Update 758


Motivation; Is the Soul Immortal?

On November 5, 2016, Mike Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Motivation,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Is the Soul Immortal?” In addition, Feast reports from Germany will be given.

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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Did Man Create God?

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

There is a programme on Sunday mornings on BBC television in the UK where weekly debates are conducted about moral, ethical and religious issues. In May 2016 the issue debated was entitled “Did Man Create God?” My first reaction was “here we go again” but, on reflection, I thought that in every case except the worship of the true God, man did indeed create the god or gods that he now worships.

We know that there is “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) and that this applies only to Jesus Christ. Further, we also know from the Bible that the Holy Spirit which God has given to those who obey Him is a condition of being a called-out member of the Family of God.

The true Church of God knows and understands that there is only one God and that there are conditions that apply to being a member of the Church that Jesus founded.   We also know that there will be those from other religions who will see our understanding as being “exclusive” and even within mainstream Christianity they can also take the same view about Church of God “exclusivity”.

But we are not exclusivists in the way that the world would understand. Jesus made it abundantly clear that there is only one way and that is the narrow way and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14). So it is not exclusivist to make the assertions that we do, but just a reflection of the knowledge that God has given us through a correct understanding of His Word.

If you think about it, man did create god or gods in his own foolish imaginations. We read in Romans 1:21-23: “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”  This clearly shows that man has created “gods” and worships them accordingly.

We know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped all manner of created beings with a myriad of so called “gods” that had nothing to do with the true God. Down through the ages, man has created a god or gods and ignored the true God. Of course, many have never even heard of the true God because of the societies in which they live but we are privileged to know that they will be given their opportunity to know the true God at a later time.

When we see all of the gods of other religions today, we can get an understanding of the way that Satan works as he counterfeits religion and makes paganism seem another way that leads to God but we have been given the understanding that this is not acceptable to the true God.

In this programme with a carefully selected audience which included religious people, philosophers, scientists and others, we were exposed to false religionists pontificating about their brand of religion which we know from the Bible is truly false. In addition, there was a female rabbi and a female vicar. The latter stated that she knew the New Testament but not so much the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) but, from what she said, she didn’t even know the New Testament that well; otherwise, she wouldn’t be a part of the ministry! A Muslim from a Muslim think tank and someone representing Hinduism gave their insights, not realising that their brand of religion was in fact man creating god or gods, a principle not acceptable to the true God.

The ancient nation of Israel was told to “love the LORD your God, with all your heart, with all your soul (being) and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and we know that God is a “jealous God” (Exodus 20:5) which is mentioned as part of the second commandment. Jealous means that God is intolerant of unfaithfulness.   As one commentator put it: “Jealousy is a sin when it is a desire for something that does not belong to you. Worship, praise, honour, and adoration belong to God alone, for only He is truly worthy of it. Therefore, God is rightly jealous when worship, praise, honour, or adoration is given to idols. This is precisely the jealousy the apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy…”

Did man create God? No, he didn’t create the true God, of course, but all of the other gods have indeed been created by man. We have just been privileged to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day which gives us such invaluable understanding of the Way of the true God and His master plan for all of humanity.

It is quite sobering to think how far man is from the knowledge of the one true God but that will be rectified during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment when everyone who has not been called until that time will then be given their opportunity to worship the true Creator. Then there will not be the need for such a discussion; just happiness and joy that the one true God is in charge and that mankind has been given the opportunity to share eternity with Him.

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In this issue, we report about the “unalterable” and correct Catholic stance on women priests; the negative German view on the two US Presidential candidates and the entire American electoral system; the Obamacare disaster; interesting comments by the EU commissioner for digital affairs about China, Angela Merkel and former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder; Turkey’s “Attack” on Germany; a new “Brexit Betrayal Court Ruling”; Russia’s Lost Bid for the UN’s Human Rights Council due to their conduct in Syria; France’s ridiculous “fight” against extra-terrestrial aliens; more earthquakes in Italy; we conclude with an article pointing to Muslim history verifying that the Dome of the Rock was built on the site of previous Jewish temples.

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No Catholic Women Priests… Ever!

USA Today reported on November 1:

“The Catholic Church’s ban on female priests will stand forever, Pope Francis said Tuesday. The pontiff made the declaration in response to a female reporter asking whether he thought women would one day serve as Catholic priests and bishops, noting the head of Sweden’s Lutheran Church whom Francis met on his trip there is a woman… ‘Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands,’… The reporter then asked ‘Forever, forever? Never, never?’ ‘If we read carefully the declaration by… John Paul II, it is going in that direction,’ the pope responded.

“Pope John Paul II, in an Apostolic letter written in 1994, wrote that despite the church’s long history of male-only priests, ‘in some places it is nonetheless considered open to debate.’ Not so, wrote the pope who died in 2005 and was canonized a saint in 2014… ‘I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful,’ John Paul II wrote.”

In this, the Catholic Church is correct.

 Germans for Clinton as a Lesser of Two EVILS

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 1:

“A whopping 86 percent of Germans would vote for Hillary Clinton for US president and only four percent would choose Donald Trump, a recent poll showed. DW spoke to five very different Germans about the election.

“Theresia Scholz is an 85-year-old pensioner from Reutlingen and has been a member of the conservative CDU for 50 years:…  ‘I would advise the American electorate: Vote for the lesser of two evils. There’s nothing perfect in the world. You can’t elect someone who’s so revolting and is a blowhard and constantly contradicts himself. In the end you don’t know what you’ll get…’

“Helmut Kopp, 46, is a senior partner in a business consultancy near Frankfurt and is married to a German-Persian woman:… ‘I think it’s pathetic that a population of 320 million people has a choice between a senile old man and 69-year-old woman. The two of them should be preparing for the final years of their lives and not go around pretending to be 50-year-old yuppies …’

“Stefan Hauser, 46, works for an online shop in Dresden and is the publisher of a pocket calendar devoted to dead rock musicians: ‘… Neither candidate holds much appeal for young people in Germany.’

“Pauli Heinz, 19, is from Hamburg and just started studying product design in Berlin after going to school for three years in England: ‘… I find the American electoral system problematic. In the end there are only two candidates who have a true chance. If you don’t like either, you don’t have much of a choice.’

“Beate Brinkmeier, 40, is a born and bred West Berliner who works for the picture department of a national newspaper and is in the process of getting a degree in psychology: ‘I think if I were American, I wouldn’t vote. Fundamentally, I ask myself as a European how it can happen that the two candidates are this bad. It’s pretty horrifying… As someone from Berlin, I worry about how the fronts have hardened between the West and Russia. Not that I like Putin, but I don’t think either candidate will do anything to ease the tension. That’s what I’m most worried about.’”

The article summarizes accurately the German sentiments. German preference for Hillary Clinton is largely due to extremely one-sided reporting about the two candidates… which is not to say that we are endorsing either of the candidates in any way.

The Most Unlikeable Candidates

The Washington Post wrote on November 1:

“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are some of the most unlikeable candidates in political history… but even after this seemingly never-ending election cycle, they’re still more popular than Congress.”

The Obamacare Disaster

BBC News wrote on October 25:

“The cost of healthcare insurance in the US under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise by an average of 25% in 2017, according to the government. About one in five consumers will also only be able to pick plans from a single insurer, it said… Republican nominee Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to repeal the law, which is known as Obamacare.

“It is a major part of President Barack Obama’s legacy, and his signature piece of legislation… The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 mandated that every American had to purchase private insurance, and prohibited insurers from turning away the sick. It also provided subsidies.

“… Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she supports the Affordable Care Act, but has denounced ‘skyrocketing out-of-pocket health costs’, saying the federal government should have the power to block or modify unreasonable rate increases… small-business owners and the self-employed… will take it on the chin…

“The unsubsidised portion of the government-run health insurance marketplace was what Bill Clinton notably called ‘the craziest thing in the world’ earlier this month. Donald Trump and the Republicans tried to make hay out of his remarks at the time – and now they have solid numbers to make their case.

“Mrs Clinton continues to be in the awkward position of defending Obamacare…”

Not only Obamacare, but the entire presidency of Barack Obama has been a complete and utter disaster. It is mind-boggling that especially in Germany, many would prefer a third term for Mr. Obama. This is largely due to a completely inaccurate and propagandistic reporting by the German press.

Günther Oettinger Ridicules Chinese, Merkel and Schroeder

The Guardian wrote on October 28:

“Günther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for digital affairs, has used a speech to poke fun at the Chinese, gay marriage and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s separation from his wife. Speaking to invited guests of the Hamburg company AGA, the German politician triggered both nervous laughter and applause with his remarks.

“Oettinger, who is known for his gaffes, described a recent contingent of Chinese businessmen who came to Brussels to meet EU officials as ‘nine men, (with) one party and no democracy’, who all wore ‘single-breasted dark-blue jackets, all with their hair brushed from left to right with black shoe polish’.

“Criticising Germany’s welfare system as overly generous, he went on to have a dig at the liberal policies of Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government, saying he would not be surprised if it introduced ‘obligatory homosexual marriage’.

“He said that following the recent collapse of [former Chancellor Gerhard] Schröder’s fourth marriage and the doubts over the North Stream 2 project which he had been working on in his advisory capacity at Gazprom, he would now ‘have plenty of time on his hands’.

“Oettinger, who is responsible for the EU’s IT developments, said he took pride in being the only person in his vicinity who read a newspaper instead of reading his news on a tablet or smartphone.”

Interesting comments….

Turkey Attacks Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 3:

“Germany has become one of the most important havens for terror groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, warning that this ‘cursed terror will boomerang back and hit you.’

“Erdogan said Germany had refused to extradite alleged members of FETO, the name the government uses to describe the organization led by US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has blamed for the attempted coup in July. The Turkish president said Germany has for years harbored militants and organizations tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency for greater autonomy, as well as the far-left DHKP-C. The EU designated both groups terror organizations…

“The mushrooming of the post-coup purges of more than 100,000 people has drawn criticism in Germany, where there is increasing worry that the conflict between Gulenists and Erdogan backers could spill into the country.  The purges have also raised concerns over the rule of law and Erdogan’s attempts to silence all opposition… Relations took a further hit earlier this year after Germany passed an Armenian genocide resolution.” 

The “Brexit Betrayal Court Ruling”

The New York Times wrote on November 3:

“The British government’s plan for leaving the European Union was thrown into uncertainty on Thursday after the High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the process can begin. The court’s decision seemed likely to slow — but not halt — the British withdrawal from the bloc, a step approved by nearly 52 percent of voters in a June referendum.

“Nevertheless, the court’s decision was a significant blow to Prime Minister Theresa May. She had planned to begin the legal steps for leaving the European Union by the end of March, and to prepare for the negotiations over Britain’s exit mostly behind closed doors. If the court’s ruling is upheld — the government immediately vowed to appeal — that plan would be thrown into disarray, analysts said. Mrs. May would be forced to work with Parliament and consider its competing priorities for Britain’s future. Specifically, she would have to give it a detailed strategy for negotiating the British departure, or ‘Brexit.’ She has adamantly resisted doing so, arguing that this would impede her flexibility in the negotiations, preventing Britain from getting the best possible deal.”

Express wrote on November 3:

“THE BRITISH public have reacted strongly against today’s Brexit court ruling… The prime minister’s official spokesman said the government had ‘no intention of letting’ the judgement ‘derail Article 50 or the timetable we have set out. We are determined to continue with our plan’… Prime Minister Theresa May had said she would trigger Article 50, which notifies the EU of the UK’s intention to leave the EU, by the end of next March.

“… the High Court ruled that parliament must vote on whether the UK can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the process of leaving the European Union. This means that the Government cannot begin formal exit negotiations without the backing of the House…”

In a related article, Express wrote on November 3:

“EURO judges could have the final say on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union following today’s bombshell Article 50 decision in another hammer blow to eurosceptics… Critics have branded the situation a ‘mess’ and urged the Prime Minister to sidestep Article 50 altogether by passing an act of parliament repealing all EU laws. 

“Top lawyers have said that the controversial legal trigger for leaving the bloc, which has never been activated before, is a legal minefield because of its ambiguous wording. Buried deep in the Lisbon Treaty, eurosceptics say Article 50 is so ambiguous and full of holes because arrogant Brussels bureaucrats never conceived that anyone would want to leave their club… A report by the European Parliament, compiled in February this year, also agreed that Article 50 is an ‘international agreement’ between the exiting country and Brussels, and is ‘therefore subject to judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU’.

“… Ukip MEP Gerard Batten said the growing legal confusion showed that Theresa May should sidestep the flawed exit clause altogether and instead take firm action through the UK parliament. He said:… ‘This mess demonstrates why we should forget Article 50 and leave the EU by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act which is perfectly legal under our constitution.’

“Theresa May has repeatedly asserted that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March at the latest. Once the notification is served to Brussels there will be a two-year window in which to negotiate the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, which can only be extended with the unanimous agreement of all 28-member states.”

Russia Lost Bid for UN’s Human Rights Council

The Guardian wrote on October 28:

“Russia has lost its bid to become a member of the UN’s human rights council, in a defeat that reflects the diplomatic cost of its war in Syria. Russia was beaten on Friday by Hungary and Croatia in the competition for two seats on the council allotted to eastern European states. It was the first time one of the permanent five members of the security council had failed to get elected to the HRC since its formation a decade ago, and followed a campaign by human rights groups opposing Russian membership because of its role in the bombing of Syrian cities, eastern Aleppo in particular…

“Human rights groups also campaigned against Saudi Arabia for the high civilian death toll of its bombing campaign in Yemen, but the kingdom won one of the four seats reserved for the Asia-Pacific region.

“The 193-member general assembly on Friday elected 14 members to the 47-nation council, the UN’s main body charged with promoting and protecting human rights. Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, the UK and the US were also elected to the council… ‘Russia deserves this defeat, but it will only increase Moscow’s contempt for the UN,’ said Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations…”

The conflict between Russia and the EU is bound to increase.

The Fight Against Aliens

Gizmodo wrote on October 29:

“With UFO sightings on the rise and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman leading a push to reveal more classified info on extraterrestrial life, one small town in France wants to potentially ruin it for us all.

“Claude Avril, the current mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, says that he will not overturn a 62-year-old law that prohibits the ‘flying over, landing, or taking off of flying saucers’ in his town. First introduced by the former mayor, Lucien Jeune, the law states: ‘Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.’…

“According to the Telegraph:  ‘The 1954 law was established after a man in northern France said he had seen two figures that looked like ‘deep sea divers’ emerging from a ‘cigar-shaped’ space ship.”

How ridiculous can mankind get?

More Earthquakes in Italy

The Guardian wrote on October 30:

“Prime minister Matteo Renzi swore that Italy would rebuild devastated towns and villages across central Italy that were rocked by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning, saying the area represented the ‘soul of our country’. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit Italy since 1980, striking a blow to the regions of Marche and Umbria just days after they were hit by two other earthquakes.

“It also frightened and displaced thousands of already-jittery residents who have seen the ancient structures and walls in their towns, including the San Benedetto basilica in Norcia, which is considered a sacred site, crumble into heaps on the street.”

Ultimately, the city of Rome will be hit by a big earthquake.

Muslim Worlds Considered Dome of the Rock as Place for the Two Temples

The Times of Israel wrote on October 31:

“A recently studied inscription from a mosque near Hebron offers insight into how, until the mid-20th century, the Muslim world considered Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock to be the successor to two ancient Jewish shrines that formerly stood atop the Temple Mount.

“The previously overlooked dedicatory inscription from the Mosque of Umar in Nuba, a village nearly 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Jerusalem, mentions the village as an endowment for the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. But what’s striking is that the Dome of the Rock is referred to in the text as ‘the rock of the Bayt al-Maqdis’ — literally, ‘The Holy Temple’ — a verbatim translation of the Hebrew term for the Jerusalem temple that early Muslims employed to refer to Jerusalem as a whole, and the gold-domed shrine in particular.

“Local tradition ascribed the construction of the mosque to Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, under whose rule Arab armies conquered Jerusalem and the rest of Byzantine Palestine in the mid-7th century. It was under his eventual successor Abd al-Malik, the fifth caliph, that the Dome of the Rock was completed in 691 CE…

“… medieval Muslim traditions surrounding the Dome of the Rock… ‘identified the mount again and again with David and Solomon’s temples’ and ‘understood that the mount is the ancient temple rebuilt, the Quran is the true faith and the Muslims the true Children of Israel… In effect, the Muslims saw themselves as the ones continuing the biblical tradition of the temple,’ [a scholar] explained; they considered themselves the ‘new Jews.’ In that vein, the Muslims built the third temple in the 7th century in the form of the Dome of the Rock.

“For several centuries, until the fall of Jerusalem to crusading Christians in 1099, Muslims associated the Haram al-Sharif with the former temples…  Muslim traditions identify the Haram again and again with the Temple of David and Solomon, from where the Ark of the Covenant and God’s Presence had been removed, where the Children of Israel killed John, the son of Zechariah (the biblical prophet Zechariah), and Nebuchadnezzar in revenge slaughtered them,’ [another scholar wrote].

“Despite the fact that Muslim texts and historians associated the Temple Mount with the two ancient Jewish temples that stood there, since the foundation of the State of Israel that narrative has been expunged from the Palestinian narrative. A guide to the Haram al-Sharif, the Arabic term for the Temple Mount, published by the Islamic Waqf in 1925 informed visitors that the fact that the Dome of the Rock was built atop the site of Solomon’s Temple was ‘beyond dispute.’ Even as late as 1951, historian — and then-Palestinian mayor of East Jerusalem — Aref el-Aref’s history of the Dome of the Rock stated unequivocally that ‘the ruins of Solomon’s Temple are under al-Aqsa’ and that Umar built a mosque atop the former building’s site. But by 1965, ‘A Brief Guide to the Dome of the Rock and Haram al-Sharif,’ published by the Supreme Awqaf Council, completely avoided mentioning the ancient Jewish temples.

“Amid clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police on the Temple Mount last October, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the Muslim cleric in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that there was never a Jewish temple atop the Temple Mount, and that the site has been home to a mosque ‘since the creation of the world.’… ‘This is the Al-Aqsa Mosque that Adam, peace be upon him, or during his time, the angels built,’ the mufti said.”

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Is it a Sin to Vote in the Presidential Election?

On November 8, 2016, many Americans will vote for either one of two candidates running for the highest office in the land, wishing to become the most powerful person in the world. This election is truly extraordinary, as we have never seen in the recent history of the USA two candidates who are both very much disliked by a majority of the people, and whose reputation is one of being untrustworthy and dishonest. The mud-slinging libelous contest by both candidates and their campaigns is unparalleled, with new charges and accusations being raised on a daily basis.

The media is having a field day, with endless discussions and mindless debates, and people are taking positions, not because they are convinced of “their” choice, but they fear the “greater evil” of the other candidate.

Looking at this unique disastrous development, even people in God’s Church might be tempted to vote in a few days to “prevent” greater harm. If they do, they are not only engaging themselves in taking an absolutely ridiculous position (no matter whom they are voting for), but they might be held responsible by God for sinning greatly.

In our Q&A #684, dated April 17, 2015, titled “Is It Really That Important to Understand that We Must Not Vote in Governmental Elections?“,  the following was stated:

“To be blunt, voting in governmental, national and presidential elections violates God’s plan for true Christians and constitutes a grave sin. It manifests the absence of faith in God; reveals a complete lack of understanding as to what the role of a true Christian is today; and shows utter ignorance as to who is ruling this world. We will not mince words in this Q&A, because FAR TOO MANY Christians are deceived and are deceiving others on this topic, foolishly thinking that they are serving God and their country by voting in governmental elections.

“We point out the following in our Statement of Beliefs: ‘We believe that a Christian’s duty to God is of a superior and higher nature than our duty arising from any human relationship (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29). We therefore, following Biblical commands and principles, do not participate in voting for national elections or jury duty, and we do not join the military.’

“Why is this? WHY do we take such a strong stance against voting in national elections, while other Christians do not seem to see any problems with this? WHY do we claim that it is part of the Christian DUTY NOT to vote in governmental elections?

“The simple answer is: We will NOT water down the truth of God, even though many others do. We will NOT swim with the stream of national pride, patriotism and nationalism, if it involves violating God’s Law. We WILL obey God rather than man, not being afraid of men and their antagonistic reactions and hateful persecution, but being FEARFUL of becoming luke-warm and compromising with God’s Will, even though many Christians do.

“In our free booklet, ‘Should You Fight in War?’, we address biblical passages which PROHIBIT a true Christian from voting in governmental and presidential elections and from getting involved in political campaigns in ANY way, pointing out that one cannot separate the issues of voting, jury duty service and FIGHTING IN WAR! We state the following:

“’It is inconsistent to take the position that one cannot join the military because one is an ambassador of Jesus Christ and a citizen of another government – the Kingdom of God – while at the same time serving on a jury or voting in governmental elections. For instance, in the United States, the President is also the Commander-in-Chief, having both the right and the obligation under the Constitution, in certain circumstances, to declare war. How can one refuse to participate in war, while voting for a person who has the right and the obligation to declare war? In the past, people were disqualified as conscientious objectors because they did not refuse to serve on a jury or to vote in governmental elections. It was ruled that such an obvious inconsistency in position showed evidence for non-sincerity of the applicant.’

“We also explain in our booklet that it is SATAN who rules this world and EVERY country, WITHOUT exception. It is true, of course, that Satan can only do what God ALLOWS him to do, but generally speaking, God is NOT getting involved in the affairs of this world, and neither should we. God will ONLY intervene and see to it that certain individuals end up in governmental positions, if they are temporarily needed to fulfill aspects of God’s plan. But this would be GOD’s doing, NOT ours.

“We state the following in our above-mentioned booklet: ‘Another reason why a Christian is not to vote for a candidate in governmental or local council elections is because he understands the truth about this being Satan’s world at the present time. It is Satan who, with the general permission of God, places candidates into governmental offices. If we were to vote, we might involve ourselves quite directly in Satan’s system. Hosea 8:4 gives us God’s warning in this regard: “They set up kings, but not by Me; they made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.”

“‘Sometimes, in order to ensure that certain aspects of His plan are fulfilled, God Himself might intervene to see to it that the person best (or perhaps worst) suited for the job at that time gets the job… How would God look at us when He intervenes directly to place a specific person into office, while we did not vote for that person, but rather for someone whom God does not want to see in charge at that time? It is obvious that our vote would be found to be in opposition to God’s Will.

“‘To give a prophetic and an historical example, Biblical prophecy reveals that a final political leader of the resurrected Roman Empire – the “beast” – will soon arise in Europe. According to God’s prophetic plan, this person will be placed in office in the very last days, wreaking total havoc on this planet. It is Satan, with God’s permission, who will give his power and authority to this person (Revelation 13:4-5). A Christian could not and should not vote for this person, of course, as he will persecute and kill many of the ‘saints’ (Revelation 13:7), and he will even attempt to fight the returning Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:19). Neither should a Christian have voted for Adolph Hitler, although it is clear now that Hitler came to power, as prophesied, to bring about the ninth resurrection of the Roman Empire. This is to say that God allowed Hitler to become ruler over Germany so that prophecy could be fulfilled.

”The Bible shows that God sometimes appoints directly, or permits Satan to place into office, strong or weak leaders, depending on the situation, in order to insure that God’s purpose will be carried out. For example, God allowed ancient Pharaoh, at the time of the Exodus, to be ruler over Egypt for a very specific reason – ‘that [God] may show [His] power in [him], and that [God’s] name may be declared in all the earth’ (Exodus 9:16).

“In regard to Pharaoh, we read that God placed him into power because he was a stubborn, self-righteous and ungodly person who would refuse to obey God and do His Will. God announced to Moses that He was ‘sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand’ (Exodus 3:19). Pharaoh would only yield after God had stricken Egypt with ‘all Mywonders which I will do in its midst’ (verse 20). God pronounced to Pharaoh that ‘indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth’ (Exodus 9:16). Paul later quoted this passage in Romans 9:17 in the context of God’s Will and His decision as to whom He wants to grant mercy in this day and age. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:4 that ‘The LORD has made all FOR HIMSELF, Yes, even the WICKED  for the day of doom.’ The fact that GOD raised up and gave rulership to wicked Pharaoh for the day of his doom in order to show His mercy towards Israel PROVES that any HUMAN voting for governmental leaders is useless, futile and CONTRARY TO GOD’S Will.

“While the Jewish leadership was willing to fight the Babylonian army under King Nebuchadnezzar, the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed God’s Will to the Jewish people NOT to fight, but to put down their weapons and to surrender to the foreign king. Jeremiah did not find a popular acceptance of this command; in fact, he was labeled a traitor and imprisoned as a consequence. King Nebuchadnezzar conquered and subdued the house of Judah, as it had been prophesied, but he was by no means a righteous king. He was full of pride and because of his arrogance and lack of humility, God removed him from his throne for seven years and let him become insane, living with the animals. After that, God restored his sanity and placed him back on his throne. The accompanying lessons before, during and after Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity are strikingly revealed in the Bible. We read in Daniel 2:21 that God ‘removes kings and raises up kings’ (Daniel 2:21). We also read in Daniel 4:32; 5:21 that it is GOD who gives a kingdom to whomever HE chooses. God wants us to know that ‘the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever HE WILL, And sets over it the LOWEST of men’ (Daniel 4:17). The Authorized Version even says that He ‘setteth up over it the BASEST of men.’

“As mentioned, God will do so when His plan requires it; otherwise, He leaves it to Satan to appoint those whom he wants to rule this world. Satan understands this. He showed Jesus in the wilderness all THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD in a moment of time, and said to Him: ‘ALL this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to ME, and I give it to WHOMEVER I WISH’ (Luke 4:5-6). Jesus knew this to be true, and we do not read that He disputed Satan’s claim. This is simply NOT God’s world, and neither is it the world of true Christians. Jesus said that the world hates us because we are not part of it (John 17:14). How FOOLISH to think that we should be a part of it by voting in governmental elections, believing that we can thereby make this world a better place or help our country in any way. How FOOLISH to think that we should be trying to improve Satan’s handiwork.

“In our before-mentioned booklet, we state the following about the related topic of jury duty service: ‘A true Christian is a stranger, alien and exile (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13) while here on earth; an ambassador for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20); and a representative of God’s Kingdom. As such, and in being a light to the world by proper conduct (Matthew 5:14-16), a true Christian does not take part in this world’s governmental or political affairs, as presently, it is not God who rules this earth, but Satan the devil (Revelation 2:13; Luke 4:5-6). Christians are challenged to come out of the governmental and political systems of this world. Christ, knowing that God’s Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), refused to judge a civil matter when He was asked to do so (Luke 12:14). Paul, likewise, prohibited judging those ‘who are outside’ the church (1 Corinthians 5:12).’

“As Christ did not JUDGE a civil matter, so He did not VOTE in governmental elections either, and Christians are likewise PROHIBITED from doing so. The Bible is very clear: We are SINNING if we judge in jury duty services or vote in national elections, while forgetting our true responsibility of being AMBASSADORS for Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. Once God rules on earth, there will be NO MORE VOTING in political campaigns. For true Christians, there must be no voting today.”

We are afraid that this biblical warning will fall on deaf ears of those who in their misguided zeal are determined to vote, no matter what God says. They will do this at great personal peril, because God is not mocked; and what a man sows that he will reap. Especially in this coming presidential election, their vote will only contribute to the destruction of the flesh.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching The Gospel And Feeding the Flock

Eric and Shana Rank thank all of the brethren for their heartfelt prayers regarding the birth of their twins. They are happy to announce that their identical twin boys, Jude Everest and Milo Magnus were born into the Rank family on November 1st, 2016 at 9:52 am weighing in at 8lb 6oz and 8lb 9oz respectively.

Many of the video-recorded US and German messages for Trumpets, Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day have been posted on the English and German websites, as well as on YouTube.

We are pleased to announce that ten people were baptized at the recent Feast of Tabernacles, which was observed in Templin, Germany.

A new German sermon for this Sabbath was recorded this week and posted on the Web. In English, the title is: “Is the Teaching of an Immortal Soul Biblical?” The German booklet on the “Theory of Evolution” and the English booklet on the “Immortal Soul” are being offered in the sermon.

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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