Update 52


"Watching The News–Why?"

by Norbert Link

For many years, the Church has admonished our members to watch the news. One reason for doing so is obvious – so that we are not caught unawares when Christ’s return is near. When He was here on earth, Jesus proclaimed in advance the good news of the coming kingdom of God. Before God’s kingdom can be established on this earth, certain prophetic events will have to occur first.

Jesus told His disciples, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors.” (Matthew 24:32-33). Although we don’t know the exact day or the hour of Christ’s return and of the establishment of His kingdom (Matthew 25:13), we are supposed to know the approximate time – by discerning the times and seasons (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4).

But, as we have pointed out so many times, God gives us special understanding and knowledge for a reason. We are not to hide what we have been given, but we are to share it with others.

God wants the truth of the coming establishment of His kingdom – as well as the events leading up to that establishment — proclaimed in all of the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14). And many scriptures show that this proclamation is to be done through His end-time Church, which is called “a watchman.” Notice these biblical examples:

“So you, son of man [ancient Ezekiel, but this is a prophecy for our day and age]: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” (Ezekiel 33:7).

“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent.” (Isaiah 62:6).

“Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah.” (Jeremiah 4:16).

We ourselves are to watch the events around us (Matthew 24:42), discerning the times, so that we can be effective watchmen in God’s service, warning others of what will surely come to pass. Notice Hosea 5:9: “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.” Notice, too, Hosea 7:12, “I will chastise them [Ephraim] According to what their congregation has heard.”

And WHY are we to proclaim God’s warning to His peoples and around the world? The answer is given in Ezekiel 33:2-6:

“When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet…[and] takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hands.”

God wants His Church to preach the establishment of God’s kingdom here on earth. This includes, blowing the trumpet and warning of impending disaster. Some will listen and change their ways so that they, too, may enter the Kingdom. Many others, though, might not heed the message. Still, if we shrink back from our God-given responsibility, He will have no pleasure in us (Hebrews 10:37-39).

The Church of the Eternal God is publishing in these updates many important aspects of world news, which should help us to discern the times better, in light of biblical prophecy, so that all of us can become more effective watchmen. God will continue to give to His faithful servants great understanding of the future (Amos 3:7). It is our responsibility to use this understanding granted to us from God for the benefit of a world held captive by Satan – and in so doing, we shall fulfill the work of watchmen proclaiming the good news of the approaching kingdom of God.

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As Yahoo! News reported on July 18, any “hopes for reviving peacemaking” were shattered after almost simultaneous Palestinian suicide bombings in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, killing three people. These attacks followed a bus ambush on Tuesday that killed seven Israelis near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Political leaders were quick to condemn these violent acts. President Bush stated “peace could not be built on a platform of violence against innocents.” The article continued,” …at least 1,447 Palestinians and 558 Israelis have been killed since Palestinians began their revolt after negotiations for a final peace treaty envisaging a Palestinian state stalled.”

The events in the Middle East show us that we are living in a violent world. Although some political leaders are earnestly searching for peace, they will not find it, since man, cut off from God, does not know the way to peace (Romans 3:17). In fact, when they think that they have reached a peaceful and safe solution, “sudden destruction will befall them.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The bible suggests strongly that the United States or Great Britain will not be able to bring about peace in the Middle East. It will be an emerging power in continental Europe which will militarily enforce very temporary “peaceful” conditions. When we see this occurring, we know that the time of Christ’s return is very near (Luke 21:20, 28). Only He can bring lasting and true peace to this violent world.


USA TODAY reported on July 18 that India elected a missile scientist, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, as its new president. Mr. Kalam advocates nuclear weapons as a war deterrent. Although the office of president is largely ceremonial, the president can play a crucial role. If Parliament is deadlocked, his verdict is final. He can also call elections.

To see an outspoken advocate for nuclear weapons in a leadership position in India might have a wide-ranging and devastating effect on the current ongoing problems between India and Pakistan. This conflict is only one of several hotspots in the world, which could ignite the flames of a nuclear war. The bible clearly reveals that nuclear war is coming!


As Der Spiegel Online reported on July 18, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (SPD) fired his minister of defense, Rudolf Scharping, only nine months before the next parliamentary elections. Never before has a minister been dismissed so close to a parliamentary election, according to Der Spiegel. In an accompanying commentary, the magazine points out that the damage for Schroeder and his party (SPD) is incalculable, stating that if this event leads to a defeat of the SPD during the parliamentary elections, Schroeder’s party might go into “opposition” for many years to come.

The bible predicts that a very powerful Europe under the leadership of Germany will emerge on the world scene very soon. It is highly improbable that Germany will be led at that time by a person belonging to one of the established major German parties. It is much more likely that someone from the right will gain sudden power and influence. It is critical that we watch the events, which are happening in continental Europe and especially in Germany.


Riveting headlines summed up a bleak outlook for the drought that is slowly but steadily devastating farmers and unsuspecting city dwellers. According to The Associated Press, “More than one-third of the contiguous states (US) face severe to extreme drought…” The same article goes on to show that all-time records for heat and lack of rainfall are striking major segments of the American West and parts of the Southeastern seaboard.

Added to theses dismals statistics is the frightening specter of insect infestations eating away at already stricken crop yields. The Coloradoan, a newspaper covering northern Colorado, this week ran a thorough article reporting the “biggest grasshopper infestation since WWII” in the Midwest. This explosive outbreak of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets is a direct result of the sustained drought conditions in the infected areas.

The stern warnings of national punishment on the modern descendants of Israel such as found in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 suddenly are finding alarming relevance as the United States and Canada suffer the curses that are now undermining our national strength. Note the timely warning of Deuteronomy 28, verses 38 and 42, in which God warns that locusts will eat up crops and trees. Again in Joel chapter 1, God uses the plague of locusts to humble His nation–just as He did to ancient Egypt!

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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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