Update 702


Grexit and/or Brexit?; Discipline

On August 22, 2015, Norbert Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Grexit and/or Brexit?”and Mike Link will present the sermon, titled, “Discipline”.

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (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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Do You Recognize the Doctrines of Demons?

by Norbert Link

This Update (No. 702) includes several warnings against demonic teaching and activities. This is no coincidence. The Bible warns us that in these last days, Satan and his demons will launch a massive attack against mankind with the ultimate goal of wiping out all human life from the face of this earth.

Satan—the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4)—has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9), and nominal Christianity is not exempt. Neither are true Christians; quite to the contrary, they are the biggest targets in Satan’s devilish plan. It is therefore critical for God’s disciples to be very circumspect as to what they watch, listen to and read; what they allow their minds to embrace; and what they do. They are warned not to participate in false religious worship services (1 Corinthians 10:14-22); not to welcome or engage in doctrinal debates with those of a different persuasion (2 John 10); and not to delve into doctrinal confusion–the “depths of Satan” (Revelation 2:24).

The Holy Scriptures speak of “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).  Satan is a liar (John 8:44), and his teachings are opposed to the truth. The biggest lie is the belief that he and his abominable hordes of evil spirits do not even exist. The first lie, which was recorded in the Bible, is the false doctrine that humans are immortal. You will recall that the serpent lied to Eve when he told her that she would not surely die; in other words, that she could not die, because she had or was an immortal soul. But the Bible is consistent from beginning to end: The soul which sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4, 20).

Rightly understood, every human teaching is a teaching of demons when it is opposed to God and His doctrines (Matthew 15:1-9; 16:12).

Satan and his demons will influence the leaders of this world to fight against the returning Christ (Revelation 16:13-14), and most people will follow their lead. Without perhaps knowing it, they will actively worship demons and embrace their demonic teaching (Revelation 9:20). Demons are anxious to pervert the straight ways of God (Acts 13:10), and even though it might not appear that way to the carnal human mind, God says that the wisdom of this world is sensual and demonic (James 3:15).

True Christians are exhorted not to give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27) and to his distorted teachings (Ephesians 6:11). Rather, they are to “test the spirits, whether they are of God,” because many false prophets and ministers “have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Some came to or arose within the Church of God, pretending to be ministers of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:4, 15). However, only those who are of God and stay loyal to Him will be able to “know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). They will understand that those who claim that Christ did away with the Law and that we do not have to keep His commandments are of the devil, and the truth is not in them (1 John 2:4; 3:8).

The Bible teaches that in these end times, just prior to the return of Christ, a falling away from the truth will occur in the Church of God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Those who do not receive the LOVE of the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, will become victims of “strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (verses 10-12). False christs and prophets will arise and attempt to deceive the elect (Matthew 24:24). And because lawlessness will abound, godly love of many in God’s Church will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). They will become followers of demonic doctrines and practices.

You have been warned! Are you one of the very few who recognize the doctrines of demons?

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In this issue, we are focusing on the desire to bring about conditions for the building of a Third Temple in Jerusalem (which the Bible indicates will occur just prior to the return of Christ); publish the strong opinion of the National President of the Zionist Organization of America regarding his take on the perceived motives of President Obama regarding radical Islam; address Dr. Ben Carson’s attempts to justify his research on aborted fetal tissue; speak about horrible practices by abortion clinics; debunk the idea that God is using Donald Trump as a trumpet; and point out Hillary Clinton’s ongoing email debacle which might even cost her the Democratic candidacy.

We report on continuing violence in Ukraine with expressed fears that Europe might be drawn into a full-blown military conflict; speak on the battle of European politicians to keep Greece in the Eurozone—against the wishes of the people—even if this means lying repeatedly to the people; report on the powerless role of the UK in Europe; and address the terribly demonic activities of the insane murderous ISIS radicals.

We point out morbid allegations of sexual child abuse within the ranks of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia; report on millions of people—including many US government officials–using an online adultery website (which was hacked); address the arrival of human-like robots; and conclude with an article about the discovery of the possible home town of Mary Magdalene and the very synagogue in which Jesus would have preached.

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Working for a Third Temple

JTA wrote on August 12:

“It’s been nearly two millennia since the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, bringing to an end the priestly period of Jewish history and commencing the Diaspora. A third Temple has been prophesied, and in preparation for the messiah, [a] nonprofit Jewish group, The Temple Institute, wants to build it.

“Last month, the institute launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the goal of raising $125,000 to breed a red heifer, a requirement for Temple purification rituals. It has already raised nearly $33,000 from some 500 donors… ‘For 2,000 years we’ve been waiting for a perfect red heifer,’ said Richman, an institute director in a video for the fundraising campaign. The project, he said, is ‘nothing less than the first stage of the reintroduction of biblical purity into the world, the prerequisite for the rebuilding of the holy Temple.’…

“The project is controversial, of course. The site of the ancient Temples, and thus the prescribed site for the new one, is on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, where sites holy to Muslims – the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque – have stood for 13 centuries. The Temple Institute has admitted that the mosques must be cleared for the building of the Temple to begin…

“Haaretz reported in 2013 that nearly a third of secular citizens surveyed in a poll supported the building of the Temple, and the numbers rise for religious Jews. After the fundraising campaign is complete, the plan is for red cow embryos to be deposited in surrogate mother cows – what Haaretz referred to as essentially bovine Virgin Marys. When birthed nine months later, rabbis will determine if any of the offspring meet the strict kosher cow standards.

“If so, they will be ritually sacrificed and burned at age 2, allowing newly purified priests to ascend the Temple Mount. Then… the holy wars begin.”

 According to biblical prophecy, it is very likely that the Jews will build a Third Temple just prior to the return of Jesus Christ.

“Obama’s Track Record on Radical Islam”

 On August 13, The Times of Israel published the following blog by Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA):

“Citics repeatedly claim that the reason President Barack Obama agreed to a catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran is his naiveté, his ineptness, and his being out negotiated. Does Obama’s record validate that thesis? Or is there evidence that President Obama’s feelings toward Islam may require a different conclusion.

“President Obama attended Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s anti-America, anti-Israel church for 20 years while calling Wright a ‘great man and my mentor.’ Obama attended radical Muslim racist Louis Farahkan’s Million Man March in Washington – but refused to attend the four million man march against radical Islamic terrorism in Paris. Obama’s closest friends include Rashid Khalidi, Columbia professor, an extremist anti-Israel activist. There are pictures of President Obama having dinner with anti-israel activists Professors Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said.

“Although Obama has called American police and much of America racist, he has refused to ever utter the term, ‘Islamic terrorist’ when Jihadists murdered eighteen U.S. soldiers in Ford Hood and Tennessee and said nothing when two Islamic terrorists attempted to murder hundreds of Americans at a Mohammed cartoon drawing event in Texas. He’s even ordered that federal counter-terrorism training materials used for law enforcement and national security communities to delete such terms.

“It may surprise you to learn that during his first campaign for president, Obama stated that Hezbollah and Hamas have ‘legitimate claims’ (NY Times, May 16, 2008). And during the latest Hamas war against Israel, Obama sent Hamas $47 million, urged Israel to accept an early ceasefire, refused sending critical arms to Israel for several days and unnecessarily stopped US commercial flights to Israel for a short period.

“Moreover, President Obama not only didn’t condemn the Palestinian Authority (PA) for forming an alliance with Hamas but proclaimed he was going to continue funding the PA despite this, even though Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of every Jew! That didn’t surprise me since during a meeting at the White House with Jewish leaders that I attended, President Obama stated we Jews should speak to our Israeli friends and relatives and search our souls [to] see if we’re serious about peace. ‘You and the Israelis think since Israel’s economy is good, there’s little terrorism, so peace is overrated…but Mahmoud Abbas and the PA are sincere about peace.’ [Mahmoud Abbas is a holocaust minimizer, who, with Yasser Arafat, co-founded the terrorist group Fatah].

“What other Arab groups did Obama side with? When he gave his first major speech on the Middle East in Cairo, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed terrorist group to attend, despite pleadings against this from US ally Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. When Mubarak was forced from office, why did Obama embrace the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood who came to power, but was cold to new moderate Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah Al- Sisi. Furthermore, why did Obama publicly support rallies to oust US ally Mubarak from office yet refused to support rallies to oust the genocidal, anti-American, anti-Israel president Achmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran, America’s enemy. He was also silent about continuous Iranian rallies, even after the agreement was finalized, calling for ‘Death to America and Israel’ while Iran vowed support for Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria. And Obama said nothing about Iran’s executing 1000 political dissidents a year, executing gays, imprisoning journalists, and closing dozens of opposition newspapers.

“Maybe this shouldn’t have been surprising since Obama delayed US votes on sanctions on Iran for over a year, fought against additional sanctions, and didn’t fully implement the sanctions that the US Congress passed.”

These are indeed very interesting questions in light of the facts presented in this article.

Ben Carson Tries to Justify His Research on Aborted Fetuses

 Newsmax reported on August 13:

“Ben Carson is defending research he did in 1992 on aborted fetal tissue… The research, which was co-authored by Carson, was revealed by Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN and pain medicine doctor, who said that while Carson was ‘opining on the uselessness of fetal tissue research to Megyn Kelly, Dr. Carson neglected to mention his own paper… published … in 1992.’

“The section cited by Gunter says that ‘Human choroid plexus, ependyma, and nasal mucosa were obtained from two fetuses aborted at the ninth and 17th week of gestation.’…

“Carson said that research on fetal tissue should not be banned and that it is not immoral… He added that he finds no contradiction between his pro-life views and the research he did…”

Creating a Human Brain…

The Independent wrote on August 19:

Scientists have succeeded in growing an almost fully formed human brain in a lab for the first time ever. The miniature brain is about the size of a pencil eraser and resembles that of a five-week old foetus. It contains 99 per cent of the genes present in the human foetal brain and has an identifiable structure… The brain has been created by scientists at University. Professor Rene Anand from the department explains: ‘It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain.’”

This horrible “research” is justified in the name of science for finding a cure against certain sicknesses.

… While Destroying Human Brains

BE WARNED about the gruesome nature of the following article. We are republishing portions of it to show how far the twisted mind of man, under Satan’s influence, is prepared to go. And most Americans are willingly ignorant about the terrible abominations which are happening in their country.

Breitbart wrote on August 19:

“In the latest video produced by the Center for Medical Progress, Holly O’Donnell describes a medical technician using scissors to cut through the face of a newly aborted but nearly fully developed baby boy at a Planned Parenthood facility so that his intact brain could be extracted…

“Holly O’Donnell and her Planned Parenthood colleague were harvesting organs that day at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, a mega-clinic in San Jose, California…

“O’Donnell, who turned whistleblower after leaving StemExpress, said the child was the most fully developed she had seen up to that point. She describes in great detail how the newly aborted boy was rinsed off and prepared for dissection… Her colleague then took an instrument and ‘tapped the heart and it starts beating.’… The medical technician said the child was so intact that they could ‘procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure a brain.’ The tech told O’Donnell they would need to ‘go through the face.’ The medical tech took scissors and cut through the child’s lower jaw up through the mouth. O’Donnell was directed to cut the rest of the way through ‘the middle of the face.’… O’Donnell had to take the boy’s remains and put him in a bio-hazard container and ‘then I realized I was the only person ever to hold that baby… That was the moment I realized I couldn’t work for [StemExpress] any more,’ she said…

“Up to now Planned Parenthood has been successful in convincing Americans that the federal funded group performs very few abortions. Planned Parenthood has claimed that abortions make up merely 3 percent of their overall annual ‘services.’ Even liberal outlets have debunked that claim. Even so, polls show that most Americans don’t believe Planned Parenthood performs abortions at all, when in fact it performs more than 300,000 every year, more than any other group, generating more than $100 million in revenue from abortions alone.”

“Sick” is not a word which could remotely begin to describe such inhumane abominations.

Trump To Be Used by God as a Trumpet?

WorldNetDaily wrote on August 12, 2015:

“A Christian minister in Florida has ignited a firestorm over his suggestion that God is using Donald Trump as a divine instrument in the 2016 presidential election cycle… Jeremiah Johnson… said he was praying several weeks ago ‘when God began to speak to me concerning the destiny of Donald Trump in America:

‘“‘The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, ‘Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before… Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.”’

A big deal is made in the article regarding the alleged connection between the word “Trump” and the biblical use of the word “trumpet.” However, whoever might have spoken to this charismatic minister (if anybody), it was NOT God’s voice which he heard. We must understand that sometimes demons know the future as well and might even speak about it… but one never knows when they lie—and we are specifically warned not to listen to their “prognostications.”

We feel that Trump might be used, to an extent, by God, but most certainly not for the reasons given in the article. For more information, please view our new StandingWatch program, “The Trump Phenomenon—How To Explain It!”

Hillary Clinton’s Email Dilemma

Newsmax wrote on August 17:

“Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server, let alone deleting at least half of the communications on it, was ‘extraordinary,’ Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward said Monday, and the omissions remind him of the decisions made by President Richard Nixon back in the 1970s…  Woodward said he expects the investigations to go on for a ‘long, long time and the answers are probably not going to be pretty’…

“He said the FBI, inspectors general and others are ‘furious’ because they have spent hours being trained in the proper use of government email… Woodward said… that Clinton is blaming the controversy about her private emails on ‘dirty politics,’ but he pointed out that it is President Barack Obama’s administration that is investigating her.”

CBS reported on August 19:

“Hillary Clinton continues to be dogged by questions about her use of a private e-mail account while she was secretary of state. CBS News identified two e-mails on her server Wednesday which the intelligence community says contained classified information. The messages were uncovered during an investigation of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others…

“The emails are among the some 30,000 Clinton turned over to the State Department from her private server. On Monday, the State Department said it had flagged 305 emails, out of the 20 percent it has reviewed, as potentially containing classified information. Clinton has insisted there was no classified information on her server…

“As for the server, Clinton’s attorney confirmed it was wiped clean of all data before she turned it over to the FBI. But the FBI is hopeful that some material may be recovered — or a backup server located.”

“Ukraine Threatens to Tip Europe into Full-Blown Military Conflict”

The Local wrote on August 17:

“German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned on Sunday that conditions in Ukraine once again threatened to tip Europe into a full-blown military conflict. ‘The situation in eastern Ukraine is explosive,’ Steinmeier told Bild Am Sonntag.There’s a lot at stake: if both parties to the conflict don’t pay heed to the peace processs, we could enter a new spiral of military escalation at any time.’

‘Steinmeier has been engaged in a whirlwind round of visits and phone calls over the past week with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in an attempt to bring the two sides together for talks. Sunday saw the ‘most intensive shooting for months’ in Ukraine, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army told journalists in Kiev…

“The OSCE said on Sunday that the separatists had refused its observers access to their heavy weapons, which according to the Minsk Accords signed in February are supposed to have been withdrawn from the front lines. Germany played a key role in brokering a ceasefire between pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine and the Kiev government in February, nearly a year after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.”

The Battle for Greece’s Membership in the Eurozone

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 14:

“Following six hours of talks in Brussels on Friday, eurozone finance ministers agreed Friday to lend Greece a further 86 billion euros ($96 billion), to be released in stages. Greek lawmakers had accepted a reform package – containing many of the austerity elements voters had rejected in a July referendum – following a lengthy debate in parliament. The agreement is awaiting approval by several parliaments of eurozone countries, among them Germany. If those parliaments agree, which it is expected they will, 13 billion euros should be in Athens next Thursday and a further 10 billion will be set aside at the European Stability Mechanism.”

The Telegraph stated on August 14:

“Greece last night stepped back from the ‘abyss’ as European finance ministers approved a third, three-year bailout to keep the country afloat and avoid a chaotic exit from the Euro… Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said that the past six months had been difficult and testing. ‘Together, we have looked into the abyss. But today, I am glad to say that all sides have respected their commitments. Greece is living up to its ambitious reform commitments’ Mr Juncker said in a statement.  ‘The message of today’s meeting is loud and clear: on this basis, Greece is and will irreversibly remain a member of the euro area,’ he said.

“The first payment to Greece could be €13bn, officials said.  That means Greece will have funds available to cover a debt payment to the European Central Bank due on August 20. And it means that an emergency bailout fund, supported by Britain’s taxpayers, will not be used. A further €10bn cash injection for the country’s beleaguered lenders is expected to follow shortly after…

“However, in a blow to Athens, ministers said the issue of writing-off some of Greece’s debt would not be discussed until October.  The IMF has stated that it will not participate in another bail-out programme unless it receives an ‘explicit and concrete agreement’ on debt relief.

“However, Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister, and other countries are seeking a ‘binding’ commitment from the Fund to join the rescue programme in October, as he refused to rule out a second bridging loan for Greece to allow more time for talks…”

Sizeable Rebellion in Merkel’s Party Regarding Greece

The Local wrote on August 19:

“German MPs voted through a third European bailout package for Greece on Wednesday, although a large number of abstentions and ‘no’ votes pointed to a sizable rebellion among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ranks. With 454 voting in favour of the bailout package, 113 against and 18 abstentions, 63 MPs from Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) voted against the plan, while three abstained and 17 were absent altogether – leaving the party with just 228 votes from its 311 MPs.

“Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had earlier opened debate on the bailout with a final call for his party colleagues’ support. The new deal was ‘in the interest of Greece and the interest of Europe,’ Schäuble told the Bundestag (German parliament). ‘Of course after the experiences of the past months and years, there is no guarantee that everything will work. And doubts are always permitted…’

“Approval of the latest €86-billion emergency rescue plan for Athens was seen as assured given the 504 seats Merkel’s left-right ‘grand coalition’ holds in the 631-seat Bundestag lower house. With the Netherlands, Germany [was] one of the last eurozone countries to vote, after positive results from other countries, including Spain, Austria, and Estonia earlier this week…”

More Money for Greece

Deutsche Welle added on August 19:

“The finance ministers from the 19 eurozone countries gave the green light on Wednesday for the latest round of bailout funds to Greece, according [to] the EU commissioner for the common euro currency, Valdis Dombrovskis. The decision from the Eurogroup clears the final hurdle for Athens to receive its 85 billion euro ($95 billion) in rescue funds. The finance ministers approved the first tranche of 13 billions euros just in time for Greece to meet Thursday’s deadline for repaying about 3.4 billion euros to the European Central Bank.

“The Eurogroup’s move came right after the Dutch parliament supported the third bailout package to Greece, voting down a motion against it by a margin of 81-52. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also survived a no confidence vote called by far-right politician Geert Wilders…”

One will have to wait and see whether Greece will be able to remain a member of the Eurozone. It does not appear likely, however, that it will become one of the prophesied ten “kings,” “horns” or “toes” (member states of the coming Federation of the United Stated of Europe), which will emerge from the Eurozone and hand over their authority to a charismatic political leader, called the “beast” in the book of Revelation and the “king of the North” in the book of Daniel. The conservative German mass tabloid, Bild, is quite upset with the German government and especially with Angela Merkel, claiming that they broke their promises regarding Greece in at least four separate areas.

“Greece Gets its ‘Groundhog Day’ in Bundestag”

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 20:

Remember the film ‘Groundhog Day’? In this 1990s cult classic, an arrogant weatherman finds himself reliving the same day over and over again, with seemingly no way out of the time warp. What does this have to do with Greece’s credit? A lot.

“The latest loan approved by the Bundestag will not magically lift Greece out of its debt quagmire. It will only reinforce the status quo… it does not solve the underlying problem. Of the 86 billion euros ($95 billion) Greece will receive, 54 billion euros will go to repaying existing debt to the lenders. This creates new debt in order to pay old debt. And this new debt must also be paid at some point. But with what funds?

“Greece’ banks will get a further 25 billion euros to save them from bankruptcy. Again. A bit of the cash will flow into the state budget, but in reality this has already been spent. Greece has enough bills to pay, and, as soon as the money arrives, it will be gone. What then?… If things continue as they have, the answer is obvious: A fourth credit package will follow and then a fifth, and so on.

“And that brings us back to ‘Groundhog Day.’ The arrogant weatherman finds a way out of the time warp by making changes. And that’s what Greece’s creditors have to do. First, they have to realize that they are never going to see their money again as long as they keep replacing old debts with new ones…

“… legislators [who are against a credit package for Greece] are in the Bundestag minority… Maybe they’ll be able to get more people on their side when voting on the fourth bailout or the fifth or the sixth. See you soon in the time warp known as ‘aid for Greece.’”

On August 20, Germany’s mass tabloid Bild Online blasted Angela Merkel, stating that she behaved cowardly throughout the parliamentary debate and that she immediately took off afterwards to fly to Brazil. Bild, a conservative paper, is furious with the German government, and Bild is a very interesting mirror of the overwhelming view point of the German population. One wonders what would happen if a charismatic person such as Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump would arise in Germany.

Greece’s Prime Minister Resigns

“Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned on Thursday, hoping to strengthen his hold on power in snap elections after seven months in office in which he fought Greece’s creditors for a better bailout deal but had to cave in.

“Tsipras submitted his resignation to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and asked for the earliest possible election date.

“Government officials said the aim was to hold the election on Sept. 20, with Tsipras seeking to crush a rebellion in his leftist Syriza party and seal public support for the bailout program, Greece’s third since 2010, that he negotiated…

“Faced with a near collapse of the Greek financial system which threatened the country’s future in the euro, Tsipras was forced to accept the creditors’ demands for yet more austerity and economic reform – the very policies he had promised to scrap when he was elected in January…

“His decision deepens political uncertainty on the day Greece began receiving funds under its 86 billion-euro ($96 billion) bailout program, five years after a previous government took the first bailout from the euro zone and IMF.

“But a snap election should allow Tsipras to capitalize on his popularity with voters before the toughest parts of the latest program – including further pension cuts, more value-added tax increases and a ‘solidarity’ tax on incomes – begin to bite. This may allow him to return to power in a stronger position without anti-bailout rebels in Syriza to slow him down…

“Tsipras had long been expected to seek early elections in the autumn. But he was forced to move quickly after nearly a third of Syriza lawmakers refused to back the program in parliament last week, robbing him of his majority…

“Tsipras nevertheless remains popular among his supporters for trying to stand up to the foreign creditors and with the opposition in disarray, he is widely expected to return to power.

“A Metron Analysis poll on July 24 put support for Syriza at 33.6 percent, making it by far the most popular party, but not enough to govern without a coalition partner…”

UK Powerless in Europe

Express wrote on August 20:

“British government votes failed to block a single European Union measure during David Cameron’s first five years in office, new research showed yesterday. It also suggests that although Britain seems to pick its fights by formally objecting in only a relatively few cases, its No has now not stopped a measure put to a vote from going through for at least 19 years.

“The stark statistics were seized on by eurosceptics as evidence of how powerless the UK is in Europe despite the claims by those who argue British influence in Brussels makes it worth our while to stay at the table… In decisive votes where regulations and decisions were being finally adopted between 2010 and this year, the UK voted No 23 times and abstained 18 times, the new research shows. In each case the measure went through anyway, often with potential to cost British taxpayers billions.

“Taking into account votes held at earlier stages of the legislative process, the UK voted or abstained in vain around 70 times in total – although this was still only a small proportion of more than 600 votes taken over the period. In other cases the UK could not vote because it was not part of the policy, for example by not being in the eurozone…

“Anti-Brussels Conservative MP Philip Davies, whose office based its analysis on data from VoteWatch Europe, said: ‘We are always told we need to be in the EU because of the influence it gives us. But these figures show clearly how little influence we have within the EU. Time and time again we have things imposed upon us against our will and there is nothing at all we can do about it. The case for leaving the EU gets stronger every day.’

“Daniel Hannan, a eurosceptic Tory Member of the European Parliament, said: ‘The actual situation is even worse than the headline figures suggest. British officials in Brussels tend to back down gracefully when they think they’re going to lose and find a face-saving way of doing so, such as claiming to have made some amendment that makes the measure acceptable. So the fact we have been actually outvoted as often as we have is just the tip of the iceberg. So much for the idea that we are gaining influence in the EU.’…”

Britons Have Little Trust in Their Government

Express wrote on August 20:

“A majority of Britons don’t believe a vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum will lead to the UK cutting ties with Brussels…

David Cameron has promised the public a say on whether Britain should remain part of the 28-member bloc by the end of 2017 at the latest. But most remain sceptical that a vote for ‘Brexit’ would lead to the UK unshackling from Brussels.

“Four out of ten believe opting to leave the EU would simply result in the Government holding a second referendum, while 10 per cent said the UK would remain a member of the EU even with a decisive vote to leave. Just one in four believe a ‘No’ vote would result in Britain leaving the EU.

“And voters are also sceptical that the Prime Minister would support an exit if he doesn’t secure reforms. Just 22 per cent of British people believe Mr Cameron is trying to get major changes to Britain’s relationship with the EU. While a similar number say the PM is looking to achieve only ‘minor tweaks’ to the existing treaties.

“UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall described the figures as ‘depressing’ and added that they ‘reveal the contempt people feel they are held in by David Cameron and the political elite’. He said: ‘People do not believe that their wishes will be respected. They don’t believe that Cameron is serious in his negotiation strategy, and they certainly do not want a second referendum.’…

“Today’s survey by YouGov found support for Britain to remain a member of the EU stands at 44 per cent, ahead of backing for withdrawal from the union at 37 per cent. But a majority of those aged over 40 would like to see Britain cut ties with the union. It comes as research found thousands of people are in the process of applying for dual nationality amid fears of a breakup of the EU.

“In June, a leaked memo revealed the PM had set himself the ‘firm aim’ of ensuring Britain remained in the European Union. Mr Cameron was accused of embarking on a referendum campaign that focused on the perceived dangers of a British exit. The confidential document said: ‘He believes that people will ultimately vote for the status quo if the alternatives can be made to appear risky’…”

ISIS—a Demonic Movement

The New York Times wrote on August 13:

“In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted. He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her. When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion… ‘He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,’ she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

“The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.

“A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden… Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous… the Islamic State cites specific verses or stories in the Quran or else in the Sunna, the traditions based on the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, to justify their human trafficking, experts say. Scholars of Islamic theology disagree, however, on the proper interpretation of these verses, and on the divisive question of whether Islam actually sanctions slavery…

“Cole Bunzel, a scholar of Islamic theology at Princeton University [points] to the numerous references to the phrase ‘Those your right hand possesses’ in the Quran, which for centuries has been interpreted to mean female slaves. He also points to the corpus of Islamic jurisprudence, which continues into the modern era and which he says includes detailed rules for the treatment of slaves. ‘There is a great deal of scripture that sanctions slavery,’ said Mr. Bunzel, the author of a research paper published by the Brookings Institution on the ideology of the Islamic State. ‘You can argue that it is no longer relevant and has fallen into abeyance. ISIS would argue that these institutions need to be revived, because that is what the Prophet and his companions did.’…

“The use of sex slavery by the Islamic State initially surprised even the group’s most ardent supporters, many of whom sparred with journalists online after the first reports of systematic rape… In a pamphlet published online in December, the Research and Fatwa Department of the Islamic State detailed best practices, including explaining that slaves belong to the estate of the fighter who bought them and therefore can be willed to another man and disposed of just like any other property after his death. Recent escapees describe an intricate bureaucracy surrounding their captivity, with their status as a slave registered in a contract. When their owner would sell them to another buyer, a new contract would be drafted, like transferring a property deed. At the same time, slaves can also be set free, and fighters are promised a heavenly reward for doing so…

“The Islamic State recently made it clear that sex with Christian and Jewish women captured in battle is also permissible, according to a new 34-page manual issued this summer by the terror group’s Research and Fatwa Department. Just about the only prohibition is having sex with a pregnant slave… Beyond that, there appears to be no bounds to what is sexually permissible. Child rape is explicitly condoned…”

 ISIS has become one the most demonically influenced movements known to mankind in recent years. But make no mistake. God is not mocked, and ISIS fighters and supporters will pay a severe price for their abominable crimes and for following their Satanic practices. Also, the article above claimed that only Yazidis were raped and kept as sex slaves [We omitted those statements in our quotes from the article above, since they are patently false,  as the next article proves.]

Breitbart reported on August 14:

“ABC News is reporting that Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi repeatedly raped American hostage Kayla Mueller while she was under ISIS control. The terrorist group murdered the young woman earlier this year… From ABC News: ‘Al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi who calls himself “Caliph” as ruler of the Islamic State, personally brought the enslaved 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, to be imprisoned inside the home of Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian in charge of oil and gas revenue for the group, counter-terrorism officials have told ABC News over the past several months…’

“In February, The Daily Beast reported that President Obama waited almost a month after British intelligence told him the location of American hostages to launch a rescue mission. Obama received the reports in June 2014, but by the time he acted on July 4, ISIS already moved the hostages, which included Mueller, James Foley, and Steven Sotloff, to another location. ISIS executed Foley and Sotloff in August and September.”

The following article about the horrible ISIS murderers is perhaps the most shocking of all, so please BE WARNED.

 Express reported on August 20:

“Savage Islamic State terrorists are reportedly selling off the organs of their sex slaves to fund the regime. A new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute – which monitors ISIS online – claims militants are openly discussing slavery on social media. It says that the terrorists are discussing prices for the women – some of whom are yet to reach their teenage years. The shocking messages also apparently reveal a horrific trade in the ‘possible trafficking in human organs’.

“Earlier this year dozens of bodies were discovered with surgical incisions as well as missing kidneys and other vital organs, according to the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations Mohamed Alhakim. The corpses were found piled up in shallow, mass graves in February.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses Accused of Massive Sexual Child Abuse Cover-Up in Australia

The Washington Post reported on August 14:

“The abuse was meticulously catalogued. From 1950 to 2014, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society amassed 5,000 files detailing sexual abuse of Australian children by 1,006 of its members, who believe that only they — the Jehovah’s Witnesses — proclaim the truth about God.  Young girls were assaulted by neighbors. Teenagers were raped by their fathers. Victims were forced to pray with their abusers…

“In all, 127 church officials were demoted. No one was reported to the authorities. Child abuse was recorded and hidden away. Now, sordid details from the closed world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are being exposed that could severely tarnish the image of a powerful organization that has 8.2 million members and has mostly avoided scrutiny.

“Two years ago, the Australian government established a royal commission — similar to a presidential commission in the United States — to investigate institutionalized child sexual abuse… The inquiry’s primary target was the Catholic Church, whose record of protecting pedophiles was almost as rampant in Australia as in the United States. To avoid singling out one religion, government officials gave the inquiry wide legal powers to examine any organization that may have covered up abuse…

“Of the religious and ­nonreligious groups being investigated, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are exceptional, experts say. In a converted office in downtown Sydney, the organization’s doctrines and practices are being parsed by lawyers, victims and journalists, providing rare insight into one of the Christian world’s most conservative churches.

“The church, which was founded in Pennsylvania during the 1870s to promote a 1st-century interpretation of the Bible, has emerged as the least able or willing to deal with sexual abuse within its ranks, said Anne Cossins, an associate law professor at the University of New South Wales and an expert in sex crimes who is a consultant for the inquiry…

“Unlike the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have no paid clergy. Abusers are mostly regular congregants, who are shielded from official prosecution by the church’s strict code of moral conduct…

“In 1988, a 17-year-old girl in the state of Queensland was abused by her father, a prominent member of the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation, while her mother and six brothers and sisters were on vacation, according to testimony given to the commission. He gave her alcohol and showed her pornographic movies… While she was being raped, her father quoted passages from the Bible and referred to verses of Scripture about being more obedient… After the rest of the family returned from vacation, the father prohibited her from speaking to anybody he thought she might confide in. ‘If I broke his rules, he flogged me,’ she said. When the teenager revealed the assaults to her mother, she learned that several of her sisters had gone through similar ordeals, including one who was 5 years old.

“The church has strict rules governing moral behavior. If a Jehovah’s Witness becomes aware that another member has committed a serious sin — such as ‘fornication, adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy, apostasy, adultery and similar gross sins,’ according to the commission — they are advised to tell senior men in their congregation known as elders. The process for handling these complaints is based on notions of justice and procedural fairness devised 2,000 years ago and recorded in the Bible.

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses set a high bar for the discipline of their own. Church elders need to secure a confession or the testimony of two credible witnesses to the same incident, two witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind, or strong circumstantial evidence testified to by at least two witnesses. The accuser also has to justify his or her allegations to church elders, often in the presence of the alleged perpetrator.

“Church officials acknowledge the process can be difficult for victims but say they have no choice but to follow the Bible… Those found guilty are often banned from the church for a number of years, or they are demoted in the church hierarchy.

“When the 17-year-old complained to church elders of being raped, two of her father’s friends carried out the investigation… She later filed a police report, left the church and tried to commit suicide. Her father was expelled from the church, convicted of rape and sentenced to three years in jail.

“Four years after the abuse, he was allowed to become a Jehovah’s Witness again. ‘I remember that when it was announced to the congregation, all of the brothers crowded around my father, shaking his hand and patting him on the back,’ his daughter told the inquiry, referring to male members of the church. ‘Despite many people in the congregation knowing what he had done to me and my sisters, I heard members of the congregation say, “‘Welcome back.’”’”

When a religious group mixes truth and error, by using some biblical injunctions together with human-devised wrong ideas, such horrible consequences as described in the article above are predictable and not unusual.

Cheating on Your Mate

Newsmax reported on August 19:

“Some 15,000 employees of the U.S. federal government were reportedly among the 32 million cheating spouses exposed in a hack of [an] online adultery site…  Names, ages, addresses, phone numbers, credit card details and detailed sexual fantasies have been leaked in the hack of a controversial seduction site — and the data included email addresses for U.S. government officials, United Kingdom civil servants and high-level executives at European and North America corporations…

“The Daily Mail reports that  15,000 users have been found to be registered under .gov and .mil email addresses – the official domain names of the American military and government. The website has long boasted that 59,000 Washington residents are members of the infidelity site, and that the district had the highest number of registrations across America for the last three years, the Daily Mail reports.”

Shocking: Most Catholics for Same-Sex Marriage

The Local wrote on August 20:

“A study carried out by a Münster University research group questioned around 12,400 Catholics in 42 different countries…

“Over two-thirds – 70 percent – of Catholics surveyed in Germany wanted same-sex marriages to be recognized and blessed by the church… This puts Germany in stark contrast with Poland, southern Europe and Brazil, where the majority of those surveyed were against homosexual marriage…

“Eighty-five per cent of those surveyed thought priests should choose whether or not to remain celibate. This figure was similar in most other countries, excluding Poland and southern Europe. Even among those Catholics who were fundamentally in favour of celibacy, a quarter thought priests should have the choice whether or not to follow this lifestyle.

“The vast majority of Catholics in Germany were also in favour of female deacons, with 87 per cent stating that women should be allowed to take on this role. In the Catholic Church, deacons assist bishops, and have numerous roles including teaching and distribution of food. But the role is still not equivalent to that of a priest…

“Only around 10 percent of the 7,900 Catholics surveyed in Germany thought divorcees who remarried should be excluded from communion – a subject currently under debate in the Vatican. Catholic teaching states that divorcees who remarry without having had their first marriage annulled are living in sin, making them ineligible for communion.

“However, Pope Francis has begun a high-level debate about whether this can be altered – and in December last year, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference announced that German bishops were in favour of allowing remarried divorcees to receive communion under certain conditions…

“Almost 80 per cent of those interviewed in Germany said they attend church more than once a month…”

Robots Appear Human-Like

The website of wired.co.uk published the following article on August 14:

“Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori devised the concept of the ‘uncanny valley’ in 1970. It’s the point at which a robot is made to appear so human-like — if not quite human enough — that it inspires feelings of uneasiness and revulsion in we mere mortals… But as androids are being developed to be more and more lifelike, copying human gestures, body language and even speech, our simultaneous fascination/horror at the world of uncannily human-like robotics shows no signs of slowing down…

“Created by Uncanny Valley robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, Erica android is one of the most unnervingly human yet created. Not only can she speak and move, but she can also mimic human body language with disconcertingly accurate facility. Smiling, blinking, grimacing, turning her head as she speaks — you could easily be forgiven for mistaking her for a sentient mortal… But, of course, the very fact that Erica falls short of being entirely convincing is what makes her all the more strange… But it might not be too long before Erica and her mechanical brethren make an appearance a little closer to home…

“Designed and built by Hanson Robotics, Inc., Jules is a conversational character robot with a gleamingly bald head and the stilted voice of an English gentleman. A sophisticated AI creation, he’s made from a pliable, lightweight material called Frubber, which enables him to expressively move his face just like a real human. Jules can also boast of having a ‘statistically perfect face’ — which not many of us mere mortals can lay claim to. He’s also capable of having a ‘natural, interactive’ conversation if you’re so inclined. And Jules isn’t alone. Creator David Hanson has modelled an entire family of humanoids, including Alice, Han and — in honour of the great physicist himself – the Albert Einstein Hubo…

“Kurokawa was created by robotics firm Kokoro and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) as a ‘brother’ for their original — if not quite as ‘humanly’ named — Actroid-F. These super-realistic humanoid siblings are able to have a conversation with each other, and use their range of 12 facial expressions to indicate their reactions to the world around them. They can also imitate the movements of the people they’re watching. After being successfully trialled in hospitals to see how patients felt in their presence… AIST plans to employ the robots in other socially useful ways, including talking to elderly people to help prevent mental decline, and interacting with children who have developmental problems…

“Perhaps it was inevitable that the ultimate in unsettling humanoids would be an AI recreation of maverick sci-fi visionary Philip K. Dick. A dead ringer for the late, great novelist himself… you can watch him muse on everything from Cartesian philosophy to how he picks up new words…”

The question is: Where does it lead, and where does it end? One can be assured that the militaries of this world are eager to get their hands on these androids (if they have not already done so), to advance their further developments into fighting “machines.”

“Possible Home of Mary Magdalene Unearthed in Israel”

Newsmax wrote on August 18:

“Father Juan Solana purchased land in northern Israel to build a Christian retreat center six years ago. By law, he was required to perform test excavations, and soon discovered a first-century synagogue underneath the dirt… According to scripture, Jesus was said to have preached in the synagogues of the Galilee region. The recently unearthed synagogue is the only one in the area that would have existed during Jesus’ lifetime, so it’s very likely that he preached there.  ‘She lived here and she met Jesus here and she continued with Him. Yes, it’s that place,’ [said] senior Israeli archaeologist Arfan Najar, who oversees the excavation at Magdala. ‘This is the closest synagogue to Capernaum where He lived. So it was likely He was here many times,’ added Solana.

“So far, archeologists have uncovered mosaic flooring, frescos, pottery, and coins. Their biggest find, however, is the Magdala Stone… In speaking about the carved platform, Solana explained, ‘This is the first time ever a menorah carved in stone has been found out of Jerusalem.’ Additionally, archeologists have uncovered the town’s purification baths and a bowl that was likely for the washing of hands before citizens entered the synagogue. The bowl is over 2,000 years old, and Jesus himself may have washed his hands there.”

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What is Your Belief Regarding the “Assumption of Mary”?

Let us first of all explain the Roman Catholic or Greek (Eastern) Orthodox teaching of the “Assumption of Mary.”

Quoting from christianity.about.com, we are told the following:

“The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her BODILY assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time…

“The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means ‘the falling asleep.’ The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled ‘The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God’…

“On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared… that it is a dogma of the Church ‘that the Immaculate Mother of God, the EVER Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed BODY and SOUL into heavenly glory.’ As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics; anyone who publicly dissents from the dogma, Pope Pius declared, ‘has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.’…

“The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Holy Day of Obligation. However, when it falls on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated…

“The earliest Latin versions of the story of the Assumption, written a couple of centuries later [than the above-quoted writing from the 4th century], differ in certain details but agree that Mary died, and Christ received her SOUL; that the apostles entombed her body; and that Mary’s BODY was taken up into Heaven from the tomb… none of these documents bear the weight of Scripture… Unlike the Prophet Elijah, who was caught up by a fiery chariot and taken up into Heaven while still alive, the Virgin Mary (according to these traditions) died naturally, and then her SOUL was reunited with her BODY at the Assumption…

“Pope Pius XII, in… his… declaration of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary, cites ancient liturgical texts from both East and West, as well as the writings of the Church Fathers, all indicating that the Blessed Virgin had died before her body was assumed into Heaven. Pius echoes this tradition in his own words… This dogma states… that Mary was glorified in heaven and is ‘exalted by the Lord as QUEEN over all things.’ The Assumption of Mary doctrine is based solely on church tradition. The Bible does not record Mary’s death.”

An article on the Austrian website, news.at, dated August 16, 2015, explains that the “Assumption” is celebrated annually on August 15. It states: “The Catholic Church observes with the Feast ‘Mariae Himmelfahrt’ the bodily acceptance of Mary, the Mother of God (“Gottesmutter Maria”) immediately after her death. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared the dogma of the ‘wholly human acceptance’ (‘ganzmenschliche Aufnahme’) of Mary into Heaven.”

The article also points out that the Feast of the Assumption is associated with the belief that Mary’s grave did not contain the remains of Mary, but that flowers and herbs were found there, and that therefore a celebration of herbs occurs on that feast day, consisting of seven herbs which are believed to symbolize Mary’s  alleged “seven dolors” or “sorrows” (another Catholic belief which has really no basis in Scripture).  These herbs are believed to grant protection against sickness and lightning. It is also believed that plants which grow within 30 days following the Feast of the Assumption are especially useful for physical healing.

Viewing these teachings from a biblical perspective, we have to point out the following:

Apart from the unbiblical superstition of magical plants and herbs, neither Elijah nor Enoch went to heaven. They died and are still dead. Jesus Christ clearly declared in John 3:13: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man…” For more information, please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

Mary did not ascend to heaven either. She died and is still dead and in her grave. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 50-54 and in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that all those who died in Christ will be resurrected at the time of Christ’s return–not before then. Apart from Christ Himself, none of those who died prior to Christ’s return have inherited the promise of eternal life (Hebrews 11:13, 39-40). The Bible speaks of the first resurrection of the saints at the time of Christ’s return (Revelation 20:4-6).

Mary is not presently in heaven, ruling as a Queen. However, the belief in a heavenly queen is derived from paganism. Ancient Israelites and Jews believed in and worshipped a queen of heaven, but this religious practice was sternly condemned by God (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:15-27). For more information, please read our Q&A on the design of the European flag.

The concept that those who died in Christ will be resurrected “bodily” and go to heaven, that is, with a physical body, is erroneous. We discussed this false idea in several Q&As about the “first resurrection”  and the “resurrection of a physical body”. They will be resurrected with a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44), and they will be ruling on the earth (Revelation 5:10). In addition, the resurrection is not a combination of body and soul. Humans do not have an immortal soul–this is another pagan concept. Rather, the human soul IS the person, and when the person dies, the soul dies. It does not continue to live at the time of a human being’s death. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?” 

Finally, the concept that Mary was a perpetual Virgin is equally wrong. Mary did have children after the birth of Jesus. Further, she was not the “Mother of God.” Rather, she was the mother of the human being Jesus Christ who had become a man, having set aside or emptied Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-7). He had been God, but He became flesh (John 1:1-2, 14). For more information, please read our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery.” 

As we can see, the concept of the Assumption of Mary is in total contradiction to biblical teaching. Catholics are not allowed to dissent from this dogma, but the Bible tells us that we must not believe it. It has been adopted from pagan worship concepts, and the Bible forbids us from incorporating those into our true worship of God (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

As the website of timeanddate.com points out:

“This holiday, which has been celebrated since the fourth century CE, is a Christianization of an earlier harvest festival and, in many parts of Europe, is known as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest. For centuries celebrations were held in the honor of the goddess Isis of the Sea, who was born on this day according to mythology. With the coming of Christianity church leaders decided that the easiest way to handle this pagan ritual was to simply change it into a Christian holiday, hence the introduction of Assumption Day came forth.”

The connection between the concept of a pagan harvest festival and the idea of “magical” herbs and plants at the time of “Mary’s Assumption” is unmistakable.

The website of Florentine.net added:

“… the August holidays in Italy, culminating on the 15th with Ferragosto, are rooted in tradition as old as the Roman Empire itself. Ferragosto is an Italian contraction of the Latin feriae augusti: literally, ‘Augustus’s holiday.’ Proclaimed by Augustus (Julius Caesar’s nephew and heir, and the first Roman Emperor), the feriae augusti were originally a full month of continuous celebration later reduced to a single day in early, and subsequently mid, August… Romans feasted and honoured diverse gods and goddesses, typically those associated with the harvest and the changing of seasons. For Roman women, the feriae augusti meant a time to worship the goddesses relevant to their own interests, deities such as Diana, the protectoress of youth and a goddess of childbirth… Thus, in addition to its status as public holiday, in time Ferragosto also became associated with principally ‘female’ matters — fertility, maternity, and children.

“Such correlations help to explain how a pagan harvest festival, one already strongly linked to sacred female figures, evolved into a feast day for the Catholic Church’s most revered female figure, the Virgin Mary. For… August 15th is also the Feast of the Assumption… One of the Church’s basic Marian dogmas, the Assumption refers to the moment Mary was taken up, or ‘assumed,’ directly into heaven… Proclaimed official dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950, it was assigned to August 15th on the liturgical calendar — and not by coincidence…

“That the Catholic Church co-opted Ferragosto as it had done with other pagan festivals seems little disputed. History is full of shifts of this kind. Throughout the whole of Europe, firmly-rooted pagan traditions never really died out, but were absorbed rather into an ever-expanding Christian world. Many Christian saints, including Mary, came to bear symbolic resemblance to prior religious figures; and even the most desultory look at the roots of Christmas and Easter quickly reveals a strong connection to ancient pagan antecedents.

“From her Greek and Roman predecessors, Mary inherited strong associations with fertility, purity, and maternal strength: Mary’s triumph over death, for instance, recalls the symbology of Ceres, who, as the goddess of corn, died each year come harvest time, but every spring was re-sowed, reborn; the flowers said to have bloomed spontaneously at Mary’s tomb (usually roses or lilies) as angels conveyed her to heaven, parallel the grain, corn husks, and other harvest flora that for ages had been associated of her forerunners; and, even today, Catholics pray to Mary for guidance and care in childbirth just as pagan women sought the aid of Juno, Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth…”

There can be no doubt that the concept of the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” is not biblical, but pagan to the core, and should not be observed by true Christians who believe in and follow the Word of God.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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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

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