Update 438


Numbers in the Bible–Ambassadors

On April 17, 2010, Kalon Mitchell and Michael Link will give split sermons, titled, respectively, “Numbers in the Bible” and “Ambassadors.”

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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A Hundredfold in this Life

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

My wife and I recently attended our annual church conference in Colorado, USA, along with a number of others. I was reminded of Matthew 19:29 which states: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life.”

When we were called, most of us had problems with our spouse, family, friends or job. This was part of the ongoing testing process that we go through so that God can see how committed we are to Him and His way. That process continues today and will for the rest of our life.

It can be hard, it can be difficult, but we are promised a “hundredfold” in this life and the opportunity to inherit eternal life. In fact, eternal life will exceed all of our expectations because of our limited  knowledge and capacity to understand all that God has in store for us. But we can appreciate the “hundredfold” that we can receive in this life.

At our conference my wife and I, and others, were treated royally by all of the brethren in Colorado and Mr and Mrs Dave Harris opened up their home to us, and others, for nearly a week. They showed great hospitality to us and other visitors during this time. We were likewise treated with the same generosity of spirit by the brethren in San Diego whom we have got to know over the years. If I mentioned everyone who had shown kindness to us during our trip, the list would indeed be a long one.

Our church family around the world falls into the “hundredfold” category. Over the last 36 plus years we must have met and known hundreds upon hundreds of church brethren which, for us, certainly fulfils this part of Matthew 19:29. Most members who have been in the church for some years will probably be able to say exactly the same thing.

What a blessing it has been – something that we may never have thought about too much when we started attending church many years ago. Looking back we can see how blessed we have been and how profitable it has been to know, learn from and enjoy the company of like-minded brethren.   A blessing indeed and one that we should never underestimate – it is just one of the many blessings when following the ways of God.

Let us make sure that we never take this for granted but appreciate the fact that we have been given a “hundredfold” in this life.

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While President Obama is hosting a nuclear proliferation summit, being aware that “nuclear terrorism is an urgent threat” to U.S. and world security, and while Burma is arising as a new potential nuclear foe, the highly prestigious German paper, “Die Zeit,” warns that the US is stirring towards another recession (or to say it more accurately, that the US is actually facing a prolonged continuation of its current recession). And while the new health care bill poses more questions than it answers, concerns are raised again regarding Barack Obama’s eligibility as President, given the fact that the Kenyan Parliament and the Kenyan Ambassador to the US claim that Mr. Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in Kenya.

In addition, the relationship between President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel leaves much to be desired. Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 14: “US President Barack Obama came to power promising to unite the nation. Now he has divided it even more than his predecessor George W. Bush.”

Germany is confronted with the grim reality of having to admit its active participation in the “unjust” and highly unpopular Afghan war, which is increasingly costing lives.

Turning our attention to the tragedy involving the death of the Polish elite, commentators have a hard time agreeing on what the future will hold for the grief-stricken country of Poland. Up until now, Poland has been considered as a strong ally of the United States, Israel and Europe. With a new Polish leadership, relationships with Europe will become even stronger, but the Bible predicts that the friendship between Europe, including Poland, and the United States and Israel will soon grow cold.

While Israel mourns the death of a strong ally, preparations in Israel are ongoing for the building of the Third Temple and the beginning of weekly sacrifices. At the same time, voices are heard warning against Obama’s attacks on Israel and a dramatic shift of Obama’s policy against Israel.

Hungary is experiencing a move to the right, and as if to silence the critics and gainsayers of the euro, Europe’s currency surged to a one-month high against the U.S. dollar. At the same time, the “BRIC” nations are emerging as a new power bloc and a potential threat for Europe.

More strong earthquakes were experienced in the Solomon Islands, in Spain and in China, prompting Sky Channel to ask: “Is it almost time for the big one?… We’re wondering if these quakes will continue, and where the Earth will decide to shake next…” And the eruption of a volcano in Iceland shows how fragile our civilization is, and how natural disasters can easily paralyze our way of living.

We report about the ongoing sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church; the continuing failure of that church to effectively deal with the issue; and an announcement that atheists in England are supporting efforts to ascertain whether Pope Benedict XVI can be arrested and tried when he comes to Britain in September, for “having committed a crime against humanity” in respect to the sex abuse scandal. In this world of political intrigue, it is of course highly doubtful that a British court would allow those claims to go forward and for the pope to be prosecuted, as so far, no American court has been found which is actively pursuing to try the nagging question whether Barack Obama is even eligible to be President under the U.S. Constitution.

We conclude with reports on contaminated vaccines and poisons and heavy metals in our meat–showing how fragile and destructive our “civilization” really is.

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Obama’s Nuclear Proliferation Summit

The Associated Press reported on April 12:

“Presidents, prime ministers, and top officials from nearly 50 countries mingled Monday on the threshold of President Barack Obama’s nuclear proliferation summit, the largest assembly a U.S. leader has hosted since the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945. Obama wants world leaders to confront the threat of nuclear arms falling into the hands of terrorists — a specter he labels ‘the single biggest threat to U.S. security.’ And he’s looking at the high-profile security forum here to help him reach his goal of ensuring that all nuclear materials worldwide are secured from theft or diversion within four years…

“At an unofficial parallel conference of more than 200 international nuclear experts, participants said too many around the world don’t share the concern that nuclear terrorism is an urgent threat… American nonproliferation expert Robert Gallucci told the conference he believes it’s ‘probable’ over time that terrorists will detonate an atomic weapon in a city somewhere…”

Burma–A New Nuclear Foe?

Yahoo! News wrote on April 14:

“Even as President Obama won agreement from world leaders this week to block the spread of nuclear weapons, the United States is facing a new—and unexpected—nuclear foe: Burma… Intelligence officials fear the paranoid, iron-fisted generals who run Burma see a nuclear program—and ultimately, a nuclear bomb—as a way of securing their hold on power forever…

“While most of Burma’s 50 million people live in shocking poverty, the country is rich in natural resources; the junta earns hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the sale of natural gas, hardwood and the fabled Burmese rubies cherished by the global gem dealers. Although it denies interest in a nuclear weapon, Burma does not hide all of its nuclear ambitions. In 2007, it signed an agreement with Russia for the construction of a small nuclear reactor on Burmese soil…

“Last June, Japanese authorities announced that they had broken up a criminal smuggling ring that was attempting to export a high-tech magnetometer to Burma…

“In 2007, Burma and North Korean restored diplomatic and military relations after a 24-year break… The alliance between the Burmese and North Koreans brings together two of the world’s most isolated, repressive and,—some would say—loony governments.”

U.S. Economy in Great Danger

Die Zeit, a highly respected German newspaper, wrote on April 8:

“The U.S. Economy is facing a new downfall.” The article continued:

“Careful–Appearance is deceptive. The seed of coming problems has been sown and can already be seen in part. But: One has to be willing to see them… The Middle class is not doing good… Smaller banks have no access to governmental financial help, as all the money has been given to the big banks. The consequence is that credit for the middle class is tremendously suffering… The recovery only affects a few big companies– the majority has still huge problems…”

Discussing the unparalleled rise of the price of copper (8000 dollars for one ton) and the rise of oil and the possibility that a barrel of oil will soon cost 150 dollars, the article said: “Such increase of over 40 percent within 12 months has in the past always led to a recession.”

The Deceitful New Health Care Bill

The Los Angeles Times reported on April 13:

“Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama’s healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future. And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook. Although Democrats promised greater consumer protection, the overhaul does not give the federal government broad regulatory power to prevent increases.

“Many state governments — which traditionally had responsibility for regulating insurance companies — also do not have such authority. And several that do are now being sued by insurance companies… At least in the short term, regulators will be able to do little more than require insurers to publicly explain why they want to raise rates. Consumer advocates think that will not be an effective deterrent against premium increases such as the 39% hike that Anthem Blue Cross sent some California customers last year.

“… congressional rules prevented Democratic leaders from including the rate control provision in the final healthcare package… Prior approval requires insurers to submit proposed rate increases to regulators… Insurers cannot raise premiums without explicit permission from the regulator.

“Some states have given prior approval authority to their insurance commissions and have used it to force down premiums… California… does not have the power to block health plan increases… A handful of states, such as Missouri, do not even require insurers to publicly disclose rate hikes.

“The new federal healthcare law would step up oversight of health insurers in states with such limited regulation. The bill directs the secretary of Health and Human Services to work with state regulators to develop a process for reviewing proposed premium increases to determine if they are unreasonable. Insurers that propose such hikes would be required to post justifications on their websites. Stepping up regulation doesn’t promise to be easy…”

That certain health insurance companies are free to operate in a mafia-like fashion and are permitted to bleed its customers to death by increasing annual premiums in excess of 30 % is of course an abomination and a testimony for the terrible state this country is in. It also shows the complete lack of competency of certain state regulators who should have prevented these hikes from occurring. But it is also an outrage that Washington’s political spin machine has misrepresented what the new health care law would or would not accomplish, and the American people are facing a rude awakening.

“Obama Not Qualified to Be President”

Canada Free Press reported on April 12:

“On page 31 in the transcribed text of the March 25, 2010 session of the Kenyan Parliament, there is a brief statement by the Kenyan Minister for Lands (Mr. Orengo). What Mr. Orengo says is nothing short of a bombshell, and yet not a mention has been made anywhere in the mainstream media. I think, for obvious reasons.Here is the text of the salient portion:

“‘… If America was living in a situation where they feared ethnicity and did not see itself as a multiparty state or nation, how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the President of America? It is because they did away with exclusion’…

“Since the first report of Barack Hussein Obama’s doubtful heritage surfaced, those citizens brave enough to swim upstream have been ridiculed, defamed, derided and denounced, and not just by uberliberals such as those infesting the halls of MSNBC, but by members of their own political demographic… at the very least a congressional inquiry into our sitting President’s birth record should be instigated…

“Consider NPR, National Public Radio, not a common hotbed of conservative opinion. NPR reported Obama’s birthplace as Kenya, not Hawaii.  During the presidential campaign, Michelle Obama, one who should know where her husband was born, listed Kenya as Obama’s birthplace… No less a personage than the Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S. confirmed Mrs. Obama’s assertion, using the phrase that Barack Hussein Obama’s origins in Kenya were ‘well-known’. This was backed up by the Kenyan Parliament on the day after the 2008 election. On November 5, 2008, the Kenyan Parliament refers to Obama as a ‘son of the soil’.

“That phrase may mean little in U.S. English, but in African culture it means a lot… it means that the current sitting American President is a Native Kenyan, not American…

“It seems to me that the assertions by the Kenyan Parliament are more than serious enough to warrant action… I cannot accept the suggestion that this statement of fact was anything other than just that… Barack Hussein Obama is not qualified to be the U.S. President.”

“Merkel’s Difficult Friendship with Obama”

Der Spiegel Online reported on April 12:

“Angela Merkel is traveling across America this week. It’s a country she loves, but the German chancellor is still having trouble connecting with Barack Obama. Her political style couldn’t be any more different from that of the US president. She’s fighting to prevent the US from disregarding or dominating the Europeans…

“The two years in which Merkel has interacted with Obama have been filled with tension… He is precisely the president she didn’t want to see in office… At the moment, the partners on both sides of the Atlantic are disappointed with each other. Whenever the Americans want something from the Germans, they are guaranteed to be turned down: on prisoners from Guantanamo, on sending significantly more soldiers to Afghanistan and on new economic stimulus programs.

“Merkel, on the other hand, was repeatedly appalled last year at how inconsiderate the Americans were of German or European interests. Whenever she spoke to Obama about climate protection, he was only concerned with the consequences for the United States. When the Americans settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan, they didn’t ask their allies first. Merkel also suspects that the United States is not interested in reining in the financial industry…”

As we have pointed out for many years, the relationship between the USA and Germany and continental Europe will consistently deteriorate in these last days.

Germany’s War in Afghanistan

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 12:

“Germans have a difficult relationship with war, for obvious reasons. But the current government’s attempts to play down the war in Afghanistan are cowardly. It’s time for Germany to face reality and initiate an open debate about the purpose of its mission… For quite some time, the key question has been what the Germans actually can and want to do to help change things for the better in Afghanistan. The answer is that militarily they can do practically nothing. The reason for this is not that their soldiers are poorly trained or that their equipment leaves something to be desired. Germany’s military restraint reflects a conscious policy — one that aims to keep the war in Afghanistan from becoming a political problem back home.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel is keeping her distance from the war… Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is conspicuous by his deafening silence. Thus, when the German defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, said that there is a situation in Afghanistan that would colloquially be called war, his choice of words was perceived as an act of liberation.

“Yes, there is a state of war in Afghanistan, that poor and mistreated country in the world’s most dangerous region. War is terrible. War kills civilians, including women and children. War also often changes the soldiers that fight it. There is no such thing as a just war because unjust things always happen, often accompanied by atrocities and barbarity. Yet asymmetrical wars against terrorists and insurgents are clearly an integral part of the 21st century. And sometimes, despite all reservations, fighting a war is the right thing to do…

“It is a good thing that Germany, mindful of its 20th century past, has a difficult relationship with war. Its governments, however, tend either towards dramatic exaggeration — as with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who used Auschwitz as an argument for the Kosovo war — or towards dramatic downplaying, as Merkel and Westerwelle are currently doing…

“Today it is simultaneously more difficult and easier to justify the war in Afghanistan. It is more difficult because many illusions concerning democracy and stability in the country have been shattered. At the same time, it is easier because there is general agreement that Afghanistan should not fall again into the hands of the Taliban and al-Qaida. An even worse scenario would be if Pakistan, a nuclear power, were to be left at the mercy of extremists…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel… has to take political responsibility. This starts with the simple acknowledgment that Germany is conducting a war in Afghanistan that the chancellor feels is right. The long phase of understatement is over. The distant war has come home to Germany, and, after the period of fleeing from reality, it is now high time that Germans talk openly about war and death.”

All propaganda aside–when a left-liberal magazine like Der Spiegel advocates German participation in war, it is high time to wake up.

And the Afghan War Drags On…

The Sunday Times wrote on April 12:

“Nato plans for a massive operation in southern Afghanistan suffered a major setback yesterday when soldiers opened fire on a bus, killing four civilians [including one woman] and injuring at least a dozen more… The shootout yesterday morning sparked angry protests. Elders inside the city said what little faith people still put in the coalition had evaporated.

“‘The operation hasn’t even started yet, but every day they kill civilians,’ said Haji Wali Jan. ‘Even they must know a bus is full of civilians? If they are afraid of a bus how can they continue with an operation in Kandahar?’… Securing Kandahar city – the country’s first capital and the spiritual home of the Taleban – is seen as a key test of Barack Obama’s 30,000 soldier surge…

“The bullet riddled bus is the latest in a long and bloody line of civilian casualty incidents which threaten to undermine public support for the presence of foreign troops. President Hamid Karzai, who has wept in public demanding Nato stop killing innocent people, issued a statement condemning the attack and offering his condolences to the victims yesterday.”

…And On…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 15:

“Four German soldiers are reported dead in an attack on a military patrol in Afghanistan, less than two weeks after a deadly ambush in the same region… the soldiers were attacked with shoulder-fired rockets during a patrol between Kunduz and Baghlan. An as yet unknown number of Bundeswehr troops have been seriously injured.

“The attack came a day after German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg made a surprise visit to Afghanistan…

“The government in Berlin appeared this week to be taking steps to better equip its troops. On Thursday the Financial Times Deutschland reported that the government planned to order 60 Eagle IV armored vehicles from Swiss manufacturer Mowag. Another 90 will be ordered in 2011 according to current government plans, the paper reported.

“During his visit on Wednesday, Guttenberg had already pledged to improve the soldiers’ equipment. He promised to send two large armored howitzers, TOW anti-tank missiles and additional Marder armored personnel carriers.

“About 4,500 German troops are stationed in Afghanistan now. They currently have around 975 armored vehicles from various manufacturers… but… Guttenberg wrote that 600 of the vehicles needed to be replaced in light of an increased threat from roadside bombs and other attacks.

“Guttenberg said in the letter that the armored vehicles were needed as quickly as possible — especially considering the government’s plans to bolster the number of Bundeswehr troops in Afghanistan to 5,350. German involvement in Afghanistan remains a controversial topic for voters.”

Poland–A Firm U.S. Ally

The Associated Press wrote on April 11:

“Poland, a nation of 38 million people, is by far the largest of the 10 formerly communist countries that have joined the European Union in recent years. Last year, Poland was the only EU nation to avoid recession and posted economic growth of 1.7 percent. It has become a firm U.S. ally in the region since the fall of communism — a stance that crosses party lines. The country sent troops to the U.S.-led war in Iraq and recently boosted its contingent in Afghanistan to some 2,600 soldiers.

“U.S. Patriot missiles are expected to be deployed in Poland this year. That was a Polish condition for a 2008 deal — backed by both Kaczynski and Tusk — to host long-range missile defense interceptors. The deal, which was struck by the Bush administration, angered Russia and was later reconfigured under President Barack Obama’s administration. Under the Obama plan, Poland would host a different type of missile defense interceptors as part of a more mobile system and at a later date, probably not until 2018.”

Poland–A Secure Part of the EU

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 12:

“As the world mourns the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the 95 other victims of [an] airplane crash in western Russia on Saturday, German commentators are having a hard time agreeing on what Kaczynski’s legacy will be for Poland and its foreign relations.

“After being seen off by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Smolensk, the coffin carrying the body of Polish President Lech Kaczynski arrived at Warsaw’s military airport Sunday, where it was greeted by tens of thousands of mourning Poles, including his identical twin brother, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and his daughter Marta.

“Kaczynski was one of the 96 Poles — including dozens of political, military and religious leaders — who died Saturday when his aging Polish government Tupelov airplane crashed in thick fog while trying to land at the Smolensk airport in western Russia. The delegation was traveling to nearby Katyn to commemorate the 70th anniversary of a 1940 massacre in which the Soviet Union’s secret police executed more than 20,000 Polish military officers and intellectuals. Russian investigators who have examined the plane’s flight recorders have not been able to determine that there were any technical problems with the plane and instead suspect pilot error may have been involved in the crash.

“Poland has declared a week of national mourning, and its acting president, Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, has said that he will soon call for early elections, which must be held by late June. A funeral for the deceased president will not be held until the body of his wife, Maria, has been identified and returned to Poland. Identifying the bodies is expected to take two to three days and require the use of DNA analysis. In Russia, which Poland has long viewed as its historical oppressor despite recent moves toward reconciliation, President Dmitry Medvedev declared a national day of mourning.

“In Monday’s newspapers, German commentators mourn the victims of the crash while musing on Kaczynski’s legacy. They don’t seem to agree on whether he kept Poland in the past or brought it forward, or whether recent improvements in Polish-Russian relations were happening because of or in spite of him.

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘… Perhaps the country can now succeed in doing what its politicians and intellectuals have failed to do in the post-Cold War period — reconcile the nation with its past, help Poles arrive at a common understanding of their own history and depoliticize this history. Kaczynski belonged to the group of politicians that is so obsessed with the past that it continues to divide the Polish people and make Poland a problematic partner in Europe… Poles should understand the catastrophe as an appeal to free themselves from the chains of their own history… Poland doesn’t need any more victims. It has found its place in Europe…’

“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘One of the key thrusts of Lech Kaczynski’s presidency was keeping alive the memory of the crimes that Germany and the Soviet Union committed against the Poles in the 20th century…’

“The conservative daily Die Welt writes: ‘… Poland is more secure and stable than ever. It is part of the EU and NATO, a beneficiary of America’s protective umbrella and no longer has to fear being ground down between Germany and Russia… While the majority of other national economies, and particularly European ones, have contracted, the Polish economy has continued to grow… Poles can be proud of what they have achieved in the last 20 years. And, from that, they should draw the energy and the confidence they’ll need to get past this horrific loss as well…'”

In a related article, Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 11:

“Germany had taken a complacent attitude toward its small and supposedly weak eastern neighbor. It advocated for Poland’s EU membership and believed that to be enough penance for the Nazis’ crimes… Germany is Poland’s most important trading partner and in the western part of the country especially, German mayors meet with their Polish counterparts and Polish businesses work together with their German neighbors every day.”

Controversy in Poland

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 15:

“Controversy has erupted in Poland over a decision not only to bury President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, among the most august in the country’s history, but also to bury them at all before the investigation of the airplane crash that killed them has been closed…

“If all goes according to plan, they will be buried in a state funeral Sunday at the 1,000-year-old Wawel Cathedral, whose crypt has been the resting place for Polish monarchs and national heroes for over 600 years. Still, the decision to do so — which, according to the AP, the Kaczynski family made along with Catholic church without public debate or a vote in parliament — has sparked a wave of protests… The crux of their argument is that, despite his tragic death, the often-controversial president does not merit a place among the most esteemed figures in the country’s history.

“In Thursday’s newspapers, German commentators tend to agree with the protestors, attributing the decision to the surge of emotion spawned by the tragedy. They also worry that burying him before the investigation is complete will merely provide more fodder for the suspicious.

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘The overwhelming majority of Poles viewed Kaczynski as an often blundering president who was not held in high regard by Poland’s European neighbors…’

“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘… While he was alive, no one in Poland would have thought of granting him a place among the kings and intellectuals in Poland’s history. The only thing elevating him to this level is the swelling of emotion felt in the core of Polish society.'”

“Poland–How To Move On…?”

On April 11, Deutsche Welle quoted the following additional comments from German newspapers:

“In an editorial, the Tagesspiegel am Sonntag called Kaczynski’s untimely death ‘a dagger in the heart.’ The Berlin-based newspaper paid tribute to his legacy, while acknowledging the often difficult relationship he had with fellow European heads of state. ‘This little man quite often drove Angela Merkel and many other European leaders to the edge of reason with his mix of provinciality, unpredictability and cunning,’ an editorial stated. ‘Yet this little man, he actually did something very big in Poland.’

“Meanwhile, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper concentrated on the ‘cynical twist of fate’ that the crash occurred en route to the Katyn memorial service to commemorate Poles massacred by Soviet troops in World War II. ‘The big moments in recent Polish history are almost all tainted with blood,’ the paper said.

“The daily Bild am Sonntag  ran the headline ‘Poland, we are crying with you,’ on the front page. Inside, the paper devoted its first eight pages to the tragedy, including a full-page picture of the crash scene. In their online coverage of the tragedy, Bild.de quoted the Polish ambassador to Germany, Marek Prawda, who openly wondered about the future of the Polish politics. ‘A big part of the Polish political class is no longer there,’ Prawda told the paper.  ‘It raises the question of how we will move on…'”

Israel Mourns for Poland

Haaretz reported on April 11:

“Israel’s leaders on Sunday expressed deep sorrow over the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, calling him a true friend of the Jewish people and praising his efforts to heal the scars of the Holocaust. The Nazis erected their major death camps on occupied Polish soil – killing more than 3 million Jews, most of them from Poland. That strained Polish-Israeli relations after World War II.

“In recent years, ties improved dramatically and Israel considered the Kaczynski-led Poland to be among its staunchest European allies… The outpouring of grief was not limited to leaders. Ordinary Israelis flocked to the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv to light candles and lay flowers.”

Preparing for the Third Temple on the Temple Mount

A-7 News reported on April 13:

“Moslem leaders [of the Palestinian Authority] repeatedly claim that the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism, where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, where the two Holy Temples stood, and where the third is to be rebuilt – has no Jewish history or background… Similarly, Islamic Movement chief Raed Salah has said, ‘We reiterate for the 1,000th time that the entire Al-Aqsa mosque [on the Temple Mount], including all of its area and alleys above the ground and under it, is exclusive and absolute Moslem property, and no one else has any rights to even one grain of earth in it.’

“Jordan, too, has not waived its demands for sovereignty and responsibility over the Temple Mount. Jordanian government minister Abdel Salam Abbadi said last week that Jordan’s 1988 decision to disconnect from Judea and Samaria did not mean that it detached itself from Jerusalem and the holy sites…

“To counter this approach… various Jewish groups in Israel seek to cement the Jewish bonds to the Temple Mount. They visit the Mount whenever possible, attempt to secure rights for Jews to visit and pray there, arrange marches outside the Temple Mount gates, and raise Temple Mount awareness with events, classes, pamphlets, exhibits and more.

“Among them are The Temple Institute, the Organization for the Renewal of the Temple, the Sanhedrin, the Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount, and others… The Organization for the Renewal of the Temple has initiated a petition/letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, urging him to add the Temple Mount to his new list of sites preserved as National Heritage sites. The letter states that though ‘the Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people, yet the Muslim authorities, aided by Israel Police, systematically deny the right of religious expression on the Mount to all non-Moslems. On numerous occasions the High Court of Justice has upheld the Jewish people’s right to pray at the site, yet the police continue to prevent this. Furthermore, Jewish visitors are harassed and degraded… Please, end this travesty and allow Jewish freedom of expression at the Temple Mount. I urge you include the Temple Mount in your “Heritage Plan” of sites significant to the Jewish people.’

“The Temple Institute, engaged in education, research, and development towards the Holy Temple in accordance with Biblical law, recently held its 29th annual Temple Institute Passover Symposium… Issues discussed included questions such as, ‘Will massive digital screens allow worshippers to observe the work of the High Priest from a great distance? Will computers be used to keep track of the sacrifices, public and private? Will special impurity-proof buses be used to transport Passover pilgrims and their Paschal offerings?'”

Obama’s Attacks on Israel

On April 12, Newsmax published the following article by former New York Mayor and Democrat Ed Koch:

“I weep as I witness outrageous verbal attacks on Israel. What makes these verbal assaults and distortions all the more painful is that they are being orchestrated by President Obama. For me, the situation today recalls what occurred in 70 A.D. when the Roman emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign against the Jewish nation and its ancient capital of Jerusalem.

“Ultimately, Masada, a rock plateau in the Judean desert, became the last refuge of the Jewish people against the Roman onslaught. I have been to Jerusalem and Masada… The Jews of Masada committed suicide rather than let the Romans take them captive. In Rome itself, I have seen the Arch of Titus with the sculpture showing enslaved Jews and the treasures of the Jewish temple with the menorah, the symbol of the Jewish state, being carted away as booty during the sacking of Jerusalem…

“The most recent sacking of the old city of Jerusalem — its Jewish quarter — took place under the Jordanians in 1948 in the first war between the Jews and the Arabs, with at least five Muslim states — Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq — seeking to destroy the Jewish state.

“At that time, Jordan conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank and expelled every Jew living in the Jewish quarter of the old city, destroying every building, including the synagogues in the old quarter and expelling from every part of Judea and Samaria every Jew living there so that for the first time in thousands of years, the old walled city of Jerusalem and the adjacent West Bank were ‘Judenrein,’ a term used by the Nazis to indicate the forced removal or murder of all Jews. Jews had lived for centuries in Hebron, the city where Abraham… pitched his tent and where he now lies buried, it is believed, in a tomb with his wife, Sarah, as well as other ancient… patriarchs and matriarchs…

“My loyalty and love is first to the U.S. which has given me, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants, so much. But, I have also long been cognizant of the fact that every night when I went to sleep in peace and safety, there were Jewish communities around the world in danger. And there was one country, Israel, that would give them sanctuary and would send its soldiers to fight for them and deliver them from evil, as Israel did at Entebbe in 1976.

“I weep today because my president, Barack Obama, in a few weeks has changed the relationship between the U.S. and Israel from that of closest of allies to one in which there is an absence of trust on both sides… our closest ally, the one with the special relationship with the U.S., has been demeaned and slandered…

“I believe President Obama’s policy is to create a whole new relationship with the Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, and Iraq as a counter to Iran, the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Muslim world, which we are now prepared to see in possession of a nuclear weapon… I am shocked by the lack of outrage on the part of Israel’s most ardent supporters… Members of Congress in both the House and Senate have made pitifully weak statements against Obama’s mistreatment of Israel, if they made any at all. The Democratic members, in particular, are weak…

“To those who call me an alarmist, I reply that I’ll be happy to apologize if I am proved wrong. But those who stand silently by and watch the Obama administration abandon Israel, to whom will they apologize?”

Obama’s Far-Reaching Shift

The New York Times wrote on April 15:

“It was just a phrase at the end of President Obama’s news conference on Tuesday, but it was a stark reminder of a far-reaching shift in how the United States views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how aggressively it might push for a peace agreement. When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a ‘vital national security interest of the United States,’ he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.

“This shift… is driving the White House’s urgency to help broker a Middle East peace deal…”

Hungary Shifts to the Right

Der Spiegel Online reported on April 13:

“The people of Hungary shifted to the right in their general election on Sunday, evicting the Socialists from government after eight years, handing the center-right Fidesz party of Viktor Orban a strong mandate to form a government and making the far-right Jobbik party the third-strongest force in parliament…

“German media commentators are worried about the resurgence of nationalism in Hungary and wonder whether its political system is strong enough to cope with the hate-filled polarization that has swept the country. The Jobbik party got some 17 percent after campaigning on a deeply xenophobic platform. Commentators said Jobbik makes the Freedom Party of the late Jörg Haider, the Austrian populist, and Dutch right-winger Geert Wilders seem moderate.

“Left-wing Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘Twenty years after the end of the collectivist dictatorship, Hungary has turned into a grubby hive of nationalism in which far-right blood and soil ideologies are flourishing, pseudo-democrats are hailing the glorious history of the Magyars and militant racists are fighting against an allegedly “overflowing” number of foreigners and ethnic minorities living in the country by parading around the streets with machetes and Molotov cocktails…’

“‘The right-wing extremists of the Jobbik party and their militant followers from the New Hungarian Guard have been engaging in unabashed badgering of homosexuals, Roma and Jews. They raid districts where Roma people live and are campaigning for the restoration of Greater Hungary by demanding the incorporation of all the provinces of Romania, Slovakia, the Ukraine and Serbia in which Hungarian ethnic minorities live…

“‘The incoming prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his Fidesz party… gave the right-wing extremists the feeling of being secret allies in the fight against the post-communist Socialists, and the sense that they may even one day be allowed to join government. When Jörg Haider’s Freedom Party joined the government in Austria there was an uproar in Europe. The Hungarian Fidesz party is even more right-wing than Haider’s people in many respects. Europe has ignored this development far too long…’

“Business daily Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘The former model country Hungary is a prime example of what can go wrong if reforms are carried out too late…’

“Conservative Die Welt writes: ‘Hungary has been unable to escape the clutches of a difficult history that has been laced with defeat and has therefore fuelled national resentments. It’s worrying that more than two-thirds of Hungarians have opted for parties that either toy with right-wing populism or are openly reactionary. The crisis, which is not just economic, has brought the ghosts of the past back onto the political stage. The propaganda of aggressive self-pity has worked, and last Sunday was a black day for minorities such as the Roma. Europe can only hope that the electoral success of the right-wing extremists will serve as a warning to the new prime minister, Viktor Orban. He must now clearly distance himself from the ghosts that he himself has helped to awaken.’

“Center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘Hungary hasn’t developed a sense of democracy or any enthusiasm for the parliamentary system…’

“Berlin daily Tagesspiegel writes: ‘The victory of the national conservative Viktor Orban and the entry of the far-right protest party Jobbik into the Budapest parliament are a desperate and resigned reaction to a miserable economic situation, a rapid rise in debt and increasing social dislocation in the country. They are of course also a punishment for the Socialists, who ruled for eight years and destroyed themselves as a serious political force… Central Europe is part of the whole of Europe once again. But its political structures aren’t stable enough to withstand the severest political quakes. Hungary is in the process of putting the new era of freedom and self-determination to a dangerous test.'”

Hungary, as an integral part of a united Europe, may be a precursor of things to come…

The Euro Jumps…

The Sunday Times wrote on April 12:

“The euro surged to a one-month high and stock markets in Asia rallied today as traders welcomed a €30 billion (£26.5 billion) loans package [at well below the market rate]  for Greece, agreed by the currency’s [Eurozone] member countries to help the country tackle its debt crisis.

“The euro surged to $1.3691 against the dollar, its highest level since mid-March, although concerns about the long-term nature of Greece’s debt burden and worries about how the loans package would be implemented limited its gains… A further sum will be available from the International Monetary Fund as part of the package, understood to be between €10 billion and €15 billion.”

The BRIC Nations–A New Power Bloc

The Indian edition of Zeenews.com reported on April 14:

“The BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are set to wrestle with international pressure to back sanctions against Iran when they hold the second-ever summit in Brazil at the end of the week. The diplomatic issue is expected to be raised at the Friday gathering in Brasilia, along with other matters involving the four countries, which together represent 40 percent of the world’s population and which have emerged as an increasingly powerful bloc on emerging economies. The meeting is sandwiched between a Washington summit early this week on nuclear security, and a looming UN Security Council vote on whether to broaden sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

“The United States, Britain, France and Germany have been urging the BRICs to support sanctions against Iran… Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the five permanent council members whose power of veto mean they must support or at least abstain on any sanctions resolution. Brazil is a temporary UN Security Council member with no veto power, but it is one of Iran’s biggest defenders at the world body’s top table — and therefore the focus for lobbying by the Washington and other Western capitals.

“Thus far, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has shown no sign of acquiescing, even after a trilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday…

“The BRIC nations together accounted for nearly half the world’s growth this decade, and 16 percent of the world’s economic output, according to the IMF.”

We can expect to see a growing world influence, especially in political, economic and MILITARY matters by the “BRIC” nations.

More Strong Earthquakes

Foodconsumer reported on April 11: “The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the Solomon Islands on Sunday April 11, 2010 at 08:40 p.m.”

Sky Channel reported on April 11:

“Is it almost time for the big one? We’ve seen a string of large earthquakes in the last year. Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Southern California… and now Spain. Early Monday morning in Granada, Spain (Sunday evening on our east coast), a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck. The epicenter of the quake was 15 miles southeast of… Granada, and about 230 miles south of Madrid. Major damage has not been reported and is not likely considering the tremor was at a depth of 400 miles. Geophysicist Susan Potter said that ‘when an earthquake is deeper, the seismic energy is absorbed by the Earth. So there will be less damage expected in the epicenter area’. We’re wondering if these quakes will continue, and where the Earth will decide to shake next…”

Subsequently, the Associated Press reported on April 14:

“A series of strong earthquakes struck a mountainous Tibetan area of western China on Wednesday, killing at least [600] people and injuring more than 10,000 as houses made of mud and wood collapsed, officials said. Many more people were trapped, and the toll was expected to rise.

“The largest quake was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey as magnitude 6.9… The USGS recorded six temblors in less than three hours, all but one registering 5.0 or higher. The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the largest quake’s magnitude at 7.1.”

Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Deutsche Welle reported on April 15:

“Hundreds of people in Iceland were evacuated and flights across northern Europe were grounded Thursday after a volcanic eruption in southern Iceland. The eruption, on Wednesday, melted part of a glacier, triggering flash floods and causing property damage…

“Airlines canceled flights in Britain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark due to poor visibility and the possible damage that volcanic ash can cause to aircraft engines. German flag carrier Lufthansa said it was halting some flights as airspace over parts of northern Germany was closed to civilian air traffic.

“Flights in and out of London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, as well as other British airports were canceled until at least 17:00 GMT, including many transatlantic flights. In Scotland, the airports in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh were also closed. Travel delays to Europe were reported as far away as San Francisco in the United States… Airports in Sweden, Norway and Denmark were closed indefinitely as a giant cloud of ash and smoke affected visibility in the region. About 100,000 passengers in Norway were stranded at Oslo airport due to the disruptions… The cancellations were also expected to spread to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and northwestern Russia starting Thursday afternoon…

“This is the second volcanic eruption in Iceland in a month. The earlier eruption, at the same glacier in March, was the first since 1823 and spewed lava for weeks.”

BBC News added on April 15:

“Up to 4,000 flights are being cancelled with airspace closed in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark among others… The volcano is still spewing ash and the wind direction is expected to continue bringing clouds into UK and European airspace for some time to come.

“The UK’s airspace restriction was the worst in living memory, a Nats spokesman said. Some 600,000 people are thought to have been affected.”

The Telegraph wrote on April 15:

“Volcanic ash, which consists of the pulverised rock and glass created by the eruptions, can jam aircraft machinery if a plane flies through the plume, shutting down the engines. Ash can also be sucked into the cabin itself, contaminating the passengers’ environment as well as damaging the plane’s electronic systems.”

The Catholic Church’s Misconduct

The Associated Press and MSNBC reported on April 14:

“In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, The Associated Press found 30 cases of priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad. Some escaped police investigations. Many had access to children in another country, and some abused again.

“A priest who admitted to abuse in Los Angeles went to the Philippines, where U.S. church officials mailed him checks and advised him not to reveal their source. A priest in Canada was convicted of sexual abuse and then moved to France, where he was convicted of abuse again in 2005. Another priest was moved back and forth between Ireland and England, despite being diagnosed as a pederast, a man who commits sodomy with boys…”

The Wall Street Journal wrote on April 15:

“Pope Benedict XVI for the first time addressed the Vatican’s handling of the sex-abuse crisis, saying the Church should ‘do penance’ in response to recent public attention to its ‘sins’… ‘We Christians, even lately, have often avoided the word “penance”… Now, under the eyes of the world that speaks of our sins, we see that doing penance is grace and we see how penance is necessary,’ he added. The excerpts of the pope’s homily did not specifically mention sex-abuse by priests.”

Even when trying to at least indirectly address the grave misconduct of the Vatican, the pope resorts to unbiblical and ungodly concepts such as “penance”–something which the Bible nowhere teaches.

Homosexuality to Blame for Pedophilia?

Der Stern wrote on April 13:

“The ‘foreign minister’ of the Vatican [Cardinal Secretary Tarcisio Bertone, also referred to in the article as the right hand of the Pope] defended again the criticized celibacy within the Catholic Church and blamed instead homosexuality for the crimes perpetrated on the children.”

The article continued:

“Bertone says that scientific results justify his opinion: ‘Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia. That is the truth and the problem.'”

Reuters reported on April 14:

“Gay groups and politicians condemned Pope Benedict’s number two on Wednesday for calling homosexuality a ‘pathology’ and linking it directly to sexual abuse of children. The comments made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone during a visit to Chile… and the controversy they caused, were splashed on mainstream Italian newspapers on Wednesday. The French foreign ministry and in some Catholic blogs that support the pope also condemned the cardinal’s remarks…

“Gay rights activists reacted with derision and outrage. ‘This is a scientific absurdity. The World Health Organization calls homosexuality a variation of human behaviour. It is paedopholia that is a pathology, a crime, not homosexuality,’ said Franco Grillini, a former parliamentarian who was at the vanguard of Italy’s gay rights movement.’

“A front-page editorial in Rome’s left-leaning La Repubblica newspaper titled ‘The Confusion in the Church’ said Bertone’s comments would end up causing the Church more ‘harm to itself, not homosexuals.’ Bertone was also criticized by Alessandra Mussolini, a right-wing parliamentarian whose grandfather, wartime Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, sent gays into internal exile. ‘You can’t link sexual orientation to paedophilia . . . this link risks becoming dangerously misleading for the protection of children,’ Mussolini said.

“ArciLesbica, Italy’s main lesbian rights group, accused the Vatican of using ‘violent and deceptive statements’ to divert attention from its abuse scandal and said Italian parents should consider removing their children from Church-run institutions.”

It is of course true that most pedophiles are homosexuals, but not all homosexuals are pedophiles. To try to exculpate FORCED celibacy is denying one of the problems for pedophilia. Rather than making necessary changes in unbiblical doctrines, the Catholic Church is determined to continue its wrong practices, which are based on paganism and human traditions. And as critics of the church are becoming louder and more vocal, so will the church in its response.

In a clumsy attempt to “clarify” its position, the Vatican only added insult to injury. BBC News reported on April 14:

“A spokesman provided ‘data’ to support the claim, but also said Church leaders were not trying to make assertions of a ‘psychological or medical nature’… Vatican spokesman… Lombardi insisted the cardinal had not been making an assertion, but also detailed its ‘statistical data’ on the abuse of minors by priests… ‘Church authorities do not consider it their responsibility to make general statements of a specifically physiological or medical character, which is why they naturally refer back to experts’ study and ongoing research on the subject,’ he said.”

This is stunning! The Catholic Church is unwilling to say what SIN is–rather leaving it to “experts” to explain the reasons for sinful conduct!!!

To Arrest and Try the Pope?

Deutsche Welle reported on April 12:

“Richard Dawkins, the British scientist and Christopher Hitchens, the British-American author and journalist – both vocal atheists – support efforts to ascertain whether Pope Benedict XVI can be arrested and tried when he comes to Britain in September. Hitchens is paying lawyers to look into the possibility of prosecuting the pope for crimes against humanity in the wake of the sex abuse scandal that has embroiled the Catholic Church worldwide. While Dawkins is not contributing financially, he says on his Web site that he ‘wholeheartedly supports it.’

“Hitchens has hired human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC and solicitor Mark Stephens from the London law firm Finers, Stephens Innocent, who both believe they can make a case against the pope. ‘It is clearly a crime against humanity to be complicit in the cover-up of a crime against humanity, and that would be susceptible to being heard before the ICC [International Criminal Court] in The Hague,’ Stephens told Deutsche Welle.

“‘The alternative is, if and when the pope comes to this country [the UK] in the autumn, individuals who have been abused will be able to bring criminal proceedings in the criminal courts of the UK,’ he explained. Robertson also believes that the Holy See can no longer ignore international law. The Catholic Church’s cover-up of cases of abuse in Ireland, for example, he writes in the British newspaper The Guardian, ‘amounts to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors.’

“Pope Benedict is to be in Britain from September 16-19, the first papal visit to the country since 1982. Stephens argues that the pope is not a head of state, so he does not have to be granted immunity from prosecution, and could, therefore, be arrested on British soil. ‘The Vatican is not a country, as you and I understand it, it’s not a member of the UN, the US prevented it from becoming a member of the United Nations,’ he told Deutsche Welle…

“The Catholic Church has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse in the US, Ireland, Austria and, most recently, the pope’s native Germany… A recent poll by the newsmagazine Focus shows that the majority of Germans have no faith in the Roman Catholic Church and a quarter of the Catholics surveyed are considering leaving the Church in the wake of the recent revelations…”

All legalese and atheist thinking aside, such a lawsuit, even if it were to be permitted to be pursued, should be destined to failure, as the Vatican is viewed as a state or a country, and the pope is considered as the head of the Vatican STATE. IF a British court were to rule otherwise and actually try the Pope, this would result in condemnation from the entire “Christian” world. Of course, stranger things have happened… After all, the Bible prophesies that ultimately, Britain, the USA and the state of Israel will be hated by all other nations.

Contaminated Vaccines

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) wrote on April 7:

“On March 22, 2010, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials adhering to the precautionary principle advised American doctors to suspend use of Rotarix vaccine until the agency finds out why DNA from a swine virus… was found in the live rotavirus vaccine… Rotarix is a genetically engineered vaccine… created by isolating human rotavirus strain infecting a child in Cincinnati and using African Green monkey kidney cells to produce the original viral seed stock from which all Rotarix vaccine has been made…

“Contamination of vaccines with animal viruses is not new. In the 20th century, polio vaccines given to tens of millions of people worldwide were contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40), which was found to cause cancer in animals and is associated with human brain, bone and lung cancers but the government denies SV40 is causing those cancers in humans…

“There has been controversy about the link between experimental polio vaccines tested in Africa in the 1950’s and 1960’s that were contaminated with a monkey virus… Soon after the polio vaccine trials in Africa… HIV… emerged… Many questions about the failure of researchers and technology to screen for monkey viruses in those vaccines remain to this day…

“Vaccine manufacturers have long used cell material that comes from the bodies of mammals, including humans, monkeys, cows, pigs, dogs and rodents, as well as birds or insects to make vaccines now in use or to make experimental vaccines. There is an inherent risk of contamination with viruses and other microbes (or DNA from those microbes) that can escape detection during the vaccine development, testing, licensing, manufacturing and oversight process…

“In searching for ways to make seasonal influenza vaccines in a faster, easier and less expensive way than relying on chicken eggs for production, drug companies have experimented with using dog kidney cells and human fetal retinal cells. However, these cell lines have been documented to cause tumors in animals, especially dog kidney cells…

“There are lots of questions about how the manufacturer of Rotarix vaccine and the FDA both missed the pig virus DNA contaminating the original seed stock and all doses of Rotarix vaccine given to more than one million American children in the past few years… What about the significance of finding bird viral DNA in measles vaccine and the monkey viral DNA in RotaTeq vaccine?…

“The contamination of Rotarix vaccine is only the latest in a long history of vaccine contamination issues that require a re-examination of the way vaccines are made and tested… The big question people are asking is:  why do drug companies making vaccines continue to use cells from animals, birds and insects that can be contaminated with viruses and other adventitious agents that are hard to detect? The FDA was right to suspend use of Rotarix vaccine until they know more. Hopefully, this serious vaccine production and testing issue will be addressed immediately by vaccine manufacturers. If not, the next pandemic or serious health problem affecting large populations may be one that comes out of a vaccine lab.”

Drugs, Poisons and Heavy Metals in Our Meat

The Huffington Post wrote on April 15:

“Washington dumped some more bad news Friday afternoon when the USDA’s Office of Inspector General issued a damning and unsettling report on the department’s ‘National Residue Program for Cattle.’ It found gaping holes in the safety of American beef production, including residue of drugs, poisons and heavy metals in the meat we eat.

“It’s a stomach-turning, chilling read… ‘Based on our review, we found that the national residue program is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for harmful residues,’ the USDA’s oversight office wrote. The audit revealed that USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), along with the FDA and EPA, ‘have not established thresholds for many dangerous substances (e.g., copper or dioxin), which has resulted in meat with these substances being distributed in commerce.’

“Even worse, the federal government does not attempt to recall meat, ‘even when its tests have confirmed the excessive presence of veterinary drugs,’ the audit said… some US beef is contaminated with heavy metals like copper and arsenic, antibiotics like Flunixin, penicillin, and Ivermectin, and a host of pesticides – all of which are used in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), better known as factory farms.”

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What does the Bible teach about the "spirit in man"? Is that human spirit the same as an immortal soul?

The Bible does indeed teach that every human being has a spirit, but that spirit is neither immortal nor a soul.

I. The Spirit in Man

We discuss the biblical concept of the “spirit in man” extensively in our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults”.

In this Q&A, we are quoting the following excerpts:

“Most people know nothing about the existence of the spirit in man—even many religious people—lay persons and theologians alike. When they read passages in the Bible describing the spirit in man, they assume the Bible is talking about the soul. But the soul is not a non-physical component of the human being. The soul, according to the Bible, is totally physical. The Bible does not teach the concept of an immortal soul. Rather, we read in Ezekiel 18:4, ‘The soul who sins shall die.’ The word ‘soul’ in the Bible refers to the living body of both man and animals…

“In the book of Isaiah we are told that each human being has a spirit within him. ‘Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it…’ (Isaiah 42:5).

“We also learn that God sometimes influences man’s spirit for His purpose. We could say that God inspires or motivates a person by ‘stirring up’ the spirit in that person. Note 1 Chronicles 5:25-26, ‘And they [Israel] were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria…He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity.’

“Another example is found in 2 Chronicles 21:16-17, ‘Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians…And they came into Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives.’

“Later, when God saw to it that His word and promise would be fulfilled to rebuild the destroyed city of Jerusalem and the temple, He inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue a decree, permitting the Jews who were captured in Babylon, to return to Jerusalem. Both 2 Chronicles 36:22 and Ezra 1:1 record what exactly happened. ‘Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.”‘ Even King Cyrus realized that God had influenced his spirit to make this proclamation.

“But the work of rebuilding the destroyed temple progressed very slowly. There was a lack of leadership to motivate the people to accomplish the task at hand. Let’s read how God intervened, in Haggai 1:4, ‘So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel…, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua…and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.’

“The Bible strongly indicates that God gives the human spirit at the time of conception, and then takes it back at the time of death. We read in Zechariah 12:1, ‘Thus says the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.’ Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, ‘Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.’ When the spirit in man leaves a person, that person is dead. James 2:26 says, ‘For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also’…

“Understand though, that when a man dies and his spirit returns to God, that spirit does not continue to live consciously, apart from the body. Rather, God ‘stores’ it, so to speak, in heaven, until He unites it at the time of the resurrection of man with a new spiritual or physical body. The concept that man’s soul is immortal is as wrong as the concept that man’s spirit continues to live consciously after death…

“Note Ecclesiastes 9:4-6, ‘But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope… For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing…Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished…’ And verse 10, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.’ In other words, there is no conscious activity after a person dies. The spirit does not continue in the realm of consciousness…

“The spirit in man records all the human characteristics of the person, as well as his or her outward appearance. At the time of the resurrection, the spirit of the dead person is combined with a new body of the dead person. This means, all the experiences and memories and ideas of the former life are back in the resurrected individual, and the resurrected person will also look the same way he or she did in their former life…

“When a person dies, his body returns to dust. But the spirit of man in him has recorded the appearance of the person, the personality, the personal attributes, and God gives the spirit of that person back into the newly created physical body.

“Let’s read Luke 8:49-55, ‘While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid, only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James and John, and the father and the mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately’…

“One of the writers of the Psalms, Asaph, also understood that it was the spirit within him that motivated him to think and gave him intelligence. He says in Psalm 77:6, ‘I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.’ King Solomon, who wrote the books of Proverbs, likewise confirmed that it is the spirit in man that grants human understanding and is responsible for self-awareness. He says in Proverbs 20:27, ‘The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.’ The New Jerusalem Bible renders this verse, ‘The human spirit is the lamp of Yahweh—searching the deepest self’…

“Paul says in Romans 8:14-16, ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God [the Holy Spirit], these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear [a reference here to Satan, the god and spirit of this world], but you received the Spirit of adoption [or better, sonship] by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. The Spirit [God’s Holy Spirit] Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.’

“Paul speaks very clearly about two spirits—the spirit of man and the Holy Spirit. Notice in 1 Corinthians 2:11 and 14, ‘For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him. Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God… But the natural man [a person who does have the spirit of man, but who does not have the Holy Spirit of God] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'”

As mentioned, each person has a human spirit which God gives to each human, apparently at the time of conception, and which goes back to God in heaven when the person dies. This spirit is not the person, nor is it immortal or eternal, nor does it have a conscious existence when the person dies.

It is THAT spirit in man which God uses when He resurrects the person from the dead. In this context, we must understand that converted Christians, who have ALSO received God’s HOLY SPIRIT in addition to the human spirit, will be resurrected to eternal life, while unconverted humans will be resurrected at a later time to PHYSICAL life. For more information on the resurrections and the function of the human spirit in that process, please read our Q&A’s on the “three resurrections” and the misunderstood concept of the so-called “bodily” resurrection.

II. The Soul

As mentioned in the quotes above, pertaining to the “spirit in man,” the human spirit is not identical with the soul. In fact, the Bible distinguishes between soul and spirit–but neither is immortal. We are setting forth pertinent excerpts regarding the New Testament teaching of the mortality of the soul from our free booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?”:

“The Greek word translated as ‘soul’ in the New Testament Scriptures is ‘psyche’… As in the Old Testament, we find proof in the New Testament that animals are called ‘souls’ and that those souls can die. Revelation 8:9 states, ‘And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died.’ The word for ‘creatures’ is ‘psyche’ in the Greek. So we could say, ‘The souls in the sea that had life, died.’ Although men are included, the primary emphasis here is on sea animals.

“Revelation 16:3 applies the word again to sea animals. Notice, ‘And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea’…

“The New Testament also reveals that people are souls. Souls are not something within the people—rather, souls are people. In 1 Corinthians 15:45, when talking about the resurrection from the dead, Paul quotes from the book of Genesis, telling us what man is and how man came into existence. We read, ‘And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [‘psyche’].” But this living soul, as well as all other living souls since Adam, died, and have to be made alive again (cp. v. 22). They have to be ‘raised up’ (vv. 35, 42)…

“In the 18th chapter of Revelation, the commercial side of the modern city of Babylon is described. In Verse 13, some of the items are listed with which modern merchants will trade, ‘…And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls [‘psyche’] of men.’ We see that they will trade with people—not only with slaves, but also with ‘free’ men. They are not trading with some immortal element within the men…

“Note, too, Revelation 18:14, ‘And the fruits that thy soul [‘psyche’] lusted after are departed from thee.’ Again, the soul is equated with lusts for physical food, and with special feelings. It is the person, of course, who has those desires and feelings, but special emphasis is given to the psychological aspect of a person here, describing it as the ‘soul.’ (Interestingly, the English word ‘psychological’ is, in fact, derived from the Greek word ‘psyche.’)

“When these psychological aspects are to be emphasized, the word ‘soul’ is sometimes used in combination with other human aspects—but this does not make the ‘soul’ an immortal element or entity within the man… We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, ‘And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit [Greek ‘pneuma’] and soul [Greek ‘psyche’] and body [Greek ‘soma’] be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

“In dividing the person into three aspects or ‘components,’ Paul did not address the issue as to whether some of the aspects were mortal or immortal. Rather, the ‘spirit’ of the person describes his mind [the human spirit or spirit in man], the ‘body’ describes his physical flesh, and the ‘soul’ describes his ‘temporary physical life.’ The Christians were asked to preserve blameless their minds, bodies and lives…

“We read in Acts 15:26, ‘Men… have hazarded their lives [‘psyche’] for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ This is clearly a reference to physical life—it could not refer to any immortal soul, as the idea of an eternal soul within the person would of course not allow that the person could endanger his or her ‘immortal soul’ by standing up for Jesus Christ—quite the opposite would be the case…

“Let’s notice what Matthew 10:28 does say: ‘And fear not them which kill … the body [‘soma’], but are not able to kill… the soul [‘psyche’]: but rather fear him which is able to destroy… both soul [‘psyche’] and body [‘soma’] in hell [‘gehenna’]’… We need not fear man who can only kill us, taking away our physical lives. That is all man can do—man cannot prevent God from resurrecting us from death to give us life again. Instead, we must fear God, who not only can take away our physical lives, but who can also throw us—both ‘body and soul’—into ‘hell’ [‘gehenna’], taking away our opportunity for eternal life…

“The word ‘gehenna’ and the very concept of it are derived from the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem in which the corpses of dead people, mainly criminals, would be burned up. It is another expression for the ‘lake of fire’ in Revelation 20:15, in which all who have acted wickedly, and who have refused to repent, will be thrown into, to be burned up or ‘devoured.’ (Remember that Hebrews 10:27… tells us that the wicked wait for God’s fiery indignation that will ‘devour’ them.)…

“Those who sin deliberately, willfully and maliciously, God will resurrect to physical life to throw them—their physical body and their soul or their ‘life’—into ‘gehenna’ or the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13–15; 21:8). They won’t burn there forever—rather, they will be burned up. They are the ‘chaff,’ that will be ‘burned up’ with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12)—that is, no human can quench it… they ‘shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up… that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ (Malachi 4:1). They will become ashes under the feet of the righteous (Malachi 4:3); it will be as if they had never existed (Obadiah 16).”

In conclusion, the spirit in man is not the soul, but it is residing IN the human soul and body, and it goes back to God when the soul dies–when the temporary physical LIFE ends–and when the body–the physical flesh–ceases to function and begins to decay.

When the soul dies–when physical life ends–and when the body begins to decay, what happens to the “spirit in man,” which goes back to God when man dies? God will use it in the process of the resurrection of the person–He will use the spirit in man to create new–spiritual or physical–bodies. But while beings with spiritual bodies will live forever, beings with physical bodies will be subject to death–they will only be given a temporary existence. While many physical human beings will fulfill their potential and will be ultimately changed into spirit beings, some will commit the unpardonable sin and die the second death in the “gehenna” fire. They will never become immortal, but they will be destroyed and annihilated. What will then happen to their human spirit? This question will be addressed in the next Q&A.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new StandingWatch program was posted on the Web, titled, USA Antagonizes Europe. The program addresses the following “shocking news”: “The US is ruling out a nuclear response to non-nuclear attacks, but Obama is criticized by the left and the right.” “USA and Russia sign a new arms reduction agreement, forcing Europe to look at their own defense strategies.” “Europe outraged over American misconduct in Iraq.” “German soldiers forsaken by US Air Force in Afghanistan.” What does it all mean in the light of biblical prophecy?

A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Krankheit und Heilung, Teil 3” (“Sickness and Healing, Part 3”). It is also posted on our German website, www.aufpostenstehen.de.

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Changing Direction

by Cali Harris

Coming out of the Spring Holy Days, the idea of changing direction has been on my mind. As with every year, I’ve been thinking about leaving sin behind and walking toward obedience–basically, making small and big direction changes in my life. This hasn’t been limited only to my spiritual life, but has also trickled into the rest of my life.

I recently changed topics for my thesis in my graduate program. This meant that I chose to walk away from four semesters worth of work, research, discussions with professionals in the field and even completion of a business plan that related to my original topic. It was hard to change direction–but I know that my new thesis topic will be a much better choice for my education and future.

Timing-wise, I think it’s interesting that I was confident enough to change direction in my thesis now. Perhaps I needed to go through the Spring Holy Days in order to be open to this change… and I suspect that God was leading this change of direction all along.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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