Update 656


Be Ready for the Gospel of Peace

On September 13, 2014, Norbert Link will give the sermon, titled,”Be Ready for the Gospel of Peace.”

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.

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Don’t Give In to Satan!

by Norbert Link

As we are busy preparing physically and mentally for the annual Holy Days in the autumn, Satan is very active in creating all kinds of problems for us. He knows what the Holy Days represent, and he hates them with all of his being. In far too many cases, he has been successful in persuading former Church members to think that these days are no longer binding for us.

Then there are those who refuse to adopt this erroneous teaching. In their case, Satan adopts a different tactic. He bombards them with trials and tries to make life miserable for them, in order to detract them from focusing on God’s Holy Days and their meaning. When they become discouraged and allow themselves to question the need to keep all of God’s Holy Days in the enjoined way and at the place designated by God, then Satan has conquered them and he has won.

When we feel that Satan might be gaining some access into our thinking, we must immediately respond and resort to counter measures. To successfully oppose an enemy, one must first know his identity, his character and his goals.

The Bible tells us who Satan is. He is our enemy (Matthew 13:28), and we are not left in the dark as to what he is like. God’s Word describes him as our adversary (1 Peter 5:8); the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4) who is worshipped by this world (Matthew 4:9); the prince and ruler of this age (John 12:31; 14:30; Ephesians 6:12; Luke 4:5-6);  the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2); the deceiver (Revelation 12:9); a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44) who blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4); the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); the accuser (Revelation 12:10); the destroyer (Revelation 9:11); the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16); and a murderer (John 8:44).

This is quite a list of ungodly characteristics. It shows that Satan is in no way interested in our well-being. He is described as a vicious, malicious, evil and deadly poisonous dragon-like serpent (2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9) with tremendous powers.

The Bible also identifies the goals of our enemy. He wants to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). And he will try to do this through his fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16); his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11); his craftiness (2 Corinthians 11:3); and his wiles or schemes (Ephesians 6:11).

How then is it possible to win against such a devious mighty adversary? God gives us the answer! We can oppose, conquer, and protect ourselves against Satan, when we are sober and self-controlled (1 Peter 5:8); and when we are vigilant, watchful and on the alert (1 Peter 5:8). We must resist Satan (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7), while submitting to and drawing near to God (James 4:7-8). We must put on God’s whole armor (Ephesians 6:13-18); claim Christ’s Sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins (Revelation 12:11); believe God and His Word and live by it (Revelation 12:17; 13:10); and we must give ourselves totally to God (Revelation 12:11).

If we do this, then Satan will lose against us, every time. Seeing that he cannot conquer us, he must flee from us (James 4:7). Problems and difficulties might stay with us for a while, but with God’s help and Satan’s retreat, we will overcome them all and become “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). God in us, who is mightier and greater than the spirit who is in this world (1 John 4:4), will give us “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Problems and trials must not wear us down and discourage us from obeying God and observing His weekly and annual Holy Days. Rather, we are to keep them in the proper way, and as we do, we will experience a greater understanding, as well as spiritual refreshment and powerful rejuvenation.

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We report on the ongoing crises pertaining to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict; NATO’s feeble responses; and Germany’s contemplated future role; address the Western powers’ reaction to the ISIS murderers and the strange alliances which are being formed; quote articles alleging that radical Islamists are not just a tiny minority and questioning the repeated claim that Islam is a peaceful religion; speak about a previously unknown respiratory sickness affecting young children; the blasphemous idolatry in Venezuela; a meteorite smashing into Nicaragua; and we conclude with a rare hybrid (which “bleats” at the ridiculous idea of the Evolution concept) and the find of the (so far) largest land animal ever roaming this earth.

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The Ukrainian-Russian Ceasefire … Prelude for Another War?

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 5:

“Under this military pressure, Kyiv agreed to a ceasefire… Ukraine had no choice. In fact, it capitulated to Russia’s superiority. Russia’s role is now far too great, with tanks, rockets and more and more new soldiers. The cynical and dishonest Kremlin continues to deny this is the case. But that it continues to lead the war in Ukraine is now well documented. Russian soldiers were captured and the fallen are buried in Russian cemeteries. Braver elements of the Russian media and the Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia have now reported it even inside Russia.

“With the ceasefire, Ukrainian President Poroshenko made a decision under duress…  Russia demands a high price: the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk will remain in the hands of the separatists… This moves Moscow one step closer to its goal:… the region will in the long run remain outside the control of Kyiv…

“Many Ukrainians were disappointed. Some regard Poroshenko and his government’s orientation towards Europe as the wrong choice, and that the Kremlin may be in the right…

“For the separatists and the Russian special forces, the ceasefire means a first respite. They can now consolidate their positions. And they can regroup, perhaps for an attack on other areas in eastern Ukraine. Therein lies the great danger, if it proves impossible to transform the ceasefire into a permanent truce.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin may have already given the go-ahead for further attacks. He recently questioned the statehood of Ukraine. He brought up the notion of ‘Novorossiya’ (New Russia), a vast area that could reach from Donetsk and Luhansk to Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa. This area was conquered by the Russian Empire during the 18th century war with the Ottoman Empire, but was never an independent state. Above all, Putin may want to create a corridor to the annexed Crimean peninsula, which can currently only be reached from Russia by sea or air…

“Some Ukrainians are already talking about treason and collusion between the West and Moscow, because Europe and the US have left them virtually alone militarily… [Ukraine is] at war with Russia. And the ceasefire hasn’t changed this predicament.”

Ultimately, Russia and Ukraine will join forces and collaborate against continental Europe. However, in the meantime, it was reported in the German press (by Stern and Bild), on September 6, 2014, that the “cease-fire,” which started Friday evening, was already broken and fighting resumed on Saturday, with Ukrainians and Russian separatists blaming each other. Further incidents happened subsequently as well. The occasional reports in the press that the cease fire was “holding” are therefore not completely accurate.

More European Economic Sanctions Against Russia

The EUobserver wrote on September 11:

“Poland and Slovakia have said gas supplies from Russia are down, as the EU prepares to impose new sanctions… Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary are involved in shipping “reverse-flow” gas to Ukraine after Russia cut off Ukraine gas in a price dispute…

“Gazprom’s reductions come the same week the EU adopted a new round of economic sanctions against Russia following its invasion of east Ukraine. Some EU states had wanted to wait and see if a ceasefire deal with Russia holds before implementing the new measures. But EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy announced on Thursday that they will enter into life the following morning… The Van Rompuy announcement saw the ruble fall to a historic low against the dollar.

“Russia… has threatened to block EU airlines from flying over Siberia to Asia… it also threatened to curb import of used cars, light industry materials, and some textiles.”

The USA announced on September 11 that they will also issue further sanctions against Russia.

NATO United?

Fox News wrote on September 5:

“President Obama on Friday delivered a tacit warning to Russia’s Vladimir Putin amid the unrest in Ukraine, vowing at the close of a NATO summit that the allies will not tolerate an attack on any member nation. ‘An armed attack against one shall be considered an attack against them all. This is a binding treaty obligation. It is non-negotiable,’ Obama said at a press conference…

“The U.S. has effectively ruled out military action in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member…”

It will still have to be seen what NATO will do if or when a NATO member is being attacked.

Germany’s Future Role

The Local wrote on September 5:

“The Western defensive alliance agreed on Friday to the creation of a ‘spearhead’ force to deter possible Russian aggression against its Eastern members. It will consist of between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers and be capable of deploying within two to three days. Weapons, vehicles and equipment will be stockpiled in countries where they might be deployed, allowing the troops to travel light.

“Six German Eurofighter interceptors have been patrolling the Baltic Sea since September 1. Germany has also promised to send 60 more soldiers to Nato’s eastern headquarters in Stettin, Poland. Integrating German soldiers into the Nato ‘spearhead’ may be difficult, as the Bundestag has to approve any deployment of military forces overseas, a process which usually takes longer than a few days…

“Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry convened a meeting of a ‘core coalition’ of 10 nations on Friday to discuss tactics to fight terror group Isis on the sidelines of the conference. The coalition, which includes Germany, will need to ‘prevent [Isis] from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own,’ Kerry said.

“Germany has already begun delivering military supplies, vehicles and weapons to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, who have found themselves on the front lines of Isis’ rapid territorial expansion.”

Bild Online speculated on September 5 that Germany’s new military role might necessitate the reinstitution of the draft. 

The New NATO Spearhead Force—Mixed Feelings in Eastern Europe

The Associated Press wrote on September 6:

“Leaders in most Eastern European nations are just short of jubilant after NATO created a rapid-reaction ‘spearhead’ force to protect the region from Russian bullying… But not all share in the joy. Some who spent decades under the Soviet yoke — politicians and ordinary people — think that the move could enrage Moscow and undermine the sense of security they have felt since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the expansion of NATO in the 1990s…

“Poland’s former ambassador to NATO, Jerzy Maria Nowak, believes that NATO’s decisions may be a comfort for some, but ‘for Russia they may be a provocation and a violation of the agreements’ it has with NATO…

“In Romania, which borders Russia across the Black Sea, reaction to NATO’s spear-shaking was also divided… Valerica Stefanescu, 57, who runs a small café on the sea front in the resort of Mamaia said everyone was ‘worried about the situation in Ukraine… But we don’t want to see more military presence on the Black Sea, we’d feel like it was war’…

“Nearby, retired mechanical engineer, Niculae Oprea, 66, drew an even gloomier picture. ‘[President Traian] Basescu will get us into a war, we are too small compared to Putin, who didn’t even bat an eyelid with Crimea. The sanctions aren’t hurting him. You saw how he placed an embargo and now you have fruit and vegetables rotting in Europe. The Russian bear won’t let us off lightly… He will turn off the gas and we will go to Russia crying and on our knees.’”

Russian Nuclear Pre-Emptive Strike on USA?

Newsmax reported on September 4:

“A Russian defense minister wants his country’s official military doctrine rewritten to allow for a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the United States and NATO, the Russian-language news agency Interfax reports.

“Russian Army Gen. Yury Yakubov said the doctrine, last revised in 2010, should be updated to classify the United States and other NATO countries as the ‘main enemy’ of Russia, Interfax reported on Wednesday…

“Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told children at a Kremlin-sponsored youth camp, ‘I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.’”

Russia will not attack the USA prior to Christ’s return, but rumors of a Russian attack on Europe will prompt a future German leader to launch a pre-emptive strike against Russia.

Terror Attacks in Europe and USA in one or two Months?

The Washington Times wrote on August 30:

“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has a stark warning to America: The Islamic State’s terror will visit American shores in one month if it is not confronted in Syria and Iraq. ‘If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,’ the king said Saturday, Agence France Presse reported.”

Radical Islamists—Not Just a Tiny Minority

Breitbart wrote on September 4:

“Over the weekend, former President Jimmy Carter attended the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in Detroit. There, he assured Muslims that the ‘principles of Allah; were designed to ‘bring peace and justice to all’… Carter isn’t alone… This week, Barack Obama said, ‘ISIL speaks for no religion’… Eric Holder has said that radical Islam is not consistent with the teachings of Islam. For years, George W. Bush assured Americans that Islamic extremists represented but a tiny minority of Muslims…

“American politicians, mostly Christian or atheist, know less about the nature of Islam and Islamic radicalism than members of ISIS… the polls show that Islamic extremism is on the rise… the enemy we face is not a ‘tiny minority’ of Muslims, let alone a rootless philosophy unconnected to Islam entirely…

“A new, widely-covered poll shows that a full 16% of French people have positive attitudes toward ISIS. That includes 27% of French between the ages of 18-24. Anne-Elizabeth Moutet of Newsweek wrote, ‘This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds…these are the same people who torch synagogues.’…

“In 2006, a poll for the Sunday Telegraph found that 40% of British Muslims wanted shariah law in the United Kingdom, and that 20% backed the 7/7 bombers. Another poll from that year showed that 45% of British Muslims said that 9/11 was an American/Israeli conspiracy; that poll showed that one-quarter of British Muslims believed that the 7/7 bombings were justified…

“A poll in 2011 showed that 32% of Palestinians supported the brutal murder of five Israeli family members, including a three-month-old baby. In 2009, a poll showed that 78% of Palestinians had positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. A 2013 poll showed 40% of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings and attacks against civilians. 89% favored sharia law. Currently, 89% of Palestinians support terror attacks on Israel.

“After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Gilani Foundation did a poll of Pakistanis and found that 51% of them grieved for the terrorist mastermind, with 44% of them stating that he was a martyr. In 2009, 26% of Pakistanis approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq. That number was 29% for troops in Afghanistan. Overall, 76% of Pakistanis wanted strict shariah law in every Islamic country…

“A 2009 poll showed that 68% of Moroccans approved of terrorist attacks on US troops in Iraq; 61% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan as of 2006. 76% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country…

“72% of Jordanians backed terror attacks against US troops in Iraq as of 2009. In 2010, the terrorist group Hezbollah had a 55% approval rating; Hamas had a 60% approval rating…

“In 2009, a poll demonstrated that 26% of Indonesians approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq; 22% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. 65% said they agreed with Al Qaeda on pushing US troops out of the Middle East. 49% said they supported strict sharia law in every Islamic country. 70% of Indonesians blamed 9/11 on the United States, Israel, someone else, or didn’t know. Just 30% said Al Qaeda was responsible…

“As of 2009, 87% of Egyptians said they agreed with the goals of Al Qaeda in forcing the US to withdraw forces from the Middle East. 65% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country. As of that same date, 69% of Egyptians said they had either positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. In 2010, 95% of Egyptians said it was good that Islam is playing a major role in politics…

“In short, tens of millions of Muslims all over the world sympathize with the goals or tactics of terrorist groups – or both. That support is stronger outside the West, but it is present even in the West. Islamist extremism is not a passing or fading phenomenon – it is shockingly consistent over time…”

The concept that the “Holy Koran” –which was allegedly handed by the archangel Gabriel to Mohammed–preaches a peaceful way of life is an illusion. The Koran was not delivered through Gabriel, and Islam under its prophet Mohammed and his successors and different factions (Sunni and Shia) was a warrior religion from its very inception. Note the next article.

“Terrorizing the Enemy Part of Islam”

Newsmax wrote on September 5:

“A British imam gave a television interview this week in which he defended acts of terror, including the beheading of foreign journalists, as consistent with the teachings of the Koran, Breitbart News blogger John Sexton reported.

“London-based cleric Anjem Choudary told Russia Today that ‘terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam’ in an interview with the English-language RT news program, ‘Worlds Apart.’

“Choudary cited a passage of the Koran that calls for Muslims to use ‘steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah.’ ‘So terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam,’ Choudary said. ‘I mean this is something that we must embrace and understand as far as the jurisprudence of Islam is concerned.’

“Sexton wrote that, ‘Choudary went on to say that Muslims make no distinction between civilians and armed forces since civilians elect the leaders who direct the armed forces.’ Choudary, also a lawyer who lectures on Sharia law, headed an Islamic group, Al Muhajiroun, which was banned in the United Kingdom.”

President Obama said in his speech on September 10 that ISIS or ISIL is not a religion and does not represent Islam. He said this: “ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.” In light of the foregoing articles and a correct understanding of Islam, the President’s statements are clearly erroneous. ISIL is a radical Sunni group. ISIS murdered Shiites and those more liberal Sunnis who do not agree with ISIS. But that does not disqualify ISIS as being Islamic.

President Obama Pushes for War

The Washington Post wrote on September 11:

“Nearly six years into a presidency devoted to ending U.S. wars in the Muslim world, President Obama faced the nation Wednesday night to explain why he has decided to engage in a new one…

“Obama’s escalation of airstrikes and the use of U.S. personnel to help ‘degrade and destroy’ the extremist Sunni group represents a major setback for [the] commander in chief…”

Germany and Britain Will Not Participate in Airstrikes Against Syria

Deutsche Welle reported on September 11:

“German and British foreign ministers said on Thursday that their countries would not participate in airstrikes in Syria. The statements were in response to an address the previous day by US President Barack Obama that the US planned to expand its military campaign against the ‘Islamic State’ (IS)…

“Meanwhile on Thursday, the Syrian government criticized the US military campaign against IS militants within Syrian territory… Russia, the closest ally of Syrian President Assad’s government, also slammed the US’ strategy saying it would be a blatant violation of international law.”

USA in Cahoots with Iran?

The Washington Post wrote on September 5:

“The urgent fight to keep Islamic State forces­ from taking over more of Iraq has led the Obama administration to tolerate, and in some cases even approve, things it once would have loudly protested.

“When Iraqi Shiite militias, backed by Iran and long branded illegal by the administration, retook the town of Amerli from the Sunni Muslim militants last week, U.S. officials breathed a sigh of relief…

“Farther north, Kurdish fighters have occupied the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a prize the Kurds have long claimed but which lies outside the borders — recognized by both Baghdad and Washington — of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurd­i­stan region. Far from insisting the fighters withdraw, the administration is glad that someone is defending the city from the Islamic State…

“It is not, as one administration official said with significant under­statement, an ideal situation, and there is widespread recognition that facts are being created on the ground that are likely to cause problems in the future…

“While the administration has acknowledged discussing the Iraqi crisis with Iranian officials on the margins of separate talks about Iran’s nuclear program, ‘we do not coordinate military action or share intelligence with Iran and have no plans to do so,’ National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Friday… Asked whether there was a role for Iran in the international coalition the administration is forming to fight the militants in Iraq and ultimately in Syria, a senior administration official this week said, ‘I don’t know.’ But, the official acknowledged, ‘they already . . . have a role on the ground.’

“Iranian contributions have extended beyond weapons and advisers to the Shiite militias. Despite Tehran’s concerns about separatism within its own Kurdish community, it ‘was the first country to provide us with weapons and ammunition’ to fight the militants, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said late last month during a visit of Iran’s foreign minister.

“Iran is also believed to have conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.”

Iran, a Shiite nation, would obviously be opposed to a radical fundamental Sunni group. The idea of collaboration between the USA and Iran is very troublesome. See also the next article.

An Unusual Fragile Alliance

The Washington Post wrote on September 5:

“For weeks, Iraqi Kurdish fighters had joined an unusual alliance to free this dusty highway town besieged by Islamic State fighters. Shiite militias, Iranian trainers and U.S. military pilots had all contributed, finally wresting the city from the Sunni extremists and saving the 15,000 residents from starvation or brutal slayings.

“But on Friday, as the Kurdish pesh merga fighters approached the city to greet the residents they helped save, they were treated less like liberators and more like intruders. ‘Pesh merga forces are not allowed to enter this city!’ yelled a Shiite militiaman with Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi group. He waved his rifle at them and the pesh merga retreated…

“The Obama administration’s strategy in Iraq is predicated on the country’s competing militia groups, as well as its battered army, setting aside their differences over territory, ethnicity and religion to form a grand coalition to battle the radical Sunni members of Islamic State. The aftermath of the fighting in Amerli shows how quickly this hodgepodge of militia forces can turn on each other as they fight for influence and the spoils of battle…

“The U.S. government has largely looked at the Kurds, who live in a semi-autonomous zone in northern Iraq, as a stabilizing force in the region. But the months of fighting are wearing on the pesh merga troops, who have begun to view everyone with distrust. The pesh merga forces — which are divided into two groups that report to the two major Kurdish parties — even suspect each other. Around Amerli, the pesh merga fighters complain that the best weapons from the U.S. government and Iran are going to Kurdish fighters associated with their rival party.

“The Sunnis and Shiites, meanwhile, say the Kurds are using the chaos to grab territory well beyond the Kurdistan region’s traditional borders with an eye to independence…”

UK Sends Heavy Machine Guns to Iraq

BBC News wrote on September 9:

“Heavy machine guns and ammunition are being donated to Iraq to help fight Islamic State militants, the Ministry of Defence says. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the equipment was worth about £1.6m, and there would be an estimated £475,000 in transport costs. He said the UK was committed to aiding the Iraqi government and helping Kurdish forces defend themselves.”

Venezuela Worships Hugo Chavez—Quite Literally

Deutsche Welle reported on September 8:

“‘Our Chavez, who art in heaven’ – Hugo Chavez’s most ardent admirers have been praying to the late Venezuelan leader with presidential support… At a recent congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, an activist actually recited a version of the Lord’s Prayer dedicated to Hugo Chavez, and was joined by hundreds of voices shouting ‘Viva Chavez!’ in place of Amen…

“As expected, the Catholic Church in Venezuela has denounced the use of Chavez’s name and called for respect for Christianity’s most sacred prayer… Less expected, however, at least from a rational perspective, was the reaction of the current Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro…  comparing the prayer to the work of Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda and calling critics ‘new inquisitors’…

“Maduro said during the 2013 presidential campaign that Chavez’s spirit had inspired him in the form of a ‘very little bird’… he spoke of Chavez as a ‘leader who embodied the values ​​of Christ.’…”

Hugo Chavez had been Venezuelan president for 14 years. The leftist leader was a staunch critic of the US. He retains huge popularity among the country’s working classes. Chavez lost his battle with cancer on March 5, 2013, at the age of 58.

Respiratory Illness for Children to Become Nationwide Problem in the USA

ABC News reported on September 7:

“A respiratory illness that has already sickened more than a thousand children in 10 states is likely to become a nationwide problem, doctors say. The disease hasn’t been officially identified but officials suspect a rare respiratory virus called human enterovirus 68… Doctors say they are not even sure yet how this particular virus spreads…

“Dr. Christine Nyquist, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said the virus usually ends up appearing similar to a severe cold but can be particularly dangerous for children with asthma because of how it affects the respiratory system… To stay healthy… basic sanitary practices [are recommended] to avoid spreading the virus, including washing hands, avoiding those who are sick, and covering the nose and mouth during sneezes or coughs.”

Meteorite Hits Nicaragua

BBC News reported on September 8:

“A small meteorite landed near the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, on Saturday night, government officials say. Residents reported hearing a loud bang and feeling the impact, which left a crater 12m (40ft) wide and 5m deep. Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said the meteorite seemed to have broken off an asteroid which was passing close to Earth…

“Astronomer Humberto Saballos said the meteorite could have broken off from the 2014RC asteroid which passed Earth at the same time. 2014RC, which is the size of a house, came closest to earth at 18:18 GMT on Sunday, when it passed over New Zealand at a distance of about 40,000km (25,000 miles).The asteroid was first discovered on 31 August and, at its closest approach, was about one-tenth of the distance from the centre of Earth to the Moon…

“It is expected to orbit near Earth again in the future. In February 2013, a meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk in Central Russia, injuring more than 1,000 people. Nasa currently tracks more than 11,000 asteroids in orbits that pass relatively close to Earth.”

“Dwarf”—Only Existing Animal of Its Kind

The Local wrote on September 5:

“Diederode, near the university town, boasts the world’s only living sheep-goat hybrid, which is now the object of study by scientists.

“Goats and sheep belong to the same sub-family of species, the Caprinae, but almost never produce offspring together. Livestock researcher Professor Christoph Knorr of Göttingen University told Focus that a cross between the two species is an extremely rare case. The animal in Diederode is the only one in the world which has been confirmed by scientists to be a true hybrid.

“Sheep farmer Dirk Pieper called it ‘Dwarf’ as it was so small, he told the Göttinger Tageblatt.”

The fact that even sheep-goat hybrids are extremely rare, even though they belong to “the same sub-family of species,” confirms the scientifically proven fact that a cross between two unrelated species from different families (such as a cross between a bird and a mammal) is impossible. This in turn proves the utter ridiculousness of the concept of the atheistic evolution theory.

Find of Largest Terrestrial Animal—So Far…

The Washington Post wrote on September 4:

“Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of a new long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur that has taken the crown for largest terrestrial animal with a body mass that can be accurately determined. Measurements of bones from its hind leg and foreleg revealed that the animal was 65 tons, and still growing when it died in the Patagonian hills of Argentina about 77 million years ago. ‘To put this in perspective, an African elephant is about five tons, T. rex is eight tons, Diplodocus is 18 tons, and a Boeing 737 is around 50 tons,’ said study author and paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara at Drexel University. ‘And then you have Dreadnoughtus at 65 tons.’

“Dreadnoughtus, meaning ‘fears nothing,’ is named after the impervious early 20th century battleships. Although it was a plant-eater, a healthy Dreadnoughtus likely had no real issues with predators due to its intimidating size and muscular, weaponized tail… ‘How do you come up with a body size that is so enormous when you’re a terrestrial animal?” said Luis Chiappe, director of the National History Museum of Los Angeles’s Dinosaur Institute, who was not involved in the study. ‘You need to have a structural design that allows you to support a body like that, and you have to be potentially adapted to eat 24 hours a day, nonstop, with a minimal amount of sleep.’

“The huge creature also had a smaller companion, which Lacovara and his colleagues also dug up. Both got caught in quicksand, which is how their bones became so well-preserved… The skeleton of Dreadnoughtus schrani is remarkably complete for a dinosaur of this size — over 70 percent of the bones were dug up, excluding the head…”


Remains of Largest-Known Carnivorous Dinosaur Found

BBC News wrote on September 11:

“A giant fossil, unearthed in the Sahara desert, has given scientists an unprecedented look at the largest-known carnivorous [aquatic] dinosaur: Spinosaurus… Scientists say the beast had flat, paddle-like feet and nostrils on top of its crocodilian head that would allow it to submerge with ease… Spinosaurus aegyptiacus remains were first discovered about 100 years ago in Egypt, and were moved to a museum in Munich, Germany. However, they were destroyed during World War II, when an Allied bomb hit the building…”

These huge dinosaurs did exist long before the creation of man. Please read our current series in our Q&As on whether there were dinosaurs prior to man.

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Does the Bible allow for the existence of dinosaurs prior to the creation of man? (Part 4)

In the last three installments of this series, we explained that God created the earth in a beautiful and peaceful state, and that He had placed Lucifer and one-third of His angels on this earth to administer God’s government. We also showed that they rebelled against God and became known as Satan and his demons. The earth became void and empty and God renewed the face of the earth within six days and created man.

Before these cataclysmic and chaotic events, dinosaurs and other pre-Adamic animals roamed the earth. We showed that they were not vicious creatures when God created them, but they became that way under Satan’s influence.

In this installment, we will dig deeper into the purpose of Lucifer’s and his angels’ placement on earth. What exactly were they supposed to do here? We will also try to shed additional light on the question as to how some of the dinosaurs became aggressive and ferocious creatures, such as the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex.

In his book, “Mysteries of the Ages” (copyright 1985), Herbert W. Armstrong addressed the question as to what exactly Lucifer and his angels were instructed to accomplish when God gave them the earth as their abode and place of residence.  In the chapter, “Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits,” the following is stated on page 73 (hardcover edition):

“It is revealed in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, that God placed the archangel Lucifer, a cherub, on a throne on the earth. He was placed there as a ruler over the entire earth. God intended him to rule the earth by administering the government of God over the earth. And the government of God was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels. How long these angels inhabited the earth before the creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions–or even billions–of years…”

After explaining the sin and rebellion of Lucifer and his angels and the subsequent destruction of the earth’s surface, the following is stated on pages 74-75:

“What God creates, he has created for a purpose–to be used, improved, developed, preserved and maintained… [With the angelic sin, the] preservation and development of the physical earth and all its original beauty and glory ceased–and physical destruction to the surface of the earth resulted… [Genesis 1:1] shows the creation of a perfect, if unfinished earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the sin of the angels…”

Further addressing the purpose of Lucifer’s and his angel’s rule on this earth, Mr. Armstrong continued to state on page 77:

“God creates in a principle of duality…  What had been created was perfect as far as it existed up to that point. But it was not yet a finished or completed creation. God intended the angels to add their own workmanship to the earth’s surface. He intended them to work over the surface of the earth, to improve it, to embellish it, beautify it…”

Later, on pages 84 and 85, he states:

“Lucifer… had been stationed at the very throne of God [in heaven]. He was trained and experienced in the administration of the government of God. God chose such a being, well-experienced and trained, to be the king ruling the government of God over the angels who inhabited the whole earth… As long as Lucifer continued in this perfect way, there was happiness and joy unspeakable over the whole earth. There was glorious peace–beautiful harmony, perfect love, cooperation. The government of God produced a wonderfully happy state–as long as Lucifer was loyal in the conduct of God’s government…”

Continuing with a quote from page 88:

“Apparently the entire universe had been created also at the time of the earth’s creation. There is no evidence… in God’s revealed Word, nor in science, that any of the planets in endless outer space had been inhabited with any form of life. But God does nothing in vain. He always has a purpose.  Apparently all such planets in the entire universe NOW are waste and empty–decayed (tohu and bohu)–like the earth was, as described in Genesis 1:2.

“But God did not create them in such conditions of decay–like our moon. Decay is not an original created condition–it is a condition resulting from a process of deterioration. Evidently if the now fallen angels had maintained the earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God’s instructions, and obeyed his government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe…”

And again, on pages 89-90:

“… it is well to understand the nature of God’s original creation… It is perfect, but subject to a beautifying finish that God intended angels to accomplish. The original ‘unfinished’ creation was produced by God alone. But he intended angels, prehistorically… to finish this part in God’s creation–of adding the final beautifying and utilitarian phases of what shall be the FINAL COMPLETED CREATION!  And whether or not it had been revealed to the angels, it was a supreme TRIAL AND TEST. It was to be the PROVING GROUND of obedience to GOD’S GOVERNMENT and their fitness to develop into final finished creation the millions of other planets in the vast universe…

“So the angel potential was to take over the entire universe–to improve and finish the billions of physical planets surrounding the uncountable stars, many of which are SUNS…  [God] intended angels to have a vital part in the final creation of the endless universe!…”

Taken all of these statements together, they are opening up a mind-boggling scenario. It is obvious that Lucifer and his angels had to fulfill a purpose, when placed on this earth. As Mr. Armstrong describes their purpose, it included the development, embellishment, beautification and improvement of the earth’s surface (and apparently, ultimately, of the entire universe to make it possible for dead planets to sustain life). As quoted above, Mr. Armstrong even hinted at the possibility that God’s purpose for the angels was to “carry out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe” and to “have a vital part in [its] final creation.”

This does not mean that God gave angels the power to create physical things or beings out of nothing, but it appears that they would have been given the opportunity, if they had stayed loyal to God’s government, to somehow participate in God’s awesome plan of finishing the creation of the entire universe.

We need to emphasize again that God created the earth in a beautiful and peaceful state, and as long as Lucifer and his angels, who were stationed on earth, followed and administered the government of God, that peaceful state of tranquility was maintained. But when Lucifer allowed pride to enter his life, and when he then began to work on his angels to follow his destructive thinking, the peaceful environment of the earth began to change gradually. Before wrong thinking set in, the animal world, which had been created by God, was in no way hostile or aggressive. But as we pointed out in a prior installment, some of the animals became vicious under Satan’s influence, as later the “serpent” in the Garden of Eden “had become” more cunning than other beasts which God had made.

We also read that at the time of Noah’s Flood, “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12). This is a reference to man as well as land animals and birds of the air (Genesis 7:21-23)—but nothing is mentioned about animals living in the oceans or in rivers and lakes.  Friedman’s Commentary on the Torah remarks that the reference to the corruption of the earth applies “to the dry land, and not the sea. That is why there will be no destruction of sea creatures. It is the land that will disappear, and land creatures will die.”

The Menge Bible explains that the term “all flesh” in this context refers to humanity and animals. Friedman agrees, stating that the phrase “all flesh had corrupted its way” refers to “all animal life, not just humans.”

Man as well as land animals and birds of the air had “given in” to Satan’s influence. The Bible does not tell us, exactly, in what way they had corrupted themselves, except that they had engaged in rampant violence and, apparently, bestiality (see the implication in the Soncino Commentary) and cannibalism; nor are we told, specifically, how they “gave in” to Satan’s influence, but the Bible shows that a degree of “culpability” existed even in the animal world.

When God brought the animals to Noah to enter the ark, it appears that God changed or at least temporarily subdued whatever violent nature existed in them. We do not read that any of the animals reacted aggressively towards Noah and his family. However, after they had left the ark, most humans, as well as (some) animals, became vicious and perverted again. Even Noah’s grandchild Canaan abused Noah sexually; and in due time, the tower of Babel was built under Nimrod in open defiance of and rebellion against God. Satan was still ruling this world, and he is still ruling it today, and Christ tells us that when He returns, the conditions will be like they were at the time of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39; compare also 2 Peter 2:5).

We know from the Bible that when Satan or his demons possess a human being, that person can become very violent, but when the possession ceases, he behaves gently and peacefully (Luke 8:26-36). We also know that Satan and his demons can possess animals to cause them to do violent things (Matthew 8:28-32). But even apart from actual possession, even the demonic influence of man and beast can affect them and drive them to ferocious actions. When Satan and his angels developed their hostile attitude towards God—which could have lasted for millions or billions of years—their evil thinking was also directed towards and influenced those creatures under their control–the animal world. And we must not forget that animals had and have personality. Apparently, some animals were and are more “receptive” to wrong influences than others.

Animals have a spirit (Ecclesiastes 3:21). This animal spirit is different from the human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11), but the Bible reveals nevertheless that a non-physical component resides in animals, and it is through that animal spirit that God and also demons can influence animals. When God commanded the ravens to bring food to Elijah, He influenced them by dealing with their spirit. When He commanded the sea monster [a huge “fish” or sea animal of unknown identity which God had especially “prepared” at that time, see Jonah 1:17; compare also Matthew 12:40] to spew out Jonah onto dry land, He influenced its animal spirit. And so, Satan and demons can do the same thing. This is of course even more true for people. God—as well as Satan and his demons—can influence a human being by dealing with his human spirit. There is much more information on pages 17-26 of our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults.”

When the Satanic rebellion developed on the earth for perhaps billions of years—even before it found its climax in the actual spiritual attack and war in the third heaven with the goal to knock God from His heavenly throne—some of the animals, being influenced by demonic forces, became vicious and hostile, and it appears that they also became flesh-eaters (At the time of Adam, God created all animals as “vegetarians,” but after Adam and Eve’s sin, some became flesh-eaters. The implication is that God had originally created the pre-Adamic animals as plant-eaters as well).

We do not read in the Bible—nor do we feel comfortable suggesting this—that Satan and his demons created “ex nihilo” flesh-devouring dinosaurs and other vicious animals, but we know that they existed—even though we do not know for sure HOW ferocious and aggressive they really were; Hollywood is most certainly not a true guide in the matter, and fossils and bones can only tell us so much. In any event, God did not create them as vicious animals, to be sure. The only remaining answer would be that they became that way through Satan’s influence. Is it possible that not only their nature changed, but also their physical system, including their digestive system and their nutritional “needs,” when they became flesh-eaters? Neither the Bible nor science would prohibit such a conclusion. Even though we know that the Evolution concept is wrong, demanding a scientifically impossible macro-mutation from one species to another, we also know that micro-mutations did and do occur; that is, changes WITHIN a species.

We stated the following on page 15 and 16 of our booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults”

“Animals were not created in such a way that they could develop from one kind or from one species into another kind or species. The Bible does not allow for big mutations, that is, for changes from one species into another species, or perhaps more accurately, from one kind into another kind. We are using here the word ‘species’ loosely, but we should realize that the Bible talks about ‘kind,’ not ‘species.’ The Biblical definition of ‘kind’ might include several species, the way some scientists identify ‘species.’ …

“The point here is that evolution requires changes and transformations from one species or kind into another species or kind, but all our past and present experiences show that those mutations or changes did not, and do not occur. And remember, NO fossils have been found to prove that any such changes occurred in the past. A bird brings forth birds… A bird does not produce anything else but birds, it does not produce a fish or a mammal. And no fish evolves or changes into a bird, and no reptile into a fish. Rather, all animals reproduce according to their kind. No scientist is able to have a horse produce a dog, or a shark or a crocodile.

“Darwin’s big mistake was to assume that, since little mutations or adaptations within a species do occur, big mutations or changes from one species into another must have occurred as well. This, of course, was a wrong assumption. On the other hand, it is true that animals within their own species can change or adapt to their environment. Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands that certain birds had, within their species, brought forth minor changes. And so it is today. Of course, we can breed different species of dogs or cats—but they will always remain dogs or cats. Within the species of cats, one can cross-breed. But one cannot breed a dog with a cat. Likewise, the birds, which Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands, did not develop into other birds, and most certainly not into mammals.”

Mutations within a species or a “kind” did and do occur, and they could have included changes pertaining to the digestive system in animals. It is possible that Satan and his demons might have helped in bringing about those changes in pre-Adamic animals—rather than beautifying and improving God’s creation on earth, including the animal world, they degraded and polluted it. When man can “experiment” with relatively unaggressive bees and “produce” highly aggressive killer bees, or when he can actually breed hybrids (such as Ligers) which would not even occur in nature, then Satan and his demons could most certainly have worked on the nature of some pre-Adamic animals. And when not only God, but also demons are able to change staffs into serpents (Exodus 7:10-12), then fallen angels might very well have had some responsibility and culpability in contributing to the change of the nature and the eating habits of some animals prior to Adam and Eve.

We know that in the Millennium, God will reverse the process. Wolves and lambs will peacefully live together; and so will leopards and young goats; calves, young lions and fatlings; as well as cows and bears (Isaiah 11:6-7). Formerly “aggressive” and poisonous snakes such as cobras and vipers will become friendly and harmless to man, including little children (Isaiah 11:8). Also, flesh-eating and meat-devouring lions will eat straw like an ox (Isaiah 11:7). This will require some alteration in the physical make-up of lions, including their nutritional needs.

When we consider that following Satan’s rebellion, the earth became void and empty, the cause for the physical destruction and the elimination of all animal life at that time could have been due to Satanic and demonic wrath and/or it could have been due to direct punishment from God—as He did later destroy the human and animal world at the time of Noah’s Flood.

In this context, let us review a few Scriptures referring to God’s destruction of “Rahab.” In some cases, this is a figurative reference to Egypt (Isaiah 30:7; Psalm 87:4), but in other cases, it seems to be describing a pre-Adamic sea monster. For instance, we read in Isaiah 51:9 that in the ancient days, in the generations of old, God “cut Rahab apart And wounded the serpent.” Notice also the reference (correctly rendered) in Job 9:13: “God does not restrain His anger; Under Him Rahab’s helpers sink down” (Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures). Tanakh adds in a footnote that Rahab is a “primeval monster.” The Elberfelder Bible states likewise that Rahab is a “sea monster in primitive times or of remote antiquity.” The Menge Bible comments to Job 9:13 that “Rahab was a legendary monster (a sea monster) that opposed God and was overpowered by Him in primitive times.”

If we were to conclude that Rahab was a pre-Adamic dinosaur-type sea monster (while Leviathan might have [also] been a post-Adamic dinosaur-like sea monster), then it would have been God who destroyed Rahab (and other vicious animals) following Satan’s rebellion. This in turn would mean that God would have brought about, at least in part, the worldwide catastrophe which destroyed the pre-Adamic animal world, because it had apparently corrupted its way on earth AND in the sea.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new Member Letter has been written by Norbert Link. In this letter, which was sent out this week. Mr. Link reminds us that “this is Satan’s world, not God’s, and every attempt to improve Satan’s handiwork will fail.” He continues to point out that it is God’s Kingdom which will resolve mankind’s problems, and that our observance of the Fall Feast Days of God picture part of the great master plan of God’s salvation for humanity.

At the request of brethren in the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria and other international places, we have sent several DVD’s and CD’s for their use during the Fall Feast Season.

“Yellowstone’s Supervolcano—How Real Is the Threat?,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

A recent visit to the Yellowstone National Park brought into focus the enormous size of the Supervolcano and the doomsday predictions of its impending eruption, which would kill instantly close to 100,000 people and which would leave two-thirds of the country completely uninhabitable. But is such an eruption likely? Most scientists deny this, but others are not too sure. In the end, no scientist knows or can predict anything with reasonable accuracy. What does the Bible tell us? This program includes extensive footage of the beautiful and at the same time scary environment of Yellowstone. Our booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord” is offered free of charge.

Dave Harris’ video-recorded sermon from last Sabbath, titled, “Out of Weakness,” has been posted on the Internet. Here is a summary:

When we hear about the grizzly beheading of people; when planes are shot out of the sky; when riots erupt in our cities; when unspeakably degrading activities are paraded across our television screens…WHAT should we think or do? More to the point—what are we thinking and what are we doing?

“Gestiefelt für das Evangelium des Friedens,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. In English, the title is, “Feet Shod for the Gospel of Peace.” 

New information for the Feast in Germany is on our German website.

The 2014 Fall Holy Days will be observed on the following dates: Feast of Trumpets–September 25; Day of Atonement–October 4; Feast of Tabernacles–October 9-15; Last Great Day–October 16. The speaking schedule for the rest of August, September and most of October has been posted, including the speaking assignments for the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. Just click here.

Observance of the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day will be conducted in Pismo Beach, California, for those in the US. For Europe, the location will be in Templin, Germany. Just click here.

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What God Can Do!

By Monique Sperzel

Recently, our daughter Delayla had many problems with her tonsils. She was sick often and the doctor said she needed to have an operation . But my husband Christoph and I had a bad feeling about this, because the operation is dangerous and can result in much bleeding. So we prayed very hard to God that He would help us to make the right decision. And we told Delayla that she must be praying to God too, that He will heal her. So we were praying every day to God for His intervention.

After a little while, Delayla came to me in the kitchen. She was very happy and said with a big smile: “Mommy, Mommy, look into my mouth, my tonsils are a little bit smaller and you can see my throat. And I can eat and breathe better now. That’s sooo nice for God that He is helping me and that He makes my tonsils smaller. So I don’t need an operation now. I will pray more and more that He makes my tonsils very little. I am so happy that He is hearing and healing me.”

To hear this was moving and heart-warming. We are thanking God for His help and His intervention. It reaffirmed to us that we are on the right way–God’s way; that He can and will help us in our time of need; and that He is here for us—including our little daughter.

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God