|Live Services||Truth Be Bold|
|Editorial||“The Devil Is in the Detail”|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Why Has God allowed Satan to appear before Him in heaven, as mentioned in Revelation 12:10?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Truth Be Bold
On June 28, 2014, Michael Link will give the sermon, titled, “Truth Be Bold.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
“The Devil Is in the Detail”
by Robb Harris
Recently, I was listening to an announcement about upcoming World Cup matches and a radio host mentioned an ocelot in Dorchester would be predicting the outcomes of games. This feline would be using its “special predictive powers” and “channeling his inner soccer spirit” to guess winners. One of the curators at this feline’s zoo stated, “we find a lot of the time when zoos do this, the animals are pretty right on.” While this seems innocent on the surface, the underlying principles and motivations are anything but naïve. Zechariah spoke about the same timeless reasoning—an attitude constantly affecting mankind. “For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd” (Zechariah 10:2).
The use of supernatural animal powers doesn’t stop at sports predictions. Popular in America and Canada is a weather-predicting groundhog that even has a day set apart for observance. Every February 2nd (Groundhog Day) “the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the legendary groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony…Phil emerges from his temporary home…if Phil sees his shadow he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring.” This ceremony has been celebrated for over 125 years and consistently receives mention on national news.
We can dismiss these practices as simple folly and harmless fun, as do most who take part in them. But the same could be said of Christmas or Easter. Today many of the mainstream holidays originating in paganism are the foundation of those who call themselves Christian. Hosea warned of our tendencies, “My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him” (Hosea 11:7).
As God’s people we know better! We should never assume to be completely immune from the pull of Satan’s deceit. In Revelation 18 an angel cries out about the debase nature of Babylon—a description of the world we live in today. “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:2-3). And to those of us with God’s Spirit an angel warns us, “come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5). No amount of sugar-coating can change what God plainly labels as sin. It’s imperative that we focus on His clear voice in an end-time age so filled with confusion and deceit.
We are beginning with frightening developments in America: While the USA seems to become a “rapidly expanding police state” with unreliable and misleading representations to the public, America’s Presbyterian Church took an unprecedented step against Israel, angering Jewish politicians and organizations around the world.
We continue with speaking of America’s military support of the new Egyptian dictatorship, and we are addressing Iraq’s Sunni terrorists. While the Obama Administration is contemplating sending troops to Iraq—in violation of prior promises to the contrary–and perhaps working together with Iran, many concerned voices warn against such steps, while Shiite leaders in Iraq and Iran are rejecting US involvement.
Turning to Europe, we address Britain’s inevitable exodus from the EU, quoting Der Spiegel Online, which speaks of “Cameron’s Waterloo.” At the same time, Italy is determined to push for the full establishment of the United States of Europe, and Austria openly defies the USA.
We point out the outbreak of the Ebola virus which is “out of control,” and the real danger of the spread of contagious diseases in the US through illegal aliens.
We are reporting on the Obama Administration’s fascination with LGBT rights, while showing that similar developments are occurring in Europe, especially in Germany.
The American Presbyterian Church officially recognized same-sex marriages as Christian and allows their ministers to preside at same-sex marriages, while the Methodist Church is divided on the issue.
We conclude with the pope’s courageous stance against the Italian mafia; sun worship and mass yoga practices at Stonehenge; frightening dictatorial powers of Britain’s schools; and the ignorance of scientists pertaining to, in their words, new findings of “prehistoric” human remains, which “complicate” the understanding of “human evolution.”
This Week in the News
America’s New Dictatorship
The Washington Times wrote on June 20:
“With so much happening internationally and the number of scandals, crises and general screw-ups of the Obama administration here at home, it’s worth noting a disturbing development here on the domestic front: a rapidly expanding police state… We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone…
“Spying is one thing, but control is, in fact, key. During the Obama administration, most of us have grown concerned about the massive buy-up of ammunition of various federal agencies. The U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Agriculture, the Commerce Department and even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among so many other agencies, have acquired billions of rounds of ammunition…
“The New York Times reports, ‘During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.’
“Silencers? Machine guns? Now why would local law enforcement need that sort of gear? They do if they’re conditioning everyone, including local law enforcement itself, to believe that a police state is necessary and inevitable…”
Very frightening indeed. Orwell’s 1984 is becoming grim reality…. See also the next article.
Medical Marijuana Defense “Irrelevant”?
US News reported on June 23:
“Attorney General Eric Holder swooped into Spokane, Washington, without public notice Friday to visit with federal prosecutors, but his trip didn’t immediately benefit a group of indicted medical marijuana patients nicknamed the Kettle Falls Five.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, based in Spokane, is not backing down in its multiple-felony case against four family members and a friend who tended a rural marijuana garden for what they say was personal medical use.
“The case, easily the highest-profile prosecution involving medical marijuana this year, is nearing trial as federal lawmakers consider cutting the purse strings for such enforcement.
“Prosecutors argued Monday during a conference call with federal Judge Fred Van Sickle and defense attorneys that the defendants should not be allowed to tell jurors the marijuana was for medical use. ‘There is no right to present irrelevant evidence,’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard said, dismissing the applicability of state medical marijuana law to federal charges. ‘Medical marijuana is not a defense.’ ‘What they were doing was illegal under federal law,’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said…
“Van Sickle said he agreed with prosecutors and was unlikely to reconsider his May decision barring that defense. ‘These things are not relevant and they would confuse the jury,’ he said…
“The Kettle Falls Five prosecution appears to fly in the face of 2009 guidance from Holder’s Department of Justice that prosecutors should avoid going after medical marijuana patients. It also comes as Holder’s department allows Colorado and Washington to unfurl regulated and taxed recreational marijuana markets…
“Harvey, a co-defendant alongside his wife, a son and daughter-in-law, and a family friend – all of whom have conditions that qualify them for medical pot under state law – was lobbying Congress to pass legislation to block the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal prosecutors from going after medical marijuana in states that allow it. The House of Representatives voted 219-189 on May 30 in favor of a spending bill amendment that would do just that. A Senate version of the amendment is being sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Cory Booker, D-N.J….”
The Obama Administration is being accused of operating under false pretenses, while giving false and misleading assurances. It is alleged that the denial of the medical Marijuana defense is just one of many examples of a government which is not reliable.
True Christians Must Have No Part in Jury Duty System!
The following report is even more revealing and exemplifies once again why a true Christian must NEVER allow him- or herself to become an active participant in the jury duty system. Those who believe and teach otherwise are ignorant and lacking experience of the operations of the legal system.
The Huffington Post wrote on June 23:
“Larry Harvey, 70; his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55; their son Rolland Gregg, 33; daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 35; and family friend Jason Zucker, 38, sought to present evidence that the marijuana they grew was, in fact, legal under state law, doctor-recommended and appropriate for each family member’s condition. ‘The jury will never hear that there was a sign [at the grow site] for medical marijuana,’ lawyer Douglas D. Phelps, who represents Rolland Gregg, said during Monday’s hearing. ‘They’ll never hear that the defendants had a use for the marijuana that was medicinal. They’ll never hear how they intended to use the crop, the purposes that they would use it for or that the doctors believed that the amounts they were growing was consistent with their medical necessity.’
“The federal government charged each defendant with six felonies, including manufacturing, possession and distribution of marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Their lawyers said the family kept multiple guns for hunting and defense at their home, which lies in the wilderness of northeast Washington state near the U.S.-Canadian border. They have encountered black bears, cougars and coyotes at their front door on several occasions, according to the lawyers. Federal prosecutors argue that the presence of firearms shows the defendants were involved in drug trafficking.
“… a number of studies over the years have shown the medical potential of cannabis, from fighting cancer to controlling blood sugar. There have also been multiple attempts to reschedule the drug since the 1970s. ‘One must reasonably conclude that there is an accepted safety for use of marijuana under medical supervision,’ said a motion filed by the Harvey family’s attorneys that prompted Monday’s hearing. ‘To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.’ The motion was quoting then-DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young’s response to a 1988 petition to reschedule marijuana.
“‘Decades after this judicial acknowledgment of the irrationality of classifying marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, the possession and cultivation of this plant remains subject to the harshest criminal penalties authorized under the Controlled Substances Act of 1972,’ the Harvey family’s motion said. ‘Despite the federal prohibition, science has forged ahead to prove Judge Young correct, and in the twenty-first century, cannabis has been proven to be a harmless yet effective medication for treating, and possibly preventing, serious illnesses.’
“At the DEA’s own behest, the Food and Drug Administration is currently considering loosening federal regulation of marijuana. However, in its latest guidelines regarding cannabis, published Friday, the FDA states that it still ‘has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication’ despite ‘significant interest in the potential utility of marijuana for a variety of medical conditions.’”
One MUST ask, why not?
America’s Presbyterian Church vs. Israel
The Associated Press wrote on June 21:
“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the United States to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories…
“The American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was ‘driven by hatred of Israel.’ But Heath Rada, moderator for the church meeting, said immediately after the vote that ‘in no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters.’… Israeli officials, along with many American Jewish groups, denounced the campaign as an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state… The vote was the subject of intense lobbying both from within and outside the church.”
This article shows at least two things: Hate-driven action speaks louder than hypocritical words of love; and these kinds of votes include intense lobbying and bring about questionable results. Another article of questionable votes of the Presbyterian Church is featured later in this Current Events section.
JTA reported on June 21:
“Some of the delegates promoting the resolution were at pains to distance it from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, noting that the measure targeted only American companies profiting from West Bank security systems, and successfully added amendments making the distinction clear.
“Others said that the resolution, coupled with an anti-Zionist tract released earlier this year by a church committee, allied the church with groups that seek to dismantle Israel. The ‘decision will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on relations between mainstream Jewish groups and the national Presbyterian Church (USA),’ Rabbi Steve Gutow, the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, said in a statement…
“Other groups anticipating a rift included the Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism, StandWithUs and the American Jewish Committee…”
The Washington Times added on June 22:
“Speaking on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu said the move demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East… ‘It should trouble all people and of conscience and morality because it’s so disgraceful,’ he said of the vote. ‘You come to Israel and you see the one democracy that upholds basic human rights, that guards the rights of all minorities, that protects Christians. …
“‘Most Americans understand Israel is a beacon of civilization and moderation. I would suggest to the Presbyterian organizations — fly to the Middle East. Come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is and then take a bus tour. Go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, and see the difference. And I would give them two pieces of advice: make sure it is an armor-plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christians.’”
Egypt’s New Dictatorship
The Washington Post wrote on June 21:
“The Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader and over 180 others were sentenced to death Saturday by an Egyptian court in the latest mass trial following last year’s overthrow of the country’s Islamist president. The ruling by the southern Minya Criminal Court is the largest confirmed mass death sentence to be handed down in Egypt in recent memory and comes from Judge Said Youssef, who earlier presided over the mass trial. It is the second death sentence for the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie since the crackdown against his group began…
“Initially, Youssef sentenced some 683 people to death over the attack, then sent the case to Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the country’s top spiritual leader. The Mufti offered his opinion, then sent the case back to Youssef to confirm his sentence. Lawyers for the accused said they planned to appeal…
“The mass trials have drawn worldwide rebuke. However, the trials have continued with many Egyptians appearing to approve of the heavy-handed measures… Saturday’s hearing lasted for less than 15 minutes…”
One Egyptian dictatorship is replaced by another… America just announced that they will support the new Egyptian leadership militarily… a wrong decision which is bound to backfire.
Deutsche Welle reported on June 22:
“After President Mohammed Morsi was ousted almost a year ago, the US froze some of its $1.3 billion (956 million euros) in annual military aid to Egypt. About $575 million in suspended funds have been released over the past ten days and are to be used to pay existing defense contracts, according to the State Department. Washington has also said it is to provide ten Apache attack helicopters to help soldiers battling militants in the Sinai peninsula. Kerry said they would arrive ‘very soon.’”
In a further move, an Egyptian court has even convicted non-Egyptian journalists by falsely labeling them as terrorists or operating with terrorists—in an obvious attempt to suppress any truthful reporting about Egypt’s oppressive government.
The New Islamic State of ISIS
AFP wrote on June 22:
“The militants, led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group, have begun imposing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law in the days since they took the city [of Mosul in northern Iraq]… The city, known before 2003 for its historic sites and parks and in later years as a hub for deadly violence, fell on June 10 to the militants, who subsequently overran surrounding Nineveh province and swathes of other territory… After seizing control, gunmen declared Nineveh a part of their Islamic state and issued a document outlining new rules.
“The 16-point document announced the prohibition of the selling and consumption of alcohol and drugs as well as smoking, and forbade gatherings and carrying weapons. Women are to wear non-revealing clothes and keep to their homes, while ‘shrines’ are to be destroyed. All depictions of people are considered idolatrous under the militants’ extreme interpretation of Islam, and gunmen have removed various statues from the city in recent days, including some depicting famous poets.
“Abu Ramzi, one of Mosul’s Christians who did not flee the city, said militants destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a church. The militants also distributed a document to mosques in the city ordering that they not make or publish any statement not approved by ISIL, and designated a specific mosque for the acceptance of the ‘repentance of apostates’. ISIL has also appointed representatives for different areas of the city who are to conduct a survey of its residents.
“One resident who fled said a neighbour told him that gunmen came to check empty houses in the area and find out who owns them… ‘They asked about my house, my (religious) sect and my phone number,’ he said. The gunmen left a message that he had two days to return and renounce his Shiite faith, or the house would be burned.”
The radical interpretation of the militant Islamists pertaining to some provisions in the Koran mirrors, to an extent, the radical interpretation of orthodox Jews and Christian Fundamentalists pertaining to some passages in the Old Testament. For a much clearer understanding as to what the Old Testament does and does not say, and how it applies to us today, please read our brand-new booklet, “Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?”
ISIS Claims to Have Nuclear Weapons to Use Against Israel
On June 23, WorldNetDaily reported the following:
“The well-organized army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, claims it has access to nuclear weapons and a will to use them to ‘liberate’ Palestine from Israel as part of its ‘Islamic Spring,’ according to a WND source in the region.
“Franklin Lamb, an international lawyer based in Beirut and Damascus, said the move is part of the ISIS aim of creating a caliphate under strict Islamic law, stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Iraq… Lamb said that in Iraq alone, some 6 million Iraqi Sunnis recently have become supportive of the ISIS lightning strikes in the Sunni portion of the country…
“ISIS access to nuclear weapons could come from Sunni Pakistan, which is home to more than 30 terrorist groups. Pakistan possibly has transferred nuclear weapons to the chief bankroller of its nuclear development program, Sunni Saudi Arabia… The Saudis… also have provided billions of dollars to ISIS…”
Judge Who Sentenced Saddam Killed by ISIS
The website of gatewaypundit.com wrote on June 22:
“Judge Rauf Rashid, the man who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death, has reportedly been captured and killed by ISIS terrorists. Several Arab News websites are reporting the news… Wikipedia says he is dead: ‘On 16 June 2014, Abd al-Rahman was arrested by ISIS rebels during 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. Two days later, it was reported that ISIS captured and executed him.’ Iraqi officials have not denied the news.”
US Troops Not Welcome in Iraq
Sky News reported on June 21:
“A Shia cleric loyal to anti-US cleric Moqtada al Sadr has warned that the 300 US military advisers en route to Iraq will be attacked. In a sermon from Baghdad’s Sadr City district, Nassir al Saedi threatened what he called ‘the occupier’, saying: ‘We will be ready for you if you are back.’
“The warning comes after President Barack Obama announced the deployment of US military advisers made up mostly of special forces. Their aim is to help the Iraqi government in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group of Sunni extremists who have seized cities and towns across northern Iraq.
“Al Saedi’s threats highlight a potentially dangerous secondary front for US forces heading to Iraq. Moqtada al Sadr’s militia fought the Americans in at least two rounds of street warfare during the eight years US troops were on the ground there.”
Iran Opposed to American “Help”
The Times of Israel wrote on June 22:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned close ally the United States against working with arch-foe Iran in the effort to pull Iraq back from the brink… ‘What you’re seeing in the Middle East today in Iraq and in Syria is the stark hatred between radical Shiites — in this case led by Iran — and radical Sunnis led by al-Qaeda and ISIS and others,’ Netanyahu told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ referring to ISIL.
“‘Now both of these camps are enemies of the United States, and when your enemies are fighting each other, don’t strengthen either one — weaken both,’ said Netanyahu…”
Rand Paul vs. Dick Cheney: Should US Stay Out of Iraq or Get Involved?
The Huffington Post wrote on June 22:
“As the Islamist militia group ISIS gains new ground in Iraq, capturing four more towns near the Syrian border and barreling towards Baghdad, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is holding strong to his belief that the United States should stay out of the conflict in the region. On CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ Sunday, Paul ruled out ground troops in Iraq and said that as president, he would ask Congress before getting involved at all…
“Paul also responded Sunday to some of Obama’s critics in the Republican Party, who say he should have overthrown Syrian President Bashar Assad following evidence that he used chemical weapons on citizens last year… ‘We went into Libya and we got rid of that terrible Qaddafi, now it’s a jihadist wonderland over there,’ Paul said, referring to Libya’s former dictator. ‘There’s jihadists everywhere. If we were to get rid of Assad it would be a jihadist wonderland in Syria. It’s now a jihadist wonderland in Iraq…’
“‘You have to ask yourself, are you willing to send your son, am I willing to send my son to retake back a city, Mosul, that they weren’t willing to defend themselves?’ Paul said. ‘I’m not willing to send my son into that mess.’
“Former Vice President Dick Cheney strongly disagreed with Paul on Sunday. ‘Rand Paul, with all due respect, is basically an isolationist,’ Cheney said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘He doesn’t believe we ought to be involved in that part of the world. I think it’s absolutely essential. One of the things I worried about 12 years ago — and that I worry about today — is that there will be another 9/11 attack and that the next time it’ll be with weapons far deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters.’”
Please read our free booklet, “Should You Fight in War?”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 19:
“British Prime Minister David Cameron is determined not to let Jean-Claude Juncker become president of the European Commission. But he is increasingly isolated. He might face his Waterloo as early as next week.
“Reading the newspaper hasn’t been particularly pleasurable for Jean-Claude Juncker in recent days. First, British historian Timothy Garton Ash compared him to King Louis the XVI, who was executed by the guillotine. Then, the Swiss paper Weltwoche lumped him together with Hitler and Mussolini and the British tabloid Sun described him as ‘the most dangerous man in Europe.’…
“The situation is a delicate one: British Prime Minister David Cameron continues to categorically reject Juncker as the next president of the European Commission. Yet a majority in the European Parliament supports the former Luxembourg prime minister. The European Council, made up of EU heads of state and government, has the power of nomination, but the body is divided.
“Several voices, including the influential German weekly Die Zeit last week, have called on Juncker to withdraw his candidacy as a final service to Europe. It is a potential solution that Berlin, too, could live with, despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official support for Juncker’s candidacy. But Juncker, 59, has no intention of doing Merkel and Cameron that favor. It’s a matter of principle, he argues. He campaigned as the lead candidate for European conservatives ahead of last month’s EU elections, with the assumption being that the winner would become Commission president. Should he not be confirmed for that office, he says, it amounts to voter betrayal.
“More than anything, though, a European power struggle is afoot. If Cameron prevails, the European Council will continue to reign supreme and the Parliament will continue to look like little more than a European debate club… Cameron’s warning — that if Juncker was named to the position, it could accelerate Britain’s exit from the EU — had its intended effect. Almost all significant UK parties are opposed to Juncker, who they see as a European technocrat unable to reform the Commission. Only the EU-skeptic party UKIP is in favor or Juncker, say pro-EU voices in Britain, noting that a Juncker presidency would make it even easier for the party to sell its anti-Europe message…
“One leading member of Merkel’s CDU says Cameron has acted ‘incredibly clumsily, from a strategic perspective.’ … Even a meeting last week between Cameron, Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Swedish leader Fredrik Reinfeldt only hurt the British position… ‘Cameron is increasingly isolating himself,’ says Elmar Brok, a member of European Parliament for the CDU. ‘In the end, there will be a clear majority for Juncker in the Council.’ Even Council President Herman Van Rompuy has recently said that Cameron could be isolated.”
BBC News wrote on June 26:
“David Cameron’s bid to block Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the next European Commission president looks set to fail after his allies changed tack… both the Netherlands and Sweden now say they will back Luxembourg’s ex-PM.”
Britain’s way out of the EU is just a matter of time…
Italy’s Push for a “United States of Europe”
The Telegraph wrote on June 22:
“Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, has said that Italy will push for a ‘United States of Europe’ during its six-month EU presidency, in a move likely to raise hackles in Britain. Launching an appeal to convince European leaders to show ‘that a stronger and more cohesive Europe is the only solution to… solve the problems of our time’, Mr Renzi said: ‘For my children’s future I dream, think and work for the United States of Europe.’
“He further called for “courageous leaders” to work towards achieving that goal – something that Britain has always objected to. In 1988 Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, dismissed the idea that the United States might be a model for the future of Europe and David Cameron is actively trying to prevent the election of a committed federalist, Jean-Claude Juncker, to the head of the European Commission.
“Italy takes over the rotating EU presidency from Greece on July 1. Its job will be to steer the EU at a time when the so-called ‘European Project’ is coming under renewed attack, in the wake of an EU-wide surge in support for Eurosceptic parties in the recent European elections.
“Mr Renzi… said it was vital to show that the EU ‘is not only a common past but a common destiny.’”
How to Boost the EU’s Military…
The EUObserver wrote on June 25:
“The European Commission on Tuesday (24 June) laid out plans on how to boost the EU’s military and defence industries. It wants to create a single market on defence, make it more profitable, and intensify and merge research with the civil sector. Antonio Tajani, the EU industry commissioner, said greater defence collaboration is needed between member states to enable the EU to ‘adequately face its security challenges’… ‘It is vital that the European defenceindustry remains a world-leading centre for manufacturing and innovation, creating highly qualified jobs and growth,’ he said in a statement…
“Among the ideas is to create drones capable of carrying out both civil and military operations. It wants the European Defence Agency (EDA) to prepare a ‘new process for developing defence and hybrid standards in Europe’… Another idea is to shift the ‘control of industrial and technological assets’ away from national governments to a new system at the EU level…”
Austria Defies USA
Deutsche Welle reported on June 24:
“Austrian energy company OMV and Russia’s Gazprom signed a contract on Tuesday for the construction of the South Stream pipeline’s Austrian section. It came just hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Vienna for a one-day visit.
“While OMV general director Gerhard Roiss said the South Stream pipeline would ‘ensure energy security for Europe, particularly for Austria,’ the US embassy in Vienna launched a thinly veiled attack on the move. In a statement, it said that trans-Atlantic unity had been essential in ‘discouraging further Russian aggression’ and that the Austrians ‘should consider carefully whether today’s events contribute to that effort.’
“In a meeting with Austrian president Heinz Fischer, Putin slammed the criticism by saying that ‘our American friends… want to supply Europe with gas themselves. They do everything to derail this contract…’ Fischer also defended the project, stating that ‘no one can tell me why… a gas pipeline that crosses NATO and EU states can’t touch 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Austrian territory.’
“Putin and Fischer also emphasized Russia’s and Austria’s close business ties, with Putin calling Austria an ‘important and reliable’ partner. Austria was the first western European country to sign, in 1968, long-term gas supply deals with Moscow. Russia is Austria’s third-biggest non-EU trading partner after the United States and Switzerland.
“While Austria is a member of the EU and should, therefore, endorse the bloc’s visa bans and asset freezes against Russia, Fischer said on Tuesday that he opposed sanctions against Moscow. But he also told Putin Moscow’s annexation of Crimea violated international law. South Stream, which will cost an estimated $40 billion (29.4 billion euros), is designed to carry Russian gas to the center of Europe. Russia currently supplies a third of Europe’s gas… The pipeline will stretch across Russia, under the Black Sea and then through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Austria.
“Gazprom’s partners for the offshore part of the project are Italy’s ENI, Germany’s Wintershall Holding and France’s EDF.”
“Polish-American Alliance Worth Nothing and Harmful”
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 22:
“A Polish magazine says it has a recording of the country’s foreign minister saying Warsaw’s relationship with Washington is worthless… The weekly magazine Wprost on Sunday published a short transcript of a recorded conversation it says features Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski speaking to then-Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski last year. ‘You know that the Polish-American alliance is worth nothing,’ Sikorski is quoted as saying, before adding that it was ‘even harmful because it creates a false sense of security.’…”
Ebola Outbreak Totally Out of Control
The Associated Press wrote on June 20:
“The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa is ‘totally out of control,’ according to a senior official for Doctors Without Borders, who says the medical group is stretched to the limit in responding. The outbreak has caused more deaths than any other of the disease, said another official with the medical charity. Ebola has been linked to more than 330 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization…
“The Ebola virus, which causes internal bleeding and organ failure, spreads through direct contact with infected people. There is no cure or vaccine, so containing an outbreak focuses on supportive care for the ill and isolating them to limit the spread of the virus… the only way to stop the disease’s spread is to persuade people to come forward when symptoms occur and to avoid touching the sick and dead.
“… this outbreak is particularly challenging because it began in an area where people are very mobile and has spread to even more densely populated areas, like the capitals of Guinea and Liberia. The disease typically strikes sparsely populated areas in central or eastern Africa, where it spreads less easily… By contrast, the epicenter of this outbreak is near a major regional transport hub, the Guinean city of Gueckedou.”
The worldwide spread of contagious diseases is prophesied to occur in these end times. Note the next article as well, and read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible?–The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”
Illegal Aliens Bring Terrible Diseases to the US
World Net Daily wrote on June 19:
“Health professionals are warning of a ‘humanitarian crisis’ festering in Texas and Arizona as a result of unchecked border crossings of illegal-immigrant children into border communities. Cramped conditions and the spread of difficult-to-treat diseases has doctors worried in the wake of a massive influx of children coming across the Mexican-U.S. border, many of them from Central and South America. Outbreaks of scabies, lice, dengue fever, tuberculosis and other diseases – many of them contagious – are already being documented among the children and in some border agents who work among them…
“… some rare cases of leprosy have even been reported in immigrants coming across the approximately 2,000-mile border with Mexico… a scabies outbreak began more than a month ago, and now reports of various viruses are beginning to surface. Scabies is a contagious skin disease marked by a severe, painful rash. Tuberculosis is an airborne communicable disease caused by bacteria that is spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, night sweats, coughing, chest pains and weight loss…
“Late last week, Texas public health officials confirmed a new wave of dengue fever has cropped up in the southernmost tip of Texas, marking the first outbreak the state has seen since 2005…”
The White House’s Fascination with LGBT Rights
Reuters wrote on June 19:
“The United States on Thursday cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and canceled a regional military exercise in response to a Ugandan law that imposes harsh penalties on homosexuality. The White House said in a statement the measures were intended to ‘reinforce our support for human rights of all Ugandans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.’
“Homosexuality is taboo in most African countries and illegal in 37, including in Uganda where it has been a crime since British rule. Uganda’s new law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, imposes jail terms of up to life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ which includes homosexual sex with a minor or while HIV-positive. Widely condemned by donor countries, the law also criminalizes lesbianism for the first time and makes it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts…
‘Uganda is a key Western ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in Somalia, where Ugandan troops [form] the backbone of the African Union force battling al Qaeda-aligned militants…
“In Kampala, a government official asked about the U.S. measures said that Uganda would not alter its decision to toughen laws against homosexuals. ‘Uganda is a sovereign country and can never bow to anybody or be blackmailed by anybody on a decision it took in its interests, even if it involves threats to cut off all financial assistance,’ [a] government spokesman… said.”
Note the following reported excerpts from President Obama’s speech on June 17 during a LGBT fundraiser:
“…Pride Month is a time for celebration, and this year we’ve got a lot to celebrate. If you think about everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, it is remarkable. In nine more states you’re now free to marry the person you love—that includes my two home states of Hawaii and Illinois. The NFL drafted its first openly gay player. The U.S. Postal Service made history by putting an openly gay person on a stamp—the late, great Harvey Milk smiling from ear to ear… we’ve been able to do more to protect the rights of lesbian and gay, and bisexual and transgender Americans than any administration in history… We repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ because no one should have to hide who you love to serve the country we love… Before I took office, only one openly gay judge had been confirmed in history. We have 10 more…”
Nothing to be proud of, really.
In Germany Too…
On June 21, 2014, the website of berlin.de reported the following:
“The first Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin was celebrated on the 30th of June 1979. Since then the gay community has extended its political agenda, broadened the definition of diversity and pushed the fight for equality. Up to 500,000 people celebrate the CSD in Berlin, which is also known as the biggest gay-lesbian ‘holiday’…
“The Christopher Street Day is held in memory of the first big uprising of homosexuals against police assaults in Greenwich Village (New York, USA) on June 27, 1969. The so-called Stonewall Riots took place in a bar called Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. In Germany, Christopher Street Day was celebrated in 1979 in Bremen and Berlin for the first time.”
The website of visitberlin.de added:
“Christopher Street Day is held in Berlin in June of every year. Lesbians, gay men, transgender people, intersex and bisexual people demonstrate here for equal rights and protest against all forms of discrimination in society. But it is also a joyful occasion, as on CSD, demonstrators celebrate the rights they have won over the last few decades. Pride Week traditionally takes place the week prior to CSD in Berlin, which is packed full with parties, events, and street festivals…
“CSD Berlin is a huge party on the streets of Berlin – and at the same time it is becoming increasingly more political. For example, people protest for equal marriage rights. Every year, there is a special motto which sums up the main CSD demands. About half a million people demonstrate for the rights of homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender people – heterosexual people also come along to support them…”
The website of cologne.de reported on June 6:
“Cologne stands for ‘joie de vivre’, cultural diversity, tolerance and optimism. For many years now, Cologne has established itself as one of Europe’s centres for gay and lesbian life.
“The most important event in the gay and lesbian calendar is the Christopher Street Day (CSD). Every year on the first weekend of July half a million participants and visitors celebrate and demonstrate in the city centre. Aside from the partying and the fun, there is always a political focus that is illustrated through a new motto each year. For those who are lucky enough to visit Cologne for longer than a weekend, during the two weeks prior to the CSD there are all kinds of gay and lesbian events on offer…
“Together, on the 6th July at the CSD Parade they will demonstrate that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals will be equally treated legally and socially accepted… Cologne Pride and WomenPride offer something for every gay and lesbian, and their friends.”
Those who adhere to the injunctions of the Bible will soon become a much hated and despised “minority,” “unworthy of living” in a “tolerant” and “enlightened” democracy…
Presbyterian General Assembly’s Vote on Same-Sex Marriages an “Abomination”
The Associated Press reported on June 19:
“The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by large margins Thursday to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of ‘two people,’ not just ‘a man and a woman.’
“The amendment approved by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week’s meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.
“The votes, during a national meeting in Detroit, were a sweeping victory for Presbyterian gay-rights advocates. The denomination in 2011 eliminated barriers to ordaining clergy with same-sex partners, but ministers were still barred from celebrating gay marriages and risked church penalties for doing so…
“Bill Norton, of the Presbytery de Cristo, which covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico, urged the assembly to delay any changes. ‘We are laying hands on something that is holy, that God has given us, so we need to be sure any changes we make are in accord with God’s will revealed in Scripture,’ Norton said…
“The conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee decried the votes in Detroit as an ‘abomination.’… ‘The General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God’s clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner,’ the Presbyterian Lay Committee said in a statement.
“Of the mainline Protestant denominations, only the United Church of Christ supports gay marriage outright. The Episcopal Church has approved a prayer service for blessing same-sex unions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has eliminated barriers for gay clergy but allows regional and local church officials to decide their own policies on ordination and blessings for same-sex couples…”
The Bible is very clear on this issue, and “debates” only ensue because the “carnal mind” is enmity to the law of God; it does not want to and cannot be subject to God’s Will.
Methodists Divided on Same-Sex Marriages
The Guardian wrote on June 24:
“A United Methodist Church appeals panel has overturned the church’s decision to defrock a pastor who presided over his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony and said he would perform other gay marriages if asked. He can return to the pulpit.
“The nine-person panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment. ‘I’ve devoted my life to this church, to serving this church, and to be restored and to be able to call myself a reverend again and to speak with this voice means so much to me,’ an exultant Schaefer told the Associated Press, adding he intends to work for gay rights ‘with an even stronger voice from within the United Methodist Church’.
“The church suspended Frank Schaefer, of Pennsylvania, last year for officiating his son’s 2007 wedding. The church then defrocked Schaefer because he wouldn’t promise never to preside over another gay ceremony. Schaefer appealed, arguing the decision was wrong because it was based on an assumption he would break church law in the future.
“The appeals panel, which met last week to hear the case, upheld a 30-day suspension that Schaefer has already served and said he should get back-pay dating to when the suspension ended in December. The jury’s punishment was illegal under church law, the appeals panel concluded, writing in its decision that ‘revoking his credentials cannot be squared with the well-established principle that our clergy can only be punished for what they have been convicted of doing in the past, not for what they may or may not do in the future.’
“The topic of gay marriage has long roiled the United Methodist Church, the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination. Hundreds of Methodist ministers have publicly rejected church doctrine on homosexuality, which allows for gay members but bars ‘self-avowed practicing homosexuals’ from becoming clergy and forbids ministers from performing same-sex marriages.
“Traditionalists say clergy have no right to break church law just because they disagree with it. Some conservative pastors are calling for a breakup of the denomination, which has 12 million members worldwide, saying the split over gay marriage is irreconcilable…”
Pope Takes on the Mafia
Reuters reported on June 21:
“Pope Francis on Saturday took on one of Italy’s most dangerous organised crime groups, calling it an example of ‘the adoration of evil and saying Mafiosi ‘are excommunicated’. The pope, speaking about the ‘Ndrangheta crime group during a mass in… southern Italy, issued the strongest attacks on organised crime since the late Pope John Paul lambasted the Sicilian Mafia in 1993. ‘Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated,’ Pope Francis said in impromptu comments at a mass before tens of thousands of people.
“He told the crowd: ‘This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it.’ He branded the ‘Ndrangheta as the ‘adoration of evil and contempt of the common good’ and said the Church would exert its full force in efforts to combat organised crime.”
The pope is surely living dangerously.
Sun Worship and Mass Yoga Practice at Stonehenge
The Associated Press reported on June 21:
“Self-styled Druids, new-agers and thousands of revelers have watched the sun rise above the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice – the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. English Heritage, which manages the monument, says some 36,000 sun-watchers gathered on the Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London on Saturday. Police say the event was peaceful with only 25 arrests, mainly for drug offenses.
“Couples kissed, dancers circled with hoops and revelers took part in a mass yoga practice as part of the free-form celebrations. Stonehenge was built in three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C. and its purpose… remains under study. An icon of Britain, it remains one of its most popular tourist attractions.”
Everything goes… only God’s Truth is being suppressed in this Satanic world…
Schools With Dictatorial Authority in Britain
The Telegraph wrote on June 23:
“A defiant mum says she is prepared to go to prison after her son’s primary school banned him from attending her wedding. Clare Whitelegg, 30, is flouting the ruling by taking her nine-year-old son Riley Bryant out of school to witness her tying the knot with fiancé Andy McLeary, 37. Police communications operator Clare wrote to Clive Church of England School in Shrewsbury, Shrops., asking for permission to let Riley miss three days this week. But the school refused, claiming the wedding failed to fulfil the criteria of ‘exceptional circumstances’ necessary to legitimately take children out of class in term time.
“The couple, from Shrewsbury, Shrops., are now facing a criminal prosecution by taking Riley out of school so he can watch them get married in Clare’s hometown of Newquay, Cornwall… If parents fail to ensure their children attend school, they may be issued with penalty notices of £50 to £100. Prosecution can result in a fine of up to £2,500, a jail sentence of up to three months or a community sentence.
“Miss Whitelegg and Mr McLeary, a police officer with West Mercia Police, have been together for three years and will tie the knot in Newquay on Tuesday. Parents can put in requests for term-time holidays, but they are granted or refused entirely at the head teacher’s discretion and are not a parental right.”
This is truly ridiculous, and our so-called individual freedoms in “democratic” countries are highly dubious… Governments take over with questionable means and results…
“Prehistoric Remains Complicate Picture of Human Evolution”
The Washington Post wrote on June 19:
“In a cave in northern Spain, a team of scientists has retrieved the remains of 28 prehistoric humans, members of an enigmatic species that could be described as a little bit Neanderthal. They had Neanderthal faces, with heavy brows and protruding noses. They had powerful mandibles and mouths that could open extremely wide, indicating that they used their teeth as gripping tools. But they didn’t have the large skulls or other robust skeletal features seen in the prototypical Neanderthals who, hundreds of millennia later, roamed Ice Age Europe…
“The discovery does not dramatically change the general picture of human evolution, but it complicates it a bit, providing new evidence that there were many distinct, and largely isolated, human species existing simultaneously…
“[Scientists] think these proto-Neanderthals possessed the power of speech and lived in social groups… There are few human ancestors more intriguing than the Neanderthals, who could be described as the best example in the history of the planet of an intelligent species that has gone extinct. They had large craniums and larger brains than modern humans (although that doesn’t mean they were smarter). They existed as recently as about 30,000 years ago, when their kind disappears from the fossil record.
“How they died out, and why, and to what extent they may have interbred with anatomically modern humans is an ongoing source of debate and contentiousness among highly credentialed scientists… But as a species, the Neanderthal vanished. In their place came anatomically modern humans, who evolved in Africa and are the ancestors of everyone alive today.
“The Neanderthals, [one expert] said, ‘obviously were very intuitively smart. They were great toolmakers. They were ingenious. They were resourceful. They were living through difficult times.’…”
The sad truth is, Evolutionists and Scientists do not know what they are talking about. The reason is that they reject God’s infallible Word, the Bible, and come up with their fanciful ideas as to how there could be human beings today without a Creator. All their speculations regarding the Neanderthal and “related species” are just wrong. For an accurate understanding, please read our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?”
Why Has God allowed Satan to appear before Him in heaven, as mentioned in Revelation 12:10?
The twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation contains some focal points in the vast role Satan has held in God’s government. In particular, verse 4 reveals the first rebellion of Satan and one-third of the angels who followed him (called “ruler of the demons” in Mark 3:22). This verse also clearly establishes the adversarial position of Satan against “the Child”—Jesus Christ—and “the woman.”
We stated the following about the “woman” in our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation,” page 78:
“The woman is pictured as being clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a garland of 12 stars on her head (Revelation 12:1). In Genesis 37:9–11, Jacob and his wife Rachel, Joseph’s mother, are symbolized as the sun and the moon, and Joseph’s brothers are symbolized as eleven stars, bowing down to Joseph. It appears, therefore, to be very plausible that the TWELVE stars in Revelation 12:1 refer to the TWELVE tribes of Israel (including Joseph).
“Revelation 12:2–5 refers to the fact that Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ and that Satan attempted unsuccessfully to kill Christ through King Herod (Revelation 12:4; Matthew 2:13, 16).
“We understand that the woman is, first of all, symbolic for Eve (Genesis 3:15); then for the Old Testament Church which would evolve from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob’s TWELVE sons, and which would become known as the Church of Israel in the wilderness; then for Mary, the mother of Christ; and—subsequent to Christ’s ascension—for the New Testament Church of God (compare Matthew 25:1; Ephesians 5:22–32; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Galatians 4: 26).”
Now carefully note the reason for Satan’s attempt to destroy the “Child”:
“She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and His throne” (Revelation 12:5).
The rule over all nations has been held by Satan. On page 41 of our booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World” (reprinted version from 2010), we state:
“Satan, the prince of darkness, is still ruling on this earth. Revelation 2:13 tells us expressly that Satan has a ‘throne’ here on earth. He holds the people of this world captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). He has authority over all the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5–7). He is called the ‘ruler of this world’ in John 14:30. He is even called the ‘god of this age’ in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Satan is called ‘the prince of the power of the air’ in Ephesians 2:2.”
Even after the birth of Jesus Christ, Satan sought to cause His murder through influencing Herod the king (compare Matthew 2); he personally confronted Jesus in an attempt to cause Him to sin—thus disqualifying Himself (compare Matthew 4:1-11); and he possessed Judas in order to bring about the death of Jesus (compare Luke 22:1-6; John 13:27).
Before His death, Jesus said, “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out’” (John 12:31); we also have this statement about Jesus: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God” (John 13:3); and, Jesus replied to Pilate’s question, “‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…’” (John 18:37).
Following His resurrection, we find this testimony about Jesus Christ:
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
In the Book of Hebrews, it is shown that ultimate rulership will be given to the Family of God—which is why Satan also sought to destroy the “woman,” who is also representative of those who would receive salvation:
“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:5-9).
In summarizing chapter 11 of Hebrews, it is revealed that throughout the history of man, individuals were and are being prepared for the Kingdom of God:
“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
Jesus Christ, in His messages to the Church of God, as found in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, speaks of future rewards—note what is said to the church in Thyatira:
“‘But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—“He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels”– as I also have received from My Father’” (Revelation 2:25-27).
Satan seeks to destroy mankind (compare Job 1 and 2; 1 Peter 5:8), just as he sought to destroy the Son of God. Jesus Christ and those who are the “firstfruits” (compare James 1:18; Revelation 14:1-5) will establish the rule of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and this will mean the end of Satan’s authority, along with that of the demons (compare Revelation 20:1-3; 18:2).
Note that there is coming a very specific time in the future when Jesus Christ will return to this earth to assume the rule for which He has already qualified:
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).
In the Book of Daniel, the establishment of God’s everlasting Kingdom under Jesus Christ is foretold:
“‘I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed’” (Daniel 7:13-14; compare Daniel 2:44).
In addition, this timing includes the “saints”—those who will reign and rule with Christ for a thousand years (compare Revelation 20:4):
“‘I was watching; and the same [little] horn [a religious leader and power] was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom…
“‘Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him’” (Daniel 7:21-22, 27).
Right now, Satan is the ruler of this earth; however, he has already been disqualified and Jesus will remove him upon His return. Consider how in elections for President, Prime Minister and other offices, there is a time span between nomination and actual inauguration. A similar example can be found in the anointing of David as king over Israel. It occurred when David was still a child (compare 1 Samuel 16:1-13), but he did not ascend to the throne of Israel until the age of thirty (compare 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:1-5).
Now, with this background, let us examine Revelation 12:10:
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”
From this verse, we understand that Satan has been able—for a long time—to find fault and to bring accusations against the saints of God. Even so, we know that Jesus Christ serves as our High Priest in these circumstances:
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:34; compare Hebrews 7:25).
However, Satan’s access to heaven or his right to appear before God will have ended just before the time of great tribulation. Revelation 12, verses 7-9, describe a final war in heaven in which Satan and “his angels” are defeated and “cast down” to the earth. Satan’s reaction is that of revenge:
“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12).
We do not know the exact timing of the final spiritual war in heaven and Satan’s fall to the earth—whether these events will take place in the not-too-distant future; whether they are taking place right now; or whether they have already taken place. But we know for sure that the beginning of the Great Tribulation cannot be that far off (compare Matthew 24:32-33).
Until Christ’s return, Satan is still the ruler of the earth, but in any event, his time is short (compare Romans 16:20). Let this knowledge inspire us to more fervently pray to God the Father, “Your kingdom come!”
Lead Writer: Dave Harris
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
Our new booklet, “Old Testament Laws — Still Valid Today?,” has been mailed to our subscribers, and it is posted on our webpage. If you would like a free copy, it is available upon request.
“America Has Won Its Last War!,” is the title of our new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Until his death in 1986, Herbert W. Armstrong proclaimed many times that with World War II, America had won its last war. Was he right? A remarkable recent article in the Huffington Post confirms his prediction. But how did he know, and why has America been so unsuccessful? And why is it so powerless today in regard to the present disastrous conditions in Iraq and the speedy advance of militant Islamist groups, such as ISIS and ISIL? Your Bible gives you the answers, and our booklets help you to understand. On this program, we offer free copies of “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” “Should You Fight in War?” and “Old Testament Laws-Still Valid Today?”
“It is Satan’s Fault!,” the sermon given last Sabbath, is now posted–here is a summary:
Is Satan responsible for all the evil which we may encounter in our lives? Is it his fault when we don’t overcome sin? Of course, Satan has deceived the whole world, and he is the god of this present age. However, Christ came to deliver us from the power of Satan and to bring us to God. The Bible shows us that we can conquer Satan, but we are admonished not to turn away from the truth. Many have done this over the years, because they ignored important facts about Satan’s goal and intention. God declares to us that we will be victorious over Satan, when we draw near to God and stay close to Him. Do you know where you can find these promises in your Bible?
“Erschafft Gott das Böse?,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. Title in English: “Does God Create Evil?
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
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