Update 232


Perfect Love

On February 25, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “Perfect Love.”

services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 pm Pacific
Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live

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Freedom At Last

by Rene Messier (Canada)

Several weeks ago, I watched an interesting movie in black and
white, which was made in the early sixties. It did not contain the kind
of violence and perverse scenes, which a lot of the modern movies have.
The story line was about a four-star general and head of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, who was not happy with the manner in which the U.S.
President was administering his policies towards Russia. He felt the
President was weak in a lot of areas and that he, the general, could do
a much superior job in leading the country.

This general
convinced four of the five generals of the other branches of the armed
forces that he would be better suited to rule as President. With their
help, he planned to overthrow the President and take the office for

His plan would have succeeded but for a colonel under
his command who became suspicious of this plot. He reported it to the
President, who set in motion steps to successfully thwart this coup. At
the end of the movie, the President was addressing the nation. His last
statement struck a chord in my mind. He said that in due time people
would come out of the corridors, caves [referring to the North American
Air Defense Command, or NORAD] and bunkers, to embrace freedom.

found that this movie contained a remarkable parallel to what Satan
did. He determined that his way was better than God’s. He turned the
minds of his top lieutenants to his way of thinking, and then he did
the unimaginable. He attempted to throw God off His throne and take
over the universe. He was, of course, thwarted in his efforts and shall
receive a just reward for his actions (Jude 12-13).

Just like in
the movie, there is coming a time when men will come out of their caves
and hiding places. This will happen when Christ returns to this earth
as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At that time, He will dethrone
Satan and his demons as the present rulers of this earth. Instead, He
will authorize His faithful saints to rule with and under Him during
the Millennium. Then, we shall truly have “Freedom At Last.”

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US Port Takeovers

Money Telegraph reported on February 21:

“Hillary Clinton is to introduce legislation in the US which would block the take-over of P&O by Dubai Ports World. The US senator for New York claims the deal poses a threat to national security because it would place operations at six major US ports under the control of the government of the United Arab Emirates [UAE], which owns Dubai Ports World. ‘Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments,’ said Mrs Clinton, who is backed by New Jersey senator Robert Menendez… Mrs Clinton’s legislation would prevent US ports from being owned by any foreign government, but much of the concern in this case arises because DP World is owned by the government of the UAE. The country was used to wire money to the September 11 hijackers, say US officials, though it has been a staunch ally of President Bush in his war on terror.”

The Associated Press added on February 21: “Two Republican governors are threatening legal action to block an Arab company from taking over operations in major U.S. ports and some… lawmakers say the deal should be closely examined. In the uneasy climate after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration decision to allow the transaction is threatening to develop a major political headache for the White House… The Bush administration got support Monday from former President Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of the administration. ‘My presumption is, and my belief is, that the president and his secretary of state and the Defense Department and others have adequately cleared the Dubai government organization to manage these ports,’ Carter told CNN. ‘I don’t think there’s any particular threat to our security.'”

In a related article, The Associated Press reported on February 21:

“Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush endorsed the takeover… He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement… Bush, who has never vetoed a bill as president, said on the White House South Lawn: ‘This is a company that has played by the rules, has been cooperative with the United States, from a country that’s an ally on the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through.'”

The Associated Press reported on February 22: “President Bush was unaware of the pending sale… until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday. Defending the deal anew, the administration also said that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the transaction, which has triggered a major political backlash among both Republicans and Democrats… THE FIRST-EVER SALE INVOLVING U.S. PORT OPERATIONS TO A FOREIGN, STATE-OWNED COMPANY is set to be completed in early March. It would put Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.”

This development is interesting in light of the fact that the Bible prophesies that in these end-times, foreigners or aliens will control and rule over the United States of America (compare Deuteronomy 28:43-44).

Russia and Iran

The Associated Press reported on February 16:

“Russia’s top military chief on Thursday WARNED THE UNITED STATES against launching a military strike against Iran… He said that while Iran’s military potential cannot compare to the United States’, ‘it is hard to predict how the Muslim world will respond to the use of force against Iran. THIS MAY STIR THE WHOLE WORLD, and it is crucial to prevent anything like that’… Moscow is deeply concerned about the current Iranian regime’s prospects for acquiring nuclear weapons, not only because Russia is geographically located close to Iran, but also because of the impact that could have on other Middle East players’ nuclear aspirations, including Saudi Arabia’s, [an unidentified Russian] diplomat said. “

Europe and Iran

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 14:

“When Danish embassies began going up in flames last week, some in the European Union wanted a firm response. But nothing happened. The most the EU could agree on were a few wishy-washy statements… Ever since a Danish newspaper published 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and triggered sometimes violent protests against Denmark and the West in the Muslim world, the European Union has been casting about for a common position. So far, though, without success — and as the EU lack of action on the issue becomes more and more obvious, the realization grows that the 25-member European club has let a golden opportunity slip through its fingers. For years, Europe has repeated the mantra that real international relevance will only come with the development of a common foreign and security policy. The problem, though, has been that whenever difficult decisions need to be made, EU MEMBERS CAN’T AGREE.

“The idea last week — given that European embassies were being set alight in a number of Muslim countries — to call a meeting of all European foreign ministers, or even heads of government, was chucked out. Too dangerous was the verdict. On the one hand, there was NOTHING EVEN APPROACHING UNANIMITY AMONG EU MEMBERS as to where they stood on the conflict between freedom of the press and respect for religious sensibilities. On the other hand, it was felt, such a meeting had the distinct risk of further inflaming Muslim passions. Instead, Europe retreated into the safe harbor of soothing platitudes. ‘Violence is unacceptable’ quickly became a favorite. Or: ‘We stand by our Danish friends but we also have understanding for the hurt feelings of the Muslims.’ The media was likewise quick to come around and began calling for restraint on all sides to avoid more violence. But SUCH BANALITIES DID LITTLE to satisfy the European public — nor did they go far in calming the violent demonstrations in the Middle East… Even French President Jacques Chirac — head of a country which plays host to 6 million Muslim citizens — suddenly sounded like a spokesman for the religious of the world. Reprinting the caricatures in a French satirical paper was a ‘provocation,’ Chirac said…

“There were some voices on the other end of the spectrum. The Italian right called for a crusade. Roberto Calderoli, a minister in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet, called in all seriousness for POPE BENEDICT XVI TO LEAD THE CHRISTIAN WORLD AGAINST THE ‘THREAT OF ISLAM’ JUST AS HIS PREDECESSORS DID IN THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES. Just as a major reaction was necessary then to beat back the Turks from the gates of Vienna, Calderoli said, counter-measures are necessary. Calderoli didn’t have to wait long for a response. ‘Berlusconi must fire his minister and ask Islam for forgiveness,’ demanded Seif al-Islam al-Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Otherwise, al-Gadhafi threatened, ‘Libya, the Arabic world, and ISLAM WOULD BE FORCED TO REACT.'”

The Bible predicts that Europe will unite under a powerful religious influence. And then, Europe WILL speak with one decisive voice–albeit, only for a very short time, and with disastrous consequences. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Germany and Iran

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 16:

“Amid ongoing concerns that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb, the West is quietly mulling the possibility of a military strike. Diplomacy may not yet be exhausted, but already the question of using force against the mullahs in Tehran is threatening to split the German government… Whereas [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s conservatives generally believe Iran will not be cajoled into giving up its nuclear ambitions without the prospect of military confrontation, many members of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) want to make clear Germany will not support the use of force. Should the dispute between Iran and the West continue to escalate, Merkel could quickly have a major domestic political crisis on her hands.”

Iran’s Radical Clerics Justify Nuclear War

The Telegraph reported on February 19:

“Iran’s hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies… The pronouncement is particularly worrying because it has come from Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of the ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is widely regarded as the cleric closest to Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… The comments, which are the first public statement by the Yazdi clerical cabal on the nuclear issue, will be seen as an attempt by the country’s religious hardliners to begin preparing a theological justification for the ownership–and if necessary the use–of atomic bombs.”

USA and Venezuela

AFP reported on February 20:

“Responding to remarks before the US Congress last week in which Rice called Chavez a ‘challenge to democracy’ in Latin America, Chavez warned the top US diplomat to back off… On Friday, Chavez had warned that he was taking steps to potentially cut off oil shipments to the United States if Washington attacks his country.

“US-Venezuelan relations have gone downhill since Chavez was elected seven years ago. He frequently accuses Washington of plotting against him, and has charged it backed an aborted coup in 2002. Relations hit a new low earlier this month when Caracas expelled a US naval attache on espionage charges, prompting Washington to retaliate by kicking a Venezuelan diplomat out of the United States. Despite the war of words, Venezuela remains the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil to its northern neighbor, selling it about 1.5 million barrels daily.”

Greenland In Danger

USA Today reported on February 17:

“Greenland’s glaciers are dumping ice into the ocean twice as fast as they did 10 years ago, most likely because of global warming, researchers said Thursday. Melting glaciers raise the level of the world’s oceans, and the finding raises fears about the impact of climate change on coastal areas… The researchers found that in 2005, the glaciers discharged more than twice as much ice as they did in 1996–enough fresh water to supply Los Angeles for 220 years…  A United Nations climate panel suggested in 2001 that temperatures worldwide would rise 2 to 10 degrees over the next century, driven in part by emissions of man-made greenhouse gases, chemical compounds that trap heat in the atmosphere.

“The world’s largest island, Greenland sits frozen atop the North Atlantic, with an ice sheet roughly the size of Mexico covering more than 80% of its surface. Only about 50,000 people live there… The ice sheet, which NASA says is more than a mile thick, would raise sea levels about 23 feet worldwide if it melted completely…”

Bird Flu On the Rise

The Associated Press reported on February 19:

“Health officials and farm workers in protective gloves and masks slaughtered thousands of chickens Sunday in western India a day after the country’s first reported outbreak of deadly bird flu… Some 500,000 birds will be slaughtered…

“In Italy, a dead wild duck and six wild swans tested positive for the highly virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu, bringing the country’s number of confirmed cases to 16… Italian poultry sales have dropped 70 percent despite government efforts to isolate outbreaks and reassure consumers, and poultry farmers warned that, without state aid, thousands would be out of business within a week.

“German authorities also ordered a limited slaughter of poultry on a Baltic Sea island to prevent the spread of H5N1 from wild birds to farm stocks… as Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the region.”

AFP reported on February 23: “Germany recorded its first case of flu in DOMESTIC birds following initial tests on a duck at a poultry farm on the Baltic Sea island where thousands of wild birds have succumbed to H5N1 since its discovery there last week… Germany becomes the second EU country to report the disease in domestic birds after H5N1 was found in two chickens in southern Austria on Wednesday.”

Syria Switches to Euros

Reuters and Economy News reported on February 14:

“Syria has switched all of the state’s foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars amid a political confrontation with the United States… Most of the government’s foreign currency flows goes through the Commercial Bank, whose US assets were frozen by Washington in 2004 as relations with Syria deteriorated. The bank, which dominates the Syrian market, also stopped dealing with dollars for international private flows, such as imports, exports and letters of credit. The latest official figures show Syria imported $6.7 billion goods in 2004 and exported $5.4 billion. Oil output is about 400,000 barrels a day… One economist said the euro move by the Commercial Bank of Syria ‘looked like a kind of pre-emptive action aimed at making their foreign assets safer and preventing them from getting frozen in case of any conflict.'”

According to the prophecies of the Bible, it is safe to say that the Euro is destined to become the most powerful world currency, while the U.S. dollar and the British pound will gradually decrease in value. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Violent Muslim Protests in New York City

CBN.com reported on February 18:

“So far, the violent riots that have erupted throughout the Muslim world over the Mohammed cartoons have not been repeated here in the U.S. But yesterday in New York City, one radical Islamic group was preaching a message that is anything but peaceful. It wasn’t Pakistan or Gaza. It was Manhattan’s east side.The group calls itself the Islamic Thinker’s Society–ITS, for short. The purpose of the demonstration was to condemn the now infamous cartoons. But there was another message as well: that Islam will one day dominate the world. One ITS member said, ‘We are here to tell you that there is nothing you can do–and that your days are numbered…all of you who disbelieve: speak good, or Allah will silence you.’

“The protest began in front of the Danish Consulate. ITS members stomped on Danish flags and warned Denmark that it would suffer ‘Allah’s wrath.’ The group then moved to the German Consulate, where they trampled on German and Israeli flags–and called non-Muslims ‘scum.’ All of this took place under the watchful eye of the NYPD. Onlookers we spoke to were outraged… Members of the ITS declined to be interviewed for this story. But off-camera, their leader told CBN News that the group consists of mostly college students who live in New York City… Although this event lacked the violence that has been so prevalent in cartoon protests throughout the Muslim world, the message was eerily similar: America and Europe, your days are numbered.”

Spirit of Violence Prevalent

On February 18, Reuters reported:

“Deadly protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad spread in Africa, killing 16 people in Nigeria on Saturday a day after claiming 11 lives in Libya. Many of those who died in northern Nigeria were Christians, killed after a Muslim protest over the cartoons turned violent and rioters torched churches, shops and vehicles, police and local officials said… ‘They went on the rampage, burning shops and churches of the Christians. The protesters killed the others. Some were even killed in the churches,’ said Joseph Hayab, north-west secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)… In Nigeria, whose 140 million people are divided about equally between Christians and Muslims, 15 people died in the northeastern state of Borno and one died in the north-central state of Katsina, police spokesman Haz Iwendi said. He said 11 churches had been torched in Borno and the army had been called in to state capital Maiduguri to impose order.”

These violent outbreaks and demonstrations are clearly prompted by a SPIRITUAL influence. Please don’t neglect to view our latest StandingWatch program, titled, “Why This Much Violence?” We also encourage you to read or re-read our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World.”

Destruction Does Not End in Iraq!

On February 23, 2006, Der Spiegel Online reported about the most recent terrible destructions in Iraq. The magazine stated:

“Following an attack on the Askariya golden mosque in Samarra, Iraq on Wednesday, violence between Shiites and Sunnis has rapidly escalated. Police on Thursday reported that more than 80 bodies pierced with bullet wounds have been delivered to Baghdad’s morgue in the past 24 hours. And more ominous, most of the dead were of Sunni origin. Police believe they were killed in retaliation for the Wednesday bombing of the mosque, one of the four most important holy sites for Iraqi Shiites… For Iraqi Shiites, Wednesday’s 6:55 a.m. attack on the mosque at Samarra is seen as a massive provocation, perhaps even comparable to the effect an attack on Peter’s Square at the Vatican might have on Catholics. Shiites represent the majority of the Iraqi population (approximately 60 percent), but for hundreds of years they were suppressed — until the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. With the introduction of democracy in the country, Shiites have taken on the most influential roles. The situation has angered Sunnis, who clung to power for decades.”

In a related article, the magazine pointed out:

“Bombings are nothing new in Iraq. But the destruction became even more senseless this week, when one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam was destroyed… [In ‘retaliation,’] dozens of Sunni mosques have been attacked all over Iraq and a wave of violence has resulted in the deaths of countless Iraqis. Tens of thousands of people have also staged protests, waving flags and calling for justice. The biggest question now is whether this shocking event will push Iraq into civil war, or whether it will help unify the government against radicals who clearly want to see the country descend into chaos. German commentators are pessimistic.

“The center-left daily Die Süddeutsche Zeitung believes that the country already is in a sort of civil war… The paper draws a direct parallel between Saddam Hussein’s regime and the current US administration: in 1990 UN resolutions stipulated that, in the case of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the aggressor must be held responsible for the consequences of an invasion. ‘The US may not have actively sought out the complete break down of public order. However, THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS, just as Iraq once had to.’ For the right-wing daily Die Welt it is hard to overemphasize the significance of Samarra’s destruction. ‘The attack is comparable to blowing up the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem [although] this is not the result of religious mania, but rather an act of premeditated evil. However terrible the killing of Sunnis by Shiites and vice versa may be, this attack has the potential to do much more damage by unleashing civil war in Iraq.’… The financial daily Handelsblatt is equally pessimistic. ‘ALL THE REPORTS ABOUT A STABILIZATION OF THE SITUATION IN IRAQ HAVE BEEN PREMATURE. The country remains a powder keg.'”

Man’s wars and violence only produce more war and violence. Man will NEVER be able to solve his problems through violence. This is THE lesson of history, which man is UNWILLING to learn. And so, we will see more and more hatred, bloodshed and violence in the future. For more information, please read our free booklet: “Should YOU Fight in War?”

Afghanistan’s Continuing Nightmare

AFP reported on February 22: “Afghanistan has ‘huge problems’ and NATO troops will be in the country for ‘years and years’, the commander of Canada’s forces in Afghanistan [Major General Michel Gauthier] told a British newspaper [the Guardian daily]… A bomb fixed to a bicycle struck a convoy of NATO peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding 13 others including a German soldier. [The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)] troops are frequent targets of an insurgency blamed primarily on militants allied to the hardline Taliban government ousted in a US-led campaign in late 2001. The insurgency, which has seen a rash of suicide blasts in the past months, has been focused on eastern and southern Afghanistan from where the ultraconservative Taliban rose to control most of the country by 1996… ‘What is clear [is that] narcotics, criminality, terrorism and insurgency are all linked,’ [Gauthier] added.”

Abortion Limits in South Dakota

The Associated Press reported on February 23 about an interesting, but perhaps only short-lived development. The article explained: “South Dakota moved closer to imposing some of the strictest limits on abortion in the nation as the state Senate approved legislation that would ban the procedure except when the woman’s life is in danger. The bill [is] designed to spark a courtroom showdown over the legality of abortion… The legislation targets Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.”

If the bill passes, it is expected that it ultimately will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court. Supporters of the bill feel that the recent appointment of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito make the U.S. Supreme Court more likely to consider overturning Roe v. Wade now.

Pope Names First Cardinals

On February 23, AFP reported:

“Pope Benedict XVI named a fierce critic of the Chinese government and John Paul II’s private secretary among the first 15 cardinals of his pontificate, as he began selecting the men who will elect his successor… Hong Kong Archbishop Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun… is seen as an activist for greater religious freedom in China and a prominent critic of Beijing, which does not recognize the Vatican. Zen is one of two Asian archbishops to be elevated to cardinal…

“Benedict also named two cardinals from the United States, former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada and Boston archbishop Patrick O’Malley. Levada is now the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrinal enforcer, having assumed the pope’s former position. The bearded O’Malley was chosen by John Paul II to succeed the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law after he resigned from the Boston archdiocese, tainted by a spate of sex scandals involving paedophile priests.”

Scientists Question Darwin

On February 21, WorldNetDaily reported the following:

“More than 500 scientists with doctoral degrees have signed a statement expressing skepticism about Darwin’s theory of evolution… The statement, signed by 514 scientists, reads: ‘We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.’… ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought,’ said David Berlinski, a signatory and mathematician and philosopher of science with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. ‘It is… almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe.'”

The article pointed out that the signed statement “includes endorsement by members of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Sciences.” It continued: “The list includes 154 biologists, 76 chemists and 63 physicists. They hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, University of Georgia and University of Washington.”

For further information, please be sure to read our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults?”

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new StandingWatch program
has been posted on the Web. It is titled, “Why This Much Violence?” In
the program, Norbert Link discusses the spiritual reason for the
current violent demonstrations in the Arab world.

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Just ASK, Already!

by Cali Harris

In building my relationship with God, I’ve
learned that when we ask for understanding, He really does give it to
us.  It may seem obvious, but lately I have realized how important
it is to ASK! 

I have asked for understanding in many
parts of my day-to-day life: understanding about what it means to be in
the fields of journalism and ethnic studies at college; understanding
about my job as a sales manager and what it is teaching me; and
understanding in how to be a positive influence in the lives of my
worldly friends.  But I have especially asked for understanding as
I study God’s Word–the Bible.  In my asking, God has answered me
more abundantly than I ever thought possible. 

Recently I
was surfing the Internet and came across the following quote, and was
struck by its poignancy in our lives as Christians: “Man’s mind, once
stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
Attributed to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,
this statement can be applied to our experience as Christians when God
grants us understanding.  Our minds are indeed stretched by the
understanding He gives us, and we should never allow our minds to go
back to their “original dimensions.” We must take the knowledge we have
been blessed with, and constantly and continuously move forward, always
ASKING for more!

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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