Update 408


Moving On!

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

The phrase “Moving On” is an interesting one that can have different interpretations behind just those two simple words. And we, as Christians, have to make sure that we don’t fall into the trap that others often do when using this phrase.

It can mean wanting to avoid further questioning or interrogation–it’s time to move on. This is a favorite approach of politicians who want to squirm out of problems that won’t seem to go away. Instead of saying “sorry, I was wrong”–an admission of wrongdoing, errors of judgment or just plain poor decision making–they shy away from what we, as Christians must do. This is not for us. If we’re wrong, we have to admit it and repent, not say that we are moving on to avoid any further embarrassment or questioning.

A second way that this phrase is used is that it is now 2009 and it’s time to move on! This can often be used in connection with biblical truth, thinking that the Bible is outdated. But the date has nothing to do with right and wrong. Living in the year 2009 does not give us the liberty to change immutable truths and instructions from our great Creator. Moving on, to so many people today, means getting rid of previous standards and replacing them with their own ideas. When the original information is from the Creator of the universe, then to think that that doesn’t apply and is old fashioned today is stupidity of the highest order. 

And a third way of using this phrase is where someone abandons the truth that they once understood because they have “moved on.” This is the most serious of them all–and we have to ensure that we take our calling very seriously at all times, never treating it lightly and putting ourselves into great danger, so that we could miss out on being a member of God’s family for eternity.

Moving on? Not in the three areas mentioned herein–but with our calling, yes, we have to move on by growing in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). That is the “moving on” that we should all be involved with!

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Is America steering towards its irrevocable descent into economic calamity and chaos? Our lead article on FDIC’s Insurance Fund and the ever-increasing number of failing banks paints a grim picture, and in doing the math, the picture is even more apocalyptic. And you just know that the country is in trouble when one of America’s foremost prestigious institutions–Reader’s Digest–is forced to file for “prearranged” bankruptcy.

While President Obama is losing his “messianic status” over health care (and actor Chuck Norris has some strong and appropriate warning about “hidden little secrets” in the House Bill), Mr. Obama’s repeated pledge to homosexuals, bi-sexuals and transgender couples to repeal a “discriminatory” federal law on marriage does not help to restore confidence in the willingness to uphold American standards and principles, defining a marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The fact that school administrators in Florida are facing jail time for praying over lunch, allegedly violating a court-approved “consent decree” prohibiting them to promote religion on school grounds, speaks volumes about the God-defying culture in our country.

Britain does not fare much better, if concerns are correct that Scotland released a “terminally-ill” convicted Libyan mass murderer and terrorist because of a political deal between Britain and Libya, involving Libya’s oil.

President Obama’s repeated pledge to continue America’s war in Afghanistan is interesting in light of a revealing interview with former German Defense Minister Volker Rühe, as well as a report about the despicable situation in Afghanistan and the means by which politicians come to or stay in power.

As Der Spiegel wrote on August 20: “Afghans went to the polls Thursday to elect a new president. Although the Taliban did not manage to stop the election from taking place, their attacks and threats kept turnout low in many regions. After the polls closed on Thursday afternoon, the Afghan government made its first assessment of the situation — and it wasn’t exactly flattering. President Hamid Karzai’s authorities reported 73 direct attacks against polling stations in 15 provinces… Afghans will only discover the outcome of the election in the coming days. The first preliminary results will probably be made public this weekend, and the final result of the first round of voting will only be announced on Sept. 17.”

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei made again very clear what Iran’s real intentions are–in preparing for the coming of the Mahdi, all Muslim nations should unite militarily to fight against the USA and Israel.

The British paper, The Mail, laments the government’s plan to launch mass immunizations in October to “fight” the swine flu, because of concerns that the vaccines might cause a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. And an article by the New York Times shows that our justice system’s blind reliance on DNA evidence is highly misplaced.

Ongoing earthquakes in and close to Japan are causes for alarm–with experts fearing that the “Big One” might not be far off; and continuing violence and terrorist attacks in the Caucasus, coupled with Russia’s meddling in South Caucasus areas, “stoke fears that [the southern Russian Republic of] Ingushetia [is] replacing Chechnya as the next battleground in southern Russia,” as Deutsche Welle put it.

Finally, the European press published documentation showing that both the USA and Great Britain knew about Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews as early as 1942, but did nothing to prevent it. The Vatican tries to capitalize on this widely-known fact, by wrongly suggesting that Pope Pius XII tried to save as many Jews as possible. However, the collaboration between Hitler’s and Mussolini’s fascist regime and the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Pius XII is beyond historical doubt and reproof.

All of these developments identify the prophesied “signs of the times,” in which we live. For more information, please read our free booklets, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” “Europe in Prophecy,” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

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FDIC Insurance Fund Facing Disaster of Apocalyptical Proportions

The Associated Press wrote on August 15:

“Regulators on Friday shut down Colonial BancGroup Inc., a big lender in real estate development that marked the biggest U.S. bank failure this year, and a small bank in Pennsylvania [Dwelling House]. The closures boosted to 74 the number of federally insured banks that have failed in 2009… The FDIC estimates that the cost to the deposit insurance fund from the failure of Dwelling House will be $6.8 million. The failure of Colonial is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $2.8 billion. The 74 bank failures nationwide this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.

“As the economy has soured – with unemployment rising, home prices tumbling and loan defaults soaring – bank failures have cascaded and sapped billions out of the deposit insurance fund. It now stands at its lowest level since 1993, $13 billion as of the first quarter…

“The number of banks on the FDIC’s list of problem institutions leaped to 305 in the first quarter – the highest number since 1994 during the savings and loan crisis – from 252 in the fourth quarter. The FDIC expects U.S. bank failures to cost the insurance fund around $70 billion through 2013.

“The May closing of struggling Florida thrift BankUnited FSB is expected to cost the insurance fund $4.9 billion, the second-largest hit since the financial crisis began.”

If you do the math, these figures are staggering, alarming and nightmarish and absolutely apocalyptical:

If the FDIC had only $13 billion in its insurance fund in its first quarter (January-March 2009), but if the bail-out of Florida’s BankUnited in May will cost $4.9 billion; the bail-out of Pennsylvania’s Dwelling House $6.8 million; and of Colonial Bank $2.8 billion, then the fund would be at a level of approximately just about $6.4 billion.

Reader’s Digest Plans to File For Pre-Arranged Bankruptcy

Reuters reported on August 17:

“Reader’s Digest Association Inc, whose namesake magazine has been a staple of dentists’ offices for generations, said on Monday it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its U.S. businesses as part of a prearranged plan with lenders to cut debt by 75 percent…

“The bankruptcy would take the form of a prearranged filing, which comes after a company has already reached deals with lenders to reduce debt. The deal, if approved by a bankruptcy court, would allow Reader’s Digest to slash its debt load to $550 million, from the current $2.2 billion. The arrangement would also allow the company to reduce its annual interest payments on remaining debt to less than $80 million from about $145 million…”

The Dollar Will Weaken Even More

Bloomberg wrote on August 19:

“Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest manager of bond funds, said the dollar will weaken as the U.S. pumps ‘massive’ amounts of money into the economy. The dollar will drop the most against emerging-market counterparts… The greenback is losing its status as the world’s reserve currency…  There is no viable immediate alternative to the U.S. dollar for now as the euro region lacks a political union…”

But what will happen when Europe HAS achieved its political union?

President Obama Loses “Messianic Status Over Health Care”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 18:

“US President Barack Obama has lost his messianic status in the row over health care reform, say German media commentators… [He] has made a key concession on his planned health-care reform… He has signalled retreat on a proposed provision under which consumers could choose from health insurance sold by the federal government as well as those marketed by private companies.

“‘The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform,’ the president told a town hall-style audience in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Saturday. ‘This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.’ Obama’s team is now suggesting a non-profit cooperative insurance system, in a bid to overcome the innate aversions many Americans have towards government involvement…

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“‘The 44th president, once revered as a messiah, is shrinking back to human proportions. This normalization… has been caused by the row over how to improve America’s health-care system. Obama has given up core elements of his most important reform plan in the face of sometimes aggressive, even fired-up protests… Many of Obama’s most glowing supporters are sensing betrayal. The president himself is interpreting his concession as realpolitik. Given the resistance, even from conservative members of his own party, he prefers a modest reform to none at all… But he must take care that his greatest election promise isn’t hacked to little pieces by a revolt by America’s right wing, or through a salami tactic where he himself is wielding the knife’…

“The center-left Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel writes:

“‘America’s mistrust of government is refreshing in some areas, but not when it comes to health care. Health cover[age] for the average citizen in the US against illness and its consequences is worse than in Germany, and they have to pay significantly more for it… Obama is realizing what his nation will and won’t accept. There’s likely to be a health reform in the end. But the overhaul that gets majority backing in the end won’t resemble what he promised in the election campaign.'”

Chuck Norris–“Whom Are We Kidding?”

In a truly thought-provoking editorial, dated August 11, which was published by Human Events.com, actor Chuck Norris wrote the following:

“I decided to research the reasons so many are opposed to Obamacare to separate the facts from the fantasy. What I discovered is that there are indeed dirty little secrets buried deep within the 1,000-plus page health care bill.

“Dirty secret No. 1 in Obamacare is about the government’s coming into homes and usurping parental rights over child care and development. It’s outlined in sections 440 and 1904 of the House bill (Page 838), under the heading ‘home visitation programs for families with young children and families expecting children.’ The programs (provided via grants to states) would educate parents on child behavior and parenting skills.

“The bill says that the government agents, ‘well-trained and competent staff,’ would ‘provide parents with knowledge of age-appropriate child development in cognitive, language, social, emotional, and motor domains … modeling, consulting, and coaching on parenting practices,’ and ‘skills to interact with their child to enhance age-appropriate development.’

“Are you kidding me?! With whose parental principles and values? Their own? Certain experts’? From what field and theory of childhood development?… Do we really believe they would contextualize and personalize every form of parenting in their education, or would they merely universally indoctrinate with their own?

“Are we to assume the state’s mediators would understand every parent’s social or religious core values on parenting? Or would they teach some secular-progressive and religiously neutered version of parental values and wisdom? And if they were to consult and coach those who expect babies, would they ever decide circumstances to be not beneficial for the children and encourage abortions?

“One government rebuttal is that this program would be ‘voluntary.’ Is that right? Does that imply that this agency would just sit back passively until some parent needing parenting skills said, ‘I don’t think I’ll call my parents, priest or friends or read a plethora of books, but I’ll go down to the local government offices’? To the contrary, the bill points to specific targeted groups and problems, on Page 840: The state ‘shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families.’

“Are we further to conclude by those words that low-income families know less about parenting? Are middle- and upper-class parents really better parents? Less neglectful of their children? Less needful of parental help and training? Is this ‘prioritized’ training not a biased, discriminatory and even prejudicial stereotype and generalization that has no place in federal government, law or practice?

“Bottom line: Is all this what you want or expect in a universal health care bill being rushed through Congress? Do you want government agents coming into your home and telling you how to parent your children? When did government health care turn into government child care?

“Government needs less of a role in running our children’s lives and more of a role in supporting parents’ decisions for their children. Children belong to their parents, not the government. And the parents ought to have the right — and government support — to parent them without the fed’s mandates, education or intervention in our homes…

“Government’s real motives and rationale are quite simple, though rarely, if ever, stated. If one wants to control the future ebbs and flows of a country, one must have command over future generations. That is done by seizing parental and educational power, legislating preferred educational methods and materials, and limiting private educational options. It is so simple that any socialist can understand it. As Josef Stalin once stated, ‘Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.'”

And as the late journalist Robert Novak, who died on August 18, said so accurately: “Always love your country — but never trust your government!”

Health Care Bill — No Matter What?

The Associated Press wrote on August 20:

“Publicly, President Barack Obama is still calling for a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Privately, Democrats are preparing a one-party push, which they feel is all but inevitable. Obama urged religious leaders Wednesday to back his proposals, and he prepared for a pep talk to a much larger audience of liberal activists, whose enthusiasm is in question. Polls continued to show slippage in support for the president’s approach, although Americans expressed even less confidence in Republicans’handling of health care.”

President Obama Wants to Repeal Federal Marriage Law

USA Today wrote on August 17:

“President Obama insisted Monday he still wants to scrap what he calls a discriminatory federal marriage law, even as his administration angered gay rights activists by defending it in court… Justice Department lawyers filed new papers Monday seeking to throw out a lawsuit brought by a gay couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. Gay rights groups say that by doing so, the administration is failing to follow through on campaign promises made by Obama last year to work to repeal the law… The Clinton-era law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

“Obama said he plans to work with Congress to repeal the law, and said his administration ‘will continue to examine and implement measures that will help extend rights and benefits’ to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples under existing law. The government says in its court filing that it will defend the statute in this case because a reasonable argument can be made that the law is constitutional… Justice lawyers have argued that the act is constitutional and contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to gays would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit same-sex marriages.”

According to some news reports, while the Justice Department filed papers asking to enforce the marriage law, President Obama filed a separate document pointing out that he considers the law to be discriminatory.

Scotland Angers the USA

AFP wrote on August 20:

“The terminally-ill Libyan convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing was released on compassionate grounds from jail in Scotland Thursday, sparking joy in Tripoli but fury from the United States…

“Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the only person convicted for downing a US passenger jet that killed 270 people, left Greenock Prison in a convoy headed for nearby Glasgow airport, where a Libyan plane [in fact, one of Moammar Gadhafi’s private planes] was waiting. His release came barely an hour after Scotland’s justice minister announced that he was being freed because he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and has less than three months to live…

“But the gesture was immediately condemned by the US government. ‘The United States deeply regrets the decision by the Scottish Executive to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi,’ a White House statement said… US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US lawmakers and relatives of the American dead had also fiercely opposed the move.

“The bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which blew up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, was the worst terrorist attack committed in Britain… Seven US senators wrote to the Scottish government demanding that Megrahi — convicted in 2001 after a trial held under Scots law at a special court in the Netherlands — serve out his sentence in Britain.

“Following the release, Megrahi was expected to be back with his family in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan which starts Friday. The decision comes amid thawing relations between Libya and Britain, which were arch-enemies in the 1980s and 1990s. Libya has the largest proven oil reserves of any country in Africa, much of it still untapped, and British firms including BP and Shell have signed major exploration deals in the country in recent years. Saad Djebbar, a lawyer who has worked with the Libyan government on the case, told BBC radio that freeing Megrahi would be a huge boost to relations between Britain and the whole Arab world.”

Deutsche Welle added on August 20:

“In the background of all the legal proceedings there has been the combination of money, oil and politics. Without a doubt, oil is a very big part of the Libyan economy… Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was among the first politicians to become involved in helping British Petroleum (BP) and Shell win exploration acreage in Libya. Also, the release of al-Megrahi eases the tensions between Britain and Libya so that business may pick up. It should come as no surprise then that some of the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombings have intimated that a deal had been struck.”

Outrageous Criminal Prosecution of Florida School Administrators for Praying

CNN reported on August 17:

“Two Florida school administrators face contempt charges and possible prison time for saying a prayer at a school luncheon. Pace High School enacted a decree in January banning officials from promoting religion at school events. Frank Lay, principal of Pace High School, and Athletic Director Robert Freeman are accused of violating a consent decree banning employees of Santa Rosa County schools from endorsing religion. They face a non-jury trial September 17 before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers. The statute under which they are charged carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in prison, subject to sentencing guidelines…
“On January 28, ‘Lay asked Freeman to offer a prayer of blessing during a school-day luncheon for the dedication of a new fieldhouse at Pace High School,’ according to court documents. ‘Freeman complied with the request and offered the prayer at the event. It appears this was a school-sponsored event attended by students, faculty and community members.’

“Attorneys from Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group helping defend Lay and Freeman, said in a written statement that attendees included booster club members and other adults who helped the field house project, all ‘consenting adults’…

“‘It is a sad day in America when school officials are criminally prosecuted for a prayer over a meal,’ said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of the law school at Liberty University, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. ‘It is outrageous and an offense to the First Amendment to punish a school official for a simple prayer.’ Liberty Counsel said it is challenging the consent decree, maintaining that it ‘unconstitutionally infringes on the rights of teachers, administrators and students’…”

Afghanistan–The Long and Winding Road…

USA Today wrote on August 17:

“Obama [said] on Monday that the United States didn’t choose to fight in Afghanistan but was forced to invade that country to stop future Sept. 11-type attacks at home… Obama warned Americans that the battle there will be neither quick nor easy.”

The Los Angeles Times added on August 17:

“President Obama today renewed his commitment to dismantling Al Qaeda in Afghanistan — a struggle he said was ‘fundamental to the defense of our people’… ‘This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity,’ Obama told the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars conference… ‘Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.'”

“Afghanistan Is a Disaster”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 17:

“In a SPIEGEL interview, former German Defense Minister Volker Rühe [member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party] speaks in bold terms about how politicians in Berlin have failed [in Afghanistan] and why Germany needs to use all of its military might in the country.”

We are quoting the following excerpts from Mr. Rühe’s comments:

“This mission [in Afghanistan] is a disaster — for NATO, for Germany and for the soldiers dying in the Hindu Kush. If Defense Minister Jung and Peter Struck, the parliamentary leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), are really hoping that we will stay in Afghanistan for 10 more years, then we are really in for a nightmare…

“Over the next two years, we should engage ourselves with all our might, and then we should initiate a withdrawal. The Americans will do exactly the same thing because Obama wants to get re-elected. But in Germany there has not been a serious debate about this once during the election campaign… The parties should finally express their opinions about Afghanistan in precise terms — but they all lack the courage to do so… If we say that we are going to stay for another 10 years, the Afghans are not going to be in any particular rush to stand up on their own two feet…

“In the Balkans, the real issue is democracy in Europe. But that kind of nation-building is not going to work in Afghanistan. If you walk up to someone in the Hindu Kush and explain to them that you are trying to introduce democracy in Afghanistan, they will laugh themselves silly… It is not in the interest of Germany or NATO to get themselves tied down there for another 10 years. The alliance needs to once again focus itself on tasks in the European field of activity, such as the Middle East…

“[For the next two years, Germany] should think about improving our equipment. For example, we shouldn’t abstain from using certain weapons just because they might look too war-like. But, more than anything, we need to assume more responsibility. Whenever the French or the British fall into danger, we need to be the ones to help them out, even if it’s in the hard-fought southern part of the country. Loyalty to the alliance demands it… remember, we are involved in a military conflict. Our soldiers are not armed development workers…”

The Real Afghanistan

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 18:

“Afghanistan’s election campaign has been marked by violence and corruption…

“The Taliban, who have promised to disrupt elections with a campaign of terror, have shown they can strike wherever they want… since the US-led invasion in 2001 and the toppling of the Taliban regime, the insurgents are again on the rise and have a presence in 70 percent of the country…

“From flying to campaign rallies in government helicopters to brokering power deals with warlords, and pardoning drug traffickers, Karzai is pulling out all the stops to secure his re-election… In the past few days Karzai has also passed a law which is effectively selling out women’s rights in the hope of winning the conservative vote.”

As NBC’s Today Show reported on August 18, women can be criminally prosecuted and jailed when they run away from their abusive and violent husbands. Many women are in jail right now for “adultery,” even though they were raped. When the NBC reporter asked the prison jailer how he can in good conscience continue to “guard” these innocent women, he answered, “This is a Muslim country.” According to NBC’s report, the new law endorsed by Karzai allows husbands to beat their wives–even with chains–without any fear of penalty.

Iran’s True Intentions

WorldNetDaily wrote on August 17:

“Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei yesterday called on Muslim nations around the world to unite militarily in response to the imminent coming of Islam’s messianic savior – the Mahdi. Khamenei, through his spokesman Ali Saeedi, specifically beckoned the nations of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan to join together with Iran in preparation for the Mahdi’s soon coming.

“The purpose of uniting now, a report in Al Arabiya explained, is to fight Israel and the U.S. – seen as the two greatest obstacles to the coming of the Mahdi and the age of Islamic ‘justice’ that would ensue. ‘We have to train honest forces that can stop the obstacles that may hinder the coming of the Mahdi like the United States and Israel,’ Saeedi stated. Saeedi also emphasized that the Iranian revolutionary guard possessed a special religious authority to prepare the way for the Mahdi…

“With news arriving this past week that Iran now has the capability to develop nuclear weapons, the Mahdist conference and this call for Islamic unity under the banner of the Mahdi takes on an added dimension of interest… While some Muslims have emphasized the peaceful nature of the Mahdi’s reign, many in Iran obviously disagree… In [his] work Imam al-Mahdi, the Just Leader of Humanity, Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini, professor at the Religious Learning Center at Qom… states, ‘The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.'”

Hidden Complications of Swine Flu Vaccines?

The British paper, Mail-On-Line, wrote on August 15:

“A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter… It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine. GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal…

“Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown. It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13million people during the first wave of immunisation, expected to start in October…

“There are concerns that there could be a repeat of what became known as the ‘1976 debacle’ in the US, where a swine flu vaccine killed 25 people – more than the virus itself. A mass vaccination was given the go-ahead by President Gerald Ford because scientists believed that the swine flu strain was similar to the one responsible for the 1918-19 pandemic, which killed half a million Americans and 20million people worldwide.

“Within days, symptoms of GBS were reported among those who had been immunised and 25 people died from respiratory failure after severe paralysis. One in 80,000 people came down with the condition. In contrast, just one person died of swine flu. More than 40million Americans had received the vaccine by the time the programme was stopped after ten weeks. The US Government paid out millions of dollars in compensation to those affected.

“The swine flu virus in the new vaccine is a slightly different strain from the 1976 virus, but the possibility of an increased incidence of GBS remains a concern.”

DNA Credibility Undermined

The New York Times wrote on August 18:

“Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases. The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person…

“Tania Simoncelli, science adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union, said the findings were worrisome. ‘DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,’ she said. ‘We’re creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology’…

“From a pooled sample of many people’s DNA, the scientists cloned tiny DNA snippets representing the common variants at each spot, creating a library of such snippets. To prepare a DNA sample matching any profile, they just mixed the proper snippets together. They said that a library of 425 different DNA snippets would be enough to cover every conceivable profile.”

Earthquakes in Japan–Is the Big One Coming?

Bloomberg wrote on August 14:

“The three earthquakes that rattled Tokyo this week increased concerns among residents that the first major temblor in 86 years, the so-called Big One, may soon strike the world’s biggest city… The last major earthquake to strike Tokyo and its environs was in 1923, when as many as 142,000 people were killed… some seismologists have long forecast the city may be devastated again by a temblor…

“The city of about 27 million sits adjacent to three major fault lines, situated on the boundary of two tectonic plates, the Philippine and the Eurasian. Japan experiences a fifth of the world’s quakes annually. Of those fault lines, the Nankai Trough has been the source of most concern among seismologists since 1979 because they believe the area of the trough closest to Tokyo is most likely to generate a quake of magnitude-8 in the near future.

“That zone produces a major quake every 118.8 years on average and the last one, which was magnitude 8.4, was in 1854… A magnitude-8 earthquake would be 178 times more powerful than the 6.5 temblor three days ago… A 7.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido in July 1993 produced a tsunami with waves as high as 30 meters.”

The Wall Street Journal added on August 17 that another 6.8 earthquake hit off Japan’s southern coast on Monday, which resulted in a Tsunami warning.”

Terror Attacks in Russia

Deutsche Welle reported on August 17:

“A deadly suicide bombing in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia has been condemned by the European Union… Russian President Dmitry Medvedev responded swiftly to what he described as an ‘act of terror that could have been averted,’ and fired Ingushetia’s interior minister…

“As the gray smoke settled over the twisted rubble, burned cars and blast crater, the attack stoked fears that Ingushetia was replacing Chechnya as the next battleground in southern Russia. Ingushetia, along with the rest of the Caucasus region, has seen a spike in violence in recent months, with Islamic separatists launching regular attacks on politicians and police officers.

“Last Wednesday Ingushetia’s construction minister was brazenly shot to death in his own office. And Monday’s bombing comes just four days after the Kremlin announced that Ingushetia’s President Yunus-Bek Yevkurkov would be returning to work while still recovering from injuries sustained in a bomb attack against him in June.

“Yevkurov blamed Islamic militants for the attack. ‘The militants have carried out this terrorist attack with the aim of destabilizing the situation in the region,’ he said through his spokesman.”

The Wall Street Journal added on August 17:

“The attack poses a serious challenge to the Kremlin and its policies in the largely Muslim North Caucasus, which is home to scores of different ethnic groups that have at various times battled Russian forces or fought among themselves… Rights groups and Caucasus experts have warned that arbitrary arrests, torture and killings by security forces are fueling resentment and turning the sympathies of some of the civilian population to rebel fighters.”

Russia Meddles in Abkhazia

The EUObserver wrote on August 14:

“The EU has said that Russia is contributing to instability in South Caucasus by treating Georgian separatists in Abkhazia as if they were a real country. ‘Vladimir Putin has paid a visit to the Georgian region of Abkhazia without prior consent of the Georgian authorities. The EU does not consider this visit compatible with the principle of territorial integrity nor helpful for international efforts to stabilise the region,’ the Swedish EU presidency said in a statement on Thursday (13 August)…

“Regional tension was highlighted the same day when two people died in a bomb explosion in the Abkhazian town of Gagra… The EU last month issued a similarly critical statement after Russian president Dmitry Medvedev went to South Ossetia…

“Russian troop numbers have… climbed to over 3,600 in Abkhazia over the past 12 months, with Mr Putin on Wednesday announcing he would spend a further €350 million on expanding military and border installations in the territory… Some analysts see Russian strategy in Georgia as designed to repel US military encroachment into its old sphere of influence…”

USA and Britain Knew About Hitler’s Plan to Exterminate the Jews

United Press International reported on August 17:

“The Vatican’s newspaper says the United States and Britain knew about Adolf Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews, but did nothing to stop him. L’Osservatore Romano, quoting from the diary of then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., said the British and American governments ignored, downplayed or suppressed intelligence reports about the extermination plans, The Times of London reported Monday.

“In contrast, Pope Pius XII tried to save as many Jews as he could through clandestine means, the L’Osservatore article said. The dispatch is Vatican’s latest effort to restore the reputation of Pope Pius, whose unwillingness to denounce the Nazis publicly resulted in accusations of anti-Semitism and earned him the moniker ‘Hitler’s Pope.’

“The article quoted Morgenthau as saying that as early as August 1942, the U.S. government ‘knew that the Nazis were planning to exterminate all the Jews of Europe,’ The Times said. In his diary, Morgenthau wrote of a telegram, dated Aug. 24, 1942, and passed on to the U.S. State Department, that relayed a report of Hitler’s plan to kill between 3.5 million and 4 million Jews.

“The article also cited a British Foreign Office message that warned of ‘the difficulties of disposing of any considerable number of Jews should they be rescued from enemy occupied territory,’ advising against allocating money for the project.”

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Would you please explain your understanding on healing, and what specific procedures do you apply in your Church for anointing and public prayer requests?

We have discussed the issue of physical healing in several of our Q&As, http://eternalgod.org/qa/4963, http://eternalgod.org/qa/3221, http://eternalgod.org/qa/3749, http://eternalgod.org/qa/2842 , and also at length in our free booklet, “Sickness and Healing–What the Bible Tells Us.”

The following issues will be discussed in this Q&A:


In this Q&A, we are setting forth briefly our belief and practice, as well as administrative procedures. For a more comprehensive discussion, please consult and review our additional literature, as quoted above.


God tells us in Exodus 15:26 that He is our LORD who heals us. We are healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ who gave His life for us, and who was tortured and beaten so that we can obtain forgiveness of our sins and healing from our sicknesses and diseases (Psalm 103:1-3; Matthew 8:16-17; 1 Peter 2:21-25; Isaiah 53:5).


We ought to pray to God in private for healing. IN ADDITION, based on the severity of the sickness, we are to call for the elders of the Church of God to pray for us, to anoint us with oil, and to lay hands on us, so that we can be healed (James 5:14-15; Mark 16:18).


We read in Mark 6:13 that Christ had His disciples anoint sick people with oil, and they were healed. We know that Christ healed the sick with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 8:43-46 — the Authorized Version has here, “virtue,” but the literal meaning is, “power,” compare New King James Bible. Compare, too, Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19).

Christ said that His ministers would heal the sick by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:18), which presence is symbolized by the anointing of the sick person with oil (James 5:14). Oil can symbolize a consecration, or a special setting apart for a holy purpose–the divine purpose of physical healing, for example. Oil can refer to the Holy Spirit abiding in a person, or it can also refer to God’s presence, through His Spirit, to motivate, guide or lead, as well as heal a person, although the Holy Spirit might not reside in that person.


Many times, a ministerial visit may not be possible, as the sick person might live in a remote area. If this is the case, then elders are permitted to pray over a cloth, anointing it with a drop of oil as the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and asking God to heal the sick person who will receive this cloth.

It is up to the ELDER to decide whether to personally visit the sick person for anointing, or whether to send him or her an anointed cloth. Even if the sick person asks for a cloth, the ELDER may decide to visit the person; conversely, if the person asks for a visit, the elder may decide to send the person a cloth.

The use of a cloth is based on numerous passages in the Bible, showing us that people were healed when they touched the garments of Christ (Mark 6:56) or the aprons or handkerchiefs from Paul’s body (Acts 19:12).

There is no magical importance attached to an anointed cloth. It cannot and will not heal anyone. As mentioned, it is through the stripes of Christ that we are healed.

When a person who is sick receives the anointed cloth, he is to place it on his head and pray to God (as the minister did when anointing the cloth) that God would heal the sick person from the sickness. Since our faith must be in God, and not in any man or in the anointed cloth, the cloth should be destroyed immediately after it has been used.


The sick person does not have to be a baptized member of the Church of the Eternal God or one of its corporate affiliates, the Global Church of God in UK or the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada, or even the spiritual body of Christ (of which the Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates are a part). It is necessary, however, that the sick person has faith in the sacrifice of Christ, believing that he or she will be healed by God because of what Christ did for us. Unique examples of healing do occur based on the actions of faithful ministers of Jesus Christ (compare Acts 3:1-10); however, a sick person’s faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice remains the basis for healing–and this is vitally important for those who have been called to a knowledge of the truth of God.

When Christ was here on earth in the flesh, He healed many people, and none of those were converted, as the Holy Spirit was only given at Pentecost in 31 A.D. Even after the New Testament Church was established, God continued to use the apostles and elders to heal people who were not members of the body of Christ. Today, children of parents in the Church, as well as unconverted mates, may experience healing, sometimes in unusual ways, so that their faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ may be strengthened.

If a sick person asks one of our ministers for anointing or an anointed cloth, believing that God will heal them, the minister, based on his judgment and discretion, will anoint such a person. God gave command to His servants to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and to “heal the sick” (Matthew 10:8; Luke 9:2; 10:9).


God may begin to heal a sick person when he or she places the cloth on his or her head and prays to God for healing. On the other hand, we have seen over the years that God may heal a sick person, or begin to heal him or her, prior to the receipt of the cloth, or, for that matter, prior to the arrival of the elder to anoint the sick person with oil and pray over him or her.

Our faith in God must not be restricted to actually receiving an anointed cloth; rather, we should have faith that God can and will heal us whenever it pleases Him. But, we are still to follow through with His command to ask for anointing. Having shown God that we are willing to obey Him in everything, we can and should have the faith that God will heal us, whenever He chooses. To repeat, there is nothing magical about the anointed cloth. IT does not heal anyone. We must be careful that we don’t place our faith and trust in the cloth–or in the anointing minister–rather than in God.

Even though a sick person who has asked for anointing already feels better, or has been completely healed, by the time of the arrival of the elder or the cloth, the procedure of anointing and praying over the sick person, or of applying the cloth, should still be carried out and followed through, thereby showing God our diligence and our gratitude for His ongoing intervention. (Peter still baptized Cornelius, even though he had already received God’s Holy Spirit in this unique and extraordinary circumstance).


Basically, if we are too sick to go to school or to work or to attend Church services, we are “sick enough” to ask for anointing. Of course, if we are suffering from a continuing serious sickness which is not contagious and which would not prevent us from attending Church services, we should still be anointed (sometimes more than once, see below) in order to be healed. Remember, God COMMANDS us to ask for anointing when we are sick. Far too many prefer to consult with medical doctors and expect healing from them, rather than taking advantage of the means by which God promises us physical healing.


This is most certainly permitted in a more serious sickness. On the other hand, as stated, we must never place our faith in elders who anoint us, or in an anointed cloth. Our faith must always be in God, our Healer. Therefore, if a repeated request for an anointed cloth for the same sickness would become tantamount to a misplaced faith in the cloth, then such a request would be inappropriate.


Should we ask the Church to make an official prayer announcement via email or during services (being broadcast on the Internet), before asking a minister to anoint us or send us a cloth?

The answer is, generally not. The first step for a sick person is to fulfill HIS or HER responsibility–that is, to ask God in private prayer for healing and then to ask the ministry for anointing. In more serious cases, it is appropriate to ALSO ask for a prayer announcement to the brethren–either subsequently or even simultaneously (depending on the severity of the sickness or injury).

Please note carefully the order in James 5:14-16: “(Verse 14:) Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (Verse 15) And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up… (Verse 16:) … pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

Verse 14 says that first should come the prayer and anointing of the ministry, together with the prayer of the anointed and others who might be present during the anointing; and then, according to verse 16, a more encompassing prayer by the brethren for others could follow.

Normally, barring extraordinarily circumstances, and based on the judgment of the ministry, we are sending out or announcing prayer requests for our members or prospective members/attendees, on their own behalf or on behalf of close family members. (When Church members ask for prayers for their unconverted sick close relatives, no requirement of prior anointing would normally be made, as the sick persons might not even know about the possibility of anointing.) These prayer requests are normally only sent to our members and selective others who have specifically asked to receive our prayer announcements.

The reason for this somewhat limited procedure is the weight and obligation that our prayer requests carry for our members. Once a prayer request is sent out, the recipients are expected and obligated, before God, to actually pray for the injured or sick person and his or her immediate family. It is therefore important that the sick person [or a converted family member] does not make such a request lightly; that the ministry weighs the request carefully; and that the members receiving the request come before God in prayer to ask for healing of the sick person.


The short answer is: Absolutely not. Some may erroneously believe that they must seek out a particular minister to be anointed, thinking perhaps that God will only heal through that minister–or that they may have a “better chance” of being healed, as that minister is perceived as having the “gift of healing.” However, God commands us to ask the “elders” of His Church to anoint us with oil, when we are sick, and the PRAYER of FAITH shall lift us up. It is GOD who heals us. In looking at a particular man for such anointing is tantamount to placing our trust in man, rather than in God.

We need to remember that God warns us that some will arise to perform miracles and signs–while perhaps even claiming to be true ministers within the body of Christ–but they will DECEIVE many (Matthew 24:11, 24). If a “minister” claims–or allows such a claim to be made about him, without rejecting it–that he has a special gift of healing and that members must come to HIM to be anointed and be healed, then such claim would dishonor God and be deceitful.

We read in 1 Corinthians 12 about all kinds of spiritual gifts, such as gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, and different kinds of tongues or languages (verses 1, 9-10). Paul says that not everyone in the Church has the same identical gifts (verse 4), but all gifts are given “to each one for the profit of all”–the entire Church (verse 7). It is not for the purpose of placing our trust in a man or looking at a man (the Samaritans looked at Simon Magus as the great power of God who bewitched them with his sorcery and magic tricks), but to give all glory to God. And God is most certainly not limited to perform miracles by having to use fragile, weak and feeble men who might be viewed as having “the gift of healing.”

Rather, we read that GOD will heal us and raise us up when we ask for the “elders” of His Church to pray over us and anoint us. Christ’s great commission to the Church in Mark 16:15-18 includes the promise that His ministers “will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (verse 18), without any requirement that a particular minister must have a “special gift of healing” so that God could heal the sick, while other true ministers without such a gift would not be used by God to heal.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new StandingWatch program was posted on StandingWatch and YouTube. It is titled, “Is the Recession Really Over?” Norbert Link points out that even though some overly optimistic economic “experts” have pronounced the end of the recession in the USA, reality portrays quite a different picture. “Retail sales disappointed in July, and the number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits rose UNEXPECTEDLY last week” (A.P., August 13, 2009). At the same time, our federal deficit is climbing into historic heights, and Mr. Obama’s approval rates for his job performance has dropped to historic lows. WHY is God NOT blessing this country?

Norbert Link’s new sermon–the first installment on the book of Galatians–was posted on the Web.

A new StandingWatch program in the German language was posted on the Web and on our Web site (www.aufpostenstehen.de), titled, “Wirtschaftskrise–‘Das Schlimmste Kommt Erst Noch.'” (“Recession–‘the Worst Is Still to Come.'”).

Norbert Link’s new German sermon, titled “Die Verwandten Jesu Christi, Teil 2” (“Jesus Christ’s Relatives, Part 2”) was posted on the Web.

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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:

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