Update 720


Beware of Distractions; Have You Seen Satan?

On January 16, 2016, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Beware of Distractions,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Have You Seen Satan?”

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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Lightness of Being

by Eric Rank

Anxiety is a peculiar thing. On the one hand, it is something that seems to be merely a state of mind as we cope with the difficulties managing stress and pressure that exist in our lives. On the other hand, it is a real phenomenon that elicits physical symptoms, making it much more than something that is “just in our heads.” For some people, anxiety can be crippling and prevent them from living their lives in a normal way. No matter the level of anxiety that one might experience, whether light or overbearing, I think it is safe to say that most would rather live without it!

What stands opposed to the heavy weight of anxiety is a lightness of being. This describes a state of mind that places the stressful burdens of our life into a perspective that limits the effect of unwarranted fear. Lightness of being describes the way that we react to pressure, by not taking consequence more seriously than we ought. This state of mind allows us to gain control over the circumstances of life, rather than allow circumstances to take control of us. With such a state of mind, we can find joy in the most trying of events.

The Bible has much to say about developing this state of mind. Philippians 4:6-7 summarizes this very succinctly, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Not only do we see the instruction to put anxiety in its place, we also learn about how to do it. We can achieve a peace of mind by placing our worries into the hands of God, through prayer, and by being thankful for all He does for us. Once we do this, the result is true relief from all kinds of stress and pressure. Obtaining the peace of God is a powerful thing when we manage to do it.

What strikes me the most about how this process works is the involvement of thankfulness. To offer thanksgiving for all things, especially the challenges that we might face, can be a difficult thing to do. However, when we know that God works in our lives, we also know that even the challenges we face are an opportunity for us to develop and grow. By offering thanks for everything and in our circumstances, we no longer have to worry about them, but we give them over to God so that He can help us out. The struggle to control the difficult circumstances in our lives, all by ourselves, is a significant contributor to the phenomena of anxiety. But when we cease worrying about those difficulties, and offer thanks to God instead, there is no more anxiety. What a relief!

With anxiety fading away and with fear returning to its proper place, contentment is an additional result. This all happens by inviting the peace of God into our lives to guard our minds and hearts through Jesus Christ. We are also reminded, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:6-7). By reacting to the events we face in life with godliness, and being content about the outcome, what exactly do we gain? While it might not be anything physical that we can take with us when we die, the gain we obtain is a far greater gift than anything we might anxiously struggle for in this world. When we completely submit our lives to God, the gift we obtain is eternal life. God has given us an opportunity to place our burdens into His hands, and when we do that, we are relieved both in this life and in the eternal life to come. With God on our side, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

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We begin with a plea by the New York Times for mass deportations in Germany and Angela Merkel’s resignation; continue with reports on Germany’s continuing massive cover-up pertaining to its migrant crisis and crimes perpetrated by refugees; and we quote European politicians to the effect that in their opinion, any hope for true integration of Islamic migrants into the European society is absolutely preposterous. For more information, please view our most recent StandingWatch program, Germany’s Massive Cover Up of Migrant Violence.” You might also want to view again our previous StandingWatch program from October 2015, titled, “Germany’s Disastrous Migrant Crisis.” 

We warn that terrorists are concentrating on a repeat of their September 11, 2001 attack; but that this time, their main target will be Europe in 2016. We also report on a terror attack in Turkey.

We continue with the interesting role which Turkey is already playing on the world scene, pointing out that the Bible has much to say about Turkey’s future activities.

We speak on Vladimir Putin’s world view and President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address.

We discuss America’s and especially California’s massive cover-up and misrepresentations regarding mandatory vaccinations, while intentionally denying the proven fact of vaccines’ serious side effects, such as autism.

We speak of incredible and DANGEROUS mysticism in the Catholic Church, pertaining to photos, visions, dreams and messages of the “Virgin Mary,” and we conclude with an article about terrible scandals of jackpot fixing in the Powerball lottery, convicting the former security director of massive fraudulent conduct.

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New York Times: Merkel Should Resign

On January 9, 2016, the New York Times wrote the following:

“For decades conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic have warned that Europe’s generous immigration policies, often pursued in defiance of ordinary Europeans’ wishes, threaten to destabilize the continent. The conservatives have made important points about the difficulty of assimilation, the threat of radicalization, and the likelihood of Paris-style and Cologne-style violence in European cities… Until recently, Europe’s assimilation challenge looked unpleasant but not insurmountable… With the current migration, though, we’re in uncharted territory. The issue isn’t just that immigrants are arriving in the hundreds of thousands rather than the tens of thousands. It’s that a huge proportion of them are teenage and twentysomething men… many of these men carry assumptions about women’s roles that are diametrically opposed to the values of contemporary Europe…

“If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you [are] a fool. Such a transformation promises increasing polarization among natives and new arrivals alike. It threatens not just a spike in terrorism but a rebirth of 1930s-style political violence…

“This need not happen. But prudence requires doing everything possible to prevent it. That means closing Germany’s borders to new arrivals for the time being. It means beginning an orderly deportation process for able-bodied young men. It means giving up the fond illusion that Germany’s past sins can be absolved with a reckless humanitarianism in the present.

“It means that Angela Merkel must go — so that her country, and the continent it bestrides, can avoid paying too high a price for her high-minded folly.”

Note this assessment of Pope Francis, as reported by NBC News on January 10:

“Pope Francis warned Monday that the recent influx of migrants risked overwhelming European values and traditions, but said he was confident the continent could successfully integrate the newcomers. In an annual address to diplomats at the Vatican City, the pontiff said the flood of new arrivals, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, was a major burden for Europe and had given rise to ‘significant’ fears over security and international terrorism…

“Despite the ‘inevitable difficulties’ in trying to absorb the migrants, who brought with them different cultures and traditions, the pope said he hoped European nations would prove capable of integrating and accepting the refugees.”

Official Lies in Germany

Deutsche Welle reported on January 8 about the suspension of Cologne’s police chief, following allegations he withheld information on the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults [by now, in excess of 500 complaints have been filed in Cologne]:

The scandal over the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne has claimed a first political victim. And rightly so: There’s no justification for lying to the public and deliberately withholding facts…

“This has caused maximum social damage. The state needs the trust of its citizens. If people lose trust, the whole system erodes. And the hateful generalizations about foreigners, refugees and Muslims currently abounding on social networks are an indication of where that particular journey leads.

“Cologne’s police chief, Wolfgang Albers, the man responsible for security in Germany’s fourth-largest city, systematically lied to the public over a period of several days…

“New, shocking revelations about what happened on New Year’s Eve have come to light every day this week. On Tuesday, the police chief and the mayor held a press conference that was thin on information: Unfortunately, they didn’t know anything about the suspects and their ethnic origin, they were unable to make any arrests that night, and any victims who hadn’t already done so should report to the police. Who, by the way, did a fantastic job on New Year’s Eve and had everything under control, according to Albers.

“The police have reaped nothing but scorn and sharp criticism on social media for this portrayal – including from Germany’s interior minister. The officers who were working in downtown Cologne on New Year’s Eve couldn’t take it anymore. Internal reports and detailed accounts began making their way into the hands of journalists.

“And that information tells a different story: Around 100 people were stopped and checked or taken into police custody that night. The majority identified themselves with Syrian passports or asylum papers. Only a few of them had been in Germany for longer than three months, according to officers who were on duty. But that’s exactly what the mayor, prompted by the police chief, took issue with at the press conference on Tuesday: There was no evidence to suggest that the molesters were refugees, she said. But anyone who had access to internal police data banks knew even then that this was a lie…

“Lying can never be the answer, because the damage is even greater when the lie finally comes to light. Germany doesn’t need lies, but rather honesty in the debate about the massive challenges facing our country…

“It would be only honest, for example, to accept that we now have many young men living in this country who come from cultures where women who go out at night, who dance, who drink alcohol, who wear tight clothing and who don’t cover their hair are labeled whores. And that it will take much more than a language course or an Arabic translation of our constitution to integrate such men into our society.”

And so, Germany has her scapegoat: Cologne’s police chief Wolfgang Albers. But how many others have been directly or indirectly involved in this massive cover-up will perhaps remain an open secret for a long time. Many allegations have been made in Germany “that police and the media had colluded in an institutional cover-up over the Cologne attacks,” according to The Telegraph (as of January 8).

Angela Merkel had declared earlier that multi-culturism has failed. But on January 8, she stated, according to the EUobserver (January 8), that “‘the fundamentals of cultural co-existence’ must be discussed.” The magazine also pointed out that “Finnish police said that ‘widespread sexual harassment’ was reported in Helsinki during New Year’s celebrations on the city’s central square… ‘The suspects were asylum seekers…’”

Angela Merkel’s reflection might come much too late… and amounts to far too little. On January 8, The Telegraph quoted Robert Fico, the prime minister of Slovakia, as saying, “The idea of multicultural Europe has failed… The migrants cannot be integrated, it’s simply impossible.”

Please note the next articles as well.

Germany and the Migrant Crisis—A Country in Denial

The Daily Mail wrote on January 8:

“The attacks have sounded the alarm bell in Germany over the consequences of mass migration. A country dogged by guilt over its Nazi past, it has enjoyed its recent role as saviour of Europe, welcoming in foreigners from the war-divided Middle East and Africa’s poverty hotspots. When the migrants began arriving in their thousands each day last summer, there were welcoming parties across the country. ‘We love refugees!’ proclaimed banners outside reception centres.

“Yet that warm hospitality is now being replaced by fear, as a society renowned for its good order begins to buckle under the strain — and to worry if it has made a mistake.

“Figures this week revealed that 1.1 million newcomers registered for asylum in Germany in 2015. Many more — including potential jihadists and opportunists pretending to be refugees — are suspected of slipping in under the radar since August, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel controversially announced she would welcome all Syrian migrants who knocked on the door… German ministers say 3,200 migrants a day continue to enter the country…

“Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere admitted the New Year crimes against women by such large numbers of men from a migrant background were a ‘new departure’ for the country… the truth is the mass assaults have clear echoes of the sex crimes in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2011, during celebrations welcoming the so-called Arab Spring, when groups of men violently harassed women…

“Many Germans, including some of the victims themselves, have accused authorities of a conspiracy of silence over the assaults to stop criticism of the mass immigration policy pursued by Mrs Merkel and her politically-correct supporters. The mainstream media in Germany has, until recently, toed the Government line; a top public broadcaster, ZDF, recently refused to run a segment about a rape case on its prime-time ‘crime-watch’ show because the ‘dark-skinned’ suspect was a migrant…

“Cracks only began to show just before New Year. Bild, Germany’s largest daily newspaper, broke ranks by accusing officials of conducting a campaign of deception on a ‘massive scale’ by burying bad news on migration. It reported that drug gangs involved in organised crime were actively recruiting newly-arrived migrants from the vast temporary camps where they live.

“The Cologne police force has also been accused of deliberately hushing up the New Year scandal. It issued an official press release the following day describing the celebrations as ‘exuberant, but mostly peaceful’. The release has since been retracted, and last night it emerged that police chief Wolfgang Albers is to resign. Broadcaster ZDF had to apologise for a ‘cover up’ after it failed to report the Cologne story for three days, even though it knew about it.

“And until Thursday, a week after the attacks, there had been silence from Mrs Merkel’s ministers about the backgrounds of the perpetrators. Initially, they insisted there was no evidence that new migrants were involved in the violence. A leaked police report which emerged 48 hours ago showed this was far from the truth. It revealed that one of the Cologne attackers said: ‘I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly: Mrs Merkel invited me.’…

“The involvement by foreigners flies in the face of Germany’s PC lobby which has ruthlessly called critics of Merkel’s migration programme ‘Nazi’ or ‘racist’.

“Take 59-year-old Akif Pirincci, an outspoken Right-winger and German writer of Turkish origin, who has warned that Christian Germany is becoming Islamic. His books, one of which is called Germany Gone Mad, were best-sellers until last autumn, when big publishers and bookshops chose not to distribute them any more. It is the first time since the Nazi era that such censorship has occurred.

“In another controversy, Catholic journalist Matthias Matussek lost his job at the respected German newspaper Die Welt after he posted his views on November’s massacre in Paris on his personal Facebook page, saying mildly: ‘I think that the terror in Paris will move our (German) debate about open borders and … young Muslim men in our country in an entirely new and fresh direction.’…

“Andre Schulz, head of Germany’s criminal police association, said recently that in his experience 10 per cent of the migrants would turn to criminality, including theft, sexual assault or drug dealing. ‘The policy has been to leave the German population in the dark …ordinary citizens are being played for fools,’ he declared…

“Germany is having to confront the harsh result of welcoming in huge numbers of men from a culture which denigrates women and abhors the social rules of a modern European society. The European Commission estimates that three million more migrants — many of them ill-educated Muslim males who are illiterate even in their own Arab language — will arrive in the EU this year. The chances of successfully integrating them is next to nil.”

Schweiz Magazin and Blick.ch reported on January 7 that during New Year’s Eve, four Syrian immigrants (age 14-21) allegedly raped repeatedly two minor girls in Weil am Rhein in Germany, close to the Swiss border. Three of the alleged perpetrators were arrested; one is still at large. The 21-year old is a recognized refugee; his 15-year old brother has applied for asylum.

The man, boys and the girls knew each other to an extent; they all went to the apartment of the 21-year old refugee. According to Bild Online, the girls were then raped for hours in the apartment which is situated in a location with many migrants.

The Local reported on January 10 that the “man who attacked a Paris police station last week had lived in a centre for asylum-seekers in [Recklinghausen,] Germany. The individual was shot dead by French police on Thursday after he tried to storm a police station in northern Paris, brandishing a meat cleaver and wearing a fake suicide vest. The assault took place exactly one year since the start of a series of jihadist attacks in France, marked by the killing of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine on January 7 2015…

“The news site Spiegel Online reported, meanwhile, that the man had already been classed by German police as a possible suspect after he posed at the refugee centre with an IS flag, but he disappeared in December… He had used different names in separate registrations with German authorities, and filed for asylum using the name Walid Salihi… The man had also given different nationalities at each registration, once saying he was Syrian, another time saying he was Moroccan, and on yet another occasion, Georgian.”…

… In Spite of the Evidence

The Local wrote on January 11:

“Ralf Jäger, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, released initial findings of a criminal probe over the crime spree that has piled pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her liberal stance towards refugees. ‘Witness accounts and the report by the (local) police as well as findings by the federal police indicate that nearly all the people who committed these crimes were of foreign origin,’ he said…

“Justice Minister Heiko Maas has said he believed the violence in the western city of Cologne was organised. ‘For such a horde of people to meet and commit such crimes, it has to have been planned somehow,’ he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. ‘No one can tell me that this was not coordinated or planned. The suspicion is that a specific date and an expected crowd was picked,’ he said.

“Quoting confidential police reports, Bild am Sonntag said some North Africans had sent out calls using social networks for people to gather in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.”

Demonstrations in Germany Turn Somewhat Violent

Deutsche Welle reported on January 9:

“Police in the western German city of Cologne have broken up a protest by the ‘anti-Islamization’ group PEGIDA. Water cannons were used to disperse demonstrators protesting after the New Year’s Eve attacks on women…

“The demonstrators protesting against Germany’s current refugee policies, who numbered some 1,700 people according to police estimates [far less than expected by PEGIDA], were confronted by an estimated 1,300 [leftist] counter-demonstrators, who also gathered near the train station. More than 2,000 state and federal police were tasked with keeping the two groups apart… There were reports of several arrests, and a number of people were also injured, including with cuts to the face…

“Police said half of those attending the PEGIDA rally were football hooligans and right-wing extremists [It is unclear whether the police counted supporters of the local party “Partei Pro Köln” as right-wing extremists. That would be a mischaracterization. They are right-wing, but not right-wing extremists]. A spokeswoman said some of the hooligans were known to police and came from the eastern city of Dresden. Dresden is the center of PEGIDA’s activities.

Earlier in the day, several hundred women gathered in front of the cathedral in Cologne, situated near the central train station where the attacks mostly took place, to protest against violence to women…”

As the Local pointed out, the violence was caused by hooligans and right-wing extremists, not necessarily by those supporting PEGIDA. It stated on January 9:

“The initially peaceful rally against a shocking spate of sexual assaults during New Year’s festivities in Cologne took an ugly turn when a group of far-right extremists began flinging projectiles at officers… A Pegida spokesman urged ‘all participants to go home.’ ‘The event is officially over,’ he said.

“Earlier, chanting ‘expulsion’, supporters of Pegida waved banners and signs bearing slogans like ‘Rapefugees not welcome’. They also took aim at Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of allowing migrants to run rampage in Germany through her liberal stance towards those fleeing war…

“Pegida started life over a year ago as a xenophobic Facebook group, initially drawing just a few hundred protesters to demonstrations in the eastern city of Dresden before gaining strength, peaking with rallies of 25,000 people.

“Interest subsequently began to wane following overtly racist comments by founder Lutz Bachmann, and the surfacing of “selfies” in which he sported a Hitler moustache and hairstyle. But Pegida has seen a revival with the record influx of migrants to Germany.”

Increased Violence on the March in Germany

Deutsche Welle reported on January 11:

“According to police in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a group of about 20 people attacked six Pakistanis on Sunday evening, near Cologne’s central train station… Shortly after the first attack, a similar incident unfolded when a 39-year-old Syrian national was assaulted by a group of five people. Police said they were investigating grievous bodily harm, but could not confirm whether either of the attacks was racially motivated. It was also not initially clear whether the two were linked.

“Cologne tabloid ‘Express’ reported on Monday that a group of ‘bikers, hooligans and bouncers’ had used Facebook to plan a ‘human hunt’ to ‘clean up’ Cologne’s city center. Early on Monday, a police spokesperson was unable to confirm the reports. On Sunday afternoon, police had received tipoffs about ‘groups,’ which were ‘specifically looking for provocation,’ police said…”

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

“Thousands of Germans, particularly in Dusseldorf near Cologne, have joined Facebook groups claiming to promote vigilante city patrols in light of the Cologne assaults. The police have expressed their dismay at the idea… The Facebook group ‘One for all, all for one, Dusseldorf takes care of itself’ claims to be in contact with the police, and says it is ‘independent of political direction and religion. Any kind of racism and radicalism will not be tolerated. The point here is to show a peaceful sign that people can peacefully resolve crisis situations together.’… Similar Facebook initiatives have popped up for the southwestern city of Stuttgart, and Cologne itself – though that group says it does not promote vigilantism or patrols, but wants only to encourage citizens to be more careful.

“Yet despite their claims of peaceful intent, North Rhine-Westphalia’s anti-fascist collective has used the same social media platform to accuse the group of having a far-right, anti-immigrant agenda, and of ties to fascist soccer hooligans and Dügida – Dusseldorf’s iteration of the anti-Islamization PEGIDA movement.

“It is possible that far-right extremists have simply taken advantage of a peaceful call to exercise caution to gather and promote their agenda, but according to German daily ‘Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung’ Dusseldorf police are less than enthusiastic about their self-appointed ‘helpers.’ ‘The monopoly of power clearly lies with the state,’ in this case, a police spokesman told the newspaper, making it clear that anyone who partakes in vigilante activities is breaking the law and that such behavior will not be tolerated.”

Did Angela Markel Violate the German Constitution?

The Local wrote on January 13:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel overstepped her constitutional powers by letting over a million refugees into the country, one of Germany’s most senior former judges has said. ‘Going it alone was an act of self-empowerment,’ Michael Bertrams, who was president of North Rhine-Westphalia’s constitutional court from 1994 to 2013, wrote in the Kölnischer Stadt Anzeiger on Wednesday. Merkel’s policy of opening Germany’s doors to refugees was ‘full of empathy but lacking in a plan,’ the ex-judge said.

“All substantial decisions in a democracy lie in the hands of the people’s chosen representatives, he argues, pointing out that the constitutional court had decided that the parliament has the last word on decisions over whether the German army is sent to war. ‘If the military mission in Mali could only go ahead with the permission of the parliament, then it is certainly necessary when we are talking about taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees,’ the judge writes.

“Bertrams is the second constitutional judge to criticize Merkel’s refugee policy in a matter of days, after Udi Di Fabio announced on Tuesday that Bavaria has a right to take the government to court over its open-door policy. Di Fabio who sat on the federal constitutional court from 1999 to 2011, made the comments in a report he had been commissioned to write by the Bavarian state.”

The World View of Vladimir Putin

On January 11 and January 13, Bild Online published a rare interview with Vladimir Putin. We are bringing you the following excerpts:

“We have done everything wrong… From the beginning, we failed to overcome Europe’s division. 25 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, but invisible walls were moved to the East of Europe. This has led to mutual misunderstandings and assignments of guilt. They are the cause of all crises ever since…

“Back in 2007, many people criticized me for my talk at the Munich Security Conference. But what did I say there? I merely pointed out that the former NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner had guaranteed that NATO would not expand eastwards after the fall of the Wall. Many German politicians had also warned about such a step, for instance Egon Bahr… the states that were already in NATO, the member states, could also have… abstained from an expansion to the east… NATO and the USA wanted a complete victory over the Soviet Union. They wanted to sit on the throne in Europe alone…

“In 2009, US President Obama said that the missile defense only serves as protection from Iranian nuclear missiles. But now there is an international treaty with Iran that bans Tehran from developing a potential military nuclear project. The International Atomic Energy Agency is controlling this, the sanctions against Iran are lifted – but still the US are working on their missile defense system. Only recently a treaty with Spain was signed, a deployment in Romania is being prepared, the same will happen in Poland in 2018, and in Turkey, a radar unit is being installed…

“The mutual sympathy of our peoples is and will remain the foundation of our relations… Even with the help of anti-Russian propaganda in the mass media, Germany has not succeeded in damaging this sympathy… Germany’s media are heavily influenced by the country on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean… We had a very good situation in 2005. The common budget had a volume of 80 billion dollars per year. Thousands of jobs were created in Germany by Russian investments. At the same time, a large number of German companies invested in Russia. There were countless cultural and social contacts. And today? The trade volume is half as much, only about 40 billion Euros…

“I… remain close friends with Gerhard Schröder… I am the president of 146 million Russians. I have to represent their interests. We are willing to settle this without any conflicts and to search for compromises on the basis of international law…

“The nationalists’ coup in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in February 2014 has hugely scared 2.5 million Russian people living on Crimea. So what did we do? We have not gone to war, we have not fired, not a single person was killed. Our soldiers have merely prevented the Ukrainian troops on Crimea from impeding the freedom of expression of the people. In the referendum – which was still decided to take place by the Crimea’s old parliament – the majority of citizens voted for belonging to Russia. This is democracy, the people’s will… According to the Charter of the United Nations, every people has the right to self-determination. Just take Kosovo: back then, UN bodies decided that Kosovo should become independent of Serbia and that the interests of Serbia’s central government had to be subordinated… if the Kosovars have the right to self-determination, why should people on Crimea not have it?… The Russian population is absolutely clear about the situation… the reunification of Crimea and Russia is just.

“The West’s sanctions are not aimed at helping Ukraine, but at geo-politically pushing Russia back… the sanctions are severely harming Russia. But the biggest harm is currently caused by the decline of the prices for energy. We suffer dangerous revenue losses in our export of oil and gas, which we can partly compensate for elsewhere… We are currently gradually stabilizing our economy. Last year, the gross domestic product had dropped by 3.8 per cent. Inflation is approximately 12.7 per cent. The trade balance, however, is still positive. For the first time in many years, we are exporting significantly more goods with a high added value, and we have more than 300 billion dollars in gold reserves. Several programs for modernizing the economy are being carried out…

“I have met [Angela Merkel] seven times last year, and we were calling each other on the phone at least 20 times. 2016 is the year of the German-Russian youth exchange, so the relations are moving on… I trust her, she is a very open person. She is also subject to certain constraints and limitations. But she is honestly trying to settle the crisis, also in the south-east of Ukraine. However, what the European Union is doing with those sanctions is nothing but a theatre of the absurd… The Chancellor and the European partners would be well-advised to address the problems in eastern Ukraine more thoroughly. Maybe they have too many domestic problems of their own at the moment. At least Germany and France have recently criticized that the Ukrainian central government has limited certain parts of the autonomy regulations to three years. They were supposed to last permanently.

“… we do not claim the role of a superpower for ourselves. That is far too expensive and unnecessary. We are still one of the leading economic nations in the world.. Russia would like to cooperate with NATO again… Now there is also a direct confrontation with a NATO state. Turkey has recently shot down a Russian jet fighter in the Turkish-Syrian border region. Can such an incident – accidentally, so to say – set the whole world on fire?… NATO… does not have to protect Turkey, and our problems with Turkey have nothing to do with the NATO membership of that country. The Turkish leadership had better apologize for shooting the plane down, which was clearly a war crime, instead of calling NATO’s headquarters… I very much hope that such events do not grow into large military conflicts. But if Russia’s interests and security are threatened, Russia will resist. Everyone needs to know that…

“I also think that President Assad has done much wrong over the course of this conflict. But the conflict would never have become so big if it had not been fueled by outside of Syria – with weapons, money, and fighters… we do not want Syria to end like Iraq or Libya…

“I do not want to speculate whether a full-blown conflict between [Saudi Arabia and Iran] is to be expected. Russia maintains very good relations with both – Iran as well as Saudi Arabia. But it was a mistake of the leaders in Saudi Arabia to execute the Shiite cleric. He was not fighting with arms in his hands…  on the other hand, it was also absolutely inappropriate to storm the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran…

“There is no uniform, global model for democracy. What you mean by democracy differs from county to country. This conception is different in India and in the USA and in Russia or Europe. In the USA, for example, twice in history a politician became President because he had more electoral votes, regardless of the fact that his competitor had more votes from the citizens. Does that mean the USA are not a democracy? Of course they are…”

European September 11 in the Making – 2015 “Just a Rehearsal”

AFP reported on January 9:

“Just a week into the year, France has already been rattled by an attempted attack on a police station, but counterterrorism officials have far graver fears for Europe in 2016. Last November’s attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed by Islamic State group jihadists, showed the trauma that could be caused by a group of men with Kalashnikov rifles, but experts fear it could be just the start.

“‘Unfortunately, I think 2015 was nothing,’ a counterterrorism official told AFP on condition of anonymity. ‘We are moving towards a European 9/11: simultaneous attacks on the same day in several countries, several places. A very coordinated thing. We know the terrorists are working on this,’ he added. He said the Islamic State group was recruiting and training Europeans ‘with the goal of sending them back to hit their countries of origin.’

“‘They have the necessary false documents, the mastery of the language, the sites, the weapons. We stop a lot of them, but it must be recognized that we are overwhelmed. Some will get through — some already have.’ Recent arrests of jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq have added to concerns, he said… ‘If the quality of the attackers improves, we will have a problem,’ he said, adding that there was a ‘terrible pessimism’ among security service professionals for 2016. ‘Maybe we will say that 2015 was just a rehearsal,’ he added.”

Turkey in the Mix

The New York Times wrote on January 8:

“As the Middle East has descended into bitter sectarian conflict in recent years, Turkey has tried to remain above the fray, posing as an honest broker and peacemaker. Increasingly, though, it is being drawn into the conflict, and its preferred status as disinterested mediator is slowly becoming untenable…

“Turkey, a Sunni-majority country, has pursued an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East in recent years in an effort to expand its influence and to position itself as the region’s leader of Sunni Islam. In doing so, it has sought to occupy a middle ground in the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a number of Sunni-led countries in the region, including Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, sided with Saudi Arabia, Turkey sought to calm tensions by advocating dialogue and offering itself as a possible mediator…

“Turkey relies on Iran for natural gas imports, which have become more important in the wake of the breakdown in Ankara’s relations with Russia, another important energy supplier, over Turkey’s shooting down a Russian warplane in November. As Turkey seeks to navigate the growing Saudi-Iranian dispute, it is also in the midst of a broader shift in its foreign policy, with events pulling it back to its traditional relationship with the West. The migration crisis has brought it closer to the European Union, which has sought Turkey’s help in stemming the flow of refugees from Syria. The dispute over the Russian plane has forced Turkey to rely more heavily on its NATO allies. And Ankara is also in negotiations to restore diplomatic relations with Israel, which broke down in 2010 after Israeli commandos stormed an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip from Turkey…

“Mr. Erdogan has seemed to be more pro-Saudi Arabia in his remarks. He has called out Iran for what he sees as a double standard: condemning the execution of the cleric while giving support to Mr. Assad, whose military campaign and indiscriminate bombings have been blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians… Mr. Erdogan dismissed the criticism directed toward Saudi Arabia over the execution, calling it, ‘an internal legal matter.’…”

For more information on the future of Turkey, please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.” 

Terrorism in Turkey

Deutsche Welle reported on January 13:

“According to Turkish media reports on Wednesday, the suicide bomber who killed 10 [German] tourists in Istanbul was registered in Turkey as a Syrian refugee [and] had entered Turkey from Syria as a refugee on January 5…

“Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish authorities announced that they had arrested one person in connection with the attack in the popular tourist area of Sultanahmet Square, home to the famous historic sites the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Investigators have rounded up a further 68 individuals after the incident, but it was not clear how many were directly connected to the bombing

“Loyal to the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) terrorist group, Fadli detonated explosives near the ancient Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius on Tuesday, making it the first time tourists have been deliberately targeted in Turkey following a string of IS-related attacks across the country over the last year…”

The attack was directed against a German travelling party scheduled to travel from Istanbul to Dubai. In addition to the ten German tourists who were killed, five are in intensive care.

“Jordan to Form Judicial Committee to ‘Inspect Israel’s Violations’ at Temple Mount”

The Jerusalem Post wrote on January 10:

“Jordan has been selected to establish an international judicial committee to inspect Israel’s ‘violations’ on the Temple Mount, the Amman-based daily Al-Rai reported on Sunday. This role was assigned to Jordan, which is recognized by many as the custodian of the holy places in Jerusalem, during a conference that took place recently in Egypt, assembling Arab judicial experts.

“Faisal Hizahi, an international judicial specialist, will chair the committee; he said it will inspect and document all the ‘violations’ that harm the holy places in Jerusalem, and initiate criminal procedures against Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

“In addition, Hizahi stated that the white paper submitted by the conference emphasized the central role of Jordan’s king, Abdullah II, in inspecting the ‘daily violations committed by Israel in Jerusalem’ and forming a united international stance toward them…

“Many Muslims see Jewish MKs’ visits to the Temple Mount as a sign of Israel’s intention to change the status quo there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel has no intention to change the status quo, under which Jews can visit the Temple Mount but cannot pray there.”

While this highlights only one move to try and contain Israel’s Temple-Mount presence, it is important to note that the effort to bring this to the Hague is one more step in turning the whole world against a Jewish Jerusalem. In addition, as we point out on page 16 of our free booklet, “Germany in Prophecy,”  Jordan will become part of a confederacy against “Israel”—apparently the descendants of the ancient houses of Israel and Judah.

President Obama’s State of the Union Address and the Republican Response

Breitbart wrote on January 13:

“President Barack Obama promised his final State of the Union address would be short. Dana Bash of CNN called it ‘low-energy.’ One thing it was not was accurate — or honest…

“[President Obama said:] ‘Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.’ … the truth is that despite the slow recovery–the slowest since World War II–labor force participation is the lowest it has been in decades. Wages are stagnant, household incomes still have not recovered from the recession, and young people see a bleak future…

“‘That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about. It’s about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or start that new business, we’ll still have coverage.’ That is a cruel joke, given that Obamacare canceled insurance coverage for millions of Americans who did not change jobs. It also raised deductibles and premiums so high that many insurance companies are leaving the Obama exchanges totally…

“‘No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.’ Of all the lies in Obama’s speech, this was undoubtedly the worst…

“‘We are training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in Iraq and Syria [from Islamic State].’ The Obama administration’s attempt to train and arm Syrian rebels has been a disaster…

“‘Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America.’ And a year of appeasement has not promoted democracy, either. The Castros remain firmly in power, and we are not helping the opposition. Worse, the Cuban regime continues to arrest thousands of political dissidents, to cozy up to enemies like Iran and North Korea, and to carry out provocative acts—such as stealing a U.S. Hellfire missile.

“Towards the end of his speech, Obama told one important truth: ‘There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide.’ An unusual, but overdue, admission of guilt.”

In a related article, Breitbart wrote on January 13:

“Nikki Haley, the South Carolina governor hand-picked by House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, confirmed Wednesday morning that she did indeed target GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and that the speech was approved in advance by Republican leaders…

“If Haley wants to endorse a  GOP presidential candidate, hit the stump for that candidate, and rip into Donald Trump, no one is going to begrudge her that. But to use the State of the Union response to publicly attack her own frontrunner must be unprecedented, and certainly serves as more proof to Trump’s supporters that the Republican Establishment is much more interested in DC Media love than winning elections and advancing their legislative agenda.

“The eyes of the entire country were on Haley Tuesday night, and rather than use that time to make a case against the Democrats, Haley squandered it by attacking the frontrunner… Haley’s unconscionably selfish behavior reminds me of Chris Christie’s keynote address for Mitt Romney at the 2012 convention. Rather than make the case for Romney or against Obama, he used the opportunity to puff himself up.

“The GOP Establishment has lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections… this suicidal Republican Establishment temple must come down and be ground into dust.”

USA and Its Vaccines—a Country in Denial

The following article appeared in August of 2014. It is now more relevant than ever, as the unfortunate mandatory vaccine regulations, signed into law by left-liberal and highly controversial California Governor Brown, became effective in the most liberal state of the nation, California, as of January 1, 2016. It abolishes religious exemptions and strictly limits medical exemptions, requiring currently 49 shots of over 16 different vaccines for most Californians before the age of six, in spite of the established danger of health-threatening side effects, such as autism. These side effects are being denied by the left-wing liberal mainstream media and doctors working for or supported by the pharmaceutical industry.

Natural News wrote on August 25, 2014:

“CDC scientist William Thompson has admitted to committing scientific fraud over the last ten years in conjunction with other CDC scientists. They retroactively altered study data to hide the proven fact that MMR vaccines cause a huge increase in autism risk in African-American children, and the CDC’s top criminal, Dr. Julie Gerberding, orchestrated the entire fraud.

“Now Rob Schneider, famous for his many roles in popular comedy movies, is urging the political leadership of California to investigate the fraud. More importantly, he also says he has a copy of ‘the original CDC report that was later suppressed and fraudulently changed.’…

“[Schneider wrote:] ‘This policy of one size fits all Vaccine schedule for every child is as absurd as giving the same eye prescription glasses to every child. The fact is EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and there is currently NO SYSTEM or thought to which child could be more susceptible to adverse reactions including permanent injury and death from any Vaccine or Vaccine ingredients… As a concerned citizen of the State of California, I feel compelled to share with you proof the CDC committed fraud (I have copies of the original CDC report that was later suppressed and fraudulently changed). One disturbing disclosure, AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN were and still are THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERCENT more likely to develop Autism under the current Vaccine MMR schedule. This according to the original CDC study in 2001.

“My question to you and Governor Brown is, how many children in California in the last thirteen years since this report have been hurt? How many children in the US have been permanently damaged? Lastly, how many MORE children will be needlessly injured because of the bill Governor Brown signed?”

As we know, Governor Brown brushed those concerns aside and signed the law anyhow. One other extremely vocal opponent to this ridiculous law is world-known comedian Jim Carrey.

Creating Human-Animal Chimeras

Technology Review reported on January 6:

“… some U.S. research centers are moving ahead with attempts to grow human tissue inside pigs and sheep with the goal of creating hearts, livers, or other organs needed for transplants. The effort to incubate organs in farm animals is ethically charged because it involves adding human cells to animal embryos in ways that could blur the line between species.

“Last September, in a reversal of earlier policy, the National Institutes of Health announced it would not support studies involving such ‘human-animal chimeras’ until it had reviewed the scientific and social implications more closely… The NIH action was triggered after it learned that scientists had begun such experiments with support from other funding sources, including from California’s state stem-cell agency. The human-animal mixtures are being created by injecting human stem cells into days-old animal embryos, then gestating these in female livestock.

“… Technology Review estimates that about 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras have been established during the last 12 months in the U.S., though so far no scientific paper describing the work has been published, and none of the animals were brought to term…

“By modifying genes, scientists can now easily change the DNA in pig or sheep embryos so that they are genetically incapable of forming a specific tissue. Then, by adding stem cells from a person, they hope the human cells will take over the job of forming the missing organ, which could then be harvested from the animal for use in a transplant operation. ‘We can make an animal without a heart. We have engineered pigs that lack skeletal muscles and blood vessels,’ says Daniel Garry, a cardiologist who leads a chimera project at the University of Minnesota…

“Because chimeras could provide a new supply of organs for needy patients and also lead to basic discoveries, researchers including Garry say they intend to press forward despite the NIH position…

“The worry is that the animals might turn out to be a little too human for comfort, say ending up with human reproductive cells, patches of people hair, or just higher intelligence. ‘We are not near the island of Dr. Moreau, but science moves fast,’ NIH ethicist David Resnik said during the agency’s November meeting. ‘The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming ‘I want to get out’ would be very troubling to people.’…

“Hiromitsu Nakauchi, a stem-cell biologist at Stanford University, began trying to make human-sheep chimeras this year… Other kinds of human-animal chimeras are already widely used in scientific research, including ‘humanized’ mice endowed with a human immune system. Such animals are created by adding bits of liver and thymus from a human fetus (collected after an abortion) to a mouse after it is born.

“The new line of research goes further because it involves placing human cells into an animal embryo at the very earliest stage… This process, called ‘embryo complementation,’ is significant because the human cells can multiply, specialize, and potentially contribute to any part of the animal’s body as it develops…

“The word chimera comes from the creature of Greek myth, part lion, part goat, and part snake.

“Pablo Ross, a veterinarian and developmental biologist at the University of California, Davis, [asks:] ‘What if the embryo that develops is mostly human? It’s something that we don’t expect, but no one has done this experiment, so we can’t rule it out.’”

Mysticism in the Catholic Church

Express wrote on January 8:

“… researchers are investigating a mystery photo which has been said to show the Virgin Mary appearing before an amphitheatre full of worshippers. The remarkable image appears to show the shape of the Virgin Mary appearing towards the front of a packed crowd, as if being beamed in from a source up above. It was taken at a mass held by a high-ranking Catholic priest who claimed to receive messages from the Madonna herself…

“The source claims the original snap was taken in 1994 during a huge Catholic mass called a cenacle given by Italian priest Father Stefano Gobbi at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Father Gobbi, who has toured the world, was encouraged by the then Pope and was scrutinised by the church over claims of having mystical dealings with the Virgin Mary… Father Gobbi died aged 80 on June 29 2011, but spent more than three decades holding special mass gatherings centring around the Virgin Mary.

“In his lifetime he ‘traveled the world holding Cenacles of Prayer on every continent’, according to an article on Father Gobbi by Colin Donovan, vice president for Theology, at the Global Catholic Network… According to Mr Donovan there had been some scrutiny of Father Gobbi’s ‘claims of mysticism’ high up in the Catholic Church. He added: ‘In the case of alleged mysticism there is always the possibility of mental illness, fraud, vivid imagination, or even the demonic…

“In his favour, however, are the opinion of his spiritual director, his own zeal to promote Consecration to the Immaculate Heart and fidelity to the Magisterium, the great numbers of lay, religious and priestly vocations strengthened, and in some cases saved, through the Marian Movement of Priests, and the good will shown him by very many members of the hierarchy, including the Pope, who has received him and encouraged him in his work on several occasions.’’

These developments are truly frightening as, if true, they are clearly NOT godly inspired. The Bible shows that many people will believe in “miracles,” not realizing that they are lying wonders, inspired by Satan the Devil and his demons.

Fraud in the Lottery…

The Washington Post wrote on January 10:

“… with the jackpot soaring to world record-breaking levels — standing at an estimated $1.3 billion as of Sunday night— Powerball hysteria is sweeping the United States… The U.S. saw Powerball sales of $277 million on Friday and more than $400 million were expected Saturday… In California, where total Powerball ticket sales usually average $1 million a day, they were selling at a rate of $2.8 million per hour

“Those sales have soared despite a scandal that rocked the organization that runs the game — a five-year-old investigation into jackpot fixing in one state that grew to include at least four others. In the end, a Multi-State Lottery Association security expert was convicted of fraud and sentenced to a decade in prison and the man who ran Powerball since it began was quietly put on leave…

“In December 2010, a man walked into a Quik Trip convenience store on Des Moines’ north side and bought what would become the winning ticket in a Hot Lotto draw with a $16.5 million jackpot, according to court documents.

“The prize was unclaimed for nearly a year. In November 2011, a Canadian man contacted the Iowa Lottery claiming to be the winner. A month later, he said he was not the winner himself, but represented the anonymous winner. Later that month, a New York lawyer came forward to claim the prize for a Belize-based trust. No one involved could provide the basic details of the winner, information required by Iowa law. Eventually, the attorney withdrew the claim to the jackpot and the money went back to the states where the tickets were sold.

… three years later, [investigators] released surveillance footage of a hooded man buying the winning ticket in the hopes that someone would recognize him. Several people identified him as Edward Tipton, Multi-State Lottery Association’s former security director. Tipton was charged with fraud almost exactly one year ago, on Jan. 15, 2015. Investigators argued that Tipton was able to secure the winning ticket for himself through self-destructing software he installed on lottery computers…  Tipton then allegedly filtered the ticket through a friend in Texas.

“Ultimately, he was found guilty of two counts of fraud last July and sentenced to 10 years in prison last September… In October, investigators alleged that Tipton also rigged a $4.8 million jackpot in Colorado in 2005 and a $2 million jackpot in Wisconsin in 2007. They have also investigated alleged rigging in Kansas and Oklahoma.

“After the investigation was expanded nationwide in early October, Multi-State’s executive director Charles Strutt — who had run Powerball since it was created — was quietly placed on indefinite administrative leave…  Strutt hopes to return to the job when the Tipton case ends.”

It is unlikely enough that one wins a Powerball jackpot, even if the game was fair. It may be more likely of being hit by lightning or an asteroid. But it makes matters worse when the game is blatantly unfair.

It should be common knowledge that casinos operate in a way which could easily be described as fraud, but since everybody knows or should know about it, it would be extremely difficult to win a court case, as one of the elements of fraud is misrepresentation… and if one knows that what is represented is fraudulent, then one cannot reasonably rely on it. For instance, one knows or should know that slot machines in casinos are fixed. Apparently, based on the article above, lotteries have been fixed too.

It has been proven that soccer games and boxing matches have been fixed to get an undue advantage in bets—referees were paid to let a certain team win; entire teams were paid to lose a game; and boxers were paid to lose a match. It is assumed that games in other sports are fixed too. The truth of the matter is that we are living in a dishonest and criminal world.

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Does the Bible teach that the Earth is the Center of Creation, Unmoving and Flat?

Throughout the history of mankind, many have sought to explain the world around us based upon human philosophies and ideals that are divorced from Godly understanding.  When man distances himself from God, he is left with his own self-centered view of the world. This mindset leads only in one direction—away from God. When man built the Tower of Babel, it was with a particular focus, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves…” (Genesis 11:4).  Man wasn’t glorifying God but was trying to elevate himself.

Today, many seek after far-fetched concepts for the very same reasons—to elevate and glorify man, not God.  It is easy to come across man-centered theories and many use the Bible as the basis for their arguments.  One current theory is the concept that the earth is not a spherical planet but a flat land mass encapsulated like a snow-globe.  This ideology also states that the sun, stars and planets revolve around the earth.  The flat-earth concept uses many Scriptures as evidence, but all of these supposed proofs are based upon false interpretation of the Bible.

While we won’t cover all Scriptures used by people believing in this theory, we will focus on some of the popular verses that are used most to postulate this theory.

The Bible is full of inspired poetry and it is important to understand how and why it was written in this form (see our booklet “Hidden Secrets in the Bible” for an explanation of biblical poetry). Many of these poetic Scriptures have been taken literally in order to demonstrate a particular belief.

For instance, we read the following:

“He raises the poor from the dust

And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.

For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
And He has set the world upon them” (1 Samuel 2:8).

Some have taken this to prove that the earth is flat based upon it being set on pillars.  But in verse 2 of the same chapter we read, “…Nor is there any rock like our God.”  Is God a physical rock?  Of course not!  Samuel was speaking of the unchanging character of God; and that God controls the physical creation by His Will.

Similarly, we read in Job 37:3:

“He sends it forth [thunder] under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth.”

Some take this Scripture as further proof that the earth is flat because God’s lightning can be seen everywhere at once, to the ends of the earth.  Again, Job was speaking in poetic style.  In verse 1 of the same chapter Job begins by saying, “At this also my heart trembles, And leaps from its place.”  We understand that Job’s heart didn’t literally leap from his chest.  In his poetic style of writing, Job emphasized how awe inspiring and majestic God is.

The book of Psalm is a poetic book expounding on the greatness of God.  Almost all psalms offer some praise to God. But even these praises have been taken out of context to further the flat-earth concept:

“The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established so that it cannot be moved” (Psalm 93:1).

“Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established. It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously” (Psalm 96:10).

“You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever” (Psalm 104:5).

People use these Scriptures to further the idea that the earth is flat and unmoving. What these psalms are in fact stating is that God’s Plan for mankind is solid and immovable.  Nothing is going to change what God desires to accomplish.  The earth was created to serve His purpose, “…for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory…” (Hebrews 2:10).

The foundation spoken of by David is also spoken of throughout the New Testament:

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

Paul also reiterated this idea, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The foundation consistently mentioned throughout the Bible speaks not to some pillars holding up a large land mass, but to the immutable plan of God for mankind.

The Bible is also full of messages delivered to God’s servants in the form of visions.  Some have taken these images and descriptions to prove their concept of what the earth looks like.

Reading of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision:

“These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth” (Daniel 4:10-11).

Some have hypothesized that this tree, being seen all over the earth, proves that the earth is flat.  If we continue reading, Daniel goes on to explain the meaning of this dream, and specifically this tree. Daniel 4:20, 22: “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth… it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.”

Interpreting Scriptures, when taken out of context, can lead to false conclusions.  When Joshua lead Israel in battle, he prayed to God to lengthen the day as we read in Joshua 10:13:

“So the sun stood still,

And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.”

This Scripture has been used to show that the sun revolves around a flat earth, and not the earth around the sun.  What is not taken into account is the perspective of Joshua as he saw this taking place.  Joshua prayed for the sun to stay still, for the day to be lengthened, and it did.  When Israel looked up they would not have seen the sun traversing the sky as it normally did, but instead it would have stayed in the same place for all those hours.  Joshua prayed for a literal event to happen, and God answered that prayer.  How God caused this event to happen is beyond our understanding.  (Note also our Q&A on “Joshua’s long day.”). What IS important for us to understand is that this Scripture does not state the earth to be flat or the sun to be revolving around the earth.  Men have latched onto this Scripture and, tenuously, used it as proof of their misguided ideas.

One key concept often forgotten is that God is not limited by human reasoning.  Without God’s Spirit, we are unable to understand God’s Plan for mankind.  Paul understood this concept very well: “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (Acts 17:29).  Paul also warned the Corinthians (and those of us reading his messages today) to be wary of man’s inclination to diminish Godly reasoning. “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:13).  We must study the Bible and rely on prayer to the Father as our guide, not allowing the concepts of the unspiritual to cloud our understanding.

Lead Writer: Robb Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new Member Letter (January 2016) has been written and sent to our subscribers. In this letter, Pastor Brian Gale notes that thirty years ago, Herbert W. Armstrong died. Mr. Gale reminds us that Mr. Armstrong’s impact and legacy stand as an example for those of us who now continue in the Work of God.

“Germany’s Massive Cover Up of Migrant Violence,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Hundreds of German women filed complaints against hundreds of refugees and migrants-mainly Syrians and people of foreign North African and Arab origin. These women were molested and sexually abused at New Year’s Eve in Cologne and in other German cities. However, these despicable criminal activities which were apparently planned and coordinated, were intentionally covered up by the German media and governmental agencies. This program will present appalling facts showing that a massive cover-up has been systematically engaged in for quite a while, because of “political correctness.” Angela Merkel’s policy of “welcoming all Syrian migrants” has clearly failed, and the idea that hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees could be integrated into German society has been labeled as foolish and impossible. The New York Times is asking for Merkel’s resignation; for closing Germany’s borders; and for mass deportations for foreign able-bodied male teenagers and young adults.

SW Talking Points: “Baptême — Une Exigence Pour Le Salut,” is the title of a new StandingWatch Talking Points, presented by Pastor Rene Messier. Here is an English summary of this presentation which offers our new French language booklet on baptism:

Is baptism necessary for salvation? Should you be baptized?  What is acceptable to God: immersion, watering, sprinkling?  Some think it’s not necessary for salvation. This booklet covers all of these details and what is truly acceptable to God.

SW Talking Points: “Biblical Prophecy — From Now Until Forever.” Here is a summary:

Conditions in the world are getting worse and we have been through the worst year for killings by terrorist since 9/11 in 2015 and things are not going to get better in 2016 and beyond. This booklets let’s you know in advance what to expect in the near and distant future so it’s important to read and heed.

“Strafe für unverbesserliche Sünder?” is the title of this week’s German sermon. Title in English: “Punishment for Incorrigible Sinners?”

“Before You Choose,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Christians have the opportunity to make good decisions every time! If, before choosing to do something with real personal impact and permanent lasting effects, we consider our options.

“Purpose,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Science will try to explain the miracle of human life and all existence as a series of random events necessarily determined by all other random events preceding them. Such an explanation is not only nonsense, but it leaves life purposeless. To the contrary, the Bible clearly shows that God works with mankind on different scales to fulfill His great purpose and plan. If you have ever wondered about your true purpose in life, tune in to learn more!

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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