Update 268


When Change Comes

On November 18, 2006, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “When Change Comes.”

The 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 Stream.

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How "Gentle" Are We?

by Norbert Link

Sometimes, when we study God’s Word, we might just be reading over a
particular statement, without pausing to deeply reflect on it and
meditate about the meaning. One of these passages might be Philippians
4:5, which reads, in the New King James Bible, “Let your gentleness be
known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

The connection between
these two sentences should be very clear for us today: As Christ’s
return is imminent, and as “we all” and “each of us” will have to
“stand before the judgment seat of Christ” to “give account” for what
we did in this life (compare Romans 14:10-12), we need to make an extra
effort and concentrate on exemplifying “gentleness” to all with whom we
come in contact. But what, exactly, is meant with the word,

The Broadman Bible Commentary points out that the
Greek word “has no single equivalent in English.” It seems to be
describing a variety of characteristics. In addition to “gentleness,”
many translate this word as “moderation.” Others say, “graciousness,”
“forbearance,” “thoughtfulness” or “considerateness [for others].” Some
point out that the meaning of the word includes “yieldedness” or
“pliability” — the ability to be easily entreated. Especially German
translations render the word also as “compassion, kindness, tenderness,
tolerance, mercy, leniency, indulgence” and, most interestingly
perhaps, “helpfulness.” J.B. Philips translates, “Have a reputation of
gentleness.” Knox says, “Give proof to all of your courtesy.” And David
Stern translates: “Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are.”

doubt, all these expressions are vital ingredients of the Christian
character. As true followers of God the Father and Jesus Christ, we
must continuously strive to incorporate these godly character traits in
our lives.

And so, we need to examine ourselves to see how well
we are doing (compare 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 13:5). If we
are lacking in anything, we need to pray, in faith, to God for help to
improve, and He will GIVE us the petitions of our heart (compare James
1:5; 1 John 5:14-15).

For instance, let us ask ourselves how
“gentle” we are towards others. The Nelson Study Bible states that the
word “gentleness” “identifies a person who manifests a calmness and
fairness of spirit. A person who is gentle is willing to sacrifice his
or her personal rights to show consideration for others.” The
Commentary of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown adds a very important and
relevant caution. It equates the concept of “gentleness” or
“moderation” with “considerateness for others, not urging one’s own
rights to the uttermost, but waiving a part… let nothing inconsistent
with ‘moderation’ be seen.”

Henry’s Commentary agrees and adds:
“In things indifferent do not run into extremes; judge charitably
concerning one another. Some understand it of the patient bearing of

As Christians, we must strive to become
considerate of the need of others, and we must act with a spirit of
gentleness; “easy to be intreated”(James 3:17, Authorized Version);
“without murmuring and disputings” (Philippians 2:14, Authorized
Version). We should be “moderate”–staying away from extreme viewpoints
which we are anxious to “share” with others. Rather, we are to
familiarize ourselves with the need of our fellow man, at times
VOLUNTEERING to help, rather than always waiting until we may be asked
for assistance. Christ came to SERVE, not to be served. As His
followers, we must strive to do likewise. We have to have the mind of
Christ (Philippians 2:5), who LOOKED OUT for the interests of others
(verse 4). We are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God PREPARED BEFOREHAND that we should walk in them”
(Ephesians 2:10).

Even though we are asked to do good to all men,
“AS WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY,” we are to concern ourselves especially with
those “of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). God poured out His
love in our hearts by His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5)–and God’s love is
outgoing concern for the good, welfare and benefit of others. It
describes a way of GIVING and SHARING with others. Peter tells us,
“…love one another FERVENTLY with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). And
John encourages us, not only to love “in word,” but also “in deed” (1
John 3:18). We are to love, give and help from a pure heart (compare 1
Timothy 1:5), making our gentleness known to all men–and especially to
our brethren in Christ. THEN all will know that we are Christ’s
disciples, when we have and show the “gentleness” of love for one
another (John 13:35).

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New Chaos for Lebanon?

On November 13, The Australian reported the following about developments in Lebanon:

“The prospect of renewed chaos loomed over Lebanon at the weekend after the Hezbollah movement and its Shia allies quit the Government, plunging the country into a political crisis that could quickly spill into the streets. The resignations of all five Shia ministers–two from Hezbollah, two from the Amal movement and one independent–from the cabinet of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora were announced hours after the collapse of high-stakes talks aimed at soothing rising sectarian tensions in the wake of the devastating war with Israel last summer… the withdrawal of the Shia ministers effectively ended Shia representation in the coalition governing the country, threatening Lebanon with a period of renewed political uncertainty and potential civil strife at a time when it is still struggling to recover from the ruin inflicted during the war.”

Lebanese Guerrillas Are Back

Britain’s Sunday Times reported on November 12:

“Four months after Israel launched its onslaught against Hezbollah, the Lebanese guerrillas are back in south Lebanon stronger than ever and armed with more rockets than they had before the conflict, according to Israeli intelligence. During the month-long war, which began on July 12, Hezbollah fired 200 to 250 rockets a day into Israel, killing 43 civilians and terrorising much of the north of the country.

“‘Since the ceasefire, additional rockets, weapons and military equipment have reached Hezbollah,’ said an Israeli intelligence officer. ‘We assume they now have about 20,000 rockets of all ranges–a bit more than they had before July 12.’ Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has confirmed the Israeli estimate. In a recent interview with al-Manar, the Hezbollah television station, he claimed his organisation had restocked its arsenal and now held at least 30,000 rockets, sufficient for five months of war… The Israeli military estimates that at least 5,000 rockets are hidden in secret shelters along the border, which it failed to find before the ceasefire came into effect on August 14.”

Iran Wants Israel’s Destruction

On November 15, 2006, ynet published the following report:

“Iranian newspapers Kehyan and Resalat have urged Muslims around the world to prepare for a ‘great war’ to destroy the State of Israel… ‘Hizbullah destroyed at least half of Israel in the Lebanon war… Now only half the path (to its destruction) remains,’ an editorial in the conservative Keyhan newspaper declared. ‘It was proven that, by means of an offensive operation that need not be equal to Israel’s moves, it is possible to neutralize the Zionist navy,’ the article said triumphantly. It continued: ‘Just as in one 33-day war more than 50 percent of Israel was destroyed, and the hope of its supporters for the continued life of this regime was broken, it is likely that in the next battle, the second half will also collapse. On that day… Jordan will not be able to prevent the Jordanian Islamists from operating through the long Jordan-Palestine border, and the millions of Egyptian Islamists… will not let the Sinai-Israel border remain quiet, and the Syrian Golan Heights will not remain as a (mere) observer of the battle. That day is not so far off.'”

“The Resalat newspaper struck a similarly bellicose tone with an editorial entitled ‘Preparations for the Great War.’… It added: ‘For the first time in the 60 years of its disgraceful life, the Zionist regime–the West’s beloved in the Middle East–tasted the taste of defeat, and the citizens of this regime trembled at the menace of Hizbullah’s missiles… The nation of Muslims must prepare for the great war, so as to completely wipe out the Zionist regime, and remove this cancerous growth. Like the Imam (Ayatollah) Khomeini said: ‘Israel must collapse.'”

No Condemnation for Israel

The Los Angeles Times reported on November 13:

“The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution Saturday that would have condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip and demanded a withdrawal of Israeli troops. The resolution, sponsored by Qatar after an Israeli attack last week killed 18 civilians in the town of Beit Hanoun, received 10 votes in favor and four abstentions, but was killed by the U.S. veto [In the vote, the four countries which abstained were Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia. The ten countries which were in favor were: Argentina, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Greece, Peru, Russia, Qatar and Tanzania.].”

The article continued:

“The U.S. veto highlights the difficulty of achieving Security Council accord on taking any action on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The United States, a close ally of Israel, contends that resolution of the conflict should be handled by the peace intermediaries known as the quartet–the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the U.N. Washington almost always rejects resolutions related to Israel that don’t mention Palestinian provocation or contain a denunciation of terrorism. The veto Saturday by the U.S. was its fourth in three years on the issue. The U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in July that sought to condemn Israeli military operations in Gaza after the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants, calling it ‘unbalanced.’ The other permanent members–Britain, France, Russia and China–say the long-standing conflict is a clear matter of peace and security that should be handled by the council…

“Israel apologized for the civilian deaths, saying that they had been caused by a ‘technical error’ but that its army would continue to defend the country against rocket attacks launched from Gaza… British Deputy Ambassador Karen Pierce condemned the Israeli attacks, saying, ‘It is hard to see what this action was meant to achieve and how it can be justified.’ But she said Britain abstained because it did not consider the resolution to be ‘sufficiently balanced nor to reflect the complexity of the current situation.'”

Any Solutions for Iraq?

The “State-South Carolina,” as posted by topix.net, wrote on November 11:

“What a difference a day makes. On Monday [of last week] those who questioned the wisdom or competence of Bush foreign policy were being dismissed by Republicans as ‘defeatocrats.’ Only last week President Bush vowed to keep Don Rumsfeld on as secretary of defense until 2008. Then, on Tuesday, the public registered a stunning vote of no confidence in Bush foreign policy–driven by dissatisfaction with Iraq. Democrats will control the House and the Senate. On Wednesday–before the results were even final–the president dumped Rumsfeld. And Bush talked repeatedly about ‘bipartisanship’ and the need to find ‘common ground’ with Democrats.

“It may be too late for even sincere bipartisanship to save Bush’s Iraq venture…  The president still makes key decisions. And his decisions over the past three years have left only bad options in Iraq… [But] Republicans unhappy with Bush foreign policy are now free to join Democratic counterparts in seeking a way out of the Iraq trap… at this point there are no miracles available to rescue Iraq policy…”

The article concludes: “Whether Bush and the Democrats can work together in a bipartisan fashion is far from certain.”

Iraq Is “Not Winnable”

On November 13, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. According to the magazine, “A widely respected foreign policy expert, Haass warns that the Middle East could become dangerous for years to come.”

Set forth below are excerpts from his interesting interview:

“Iraq was a war of choice that proved to be much more difficult and expensive than Americans bargained for… I can’t think of a time when the United States has faced so many difficult challenges at once. What makes it worse is we are facing them at a time when we are increasingly stretched militarily. We are divided politically. We are stretched also economically, and there is a good deal of anti-Americanism in the world. It’s a very bad combination…

“I believe largely because of the American decision to go to war in Iraq and how it has been carried out, as well as the emphasis on promoting democracy and a lack of any serious energy policy, the Middle East has considerably grown worse. It’s one of history’s ironies that the first war in Iraq, a war of necessity, marked the beginning of the American era in the Middle East and the second Iraq war, a war of choice, has precipitated its end…

“Visions of a new Middle East that is peaceful, prosperous and democratic will not be realized. Much more likely is the emergence of a new Middle East that will cause great harm to itself and the world. Iran will be a powerful state in the region, a classical imperial power. No viable peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is likely for the foreseeable future. Militias will emerge throughout the region, terrorism will grow in sophistication, tensions between Sunni and Shia will increase, causing problems in countries with divided societies, such as Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Islam will fill the political and intellectual vacuum. Iraq at best will remain messy for years to come, with a weak central government, a divided society and sectarian violence. At worst, it will become a failed state racked by all-out civil war that will draw in its neighbors…

“The Iraq situation is not winnable in any meaningful sense of the word ‘winnable.’… The war is one the American people weren’t quite prepared for: They had not been told it was going to be that difficult and expensive. After the military battlefield phase, they thought it was going to be easy. So this has proven shocking. Nearly 3,000 Americans have lost their lives. Maybe 15,000 – 20,000 Americans have been wounded. Hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent. It has been disruptive on many levels. The danger is that the United States now will be weary of intervening elsewhere, like the cat that once sat on a hot stove and will never sit on any stove again… There is no doubt that the world needs the United States.”

When asked, ” What could Europe do?,” Haass replied:

“The one-word answer is: More… One wants Europe to be more internationally oriented. If you could make a criticism that the United States has under-used the diplomatic tool, Europeans often under-use other tools… What Europeans have control over is not American foreign policy. What they have control over is their own capacity and willingness to act — and that is what they ought to focus on.”

Iraq’s “Thanks”

On November 14, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with Iraq’s health minister, Ali al-Shameri. In the interview, the following startling and revealing statements were made by al-Shameri:

“The Americans are the reason for the disaster in our country. Rumsfeld made many mistakes, and we are pleased to see him go. The Americans understand nothing about Iraq. They are not protecting us, but just themselves… The Iraqi government must be able to act as a sovereign body. We want to deploy our police and military forces the way we think is right. So far we have always had to ask the Americans. Personally, I would have no objection to their leaving the country tomorrow. In any event, in the future we must tie the presence of their troops to conditions… The Americans must leave the cities and withdraw to their bases. They should only come when they are needed and called for…

“The ordinary citizens, including the Sunnis, want the Americans to go. But those in the government and in political groups are now worried about their jobs. They get their support from Arab countries. As a result, more and more suicide bombers are coming into our country… Iran is a friend, but we receive neither weapons nor money from them, not even medications, which we urgently need… Both Iran and the Arabs should stay out of the affairs of Iraq… About 100 people die every day as a result of violence, and three times as many are wounded. Doctors are being threatened and are fleeing the country. Of a total of 18,000 doctors, the best — close to a thousand — have already left the country. I don’t have enough hospitals and far too few beds. We are running out of strength, both financially and otherwise, and we will not be able to survive much longer.”

Germans Dissatisfied With Democracy

Der Spiegel Online reported on November 3:

“In a survey released on Thursday evening by the German public television station ARD, 51 percent of the 1,500 people surveyed answered negatively to the question, ‘Are you satisfied with how democracy functions in Germany?’ It’s the lowest result since the station began asking the question in 1997… Similarly, the number of Germans who say that the situation in the country is ‘unjust’ continues to rise. Only 27 percent regard the current situation in Germany as ‘just’, with 66 percent disagreeing… The high levels of German dissatisfaction with the functioning of the country’s democracy could well be due to the current political atmosphere in Germany. One year after welcoming Angela Merkel and her grand coalition — the pairing of the Social Democrats with the conservatives — to power, Germans are increasingly dissatisfied with the government’s work. Only 27 percent think the current government is doing better than ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s government. And with the grand coalition looking increasingly unwieldy, it may be some time before Germans cheer up again.”

America Lacks Faith in God

On November 9, WorldNetDaily wrote about America’s lack of faith and trust in God.  Although we don’t agree with much of the article, the point that the U.S.–as a nation–lacks faith in the true God of the Bible is very well taken. We are quoting the following excerpts from the article:

“You say we also believe in God today? No, we don’t–not as a nation… Today, America and Europe are being transformed by Islam because there is a spiritual vacuum in these once-Christian lands. Especially in Britain and Europe, where the Islamic invasion is already well advanced, analysts concede it’s simply a matter of time before some of these nations have Muslim majorities… The Netherlands’ justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, recently announced he would let Shariah law take over his European nation–already rapidly filling up with Muslims–if the majority votes for it… The French are so terrified of the Muslims that comprise 10 percent of their population that Parisian police won’t even venture into Muslim communities on the outskirts of the capital city… What about America? Though the percentage of Muslims in this huge nation is much lower than in Europe, radical Islam already has a powerful foothold in many parts of American society… We need to wake up and remember who we really are. We need to realize the bottom-line reality that man is a spiritual creature, and that he will have faith, one way or the other. If he doesn’t embrace true faith, he will embrace false faith… When God withheld His protection from ancient Israel because of the disobedience and faithlessness of His people, there was only one possible solution: They had to repent of their pride and folly and come back to Him. Do we somehow expect the Almighty to grant a different remedy to us?”

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Who is the bride? When the Bible speaks of the “bride,” is it only in reference to the saints who will be in the first resurrection?

The answer is that the bride will ultimately involve many more
than those who are given eternal life in the first resurrection. A
review of this topic will reveal just what the Bible means when it
refers to the “bride.”

First of all, Jesus Christ is presented as
the bridegroom in many examples. Even at His appearance as a human and
before His death, Jesus spoke of Himself as the “bridegroom” (Luke
5:34-35). In this account, Jesus taught that He would be taken away and
that no “marriage” would be consummated at that time.

Note, as
well, that Jesus gave a parable indicating that He, as the bridegroom,
would return (Compare Matthew 25:1-13). In this story, Jesus began His
teaching with these very important words: “‘The kingdom of heaven shall
be LIKENED to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the
bridegroom’” (Matthew 25:1).

Jesus presented this example of
bridegroom and virgins (that is, the bride) to instruct His Church to
be ready for His return. Most importantly, the Church was to remain
vigilant and not let God’s Holy Spirit (the “oil” for their lamps) fade
out of their lives! He would only marry those who were ready.

the Baptist also referred to Jesus as the bridegroom (Compare John
3:29).In his statement, John attested to the fact that Jesus was the
Christ, and that he (John) was serving as if he were the friend in a
marriage ceremony. This is, of course, just an analogy, as John will be
in the first resurrection and therefore part of the bride.

In a
deeply symbolic series of statements, Paul instructs married members of
the Church to love their mates (Compare Ephesians 5:22-33). He draws on
the selfless example of Christ’s love for His Church to make his point.
Then, he mentions a profound truth about marriage, calling it “a great
mystery” (Verse 32).

Why is it a mystery? Because it is a truth
hidden in the plan of God—hidden to those not called by God! Yet, God’s
Church understands this mystery: Jesus Christ will marry His Church
(Compare, especially, verses 25-27)! Note what Paul also stated in this
connection: “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have
betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin
to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). It is important to understand the
concept of “betrothal.” That concept is fully explained in our booklet,
“And Lawlessness Will Abound…”, on pages 47 and 56-59.

describes a binding agreement or covenant of engagement, which could
only be annulled or dissolved through divorce, but it does not describe
the consummation of the marriage. As will be shown, God’s “betrothal”
is not limited to those who will be in the first resurrection. The
above-quoted booklet also explains that the New Covenant IS a marriage
agreement between Christ and His disciples–but it is not limited,
either, to those who will be in the first resurrection; rather, it will
also apply to those who will live in the Millennium and during the
Great White Throne Judgment, and who will become converted at that time
(For more information on that aspect of God’s great Master Plan, please
read, “God’s Commanded Holy Days.”)

In the many examples where
the Church is referred to as a “virgin,” the intent is one of our
spiritual condition. It is important that we not deduce an entire
teaching from a symbolic phrase! This vital key for understanding is to
look to Scripture for the meaning behind difficult verses, parables and
symbolic analogies.

However, the fact remains that Jesus Christ
will marry His Church! We find this specifically promised in Revelation
19. Verse 7 states: “‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself
ready.’” Understand that the wife spoken of here is comprised of ALL
the saints—ALL those counted worthy for the first resurrection.
Christians, who live just before Christ’s return, also must be
prepared—just as the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 so
clearly teaches.

Now carefully consider what is stated in
Revelation 19:8: “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine
linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is THE RIGHTEOUS ACTS of
the saints.” The focus for who will be in this wedding ceremony centers
on those who are righteous—that is, those who obey God! Here we gain
insight to the fact that Christ will marry those who live righteous
lives—something only possible through having the help of God’s Holy

In the Old Testament, God says that He is Husband to
Israel: “‘For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His
name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God
of the whole earth’” (Isaiah 54:5). Even as Israel rejected God, He
reminded them of Who He was: “‘Return, O backsliding children,’ says
the LORD; ‘for I am married to you…’ (Jeremiah 3:14).

In a
moving outpouring of God’s love for Jerusalem–here, a type of all
Israel–He speaks of how He chose and tenderly loved her and made her
His: “‘…Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with
you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 16:8). In verses
32 and 38 of this chapter, God charges Jerusalem of being “‘…an
adulterous wife’” and compares it with “‘…women who break wedlock.’”

to Israel of a future time—a time when God will establish His Kingdom
on the earth: “‘And it shall be, IN THAT DAY,’ Says the LORD, ‘That you
will call Me “My Husband…”’” (Hosea 2:16). Then, in verses 19-20, we
find that God promises to join Israel to Himself in an unending
marriage: “‘I WILL BETROTH YOU TO ME FOREVER; Yes, I will betroth you
to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will
betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.’” It is
important to realize that God will “betroth” Israel in the
future–AFTER Christ’s return and the FIRST resurrection. This shows
that the “bride” cannot only include those in the first resurrection.

qualities of the bride in this marriage are: righteousness; justice;
lovingkindness; mercy; and faithfulness. These are fruits of God’s Holy
Spirit—fruits that Christians, the saints, the bride of Christ, are to
possess (Compare Galatians 5:22-23).

We have seen that the Church
of God is called a “bride.” Also, God’s Word reveals that He addresses
Himself as a Husband to Israel and that He will marry her forever in
the future, after Israel’s conversion! Furthermore, the Bible also
speaks of a “bride” in an even greater context:

“Then one of the
seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues
came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the
bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a
great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy
Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:9-10).

in Revelation 21, verse 2, we find this overview: “Then I, John, saw
the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Please note that
the holy city, spoken of as the “bride,” will descend to this earth
after the first resurrection, the Millennium and the Great White Throne
Judgment. At that time, the heavenly Jerusalem, placed on earth, is
compared with the bride; that is, it will be comprised of ALL of God’s
saints. Most commentaries understand this analogy. For example,
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown say that the bride in Revelation 21:2 is
“made up of the blessed citizens of the ‘holy city,'” and the Ryrie
Study Bible states that “the heavenly city [when here on earth] will be
the abode of all the saints, the bride of Christ…” Again, we see that
the “bride” includes more than just the saints of the first

In this most remarkable look into the future, God
has revealed that ALL of mankind who become truly converted and become
Christ-like will be joined to Him and His family: “‘HE WHO OVERCOMES
shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My
son’” (Revelation 21:7).

Mankind was created to become members of
God’s Family! As children of God—described as sons of God and brethren
of Christ (Compare Hebrews 2)—mankind also is offered a role with
Christ described as being His “bride.” We are to become helpers
“comparable to [H]im,” as the first woman was created to be a helper,
comparable to the husband (Compare Genesis 2:18). We are to become
united in a permanent relationship within the Family of God!

prayed a remarkable prayer to His Father, which is recorded in John 17.
Jesus asked for something that is—when we understand it—the most
extraordinary of relationships. Note, in particular, verses 11 and
20-26. Jesus specifically asked that His followers might be ONE as both
He and the Father are ONE. Genesis 2:24 states of the married
relationship between man and woman: “Therefore a man shall leave his
father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become ONE

We must understand the significance of what Peter stated:
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God
shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works
righteousness is accepted by Him’” (Acts 10:34-35; Also, compare Romans
2:11; Galatians 2:6; Colossians 3:23-25; 1 Peter 1:17).

understanding about who the bride is must be supported by all of the
relevant Scriptures. Remember, God desires that all men should be saved
(Compare 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Also, consider what Jesus Christ
taught about those who would be saved—about those who would, indeed,
become His spiritual bride: “‘And indeed there are last who will be
first, and there are first who will be last’” (Luke 13:30).

in some of the very last words of the Bible, this heartening plea is
made—it is as if those who now rest among the spiritual virgins
awaiting the marriage of the Lamb speak to us: “And the Spirit and the
BRIDE say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who
thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely”
(Revelation 22:17).

Lead Writers: Dave Harris and Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

The text for our new booklet on suffering was sent to our Graphics Designer, Shelly Bruno, for finalization.

A new StandingWatch program was recorded, titled, “What’s in Store for America?” Set forth below is a brief summary of the program:

Hussein was convicted and sentenced to death by an Iraqi court. While
the U.S. welcomed and supported the sentence, the Europeans were united
in their opposition to it. The Iraqi court rendered the judgment at the
eve of the U.S. Midterm Elections, but it did not help President Bush
and the Republicans. Democrats have gained a convincing majority in
both the House and the Senate. In the wake of the election, Secretary
of Defense Don Rumsfeld resigned. However, most observers feel that
this power shift and Rumsfeld’s resignation will not substantially
change American politics in Iraq. Does the Bible have anything to say
about the future of America?”

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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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