Update 502


“The God of the Old Testament” and “To Be First”

On July 30, 2011, Kalon Mitchell and Michael Link will give split sermons, titled, respectively, “The God of the Old Testament” and “To Be First.”

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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Engaged? Really?

by Dave Harris

What about your life–are you absorbed and busy, captivated by your opportunities and enthralled with indomitable fascination?
Or have you just lost interest in most of what is happening? Do you merely endure the things that come your way, day after day?
I think we have all observed people who radiate a sense of being fully engaged in what they do. I am also fairly certain that each one of us have had our moments when that could be said of us.
When reading what is recorded about the life of Jesus Christ, it is an unmistakable fact that He vigorously fulfilled God’s Will for Him: He fasted forty days in preparation for the Work He was given (Matthew 4:2); He prayed fervently for God’s guidance (Luke 6:12-16; Matthew 26:36-46); He was willing to die in order to save others (John 10:15)—in all that Jesus did, He did everything with a zealous commitment to please God!
In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents is given by Jesus. Quite decisively, some of the servants were more productive than others. We find an example of someone who used his talents with great energy and effectiveness—the apostle Paul:
“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).
Jesus Christ stated this concerning all who are His disciples:
“‘…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’” (John 10:10).
We are also told in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”

 Let’s not make the tragic mistake of drifting along without fervently responding to the supreme calling that is Christianity.
Now, what about the life that you now live, are you engaged—really?

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We report on the abominable mass murders in Norway (and the field day that the left liberal press is having in their crusade against “fundamentalist Christianity”); address the never-ending talks of our career politicians regarding raising the “debt ceiling,” in an attempt to score points for themselves, as well as the potentially devastating repercussions for America; speak of Germany’s double-standard and double-talk regarding its position and conduct pertaining to Libya; show how the biblically prophesied emergence of the United States of Europe, under German leadership, is occurring in front of our very eyes; announce Israel’s contemplation to attack Iran by September, which would lead to terrible consequences for the entire Middle East and the USA; and conclude with the horrible revelation that scientists all over the world have been “creating” human animal hybrids.

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Mass Murder in Norway

Reuters reported on July 24:

“The man suspected of Norway’s gun and bomb massacre had belonged to an anti-immigration party and opposed multi-culturalism, Islam and the ‘cultural Marxists’ of the establishment, web postings, acquaintances and officials said Saturday… [He] was accused of gunning down 85 people at a youth camp and killing another seven in a bomb attack on Friday… [He] was a freemason, said a spokesman for the organization. Freemasons meet in secretive fraternal groups in many parts of the world.

“The suspected killer was also a member of the Oslo gun club and was fond of weightlifting… His tastes in music included classical and trance, a hypnotic form of dance music. The profile veered between references to political philosophers and gory popular films, TV shows and video games.”

Some left-liberal papers have also labeled Norway’s mass murderer as a “fundamentalist Christian.” His Satan-inspired actions have nothing to do with true Christianity. How can one harmonize his murders with Christ’s words to Peter: “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52)?

On the other hand, his abominable conduct will unfortunately provoke a reaction from our left-wing liberal media of propagating multi-culturalism, and they will serve as a foundation for further criticism of and attacks on so-called “fundamental” Christianity, without realizing that true “fundamental” Christianity is the acceptance of all biblical teachings and commandments, including the one against killing others… However, notice also the next article.

“Christian” or Not?

WorldNetDaily reported on July 24:

“A review of Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto shows the media’s quick characterization of the Norwegian terrorist as a ‘Christian’ may be as incorrect as it was to call Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh one… Yet, while McVeigh rejected God altogether, Breivik writes in his manifesto that he is not religious, has doubts about God’s existence, does not pray, but does assert the primacy of Europe’s ‘Christian culture’ as well as his own pagan Nordic culture.

“Breivik… hails Charles Darwin, whose evolutionary theories stand in contrast to the claims of the Bible… The terrorist also candidly admits he finds no support within either the Catholic or Protestant churches for his violent ideas.”

“Multi-Culturalism HAS Failed…”

The EUObserver wrote on July 25:

“Europe’s far-right wing parties have condemned Friday’s massacre in Norway with the confessed gunman… having used some of their central tenets – anti-immigration and nationalism – to justify his actions. The 32-year old Norwegian national… wrote a 1,500 page manifesto in which he strongly condemns Norway’s liberal policies and Europe’s multi-culturalism as a whole saying it is leading to the ‘Islamisation of Europe’…

“Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party said the killer was a ‘violent and sick character’ and said his party ‘offers its condolences to all the families of the victims and to the Norwegian people.’ Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant National Front… said her party has ‘nothing to do with the Norwegian slaughter, which is the work of a lone lunatic who must be ruthlessly punished’…

“EU leaders have also spoken out strongly. German chancellor Angela Merkel called it an ‘appalling crime’, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy said it was ‘odious and unacceptable’… However the crimes are bound to unleash some soul-searching generally in the EU where the far-right has been growing, tapping into an anti-foreigner sentiment and fears about jobs as the bloc struggles [to] cope with the economic downturn.

“This has resulted in centre-right leaders such as Sarkozy trying to steal back some political ground by talking up the importance of national identity and taking a stronger stance on immigration.  Last year, Angela Merkel said that multi-culturalism had ‘utterly failed’ while UK prime minister David Cameron also tackled the issue head on in February saying ‘state multiculturalism has failed’.”

This correct assessment is bound to be second-guessed by our left-wing liberal media, in light of the atrocities by a “lunatic.”

Our Left Media–Trying to Throw Out the Babe with the Bathwater

CNN reported on July 24:

“The far right in Europe has enjoyed a renaissance over the past 30 years, driven by resentment of the growing powers of the European Union and by rejection of the ‘multiculturalism’ that has accompanied rapid immigration from the developing world.

“Political parties opposing immigration and integration have done well in elections in recent years — and beyond them, neo-fascist and ‘national socialist’ groups have become well-established across the continent, including in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavia, Hungary and the United Kingdom…

“…As the conservative German newspaper Die Welt put it in May: ‘Neither open borders nor a common currency have led the countries to grow closer with one another. It’s just the opposite. They insist on clinging to their national characteristics.’”

Pure and simple, the Bible does not support multiculturalism, and when Jesus Christ returns to rule this earth, multiculturalism won’t  exist. At the same time, U.S. right wingers, like Glen Beck, do nothing to help the situation, either, as can be seen in the next article.

Glenn Beck’s Comments “a New Low” and “Absolutely Disgusting”

The Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported on July 26:

“Glenn Beck, the American right-wing talk-show host, compared the victims of a shooting at a Norwegian summer camp to Hitler Youth in his radio program on Monday, according to a Daily Telegraph report… Beck described the brutal incident ‘as a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth. I mean who sends their kids to a political camp? Disturbing,’ he added…

“Torbjørn Eriksen, a former press secretary to Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s prime minister, called Beck’s comments ‘a new low’ for the broadcaster, who is known for his controversial, often offensive statements. ‘Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about,’ he told The Daily Telegraph. ‘Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.’

“The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a Washington-based campaign group, called the remarks ‘absolutely disgusting.’”

America… Talks and Talks and More Talks…

Politico wrote on July 24:

“First came the Biden talks. When those blew up, the Obama-Boehner talks took center stage. And when that failed, the McConnell-Reid talks looked promising. And after they faltered, the Obama-Boehner talks tried to find a new life. Now it’s all come down to the Boehner-Reid-Pelosi-McConnell talks to solve the debt crisis. Notably absent? The president…

“House conservatives have grown deeply distrustful of Obama’s motivations and were skeptical of the ‘grand bargain’ Boehner was negotiating with the president. He didn’t share the details of his negotiations with the House Republican Conference and many of them were privately concerned about any agreement between Obama and the speaker, particularly on the thorny issue of tax increases…

“But both sides are also plainly worried about 2012 campaign politics: Democrats in the Senate have to defend 23 seats and Obama has to worry about reelection, and neither Reid nor Obama want to relive this messy battle over the debt ceiling before November 2012…”

And so, the political gamble for votes and the career politicians’ play with fire continues, which could potentially ignite the USA and the entire world…

The American Nightmare

Deutsche Welle reported on July 25:

“Republicans and Democrats continue to talk past each other as the [August 2] deadline for raising Washington’s debt ceiling looms. The political impasse, which could have a global impact, has triggered international criticism… If Republicans and Democrats fail to hammer out a deal by August 2, Washington will default on its $14 trillion national debt, which could send tremors around a world still reeling from the economic crisis.

“‘The irony of the situation at the moment… is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress rather than the eurozone, ’ said Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary and a member of the Liberal Democrats. The polarization in the United States is more reminiscent of the divisions in developing Latin American nations, according to Peter Hakim, head of the Inter-American Dialogue policy group… Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez, whose own nation defaulted on $100 billion in debt a decade ago, openly wondered how the political situation in Washington had become so intransigent. ‘When did the American dream become a nightmare?’ Fernandez asked.”

Yes, when indeed? But it is quickly becoming one…

If Washington Stopped Interest Payments for Just a Few Days…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on July 27:

“Even if Washington stopped interest payments for just a few days, it could have global consequences far greater than a Greek bankruptcy. Investors would be left not knowing who[m] to trust — particularly given debt problems in the euro zone and ongoing economic difficulties in Japan. Lack of confidence in global economic leaders would almost certainly lead to serious global economic difficulties…

“Even if the worst is avoided, US finances are still a mess. Total debt is approaching 100 percent of gross domestic product, putting it in the same league as Italy, Portugal and Ireland, three of the euro-zone’s famous PIIGS states. America’s budget deficit is well over a trillion dollars — more than 10 percent of GDP. Were Washington to apply to become a member of the European common currency zone, it would be rejected out of hand.”

Now, that last statement is extremely telling and should wake up everybody who might still live with the illusion that America is not really in big economic trouble…

US Taxpayer Money Supporting Taliban

The Washington Post reported on July 24:

“A year-long military-led investigation has concluded that U.S. taxpayer money has been indirectly funneled to the Taliban under a $2.16 billion transportation contract that the United States has funded in part to promote Afghan businesses. The unreleased investigation provides seemingly definitive evidence that corruption puts U.S. transportation money into enemy hands, a finding consistent with previous inquiries carried out by Congress, other federal agencies and the military. Yet U.S. and Afghan efforts to address the problem have been slow and ineffective, and all eight of the trucking firms involved in the work remain on U.S. payroll. In March, the Pentagon extended the contract for six months.

“According to a summary of the investigation results… the military found ‘documented, credible evidence .?.?. of involvement in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy’ by four of the eight prime contractors. Investigators also cited cases of profiteering, money laundering and kickbacks to Afghan power brokers, government officials and police officers. Six of the companies were found to have been associated with ‘fraudulent paperwork and behavior.’…

“Six of the eight companies chosen as prime contractors… are owned by Afghans or are joint Afghan-international ventures. Two are considered U.S.-owned, including the Washington-based Sandi Group and NCL Holdings, whose founder and president… is the son of Afghanistan’s defense minister. The new investigation… did not identify which of the companies are implicated in payments to insurgents, nor does it quantify how much money has been misspent or transferred to insurgents.”

Frankly, it is no surprise that in a corrupt country like Afghanistan, U.S. taxpayer money is being terribly abused. Of course, the entire military invasion of Afghanistan under U.S. leadership has been a colossal failure from the start.

Germany’s Double Stance

CNN reported on July 24:

“Germany announced Sunday it has agreed to lend 100 million euros ($144 million) to the rebels in Libya for ‘civilian and humanitarian purposes’ despite staying out of NATO’s bombing campaign against Libyan government forces. Germany had previously announced a loan of $10 million (7 million euros) for humanitarian aid to the Transitional National Council, the rebel movement that is battling to unseat longtime Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in June that her country shares the hope ‘that this NATO mission is successful.’ Merkel also said Germany was supporting the NATO mission by providing increased resources to the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan, freeing other nations to contribute to the Libyan campaign. Germany has recognized the rebels as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and established a liaison office with the opposition in Benghazi in May.”

Germany wants to have it both ways. On the one hand, they do not directly support the war against Gadhafi, and on the other hand, they do. This way, they think they will come out as the winner, no matter what the outcome might be. This may work for a while in this Satan-ruled world, but God hates such double standards and duplicity. James tells us: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ ‘No,’” (James 5:12), and Jesus adds, “For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Eurozone to Become a Fiscal Union

The Telegraph wrote on July 21:

“…the only conceivable salvation for the eurozone is to impose greater fiscal integration among member states. This advice was finally being taken yesterday – and it is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of the decision which European leaders seemed last night to be reaching. By authorising a huge expansion in the bail-out fund that is propping up the EU’s peripheral members (largely in order to stop the contagion spreading to Italy and Spain), the eurozone has taken the decisive step to becoming a fiscal union.

“So long as the settlement is accepted by national parliaments, yesterday will come to be seen as the witching hour after which Europe will cease to be, except vestigially, a collection of nation states. It will have one economic government, one currency, one foreign policy. This integration will be so complete that taxpayers in the more prosperous countries will be expected to pay for the welfare systems and pension plans of failing EU states.

“This is the final realisation of the dream that animated the founders of the Common Market more than half a century ago – which is one reason why so many prominent Europeans have privately welcomed the eurozone catastrophe, labelling it a ‘beneficial crisis’…

“Germany is busy turning into one of the most dynamic and productive economies in the world. Despite the grumbling, for the Germans, the bail-outs are worth every penny, because they guarantee a cheap outlet for their manufactured goods. Yesterday’s witching hour of the European Union means that Germany has come very close to realising Bismarck’s dream of an economic empire stretching from central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean…”

As we pointed out in the Current Events of our previous Update No. 501, the establishment of a European fiscal union will greatly diminish the concept of democracy in Europe, and it will catapult Germany into a leadership role which will far exceed any influence that it might have had in the past. Please also note the next article.

“Merkel Saves the Euro… and Herself”

The Local wrote on July 22:

“Has Angela Merkel saved the euro? That’s certainly how the German chancellor was presenting it after an emergency EU summit on Thursday forged yet another bailout package for heavily indebted Greece. With the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis festering for months, Merkel has faced a barrage of criticism both at home and abroad for failing to lead Europe out of its worst economic crisis since the single currency was introduced 12 years ago…

“The latest rescue deal greatly stretches the timeframe for Greece to repay its debt while lowering the interest rate Athens will have to pay. Crucially for Merkel, it also includes a €50-billion contribution from private creditors – something Berlin had long demanded… Merkel had clearly realized that sitting on the sidelines was simply no longer an option… Merkel knows that, as an exporting nation few countries have benefited from the euro as much as Germany. But she has hesitated until now to simply pick up the tab…

“The impact of Merkel’s disengagement throughout the euro crisis has been remarkable: No other major economy is doing as well as Germany right now, but her centre-right coalition is also extremely unpopular… But now it seems clear to everyone inside the Chancellery that Merkel’s political fate and the euro have become inextricably intertwined. In saving the euro, Merkel saves herself… for the eurozone the change couldn’t have come a moment too soon.”

Germany Biggest Foreign Investor after the USA

The Local wrote on July 28:

“German companies are investing abroad like never before, making the country the world’s biggest foreign investor after the United States. That’s according to a new United Nations report which shows Germany far ahead of the countries like China, Japan and France. Among Germany’s largest investors abroad are communications company Deutsche Telekom as well as carmaker Volkswagen and logistics firm Deutsche Post.

“Germany’s international footprint has become enormous. In 2009, the country’s companies had about $78 billion (€54 billion) invested abroad, whereas investment had ballooned to $105 billion by last year. Still, the country trails far behind the United States, whose companies have more than $300 billion invested overseas…”

But what will happen when the American economic system collapses…?

Attack on Iran in September?

On July 17, alJazeera.net reported the following:

“A longtime CIA officer [Robert Baer] who spent 21 years in the Middle East is predicting that Israel will bomb Iran in the fall, dragging the United States into another major war and endangering US military and civilian personnel (and other interests) throughout the Middle East and beyond… Robert Baer has had a storied career, including a stint in Iraq in the 1990s where he organised opposition to Saddam Hussein. (He was recalled after being accused of trying to organise Saddam’s assassination.) Upon his retirement, he received a top decoration for meritorious service.

“Baer is no ordinary CIA operative… He obviously won’t name many of his sources in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere, but the few he has named are all Israeli security figures who have publically warned that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are hell-bent on war… There is almost ‘near certainty’ that Netanyahu is ‘planning an attack [on Iran] … and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he’s also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict’, Baer explained.

“The Israeli air force would attack ‘Natanz and other nuclear facilities to degrade their capabilities. The Iranians will strike back where they can: Basra, Baghdad’, he said, and even Afghanistan. Then the United States would jump into the fight with attacks on Iranian targets. ‘Our special forces are already looking at Iranian targets in Iraq and across the border [in Iran] which we would strike. What we’re facing here is an escalation, rather than a planned out-and-out war. It’s a nightmare scenario. We don’t have enough troops in the Middle East to fight a war like that.’ Baer added, ‘I think we are looking into the abyss’…

“It should be noted that the Iranian regime is quite capable of triggering a war with the United States through some combination of colossal stupidity and sheer hatred. In fact, as Baer explained, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would welcome a war… they are worried about a population that increasingly despises the regime… If Israel bombed Iran tomorrow, Congress would forget all about their partisan differences and run, not walk, to the House and Senate floors to endorse the attack and call for unstinting support for Israel. That is what Congress always does, and will always do so long as the lobby (and the donors it directs) are the key players in making our Middle East policies.

“…an Israeli attack on Iran… would endanger countless Americans (in the region and here at home, too). It would kill off any economic recovery by causing oil prices to skyrocket. It would engulf us in another Middle East war. And it would threaten the existence of the state of Israel…”

Jesus prophesied that we will hear of wars and rumors of wars in these end times. The Bible also warns us that the state of Israel will receive a “wound” in a coming war, indicating a major blow or defeat. We are also told that the USA will be ultimately totally defeated in war.

Interestingly, when Israel receives its “wound,” it will apparently try to obtain help from Germany (modern Assyria), but Germany won’t be helping them (compare Hosea 5:13, New American Bible: “When Ephraim [modern Great Britain] saw his infirmity, and Judah [the state of Israel] his sore [or wound, compare New King James Bible], Ephraim went to Assyria [modern Germany], and Judah sent to the great king [King Jareb of Assyria, a coming modern powerful leader of Germany]. But he cannot heal you, nor take away your sore”).

This might indicate that at that time, Israel will try to obtain help from Germany, because the USA won’t be in a position anymore to help Israel.

Human Animal Hybrids

The Daily Mail wrote on July 24:

“Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories. The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases. The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far…

“Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 ‘admixed’ embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act. This legalised the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg fertilised by a human sperm; ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos…

 “Human-animal hybrids are also created in other countries, many of which have little or no regulation…”

Scientists engage in abominable and ungodly behavior, but they always give a “reason” for doing so, saying in this case that it is for the greater good of curing diseases. How far will man go in his Satan-inspired desire to play God [in whom many scientists don’t even believe]? Surely, God will have to send His Son Jesus Christ back to this earth very soon to make an end to man’s God-defying conduct and his devilish experiments, which could have devastating and man-destroying consequences.

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Who is Saudi Arabia in the Bible?

Many archeological and historical researchers and Bible commentaries have understood for a long time that the Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Sarah’s Egyptian maid, Hagar. We read the following prophecy about Ishmael in Genesis 16:7-12:

“Now the Angel of the LORD found [Hagar] by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.’ The Angel of the LORD said to her, ‘Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.’ Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, ‘I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.’ And the Angel of the LORD said to her: ‘Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren’…”

According to this prophecy, Ishmael’s descendants would be greatly and exceedingly multiplied; Ishmael [which means, literally, “God hears”] would be a wild man (literally, a wild ass); he would be against every man’s hand and every man’s hand would be against him (the ensuing conflicts would actually lead to the occupation of Arab tribes through the Turks and later the Europeans); and he would dwell “in the presence of all his brethren.” This last phrase can also be rendered as, “east of all his brethren.”

Genesis 17:20 adds another important prophecy, where God’s promise to Abraham regarding Ishmael is cited as follows:

“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”

We see that Ishmael would have twelve sons or princes, and that he would become a great nation—not twelve nations, as some have erroneously concluded.

The Critical and Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown says: “… even in dwelling with his brethren, would he maintain his characteristic hostility; and… he shall… dwell in the presence of his brethren, viz, in Arabia.”

We read that subsequently, Abraham sent away his concubines and his sons of his concubines, including Hagar and Ishmael, “eastward… to the country of the east” (Genesis 25:6). It is commonly agreed that Hagar and Ishmael settled in the land which is known today as Saudi Arabia, where Ishmael also died “in the presence” or “east of” all his brethren (Genesis 25:18).

The prophesied twelve sons or princes of Ishmael are listed in Genesis 25:12-16. They include Tema, Dumah and the most prominent son, Kedar (compare Ezekiel 27:21; Psalm 120:5; Isaiah 21:13-17). This means that Arabs are sometimes referred to in Scripture as Arabia; Ishmaelites; Hagrites or Hagarenes in the Authorized Version (descendants of Hagar, Psalm 83:6); or as the tents or princes or people of Kedar. As an aside, Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath or Basemath married Esau, the first-born son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob (Genesis 28:9; 36:3).

Common names among modern Arabs are Ibrahim for Abraham and Ismail for Ishmael. Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia states in volume 13 that “Muslims regard themselves as the descendants of Ishmael.” The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary says that “all Arabs claim descent from Ishmael.” The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says that the “Arabs themselves derive their descent from Ishmael.”

There are indeed many Arabic nations in existence today, but the prophesied predominant or “great nation” in the Middle East is, according to biblical prophecy, Saudi Arabia.

We need to note that originally, Ishmael and his descendants were more or less worshippers of the God of Abraham. They were of course not Muslims, because Islam only began about 600 A.D., in what is modern Saudi Arabia. Islam’s most holy city is Mecca, which is situated in western Saudi Arabia, being the center of the Islamic world. It is the birthplace of Mohammed.

The Plain Truth informed us in its December 1979 edition that from Ishmael’s son Kedar (Qaidar in Arabic), dated approximately 1840 BC, a line of descent can be traced to Adnan (or Qais) (122 BC), and from him (21 generations further on) to Mohammed (AD 570-632) of the Koreish tribe, the founder and prophet of the Islamic faith.

In the above-mentioned article, The Plain Truth also explained that in the 16th century, the majority of Arab lands came under the sway of the Ottoman Turks. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire fought with Germany and Austria/Hungary against Britain. Britain encouraged the Arab tribes to revolt against the Turks, and in 1916, Hussein Ibn Ali proclaimed himself king of the Arabs. In exchange, Britain promised the Arab tribes independence, but after the victory over Germany, Austria/Hungary and Turkey, the British and the French divided the majority of Arab lands amongst themselves. After occupation through the Ottoman Turks, the Arabs were now being ruled by the Europeans. Later, in World War II, they sided with the Germans against the Allies.

The Plain Truth continued: “Eventually, however, various independent Arab states did at last emerge. Iraq became independent in 1932, Syria and Lebanon in 1941, Transjordan in 1946, Egypt in 1951. In Arabia, King Ibn of Nejd (central Arabia), in 1932… formed the soon-to-be oil rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The website usahajjmission.com sheds additional light on the history and present status of the “great nation” or kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

“The Saudi state was first established in about 1750 when a local ruler Mohammad Bin Saud merged with an Islamic reformer, Mohammad Abd Al-Wahhab. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud (Ibn Saud) and named after the dynastic family of the Sauds. In 1902, Ibn Saud captured Riyadh with his Bedouin followers and gradually, took other major cities and regions including the Hijaz (Mecca and Medina) in 1924.

“Eventually in 1932, Ibn Saud united the disparate regions and proclaimed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ibn Saud’s belief in a strict Sunni interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism led to the strong religious basis of a governing Saudi Arabian authority. Observing Sharia (Islamic) law, the Holy Quran forms the constitution of the country… In 1938, the discovery of oil transformed the kingdom. One of the wealthiest nations in the Middle East, Saudi’s oil commodities enabled rapid economic progress and now constitutes 75% of the national income.

“Holding the largest oil reserves in the world, Saudi is now the world’s leading oil producer and exporter but for an economy so vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices, various political and economic dilemmas perhaps lie ahead… Now ruled by King Fahd, in 1986 he accorded himself the official title of ‘Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ to express his devotion to Islam and appoint himself the official overseer of the Holy Places on behalf of the Kingdom. Since 1995 King Fahd’s half-brother Crown Prince Abdullah has ruled Saudi Arabia, due to the king’s ill-health.”

In a subsequent Q&A, we will discuss in detail the biblical prophecies pertaining to the “great nation” of the modern descendants of Ishmael–the country and kingdom of modern-day Saudi-Arabia.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Our booklet, Germany in Prophecy, has been completed and sent to the printer.

Our newest booklet, “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians—How to Understand It,” has entered the second review cycle.

A new StandingWatch program was posted on our Web site (www.standingwatch.org) and on YouTube, titled, “America’s Fall and Europe’s Rise.” America’s political fight regarding raising the debt ceiling or facing default by August 2 has made Europe nervous and angry. The perception is that America is playing with fire and that it holds the whole world hostage. Europeans are looking with amazement, frustration and unbelief at what is going on in the USA. At the same time, a British paper predicts that an autocratic and undemocratic United States of Europe, under German leadership but without Britain, will come into being by the end of the year. Why are these events so critically important in the light of biblical prophecy?

Norbert Link’s video-recorded sermon, “Beware of Compromise,” was posted on the Web.

A new German sermon was posted on the Web, titled, “Wie Zuverlaessig Ist die Bibel?, Teil 3” [“How Reliable Is the Bible?, Part 3″]

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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Finding My Grounding

by Cali Harris
A year and half ago, I resigned from my marketing agency job in order to pursue grad school full-time. Since then, I’ve worked on my master’s degree, started my own business, and took on a part-time job for a fantastic company.
Part of resigning from my job (and losing the steady income) meant that I had to give up living on my own. So, for the past year and half I’ve been living with family, staying with friends and taking on long term house-sitting gigs. This lifestyle takes me between three cities in northern Colorado: Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins.
In my business I meet a lot of new people, and they usually ask where I live. I half jokingly, half seriously respond, “I’m a nomad!” And really, it feels true: I don’t feel grounded in any one city; my family, social activities, business and school are in three cities. I usually have enough clothes in the car for a few days, and all I need for work and school is my laptop. While I don’t mind this nomadic lifestyle, it has made me question what truly grounds me in life. I’ve discovered that it’s not the apartment or even the city I live in. It’s not even a day-to-day work schedule.
My grounding is really the way I choose to live my life every single day.
The common thread in my day-to-day is to live as an ambassador for the Christian way of life — and it’s actually easy to do even when my life is very nomadic and fluid. Driving gives me the opportunity to listen to sermons or the StandingWatch programs. Having my laptop and my iPhone means I can access the Church booklets and the Bible from anywhere. It’s the ever-changing nature of my daily lifestyle that has taught me what is truly constant in my life!

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