February 2, 2018
What if Ruth Had Lived Today?; You Shall Not Swear!
On February 3, 2018, Norbert Link will present the sermonette, titled, “What if Ruth Had Lived Today?” and the sermon, titled, “You Shall Not Swear!”
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.
Rush to Judgment
by Robb Harris
In An Essay on Criticism written in 1709 by the English poet Alexander Pope, he coined the phrase, “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” He was speaking to literary critics of his time but this ageless quote still has significance today. We need only to turn on the TV or search the internet for news to see the same foolish actions prominently displayed.
After the discovery of the 13 Turpin children held captive in tortuous conditions, California lawmakers called for stricter regulations for homeschoolers. “One California lawmaker has floated the idea of requiring annual walk-throughs of home schools by state or county officials because of the case and ‘a number of legislators have expressed interest in doing something,’ the HomeSchool Association of California said in a statement” (time.com).
And concerning the recent school shooting, “Hours after the shooting in Kentucky, Republican State Senator Steve West rushed to file a bill that would allow Kentucky schools to have armed school marshals patrol the site. His bill joins another in the state which seeks to loosen gun restrictions around college campuses” (bbc.com).
Efforts to fix these problems, whether from good intentions or the desire to exploit for political gain, won’t fix the evil. All are misguided attempts to repair what cannot be fixed by man. Mankind rarely seeks to address the true cause of its misery.
Satan stirs the waters like a fisherman throwing out bait, and mankind jumps to it with ravenous hunger. What Satan spreads is foolishness. Solomon wrote, “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness” (Proverbs 15:14). No problem can ever be truly solved by using Satanic guidance and motivation. Murder won’t stop—it only grows worse. The breakdown of God’s key foundation, the family, is continuously being eroded.
It can be astounding watching these events unfold, wondering how mankind continues to choose wrong instead of right. Again, Solomon addressed this mindset stating, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15). We see through “godly” eyes. In these tumultuous end-times, the blessing of His Holy Spirit within each of us cannot be taken for granted. Solomon also stated, “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe” (Proverbs 28:26). Keep your spiritual eyes opened! God’s understanding will light a path through which each of us can safely pass.
by Norbert Link
We begin with President Trump’s first State of the Union address, which seemed to have failed in bringing about more unity between the two warring parties; and we continue with the unique and at times rocky relationship between the State of Israel and America’s evangelicals; the resurgence of atrocities in Afghanistan as an apparent response to America’s new security policies; further incredible facts about Hawaii’s incompetency in relationship to the false alarm of a nuclear attack; the conviction of most millennials that America is on the wrong track while President Trump’s approval rating is climbing; serious concerns for world conditions in 2018 due to President Trump’s unpredictability and his short temper; and the dark prospects of a trade war between Europe and the USA with terrible consequences for the entire world.
We continue with ongoing steps to unify continental Europe as a most powerful entity; address the coalition negotiations in Germany, under Angela Merkel and Manfred Schulz; speak about Austria’s role as a “bridge-builder”; point out the UK’s failing army; and point out further disagreement regarding Brexit talks.
In the remaining part of this Current Events section, we speak on abominable “scientific” experiments with animals and humans, including by car manufactures in Germany and the USA; the cloning of chimpanzees and the creation of human-animal hybrids; the inevitability of a huge earthquake in Canada; and the rise of demonic activities in Ireland and elsewhere. We warn of dangerous statements by Pope Francis in this context [please see our new StandingWatch program, “Demon Uprising or Medical Side Effects?”]; and we conclude with an article proving the existence of God as the Creator of our solar system.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
The State of the Union
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 31:
“Key passages of President Trump’s first State of the Union harkened back to the dark imagery and tone of his presidential campaign. Those hoping for a reset of his presidency should take note…
“In his first official State of the Union address, President Trump did not disparage anyone by name. He did not attack Hillary Clinton or the media, two of his favorite targets. He did not encourage divisions between Republicans and Democrats – in fact, he paid lip service to bipartisanship, calling on lawmakers to work together for the American people. So much for the good news.
“But while the beginning – and to some extent the end – of his very long speech could still be characterized as having a somewhat upbeat theme, with its focus on the economy and American pride, the tone of Trump’s remarks in the middle of the speech became increasingly dark and menacing.
“The immigration-themed passages, in particular, painted a frightening picture of an America supposedly victimized by both legal and illegal immigration. Trump’s depiction of immigrants wreaking havoc on ordinary Americans reached its low point when he exploited pain for political purpose. Just like during the presidential campaign, he drew attention to parents in the audience whose children were killed by gang members who were also undocumented immigrants.
“Interestingly, the immigration part of the speech was also the most detailed passage of what was otherwise an address lacking in specifics. Trump reiterated what he called the four pillars of immigration reform: a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers; a border wall; ending the diversity visa lottery; and a drastic reduction in family migration.
“He said immigrants can bring in an unlimited number of distant relatives. This is false. Only immediate family members – not distant relatives – can be sponsored by citizens or green card holders. Importantly and ominously, Trump not only linked undocumented immigration to gang violence, he also linked two key paths to legal immigration – the diversity visa lottery and family migration – to terrorism.
“While Trump used the word ‘compromise’ to describe his offer of a path towards citizenship for the Dreamers coupled with a drastic reduction in legal migration, his depiction of America as a nation threatened by immigration actually seems to leave little room for compromise with the Democrats on that issue…
“While Trump’s first State of the Union speech will surely be well-received by his political base and will also resonate with a good part of the Republican Party, its deeply nativist and beleaguered tone are anathema to anyone who considers the United States a nation of immigrants… Having said that, the speech does have at least one useful effect: It should finally end any futile talk about Trump as a potential ‘uniter’…”
The Washington Post wrote on January 30:
“[In his State of the Union address,] President Trump claimed that a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of relatives and said he would end what he calls ‘chain migration,’ which refers to the practice of immigrants bringing other members of their families to the United States. His administration has said immigration should be based on skills and merit and less on family ties.
“Under current law, citizens can sponsor their spouses, children, parents and siblings. Trump would restrict family migration – ‘chain migration’ as he puts it – to spouses and minor children…”
“Long, Uneasy Love Affair of Israel and U.S. Evangelicals May Have Peaked”
The Washington Post wrote on January 28:
“Over the past half-century, many American evangelicals came to support Israel through an end-of-days theology… Many Jews, for their part, have long viewed the missionary work of evangelicals and their messianic, prophetic beliefs with suspicion. Christian proselytizing… is frowned upon by many Israelis, and Messianic Jews, who believe in Jesus, are largely shunned…
“[Vice President Mike] Pence’s speech to the Knesset last week, deeply steeped in biblical references, was a testament to the spiritually rooted support for Israel in President Trump’s White House. Pence himself has said he is ‘an evangelical Catholic.’…
“Israel’s ties to evangelicals date to before the state was established, when British evangelical leader William Hechler worked with Theodor Herzl — known as the father of Zionism — to advocate for a Jewish homeland. But it has been a conflicted relationship… younger evangelicals [are] increasingly exploring the Palestinian perspective…
“Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an American Israeli who played a key role in fostering the relationship between American evangelicals and Israel… said: ‘You have evangelicals in the White House, you have Trump who is susceptible to their influence and their constituency, you have a right-wing prime minister in government in Israel, and everything is good… But… that can change tomorrow, literally, in both cases…’”
The relationship between the USA and the State of Israel, as well as the Jewish people in general, will drastically deteriorate.
Netanyahu: Israel Will Retain Jerusalem’s Holy Sites
The Algemeiner wrote on January 26:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would retain Jerusalem’s holy sites in any peace deal during a public interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday… ‘Our position is that Jerusalem should remain united under Israel’s sovereignty with complete religious rights for those of all faiths.’…”
Europe, and especially the Catholic Church, will not accept that position, and changes are forthcoming.
America Fails in Afghanistan
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 29:
“It seems as if there is no end in sight to the spate of deadly attacks occurring relentlessly in Afghanistan, killing scores and throwing lives in disarray… A string of brutal attacks over the past several years, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent Afghans, have shown the world the fragile and worsening state of security in Afghanistan and made it once again a staple of international headlines… Both the Taliban and the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) have claimed responsibility for the violence.
“… Many Afghans believe the attacks they have witnessed in January mark only the beginning in the latest bout of violence. Fears abound about the number of casualties rising in the coming months. The alleged peace talks that were mentioned only a few weeks ago are now but a distant memory.
“… The latest attacks can be regarded as a response to the recent US military offensive in the Afghan provinces Helmand, Nangarhar, Kunduz and others, said A.D. Mohammad Arif, an Afghan security expert. ‘The Taliban usually start their offensive after the winter (as a spring offensive), but they have now brought it forward in response to the US’ new Afghanistan strategy. They want to show that they are far from being defeated,’ Arif told DW.
“Unlike in previous years, the US, along with Afghan security forces, began its offensive against the insurgents in the winter this year. The move is part of the US’ new Afghan strategy, unveiled by President Donald Trump in August 2017. Trump then affirmed that he would increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan and remain engaged in the country until it no longer needed them…
“Nicole Birtsch, an Afghanistan expert at the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), is also of the view that the recent attacks could be a reaction to the air strikes and anti-insurgent operations the US military and Afghan security forces have been jointly carrying out against the Taliban…”
It appears that America’s foreign policy is doomed to failure in just about every respect.
Taliban Controls 70 Percent of Afghanistan
The Week wrote on January 31:
“A BBC study found that Taliban fighters are openly active in 70 percent of Afghanistan and have full control of 14 districts… since 2014, when foreign combat troops left the country, the Taliban has taken control of places like Sangin, Musa Qala, and Nad-e Ali in Helmand province, where from 2001 to 2014, hundreds of U.S. and British troops died while trying to get it back under government control.
“The BBC says that in addition to being in full control of 14 districts, the Taliban is open and active in 263 districts, meaning 15 million people, or half of Afghanistan’s population, live in areas where the Taliban has a regular presence.”
Hawaii Debacle… Worse than Originally Believed
The Associated Press wrote on January 31:
“Hawaii emergency management officials knew for years that an employee had problems performing his job. Then, he sent a false alert warning of an imminent missile attack earlier this month. The worker had mistakenly believed drills for tsunami and fire warnings were actual events, and colleagues were not comfortable working with him, the state said Tuesday. His supervisors counseled him but kept him for a decade in a position that had to be renewed each year.
“The problems in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency went beyond one troubled employee. The agency had a vague checklist for missile alerts, allowing workers to interpret the steps they should follow differently. Managers didn’t require a second person to sign off on alerts before they were sent, and the agency lacked any preparation on how to correct a false warning.
“Those details emerged Tuesday in federal and state reports investigating how the agency mistakenly blasted cellphones and broadcast stations Jan. 13 with a warning that led hundreds of thousands of people to believe they were about to die in a nuclear attack. It took nearly 40 minutes to retract it.
“Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi resigned as the reports were released. Officials revealed that the employee who sent the alert was fired Friday. His name has not been revealed. A second worker quit before disciplinary action was taken, and another was being suspended without pay, officials said…
“Compounding the issue was that the state Emergency Management Agency had no prepared message for a false alarm… In addition, software at the Hawaii agency used the same prompts for both test and actual alerts, and it generally used prepared text that made it easy for a staffer to click through the alerting process without focusing enough on the text of the warning that would be sent…”
America on the Wrong Track
Newsmax wrote on January 29:
“Sixty-three percent of millennials say things in the U.S. are off on the wrong track while just 18 percent say the nation is headed in the right direction…
“19 percent approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing, while 17 percent neither approve nor disapprove and 63 percent disapprove. 12 percent approve of the way Congress is handling its job, 25 percent neither approve nor disapprove and 61 percent disapprove. 24 percent have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62 percent have an unfavorable view. 44 percent have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, compared to 43 percent who have an unfavorable impression… 85 percent said they believe the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves and their friends, while 14 percent disagreed.
“The survey, conducted Jan. 2-16, polled 1,844 adults ages 18-34. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.95 percentage points.”
America is clearly on the wrong track, and only heart-rending repentance of the American people and a return to the TRUE God of the BIBLE would change this.. .which is not expected to happen. In this context, note the next article.
Trump’s Approval Rating Way Up
Newsmax wrote on January 31:
“President Donald Trump’s approval rating has jumped 10 points in a month and now stands at 42 percent, according to a new Monmouth University Poll. Fifty percent disapprove of his job performance. Overall, it is a marked improvement for Trump, who had a 32 percent approval rating last month, while 56 percent disapproved of his job performance.”
What Will Trump Do in 2018?
On January 26, Project Syndicate published the following article by Joschka Fischer, former German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005:
“There is still a big question mark hovering over US foreign policy in the form of Trump himself. It is entirely unclear what the president wants, what he actually knows, and what his advisers are and are not telling him. A coherent foreign policy may not withstand Trump’s mood swings and spontaneous decisions…
“So, looking back at 2017, one gets the impression that while US foreign policy remained largely intact, it has also become completely unpredictable. To that extent, 2018 seems likely to be a year of substantially increased risks, especially given the tensions in the Persian Gulf and Lebanon, the war in Syria, the hegemonic struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the nuclear brinkmanship on the Korean Peninsula…
“In the case of North Korea, which is quickly working toward an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland US, such a conflict could even entail the use of nuclear weapons. Nothing about this situation inspires optimism, especially now that the US is led by a president whom few can trust, and whose policies must be divined from the muddle of his tweets.
“In fact, the Trump factor could be the single most significant source of uncertainty in international politics this year. The US is still the world’s foremost power, and it plays an indispensable role in preserving global norms. If America’s policies are difficult to predict, and if Trump’s behavior undermines the reliability of the US government, the international order will be vulnerable to immense turmoil.
“As the US approaches its midterm elections in November, it will be important to consider how domestic political events might shape the country’s foreign policy. If the Republicans lose their majorities in either or both houses of Congress, and if Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel in the Russia investigation, presents his findings around the same time, then Trump will feel his power quickly eroding.
“The critical question for 2018, then, is what Trump will do if he finds himself threatened domestically at the same time that a foreign-policy crisis erupts… One need not be a doomsayer to regard the coming months with considerable skepticism and concern.”
As there is little or no international trust in Donald Trump’s intentions and his predictability, the explosiveness of worldwide reactions in 2018 will indeed be manifold and wide-spread.
Trump Will Come After the EU
The Sun wrote on January 28:
“DONALD TRUMP has threatened to confront the EU over ‘unfair’ trade in a warning shot for European leaders. The US President told Piers Morgan he would be ‘coming after’ EU states, according to the TV presenter… The US President filmed the interview with Piers in Davos, where he made a speech to world leaders telling them his ‘America First’ policy will end up helping the whole world…
“[Morgan said:] ‘He was very scathing about the EU – he said his own dealing with the EU had been pretty problematic and he actually gave a stark warning that he is coming after them on trade. I would not be surprised – the biggest trading partner of America in the world is the EU, 650-odd billion dollars a year.’”
Europe Ready to Hit Back at Trump
The Guardian wrote on January 29:
“Brussels has warned that it stands ready to retaliate and potentially open up a transatlantic trade war if the US delivers on apparent threats to restrict European imports… a spokesman for the European commission told reporters in Brussels that the EU was ready to hit back if its importers were made to suffer.
“[Trump’s] comments [in the interview with Piers Morgan, see previous article] appeared to bring closer the possibility of a clash over trade between the EU and the US. Last summer, the EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, warned that, should such a ‘trade war’ between the US and the EU be waged, it would be ‘extremely unfortunate’ for the whole world.
“In a formal submission last month to the US steel investigation, the European commission had said any ‘sweeping measure targeting many steel products and all countries for national security reasons is not justified’.
“On Saturday, there was great relief in Belfast after a surprise ruling preventing the US from imposing a 292% import tariffs on planes partly made by British workers. The US commerce department said in December that the UK and Canada had given aerospace firm Bombardier, which employs over a thousand people in Northern Ireland, unfair subsidies. However, the case, which centred on a complaint by US rival Boeing, was dismissed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), in a move which was also warmly welcomed in Downing Street.”
Further alienation between the US and the EU can be expected for 2018 and beyond.
“Youth Movement to Create United States of Europe Party”
Express wrote on January 26:
“A GRASSROOTS movement across European Union nations who back a United States of Europe is preparing to announce continent-wide candidatesfor the European Parliament elections as they vow to change politics across the bloc towards a closer union of member states…
“Volt’s goals appear similar to the vision set out by key EU figures such as French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Parliament’s Brexit spokesman Guy Verhofstadt. Mr Juncker has been particularly forthright in his calls for a United States of Europe that will tie the member states ever more tightly together… Although Volt would be the first continent-wide party, the idea of MEPs representing the whole bloc has also been put forward before by Brussels chiefs. In September, a proposal was put forward to transform the European Parliament after Brexit, with 51 seats being handed to a pan-European group of MEPs…”
The strong and powerful unification of continental Europe is ongoing and inevitable. Note the next articles.
Macron: EU Must Pull Together to Compete with US and China
The South China Morning Post, AP, AFP and Bloomberg wrote on January 25:
“French President Emmanuel Macron told the world’s business elite in Davos Wednesday that the European Union must pull together to compete with China and the US – and called on the ‘less ambitious’ EU countries not to ‘block the more ambitious in the room’. Macron said that those using the euro currency must be able to agree on a ‘much stronger’ and ‘fair’ system…
“Macron, a former Rothschild investment banker, is the darling of this year’s World Economic Forum… The French leader last came to the forum as a government minister in 2016. He used that visit to make contact with global big bosses, helping build his international credentials 18 months before the French elections that brought him to power.”
Germany’s Grand Coalition Negotiations… Time is Running Out
The Local wrote on January 26:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Friday for a quick end to the last stretch of tortuous negotiations to forge a government for Germany, in a race against time to stop her power slipping away at home and abroad. As she arrived for the final round of talks with potential partners in her fourth government, the Social Democrats, (SPD) she said the country and Europe could not afford to wait much longer…
“A leading member of her Christian Democrats, Michael Grosse-Brömer, later said the parties hoped to wrap up the negotiations by February 4th, although he allowed for an additional two-day grace period. That timetable is even more ambitious than one Merkel had previously laid out, which had set a deadline of February 11th… In Germany, there is talk about the autumn of her reign, even if no serious candidate has emerged to rival her…
“SPD leader Martin Schulz said as he headed to the talks with Merkel that ‘given the challenges coming from China, from the United States, we need a strong, pro-European Germany’… Not only are the stakes high for Merkel, but also for Schulz and the SPD… Polls this week showed… both [parties are] apparently losing ground from September.”
Deutsche Welle added on January 29:
“Six hours of nighttime talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats led by Martin Schulz were adjourned early Monday morning with ‘all sides’ ostensibly still working toward a February 4 deadline… In what was portrayed as a joint statement, Grosse-Brömer said ‘all sides’ were ‘determined to find solutions.’
“… the three parties [are] still at odds on a SPD call to allow relatives abroad to join refugees granted subsidiary protection status… Alongside refugee policy, however, key disagreements also remained on labor policy and health insurance…”
Sticking Points Remain
Handelsblatt Global wrote on January 31:
“By the end of this week, Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats hope to agree on a long list of issues to renew their ‘grand coalition.’…
“More than four months since Germans voted in a federal election, they’re still waiting for a new government. That’s a post-war first. No one can say with any certainty whether the political deadlock will end with another ‘grand coalition’ between Angela Merkel’s conservative party alliance and the center-left Social Democrats, a minority government (another first), or even with new elections (yet another first)…
“All three parties are pro-Europe and favor more integration, but differ over how much more. The SPD’s Mr. Schulz, who used to be president of the European Parliament, would love to create a ‘United States of Europe.’ Ms. Merkel isn’t ready to go that far. But she does support most of the EU reforms proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. His ideas are to create a euro-zone budget and finance minister, and to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – a bailout fund – into a European Monetary Fund. Ms. Merkel’s Bavarian partner, CSU leader Horst Seehofer, is more critical of a mighty Brussels…
“If there’s one issue that could blow up the negotiations, it’s how to deal with the influx of migrants… In the exploratory talks so far, the conservatives pushed through a tentative agreement to cap refugee numbers at between 180,000 and 220,000 per year, and to let only 1,000 family members a month join their relatives who are already in Germany. The Social Democrats have since challenged that compromise, and now want to let in more family members…
“The military budget is another sticking point. Ms. Merkel’s conservatives want defense spending to reach NATO’s target of 2 percent of national output by 2024… How the conservatives intend to convince the Social Democrats to aim for the 2-percent target is a mystery. But they will try…
“The three parties have also been wrangling over Germany’s role in supplying weapons to troops in foreign conflicts. The Social Democrats have long been pushing for tighter restrictions to countries fueling the conflict in Yemen, and got a plan to ban arms sales to that region into the preliminary document. But don’t expect Ms. Merkel’s conservatives to throttle sales much. Germany’s is the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter; many jobs depend on the sector… defense spending could be a mine field.”
But still: We dare to say with certainty that the CDU/CSU and SPD will hammer out a grand coalition, under Merkel and Schulz.
Subsequently, Deutsche Welle wrote on February 1, 2018:
“German lawmakers have agreed to lift the suspension of family reunifications for migrants with so-called ‘subsidiary’ status. The reunifications bill is a breakthrough in Angela Merkel’s bid to forge a new government…
“From August 1, a maximum of 1,000 additional migrants will be allowed to settle in Germany per month, provided they are direct relatives of refugees already living in the country… The new migration law forms crucial part of the Union and SPD’s grand coalition policy blueprint.”
Abominable Testing of German Carmakers on Humans and Monkeys
The Telegraph wrote on January 29:
“German carmakers were engulfed in a new scandal on Monday after it emerged they had tested potentially dangerous exhaust fumes on human subjects.
“A research group set up by Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, the maker of Mercedes, deliberately exposed human test subjects to toxic exhaust chemicals for hours at a time in an attempt to prove they were not carcinogenic between 2012 and 2015. Details of the human testing were exposed only days after it emerged that the carmakers had carried out similar tests on monkeys.
“The revelations sent shockwaves through the German establishment. Barbara Hendricks, the German environment minister, described the experiments as ‘abominable’. ‘These tests on monkeys and humans cannot be justified ethically in any way,’ a spokesman for Angela Merkel said. ‘The outrage felt by many people is completely understandable.’…
“The same group was responsible for a similar 2014 test in the US in which ten monkeys were exposed to diesel fumes for several hours, details of which emerged over the weekend… Car manufacturers were yesterday scrambling to condemn the tests and contain the damage…”
Deutsche Welle added on January 29:
“German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks…[stated] that the auto industry and the scientific community must explain their role. ‘The fact that an entire industry has apparently tried to conceal brazen and dubious methods of scientific research makes it even more monstrous.’”
Handelsblatt Global added on January 29 that these “experiments elicit references to Germany’s Nazi past.”
It is terrible what people are willing to do in the name of science and profitmaking. Also note articles below, discussing cloning of monkeys and attempts of creating human-animal hybrids.
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 30:
“The EU migrant redistribution scheme ‘isn’t working,’ Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said while welcoming Hungary’s Viktor Orban in Vienna. The two leaders called for opposition to illegal migration to Europe…
“The countries of the Visegrad Group — Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic — have repeatedly clashed with other EU states over a policy of refugee relocation since unprecedented numbers of displaced people began arriving in 2015. Orban has been especially vocal in his rejection of EU migrant quotas, which would see some people relocated to Central Europe…
“Orban said that migration was the biggest danger today to the hopeful future of central Europe.’ ‘When I say that the future needs to be protected I mean that we have a culture, a Christian culture… We have a way of life, and we want to protect this way of life,’ Orban said.
“Both leaders called for more protection on the EU’s external borders… ‘Our great aim in Austria is to be a bridge-builder in this respect between the Visegrad states and the countries in Western Europe,’ Kurz said.”
The UK’s Failing Army
The Guardian wrote on January 29:
“The argument over the UK’s defence budget and the shape of the armed forces has been raging for a while but the debate has reached boiling point this month. Newly appointed secretary of state for defence, Gavin Williamson, and the chief of the general staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, have been arguing for an increase in spending to meet a £20bn funding shortfall and stave off cuts to key capabilities and personnel numbers…
“Even if Williamson makes a series of sweeping changes, the results will take years or even decades to be implemented…”
By then, it will be too late for the UK.
Free Movement for EU Citizens Will End
The Telegraph wrote on January 31:
“Theresa May has promised that freedom of movement for EU citizens coming to Britain will end on Brexit day in March 2019. Brussels had insisted free movement must continue to the last day of any transition period, meaning EU citizens would be free to settle in Britain until at least the end of 2020.
“But the Prime Minister has made it clear that changing the rules on migration as soon as Britain leaves the EU is a must for her in negotiations over the transition period, which begin next week.”
“Inevitable 9.0 Earthquake, Tsunami Will Hit Canada’s West Coast”
Global News Canada wrote on January 24:
“The threat of the ‘big one’ hitting Western Canada has been looming for years. Experts say a powerful magnitude 9.0 earthquake could rip through the Pacific Coast, killing thousands and causing tsunami waves up to 20 metres high. The last destructive earthquake like this happened on Jan. 27, 1700, and experts say it is ‘inevitable’ that another one will hit the coast… [Some] experts believe the chance of it happening in the next five decades are actually one in three… The west coast of Vancouver Island and the U.S. states along the Pacific Coast will be hit the hardest…
“An example is the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that rattled northeastern Japan in 2011, claiming at least 15,000 lives and leaving more than half a million people homeless. This earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami — sending waves reaching up to 40 metres high into the coastline, destroying entire towns and triggering one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters. And there was the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 that killed more than a quarter of a million people — making it one of the most deadly natural disasters in modern history… the scale of these disasters are examples of what ‘we can expect’ from the Cascadia earthquake…”
The Bible shows that in these end-times, terrible earthquakes and huge tsunamis will occur all over the world, and much earlier than in 50 years.
Ireland’s Demon Problems
Christian Today wrote on January 25:
“Ireland urgently needs more exorcists to tackle an ‘exponential’ rise in demand for help with ‘demon possession’, a Catholic priest has said… He is ‘baffled’ Church leaders are not doing more and accused them of being ‘out of touch with reality’ if they do not see the need for more priests to drive out demons… ‘What I’m finding out desperately, is people who in their own minds believe – rightly or wrongly – that they’re afflicted by an evil spirit… I think in many cases they wrongly think it…’
“Collins’ remarks comes after the International Association of Exorcists (IAE), a group of 400 Catholic leaders and priests, reported a dramatic increase in demonic activity in recent years… The Church’s guidelines recommend that each diocese has at least one priest who is trained to recognise the difference between demonic activity and mental illness.”
It is very true that people might believe that they are directly influenced or even possessed by demons, while this is not true at all. On the other hand, there can be no denial that demonic activities are on the rise. Note the next article.
Invite Mary into your Home to Defeat the Devil?
Vatican News reported on January 28:
“Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday… on the occasion of the translation of the Icon of Mary ‘Salus Populi Romani’, Salvation of the Roman People… the Icon was returned to its home in the Borghese Chapel in the Basilica after it was restored…
“The image of Mary Salus Populi Romani is an object of particular devotion for people of Rome, and for Pope Francis as well, who routinely comes to the Basilica to venerate the Icon, especially before and after his Apostolic journeys throughout the world. In his homily during the Mass, the Pope focused especially on the idea of Mary as Mother…
“Pope Francis recalled that our ancestors have taught us, in the difficult moments of life, to always turn to Mary, to gather together ‘under the mantle of the Holy Mother of God.’ Mary, he said, ‘guards our faith, protects relationships, saves us in stormy weather, and preserves us from evil.’ When Mary our Mother is in the home, ‘the devil does not enter.’… Christians cannot be ‘neutral or detached’ from Mary, our Mother, he said, or we will lose our identity as children.”
These are very dangerous concepts. The true Mary of the Bible is dead and in her grave, waiting for the first resurrection from the dead. When we invite “Mary” as a living being into our homes, asking her to help us, we are inviting someone who is not associated at all with the true God.
Successful Cloning of Monkeys… Are Humans Next?
The Associated Press and Fox News reported on January 26:
“For the first time, researchers have used the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep to create healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans. Since Dolly’s birth in 1996, scientists have cloned nearly two dozen kinds of mammals, including dogs, cats, pigs, cows and polo ponies, and have also created human embryos with this method. But until now, they have been unable to make babies this way in primates, the category that includes monkeys, apes and people. ‘The barrier of cloning primate species is now overcome,’ declared Muming Poo of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai… Poo said the feat shows that the cloning of humans is theoretically possible. But he said his team has no intention of doing that…
“Instead, he said, the goal is to create lots of genetically identical monkeys for use in medical research, where they would be particularly valuable because they are more like humans than other lab animals such as mice or rats. The process is still very inefficient – it took 127 eggs to get the two babies – and so far it has succeeded only by starting with a monkey fetus. The scientists failed to produce healthy babies from an adult monkey, though they are still trying and are awaiting the outcome of some pregnancies. Dolly caused a sensation because she was the first mammal cloned from an adult…
“At the moment, because of safety concerns, federal regulators in the U.S. would not allow making a human baby by cloning, and international scientific groups also oppose it… People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals condemned the monkey-cloning experiments. ‘Cloning is a horror show: a waste of lives, time and money – and the suffering that such experiments cause is unimaginable,’ PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement.”
Scientific experiments with animals are, for the most part, terrible reflections of man’s inquisitive cruel mind. In most cases, animals are subjected to unspeakable suffering, as the article points out correctly.
Humanzees Next—Or Already There?
The Sun wrote on January 18:
“A HUMAN-chimpanzee hybrid was born in a Florida lab 100 years ago before being killed by panicked doctors, claims a renowned scientist. Evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup coined the term ‘humanzee’ which refers to a human-chimp crossbreed – a scientifically possible hybridisation which was attempted throughout the 20th century… Gallup, who developed the famous mirror ‘self-recognition’ test which proved primates could acknowledge their own reflection, claims his former university professor told him that a humanzee baby was born at a research facility where he used to work… ‘They inseminated a female chimpanzee with human semen from an undisclosed donor and claimed not only that pregnancy occurred but the pregnancy went full term and resulted in a live birth. ‘But in the matter of days, or a few weeks, they began to consider the moral and ethical considerations and the infant was euthanised’…
“The most infamous humanzee project was conducted by Russia biologist Ilya Ivanov, also in the 1920s, who tried and failed to create a Soviet super-soldier using human sperm and female chimps. Another reported case happened in Maoist China in 1967 where a female primate became pregnant with a human-hybrid only to die from neglect after the lab’s scientists were forced to abandon the project following the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution.
“Gallup’s term humanzee became well known in the 1970s after the emergence of a creature known as Oliver – a bald chimp who walked on his hind legs. But tests conducted on Oliver in 1996 proved once and for all that the animal had 48 chromosomes and was therefore not a human-hybrid…
“Gallup, who teaches biopsychology at the University at Albany in New York, insists that humans can be crossbred with all the great apes – not just chimpanzees… ‘I’ve also coined what would be the appropriate terms to refer to human-gorilla hybrids and human-orangutan hybrids which would be a “hurilla” and a “hurang.”’”
The Nazis under Hitler also tried, unsuccessfully, to create “humanzees.” God created animals after the animal kind, and man after the God kind. Man is not an animal. Animals only reproduce according to their kind, and the same is true for man. This shows the total impossibility of the Evolution Theory. HOWEVER, what would not be possible in nature (man would not interbreed with animals and produce offspring), could theoretically be possible in the Satan-inspired laboratories of man and man’s artificial and unnatural “experimentations.” God said at the famous incident regarding the tower of Babel, that if He were not to intervene and confuse the languages, nothing would be impossible for man at that time. We might have reached that time now, and Christ will have to intervene very soon to stop man’s dangerously mad ideas and endeavors.
Scientific Study on the Universe Proves Existence of God
Christian Headlines wrote on January 26:
“Astrophysicists at the Université de Montréal studied 909 planets and 355 stars and discovered that, unlike our solar system, planets in other systems are similar in size with regular spacing between their orbits…
“In our solar system, Jupiter, the biggest planet, is 28.5 times larger in diameter than the smallest planet, Mercury, and the inner planets have surprisingly large spaces between their orbits. The researchers noted that the variations could suggest our solar system formed differently than others in the universe. Weiss said these disparities ‘would not occur if the planet sizes or spacings were drawn at random’…
“…the study certainly shows something highly unusual about our planetary arrangement: Our oddball solar system, made up of a few rocky planets in the inner part, with one right in the habitable zone, and a couple of big gas giants in the outer part protecting the rocky planets, is exactly what life requires…”
The scientific study does not, of course, reflect on the fact that these findings point at a Creator, but that is exactly what they do. And since GOD created the universe and all life forms on earth, including humans, He has the unique right to demand of us to live by His standards.. and not the ungodly, sick and immoral abominations of man’s inventions.
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.
Does the Genealogy of Jesus, as Set Forth in Matthew and Luke, Contradict the Scriptures Stating that God Cursed King Jeconiah?
To explain the issue more fully, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Messiah and that He will sit on the throne of David after He returns. In Matthew 1 and in Luke 3, we find the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph (the book of Matthew describes Christ’s legal genealogy through His stepfather Joseph) and through Mary (the book of Luke describes Christ’s natural genealogy through His mother Mary). For a further explanation, see our free booklet, Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery.
In the genealogy set forth by Matthew, King Jeconiah of Judah is mentioned (Matthew 1:11), but in both genealogies, Shealtiel and Zerubbabel are mentioned as well (Matthew 1:12 and Luke 3:27). They were descendants of Jeconiah, who is also named Coniah and Jehoiachin (Matthew 1:11; compare Margin in the new King James Bible). Jeremiah 22:30 states that none of Coniah’s descendants “shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling in Judah.” This curse is repeated in Jeremiah 36:30, where the following is added: “I will punish him, his family [lit. seed] and his servants for their iniquity…”
The argument advanced by many Jews is that Christ could not be the Messiah and sit in the future on the throne of David, as He is claimed (both in Matthew and in Luke) to be a descendant of Coniah and Coniah’s offspring; i.e., Coniah’s son Shealtiel and his grandson Zerubbabel; compare also Haggai 1:12.
Several attempts have been made to explain this apparent contradiction. A very popular explanation is that the curse had only relevance for the legal genealogy of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew, but not for the natural genealogy, as recorded in Luke. The argument goes like this:
“Matthew 1 clearly explains that Joseph is Mary’s husband. Matthew recorded this for legal purposes, to show the Jews that Christ was the Messiah… If Joseph had been Christ’s natural father, then Christ could never have sat on the throne of David, because of a curse God placed on one of Joseph’s ancestors. This ancestor [Jeconiah] is mentioned in Matthew 1:11-12. He is also referred to as Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24-30. Verse 30 states, ‘Thus says the LORD, Write you this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.’ This man was so evil, that God cursed him and his descendants. Jeconiah… did go on to have children (I Chron. 3:17). But, this curse was fulfilled because none of his children went on to rule from the throne of David…
“Luke records Mary’s genealogy. According to Jewish tradition, in marriage, Mary’s genealogy was placed in her husband’s name. The Greek simply records that Joseph was ‘of Heli’ (Luke 3:23). But since Jacob was Joseph’s father (Matt. 1:16), Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. Mary’s lineage did not have this curse as Joseph’s did. And Mary descended from Nathan—one of David’s sons! (see Luke 3:31). God honored Nathan, and made him the ancestor to the promised King—Jesus Christ—who would sit on David’s throne forever (Luke 1:31-33). This fulfills God’s promise of establishing David’s throne for eternity! According to Israel’s law, if a daughter were the only heir to the father, she would inherit all his possessions, inheritance and rights—but only if she married within her tribe (Num. 27:1-8; 36:6-8). Since Mary had no brothers who could be heirs to her father, she was able to transmit David’s royal inheritance—and the right to the throne—to her husband upon marriage. This made Joseph heir to Heli, giving him the right to David’s throne. This inheritance was then passed to Christ.”
However, this explanation appears to be flawed, because even though in Luke’s genealogy, Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11-12) or Coniah is not mentioned per se, his son Shealtiel and his grandson Zerubbabel are. God pronounced a curse on Coniah and his descendants to the effect that none of Coniah’s descendants would sit on the throne of David. This would include Shealtiel and Zerubbabel and ultimately Jesus Christ, who WILL rule in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33).[In passing, an interesting explanation is given by the Schlachter commentary as to why Zerubbabel and Shealtiel are mentioned in both genealogies of Jesus, even though Matthew’s genealogy of Joseph lists Solomon as one of his ancestors, while Luke’s genealogy of Mary lists Nathan as one of her ancestors. It is pointed out that in 1 Chronicles 3:17-19, Zerubbabel is listed as a son of Pedaiah, the brother of Shealtiel, while Zerubbabel is otherwise referred to as the son of Shealtiel (Ezra 3:2; Nehemiah 12:1). It is being suggested that Shealtiel might have adopted his nephew Zerubbabel and that Zerubbabel appears in both genealogies because he might have entered into a levirate marriage with the wife of his deceased brother Pedaiah.]
Another explanation is that the “offspring” of Jeconiah mentioned in the curse (denying them rulership on David’s throne) could be a limited reference to the king’s own children—his immediate offspring—and it would only be in force while the king lived.
This proposal is not very convincing. As we have seen, Shealtiel was one of Coniah’s sons. It is true that he did not sit on David’s throne as a king, and neither did Coniah’s grandson Zerubbabel, but the curse, as it is worded and without further explanation, does not seem to imply that it only referred to Coniah’s immediate sons during Coniah’s lifetime.
A third explanation is that God reversed the curse against Coniah and his offspring. This is hinted at by the prophet Haggai, who told Zerubbabel, Coniah’s grandson, that God would make him a “signet ring” on God’s hand (Haggai 2:23). Earlier, God had said to Coniah that even if he had been the signet ring on God’s right hand, He would pluck him out (Jeremiah 22:24). Now, the same “signet ring” imagery is applied to Zerubbabel. (For the importance of a signet ring, compare also Genesis 41:41-43 and Esther 3:10; 8:2, 10.) This would mean that God took away the signet ring from Coniah and gave it to Zerubbabel, thereby re-establishing the Davidic line of kingship.
The Bible may indicate this reversal of God’s curse during Coniah’s life. We read that after Coniah was imprisoned by Nebuchadnezzar, Coniah’s uncle was made king by the King of Babel who changed his name to Zedekiah (2 Kings 24:17). But Zedekiah rebelled and was blinded and imprisoned, and all his sons were killed. However, his daughters Tea or Tea-Tephi and Scota survived, and the prophet Jeremiah went with them to Ireland and planted the throne of David there through one of Zedekiah’s daughters, Tea, who married the Irish king, Eochaidh. For further explanations, see our free booklets, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” and “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.”
After Zedekiah’s demise, the King of Babylon, Evil-Merodach, released Coniah from prison, and “he gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon… and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life” (2 Kings 25:28-29). These are remarkable events in light of the fact that God had pronounced a curse on Coniah in Jeremiah 22:30, stating that he would not prosper in his days, and that none of his descendants would prosper. However, one would be entitled to say that Coniah did prosper at the end of his life, and Coniah’s grandson Zerubbabel surely prospered in building the Second Temple, as we read in Zechariah 4:6-10.
The concept of a reversal of God’s curse has some biblical support. We might consider the account of Jonah in Nineveh, showing that human repentance can change God’s declared intent of destruction. Even though Jonah was commissioned by God to declare that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days, that curse was not carried out by God when the people of Nineveh repented. We also read in Jeremiah 18:7-8 that God relents of the disaster that He thought to bring over a nation if that nation repents and turns from evil (compare also Jeremiah 26:3). Please also recall that God’s curse was pronounced in connection with God’s punishment for iniquity. If iniquity is repented of and forgiven, the punishment for sin may also be removed. (However, in many cases, punishment for sin, even if repented of, is not automatically removed, compare our free booklet, Punishment for Our Sins.)
In addition, several rabbinic sources teach that Coniah repented in Babylon and that God forgave him and lifted the curse. The following is taken from the Internet, pointing out:
“Sanhedrin 37b-38a states about Coniah: ‘Notwithstanding the curse that he should be childless and not prosper, after being exiled he was forgiven.’”
“Jewish tradition also maintains that the Messiah will be descended from Jeconiah—and such a tradition would be incompatible with a belief that Jeconiah’s lineage is under a perpetual curse. The Jewish Encyclopedia’s article ‘Jehoiachin,’ vol. 7, p.84 [states]: ‘Jehoiachin’s sad experiences changed his nature entirely, and as he repented of the sins which he had committed as king he was pardoned by God, who revoked the decree to the effect that none of his descendants should ever become king (Jer. xxii.30; Pesik., ed. Buber, xxv. 163a, b): he even became the ancestor of the Messiah (Tan., Toledot, 20 [ed. Buber, i. 140]).’’”
A slight deviation of this proposal reads as follows:
“The Encyclopedia Judaica maintains (under ‘Jehoiachin’ (9:1319)), that the curse was lifted under Zerubbabel: ‘Even the decree that none of his descendants would ascend the throne… was repealed when Zerubbabel was appointed leader of the returned exiles’ (cf. Sanh. 37b-38a).”
Even though no further explanation is given for this conclusion, we might think of God’s declaration in Ezekiel 18:1-4, 19-20, stating that the son shall not bear the guilt of the father (compare also 2 Kings 14:6). In addition, there are examples when righteous people intervened on behalf of sinners, so that God, at times, relented from carrying out a curse, or He modified or reversed a curse.
Due to Abraham’s repeated pleas, God would not have destroyed Sodom if ten righteous persons would have been found there (Genesis 18:20-32); due to Moses’ plea, God relented from destroying Israel (Exodus 32:7-14); and God heard Daniel’s heart-felt prayer, acknowledging God’s curse on the nation and asking for forgiveness of his and his nation’s sins (Daniel 9:4-27). The same might be said about Zerubbabel: When he repented and asked God for forgiveness, God might have reversed the curse placed on Coniah and his descendants. We read in Galatians 3:13 that Christ redeems us from the curse of the law… that is, He removes the penalty [referring to the death penalty for breaking the law, Romans 6:23] when we repent.
Matthew lists Coniah in Christ’s genealogy, and Luke lists Coniah’s son and grandson, even though they clearly would have known about Coniah’s curse in the book of Jeremiah. It is obvious that they did not feel that God’s curse disqualified Jesus from inheriting and sitting on the throne of David. Writing under godly inspiration, they must have known that somehow, God’s curse which was pronounced against Coniah did not prevent Christ’s Messiahship. The most convincing conclusion seems to be that God did in fact reverse the curse, apparently due to Coniah’s repentance, and/or that He did not apply Coniah’s sin and the resulting curse to Coniah’s grandson Zerubbabel, due to Zerubbabel’s repentance and his plea for his grandfather Coniah.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link with material provided by Brian Gale
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” our newest booklet, has been posted on the Web.
“Demon Uprising or Medical Side Effects?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
We are told by Catholic priests that demon affliction and possession are on the rise. At the same time, it is admitted that many cases are not based on demon activity, but on mental illness. But hallucinations can also be caused by dangerous side effects of medications, such as the anti-influenza drug, Tamiflu. Even though many have warned against this medication and questioned its effectiveness, the FDA continues to promote it. At the same time, recommendations by Pope Francis as to how to ban the devil are cause for great concern.
“Dämonische Aktivität oder medizinische Nebenwirkungen?” which covers the same subject in German, is also presented by Mr. Link.
“Verantwortung gegenüber der Predigerschaft,” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Responsibility Towards the Ministry.”
“How to Cope with Trials in the Light of Prophecy and Christ’s Return,” the title of a message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
All of us have problems and trials and are oftentimes victims of persecution. Do our problems seem to be overwhelming and unique? Even though Satan is the author of persecution, which is increasing as he knows that his time is short, God will always help us to be victorious. But how can we know that Christ’s return is near? Not by focusing on wrong speculations, but by accepting the clear word of biblical prophecy. And since we know that our time is short, what are we to do now?
“Conquer Our Obstacles,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We encounter many obstacles in our lives on a daily basis which come in various forms. How can we overcome them and in what ways can we learn from the examples we read about in the Bible?
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