Update 82


David's Writings in the Book of Psalms

Norbert Link will be giving the sermon this Sabbath. He will be discussing David’s writings in the book of Psalms, as they relate to our Christian lives in these present evil times.

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”

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"A Work"


Radio had its Golden Age and then Television had its turn. Now the emerging media of the last 10 years has no doubt been the Internet. Never has there been a time when we can reach so many so easily.

As usual, one of the main topics that we covered at the annual church conference was how we would go about fulfilling the commission of Matthew 28:19-20 which as most, if not all, of you know is “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

In discussing the mediums available for preaching the Gospel to the world, we are moving forward in our effort to utilize the Internet to a greater extent. We will, of course, continue with our other efforts. We are very excited at the myriad of possibilities. As we quickly finish the projects that we are currently undertaking, we plan to delve into several other endeavors.

With a very sucessful conference behind us, a full report will be forthcoming in our next member letter. Also we plan to make some announcements regarding exactly what we will be doing in the near future on the Internet, so stay tuned…

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While the world focuses on Iraq and North Korea, other developments of prophetic significance are taking place elsewhere.

We need to note especially the increasing influence on world affairs of a unified European Union.

On February 21, 2003, Der Spiegel reported that the European Union wrote an “angry letter” to Israel, condemning Israel’s recent military operations against the Palestinians. The magazine commented, “The relationship between Europe and Israel is near the freezing point.”

The Australian reported on February 20 that the European Union “lashed out at Australia’s foreign policy priorities, accusing the Federal Government of being blind to the new political reality emerging in Europe.” The article quoted Europe’s position that “the EU was politically integrated… as a single trading bloc.”

The Washington Post published its opinion on February 21 that “France’s current dispute with the United States is not really about Iraq… The Iraq crisis has provided France an opportunity to create the first coherent challenge to [United States] dominance — and to give France a unique position as leader of that challenge. Last Friday at the Security Council was the high water mark. France stood at the head of an impressive opposition bloc — Germany, Russia, China, perhaps seven other members of the Council and dozens of other smaller countries — challenging American policy and, implicitly, American hegemony…. France is reaching to become not only the leading power in Europe…, but also the leader of a new pole of world power opposite the American ‘hyperpower.'”

Similar sentiments were published in an article of Der Spiegel, dated February 24, titled, “The Kaiser of Europe.” In the article, French ambitions are described to become the leader of Europe, while acting independently from the United States. The magazine pointed out, “Jacques Chirac wants to place Europe under the leadership of France and Germany…. Chirac, the Kaiser of Europe? A triumph over the emperor of the U.S. empire would constitute his coronation.”

The Bible reveals, however, that ultimately Germany, and not France, will lead Europe, but France will, no doubt, play an important role to bring about a unified Europe.

At the same time, the United States is being forced more and more into isolation over the Iraq issue. Imagine the potential consequences for the U.S., if it finds itself in the position of having to pay for most of the costs of the war. The estimated costs are indeed staggering, ranging from 99 billion dollars to 1924 billion dollars (Der Spiegel Online, February 26). In addition, the pope has again reiterated his opposition to war — and with it, his opposition to current U.S. politics. According to Zenit of February 29, the Vatican stated in an address to the Security Council, “In the end, it is conscience that will have the last word, stronger than all strategies, all ideologies and also all religions… War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations.”

Of course, an ardent student of history may recall that the same religious power that now utters words of peace was actively engaged in the past in war and military confrontations. One may wonder whether the leopard has indeed changed its spots. But — the Bible reveals that Europe will be guided, led and supported by a religious power, claiming to represent true Christianity. However, Scriptures describe this power as “a beast coming out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11). This power is also described as a woman “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” (Revelation 17:6). This description does not just apply to past conduct. Revelation 6:11 speaks about a future martyrdom of the saints. Revelation 17:18 identifies the future persecutor as the modern city of Babylon. It states in Revelation 18:24, “And in her [the modern city of Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

As we see a political, military and religious power arising in Europe, we know that the end is near. We need to pray as never before to be counted worthy to escape all these things that will shortly come to pass.

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Q: Is it known why the nature of animals is sometimes very cruel? For instance, the preying mantis begins eating its victims, while still alive, and packs of lions tear their prey, while still alive. Will all wild animals have their nature changed, or will this only happen on God's holy mountain?

A: There is no biblical evidence that God created animals at the beginning with vicious natures. We do find, however, that the nature of animals changed, when they gave in to Satan’s influence.

We read, for example, in Genesis 3:1 that “the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” While Satan is described as a serpent and as a dragon (Revelation 20:2), it appears that Eve was confronted by and spoke to a real serpent in the Genesis account. Satan gave the serpent a voice — as later, God gave a donkey a man’s voice to speak to the false prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:28; 2 Peter 2:16).

We read that the serpent — that is, the animal — was more cunning or more subtle than every other beast of the field. Later, God punished the serpent, stating that it was more cursed than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field (Genesis 3:14). God pronounces punishment on a literal serpent, as well as, of course, on Satan the devil who used the serpent.

Did God create the serpent with a cunning and subtle nature? The Hebrew word for “was,” in Genesis 3:1, is “haya,” which can also mean, “became.” It appears that the serpent — under Satan’s influence and control — had become more subtle and cunning than the other animals. At that point, its nature had changed.

Under the influence of Satan, in due course, the nature of other animals changed, too. In fact, the nature of animals became so evil that God decided to kill them in a flood. We read in Genesis 6:7 that God was sorry that He had made man and beast. Genesis 6:11 tells us that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. Genesis 6:12 adds that all flesh had corrupted their way. This includes the animal world. Genesis 6:13 states that the end of all flesh had come, and that the earth — due to Satan’s influence and control — had become filled with violence through them. Genesis 7:21 states specifically that the term “all flesh” includes at least all of the land animals and birds, as well as man: “And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.”

God destroyed man and beast, just saving a few. Perhaps, God restored the nature of the surviving animals temporarily to its original peaceful ways, while they were in the ark — after God had miraculously directed them to enter the ark.

We see then, that God destroyed the animals in the flood, since they had corrupted their ways. This corruption might have included bestiality. Later, when men and animals engaged in this horrible perversion, they both had to be killed (Leviticus 20:15-16). Also, God demands that an animal be killed that kills a man (Genesis 9:5). In ancient Israel, when an ox killed a person, it had to be stoned, and its flesh was not to be eaten (Exodus 21:28-32). The reason is that the nature of those animals had changed for the worse — it has been proven that animals can become accustomed to, and begin to like, such terrible conduct.

In the Millennium, God will change the wild and cruel nature of animals, as Isaiah 11:6-9, and Isaiah 65:25 tell us. This does not mean, however, that all animals will be “domesticated,” and there will be no more “wild” animals. But those “wild” animals will not live anywhere near humans. We read, though, that “wild” beasts of the field will live where the city of Babylon or Nineveh once stood — while no human will live there (Jeremiah 50:39-40; Jeremiah 51:37; Revelation 18:2; Zephaniah 2:13-15). We also read that “wild” animals will live in the devastated and forsaken region of former Edom (Isaiah 34:5, 11-17; Malachi 1:3).

For more in-depth information on the world of animals, please read our free booklet, “Evolution — A Fairy Tale for Adults?” You might also want to listen to our sermon on “Animals — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

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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

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