Update 514


How to Look at God’s Laws, Part 2

On November 5, 2011, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled, “How to Look at God’s Laws, Part 2.”

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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Romans 8:18


At the local coffee house that I frequent, I’ve gotten to know a few of the regulars pretty well.  Recently, one of them had to go through a second bout with his pancreatic cancer, the same type that killed Steve Jobs last month.
Because of the nature of this type of cancer, this man’s doctor said that they would continue to administer the chemo for as long as he could stand it.  There was a good chance if they were not able to kill it off this time around, then this may be his last chance to do anything about it.
In his early 50’s and in good shape, he was ready and willing to pull out all the stops.  After about eight rounds of treatments (some can only handle two) it was all that he could take.  Now all that was left was to sit and wait and see what the outcome would be.  He didn’t have to wait too long before the doctors gave him a clean bill of health!  He had won his battle.
In the course of this ordeal, he lost about a year of his life fighting the disease, racked up bills of nearly $200,000, and lost 10-20% of the feeling in his finger tips.  He considered all of these worthwhile sacrifices, especially in light of the outcome.
Now understand, he had no guarantee that he was going to make it through this adversity.  But he felt if he could, then perhaps he would continue to enjoy life for much longer, even as long as his father had, which would be another 30 years.
This man endured an incredible trial in order to continue in his gift of physical life, albeit for a fleeting amount of time in the scope of things.  Now think of the assurances that we  have for the future.  What should we be willing to go through for the gift of eternal life in the Family of God? Nothing can compare with that.

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We begin with a report about the steady decline of the U.S. dollar; continue with speaking on the Greece crisis; show the growing animosity between Great Britain and the EU and potentially violent confrontations as a consequence; point out the remarkable change in the laws pertaining to the British royal succession and explain how the world would be different today if it had not been for those ancient laws, as guided by God Almighty; emphasize the continuing prophetic role of the British Commonwealth; point out the nightmare of the “Arab Spring” and the real threat of nuclear war between Israel and Iran; and conclude with a remarkable piece on German hypocrisy and nationalism.

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The Decline of the U.S. Dollar

Reuters wrote on October 27:

“The U.S. dollar’s thrashing on Thursday after a last-minute European deal to contain the debt crisis may have sealed the currency’s fate. And it is all downhill from here. The European agreement, which involves a 50 percent write-down of Greek debt and boosting the euro zone’s bailout fund to as much as 1 trillion euros, has averted a collapse in Europe and spurred a rush to risky currencies and assets once again at the expense of the dollar…

“On Thursday, the greenback plunged to a seven-week low against the euro… But as in any market, the dollar’s decline won’t be straightforward. Indeed if the implementation of the EU agreement stalls or if there is a sudden freeze-up in global credit, investors are likely to buy dollars, as they have always done in the past in times of market stress… In the meantime, the trend to sell the dollar is in full swing and not many are willing to go against it.”

In spite of the ongoing Greek crisis (see articles below, under “Greece Angers Europe”), the inevitable and steady decline of the US dollar, and the corresponding rise of the euro are in line with biblical prophecy, showing that the EU or the coming United States of Europe will continue to prosper and become the most powerful and influential economic bloc in the world (compare Revelation 18 and Ezekiel 27). At the same time, Great Britain will ultimately not be a part of it. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.” 

The Division of Europe

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 31:

“Last Wednesday’s summit in Brussels took important steps toward saving the European common currency. But it also made it clear that the European Union is being divided in two. Germany is the new Europe’s leader — for better or worse… It was a memorable meeting, and when it finally ended in the early morning hours of Thursday, a program to rescue the euro had emerged. It revealed the contours of a new Europe — a divided Europe, with a new border running between those countries which belong to the common currency area and those which do not. In the future, there will be two Europes within the European Union…

“Those countries that are not part of the euro zone are now no longer part of a core Europe, and are now being asked to leave the room when the truly important issues are being debated. While the 17 euro-zone members walk at the front of the pack, the 10 non-euro-members are forced to walk behind, like stragglers and second-tier nations. And now they have it in writing. In the closing document of last week’s summit, euro-zone member states grant themselves the right to work together more closely without having to wait for the non-euro countries…”

Cameron Blames EU for Constant Attacks

AFP reported on October 28:

“Prime Minister David Cameron has said London’s financial district is under ‘constant attack’ from European Union directives… Cameron told a BBC reporter that Britain’s finance industry should be protected from EU measures…”

Britain is on its way out of the EU. Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 27 about the real threat of a confrontation between the Eurozone countries and the other EU members—especially Great Britain. It added that already now, Great Britain is being largely excluded from the decision-making process of the EU. In this light, the following article gains a frightening dimension.

A Nightmare Scenario—Europe’s War Against Britain

On October 29, The Daily Mail published an interesting article from one of its writers. The article was prefaced as follows: “Europe at war 2018. German troops storm Greece. Putin’s tanks crush Latvia. France humbles the British Army. Unlikely, yes, but as Angela Merkel says euro meltdown could endanger peace, a historian’s imagination (Dominic Sandbrook) runs riot.”

The article continued:

“The date is October 29, 2018, and Britain faces its darkest hour. On the battlefields of Europe, our Armed Forces have been humiliated. In makeshift prison camps on the continent, thousands of our young men and women sit forlornly, testament to the collapse of our ambitions. From the killing grounds of Belgium to the scarred streets of Athens, a continent continues to bleed. And, in the east, the Russian bear inexorably tightens its grip, an old empire rising from the wreckage of the European dream…

“In suburban streets across Britain, old men and callow teenagers are digging defensive positions in the cold autumn air. But with equipment scarce and ammunition non-existent, the Home Guard would barely last a week. And all the time, across the Channel, enemy forces make their final preparations for the inevitable invasion. Some talk of surrender; no one speaks of victory. Less than ten years ago, millions still believed in a peaceful, united Europe. How did it come to this?

“… by February 2012, it was terrifyingly obvious that the latest eurozone package had failed… A month later, after an angry mob had invaded the Greek parliament itself, Greece announced it was withdrawing from the euro. Almost overnight, the European markets were hit by the biggest losses in financial history. As law and order collapsed on the streets of Athens, France and Germany sent in 5,000 ‘peacekeepers’ to restore calm…

“In the summer of 2012, massive anti-capitalist demonstrations in major Italian cities turned into outright rebellion. And when Berlusconi sent in the army to maintain order, the first bombs began exploding in the banks of Rome, Milan and Turin… And the bomb alert at the Bank of England —when the entire City had to be evacuated…— was merely the first of many.

“Six months later, Russian ‘peacekeepers’ crossed the border into Estonia, and in March 2016, Putin’s army occupied Lithuania, Belarus and Moldova. When Brussels complained, the Kremlin pointed out that European peacekeepers were already on the streets of Athens, Rome and Madrid. Why, Putin asked, should the rules be any different in the east?… Five days before Christmas 2016, Sarkozy told a cheering crowd in Vichy that ‘all European Union members must fully embrace our project and join the euro, or they will pay the price’…

“By 2017, Britain’s land forces were down to just 75,000. And when fighting broke out between French and British peacekeepers in the outskirts of Ghent, no one seriously doubted that the French would win. So it is that, a year later, we find ourselves at our lowest ebb. Aided by Spanish and Italian auxiliaries, backed by German money and quietly supported by neo-imperialist Russia, the French army has encircled our expeditionary force on the other side of the Channel and cut it to shreds.

“The Americans have deserted us, while every week brings fresh anti-war and anti-capitalist riots in our cities. The shelves are increasingly empty; national morale has hit rock bottom…”

Even though this is not quite the way it will happen, the Bible clearly predicts a war between continental Europe (under German, not French leadership) and Great Britain, while Russia will flex its muscles in the meantime, ready to strike Europe at an opportune time.

Greece Angers Europe

Deutsche Welle reported on November 3:

“Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government on Thursday appeared to split over his proposed referendum on the country’s most recent European Union rescue plan… Shortly after the Greek cabinet gave its formal approval for the referendum, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos appeared to have changed his mind after talks with French and German leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel in the French city of Cannes.

“Venizelos said in a written statement that ‘Greece’s place in the euro is a historic achievement’ and that ‘this established right of the Greek people cannot be put under scrutiny in a referendum…’

“Sarkozy and Merkel made it clear to Greece that the 100-billion-euro loan package agreed to by EU leaders last week cannot be renegotiated, and that a voter rejection of the bailout would be a de facto rejection of the euro currency. ‘We want to help Greece, and we want them to stay in the eurozone,’ Merkel said. ‘But the unilateral decision by Greece hangs in the air, and the situation has changed… The eurozone must be kept stable. We would prefer to accomplish this with Greece, rather than without Greece… ’

“Meanwhile state television reported Thursday that Development Minister Michalis Chrisohoidis had also changed his mind on the referendum, preferring parliament to vote on the rescue package rather than the entire Greek populace. ‘There can be no… return to the drachma and the past,’ Chrisohoidis said. ‘We must all assume our responsibilities.’ Papandreou’s Socialist majority in parliament appeared on the verge of collapse, after Socialist lawmaker Eva Kaili said she would not support the prime minister in a confidence vote on Friday. Without her vote, the Socialists would have a slim 151-seat majority in the 300-member parliament. Several other Socialist lawmakers have called for Papandreou’s resignation and the establishment of a national unity government, which would include the opposition, in order to safeguard the rescue plan.

“The conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras joined those calls and said the bailout should be approved under the current parliament with new elections to follow. He has opposed previous bailouts, arguing their conditions made the recession worse, but said the current package is ‘inevitable and must be secured’ to provide Greece with desperately needed cash loans.

“Opinion polls suggest broad support among Greek voters for remaining in the 17-nation eurozone, however many have been frustrated by the seemingly endless government austerity measures, persistently high unemployment and a third year of negative economic growth.

“European leaders who have long dismissed the option of Greece abandoning the euro now appear to be open to the idea. Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and chairman of the group of eurozone finance ministers, said ‘everything must be done’ to maintain the eurozone’s unity, but that he could not ‘force the Greeks’ to stay in.

“‘We cannot permanently ride a rollercoaster on Greece; we have to know where things are going, and the Greeks have to tell us where they would like things to go,’ he told German public broadcaster ZDF. ‘If the Greeks make clear via a referendum that they would feel better outside the eurozone than inside the eurozone, then this is a Greek decision, and our Greek friends have to describe the way by which they want to get out of the eurozone.’”

BBC News added on November 3:

“Mr Papandreou told reporters in Cannes his referendum would in effect be a vote on whether Greece should remain in the euro. But the European Commission said if Greece left the European single currency, it would have to leave the European Union as well… Greece was due to receive the next tranche of funds from its first bailout later this month. However, the EU has said it will not transfer the 8bn euros until after the referendum.”

Der Spiegel Online speculated on November 3 what would happen if Greece were to exit the Eurozone. The magazine concluded that it would mean an unparalleled catastrophe for Greece, but that the consequences for the other Eurozone member states and the worldwide financial market would be manageable. Bild Online added that Greece’s exit from the Eurozone would not destroy the euro, and that it would not lead to a worldwide recession or a depression. Der Spiegel Online also reported the following on Merkel’s and Sarkozy’s reaction to the most recent Greek announcements:

“Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy had harsh words for Greece on Wednesday… The idea of Greece exiting the euro, it seems, is no longer a taboo. ‘It was a serious situation, it wasn’t easy,’ said Merkel. ‘We will defend the euro. We want to do that together with Greece. But we are not going to jeopardize this great project of unity. That is our priority.’ Just to ensure that her warning was understood, Merkel added: ‘We respect the decision of the Greek people. But we are not going to give up the euro…’

“Sarkozy was just as direct as the German chancellor. ‘We are prepared to help,’ he said. ‘That is the foundation of European solidarity. But that also means that Greece fulfils its obligations. We will not allow the euro to be destroyed’… For the first time, the stability and security of the euro were placed above Greece’s ongoing membership in the euro zone. The agreements reached in Brussels shall not be tinkered with…”

Bild Online reported on November 3 that during the G-20 Summit in Cannes, President Obama congratulated Angela Merkel for her crisis management. BBC and other papers reported on November 3 that Mr. Papandreou agreed to a temporary transition government, and that “he is now prepared to drop the referendum proposal.”

The EUObserver confirmed on November 3 that Mr. Papandreou “is readying himself to step down and is likely to be replaced by a former vice-president of the European Central Bank” and that “The proposal to hold a referendum on the new Greek bail-out or a question asking whether the country should stay in the eurozone appears to have been shelved.” Der Spiegel Online added that the proposal to hold a referendum has been revoked.

As we have said from the outset, even though it is not inconceivable—but far from certain–that Greece may leave the Eurozone and the EU, it IS inconceivable that the Eurozone, as an institution, or the euro will fail.

Change in British Royal Succession

The Daily Mail wrote on October 29:

“Girls born to members of the Royal Family are to be given equal rights with boys in the succession to the throne as centuries-old rules were overturned today. As the historic changes to the monarchy were agreed, the Queen, at the Commonwealth summit in Perth, Australia, hailed the power of women to change the world. The reforms mean [that] if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child is a girl, she will take precedence over any younger brothers in the order of succession. The 16 Commonwealth ‘realms’, including the UK, Canada and Australia, also agreed to scrap outdated laws which ban anyone in the line of succession from marrying a Roman Catholic.

“The changes were announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth. As politicians unanimously agreed [on] the dramatic reform to royal succession laws dating back more than 300 years, the Queen said the untapped potential of women and girls should be set free. Speaking at the opening of the summit of the 53 Commonwealth countries, she said: ‘The theme this year is Women As Agents of Change’… Most European monarchies have already established an equal law of succession – it is in force in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Now only Spain, Liechtenstein and Monaco are left with the old system…

“If the new rules had been in force in 1509 Margaret Tudor would have taken the throne instead of Henry VIII. That could have meant the Reformation would never have taken place and Elizabeth I would never have been Queen.

“If the practice had been changed as recently as the last century, Britain could have had two Queen Victorias back to back. Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal would have acceded to the throne in 1901 instead of King Edward VII. When she died just a few months later, her son Kaiser Wilhelm II would have ascended the throne – something which could have prevented the First World War. The Queen of England now would have been the completely unknown Princess Marie Cecile of Prussia…

“The deal was agreed today in Perth during a meeting of the Queen’s Realms – the 16 countries including the UK which share the Queen as their head of state…The removal of the barrier to the heir to the throne marrying a Catholic does not affect the position of the Anglican Church as the established Church. The Queen and future monarchs will be Anglicans and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The change will also do away with an ancient and unused rule that means all descendants of George II are supposed to require the consent of the monarch to marry…

“Had an 18th Century law not been passed by Parliament, Britain’s monarchy throughout the past 300 years would have had a very different cast of characters… And instead of pledging allegiance to Elizabeth II, loyal British subjects would now be singing God Save Our Gracious King to… Francis II of Bavaria. The 1701 Act Of Settlement passed the crown to Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant descendants – and banned all Roman Catholics from ever ascending the throne…

“Franz, Duke of Bavaria, is a distant cousin of the Queen and head of the House of Wittelsbach, Bavaria’s ruling family. He is the senior co-heir-general of King Charles I and therefore regarded as the rightful heir to the House of Stuart, which ruled England from 1567 to 1707. From birth Franz was recognised by the Jacobites as a Prince of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Prince of Cornwall and Rothesay. The Duke’s great-grandfather was the last king of Bavaria before being deposed at the end of World War One in 1918. During World War Two, the Dukes’ family condemned the Nazi regime and fled to Hungary. When Hitler’s stormtroopers marched into Budapest in 1944, the Royal Family was arrested and detained in a number of concentration camps. Following liberation in 1945, Franz studied business management at the University of Munich. Now 78, he still lives in an apartment in the city and is a keen collector of modern art.”

Bild Online wrote on October 30 that, if it had not been for the ancient British royal succession laws, Friederike von Reiche (52) could be Queen of England today. Her grandfather was the oldest grandchild of the last German Emperor, William II. All of this shows that God IS ruling in the kingdoms of men; that He gives the throne and dominion to whomever He wills (Daniel 4:17); and that He is seeing to it that prophesied events will take place, exactly as He had planned and purposed (Isaiah 46:10). Of course, we also understand that the Bible makes it very clear that a descendant of David is predestined to sit on the throne of David, until Christ returns. The throne of David was transferred through the prophet Jeremiah from Jerusalem to Ireland and then later to Scotland, and it is presently in England, showing that Queen Elizabeth is in fact one of David’s descendants.

Also, as the above-quoted article shows, the British Commonwealth is still an existing institution. The very historical and current existence of the British Commonwealth is in fulfillment of God’s prophetic promises to Abraham (compare Genesis 17), and more specifically, Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s son Ephraim (compare Genesis 48), as more fully explained in our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.” As shown in this booklet, due to Britain’s continuous decline into ungodly conduct, God’s blessings are being steadily removed. Please note the next article as well.

UK Threat to Withhold Aid to Anti-Homosexual Governments

The BBC wrote on October 30:

“David Cameron has threatened to withhold UK aid from governments that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality. The UK prime minister said he raised the issue with some of the states involved at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. Human rights reform in the Commonwealth was one issue that leaders failed to reach agreement on at the summit…

“Malawi has already had some of its budget support suspended over concerns about its attitude to gay rights. Concerns have also been raised with the governments of Uganda and Ghana… Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality. Many of these laws are a legacy of British Empire laws…”

Grotesque Failure of Arab Spring

Newsmax reported on October 30:

“Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich contends that the ‘grotesque failure’ of President Barack Obama’s Mideast policies has propelled an ‘anti-Christian spring’… Gingrich was referring to the wave of uprisings that have upset longtime autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Ironically, the plight of Christians in the Middle East is likely to worsen as the Arab Spring removes dictators who shielded Christian communities.

“The parties that are gaining power in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries tend to be offshoots of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood… Christian Syrians have clung to the government of President Bashar Assad, despite his regime’s own atrocities and his threats against the West. They fear what might happen if Assad fell, having seen what has happened in neighboring countries. Indeed many Christians who have fled sectarian strife in countries such as Iraq have ended up in Syria.”

Is Israel Preparing to Strike Iran?

The Washington Times wrote on October 28:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to execute a 1,000-for-1 prisoner exchange last week despite his frequently voiced opposition to such lopsided deals is seen by several Israeli military commentators as an effort to ‘clear the deck’ before possibly undertaking an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities…

“The Islamic republic has not been a top agenda item since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. Yet Iran’s nuclear program, which Western nations believe is geared for making an atomic bomb, has remained a key concern, despite Tehran’s denials that it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.”

Reuters reported on November 2:

“Israel test-fired a missile from a military base on Wednesday, two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the ‘direct and heavy threat’ posed by Iran’s nuclear program. The noon launch near Tel Aviv, which had not been announced in advance, coincided with a week-long surge of speculation in local media that Netanyahu was working to secure cabinet consensus for an attack on Israel’s arch-foe.”

The Guardian added on November 2:

“Britain’s armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action against Iran amid mounting concern about Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme… The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission…

“In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign. They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East.

“The Guardian has spoken to a number of Whitehall and defence officials over recent weeks who said Iran was once again becoming the focus of diplomatic concern after the revolution in Libya. They made clear that Barack Obama has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s presidential election. But they warned the calculations could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.”

Haaretz wrote on November 3:

“Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Thursday responded to reports claiming Israel is planning a military attack against his country, stating Tehran is ‘ready for war’ with Israel… Salehi further warned that if any country would attempt an attack, Iran would not hesitate to retaliate.”

The Sword of Damocles is still hanging over the Israeli-Iranian relationship, and a coming nuclear war between these two countries is not unthinkable.

Germany Threatens To Halt Submarine Sale to Israel

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 31:

“The German government is threatening to halt the delivery of a submarine capable of firing nuclear warheads in protest of the Israeli government’s recent decision to build new homes in the Arab part of Jerusalem… The threat by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the subject of considerable concern in Israel.

“The nuclear-weapons capable Dolphin submarines are an important part of the Israeli military strategy… In addition to its capability of firing nuclear warheads, the submarine also has a larger cruising range…”

German Hypocrisy

The Local wrote on October 26:

“As Germany this week marks a half century of mass Turkish immigration, The Local’s Marc Young explains why it’s time to end the country’s hypocritical stance towards dual citizenship.”

The article continued:

“With all immodesty, I’m a perfectly integrated foreigner in Germany. I speak German without a thick American accent, I voluntarily opted for state health insurance and, unlike many Germans, I even willingly pay my TV licence fees. I have a German wife and a half-German child. There’s just one thing I won’t have for the foreseeable future: a German passport.

“That’s not because I don’t want one – just the opposite. After almost 14 years in this country, I’d gladly become a German citizen… But I don’t care to sacrifice my American passport for the privilege… The United States, Canada, Britain, France, Sweden and countless other countries have no problem with dual citizenship. But Germany… sadly still clings to horribly antiquated concepts of nationality.

“Some German politicians – often conservative and Bavarian – believe that I and more than two million Turks simply aren’t worthy of German citizenship because we refuse to surrender our other passports.

“If I were French, I wouldn’t have this dilemma… Hoping to foster Franco-German friendship, the otherwise so stingy Germans allowed their pals west of the Rhine to have dual citizenship back in 2003. This was a nice gesture however, it also happened to be rather hypocritical one. Shortly thereafter, Germany was compelled in 2007 to give this right to all EU citizens, and not just the French, since defending such a blatant double standard would have been impossible in the European courts.

“But three generations Turkish immigrants – and a few well-integrated Americans – are still discriminated against… The state premier of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, and many other German politicians claim you can’t be a loyal German citizen while holding onto a second passport. But speaking as someone with experience in both Europe and America, that’s nationalistic nonsense. Perhaps Seehofer should ask himself if his conservative colleague David McAllister is qualified to be the premier of Lower Saxony. The Christian Democrat just happens to be half Scottish with both British and German passports…

“Fortunately, my child will never have to choose between Germany and America because my wife is German. But until Germany catches up with the rest of the world, I’ll remain a US citizen – and a German taxpayer.”

Truer words have rarely been spoken. And the reverse is true as well—a German citizen who acquires the American citizenship is generally forced by the German government to surrender his German citizenship. Old nationalistic habits and prejudices don’t seem to die quickly.

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Can you explain some of the peculiarities of the Hebrew Calendar?

In our last Q&A, we explained why the Church of God has made the decision to accept and follow the current Hebrew calendar. The short answer is that God has entrusted the Jews—and no one else—with the preservation of the calendar and the determination and identification of the correct dates of the annual Holy Days.

We also explained that in AD 358-359 A.D., the Jews’ chief leader, Hillel II, carried out his God-given authority to present the Hebrew calendar throughout the future, and it is that calendar which we are to apply for the determination of the annual Holy Days.

Those who devise their own calendars don’t only disobey God’s inspired Word which declares that the oracles, including the week, the Sabbath and the calendar, were given to the Jews, but they also completely miss certain particularities within the Hebrew calendar which God inspired to prevent undue burdens or to guarantee that the Holy Days are being celebrated at their proper times. These technical decisions include the four postponements and the insertion of a thirteenth month, amongst others.

The Bible does not tell us how many months a calendar year should have. In order to harmonize a solar year (about 365 ¼ days) with a lunar year (about 354 ¼ days), so that—following biblical injunctions–Passover is always in the spring, and the Feast of Tabernacles is always in the fall, a thirteenth month had to be included seven times within a 19-year lunar time cycle.

The Bible does not specifically mention a thirteenth month, but as Raymond F. McNair explains in his article, “Which Calendar Has God Authorized?” (Global Church News, July-August 1996), “from a careful study of the time periods mentioned in the first eight chapters of Ezekiel (1:1-2; 3:15; 4:5-6; 8:1), we can deduce that a thirteenth month was definitely being used by the Jews when Ezekiel wrote in the early part of the 6th century B.C.”

This shows that God and the Bible endorse the decisions of the Jewish people pertaining to the inclusion of a 13th month in the Hebrew calendar, and that no one should take it upon him- or herself to make arbitrary decisions contrary to the established Hebrew calendar. The same must be said regarding other peculiar decisions pertaining to the Hebrew calendar.

For instance, Dr. Herman L. Hoeh explains the following in his article, “The Hebrew Calendar—Authoritative for God’s Church Today” (Good News, April 1981):

“The rules of the permanent calendar [authorized by Hillel II] call for each of the first six months of the year to be alternatively 30 and 29 days long. Since the Bible does not declare which months have either 30 or 29 days, it is… [a] decision enacted by those who are in authority over God’s calendar… each month is slightly more than 29 ½ days long… That means the [decision is that the] first half of the year is always 177 days long (three months with 30 days plus three months with 29 days…). And if the first day of the seventh month is on Tuesday, the first of Abib is 177 days earlier, and on a Sunday…”

In addition, postponements were also clearly authorized and endorsed by God. As mentioned in the last Q&A, postponements delay the beginning of the first day of the seventh month—the first day of Tishri or the Feast of Trumpets:

The four rules of postponements are simply these:

(1)  When the new moon (more accurately, the “Molad or “birth”; that is, when the moon is directly between earth and sun and it is therefore invisible) occurs on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to the following day. The reason is that the Day of Atonement [which is to be kept 9 days after the Feast of Trumpets, on the tenth day of the month] should not occur on the day before or after the weekly Sabbath, and the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles should not occur on a weekly Sabbath, as it is followed by an annual Sabbath—the Last Great Day.

In his article, “The Hebrew Calendar—Authoritative for God’s Church Today,” Dr. Herman L. Hoeh wrote:

“Why do God’s festivals fall when they do? Have we ever asked why… the fast of the Day of Atonement does not occur on Friday or Sunday? Or why the seventh day of the Festival of Tabernacles does not fall on the weekly Sabbath—but the eighth day commonly does?… If Atonement were to fall on Friday, housewives would have to prepare food for the weekly Sabbath on a Thursday…

“Hillel II realized that … the Day of Atonement should not fall on Friday, the preparation day of the Sabbath. The rule, therefore, is that if the new moon of a seventh month could occur on a Wednesday (beginning the previous evening), that day is not to be declared the new moon. It is to be postponed. But the day following is to be declared the new moon… that is, a Thursday (beginning the previous evening) is the first day of the seventh month. That Thursday is consequently the Feast of Trumpets… and the Day of Atonement, which is the 10th day of the month, falls in such a year on the weekly Sabbath.”

(2)  When the new moon or the Molad occurs at noon or later, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to the next day. This is so and makes logical sense, because otherwise, the people would not have been able to keep the entire Feast of Trumpets, but only a portion of it (that portion following the occurrence of the Molad or New Moon). But the Bible demands that the entire day of 24 hours be kept as holy.

(3)   When the new moon or Molad occurs after 3:00 a.m. or later on a Tuesday of a common year, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to Thursday. This decision was made for astronomical reasons to ensure that the common year (not a leap year) would be between 353 to 355 days long. [The Hebrew calendar has twelve common years and eight leap years within a 19-year lunar time cycle. A common year has 353, 354 or 355 days, while a leap year has 383, 384 or 385 days.]

(4)   When the new moon or Molad occurs on Monday after 9:00 am, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to the next day. This postponement was also made for astronomical reasons to ensure the proper length of common years.

In addition, it was sometimes necessary to postpone the beginning of the year by an entire month.

To quote from Raymond McNair’s article, “What are the Postponements?” (Global Church News, July-August 1996):

“… in order to be able to offer the ‘wave sheaf’ (Hebr. Omer) of ripened barley during the Days of Unleavened Bread, it was sometimes mandatory that the high priest in ancient Israel postpone the beginning of Nisan 1 by a whole month… the Feast of Unleavened Bread [must] fall in the spring (thereby necessitating certain one-month postponements to the beginning of the sacred year). There is no record of Christ and His disciples objecting to the calendar or instituting a different one.”

Another reason for the postponement of the first month might also exist when otherwise the Feast of Tabernacles would be celebrated in the summer, rather than in the autumn. [This is similar rationale as and related to the insertion of the 13th month, see above.] As mentioned, the Bible demands that the Feast of Tabernacles must be observed in the autumn, “at the year’s end” (Exodus 34:22). If the first month is declared as occurring too early, the Feast of Tabernacles would be observed too early as well, and not in accordance with the Scriptural demands.

This Q&A does not cover all of the particulars of the Hebrew calendar, but we hope that enough information is provided to show not only the authoritative decisions of the Jews in regard to the calendar, but also the godly-inspired wisdom for the rationale behind it, proving that the calendar must harmonize with the biblical commands as to when and how to observe the annual Holy Days.

We are sure that those who want to find fault with the decisions of the Jews to design and maintain the Hebrew calendar in the way they do, will invent seemingly convincing human arguments and counter-arguments, but it really boils down to this question: Are we allowing God to guide and do we believe that God has guided the Jews in the preservation of the calendar, or aren’t we? If we do not have enough faith that God could and did preserve the calendar through the Jews, where else is our faith lacking?

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new StandingWatch program, titled, “The Merkel Miracle,” was posted on YouTube and our Web site (www.eternalgod.org). Some proclaim that the Euro and the Eurozone will fail. The Bible contradicts this, and the events of this week also prove how erroneous these concepts are. As prophesied in Scripture, Germany is emerging as the leader in Europe, and Angela Merkel seems to have extraordinary vision in regard to the perceived need to save the Euro. She understands that if the Euro was to fail, Europe would also fail, and the Bible shows us that this will not happen.

A new German sermon was recorded and posted on YouTube and on our German Web site (www.aufpostenstehen.de). It is titled, “Warum das Laubhuettenfest?” [“Why the Feast of Tabernacles?”]

A new German AufPostenStehen program was posted on our Web site (www.aufpostenstehen.de) and on YouTube, titled, “Sieger Merkel im Europa der zwei Klassen” [“Victor Merkel in a Europe of Two Speeds”].

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God