Update 129


Why Suffering?

On Saturday, February 7, 2004, Norbert Link will be presenting the sermon, titled, “Why Suffering?”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”

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How Warm Is It For You?

by Edwin Pope

We are all familiar with the proverbial frog in the water story. When the frog jumped into the pan of water, the water was cool and refreshing and the frog felt very comfortable in the water, being an amphibian, which is able to live both in water and on land. Of course, had the water been hot when the frog jumped into it, he would have, if at all possible, removed himself from the water, immediately sensing the danger.

But, as the story goes, the frog, enjoying the comfort of the cool water, relaxed and conformed to his surroundings. As the water began to increase in heat, this particular frog didn’t notice.

Many who have been a part of the Church of God are now themselves in this proverbial pot as it gets warm and do not sense the danger that is building in their lives, especially as false doctrine continues to implode within the various churches. Additionally, modern society has continued to offer many enticing diversions, which many church members have turned to as an escape from the trials they face daily, rather than rightfully turning to God for their solutions.

God says to these people, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

Yes, God warns of these things in His Word. But many don’t seem to associate all these things to their personal relationship with God. God warns that we are to come out of this world’s ways and to live by His True Word which is revealed in the Scriptures to those with His Spirit. We are all told to prove all things and to hold fast to that which is true. Is that your approach? Or are you like the proverbial frog? How warm is it for you?

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Mars Missions — Doomed to Failure?


Atlanta’s Governor, Sonny Perdue, found himself under attack by scientists for his statements that he wanted a more balanced approach to teaching evolution in school. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this week, the proposed biology curriculum will allow teachers to present other scientific theories about evolution and specifically mentions “intelligent design.”

This, however, was not to the liking of scientists that are held captive by their blind faith in evolution. The Governor was accused of “an ignorance of science,” allegedly mimicking “the arguments used by people who rebut evolution.”

His response to those wild accusations was straight-forward: “What concerns me is that many times you’ll have teachers in the classroom with impressionable students who go beyond that and teach [evolution] as a proven fact, and then go beyond that and ridicule students who would believe anything other than the theory of evolution,” Perdue said. “I think we need to have academic freedom, but we need academic balance as well.”

The article also reported about the reaction of parents:

“Many parents say they find it frustrating that public schools have ignored the challenges to evolution put forward by legitimate scientists… ‘The debate is really about the lack of supporting evidence for evolution, the censorship of dissenting scientists, religious intolerance, viewpoint discrimination, and the interjection of personal bias by science educators when instructing our children on the subject,’ Taylor [a parent] wrote.”
What is astonishing is that many scientists still claim to believe in the evolution theory, although it has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO BE WRONG! While ignoring this established fact, evolution-believing scientists become quite arrogant and aggressive when someone attempts to challenge what is tantamount to their blind faith. However, their opposition to such challenges is quite unscientific! As one journalist in Germany once stated, “The belief in evolution is the most unintelligent concept ever developed by the human mind to explain the world’s existence.”

If you want to learn more about the astonishing FACT that the evolution theory, as taught by Darwin and others, has been PROVEN WRONG by many respectable scientists, please read our free booklet, “Evolution — a Fairy Tale for Adults.”


Bild Am Sonntag published an article, dated January 11, 2004, titled, “Mars — Mission Impossible?” It pointed out that most flights to Mars with unmanned spacecrafts were unsuccessful, asking the logical question how flights with manned spacecrafts could possibly become successful. It stated: “Since 1960, 29 costly expeditions to Mars occurred, and 22 of these were failures.” It then reported about the astronomical costs for these questionable endeavors: “During the last year, Germany alone spent 865 million euros for space adventures… The race between Americans and Europeans has begun. However, the costs for this race have not even been determined… We do know that Germany has set aside 900 million euros for the project for the next five years.”

In a chart, the paper gave the following costs for recent unsuccessful Mars projects: “Mariner 8 exploded. Production Costs: 300 million dollars. — Mars Observer exploded. Damage: 1 billion dollars. — Mariner 3 became silent. Production Costs: 100 million dollars. — Climate-Orbiter ceased glowing. Damage: 350 million dollars. — Nozomi broke away. Damage: 300 million dollars. — Polar-Lander smashed. Damage: 350 million dollars. — Beagle 2 missing. Damage: 300 million dollars. — Spirit does not move. Production Costs: 820 million dollars.”

The article revealed too WHY man wants to travel to Mars. A scientist is quoted as saying: “Only there, we can get information regarding the origin of our solar system and the evolution of our planets.” Mars is supposed to tell us how earth came into existence.

If man were to accept God’s revelation in the Bible, as to how the solar systems and earth came into existence, all these costly travels to Mars could and would cease immediately.

In light of such insane spending, one can only wish that Christ will return soon to save man from his unbalanced and arrogant endeavors. While rejecting Godly revelation, man is again in the process, as he did in ancient Babylon, to build an imaginary tower to reach heaven and to replace God’s truth with “scientific” fairy tales regarding the origin of life. As God intervened in ancient times to prevent man from continuing with carrying out the idle imaginations of his own heart, God will do so again soon.


When we compare the teachings of “orthodox Christianity” with the doctrines of the Holy Bible, we discover obvious discrepancies. One such deviation from the truth of God, as revealed in Scripture, is man’s false teaching that a Christian is pleasing God when he fights in war. WorldNetDaily published on January 31, 2004, an incredible commentary by Jerry Falwell, endorsing the unbelievable concept that God is “pro-war.” Falwell wrote:

“With the Bible clear on our responsibility to live peaceably, it seems that there would be no reason to ever go to war. However, if one depends on the Bible as a guidepost for living, it is readily apparent that war is sometimes a necessary option…. President Bush declared war in Iraq to defend innocent people. This is a worthy pursuit. In fact, Proverbs 21:15 tells us: “It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.”… One of the primary purposes of the church is to stop the spread of evil, even at the cost of human lives. If we do not stop the spread of evil, many innocent lives will be lost and the kingdom of God suffers.”

This erroneous and unbiblical thinking is identical with that endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in times past, when justifying the crusades. In fact, it summarizes the very same thinking that has been used by virtually EVERY leader — civic or religious — to justify his particular war. It shows a terrible ignorance of the teachings of God Almighty. Please read our Q&A in Update #117, explaining from the Bible that God HATES war, and that a true Christian must NEVER participate in ANY of the wars of this world.

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What is Satan's Fate? Will he live forever, or will he cease to exist?

Much has been speculated as to the nature of Satan’s ultimate fate. From all the available Scriptures, we can safely say that Satan will not repent, nor will he cease to exist.

To begin with, we want to quote from pages 51 and 52 of our free booklet, “ Angels, Demons and the Spirit World“:

“The angels who sinned are presently in chains of darkness, to be reserved for future judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They are living today in a state of darkness. They are spiritually imprisoned by their own perversions. Sin has enslaved them. Before God frees us from sin, we, too, are slaves of sin. The same is true for Satan and his demons. They are not literally imprisoned and jailed at a certain place. Rather, they are roaming to and fro on this earth. Satan is compared to a roaring lion, walking about, to see whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).

“Demons are waiting for their judgment. Demons asked Christ whether He had come to ‘torment’ them ‘before the time’ (Matthew 8:29). Luke 8:31 adds that they begged Christ not to command them ‘to go out into the abyss.’ At this point in time, they are not yet in that ‘abyss.’ Satan is not in it either; rather, he will be placed in it at the beginning of the Millennium (Revelation 20:1-3, 7 — the word ‘abyss’ is translated there as ‘bottomless pit.’).

“What is the ‘abyss’? The word is used in Romans 10:7, where we read, ‘Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).’

“In Romans 10, the ‘abyss’ is used as an analogy in association with the dead who are buried. It is also used as an analogy in Luke 8 and in Revelation 20. When Satan and his demons will be placed in the ‘abyss’ at the beginning of the Millennium, they will be as good as dead — unable to influence and deceive the nations any longer during that time period (compare Revelation 20:3). The fact that they won’t be able to destroy others will give them spiritual torment — that is why they asked Christ whether He had come to torment them before ‘the time.’

“Satan’s spiritual torment, and that of his angels, will continue. After a time period called the Great White Throne Judgment, Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41). Their torment will be spiritual, as they will see all of their evil works destroyed by fire (compare 2 Peter 3:10-13), and their influence on others will be gone forever. Their final fate might be revealed in Jude 13, referring to ‘wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.’ Compare too, 2 Peter 2:17.

“God knows what is in store for them, and so do they.”

In addition to this quote from our booklet, please note the following excerpts from an old letter of the Worldwide Church of God, setting forth the long-held understanding of the Church on this subject:

“Satan and his demons are spirit beings, created with inherent immortality (see Luke 20:36). They cannot die. Paul wrote that Jesus Christ would ‘destroy’ the devil through His sacrifice (Heb. 2:14). Paul, however, was not saying that Christ will kill Satan or completely blot him out of existence. According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the word ‘destroy’ can also mean ‘neutralize’ or ‘make subject to a crushing defeat.’ The original Greek word, ‘katargeo,’ translated as ‘destroy’ in this verse, means ‘to render inactive’ or idle.’ Notice 1 John 3:8: ‘For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the WORKS of the devil.’…

“The Bible gives us only a clue as to the nature of Satan’s punishment [after the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment]. Jude describes some as being ‘wandering stars [stars are symbols of angels], to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever’ (verse 13). Apparently, God will banish Satan and his demons from the universe. They will never again associate with or influence the glorified inhabitants of God’s realm.”

Some claim that Satan and his demons will have to die, since they sinned, and — so the argument goes — Romans 6:23 and Ezekiel 18:4 teach that the wages of sin is death, and that the soul that sins shall die. However, these and similar Scriptures apply to human beings — not to Satan and his angels. When man sinned, he incurred the death penalty. Christ died for man so that man does not have to die eternally. Romans 6:23 teaches that the wages of sin is death (for man), but that the gift of God is eternal life (for man). That is, when man repents and accepts Christ’s sacrifice, he can be spared from death. This cannot refer to spirit beings, as they ALREADY have eternal life. The wages for their sin cannot be death, and God’s gift to them, if they were to repent, would not be eternal life (since they already have it). When the Bible says that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (compare Hebrews 9:22), then this applies strictly to human beings, who have and who are flesh and blood.

There are several Biblical indications and hints as to what the penalty for Satan and his demons will be (compare, for example, 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 13). In the final analysis, however, we are not expressly told the specific final destination and fate of Satan and his unrepentant demons — except as to say that God has decreed that they, as spirit beings, will not die.

Some, who understand that Satan and his demons are spirit beings that cannot die, claim that God will change Satan into a man, and that He will kill Satan, once he is flesh and blood. We must understand, however, that this speculation is nowhere taught in Scripture. We read that only Jesus Christ, a Spirit being, gave up His divinity and became a human being, through the power of the Holy Spirit of God the Father. We read that Christ became the “ONLY-begotten” (John 1:14) — He was and will always be the only being who was Spirit and became flesh. (Please read, for an in-depth study of this question, our free booklet, “Are You Already Born Again?“) Nowhere does the Bible suggest that other spirit beings could or will become flesh in the future.

Some point at a passage in Ezekiel 28:18-19, claiming that Satan will be devoured by fire and turn to ashes. However, the context shows that God is not talking about Satan in that passage. Ezekiel 28 is first talking about a man — the “prince of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:2), then about Satan, the “king of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:12), who is influencing the man, and then again about Satan’s human instrument, the “prince of Tyre.” Ezekiel 28:18-29 describes the fate of the human prince of Tyre — not of Satan the devil. (For more information on this subject, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”)

Satan was created as a spirit being. Based on the Biblical revelation, God has decreed that spirit beings will not die. Please note that Lucifer, when he became Satan, was, at that time, “destroyed… from the midst of the fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:16). He was cast out of heaven (compare Luke 10:18) — experiencing “crushing defeat.” But, he was not destroyed in the sense of being killed — as he continued to live as Satan, the adversary of God. From all the Biblical evidence revealed to us, Satan will continue to live, as a spirit being, for all eternity.

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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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