Update 807


The Cup of Divinity and Salvation; Walk Worthy

On November 25, 2017, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “The Cup of Divinity and Salvation,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “Walk Worthy.”

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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Finishing the Race           

by Rene Messier (Canada)

One of the best motion pictures I have seen is “Seabiscuit.” It tells the story of a little race horse in the 1930’s. As the owner in the movie put it when asked why his horse kept winning: “The horse is too small, the jockey is too big, the trainer is too old and I am too stupid to know the difference.”

The jockey explained that it was not the size of the horse but it was the heart. Seabiscuit had “a heart” to run, beating all the competition at the time, which was an inspiration for everyone because he was seen as the underdog.

Paul reminds us that we are also in a race. 1 Corinthians 9:24 states: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

Our spiritual goal as true Christians is not to come in first while nobody else gets a prize, but rather, to finish the race and to cross that finish line. But we need to have God’s help in this, and we must never give up or “take a break.”

There is a good lesson in the story about the race between the hare and the turtle (called “Slow and Steady”). The hare knew he could beat the turtle but got distracted. He lost his focus, paused to rest and fell asleep, while the turtle just trudged along at a steady pace. Once the hare woke up and realized that the race was about to be lost, he hurried to the finish line but it was too late—the turtle had already won. After that, as the story goes, the hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!”

There is also an important lesson in the parable with the ten virgins, which is recorded in Matthew 25:1-13:

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

The foolish virgins thought they had enough oil (symbolizing God’s Holy Spirit) to see them through to the appearance of Christ, but because of the delay of the Bridegroom’s coming, they found themselves wanting. They went to get more oil but when they returned, the door of entry into the Kingdom was closed.

We cannot get into a mindset of “My Lord delays His coming” and lose focus, lest we lose out on our potential. As we approach the time of Christ’s Return, things will get harder and we will be tested and tried. There will be at least two types of people in God’s Church at the onset of the Great Tribulation—those who were focused and did what was required of them so that they will be protected at the Place of Safety, and those who lost focus and zeal and who perhaps allowed compromise to creep in; they will need more serious “refining” in the Tribulation so that they may also get their crown and white robes.

The question is, to which group will you belong?

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by Norbert Link

In this special edition, we report on the failure in Germany to form a coalition government, and the options are few, and all of them seem to be bad. A picture of current hopeless confusion has emerged. The future for Angela Merkel has become very uncertain, to say the least. Maybe a drastic change is in the making.

We also speak on the allegations of sexual misconduct by prominent public figures in entertainment and politics; the prospects of a coming space war; the deadly danger of tobacco; the highly questionable and speculative report that allegedly a marijuana overdose might have killed an 11-year-old boy; and an insightful article by Piers Morgan on the radical transgender war.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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Deutsche Welle wrote on November 19:

“Germany’s Free Democrats have called off coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the Greens. FDP head Christian Lindner said that, after weeks of negotiations, the parties could not find a ‘basis of trust.’

“Germany will not be ruled by a so-called Jamaica coalition made up of Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), after talks collapsed late on Sunday night. FDP head Christian Lindner announced that his party had walked out of the negotiations, saying ‘it is better not to govern than to govern badly.’ He added that the parties had failed to agree on a vision of how to modernize Germany…

“[It] remains unclear where this leaves Angela Merkel and her prospects of forming a new government. Her conservatives could choose to enter talks with just the Greens to form a minority government, or she may try to convince the Social Democrats (SPD) to join her to form a second consecutive grand coalition. Should both options fail, fresh elections would have to take place in the new year.”

Bild commented that Christian Lindner has become the villain of the nation.

Coalition Talks Collapsed… What’s Next?

AFP wrote on November 19:

“Merkel can in theory turn to the Social Democratic Party, which has been her junior coalition partner for the past four years. Mathematically, it would also be the most stable option as together, Merkel’s conservative alliance and the SPD have a crushing majority in parliament…

“Merkel can also remain chancellor but lead a minority government, as a candidate is elected to the post by parliamentarians. The Bundestag can be called to vote up to three times. If she wins a majority of the votes, Merkel could remain in office. But the veteran leader herself is not in favour of this high-risk option, saying that she wants a stable government. Such a minority government has also never been tested in post-war Germany…

A return to the polls [i.e., new elections] in early 2018 is the most probable option. Before new elections could be called under Germany’s Basic Law, the Bundestag lower house of parliament would have to be dissolved by the president. Normally the chancellor could trigger this by calling a confidence vote in parliament. But because Merkel is only the head of a caretaker government, she does not have this option.

“To move the process forward, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier could nominate Merkel for election by the Bundestag. If she failed to win an absolute majority, a second vote may be held within 14 days. If this too is inconclusive, a third round would be held in which a plurality of the votes could potentially suffice to keep Merkel in office. Steinmeier would then have one week to decide whether to recognise Merkel as chancellor or dissolve the Bundestag. If he chooses the latter, snap elections must be held within 60 days.”

None of the options are satisfactory, nor do they guarantee a stable government in Germany. It appears the time for dramatic change has come.

Fresh Elections Coming?

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 20:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that she was ready to take her Christian Democratic (CDU) party into fresh elections… 63 percent of respondents said they want fresh elections if a grand coalition (between CDU and SPD) cannot be achieved…

“The German president is normally a largely ceremonial office, but Steinmeier has been thrust into the spotlight after what he characterized as ‘an unprecedented situation in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.’… ‘In view of the results of the September 24 election, we are not available for a grand coalition,’ said SPD chairman and defeated chancellor candidate Martin Schulz in Berlin on Tuesday. Schulz said that the SPD had ‘no fear of fresh elections’ and saw no mandate for another alliance with Merkel’s conservatives…

“In a joint press conference, the leaders of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which took 12.6 percent of the vote on September 24, said that they were happy that Merkel had been unable to forge an alliance… The AfD believes that they will profit if new elections are called… The Left Party also called for a snap election, saying that it was the ‘logical democratic extension’ of the failed coalition talks.”

Pressure on SPD to Enter into Great Coalition with Merkel

AFP wrote on November 22:

“Pressure mounted Wednesday on Germany’s Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz to reconsider an alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and stop Europe’s biggest economy from sinking into months of paralysis…

“President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who holds the power to call snap polls and who is himself a senior Social Democrat, has said that this ‘is the moment when all participants need to reconsider their attitude’. Steinmeier will meet Schulz on Thursday. [They did meet, but nothing was announced as to the outcome of that meeting.]

“The president has already held talks with the leaders of parties in the failed coalition talks – the pro-business FDP – which halted the negotiations – and the ecologist Greens. And he met with the leader of Merkel’s Bavarian allies the CSU on Wednesday.

“As the crisis shows no signs of abating, the Sueddeutsche daily reported that ‘in the SPD, unease is growing over its clear refusal of a grand coalition’. EU Budget Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, also urged the SPD to reexamine its stance… ‘Resistance is growing’ against Schulz, Bild reported, adding that the ‘most prominent secret advocate for a new grand coalition is deputy chancellor Sigmar Gabriel’…

“SPD parliamentary group chief Andrea Nahles said on Monday she would not rule out backing a Merkel-led minority government. The party’s rank and file are also wondering if former European Parliament chief Schulz is the best man to lead them into any new election campaign…”

CDU’s Jens Spahn said it was up to the party (SPD) to decide whether it wanted to govern or “remain maliciously in the corner.” It was reported that Steinmeier will also speak to leaders of the AfD and the Left.

Would New Elections Change Anything?

AFP wrote on November 19:

“Merkel, a veteran leader with experience of countless nights of fraught EU negotiations, knows what is at stake — failure to forge a government essentially puts her chancellorship in peril.

“But fundamental differences between the parties… are unlikely to go away…”

Reuters wrote on November 20:

“Polls suggest a repeat election would return a similarly fragmented parliament [bringing] roughly the same result as the September election…

“The failure of coalition talks… was likened by newsmagazine Der Spiegel to the shock election of U.S. President Donald Trump or Britain’s referendum vote to leave the EU

“Even if the SPD or the FDP revisit their decisions, the price for either party to change its mind could be the departure of Merkel…”

The media had written in the past that if the Jamaica coalition fails, Merkel would have to step down.

German Newspaper Reactions

The Huffington Post wrote on November 20:

“The breakdown has plunged German politics into a deep political crisis… Here’s how German newspapers analyzed the developments:

“‘No trust, only losers,’ Spiegel Online headlined… ‘None of the parties involved strongly signaled they wanted the coalition to succeed. Merkel’s ”trusty old method” failed to work…’

“As the Taz summarized the situation: ‘The morning after: No power for nobody.’

“Bild warned that all parties will feel the ‘rightful anger’ of the voters if they would fail to come to an agreement.’

“The Rheinische Post argued neither new elections, nor the creation of a minority government, would help Germany’s global image. The far-right party Alternative for Germany would exploit the situation, the paper said…

“Finally, many newspapers agree that the current political crisis may be catastrophic for Merkel. ‘The failure of the Jamaica coalition could also sound the bell for the end of Merkel’s career,’ Rheinische Post wrote…”

When people are angry, unexpected reactions might be the result.

Out For Merkel?

Express wrote on November 22:

“Merkel’s worries continue as the latest polls reveal the majority of Germans did not want her to run as a candidate for Chancellor again… 54 per cent said she should not run for office, according to the polling institute Civey for t-online.de. Only 38.5 percent of Germans would welcome a renewed candidacy of the chancellor…

“There was also little comfort for the German leader in another poll published yesterday in Der Spiegel (showing) that support for the coalition between Mrs Merkel’s CDU and the CSU fell below 30 per cent to 29.2 per cent. This is believed to be their lowest ever level…

“There was no joy though either for the main opposition party the Social Democrats (SPD) which also suffered a decline in popularity…

“The inability of Mrs Merkel to secure sufficient support has seen Germany plunged into uncertainty… The situation has resulted in the co-founder of the Greens, Hans-Christian Ströbele, saying he could not envisage the chancellor staying in her role for much longer. In an interview with Swiss website Watson, he said: ‘The end of the chancellorship of Angela Merkel has already been announced by the outcome of the general election…”

“EU ‘Cannot Afford’ Lengthy German Deadlock”

The EUobserver wrote on November 21:

“German chancellor Angela Merkel’s failure to form a coalition government has raised concerns in Europe that the EU’s most powerful country will send the block into paralysis… French president Emmanuel Macron said… the situation was creating ‘real risks’. Dutch foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra said the delay in forming a new German government was ‘bad news for Europe.’… German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that ‘incomprehension and worry would be big in particular in our European neighbours…’

“‘There is a need of leadership at EU level, and the EU cannot have momentum without Germany,” [Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer, from the European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels] told Euobserver… Recent proposals on the EU’s future by Macron and from the European Commission ‘are waiting for an answer from Germany,’ Rittelmeyer noted.

“… if the political deadlock ‘drags on, or even if there is new elections, or even a minority government, it’s a big setback for Europe,’ [Judy Dempsey, from the Carnegie Europe think tank in Berlin] told EUobserver.  She insisted that ‘it would [be] incredibly damaging for Europe if Germany doesn’t come up with a government soon.’…”

Germany knows this too. They will do everything they can to resolve the situation soon. But what will that solution look like?

Sexual Scandals Galore in the USA

The Huffington Post wrote on November 21:

“This is the toxic mentality of Capitol Hill… The byzantine process for making an official complaint shows just who Congress aims to protect:

“To make an official complaint, a sexual harassment victim has to call the Office of Compliance to get a password to fill out an online form. This is an office that, based on a survey by Roll Call in mid-2016, many women working on the Hill didn’t know existed. And victims must register a complaint within a 180 days of when the harassment occurred. Once formal complaints are made, those filing them are forced to get professional counseling for up to 30 days. After counseling, they have 15 days to decide whether they’ll drop the issue or move forward.

“Those moving forward must sign a temporary confidentiality agreement and begin 30 days of mediation. The accused is given a lawyer at taxpayer expense, the accuser has to pay for one. If agreements aren’t reached during mediation, there’s another 30-day ‘cooling-off period’ before complainants can request an administrative hearing or go to federal court. If agreements are reached, the complainants will likely have to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to receive money from a hush fund at taxpayer expense… interns or those working on the Hill through a fellowship are on their own. This process isn’t open to them.

“On Monday night, BuzzFeed News published an explosive report detailing how Congress had come to four separate agreements with staffers over sexual harassment by the longest-serving current House member ― and the top Democrat on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee ― Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

“Spokesmen for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters that neither of their bosses were aware of the settlements that Conyers paid out with tax dollars. The  congressional hush fund has paid out more than $17 million over the last 20 years for employment abuse like sexual harassment. But Conyers, in at least one case, opted to pay an employee out of his staff budget, meaning the total paid out to keep victims of sexual harassment in Congress quiet could be much higher.”

The allegations against John Conyers are just the tip of the iceberg, even though they brought to light the despicable and absolutely abominable “procedure” adopted by Congress to protect the perpetrator and persecute or silence the victim. Others who have been recently accused by many women and men of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, molestation, indecent exposure and other inappropriate sexual behavior, include, just to name a few, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly and three top executives of Disney. Some have admitted guilt, while most have denied any wrongdoing or kept silent.

Further, old allegations against Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct were brought back to the forefront this week, prompting Sean Hannity of the Fox Network to chastise the liberal mass media for suppressing those allegations and protecting the Clintons for many years.

While one is considered to be innocent until proven guilty, the picture of alleged terrible sexual transgressions is not a pleasant one. While President Trump spoke out against Democrat Al Franken, he answered reporters, when he was asked about Roy Moore, that Moore had denied all allegations, seemingly “endorsing” him as the Republican Senate candidate for Alabama. This was considered odd by many, given the allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Trump himself and the condemnation of Moore by many Republicans.

Space War Coming

National Post wrote on November 17:

“The world is at the cusp of a ‘New Space Age.’ Led by dynamic private-sector entrepreneurs pioneering new technologies and pursuing exciting new opportunities, the number of satellites has increased over the past five years by almost 50 per cent…

“While many of the most active ‘New Space’ companies are based in the United States, other countries too are in this amazing race. Space start-ups are booming in India. Singapore and Luxembourg are investing in future space capabilities such as orbital debris removal and space resource extraction. Australia, for the first time, is setting up a national space agency. Canada’s 2017 national budget included $80.9 million in investment over the next five years for space projects, including quantum encryption of communications.

“In the near future, the world is looking at a jump from about 1,500 satellites to tens of thousands, providing services such as low-cost Earth imagery, global Internet connectivity, asteroid mining, and even Moon and Mars exploration.

“… war in space is no longer unthinkable. Indeed, for the past few years, the United States Air Force has been waging a vocal campaign to convince policymakers, Congress, and the public that U.S. satellites are under imminent threat… Thus, the argument goes, the U.S. military must pour resources into preparing to fight in this domain, including building offensive weaponry based on the ground and in space…

“The same advances that are driving commercial and civil interest in new space missions have also enabled improved satellite attack capabilities…  satellites — which have been demonstrated and/or deployed by the United States, Russia, and China — could also be used to disable or destroy an enemy satellite… There may not be ways out of more serious military competition in space… The security of space is now central to human security for providing and improving the welfare of everyone on Earth, and even the planet itself…”

Since man’s creation, there have been wars on earth. Now, it appears that there will soon be wars in space. Wherever man’s influence can be felt, there is war, bloodshed and destruction. Very soon, we will face a man-made global catastrophe unparalleled in history.

Tobacco Company Admits: Our Products KILL People

 Newsmax wrote on November 20:

“Tobacco companies are to begin running TV and newspaper ads proclaiming their products are bad for you — really bad. The new initiative is part of a settlement between big tobacco and the Justice [Department] which found cigarette companies had violated racketeering laws and lied for decades about the dangers of smoking… one of the statements the ads must use is: ‘More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined.’

“Other pitches will read: ‘Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in adults who do not smoke,’ and tobacco companies will admit they ‘intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive.’

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, annually killing 480,000 people and costing $170 billion in healthcare expenses, the Daily News says.”

Knowing this, why do people smoke and selfishly destroy the health of those exposed to second-hand smoke? Are they on a suicide mission? Have they lost all love and decency for the welfare of themselves, and others? Do they not understand that they will have to pay dearly for their ungodly conduct… either in this life or in the next—or, in all likelihood, in both?

Marijuana Overdose Cause for Death of 11-Month-Old Boy?

 9News.com wrote on November 17:

“Two poison control doctors claim to have documented the first known case of death by marijuana overdose, sparking a medical debate over what killed an 11-month-old baby in Colorado two years ago… They claim that damage to the child’s heart muscle, which was listed as the boy’s cause of death, was brought on by ingesting marijuana… The case report makes what amounts to a very bold statement in the scientific world… If correct, the phenomenon… would remain the only time a marijuana overdose is known to have caused a human death. Other doctors are deeply skeptical of the strong language used in the report…

“It’s widely accepted as fact that marijuana overdoses are not fatal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheet on pot says simply that ‘no death from overdose of marijuana has been reported’ and the National Institutes of Health says there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to link THC overdose to fatalities…

“Both published accounts of this case clearly state that the autopsy shows that the 11-month-old boy died of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) which caused the heart to fail. The Nappe/Hoyte published case study takes the diagnosis a step further, theorizing that the myocarditis was caused by cannabis overdose, which then caused the baby boy’s heart to fail… Myocarditis is rare in children, and can often be fatal when diagnosed. In children, fatal myocarditis is usually caused by a virus called Coxsackievirus. The authors of the case report say that virus was ruled out in this case. Myocarditis has a long list of other known causes, mostly from infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites…

“9NEWS spoke to multiple ER doctors and medical researchers for this story. Many praised the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center as a top-tier institution for researching the issue, but none accepted this case as bulletproof evidence of a marijuana overdose death, though some were more open to the idea than others…Hoyte and Nappe wrote that the boy ate an ‘unknown dose of THC,’ and tell 9NEWS they aren’t sure exactly what product was involved or precisely when he ate it…

“Doctors on both sides of the debate agree on what parents should learn from this case. It’s the same advice they’ve given since marijuana first became legal in Colorado: keep it away from kids… Colorado has taken recent steps aimed at preventing accidental ingestion by children. In the years since legalization, the state has imposed new restrictions on the potency and design of edible marijuana products. New rules that took effect last month ban edibles that resemble existing non-marijuana candies and also bans shaping edibles in the form of people, animals, or fruit.

“Dr. Hoyte was careful to point out that even though he does believe THC led to this death, there are plenty of more harmful substances parents also need to worry about… Even if Hoyte and Nappe’s determination is confirmed, it’s worth noting that we would have more confirmed deaths from swallowed laundry and dish detergent pods than from marijuana…”

These kinds of sensational claims by two doctors help no one. One cannot approach a serious subject by disseminating false and wild speculations. We clearly reject the use of “recreational” marijuana, but it is politically objectionable, indefensible and highly offensive conduct by the Federal Government to continue to declare as a “crime” the use of medically prescribed marijuana for suffering patients in appropriate cases. Reports like the ones quoted herein only play into the hands of those who want to continue to support the pharmaceutical industry and the poisonous and dangerous substances (called “medications”) which they prescribe and market.

The Radical Transgender War

On November 22, the Daily Mail published the following article by Piers Morgan:

“Natasha Devon advised that teachers should no longer refer to female students as ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’, or to male students as ‘boys’… I’ve never heard such utter garbage in my entire life, and given I judged talent shows for six years that is a very high bar of garbage.

“Speaking as a father of four children – three boys and a girl – I’ll tell you what I think might just cause young kids more anxiety than being called ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ – and that is telling them they CAN’T be called ‘boys’ and ‘girls’.

“The simple reason is they were born boys and girls. Yes, they were all handed to their proud parents at birth with the words ‘Congratulations, you have a little boy’ or ‘Congratulations, you have a little girl.’ Not, ‘Congratulations, you have a non-binary, gender fluid creature of indeterminate sexuality.’

“These children will have spent years happily being boys and girls, and for the vast majority of them that’s exactly how they wish to remain. To banish these descriptive terms now is… the first step to banishing gender altogether, thus disrupting and destroying one of society’s strongest and until now, least contentious norms: i.e. that we’re all either male or female.

“I suspect the real reason for Natasha Devon’s speech can be found buried away as almost an afterthought. She said she was also advising the abandonment of the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ to protect the feelings of transgender children

“This new gender war is being driven by the radical transgender community, which – like radical feminism to non-radical feminism – is a very different, far more aggressive, loud and extreme group to the non-radical transgender community… their campaign has been undeniably successful. That’s why Facebook currently provides over 70 different gender ‘options’, from ‘two-spirit person’ to ‘neutrois’ and ‘transmasculine’. One is simply: ‘neither’…

“I do care when massive pressure is applied on the rest of us to stop using words like ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ because it may offend the gender fluid brigade. I also care that kids as young as five are being encouraged to embark on a journey to change their gender and/or sex before they even really know what either of things even mean. Anyone who’s had children knows they go through all kinds of confusing emotional turmoil before, during and after puberty. Why add to that confusion by making them think that ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ are offensive terms?…

“Some schools have begun eliminating gender distinction in their sports programmes, so any boy who feels he’s a girl can play on the girls’ team… Other schools now allow boys who identify as girls… to use the female bathrooms

“Companies are being bullied and harangued into converting to non-gender-specific merchandise lest they get branded ‘trans bigots’ on social media. We see it in our high street stores and on our TV commercials. The problem gets even more acute when we consider sexual offenders in prison. Already, we are getting cases of male rapists identifying as female so they can switch to female prisons. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why they may want to do that…

“What does the word ‘gender‘ even mean? Well, check any dictionary and it will provide a simple answer—something like this: ‘The state of being male or female.’ Therefore we are all either boys or girls, men or women…”

Amen to that.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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Is There Any Scriptural Proof That God Is Identical With the Kingdom of God?

To answer this important question, we need to focus on several biblical revelations.

  • First, we need to understand that God IS a Family.

Jesus Christ—the Word or Logos or Son of God—was “WITH” God (Greek: theos) since all eternity, and He also “WAS” God (Greek: theos) (John 1:1-2). That means there were two God beings—Christ, the “Word of God” (Revelation 19:13) and God the FATHER.

Christ was clearly God before He came to this earth! Paul explains in 1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD was manifest in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”

Philippians 2:5–7 reads: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of GOD, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, TAKING THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT, and coming IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN.”

The Bible is also very clear that Christ IS God now! Notice Titus 2:11–14: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

The word “God” is a NAME that can refer to both the Father and the Son. It is, in fact, a FAMILY name. Ephesians 3:14–15 confirms this truth, telling us that it is “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole FAMILY in heaven and earth is NAMED.”

Note, too, how the New International Version renders Hebrews 2:11: “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy ARE of the same FAMILY.”

In addition, the German Menge Bible includes in the annotation to Ephesians 2:19 that the term “household of God” means “members of the FAMILY of God” (in German, “Mitglieder der Gottesfamilie”).

In the Hebrew, the word for “God” is many times Elohim, but it is a word with plural meaning. That is the reason why we read that God (Elohim) said in Genesis 1:26: “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” And God also said in Genesis 3:22: “Behold the man has become like one of US, to know good and evil…”

The word Elohim or “God” can refer to either one of the two beings in the God-Family. When in Genesis 1:26, God or Elohim says, “Let US make man in OUR image,” one God being speaks to the other God being, referring to both of them as “Us.” And we know from the New Testament that God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (compare Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:1-2; Colossians 1:16).

It was Christ, then, who did the actual work of creating man, and He created man in His image. Christ is also the image of the Father (compare 2 Corinthians 4:3–4 and Colossians 1:15). Therefore, when Christ created man in His image, He also created man in the image of the Father. God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son look the same. Man, then, was created in the image of GOD—in the image of both God the Father and God the Son.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 reads, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth.” In the original Hebrew, the word for “Creator” is in the plural, which should be translated as “Creators.” Both the Father and the Son are Creators. God the Father created everything, including man, through Jesus Christ. We find a similar statement in Job 35:10, “But no one says, Where is God my Maker…?” In the original, it says, “Where is God my Makers?…”

Jesus Christ was the “I am”– the Eternal or Ever-living One. HE was the God of the Old Testament, dealing directly with the people, speaking to them and even manifesting Himself to them. It had to be Christ who did this, because He Himself said that no one has ever seen the form of “God” (the Father) or heard the voice of “God” (the Father). (compareJohn 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; 1 John 4:12).

The Jews thought that they worshipped the Father, erroneously thinking that He was the God of the Old Testament. That is why we read that Christ came to REVEAL the Father to them (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22). The Jews thought they knew the Father, not realizing that the God of the Old Testament was Jesus Christ—not God the Father.

Much more about the nature of the God FAMILY can be found in many of our free booklets, including God Is a Family; The Gospel of the Kingdom of God; and The Book of Zechariah—Prophecies for Today.

We also explain therein that God the Father was always the Father and that Jesus Christ was always the Son of God—showing that God was ALWAYS a Family, as the terms “Father” and “Son” signify at one time, the Church implied erroneously [and some still teach this misleading concept today] that God BECAME the Father and Jesus Christ BECAME the Son when Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb through the power of the Father’s Holy Spirit. This mistake or lack of clarification was because no distinction was made between Christ as the Son of God and Christ as the Son of Man. Christ was ALWAYS the Son of God, but when He became a human being in Mary’s womb, He BECAME the Son of Man. At that point, God the Father—the Father of Christ as the Son of God—became the Father of Christ as the Son of MAN.

  • It is the potential of man to become God—to be IN the God FAMILY.

Man was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) to ultimately become God (1 Corinthians 15:49). The book of Psalms speaks of men as (potential) gods. Psalm 82:6 reads: “I said, ‘You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.’” Jesus used this passage to prove that He was the Son of God (John 10:31-39). We read in Psalms 17:15 that David was looking forward to the time, when God would resurrect him from the dead and when he would “awake in Your likeness.” We also read that in the future, men will come to worship true (glorified) Christians (Revelation 3:9). No man nor powerful angels, but only God is worthy of worship (Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9).

True converted Christians are already part of the God Family. They are not yet glorified and born again, but they have been begotten into the Family of God. They ARE already the children of God (1 John 3:1-2), and they will be LIKE or by nature EQUAL WITH God and Jesus Christ, when they will be born into the God Family at the time of Christ’s return. They will be fully Spirit, fully God—no more flesh and blood (Romans 8:19-30).

Jesus Christ is the FIRSTBORN among many brethren, to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29).The Bible tells us that those who are called today to salvation and remain faithful, will be what Christ is today. We will be like Him, as He is. We will share the Father’s and Christ’s very divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Romans 8:32 also clarifies this point: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

“All things” means exactly that—it includes God’s nature and glory (Romans 5:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:14); and it includes rule over the entire universe AND the unending future of God’s Kingdom. Man is to become a “joint heir” with Christ in “all things.”

We will become members of the God Family—God beings. We will be “like Christ”—sons and daughters of God, with Christ being our elder brother.

That is what it says in Ephesians 3:19. Paul wants us “to be filled”—ultimately—“with all the fullness of God.” What does this mean? It means that we will be glorified God beings (compare John 17:5; 22).

  • We will be IN the Kingdom of God.

When we will enter and become part of the God Family, as born-again Christians; that is, when will be IN the God Family, then we will also be IN the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:50-54 tells us that we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, as long as we are flesh and blood. We must be changed to incorruptibility and immortality to be in God’s Kingdom.

John 3:3, 5-8 explains that we must be born again to be able to “see” and “enter” the Kingdom of God. We must BE BORN of the Spirit and BE Spirit in order to be in God’s Kingdom. Then, man cannot see us anymore (unless we materialize ourselves), as one cannot see the wind, even though one can most certainly hear the sound of the wind and notice it effects. When we make ourselves visible, we will appear as shining as the sun IN God’s Kingdom (Matthew 13:43).

It is our destiny to receive entrance into the “everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11), as Christ is God, and so the Kingdom of God the Father is also the Kingdom of Christ (Matthew 26:29; Ephesians 5:5)—both are members of the Family of God.

  • The God Family IS the Kingdom of God.

Since God is a Family; since we are going to be part of and IN the God Family; and since we are going to be part of and IN the Kingdom of God, it logically follows that God must BE the Kingdom of God.

This conclusion is clearly taught in Scripture.

Christ is the KING of the Kingdom (under God the Father), and the terms King and Kingdom are often used interchangeably in the Bible (compare Daniel 2:37-39, where Nebuchadnezzar, the first king in the statue, is identified with his kingdom).

Christ, the King (John 18:37), rules in and over the Kingdom of God but not this world which is now ruled by Satan the devil (John 18:36). Christ, being part of God’s Kingdom, is and rules under God the Father who is the HIGHEST in the Godhead (John 14:28; Ephesians 1:17; Luke 1:32; 1 Corinthians 11:3).

In Matthew 12:25-26, Christ answered the evil and malicious accusation of the Pharisees claiming that He was casting out demons with the power of Satan, by identifying Satan (the ruler over the demonic realm) with his demonic kingdom (as Satan is the head of his kingdom; being part of it), saying this:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation… If Satan casts out Satan… how will his kingdom stand?”

Clearer still in Mark 3:23-24: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom (Satan) is divided against itself (Satan), that kingdom cannot stand.”

As a human king rules in and over his kingdom and is part of that kingdom; and as Satan rules in and over his demonic kingdom and is part of it; so God rulesin and over His Kingdom and is part of it. In other words, God beings constitute or are the Kingdom of God, ruling over creation.

In Herbert Armstrong’s booklet, Your Awesome Future, the following was stated very succinctly on page 15:

“… the kingdom of God will be dual:

  • A GOVERNMENT. A government—or kingdom—is compared to four things: (a) a KING, ruling over (b) people, subjects or citizens within (c) a definite jurisdiction of territory, with (d) laws and an organized system of administering them.
  • A FAMILY (as the kingdom of Israel was a family of the children of Israel)—in this case the Family of God—a family into which humans may be born, which shall be a GOVERNING or RULING family that shall have jurisdiction over ALL NATIONS—that is, the WHOLE Earth—and later, the entire universe.”

We read earlier that we are to inherit God’s glory. Notice what else we are to inherit: In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, Paul charges the brethren “to walk worthy of God who calls you into His own KINGDOM and glory.”  Not only into His glory—the glory that He has—but also into His Kingdom; that is, the Kingdom of which He is a part of and its Head.

Jesus told His disciples that prior to their death, some of them would “see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1). Six days later, He took Peter, James and John and went with them to a high mountain, where they saw in a vision (Matthew 17:9) that He appeared in a glorified state, together with Elijah and Moses.They saw future events, when the Kingdom of God would rule on earth. Matthew 16:28 explains even more clearly what exactly Christ told the disciples prior to the vision: “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming IN His kingdom.”

Many read over verses like these without catching their full meaning: Christ announced that some disciples would see, in a vision, the Kingdom of God in its power—not just the glorified Christ—but the glorified Christ IN His Kingdom. They would see the Kingdom of God coming and Christ in it as a member of the KINGDOM OF GOD.

The same is expressed in Luke 23:42, where the repentant thief on the cross said: “Lord, remember me when you come INTO Your kingdom.” In other words, when you enter the Kingdom of God as a glorified Being.

It is a mystery to many people as to WHAT the Kingdom of God is (Matthew 13:11).

We are today co-workers for the Kingdom of God (Colossians 4:11); that is, we are co-workers for God—the Kingdom or ruling Family of God—and for His government which will be set up on earth soon.

We are to preach the gospel OF the Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14)—the good news, which comes from God and which includes the message as to what God IS; that Christ will rule soon on earth; and that man can become God by inheriting, entering and becoming a part of the Kingdom or Family of God.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

A new booklet, “God’s Teaching on Sexual Relationships,” written by Brian Gale and Norbert Link, has entered its first review cycle. We anticipate publishing it early next year.

“Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians — How to Understand It,” is the title of a new Talking Points presentation by Pastor Rene Messier, and it is now posted.

“The Authority of the Bible,” is the title of a new Global Trailer presentation by Pastor Brian Gale, and it is now posted.

How to Find the True Church of God,” is a new trailer presented by Michael Link, and it is now posted for viewing.

Our latest French booklet, based on “God’s Commanded Holy Days,” has been posted.

We have begun posting on our German website translated installments of our booklet, “Teach Us to Pray!”

“Das Reich der Gottfamilie!” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Kingdom of the Family of God.”

“Treasures in Heaven,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Why pray? What if I don’t have my prayers answered? Does God really take notice? We all ask ourselves questions like this, but the Bible proves that prayer is vitally important—for us and for the eternal relationship we are building with God!

“Where is Hope?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Mankind is hastening its pace towards complete rejection of God. Without God’s influence, we lose the ability to foster lasting character traits.One of those traits, hope, is disappearing from the mindset of humanity—replaced by despair. Our war against this growing darkness can only be won if we are holding fast to godly traits that aren’t overcome by the influence of Satan.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

©2024 Church of the Eternal God