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by Rene Messier (Canada)
My wife and I were watching a documentary on Netflix about two Americans who went to India to do a film on orphans. They were trying to use the perspective of what their world looked like through their eyes. Needless to say, it was a real eye opener for my wife and me.
We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we sometimes become oblivious to how bad conditions really are in other parts of the world. These two men had contact and were involved with a group of about twenty-five young people–both males and females, ranging in age from three to twenty-five.
The twenty-five year old was the leader, and he looked after the “welfare” of the group. They were sleeping on the sidewalk or in the streets near a train station. They got money by mostly begging at the train station, and several had limbs missing from jumping off the train or accidently falling in front of it. One young girl had fingers missing on her hand because her boyfriend forced her to place her hand on the tracks, so the train could run over it, in order for her to draw more sympathy from those she was begging from.
A lot of them had HIV and/or AIDS from unprotected sex; some were injecting substances into their veins without knowing what they were; others sniffed the fumes of a product to “give them a high”; and then there were those who used tobacco to “get a buzz”–all so that it could help them to forget the miserable condition and life they had. Some had lost their parents who had died or were missing, while others had left their home due to mistreatment, or they had been abandoned by their parents.
I was somewhat shocked to hear that there are thirty-one million orphans in India alone. That figure does not include nations like China, Europe or America. Watching them sleep on cement with just a blanket covering them made me comment to my wife that I will not complain anymore about hotel beds.
They have an existence without future in this day and age. Their life is pretty bleak, to say the least. At the end of the movie, they were soliciting funds to help out these orphans. However, the problems they face are overwhelming, and no help will make it a better world or a better life for them.
In fact, all efforts now to create a better world are doomed to failure because Satan, the god of this world and ruler over this society and civilisation, doesn’t want to make this a better world, but he wants to keep it deceived and in a state of godlessness. In time, he will seek to destroy all of mankind.
We who are living in the Western world are so fortunate to have the things we do, and at times we need to look at how parts of the rest of the world are living to really appreciate what we have.
No effort on anyone’s part will make this world a better place. The only viable solution is the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, when Satan will be banished and when we will assist Jesus Christ in creating tomorrow’s world–a better world for all of humanity.
Watching this documentary was really sobering, and it helped me to realize how badly we need the Kingdom of God to really change the fate of these orphans who are just the tip of the iceberg of the countless problems facing all of mankind. Thankfully, the true solution is not too far away.
We begin reporting on the curse under which the current US government seems to be laboring—especially in light of the fact that the USA (and the UK) are encountering strong opposition from their “friends” and “allies,” including Israel, Germany and Egypt.
At the same time, we see that Far Eastern countries, such as Russia and Japan, are trying to build mutual trust for each other, while China is claiming that they have the potential of attacking the USA with nuclear weapons and destroying its major cities, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
We conclude with articles, among other topics, addressing the attempts of many “Christian” churches and “Evangelists” to “justify” or “condone” homosexual practices, and the terrible consequences of Obamacare for millions of innocent Americans.
This Week in the News
The Independent wrote on November 2:
“Obama’s vacillations in the Middle East have not only upset every US ally in the region, from Saudi Arabia and Turkey to Israel, but provided Vladimir Putin, no less, with a chance to lecture the US on the op-ed page of The Times, a spectacle as grotesque as it was humiliating. Meanwhile, the requisition of a score of journalists’ phone logs has paled beside the revelation that the NSA has been scooping up the internet records of about every human being on the planet, and listening into Angela Merkel’s mobile.
“On top of that, we’ve had the government shutdown (not Obama’s fault, but which did not reflect well on his ability to wheel and deal) and, most recently, the shambolic launch of his signature healthcare reform, in which he has been revealed as being, shall we say, somewhat economical with the truth. Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 42 per cent, not yet at Nixon or Bush levels, but the worst since he took office…”
Our governmental leaders ARE under a curse, because God’s laws are being violated daily, and God’s time allotted to America for the enjoyment of freedom, safety and prosperity is running out.
Israel Upset With America
The Times of Israel wrote on November 1:
“Israel is fuming with the White House for confirming that it was the Israeli Air Force that struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia on Wednesday, hitting weaponry that was set to be transferred to Hezbollah. Israel has not acknowledged carrying out the strike, one of half a dozen such attacks widely ascribed to Israel in recent months, but an Obama administration official told CNN on Thursday that Israeli warplanes had indeed attacked the Syrian base, and that the target was ‘missiles and related equipment’ set for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
“Israel’s Channel 10 TV on Friday night quoted Israeli officials branding the American leak as ‘scandalous.’ For Israel’s ally to be acting in this way was ‘unthinkable,’ the officials were quoted as saying. A second TV report, on Israel’s Channel 2, said the leak ‘came directly from the White House,’ and noted that ‘this is not the first time’ that the administration has compromised Israel by leaking information on such Israeli Air Force raids on Syrian targets.
“It said some previous leaks were believed to have come from the Pentagon, and that consideration had been given at one point to establishing a panel to investigate the sources.
“Channel 2’s military analyst, Roni Daniel, said the Obama administration’s behavior in leaking the information was unfathomable. Daniel noted that by keeping silent on whether it carried out such attacks, Israel was maintaining plausible deniability, so that Syria’s President Bashar Assad did not feel pressured to respond to the attacks. But the US leaks ‘are pushing Assad closer to the point where he can’t swallow these attacks, and will respond.’ This in turn would inevitably draw further Israeli action, Daniel posited, and added bitterly: ‘Then perhaps the US will clap its hands because it will have started a very major flare-up.'”
One scandal follows another scandal, and now this one. It seems as if the USA seems to be wanting to do just about everything to make sure its allies become upset… as if it is on a suicidal trip… it is hard to recount ANYTHING that the US leadership is doing to inspire the world which is quickly passing the US by. If the present US government is meant to bring this nation to its knees, then they seem to be certainly excelling in that predestined task. We grieve for the innocent people who have to suffer because of incompetent leadership, and we hope that those who are truly looking to God for help will find it.
“German-American Relations at an Absolute Low Point”
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 2:
“The very idea that Germany is paying so much attention to whistleblower Edward Snowden is an affront to many Americans. His Moscow meeting with Green politician Hans-Christian Ströbele has caused quite a stir in the US… It would be a disaster for American-German relations if Snowden came to Germany and publicly testified before the Bundestag… What Green MP Christian Ströbele ultimately is hoping for after his surprise visit with Edward Snowden in Moscow would be a nightmare for Stephen Szabo of the German Marshall Fund, as well for the Obama administration. The relationship between the two countries is headed towards ‘a deep, downward spiral,’ says Szabo…
“… while in Germany Snowden is considered enlightened, in the eyes of many in the US – and especially President Obama – he is a traitor. Particularly sensitive is the fact that Snowden, according to Ströbele, is apparently ready to testify in Germany about NSA spying. This intention is also underscored by an open letter from Snowden. That German Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, has even welcomed the news, saying he ‘was glad to hear it’ has left official Washington speechless…
“‘If it really happens, it would be a slap in the face to the Americans, there’s no question about that,” said Jackson Janes, Director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington… Janes interprets the growing interest of the German federal government and parliament in a statement from Snowden – wherever he might make it – as a no-confidence vote against the Obama administration…
“Both Janes and Szabo see German-American relations at an absolute low point. They are ‘worse than during the war in Iraq,’ says Szabo. ‘We have differences on very fundamental values, such as trust and economic competition. And esteem for America in Germany has been very low for some time.’”
BBC News and the Huffington Post reported on November 3 that “the White House” and “Senior US lawmakers have rejected the idea of any clemency for the fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.” This was in response to Snowden’s offer to testify before the US Congress if he was granted clemency. With this harsh reaction, the impression is continued to be given that the USA is more interested in secretly spying on friends and allies than in repentance and the revelation of the truth.
On the other hand, the German government would love to hear more from Snowden, but it is apparently too afraid to grant him asylum, fearing a further deterioration of their relationship with the USA. But several influential German politicians as well as the mass media and celebrities are not that timid—they demand asylum for Snowden and they request his testimony to be given before the German Parliament. Newsy reported on November 3 that “In a letter to Der Spiegel, several high-ranking German officials voiced support for Snowden and said Germany should grant his request for asylum.” Apparently Snowden has stated that he was not willing to testify in Moscow; and Russia, which has granted Snowden temporary asylum until June 2014, has said that Snowden was free to testify wherever he wanted.
Der Spiegel Online explained on November 2 that “Snowden would be safe from deportation [to the USA] if he were provided with a residence permit [by the German government]. Since the withdrawal of his US passport, Snowden is officially stateless. A residence permit can be issued on the basis of international law or on humanitarian grounds as well as for the ‘protection of political interests.’”
However, Deutsche Welle reported on November 6:
“A parliamentary committee has announced that bringing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to Germany for questioning is not yet on the cards. Speaking after a special meeting of the Parliamentary Control Panel on Wednesday, Chairman Thomas Oppermann said the body would not try to interrogate Snowden in Germany for the time being.”
Die Welt added on November 6 that it was also announced by the German government that Snowden would not receive asylum in Germany.
The German people, the mass media, and the opposition have strongly criticized Angela Merkel for her unwillingness to confront the US government, when NSA’s massive spying activities became known, until it was revealed that her cell phone conversations had been spied upon. Bild Online reported on November 5 that 72 % of the Germans believe that Obama is lying regarding NSA’s spying on Merkel, and only 16% believe him, while 12% are undecided.
Bild Online commented on November 6:
“It is today’s hottest debate in German politics. Should Snowden be granted asylum in Germany? Angela Merkel rejected it strongly. Now John Kerry warned against granting Snowden asylum in Germany. He said that he should be sent to the USA to be tried there in a fair procedure.”
None of that will make most Germans happy.
The Distance Between the Two Continents Has Grown Larger
On November 4, presseuropa.eu wrote the following:
“German-Russian relations are at their worst since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Things between the US and Russia are no better either. By driving a wedge between the two allies, Moscow is scoring a major achievement… Mr Snowden wasn’t planted by the Russians in the first place. He was created by the National Security Agency, obsessed with the idea of spying on everything and everyone. Worse still, the NSA gave Mr Snowden access to its secrets, which he took advantage of before fleeing through Hong Kong to Russia. No one knows what other compromising evidence he is holding up his sleeve and how long the revelations will continue to emerge and cause embarrassment to the White House…
“There’s no denying that there’s been a lot of hypocrisy in the EU’s reactions to the Snowden affair. After all, European intelligence agencies do not sit idly watching as the NSA hacks the Internet, but are instead doing exactly the same and using similar means. Moreover, they coordinate their efforts and advise each other on how to circumvent the EU’s anti-surveillance laws. Besides, Europeans too – if on a smaller scale – spy on the Americans and try to steal their secrets…
“During Mr Obama’s term, the distance between the continents has grown larger… Barack Obama hasn’t fulfilled the hopes that were pinned on him in Europe. US intelligence agencies have treated European countries like colonies. We have good reasons to hold a grudge against America…”
Secret Meeting Between Guttenberg and Merkel
Bild Online and Welt Online reported on November 6 about a secret meeting between Angela Merkel and former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. It is claimed by Bild that the meeting dealt with the NSA scandal and possible asylum for Snowden. Prior to his meeting, Guttenberg had accused Obama of inexcusable wrong conduct in the matter, according to Die Welt.
USA and Britain the Worst Offenders
CNN reported on November 3:
“Leaked classified documents show the U.S. National Security Agency and its British counterpart are among the ‘worst offenders’ of mass surveillance without oversight, according to an open letter purportedly written by Edward Snowden and published Sunday by the German magazine Der Spiegel. The publication of the letter, titled ‘A Manifesto for the Truth,’ came just days after a German lawmaker met with the former NSA contract analyst…
“‘The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies try to avoid controls,’ Snowden wrote, according to the news magazine. ‘While the NSA and GCHQ (the British national security agency) appear to be the worst offenders — at least according to the documents that are currently public — we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution.’ The letter, published in German by Der Spiegel, was written on Friday in Moscow and provided to Der Spiegel through a ‘locked channel,’ the news magazine said. It was published in German and has been translated by CNN…
“The letter also accused governments of trying to squash debate about mass surveillance ‘with a never before seen witch hunt’ that threatens journalists and criminalizes the publication of details about the programs. ’The debate they wanted to avoid is now taking place in countries around the world,’ the letter said.”
Deutsche Welle added on November 5:
“The British Ambassador to Germany has been called in by the foreign ministry over spying reports. The Independent newspaper says that Britain is operating a spy post near Germany’s parliament and chancellery.”
And Now New Zealand…
The Guardian wrote on November 5:
“New Zealand’s parliament has narrowly passed new legislation compelling telecommunication companies to allow the intelligence agencies to access customers’ emails, texts and phone calls… The law, which passed by 61 votes to 59, would give GCSB powers similar to Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters… and the… NSA.
“Along with the Australian and Canadian intelligence agencies, GCSB shares large amounts of data with its US and UK counterparts through the ‘Five Eyes’ electronic espionage alliance. ‘Essentially signing up to this legislation is part of the price for membership of the Five Eyes network,’ said the Green party co-leader, Russel Norman, according to Fairfax New Zealand News. The Greens have called for an inquiry by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into GCSB spying.”
Google: NSA Spying Outrageous and Potentially Illegal, If True
Reuters reported November 4:
“Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said widespread U.S. government spying on its data centers would be outrageous and potentially illegal if true, the Wall Street Journal reported. ‘It’s really outrageous that the NSA was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true,’ Schmidt said in an interview… Schmidt told the newspaper in Hong Kong that Google had registered complaints with the National Security Agency (NSA), President Barack Obama and Congress members.
“According to a Washington Post report on Wednesday, the NSA had tapped directly into communications links used by Google and Yahoo Inc to move huge amounts of email and other user information among overseas data centers… Schmidt said in the interview that the NSA allegedly collected the phone records of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be at risk.”
Obama: “I am Really Good at Killing People” With Drones
CBS reported on November 3:
“A new book covering the 2012 presidential campaign uncovers a series of scathing remarks from political figures, but one alleged comment has stirred controversy around President Barack Obama and his administration’s use of targeted drone strikes. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s book ‘Double Down: Game Change 2012’ notes President Obama commenting on drone strikes, reportedly telling his aides that he’s ‘really good at killing people’… The White House had not officially commented on the alleged remarks…
“The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that a total of 2,528-3,648 people have been killed by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, and between 416-948 of them being civilians. The group labels 326 of such events as ‘Obama strikes.’”
This newest revelation has caused another stir in Germany where drone strikes are highly unpopular and are viewed by many as illegal.
“Anti-U.S. Sentiments in Egypt at All-Time High”
Fox News reported on November 3:
“With U.S. aid to Egypt being cut in the wake of the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, word on the street in Egypt, along with tweets and Facebook posts, seems to indicate anti-U.S. sentiments are at an all-time high. Washington has lost friends on both sides of the Egyptian political battle, including both supporters and critics of ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi.
“The anger against the U.S. is based on Egypt’s June 30 uprising that led to the July 3 ouster of Morsi. Supporters of Morsi said Obama turned his back on him while secular Egyptians say Obama sided with ‘terrorists’ instead of aligning with freedom fighters in eradicating extremism from their country…
“After a one-month review, Washington reported that it would halt the delivery of American-made tanks, fighter jets, attack helicopters and offensive missiles in reaction to the Egyptian army’s deadly crackdowns against protestors. The U.S. also suspended $260 million in cash assistance to the interim government, which has been in power since Morsi’s overthrow. Many… say Russia will make up the loss in U.S. aid, and they prefer it that way.”
Biggest Anti-American Protest in Iran in Years
The Washington Times wrote on November 4:
“Tens of thousands of protesters converged Monday at the U.S. Embassy in Iran, calling for ‘death to America’ in what’s shaping to be the largest anti-American gathering in the nation in years. The Associated Press reported that similar protests have gone forth every year since 1979, when the Islamic Revolution launched an attack and took 52 hostage for 444 days. But this year’s protest is particularly large.
“It comes as hard-liners in the country are decrying President Hassan Rouhani’s stated interest in forming peaceful relations with Washington, D.C., leaders and reaching a resolution on nuclear development, AP said. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supports the reach-out to America. Others, however, decry any friendly associations with the West and vow their protests will continue, AP reported.”
Iran will never be on friendly terms with the USA.
Dictatorial Russia’s “Justice”
France 24 wrote on November 5:
“Jailed Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is on her way to a new penal colony in Siberia, her husband said Tuesday, following fears after two weeks without information about her whereabouts. Tolokonnikova, 23, who alleged major prison abuses in her previous colony in central Russia, is on her way to a new prison colony deep in the Krasnoyarsk region, her husband Pyotr Verzilov wrote on Twitter, saying the information comes from a reliable source.
“‘Essentially, she is transferred 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) from central Russia to the heart of Siberia as punishment for the resonance of her letter’ that alleged abuses, Verzilov added. [There are] just months left of her two-year term for performing a ‘punk prayer’ in Russia’s main Orthodox cathedral protesting ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin…”
And Mr. Putin dares to condemn the Americans for spying…
Russia and Japan Getting Closer
Reuters reported on November 2:
“Japan and Russia held their first joint defense and foreign ministers’ meeting on Saturday and agreed to boost security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific… [They] have never signed a treaty to mark the end of World War Two because of a territorial dispute but they are moving to deepen ties… The foreign ministers of both countries said the meeting helped build trust…”
The Bible predicts a strong alliance of Far Eastern nations under Chinese leadership.
China’s “Superior” Nuclear Submarines
The Huffington Post wrote on November 1:
“For the first time in more than 40 years, China has given the rest of the world a view of its mysterious fleet of nuclear submarines… State-run China Daily reports that Gao particularly noted the importance of the fleet’s supposedly spotless safety record when compared to that of the United States and Russia… some characterize it as a power move as China becomes increasingly confident in its economic and military capabilities… earlier in the year, a report by the U.S. military’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center reported that the modernized arsenal includes ‘nuclear warheads capable of reaching the United States.’”
China Capable of Destroying Major American Cities?
Newsmax reported on November 1:
“China’s state-run media have revealed for the first time Beijing’s potential for attacking U.S. cities with submarine-launched nuclear missiles… The Washington Times reports an article in the Global Times features a map showing damage projections for nuclear attacks on Seattle and Los Angeles, with radiation reaching as far east as Chicago… ‘Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego,’ the Global Times observed.
“China’s submarine fleet reportedly includes about 70 vessels, with at least four capable of launching nuclear missiles. The Global Times article also asserts that China can launch land-based ballistic missiles over the North Pole that can ‘easily destroy’ U.S. cities in the East, including New York…”
Sadly, the Bible predicts that major American cities such as the ones mentioned in the article above WILL be totally destroyed in the near future, just prior to Christ’s return—but the military attack will not be launched by China and its Far Eastern allies, but by a powerful European union. However, we also read that following Christ’s return, China and its allies will attempt to destroy the peoples of America, Britain, Canada and other English-speaking nations who have survived the terrible devastation of the Great Tribulation. For more information, please read our free booklet, titled, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
You might also want to read our free booklet, titled, “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.”
Joel Osteen’s “Gay Problem”
Salon.com wrote on November 3:
“Joel Osteen has a problem, one that all Evangelicals in the U.S. are facing. The anti-gay position of mainstream Christianity has fallen out of favor with the public. Every reputable poll currently shows uncontested majority support for gay marriage. And the cultural shift happened more quickly than the churches can follow. The Huffington Post’s Josh Zepps recently asked Osteen about this passage from his new book…: ‘It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you.’
“Zepps wanted to know if this included gay folks. ‘Absolutely,’ Osteen offered without missing a beat. Evangelicals are notoriously tricky on the subject. It’s common theology to claim that God accepts absolutely everyone because being gay is viewed as an affliction, not an identity. What makes Osteen’s statement so unusual is his claim that God ‘approves’ of gay folks.
“The Texas megachurch pastor has always been relatively soft on the issue… In the past, Osteen at the very least claimed homosexuality was unacceptable. He told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in 2012, ‘I believe that Scripture says that being gay is a sin, but every time I say that, Chris, I get people saying, “You’re a gay hater.”’
“Osteen is quite a bit more slippery on the issue than his straightforward answer to Wallace would imply. In the same interview, Osteen immediately followed his anti-gay pronouncement by saying, ‘Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world.’ Osteen never says a bad word about LGBT individuals without offering some sort of olive branch afterward, often a condescending one. In a particularly weird moment with CNN’s Piers Morgan, he even professed a love of Lady Gaga while his wife prefers Madonna.”
They are all wrong, and public opinion is no guide. The Bible makes it very clear what God thinks about homosexual practices. One does not have to be “slippery” or “apologetic” or “tricky” about it, if one wants to follow the inspired Word of God. Please watch our video-taped message, “Today’s Sodom.”
The Obamacare Curse
Business Insider wrote on November 3:
“At least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear. Associated Press checks find that data is unavailable in… half the states… Obama said the problem is limited to fewer than 5 percent of Americans… But in a nation of more than 300 million, 5 percent is a big number — about 15 million people. Among them are Ian and Sara Hodge of Lancaster, Pa., in their early 60s and paying $1,041 a month for a policy.
“After insurer Highmark, Inc., sent the Hodges a cancellation notice, the cheapest rate they say they’ve been able to find is $1,400 for a comparable plan. Ian is worried they may not qualify for tax credits, and doesn’t trust that the federal website is secure enough to enter personal financial information in order to find out… Their policy may not have met the government’s standards, ‘but it certainly met our minimum standards,’ Hodge added. ‘The main thing that upsets us is the president … said over and over and over again: If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan, guaranteed.’
“There’s a chance the number of people getting unwanted terminations may grow. In 2015, the law’s requirement that larger companies provide health insurance will take effect. It’s expected that a small share of firms will drop coverage, deciding that it’s cheaper to pay fines imposed under the law…”
When Is a Lie a Lie?
The Daily Caller wrote on November 6:
“President Barack Obama told his enthusiastic supporters Monday night that he never promised what video recordings show him promising at least 29 times. The videos show Obama promising 300 million Americans that ‘if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.’ But that’s not what he really said, Obama announced Monday…. ‘What we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,’ he told Obamacare’s political beneficiaries and contractors.
“That claim is not supported by his videotaped statements, which don’t include any mention of his new ‘if it hasn’t changed’ exception.
“But the newly-revealed exception is justified by a higher-priority promise in Obamacare, Obama declared. ‘If we had allowed these old plans [to continue]… then we would have broken an even more important promise — making sure that Americans gain access to health care that doesn’t leave them one illness away from financial ruin,’ he announced. ‘So the bottom line is, is that we are making the insurance market better for everybody,’ he declared, prompting loud applause by supporters eager to ignore his three years of fraudulent statements. Obama’s higher promise is now causing the cancelation of insurance policies chosen by at least 3.5 million Americans…”
Pediatrics vs. Religious Beliefs
Reuters reported on October 28:
“Pediatricians and child abuse agencies should step in when parents’ religious beliefs keep kids from getting necessary medical care, doctors said Monday. In a policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics also said states should repeal any exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws. Those exemptions mean some states don’t always consider parents negligent if they forgo medical treatment for a child because of their religious beliefs…
“People of certain faiths, including many Christian Scientists, advocate prayer before or instead of medical treatments when a person is ill. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions… In one recent case, an Ohio court ruled that a hospital could force a 10-year-old Amish girl with leukemia to resume chemotherapy. Her parents had decided to forgo the treatment in favor of ‘natural medicines.’”
These are dangerous developments, because unbelieving doctors are very quick in labeling parental conduct as child neglect if religious parents do not follow their recommended medical treatment, however erroneous or incompetent the doctor’s “advice” might be.
Spanking Harmful for Kids?—NO WAY!
Reuters wrote on October 21:
“Think spanking will help teach an out of control child to stay in line? A new study suggests the opposite may be true. Researchers found kids who were spanked as five-year-olds were slightly more likely to be aggressive and break rules later in elementary school.
“Those results are in keeping with past research, said Elizabeth Gershoff… ‘There’s just no evidence that spanking is good for kids,’ she told Reuters Health… Despite mounting evidence on the harms tied to spanking, it is ‘still a very typical experience’ for U.S. children, the study’s lead author said.”
This is just another example of a rebellious and Bible-defying society which thinks that they know it better than their Creator.
Kristallnacht in Germany—and the World Kept Silent
Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 5:
“In the days surrounding Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazis committed the worst pogrom Germany had seen since the Middle Ages… the shocking events prompted little more than hollow condemnation…
“The pogroms in November 1938 lasted several days, although history books often refer to the event merely as one ‘Night of the Broken Glass’ (Kristallnacht) because Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels announced on the radio on Nov. 10 that the excesses had ended…
“The diplomats almost unanimously condemned the murders and acts of violence and destructions. The British described the pogrom as ‘Medieval barbarism,’ the Brazilians called it a ‘disgusting spectacle,’ and French diplomats wrote that the ‘scope of brutality’ was only ‘exceeded by the massacres of the Armenians,’ referring to the Turkish genocide of 1915-1916. Nevertheless, no country broke off diplomatic relations with Berlin or imposed sanctions, and only Washington recalled its ambassador. Most of all, however, the borders of almost all countries remained largely closed for the roughly 400,000 Jewish Germans…
“Most of the diplomats were well informed about the scope of the atrocities through the accounts they had heard from desperate people describing their experiences. Besides, the smashed windows and ransacked premises of Jewish businesses were clearly visible… Unfortunately for the German Jews, many international observers failed to notice how radically the Nazis now felt about their victims. If they hadn’t, perhaps some exile countries, such as the United States or Brazil, might have relaxed their rigid immigration requirements, which became a key obstacle to Jews trying to emigrate.”
Sadly, not much has changed since then…
The Real Threat of Huge Asteroids Hitting Earth
BBC News reported on November 6:
“The threat of another asteroid strike like the one that hit Russia earlier this year is much higher than was previously thought, a study suggests. Researchers have found that space rocks of a similar size to the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk are hurtling into the Earth’s atmosphere with surprising frequency… The asteroid that exploded over Russia on 15 February this year was estimated to be about 19m-wide. It hit the atmosphere with energy estimated to be equivalent to 500,000 tonnes of TNT, sending a shockwave twice around the globe. It caused widespread damage and injured more than 1,000 people.
“Now though, scientists say there could be many more space rocks like this one on a collision course with the Earth. An international team looked at the last 20 years of data collected from sensors used by the US government and infrasound sensors positioned around the globe… The researchers found that during this time about 60 asteroids up to 20m in size had smashed into the Earth’s atmosphere: far more than was previously thought. Most went undetected because they exploded over the ocean or in very remote areas… This suggests that the risk from asteroids of this scale has been underestimated. The team estimates that the strike rate of asteroids that are tens of metres in size is between two and 10 times higher than was previously thought…
“‘There are literally millions of objects in the tens-of-metres-of-size range that we suspect are near Earth asteroids, that can get close to the Earth,’ [a scientist] said. ‘We have only discovered over 1,000 of these… In another study… scientists believe they have traced the asteroid that the Chelyabinsk meteor splintered off from. They think it is a fragment of a 2km-wide rock called asteroid 86039.”
The Bible predicts that the earth will be hit by huge asteroids, just prior to Christ’s return.
Can we attach any significance to certain numbers in the Bible?
Even though one has to avoid the “temptation” to attach a symbolic meaning to just about every number or combination of numbers, as used in the Holy Scriptures, there can be no doubt that a particular significance exists in regard to certain numbers or numerical combinations. This concept is known as biblical Numerology. The Bible itself makes this clear when it talks about the famous figure “666” (as will be discussed below)—the number of the end-time beast in the book of Revelation—or when it refers to certain numbers in the book of Daniel (for instance, 1260 days, 1290 days, and 1335 days).
In this series, we will discuss obvious significance associated with certain numbers, and we will see that the biblical choice of those numbers in a particular context is by no means “accidental.” The lists are not meant to be exhaustive, but might be used as a guideline or a basis for the review of other instances where these numbers are mentioned in the Bible. We will also see that some ascribe “significance” or “interpretation” to certain numbers, where they do not exist.
One of the more obvious numbers which can lead to a wrong interpretation, is number 1.
Some point at the number 1 as always describing unity or singularity. They are wrong on both counts.
We read that God is one in the sense that the Father is one Being, but that does not exclude the fact that God is a Family, and that the God Family consists today of TWO Beings (see below), and that it is the potential of man to enter the God Family or the Kingdom of God. It is also true that the number 1 may describe unity between two members, but also between many members. God is one in the sense that the Father and the Son are completely unified, and God’s disciples are to become one or unified as well (John 17:11; compare Galatians 3:28). We read of one baptism (Ephesians 4:5)—again, describing unity—as there are many who have been baptized over the years, being baptized in the one Body of Christ—a spiritual organism consisting of many members (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
We read about one Spirit, because it is unified. The Holy Spirit is not a person, but the power and mind of God, emanating from both the Father and the Son (Romans 8:9), and it dwells in all of God’s true disciples. By forgiving their sins, Christ has made “one new man from the two”; that is, from Gentiles and Israelites (Ephesians 2:15-16). Unity is also expressed by the fact that a man and a woman, when they get married, become “one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6; compare Ephesians 5:31-32, showing that in a spiritual sense, Christ and His church become one spirit, note 1 Corinthians 6:17). A man who has sexual intercourse with a prostitute becomes “one” with her (1 Corinthians 6:16)—the wrong kind of “unity.”
So we see that the number 1 can, at times, refer to more than one person, describing unity. On the other hand, there are countless examples in the Bible when “one” person or concept or event is described, without referring to unity or unification. So, to always ascribe singularity or unity to the number 1 would be misleading.
Number 2 is sometimes associated with union, but also with division. It signifies duality as well as contrast.
In many cases, biblical prophecies have dual meaning—they might find a prior, preliminary fulfillment, as well as a climatic end-time fulfillment. Christ spoke of developments at the time of His First Coming or even prior to that, but in the same context, He pointed out that a major fulfillment should be expected in the latter days. He compared the times of Noah with the end-time; He spoke of the destruction of the Second Temple at around 70 A.D., but also explained that apparently, another destruction of a rebuilt temple would occur during the time of the Great Tribulation. He prophesied that the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, would occur, as a forerunner, in the first century, but more importantly, that it would occur again in the end time (Matthew 24:15-21). In addition, He explained that as ancient Israel was defeated in war in Old Testament times, so it would happen again for modern Israel just prior to His Second Coming.
Specifically focusing on the number 2, we should note the following by the way of contrast or opposites:
We read about light and darkness (Genesis 1:18; compare Ephesians 5:8), as well as the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These two contrasts are highlighted by the fact that we either build our lives on the foundation of Christ—the house built on a rock—or on another foundation—the house built on sand (Matthew 7:24-27). In other words, if we build our lives on any other foundation than on Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), we have built on sand. There are only two ways—the way which leads to death, and the way which leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). It is either God’s Way (Acts 18:26) or the way of Cain (Jude 11), and so we read about two brothers—righteous Abel and unrighteous Cain. We read that two cannot walk together, unless they are agreed (Amos 3:3), and that righteousness has no fellowship and communion with lawlessness (2 Corinthians 6:14). In this context, we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24)—if we don’t serve God, we are serving something or someone else, summarized as “mammon.” We read about two goats during the ancient Atonement ceremony—the one (“to the LORD”) symbolizes Jesus Christ; the other—Azazel—symbolizes Satan the Devil (Leviticus 16:7-8).
A slightly different way—that of contrast—is depicted in the following examples, but even though they do not necessarily represent opposites, they are still expressing different thoughts or concepts.
We read about two covenants—the old covenant and the new covenant. We also read about Jesus Christ, the last or second Adam and the second Man (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). The Bible reports about Jacob (Israel) and Esau (Edom), as well as Isaac and Ishmael.
On the other hand, the number 2 also signifies complete harmony and necessary connection.
God consists of two Persons or Personages, and the whole law can be summarized in two commandments (Matthew 22:40). Also, the Ten Commandments were written on two tablets of stone. The testimony of two witnesses is true (John 8:17), and some words are repeated or mentioned twice to show their significance, such as, “Truly, truly, I say to you…” God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12; compare Revelation 1:16; 2:12).
We also find that Christ sent out His disciples two by two (Mark 6:7); that Christ dealt at times with two brothers (Moses and Aaron; James and John); and that Joshua and Caleb were the only two persons who gave a good report of the Promised Land (Numbers 14:6-7).
We also read about the two witnesses and two persons (Moses and Elijah) who appeared in a vision to Christ and His three disciples on the Mount of Transformation (Matthew 17).
Further, on a human level, a person has two arms, two legs, two eyes, two ears, and we read that a man and a woman (two persons) should marry and become one.
We even read that at the time of Noah’s ark, “Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two, they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah” (Genesis 7:8-9).
How are we to view number 3?
Many assign special godly significance to the number 3, claiming that it stands for perfection or completeness. There are occasions when the number 3 has such significance (compare 2 Corinthians 12:8; Deuteronomy 17:6; Acts 20:31; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 John 5:7-8, but note that in the last Scripture, the original does NOT contain the words: “in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one…” These words were added in later centuries to support the unbiblical teaching of the Trinity—“One God Person in three God Persons.”) Also, in Deuteronomy 16:16, we are told to appear “three times a year” before God to keep His annual Festivals. But it is interesting that this passage only refers to the three Holy Day seasons (Days of Unleavened Bread in the spring, Pentecost in early summer and the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day in the autumn), while all the individual Holy Days consist of seven days—the number of completeness (as we will discuss in a subsequent Q&A).
There are examples where the number 3 does not signify completeness (compare Luke 13:6-9, especially verses 7-8). The real basis for the claim that the number 3 always describes completeness or perfection lies in the erroneous thinking that God is perceived to be a Trinity. Some even try to support this false claim by referring to the angelic words of “holy, holy, holy” in Isaiah 6:3. This argument is to be rejected for the simple reason that angels say the same words to God the Father, while Jesus Christ, the Lamb, is present as well (Revelation 4:8; 5:6). The Bible teaches that God consists of TWO Persons or Personages or Spirit Beings—the Father and the Son—while, as mentioned, the Holy Spirit is NOT a person, but the power and mind emanating from both God Beings.
On the other hand, it is interesting that most deny the reality of a crucial aspect, which does include the number 3; namely, that Christ was three days and three nights in the grave, as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster (Matthew 12:40). Jesus did in fact fulfill this sign for His Messiahship, in that He was placed in the grave on Wednesday afternoon, just before sunset, and in that He left the grave on Saturday afternoon, just before sunset—after having been dead in the grave for exactly 72 hours. But those who believe in a Friday afternoon crucifixion and a Sunday morning resurrection say instead that Christ was only 1 ½ days in the grave.
Let us continue with number 4.
The number 4 is used many times to signify God’s revelation. God might reveal something about Himself, or about something or someone else.
The Bible contains four gospel records, in which the human life of Jesus Christ and His preexistence is revealed, and it is interesting that Christ was born in the year 4 B.C. The Holy Scriptures are helpful and profitable for four things, as 2 Timothy 3:16 explains, namely “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.”
We read about four living creatures or angelic beings in Revelation 4:6, and about four cherubim in the book of Ezekiel (1:10-12; 10:20); and at the same time, we read about God’s revelation to Daniel that four great beasts would appear on the earth, representing human governments, but that Christ would return to make an end to human rule.
We find that God changed the names of four human beings: Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5); Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah (Genesis 17:15); Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28; 35:10); and Pashhur’s name was changed to Magor-Missabib (Jeremiah 20:3). [We also read that God will give all of His disciples a new name (Revelation 2:17), and that Jesus Christ was given a name that is “more excellent” than the name of any angel (Hebrews 1:4), and that only He knows His new name (Revelation 19:12; compare Revelation 3:12).]
In Old Testament times, God revealed His Will sometimes through His prophets, and it is remarkable that four Old Testament prophetesses are mentioned by name: Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 22:14); and Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14) [There are of course other prophetesses mentioned in the Old Testament, such as the wife of Isaiah (8:3), but they are not identified by name. There is also a reference in the New Testament to the prophetess Anna, in Luke 2:36, but it is interesting that after the foundation of the New Testament Church, no more mention is made regarding a prophetess or the office of a prophetess.]
By contrast, Eve is also mentioned four times in Scripture (Genesis 3:20; 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and 1 Timothy 2:13).
In the book of Zechariah, the number four figures prominently in the prophecies about the four horns (1:18), the four chariots with the four horses (6:1-2, 5); and the four craftsmen (1:20). We also know, of course, about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
In addition, God has created everything, including the four regions (north, east, south and west). (In the Bible, there is no word for “north-east” or “south-west”; therefore, it may sometimes speak of “north and east,” meaning “north-east”; or it may just speak of “north” with the understanding that “east” is included).
God has also created the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter; compare Genesis 8:22). In this context, four angels standing at the four corners of the earth hold the four winds of the earth, until 144,000 Israelites are sealed to be protected from the wrath of the Lord (Revelation 7:1-3).
Focusing on number 5, there seems to be wide-spread recognition that it is many times used to describe God’s grace and power.
The Torah consists of five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy).
When Abram’s and Sarai’s names were changed to “Abraham” and “Sarah,” the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet was added in both cases to their new names (“h” in English).
In Old Testament times, five types of animals were sacrificed to God: goats, sheep, cattle, pigeons and doves. Animal sacrifices did not forgive sin, but they made it possible to restore a physical relationship with God.
Following the four worldly kingdoms described in the book of Daniel, the Kingdom of God – the fifth Kingdom – will be established on earth.
Christ used five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men (Matthew 14:17, 21; 16:9).
Paul would rather speak five words with understanding, that he may teach others God’s Word, than ten thousand words in a tongue (a foreign language which the listeners could not understand) (1 Corinthians 14:19).
Some have raised other concepts which are supposed to show God’s grace in the number 5, but they are highly suspect or erroneous.
For example, one commentary claims that “Five Greek words form the acrostic phrase ‘Jesus Christ, God’s Son Savior,’ taking the first letter in Greek from each word [which form] the Greek word for ‘fish’: Iota, Chi, Theta, Epsilon, Sigma = (ichthys) ‘FISH’, which became a symbol for Christ and a secret symbol for identifying Christians.” However, true Christians never identified themselves with the symbol of a fish, as pagans worshipped a fish god, Dagon, and true Christians would have been abhorred by the idea of applying such a heathen symbol to Christ or to themselves. In passing, they never used a cross for their worship. The cross was an abominable pagan symbol. True Christians never wore a cross or placed the symbol of a cross in their homes. In addition, it is highly unlikely that the Romans nailed Christ on the type of cross, which is being used today by nominal Christians in “remembrance” of Christ’s death. Please see our Q&A on that issue.
Let us now review number 6. It is the number of man who is far from God or alienated from Him; it can also refer to the fact that something is not perfect or needs to be completed.
The most famous combination of the number six is perhaps the number of the beast in the book of Revelation, namely 666. In the Greek, this number is written as 600 and 60 and 6. This number stands for total separation from God and the unconditional submission to Satan the Devil. Most people will be so deceived that they will worship Satan and his human instruments—the beast and the false prophet—, while rejecting the true God and His Law.
The sixth commandment forbids murder in all of its different forms (Exodus 20:13), but man, separated from God, thinks that some kinds of murder are permitted, such as killing in war. The descendants of unrighteous Cain, who slew his brother Abel, are only listed until the sixth generation.
God has allotted to man 6,000 years to rule himself, under the influence of Satan [which will be followed by God’s rule—the peaceful “rest” of the Millennium (Hebrews 4:1, 11), or the seventh “day” which consists of 1,000 years; compare 2 Peter 3:8].
Man was created on the sixth day (but the week was only completed and perfected with the creation of the Sabbath); and while man is to do his work on six days, he is to rest on the seventh day (Exodus 16:26; 20:9-11; 23:12; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Mark 2:23-28).
God commanded Joshua and the Israelites to march around the wicked city of Jericho for six days (Joshua 6:3, 14), but it was on the seventh day, after having circled the city seven times, that it would be destroyed (verses 4, 16-17).
Old Testament Israel received six things from their lovers or political allies, namely bread and water, wool and linen, oil and drink (Hosea 2:5). In this, they became more and more alienated from God.
Jesus said six times to the Jews, “Have you not read?”
When Jesus was on the cross, darkness fell on the earth on the sixth hour (Matthew 27:45).
In the next installment, we will continue explaining the significance of additional numbers in the Bible.
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
Plans have been finalized to conduct the 2014 Church Conference starting Friday, March 28th and continuing through Tuesday, April 1st. Following this Conference, Norbert and Johanna Link will leave for Germany–departing on or about April 7th and returning by the end of April or the beginning of May. Also, Brian and Jill Gale will stay following the Conference, and Mr. Gale will conduct Passover services in Ramona, California. Plans are for Rene and Delia Messier to be in Oregon for Passover and the beginning of Unleavened Bread.
A new StandingWatch program in High Definition was recorded by Norbert Link and posted this week, titled, “Why Will the Beast and the False Prophet Deceive the Masses?” The beast and the false prophet will deceive most people. How is this possible? This program explains the reasons, shows examples from recent history, and offers our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy” and “The Great Tribulation.”
“Neu! Das Weltgericht, Teil 3,” is the new German sermon recorded this week in High Definition and to be played this coming Sabbath. The title in English is: “New! The World’s Judgment, Part 3.”
A new German AufPostenStehen program in High Definition was recorded by Norbert Link and posted this week, titled “Amerikas Spionage in Deutschland” The title in English would be: “American Spying in Germany.”
Two new SW Talking Points from Rene Messier, on Halloween and Christmas:
They are posted on YouTube and also on the local Canadian site: talkingpointscogacf
Another one was posted earlier, on the Nature of God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzFUuMjyUVI
Also, a link is on the Canadian website, under “View Our Channel on YouTube.”
Programs from Brian Gale include the following SW Talking Points:
Also, a link is on the UK Website, under “View Our Channel on YouTube.”
They are also posted on the local UK site globalchurchsw BG.
We are pleased to announce the addition of SEVEN new radio stations carrying our StandingWatch Radio Programs. They are:
WWNL in Pittsburg, PA–Friday, 12:45-1:00PM; WBRI in Indianapolis, IN–Saturday, 1:45-2:00PM; WELP in Greenville, SC–Tuesday, 12:15-12:30PM; WVTJ in Pennsacola, FL–Saturday, 11:45AM-12:00PM; WYYC in York, PA–Saturday, 11:15-11:30AM; KIOU in Shreveport, LA–Saturday, 12:00-12:15PM; WITK in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA–Saturday, 10:00-10:15AM.
These and our other stations are all part of the Wilkins Radio Network, Inc. Recently, Wilkins has added live streaming to their services, and you can check the times and tune in to hear the programs being broadcast at: http://wilkinsradio.com/listen-live/. The live streaming allows anyone in the world to listen to these radio stations, and this will definately expand our own potential audience! All of the radio programs are available at our own site: http://www.standingwatch.org/radioPrograms.
“A Chicken’s Heart”
by Delia Messier
This summer our little black hen hatched five very strange babies—five yellow baby ducks! She loved them instantly and quickly started her job of teaching them how to be good chickens—clucking, then scratching, showing them what to do to find food. She clucked and scratched tirelessly, hoping they would follow her example. She did so day after day with no success! Finally, having become desperate to get their attention, she turned to a more drastic approach: She flipped them over first and then clucked and scratched, but there was still no response. Bad news! Not only were her loved babies very homely, their elevator didn’t go all the way to the top. And what was it with the water anyway?
But she did not give up and did “not throw in the towel.” Persistency prevailed, and finally there was success! The babies responded to her clucking. Holding a nice fat worm in her beak, they gathered around her, jumping up, hoping to be the recipient of this nice juicy morsel. My husband and I could see her satisfaction as she held her neck and head up high, and I am sure if she had lips we would probably have seen a smile.
All summer long, she followed her babies around the yard, keeping them warm when it was cold and nervously standing by, watching them when they splashed in the creek. Loving them was a given. She was willing to die for them and defending them when the neighbor’s dog was attacking them. Our little black hen has a good heart, a soft heart, no matter what the babies’ shape, size, color or intelligence. There was no rejection, no judging, no condemning, no envy, but only her “true love” of accepting, giving and serving.
Unknown to this little black hen with her soft heart, like a miracle, these strange babies will attain their great destiny of one day becoming the most beautiful big white pecan ducks they were created to be! But my destiny will be of course so much more awesome if I use and live with the “chicken’s” soft “heart of flesh” which our great God has given me.
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