Update 548


Every Wind of Doctrine

On July 7, 2012, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “Every Wind of Doctrine.”

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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Lessons From Job

by Rene Messier (Canada)

At times, people may refer to the patience of Job–how he endured hardship and punishment from God and never complained. Of course, that is not true, because Job complained quite a bit. A deeper and more accurate analysis reveals that there are lessons for us to learn from the story of Job, even though Job had a hard time in learning these lessons himself.

Job is dead and the record of events is in the Bible for us to glean from it. Job suffered from two problems which are not as overtly evident as other sins one may have.  He was self-righteous, and he was also proud of his righteousness.  This is most likely why Satan did not see Job’s problems, because he allowed the same kinds of sins to overcome him.

Ezekiel 28:15-17 shows us why Lucifer fell and became Satan the devil. God said to him: “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.”

It’s interesting that Satan corrupted his wisdom and became proud and self-righteous. Once the mind of a spirit being or a human being is corrupted with sin, it cannot think right.  It is like a virus in a computer. If you do not deal with it early, it will corrupt the whole computer.

Paul understood this when he stated that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  A little sin, not dealt with, corrupts the whole mind, and that was where Job was heading. God had to intervene to break this vicious cycle. Just think of how entrenched Job’s problem was. He lost all his possessions; his children were taken from him; he had sores all over his body; and even his wife turned against him with discouraging words, saying: “Curse God and die.”

Job suffered great loss, but in the end, when he finally saw his problems and repented deeply of them, God blessed him with more than what he had at the beginning, as Job 42:12-17 explains to us:

“Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days.”

Job will be in God’s Kingdom because he repented of the corrupting sins, which he, in his self-righteousness and pride, could not see.  He even accused God of unrighteousness, because he wanted to maintain his self-righteousness. But Job’s sins were very evident to God, and had to be dealt with.

The lesson we must extract from this is that we must be very careful to deal with sin early, and not allow it to corrupt our minds, since we also want to be in God’s Kingdom along with Job. And further, if we don’t deal with our sins, God will, because He has called us for salvation and not for condemnation.

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We begin with reporting on America’s 4th of July Independence Day and an insightful article as to its relevance for us today;  reflect on America’s ongoing terrible natural disasters, caused largely by derechos; and give an interesting behind-the-scene look on the deliberations of the US Supreme court justices, which resulted in their controversial decision on the Obamacare health care law.

Focusing on Europe, we speak on Britain’s losing battle in trying to prevent the establishment of a political union and the inevitable outcome that Britain will become first a somewhat paralyzed second-class associate member and ultimately leave the EU. We also address France’s willingness to legalize same-sex marriages, showing the ongoing trend in Europe (and in the entire Western world), to allow what the Bible condemns, and prohibit what the Bible allows.

We continue with reports on rising tensions in the Middle East, singling out Iran and Egypt; and address growing military cooperation between Russia and India in the development of hypersonic missiles.

We conclude with the news regarding the alleged discovery of the Higgs boson or the “God particle,” which is thought to create a force field that permeates the universe, imbuing everything that we can see and touch with mass. If this discovery is genuine and confirmed, it would show once more God’s awesome power and intelligence—even though scientists would try to make a case for accidental evolution, to be sure.

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The Independence Day and the Cain Heresy

Haaretz wrote on July 4:

“In the beginning, there was a heresy. Early in the book of Genesis, God approached Cain, the first-born son of the first humans, and asked him ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ Abel, of course, was dead. Cain had murdered him in the world’s first act of mortal violence. But the murder, though horrific, was not the heresy. The heresy was Cain’s response: ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’

“Cain’s disingenuous and disturbing question reflects an idea that our natural state is independent from and free of obligation toward others; that we are responsible to others only when we choose to accept such responsibility, and even then, only as much as is dictated by our own self-interest or need. On numerous levels, this perspective is a dangerous and destructive heresy, and one not unique to the biblical Cain. It is widely held today in some circles, and it is what many will have in mind when they celebrate American Independence Day on July 4th. So this Independence Day seems an appropriate moment to publicly expose and refute it.

“To many Americans, independence has come to mean unlimited individual rights and no obligations toward others. Independence Day, to them, is a day to celebrate our liberation from having to be our fellow’s keeper, our independence from others.

“This view of independence is un-American. It is not what the American founders, at nearly every stage in the nation’s inception, envisioned. The Declaration of Independence asserted only the right to make a political break with Great Britain. It never advocated Americans breaking free of their obligations to each other. On the contrary, it maintained the collective responsibility of the people within the American body… And the U.S. Constitution is based on the concept that ‘We, the People’ are bound together, that we are responsible to protect and defend each other, and that we are obligated to promote each other’s wellbeing…

“My actions have consequences beyond my sphere of control, and similarly, the actions of others impact me… Finally, the Exodus story insists that freedom is incomplete without Torah [the Law], a covenant that (to name but a few of the hundreds of biblical laws that obligate us to each other) demands we care for the injured, attend to those in peril, and not remain indifferent to others’ suffering… unless we all see ourselves as our fellows’ keepers, none of us can be truly free.

“The Cain Heresy is alive and well in our culture, threatening to totally devour the freedom it claims to defend. This July 4th, as we enjoy our barbecue and fireworks, let us remember to celebrate not only our independence, but our interdependence as well.”

The Bible confirms indeed that we are our brother’s keeper. Compare, for example, James 2:15-16; Proverbs 3:27-28; Hebrews 13:16; Galatians 6:2, 9-10.

National Disasters in the USA

BBC reported on July 4:

“Nearly one million Americans are marking Independence Day amid a scramble to restore power five days after severe storms hit the eastern US. Residents without air-conditioning or working refrigerators are facing searing heat in the storm’s wake… The damage was mostly blamed on a meteorological phenomenon known as a derecho, which saw hurricane-force winds buffeted ahead of fast-moving thunderstorms. The derecho brought down trees and power lines, leaving three million people without electricity in the wake of the storm. The extreme heat, which continued over the following days, has been blamed for 24 deaths in seven states so far.

“The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It warned that ‘a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur’…

“Meanwhile, almost half of those still without power are said to be in West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains region of Virginia. West Virginia officials have asked residents not to set off fireworks at home because the high temperatures have increased the risk of fire in many places. Fallen trees that have not yet been removed could add to the hazard, they say. Further west, Colorado is one of several states hit by destructive wildfires rage in recent weeks that are scrapping their firework displays too, amid fears that dry grass could become tinder for wildfires.”

Report: Roberts Originally Voted to Strike Down Obamacare

Newsmax reported on July 1:

“Chief Justice John Roberts originally sided with conservatives who wanted to overturn Obamacare but then switched positions on the Affordable Care Act to ultimately side with liberal justices, according to a CBS report released Sunday. The highly detailed report, quoting anonymous sources apparently close to the Supreme Court, reveals many details concerning the super-secretive negotiations that go on behind the scenes during major deliberations.

“… while Roberts agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under Congress’ power to regulate commerce, he felt less strongly about whether the entire law should fall. Roberts switched positions to side with the liberal justices, perhaps in response to increasing pressure from outside the Court to rule in favor of the law, CBS reports… The article suggests that Roberts was as concerned with his reputation and the Court’s popular standing as he was with the merits of the case.”

This does not sound that surprising to someone who actually witnessed first-hand deliberations of justices and the “rationale” employed to reach certain desired conclusions.

EU Leaders Reach “Breakthrough” Deal

CNN reported on June 29:

“European leaders reached a ‘breakthrough’ deal early Friday to ease the recapitalization of struggling banks that should help draw the eurozone back from the brink of a gathering crisis.

“Under the deal, European leaders agreed to create a single supervisory body to oversee the eurozone’s banks which could use the single currency area’s rescue funds, the European Financial Stability Facility or European Stability Mechanism, to aid banks directly without adding to governments’ debt.

“European Union leaders are hoping for implementation of the agreement by July 9, an EU statement said… The deal is a big step toward a closer banking union across the 17-nation eurozone, which could be seen as a precursor to fiscal union. European markets responded positively to the news Friday morning and the euro currency strengthened appreciably.”

Germany Determined to Overcome European Financial Crisis—Britain Opposed…

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 30:

“The German parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of the European Union’s 120-billion-euro growth pact and European Stability Mechanism (ESM), signaling a determination to overcome the European financial crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin following EU summit talks in Brussels in order to address the legislative body before it closed for its summer recess on Friday… First the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favor of the two. The Bundesrat, representing Germany’s 16 states, also gave the green light several hours later.

“During the two-day talks with other leaders from the EU, Merkel remained steadfastly opposed to any moves to pool eurozone debt. She had to make some concessions, however, in order to adopt quick-fix solutions to address the crisis, such as allowing the ESM to give direct help to troubled eurozone banks, to which she had previously been opposed. Merkel defended her change of heart and pointed out that any assistance from the ESM would come with strict conditions…

“In the end, 25 of the EU’s 27 member states agreed to the fiscal growth pact. Britain and the Czech Republic did not sign the agreement. Only a handful of parliaments have ratified the pact thus far, including Greece, Latvia, Slovenia, Sweden and Denmark. It is believed that Germany’s approval of the measures will serve as a catalyst for quick ratification by other European legislative bodies.”

Germany will help to overcome the financial crisis and lead Europe—at least a developing Eurozone. Sadly, the Bible shows us that this will have devastating consequences for the entire world.

Great Britain—In or Out?

The Daily Mail reported on June 30:

“Speaking after a marathon Brussels summit that saw European leaders take a significant step towards the creation of a superstate, the Prime Minister [David Cameron] mounted his strongest defence yet of Britain’s membership of the EU. He acknowledged that the creation of a powerful new fiscal union would have ‘consequences for Britain’ and suggested that some renegotiation of our relationship with the EU may be needed in the future.

“But he explicitly ruled out the in/out referendum demanded by many of his MPs. Describing himself as a ‘realistic, optimistic Eurosceptic’, he gave a robust defence of Britain’s membership of the EU, saying three million jobs depended on it… ‘Britain is not going to cede more powers to Brussels… I think Britain has every chance of securing the sort of relationship we want in Europe.’”

This, however, is wishful thinking. It really boils down to the United Kingdom’s willingness to cede more powers to Brussels, or to exit the EU. The Bible indicates that the latter will happen soon. Note also the next articles:

Is Britain Sleepwalking?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on July 3:

“The British seem to have a taste for referendums at the moment. Next year, the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will vote on their status as a British overseas territory. Then, in 2014, the Scottish government will hold a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. Now it looks like there could be another nationwide referendum after that — on Britain’s membership of the European Union…

“The pressure from euroskeptics puts Cameron, who does not want to be rushed into holding a vote, in a tricky situation. In a speech to parliament on Monday on the outcome of last week’s EU summit, the prime minister said that although he is not in favor of an immediate referendum on EU membership, he does not want to rule one out for the future… If the euro zone grows ever closer together into a political union, it will change Britain’s relationship with the EU, Cameron said…

“It is entirely possible that the British could indeed vote in favor of leaving the EU. Britain is arguably the most euroskeptic country in the union, with only 17 percent of the British believing that they can trust the EU. But leaving the bloc is something which Cameron wants to avoid at all costs. Despite all the anti-EU rhetoric, he believes that access to the European internal market is a vital pillar of the British economy.

“Pro-European voices have warned that Britain is sleepwalking toward a departure from the union. ‘We are sliding towards the exit without any strategizing about what comes afterwards,’ Charles Grant, director of the influential Centre for European Reform think tank, told the Reuters news agency. ‘The chances of Britain leaving the EU in the next few years are higher than they have ever been,’ writes The Economist…

“The euro crisis has created a new political momentum within the euro zone which Britain needs to respond to, otherwise the country is at risk of becoming marginalized as a non-euro member… Cameron hopes to postpone the referendum issue for a few years…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other euro-zone leaders are unlikely to relish the prospect of a British prime minister who wants to take an even tougher line in Brussels. Cameron already dealt a setback to Merkel’s pet project, the fiscal pact, with his veto at the December EU summit. Cameron also caused problems at last week’s summit, dragging out the talks over a trivial detail. The British leader absolutely wanted the seat of the new European Unified Patent Court to be located in London. In the end, Cameron was satisfied with getting two branches for the pharmaceutical and life science industries…”

Britain Can No Longer Veto Deeper Integration

The Euobserver wrote on July 3:

“… there will be no return to the previous situation in which the UK was allowed to veto deeper integration… It remains apparent that Cameron cannot prevent whatever is about to happen: his bluff has been comprehensively called. Cameron told the press: ‘We won’t be part of a banking union, fiscal union or political union’. This means that the UK is headed directly either for complete withdrawal from the EU or, more likely, for a formal second-class associate membership based essentially on those aspects of the Single Market which the British may yet find palatable.

“One may note the delicious irony of the situation in which, just as the UK government rejects the European banking union, the high priests of Anglo-Saxon capitalism in the City of London (itself a victim of light regulation) would prefer to participate in such a centralised banking union at least in so far as their extensive euro dominated operations are concerned.”

Two-Speed Europe No Longer Taboo

The EUObserver wrote on June 29:

“… we observe with great concern the birth of a two-level solidarity within the Union: one for those inside and the other for those outside the eurozone… Banks from the Central and Eastern Europe, which are not members of the euro area, are to a large extent (about 70 percent in Poland), held by banks from the eurozone…

“The already-existing Eurogroup meetings and the separate summits restricted to members of the euro area confirm the emergence of an institutional cleavage within the Union… large and small countries, eurozone members and countries outside the zone are treated differently… the phenomenon of a two-speed Europe not only becomes a fact of increasing likelihood, but it is more and more politically acknowledged and approved.”

The emergence of a core Europe, consisting of Eurozone members, appears to be inevitable.

“France to Legalize Gay Marriage”

Deutsche Welle reported on June 30:

“It will soon be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in France, after the new Socialist government announced plans to legalize gay marriage. French President Francois Hollande is to use the majority he won in parliamentary elections two weeks ago to make good on his campaign promise to legalize gay marriage and adoption…

“The conservative UMP, which opposed the measure under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, can do little to stop the Socialists from passing a law granting full marriage rights to gay couples. In doing so, it will join fellow EU members Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. Currently France only allows same-sex civil unions. The government also plans to discuss ways of making life easier for trans-gender individuals, whose legal dealings are often complicated by their change of name and sex. For Hollande, enabling gay marriage would help boost his image as a man of his word and an agent for progressive social change…

“Just six years ago, surveys indicated that most French people were opposed to changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage. According to the pollster BVA, this has changed markedly, with more than 60 percent supporting the idea today. More than two-thirds of French people still describe themselves as Roman Catholic, but church attendance has been dropping in recent years. And fewer Catholics today adhere to strict church teachings on sexual issues. Conservatives and practicing Catholics, however, are still deeply opposed to enabling gay marriage and adoption.”

And so, “progressive change” in our Western “Christian” societies seems to mean, abandoning the teachings of the Bible and adopting and embracing what the Bible prohibits. Apart from the abominable recent court decision in Cologne, Germany, criminalizing circumcision (which decision was approved of by a majority of Germans), we prohibit or disfavor the biblically permitted spanking of children, while we allow and approve of the practice of abortion (mainly as a “birth control” device), the practice of homosexuality, gender change, adultery, premarital sex… and the list could go on and on. The Bible prophesies that soon, the keeping of the biblical Sabbath and the annual Holy Days will be outlawed as well in Europe (as it was in previous times), and animal sacrifices in Jerusalem, which will commence in the not-too-distant future, will be violently suppressed by European powers. Clearly, it is Satan, the god of this world, who has deceived all nations and their governments, who is inspiring and instigating these ungodly developments.

Tensions Mount in the Middle East

The New York Times wrote on July 3:

“The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates… But at a moment that the United States and its allies are beginning to enforce a much broader embargo on Iran’s oil exports, meant to force the country to take seriously the negotiations over sharply limiting its nuclear program, the buildup carries significant risks, including that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps could decide to lash out against the increased presence.

“The most visible elements of this buildup are Navy ships designed to vastly enhance the ability to patrol the Strait of Hormuz — and to reopen the narrow waterway should Iran attempt to mine it to prevent Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters from sending their tankers through the vital passage….

“Negotiations with Iran are at a stalemate… Responding to the tightening of Western sanctions, Iran on Monday announced that it would consider proposed legislation to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz as well as missile tests, in a drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States. The Iranian legislation calls for Iran’s military to block any oil tanker en route to countries no longer buying Iranian crude because of the embargo… Senior Pentagon and military officials acknowledge that Iran has the capability to close the strait, at least temporarily…”

Iran: We Will Destroy U.S. Military Bases Across the Middle East

Reuters reported on July 4:

“Iran has threatened to destroy U.S. military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, as Revolutionary Guards extended test-firing of ballistic missiles into a third day. Israel has hinted it may attack Iran if diplomacy fails to secure a halt to its disputed nuclear energy program. The United States also has mooted military action as a last-resort option but has frequently nudged the Israelis to give time for intensified economic sanctions to work against Iran.

“‘These bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands (Israel) are also good targets for us,’ Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division… said [and that] 35 U.S. bases were within reach of Iran’s ballistic missiles, the most advanced of which commanders have said could hit targets 2,000 km (1,300 miles) away… It was not clear where Haji Zadeh got his figures on U.S. bases in the region. U.S. military facilities in the Middle East are located in Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey, and it has around 10 bases further afield in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan…

“Iran has upped its fiery anti-West rhetoric in response to the launch on Sunday of a total European Union embargo on buying Iranian crude oil – the latest calibrated increase in sanctions aimed at pushing Tehran into curbing nuclear activity…”

In light of the failure of American and European sanctions against Iran, the likelihood of a military confrontation between Iran and America, as well as Israel (and perhaps even Europe), is nearing a climax. Are we are going to see soon an outright war in the Middle East?

Egypt’s New President

Deutsche Welle reported on June 30:

“Mohammed Morsi has been officially sworn in as Egypt’s president at a ceremony at the Constitutional Court in Cairo Saturday, becoming the first elected leader of the country since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Morsi is the first Islamist to be freely elected in the Arab world. He becomes Egypt’s fifth head of state since the country’s monarchy was overthrown 60 years ago… Before being elected president, Morsi was the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He resigned from his post with the Brotherhood when he won the election.

“On Friday, Morsi took a symbolic oath of office during a speech on Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the revolution that overthrew Mubarak in February. He promised a civilian state and praised ‘the square of the revolution, the square of freedom.’ Traditionally, the president takes the oath in parliament, but Egypt’s top court ordered the disbanding of the Islamist-dominated legislature. The military subsequently assumed legislative powers and also formed a powerful national security council headed by the president but dominated by generals. By agreeing to be sworn in by the Constitutional Court, Morsi is effectively acknowledging the court’s decision to dissolve parliament.”

Morsi’s resignation from the Muslim Brotherhood is just a show and of no substantive consequences. As an Islamist by heart, he will not follow Western desires and help establish a true democracy, and Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel won’t continue to last for long.

Russia and India Developing Hypersonic Missiles

On June 28, wired.com wrote the following:

“Russia and India are… developing a hypersonic missile capable of traveling more than five times the speed of sound… If it works, the missile — called the BrahMos 2 — is expected to travel up to Mach 7 from sea-, land- and air-launched platforms. And it’s supposed to be ready for flight tests in 2017…  ‘I think we will need about 5 years to develop the first fully functional prototype,’ Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of India-based BraHmos Aerospace said in Moscow on Wednesday. Pillai also suggested the missile already exists, and that BrahMos has conducted ‘lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach.’…

“Hypersonic and scramjet research in the United States also goes back to the early days of the Cold War. But it wasn’t until 1991 when Russia became the first country to successfully test a scramjet. More tests followed, and with the help of NASA, Russia successfully flew a hydrogen-fueled scramjet at up to Mach 6.4 over Kazakhstan in 1998. In 2001, U.S. defense analysts took notice of a mysterious ultra-high-speed Russian missile test suspected of being powered by a scramjet. The first successful solo American scramjet tests didn’t occur until the 2000s…

“In May, Russian defense industry chief Dmitry Rogozin called the decline of research into hypersonic weapons since the Soviet era ‘a treasonable act to our national interests’ and that developing hypersonic weapons was necessary to respond to U.S. developments…”

The military cooperation between Russia and India is quite interesting, as the Bible shows that powerful “kings from the East” will invade Europe and the Middle East in the not-too-distant future.

Did Scientists Find the “God Particle”?

The Washington Post reported on July 4:

“A half-century scientific quest culminated early Wednesday as physicists announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle — one theorized to be so fundamental that without it, nothing could exist. Dubbed the Higgs boson — or the ‘God particle,’ to the chagrin of scientists — the particle is thought to create a sort of force field that permeates the universe, imbuing everything that we can see and touch with the fundamental property known as mass…

“The discovery of the new particle completes what’s known as the Standard Model of particle physics… The Standard Model lists and arranges the particles and forces of nature… When the other particles that make up the stuff of the universe — protons, neutrons, electrons and so on — interact with the Higgs field, they acquire the trait known as mass. More massive objects get tangled up in the field — and hence, slowed down as they move — more than less massive objects.

“One way to think of the Higgs field: It’s the water the entire universe swims in. The CERN physicists did not see this new particle directly, because it disintegrates too quickly. Rather, they divined its existence from sifting through the debris of millions of high-energy subatomic collisions and then searching for clues that the Higgs had been there. It’s like divining the presence of an elusive snow leopard by studying thousands of criss-crossed paw prints…

“The idea of the Higgs, or something like it, has been around since 1964, when it was first hypothesized by Peter Higgs. The Standard Model of physics had a hole in it — one that needed to be filled by a particle that imbues everything with mass. It became known as the Higgs boson…

“Mass is not the same thing as weight, although the two concepts are easily confused. An object has mass even in outer space. Mass is an object’s resistance to being shoved around — its inertia. A photon, which is a light particle, has no mass because it zips through the Higgs ocean without interacting with it… A neutrino has an extremely small mass — it moves at nearly the speed of light… Ordinary matter that comprises the bulk of stars, planets and human beings is relatively massive. The most massive particles move like someone trying to walk through neck-high water. This notion of a field that gives particles mass has been essential to understanding the way the universe is put together…”

Of course, if this discovery is confirmed as being accurate, scientists will be quick explaining how “evolution” and “blind chance” were responsible for the “creation” of the universe. This is why they do not like the description of the “Higgs boson” as the “God particle.” (Of course, they would first of all have to explain where the “God particle” came from.) What it would actually show is another proof for the workings of the amazing power and intelligence of God, in both creating and sustaining the universe. As we read in Hebrews 1:1-3, Revised Version:

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.”

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Where Will the Resurrection Take Place?

As we have explained before, the Bible teaches three resurrections—one to eternal life, and two to physical life. But does the Bible tell us anything about the location as to WHERE, exactly, those who have died will be resurrected?

In our Q&A on the “resurrection of the physical body,” we addressed the question as to HOW God will resurrect those who have died. We wrote the following:

“Regarding the resurrection of those who died ‘in Christ,’ that is, in whom God’s Holy Spirit dwelled when they died, we read that they are resurrected with an immortal SPIRITUAL body. God will raise them up to spiritual, immortal and eternal life. God will not first resurrect their dead ‘physical bodies’ and then ‘change’ them into spiritual bodies. Rather, God will resurrect or raise the Christians with spiritual bodies…

“When we die in Christ, our bodies decay. The bodies of those who died in Christ thousands of years ago have completely decayed. They became dust and ashes, as God said that they would (Genesis 3:19)… HOW exactly, will God resurrect those who died in Christ? We know that God gives every man a spirit which separates him from the animals (1 Corinthians 2:11)… The spirit in man records all our thoughts and retains all of our memories, as well as our general outward appearance. We read that the spirit in man goes back to God when man dies. In addition, a Christian receives in his life God’s Holy Spirit, which will also return to God, together with the spirit in man, when the Christian dies… It is through the spirit in man (combined with the Holy Spirit) that God will raise Christians with immortal spiritual bodies…

“The Bible also teaches that all those who did NOT die ‘in Christ’ will be resurrected AFTER the Millennium to be given their chance to choose God’s Way of Life. This is commonly referred to in the Bible as the ‘second resurrection.’ But they will be resurrected as physical beings, not as Spirit beings. When they are raised from the dead, they will receive a new physical body–not a spiritual body. But this does not mean that God will resurrect their identical physical bodies, which they had when they died, and which subsequently decayed in their graves–or which were obliterated in atomic and nuclear blasts in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and in a nuclear war still prophesied to come, or which became ashes during the Holocaust, or which were cremated.

“HOW, exactly, will God resurrect them? God will not raise their physical bodies which had been decayed and decomposed. Rather, He will resurrect them in the same way (albeit to physical life) as He will raise those who died in Christ… When those in the second resurrection are being given physical life, God is not resurrecting their physical bodies, per se… The resurrection to a physical existence in Ezekiel 37, describing the ‘valley of dry bones,’ is of course a vision, and uses figurative terms, to describe a resurrection to physical life. It cannot be used literally to teach a resurrection of the same dead physical bodies. After all, in the vision, the very dry bones speak, verse 11…

“Insofar as the second resurrection is concerned of those who died [about] 1,000 years or even [about] 7,000 years earlier, and whose bodies decayed or were obliterated, God will be using their spirit in man (which returned to God upon death) to create through it a new physical body for them. God will give them a new flesh and blood physical body, as He pleases, using the spirit in man as a ‘mold’ which has retained even the outward appearance of the person.

“This is not to say that the persons will be raised exactly to the same physical existence that they had when they died. For instance, we don’t believe that a person who, through an accident or a birth defect, had only one arm or one leg, will be resurrected to exactly that identical state, but, in all likelihood, with two arms and two legs. We find it reasonable to conclude that blind persons will be raised with eyesight. An aborted fetus will obviously not be resurrected as a fetus, but as a human being who will be capable of living on his own. When Adam and Eve were created, God did not create them as little children, but as grown adults, perhaps in their early or mid-twenties, and He placed in them the spirit in man, even though they were without any prior experience.

“We don’t know how, exactly, God will raise those in the second resurrection. The Bible does not reveal whether a person who died at age 90 will look like a 90-year old person in the second resurrection, or whether he will look like the person that he was when he was in his twenties. But it stands to reason that all will be resurrected to live healthy lives for about one hundred years, which–as the Bible indicates–is most likely the time allotted to them during the Great White Throne Judgment period…”

There are many additional questions regarding the exact way in which God will raise the dead in the resurrections. One question which is repeatedly asked is WHERE exactly the resurrections will take place. Will they take place at the exact location where they were buried? If so, what will happen after their resurrection?

The Bible gives us several indications as to what is going to occur regarding those in the FIRST resurrection to eternal life. First of all, we read that ALL who are in their graves (that would include those who died “in Christ”) will hear the voice of Christ and come forth (John 5:28-29). It appears, therefore, that they will be resurrected at the place of their burial and come forth from there. Of course, as was explained above, their bones decayed, and their resurrection will be to spirit existence; still, it appears that God will raise their spiritual bodies at the place of their burial.

This is apparently generally the case, but not exclusively. For instance, over the millennia, some, if not many Christians, were not buried in a grave, but they might have been cremated or burned, and their ashes might not be deposited anywhere. Or, they might be “buried” in the ocean. Although the Bible does not specifically state this, if no exact location for a “burial” exists, they might be raised at the place where they died.

What will happen immediately after they are raised in the first resurrection? We read that they will be brought to the returning Christ, meeting Him in the air. But how exactly will that occur? Will they know precisely, when they are raised from the dead, that they need to lift themselves up to meet Christ?

The Bible indicates that angels will have an active part in this. We read that when Christ returns, He will send out His angels to gather His elect: “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER” (Matthew 24:31).

Notice what we wrote in our Q&A on the “four winds”:

“Consider that some converted Christians will be at the place of safety when Christ returns (compare Revelation 12:14; 3:10). But this is not true for everybody. Others will have survived the Great Tribulation in their respective localities, but some, if not many, will have been, as captives, brought to all kinds of places all over the world (compare Deuteronomy 28:64-68). Others, over the millennia, died in Christ, and they were buried in diverse places. When Christ returns, they will hear His voice and be resurrected to immortality, coming out of their graves (John 5:28-29), or they will be changed to immortality (if they are still alive and Christ’s Spirit dwells in them, 1 Corinthians 15:50-52). Then, the angels of God will gather all of them (Psalm 50:5) and bring them to Christ to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Christ and His saints will then descend together to the Mount of Olives to begin to rule in the KINGDOM OF GOD here on earth (Zechariah 14:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Jude 14-15; Daniel 7:14, 22, 27; Revelation 5:10; 20:4).”

It appears, then, that those who died in Christ will basically be raised at the (approximate) location where they were buried or their remains were kept, or, if no such location exists, they might be raised at the place where they died. In any event, after they are raised, angels will come and bring them to the returning Christ, meeting Him in the air.

We might also notice the account of the two witnesses. Judging from the context of the passage, they will be resurrected to eternal life at the time of the first resurrection of all Christians, and at the place of their death. They will hear a voice from heaven, saying to them to come up here, and they will ascend in a cloud (as all Christians will rise on clouds at the time of their resurrection).  It is not specifically mentioned here that angels will be actively guiding them in this process, but the voice from heaven, which might very well be an angelic voice (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16), suggests this—it most certainly does not contradict Christ’s statement in Matthew 24:31.

Where will those in the SECOND and THIRD resurrections to physical life be raised?

It appears that the dead will also be raised at the (approximate) locations WHERE they were buried or where their remains were kept, or where they died.

For instance, we read in Ezekiel 37—even though this passage is just a vision—that the dry bones of the Israelites are being resurrected at a certain location, and that afterwards, the resurrected people will be transported to the land of Israel; that is, however one wants to look at this vision, the thought is being conveyed here that they are not resurrected right away in the Promised Land where they will finally end up living. Notice God’s words in Ezekiel 37:12: “O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves [they will hear the voice of Christ and come out of their graves, as we read in John 5:28-29], and BRING YOU into the land of Israel.”

We find also an interesting passage regarding those who will be resurrected in the third resurrection: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them” (Revelation 20:13). This seems to indicate that their resurrection to physical life will take place approximately at the location where their death and/or their burial took place. But what is going to happen next, especially for those who died at sea—both in the third and the second resurrection? (We might think of all the Egyptians, for example, who drowned and died in the Red Sea). Since they will be resurrected to physical life, they would not be able to survive for long in the sea, unless some supernatural event would occur. And the Bible says that it will.

In regard to the third resurrection, we are specifically told that God will send His angels to gather the incorruptible wicked out of the kingdom and cast them into the lake of fire (Matthew 13:41-42). So, wherever those who have committed the unpardonable sin will be resurrected, angels will transport them supernaturally from there to the place where the lake of fire will be situated, to be burned up and destroyed. But before they are destroyed, they will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (apparently in Jerusalem), to be judged and condemned by Him, each one according to his works (Revelation 20:13-14).

It stands to reason, then, that angels will also be actively involved in regard to those who will be raised in the second resurrection. They too will end up standing before God (Revelation 20:12). In fact, we read that ALL will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-12). Somehow, they have to be brought to Christ. Undoubtedly, angels will play a part in this, but remember that those who have qualified to become God beings in the Kingdom of God will also rule and judge, under Christ (compare Daniel 7:18, 21-22, 27; Revelation 22:5). Even though the Bible does not specifically explain the exact nature of their involvement at the time of the second resurrection of their loved ones who had died, without having been called to salvation in this day and age, we feel rather confident that those immortal God beings will be right there, with Christ, when their physical loved ones will be brought by the angels to Jesus Christ. Some of the immortal God beings might even be there at the very place of the resurrection of their loved ones, to bring them, with the angels, to Christ.

When Christ was resurrected, He manifested himself and appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the other Mary, the eleven disciples, to other disciples and to His half-brothers, and these appearances confirmed to His unconverted family members what He had told them before, and they had undoubtedly a major impact on their conversion.

Now assume that you have been called in this day and age, and that you will qualify for the Kingdom of God and enter into eternal life at the time of Christ’s return. Continue to think of your loved ones, friends and relatives who had heard the truth to an extent, but had died before Christ’s return, unable to accept the truth, because they were not called then. Imagine that they will be resurrected in the second resurrection and see you right there and then (as you will manifest yourself to their eyes, as Christ did in front of His relatives and friends). What a great impact will that fact have on them? They will realize that God’s Word, which they had been taught, had been true, and it can be assumed that most will gladly embrace the opportunity then to become converted and enter the Family of God.

Realizing all of this, what a great and tremendous responsibility we have today—those of us who have been called and chosen in this life to salvation—to make our calling and election sure, so that we can be there, as immortal God beings, to help our loved ones, friends and relatives in the second resurrection, to also come to the knowledge of the truth!

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Our new booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Biblical Prophecy” has entered its second review cycle.

The German translation of our booklet on Tithing has entered its second review cycle.

A new StandingWatch program was recorded and posted on YouTube and our website (www.standingwatch.org), titled, “The Heresy of Cain and Independence Day.” It discusses the following:

One author wrote that when God approached Cain  and asked him, Where is your brother Abel?, Cain committed a heresy, when he answered, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper? The author continued that to many Americans, Independence Day is a day to celebrate their liberation from having to be our fellow’s keeper, our independence from others. He said that the Cain Heresy is alive and well in our culture, threatening to totally devour the freedom it claims to defend. What about it? Does the Bible say that we are to be our brother’s keeper? And if so, how?

An audio version of this same program will air Sunday, July 15, 2012, on our radio affiliates in the U.S.

Norbert Link’s new video-taped sermon, “Captivity Reversed” has been posted on YouTube and our website, www.EternalGod.org.

This week’s new German sermon is titled, “Denn Ihrer ist das Himmelreich” (”For Theirs Is the Kingdom of Heaven”).

A reminder for those wishing to attend the Feast of Tabernacles with us for 2012–please review details posted on our website under the “FEASTS” heading. Our locations for this year are Pismo Beach, California, and Deganwy, North Wales.

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by Kalon Mitchell

From a very young age, I was taught to contribute. Whether it be at home in a family setting or in society, I was taught how to be useful.  Growing up, I remember having chores and being responsible for them. These chores helped me to gain useful attributes such as respect, work ethic and patience.

After losing my job over a year ago, I became aware of the fact that the need is built into humans to feel useful and be a part of something. When I was not actively working at a goal, I felt the tendency of becoming depressed and self-centered. But it is when I am working towards a larger picture, that I am really starting to excel.      

Now that I have a job again, I feel like I am once again useful. I am contributing to an organization, and I am contributing financially to my family and to the church.  When I was unemployed, I often felt frustrated with the feeling that I could not help or contribute. But the fact is that there has always been a way for me to contribute.

I am part of something that is so big. When I was experiencing feelings of doubt or despair, I took courage because I had the opportunity to contribute to the most important Work in all the world. Whether it be through tithes or offerings, prayers, technical support, special music, helping others, etc., there has always been a way to contribute.

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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