss or bottomless pit for a thousand years. Even though only the ruler over the demons is mentioned here, the demons themselves are included as well.”

We continue to explain, in referring to several biblical passages, that “the abyss or the bottomless pit, where Satan and his demons will be shut up, describes the destroyed areas where currently the modern city of Babylon—Rome—is situated. We read that the modern city of Babylon will never be rebuilt and inhabited again (Isaiah 13:19-22).”

We also explain that at the very beginning of the Millennium, an Asiatic army will invade the Promised Land, but it will be supernaturally defeated by God Himself. We go on to show that a “similar attack on Jerusalem will occur about 1,000 years later, after Satan has been ‘released from his prison.’ He will ‘go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea’ (Revelation 20:7-8). They will try to conquer Jerusalem, but God will destroy them (verse 9)…

“After 1,000 years of God’s rule, the peoples in the Millennium will not have experienced Satan and his demons who were imprisoned during that time. They will be unaware of the powerful influence of Satan and his evil devices. Once he is released from prison for a short while, he will go out to deceive the nations, just as he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden; and as Eve fell for Satan’s deception, so will those people, choosing to believe Satan rather than God. Having lived all this time in a peaceful ‘Garden of Eden,’ they will still want to believe Satan.”

When will this last “war” take place? When will Satan be released from prison for a short period or a little while?

As we have read, Revelation 20:2-3 tells us that “Satan is to be bound for a thousand years,” and that “he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”

Please recall that we were also told in Revelation 20:7-10:

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” He will then go out to deceive the nations “in the four corners of the earth,” but God will defeat those who want to fight, and verse 10 tells us: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone… And they (the devil and his demons) will be (spiritually) tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Now notice carefully. AFTER these events have taken place, we read in verses 11-12: “THEN I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it… And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God… And the dead were judged…” This describes the Second Resurrection of “the rest of the dead” who did not “live again until the thousand years were finished” (verse 5). It is then, AFTER the Millennium and AFTER the temporary release of Satan and his deception, that “the rest of the dead” are going to be resurrected and judged in the “Great White Throne Judgment.” At that time, Satan and his demons will not be around anymore to deceive any of them, because they will have been thrown, BEFORE these events, into the lake of fire and brimstone.

This poses the question as to why Satan will even be released from prison, and who exactly will be his targets. Also, when will the human beings living in the Millennium inherit eternal life?  To answer the second question first, two possibilities exist: Either, they will be changed to immortality on an individual basis in their due time when they have qualified (after all, when Christ returns, those who are still alive in Christ will be changed instantaneously); or, all those living in the Millennium will live the entire time period of 1,000 years and those who have qualified will be changed to immortality at the end of the Millennium (after they withstood Satan’s last temptation). After all, some people, before and at the time of Noah, lived for almost 1,000 years. The Bible does NOT say that people will DIE in the Millennium TO BE RESURRECTED TO IMMORTALITY at a later time.

It appears LIKELY that all will indeed live until the end of the Millennium, so that all will be exposed to Satan’s evil devices when he is released from prison. Most (except for those very few who survive the Great Tribulation and live on into the Millennium) had never had any experience with Satan who was bound in prison for all this time, while they were born in the Millennium and grew up; so God might want to test all of them to see where they really stand. This is not the case with those who will be in the Second Resurrection, because ALL of them had been tempted by Satan in their prior life. Therefore, there is no need for God to keep Satan around to allow him to tempt them once again.

This poses the next question as to when EXACTLY Satan will be released from prison. We read in the New King James Bible that this will occur when the thousand years “are finished” (Revelation 20:3) and when they “have expired” (Revelation 20:7). If this is the correct rendering, then this would mean that a short time will elapse after the Millennium, during which time Satan and his demons will be allowed to deceive the nations, before those who have qualified will be changed to immortality (Those who follow Satan in his last deception and who will be destroyed by God through fire will either be resurrected in the Second Resurrection, or, if their actions constitute the unpardonable sin, they will be resurrected in the Third Resurrection to be burned up in the lake of fire, Revelation 20:13-15). In any event, the Satanic deception will occur BEFORE the Great White Throne Judgment begins.

But it is possible, and even likely, that the rendering in the New King James Bible is not totally accurate, and that the wording should be that the coming Satanic deception will occur when the 1,000 years “are expiring” or “coming to a close”—not, when they “have expired” or “totally ended.” The New Living Translation and the Lamsa Bible say in Revelation 20:7 that the 1,000 years “come to an end.” But note that the Greek word in Revelation 20:3 and in Revelation 20:7 is in both cases “teleo,” and even though different words are used in the English translation, the original Greek word means, according to Strong’s Concordance, “to end,” “make an end” or “fill up” (which could include, “ending” or “coming to an end).” If so, then the Satanic deception would occur at the very end of the Millennium, when the thousand years are expiring or just coming to a close.

In light of this, it has been suggested that Revelation 20:9 may refer to or include the assembly of (some of) the saints (not yet made immortal) during the Feast of Tabernacles at the end of the Millennium, when the hostile nations will surround “the camp of the saints” and “the beloved city” of Jerusalem. The same word for “camp” is used in Hebrews 13:11 and 13, referring to the camp of Israel and the sanctuary in the wilderness. (In other places, the term is used to refer to hostile armies or barracks, but it clearly does not mean this in Revelation 20:9.). After this Satanic attack and the saints’ rejection of Satan’s deception, they would then be changed immediately to immortality.

In any event, this Satanic deception will not occur at the beginning of or during the Great White Throne Judgement. Rather, it will occur BEFORE then. When the billions of human beings who had died and who will be resurrected in the Second Resurrection to be given their first chance for salvation, Satan and his demons will NOT be allowed to deceive them; as they will already be imprisoned and “spiritually” “tormented” during that time in the lake of fire.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

“Prophecy – How to Understand It – Part 1:  The Number of the Beast,” is the first of three new sermons to be presented by Norbert Link on June 13, 2015—followed by presentations on June 20 and 27.  In addition, we are promoting this series through press releases, Facebook and our own webpage, www.eternalgod.org

“Warum Kam Jesus zu Uns?” is the new German sermon for this week. Title in English: “Why Did Jesus Come to Us?”

A new Global Trailer with Brian Gale (“Germany in Prophecy,” #26)  has been posted on the Internet.

The following messages from last Sabbath and Pentecost have been posted:

“A Vision”—sermonette by Kalon Mitchell

“Comfort and Encouragement”—sermon by Norbert Link

“Crayons”—sermonette by Robb Harris

“What is the Church”—sermon by Dave Harris

“Cain and Abel”—sermonette by Michael Link

“Why Do We Keep Pentecost?”—sermon by Norbert Link

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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