Update 664


Past, Present, Future

On November 29, 2014, Mike Link will give the sermon, titled, “Past, Present, Future.”

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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No More Blind Guides

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

Anyone who has been watching news programmes will be aware that the UK has been going through massive challenges with the weather in the last few years.  Tidal surges have caused very many problems with homes, businesses and farms being flooded.   These have been increasing with intensity and 2014 has continued to have its share of difficulties.

Interestingly, in February this year, the Daily Mail reported that “a UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) councillor who said the floods plaguing Britain were caused by the homosexual marriage law, had been expelled from the party after saying gays should repent.   He made national headlines two weeks earlier when he wrote a letter to his local newspaper saying that the deluge of floods was caused because of David Cameron’s successful move to change the law about same-sex marriage.

“At a meeting of the town council he outspokenly called for gay people to seek repentance from God, adding that he stood by his earlier comments in the Henley Standard.   He was suspended and subsequently expelled from UKIP over his letter to the newspaper in which he warned David Cameron that ‘natural disasters’ would follow the passing of the same sex marriage Bill.

“He added that his aim had in fact been to criticise the Government for passing the Bill and ignoring ‘the national textbook, the Holy Bible.’  ‘I have read that I am barmy to connect this to the weather – if that is the case then I am in good company,’ he said, citing senior bishops blaming floods on ‘abandonment’ of bible teachings.  In 2007, The Right Reverend Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, argued that the floods that year were a judgment on society’s moral decadence and the fact that ‘every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate.’”

A few days later, the weekly BBC “Question Time” programme had a UKIP member on the panel which comprised three politicians, one scientist and a journalist.   The chairman of the panel asked the UKIP member whether she agreed with the councillor who made these remarks and she distanced herself and there was much derision and amusement from other members of the panel and some in the audience.   Such derision will be wiped off the face of detractors when the time of great trouble starts.  The Guardian newspaper reported that UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, launched “a clear out of ‘extremist, nasty or barmy’ views from his party ahead of the polls in May.”

In an ever increasingly secular society, the Bible is seen as outdated, irrelevant and of no value, which is hardly surprising when we understand who is the “god of this world” (see 2 Corinthians 4:4) and how he (Satan) influences society and its leaders.   Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 clearly outline blessings and cursings for obedience and disobedience.   The law of sowing and reaping (compare Galatians 6:7) is not taken seriously and man, in general, relies on his own abilities to introduce laws and govern countries in what their carnal mind thinks best.   However, it seems that believing what the Bible says is seen by many as “extremist, nasty or barmy”.

Jesus upbraided the Pharisees when He said: “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind.   And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).    Jesus also called the scribes and Pharisees “blind guides” (Matthew 23:24).  Our political leaders today, without using the teachings of the Bible and without the power of the Holy Spirit, are blind leaders (or guides) with almost all of the population just following blindly.  Mainstream Christianity, in general, remains fairly quiet on such issues.  

Apart from the Church of God, there are only very occasional lone voices in society which sound a warning noise but, generally, society accepts change in whatever shape it comes in altogether too easily.

God only allows disobedience to go on for so long.   We read in the Old Testament many cases of Israel and Judah pledging obedience to God and then going back on those pledges and then, later, repenting with this cycle of behaviour repeating itself many times.   They never seemed to learn from history but neither do we today!

We know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah when it was destroyed for its sexual depravity (compare Genesis 19 and Jude verse 7) together with other sins as we read in Ezekiel 16:49-50:  “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”

When the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are in full swing, will everyone appreciate what is happening and repent?   Sadly, just like today, most will not.   In Revelation 16 verses 9-11 we read: “And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.  Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.  They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.”

Just like today, so many will ignore God or blame Him for all their woes and problems, never thinking that they might be self-inflicted.

One day, they will come to realise that just doing their own thing was not sensible or healthy and neither did it bring real happiness and fulfilment.  They will know that the pages of the Bible were the words of life and some might even remember what this beleagured councillor said when he connected the dots and stated that immoral behaviour was bringing about the inevitable punishment of those who ignored God’s way.   They will have help as it states in Isaiah 30:21: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.  Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.’”

And that will be the time when Jesus Christ returns and sets up the Kingdom of God on earth and blind guides will be no more!

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We begin reporting on the volatile situation in the Middle East, especially focusing on Jerusalem, the relationship between Israel and Iran, and many German and British radicals who have joined ISIS. We continue with articles on Europe’s future and America’s ongoing engagement in Afghanistan; the ouster of Chuck Hagel; and an interesting profile of Romania’s new President, Klaus Iohannis. We speak of Finland’s and Sweden’s fears regarding Russia; and we address the health risks of tattoos; a telling example of unlawful conduct of police officers and Child Protective Services in a Homeschooling Case; the frightening future of Obamacare for many Americans; events in Ferguson, Missouri; and the status quo of America’s messed-up Immigration system.

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Israel Notifies the World

The Jerusalem Post wrote on November 22:

“Israel has issued a stark, public warning to its allies with a clear argument: Current proposals [regarding Iran] guarantee the perpetuation of a crisis, backing Israel into a corner from which military force against Iran provides the only logical exit…

“Israel is telling the world that it will not wait to see whether inspectors do their jobs as ordered… Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the use of force against Iran several times since 2009, even seeking authorization from his cabinet in 2011. Iran’s program has since grown in size and scope…

“Whether Israel still has the ability to strike Iran, without American assistance, is an open question… But responding to claims… over Netanyahu’s courage and will, [an] Israeli official responded sternly: ‘The prime minister is a very serious man who knows the serious responsibility that rests on his shoulders. He wouldn’t say the statements that he made if he didn’t mean them. People have underestimated Israel many, many times in the past,’ he continued, ‘and they underestimate it now.’”

Newsmax wrote on November 24:

“If negotiators allow Iran to continue with its nuclear energy program, Israel ‘may have no choice’ but to launch pre-emptive military strikes against Iranian targets to delay development of nuclear weapons, former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV on Monday. And even then… Israeli military action can only ‘set back’ Iran’s nuclear program by a few years, not destroy it for good — a capability only the United States military possesses… Dershowitz… called military strikes on Iran ‘the second worst option’ — the worst being a scenario in which Iran becomes a nuclear power, given past threats by Iranian politicians to annihilate the Jewish state…

“Dershowitz said that U.S. negotiators, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, have their reasoning ‘absolutely backwards’ on how to foil Iran’s nuclear ambitions while gaining Iranian cooperation against a common adversary — the Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria and Iraq…”

Iran Screams… and the West Delays…

Newsmax wrote on November 24:

“Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly being forced to negotiate with a screamer in nuclear talks with Iran…  Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has reportedly screamed so loud in negotiations that bodyguards standing watch outside the room have been alerted and rushed inside, the Free Beacon noted as Kerry continued talks in Vienna on Monday.

“Word of Zarif’s conduct was passed along to Farsi-speaking media by another Iranian diplomat who has been present at the negotiations, the Free Beacon added, noting he had discussed the proceedings on conditions of anonymity… While a deadline was set for Monday, the talks have now been extended until the end of June 2015…”

The EUObserver added on November 25:

“Talks on Iran’s nuclear programme have been extended until July, with the EU wondering whether to keep Catherine Ashton in the process… If the process succeeds, it will give the West a fully-fledged partner in its fight against [the] Islamic State and open a new market of 76 million people. If it fails, it could end in an Israeli-Iran war.

“Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC on Monday that Iran is like Nazi Germany on the eve of WWII. ‘If this position [non-appeasement] had been taken against Germany in the 1930s it would have offended German pride but it would have saved millions of lives’, he said… But Zarif, in Vienna, retorted that Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons, is the most dangerous country in the Middle East…”

Jerusalem… “Unleashing Uncontrollable Forces”

The Los Angeles Times wrote on November 21:

“… figures from Pope Francis to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have voiced alarm over the explicitly religious character of recent violence in Jerusalem and its environs… ‘The true danger … is that the wave of terror will turn into a true religious war, such as has not yet occurred here,’ columnist Ben Caspit wrote this week in the Maariv newspaper…

“At the conflict’s heart… is the iconic Old City plateau revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. In recent weeks, it has served as the principal rallying cry for Palestinian attackers…

“The biblical Mt. Moriah — site of the ancient Jewish temples and of Islam’s third-holiest venue, Al Aqsa mosque — has for the last half-century been governed by an arrangement known as the ‘status quo,’ under which only Muslims are allowed to pray on the plateau. Jews, largely adhering to mainstream rabbinical injunctions against ascending the mount and perhaps inadvertently treading on the Holy of Holies — the inner sanctum where the Ark of the Covenant was once kept — prayed instead at the adjoining Western Wall.

“For several months, though, a movement spearheaded by Jewish activists has surged to greater prominence… the dispute over the holy site appears on track to intensify, not ease.

“A Tel Aviv University survey this month indicated that while a relatively slender majority of Israeli Jews — 56% — supported retaining the status quo, more than one-third wanted the prayer ban lifted, even if it resulted in bloodshed. Columnist Nahum Barnea observed in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper that the shift from a national conflict to a religious one could unleash forces neither side could control…”

More and More Radical German Islamists Fight for ISIS

The Local wrote on November 23:

“Hundreds of Germans have left their home country to fight alongside jihadists in Syria and Iraq, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. ‘We estimate 550. Just a few days ago we had 450,’ the minister told German television channel Phoenix on Friday. ‘These young people… were radicalized in Germany, within this society. That’s why prevention must be accompanied by repression,’ he added.

“Most of those who have joined the Islamic State organisation’s jihadist cause are men, although some women have also travelled to the two war-torn countries. De Maiziere said authorities are keeping a close watch on some 230 more people who are considered potential threats on German soil. ‘We cannot exclude, and in certain cases it’s actually quite possible, that they are preparing an attack,’ the minister said… Concerns are mounting in Europe over the growing national security threat posed by jihadists returning from war-ravaged Syria and Iraq.”

Deutsche Welle reported on November 23:

“At least 60 Germans have died fighting alongside militants from the jihadist group ‘Islamic State’ (IS) with at least nine being killed in suicide attacks, Germany’s domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen said in an interview published Sunday. Maassen told the weekly Bild am Sonntag that some 550 radical German Islamists had gone to conflict regions in Syria and Iraq to help IS in an offensive that has seen the group capture large amounts of territory in both countries in recent months. German authorities were increasingly concerned about the high figure, which had gone up more rapidly in the past six weeks, he said, calling it ‘a sad success for Islamist propaganda.’

“Maassen said that some 180 German jihadists were thought to have returned home, creating a dangerous potential for attacks within Germany itself. Authorities were deliberating on measures to monitor their activities, he said, but admitted that intelligence services did not have the capacity to watch over all of them all of the time.”

…and Radical British Islamists Too…

Breitbart wrote on November 23:

“There may be as many as 2,000 Brits currently fighting with ISIS, a Muslim Labour MP has claimed. His estimate, based on his experience as a Member of Parliament for the predominantly Muslim constituency of Birmingham Perry Barr, is roughly four times as high as the official estimate released by the authorities before the summer.

“His comments come amid growing fears that the British borders are porous to terrorists leaving for, and returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq, fuelled by the Home Office’s refusal to reveal how many people have been arrested at British ports and airports in relation to terrorist offences in Syria…  around 250 British jihadis are known to have returned to the UK from Syria and Iraq, yet only 30 arrests have been made, leaving a number of hardened fighters walking the streets of Britain…

“The Muslim Council of Britain accused the government of not doing enough to prevent potential terrorists from leaving the country…”

Britain a Lame Duck, and Germany THE Leader

The Telegraph wrote on November 24:

“Britain is already a lame duck within the EU’s internal governing structure and is losing influence ‘by the day’ in Brussels, even before David Cameron holds a referendum on withdrawal. This self-isolation has upset the European balance of power in profound ways, leading ineluctably to German hegemony and a unipolar system centred on Berlin…

“Smaller states no longer form clusters of alliances… They are instead scrambling to adapt to a new European order where only one state now counts. So too is the EU’s permanent civil service and the institutional machinery in Brussels and Luxembourg. Such is the verdict of Roman Prodi, the former Italian premier and ex-president of the European Commission… ‘France is ever more disoriented and Britain is losing power by the day in Brussels after its decision to hold a referendum on EU membership,’ he said. ‘All the countries that previously maintained an equilibrium between Germany, France, and Britain (from Poland, to the Baltic States, passing through Sweden and Portugal) are regrouping under the German umbrella,’ he told the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.

“‘Germany is exercising an almost solitary power. The new presidents of the Commission and the Council are men who rotate around Germany’s orbit, and above all there is a very strong (German) presence among the directors, heads of cabinet and their deputies. The bureaucracy is adapting to the new correlation of forces,’ he said. ‘Even the Americans are doing so. When there is a problem between Europe and the United States, President Obama telephones Mrs Merkel, not the British prime minister. In short, Germany has become the referee of Europe. As is well known, the rules in football are enforced when the referee whistles, and right now Germany is issuing the yellow card to a lot of countries,’ he said…

“German hegemony is entirely unwelcome to Germany itself, and that is part of the problem. Frightened of its own historical shadows… Germany still tries to think and behave much of the time as a subordinate power, like a large Sweden. But it is not a large Sweden; it is the policy-maker for a bloc of over 500m people. It denies its own leadership…  It is simply unthinkable that the EU can survive as a reconstituted Holy Roman Empire governed from Berlin, yet without at least the charisma and sanctity bestowed on the medieval Hohenstaufen by Rome.”

The irony of history is that this is EXACTLY what the Bible prophesies is going to happen… “a reconstituted Holy Roman Empire governed from Berlin” with a “sanctity” bestowed “by Rome.” For more information, please read our free booklets, “Europe in Prophecy” and “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.” 

Pope: Europe Needs to Unite and Appreciate its Religious Roots

Deutsche Welle reported on November 25:

“Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Pope Francis has urged the EU to remember the aims of its founders… Referring to the worsening worldwide situation of religious extremism, the pope also called on Europe to ‘appreciate its religious roots’ which he believes will create a Europe which will be ‘all the more immune to the many forms of extremism spreading in the world’… After less than four hours, the Argentine Pope’s airplane was scheduled [to] take off for Rome – leaving behind a clear message for Europe’s politicians to unite.”

America’s Futile War in Afghanistan… Not Over Yet?

The Associated Press reported on November 22:

“U.S. troops in Afghanistan may once again engage Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists, under new guidelines quietly approved by President Barack Obama, administration officials say.

“The armed forces were to limit their operations in Afghanistan to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, until Obama broadened the guidelines in recent weeks… Obama’s decision also means the U.S. can conduct air support when needed.

“The Taliban’s presence in Afghanistan far exceeds that of al-Qaida, adding significance to Obama’s authorization. The president’s decision came in response to requests from military commanders who wanted troops to be allowed to continue to battle the Taliban, the U.S. officials said.”

The Ouster of Chuck Hagel

The New York Times wrote on November 24:

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned under pressure on Monday after President Obama determined that he had to shake up his national security team in the face of escalating conflicts overseas and hawkish Republicans reasserting themselves on Capitol Hill.

“It was a striking reversal for a president who chose Mr. Hagel two years ago in part to limit the power of Pentagon officials who had repeatedly pushed for more troops in Afghanistan and a slower drawdown of American forces from Iraq. But in the end, Mr. Hagel’s passivity and lack of support in Mr. Obama’s inner circle proved too much for an administration that found itself back on a war footing…

“White House officials also expressed annoyance over a sharply critical two-page memo that Mr. Hagel sent to Ms. Rice last month, in which he warned that the administration’s Syria policy was in danger of unraveling because of its failure to clarify its intentions toward President Bashar al-Assad… If the ouster of Mr. Hagel was intended to minimize coming fights with Congress, the Republicans were not impressed on Monday. ‘The Obama administration is now in the market for their fourth secretary of defense,’ Representative Howard (Buck) McKeon, Republican of California, said. ‘When the president goes through three secretaries, he should ask, “Is it them, or is it me?”’

“Mr. Hagel, who followed Robert M. Gates and Leon E. Panetta at the Pentagon, will continue to serve until Mr. Obama’s next defense secretary is confirmed, which could take some time…

“Now… the American military is in escalating crises. Some 3,000 American troops are being deployed in Iraq to help the Iraqi military fight the Sunni militants of the Islamic State, even as the administration struggles to come up with, and articulate, a strategy to defeat the group in both Iraq and Syria…”

Politico added on November 24:

“Hagel reckoned, he wasn’t the kind of gung-ho, wartime consigliere Obama needed as he recalibrates his national security strategy to deal with a new round of conflict in the Middle East… More broadly, the dumping of Hagel leaves unanswered the key foreign policy dilemma that hangs over the remainder of Obama’s presidency: It’s clear that Obama, propelled to office six years ago on the promise of ending two unpopular wars, must now radically readjust his priorities from a posture of military withdrawal and Pentagon budget cuts to one of engagement, but it’s not at all clear how he plans to do so.”

The Washington Post wrote on November 24:

“When Barack Obama looks in the mirror these days, he must see a terrifying visage staring back at him: that of George W. Bush. In a cruel echo of history, Obama is morphing into the president whose foreign policy he campaigned to overturn. Obama on Monday morning sacked his Pentagon secretary, Chuck Hagel, after huge midterm election losses in the sixth year of his presidency — just as Bush did in sacking Donald Rumsfeld after midterm losses in the sixth year of his presidency.

“As with Bush, the ouster comes as a war in the Middle East is going badly — then, the Iraq war, now, the bombing of the Islamic State terror group. Rumsfeld’s ouster led to the surge in Iraq, and Hagel’s departure comes amid signs of an expanded role for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. And, as under Bush, this guarantees that Obama will leave his successor an ongoing U.S. war in the Mideast — quite possibly the sort of ground war Obama vowed to undo…

“The Republican former senator, a decorated veteran and the first enlisted man to hold the top job at the Pentagon, was brought in to help Obama wind down wars and to shrink the Pentagon. His strong ties to the military and his reluctance to use force (he had opposed the Iraq surge) made him an ideal man for the job, and his battle wounds from Vietnam gave him the moral authority to answer the chicken hawks who opposed the contraction of the military.

“But now Islamic militants have taken over much of Iraq and Syria… Hagel stuck to the safe terrain of praising the ‘fun’ of team building, taking care to wish everybody a happy Thanksgiving. Hagel, a man of peace, can now at least enjoy the holiday, knowing he’ll be free of this new war once the Senate confirms a successor…  For Hagel’s boss, being dragged into expanding just the sort of war he was elected to end, there is no such relief.”

“Romania’s Obama Moment”? – No Way!

The EUObserver wrote on November 21:

“[Klaus] Iohannis is Romania’s newly-elected president. After his surprise win on Sunday (16 November), when the German-speaking, Lutheran mayor of Sibiu became the first Romanian president from an ethnic and religious minority, he is being compared to Barack Obama – the first black president of the US. On Facebook, he has just passed 1.1 million fans, more than German leader Angela Merkel or Italy’s Matteo Renzi.

“But despite his popularity, he is neither a populist, nor, like Obama, a gifted orator. In his victory speech on Monday, Iohannis, a 55-year old physics teacher, was as down-to-earth as it gets, his main message being: ‘The campaign is over. Let’s get to work now’.

“His online campaign manager, Vlad Tausance, said in an interview that Iohannis ought to have been difficult to promote on the Internet. ‘He does not take cat pictures (although he has five adopted cats). He refuses to use his family in the campaign (although he has a wonderful and elegant wife). He does not want to give personal details (although he is passionate about cycling and roses)’.

“But it turned out Iohannis did not need the ‘stupid recipes’, as Tausance described the online cliches. ‘All we did was to be coherent in communicating his real personality… Why should moderation or consistency be seen as defects? Why should seriousness be a handicap? Is decency so boring?’, Tausance said. Iohannis’ common-sense attitude and his strong support for rule of law made his victory possible. During the elections he said: ‘I prefer losing than being rude’…

“Looking beyond Romania’s Obama moment, Iohannis’ election also comes amid a wider trend in the region – the emergence of increasingly populist and nationalist leaders in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. It’s true that Iohannis will have to work with Ponta as prime minister and as the leader of a strong parliament majority. But Ponta will also have to work with Iohannis: Just two days after the election, parliament repealed the amnesty bill on corruption convicts. The same day, parliament also lifted the immunity of several MPs under investigation for graft, who had been shielded for months…

“As a German-speaker and as a member of the same centre-right political family as German chancellor Angela Merkel, he is likely to get along well with the de facto leader of the EU… Romania will ‘graduate from the EU integration school and become a mature, strong and respected EU state’, he said.”

Finland [and Sweden] on the Edge

The Washington Post wrote on November 23:

“Wedged hard against Russia’s northwestern border, peaceable Finland has long gone out of its way to avoid prodding the nuclear-armed bear next door. But now the bear is provoking Finland, repeatedly guiding military planes into Finnish airspace and deploying submarines and helicopters to chase after Finnish research vessels in international waters.

“The incidents are part of a pattern of aggressive Russian behavior that has radiated across Europe but that has been especially unnerving for countries such as Finland that live outside the protective bubble of NATO. As Russian-backed separatists have eviscerated another non-NATO neighbor this year — Ukraine — Finnish leaders have watched with growing alarm. They are increasingly questioning whether the nonaligned path they navigated through the Cold War can keep them safe as Europe heads toward another period of dangerous standoffs between West and East.  ‘We have a long history with Russia — not that peaceful all the time. So everything the Russians are doing, surely the Finns notice and think very carefully about what that might mean,’ Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview… In the case of the recent air incursions, he said, the message was clear: ‘They were testing how we’d react.’

“Niinisto said Finland’s ­response — scrambling American-made F-18 Hornet fighter jets to intercept the Russian planes — was strong enough to ward off further Russian aggression. But the palpable anxiety in this country… reflects how unsettled Europe has become since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March. Many in Helsinki are convinced that Russia will not remain deterred for long… Elisabeth Rehn, a former Finnish defense minister [said:] ‘It’s only been 100 years since we gained our independence from Russia. Crimea was a part of Russia, too. Will they try to take back what belonged to them 100 years ago?’ Rehn said she doubts Russia would go that far but said the fear of Russian military aggression is real. ‘We don’t have a normal relationship with Russia,’ said Rehn… ‘We all like the Russians. They sing the same melancholic songs that we do. But we are afraid of their leadership.’

“Finland is hardly the only one. Next door in Sweden, the country’s armed forces mounted their largest operation since the Cold War last month to hunt for a suspected Russian submarine. Swedish defense chiefs may have viewed the hunt as a chance to compensate for a conspicuous lapse last year, when Russian warplanes simulated an air assault on Stockholm and the Swedish military failed to react. Like Finland, Sweden has remained outside NATO even as other Baltic nations — including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — have joined…

“Finland, a nation of 5 million people, has an 800-mile border with Russia, which has a population nearly 30 times as large. Moscow would undoubtedly consider NATO membership a direct challenge in territory that was marked as neutral space during the Cold War. A Kremlin adviser said earlier this year that if Finland and Sweden join NATO, it could lead to World War III…”

Dangerous Tattoos

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 20:

“… the chemistry in [tattoos] is unambiguous, with experts warning some ink may cause cancer.  Would you let someone inject a few grams of car polish under your skin? Or soot produced by burning crude oil? Obviously not. But this is basically what you might get if you choose to have a tattoo done. ‘The substances used to create these lasting and high-contrast tattoos were developed for printers and cars,’ says Wolfgang Bäumler, a professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Regensburg. ‘And the chemistry remains the same.’

“Large chemistry companies produce the colorful pigments used in tattoos, but mainly for industry. Smaller companies buy the pigments and make tattoo ink out of them. ‘The chemical industry says these substances have never been tested for injection under the skin,’ says Peter Laux of Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). ‘They are simply not made for that.’…

“Recent US studies have also shown that only two thirds of the ink used in a tattoo stays in the skin. The other one third spreads through the body. ‘It migrates into the blood, the lymph nodes, the organs,’ Bäumler says. ‘Nobody knows where exactly or what happens with it.’

“The chemicals responsible for red, orange and yellow colors are azo compounds, organic substances which have a reputation of being problematic. They often cause allergic reactions. Some of them – for example, the red pigment 22 – may decompose when a tattoo is brought into sunlight, Bäumler says. The resulting compounds are toxic and can cause cancer.

“Substances called phthalocyanines make blue or green tattoos. They often contain metals such as copper and nickel. Brown inks made out of iron oxides also contain nickel. Nickel can cause an allergic reaction and is prohibited in cosmetics. But it is common in tattoo ink.

“Black tattoos are created with inks containing a material called carbon black. Carbon black is produced by burning crude oil or other products, such as tar and rubber. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons form during the production of carbon black – and they can cause cancer.

“When tattoos are removed with a laser, the color pigments are released and spread even more through the body. But the health risks are not down to pigments alone. ‘Tattoo ink can contain other substances,’ says the BfR. ‘For instance, solvents, thickener, preservatives, as well as multiple contaminants.’…

“In Germany, as in many other countries, tattoo inks are neither regarded as drugs nor as cosmetics – and this is where part of the problem lies. Drugs and cosmetics need to be approved for market. Safety tests for drugs are required to show what happens to the substance when it enters the body – how it is metabolized and what other substances can form as a result. With tattoo inks, no such regulations or tests exist. But experts say they should… And the situation is similar in Europe and in the US.

“Even professional tattoo artists agree things should be better. ‘Tattoo colors are not really safe at the moment,’ said Andreas Schmidt, vice chairman of the German association of professional tattoo artists, at a symposium in Berlin…

“Professor Bäumler says he had once planned an animal experiment to find out what happens to tattoo ink inside the body, but that the experiment was stopped when a court decided animal experiments were unnecessary as ‘people get tattooed voluntarily…’”

For further information on the biblical perspective of tattoos, please read our Q&A on the subject. Please also read Part 7 of our free booklet, “Old Testament Laws—Still Valid today?” 

Unlawful Conduct of CPS and Police in Homeschooling Case

The following article was published on the website of HSLDA in November:

“On November 14, 2014, Home School Legal Defense Association filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against Chief Sheriff’s Deputy David Glidden and Sheriff Darren White of the sheriff’s department of Nodaway County, Missouri. The suit charges Glidden and White with unlawfully forcing their way into the home of HSLDA members Laura and Jason Hagan on September 30, 2011, in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

“A child protective services (CPS) caseworker had been inside the home several days earlier to investigate a report of a messy house and had returned for a follow-up visit. When Jason and Laura declined to allow her inside she summoned Glidden and White. When Deputy Glidden arrived at the Hagans’ home he demanded to be allowed inside. Jason opened the door and told Glidden that he could not enter unless he had a court order.

“Glidden said he would enter anyway. As Jason turned to go back inside, Glidden sprayed him with pepper spray—first at the back of his head and then directly in his face. Glidden also sprayed Laura, who fell to the floor. Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser. As Jason fell, Laura closed the front door. Glidden triggered the Taser three more times through the closed door… [Giddon and White] forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor. Glidden sprayed Laura in the face a second time while White sprayed Jason and tried to turn him over onto his stomach.

“Laura shouted to the officers that Jason had been taken to the emergency room earlier in the week for chest pains. White nevertheless continued attempting to turn Jason over and sprayed him a third time when he was unsuccessful. The officers also sprayed the Hagans’ dog with chemical agent and threatened to shoot it if it didn’t stop barking. Finally, the officers handcuffed and arrested Laura and Jason and charged them with resisting arrest and child endangerment.

“All of this took place in front of the Hagans’ three young children, who were then taken to the emergency room to be evaluated for exposure to pepper spray… At Jason and Laura’s trial, the judge determined that White and Glidden had violated the Fourth Amendment when they forcibly entered the Hagans’ home without a warrant. ‘The State has not offered sufficient, if indeed any, evidence of an exception that would justify a warrantless entry,’ the judge wrote in his ruling. The case against Laura and Jason was dismissed.”

Penalties of the Unaffordable Care Act in 2015

Infowar wrote on November 15:

“In 2015 the government will be activating some new ‘incentives’ embedded in the Affordable Care Act in an effort to get more people to sign up. But, as is often the case when the government says one thing, they mean exactly the opposite. In this case, when they say incentive what they really mean is that you are going to be penalized if you fail to acquire government mandated health insurance. But not just you. Your children… will be fined for your failure to get them on the insurance rolls:

“Penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks.  ‘The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,’ said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. ‘This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.’ In 2014, Obamacare’s first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted… the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher.  Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.

“So, that’s your incentive. Either sign up for Obamacare at a rate of roughly $750 a month or more for a middle-class family of four, or pay a $325 penalty or two percent of your income, whichever is higher. Plus, if you have kids, they’ve been incentivized too!… These days, even democrats who supported the legislation before anyone had a chance to actually review it are up in arms…”

Ferguson in Flames

Newsmax reported on November 25:

“A Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer on any charges in the fatal August shooting of an unarmed black teenager [Michael Brown (18)] unleashed a wave of violent protests Monday night similar to [but actually much worse than] what engulfed the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August… The incident highlighted longstanding racial tensions in the predominantly black city, which has a white-dominated power structure… [Police officer Darren] Wilson could have faced charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder… The grand jury, with nine white and three black members, began meeting in late August… Nine jurors needed to agree to bring charges.

“Lawyers for Brown’s family say the teen was trying to surrender when he was shot, while Wilson’s supporters say he feared for his life and opened fire in self-defense. Witnesses disagreed on whether Brown’s hands were up at the time he was shot… Wilson shot at Brown 12 times [Brown was hit at least six times], with the final shot hitting Brown in the top of his head… Brown is suspected of having stolen cigars from a nearby convenience store shortly before the incident. Brown and a friend had been walking down the middle of the street when Wilson approached them. Police said in August that Wilson was not aware of the robbery at the time.”

The Huffington Post added on November 25:

“At least a dozen buildings were torched and looted, many of them local businesses that police said were total losses. Dozens of cars — including two police cruisers and rows of vehicles at a car dealership — were also vandalized and left charred. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said he heard about 150 gunshots, none from police. ‘What I’ve seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we had in August,’ he said… Police said they made more than 80 arrests, and that there were only minor injuries.”

According to the law, someone can use deadly force if he “feels” that he is being threatened and his life is in immediate or imminent danger. A sad night for America… 

America’s Immigration Mess

USA Today wrote on November 23:

“President Obama is rejecting suggestions that he has changed his position on executive power, and arguing that his new actions on immigration are necessary. Reminded by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he once said ‘I’m not an emperor’… when it comes to immigration, Obama said he was referring to the problem overall… The actions Obama took last week could defer deportations for up to 5 million migrants. There are estimates of more than 11 million people who are in the country illegally.

“House Speakers John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP lawmakers say Obama is acting like an emperor, and has wrecked any chance of a bipartisan agreement on immigration. Some Republicans, including officials in a number of states, have vowed legal action and legislative responses in response to Obama…

“In his ABC interview, Obama said he acted because House Republicans have refused to vote on a bipartisan bill passed in the Senate… As for executive actions in general, Obama said: ‘The history is that I have issued fewer executive actions than most of my predecessors, by a longshot…’”

The Los Angeles Times wrote on November 21:

“Far from settling matters, President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration all but ensures at least two more years of fierce and angry debate over one of the most contentious and polarizing issues facing the country. It is a debate that presents opportunity and political risk to both parties, but especially Republicans, who are deeply divided among themselves and badly need to mend relations with a Latino and Asian American population growing bigger and more politically powerful each day…

“Because Obama’s actions are not binding on his successor ‘the next president is going to have to decide whether to continue these policies after 2017,’ said Matt Barreto, a University of Washington political scientist… The danger Democrats face is alienating the white working-class voters who have never much cared for the president and who could view the influx of newly hirable immigrants as unwelcome job competition…”

Newsmax wrote on November 24:

“[Consitutional expert Alan] Dershowitz… discussed Obama’s controversial order last week to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and assert his authority to do so over congressional opposition. ‘This is uncharted ground,’ said Dershowitz. ‘Anybody who tells you the president violated the Constitution is wrong. Anybody who tells you the president DIDN’T violate the Constitution is wrong. … At this point in time, nobody knows the answer to that daunting constitutional question.’”

It has been frequently alleged that President Obama, a constitutional lawyer, made a political decision, and that he changed his viewpoint on his executive power, and both allegations are probably very true. However, lawyers and judges – especially “constitutional experts” — change their legal opinions all the time [or they do not have a legal opinion, as Alan Dershowitz], so that should not surprise anyone. To be fair, immigration actions by former Presidents Reagan and Bush did not differ that much, in principle and in substance, from the action which President Obama took (even though Republicans do not want to admit this). It is also true that Congress did not pass proposed Immigration Bills under President Obama and former President George Bush.

Even with a majority of Republicans both in the House and in the Senate, it is doubtful whether they would have been [or will be] able to agree on a bill, as the Republicans and the Democrats are hopelessly divided, and Republicans are hopelessly divided amongst themselves. Several Republicans have stated that they agree with the substance of the President’s executive order, but they disagree with the way in which Obama did it.

On the other hand, in all this debate pro and con, we must not forget the individual tragedies, involving potential break-ups of families (with children being lawful citizens and parents being here “illegally.”). Of course some, if not many illegal immigrants, will try to play the system to obtain improper advantages. But then there are others who do the jobs which Americans would not want to do. In the 1960’s, Germany introduced a guest-worker program for Turks, Yugoslavs, Spaniards etc., which was supposed to be temporary, but it ended up with the same problems which the USA is facing today.

Those who have worked in the Immigration field can and will tell you how terribly rotten the system is. Arrested undocumented aliens are being held by the INS in “isolation” and “detention” cells like the worst capital criminals, like cattle. Courts have no jurisdiction over the manner in which the INS is treating their captives. When we see pictures of a very young girl being brought before an immigration judge in handcuffs, as this is “proper procedure,” or when INS agents storm a house, pointing their guns at an adult carrying a young boy to “rescue” the boy, as he is here “illegally,” and “free” him from his adult relatives, who are here legally, then every upright citizen should react with disgust. There is NO justification for ANY of this… and immigration lawyers will state that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

That all of this must be changed cannot be in doubt. At the same time, there are many legal immigrants and American citizens who are terribly neglected by the government and in dire need of help. This entire world, including the USA, is under the rule of Satan the devil, and man is incapable and far too often unwilling to govern fairly. It will require the return of Christ to bring justice, fairness, equity, prosperity and true freedom to this earth.

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What does the Bible tell us about divorce and separation?

God’s judgment on divorce is clearly shown in the following Scripture:

“‘For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously’” (Malachi 2:16).

God makes this statement for the following reasons: Divorce does not really solve a problem that the persons may have and that brought the marriage to this condition. When there are children, they are the innocent victims of divorce, such as is the case in war. The impact of divorce can carry on for decades in children’s lives and be devastating for them.

Divorce plays into the hand of Satan, since he would love to see Christian couples split up because the Christian marriage, which is a binding contract between a man and a woman before God, is a representation of the relationship between God and His Church.

Marriage is the manner in which potential sons and daughters of God can enter into the world and become members of the God Family which, together with and under Christ as the husband, will replace Satan and his demons–the current god and rulers of this world (compare 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12).

It is evident that Christ’s relationship with the nations of ancient Israel and Judah was one, symbolically, of husband and wife and because of Israel’s and Judah’s unfaithfulness in committing spiritual adultery by worshipping idols and not being loyal to keeping God’s commandments, Christ as the God of the Old Testament “divorced” His wife—Israel and Judah. We read in Jeremiah 3:6-14:

“The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: ‘Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, “Return to Me.” But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,’ says the LORD.

“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: “Return, backsliding Israel,” says the LORD; “I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,” says the LORD; “I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,” says the LORD.  “Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”’”

They did not return to God and thus He divorced Israel and Judah. But as true Christians, we are today spiritual Israelites and Jews—regardless of our race or ethnic background. True Christians are today “betrothed” to Christ, when they became properly baptized. They are living today under the conditions of the New Covenant, which is also a marriage agreement. Their marriage with Christ will be consummated at Christ’s return (For a thorough explanation of these concepts, please read our free booklet, “And Lawlessness Will Abound”). And once Israel and Judah become converted, they will also enter into the conditions of the New Covenant.

Notice what it says in Revelation 21:9: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’”

The fact that Christ divorced Israel and Judah supports the biblical teaching that under certain circumstances, divorce is acceptable to God. The ideal is of course to work on the marriage relationship and not let it slide into a fragile and irreconcilable situation, either by neglect or outright sinful behavior, since the Christian marriage is intended for life, just as the marriage with Christ and the Church will last for all eternity.

Before continuing, we must clarify that we are addressing here marriages which have been “bound” or “joined together” by God. Not every marriage in this world is “bound” by God—in fact, most are not. This is not to say that married couples are not bound by the state and that they are guiltless if they break up their marriage for unbiblical reasons, because they promised to each other that they would be married for life (and broken promises constitute sin), but their marriage was not bound by God. For instance, God does not bind the marriage of two atheists who get married in front of a magistrate.

It is obvious that God binds a marriage between two converted Christians when they get married by a minister of the Church of God. But a marriage also becomes bound by God at the time when at least one spouse becomes converted. At that time, God accepts the Christian in the state in which he is (compare the principle in 1 Corinthians 7:20-24)—and if he is married, he is called by God as a married person—and he is not free before God to subsequently divorce his spouse, except for biblical reasons. (Compare our Q&A on Deuteronomy 24:1-4.)

We stated the following in our free booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families”

“God wants our marriages to succeed. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). A couple that faces difficulties and looks at divorce as an easy ‘solution’ to their problems may make a serious, and even fatal mistake. Divorce is seldom a positive solution. Biblically, divorce with the freedom to subsequently marry someone else is permitted only under very limited circumstances. God created the marriage unit and He intended that it should flourish and endure (Matthew 19:4–6). Two truly converted married Christians (as long as both remain alive and converted throughout their marriage to each other) must never divorce and subsequently marry somebody else! Their marriage, which has been bound by God, is for life (1 Corinthians 7:10–11; Romans 7:1–3; Luke 16:18).”

However, under what circumstances is divorce permitted?

In Matthew 5:31-32, Christ tells us:

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

Christ is addressing here marriages which God has bound or joined together, as He clarifies in Matthew 19:6 “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

But Christ makes clear that even marriages which God has “bound” can end up in divorce, when for instance “sexual immorality” is involved. Sexual immorality [“porneia” in the Greek] includes adultery, incest, homosexuality and other types of deviant sexual behavior. 

But even then, the Bible is clear that once a person repents by ceasing from and changing his behavior which could lead to or justify a divorce, the other party is under a moral and spiritual obligation to forgive and move forward. Reconciliation is the pathway to take, rather than divorce.

If sins are repented of and maybe even confessed to a potential spouse before marriage, then these forgiven sins cannot be the basis for a later divorce. If fraud has been committed by one spouse at the time of the marriage (material facts were concealed from the spouse) and the other spouse finds out about it subsequently, then the innocent spouse could ask for an annulment. God, who knows everything, would not have bound that marriage at the time when the marriage vows were exchanged. But the request for annulment would have to be made right away upon discovery of the concealed facts. However, if the spouse decides to continue the marriage, then no more grounds for annulment exist, as then, God accepts the spouse’s decision and binds the marriage.

Problems in a marriage will arise, but they need to be coped with and managed. It is important to always bear in mind that Satan wants to destroy our marriages, and we should be aware of his devices and temptations.

If a “believing” spouse is married to an “unbeliever,” then Paul states the following in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16:

“But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”

If the unbelieving spouse is no longer pleased to dwell with the believing spouse and ends the marriage relationship, then the believing spouse is no longer bound by God, either. However, if the unbelieving spouse is willing to dwell with the believer, then no grounds for divorce exist.

On the other hand, an unbeliever may show by his conduct that he is no longer pleased to dwell with the believer, and that he has departed from the marriage relationship, even though both spouses might even live in the same house. For instance, when someone engages habitually in adulterous conduct, he has thereby manifested that he is an “unbeliever” who has denied the faith and has become worse than an “infidel”—he was never converted or has ceased to be converted (compare again Matthew 5:31-32 with 1 Corinthians 7:15).

But note again our comments in our free booklet, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families”

“What about a married couple where one mate is a true Christian, making every effort to apply God’s principles, and the other mate is not? Even in such a case, divorce and subsequent remarriage is not biblically permitted, unless the ‘unbelieving’ mate departs from the marriage, by not fulfilling his or her marriage duties, and the ‘unbeliever’ is no longer willing to live with the converted Christian mate (cp. 1 Corinthians 7:12–16). Such total departure from the marriage by the ‘unbeliever’ can be seen in serious continuous violations of his or her marriage duties and responsibilities, such as the sinful practice of ‘sexual immorality’ (Matthew 5:31–32; 19:9). But even then, counseling with one of God’s ministers is highly recommended, with the goal to restore, rather than to sever, the marriage.”

What does the Bible say about separation of a marriage relationship between two believing spouses?

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 states the following:

“… A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”

Separation is not a solution and must not be looked upon in this manner. It should be looked upon as a temporary measure with the intent to have the marriage repaired and functional. We read Paul’s admonition in the previous verses: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5).

We have been called to be in the God Family. Our relationship with Christ is one of husband and wife.  We made a commitment at baptism to be faithful to the end of our lives or when Christ returns.  We made a commitment at marriage to remain faithful till the death of one of the spouses (1 Corinthians 7:39; compare again Romans 7:2-3).

We should be committed to making our marriages work, since we know that God hates divorce (and by extension separation which could lead to divorce), while Satan loves divorce and he wants our marriages to fail.

Lead Writers: Rene Messier and Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

We are extending a special welcome to Thilo and Anita Hanstein, who are visiting our headquarters brethren in Ramona, California. Herr Hanstein is one of two recently ordained deacons serving in the German congregation, and he will be presenting a sermonette during this week’s Sabbath services.

“The Iranian Challenge,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program have been extended for seven months, giving Iran more time to develop a nuclear bomb. While Iran celebrates the extension as a victory and scoffs at Presiding Obama’s weakness, Israel is seriously considering a preemptive military strike against Iran. At the same time, Iran needs the support of the West against ISIS-not the other way around. The Bible shows that World War III will begin in the Middle East, and that Christ must and will return very soon to prevent mankind from annihilating all life on this planet and to usher in a beautiful new age of peace and freedom. We should be truly thankful to God for this. We are offering three free booklets: “Europe in Prophecy,” “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” and “Biblical Prophecy-From Now Until Forever.”

A German AufPostenStehen version of the program was also recorded and posted on the Web, titled, “Die Iranische Herausforderung.”  

A new member letter by Norbert Link has been emailed to the German brethren and subscribers, explaining that a new contract was signed for the Feast site in Templin in 2015, and that hotel reservations can be made right away. We also stated in the letter that German translations of Dave Harris’ recent Q&A’s on Romans 16:17-18 were posted on the German website; and that we are in the process of printing four additional German booklets and translating two more English booklets.

Das ganze Gesetz Hängt an der Liebe,” is the title of this week’s German sermon. In English, the title is: “All the Law Hangs on Love.”

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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

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