Update 126


Who Was Jesus?

On Saturday, January 17, 2004, Norbert Link will be discussing the grossly misunderstood topic of the nature of Jesus Christ, when Christ was here on earth. The sermon is titled, “Who Was Jesus?”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time (which is 2:30 p.m. Central Time). Just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”

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Does God Know You?

by Edwin Pope

Abraham exemplified God’s Way. His life was pleasing to God. When Abraham had come to the land God was giving to him, he had brought with him his nephew, Lot (Genesis 12:1-4). Since God was dealing primarily with Abraham, and since he was the elder in the relationship, no doubt when trouble arose with the herdsmen of Lot and Abraham’s herdsmen, Abraham could have directed Lot to move on with his herdsmen to another area. But what did he do?

Abraham said to his nephew, “‘Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left'” (Genesis 13: 8-9).

Lot, having first choice, looked out on the land and chose what he considered to be the best! (Genesis 13: 10-11). That is, of course, human nature! Abraham, on the other hand, took the area that was left, having approached this whole situation from the basis of love towards neighbor. This was typical of Abraham’s approach. We notice in this story that wherever Abraham went, he showed honor and respect toward God, as well as to his fellow man (Genesis 12:7-8; 13:14).

How did God feel about Abraham’s approach in his dealings with man and with God? Notice in Genesis 18:17-19, God makes the statement of Abraham: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing; since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known [or: chosen] him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

God had called Abraham out of this world to learn God’s Way of Life, and to pass it on to his offspring.

We find the real test as to Abraham’s faithfulness to God and to His Ways when God, after having given Abraham and Sarah a son, beyond the years of childbearing for Sarah, required of Abraham that he offer up Isaac as a burnt offering to the LORD. Having prepared the offering, Abraham was about to follow through with this sacrifice, when “‘the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am'” (Genesis 22:11).

“And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me'” (Genesis 22:12).

Yes, God had now come to KNOW Abraham to the point that He knew Abraham would follow in His Ways, regardless of the situation! Has God come to know you to this extent, brethren? Has He come to know each of us in the Church, such that He can say of us — “I KNOW HIM!” — “I KNOW he (or she) will do what I have revealed that he (or she) should do?”

We must never forget Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”

God has called us out of this world, brethren. He has given us His Spirit. He has given us His Law. Is He as sure of us as He became of Abraham? Can He truly say of each of us — “I KNOW HIM — that he fears Me and that he will do as I have commanded?”

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U.S. Draft?

The indications are increasing that a military draft might be reinstated in the United States, following the next presidential election in the autumn of 2004. A Senate Version of a bill to create a draft for MEN AND WOMEN who are U.S. citizens or RESIDE in the country, known as Bill S 89 IS, is pending with the Committee on Armed Services. Section 2 of the proposed bill reads: “It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a period of national service [for a minimum of two years].” The proposed bill allows, under Section 8, for “conscientious objection” from combatant training, requiring the qualified person to participate “in military service that does not include any combatant training component.” It also allows the transfer of a conscientious objector, “at the discretion of the President,” to a “national service program for performance of such person’s national service obligations.”

As WorldNetDaily reported on January 13, 2004, in addition to Senate Bill S. 89 IS, the “House of Representatives’ version of the bill, H.R. 163, also attempts to reinstate the draft, but it only applies to men from 18-22 years of age.” The newspaper went on to report that Aaron Russo, a Libertarian candidate for president, authored and supported a petition, stating that these attempts to reinstate the draft constitute “infringement upon our personal freedoms.” The paper reminded its readers that last Fall, the Selective Service System had posted a notice on their Webpage saying the agency was looking for people to serve on local draft boards. The paper continued: “Libertarian commentators CLAIM THE GOVERNMENT IS GETTING THINGS PREPARED SO IF THE DRAFT IS REINSTATED, CONSCRIPTION CAN BEGIN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.”


The Idaho Observer reported in December 2003 that “Yellowstone National Park happens to be on top of one of the largest ‘super volcanoes’ in the world,” and that the next eruption is “long overdue.” According to the article, it “could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.”

The article reported that “In July, 2003, Yellowstone Park rangers closed the entire Norris Geyser Basin because of deformation of the land and excessive high ground temperatures… There was no choice but to close off the entire area. Everything in this area is dying: The trees, flowers, grass and shrubs. A dead zone is developing and spreading outward. The animals are literally migrating out of the Park. Then during the last part of July one of the Park geologists discovered a huge bulge at the bottom of Yellowstone Lake. The bulge has already risen over 100 feet from the bottom of the Lake and the water temperature at the surface of the bulge has reached 88 degrees and is still rising… The Lake is now closed to the public. It is filled with dead fish floating everywhere. The same is true of the Yellowstone river and most of the other streams in the Park. Dead and dying fish are filling the water everywhere. Many of the picnic areas in the Park have been closed.”

The article then pointed out the following: “The irony of all this is THE SILENCE BY THE NEWS MEDIA AND OUR GOVERNMENT. VERY LITTLE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM YELLOWSTONE PERSONNEL OR PUBLICATIONS. What mainstream news stories do appear underscore the likelihood of a MASSIVE VOLCANIC ERUPTION.”

On the other hand, the University of Utah published the following on their Webpage:

“We do not know [when Yellowstone will erupt again]… [Yellowstone] scientists [have] NOT detected signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.” They also state that it is “NOT TRUE” that “the next eruption of Yellowstone is overdue.”

The Idaho Observer totally disagreed with that representation. It quoted “a source that has demonstrated first-hand knowledge of the park’s history and recent geothermal events,” as saying: “The American people are not being told that the explosion of this ‘super volcano’ could happen at any moment. When Yellowstone does blow, some geologists predict that every living thing within six hundred miles is likely to die.”

When reading such alarming reports, we most certainly must not ignore the problem, nor try to downplay it, nor put our heads in the sand, thinking that thereby the problem will go away. At the same time, we must be aware of “sensationalized” news without basis in fact. However, in the case of Yellowstone, the report of the Idaho Observer appears to be very credible. The Bible warns that in the last days, terrible times will come, and that the ultimate situation would be so bad on earth that ALL HUMANS would die, if Christ would not intervene.

In that light, volcanic eruptions, just like the one described in this section, would most certainly be a distinct possibility.


After the initial enthusiasm over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election as California’s new governor, his budget cuts proposal, introduced last Friday, January 9, 2004, has found an overwhelmingly negative response by the national and international press.

According to USA Today, the budget proposal calls for an increase in tuition by California state and community students — in spite of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s election promise that he would “not touch” education. University students would have to pay 10 to 40 % more, and Community College students would pay 8 dollars per unit more — from 18 to 26 dollars.

The paper also pointed out that the proposal would include caps on enrollment for the State’s health insurance program for the poor and elderly, and the elimination (!) of some medical benefits for the poor and disabled (!).

Associated Press commented on Saturday, January 10:

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to wipe out a $14 billion shortfall next year without new taxes relies on some of the same kind of borrowing and one-time solutions he previously criticized for causing the state’s fiscal crisis. The governor’s proposal, unveiled Friday, cuts more than $4 billion in spending from a variety of services, with nearly half of the belt-tightening– about $1.7 billion — coming from welfare programs and the state’s health insurance plan for the poor and disabled.”

In the German Press, both the conservative “Die Welt” and the left-liberal “Der Spiegel” published an identical article on January 9, 2004, stating that “Arnie’s budget cuts hit first and foremost the old, welfare recipients, and students.”


Der Spiegel reported on January 9, 2004, that the figures in December 2003, regarding the creation for American new jobs, are a disaster. While 150,000 new jobs had been expected and hoped for, only 1,000 new jobs had, in reality, been created. The article continued that the number of unemployed decreased somewhat in December, but that this is another NEGATIVE indication for the disastrous status of the American labor market. The reason for the decrease was, according to the American Economy Department, that about 433,000 unemployed did not even bother to register to find a new job, as no new jobs were available.

The magazine quoted American economy experts as saying that these figures represent an extremely disappointing picture of the American labor market.

The New York Times reported on January 7, 2004: “With its rising budget deficit and ballooning trade imbalance, the United States is running up a foreign debt of such record-breaking proportions that it threatens the financial stability of the global economy, according to a report made public today by the International Monetary Fund.”

At the same time, on January 9, the Euro reached another record high against the U.S. dollar of 1.2867, according to “Die Welt.” Acc
ording to the paper, the reason for this recent record high is the revelation of the disappointing failure of the United States to create new jobs.


WorldNetDaily reported on January 7, 2004, about a scandalous decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the article, “A devout Christian employee who was fired for posting quotes from the Bible condemning homosexuality lost an appeal in federal court yesterday. The San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, regarded as the nation’s most liberal, ruled Hewlett-Packard Co. did not violate the rights of Richard Peterson when it fired him for posting the verses ON HIS DESK IN RESPONSE TO COMPANY POSTERS FEATURING HOMOSEXUAL EMPLOYEES, Reuters reported.”


As Fox News and USA Today reported on January 15, 2004, President Bush has proposed that Americans return to the moon and travel to Mars by 2020. He said that “mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn to unknown lands and across the open sea.” Our Editorial in the next Update will address this erroneous thinking. Suffice it here to quote the incredible costs associated with this new proposal. According to USA Today, “the cost of the human and robotic missions to the moon and Mars would total roughly $120 billion by 2020,” while the U.S. faces a budget deficit this year “of $500 billion.” In addition, some scientists have already come forward and stated that the costs for the new moon and Mars travel proposal will, realistically, reach roughly 1 TRILLION dollars. These astronomical figures should be viewed in consideration of the tragic fact that human beings die EACH DAY because of HUNGER AND STARVATION.


www.thescotsman.co.uk published a disturbing article on January 12, 2004, quoting Great Britain’s Tony Blair as saying: “In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of [Iraq’s possession of] weapons of mass destruction.” The paper continued: “The Prime Minister’s position on weapons of mass destruction has been shifting since July last year, when he said he was confident evidence of ‘weapons programmes’ would be found in Iraq as opposed to the actual weapons detailed in the dossier HE USED TO JUSTIFY WAR. Yesterday, he also appeared to drop his claims that the Iraqi Survey Group, which is still scouring Iraq for Saddam’s hidden arsenal, had found ‘clandestine laboratories.'”


Associated Press and Reuters reported on January 14, 2004, about a speech by Senator Edward Kennedy, condemning the Bush Administration in unprecedented terms for having marketed the Iraq war as a “political product… to win elections.” The speech was broadcast live on ESPN2.

“The U.S. Senate’s leading liberal Democrat Wednesday accused the Republican White House of breaking faith with Americans by forcing them into an unnecessary war with Iraq,” according to Reuters. The article continued to quote Kennedy as saying that President Bush “put ‘a spin on the truth to justify a war that could well become one of the worst blunders in more than two centuries of American foreign policy. If Congress and the American people knew the whole truth, America never would have gone to war.'” The article continued: “[Kennedy] said the administration ‘has broken faith with the American people, aided and abetted by a congressional majority willing to pursue ideology at any price, even the price of distorting the truth.”

Associated Press added: “Kennedy said the administration’s march to war in Iraq did not make America safer, but instead has given Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida new life and made war on terrorism harder to win. ‘The war has made America MORE HATED IN THE WORLD,’ said Kennedy. ‘And it has made our people more vulnerable to attacks both here and overseas.'”

The article continued: “Asked about the speech, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush worked to exhaust all diplomatic means before going to war. ‘The president took the action he did because his most solemn obligation is to protect the American people,’ said McClellan. ‘And America is more secure because of the action that we took in Iraq.'”

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You teach that the Bible contains end-time prophecies, involving many modern nations and peoples, referring to them with ancient names. Would you please explain the identity of major modern nations, as mentioned in Biblical prophecy?

We are glad to do so. The following is a very brief summary and only relates, in passing, a few pieces of the Biblical, historical or archeological evidence, to raise interest and curiosity:

The ancient tribe of Manasseh, son of Joseph, is dominant in the United States of America. Ephraim, another son of Joseph, basically constitutes the English-speaking, Anglo-Saxon member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly known as the British Commonwealth). This includes modern countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, as well as part of South Africa. There are actually many proofs which establish these facts. We read in the Bible that a descendant of the house of David would always rule over the house of Israel, throughout all generations, until the return of Jesus Christ (who will then, as a descendant of David, rule over the house of Israel forever). In Ireland, tradition marks the arrival in the first half of the sixth century B.C. of a small group of people led by a white-haired prophet, known as Ollamh Fodhla. Irish tradition identifies this man as the prophet Jeremiah. The traditional belief of the kings of Scotland and England is that the house of David was transferred, through Jeremiah, to northwestern Europe from Palestine. When Jerusalem fell, Jeremiah brought with him the daughter of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, who then became queen of Ireland. Today, the throne of David can be found in England.

The tribe of Judah (the Jews) is scattered among all nations, with a large number now living in the modern state of Israel.

Other ancient tribes of the house of Israel seem to be located in the following areas:

Reuben can be found today in parts of modern France; Dan in Ireland and part of Denmark; Benjamin in Norway and Iceland; Zebulon in the Netherlands; Issachar in Finland; Gad in Switzerland; Asher in Belgium and Luxembourg; and Naphtali in Sweden. We are unable to determine the modern identity of Levi and Simeon, as they were prophesied to be scattered among the rest of the tribes of Israel (compare Genesis 49:7). Strong evidence suggests that many in Wales are descendants of Levi, and some Scots — especially around Glasgow — are descendants of Simeon, as well as of Levi.

We should mention, of course, that people from many other countries have joined and settled among all of the above-mentioned nations. This means that not everyone living in the United States, for example, is a descendant of the tribe of Manasseh.

Some have claimed that the American Indians are the descendants of the “lost tribes” of the ancient house of Israel. This is incorrect. Biblical research, history and archeology reveal that the American Indians are descendants of Tiras, son of Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah. Tiras was one of Noah’s grandsons. Tiras is referred to in Genesis 10 and in 1 Chronicles 1:5. He became the most isolated branch of Noah’s grandsons. The American Indians are closely related to groups of Asiatic peoples in eastern Asia, who likewise descended from Japheth. Certain American Indian tribes are also closely related linguistically to peoples of northeastern Asia. We find the name “Tiras” preserved among various New World Indian tribes, such as, Tauri, Taras, Turas, Dures, Dorasques, and Atures.

Ancient Chaldeans or Babylonians can be found today in central and northwestern Europe. Some of the ancient Chaldeans were driven northward out of the Near East by the Assyrians and Medes prior to 610 B.C. They headed west into the Roman Empire. They settled in northern Italy, southeastern France, and parts of Spain and northern Africa.The ancient Chaldeans of Babylonia were also sent into exile to Syria in the Greek period. The Latin Romans often bought these people as slaves; afterward, their descendants were freed.

The ancient Assyrians can be found today among some of the Germans, Austrians and other German-speaking countries. Small portions of ancient Assyrians can also be found today in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. The Assyrians had settled, around 550 B.C., at the southern shores of the Black Sea, and then moved north. They migrated into Central Europe. Historical works point out that Germanic tribes had migrated into Europe from the countries around the Black Sea. The ancient tradition of the city of Trier has it that the city was founded by the Assyrian king Trebeta, son of Ninus. Josef K.L. Bihl writes, “In Deutschen Landen”: “The inhabitants of Trier maintain that their city is the oldest in all Europe… Trier was founded by Trebeta, a son of the famous Assyrian king Ninus. In fact, one finds… in Trier the inscription reading, ‘Trier existed for 1300 years before Rome was rebuilt.'”

The modern people of Poland are descendants of Elam, a son of Shem. The Elamites named the most famous mountain in their land Elwend. The Germans used to refer to the Poles as “Wends.”

In addition, strong evidence suggests or proves, depending on the case, that the following Biblical terms describe, or may prophetically refer to these modern nations:

Amalek — PLO
Ammon — Jordan
Aram — Syria
Cush — India, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia
Elam — Iran
Esau or Edom — Turkey, perhaps also, in some instances, Palestinians
Ishmael — Saudi-Arabia
Javan — Greece
Lot — Jordan
Magog — China
Moab — Jordan, perhaps also Western Iraq
Pathros — India
Put — Libya
Shinar — Iraq
Teman — Turkey
Togarmah — Siberia
Tubal — Russia

Bible prophecy clearly speaks of many nations which will be the focus of end-time events. These nations can be traced through both the foundation of the Biblical record and the verification of secular history. National identities are being revealed in our generation by those who actually fulfill events which God foretold. Therefore, it is especially important that we continue to carefully watch world events in order to fully understand their true meaning along with the identity of individuals and nations spoken of by God in the remarkable prophecies of the Bible!

For further information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.” If you can read and understand German, you may also want to download from our Webpage our free German booklet, “Deutschland in der Prophezeiung.”

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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

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