Update 418


Letter to the Galatians, Part 5

On November 14, 2009, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled, “Letter to the Galatians, Part 5.”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Our Future Responsibilities

by Rene Messier (Canada)

The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just observed, was an opportunity to get away from our routines and enjoy, as it were, a small foretaste of what the Millennium will be like. We kept it in a place of relative peace and tranquility. We listened every day to encouraging messages. We fellowshipped with brethren whom we may not have seen for a whole year or even longer. We ate in fine restaurants. We saw sights and did things which, due to our busy lives, we didn’t perhaps have the time or opportunity to do at any other time of the year.

The Feast pictures the future; yet not just the future in general, but also our future role in the administration to be established in the Millennium, under the tutelage and direction of Christ. We know that it will be a time of world peace. The nations will not LEARN war anymore. Isaiah 2:4 tells us: “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”

That in itself will be major turn-around in comparison with what we see today. Just think of the wars and the hatred in this day and age. In the future, we will function as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). In that capacity, we will be responsible for both the physical and spiritual well-being of those in our charge.

We will have to ensure their safety and prosperity, with housing, food, clothing and those other physical requirements that a person needs to feel secure in the physical realm. The spiritual growth and understanding will be accomplished through our teaching of God’s Word in relation to His laws, statutes and judgments. People will learn that the way of give produces good and right results. They will compare this with the past human history of wars and destruction as a living example of Satan’s way of get, which brings about curses and suffering.

Threats of war and violence will have been removed in the Millennium. We will be able to concentrate on the accomplishment of God’s plan for all mankind. God’s ultimate purpose is to prepare for Himself a people that will know and worship Him, and to facilitate the process of bringing them into the very Family of God, as His full-fledged sons and daughters.

God wants us to help bring about man’s incredible human potential. But just what will God use as criteria for the distribution of these physical and spiritual responsibilities in the future? How can we prove to God that we can be useful instruments in His service–now and later?

One important aspect is the manifestation of our willingness to submit to authority. If we cannot submit in the flesh, we will not be changed to spirit at the time of Christ’s return.

Let us ask some candid questions: Are husbands and wives submitting to one another? Are wives submitting to their husbands as to the Lord? Are employees submitting to their employers? Are all of us submitting to the hierarchy of the ministry that Christ, as the Head of His Church, has placed in His Church? Are we submitting to Christ in the same way as Christ is totally submissive to God the Father–the greatest authority of all? Are children submissive to the authority of the parents? Are we submitting to governmental authorities over us?

All of these areas–and many more–constitute our training ground now. How we fulfill these obligations is crucial to prove to God our willingness to submit to whatever authority there is for us today. Of course, our obedience would have to cease if we were ordered to act contrary to God’s Word.

Fulfilling our current responsibilities NOW will guarantee our future responsibilities THEN, when conditions in an environment of peace and harmony will be conducive for both the physical needs and spiritual growth of those in our care.

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First, we are focusing on two major developments in the USA–the ongoing Health Care debacle and the massacre at Fort Hood, its possible warning signs and causes, as well as potential consequences for the American government. Other articles show America’s ongoing futile attempts to win the war in Afghanistan and our continuing recession.

While an Israeli strike on Iran seems more and more inevitable, which would further contribute to Israel’s growing isolation, the world watched the celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago. As German and European unification have been described as “unstoppable” and “inevitable,” November 9 has been a fateful date in Germany’s history, and some observers look with anxiety at an evolving mighty and powerful Germany, which Chancellor Merkel wants to lead to “new strength.”

We conclude with an article describing the Vatican’s search for alien life. As we remark, this worldwide interest in aliens might have consequences for man’s reaction to Christ’s return.

But let us also include another warning. Even though Christ said that we can determine from the signs of the time when His return is near, He also stated that only God the Father knows the day and the hour, and He warned us not to set dates. Sadly, some claiming to be part of the Church of God, still don’t understand that Christ meant what He said. To give an example, notice the following excerpt from Science Live, dated November 4:

“According to God’s Church minister Ronald Weinland, the end times are upon us–again. His 2006 book ‘2008: God’s Final Witness’ states that hundreds of millions of people will die, and by the end of 2006, ‘there will be a maximum time of two years remaining before the world will be plunged into the worst time of all human history. By the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power, and no longer exist as an independent nation.’ As the book notes, ‘Ronald Weinland places his reputation on the line as the end-time prophet of God.'”

It should be obvious that we are not to set dates–whether it is 2008, 2012, 2017, or any other year.

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The U.S. Healthcare Debacle

The Wall Street Journal wrote on November 8:

“The House narrowly passed its sweeping health bill late Saturday, marking the biggest victory yet for Democrats in their drive to create near-universal health insurance. The bill passed by a 220-215 margin after fractious debate and garnered the unexpected backing of only one Republican… Thirty-nine Democrats voted against the measure…

“One of the day’s most dramatic scenes came when lawmakers sparred over an amendment that would exclude coverage of abortion for those gaining new health insurance under the overhaul…

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops threatened to withhold its support from the entire legislation unless House leaders took up the amendment. Short of votes, the leaders ultimately had little choice but to add Rep. Stupak’s amendment to Saturday’s schedule…”

Here we see a tremendous example of politics in action. The lesson is clear: To achieve something, politicians compromise. And they “must” listen to all the different interest groups which brought them to, or keep them in power. If they want to pass legislation, they “must” also yield to the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion. But compromise will NEVER lead to godly justice. Please listen to our new StandingWatch program, Why Aren’t We SOLVING Our National and Global Problems?

We cannot or should not expect to receive objective and balanced information from the mass media. Lou Dobbs–CNN’s lonely conservative voice–just announced his resignation. As Newsmax wrote on November 11, Dobbs ” was particularly persistent in bringing the immigration issue to the fore, winning him both higher ratings and enemies. Latino groups had an active petition drive seeking his removal. His presence became awkward for CNN… He angered management this summer by pressing questions about President Barack Obama’s birth site after CNN reporters determined there was no issue.”

However, as we point out in our StandingWatch program, mentioned above, ignoring or suppressing problems–including the problem of the uncertainty of Mr. Obama’s birth place– does not solve the issue.

Where from Here?

The Associated Press wrote on November 8:

“The glow from a health care triumph faded quickly for President Barack Obama on Sunday as Democrats realized the bill they fought so hard to pass in the House has nowhere to go in the Senate… The problem is that the Senate won’t run with it. The government health insurance plan included in the House bill is unacceptable to a few Democratic moderates who hold the balance of power in the Senate.
“If a government plan is part of the deal, ‘as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote,’ said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent whose vote Democrats need to overcome GOP filibusters… Lieberman said he opposes the public plan because it could become a huge and costly entitlement program. ‘I believe the debt can break America and send us into a recession that’s worse than the one we’re fighting our way out of today,’ he said.”

The New York Post wrote on November 9:

“Not so fast. President Obama’s victory dance yesterday for the House-passed health-care bill came as Senate foes — mainly Republicans with one key Democrat moderate — pronounced the measure mortally wounded… Democrats have no margin for error: They control exactly 60 seats in the 100-member Senate.”

Will healthcare reform succeed? Will there be more compromise? Will some who speak of their conscience still falter in the end? President Obama’s reputation and perhaps even his entire political career seem to be on the line.

Jail or No Jail for the Uninsured?

ABC News wrote on November 9:

“President Obama said that penalties are appropriate for people who try to ‘free ride’ the health care system but stopped short of endorsing the threat of jail time for those who refuse to pay a fine for not having insurance.

“’What I think is appropriate is that in the same way that everybody has to get auto insurance and if you don’t, you’re subject to some penalty, that in this situation, if you have the ability to buy insurance, it’s affordable and you choose not to do so, forcing you and me and everybody else to subsidize you, you know, there’s a thousand dollar hidden tax that families all across America are — are burdened by because of the fact that people don’t have health insurance, you know, there’s nothing wrong with a penalty’…

“The President said that he didn’t think the question over the appropriateness of possible jail time is the ‘biggest question’ the House and Senate are facing right now.”

But it should be. President Obama’s faulty reasoning would be bound to create undue hardship for many Americans and might very well be unconstitutional. Of course, it would take a US Supreme Court bold and quick enough to even address this issue. To penalize those who choose not to have health care insurance would be a unique procedure within the entire civilized Western world. If this becomes law, then the old derogatory saying will have gained more credence: “Only in America…”

The Fort Hood Massacre–“Insensitive” President?

Times on Line wrote on November 9:

“President Obama came in for growing criticism over the weekend for his ‘insensitive’ handling of the bloody shoot-out in Fort Hood, Texas, where 13 people were killed by a Muslim officer in the US Army. Mr Obama is not scheduled to arrive at America’s largest military base until tomorrow to attend a memorial service for victims of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who opened fire on a group of unarmed soldiers.

“The President’s jarring absence from Fort Hood — in contrast to a low-key visit by the former president George Bush on Friday — is not the only element of his response to the tragedy that is bothering his critics, Democrats and Republicans alike.

“In particular, much has been made of a transcript of the press conference where Mr Obama first gave his official response to the mass shooting. The President opened his remarks — he was attending a Tribal Nations Conference for America’s 564 federally recognised Native American tribes — with jocular ‘shout-outs’ to various people in the audience. Only later did he turn his attention to the attack, saying: ‘I planned to make some broader remarks. But as some of you have heard, there has been a tragic shooting.’

“'(Obama) did not appreciate the gravity of what he represents,’ Brad Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to George Bush, told Fox News. ‘He should have begun his official remarks with the tragedy…’

“Unusually, the liberal Boston Globe agreed. In an editorial at the weekend the newspaper said: ‘It takes more than scripted eloquence for Presidents to connect with fellow Americans. It requires a visceral ability to grasp the scope of tragedy, calculate its impact on the national psyche, and react swiftly. Obama missed the first moment to show he understood how much it hurt.'”

We also recall, of course, that President Bush initially failed to connect with the American people when the news of September 11 reached him, while attending a public school. But later, he did connect–until he lost again enormous popularity when the unsuccessful Iraq war kept dragging on…

The Fort Hood Massacre–a Terrorist Attack?

ABC News reported on November 9:

“U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News…

“People who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to have gradually become more radical in his disapproval of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Sunday, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) called for an investigation into whether the Army missed signs as to whether Hasan was an Islamic extremist…

“A fellow Army doctor who studied with Hasan, Val Finell, told ABC News, ‘We would frequently say he was a Muslim first and an American second. And that came out in just about everything he did at the University… And we questioned how somebody could take an oath of office and be an officer in the military and swear allegiance to the constitution and to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic and have that type of conflict…'”

If warning signs were indeed ignored by the U.S. intelligence and the army, then this could mean a catastrophic development for quite a few responsible officials.

Did Political Correctness Prevent Pre-Emptive Action?

Fox News wrote on November 11:

“Investigators would have been ‘crucified’ over First Amendment rights if they had launched a full-scale probe into e-mails Fort Hood massacre suspect Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly sent to a radical imam, a government investigator told Fox News…

“But even after the attacks, some have been reluctant to cite religion as a factor, as evidence has mounted that the alleged gunman’s Muslim faith was at least a partial factor in the decision to mount the attack…

“Witnesses report hearing Hasan yell ‘Allahu Akbar’ — ‘God is Great’ — during the rampage. Hasan once gave a presentation justifying homicide bombings, according to a witness. In one presentation, he also urged the military to let Muslim members leave the service to avoid ‘adverse’ effects…

“Privately, top Army officers have acknowledged that the massacre may have been a terrorist act… Publicly, however, the army’s chief of staff seemed reluctant to acknowledge what appears to be the dominant factor in Hasan’s world view: his turn toward Islamist views as he turned against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq…

“Fox News contributor Monica Crowley [said]:… ‘Political correctness is turning out to be the death of this country’…”

“America Cannot Win in Afghanistan”

Bloomberg wrote on November 10:

“Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, drawing on his experience of military failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s, said the U.S. can’t win the conflict there and should begin pulling out its soldiers. Afghanistan, where U.S. and NATO forces are battling a Taliban-led insurgency, is too fragmented between clans to be controlled militarily, Gorbachev, 78, said in an interview today in Berlin.

“While he said President Barack Obama would be unlikely to take his advice, Gorbachev said he saw no chance of success even with more U.S. troops… Obama is considering a military request to send as many as 40,000 more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, on top of the 68,000 due to be stationed there by the end of the year.”

Of course, Gorbachev is right in this regard. America cannot and will not win the war in Afghanistan. The main reason is that biblical prophecy shows that America has indeed won its last war (World War II) many years ago. The true facts are that America has won NO war since World War II.

More Banks Fold…

The Associated Press reported on November 6:

“Regulators on Friday shut banks in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and California, bringing the number of bank failures this year to 120 amid the struggling economy and a cascade of defaults on loans…

“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 federal deposit insurance fund. It has fallen into the red… If the economic recovery falters, defaults on the high-risk loans could spike…

“The number of banks on the FDIC’s confidential ‘problem list’ jumped to 416 at the end of June from 305 in the first quarter. That’s the most since June 1994. About 13 percent of banks on the list generally end up failing, according to the FDIC. The 120 failures this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.

“To replenish the insurance fund, the FDIC wants the roughly 8,100 insured banks and savings institutions to pay in advance about $45 billion in premiums that would have been due over the next three years.”

A grim picture indeed. Again, the concept that the recession “is over” is rejected by the article of the Associated Press, and more devastating developments must be anticipated.

Israeli Strike on Iran “Inevitable”?

Sky News in Australia wrote on November 8:

“Israel’s threat of military action against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme is not a bluff, the country’s deputy foreign minister [Danny Ayalon] has told Sky News… The minister also refused to rule out the use of military options by Israel or other nations against Iran if other measures fail…

“Israeli analysts say the country is finalising its plans to attack Iran if necessary. Dr Ronen Bergman, author of The Secret War With Iran, said if current trends continue, an Israeli strike will be inevitable…

“The challenges of carrying out such a strike 1,000 miles from home against well-defended, deeply-buried nuclear facilities are considerable. But so are the risks – Israel could expect a counter attack from Iranian allies, Hizbollah and Hamas, and terrorist attacks worldwide. It would incur the wrath of America and the condemnation of European allies.

“It would also risk handing Iran the moral high ground and giving the Islamic Republic an excuse for pursuing the bomb in earnest. But observers in the Middle East believe all those considerations are secondary to the Israeli government’s top priority. ‘Israel is a tiny country. Israel cannot even sustain even one nuclear blast,’ said Dr Bergman. ‘Therefore from the Israeli point of view the only way to combat it is not by a balance of deterrence but by preventing the other side from having it in the first place.'”

It appears that Israel might very well attack Iran in the near future. If this happens, European condemnation could be one of the consequences. The Bible says that ultimately, the state of Israel will be isolated and ALL nations will be gathered to fight against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). Regarding Israel’s ongoing isolation in the world, please notice the next article.

“Israel Stands Alone”

The Huffington Post wrote on November 10:

“Eight months into President Barack Obama’s administration, his Middle East peace ‘road map’ is crystal clear. First, he dialed down the pressure on Iran, whose nuclear weapons program presents an existential threat to Israel. Second, he shifted the blame for Islamic extremism to Israel and solely blamed it for the Palestinian’s plight. Then he unilaterally ratcheted up the pressure on Israel to cease building settlements and to ease its self-defense blockade of Gaza. Now, Obama has upped the ante even further, framing lasting peace in the Middle East as requiring Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders. Although he blandly claims that there are ‘no preconditions’ to relaunching negotiations, in truth he has doomed the peace talks before they even start. Obama has set up Israel as the fall guy for negotiations that will ultimately fail and is the architect of that failure.

“When Obama was elected — with 78 percent of the Jewish vote — there was concern about what his administration would mean for the 60 years of unwavering support America had provided Israel. Unlike his Republican opponent, John McCain, or his predecessor, George W. Bush, both longstanding supporters of Israel, Obama had no such track record and was championing a different course, one of détente with such hard-line regimes as Iran and Syria. Jews took heart when then-President-elect Obama selected a Jew, Rahm Emanuel, as his chief of staff, and Hillary Clinton, previously a staunch supporter of Israel from her days as senator from New York, as his secretary of state.

“An examination of the first 250 days of President Obama’s administration convincingly demonstrates that the earlier concerns were well founded and the mitigating cabinet appointments mere window dressing. From his first telephone call as president to a head of state — Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority — and his first one-on-one television interview with any news organization — Al Arabiya TV — to his bowing to Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, then embracing the Muslim world at Cairo University and, most recently, rebuking Israel in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Obama has shown far more concern for strengthening ties with authoritarian regimes on the Arabian Peninsula than to maintaining the historically close alliance with the region’s only true democracy.

“His Cairo speech scaled back his support of Israel in favor of establishing new diplomatic channels in the Arab world. He also equated the suffering of the Palestinians with the loss of 6 million Jewish lives in the Holocaust. Worse yet, Obama’s affirmation of the Arab propagandist idea that Israel was created as a response to the Holocaust greatly undermined its legitimacy as a state and ignored Jews’ forced diaspora and Judaism’s historical ties to the Middle East that predate all other religions…

“Islamic extremists are at war with the spread of Western culture, and the United States is the chief exporter of Western beliefs, so it is a pipe dream to assume that America can achieve détente with ‘anti-American militant jihadists’ by, in effect, offering up Israel as a sacrificial lamb… The United States is proving to be a fair-weather ally, abandoning Israel in the face of an impending existential threat from a nuclear Iran…

“Iran and Syria rank as the leading state sponsors of terrorism, yet the president has removed a longstanding export ban on American technology to Syria, allowing the transfer of spare aircraft parts, information technology and telecommunications equipment, all material that could also benefit the air force of Syria’s close ally, Iran. At the same time, Obama actually suspended the sale of military equipment to Israel — holding up the shipment of Apache helicopters after Israel moved to defend its citizenry against daily Hamas-enabled rocket barrages earlier this year — equipment necessary to safeguard Israel’s security against overwhelming odds… Yet, it is only Israel that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States as America’s most important and dependable ally in combating terrorism…

“President Obama’s new, ‘evenhanded’ policy in the Middle East is anything but fair and balanced. His policies increasingly endanger and isolate Israel. At the United Nations, Obama forcefully stated that ‘the United States of America will never waiver in our efforts to stand up for the right of people everywhere to determine their own destiny,’ that is, of course, unless the people are Israelis. Without the Jewish state of Israel as a standard bearer for Western ideals of democracy in the Middle East, the world will be a far more dangerous place…”

One should perhaps consider President Obama’s religious and cultural background to appreciate his support for the Muslim world and his apparent lack of support–comparatively speaking–for the Judeo-Christian culture and religion. In a widely-circulated video of clips from his own speeches, which is posted on YouTube, Mr. Obama referred repeatedly to the “HOLY Koran,” emphasized that “we are NO LONGER a Christian nation,” and stated, after explaining that there are Muslims within his family, that “I am one of them.” He also said this: “John McCain did not talk about MY MUSLIM FAITH.” It remained unclear whether this was a slip of the tongue; whether he was responding to those who say that he is a Muslim; or whether he was actually commenting on his religious preferences.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall–“Insensitive” U.S. President?

Fox News wrote on November 8:

“President Obama squeezed in a trip to Copenhagen last month to lobby, unsuccessfully, for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. He plans to travel to Oslo next month to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that even Obama has said he does not deserve. And this coming week, he sets out on a weeklong tour of Asia.

“But the president does not plan to travel to Germany to attend the 20th anniversary celebration Monday of the fall of the Berlin Wall, drawing heated criticism from those who say he’s ignoring a shining triumph of American-inspired democracy… Some question whether the decision not to go was… just another attempt to play down the perception of the United States as an exceptional superpower.

“For its part, the administration is citing a scheduling conflict. The White House says the president simply does not have the time to go, with the trip to Asia starting Wednesday… noting that a ‘very senior delegation’ of U.S. officials would attend. That delegation is led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…

“Obama acknowledged the anniversary of the fall of the wall last week during his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel… But some saw Obama’s decision not to travel personally to Berlin as a snub to Merkel, Germany and the history behind the anniversary. ‘Barack Is Too Busy,’ Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine declared in a headline last month, writing that Obama had declined Merkel’s invitation…

“On several of the stops he has expressed regret for past American behavior, but the Berlin Wall anniversary was seen as an opportunity for the president to honor an American and Western victory for which the U.S. need feel no regret…

“The National Review’s Rich Lowry wrote that the decision speaks to Obama’s ‘dismissive view of the Cold War as a relic distorting our thinking. John F. Kennedy famously told Berliners, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” On the 20th anniversary of the last century’s most stirring triumph of freedom, Obama is telling them, “Ich bin beschaftigt” — i.e., “I’m busy,”‘ he wrote. “‘Obama’s failure to go to Berlin is the most telling nonevent of his presidency. It’s hard to imagine any other American president eschewing the occasion.'”

The picture given is indeed regrettable. Most leaders of the free Western world assembled in Germany to recount and to celebrate the events of the fall of the Wall, including Messrs. Gordon Brown, Sarkozy, Berlusconi and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, as well as former President George H. W. Bush Sr., former President Mikhail Gorbachev and former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

But President Obama is too busy–even though he has the time to attend a Tribal Nations Conference for America’s 564 federally recognized Native American tribes (see our article,”The Fort Hood Massacre–“Insensitive” President?”). Instead, he sends Mrs. Clinton, giving the impression, that her attendance in Germany was more important than his own. This does not look good and greatly diminishes once again the role that the American President should be playing in the world.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall–Germany Today

This article and the next one show that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany were indeed inevitable and unstoppable. From a biblical perspective, we know that this is also true for the additional reason that without a unified Germany, Europe would and could not have united. But the Bible has prophesied the unification of Europe in our days thousands of years ago–and that the most important player within a unified Europe will be Germany. The two articles below show the role which Germany is playing today–20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The New York Times wrote on November 9 about the “German Reunification: From Rejection to Inevitability.” The paper pointed out:

“Willy Brandt was uncomfortable with the idea, Günter Grass — who in those days spoke from the summit of Mount Morality — considered it an abomination, and Gerhard Schröder, maneuvering for political position as a Social Democratic underling, eventually voted against it. François Mitterrand resisted as long as he could, and Margaret Thatcher, in her fierce opposition, held out even further.

“From the day after the Berlin Wall fell, and for the next month or two, the prospect of reunifying Germany met with extensive rejection, while the Cold War’s leaders nurtured the notion that it could be negotiated and stalled into a still distant future…

“History accelerated in the next weeks. Barely two months later, as East Germany disintegrated as a state, plainly incapable of matching West Germany’s immediate promise of freedom and economic well-being for all Germans, reunification seemed inevitable. And by New Year’s Eve 1989, Helmut Kohl, who on Nov. 28 irritated the Americans and Soviets, British and French, with a surprise 10-point road map for unity in a Western framework, had the look of a sage.

“In late summer 1990, reunification was virtually a done deal — the chancellor had gotten the acceptance of a tottering Soviet Union for the new Germany’s full integration into NATO. But he also moved to ease Western Europe’s concerns about German economic dominance, indicating that the deutschemark could be melded into a single Common Market currency.

“All of this arrived with extraordinary speed. And extraordinary acceptance… So what now, almost 20 years after George H.W. Bush, to express his pleasure with reunification, offered Germany a ‘partnership in leadership’?…

“Germany’s reality has been one ‘of increasing egoism whenever its national interests are concerned’… Today is 20 years to the day since the Berlin Wall came down. For all its democratic strengths, energy, vast intelligence and successful reunification, Germany remains a difficult, not entirely settled place.”

The Fall of the German Wall–“German Unification Unstoppable”

The Telegraph wrote on November 9:

“The mantras of the Berlin revellers in 1989 were ‘Freiheit’ or freedom, and ‘We are one people’, a demand for reunification. The paradox of the events was that the then Mrs Thatcher, a pre-eminent champion of freedom, was adamantly opposed to a rapid drive to German unification..

“Twenty years later Germany is… Europe’s indispensable nation, eclipsing the French in continental affairs… Frankfurt is home to the European Central Bank and master of the euro. Germany’s economic clout is such that countries in the single currency must take their cues from it.

“… It is now clear Chancellor Angela Merkel has a pivotal role in the choice of a new European Union president… She has not imposed her man but has a veto and Mrs Merkel’s refusal to support Tony Blair for the job appears to have doomed his candidacy.

“Mrs Thatcher came very close to raising a far more fundamental alarm over a united Germany in early 1990. ‘All Europe is watching this, not without a degree of fear, remembering very well who started the two world wars,’ she told the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The British prime minister’s position infuriated the West German government…

“The old game of continental supremacy had gone global. The combination of Mr Bush, Mr Gorbachev and Mr Kohl at the helm of the most powerful countries and the momentum for unification on the streets of the east was unstoppable.”

November 9–a “Fateful Date” for Germany

This article shows that certain key developments are providential–and that they might even occur on a very precise and pre-ordained date. It cannot be any coincidence that the following important –and to an extent, totally unrelated and “unplanned”–events all occurred on November 9. For more information on the timing of certain biblically-prophesied occurrences or developments, please read our free booklet, “Are YOU Predestined to Be Saved”?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 9:

“November 9 is a key date in Germany’s chequered 20th century history…

“Berlin is staging a massive public festival on Monday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the event that heralded the end of communism in Europe and the unification of Germany.

“But November 9 is also the 71st anniversary of Reichskristallnacht, a nationwide Nazi pogrom against Jews in 1938. Two other historical events fell on that date in 1918 and 1923 respectively…

“It was 71 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall when November 9 first attained significance in German history. It was on that day in 1918 that the monarchy came to an end in Berlin.

“The end had been a long time in coming. The German army had all but lost World War I. Indeed, Emperor Wilhelm II knew in August that the situation was largely hopeless and that his own position was in danger… In Munich, revolutionaries deposed King Ludwig III, the king of Bavaria, on Nov. 7… On the afternoon of Nov. 9, Philipp Scheidemann, deputy chairman of the Social Democrats, stepped out onto a balcony of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin and called out the establishment of the republic…

“Karl Liebknecht, leader of the left-wing socialist Spartakusbund, likewise announced the establishment of a republic on that day… The rival proclamations resulted in days of civil-war like fighting on the streets of Berlin, ultimately resulting in the defeat of the Spartakusbund and the murder of both Liebknecht and his political ally Rosa Luxemburg. When the dust cleared, Germany founded the Weimar Republic, the interwar period of democracy ultimately brought to an end by Adolf Hitler…

“By the fall of 1923, revolution was in the air in Bavaria and Hitler was feeling strong. By early November, he was actively seeking to unite all Bavarian right wing groups under his leadership, but was concerned that he was being outflanked. He got wind of a Nov. 8 speech to be held by Gustav Ritter von Kahr, the state commissioner of Bavaria at the Bürgerbräu beer hall — and he immediately jumped to the conclusion that von Kahr was planning on starting a revolution of his own… on the evening of Nov. 8, [Hitler] had the beer hall surrounded with hundreds of armed SA men. Hitler stormed into the packed beer hall, fired his revolver into the roof and proclaimed a putsch against the Weimar Republic, ultimately planning to march on Berlin and overthrow the government.

“But it didn’t work. Hitler had been banking on the Bavarian military immediately throwing its support behind him. Instead, when his henchmen Ernst Röhm and Hermann Esser began storming army barracks in the city concurrently with Hitler’s storming of the beer hall, they encountered armed resistance. The putsch rapidly lost momentum until Hitler, having spent the night in the beer hall, elected to go for broke on the morning of Nov. 9. He and 2,000 followers straggled out of the hall and began marching through the city, swastika flags flying.

“They didn’t get far. Just north of the city center, the marching Nazis encountered a police barricade and shots were fired. In the ensuing shootout, 14 Nazis lost their lives with two others killed elsewhere in the city. Hitler, injured while throwing himself to the ground to avoid the bullets, escaped, but was arrested just days later. He was ultimately tried and convicted for his role in the putsch attempt, but received an astoundingly lenient sentence [and] was out of jail just a year later…

“The [next] event has gone down in history as ‘The Night of the Broken Glass,’ or Kristallnacht in German — a name that is shorthand for one of Germany’s darkest, most horrifying nights. On Nov. 9, 1938, Nazi henchmen perpetrated a far-reaching pogrom, an orgy of violence directed against the country’s Jewish population that resulted in tens of thousands of arrests, over 2,000 deaths, dozens of synagogues destroyed and hundreds of Jewish shops demolished, the shattered shop windows giving the event its name… On Nov. 7, 1938, Herschhel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew, walked into the German embassy [in France] and shot diplomat Ernst vom Rath three times. The diplomat died two days later…

“The Führer received word of Vom Rath’s death on the evening of Nov. 9 in Munich, where he was celebrating the anniversary of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, the Nazis’ first attempt to take over power in Germany. Immediately, he gave orders interpreted to mean that the SA should organize countrywide ‘demonstrations.’ Anti-Semitic violence, of course, was the desired outcome.

“Throughout the night, the SA, Nazi party members and members of the Hitler Youth destroyed Jewish property and businesses using sledgehammers and axes. The rioters also destroyed Jewish homes and dozens were killed. In total, the storefronts of approximately 7,500 Jewish stores and businesses were destroyed. More than 200 synagogues went up in flames. Some 30,000 Jews were arrested that night and taken to concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen with 2,000 losing their lives in the camps before they were released three months later.”

Merkel: “I Want to Lead Germany to New Strength!”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 10:

“Speaking in her first address to parliament since being sworn in for a second term two weeks ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said leading Germany back to growth is her top priority but warned that the nation faces a difficult 2010 as well as its biggest economic challenge since its 1990 reunification…

“‘Creating growth is the goal of our government. The central question is whether Germany will emerge stronger from this recession. I want to lead Germany to new strength,’ Merkel said…”

Bible prophecy shows that Germany–and Europe–will rise to unprecedented economic heights, while America will not substantially recover from its present economic crisis.

The Vatican in Search of Alien Life

The Telegraph wrote on November 10:

“The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding a conference on astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth, with scientists and religious leaders gathering in Rome this week. For centuries, theologians have argued over what the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would mean for the Church: at least since Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk, was put to death by the Inquisition in 1600 for claiming that other worlds exist.

“Among other things, extremely alien-looking aliens would be hard to fit with the idea that God ‘made man in his own image’. Furthermore, Jesus Christ’s role as saviour would be confused: would other worlds have their own, tentacled Christ-figures, or would Earth’s Christ be universal?

“However, just as the Church eventually made accommodations after Copernicus and Galileo showed that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, and when it belatedly accepted… Darwin’s theory of evolution, Catholic leaders say that alien life can be aligned with the Bible’s teachings.

“Father Jose Funes, a Jesuit astronomer at the Vatican Observatory and one of the organisers of the conference, said: ‘As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God. This does not conflict with our faith, because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God.'”

The Bible predicts that the armies of the beast and the false prophet, as well as the armies of the kings of the east, will try to fight the returning Christ. Why? The possibility exists that they are all deceived in believing that He is the “Antichrist.” But another possibility is that they are convinced that Christ, together with the armies of heaven following Him, are hostile aliens determined to take over the earth. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible?–The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new member letter was written and will be sent out early next week. In the letter, Dave Harris is pleading with us not to lose our first love, and if we have, to rekindle it, showing from the Bible the devastating consequences if we don’t.

A new StandingWatch program was posted this week on StandingWatch and YouTube. It is titled, “Why Aren’t We SOLVING Our National and Global Problems?” In the program, Norbert Link discusses the following:  Our domestic and international problems seem insurmountable. We are facing problems in Afghanistan, the Middle East and now with Europe. And look at our economic problems–while our recession is deepening, our bank failures are on the increase, and our unemployment is rising. Health care discussions don’t address the real concerns, and Mr. Obama’s eligibility as President is widely ignored. But sugar-coating, suppressing or falsifying the facts or resorting to compromise will never get us anywhere. 

A new German sermon was recorded this week and posted on the Web [and www.aufpostenstehen.de]. It is titled, “Wieso starb Christus für SIE, Teil 2?” [“Why did Christ die for YOU, Part 2?”]. In the sermon, Norbert Link discusses the requirements that Christ had to fulfill to make possible God’s forgiveness; including that He was born of a woman; that He came in the likeness of sinful flesh; that He was made sin for us; and that God the Father forsook Him at the cross. The sermon also emphasizes the love of God towards us, which must be reflected by us today, including forgiving others and loving those who hate us.

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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

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