A Fine Balance
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Before his conversion, the apostle Paul made havoc of the early church by his unbridled zeal to try and stamp it out (Acts 8:1-3). He was a deeply religious man whose zeal turned to fanaticism in a quest to eliminate what he thought was a false belief system. He was zealous for the traditions of his fathers (Galatians 1:14), but in his misplaced zeal, he actually persecuted the true church of God (Philippians 3:6).
In the third chapter of the book of Revelation, the church of Laodicea was told that it was “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked” (verse 17). It was bereft of vital qualities that were needed, and it was lukewarm.
Have we fallen at one time or another into either, or both of these traps? Perhaps when we were called, we had so much enthusiasm and somewhat misguided zeal that we tried to convert family, friends and anyone else we could get to listen to our story. And we became upset, at times, when they did not want to accept our “convincing” arguments. But, perhaps after many years in the church, we became lukewarm, having heard it all before and taking our calling much less seriously than we had done when we first came into a knowledge of the truth.
Taking the comparisons a little bit further, we may have had our nose in the Bible at every available opportunity, forsaking everything else and neglecting our responsibilities for our mate and children, but now we may rarely look at the Word of God from one Sabbath to another. Does any of this strike a chord with anyone?
One writer commented that “If you are told someone is ‘a bit zealous,’ it does not convey a totally positive image. Words like enthusiastic, keen, hot headed, lacking wisdom, scary, etc. tend to come to mind!”
We have to avoid being a fanatic because this can send out the wrong signal when we are told to be lights to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). On the other hand, we have to have Godly zeal and enthusiasm for the Way that we have been called to. I remember clearly a minister saying to me some decades ago that “we have to be sold on this Way of life.” That must be reflected in the way that we conduct ourselves at all times.
It’s a fine balance. Do we consistently achieve that in our lives?
In this issue, we first focus on the USA and Canada, followed by the Middle East, with special emphasis on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Syria. We continue reporting on Denmark’s controversial decision to reintroduce border controls, which the EU considers as being in violation of EU law, and show from an article in the Wall Street Journal that Germany is THE leader in Europe. At the same time, the article points out that Europe is expecting much more from Germany, including in regard to military action. We also speak of Greece’s loss of much of its sovereignty.
We also focus on the developments regarding the questionable allegations regarding Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the abominable and shameful way in which our legal system has been compromised, pointing out at the same time that none of this excuses his infidelity and adulterous conduct.
We conclude with a report on the death of Otto von Habsburg and a ridiculous piece by CNN, which asks the question as to what is wrong with eating dog meat. We provide the answer from the Bible.
This Week in the News
Down on the Fourth of July: the United States of Gloom
The Telegraph wrote on July 4:
“Across America today, people will gather for barbecues in their backyards, parades through their towns and firework displays lighting up the night sky. They’ll be celebrating Independence Day – the birthday of the United States and the 235th anniversary of shaking off the oppressive yoke of British rule. On this day in 1776 a group of 13 colonies broke away to found a new nation free to govern itself as it saw fit, pledging that each citizen would have the [sic] unalienable right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. A nation, as Americans are apt to declare without equivocation, which became the greatest on the face of the earth.
“That’s the good news. On the flip side, however, a country whose hallmark has always been a sense of irrepressible optimism is in the grip of unprecedented uncertainty and self-doubt. With the United States mired in three foreign wars, beaten down by an economy that shows few signs of emerging from deep recession and deeply disillusioned with President Barack Obama, his Republican challengers and Congress, the mood is dark. The last comparable Fourth of July was probably in 1980, when there was a recession, skyrocketing petrol prices and an Iranian hostage crisis, with 53 Americans being held in Tehran.
“Frank Luntz, perhaps America’s pre-eminent pollster, argues that his countrymen are much more downbeat now than in 1980… Remarkably, many Americans think things will only get worse and the good times will never return… But Americans do not just blame Obama; and the national malaise is to do with far more than one president. ‘Every institution in America has gone through a collapse,’ says Luntz. ‘The Church is not what it was, thanks to all those religious scandals, the media is much less trusted today than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Big business does not have credibility.”
CNN Money wrote on July 6:
“Almost no one is satisfied with the current state of the U.S. economy. But economists say the outlook is pretty bleak too. Sluggish economic growth will continue into 2012, if not beyond, with only modest hiring and high unemployment… Expectations started off strong in 2011… but momentum waned in the spring after the Japanese earthquake shook the world economy and oil prices rose precipitously. Since then, [some economists raise] the risk of a new recession…”
The pessimistic mood in the USA is in fact quite realistic. The Holy Scriptures have prophesied that in these end times, the great nation of America—descendant of biblical Manasseh—will fall.
How Not to Improve Our Economy
The Weekly Standard wrote on July 3:
“When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the ‘Seventh Quarterly Report’ on the economic impact of the ‘stimulus,’ released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic ‘stimulus’ did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt. The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it… [shows that] the ‘stimulus’ has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion.
“That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job. In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the ‘stimulus,’ and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead. Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the ‘stimulus’ had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the ‘stimulus’ than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the ‘stimulus’ has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.
“… it’s quite possible that by borrowing an amount greater than the regular defense budget or the annual cost of Medicare, and then spending it mostly on Democratic constituencies rather than in a manner genuinely designed to stimulate the economy, Obama’s ‘stimulus’ has actually undermined the economy’s recovery — while leaving us (thus far) $666 billion deeper in debt. The actual employment numbers from the administration’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent when the ‘stimulus’ was being debated. It has since risen to 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, the national debt at the end of 2008, when Obama was poised to take office, was $9.986 trillion. It’s now $14.467 trillion—and counting.”
“Obama Lets China Guzzle Canada’s Oil”
Newsmax reported on July 2:
“The Obama administration is foot-dragging on approving a pipeline to deliver abundant Canadian oil to the United States at the same time the Chinese are investing in a pipeline that could send that oil to China… The Canadian province of Alberta has the world’s third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and more than Russia or Iran. Daily production from oil sands is expected to rise from 1.5 million barrels today to 3.7 million in 2025.
“Delivering the oil will mean building two pipelines, one south to the refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast and the other west toward the Pacific, where it can be exported to China. If the United States doesn’t approve its pipeline promptly due to environmental concerns, ‘Canada might increasingly look to China, thinking America doesn’t want a big stake in what environmentalists call “dirty oil,” which they say increases greenhouse gas emissions,’ according to a report from The Associated Press.
“Sinopec, a Chinese-controlled company, has invested $5.5 billion in the planned pipeline to the Pacific coast. Sinopec has also paid $4.6 billion for a stake in Syncrude, Canada’s largest oil-sands project… Environmentalist groups have urged Obama to reject the pipeline project. They assert that extracting oil from oil sands requires huge amounts of energy and water, increases emissions and threatens rivers and forests. But Michael A. Levi, senior fellow for energy and the environment at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, maintains that environmentalists are exaggerating the dangers of oil sand extraction.”
Canada is a descendant of the biblical Ephraim—one of the two sons of Joseph. It was prophesied that Ephraim would become a company or commonwealth of nations. Great Britain, as well as English-speaking Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other English-speaking nations, are descendants of Ephraim. The next article shows the still existing relationship between the descendants of Ephraim—especially of English-speaking Canada and England.
Prince William and Kate Visit Canada
The Associated Press reported on July 4:
“Prince William was preparing to put his military helicopter training to the test Monday with his first attempt at a water landing before crowds in Canada, where he and his wife, Kate, have been on their first official overseas trip since their wedding… Canada is the only country that trains its Sea King helicopter pilots to do a controlled landing on water should there be an emergency. The Sea King, which William flies back in the U.K, has the ability to land on water because of its amphibious hull…
“The Quebec visit hit a nerve among French-speaking separatists. Prince William and Kate had a private lunch at the Citadelle, a fortified residence where the British flag was raised at the end of the pivotal 1759 Battle of Quebec, when British forces defeated the French to seal the conquest of New France… The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are officially known, encountered small but vocal protests for the second straight day during their visit to predominantly French-speaking Quebec, following protests in Montreal…
“The jeers contrasted with the start of the royal couple’s Canadian trip in the largely English-speaking capital, Ottawa, where they were cheered by tens of thousands of people on Friday’s Canada Day holiday. Quebec separatists are angry that Canada still has ties to the monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is still the country’s head of state… Support for the separatists among Quebeckers has been on the decline in recent years as the 80-percent French-speaking province has enjoyed plenty of autonomy even without quitting Canada.”
Note that Queen Elizabeth II is still the head of Canada.
Iran Funnels New Weapons to Iraq and Afghanistan
The Wall Street Journal wrote on July 2:
“Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has transferred lethal new munitions to its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months… In June, 15 U.S. servicemen died in Iraq, the highest monthly casualty figure there in more than two years. The U.S. has attributed all the attacks to Shiite militias it says are trained by the Revolutionary Guards, rather than al Qaeda or other Sunni groups that were the most lethal forces inside Iraq a few years ago.
“In Afghanistan, the Pentagon has in recent months traced to Iran the Taliban’s acquisition of rockets that give its fighters roughly double the range to attack [the] North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. targets. U.S. officials said the rockets’ markings, and the location of their discovery, give them a ‘high degree’ of confidence that they came from the Revolutionary Guard’s overseas unit, the Qods Force.
“U.S. defense officials are also increasingly concerned that Iran’s stepped-up military activities in the Persian Gulf could inadvertently trigger a clash. A number of near misses involving Iranian and allied ships and planes in those waters in recent months have caused Navy officials to call for improved communication in the Gulf… U.S. and European officials also say Iran has grown increasingly aggressive in trying to influence the political rebellions across the Middle East and North Africa. Tehran is alleged to have dispatched military advisers to Syria to help President Bashar al-Assad put down a popular uprising.”
Iran would like to emerge as the new leader of major countries in the Middle East, but as the next article shows, this appears presently to be unlikely to happen.
The New “Cold War” Between Iran and Saudi-Arabia
Deutsche Welle wrote on July 2:
“Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief, has warned that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia would too. Analysts say the two are already engaged in a ‘cold war’ in various parts of the world… Iran and Saudi Arabia are historical rivals who both see themselves as the most legitimate natural leaders of the Muslim world. Iran is a majority Shia state that subscribes to an [sic] politicized Islamist ideology, while Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Sunni monarchy…
“Saudi Arabia fears that Iran will take advantage of the democracy movements that have toppled a series of dictatorships in the region to strengthen its influence in those countries. Iran has positioned itself as an ally to these protest movements, and there are concerns within the Saudi government that the country’s Shia minority would even answer a call to arms from Iran… As far as some analysts are concerned, the current situation amounts to a serious conflict.
“‘Saudi Arabia and Iran are now engaged in a regional cold war that is spreading out into the rest of the world,’ said Theodore Karasik, director of research and development at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA). ‘It’s a cold war where Saudi Arabia and Iran are using proxies to fight against each other and creating a sectarian Sunni–Shia divide.’
“The flashpoints have already been identified. Saudi Arabia recently invited Morocco and Jordan, both Sunni monarchies, to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group made up of Sunni autocratic states. This was seen as an attempt to create a defensive alliance against Iran. By the same token, Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain earlier this year to help quell protests led by Shia Muslims.
“But this proxy conflict extends to more unexpected places. Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, said Karasik. They are rivals in West Africa, especially in Nigeria, and in Latin America the two nations compete when it comes to building mosques and distributing sectarian literature…
“For analyst Steinberg, the significance of Faisal’s speech is not so much the threat of a nuclear arms race. ‘I think the point is less that Saudi Arabia is really planning to make nuclear weapons – it’s about impressing on the US how urgent it is to react to Iran’s nuclear program,’ he said.”
Because of the hostilities between Sunnites and Shiites, it appears presently unlikely that Sunnite countries will accept the Shia state Iran as their leader. On the other hand, stranger things have happened, and current Shia minorities might emerge in some countries as majority powers. In addition, as we dicussed in our recent Q&A on Iran, at least some modern Iranians will participate, perhaps as mercenaries, in military actions by some Middle Eastern countries in collaboration with the modern Babylonian system in Europe. These actions and attacks will be directed against the state of Israel. Subsequently, Iran, which is presently supported by Russia, will again become a strong ally of Russia and fight together with Russia against modern Babylon.
Waiting for the “Imam Al-Mehdi”
On July 2, emirates247.com stated the following:
“A Saudi man mounted a prayers platform at the Grand Mosque in Islam’s holiest shrine in the Gulf kingdom and told thousands of worshippers that he was a prophet and their saviour before he was seized by police…
“It was the latest in a series of incidents involving persons claiming to be Al-Mehdi Al-Montathar (the Chosen Imam Al-Mehdi) at Islamic holy sites in Makkah over the past few months. All of them had been arrested and medically examined. Muslims believe Imam Al-Mehdi, dubbed ‘the ultimate saviour of mankind’ will eventually reappear as a great reformer who will destroy the beliefs of injustice and ignorance and fill this earth with fairness after it has been filled with injustice and oppression.”
In future Q&As, we will be addressing the role of Saudi Arabia in prophecy and the Muslim expectation of a coming Savior or “Mahdi.”
Gadhafi Threatens to Attack Europe “Like Locusts, Like Bees”
The Associated Press reported on July 1:
“A defiant Moammar Gadhafi threatened Friday to carry out attacks in Europe against ‘homes, offices, families,’ unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya. The Libyan leader… delivered the warning in a telephone message played to thousands of supporters gathered in the main square of the capital Tripoli. It was one of the largest pro-government rallies in recent months, signaling that Gadhafi can still muster significant support…
“‘We can decide to treat you in a similar way,’ he said of the Europeans. ‘If we decide to, we are able to move to Europe like locusts, like bees’…
“In the past, Gadhafi supported various militant groups, including the IRA and several Palestinian factions, while Libyan agents were blamed for attacks in Europe, including a Berlin disco bombing in 1986 and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people, mostly Americans. Libya later acknowledged responsibility for Lockerbie…
“A U.S. State Department spokesman… said the U.S. would take Gadhafi’s threat of attacks seriously, as his regime carried out such actions in the past. Toner said he did not know if there was intelligence to indicate Gadhafi’s regime would be able to carry out such attacks.”
Gadhafi’s choice of words for military action and weaponry, such as “locusts” and “bees,” is quite interesting; compare the biblical language for “locusts” in Revelation 9:3, 7; Isaiah 33:3-4; and for “bees” in Deuteronomy 1:41-44; Psalm 118:10-14; and Isaiah 7:18-20.
African Union Rejects Arrest Warrant Against Gadhafi
Sky News wrote on July 2:
“The African Union has called on member states to disregard the arrest warrant issued against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi by the International Criminal Court. The AU says the ICC’s move ‘seriously complicates efforts to find a solution to Libya’s crisis.’[ The African body recommended member nations do not honour the warrant if Col Gaddafi visits their country. If members apply the AU’s decision, it will weaken the warrant as it will mean the dictator will be able to travel freely on the continent.”
NATO Will Not (Cannot) Intervene in Syria…
The EUObserver wrote on June 30:
“Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said there will be no military intervention in Syria despite similar levels of government-sponsored violence as in Libya… Perception that Nato is in the business of regime change in Libya rather than protecting civilians, as mandated by UNSC 1973, is the main reason for opposition to any UN move on Syria in key swing UNSC voters – Brazil, India and South America.”
NATO will not intervene in Syria, because it cannot obtain the necessary votes within the UN Security Council (presently led for another three weeks by German Defense Minister Guido Westerwelle). But the time will come when another emerging mighty power will act, with or without NATO or UN approval.
Denmark in Violation of EU Law?
The Local wrote on July 1:
“German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has sharply criticised Denmark’s decision to reintroduce border controls and demanded EU officials take action against the Scandinavian country. ‘I expect the European Commission as guardian of (EU) treaties to probe the compatibility of the Danish decision with European law,’ she [said]…
“Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said Copenhagen’s move to reimpose customs checks on border crossings with Germany and Sweden was a ‘bad day for Europe’ and in clear violation of its EU treaty obligations.
“Denmark’s minority government, prodded by the far-right populist DVP party, on Friday announced it would start to make random checks starting next week ostensibly to stem the flow of criminals from eastern Europe. But the EU and the country’s neighbours have argued they will impinge on the freedom of movement within the visa-free Schengen area.”
It is foreseeable that Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland will not become a part of the eurozone and the final unification of core European nations, and neither will Great Britain.
Germany on Top of the World
The Wall Street Journal wrote on June 27:
“Germany is sitting on top of the world… The country has come roaring out of the global financial crisis, boasting one of the strongest economies in the West and seemingly poised for years of rising exports ahead. What’s more, the better it does, the more the world expects it to do. Europe and the U.S. want Germany to take charge on cleaning up Europe’s debt crisis and do more for big causes—like supporting the Arab revolutions and the sputtering global economic recovery…
“Unlike many other Western countries, Germany has spent years living within its means and building up a deep trade surplus. Now it’s reluctant to bail out nations that weren’t as prudent. And it doesn’t want to get involved in foreign entanglements like Libya. All of which leads to a question with big implications for the global economy and political order: What is Germany’s place in the world?…
“NATO allies are worried by the revival of a pacifist stance under German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. German pacifism after World War II was long tolerated, even welcomed, in a Europe that had suffered from German militarism. But since the 1990s, Germany was supposed to become a ‘normal’ country again, one that took part in multilateral interventions in war-torn places such as Kosovo and Afghanistan.
“When the UN Security Council voted for military intervention in Libya, Germany abstained, breaking with its NATO allies. Germany even withdrew its ships from NATO naval patrols in the Mediterranean… Many German lawmakers are uncomfortable with Mr. Westerwelle’s policy, and Ms. Merkel has made efforts to repair relations within NATO. But opinion polls showed ordinary Germans want just as little to do with the Libya conflict as their foreign minister.”
But things will gradually change, as the Bible clearly shows. We can already see signs right now. Der Spiegel reported on July 2, that this summer Germany will sell 200 military “Leopard” battle tanks to Saudi Arabia for billions of euros. The magazine also stressed that with 11 % of global weapon trade, Germany is the world’s third-biggest weapons exporter, following America (30%) and Russia (23%); and that about 80,000 people work for the German weapon industry.
At the same time, the Local and Der Tagesspiegel argued on July 5 that Germany was “once a strong yet evil country. Then it was weak but good. Today it’s both strong and good.” They also claimed that “The United States has become weaker, but is still fairly ruthless. Germany is stronger, but still extremely prone to high-minded moralizing – even while considering the sale of hundreds of tanks to Saudi Arabia. Can this new balance hold?”
Prophecy shows that it won’t.
Note, in this context, The Local’s report from July 6:
“Germany, France and Poland have joined forces to form a joint European combat group that will be ready to deploy in crisis zones from 2013. The three European Union military powers signed an agreement in Brussels to put together a unit of 1,700 soldiers that will take part in the rotation of the EU’s rapid reaction force, known as battlegroups. The three nations, bound by a long history of alliances, rivalry and wars, have discussed the possibility of creating the so-called Weimar Combat Group since 2006… The technical agreement between the high-ranking military officers from Germany, France and Poland comes four days after Poland took over the EU’s rotating presidency… Paris, Berlin and Warsaw created the Weimar Triangle in 1992 to encourage cooperation between the three nations after the Cold War.”
Greece Faces ‘Massive’ Loss of Sovereignty
The EUObserver wrote on July 4:
“Eurozone finance ministers over the weekend staved off looming bankruptcy in Greece by agreeing to release the next tranche of aid to the country, but Athens will pay with a massive loss of its sovereignty, the eurozone chief has said. In return for the €12 billion – the fifth payment from the €110 billion EU-IMF loan agreed last year – Greece will have to push through a swathe of privatisations reminiscent of the selling of East German firms in the 1990s after the fall of Communism.
“‘The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited,’ Jean-Claude Juncker told Germany’s Focus Magazin…”
In the future, we will observe the loss of sovereignty of other European countries as well.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Victim of Conspiracy?
On July 2, Reuters reported the following:
“Scrutiny of the accuser in the sexual assault case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn intensified on Saturday after more revelations about her conduct following the purported May 14 attack. A judge released Strauss-Kahn from house arrest and lifted strict bail conditions on Friday after prosecutors discovered a pattern of lying in the accuser’s background, although serious charges including sexual assault and attempted rape remain in place against the man once seen a top French presidential contender…
“In a [recorded] phone conversation with her boyfriend, who was held in an Arizona jail on suspicion of possessing 400 pounds (180 kg) of marijuana, she said there was money to be made from Strauss-Kahn… On Friday, prosecutors said the accuser lied about being gang-raped in Guinea as part of an application for U.S. asylum and changed details of her story about what she did after the incident in Straus-Kahn’s luxury hotel suite.
“As the woman’s stature falls, that of Strauss-Kahn has rebounded. Some in France are talking about a political comeback…Revelations about the accuser have left prosecutors struggling to make a case with a central witness whose credibility would be targeted by Strauss-Kahn’s defense lawyers. Investigators once trumpeted the woman as a devout Muslim…”
The New York Post wrote on July 2:
“Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser wasn’t just a girl working at a hotel — she was a working girl. The Sofitel housekeeper who claims the former IMF boss sexually assaulted her in his room was doing double duty as a prostitute, collecting cash on the side from male guests… The woman was allegedly purposely assigned to the Midtown hotel by her union because it knew she would bring in big bucks…
“Sources also told The Post Strauss-Kahn’s probers uncovered evidence that she was part of a pyramid scheme that targeted immigrants from her native Guinea… The stunning new info surfaced yesterday as the accuser was unmasked as a pathological liar and scam artist by prosecutors whose rape case has unraveled… To get tax benefits, she also claimed she had a second child. She only has one, a 15-year-old daughter.”
The abominable way in which Dominique Strauss-Kahn was treated, so far, by the American legal system and the American press is of course no justification or excuse for his infidelity. If he had not engaged in admitted adulterous conduct, no allegations of sexual assault could have been brought. Sadly, far too many would excuse his adulterous conduct, as long as it was “consensual.” Please read in this context our next article.
On the other hand, our legal system does not punish adultery, but it does punish sexual assault and attempted rape. However, insofar as those criminal allegations are concerned, our system demands that a person is viewed to be innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law, during a fair trial. This important principle has been terribly violated by our entire legal system and the shameless reporting by our media.
French “Tolerance” and “Admiration” for Infidelity
The Washington Post wrote on July 2:
“Even if the sexual assault case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is faltering, its repercussions in France are not… Several people said Saturday that it was the rape allegations, not the infidelity, that started to shift their opinions…
“Journalists and politicians in France had long considered Strauss-Kahn a womanizer. But few here spoke of it publicly, even after he admitted to a 2008 affair with a Hungarian economist who was a subordinate at the International Monetary Fund. When they did, it tended to be with admiration or amusement, not concern. Even Strauss-Kahn’s wife, former broadcast journalist Anne Sinclair, said in 2006 that ‘for a political man, it is important to seduce.’
“French journalists obeyed a culture of discretion so strong and venerable that former president Francois Mitterrand was able to have a long-standing mistress and a child without journalists writing about it until shortly before he retired.
“That silence, many here say, was part of what enabled the encounter in room 2806 of the Manhattan Sofitel. Neither side disputes that a sexual encounter took place; at issue is whether it was consensual and whether it was violent…”
This is indeed a very sad testimony of a country which claims to be “Christian.”
“Otto von Habsburg, Heir to Austria’s Last Emperor, Dies at 98”
The Local wrote on July 4:
“Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of Austria’s last emperor who became a champion of Europe’s enlargement as a Bavarian politician, died Monday in Germany at the age of 98. The man who was once first in line to the throne of the former Austro-Hungarian empire which covered most of central Europe, died at his home in Pöcking on Lake Starnberg in Bavaria…
“The son of emperor Karl I, who reigned for only two years before the empire disintegrated, Habsburg was born on November 20, 1912 in Reichenau an der Rax in eastern Austria… the state abolished his family’s titles and confiscated their property in 1919… [He served as an] elected member of the European parliament from 1979 to 1999 for Bavaria’s conservative CSU party. He held Austrian, German and Hungarian citizenship. An ardent anti-Communist, Habsburg organised in August 1989 the now-famous ‘Pan-European picnic’ in Sopron, near Hungary’s border with Austria, during which some 700 East Germans were able to escape to the West, a few months before the Berlin Wall fell on November 9.
“He always campaigned for a unified Europe based on Christian values and for a greater integration of eastern countries into Europe. Forced into exile with his family after the empire fell in 1918, Habsburg spent time in Switzerland, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Spain, Belgium, France and the United States, and studied political and social sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, graduating with a doctorate in 1935. In the 1930s, he openly opposed the Nazi party, joining the Austrian resistance after the 1938 Anschluß and helping thousands of Jews flee the country at the beginning of World War II…
“He said he became ‘a European patriot in the very depths of his soul’ after Nazi Germany occupied Austria. In 1951, Habsburg married the German princess Regina von Saxe-Meiningen und Hildburghausen, with whom he had seven children. He reluctantly renounced all claims to the Austrian throne in 1961, five years before the state repealed so-called anti-Habsburg laws, adopted after World War I, which effectively banned all members of the former imperial family from setting foot in Austria.”
“What’s Wrong with Eating Dog Meat?”
CNN published the following ridiculous article on June 30:
“Dog soup, or Boshintang, is a summer delicacy in South Korea… A minority of people eat it regularly. It’s consumed most frequently in summer but is available year-round. And it’s more popular with men than women and is said to possess qualities that ‘help stamina’… In the country, they raise ‘meat dogs,’ also known as ‘junk dogs’ and ‘lower-grade’ dogs… So, what’s really wrong with eating dog? Just because we don’t do it in the U.S. doesn’t seem to make for a very good argument.”
If one was familiar with and believed the Bible, the answer would be obvious: God did not create dogs for human consumption. The fact that ignorant people don’t abide by God’s health laws and eat whatever they wish, does not mean that God approves of such conduct. For more information, please read our Q&As on the issue of clean and unclean meat. http://www.eternalgod.org/qapdf/1216 and http://www.eternalgod.org/qapdf/3192
Why will modern Turkey be punished so severely, and what will be Israel’s and Judah’s role in respect to Esau?
In the previous Q&A, we saw that the modern Babylonian system under Assyria’s lead will conquer Edom (modern Turkey) and enslave it, after Edom had at first escaped the “king of the North,” while participating in the defeat of the modern houses of Israel (mainly the USA and GB) and Judah (the modern Jews).
We also saw in the last Q&A that God expressly stated that He will bring about Edom’s defeat to punish them for their conduct.
Psalm 137:7 tells us one reason for God’s anger with Edom: “Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, ‘Raze it [Lit., make it bare], raze it, To its very foundation!’”
Joel 3:19 tells us: “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.” Note, in passing, that Egypt’s desolation will end, as Egypt will become a major power in the Millennium, and Esau’s desolation will also end, even though it will not become a major power in the Millennium.
Amos 1:11-12 adds:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; his anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever. But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.’” [As an aside, however, when Edom is punished, God will in turn punish those nations who act indecently and with unrestrained cruelty towards Edom, compare Amos 2:1].
Ezekiel 25:12-13 is even more specific, stating: “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,’ therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword [or, as the margin has it, even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword]…’”
Ezekiel 35:1-15 adds more reasons for God’s anger with modern Edom. In that passage, the term, “you shall know that I am the LORD” is used several times. In prophecy, this expression is a reference to the time when God directly intervenes in human affairs, which He will begin to do about one year prior to Christ’s return. The prophecy in Ezekiel 35 states in detail:
“’Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will… make you most desolate; I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have had an ancient [or everlasting] hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood [better: bloodshed], therefore blood shall pursue you. Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. I will make you perpetually desolate [until circumstances change], and your cities shall be uninhabited [for a while, as major Israelite cities will first be uninhabited for a while]; then you shall know that I am the LORD.
“‘Because you have said, “These TWO NATIONS and these TWO COUNTRIES [referring to the houses of Israel and Judah] shall be mine, and we will possess them,” although the LORD was there, ‘therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘they are desolate; they are given to us to consume’… Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom—all of it. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’”
Edom will become desolate for a while, but not for all eternity. Ezekiel emphasizes that they will realize that God is THE Lord—and many will turn to Him and believe in Him.
In this context, Ezekiel 36:3-5, 10 adds: “… Because they made you [the mountains of Israel, verse 1] desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations… therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD… ‘Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country… I will multiply men upon you [the mountains of Israel], all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt…”
Obadiah sheds further light on the reasons why God will punish modern Edom so severely. In the previous Q&A, we showed that Obadiah’s entire prophecy applies to the time of the end—the Great Tribulation and the Day of the LORD. We read God’s words, beginning with verse 10:
“For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side—In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress (Menge: the Great Tribulation). For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you…”
We have seen that Israel and Judah will have to go into slavery, and that Edom will actively participate in this future war against Israel and Judah which will bring about the complete downfall of those two nations. We also saw that Edom will possess at least parts of Israel’s and Judah’s territories. But what will happen in respect to Esau when the returning Jesus Christ frees Israel and Judah from their slavery and brings them back into the Promised Land? What will Israel and Judah do?
Let us now analyze what is prophesied regarding the role of the modern houses of Israel and Judah, in respect to the future of modern Edom.
We find a few amazing passages shedding some light on those future occurrences.
First, we read in Ezekiel 25:14 that God says:
“‘I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,’ says the Lord GOD.”
Some commentaries say that this prophecy was fulfilled at the time of the Maccabees, but we need to note that this is an end-time prophecy, relating specifically to God’s vengeance, fury and anger. In what way will God act “by the hand of His people”?
Obadiah 17-21 adds:
“‘But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance [margin: salvation], And there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ For the LORD has spoken. The South (Negev) shall possess the mountains of Esau… Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion To judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.”
Even though it says in Obadiah 9 that no survivors shall remain of the house of Edom, we already saw—and will also show below—that some Edomites (for instance, the fatherless and widows) will survive. The reference in Obadiah seems to be to those “mighty men” in the Edomite army who fought against Israel and Judah, and who might be fighting with the Babylonian system against Christ at His return.
In what way will the house of Jacob and of Joseph become a flame, and the house of Esau stubble? Does this mean that when the house of Israel will be freed from slavery, they—mortal human beings–will fight in war against Esau and destroy them completely? This is hardly to be assumed, as by that time, “the kingdom shall be the LORD’S,” and the house of Israel will follow God’s ways and will therefore be unwilling to fight in war anymore (Isaiah 2:1-4). In fact, when at the beginning of the Millennium, Asiatic hordes try to overrun and conquer Israel, it will be God who will be doing the fighting for Israel by sending fire on those hostile armies—Israel will not fight at all (compare Ezekiel 38 and 39).
We read in Isaiah 10:17 that “the Light of Israel will be for a fire, And his Holy One for a flame; It will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day.” It will be Christ Himself and His angels who will punish His enemies through fire, when He returns (compare Malachi 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10). At the same time, God’s followers (“the saints”) who will be resurrected and changed to immortality at the time of Christ’s return, will also participate in the judgment and the execution of unrighteous people, compare Psalm 149:5-9. Today, true Christians are spiritual Israelites, and once they have become immortal God beings, they will of course have every right to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27). Those from the house of Israel and Joseph, who will have become immortal God beings, will be part of the “Light of Israel” and “the flame.”
As mentioned, the passage in Obadiah 9, 17-21 does not convey that the country of Esau will be a wasteland forever and that no one in Esau will survive; otherwise, what would there be for the nations of Israel and Judah to possess, and why would saviors come to Esau to judge them? This conclusion is also confirmed by the following passages.
Amos 9:11-12 states:
“‘On that day [referring to the end time when God begins to actively intervene in human affairs] I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the REMNANT OF EDOM, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ Says the LORD who does this thing.”
There will be still in existence a “remnant” of Edom. Not all Edomites will have died—there will be those who will live in the Millennium, and many of those will become converted.
Also, note Isaiah 11:11-14:
“It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left… And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth… they [especially Ephraim and Judah, verse 13] shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west… they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them…”
As we have seen earlier, God will bring Israel and Judah into the Promised Land and replace those nations (including Edom) who took illegal possession of the territory. No illegal acts on the side of the Israelites and Jews are implied here; they “plunder” or “rob” their enemies by taking back or receiving from them what had been illegally taken away from them in the first place. Regarding the statement that Edom will obey Israel and Judah, please read our Q&A on slavery in the Millennium.
In conclusion, God will punish Edom or modern Turkey severely due to Edom’s hatred and violence towards Israel and Judah. However, many of the surviving Edomites [the remnant of Edom] will convert to God in the Millennium, and their hatred towards their brother Jacob will end at that time.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A new StandingWatch program was posted on our Web site and on YouTube, titled, “Global Economic Governance IS Coming!” Recent developments pertaining to the accusations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn cast great and shameful doubt on the integrity of our American legal system and the American press. But why is the appointment of “convicted European” Christine Lagarde as the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so meaningful? In what way is her goal to create a “global economic governance organization” in line with biblical prophecy? And why will united Europe-and not America or China-become the most powerful economic might in the world?
A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled “Die Tuerkei in der Prophezeiung, Teil 2” [“Turkey in Prophecy, Part 2”].
Please feel free to proceed with making reservations for the Feast of Tabernacles 2011 with the Hilton Garden Inn at 601 James Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449. When you call under 1-805-773-6020, please make sure that you mention that you are attending the Feast convention of the Church of the Eternal God. Further information is available on our Web site (www.eternalgod.org), under “Feasts.”
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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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