|Live Services||Determined to Endure and Support|
|Editorial||The Pitfalls of Compromise|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||How do we understand Daniel 7:12?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Determined to Endure and Support
On February 9th, 2013, Robb Harris and Eric Rank will give split sermons, titled, respectively, “Determined to Endure” and “Support.”
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.
The Pitfalls of Compromise
by Rene Messier (Canada)
When analyzing the recent apostasy in the Worldwide Church of God after Herbert Armstrong’s death, why was Satan’s first attack on the Church directed towards the true teaching about “being born again”?
Satan is not stupid and his agenda and desires are and were to be worshipped as god and to replace the one true God as the supreme Commander of the universe. Satan is very subtle and an expert in deception and lying.
The commission of the end-time Church is to preach and publish the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness, and to feed the flock and baptize those whom God is calling and to help the Body of Christ, collectively and individually, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
At the very core of this gospel is the correct knowledge and understanding about “being born again” and that God is reproducing Himself through mankind. When we receive the Holy Spirit at the time of our true baptism as adults, we become “begotten” members of God’s Family, but we are not yet born. Once we are born again, at the time of Christ’s return, we will be God and enter the Kingdom and Family of God as immortal Spirit beings.
The dismantling and/or changing of this understanding was crucial in Satan’s eyes to corrupt the Church, since that knowledge also includes the fact that Christ will come to establish God’s rule on this earth and to replace the rule of Satan and the demons over this present evil world, and that we, as God’s immortal sons and daughters, will be ruling mankind under Christ in the world tomorrow.
Corrupting this understanding was similar to placing a virus in a computer. Christ is the Head of the Church and if we think of the Church as a body, it stands on two legs. Applying this spiritual analogy to two legs of important doctrines, Satan proceeded in attempting to cut off one leg–that being in our case the doctrine of “born again.” Those who adopted this false understanding became inhibited, but they were still able to “stand” to an extent. To completely make them fall, Satan had to cut off both legs. And so, Satan proceeded in trying to cut off the other leg—again, in our analogy, this second leg being the doctrine about the nature of God.
The knowledge that God is a ruling Kingdom and Family, currently consisting of two members, is crucial to the true gospel, since it also helps us to understand our ultimate destiny.
Slowly turning that correct understanding to the pagan and unbiblical doctrine of the Trinity was like cutting the second leg from the body which caused the body to fall, and our former Church organization and its “obedient” members have never recovered from that fall.
These two doctrines are crucial for us to stand as a Church, and they are also crucial for the gospel message to be properly understood. In order to survive spiritually, we must never let go or compromise in any godly teaching, and that is especially true in regard to these and other foundational doctrines.
Our former Church association once had the knowledge of God’s truth, but they forsook virtually all of it through compromise and deception, and unfortunately, many members followed that corrupted path of their deceived and deceiving leadership, and much confusion and splintering have been the consequence ever since. This must serve as a warning for all of us, not to fall again for Satan’s evil devices.
We begin with quoting controversial statements from President Obama and reporting on the haunting curses of his new Healthcare experiment; address the ongoing controversy regarding drone and cyber wars; continue with America’s foolish endeavor to provide radical Egypt with fighter jets and Egypt’s and Iran’s attempts to unite the Muslim world against Israel; and speak of the brainwashing tactics of Evolution-believing scientists and God-defying secularists.
We report on monumental ecumenical and political developments involving the Catholic Church, Protestant churches and Palestine; report on a dramatic switch of Catholic policy in Germany; continue with a growing trend in Europe to verbally and physically attack “Zionists” and to rid themselves of “unwelcome” Jews, while refusing to identify Hezbollah as a terrorist group; and conclude with articles on a major earthquake and tsunami in the South Pacific; the detestable bribes in major soccer games in Europe, Africa, Asia and South and Central America; and Carnival celebrations in Germany.
This Week in the News
The President Speaks… Who Is Listening?
USA Today wrote on February 3:
“President Obama said Sunday the economy is poised for growth, but not if Washington ‘dysfunction’ gets in the way. ‘Washington cannot continually operate under a cloud of crisis,’ Obama told CBS News in his annual Super Bowl Sunday interview. He urged Congress to avoid an upcoming series of automatic spending cuts. Obama… also urged the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on gays, expressed concern about the safety of football, and said he would not hesitate to order women into combat…
“The president spoke just days after news that the economy shrunk slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012, a development Obama attributed to a sharp drop in defense spending brought on by uncertainty over the ‘fiscal cliff’ and other political disputes. The White House and Congress forestalled the fiscal cliff — a series of automatic tax hikes and budget cuts — with a New Year’s Day agreement that raised income tax rates on households that make more than $450,000 per year. The deal also deferred automatic spending cuts for two months, to the start of March.”
President Obama’s contradictory statements do not seem to be convincing. He speaks out against violence in football and unrestricted access to assault weapons, but has no hesitation ordering women into combat. He predicts economic growth, while the economy shrunk in 2012. He blames Congress for our economic situation, while willing to increase spending. He proposes lifting the ban on gays in Boy Scouts, while endorsing liberties and freedom for everyone… but denies the Boy Scouts their freedom to exclude gays. In this context, please read the next article.
Religious Groups Object to Boy Scout Changes
The Wall Street Journal reported on February 6:
“The Boy Scouts of America’s national executive board said Wednesday that it is delaying a vote on changes to the group’s ban on gay scouts and leaders, amid pressure from religious groups that say more discussion is needed… ‘After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,’ the Scouts said in a statement…
“Some of the religious leaders were opposed to the change, while others supported it… Last summer, the Scouts reaffirmed the ban, saying it was ‘absolutely the best policy’… The Scouts have been under pressure from gay-rights activists, who over the past year have gathered more than a million signatures through online petitions to end the ban. Some corporate sponsors pulled funding because of the ban…”
Obamacare’s Disaster and “Hidden” Curse
Breitbart wrote on January 31, 2013:
“The IRS has begun implementing Obamacare; starting in 2014, ‘people who choose not to buy insurance and don’t qualify for an exemption from the mandate will have to pay a fine of $95.’ The $95 penalty will increase to $695 in 2016, and continue to grow thereafter at a ‘pre-determined’ rate.
“Households that do not earn enough to pay federal income tax are exempt from the penalty of the mandate, as are persons who are temporarily unemployed or transitioning from one job to another. The current rules of the healthcare overhaul also say that if you have insurance ‘for one day of a month,’ it will count as having coverage for that entire month.”
On January 31, 2013, CNS News reported:
“In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year. Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS. The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.
“The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan. ‘The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,’ the regulation says. Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016… the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a ‘penalty’ (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a ‘tax’) of $2,400 in 2016…”
Ignorant left-wing liberals and socialists embraced and welcomed the Obamacare regulations as a great accomplishment, while nobody had actually read the bill. They are being surprised more and more by the hidden curses and disastrous concepts of this ill-conceived adventure which are bound to contribute to the economic downfall of our country.
Drone War At High Risk
NBC News reported on February 6:
“Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida — with one saying the White House was acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’… The experts said the memo… threatened constitutional rights and dangerously expanded the definition of national self-defense and of what constitutes an imminent attack. ‘Anyone should be concerned when the president and his lawyers make up their own interpretation of the law or their own rules,’ said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and an authority on international law and the use of force. ‘This is a very, very dangerous thing that the president has done,’ she added.
“…the memo… specifically says the government is not required to have ‘clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.’… Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who writes about security and liberty for the British newspaper The Guardian, described the memo as ‘fundamentally misleading,’ with a clinical tone that disguises ‘the radical and dangerous power it purports to authorize. If you believe the president has the power to order U.S. citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable,’ he wrote.”
While many conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats support the Obama Administration’s use of drones to kill “the enemy”—including American citizens abroad—CNN, normally very supportive of President Obama, asked the pertinent question on February 6 where it will end—if it is permitted today to kill American citizens abroad without any charges, trial and conviction, only because they are SUSPECTED of terrorist activities, will the government soon be willing to kill “suspicious” American citizens INSIDE the USA?
Cyberattacks at High Risk
Deutsche Welle reported on February 6:
“Media reports claim that the US is secretly claiming the right to launch pre-emptive cyberattacks in ‘credible threat’ scenarios… Many were surprised when the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post announced recently that they had been hit for over four months by cyberattacks, in part coming from China. Perhaps more alarmingly, the US Department of Homeland Security said that one power station had been knocked out for weeks by a cyberattack, though it declined to say which. The US has of course launched a number of digital onslaughts of its own, most notably on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. And that attack was not risk-free, as the so-called Stuxnet virus injected into Iranian systems ended up being leaked onto the Internet and copied millions of times.
“A number of security firms and analysts have warned that cyber warfare will escalate in 2013, with some warning that it could be only a matter of time before a cyberweapon takes lives like any other weapon would… ‘A [cyberattack] perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11,’ Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last October. ‘Such a destructive cyber terrorist attack could paralyze the nation.’ That view appeared to be confirmed by a report in the New York Times on Sunday (03.02.2013), which indicated that the arsenal of cyber weapons now at the disposal of the US and other nation-states is larger than most suspect. ‘There are levels of cyberwarfare that are far more aggressive than anything that has been used or recommended to be done,’ one official told the paper on condition of anonymity…
“That begs many questions – such as: who is able to order such attacks, and under what circumstances? According to the officials quoted in the New York Times, the answer to the first question is pretty clear – only the president… the answer to the second question – the definition of when an attack may be carried out – remains deliberately vague… a secret legal review seen by the New York Times suggests that President Barack Obama has the power to order a pre-emptive strike, if the US has credible evidence of an imminent digital attack…”
In light of the government’s dealings with drones, the President’s perceived authority to order cyberattacks is also a frightening and little assuring scenario.
“Those Who Live by the Sword…”
Fox News reported on February 5:
“After a public backlash, former presidential candidate Ron Paul used his Facebook page to clarify controversial comments he made Monday about the Navy SEAL who was killed at a Texas gun range over the weekend. On Monday, Paul, 77, took cyber heat for a tweet he sent out following the news of the veteran’s death. Paul wrote: ‘Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”’…
“Paul… offered a clarification on his Facebook page. He wrote: ‘As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies…’
“Paul has spent much of his congressional career denouncing military intervention overseas. He publicly opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and called them unconstitutional… Kyle, who had four tours in Iraq, was the most lethal sniper in the U.S. He had 160 confirmed kills and received 14 different awards and decorations, including two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals…”
Egypt Receives U.S. Fighter Jets
Reuters reported on February 3:
“The United States has delivered four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, Egypt’s military and a U.S. military delegation said on Sunday, highlighting military links between the two countries despite Egypt’s political upheaval. A statement from the American embassy in Cairo said a U.S. delegation and Egypt held a joint ceremony on Sunday to mark the arrival of the jets, the latest of 224 F-16s delivered to Egypt. “
“U.S. aid, which has brought criticism in the U.S. Congress, has given the United States leverage over Egypt for decades and given its warships preferential access to the Suez Canal… Part of a group of 20 F-16s, the four jets arrived in January, with the rest due later in 2013, Egyptian media reported.”
America’s political blindness continues. It has not learned from its past mistakes. It is continuing to feed the Frankenstein monster of its own creation.
Iran Wants Ties with Egypt
The Washington Post reported on February 5:
“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Cairo on Tuesday as Iran’s first leader to visit Egypt since the two nations ended diplomatic relations in 1980, another sign of the regional shifts triggered by the Arab Spring. But although the countries’ ties have thawed since the overthrow of Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, key differences — including opposing views on the conflict in Syria — make the prospect of fully restored relations distant…
“Iran cut off diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980 over the latter’s recognition of Israel, and Mubarak, who cultivated ties with the West, was deeply suspicious of Tehran’s influence. But Morsi traveled to Iran in August for a Non-Aligned Movement meeting, and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has begun advancing the idea that Iran’s 1979 revolution was, as he put it last summer, ‘a role model for these popular movements’ that have risen up during the Arab Spring. As he left Tehran for Cairo, where he is scheduled to attend an Islamic conference, Ahmadinejad told reporters that his purpose was to ‘try to prepare the grounds for cooperation between the two great nations of Iran and Egypt’…
“Their governments share opposition to Israel and intense interest in the Syrian conflict…The most immediate divergence between the nations is their view of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which Iran supports and Egypt condemns… Still, some observers say Egypt is looking to maintain at least cordial ties with the Islamic republic, which it recognizes as a major regional player and worthwhile economic partner.”
Egypt Asks Muslim Countries to Unite Against Israel
The Times of Israel wrote on February 6:
“Egypt’s Islamist president on Wednesday told leaders of Islamic countries that there will not be regional peace until a Palestinian state is founded, and called on them to unite against Israel. Speaking at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo, Mohammed Morsi said that ‘there won’t be peace in the Arab region unless the Palestinian people receive their rights and unless the brutal assault [on them] ends and the Palestinians receive their freedom and have a separate homeland and sovereign state.’
“The means of obtaining that objective, he told OIC leaders, was unified action by Muslim states against Israel. ‘We must cooperate to stop Israel’s hotheaded takeover of the Palestinian territories,’ he said. ‘The Palestinian issue is the central issue… it is the cornerstone for stability [in the Middle East]. The aspiration is to found a sovereign state whose capital is Jerusalem, and [we] are obliged to do it.’”
Brainwashing Through Evolution
The Guardian wrote on January 31, 2013:
“Four US states are considering new legislation about teaching science in schools, allowing pupils to be taught religious versions of how life on earth developed in what critics say would establish a backdoor way of questioning the theory of evolution. Fresh legislation has been put forward in Colorado, Missouri and Montana. In Oklahoma, there are two bills before the state legislature that include potentially creationist language…
“The moves in such a wide range of states have angered advocates of secularism in American official life… Over the past few years, only Tennessee and Louisiana have managed to pass so-called ‘academic freedom’ laws of the kind currently being considered in the four states…
“Intelligent design, which a local school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, had sought to get accepted as legitimate science, [was defeated in a landmark court case in 2005 and] asserts that modern life is too complex to have evolved by chance alone…”
While the unscientific and thoroughly atheistic evolution concept is being taught to the minds of our children with the obvious attempt to brainwash them, the biblical and godly truth of creation is being rejected by secularists and scientific agnostics.
Monumental Decision Regarding Ecumenical Relations
The Huffington Post wrote on January 31:
“In a monumental occasion for ecumenical relations, the U.S. Roman Catholic church and a group of Protestant denominations plan to sign a document on Tuesday evening to formally agree to recognize each other’s baptisms. Catholic leaders will join representatives from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christian Reformed Church in North America, Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ at the ceremony in Austin, Texas, to sign the agreement…
“Currently, the Protestant churches recognize Roman Catholic baptisms, but the Catholic church does not always recognize theirs. The mutual agreement on baptisms, a key sacrament in the churches, has been discussed between denominational leadership for seven years and hinges in part on invoking trinity of the ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ during the baptism…
“The Roman Catholic church as a whole has generally recognized the baptisms of most mainstream Christian denominations since the Second Vatican Council, a series of historic church meetings from 1962 to 1965, but the formal baptism agreement is the first of its kind for the U.S. church.
“According to a prior statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was released in 2010 when bishops were deliberating the agreement, the understanding between the churches ‘affirms that both Catholic and Reformed Christians hold that baptism is the sacramental bond of unity for the Body of Christ, which is to be performed only once, by an authorized minister, with flowing water, using the Scriptural Trinitarian formula of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”’…
“The Austin newspaper reported that Tuesday’s agreement says that ‘for our baptisms to be mutually recognized, water and the scriptural Trinitarian formula ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19-20) must be used in the baptismal rite.’”
The Bible predicts that the Protestant churches, which separated from the Catholic Church during the Reformation or subsequently, will return to the mother church of Rome and become again part of a worldwide religious system. However, this system is not in accord with major biblical doctrines. For instance, the Trinity is nowhere taught in Scripture, and the biblical concept and “formula” of baptism is totally different from the baptism practiced by the Catholic and Protestant churches. Please read our free booklet, “Baptism—A Requirement for Salvation?”
Coming—Agreement Between Holy See and Palestine
On January 31, 2013, VIS reported:
“Following the bilateral negotiations held in past years with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an official meeting took place in Ramallah, Palestine on 30 January 2013, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine. The talks were headed by Dr. Riad Al-Malki, minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, and Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under-secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.
“The Parties exchanged views regarding the draft Agreement under discussion, especially the Preamble and Chapter I of the mentioned Agreement. The talks were held in an open and cordial atmosphere, the expression of the existing good relations between the Holy See and the State of Palestine. The Delegations expressed the wish that negotiations be accelerated and brought to a speedy conclusion. It was thus agreed that a joint technical group will meet to follow-up.”
According to the Bible, the Catholic Church will involve itself more and more in the political affairs in the Middle East, thereby taking the side of countries and movements opposed to the state of Israel.
Catholic Archbishop of Germany Allows Morning-After Pill in Cases of Rape
The Local wrote on February 5:
“Clergy across North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Monday backed the Archbishop of Cologne’s controversial decision to allow doctors in Catholic-run clinics in the western German state to prescribe rape victims the morning-after pill.
“Archbishop Josef Cardinal Meisner caused a stir in Church circles last week when he said the morning-after pill was, in certain circumstances, not morally objectionable. Bishops of the Münster, Aachen, Essen and Paderborn dioceses officially gave him their support on Monday… In the instance of rape, medication that stopped pregnancy by halting the division of cells had the Archbishop’s blessing. Chemical abortion pills, however, remained unacceptable in the eyes of the Church.
“Two Catholic clinics in NRW came under fire in January after it emerged that they refused in December a woman who had been raped the morning-after pill. Their reasoning was that their medical treatment of the woman would result in ending a pregnancy, which is against Church doctrine.”
The Pope has not officially spoken on this rather startling development in the German Catholic Church.
Jews Not Welcome!
The Spectator wrote on January 29:
“Should Jews leave Britain?… David Ward, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, used the opportunity provided by Holocaust Memorial Day to punish the Jews for the Holocaust:
“‘Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.’
“And on the day itself the Sunday Times saw fit to publish a cartoon by the witless Gerald Scarfe showing the Prime Minister of the Jewish state building a wall consisting of bloodied and dying Palestinians. Much of the comment on these latter cases has focused on the ‘inappropriateness’ of running an anti-Semitic cartoon or making an anti-Semitic comment so close to Holocaust Memorial Day. I cannot help thinking that this is missing the point…
“There is absolutely no connection between, for instance, the liquidation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank. There is absolutely no connection between the situation in Gaza and the herding of six million Jews into concentration camps. The wonder then is not over Scarfe or Ward’s sense of timing, but why at any point in any year they would be so keen to spread lies and to bait Jews by comparing the actions of the Jewish state with those of a genocidal doctrine of Nazism which sought to annihilate the Jews.
“Rupert Murdoch has apologised for the Scarfe cartoon and Ward now seems to be reluctantly towing what Liberal Democrat party line can be held… What sort of future is there in Britain for Jews?… what is becoming increasingly clear is that the price of that future is that Jews will increasingly be expected to distance themselves from Israel. There is a fair amount of evidence from the Jewish community suggesting that this process is already underway. Once it is complete then those ‘good’ anti-Israel Jews will be able to proclaim victory…”
These are remarkable words in the light of biblical prophecy. We read in the book of Zechariah, in the 14th chapter, that in the end time, Judah will fight against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:14, Revised Standard Version), speaking of those Jews who escaped captivity by supporting the Gentile armies, compare Daniel 11:32.
In addition, there is a tendency in Europe to establish countries which will be “free from Jews” (“Judenfrei”), as Kopp Online reported already on July 19, 2012. According to that article, all Norwegian Jews left their country because of fear of growing anti-Semitism. Regular attacks against Jews were reported in Sweden, France, Belgium and The Netherlands, leading, as a consequence, to a mass exodus of Jews from those countries. The anti-Jewish decision of a court in Germany pertaining to circumcision must be viewed in this light. There may be a temporary “cease-fire” arrangement, due to a German law permitting circumcision under certain circumstances, but it is, in effect, nothing else but the temporary calm before the next storm. Please view our recent StandingWatch program, “Worldwide Attacks on Israel.”
Europe–a Free-Fire Zone for Iran and Hezbollah?
On February 5, the Washington Post wrote the following:
“On Tuesday, the Bulgarian government confirmed what most of the world has known for months: The bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the Black Sea resort of Burgas last July 18 was carried out by members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization. The results of an official investigation present leaders of the European Union with a reality that will be difficult to ignore. They must decide whether to allow a terrorist attack on E.U. territory to go unpunished or to sanction a movement that is both an Iranian proxy and the dominant party in the Lebanese government.
“The case for sanctions is a strong one. The Burgas attack, which killed five Israelis and wounded more than 100, was not an isolated incident but part of a campaign of terrorism against Israeli, U.S. and gulf state targets by Hezbollah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to a new report by Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the two groups decided in January 2010 to launch a campaign of violence aimed at punishing Israel for the assassination of Iranian scientists and deterring an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.
“Since then the Quds Force has, among other things, plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington and the U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, and it has attacked an Israeli diplomat’s wife in India. Hezbollah has attempted attacks on Israeli tourists in Cyprus, Greece and Thailand as well as in Bulgaria. Mr. Levitt says that more than 20 terror attacks by Hezbollah or the Iranian force were detected between May 2011 and July 2012; fortunately, almost all failed or were disrupted.
“Israel participates in this shadow war, too: Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in recent years. The United States has sponsored cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. But nothing justifies Hezbollah’s attempts to murder tourists; one of those killed in Bulgaria was a pregnant woman. Nor should a democratic community such as the European Union tolerate terrorist attacks on its territory by an established organization such as Hezbollah, which seeks recognition as a legitimate political movement worthy of governing Lebanon.
“The United States, which long ago designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, has been pressing European leaders to do the same so that the group’s funds in European banks and other financial assets can be targeted. Several governments, led by France, have resisted; they worry that sanctions could further destabilize Lebanon or subject European peacekeepers in the south of that country to reprisals. Bulgaria’s findings should end the debate. Inaction would mean accepting that Europe can be a free-fire zone for Iran and its proxies.”
The Times of Israel added on February 6:
“Now that a Bulgarian investigation has confirmed that Hezbollah is responsible for the bus bombing last July in Burgas that killed six civilians, more and more voices are demanding that the European Union place the Shiite group on its list of terror organizations. EU officials said Wednesday they would reassess their stance, but experts remain doubtful that anything will change.
“The West didn’t need a Bulgarian police report to know Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Even Turkey includes Hassan Nasrallah’s militia in its official list of terrorist groups. So why is it that the EU refuses to state the obvious, and thereby help prevent terrorism and save lives?
“Officially labeling Hezbollah a terrorist entity… requires unanimity among the EU’s 27 member states… ‘We know that the French government has until now been reluctant to back other European countries with respect to Hezbollah. But Burgas has shown that Islamist terrorism is not just happening in Mali, it is not just happening in the Middle East, it is also happening right here in Europe, and it must be stopped,’ said Ronald Lauder, the head of the World Jewish Congress…
“Among policy analysts it is indeed clear that the French are behind the EU’s refusal, and had actually been pressuring Bulgarian authorities not to name Hezbollah so as not to up the pressure on them. But why is France so reluctant to call a spade a spade? After all, the country has experienced firsthand the deadly effects of Hezbollah terrorism. In 1983, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah’s predecessor organization, sent two suicide bombers to attack American and French troops in Beirut. Among the 299 dead were 58 French paratroopers, in what is said to have been the single worst military loss for Le Grande Nation since the end of the Algerian War in 1962…
“One often-quoted argument says Hezbollah is also a political party and therefore Europe shies away from categorizing it as a terror group. But the EU’s terror list does include Hamas, which won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, as well as the militant Communist Party of the Philippines, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other groups that are involved in their countries’ political systems.
“Obviously, there must be other reasons for the stubbornness of the French and their supporters, Germany among them. According to Matthew Levitt, the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s counterterrorism and intelligence program, the Europeans are afraid to stir up a hornet’s nest. ‘Hezbollah is not very active in Europe. The Europeans feel that if you poke Hezbollah or Iran in the eye then they will do the same to you. If you leave them alone, then maybe they will leave you alone,’ Levitt said… But none of these are sufficient reasons to stall efforts to label Hezbollah a terrorist group, argues Levitt…
“Hershco, the Begin-Sadat Center expert, seemed to believe that not much would change. ‘The report is very embarrassing for the French but they will stick to their policy, trying to keep good relations with the Lebanese government — and Hezbollah is the strong party there,’ she said. As long as France hides behind the absence of near-unattainable unanimity and doesn’t clearly take a stand, the EU’s ‘Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism’ is unlikely to be amended to include Hezbollah. In other words, if France sticks to its guns, so will Hezbollah — literally. ‘Failure to [list the organization as a terrorist group] will only give these killers the opportunity to further organize, recruit, raise funds, and carry out additional terrorist attacks across the continent,’ Royce, the chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, said. ‘The EU’s indefensible policy on Hezbollah makes defending all of us from Iranian-backed terrorism even more difficult.’”
Magnitude 8.0 Earthquake in South Pacific Generates Tsunami
Fox News and The Associated Press reported on February 6:
“A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake off the Solomon Islands generated a tsunami of up to 5 feet that killed at least 5 people, a hospital official says, while the death toll is feared to rise as officials inspect dozens of damaged homes… Solomons officials reported two 1.5-meter (4 foot, 11 inch) waves hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island, damaging between 70 and 80 homes and properties… Dozens of aftershocks stronger than magnitude 5 followed the quake…
“The tsunami formed after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu, the easternmost province in the Solomons, about a 3-hour flight from the capital, Honiara. Temotu has a population of around 30,000. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami of about a meter (3 feet) was measured in Lata wharf…
“More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages. The Solomons comprise more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. They lie on the ‘Ring of Fire’ — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world’s quakes occur.”
Hundreds of European and Non-European Football (Soccer) Matches Rigged
The EUobserver reported on February 5:
“A ‘sophisticated organised crime operation’ stretching all the way to Asia bribed officials and rigged over 380 football [soccer] matches in Europe, generating some €8 million in profit, EU’s police agency (Europol) has uncovered… the sheer size of the illegal profits ‘threatens the very fabric of the game’. A total of 425 football officials, players and serious criminals from more than 15 countries are suspected of being involved. Some €2 million were paid out in bribes.
“Europol said it used intelligence from 13,000 emails connecting the dots between suspects and establishing the links with organised crime networks in Asia. Several prosecutions have already started, with 14 people convicted in Germany. Among the 380 rigged matches in Europe between 2008 and 2011 are World Cup and European Championship qualification matches, two UEFA Champions League matches and several top-flight matches in European national leagues. Another 300 suspicious matches were identified outside Europe, mainly in Africa, Asia, South and Central America.
“‘We have evidence for 150 of these cases and the operations were run out of Singapore with bribes of up to €100,000 paid per match. Even two World Championship Qualification matches in Africa, and one in Central America, are under suspicion,’ a German police officer present at the briefing said Monday… The ringleaders are of Asian origin, working closely together with European facilitators. During the investigation, links were also found to Russian-speaking and other criminal syndicates. Europol would not name any individual clubs, but its chief said ‘it would be naive and complacent to think’ that no English clubs were involved.”
Carnival in Germany
Deutsche Welle reported on February 7:
“A week of partying in what is commonly known as the year’s ‘fifth season’ has begun in Germany’s western Rhineland region… The Rhineland Carnival is held each year in the last week before Lent, which is the 40-day religious period before Easter observed by Christians around the world. Between Thursday morning and Ash Wednesday, the Rhineland is transformed by day-upon-day of partying complete with costumes, copious amounts of alcohol and carnival parades… The biggest parade is to be held on Monday, which is known as Rose Monday, through the streets of downtown Cologne. Tens of thousands line the parade route each year to catch sweets thrown from the crowd from revelers on the passing floats. Those same floats are often used to poke fun at German politicians.
“Although the Rhineland is regarded as being at the heart of Carnival in Germany, it is also celebrated in other regions of the country, in which it sometimes goes by different names, such as Fasching, as it is known in the south…
“Carnival in Germany mobilizes millions of people who spend billions of euros every year. The celebration, often referred to as ‘the fifth season’ because of its huge economic clout, differs commercially from other events like Halloween where people also wear costumes but spend far less… The carnival season generates annual revenues of almost 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), according to data provided by the German Carnival Association (BDK), which has 2.6 million enthusiasts organized in some 4,700 clubs. But it’s not only these groups that are in a spending mood during the days of what many call ‘complete madness.’ Carnival bastions such as Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz attract millions of visitors to the delight of hotels and catering businesses. Carnival tourism alone generates three-digit-million-euro revenue… In fact, some 3,000 firms with more than 40,000 employees rely completely on carnival sales…”
The Local added on February 7:
“According to the tradition of Weiberfastnacht, or the ‘Wenches Carnival,’ hoards of women in the largely Catholic region descend on city halls at exactly 11:11 am to snip off men’s ties to show them who’s really boss. Always on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, the day is also known as Fat Thursday, when men generally wear old ties in anticipation of losing this symbol of their manhood, a humiliation that is also traditionally soothed with a kiss. In Düsseldorf, the women traditionally stage the mock arrest of the city’s mayor, while in Cologne the triumvirate of presiding fools, or Dreigestirn, takes hold of the keys to the city. Thousands of costumed clownish revellers known as Narren took to Cologne’s streets despite extremely chilly weather… But Trier has decided to ease into Karneval this year, instituting a ban on booze in the old town until 7pm on Thursday. The city is hoping to avoid a repeat of teenage excesses last year, when 60 youths suffered injuries and alcohol poisoning.”
We produced a new StandingWatch program in the German language, addressing the origin of carnival and its customs, and showing that it is not godly to participate in it.
How do we understand Daniel 7:12?
In Daniel 7, four great world-ruling empires are described, which are seen by Daniel in a vision as four beasts. When Daniel saw the vision, only the first empire was in existence—the Babylonian Empire, which was symbolized as a lion (verse 4). It was to be followed by the Medo-Persian Empire, which was symbolized as a bear (verse 5). It, in turn, was to be replaced by the Greco-Macedonian Empire, which was symbolized by a leopard (verse 6). In his vision, Daniel also saw a fourth beast with ten horns (verse 7). Although not identified by name, it is unanimously accepted by biblical scholars and historians that the fourth empire, which subdued the third beast, represents the Roman Empire. It was to exist until the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth (verses 19-27).
We know from Revelation 13 that after its fall, the Roman Empire would be revived ten times.
Again, quoting from our free booklet, “The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation”:
“The beast with the seven heads and ten horns was like a leopard, with feet of a bear and a mouth of a lion (Revelation 13:2). In the book of Daniel, chapters 2, 5, 7 and 8, we are told that, beginning with the ancient Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, there would arise four world-ruling empires on this earth—the Babylonian Empire (Daniel 2:36), the Medo-Persian Empire under Cyrus, Xerxes and others (Daniel 5:28), the Greco-Macedonian Empire under Alexander the Great and his generals (Daniel 8:20–21), and finally, a fourth Empire (Daniel 2:33; 7:7). In Daniel 7:3–24, these four empires or kingdoms are compared with a lion, a bear, a leopard with four heads, and a terrible beast with ten horns (Daniel 7:7).
“Comparing these four beasts in the book of Daniel with the one beast in Revelation 13, we can see that the beast in Revelation is a conglomeration of those four beasts in Daniel. It has seven heads, because it combines the head of the lion, the head of the bear, the four heads of the leopard, and the head of the fourth beast with ten horns. Virtually all Bible scholars confirm the historical fact that this fourth beast was the Roman Empire…
“According to Daniel 7:24, ten kings were to arise out of the Roman Empire… the beast or the Roman Empire would have ten successive resurrections or revivals… The first three resurrections or revivals of the Roman Empire after its fall occurred under Geiseric of the Vandals; Odoacer of the Heruli; and Theodoric of the Ostrogoths… The actual ‘healing’ of the deadly wound [compare Revelation 13:3] signifies the fourth resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, which occurred in 554 A.D., when Justinian, who was heavily influenced by his Roman Catholic wife, defeated the Ostrogoths and marched into Rome. He united the Eastern and Western parts of the ancient Roman Empire and restored the entire Empire… The fifth resurrection occurred under Charlemagne in 800 A.D.; the sixth under Otto the Great in 962 A.D.; the seventh under Charles V of Hapsburg in 1530 A.D.; and the eighth under Napoleon (which lasted from 1804 A.D. until 1814 A.D., when Napoleon abdicated at the battle of Leipzig).
“Following Napoleon, two more resurrections were to occur, as the fourth beast in Daniel 7 and the beast in Revelation 13 had TEN horns. The ninth resurrection happened under Mussolini and Hitler. We are observing right now the beginning of the tenth and final resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire in continental Europe…”
The last seven revivals of the ancient Roman empire would be a unification between church and state (compare Revelation 17). The last revival, under the beast and the false prophet, will only last for a very short time, and it and its leaders will be destroyed by the returning Jesus Christ “and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11). For more information on these startling prophesies, please read also our free booklets, “Germany in Prophecy,” “Europe in Prophecy,” “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” and “The Book of Zechariah.”
Again, quoting form our free booklet “The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation”:
“In chapter 17 [of the book of Revelation], a woman is described, riding a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns (verse 3)… The seven heads of the beast, which are also identified as kings or kingdoms, are the seven LAST resurrections of the Roman Empire… Six of those seven last resurrections, under the influence of the woman, have already happened… They were:
“…The Imperial Restoration in 554 A.D. under Justinian. This occurred at the behest of the Roman pontiff or pope, especially Pope Pelagius and, to a lesser extent, previous Pope Vigilius;
“…The Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne. He was crowned in 800 A.D. by Pope Leo III. His empire was called the ‘Holy Roman Empire’;
“…The German Empire under Otto the Great. He was crowned in 962 A.D. by Pope John X. His empire was called the ‘Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation’;
“…The German-Austrian Empire under Charles V. of Hapsburg. He was crowned in 1530 by Pope Clemens VII;
“…The French Empire under Napoleon the Great. He was crowned in 1804 by Pope Pius VII; and
“…The comparatively insignificant Italian-German resurrection under Mussolini and Hitler (compare Revelation 17:10–11)… Neither Mussolini nor Hitler were crowned by a Pope (as Justinian had not been, either); nevertheless, a close partnership existed between the Catholic Church under Pope Pius XII and Italy and Germany. This partnership can be seen by Mussolini’s signing the Lateran Treaty with the papacy in 1929, establishing papal sovereignty of the Vatican City, affirming Roman Catholicism as the only religion of Italy and, in turn, having the papacy officially recognize Mussolini as the rightful Italian governor. Further, the Vatican signed a concordat with Hitler in 1933, protecting the rights of the Church under Nazi regime and giving Hitler’s government an outward semblance of legitimacy.
“…The last or tenth resurrection of the Roman Empire, or the seventh resurrection of the ‘Holy’ Roman Empire under religious control, is still ahead of us. It will consist of ten European nations—ten core nations of a United States of Europe. It will be short-lived…”
When Christ returns, the final revival of the Roman Empire (the fourth beast of Daniel 7) , which is also called “Babylon,” will be burned with fire (Revelation 17:16; 18:8-9)—as will be the human leaders (Revelation 19:20).
But how are we to understand, in this context, Daniel 7:12, referring to the three beasts in existence prior to the Roman Empire. Even though they had long disappeared by the time of the destruction of the final revival of the Roman Empire—which is even now still in the future—we read: “As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominions taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.”
While the modern Roman Empire—the coming United States of Europe under the leadership of ten core nations–will be suddenly and quickly burned with fire at the time of Christ’s return (Daniel 7:11), the prior three empires were swallowed up, gradually, by the Roman Empire. When John saw the beast in Revelation 13, it described the Roman Empire which was in existence at his time, which had absorbed the characteristics of the previous three beasts (the lion, the bear and the leopard, compare verse 2). The three beasts—the former kingdoms—“survived as nations, but without power” (“The One Volume Bible Commentary” by Dummelow). Or, as the Nelson Study Bible puts it, “Though these nations [Babylon, Persia and Greece] passed away, their ‘dominion’ was inherited by their respective successors.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains that the three beasts “…were not cut down, destroyed, and consumed as the fourth beast was… They were superseded, or they no longer exercised power. They no more appeared exerting a control over the nations. They still existed, but they were subdued and quiet. It was possible to discern them, but they no longer acted the conspicuous part which they had done in the days of their greatness and grandeur. Their power had passed away. This cannot be difficult of interpretation. We should naturally look for the fulfillment of this in the fact that the nations referred to by these first three beasts were still in being, and could be recognized as nations, in their boundaries, or customs, or languages; but that the power which they had wielded had passed into other hands.
“Yet their lives were prolonged [or] ‘a prolonging in life was given them.’ That is, they were not utterly destroyed and consumed as the power of the fourth beast [will be] after the solemn judgment. The meaning is, that in these kingdoms there would be energy for a time. They had life still; and the difference between them and the kingdom represented by the fourth beast was what would exist between wild animals subdued but still living, and a wild animal killed and burned…”
This is the correct understanding of Daniel 7:11-12, which is also shared by other commentators.
For instance, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds:
“As concerning the rest of the beasts….. The other three which represent the Babylonian, Persian and Grecian monarchies: they had their dominion taken away; not at this time when the fourth beast, or Roman empire, is destroyed, but long ago; and not together, but successively; the dominion was taken away from the Babylonians, and given to the Persians; and then their dominion was taken away, and given to the Grecians; and after that the dominion of the Grecians was taken away from them, and given to the Romans: the prophet having observed what became of the fourth beast, he was most intent upon, just in a few words takes notice of the fate of the other three, before this:
“yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time: these monarchies did not at once become extinct, as the fourth beast or monarchy will, but by degrees… whereas, when the fourth monarchy is destroyed, all rule and authority will be put down, and the kingdom be given to Christ and his saints…”
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament states:
“The ‘remaining [three] beasts’ are… the first three beasts which arose out of the sea before the fourth… the four world-kingdoms symbolized by those beasts follow each other in actual history, so that the earlier is always overthrown by that which comes after it, yet the dominion of the one is transferred to the other… the statement of Daniel 7:12 is that the first three beasts also had their dominion taken away one after another, each at its appointed time; for to each God gave its duration of life, extending to the season and time appointed by Him…”
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary agrees, but adds a few more striking comments to show that true Christians today are not to concentrate on ruling in this world today, but rather, on preparing to rule in the Kingdom of God, during the Millennium, after Christ’s return:
“… the rest of the beasts-that is, the [first[ three, had passed away not by direct destroying judgments, such as consumed… the fourth beast. They had continued to exist but their ‘dominion was taken away’; whereas the fourth beast shall cease utterly, superseded by Messiah’s kingdom… It is striking, the fourth monarchy, though Christianized for fifteen hundred years past, is not distinguished from the previous heathen monarchies, or from its own heathen portion. Nay, it is represented as the most God-opposed of all, and culminating at last in blasphemous Antichrist [better: the beast and the false prophet]. The reason is: Christ’s kingdom now is not of this world…
“Rome was worldly while heathen, and remains worldly, though Christianized. So the New Testament views the present æon or age of the world as essentially heathenish, which we cannot love without forsaking Christ… The object of Christianity is… to rule with Him in His millennium… This is to be our hope, not to reign in the present world course… There must be a ‘regeneration’ of the world, as of the individual, a death previous to a resurrection, a destruction of the world kingdoms…”
We also need to focus on the statement in Daniel 7:12 that the lives of the three beasts were “prolonged for a season and a time.” According to the Nelson Study Bible, this phrase is “an idiom for an indefinite period.” The Soncino Commentary explains in more detail that the words “a season and a time” are “synonymous terms signifying an unspecified period known only to God.”
In our free booklet, “Are You Predestined to Be Saved?”, we state:
“We are told in Acts 17:26-28, that God has decreed, in advance, the times of nations, prior to their existence: ‘And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…’
“The Bible emphasizes God’s foreknowledge in regard to the life span of certain nations and their leaders. For instance, we read in Genesis 15:13, 16, that God told Abraham that the children of Israel (not yet in existence) would be afflicted in Egypt for ‘four hundred years,’ and that in the ‘fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites [which were possessing the land at the time] is not yet complete.’ God allotted a certain time to the Amorites to live in the land, but when that time had expired, Israel would drive them out and possess the land.
“We are also told, in Daniel 7:12, that certain world-ruling empires would exist for a certain, pre-determined time. In that prophecy, these Gentile empires are described as ‘beasts.’ We read: ‘As for the rest of the beasts…, their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.’ Other translations make the intended meaning clearer. The Menge Bible says: ‘Their duration of life was fixed for time and hour.’ Die Grosse Bibel states: ‘They kept their lives until a determined time.’ The Elberfelder Bible translates: ‘Duration of life was given to them until the time and hour’… The Bible tells us, in Revelation 13:5, that the revived Roman Empire would exist exactly for ‘forty-two months’ since the healing of its deadly wound (compare verse 3). History confirms that it did in fact reign for 1,260 years (42 prophetic months consist of 1,260 prophetic days or years), from the healing of the ‘deadly wound,’ under Justinian, in AD 554, until the fall of Napoleon I, in AD 1814. After Napoleon’s fall, two more resurrections of the ancient Roman Empire were to occur. One has already occurred—the last and final one is shaping up right now in Europe.”
And so, we see how accurately Bible prophecy was fulfilled—and we can be assured that the prophecies for the future will be fulfilled in God’s due time. We do not know the exact times or seasons and the day or the hour of Christ’s return and the end of this present evil age, but judging from the signs of the time, we know that it must be near.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A new StandingWatch program, titled, “Slavery in the Bible,” is now available. Evangelist Norbert Link examines what the Bible actually reveals about the practice of slavery. Summary: Why was there slavery in the Old Testament? Why didn’t the early apostles condemn slavery? Will there be slavery in God’s Kingdom and the Millennium? How should Christians view the concept of slavery today?
This program will also be broadcast on radio, beginning Saturday, March 2, 2013.
“Strafen und Sklaverei in der Bibel” is the title of this week’s German language sermon. The title in English would be: “Penalties and Slavery in the Bible.” It addresses the physical penalties in the Old Testament, such as the death penalty and certain types of restoration for different kinds of theft, and the concept of slavery in the Old and New Testament, as well as the meaning of the word “law” in Galatians and the role of Christians in this world.
“Karneval oder Fasching—Harmloser Spass?” is the new AufPostenStehen program. Following the suggestion of one of our German members, Mr. Norbert Link recorded a German APS program regarding carnival (origin, history, customs), in light of the Bible, which begins this year on February 7. The English title would be, “Carnival—Harmless Joy?”
Due to its widespread observance in Germany, this program on “Karneval” has already received an encouraging response (over 1,300 views).
by Phyllis Bourque
Lifetime achievement awards are given by various organizations to honor excellence in a given field of endeavor. One such recent honoree in the recording industry was to be Patti Page, who was regarded as a living legend, selling more than 100 million records throughout a career that spanned 7 decades, making her one of the biggest selling female recording artists in history. She touched the hearts of many generations with her smooth tranquil style of singing.
In considering my lifetime thus far, I can list many achievements, none of which, however, have gained any notoriety beyond my little corner of the world, and certainly would not garner any such award. My accomplishments are of importance primarily to myself, and perhaps a few select friends and/or family members. Even at that, their significance was only for the moment; i.e., a token medal for solo flute competition in high school and participation in band. (Who is impressed with that but me?)
The only thing I can think of that could be regarded as a worthy lifetime achievement is my personal conversion—a righteous response to my calling—taking on God’s character. But even then, I cannot credit myself with any degree of success in this regard, because it is God who called me in the first place, and it is He who is working in me, even giving me the desire and the ability to do what He has called me to do. Therefore, the accomplishment is His.
Patti Page knew of the upcoming awards presentation, but she died before the actual event was held. She will, of course, be honored posthumously. However, the spiritual correlate for me is to be diligent in my daily response to God so that I do not die spiritually before He gives me His gift of eternal life and my appropriate award.
Yes, I think that with God’s continual help, my conversion will surely be my lifetime achievement. I wonder if God considers His marvelous work of changing His human creation to His spirit-born offspring as being His eternal lifetime achievement…just wondering…
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.
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