|Editorial||The Right Decision|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q & A||Why Animal Sacrifices in the Millennium?|
|Matt 28:19-20||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
On March 17, 2012, Rene Messier will give the sermon, titled, “Your Treasure.”
NOTE: Due to our annual conference, there will be no Update next week. We will resume publishing our weekly Updates, commencing on Thursday, March 29, 2012.
The decisions that we are faced with every single day determine whether or not the right or wrong choice is being made. We in the church have to make sure that we decide wisely, especially since we are to set the right example; for we are the few who have been called out of this world (1 Corinthians 1:26-28). As Jesus Christ says in John 15:19, “… Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Let’s think about what this means. The day will come when the WHOLE WORLD will HATE us because of our beliefs. There may be people right now that we don’t get along with, whatever the reason may be, but this pales by comparison with what is to come. Do we become so wrapped up in what other people think about us, that it could cause us to make wrong choices? Satan, who is very cunning, finds ways to get into our heads, causing us to get sidetracked and lose focus on the bigger picture, and as a result, we become blindsided by our faulty decision-making.
To avoid this, we need God for direction (Isaiah 28:29). We do make wrong choices from time to time, but we have God to help us, which is why prayer is crucial in ANY circumstance (Colossians 1:9; Ephesians 6:18).
We are faced with making decisions as the annual church conference is upon us, by focusing on the mission and purpose the church is set out to do (Mark 16:15). Through faith and trust in God, we can be confident the right choices will be made. We bear a certain responsibility in the church, and due to that, we will be faced at times with pressure situations, because we must live as examples by staying true to our faith. Since we do not compromise with our beliefs, as God does not compromise (Malachi 3:6), we have stood up for what is right, and many will come to realize where we stand, based on our convictions. This shows how we are to be good examples; why it is crucial that correct decisions have to be made.
God’s purpose for mankind is the same today, as it was then! Every person on this earth makes choices, every day, whether they will live righteously or not. But there is one critical difference. While the world continues to go its evil way, there is a group of people that God has called out of this world; to come out from the evil ways, and to live their lives based upon His laws, His statutes, and His judgments! Even God had a choice to make, choosing those out of the world for a purpose, for God only called and chose the few (James 1:18).
Yes, God has called you and me at this time, and He has given us His Spirit and His Law. As God did so in ancient times, He has also given us a choice to make: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply…But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish… I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).
He has said to us: "Choose life!" What choices will we make, today? More importantly, will God be pleased with the choices we make? Simply put, do we want to live or die? Do we want to keep God’s commandments, or do we want to break them? To reiterate once again, God has called you and me at this time; He has given us His Spirit and His Law; and He has said to us: "Choose life!"
We begin with an article in Deutsche Welle, describing in almost biblical terms the present state of affairs of the United States—as a frail patient, permanently confined to his sick bed. We continue with alarming reports about alleged forged records pertaining to President Obama, claiming that his Long Form was “likely a digitally created forgery,” and that “the President’s Selective Service Card (Draft Card)… was also a forgery.” The deafening silence of the entire American main stream media on this extremely important issue is appalling, but not that terribly surprising.
We continue reporting on the terrible tragedy of the latest incident in Afghanistan, involving the senseless mass murder of Afghan civilians through an American soldier who might or might not have been mentally disturbed; point out the difference in approach of the American and the German government in regard to the Afghan war; speak of Germany’s desire for a European constitution; raise the issue of a future monarchy in Germany; report on Europe’s “awakening” to the Iranian nuclear threat; address the ambitions of the new EU Parliament Chief Martin Schulz; speak on Russia’s dubious role in world affairs; and focus on the ongoing collision course between the USA and Israel, which is sometimes provoked by seemingly unnecessary conduct of American agencies.
We conclude with two articles about sickening US government approval of “pink slime” for students and of the Pepsi Company’s “use of cells derived from an aborted fetus in flavor-enhancing research.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 12:
“The US is a major player in world politics… But is the superpower still fully capable of acting? In view of the global financial crisis, German experts have their doubts. If the United States were a patient lying in a hospital, worried doctors would knit their brows: the frailty of the inner organs could become chronic and permanently confine the patient to bed. The US administration in Washington faces a similar scenario, according to Josef Braml of the think tank German Council on Foreign Relations… The ongoing financial, economic and energy crises are making life difficult for the superpower, he said.
“The US has become a land of limited possibilities, as the country continues to suffer from a huge mountain of debt, a weak dollar and a growing social divide. ‘The more the tanker USA leans to its side, the more limited the government's ability to manoeuver, domestically and internationally,’ political scientist Braml wrote in his most recent book, ‘The American Patient’. His conclusion: ‘The political powers are blocked because there's nothing left to distribute’…
“A ‘threatened collapse of the US’ Braml describes is anything but good news for the rest of the world. A nation fighting for its economic survival will not necessarily be considerate of others, the author said, predicting fierce protectionism, for example in trade policies. Braml said the US would ‘make the dollar cheap’ in order to garner a competitive edge. ‘Not much longer, and the dollar will no longer be a key currency,’ he said… ‘We Europeans will have to make sure that we can maintain security in our own neighborhood,’ Josef Braml said. ‘America won't support us as much anymore…’”
The description of America being a sick patient is very interesting in light of Isaiah 1:5-6.
On March 7, 2012, the English Pravda published the following article, which was linked on March 11, 2012, by the Drudge Report on March 11, 2012. The author, Dianna Cotter, was described as a “Senior at American Military University, a 4.0 Student, the recipient of the Outstanding Student Essay of 2009, a member of Delta Epsilon Tau and Epsilon Pi Phi Academic Fraternities and [having been placed] on the Dean's and President's Lists for academic achievement. She has published at Examiner.com, in American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, and Family Security Matters.”
The article stated the following:
“A singularly remarkable event has taken place in the United States of America. This event occurred in Arizona on March 1st and was an earth shattering revelation. A long awaited press conference was given by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio… Arpaio asserts that his investigators discovered, during a 6 month long investigation which is ongoing, not only was the ‘Long Form’ likely a digitally created forgery, but the President’s Selective Service Card (Draft Card), allegedly filed in 1980, was also a forgery. These documents are what Barack Hussein Obama relies upon to prove his constitutional eligibility to the office of President of the United States…
“The silence from the main stream media in the US is deafening… the American Press is aggressively protecting the presumed President of the United States, pushing the fraud upon both America and the world, supporting a man who may well have usurped the office… One can easily imagine the reaction of the press had this scenario been about George W. Bush in 2004…
“Years before the 2008 election, Barack Obama was involved in [unsuccessful] efforts to amend the US Constitution to allow those who were born to parents who were not citizens to become President along with those born overseas…
“His father, Barack Obama Sr. was a student from the British Commonwealth of Kenya, a British Citizen who never sought to become a US Citizen, and indeed was eventually forced to leave the country. Mr. Obama has only one parent who was an American Citizen. Obama clearly does not meet the requirements of Natural Born Citizen as defined by the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett.
“The state of Hawaii's role in this cannot be neglected for several reasons… It was well known at the time, that any person could register the birth of a child in the state on a late form with only the signature of a witness… Federal laws with regard to Hawaii had been written to allow a baby receiving state documents to be declared a Citizen of the United States without being subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States… A child born in Hawaii, regardless of whether or not they were born in the state and subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States, automatically gained US Citizenship. This is the only state in the United States where this condition existed. This is why Hawaii is so vitally important to Obama, and could explain why it is important enough to forge birth documents for. It is why Obama's birth is being alleged to have occurred there instead of somewhere like Washington State or elsewhere…
“Obama, by being born in Hawaii, got automatic citizenship status in the United States without regard for whether the United States had jurisdiction over his citizenship… And it only took a witness signature to gain it…”
CBS News added: “Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is not authentic. Arpaio revealed the findings of an investigation into the president’s birth certificate at a 1 hour and 20 minute news conference Thursday, calling the certificate ‘suspect.’ Arpaio’s team of investigators said they found that the long-form birth certificate was created electronically and never existed in paper form.”
On March 9, WorldNetDaily published an article by Chelsea Schilling who joined the Army at age 17 and received “the rare designation of expert marksman three times. In addition to WND, Schilling has worked as a news producer at USA Radio Network and as a news reporter for the Sacramento Union.”
The article stated:
“It’s a twist of irony: The Russian news website Pravda has published an accusation that the American media is ‘tame,’ afraid to publish news and is ‘deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about [President Obama's] defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States.’ In a March 7 Pravda column, ‘Arizona sheriff finds Obama presidential qualifications forged,’ Dianna Cotter, a senior at American Military University, blasts America’s mainstream media for their virtual silence about Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s six-month investigation into the controversy surrounding Obama’s birth certificate and his constitutional eligibility for office…
“Cotter lays out detailed evidence of a widespread cover-up and concludes: The American Press is deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about this defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States. It is hiding Barack Obama’s Fraud as it has been revealed by a Sheriff in Arizona. The silence of the American press would be unbelievable if it weren’t so blatantly obvious. It is nearly as egregious as the audacity of Obama’s fraud itself.”
Donald Trump raised the issue for a while, but after some pompous words, he decided to “chicken out.” None of the Republican presidential candidates is raising the issue. No prominent newscaster on CNN, NBC, MSNBC or Fox News wants to go anywhere near the issue. Democrats ignore it, which is to be expected. So do most Independents. The main stream press glosses over it. But the nagging issue of President Obama’s eligibility as President of the United States will not go away.
However, it is feared that due to intentional delay, it won’t be decided, if at all, until the USA has a new President. If it should be determined, after the fact, that America’s current President was in fact ineligible to be President, the reputation of the entire American political system (from a perceived deliberate cover-up through the U.S. government and a timid and fearful opposition, as well as a perceived incompetent House and Senate) as well as the perceived “bribed” ineffective and useless American main-stream media (whether left, middle or right) will be irreparably destroyed in the eyes of the world. All the presently existing conspiracy theories about all kinds of issues (September 11; moon-landing; etc. etc.) will become insignificant and pale by comparison.
The Washington Times wrote on March 12, 2012:
“Reports of a lone solider allegedly massacring 16 Afghan civilians was a body blow to the image of U.S. troops fighting the difficult, decade-long war there. Sunday’s deadly rampage southwest of Kandahar came shortly after days of rioting following revelations that NATO forces had improperly disposed of religious writings, including Korans. It’s been a difficult few weeks in the battle for Afghan hearts and minds.
“Critics of the war have rushed to declare that this dreadful action by a lone, reportedly troubled soldier delegitimizes the entire effort. The troubling event, however, says more about the nature of war than the particulars of American policy or the need to meet our objectives in Afghanistan…
“Promoting the war has been a hard sell lately. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted last week shows that by 2-1 Americans think the war in Afghanistan isn’t worth fighting, and 54 percent think America should withdraw its military forces even if the Afghan army isn’t adequately trained. The same poll showed the public evenly split on President Obama’s conduct of the war; the approval bump he received in May from the death of Osama bin Laden has vanished.
“The current drama is an unfortunate propaganda victory for the Taliban. Insurgents denounced the ‘sick-minded American savages’ and called for retribution. Of course, Taliban umbrage must be kept in context. Killing noncombatants is a matter of policy for them…
“More will be revealed about the killings and why they took place, but the damage to trust and confidence has been done… Instead, this senseless incident is a reminder of the terrible costs of even the most just war - to the innocent people who can be its victims, to the men sent to fight it, and to the people on the home front who seem only to hear about it when the news is too dreadful to bear…”
When will man learn that his wars never bring lasting positive results? Christ told His followers, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Since America is calling itself a “Christian nation” (notwithstanding President Obama’s claim that it is not), why doesn’t it follow then one of the most basic and incontrovertible tenets of Christianity?
ABC News reported on March 12, 2012:
“President Obama said Monday that the shooting of 16 Afghan villagers, apparently by a U.S. soldier, underscores the need to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.”
However, this is not the way Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel sees it.
The Local wrote on March 12, 2012:
“The point has not yet been reached where Germany can say ‘we can pull out today,’ Merkel said as she visited troops stationed in Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of Afghanistan… Tensions were running high in Afghanistan as Merkel arrived following the rampage by the US soldier who killed 16 villagers including women and children in their homes in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar on Sunday. In a telephone call to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Merkel vowed that everything would be done to investigate what she called ‘the dreadful act of the US soldier’. She expressed her personal condolences and those of the German people to Karzai for the outrage…
“Merkel also congratulated Karzai for progress made in building up Afghan security forces while he in turn expressed gratitude for Germany's commitment to peace in the country. She also urged Kabul to push forward the political reconciliation process with armed groups like the Taliban.
“The massacre in the Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan added to roiling anti-Western sentiment in the war-ravaged country over the burning of the Koran at a US base… last month… The Koran burning ignited days of violent anti-US protests in which some 40 people died, plunging relations between foreign forces and their Afghan allies to an all-time low. Sunday's killing spree came as the United States and Afghanistan pursue difficult talks on securing a strategic pact to govern their partnership once foreign combat troops leave Afghanistan in 2014. The proposed accord would likely cover the legal status of any US troops remaining in Afghanistan to help Kabul with intelligence, air power and logistics in the fight against Taliban insurgents…
“Germany is the third biggest supplier of troops to the 130,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force… after the United States and Britain… The German mission, the first major Bundeswehr deployment outside of Europe since World War II, has been consistently unpopular in the country. Shortly after her arrival, Merkel paid homage to the more than 50 German soldiers killed in Afghanistan since NATO-led troops first went into the country in 2001…”
Deutsche Welle added on March 14, 2012:
“German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday to visit troops after signing a military cooperation deal with neighboring Pakistan a day earlier. Arriving just two days after Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German defense minister is there to reassure Kabul and NATO that the scheduled 2014 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is still on target. On Monday, Merkel had caused some confusion when she said on a surprise visit to Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of [the] country that reconciliation with insurgents had not made enough progress to allow foreign troops to leave…”
One will have to wait and see whose position will prevail—Merkel’s or Maiziere’s. In any event, while America’s influence in the world will diminish more and more, the influence of EU under German leadership will steadily increase.
The Financial Times Deutschland wrote on March 13, 2012: “These are signs that the relationship between the US and Afghanistan is more damaged than ever. It is possible that it can no longer even be repaired…” Die Welt added: “The terrible shooting rampage by a US Army sergeant that targeted Afghan civilians is not the reason that the war in Afghanistan was lost. The seeds of defeat were already contained in the overambitious political goals of the original military operation… if (the US) hadn't had naively high expectations for Operation Enduring Freedom, it would not have dragged on for over a decade -- and the US soldier, who was apparently severely mentally disturbed, wouldn't have had a chance to kill children and women in his private nocturnal rampage."
Reuters reported on March 9:
“Germany wants to reignite a debate over creating an EU constitution to strengthen the bloc's ability to fight off financial troubles and counter-balance the rising influence of emerging economies, Germany's foreign minister said on Friday. Guido Westerwelle said the bloc's Lisbon treaty… was not enough to keep European decision-making structures effective… ‘I think we have to reopen the debate about a European constitution again,’ he said. ‘We have a good treaty, but we need a constitution ... There are new centers of power in the world.’
“German government sources said representatives of several EU member states would likely meet in the next few weeks for talks. Driven by public frustration over financial bailouts for debt-stricken states, Germany has fought hard over the last year to amend the EU's Lisbon Treaty, a watered-down version of the 2005 constitution proposal… For example, it wanted an amendment to incorporate tighter regional oversight of government spending and allow the European Court of Justice to strike down a member's laws if they violated fiscal discipline. But Britain vetoed the plan in December in a row over safeguards for its financial sector.”
Even though some EU member states are presently opposed to an amendment of the Lisbon Treaty, the adaptation of a European Constitution is inevitable. It is not expected that Great Britain will sign it.
The Local reported on March 14:
“Germany should reinstate its monarchy to speak to people’s emotions, make them proud of their country and even encourage them to have babies, according to Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia, great-great grandson of the last Kaiser [and a Protestant minister]. Speaking in Thursday’s edition of Die Zeit newspaper, Philip stressed that a monarch would be financially independent – and so would not be likely to accept presents from friends, such as those which led to Christian Wulff’s resignation from the presidency… ‘Of course a king should have a happy marriage. Of course the heir to the throne should marry,’ he said.
“And even the question of royal children was a legitimate matter for the public, he said. ‘When, as now in Sweden, a member of the royal family is born, what a joy goes through the country! Even the prime minister spoke of a happy day…’ The lives of a royal family lend a country stability, he said… He suggested that German politicians would even vote for a royal family to be reinstated, if it came to a vote – nearly a century after the last Kaiser was removed from the throne in 1918. Even left-wingers would be in favour, he suggested, pointing to Sweden where he said some socialists were also royalists. But even if the German royal family were to be reinstated, Prince Philip would not sit on the throne – that honour would go to Prince Georg Friedrich von Preußen, who is the direct heir and has said he would not want to see a royal restoration.”
In an accompanying article, the Local added:
“Germany got rid of its last Kaiser nearly a century ago, but the country remains fascinated by royals. One of the Kaiser’s descendants says royalty would help the country… The Kaiser’s descendants still live aristocratic lives even though the royal family was abolished in 1918 after defeat in World War I. And last summer, the wedding of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia attracted not only a good showing of European royal guests but also the attention of the German public. They are still excited by the royal families of nearby countries, and positively gorged themselves on last year’s wedding of British Prince William, which was broadcast live on four national television channels
“A possibly increasing acceptance and even popularity of Germany’s home grown monarchy is no doubt linked with the young, educated and affable Prince Georg. His rare public appearances, fresh-faced good looks and reticence would certainly offer a contrast to the grey-haired politicians representing the country. Germany's presidential post has hardly been covered in glory recently, having been held by two politicians, one of whom resigned arguably too early, the other too late. The debacle over Christian Wulff’s resignation prompted one of the Kaiser’s great-great grandsons to argue this week that a monarchy would be good for the country.”
The Bible says in Revelation 17 that ten European “kings” will give their power and authority to the beast—a political and military leader—prior to the return of Jesus Christ. Whether these “kings” will be literal monarchs or just political leaders of their respective countries will have to be seen.
Reuters reported on March 9:
“Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said on Friday that he is concerned about the slowness of the international community regarding Iran's nuclear program but is encouraged by the fact that Arab countries are speaking out against Iran… Prosor said that Israel’s diplomatic efforts in regards to the Iranian nuclear threat are like a train ‘traveling from London to Paris at a very fast speed,’ whereas the international community’s efforts regarding Iran are like ‘a slow running train which stops at every station.’
“Prosor said, however, that he is seeing reasons for optimism in what he described as the awakening of the European countries regarding Iran, a fact which is reflected in the latest rounds of sanctions on the Iranian oil industries… ‘The recent sanctions against the Iranian central bank and its oil industry show that Europe has awakened to the Iranian nuclear threat.’ He added that recent reports by the International Agency for Atomic Energy… are a public statement of the international community that leaves no room for doubt that Iran has a military weapons program… When asked whether he has heard Arab diplomats saying behind closed doors that they support an attack on Iran, Prosor responded with ‘Yes.’”
Europe’s involvement in the affairs of the Middle East will multiply.
The EUObserver wrote on March 8:
“The European Parliament can make or break laws in the EU but is considered something of an irrelevancy among the general public, something its new chief wants to change through some old-fashioned confrontation. In the job for a little under two months and finding it an ‘enormous challenge’ to be ‘prudent and impartial,’ Martin Schulz says that his institution is always at risk of disappearing in the public eye…
“A real institutional player since 2010 when the latest EU treaty gave it law-making powers in virtually all policy areas, the 736-member house suffers the inferiority complex of having an ever-decreasing vote turnout and the ignominy of being considered only a rubber-stamping institution. The only way to change the status quo and make the institution a household name is through political fisticuffs, he believes. ‘I'm a fighter. I am trying to put the European Parliament in a confrontation with the heads of government,’ said the German politician, who cemented his combative reputation during his time as leader of the socialists. In marked contrast to his more discreet predecessor, Schulz is content to be seen in disagreement with prime ministers.
“He has highlighted differences with the leaders of Hungary and the Netherlands, both on the EU's radar over rights issues. His biggest bugbear is the European Council - the increasingly powerful forum for EU leaders. ‘The role of the European Council is the biggest problem in terms of oversight by the European Parliament - that is why I insist on being present [at EU summits].’ Schulz has just two years to put the parliament on the political map.”
The European Parliament will become more and more influential under the leadership of a charismatic figure. Ultimately, the European member states will be willing to give autocratic and dictatorial powers to a future political leader.
On March 12, Stratfor Global Intelligence published a report on Germany strategy pertaining to Russia. Even though much of what is being said appears far-fetched and unreasonable, as well as outright wrong, we are quoting a few excerpts which are worthwhile considering:
“Germany was divided after World War II. Whatever the first inclinations of the victors, it became clear that a rearmed West Germany was essential if the Soviet Union was going to be contained. If Germany was to be rearmed, its economy had to be encouraged to grow, and what followed was the German economic miracle. Germany again became the most dynamic part of Europe… Germany needs the European Union to survive for both political and economic reasons.
“Germany must be considering an alternative strategy. Its relationship with Russia is such a strategy… Germany's current strategy is to preserve the European Union and its relationship with France while drawing Russia closer into Europe…
“A German-Russian relationship would have the potential to tilt the balance of power in the world. The United States is currently the dominant power, but the combination of German technology and Russian resources -- an idea dreamt of by many in the past -- would become a challenge on a global basis…The Russo-German relationship already exists and is deepening. Germany thinks of it in the context of the European Union…”
The Bible shows that Germany will become the dominant leader of a united Europe, but it is also very likely that Europe, under German leadership, will enter into a temporary alliance with Russia—especially to create a challenge to the United States. However, as was the case with the German-Russian treaty under Hitler and Stalin, this alliance will not last, and Europe and Russia will become again deadly enemies. For further developments pertaining to Russia and other Far Eastern nations, please view our StandingWatch program, which was posted on YouTube about 1 year ago, and which received so far in excess of 69,000 views. It is titled, “When Will Russia Attack Israel?”
For further troubling evidence of Russia’s real intensions, note the following article by the Independent, dared March 14:
“Russia insisted yesterday that it would not halt arms shipments to Syria even as evidence mounts that the regime is committing crimes against humanity, with a rights group today releasing a sickening dossier of the torture inflicted on those who oppose President Bashar al-Assad… Despite this growing evidence that the arms it sells the regime are being used against civilians, Russia remains defiant. ‘Russia enjoys good and strong military technical co-operation with Syria, and we see no reason today to reconsider it,’ [Russia's Deputy Defence Minister, Anatoly] Antonov said yesterday. ‘Russian-Syrian military co-operation is perfectly legitimate,’ he added. Mr Antonov admitted that Russia has military instructors on the ground in Syria training the Syrian army.”
In addition, Haaretz wrote on March 14:
“The United States has asked Russia to deliver an ultimatum to Iran, warning the Islamic Republic that it has one last chance for talks before a military strike, the Kommersant daily quoted Russian diplomats as saying on Wednesday. According to the Russian newspaper, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York on Monday to tell Tehran that it has one last chance to solve the conflict peacefully by making progress in the talks with the P5+1 group - United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. Otherwise, an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities will occur within months, the diplomats said… Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a series of television interviews, said last week that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities could take place within months…”
It will have to be seen what Russia will do in respect to the other one of its two allies in that part of the world—these two allies being Syria and Iran.
Haaretz reported on March 12:
“Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced Monday he is banning a delegation of MKs from attending a women's conference in Washington this month because the United States has denied entry to MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union). MKs Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and Einat Wilf (Atzmaut) were scheduled to take part in a four-day conference on women that begins March 25 and will be hosted by the U.S. Congress. They were due to sit on a panel with U.S. congresswomen and to launch a collaborative project between the Knesset and Congress. Gal-On, Hotovely and Wilf were also scheduled to attend a reception at the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
“The U.S. refusal to grant entry to Ben Ari because of what it said are his ties to a terrorist group amounts to ‘an assault on the Knesset as a whole,’ Rivlin said Monday. ‘The United States' allegation that an MK is a terrorist is unacceptable.’ Ben Ari is a long-time follower of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose Kach party is outlawed in Israel and is considered a terrorist organization in the United States.
“The National Union MK applied for an entry visa to the United States last month so he could participate in two conferences, one of which is aimed at promoting immigration to Israel. The U.S. consular staff said Ben Ari's application was denied based on the State Department's prerogative to ban terrorists from entering the country.”
It is amazing how diligent the USA seems to be to create repeatedly unnecessary problems for themselves and others—even with respect to close allies such as Israel. Such foolish conduct will bear bitter fruit. The Bible states that in the end time, the USA and Great Britain are ruled by “children,” and it predicts that the relationship between the USA and Israel will deteriorate and might end up in open hostility.
USA Today reported on March 14:
“President Obama formally welcomed British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House today -- and what ceremony would be complete without some jokes about how the British army once burned the place down? ‘It's now been (nearly) 200 years since the British came here to the White House under somewhat different circumstances,’ Obama said, referring to the attack on Washington in 1814… Cameron returned the favor, saying he was ‘a little embarrassed’ at what his ancestors wrought two centuries ago, but ‘I can see you've got the place a little better defended today. You're clearly not taking any risks with the Brits this time,’ Cameron cracked…
“Of course, the United States and Great Britain made up after the War of 1812, and have remained allied in a ‘special relationship’ ever since. ‘One constant’ in an ever-changing world has been ‘a rock solid alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom,’ Obama said. Cameron said the Americans and the British can always count on each other ‘when the chips are down.’… Obama also joked that the Americans and the British ‘speak the same language -- most of the time…’”
In spite of the jokes, the Bible says that the relationship between America and Great Britain will deteriorate as well.
The Local wrote on March 13:
“The smoking ban in German pubs and cafes, even patchily implemented, has clearly reduced the number of heart attacks over the last few years, a report published on Tuesday says. The study, conducted by the DAK-Gesundheit statutory health insurer showed a reduction in heart attacks by eight percent since 2007, while angina attacks – often a precursor to heart attacks - were down by 13 percent.
“The insurer said it had evaluated hospital data of more than three million patients across Germany over the last five years - the biggest study in the world on the effects of a smoking ban. The first year of the smoking ban had resulted in 1,880 fewer hospital treatments, and saved the health care system €7.7 million, said Herbert Rebsche, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.
“He said the state of Bavaria had imposed the most significant smoking ban in Germany, and its example should be followed by other states. Carola Reimann, chairwoman of the parliamentary health committee called for the states – which determine health policy – to be more consistent over smoking bans. ‘I wish that all states would act like Bavaria and uniformly reject exceptions,’ she said on Tuesday.”
Northesthio.com reported on March 6:
“Just a little over a month after McDonald's announced they would stop using ‘pink slime’ in their hamburger patties, the ammonia treated meat has found a new home. According to the Huffington Post, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing seven million pounds of the slime for school lunches. The product officially termed ‘Lean Beef Trimmings’ is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It's then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.
“The controversy surrounding the ‘pink slime’ stems from the fact that it… is not nutritionally equivalent to ground beef. The ammonium hydroxide also has the potential to turn into ammonium nitrate—which is a common component of homemade bombs. The USDA's plan to buy the meat comes only weeks after the government announced new guidelines to ensure students get healthier options for school lunches.”
It is a shame that the US government is willing to feed American students with “pink slime,” while stating at the same time that they should be given healthier options. How political all of this is, can also be seen in the next article.
LifeSite.net reported on March 5:
“The Pepsi Company, which is set to release the new product Pepsi Next in the coming weeks, is facing a more robust boycott as pro-life activists protest the company’s use of cells derived from an aborted fetus in flavor-enhancing research. But Pepsi has succeeded, with help from the Obama Administration, in keeping its controversial operations from consideration by its shareholders.
“In a decision delivered Feb 28th, President Obama’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled that PepsiCo’s use of cells derived from aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under ‘ordinary business operations.’
“The letter signed by Attorney Brian Pitko of the SEC Office of Chief Counsel was sent in response to a 36-page document submitted by PepsiCo attorneys in January, 2012. In that filing, PepsiCo pleaded with the SEC to reject the Shareholder’s Resolution filed in October 2011 that the company ‘adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.’
“PepsiCo lead attorney George A. Schieren noted that the resolution should be excluded because it ‘deals with matters related to the company’s ordinary business operations’ and that ‘certain tasks are so fundamental to run a company on a day-to-day basis that they could not be subject to stockholder oversight.’ Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of Children of God for Life, the organization that exposed the PepsiCo-Senomyx collaboration last year was ‘appalled by the apathy and insensitivity’ of both PepsiCo executives and the Obama administration. ‘We’re not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use – we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit,’ she said. ‘Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations!’
“PepsiCo also requested the resolution be excluded because it ‘probed too deeply into matters of a complex nature upon which shareholders cannot make an informed judgment.’ ‘In other words, PepsiCo thinks its stockholders are too stupid to understand what they are doing with the remains of aborted children,’ Vinnedge stated. ‘Well they are about to find out just how smart the public really is when they turn up the heat on the world-wide boycott!’ Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey has proposed a bill SB1418 banning the sale of products that are developed with or contain aborted fetal remains. In the case of Pepsi products, the cells derived from the aborted fetus do not end up in the final product… To date, the world-wide boycott has expanded to include Canada, Germany, Poland, UK, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand.”
For the US government and the Pepsi Company to say that the “use of cells derived from aborted fetal” to “produce flavor enhancers” for soft drinks deals with “the company’s ordinary business operations,” is sickening and also tragic evidence for the amoral state of affairs in the USA.
The Bible shows that at the beginning of the Millennium, after Gog’s armies were destroyed (compare Ezekiel 38 and 39), God will reinstitute animal sacrifices at a newly built temple in Jerusalem. It is possible that the Jews will build a third temple PRIOR to Christ’s return, which will survive the partial end-time destruction of the city of Jerusalem and which will be identical with the millennial temple, described in the book of Ezekiel (compare our Q&A http://www.eternalgod.org/qa/5352 , answering the question whether the Jews will build a temple in Jerusalem prior to Christ’s return. Compare also another Q&A on the same topic, http://www.eternalgod.org/qa/782 ).
Our free booklet, “The book of Zechariah--Prophecies for Today” http://www.eternalgod.org/qa/782, discusses at length the possibility of the existence of a third temple in Jerusalem, prior to Christ’s return. When explaining the ninth vision (Zechariah 6:9–15), and especially verse 13, we stated:
“It is also possible that the reference to a future temple, which will be built by the BRANCH, could relate to a physical temple still to be built in Jerusalem—just prior to the return of Christ. We know from Scripture that the Jews will bring sacrifices to Jerusalem. If there is a physical temple, then these sacrifices would be brought to that temple, until they are—temporarily—abolished by a European power… strong biblical evidence exists for the rebuilding of a temple in the modern Jewish nation of Israel. It would also be possible that it is THAT temple which will survive the partial end-time destruction of the city of Jerusalem, which is described as the millennial temple in the book of Ezekiel.”
It is very possible that the sacrifices will only be given during the remaining 3 ½ years of Christ’s public ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (compare our Q&A, “What will Jesus do after Satan has been banished?” http://www.eternalgod.org/qa/11294 ). Note that the millennial temple and the sacrifices are only mentioned in relationship with the house of Israel.
We read in Ezekiel 43:10: “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel…”
Ezekiel 44:6, 9 states: “Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “O house of Israel, let us have no more of all your abominations… No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary [the temple], including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel…”
When addressing the millennial sacrifices, Zechariah 14:21 adds: “In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts [the temple].”
It is important to understand why the people of Israel will give animal sacrifices for a while, and why they brought them in ancient times.
In regard to the millennial sacrifices, we state the following in our free booklet, “The Sacrificial System and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness”:
“… we read… in Ezekiel 43:18, 22, 27: ‘And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God: ‘These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it… On the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering… When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priest shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar…’”’”
“Another passage that describes the time of the Millennium is Ezekiel 44:15, 29–30. It refers to the offering of fat and blood, as well as grain offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings. Describing the same time setting, Zechariah 14:21 says that ‘Everyone who sacrifices shall come’ to the LORD’S house—a new Temple in Jerusalem.
“From these Scriptures, we see clearly that burnt offerings, peace offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings will be given in the Millennium. We also understand that the Jews will give offerings again, for a while, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. In Malachi 3:2–4, these offerings, which apparently may not be pleasing to God, are compared with the offerings that will be given in the Millennium, which WILL be pleasing to God.
“Yes, in the future, sacrifices will be reinstated—at least on a temporary basis—but GOD will NOT reinstate the Old Testament sacrificial SYSTEM. That is, the sacrifices that will be given before Christ’s return (Daniel 12:11), and those given in the Millennium (compare Ezekiel 40:38–43, which describes the preparation of burnt offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings during the Millennium), are not the same as those that were part of the old covenants with the nations of Israel and Judah. The New Testament tells us that the sacrifices—as part of the Old Testament system—are no longer valid. The Levites will still officiate over sacrifices, but these sacrifices will not be given pursuant to the same system that existed in the Old Testament, under Moses.
“The Bible also indicates that, at the beginning of the Millennium, new moons will be kept in conjunction with the bringing of sacrifices (Ezekiel 45:17, 46:1, 3, 6; Isaiah 66:20–23). However, there is no Biblical injunction for us today that would compel us to either celebrate new moons or bring sacrifices.
“It is important to understand that the millennial sacrifices will NOT be brought for the purpose of forgiveness of sin! Only Christ’s shed blood accomplished this—once and for all! But God introduced the sacrificial system to ancient Israel because Israel had sinned and the sacrifices served as a reminder of their sins. Apparently, for the same reason in the Millennium, sacrifices will be brought so that carnal, unconverted people can begin to appreciate the awesome purpose and meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice and how God looks at sin.
“Animal sacrifices, especially, illustrate what sin does to us and others, as well as what Christ did for us. They teach us one reason for the suffering of innocent and righteous people: Even Jesus Christ suffered, although He was totally innocent. The killing of innocent animals points at the suffering and ultimate death of Jesus Christ...”
It is very important to understand that animal sacrifices, which will be brought at the beginning of the Millennium, will not be brought for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness of sins. Animal sacrifices—whether past or future—did not and will not have that goal in mind.
Notice what we wrote in our Q&A, asking the question whether animal sacrifices provided for forgiveness of sin. The same can be said for future animal sacrifices in the Millennium:
“We read in the New Testament that animal sacrifices did not forgive sin, nor did they clean or purify the ancient Israelites from an evil conscience. That was never the purpose of the animal sacrifices. Forgiveness of sin and the opportunity to inherit eternal life was only made possible through the supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 3:14-17).
“Hebrews 10:1-4 makes it very clear that animal sacrifices were just reminders of sins, but that they could not take away or forgive sin… Hebrews 9:9-10 confirms that the sacrificial system was only of a temporary nature, to be superseded by the death of Jesus Christ…
“Paul elaborates in the book of Galatians (Galatians 3:19, 24-25) that the sacrificial law was added because of transgression… but only until the Seed—Jesus Christ—would come…
“Animal sacrifices provided a means of permitting the ancient Israelite who had sinned unintentionally, to remain in the community of the nation, under God’s rule, and to be spared from physical punishment. In case of an unintentional sin by the entire congregation, animal sacrifices prevented that God would turn His back on them and forsake them. They did not provide spiritual forgiveness, and later, Israel misused and abused animal sacrifices in a terrible way, so that God had to remind them that He did not desire animal sacrifices, but an upright and humble heart.
“Animal sacrifices were a means of maintaining a relationship between God and man, by ‘forgiving’ the physical transgression and allowing the transgressor to remain within the community of Israel. They were never meant to provide spiritual ‘forgiveness’ of sin. They never abolished or superseded the spiritual penalty for sin, which is eternal death (Romans 6:23), nor did they make possible the means of inheriting eternal life. Only the Sacrifice of Christ can bring about such spiritual forgiveness and allow us to continue on our righteous path (1 John 1:8-9; Romans 8:3-4), to ultimately being given eternal life…”
To elaborate further on the issue of millennial sacrifices, we would like to quote a lengthy section from our free booklet, “And Lawlessness Will Abound…” discussing God’s covenant with Aaron and his descendants:
“At the time of Moses, God chose to make… [a] covenant with a part of the nation of Israel—Aaron, of the house of Levi, and his descendants (Numbers 18:19; Leviticus 24:5, 8–9; compare Numbers 25:11–13; Nehemiah 13:29–30)…
“God utters a very strict and stern warning in the prophetic book of Malachi, addressing specifically the failure of the Levites—both the physical descendants and the spiritual ministers of God—to stand strong for God’s law in the sight of adversity and compromise (Malachi 2:4–9). Beginning in verse 4, ‘Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, That My covenant with Levi may continue, Says the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; so he feared Me And was reverent before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, And injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, And turned many away from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law.’
“This prophecy for our day tells us, in verse 4, that God’s covenant with Levi will continue. This means that it is still in force and in effect today. We find this confirmed in the 33rd chapter of the book of Jeremiah where there is an unconditional promise for the perpetual validity of God’s covenant with Levi (Jeremiah 33:18–22): ‘…nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually… Thus says the LORD: If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken … with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply… the Levites who minister to Me.’
“These passages clearly tell us that God’s covenant with Levi was to continue—that it is therefore still in force and effect today—and that it will remain so in the future… as long as and whenever biblical sacrifices are being brought to God in Jerusalem, they will be brought through the descendants of Aaron and [ his son] Phinehas… at the beginning of the Millennium sacrifices will be brought again in Jerusalem. The 44th chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel explains this in great detail. Verses 15 and 29–30 tell us that ‘the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok,’ will bring and eat from the sacrifices…
“The millennial rule of Jesus Christ will be administered by spirit beings—those who are part of the first resurrection. Satan and his demonic followers will no longer be able to influence mankind. World government will emanate from Jerusalem. In addition, there will be an ongoing physical priesthood serving at that time. The physical sacrifices extant at that future time, which will be brought in Jerusalem at the temple, will be part of the new administration that God’s Kingdom will usher in.
“The covenant between God and Levi, then, does continue to exist, that is, the Levitical priests will continue to offer sacrifices in Jerusalem for carnal, unconverted people, both prior to and subsequent to the return of Christ. But as we read, Jesus Christ became the High Priest for converted people. Unless one accepts the sacrifice of Christ, one has no part of that priesthood. However, once we do accept Christ’s sacrifice, our High Priest will then live in us, intervene for us, and lead us to perfection. The Levitical priesthood was not given the function or responsibility to lead carnal people to spiritual perfection. Rather, they presided over the administration of the sacrificial system as a reminder of sin—not for the purpose of forgiving sin…”
In conclusion, Israelites will bring animal sacrifices at a new temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium. These sacrifices will not be given for the purpose of obtaining spiritual forgiveness, but just to remind the people that they had sinned, and help them to focus on the ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As it was the case in Old Testament times, these sacrifices will be temporary and administered by physical Levites to physical unconverted people, to allow the transgressor to remain within the community of Israel.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
by Eric Rank
Mondays have a bad reputation. They serve as a stark reminder of the burden of responsibility after the joy of a relaxing weekend. While I am extremely happy to have the blessing of a job to go to, Mondays can easily become overwhelming. Today was one that fit the mold perfectly.
With the time off I have scheduled for the Church Conference, there is a lot of work to do beforehand. Indeed, there is simply more work to do than I can possibly cram into the two days that I’ll work this week. Because of the lack of time available, I have to prioritize at nearly every step, carefully choosing what I will leave undone. Since I work closely with a team of others, the pressure is magnified by knowing that allowing my responsibilities to slip will directly impact the work of others. It’s frustrating to know that there are things I am leaving out of control that I would normally manage with much more order; or at least a little more order.
Just when I become overwhelmed with the volume of things I can’t handle, I am reminded of how little I really can control. Taking a step back, bowing my head in prayer, and trusting in God to take care of my problems makes this Monday, and every hard day, a gift that I am thankful for, no matter how impossible it may seem.
Annual Conference and Trip
Our annual conference has begun on Thursday, March 15, 2012, and will continue until Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Your continued prayers are requested for God’s guidance and inspiration.
On Monday, March 26, 2012, Norbert and Johanna Link will be flying to Germany to conduct lectures and Church services; to counsel with prospective members; and to observe the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread with the German brethren. Your prayers for a successful visit will be appreciated.
New Video Programs
A new StandingWatch program was posted on YouTube and on our Website www.standingwatch.org. It is titled, “The Bible and the Mahdi.” What do Muslims believe regarding a future Mahdi? Does the Bible teach the coming of such a Mahdi? How do the Koran and the Bible differ on the personages known as the beast and the false prophet, or the Masih al Dajal and the Sufyani? Do the Muslims believe in Jesus or Isa, and if so, in what way? Do Muslims believe that Jesus will die again after His return?
A new German sermon was posted on YouTube, titled, “Das Zehntengesetz” (“The Law of Tithing”).
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, Joan Pope, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Noelle Link, Manuela Mitchell.
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Regular Contributors: Michael Bannen, Terry and Connie Grade, Kalon Mitchell
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