Update 748


Defense for the Gospel; The Love of Money

On August 13, 2016, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Defense for the Gospel,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “The Love of Money.”

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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Finding Lasting Fulfillment

by Robb Harris

Tony Robbins, an author and motivational speaker, has been involved in business and life training programs for over 30 years. Labeling himself as a “world authority on leadership psychology” he has, as his biography states, “created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars” (tonyrobbins.com).

Having recently viewed a documentary on one of his seminars, I was left with one impression: seeking happiness without God is a fleeting pursuit without enduring value. While Tony has the ability to inspire and reach people on a very emotional level, these feelings do not lead to God—at least not using the techniques employed in his seminars. Tony isn’t alone in his misguided attempt to effect change in people, regardless of how sincere it might be. Anyone pointing to themselves or their audience as the instruments for true change and happiness are without godly understanding.   Creating happiness in one’s life begins by setting our sights and aspirations on God. David was inspired to write, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

It is imperative that we fortify ourselves against any influences that God would find un-delightful. If we desire happiness, we will only find lasting joy in godliness. Any pursuit that doesn’t point to God leads us in the only other direction possible—towards the god of this world and utter destruction.

As Tony finished off his 6 day seminar in the documentary, he ended the last session with the audience meditating in an eastern-religion type posture. While he made slight reference to God during his presentations, it became very apparent he was not focused on pleasing God but instead prostrating before the god of this world.

Paul warned the church in Rome that this kind of worship would eventually lead us away from our inheritance, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:22-25).

Godlessness extinguishes the flame that should be continually growing within each of us. There is no “gray area” or “middle ground” in the absence of light, only eternal darkness. Our diligence in testing what is godly and focusing on what is godly will lead us to satisfaction and eternal joy.

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We begin with an array of reports centering on strategic actions on the part of nations in Asia—especially, China, and its concerned neighbors; we bring yet another example of Donald Trump’s unbridled public rhetoric causing even German leadership to voice strong concerns about a possible President Trump.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policies draw condemnation as Turkey positions itself more and more outside the EU and into the arms of Putin’s Russia; and England worries that it doesn’t have enough jails for pedophiles!

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Japan’s Emperor to Retire?

The Daily Beast wrote on August 8:

“When the Emperor speaks, Japan listens and so does the world. Monday at 3:00 p.m. local time a speech by Emperor Akihito was televised on a date that commemorated no anniversary or major tragedy, as most of his addresses do. Instead it pertained to the very Imperial System itself.

“The Emperor, who is 82, discussed his health, his position as a symbol of the state under Japan’s modern constitution, the hardship of his duties, his love for the people of Japan—and made clear his desire to abdicate the throne in his lifetime in a way that would cause the least amount of turmoil…

“Monday’s speech left little doubt his desire and intent is to step down, if such a thing can be arranged, but more importantly it marks the prelude to what may be an epic battle between the emperor’s successor, Crown Prince Naruhito, and the man some critics call the Clown Prince—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

“Media reports in Japan already are calling the consideration of abdication the current emperor’s final act of resistance against the prime minister, a bid to halt the return to Japan’s aggressive pre-war attitudes and policies…

“Japan’s remilitarization is steadily underway. The weapons industry has been revived; the country is shipping arms.

“The State Security Laws will enable Japan to wage war overseas for the first time since the war ended. And if the ruling coalition somehow fails to alter the pacifist constitution, it will push to pass an emergency powers act, which will give the Prime Minister power to rewrite the laws during a time of crisis—something straight out of the Nazi playbook. (Some members of Abe’s cabinet have a well-known admiration for Hitler’s political stratagems.)…

“Prime Minister Abe and his political allies have long derided Japan’s constitution as a humiliation imposed upon the Japanese people by the United States occupation government, impinging on ‘basic human rights.’”

China Pushes Japan

Reuters wrote on August 9:

“Japan warned China on Tuesday that ties were deteriorating over disputed East China Sea islets, and China’s envoy in Tokyo reiterated Beijing’s stance that the specks of land were its territory and called for talks to resolve the dispute.

“The diplomatic tussle comes amid simmering tension as China builds on outposts in the contested South China Sea, including what appear to be reinforced aircraft hangars, according to new satellite images.

“Ties between Asia’s two largest economies have been strained in recent days since Japan saw a growing number of Chinese coastguard and other government ships sailing near the East China Sea islets, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

“The flurry of Chinese incursions into the waters follows a period of sustained pressure on China over its activities in the South China Sea, and China’s criticism of what it sees as Japanese interference in that dispute.”

North Korea Threatens Japan

AFP reported on August 8:

“Japan’s newly appointed defence minister on Monday ordered the nation’s military to be ready to destroy any missiles fired by North Korea that threaten the country, local media reported.

“Tomomi Inada issued the order, public broadcaster NHK said, without mentioning any indication that Pyongyang is preparing to launch such a missile.

“Last week Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked Inada, a close confidante with staunchly nationalist views, as the new defence minister.

“NHK said Inada is expected to renew the readiness order every three months so that Tokyo can seamlessly maintain a state of alert.”

China Militarizes Contested “Islands”

NBC wrote on August 9:

“WASHINGTON — Recent satellite photographs show China appears to have built reinforced aircraft hangars on its holdings in the disputed South China Sea, according to a Washington-based think tank.

“Pictures taken in late July show the hangars constructed on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly islands have room for any fighter jet in the Chinese air force, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

“‘Except for a brief visit by a military transport plane to Fiery Cross Reef earlier this year, there is no evidence that Beijing has deployed military aircraft to these outposts. But the rapid construction of reinforced hangars at all three features indicates that this is likely to change,’ CSIS said in a report.

“China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.

“The images have emerged about a month after an international court in The Hague ruled against China’s sweeping claims in the resource-rich region, a ruling emphatically rejected by Beijing.”

South Korea’s Relation With China Sours!

Bloomberg wrote on August 9:

“South Korean President Park Geun Hye has discovered first hand the feeling of getting the cold shoulder from China.

“Under the fluent Mandarin speaker’s watch, South Korea had seen improved ties with China, drawn together in part by concern about Japan’s wartime past and the military ambitions of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Park was the only leader of a U.S. ally to attend a military parade in China last year for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“Now, relations that were hailed by both countries as the best in history have soured, and Park may get a frosty reception in China next month for the Group of 20 summit. The reason: Her agreement to deploy a U.S. missile shield on Korean soil.

“While South Korea says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system would be aimed at prickly neighbor North Korea, which has been busy of late test-firing missiles, China has reacted angrily, saying the shield could be applied to it. Russia has also opposed it being stationed in Asia…

“One consequence of the tensions over Thaad could be an arms race in North Asia, with both China and Russia moving to develop more sophisticated weaponry. The deployment may also play into the hands of North Korea, allowing leader Kim Jong-Un to shore up ties with China, its only major ally.”

Vietnam Arms Itself Against China

Reuters wrote on August 10:

“Vietnam has discreetly fortified several of its islands in the disputed South China Sea with new mobile rocket launchers capable of striking China’s runways and military installations across the vital trade route, according to Western officials.

“Diplomats and military officers told Reuters that intelligence shows Hanoi has shipped the launchers from the Vietnamese mainland into position on five bases in the Spratly islands in recent months, a move likely to raise tensions with Beijing…

“The move is designed to counter China’s build-up on its seven reclaimed islands in the Spratlys archipelago. Vietnam’s military strategists fear the building runways, radars and other military installations on those holdings have left Vietnam’s southern and island defenses increasingly vulnerable.

“Military analysts say it is the most significant defensive move Vietnam has made on its holdings in the South China Sea in decades.”

We know from biblical prophecies that a powerful collaboration of many Far Eastern nations will form, which will be hostile towards continental Europe. It appears certain that nations such as Russia and China will be part of this confederacy, but it is not clear as to what role some of the other countries will play, which are mentioned in the above-quoted articles. It is therefore important that we watch events in the Far East.  

“US Press Aghast at Trump Gun Remarks”

BBC News reported on August 10:

“Trump’s latest remarks on the possibility of the ‘Second Amendment people’ doing away with his opponent drew immediate outcry… The mainstream US press has largely reacted to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s gun rights remarks with dismay and some anger.

“Most forthright is New York’s Daily News, which declares ‘Trump must go’. ‘Hinting at assassination is too much, even for him,’ it explains. The Wall Street Journal reports a ‘new flap for Trump over gun comments’, saying Mr Trump has ‘confounded the hopes of Republicans who want him to run a more measured presidential campaign.’ The New York Times says ‘Trump suggests gun owners act against Clinton’ and reports ‘alarm’ at his remarks… Veteran commentator Thomas Friedman writes… that this is… ‘how Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin got assassinated’…

“The Washington Post describes a tactic of ‘outrage, headlines and then denial’ in Mr Trump’s campaign speeches, which it says may not serve to attract undecided voters to his cause… It gives space to Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman and MSNBC TV host, who calls for his party to ditch Mr Trump… ‘A bloody line has been crossed that cannot be ignored. At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens,’ he writes…”

German Government Breaks Neutrality on US Elections

The Local wrote on August 10:

“German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier believes Donald Trump becoming US president would be a ‘frightening’ prospect for the world, his spokeswoman said Wednesday. Steinmeier ‘is not neutral’ on whether the Republican candidate is fit to occupy the Oval Office, the spokeswoman, Sawsan Chebli, told reporters. ‘He is of the opinion that it is frightening, if you follow Trump’s remarks, what could become of this world if Trump actually became president,’ she said. ‘The foreign minister is calling attention to that and that is his right.’

“Die Welt reports that it is the first time that a member of the German government has stated an official position on how they hope the US elections will pan out. However Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, had made his feelings pretty clear already when he compared Trump last week to a ‘hate preacher’, saying he had much in common with ‘fear-mongers’ in Germany’s right-wing populist AfD party as well as advocates of Britain’s exit from the EU.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman told the same news conference that she would stand by her policy of not commenting on the US election campaign. French President Francois Hollande said Trump makes ‘you want to retch’ following the Republican’s ‘hurtful and humiliating comments’ against the Muslim parents of a slain US soldier who criticised the candidate.

“Trump’s bid to take the White House is reeling from a series of self-inflicted scandals after he disparaged Muslims, babies, firefighters and the military, prompting his Republican stablemates to issue awkward denunciations. He stirred new controversy Tuesday over comments interpreted by some as a threat of violence against rival Hillary Clinton.”

Subsequently, Mr. Trump caused further outrage when he stated repeatedly that President Obama and Hillary Clinton “founded” ISIS.

New Emails May Prove Disastrous for Hillary Clinton

The New York Times wrote on August 9:

“A new batch of State Department emails released Tuesday showed the close and sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.

“The documents raised new questions about whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department, a charge that Mrs. Clinton has faced in the past and has always denied.

“In one email exchange, for instance, an executive at the Clinton Foundation in 2009 sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the United States ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there.

“In another email, the foundation appeared to push aides to Mrs. Clinton to help find a job for a foundation associate. Her aides indicated that the department was working on the request…

“The State Department turned the new emails over to a conservative advocacy group, Judicial Watch, as part of a lawsuit that the group brought under the Freedom of Information Act.

“The documents included 44 emails that were not among some 55,000 pages of emails that Mrs. Clinton had previously given to the State Department, which she said represented all her ‘work-related’ emails…

“Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, charged that Mrs. Clinton ‘hid’ the documents from the public because they appeared to contradict her official pledge in 2009 to remove herself from Clinton Foundation business while leading the State Department…

“The F.B.I. spent more than a year examining Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account, but it is not clear how the work of the Clinton Foundation figured into that investigation. James B. Comey Jr., the F.B.I. director, was noticeably circumspect in an appearance last month before the House oversight committee when Republicans questioned whether the investigation had looked at the Clinton Foundation. Twice, he declined to say.”

Breitbart added on August 11:

“While the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State was underway, ‘several FBI field offices’ asked the Justice Department to investigate the murky connections between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation, but were shutdown, according to a report by CNN.”

The Storm in Europe Has Just Begun…

The Week wrote on August 5:

“In a world filled with political bunglers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel deserves special mention for outstanding achievement in recklessness. Her refugee policy puts all of Europe at risk, though continental elites may be too zealous in their devotion to humanitarian ideals to recognize it…

“The reason we should look beyond the anecdotes is that focusing on them allows Merkel and her defenders to deflect — to suggest that all of these events are outliers, that they don’t represent a portentous glimpse of the European future, and that those who oppose Merkel’s refugee policy are guilty of racism, xenophobia, and other archaic forms of prejudice that all enlightened Europeans are duty-bound to reject out of hand as a precondition for participation in civilized conversation and debate…

“Recall those overwhelming majorities who say they are unhappy with how the EU has handled the refugee issue. Those are voters who helped pass the Brexit referendum in the U.K. And who nearly elected a far-right anti-EU and anti-immigrant party in Austria just four months ago. And who are now giving that same party the lead in the run-up to the re-run of the election scheduled for October. And who are contributing to a surge in the polls for the far-right National Front in France. And so on and so forth.

“All of these developments are a product of growing unease among European voters, who believe (and not without reason) that their leaders are prone to pursue policies, without popular consultation, that will drastically and negatively affect the quality of life in — and the linguistic, ethnic, economic, and religious character of — their nations. This populist discontent began building long before Merkel instituted her well-meant but profoundly foolish refugee policy, but that policy more than any other in recent memory has galvanized it.

“Having set out, with the best of moral intentions, to act like an extra-political citizen of a world without walls, Angela Merkel has ended up reaping a nationalist whirlwind. And the storm has only just begun to gather.”

Germany Is Granting Islam “Too Much Respect”

Breitbart wrote on August 11:

“Bundestag member Erika Steinbach and Iranian-born pastor Mahin Mousapour called for much stronger sanctions for Muslims who abuse Christians in Germany at a press conference on Monday. Highlighting the fact Christians suffer violence, harassment, and death threats in migrant lodgings, Ms. Mousapour criticised Germany for granting Islam ‘too much respect’.  Declaring anti-Christian hate attacks an affront to German values, politician Erika Steinbach advocated the government deport migrants who insult or attack Christians…

“At the press conference Ms. Mousapour, who converted to Christianity more than 25 years ago, reported that Christians face various forms of persecution in migrant housing.

“Ms Mousapour warned that Christians living in migrant housing are told they are ‘impure as a dog’ and deserved death for rejecting Islam. ‘Toys of Christian children are being destroyed, Christian asylum seekers are told not only to wash their dishes after eating but also that they must clean the entire kitchen as it would otherwise be “unclean”. Many Muslim asylum seekers call all Christians unclean. Church services are held in secret, bibles and crucifixes have to be hidden,’ she explained.

“Ms Mousapour… disclosed that even converts who no longer live in migrant housing attract Muslims’ ire…

“Ms. Steinbach advocated deportation for Muslims who attack or insult Christian migrants on the basis of their religion. A vocal critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy to open Germany’s borders, Ms. Steinbach called for the European Union to set up refugee camps outside the bloc’s external borders. Here, the popular MP said, migrants would ‘stay until the war is over, then go back home’…

“During the Islamic month of fasting, migrant shelters in Germany catered to Muslim eating schedules, with Christians receiving only leftovers…

“Ms. Mousapour commented: ‘We are here in Germany, in a Christian country! We must not allow others to change that.’”

Strict Measures in Germany to Increase Security

The Telegraph wrote on August 10:

“Senior ministers in Germany have called for a ban on burqas and an end to dual citizenship in response to the threat from terrorism. Angela Merkel’s government is preparing to unveil increased security measures in the wake of recent terror attacks.

“Thomas de Maiziere, the country’s interior minister, is to detail a series of new proposals on Thursday, including the deportation of preachers who incite terrorism. But senior elected officials from Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU) believe the new measures do not go far enough, and have published a series of more far-reaching proposals… The document, already known as the Berlin Declaration, has already been signed by state interior ministers across Germany.

“It includes 27 measures to increase security, including thousands of new police officers and video camera surveillance in city centres. But the most controversial proposals are the calls for a ban on the full-face veil in public and an end to dual citizenship. Unlike some European countries, Germany has no restrictions on the wearing of burqas or headscarves in public… The declaration calls for an end to dual citizenship… ‘We reject this divided loyalty,’ the declaration reads. ‘We suggest whoever wants to get involved with the politics of foreign governments leaves Germany.’”

The Local added on August 11:

“German citizens with dual nationality who fight for a terror group should be stripped of their German citizenship, the interior minister said Thursday, unveiling tough new measures after two attacks by Islamic State militants. ‘Germans who participate in fighting abroad for a terror militia and who have another citizenship should lose their German nationality,’ Thomas de Maiziere said…

“But the proposal is controversial. Green lawmaker Volker Beck swiftly condemned it as ‘desperate activism’. De Maiziere himself also acknowledged that junior coalition partner the Social Democrats is likely to raise objections.”

Turkey Does Not Belong in the EU

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 4:

“Autocracies have no place in the European Union… By suggesting Wednesday that talks on Turkey joining the European Union should be reconsidered, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern is just saying what all responsible politicians at EU headquarters in Brussels have known for quite some time: Accession talks with Turkey should be ended. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has also admitted that Turkey will not be ready for membership for years to come.

“Eleven years ago, EU member states still hoped that then EU-friendly Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could steer a Muslim Turkey into the EU as a modern democracy and a developing economic power within a decade. At the time, EU members politely ignored his claims that Turkey would one day dominate the bloc… Today, the vision has vanished. President Erdogan has gone from being a reformer to being an autocratic president, who undermines the rule of law, curtails freedoms of the press and expression and has most recently begun using emergency laws to prepare for the transformation of the Turkish state into a presidial, autocratic regime…

“Erdogan and the state that he has created are truly unfit for membership. He is no longer even willing to join. In 2014, long before last month’s attempted coup, Erdogan said that he ‘didn’t care’ if the EU accepted Turkey or not. At the time he was incarcerating undesirable journalists with the help of a compliant judicial system.

“Nevertheless, the European Union still clings to the decision it made long ago to continue membership negotiations no matter what the outcome. Why? Especially when everyone knows that they will never lead to Turkish membership?… the willingness of many of the EU’s member states to welcome 80 million people from another cultural sphere is also severely limited. Erdogan himself has complained that Europeans don’t want the Turks just because they are Muslims. There is some truth to that. Above all, skeptical EU citizens would not want Turks that – like Erdogan – see Islam as a superior ideology and contemptuously refer to the EU as a ‘Club of Christians.’…

“In actuality, accession talks have been at a standstill for years. Indeed, they never really started. That’s because Turkey, since 2005, has steadfastly refused to recognize the EU membership of Cyprus, of which, contrary to international law, Turkey currently occupies the northern half. All attempts to find a solution to the issue have failed due to Turkish resistance. For that reason alone, membership negotiations make no sense at all.

“The formal burial of accession talks demands a presumably difficult-to-achieve decision from EU heads of state and government. Turkey’s membership chances died long ago. The beautiful dream of a European Turkey has burst like a soap bubble.”

Turkey and Russia Vow “Friendship”

The New York Times reported on August 9:

“Against a backdrop of rising tensions between Turkey and the West, Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey pledged on Tuesday to repair relations after nine months of open antagonism.

“Although their meeting in St. Petersburg on Tuesday produced little beyond vows of friendship and cooperation, the symbolism of the two former antagonists coming together for a friendly talk was enough to raise alarms in Western capitals. Besides being a member of the NATO alliance, Turkey is vital to Europe’s efforts to stanch the flow of migrants from Syria and Afghanistan.

“Washington and Ankara, long at odds over American support of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, have had a series of problems lately. Anti-Americanism has been on the rise in Turkey, amid accusations that the United States played a role in the failed coup in Turkey and widespread resentment of the White House’s criticism of the resulting crackdown.”

Ukraine on Highest Alert

Newsmax wrote on August 11:

“Vladimir Putin summoned his security council and the Russian Navy announced war games in the Black Sea a day after the Russian president accused Ukraine of trying to provoke a conflict over Crimea, which Moscow seized and annexed in 2014…

“Using some of his most aggressive rhetoric against Kiev since the height of the war two years ago, Putin has pledged to take counter-measures against Ukraine, which he accused of sending saboteurs into Crimea to carry out terrorist acts.

“Ukraine has called the accusations false and says they look like a pretext for Russia to escalate hostilities…

“Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he had ordered all Ukrainian units near Crimea and in eastern Ukraine onto the highest state of combat readiness. He was seeking to urgently speak to Putin, the leaders of France and Germany, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and European Council President Donald Tusk.

“In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the United States was extremely concerned and called on both sides to reduce tension and rhetoric. In New York, the U.N. Security Council held a closed-door meeting at Ukraine’s request to discuss the growing tensions.

“Ukrainian U.N. Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko warned that Russia had amassed more than 40,000 troops in the region and said the build-up could reflect ‘very bad intentions.’”

UK’s Prisons Aren’t Big Enough to Jail All Paedophiles!

The Independent wrote on August 8:

“One of the most senior police officers in the UK has called for greater debate about treating paedophiles rather than sending them to prison, amid concerns there is not enough space in prisons to jail them all.

“Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales issued the warning and called for a ‘rethink’ on current approaches to sex offenders, The Times reports.

“Currently, there are close to 45,000 names on the sex offenders’ register. The list contains details of people convicted of sexual offences and is used to monitor offenders following their release from prison. It has been steadily increasing since it was established in 1997.

“Mr Thomas said: ‘One of the major concerns from our members is managing the register already, and it’s growing. For offenders at the highest level there are visits to be made [and] monitoring access to the internet.’

“He added that there is not enough room in prisons to jail all child sex offenders and called for discussion of alternatives: ‘Should we be going down the criminal justice route or, based on a proper assessment, should we be going down the health route? At the moment I am not seeing alternative thinking on how we deal with this issue as it grows and grows and grows’…

“Of 86,200 people who are currently in jail, around 11,500 have been convicted of a sexual offence.”

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What Does the Bible Say About Jews?

In both its history and prophetic revelations, the Bible has a great deal to say about the Jewish people. In fact, events associated with the House of Judah provide vital keys to understanding God’s great plan of salvation for all of mankind!

The term “Jew” is found in the Old and New Testament and primarily refers to the descendants of one of the sons of Jacob—as distinguished from other of Jacob’s children.

It is important to understand that Judah was ONE of twelve sons born to Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons by four wives (Genesis 35:22-26). These are the ones who became the nation of Israel with each son becoming a distinct tribe and, eventually, individual nations. Not all Israelites are Jews, but all Jews are Israelites. This distinction is vital.

In Genesis 29, verse 35, the birth of the fourth son of Jacob by his wife, Leah, is recorded, and the name given to him was Judah—which means “praise.”

Some further details about Judah are given in the Book of Genesis.

It appears that Joseph was favored by Jacob, and, furthermore, that Joseph was disliked by his brothers to such an extent that they contemplated killing him (compare Genesis 37:18-20). First Reuben and then Judah intervened to save Joseph’s life, and we find that Judah’s suggestion was as follows:

“So Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.’ And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:26-28).

Later, when Joseph’s brothers stood before him, accused of theft, it was Judah who offered himself as a substitute for Benjamin:

“‘For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, “If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.” Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?’” (Genesis 44:32-34).

Another incident about Judah involved his daughter-in-law (compare Genesis 38). This occurred following the death of two of the sons of Judah—both of whom were successively married to Tamar, but the sons were evil and God killed them. Tamar disguised herself as a harlot, and Judah—not knowing that she was his daughter-in-law—lay with her.

Twins, Perez and Zerah, were born to Judah by Tamar. Shelah was Judah’s son by his wife, Shua, but it is from the lineage of Perez that David was born (Ruth 4:18-22), and from David’s lineage, Jesus Christ was born (Luke 3:23-38).

On his death-bed, Jacob blessed his twelve sons, and he specifically spoke of their circumstances “‘…in the last days’” (Genesis 49:1). Here is what he said about Judah:

“‘Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk’” (Genesis 49:8-12).

The “scepter”—that is, rulership—was given to the tribe of Judah, and the Bible establishes this fact in the unfolding history of the Jews. David understood this:

“‘However the LORD God of Israel chose me above all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever, for He has chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father, and among the sons of my father, He was pleased with me to make me king over all Israel’” (1 Chronicles 28:4).

In the Psalms, we find this further acknowledgement:

“Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever. He also chose David His servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; From following the ewes that had young He brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance” (Psalm 78:67-71).

A momentous event occurred when Judah and Israel became SEPARATE nations. The reason was because of Solomon’s disobedience—especially his idolatry:

“Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen’” (1 Kings 11:11-13).

From this point forward, ten tribes of Israel and the tribe of Judah were and have remained separate. At times, violent wars were fought between the kings of Israel and Judah. Ultimately, Israel was taken into national captivity by the Assyrians (about 722 B.C.). That record is found in 2 Kings, chapter 17.

Likewise, Judah rebelled against God, and He sent them into national captivity in Babylon (just before 600 B.C. and culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of God in 587 B.C.).

After a seventy-year period, Jews were allowed to return. They rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and the Temple of God. Judah once again became a nation in their homeland. This set the stage for the prophesied appearance of the Messiah which would occur several hundred years later.

When Jesus was born, Judah was a nation under Rome’s dominion. Jesus preached to the Jews of that time, but He was rejected by all but a very few of that generation—they did not believe that He was the Messiah:

“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11; compare Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 13:54-58; Acts 3:11-15).

Many Old Testament prophecies revealed that the Messiah would come from King David’s lineage—note this example:

“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS’” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is identified as a Jew, and this is confirmed by what is written in the Book of Hebrews, “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah…” (7:14). Furthermore, Paul presents more proof of the lineage of Jesus Christ:

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:1-4).

As the promised “Messiah,” Jesus has been appointed ruler over all things:

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

At this time, the Jewish people reject Jesus Christ as being the hopedfor Messiah. However, Jesus has promised to return to the earth and at that time, the Jews will accept Him. Jesus prophesied of this:

“‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”’” (Matthew 23:37-39).

Jesus made a remarkable statement about Jews when He told a Samaritan woman, “‘…SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS’” (John 4:22).

The Messiah, God’s Son, was a Jew.

We plan to follow-up with more information which deals with the Jewish people—especially considering the modern day role of the State of Israel.

Additional references:

Was the State of Israel Prophesied?

Who will build the Temple of Ezekiel? Part 1

Who will build the Temple of Ezekiel? Part 2 

Who will build the Temple of Ezekiel? Part 3

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Norbert and Johanna Link, accompanied by Margaret Adair along with Michael, Noelle and Mason Link, have returned to Southern California following a very successful visit with brethren in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and California. Also, during this time, Pastor Rene Messier and his wife, Delia, drove from Summerland, British Columbia, to join in Sabbath services in Woodburn, Oregon.

Here are the dates for the 2016 Fall Holy Days:

October 3—Feast of Trumpets
October 12—Day of Atonement
October 17 through October 24—Feast of Tabernacles
October 25—Last Great Day

“The Prodigal Son,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Rene Messier, is now posted.

“The Four Winds”, the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The Bible speaks many times about the four winds. We read in the New Testament that four angels will hold the four winds of the earth, or that angels will gather together the elect from the four winds. The Old Testament says that God will scatter Israel and other nations toward the four winds under heaven. We also read about four winds which stand before the Lord of all the earth. What is meant with the four winds?

Our new booklet, “God’s Law… or God’s Grace?” has entered the second review cycle.

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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