Update 280


Split Sermons

On February 10, 2007, Rene Messier from Canada and Brian Gale from Great Britain will give split sermons in San Diego.

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.

Back to top

Public Opinion and the True Christian

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Public opinion is something that matters very much to the political parties–so much so that they are very good at finding out what the people want and then feeding that desire. One encyclopedia defines public opinion as the aggregate–the sum total–of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Gone seem to be convicted politicians who stand for what they believe.

Influence is one of the outcomes of being in power. There has been so much manipulation in so many areas over a sustained period of time that those things that our fathers and forefathers thought were wrong are now accepted practice. For example, in Great Britain and many other parts in the world, the homosexual lobby has made such inroads on public opinion that the law is now on their side, and one can be prosecuted for quoting what God has to say on the matter. Abortion was abhorrent not all that long ago, but now is accepted practice. Foul and abusive language is commonplace in television programs, and now very few even bat an eyelid. The list continues. Public opinion has been so manipulated that standards of yesteryear are now thought of as old fashioned and that society has “moved on.”

Has this rubbed off on the people of God? I would think that the answer must be yes to one degree or another. We don’t live in a vacuum–and we have to live in this wayward society of ours. Someone once said that fashions may change but standards do not. Godly standards do NOT change although there are those who try to explain them away. God is very specific on this matter. Malachi 3:6 says: “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” Hebrews 13:8 explains: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” James 1:17 adds that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

The great God of the universe is constant in everything. He doesn’t change with public opinion as people try and bend Him into the shape that they want–and with which they are comfortable. Whichever direction public opinion takes should make absolutely no difference to our approach to the important issues of life. The knowledge of God and His ways are simply not known or understood, except by the very few. In the Kingdom of God, public opinion will not be influenced by that master of the black arts–Satan the devil–who is today the real source of forming and shaping the values of our society.

Once Jesus Christ has established God’s government here on earth, mankind will have to be taught God’s way, and a lifetime of absorbing Satan’s influences will have to be swept away out of the minds of billions of people. Public opinion then will be Godly and not manipulated in the wrong direction as it is today. Public opinion is of no use to us at all–it is the opinion and the way of God that matters. What we have to do is seek the will of God–not the will and opinion of society. Matthew 6:33 sums it up perfectly: “But seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness, and all these [physical] things shall be added to you.”

Back to top

Reactions to Global Warming Report

Reuters wrote on February 2:

“The world’s top climate scientists said on Friday global warming was man-made… The scientists said it was ‘very likely’ — or more than 90 percent probable — that human activities led by burning fossil fuels explained most of the warming in the past 50 years… The Kyoto Protocol is the main plan for capping emissions of greenhouse gases until 2012 but it has been severely weakened since the United States, the top source of greenhouse gases, pulled out in 2001. Emissions by many backers of Kyoto are far over target… A 21-page summary of IPCC findings for policy makers… says it is ‘more likely than not’ that greenhouse gases have made tropical cyclones more intense.”

The Associated Press added on February 2:

“Scientists from 113 countries issued a landmark report Friday saying they have little doubt global warming is caused by man, and predicting that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level will ‘continue for centuries’ no matter how much humans control their pollution… The 21-page report represents the most authoritative science on global warming as the panel comprises hundreds of scientists and representatives. It only addresses how and why the planet is warming, not what to do about it… The scientists said global warming was ‘very likely’ caused by human activity, a phrase that translates to a more than 90 percent certainty that it is caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels. That was the strongest conclusion to date, making it nearly impossible to say natural forces are to blame. It also said no matter how much civilization slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and sea level rise will continue on for centuries.”

On February 2, BBC News quoted Sharon Hays, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, as saying: “This report is a comprehensive and accurate reflection of the current state of climate change science.”

The Washington Post wrote on February 2 that “In 1965, the concern that greenhouse gases would lead to global warming was a prediction. Today, it is an established scientific fact.”

AFP added on February 2:

“In its first assessment in six years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dealt a crippling blow Friday to the shrinking body of opinion that claims higher temperatures in past decades have been driven by natural, not man-made, causes… British Environment Minister David Miliband said the report ‘is another nail in the coffin of the climate change deniers’… The exhaustive IPCC study, culled from work by 2,500 scientists in more than 100 countries, sounded alarms about the impact of carbon pollution, mostly from the burning of oil, gas and coal. These fossil fuels release CO2, which traps heat from the sun instead of letting it radiate safely into space.”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 2:

“A new United Nations report on climate change makes for sobering reading. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humans are almost certainly responsible for global warming. And the consequences could be worst than previously thought. For years, global warming was dismissed as an apocalyptic vision dreamt up by cranks and hippies. But recently consensus has been growing that the climate is indeed changing and humans are directly responsible. Now the United Nations has concluded that humans are almost certainly responsible for global warming and issued its strongest-ever warning about the consequences.

“The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its keenly awaited report on climate change Friday in Paris. It contains the UN’s strongest conclusion yet that human activities are leading to global warming, and warns of more droughts, stronger storms and rising sea levels by 2100… According to the report, human-made emissions of greenhouse gases can be blamed for fewer cold days, hotter nights, killer heat waves, floods and heavy rains, devastating droughts, and an increase in hurricane and tropical storm strength.”

The Los Angeles Times wrote on February 2:

“In the strongest language it has ever used, a United Nations panel says global warming is ‘very likely’ caused by human activities and has become a runaway train that cannot be stopped… The phrase ‘very likely’ indicates a 90% certainty. The last IPCC report, issued five years ago, said it was ‘likely’ that human activity was at fault, indicating a certainty of 66%. Many scientists had argued during the editing process that the report should say it is ‘virtually certain’ that human activities are causing global warming. That would indicate a 99% certainty. But the change was strongly resisted by China, among other nations, because of its reliance on fossil fuels to help build its economy…In addition, the report says, for the first time, that it is ‘more likely than not’ that the strong hurricanes and cyclones observed since 1970 have been produced by global warming.”

Bild Online wrote in sensational words, “Climate Horrors–Man is to be blamed when our earth dies.” The article quoted some of the German co-authors of the “shocking” study, as well as other weather experts, as saying that cities like London or Sydney were in danger of overflooding. According to the article, commencing in 2020, Dublin and Ireland will experience drought; the Sahara might stretch as far as Berlin, and man will become more and more violent…

No Universal Agreement on Global Warming

Not everyone agrees with the finding of the IPCC report–nor, that there is unanimous consensus of all reputable scientists on the issues of man-made global warming or climate change. To reach this conclusion, one does not have to go so far as to focus on controversial “commentator” Rush Limbaugh, who postulates on his shows that the extent to which fossil fuel emissions have contributed to the rise in global atmospheric air temperatures since about the mid-1800s is still debatable, and that the Antarctica ice is actually increasing.

Other voices, which are normally more accepted within the scientific community, can be heard as well. The highly-respected conservative German newspaper, Die Welt, wrote on February 3 that those scientists who disagree with the findings of the UN report are rejected as “deniers”–a highly explosive term, especially in Germany, where Holocaust deniers are committing a crime. Die Welt also stressed that there are scientific critics, including respected meteorologists, who have gathered and analyzed data and who have reached different and less dramatic results pertaining to the weather and the climate. The paper stressed, too, that in the negotiations in Paris, which resulted in the UN report, politicians, and not scientists, had the final say.

Another highly respected newspaper, the German left-liberal publication, “Die Zeit,” likewise criticized the fact that politicians, and not scientists, seemed to have run the show in Paris. This began–according to Die Zeit–when counties selected “their” representative scientists for Paris–a procedure which hardly guarantees independence. And the report itself had to be agreed to by the representatives of the individual governments–and these representatives had received directives from their governments what to agree to and what not. In an interview with sociologist Peter Weingart, Die Zeit raised tough questions, including the fear that the report could not be objective, as it had become part of the political mainstream to predict global warming. The additional fear was voiced that a scientist who would not agree to such a postulate would be cut off from receiving further funds for scientific research. The paper also stated that, due to inconsistent scientific “findings” of the past, “no one is sure anymore what to believe, when it comes to climate change.”

Political Pressure on “Dissenters”

In our last Update, we reported about alleged political pressure from the Bush Administration on scientists believing that global warming is man-made.  But it goes both ways. Set forth below is an article reporting about political pressure from the state of Oregon on the state’s Climatologist who believes that man does not cause global warming.
kgw.com reported on February 7:
“In the face of evidence agreed upon by hundreds of climate scientists, George Taylor holds firm. He does not believe human activities are the main cause of global climate change… Taylor has held the title of ‘state climatologist’ since 1991 when the legislature created a state climate office at OSU. The university created the job title, not the state. His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon’s policies. So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint…

“In an interview [Taylor] told KGW, ‘There are a lot of people saying the bulk of the warming of the last 50 years is due to human activities and I don’t believe that’s true.’ He believes natural cycles explain most of the changes the earth has seen. A bill will be introduced in Salem soon on the matter. Sen. Brad Avakian, (D) Washington County, is sponsoring the bill. He said global warming is so important to state policy it’s important to have a climatologist as a consultant to the governor.”

European Pressure on the USA

The New York Times reported on February 1 that continuous critic of the USA, French President Jacques Chirac, “has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012… he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance. The European Union is the largest export market for American goods.”

Chirac expresses, to a large extent, the European opinion which blames the U.S. in this matter. They openly deride America for not signing on to the Kyoto Protocol. This is another arena in which the United States is viewed as a rogue nation that is disinterested in what others think. The impact of this latest go-round is only serving to further isolate the U.S.A.

This can also be seen, when considering the following excerpts from an article in The Associated Press of February 3:

“Fear of runaway global warming pushed 46 countries to line up Saturday behind France’s appeal for a new environmental body that could single out — and perhaps police — nations that abuse the Earth… Without naming the United States directly, Chirac expressed frustration that ‘some large countries, large rich countries, still must be convinced.’ They are ‘refusing to accept the consequences of their acts,’ he said.”

Angela Merkel–Peacemaker or Economist?

Deutsche Welle reported on February 6:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel met Emirati President Khalifa Monday as part of her efforts to revive the Middle East peace process… Merkel said Germany, as the current European Union president, would throw its weight behind the reconciliation talks in Mecca on Tuesday between Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political supremo Khaled Meshaal… adding the EU would stay in close contact with Saudi Arabia, which is hosting the meeting… Merkel later told the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies in a speech on EU foreign policy that reaching a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ‘absolutely central to bringing stability to the region.’… She said that working towards a two-state solution is the best way forward…

“Merkel also criticized Iran and Syria for their role in the Middle East… ‘There are forces, in the region and elsewhere, that do not want success in these efforts,’ Merkel said in the United Arab Emirates’ capital. ‘On this account we have concerns, especially with respect to Iran… Syria has not used its opportunity to play a constructive role…’

“Elsewhere, the meeting with Sheikh Khalifa focused on… economic ties between Berlin and Abu Dhabi… Sheikh Khalifa also called for a boost to economic ties between the UAE and Germany, whose two-way trade increased 25 percent last year to seven billion dollars… In Riyadh, she met King Abdullah as well as the crown prince and foreign minister of the oil-rich monarchy, and Abderrahman al-Attiya, secretary general of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.”

“Limited” Mandate to Help NATO troops in Afghanistan?

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 7:

“The German cabinet decided on Wednesday to send six Tornado reconnaissance jets to Afghanistan to help locate Taliban bases in response to a request from NATO. The German pilots will be accompanied by around 500 support staff. The mission has to be approved by parliament in March and the Tornados could be deployed in April for a six-month tour…. Germany has around 2,900 troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan…. The mission will cost around €35 million. With more than 4,000 people killed in violence, last year was the bloodiest in Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001. Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said the Tornados… could help prevent civilian casualties and that the mission was necessary given that the Taliban had announced it would launch 2,000 suicide attacks.

“Meanwhile an opinion poll showed a big majority of Germans are opposed to sending Tornado jets to the south of Afghanistan. Only 21 percent were in favor, with 77 percent opposed… Former German air force general Hermann Hagena said the Tornados might end up getting involved in combat. If troops on the ground were in danger a pilot should be prepared to open fire, Hagena told NDR Info radio.”

While Bild Online asked the question, “Has Germany entered the war,” Der Spiegel Online voiced the opinion that “Germany has already been at war for a while,” and that the German government should be honest enough to admit this fact.

Der Spiegel Online wrote on February 8:

“In approving the deployment of Tornado jets to Afghanistan, but only for reconnaissance purposes, the German cabinet has revealed the full extent of Germany’s schizophrenic Afghanistan policy. This double game has to stop. The chancellor should finally say it like it is: Germany is at war. The German government approved the deployment of Tornado jets to Afghanistan on Wednesday. ‘Are we now at war?’ the tabloid Bild wrote, clearly hedging its bets. German Chancellor Angela Merkel should be honest enough to answer this question with a clear ‘Yes.’ While she’s at it, she should add that this has been the case for the last five years.”

Pagan Christians or Christian Pagans?

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 7:

“The old natural religions continue to thrive in Africa. While Christianity and Islam vie for supremacy in many countries, they have failed to banish the rain gods and spirits south of the Sahara. Frequently the pagan rites have fused with a faith in Jesus Christ… The clash of civilizations and religions… can be witnessed firsthand here in Africa…  Islamic Fundamentalism is advancing from the west, penetrating all the way to the continent’s eastern reaches. In some regions it collides head-on with an equally aggressive brand of Christianity. The clashes are becoming increasingly bitter because the desert is expanding, bringing more poverty in its wake… Yet, as hard as the two great monotheistic faiths have struggled for supremacy, they have failed to wrest power from [pagan] priests… With its nature deities, the old African mythology is often the only stabilizing force in a world full of suffering, displacement and death, where everything is in constant flux but rarely changes for the better, where – in many respects – time has stood still. This is a world populated by nymphs and sirens, by elfin spirits, sun and moon gods, and by animal deities such as cows, stags, lambs and calves.

“At the end of the 19th century, the British ethnologist Edward Burnett Tylor coined the term animism (the Latin word anima means soul or breath) to describe this pantheon [explaining that] plants, animals and objects also have souls in the minds of these ‘primitive peoples.’… Despite the best efforts of Christian and Islamic missionaries, some 40 percent of the people in Burkina Faso, western Africa, are still considered animist. In East African Ethiopia, a largely Christian domain, the figure is still thought to be 10 percent. Yet these numbers remain pure conjecture. In truth, religious distinctions have long blurred, indeed evaporated, in Africa. Someone who attends church in the morning and the mosque at midday might easily invite a voodoo priest over in the evening to read the kola nuts. Practically everywhere the cult of the dead intermingles with Christianity…

“In Kenya, for example, the modernminded Kikuyu, flashing cell phones and Ray-Bans, happily journey to Mount Kenya and pray to Ngai, the supreme God of the animists – despite often being members of one of the numerous Christian sects, such as the Pentecostals or the gospel churches. In this way… Christianity and the pagan belief in nature deities and demons mutually impact one another. The existence of a god of creation in nearly all pre-Christian African religions encourages this process. This cross-fertilization is not as strange as it may sound, even to Christians in the West. Something quite similar occurred there centuries ago, ‘when pagan Germanic customs mingled with Christian rites,’ says [religious scholar Fritz] Stenger [from the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi]. ‘Even Christmas – that most traditional of Christian celebrations – has ancient Germanic roots.”

New U.S. Military Command HQ in Africa–and Germany Will Help…

Der Spiegel Online reported on February 7:

“With the end of the Cold War, Germany lost much of its strategic importance for the United States military, a development reflected in the ongoing drawdown of US forces from bases here. But Germany hasn’t lost all of its significance — it is still home to the US forces’ European headquarters and soon it will also serve as temporary host to the US military command for Africa, Africom…

“The move reflects increased US interest in the continent as a result of fears that Islamist militants could find havens in countries with weak governments such as Somalia. US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, were targeted in simultaneous al-Qaida attacks in 1998, killing over 250 people, and US forces recently targeted al-Qaida militants in Somalia with air strikes. Washington is also keen to foster stability on the continent with an eye to AFRICA’S OIL RESERVES which could provide an alternative to Middle Eastern oil. The new unit will initially be based in the western German city of Stuttgart, also HOME to the military’s EUROPEAN COMMAND, and it is expected to be in full operation by September 2008.”

“The West Must Pay Closer Attention” to Russia!

On February 2, Der Spiegel Online published an interesting interview with Russian author Vladimir Sorokin. In the interview, Sorokin stated:

“…what would happen to Russia if it isolated itself completely from the Western world — that is, if it erected a new Iron Curtain. There is much talk about Russia being a fortress. Orthodox churches, autocracy and national traditions are supposed to form a new national ideology… Putin likes to quote a sentence from Czar Alexander III, who said that Russia has only two allies — the army and the navy. As a citizen, this makes me sit up and take notice. This is a concept of self-imposed isolation, a defense strategy that sees Russia surrounded by enemies.

“When I turn on the TV I see a general calmly claiming that our missiles are ahead of the latest American models by three five-year plans. It’s a nightmare. We are creating a concept of the enemy, just as they did in the Soviet era. This is a giant step backward… . My television teaches me that everything was wonderful in the Soviet Union. According to the programs I watch, the KGB and apparatchiks were angels, and the Stalin era was so festive that the heroes of the day must still be celebrated today…”

The article continued to quote Sorokin, as follows:

“The West should be even more vocal in insisting that the Russians respect human rights. All compromise aside, I ask myself whether Russia is moving in the direction of democracy. I don’t believe it is! Bit by bit, Russia is slipping back into an authoritarian empire. The worst thing that can happen to us is indifference in the West — that is, if it were interested in nothing but oil and gas. I am always surprised when I watch the weather report on German television. First they show the map of Europe and then the camera moves to the right. Then comes Kiev, then Moscow and then everything stops. This seems to be the West’s view of us — of a wild Russia that begins past Moscow, a place one prefers not to see. This is a big mistake. The West must pay closer attention.”

Bird Flu Isolates Britain

The Associated Press reported on February 5 about an outbreak of the bird flu virus H5N1, which is also dangerous for humans:

“Poultry farmers around Europe were on guard Monday against the possible spread of bird flu across the North Sea from infected Britain, fearing the disease could be carried by wild birds.The Netherlands and Norway ordered restrictions on commercial poultry over the weekend after the outbreak last week of the H5N1 strain of the virus, which hit poultry stocks in Asia in 2003. About 2,500 turkeys died of the H5N1 strain on the farm, owned by… Europe’s largest turkey producer… and all of the facility’s 159,000 turkeys were ordered slaughtered. It was the first time H5N1 had been found on a British farm.

“Authorities in both parts of Ireland banned bird shipments from Britain and revoked poultry-import licenses Monday… the ban in Japan, which imported more than 160,000 fowl from Britain in 2006, was effective as of Saturday. Russia will stop imports from Tuesday, including eggs and poultry feed…”

Army Officer Might Have to Go to Jail

The following serves as a good example to illustrate that once you are in the army, you have to follow orders unconditionally–even if they violate your personal conscience and convictions. Therefore, for this reason alone, young men and women should carefully consider the consequences, before joining the military.

The Associated Press reported on February 4:

“Denied a chance to debate the legality of the Iraq war in court, an Army officer who refused to go to Iraq now goes to trial hoping to at least minimize the amount of time he could serve if convicted… Ehren Watada… has spoken out against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, calling it morally wrong and a breach of American law. ‘As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order,’ Watada said in a video statement [in the past]… ‘Though the American soldier wants to do right, the illegitimacy of the occupation itself, the policies of this administration, and the rules of engagement of desperate field commanders will ultimately force them to be party to war crime,’ Watada said then…

“Seitz [Watada’s attorney] unsuccessfully sought an opportunity to argue the legality of the war, saying it violated Army regulations that specify wars are to be waged in accordance with the United Nations charter. His final attempt was quashed last month when the military judge… ruled Watada cannot base his defense on the war’s legality. [The judge] also rejected claims that Watada’s statements were protected by the First Amendment.”

Back to top

How are we to number the Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. There is universal acceptance that the number of the commandments which God gave to us, is ten. In fact, the Bible calls this set of commandments from God, “…the Ten Commandments” (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13; 10:4).

There is, however, disagreement as to HOW to number the Ten Commandments. Many professing Christians count the Ten Commandments differently today than the Jews do–and the early New Testament Church did.

For instance, the Jews count Exodus 20:2-3 as the First Commandment, which reads, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

The Jews count Exodus 20:4-6 as the Second Commandment, which reads:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve [margin: worship] them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Many professing Christians count the entire passage of Exodus 20:2-6, as quoted above, as just ONE commandment, believing that all these verses describe just the First Commandment. However, the early Church understood Exodus 20:2-6 as describing TWO commandments, not just one.

It was Augustine, a Catholic bishop of Hippo in North Africa, who, in the fourth century, combined the First and the Second Commandment as just ONE commandment, so as to allow the worship of images. In order to reach the number ten, he divided the last or the TENTH Commandment into two.

However, the Jews and the early Church correctly understood that the entirety of the TENTH Commandment reads: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, not his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17).

This is clearly just ONE commandment. Augustine, by dropping the Second Commandment and still wanting to reach the number “ten,” divided the Tenth Commandment into two, claiming that the first part of verse 17 (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house”) constitutes the Ninth Commandment, and that the second part of verse 17 (“…you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s”) constitutes the Tenth Commandment.

Anyone should be able to see that this distinction is highly arbitrary. Why would God give one commandment against coveting our neighbor’s house–and another commandment against coveting our neighbor’s wife, his servants, his animals and ANYTHING that belongs to him?

For further proof that Augustine’s renumbering of the Ten Commandments must be rejected, please note that Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, made no distinction between coveting our neighbor’s house or his wife. There is only ONE commandment against coveting, as Paul clearly explains.

He said in Romans 13:9: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

He also wrote in Romans 7:7: “… for I would not have known covetousness [i.e., that it is wrong and a sin] unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.'” Again, no distinction is made between coveting our neighbor’s house and coveting our neighbor’s wife, servants or animals.

As mentioned, the reason why Augustine renumbered the Ten Commandments (by counting the First and the Second Commandment as just one commandment) was a strictly “political” one. It was done for the purpose of allowing the worship of images and statues as part of the worship of God. But THAT is EXACTLY what the Second Commandment prohibits. While the First Commandment prohibits the worship of anything else BUT God, the Second Commandment prohibits the worship of statues in connection with the worship of God. This means, it is wrong to bow down and worship in front of a statue which supposedly depicts Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary or a “departed saint.”

The Bible is very clear that neither Mary, the mother of Christ, nor any of the dead Christians, such as the Apostles Peter, Paul and John, are alive today. Rather, they are in their graves, awaiting the resurrection from the dead. It is therefore useless, for that reason alone, to bow down in front of a statue allegedly representing or depicting them, and pray to them for help. It is also clearly prohibited in the Bible to do so.

In addition, Jesus Christ is GOD (Hebrews 1:8), and to make a statue of God and to worship IT is also in clear violation of the Second Commandment. This is even true apart from the fact that virtually all pictures or statues, which purportedly represent Christ, are in total opposition to every description given of Him in the Bible, when He was on earth in the flesh. For instance, Christ did not wear long hair (compare 1 Corinthians 11:14); and He was a carpenter, working outdoors (Mark 6:3), but virtually all statues and pictures portray Christ as a feminine looking man with long hair.

In conclusion, Augustine’s renumbering of the Ten Commandments, which has been adopted today by so many professing Christians, is in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to God’s inspired Word. Correctly numbered, here are the Ten Commandments in an outline format (for the complete presentation, compare Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21), as inspired by God Almighty:

1) I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2) You shall make for yourself no image to bow down to it and worship it.
3) You shall not take the name of your God in vain.
4) You shall keep the Sabbath day holy.
5) Honor your father and your mother.
6) You shall not murder.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness or lie.
10) You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

Back to top

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

The video-recorded sermon by Norbert Link, titled, “How To Be Truly Successful,” has been posted on Video Google.  The audio version is posted on our Website.

A new StandingWatch program was placed on Google Video and on our Website. It is titled, “What’s Wrong With ‘St. Valentine’s Day?”

In the program, Norbert Link discusses the fact that many people observe, in one way or another, “St. Valentine’s Day” on February 14, without knowing how and why today’s custom on this day have started. And even if they knew, would or should it make any difference?

Annual Conference

The dates for the annual conference in San Diego are:

First Day of Conference: Friday, February 9, 2007
Last Day of Conference: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Please continue to pray for a successful preparation for these important events.

Time and Location of Memorial Service for Edwin Pope:

Memorial Service for Edwin Pope will be held on Sunday, February 11, 2007.

Please note the leaflet for the memorial service has been posted on our Website.

All family members and friends are invited to attend this special occasion. Please share this announcement with those who might be interested in attending, but who might not receive our weekly Updates.

The Memorial Service will begin at 11:30 am, followed by a potluck. The services will be held at the facilities of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, at 102 4th Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910-2520. The facilities are located at the corner of 4th Avenue and D-Avenue.

If you are driving from the Los Angeles area, you might want to use the I-5 toward Santa Ana; take exit #9 onto CA-54 east; take the 4th Avenue exit and turn right. The facilities are on your right.

Back to top


by Kalon Mitchell (21)

When my sister was in the hospital, a few months ago, the doctors first gave her a 50-50 chance to live. Medically speaking, she should have been dead. But she pulled through, I believe, with the help of God.

During the month she spent in the hospital, I came to realize just how fragile our human existence is, and how easy it is for us to die. It struck me to know that no matter what, God is in control. Learning this, made me come to have a better relationship with those around me and to appreciate and enjoy every day that I wake up. I came to see that human life is not something to be taken for granted. During that month in the hospital, my sister had so many people thinking of and praying for her, and coming to see her. It made me realize how many lives we can touch, by just an action, a smile, or a nice word.

I also grew to be thankful to God for everything that He gives us in this world–from the air we breathe and the food we eat, to our spiritual calling. We, as the people of God, have more than any single person in this world. Many go through life wondering what will happen to them when they are dead–perhaps even wondering why they are here. We know that God placed us on this earth to fulfill a purpose. We must continue living and overcoming, realizing that with God, our chances to live eternally are much greater than just 50 percent.

Back to top

How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God