Four Short News Items

LCG reported on the following news items:

The Vatican’s Growing Influence.  Although we live in an increasingly secular society, the Bible predicts an end-time religious re-awakening and that a mother church will wield unparalleled political influence.  The July 21, 2007, issue of The Economist contained an article chronicling the rising political power and influence of the Catholic Church.  The “Roman Catholic church, alone among faiths, is a diplomatic playerOver the past century—despite the march of secularism—the Vatican’s role in world affairs has expanded.”  Pope John Paul II greatly expanded Catholic political influence and Pope Benedict XVI is following in his footsteps.  The Roman Catholic Church currently has full diplomatic relations with 176 states.  “It sits in on the deliberations of 16 inter-governmental bodies, including the United Nations, the African Union and the Organization of American States.”  Although the Vatican is a sovereign state within the city of Rome, under a 1929 accord with Italy, “the pope’s diplomats represent the Holy See—not the Vatican state.”  Although our society is becoming more secular, events are taking place behind the scenes that will ultimately culminate in a church wielding the great political power we read about in the Scriptures (see Revelation 17).


More Proof of the Bible. A tablet discovered in Bagdad was recently deciphered by Dr. Michael Jursa from Vienna, and is now being touted as the greatest archeological find in 100 years. The tablet, slightly smaller than a playing card, contained a record of the chief eunuch of King Nebuchadnezzar, Samgar-Nebo Sarsechim, depositing gold into a local temple in Babylon. The tablet identified the eunuch as the same one mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3. According to Dr. Jursa, “This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find… If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.” (The Telegraph, July 13, 2007). This small cuneiform tablet lends archeological and scientific credence to the historical accuracy not only of the book of Jeremiah, but also of the rest of the Old Testament—putting additional pressure on skeptics who doubt the validity of the Bible. Jesus prophesied of the end times: “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light” (Mark 4:22).  As we approach the end of this age, will God provide clear proofs to those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear” that He does exist and that the Bible is His inspired word (v. 23)? This recent discovery may be one more of these proofs! 

World Food Prices Set to Rise. The global commodities market is booming, and prices are rising due to drought and famine, while nations like India and

China demand more high protein food sources, such as dairy and meat. Also, world droughts have caused “panic buying” of wheat by grain-dependent nations like Egypt and Morocco, driving up global prices. Trickle-down effects are being felt in other food industries that rely on scarce products such as dairy and grain, including the candy industry and the poultry industry (which relies heavily on corn). Other critics blame the European Common Agriculture Policy for reduced availability of dairy products. Experts warn that food prices will soon follow the rise in the commodities market (Financial Times, August 8, 2007; CNN, August 7, 2007). God gives numerous warnings about food at the time of the end, including: famine and hyperinflation (Revelation 6:5-6), difficulty growing and harvesting crops (Deuteronomy 28:17-21, 23, 24), and the produce of the land being consumed by a nation you do not know (Deuteronomy 28:33). These prophetic events are coming to pass with increasing frequency and accuracy—indicating that the return of Christ is drawing near.Gary Scott of xCG announced the following item:

About six months ago, I started preparing a final post, but I kept putting it off. I thought, “Maybe I’ll just write a little here, a little there,” for a while. Several have noticed and commented on this, and I have remained silent as to the cause of this dip in output…

We have twenty-four hours in a day. We work at least eight of them; we sleep six to eight of them; we wash, shave, cook, eat, clean, drive, exercise and a million other forms of maintenance for another three or four a day. That leaves us with precious few hours a day for ourselves.

What do we do with that time?

Until recently, I spent time looking at, analyzing, and even mocking the beliefs and actions of a group of people I no longer have anything in common with.

Recent developments in my life now make that a less-than-ideal way to spend my free time.

I thought that Gary Scott was planning on phasing his anti-COG site out.  I have long thought that those who are against the COGs would realize the truth, as in the last two sentences that he wrote above.

On the other hand, there are those of us who ARE COMMITTED to learning, growing in grace and knowledge, trying to get the good news of the Kingdom of  God to the world, and wish to be part of the Church of God.  So, the COGwriter site has no intentions of shutting down.

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