Update 486


“And the Love of Many Will Grow Cold”

On April 9, 2011, Brian Gale will give the sermon, titled, “And the Love of Many Will Grow Cold.”

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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Decision Time

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Many of us have decisions to make each and every day. Some decisions come easily; so easily that we may make them on auto pilot. Other decisions may take some thought and extra effort. And then there are the BIG decisions!

One of those BIG decisions may involve difficulties that we may have with another person or persons. We are all unique with different personalities, different levels of understanding and may be from different cultures. There may be other factors involved, including age, marital status, personal likes and dislikes, and how seriously we take God’s instructions as outlined in His Word.

Some little while ago, I had a brief “difficulty” with another Church member, and I knew what the instruction in Matthew 5:23-24 clearly stated: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

What was I to do?  Ignore this because pride got in the way and because I thought that I was right, or “bite the bullet” and make the peace? Usually there is right and wrong on both sides of almost every disagreement and in the final analysis, does it really matter who was right or wrong?

I did make the right decision to reconcile and because the other person must have felt the same, we resolved what was a relatively minor problem pretty quickly because both parties knew that this was God’s Way. Decision time had arrived, and I believe that both parties passed the test.

When Jesus Christ was hanging on the stake, He made this astonishing statement, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).  Here was a completely innocent Man, asking His heavenly Father to forgive those who had committed this vile and most painful of acts against Him.  And yet, sometimes, we can hold grudges against others for months and years!  

It is surely one of the great paradoxes of our time that the odd innocent word – or even look – can cause so many problems, but much more serious issues are accepted as the norm. It is a great irony, a self-contradiction that can permeate our so-called civilised society.  
There is such a sensitivity with words today that people can easily take offence – sometimes – or even often – where no offence was meant. 
Over the years, I’m sorry to say, there have been situations where Church brethren have been offended, albeit over minor matters in many cases – but God’s people really should be above those sorts of things. But, unfortunately, these things do happen.  It is a sign of character to see how we react in times of pressure and trial.  

In a little bit over a week, baptized members of the Church of God will be taking the Passover. Have they left “their gift at the altar” and attempted to reconcile with anyone who may have something against them?   If not, they will be ignoring the clear biblical teaching on the matter and the consequences could be grave. If this does apply to us, it is incumbent on us to do something about it – and quickly. When I reconciled with the person whom I spoke about earlier, I felt better for having done so and for having followed God’s instruction on the matter. I am sure that the other person will have felt the same.

If anyone still has any outstanding situations that fit into this category, it is now “decision time”. What decision will be made?

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We begin with reporting on Guido Westerwelle’s resignation as leader of the German FDP coalition party, and as Vice-President, while trying to hold on to the post of Foreign Minister. Germany’s political landscape is bound to change.

In the meantime, France continues to send troops into the tumultuous Ivory Coast; carries out air strikes against military targets; and has taken control of the country’s main airport, to “protect its citizens.” Europe’s leading military role is becoming more and more obvious in other parts of the world as well, such as Libya. At the same time, we can safely say that the euro will not only survive, but it will become much more powerful than the dollar.

While many crop-producing states of the USA are plagued by a most serious drought, Japan’s struggle with leaking radiation is far from over, and highly radioactive water is seeping into the ocean.

A provocative “stunt” of an American pastor has angered the Muslim world, especially Afghanistan, showing again the fragile and superficial relationship between America and its Muslim “allies,” and while American leaders speak of the “Holy Koran,” it should be realized why Muslims consider it to be “holy.”

We conclude with a revealing admission that the Protestant churches are really the outgrowth of the Roman Catholic Church. While they agree on most core traditions and teachings, those are not taught in the Holy Bible.

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Westerwelle Resigns….

Deutsche Welle reported on April 4:

“On Sunday, [Guido] Westerwelle gave in to relentless pressure to resign leadership of the party [FDP] after 10 years at the helm. He announced he would relinquish his post as vice chancellor as well, and said he intended to focus on his job as foreign minister.

“But it is unclear how long Westerwelle will be able to hold on to that post, as his standing has suffered not only with his party but also among the wider electorate. The three opposition parties, the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left, have called for Westerwelle to resign the Foreign Ministry.”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on April 4:

“[Chancellor Angela] Merkel’s junior coalition partner [FDP] has gone from ineffective to being in a shambles. Not only have the recent state elections shown that the party has little support among the German electorate, there would appear to be little chance that the FDP will be able to recover substantially prior to the next general elections in 2013. Indeed, were elections held now, the FDP would have trouble clearing the 5 percent hurdle on the national level.

“In other words, if Merkel hopes to remain in the Chancellery beyond 2013, she will have to quickly find a new political partner to pair up with. And given Germany’s recent tilt to the center-left, that search promises to be a difficult one… Westerwelle’s fall has taken place with almost breath-taking speed. In the autumn of 2009, the FDP received 14.6 percent of the vote in general elections, the party’s best-ever nationwide showing. The problems, though, began almost immediately…”

The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on April 4:

“Despite all its failings, the FDP used to have the reputation as a wise, clever party… In its heyday, the FDP was a fertile opposition within government: in the conservative governments of Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard, the FDP left its mark as a party of democratic justice, and in the center-left governments of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, it was the guardian of market economics. The FDP was a guarantor of continuity in the changing governments of the republic… One should mourn the decline of every democratic party. Its passing also removes a piece of democratic tradition. If a newspaper folds, it’s a blow to the freedom of the press. If a party dies, as the FDP is at risk of doing, it’s a blow to party democracy.”

The Tageszeitung wrote on April 4:

“The liberal story about guaranteeing personal freedom is looking out of date. Would Germany miss the FDP if it weren’t around anymore?”

Should the FDP disappear, other groups will take its place. But will it be for the better of the country and the entire world?

Westerwelle’s Successor Nominated

Der Spiegel Online reported on April 5:

“Germany’s Free Democrats on Tuesday anointed Philipp Rösler, the Vietnamese-born health minister, as their new leader to replace Guido Westerwelle… The FDP’s executive board agreed that Rösler, 38, should stand for the chairmanship at a party conference in May. He is expected to remain health minister, a job in which he has had only modest success since taking it on as the youngest minister in Merkel’s cabinet in 2009… Rösler was born in a southern Vietnamese village in 1973 during the war, and was adopted by a family in Germany at the age of nine months. He joined the pro-business FDP while he was still a teenager in 1992. He studied medicine in Hanover and Hamburg before becoming a medical doctor in 2002…

“Rösler is affable and eloquent and less confrontational than Westerwelle, who is famous for his outbursts of combative rhetoric… The demands on the mild-mannered Rösler are huge, and there are doubts whether he is resolute and thick-skinned enough for the job… But his career has nevertheless been meteoric. He was 27 years old when he became the FDP’s general secretary for the state of Lower Saxony in 2000. He joined the FDP’s national executive in 2005 and became FDP leader in the state in 2006. In early 2009, he was appointed Lower Saxony’s economics minister and deputy governor.”

Nato and Libya

Sky News reported on April 6, 2011:

“Libyan rebels have accused Nato of being too slow to act – and asked them to suspend operations unless they ‘do the job properly’… Rebel leader Abdel Fattah Younes has complained that the alliance takes hours to respond to events on the battlefield because of an overly bureaucratic process. He claimed the alliance’s inaction was allowing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to advance and was letting them kill people in the rebel-held city of Misratah ‘every day’.

“He said: ‘Nato is moving very slowly, allowing Gaddafi forces to advance. Nato has become our problem.’ Mr Younes also said if Nato had wanted to lift the siege of Misrata, it could have done it weeks ago… Nato took over from a coalition led by the US, Britain and France on March 31. It puts the alliance in charge of air strikes targeting Col Gaddafi’s military infrastructure as well as policing a no-fly zone and an arms embargo.”

The USA does not want to act and Nato is being criticized for acting too slowly. All eyes turn to Europe—as the next article shows as well.

Europeans Must Lead

The Financial Times wrote on April 6:

“Transatlantic relations are being tested by the US’s refusal to lead the military mission in Libya, with figures on both sides of the ocean depicting the conflict as a wake-up call for Europe’s military and political establishments. Britain and France are straining to fill the gap left by Washington’s decision to pull back, as Europe’s military ambitions are tested.

“The Pentagon said on Tuesday that it had flown 1,600 sorties since operations began on March 19 and would no longer be involved in air strikes against Libyan targets. It would continue support missions, such as aerial refuelling, and would remain on alert for emergency strike missions, if requested by Nato. Defence experts maintain that the US move has a longer-term significance, since it signals that Europeans cannot rely on Washington to provide security in crises in their neighbourhood.

“’What we’ve seen in Libya is hugely significant,’ said Lord Hutton, a former defence secretary in the last Labour government. ‘The US has been saying for 10 or 15 years that it wants the Europeans to share more of the security burden and we have to heed that lesson. We should be doing much more in Europe. We cannot go on expecting the US to take the leading role.’

“Nicholas Burns, a former US ambassador to Nato, added that a Washington burdened with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq welcomed the Franco-British lead, even though it is the first time in Nato’s 62-year history that the US has not been in a clear leadership role in an alliance operation.”

France Sends Troops to Ivory Coast

Deutsche Welle reported on April 3:

“France on Monday dispatched more troops to protect civilians in Ivory Coast as the battle for control of Abidjan intensified.

“Forces backing the presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara were said to be preparing for a final assault to remove incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. He is clinging on to power and has refused to accept last November’s UN-certified election results which showed that Ouattara had won the disputed poll. Ouattara’s forces marched into Abidjan on Thursday… France was meanwhile considering the evacuation of some 12,000 of its residents from Ivory Coast.

“President Nicolas Sarkozy has already issued an order for French citizens in the country to be brought together in [a] single location ahead of a possible repatriation operation. France estimates that 12,200 of its citizens live in Ivory Coast. The vast majority, some 11,800, are thought to live in Abidjan. The French army took control of the country’s main airport on Sunday to allow the evacuation of foreigners from the country…”

The EUObserver reported on April 5:

“United Nations and French helicopters have carried out strikes against military targets belonging to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast, as forces loyal to president-elect Alassane Ouattara conduct a final offensive to capture the country’s main city of Abidjan… UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the attacks were not a declaration of war against Gbagbo but were ordered instead to defend civilians, citing UN Security Council resolution 1975 of 30 March 2011.”

European countries, such as France, are becoming more and more militarily engaged in other countries, and we observe outright invasions under the pretext of a need to assist their citizens. The Bible shows that European military actions will increase and culminate in an invasion of the entire Middle East.

Portugal May Apply for EU Bailout

Deutsche Welle reported on April 5:

“The Portuguese prime minister announced Lisbon’s intention to apply for a bailout from the European Union in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday… The news comes in the aftermath of the collapse of Portugal’s government last week. Prime Minister Jose Socrates called snap elections for June 5 after the country’s parliament failed to pass austerity measures aimed at reducing its debt burden…

“Portugal is currently being governed by a caretaker government which does not have the authority to make major financial decisions… Portugal would become the third Eurozone member, after Greece and Ireland, to seek financial assistance from Brussels. Should Lisbon apply for financial help, it would have to place its economy under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.”

“Euro-skeptics” will be quick to use Portugal as another example as to why the euro is doomed. However, apart from the fact that they do not understand biblical prophecy, a move which would place Portugal under European supervision and control only shows the strengthening of an autocratic European power bloc over some of the current 17 euro-zone countries.

Severe Drought in the USA

The Associated Press reported on April 6:

“In most years, the dark clouds over western Oklahoma in the spring would be bringing rain. This year, they’re more likely to be smoke from wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in the past month as the state and its farmers struggle with a severe drought. Oklahoma was drier in the four months following Thanksgiving than it has been in any similar period since 1921. That’s saying a lot in the state known for the 1930s Dust Bowl, when drought and high winds generated severe dust storms that stripped the land of its topsoil.

“Neighboring states are in similar shape as the drought stretches from the Louisiana Gulf coast to Colorado, and conditions are getting worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The area in Texas covered by an extreme drought has tripled in the past month to 40 percent, and in Oklahoma it nearly doubled in one week to 16 percent, according to the monitor’s March 29 update… While dozens of people in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas have lost homes to the hundreds of grassfires that have torn through the parched landscape in the past month, Oklahoma officials said more fires caused more damage as recently as 2009… Almost all of Oklahoma is covered in some degree of drought.”

Startling prophecies for the USA come to mind. Although recorded thousands of years ago, God said this about our times today, when addressing the modern descendants of the ancient house of Israel, including America: “I will make your heavens like iron [no rain] and your earth like bronze [dried up]. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the tress of the land yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:19-20). Also, notice this additional prediction for our time: “The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails… the harvest of the field has perished… All the trees of the field are withered…”(Joel 1:10-12)

“Path of Radiation Leak at Japan Plant Is Unclear”

The Associated Press reported on April 4:

“Workers used a milky white dye Monday as they frantically tried to trace the path of highly radioactive water gushing near Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant and seeping into the ocean. A crack in a maintenance pit found over the weekend was the latest confirmation that radioactivity continues to spill into the environment. The leak is a symptom of the primary difficulty at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex: Radioactive water is pooling around the plant and preventing workers from powering up cooling systems needed to stabilize dangerously vulnerable fuel rods.

“Engineers have turned to a host of improvised and sometimes bizarre methods to tame the nuclear plant after it was crippled in Japan’s magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami on March 11… Radioactive water has pooled up throughout the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant because the operator has been forced to rely on makeshift ways of pumping water into plant — and allowing it to gush out wherever it can — to bring down temperatures and pressure in the reactor cores.

“Government officials conceded Sunday that it will likely be several months before the cooling systems are completely restored. And even after that happens, there will be years of work ahead to clean up the area around the complex and figure out what to do with it. The makeshift system makes it difficult to contain the radiation leaks, but it is aimed at preventing fuel rods from going into a full meltdown that would release even more radioactivity into the environment.

“Radioactivity is quickly diluted in the ocean, and Edano said the dump should not affect the safety of seafood in the area… The crisis has unfolded as Japan deals with the aftermath of twin natural disasters that decimated large swaths of its northeastern coast. Up to 25,000 people are believed to have died in the disaster, and tens of thousands lost their homes. Thousands more were forced to flee a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around the plant because of the radiation.”

The Associated Press reported on April 5:

“For the first time, Japan is setting a standard for the amount of radiation allowed in fish. The decision comes after radiation more than 7.5 million times the legal limit for seawater was found just off a tsunami-damaged nuclear plant… The move came after the health ministry reported that fish caught off Ibaraki prefecture — which is about halfway between the plant and Tokyo — contained levels of radioactive iodine that exceeded the new legal limit. Cesium was also found just below the limit… officials contended Tuesday that the contamination still does not pose an immediate danger.”

Reuters wrote on April 5:

“India has imposed a three-month ban on imports of food articles from the whole of Japan on fears that radiation from an earthquake-hit nuclear plant was spreading to other parts of the country, becoming the first country to introduce a blanket ban… A number of countries have imposed bans on dairy products, meat, fish and other produce from areas near the crippled nuclear power plant.”

Even though we are told that the dump of radioactive water into the ocean should not affect the safety of seafood in the area, who is really willing to believe this? All the evidence speaks to the contrary.

Muslim Anger Against America

Mail On Line reported on April 4:

“Despite clear evidence that his actions have led to multiple murders and widespread violence in the Middle East, controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones has vowed to step up his provocative campaign against Islam. The radical pastor said that he was considering putting Islamic prophet Mohammed ‘on trial’ for his next ‘day of judgement’ publicity stunt.

“His last, in which he oversaw the burning of a copy of the Koran after a six-hour mock trial, has been directly responsible for a wave of violence that began last night and has left 30 people dead and more than 150 injured.

“The defiant stance has led General Petraeus, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, to join international condemnation of pastor Jones. The General urged Afghans to understand only a small number of people had been disrespectful to the Koran and Islam. He said: ‘We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Koran. We also offer condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in violence which occurred in the wake of the burning of the Holy Koran.’

“The call comes after a third day of violence in Afghanistan saw at least ten deaths, 78 injured and at least 17 arrests as protesters clash with security forces in Kandahar…

“[Jones’] March 20 burning stunt received little press in Afghanistan at first. But after President Hamid Karzai condemned the burning of the book and religious leaders called for justice in sermons yesterday, thousands poured into the streets in several cities to protest. At least eight UN staff and around a dozen locals were murdered after a mob killed the UN guards, stole their weapons and opened fire…

“Thousands of demonstrators marched through the western Afghan city of Herat. There, protesters burned a U.S. flag at a sports stadium and chanted ‘Death to the US’ and ‘They broke the heart of Islam’.

“Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement calling the burning a ‘crime against a religion’. He denounced it as a ‘disrespectful and abhorrent act’ and called on the U.S. and the UN to bring to justice those who burned the holy book and issue a response to Muslims around the world.”

Again, the world has it all backwards and upside down. Of course, there is no need to burn the Koran, but is Afghan President Hamid Karzai equally eager to bring to “justice” those who burn the American flag and shout, “Death to the U.S.”? It is interesting that General Petraeus “condemns” those who burn the “Holy Koran,” but have he or other Western leaders been equally indignant and outspoken against those who have burned the Holy Bible or circulated cartoons ridiculing Jesus Christ? Of course, “political correctness” would prevent that from happening, it seems. And why would a professing Christian call the Koran “holy”? In fact, why do Muslims call it “holy”?

The “Holiness” of the Koran?

The following article was published by WorldNetDaily on April 2:

“[Former Muslim Al] Fadi says that an important detail in understanding Islam is that all Muslims are taught from childhood that the Quran is a perfect book. The Quran Dilemma author’s assessment is backed up by the Islamic site, IslamiCity.com, that says that the Quran is, ‘a record of the exact words revealed by God by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.’ The host of TheQuran.com adds that Muslims are taught that every detail presented in the Quran is without error…

“[Fadi] discusses the serious teachings of Islam like jihad and relationships with non-Muslims. ‘In one part it will say, “Christians are your closest friends,” yet in another chapter it says, “Christians and Jews are infidels and your enemies, enemies of God and you must kill them,”’ Fadi pointed out… ‘Radical Muslims, for instance, will tell you that the commands to kill are active and valid right now… I personally want to say that the radicals are truly following the teaching of the Quran. They truly understand what the Quran is teaching,’ Fadi added…

“Fadi says Sura Nine is a key element of understanding Quranic doctrine and teaching. That emphasizes the Islamic reality that Quranic teaching should be taken literally. ‘Certainly if we study the history of Islam, we’ll see that they’ve followed it to the letter. That’s why we have invasions by Muslims to other countries. They have occupied Northern Africa, Southern Spain, went all the way to the borders of India, basically because they were following this mandate,’ Fadi further explained.”

A Christian could not possibly accept the claim that the writings of the Koran were revealed, word for word, to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. The Koran does contradict the Bible, which is, in truth, God’s HOLY BOOK and His divine revelation to man. Therefore, the Koran cannot also be God’s “holy” book, and neither is any other book (for instance, the book of Mormon), which contradicts the Bible in any way.

Protestants to Re-Adopt Catholic Traditions?

On April 3, 2011, CNN published an article by a leading Protestant Pastor in Washington D.C., stating as follows:

“… many Protestant churches have a very short-term memory. For them, church history only goes back to the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther. While we may have our theological differences, we share a long history, and I believe there are things that Protestant and Catholic churches can learn from each other in ways that don’t compromise their core beliefs.

“I for one am thankful for the Lenten tradition that has been cultivated, celebrated and cherished within the Catholic church. I think more Protestant churches will re-adopt some of those traditions that are part of our common church history from before the Protestant Reformation.”

This pastor recognizes what many Protestants today would like to forget—that the Protestant churches are daughters of the mother church of Rome. Even though they may have rejected some concepts of the Catholic Church, they have maintained their core teachings, which are, sadly, not found in the Bible. For instance, Sunday, Lent, Easter or Christmas are merely human traditions, adopted from paganism, which were enjoined by the Catholic Church; while at the same time, God’s weekly Sabbath or His annual Holy Days were rejected and at one time expressly forbidden by the Catholic Church to be kept. The Bible clearly shows that in the not-too-distant future, the Catholic Church and most Protestant churches will merge into one big “Christian” Church.

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Did animal sacrifices provide for forgiveness of sin?

We read in the New Testament that animal sacrifices did not forgive sin, nor did they clean or purify the ancient Israelites from an evil conscience. That was never the purpose of the animal sacrifices. Forgiveness of sin and the opportunity to inherit eternal life was only made possible through the supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 3:14-17).

Hebrews 10:1-4 makes it very clear that animal sacrifices were just reminders of sins, but that they could not take away or forgive sin. They were foreshadowing the death of Christ. We read:

“For the [sacrificial] law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

Hebrews 9:9-10 confirms that the sacrificial system was only of a temporary nature, to be superseded by the death of Jesus Christ:

“It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices were offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.”

Paul elaborates in the book of Galatians that the sacrificial law was added because of transgression (sin is the transgression of the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments, compare 1 John 3:4, Authorized Version), but only until the Seed—Jesus Christ—would come. We read in Galatians 3:19, 24-25:

“What purpose then does the [sacrificial] law serve? It was added because of transgression [of the spiritual law], till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a meditator [Note that the Ten Commandments were NOT appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator, but they were spoken directly by God Himself]… Therefore the [sacrificial] law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith [but it is an obedient faith, compare Romans 1:5; 16:26]. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [the sacrificial law].”

Matthew Henry’s Whole Commentary, in his explanations of Leviticus 4:31, points at the temporary meaning and duration of animal sacrifices, and the all-important Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, when stating:

“From all these laws concerning the sin-offerings we may learn, 1. To hate sin, and to watch against it. That is certainly a very bad thing to make atonement for which so many innocent and useful creatures must be slain and mangled thus. 2. To value Christ, the great and true sin-offering, whose blood cleanses from all sin, which it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away. Now, if any man sin, Christ is the propitiation (1 Jn. 2:1, 2), not for Jews only, but [also] for Gentiles.”

Matthew Henry’s Whole Commentary, in reference to Leviticus 6:7, points out how the animal sacrifices, as a tutor, foreshadowed the all-encompassing Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He also shows that the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments and the statutes and judgments, explaining and magnifying the Ten Commandments, were not abolished when the animal sacrifices were superseded by THE Sacrifice of Jesus:

“This trespass-offering could not, of itself, make satisfaction for sin, nor reconciliation between God and the sinner, but as it signified the atonement that was to be made by our Lord Jesus, when he should make his soul an offering of sin, a trespass-offering; it is the same word that is here used, Isa. 53:10. The trespasses here mentioned are trespasses still against the law [of God]… and though now we may have them pardoned without a trespass-offering, yet not without true repentance, [obedience], reformation [that is, a lasting change of our thinking and action], and a humble [obedient] faith in the righteousness of Christ [which we must obtain]: and, if any make the more bold with these sins because they are not now put to the expense of a trespass-offering for them, they turn the grace of God into wantonness, and so bring upon themselves a swift destruction. The Lord is the avenger of all such, 1 Th. 4:6.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds the following, regarding Leviticus 6:7:

“And the priest shall make an atonement for him [the sinner] before the Lord,…. By offering the ram he brought, by which a typical, but not real atonement was made; for the blood of bulls and goats, of sheep and rams, could not take away sin; but as they were types of Christ, and led to him, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”

For a thorough discussion of the sacrificial law, as referred to in the book of Galatians, please read our free booklet, “Paul’s Letter to the Galatians—How to Understand It.”

In light of these clear teachings of the New Testament, how are we to explain passages in the Old Testament, seemingly saying that people who were offering animal sacrifices could thereby obtain forgiveness for their sins? For instance, we read in Leviticus 4:20 that upon the sacrifice of a young bull, the priest was to make atonement for the unintentional sin of the congregation, “and it shall be forgiven them.” Also, verse 26 says that upon the sacrifice of a young male goat, the ruler’s unintentional sin “shall be forgiven him.” Also, in regard to an unintentional sin of a common person, we read that upon the sacrifice of a female kid of the goats, “the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him” (verses 31, 35).

We need to emphasize that the Bible does not contradict itself (compare John 10:35). We also must understand the Old Testament Scriptures in the light of the New Testament, and not vice versa. As the New Testament clearly teaches that spiritual forgiveness of sin could NOT be obtained through animal sacrifices, what then is the meaning of the above-quoted passages in Leviticus?

The following statements from selected commentaries shed more light on the issue.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states: “…the meaning [of forgiveness through animal sacrifices] is, he shall not be punished for it.”

The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary concurs, saying this about Leviticus 4:35:

“None of these sacrifices possessed any intrinsic value sufficient to free the conscience of the sinner from the pollution of guilt, or to obtain his pardon from God; but they gave a formal deliverance from a secular penalty (Heb 9:13, 14); and they were figurative representations of the full and perfect sin offering which was to be made by Christ.”

The (above-mentioned) passage in Hebrews 9:13-14 shows indeed what kind of “forgiveness” could be obtained through animal sacrifices. It reads: “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies [sets aside or apart; that is, allowing a relationship between God and man] for the PURIFYING OF THE FLESH, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Animal sacrifices provided a means of permitting the ancient Israelite who had sinned unintentionally, to remain in the community of the nation, under God’s rule, and to be spared from physical punishment. In case of an unintentional sin by the entire congregation, animal sacrifices prevented that God would turn His back on them and forsake them. They did not provide spiritual forgiveness, and later, Israel misused and abused animal sacrifices in a terrible way, so that God had to remind them that He did not desire animal sacrifices, but an upright and humble heart.

Animal sacrifices were a means of maintaining a relationship between God and man, by “forgiving” the physical transgression and allowing the transgressor to remain within the community of Israel. They were never meant to provide spiritual “forgiveness” of sin. They never abolished or superseded the spiritual penalty for sin, which is eternal death (Romans 6:23), nor did they make possible the means of inheriting eternal life. Only the Sacrifice of Christ can bring about such spiritual forgiveness and allow us to continue on our righteous path (1 John 1:8-9; Romans 8:3-4), to ultimately being given eternal life at the time of Christ’s return.

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, “Could Jesus Return Tonight?” A strong minority of Americans believes that we are living in the End Times, while 52 percent disagree. Some believe and teach that Jesus could come back tonight, while others say that He won’t return at all. What does the Bible tell us?

A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Das Opfer Jesu Christi” (“The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ”).

Our new German booklet, “Jesus Christus—Ein Grosses Geheimnis” (“Jesus Christ—A Great Mystery”), was posted on the Web.


The following sets forth a selection of recipes for the Days of Unleavened Bread:

1-1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1-1/2 c. whole wheat or rye flour
1/4 c. flaxseed meal (optional)
3 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. oil
Mix oil and eggs together then add to flour and salt. Add enough water to make it easy to pour.
Pour into well-greased large cookie sheet with edges. Bake in preheated 450 F oven for 15 to 20 min
or until slightly golden brown. 
Cut into rectangles when cooled. Good for sandwiches and toast because it is somewhat soft.

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter/oil
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 small bag almonds, sliced
Mix sugar, eggs and 1 cup flour and butter. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients.  Pour (mash) into 2 bread pans (greased and floured).  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Reminds one of a solid brick. Can be cut and toasted.

2 1/8 cups flour
1 1/4 cups ground almonds
1 egg
3/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
3 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for rolling Kipferls in.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt and the flour.  Cut in the butter, and mix in with your hands. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the egg, the granulated sugar, and the ground almonds to the flour mixture.  Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Remove dough from refrigerator, pinch off about an inch and form into a crescent shape.  Place the kipferl on a baking tray, leave them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. When done (slightly brown), remove carefully from the tray.  While still warm, roll the kipferl in the confectioners’ sugar.
The vanilla kipferls originated in Austria, and they are also very popular in Switzerland and Germany.  The kipferl becomes even yummier after 2 to 3 days….but only for those who can resist long enough. If desired, the two ends of the kipferl can be dipped in warm chocolate and then left to cool.  Makes 5 dozen (30 servings).

½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1½ cups flour
Mix and pat in square pan.

2 eggs, beaten
1cup brown sugar
3 tbs cocoa
¼ cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
Spread over base and bake 15-30 minutes at 350.  Ice if desired 


2 cups flour
½ cup butter
½ cup soft nippy cheese
½ tsp. salt
Mix until crumbly.
Take more than half and pat into 8×8 greased pan.
Spread with orange marmalade and cover with remaining cheese mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

(cheese cake)

1¼ cup cornflake crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Combine cornflakes, sugar, and butter.  Pat crumb mixture into 9×13 pan.
Bake 375 F for 8 minutes.  COOL

1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. pkgs. Cream cheese
Mix well.

4 cups of whipped cream
Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Let set in fridge or freezer till firms from the cold.
Spread on top 1 or 2 tins of canned pie filling, any kind you like.    


1 can ( 12 oz.) evaporated low-fat 2% milk
3 large eggs- beaten
2 tbs flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups ( 8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped frozen broccoli – thawed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 Grease and lightly flour 12 ( 2 1/2 inch ) muffin cups
 Wisk together evaporated milk, eggs, flour, salt and pepper in medium bowl
 Stir in cheese, broccoli, and red pepper
 Spoon mixture info muffin cups filling almost to rim
 Bake 23-28 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes.  Run spatula around the inside edges to remove quiches.

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles large crumbs (doesn’t have to be fine). Stir in drained cherries and white chocolate chips. Stir in almond extract. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 50.  To store, layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

POTATO CHIP COOKIES (tastes like pecan sandies)

Blend together until smooth:
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

Mix in:
1-1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. finely crushed potato chips

Drop by spoonful onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake at 350 F. for 12-15 min.

CREPES (dessert or main course)

Put the following ingredients in a blender and mix until well blended.
2/3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 c. milk

For each crepe, pour 1/4 c. batter into hot, lightly greased and pre-heated 8-inch skillet or crepe pan, tilting the pan to cover the bottom. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned on both sides, turning once when the crepe begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Mix together:
Two 8-ounce pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla or lemon juice and 1 t. grated lemon rind

Spread cream cheese down the center of each crepe, then roll up like a burrito. Serve warm or cold with fruit compote topping. Can also fill with a savory meat mixture (such as creamy chicken and broccoli or creamy beef and mushrooms to serve warm as a main course. Instead of vanilla or lemon flavoring, use herbs

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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

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