Update 1026

The Silver Suitcase / Rumors, Fake News and the Truth

On June 18, 2022, Brian Gale will present the sermonette, titled, “The Silver Suitcase,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Rumors, Fake News and the Truth.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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by Thilo Hanstein

The term famine is currently on everyone’s lips, today even more than ever before. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the entire face of the world and people are suffering from great anxiety. Due to the reciprocal sanctions which the world rulers are inflicting on each other, the tensions and problems among them and in the whole world are getting bigger and worse, until it will ultimately lead to a nuclear world war.

We know that these days we find ourselves in are the beginning of sorrows, and that these point, among other things, towards a coming great famine. The current trading and speculation with food on the stock markets are increasing more and more. Thus, the food prices keep rising more and more, and so will worldwide inflation. This refers not only to wheat and corn, but many other groceries are also affected as well, such as rice and soy, coffee and sugar, and many more other goods like raw oil, not to mention the constantly rising energy prices.

Der Tagesspiegel wrote on May 3, 2022: “We are heading for the greatest famine in human history.

“The farmers in Ukraine are producing much fewer resources, the infrastructure is destroyed, the ports are blocked. But the problems are much worse.

“The poorest countries have already been hit hard by the pandemic. On top of that, there is climate change with droughts in Africa and China. Because of lack of energy China is producing less fertilizer, and due to the blockade of the Black Sea, hardly any fertilizer is being exported from Russia and Belarus. Added to this are global logistics issues. Even if there was enough food, it doesn’t necessarily get to where it’s needed. The Russian invasion is deeply shaking the world food system. We fear that the number of hungry people will double in 2023 or 2024. If we have ten percent less artificial fertilizer than we need, up to 320 million people are robbed of their food base.”

In Austria, the city of Vienna posted the following statement on its platform:

“Waste on the one hand, hunger on the other.

“1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away each year or constitute losses along the value chain. For Europe, the authors estimate an annual loss per capita along the entire value chain of 280 to 300 kilograms. European and North American households throw away between 95 and 115 kilograms of food per year, especially fruit and vegetables, although a large proportion would still be edible. Add to those mountains of food that retailers discard.”

There is no way to realize by any stretch of the imagination the full extent of the scenario that is rolling toward humanity.

This leads to a crucial question for us. Will such news also raise fears and worries in us because of a coming famine?

Christ already warned us about this very scenario 2000 years ago: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).

The world simply ignores these statements, but it should be clear to us that these prophecies of God are being fulfilled today right before our eyes. If we heed the words of Christ and do what He commanded us to do, namely, to keep the laws of God from the heart, God the Father and Jesus Christ will be with us to help, sustain and protect us in these terrible times.

Let us remember the famine in Abram’s time, when he had to go to Egypt (Genesis 12:10). Isaac also fled from a famine (Genesis 26:1). When famine broke out in all lands by the time of Joseph, who was a righteous ruler directly under Pharaoh, God showed His power and saved the children of Israel from starvation (Genesis 41:53-57).

In Genesis 45:11, because of God’s power, Joseph was able to promise Jacob and his descendants to help them: “There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” When Israel was in the wilderness and had nothing to eat, God provided them with manna and quails (Exodus 16).

Many prophets experienced famines as well, such as Elijah and Elisha, but they were saved by God. And David wrote with full knowledge and conviction: “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

Christ once fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and all were filled (Mark 6:30-44). On another occasion, he fed four thousand in the wilderness with seven loaves (Mark 8:1-9).

So why should God let us die in a famine today? Of course, there will be moments when we are tested, and it may be difficult for some. Paul experienced what it was like to be hungry. But as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Paul was fully convinced that nothing could unsettle him or us!

Christ tells us what to focus on: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).

In the end, it doesn’t matter to us personally how much we speculate about food wastage in the world, or how much of it ends up in the trash, or how much the world’s population increases in the face of hunger, even though it is all very tragic. What is of the utmost importance for us is to realize that only God can and will help us in all future suffering and misery.

God trusts each one of us. And therefore, we must also trust Him to the fullest extent.

Initial translation from German: Daniel Blasinger

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by Norbert Link

We begin with reports about theHouse January 6 Select Committee” which has been described as biased, unethical and fraudulent. We also quote articles pointing out the truth behind wrong allegations of the Committee and the mass media. We also speak on increasing violence against pro-life groups and supporters and a proposed bi-partisan gun law; the danger of red flag gun laws; and Dr. Fauci’s sickness.

We speak on the perception that Joe Biden appears to be King Midas in reverse; the controversial actions of the Fed; address the perceived attempts of the Biden Administration to change the current status in Jerusalem; and point out that Israel may be preparing for war against Iran.

We address developments in and pertaining to Russia and Vladimir Putin; report on a horrible piece by Fox News and Nancy Pelosi’s support of drag queens; and conclude with articles on the Catholic Church (“the woman riding the beast”) and Europe’s divisive and provocative stance against the US Supreme Court on abortion.

Please view our new message, titled, “America’s Sexual Confusion and Its Unethical House Committee—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 11, 2022.”

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

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Trump Slams House Committee

Newsmax wrote on June 10:

“Former President Donald Trump blasted the House Jan. 6 select committee for its biased, ‘negative’ prime-time hearing on Thursday night… The proceedings did not include any cross-examination or contradictory testimony. The former president railed against the committee’s members — Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — for hiring former ABC executive James Goldston to help produce a one-sided show. ‘So the Unselect Committee of political HACKS refuses to play any of the many positive witnesses and statements, refuses to talk of the Election Fraud and Irregularities that took place on a massive scale, and decided to use a documentary maker from Fake News ABC to spin only negative footage. Our Country is in such trouble!’ Trump posted Thursday night…

“Trump on Friday morning slammed the committee for suggesting he supported protesters for chanting, ‘Hang [then-Vice President] Mike Pence!’ ‘I NEVER said, or even thought of saying, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ This is either a made up story by somebody looking to become a star, or FAKE NEWS!” Trump posted… ‘The so-called “Rush on the Capitol” was not caused by me, it was caused by a Rigged and Stolen Election!’ Trump posted Friday morning.

“Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was incorrect when she claimed then-President Trump ‘did not condemn the attack.’ Actually, Trump did condemn the violence in a video Twitter quickly blocked, along with an Oval Office address a week later. Cheney also used Trump’s words of ‘love in the air’ out of context as the committee showed protesters breaching the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. Trump spoke those words about the Stop the Steal rally, not to describe the people breaching the Capitol.”

Trump DID Ask for National Guards Prior to January 6, 2021

TND wrote on June 9:

“A Capitol Police timeline of the days and weeks surrounding Jan. 6 shows former President Donald Trump’s Department of Defense (DOD) offered the National Guard’s assistance in the days leading up to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, validating claims from Trump administration officials that were said to be false by liberal fact-checkers

“According to the timeline, a DOD official reached out to Capitol Police Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher four days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol to inquire about whether Capitol Police anticipated they would request National Guard troops be deployed to prepare for Jan. 6… Just hours after Gallagher’s rejection of DOD’s offer for troops, Capitol Police issued a new warning to its commanders and executives, as well as to the two congressionally appointed House and Senate Sergeants at Arms responsible for congressional security, the timeline shows… Within 24-hours of the new assessment’s circulation, then-chief of the Capitol Police Steve Sund changed course and began requesting permission to deploy National Guard troops from the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms – both of whom report to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer, respectively… Sund’s requests were denied…”

“Out of Desperation, Democrats Resurrect ‘Insurrection Theater’”

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 13:

“This week, US gasoline prices hit an average of $5.00 per gallon, an all-time record. Officially, consumer price inflation hit 8.6 percent last month compared to last May. That is a four-decade high. In reality, though, inflation is much higher than that, as anyone who works for a living can affirm…

“The most recent polls have President Biden with a record low approval rate, and Democrats in Congress are bracing for a real beating in the mid-term elections in just under six months…

“With so much going wrong in areas Americans are most worried about, the Democrats have for some reason decided that the ticket to electoral success in November is to bring back ‘Insurrection Theater’ in the form of new hearings on the events of January 6, 2021… these hearings have had nothing to do with getting at the truth behind the events of January 6th and everything to do with trying to drum up more partisan anger and fear.

“What we won’t see in the hearings is any of the 14,000 unreleased hours of surveillance… We also won’t hear anything about how many of the ‘insurrectionists’ were actually government informers or even provocateurs. And we certainly won’t get any answers as to why the police actually seemed to be opening the doors and inviting the people inside.

“Maybe that’s because the January 6th Committee is a star chamber, where the only Republicans – the deeply unpopular Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – have been hand-selected by Nancy Pelosi… Meanwhile, no one at all wants to talk about how the Fed, with the participation of Congress, is leading us to economic disaster.”

Committee Unethical, Unfair and Fraudulent

Newsmax wrote on June 10:

“Constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax on Friday that the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearing on Thursday night was ‘’not a fair proceeding’ in that it was ‘’one-sided’ and ‘’unethical.” Take, for example, President Trump’s speech on Jan. 6,’ Dershowitz said… ‘He said at the end of the speech he wanted people to show their voices patriotically and peacefully. They doctored the tape… they edited those words out. If a prosecutor ever did that, they’d be disbarred. You can’t present part of the tape and deliberately omit the rest of the tape in order to mislead the audience, especially when the other side has no opportunity to cross-examine, no opportunity to present its own evidence… President Trump committed no crimes… Anybody who thinks that he did fails to understand the First Amendment.’

“… Because Donald Trump’s side had no opportunity to present its case, Dershowitz said the committee had a ‘special ethical obligation not to cheat, not to defraud the viewers, and that’s exactly what the Democrats, with their two Republicans, did yesterday… People would take seriously a nonpartisan, non-biased commission… But nobody should take seriously this one-sided basketball game in which only one team is allowed to shoot for the basket, and the other team is not even allowed to defend.’”

Enough said. Everybody should be able to see that this Committee is nothing but a sham and a farce.

Increasing Violence Against Pro-Life Groups

The Washington Examiner wrote on June 10:

“Law enforcement officials arrested and charged a man last week with the ‘attempted murder’ of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh… This assassination attempt was not a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion… The assassination attempt is part of a growing string of acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism targeting pro-life groups and conservative public figures following the Supreme Court leak…

“A crisis pregnancy center in Asheville, North Carolina, for example, was vandalized on June 7. The building was splashed with red paint, the windows were smashed, and the vandals spray-painted a message on the building that read, ‘If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you!’

“On June 6, a Christian pregnancy center in Buffalo, New York, was firebombed. The office was destroyed. The attackers left a message scrawled near the building. It read, ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.’

“On June 3, a pregnancy crisis center in Washington, D.C., was vandalized. The front door was splashed with red paint and a message reading ‘Jane Says Revenge’ was spray-painted on the side of the building — ‘Jane’ presumably being a reference to the ‘Jane Roe’ in Roe v. Wade. For context, the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization. It does not refer or perform abortions.

“On May 27, a crisis pregnancy center in Lynnwood, Washington, was vandalized. The attackers spray-painted the message: ‘If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either.

“On around May 20, a pro-life billboard in Portland, Oregon, was defaced with pro-abortion messages that read ‘Abort the Supreme Court’ and ‘My body, my choice.

“On May 14, a crisis pregnancy center in Frederick, Maryland, was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti.

“On May 13, a crisis pregnancy center in Reisterstown, Maryland, was vandalized. Messages left behind included, ‘You’re anti-choice,’ ‘Not pro-life,’ and ‘If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.’

“On May 8, activists attacked a Right to Life office in Keizer, Oregon, with Molotov cocktails. In that same time period, a crisis pregnancy center in Denton, Texas, was vandalized. The attackers left messages painted on the building that read ‘Forced birth is murder’ and ‘Not a clinic.’ A crisis pregnancy center in Madison, Wisconsin, was also attacked on May 8. It was firebombed, and the assailants left threatening messages scribbled on the property, including ‘If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.’…

“On May 7, a Roman Catholic church in Fort Collins, Colorado, was vandalized, its doors and windows smashed. ‘My body, my choice’ was written on the church’s entrance doors.

“On May 6, a Roman Catholic church in Armada, Michigan, was vandalized with messages that include ‘666’ and ‘F-g Republicans dead.’

“On May 5, a crisis pregnancy center in Portland, Oregon, had its windows smashed. The perpetrators left behind a note that read, ‘F*** [crisis pregnancy centers].’

“On May 3, a pregnancy center in Illinois was razed, causing roughly $250,000 in damages. The center provided diapers and baby supplies to struggling mothers.

“Also, on May 3, a Roman Catholic church in Boulder, Colorado, was vandalized. The perpetrators splashed paint on a statue of the Virgin Mary and spray-painted messages all over the church, including ones that read ‘My body, my choice’ and ‘Keep your religion off our bodies.’

“Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three is a trend. More than a dozen is a coordinated campaign whose message is: You are next.”

It really appears that all or many of these attacks are coordinated.

Fauci Sick With Corona

Webmd.com reported on June 15:

“Anthony Fauci, MD, the chief medical officer to the White House, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday… Fauci, who is fully vaccinated and has received his second booster dose, is experiencing mild symptoms and will isolate at home…”

Anybody should be able to see the fraudulent claims in support of Big Pharma, uttered by Fauci in the past,  that you don’t get corona if you are vaccinated, while totally ignoring or downplaying natural immunity.

Proposed Bi-Partisan Gun Law

Newsmax wrote on June 11:

“President Joe Biden says he will sign an agreement on a framework for a firearms safety bill proposed by a bipartisan group of senators… The plan includes support for state ‘red flag’ laws that would keep guns from potentially dangerous people, tougher criminal background checks for firearms buyers under 21 and a crackdown on ‘straw purchases’ by people buying firearms for others who could not pass a background check… the framework is far less ambitious than proposals offered by Biden and other Democrats for banning semi-automatic, assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines or at least raising the minimum age to buy those from 18 to 21.

“… While the deal represents a significant breakthrough, it does not ensure that legislation will be passed, as lawmakers still must hammer out legislative language that can secure enough votes to get through both the Senate and House of Representatives, each narrowly controlled by Democrats… But Sunday’s announcement still marks the furthest that talks on a gun measure have advanced in Congress since 2013, following a Connecticut school massacre, when gun control legislation failed on the Senate floor… The group that agreed to the framework included 10 Republicans, nine Democrats and one independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

“The United States has the highest rate of firearms deaths among the world’s wealthy nations. But it is a country where many cherish gun rights and its Constitution’s Second Amendment protects the right to ‘keep and bear arms’…”

To quote General Douglas MacArthur: “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh” (Radio Broadcast, September 2, 1945).

The Danger of Red Flag Gun Laws

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 15:

“… at a time when red flag gun laws (which authorize government officials to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others) are gaining traction as a legislative means by which to allow police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, it wouldn’t take much for police to be given the green light to enter a home without a warrant in order to seize lawfully-possessed firearms based on concerns that the guns might pose a danger. Frankly, a person wouldn’t even need to own a gun to be subjected to such a home invasion….

“As The Washington Post reports, these red flag gun laws ‘allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.’ … Where the problem arises is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police…. Red flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless…. No matter how well-intentioned, red flag gun laws will put a target on the back of every American whether or not they own a weapon.”

Joe Biden… King Midas in Reverse

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 11:

“US President Joe Biden, along with leaders from 19 Latin American countries, unveiled a new plan to tackle migration in the Americas…

“The signatories of the deal include the three major Central American countries that play an outsized role in migration, namely, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; together known as the Northern Triangle. Mexico, which plays a key role in curbing illegal migration at the US-Mexico border, also signed the pact…

“The Central American countries’ cooperation was deemed essential because their leaders boycotted the southern Californian gathering over Biden’s decision to exclude three countries the US considers autocratic, namely Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The leaders’ boycott, most notably involving Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, dealt a big blow to the event, even as US officials tried to downplay it.

“In the end, despite Biden’s assurances of the significance of the migration pact, only 20 countries signed it, several fewer than the number attending the summit…

“The administration is also seeking to counter growing Chinese influence in the region as Beijing develops stronger economic ties with several Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina.”

According to a new poll, most Americans believe that Biden is purposefully trying to sabotage the economy and deliberately allowing gas prices to rise to allegedly force consumers to use less fossil fuel and to buy electric cars instead. Whether this is true or not, there can be no doubt that Biden is largely responsible for the high gas prices. As Breitbart correctly pointed out on June 10, “he attacked American energy independence on day one by nixing the Keystone Pipeline and continued the trend by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and canceling oil and gas leases.” He also “issued a 60-day halt on all new oil and gas leases and drilling permits on federal lands and waters… directed federal agencies to eliminate all supports for fossil fuels [and] imposed new regulations on oil and gas and methane emissions.”

The New York Post wrote on June 12: “Food prices will keep climbing – with no end in sight — as inflation continues to take hold of the US economy, some of the nation’s leading food suppliers and restaurant chains said.”

Fed’s Aggressive Rate Hikes Raise Likelihood of a Recession

The Associated Press wrote on June 16:

“A worse-than-expected inflation report for May — consumer prices rocketed up 8.6% from a year earlier, the biggest jump since 1981 — helped spur the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of point Wednesday. Not since 1994 has the central bank raised its key rate by that much all at once. And until Friday’s nasty inflation report, traders and economists had expected a rate hike of just half a percentage point Wednesday. What’s more, several more hikes are coming…

“Each rate hike means higher borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. And each time would-be borrowers find loan rates prohibitively expensive, the resulting drop in spending weakens confidence, job growth and overall economic vigor… Indeed, since 1955 every time inflation ran hotter than 4% and unemployment fell below 5%, the economy has tumbled into recession within two years… The U.S. jobless rate is now 3.6%, and inflation has topped 8% every month since March… And there’s another byproduct of Fed rate hikes: The dollar will likely rise as investors buy U.S. Treasuries to capitalize on higher yields. A rising dollar hurts U.S. companies and the economy by making American products costlier and harder to sell overseas…”

Food Shortage Worries Mount

 Zero Hedge wrote on June 16:

 “Pennsylvania farmers are being ‘crushed’ by the record cost of diesel – so much so, that questions about a food crisis are starting to loom…  The situation looks as though it will continue to push food prices higher, after the government reported that food prices in May were 10.1% higher than last year…

“The PA average for diesel is now $6.19 per gallon, up about 75% from a year agoOne farmer who works on about 3,500 acres burns through about 2,000 gallons of diesel per month… said. If the farmers cannot get crops out of the ground, then there is not food on the shelves.’

Biden to Roll Back Jerusalem Embassy Move

The Washington Free Beacon wrote on June 10:

“The State Department confirmed… that a new Office of Palestinian Affairs will be established in Jerusalem and act independently of the U.S. ambassador to Israel’s office there. The formation of a separate diplomatic office… could violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandated that a single U.S. embassy be established in the holy city. The State Department also confirmed that it is working to go even further—opening an official Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem wholly independent of the U.S. embassy in Israel…. That would set the stage for Jerusalem to once again be viewed by the United States as divided between Israeli and Palestinian territories.

“Former U.S. diplomats… said the Biden administration is trying to undermine former president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which eliminated a formal distinction between West and East Jerusalem.”

America, under Biden, becomes more and more an antagonistic enemy of Israel.

Israel Prepares for War With Iran

Israel Today wrote on June 12:

“Both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) are now actively preparing for a major confrontation with Iran and the bombing of nuclear facilities in the Islamic Republic… On Thursday, it was announced that IAF engineers have succeeded in designing a system that eliminates the need to refuel its F-35 Adir stealth fighter jet mid-mission. The F-35 is a radar-invisible warplane that reportedly will be used in a future massive IAF air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities…

“That such a bombardment could now become a reality was also shown by a massive air exercise by IAF aircraft over the Mediterranean one and a half weeks ago. Hundreds of IAF aircraft took part in this exercise, and the government in Jerusalem said the exercise was intended to simulate a multiple-front war with Iran…”

The Bible prophesies that Israel will suffer defeat in a coming military confrontation—in addition and PRIOR TO the Great Tribulation.

Israel and Iran: Five Minutes to Armageddon?

The Hill published the following article on June 16:

“The Pentagon fully realizes that time is not on Israel’s side, nor that of the U.S. and its allies. In March, now-retired Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, then commander of U.S. Central Command, testified in a Senate hearing that Iran has ‘3,000 ballistic missiles,’ including variants capable of reaching Tel Aviv, while assessing Tehran’s nuclear ‘breakout’ is now measured in ‘weeks,’ not ‘months.’ 

“Israel concurs. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett acknowledged on June 12 Iran is ‘dangerously close to getting their hands on nuclear weapons.’ Earlier, Jerusalem — in an atypical disclosure for Israel — declared it has sufficiently extended the range of its U.S.-supplied Lockheed Martin F-351 Adir stealth fighter-bombers to complete any missions tasked to them in Iran. Israel’s message to the ayatollahs was loud and clear: Israel can reach deep inside Iran and exit Iranian air-space unseen…

“If forced to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s primary target would be destroying the centrifuges enriching HEU in Natanz, Fordow, and elsewhere — all of which are buried deep underground. It is the only military means by which Jerusalem could avert Tehran from reaching the 90 percent HEU enrichment level. Numerous tertiary targets also would need to be eliminated. Iran Watch lists 38 known nuclear-related sites in total.

“Jerusalem’s planning must anticipate Hezbollah, Hamas and other Tehran-backed militias aggressively responding in kind if Israel launches a raid into Iran. In all likelihood, before Israel’s air forces could return to Israeli airspace, massive volleys of rocket fire would be hitting the country from Lebanon, Gaza and Syria — and possibly even from Iran itself. Striking Iran’s nuclear facilities would be only the beginning, not the end, of a hot war between Israel and Iran.

“Prepared or not, Israel and Washington both appear to be out of time — Iran’s threat is substantial, and it is only intensifying… Measured in Doomsday Clock terms, it is five minutes to midnight in Jerusalem and Tehran — and in Megiddo, the historical biblical site of Armageddon in Israel.”

Spineless Congress Has Been Abrogating Powers to Allow for Dictatorship

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 14:

“The US Constitution explicitly gives Congress, not the president, the authority to determine if the republic should go to war. Unfortunately, that fundamental point is now little more than a quaint historical footnote. Congress has issued no declarations of war since the early 1940s, when it did so against Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and other Axis powers. Yet the United States has launched more than a dozen significant ‘presidential wars’ since then. Moreover, that pace shows little sign of slowing.

“… When Harry Truman sent more than 200,000 US troops to intervene in the conflict that had erupted on the Korean Peninsula, he showed no inclination whatever to seek a declaration of war from Congress… Later presidents likewise ignored Congress and acted entirely on their own alleged authority (Johnson in the Dominican Republic, Reagan in Lebanon and Grenada, Obama in Libya). In one case (Clinton in Kosovo), a president even disregarded the legislative branch’s refusal  to give approval for military action. More often, though, White House occupants preferred supportive, ‘blank check’ congressional resolutions (Johnson in Vietnam, the the elder Bush in the Persian Gulf, and Bush the younger in Afghanistan and Iraq).

“America’s would-be emperors indeed have been bold in expanding US power throughout the international arena and making a mockery of the Constitution in the process… The failure of Congress to halt brazenly unconstitutional presidential wars… has been the most graphic example of such dereliction of duty. A more subtle manifestation, though, has been the passage of vacuous, open-ended congressional resolutions. Such measures authorize the use of force against a designated US adversary, but give the president unrestricted discretion to decide if or when that step is necessary…

“Congressional attitudes about two volatile arenas that could lead to dangerous military entanglements for the United States – Ukraine and Taiwan – are the latest examples of an unhealthy deference to the White House and an avoidance of responsibility…  There also is a pervasive absence of congressional willingness to rein-in President Biden as he deepens US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war…

“Abdication serves an important political purpose, because it enables Congress to avoid responsibility for issues of war and peace, life and death. If a presidential military intervention goes well, legislators can climb aboard and portray themselves as enthusiastic supporters of the venture. If the war goes badly, they can disown it and even criticize it as the ultimate in presidential folly – especially if the occupant of the Oval Office is from the opposition party. Such abdication of the congressional war power, however, constitutes a profile in cowardice. It also has been a major factor in the proliferation of ill-conceived, often disastrous, US military interventions…”

A similar development in Europe would certainly allow for the immediate rise of the Beast, as described in the Book of Revelation.

China Threatens USA Over Taiwan

Aljazeera wrote on June 10:

“China will ‘not hesitate to start a war’ and ‘smash to smithereens’ any Taiwan independence efforts, its defence minister warned his US counterpart in the pair’s first face-to-face talks.

“‘If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost,’ Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said during a meeting with Lloyd Austin on Friday, [continuing that China will] ‘resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland’ [saying that] ‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan’…

“The United States is Taiwan’s most important international supporter and arms supplier, a source of constant friction between Washington and Beijing…”

BBC News added on June 11:

“China and Taiwan were divided during a civil war in the 1940s, but Beijing insists the island will be reclaimed at some point, by force if necessary… Only a few countries recognise Taiwan. Most recognise the Chinese government in Beijing instead. The US has no official ties with Taiwan but does have a law which requires it to provide the island with the means to defend itself.”

Biden recently said that the USA will itself defend Taiwan militarily.. .a claim which was subsequently disputed and “clarified” by the White House.

Fear of Nuclear War

Newsweek wrote on June 7:

“Russian state TV… has warned that if NATO keeps supporting Ukraine in President Vladimir Putin’s war, there will be a ‘massive nuclear strike’ that will see only ‘mutants’ survive…. Solovyov, who has close ties with Putin and has been called ‘Putin’s voice,’ was speaking on Russia-1…

“[He] said that the world is ‘descending into bloody pages of world history… Because if NATO decides they can place whatever they want at our borders, they’ll be sending more and more of American weapons to Ukraine, Ukraine will fire and end up hitting one of our nuclear power plants, and here we go.’ Solovyov said the ‘process’ then will ‘quickly become uncontrollable.’”

Nuclear war between Russia and Europe will occur… but not yet.

Putin’s Plans for Europe?

Fox News wrote on June 12:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to force the West to end its sanctions by causing a widespread famine, Yale historian Timothy Snyder argues. [He] pointed to Russia’s ongoing blockade of Ukrainian grain, which shows no signs of stopping. Ukraine is a major global producer of grain, supplying mainly Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

“Snyder argues that Putin’s plan is not only to destabilize Ukraine by cutting off exports but also destabilize the European Union by generating ‘refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine.’ ‘When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia’s territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted,’ Snyder concluded…

“Russia is currently holding a blockade on Ukraine’s port of Odessa, causing a backlog of roughly 20 million tons of grain.”

These proposed concepts are not without merit.

Putin—the Modern Peter the Great?

Metro.co.uk wrote on June 10:

“Vladimir Putin has compared himself to Russian tyrant Peter the Great, drawing parallels between what he portrayed as their twin historic quests to reconquer Russian lands. After months of denials that the Kremlin has been driven by imperial ambitions with the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian president appeared to offer the clearest glimpse yet of his true goals.

“Speaking on the 350th anniversary of the tsar’s birth, he said: ‘Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned (what was Russia’s). Apparently, it also fell to us to return (what is Russia’s) and strengthen (the country). And if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face.’

“Putin’s words will also be seen as a thinly-veiled threat to the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which fear being occupied once the war in Ukraine is over. Sweden and Finland have also been moved to apply for NATO membership in response to the invasion…

“Peter the Great, an autocratic moderniser admired by liberal and conservative Russians alike, gave his name to a new capital, St Petersburg – Putin’s hometown – that he ordered built on land he conquered from Sweden. Prior to Putin’s visit to the exhibition, state television aired a documentary praising the tyrant as a tough military leader, greatly expanding territory at the expense of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire.

“In recent years, Putin’s interest in Russian history has loomed ever larger in his public appearances. In April 2020, as Russia entered its first coronavirus lockdown, he compared the pandemic to ninth century Turkic nomadic invasions of medieval Russia. In July 2021, the Kremlin published a long essay by Putin in which he argued that Russia and Ukraine were one nation, artificially divided… Putin blamed Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, for creating Ukraine on what Putin said was historically Russian territory.”

And so, Russia and Ukraine WILL somehow unite again.

Poland’s President Likens Russia’s Putin To Adolf Hitler

International Business Times wrote on June 10:

“Poland’s President Andrzej Duda recently blasted the leaders of France and Germany for having one-on-one phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he likened to Nazi’s Adolf Hitler.  Speaking in an interview with German newspaper Bild, Duda said holding talks with Putin only legitimized the war crimes committed by Russian leaders currently invading Ukraine. He later argued that no world leader held talks with Hitler when he invaded Poland in 1939, an event that triggered the start of World War II.  ‘I’m amazed at all the talks that are being held with Putin at the moment… These talks are useless,” Duda said…

“President Duda’s interview comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron held one-on-one phone calls with Putin. Macron, in particular, drew backlash after he argued that Russia must not be humiliated over the invasion and said it was vital for Putin to have a way out of his ‘fundamental error.’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later blasted Macron’s remarks…”

Duda has a point.

The Week wrote in response to Macron’s and Scholz’s position on June 11:

“French President Emmanuel Macron, who fancies himself a Putin whisperer, warned again last week that ‘we must not humiliate Russia.’ Instead, we must reward Putin’s pitiless efforts to erase a peaceful, democratic neighbor from the map by awarding him a nice chunk as a consolation prize: the Donbas and southern Ukraine along the Black Sea. Henry Kissinger… has joined Macron in urging Ukrainian concessions. So has The New York Times editorial board, which recently advised Ukraine it will need to make ‘painful territorial decisions’ in exchange for peace. On the isolationist right, America Firsters from Sen. Rand Paul to Tucker Carlson to Donald Trump have denounced U.S. military aid to Kyiv as a waste of money for a fight that is not ours.

It is… not realistic to believe any concessions will end Putin’s messianic ambitions to absorb Ukraine into ‘holy Russia.’ A deeply cynical, KGB-trained liar, he will happily violate any treaty naïve ‘realists’ force Ukraine to sign. If there is a brief peace, Putin will use it to rebuild his battered army and reinvade until Kyiv succumbs… It’s critically important to prove Putin wrong, even if he finds it humiliating.”

Putin’s ambitions and real goal should be obvious by now.

Medical Emergency for Putin

The Sun wrote on June 10:

“VLADIMIR Putin was given ‘urgent medical assistance’ earlier this week after being struck down by a ‘sharp sickness’, according to Kremlin insiders. Russia’s president has reportedly been ordered by his doctors not to make any ‘lengthy’ public appearances. [He] is said to have fallen ill while talking to his military chiefs and suffered ‘sharp sickness, weakness and dizziness’ as he got up from his desk after a 90-minute virtual session.

“The claims appeared on the General SVR channel on the messaging app Telegram, which is purportedly run by a Kremlin insider… However, the 69-year-old did make a now-rare public appearance in Moscow this Thursday as he addressed young Russian entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists. At an event marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of Peter the Great, Putin bizarrely bragged that he was following in the former Russian tsar’s footsteps with his war in Ukraine [see article above]…

“The General SVR channel has made repeated claims in the past about Putin’s alleged medical problems, including cancer and Parkinson’s disease. These claims, which the channel says are based on inside intelligence, are impossible to verify, but come amid swirling rumours in the West about the Russian president’s health.

“Recent pictures have shown Putin looking frailer with a puffy face, while critics say he has been gripping the side of desks during public appearances to hide his tremors.”

Putin will stay in office until his “purpose” has been fulfilled.

Pope Francis’ Incoherent Proclamations

The Daily Mail wrote on June 14:

“Pope Francis said… Russian troops were brutal, cruel and ferocious, while praising the bravery of Ukrainian soldiers…  He also said the situation was not black and white and that the war was ‘perhaps in some way provoked’ by NATO…’

“Francis said the on-going war in Ukraine, along with other conflicts around the globe, means ‘World War III has been declared’ and therefore the human race has seen three world wars in a century. This, he said, is a ‘calamity’ for humanity….”

Apart from other questionable comments by the Pope, his idea that we are experiencing World War III right now is utter nonsense, and it totally belittles and plays down events which will take place when a REAL World War III is going to occur, which would indeed lead to the extinction of the human race if Christ would not return to stop this madness.

Meaningless Sanctions Against Russia

Newsmax wrote on June 13:

“Russia is making a killing from oil exports despite an embargo from the United States and most of Europe, and it is easily using the profits to finance its ongoing invasion of Ukraine…  Oil exports were 45% of Russia’s overall revenue in 2021… and it still made enough in the first 100 days of the Ukraine invasion to more than replenish what it had spent on the war

“Despite the number of countries that have stopped receiving Russian oil imports, oil prices have risen by about 60%… so Russia’s discount on price still gives it higher revenues over a year ago. Europe has been struggling to free itself of Russian energy as it simultaneously sends Ukraine military aid to fight off the Russian invasion. Greater efforts are being made, though slowly.

“Still, China remains Russia’s largest fossil fuel importer, while Japan is its top importer of coal… And Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be exempted from a ban on Russian oil that goes into effect later this year.

India has increased its purchases of Russian oil, making Russia its top supplier over Saudi Arabia, which had previously held the No. 1 spot… And Sri Lanka has indicated it is open to buying Russia’s oil, its prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, told the AP.”

As Biden has strongly, but foolishly pronounced that the sanctions were not meant to deter Russia from fighting in Ukraine, what then are the sanctions supposed to accomplish? Regardless, as we can see from the article, they accomplish NOTHING.

Fox News Promoting Transgenderism

Breitbart wrote on June 10:

“Fox News promoted the story of a transgender child who switched genders at five years old as part of the network’s ‘LGBTQ+ Pride Month’ special on Friday. On an episode of America’s Newsroom, Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas highlighted the story of Ryland Whittington, a young girl whose family embraced her transgender transition to male when she was five years old. Whittington hopes going public about her story will encourage other families to accept their transgender children…

“Llenas described Whittington as ‘a typical southern Californian teenager,’ during the segment’s introduction. According to her mother, Hillary Whittington, Ryland told her parents that she was a boy before she could even speak… Despite the Whittington family’s ‘conservative faith,’ Whittington’s mother believes God ‘created Ryland just the way “he” is.’… At the segment’s conclusion, Llenas praised the Whittington family for being public about transgender issues in today’s political climate. He also commended the family for displaying ‘extraordinary courage.’…”

This is truly incredible, coming from a supposedly conservative network.

Newsmax wrote on June 11:

“Shortly after the Fox report aired, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro slammed Fox for airing the pro-transgender segment as a ‘complete betrayal.’ ‘Every element of this [Fox News] video is propagandistic, dangerous garbage,’ Shapiro said. ‘The report states that this biologically female child was choosing her gender before she could speak. That is madness.’…

“Likewise, Daily Wire host Michael Knowles knocked Fox News for spotlighting a controversial issue that goes against the beliefs of its Christian viewers… And Knowles’ colleague at the Daily Wire, Matt Walsh, [tweeted:] ‘’The poor kid is 14 now with a permanently altered body, condemned to live forever with an identity imposed as a small child. It is horrifying, evil, and sick. And it is what Fox chose to promote…

“The pro-transgender story on Ryland is not new for Fox News, which has been undergoing a transitioning of sorts itself as it moves away from its more traditional base of viewers. In March Fox announced it had hired, Caitlyn Jenner as top political Contributor for the network. Caitlyn, former Olympic athlete and TV star Bruce Jenner, had never been a commentator on politics before she ran for California governor as part of the 2021 recall effort. Jenner received just 1 percent of the recall vote.

“Fox News CEO Suzanne heralded [Jenner’s] appointment as part of the network’s LGBTQ+ outreach… noting the star was ‘the most famous transgender woman in the world.’ ‘She is a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community and her illustrious career spans a variety of fields that will be a tremendous asset for our audience.’”

Fox News… Disney… when is this “madness” going to stop?

Pelosi Proud of Drag Queens

Daily Wire wrote on June 11:

“Pelosi called it ‘an honor’ to make a guest appearance on the most recent episode of the drag queen show ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’… [She said:] ‘I was inspired by the contestants because they know their power’… During her appearance, Pelosi told the contestants she was proud of them and thanked them ‘for the joy and beauty [they] bring to the world… Your freedom of expression of yourselves in drag is what America is all about,’ the House speaker added. ‘I say that all the time to my friends in drag.’…

“Pelosi’s appearance on the ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ comes as many parents and politicians across the country voice their anger over drag-themed events being targeted toward children.

“The appearance wasn’t Pelosi’s first on a drag queen show. She was also on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ in 2018.”

And so speaks and acts a practicing Catholic who was recently prohibited by some bishops from taking the communion, due to her stance on abortion, while others [including the pope] had no problem with allowing her to partake of the Eucharist. All of this is so shameful and disgusting.  

Europe Condemns US Supreme Court Over Abortion Issue

Breitbart wrote on June 11:

“In a preemptive strike before the American Supreme Court has even had a chance to rule on the legal future of abortion, globalists in the European Union’s so-called parliament passed a measure on Thursday by a margin of 364 to 154 (37 abstentions) to ‘remind’ the United States that it is ‘vital’ to uphold Roe v Wade… The resolution also targeted individual U.S. states for introducing limits on abortion access, such as Texas, which under its heartbeat bill has banned abortion after six weeks, when unborn babies begin to develop their own distinct heartbeat…

“Apparently not understanding how American republicanism operates as a governmental system, the EU parliament went on to call on President Joe Biden to ‘ensure access to safe and legal abortion,’ despite the President having no legal authority to do so. The globalist body also curiously claimed that Roe v Wade ‘protects the right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution,’ even though there is no mention whatsoever of abortion in America’s founding documents.

“Noting the apparent ignorance of the EU lawmakers, German right-wing MEP Christine Anderson, who opposed the measure, commented: ‘The USA is no longer a colony ruled from Europe. Didn’t you know that?’”

It really shows Europe’s “conquering” mentality towards the USA…

The Woman Riding the Beast

The National Catholic Register wrote on June 10:

“Pope Francis discussed the Ukraine war on Friday with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The head of the executive branch of the European Union, a political and economic union of 27 member states, also met on June 10 with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and ‘foreign minister’ Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who visited Ukraine in May.

“The Holy See press office said: ‘During the cordial discussions held in the Secretariat of State, the parties focused on the good bilateral relations and common commitment to work to bring the war in Ukraine to an end, dedicating particular attention to the humanitarian aspects and the food consequences of the continuation of the conflict.’… They also reflected on ‘the consequences for the future structure’ of the EU.

“Tweeting after her papal audience, the German Lutheran mother of seven said she was ‘truly glad’ to meet the Pope again, following a private audience in May 2021… Von der Leyen, who visited the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in April, spoke on June 9 at the opening session of a conference organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.”

And so, the woman, and her daughters, are riding the European beast once more…

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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How Do You Understand the Covenants of the Bible? (Part 6)

After all of this breaking of the covenant between the people and God, God foretold of another covenant.

We read of it in Jeremiah 31:31-34: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The first covenant mentioned here (with the nation of Israel “in the day” when God led them out of the land of Egypt) did not involve God putting His laws in the minds of the people. It was a covenant that would guarantee many physical blessings and long life if kept but did not have a promise of eternal life. But this new covenant would be the answer to the question raised in Deuteronomy 5:29 (compare also Deuteronomy 29:4 and Joshua 24:19, as discussed in the previous Q&A). God would give them a heart to fear Him and keep His commandments.

This passage in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is quoted almost identically in Hebrews 8:8-12. Hebrews 8:6-8 gives us information of this new covenant: “But now He (Christ) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant [note, in passing, that the word “covenant” has been added here by the translator] had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them….” Hebrews 8:13 informs us, “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

We read previously in Exodus 24:8, “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.’” Likewise, the new covenant was also certified with blood, this time not with the blood of animals but with the blood of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:12 informs us, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:14-15 states, “… how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

While the first or old covenant between God and the nation of Israel had many physical blessings, it did not have the promise of eternal life. However, this new covenant has a promise of eternal inheritance which certainly necessitates eternal life. So especially in this promise, the new covenant is greatly superior to the old covenant.

So from this we know there was nothing wrong with the first covenant, in fact it was very beneficial at the times it was kept, but God found fault with the people because mostly they did not keep it. As we read in Deuteronomy 5:29, the people did not have such a heart in them to keep all of God’s commandments on which the covenant was based.

There are other covenants mentioned in the Old Testament between individuals. One is mentioned in 1 Samuel 18:1: “Now when he (David) had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:3-4 adds: “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armour, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.” Again, these were signs for this covenant. As we read the story, David and Jonathan kept this covenant until after the death of Jonathan. David’s lamenting is described in 2 Samuel 1:19-27, particularly in 2 Samuel 1:26. “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, Surpassing the love of women.” Their covenant was an extremely strong relationship (but it has nothing to do with the absolutely false allegation that David and Jonathan were gay lovers.)

God did make another covenant, this time with king David. The fact that it was made is stated, as a part of David’s last words, in 2 Samuel 23:5, although it is not stated here what it involved: “Although my house is not so with God, Yet He had made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure. For this is all my salvation and all my desire; Will He not make it increase?” 2 Chronicles 13:5 relates a time when David, Solomon and Rehoboam had died and Abijah was king over Judah and fighting against Jeroboam and the tribes of Israel: “Should you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?” Here we find that this covenant was for David and his sons to reign over Israel forever. And it was a covenant of salt, showing its permanence.

This covenant is also stated clearly in Psalm 89:3-4: “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations…” And finally, about this covenant, God states that unless the covenant with day and night can be broken, then His covenant with David, and that with the Levites, cannot be broken. Jeremiah 33:20-22 states: “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 David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’”

This covenant involves David’s descendants to be rulers over at least one tribe of Israel (compare our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”). However, David himself knew he would be resurrected to eternal life long before this covenant was made with him. He states in Psalm 17:15. “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” He knew he would be resurrected to eternal life as a Spirit Being.

In conclusion, we see that covenants are the method God used in His dealings with men, and also occurred between individuals. Putting aside for the moment the covenants between God and some individuals like Phinehas or the tribe of Levi, there were several periods of time when God made covenants, and some of these are very beneficial to us today. Apart from the indication of God’s covenant of marriage (see our discussion in part 2 of this series), the first period refers to the time of Noah when God promised He would never again destroy all life by means of a flood. This we can rely on that we will be safe from a total worldwide flood. The second period relates to the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The covenants included blessings of a land, descendant nations and kings.

In Genesis 18:17-18, God reveals that all nations of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham: “And the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?’” This is repeated in Genesis 26:4: “And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” And why would this be? Verse 5 continues: “… because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

But, of course, since we are a part of all nations to be blessed because of Abraham’s obedience, this covenant is beneficial to us today. In addition, the descendants of Abraham and, through him, the house of Israel would be greatly blessed physically as well, but those blessings would be removed when they would refuse to obey, as we are seeing today. And even more to the point, as Galatians 3:16 informs us, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.” So, we greatly benefit through Christ. As true Christians, we are spiritual Israelites, and we are thereby promised eternal life through the Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ.

The third time period when God made covenants with men was at Sinai (and subsequently at Moab). In addition to the covenant which God made with Levi at that time, it was not just a man or he and his family that God made a covenant with, but with a whole nation of millions of people. This was the first covenant dedicated with blood. As we read in Hebrews 9:18-20, “Therefore not even the first covenant [note, in passing, that the word “covenant” was added here by the translator] was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’” As we pointed out previously in Part 4, God made also a separate covenant with the people of Israel regarding the weekly and annual Sabbath days. We read in Isaiah 56:6-7 that even those who may not be Israelite by birth, if they refuse to defile the Sabbath and hold fast to this covenant, God will make them joyful in His house of prayer. This potentially includes all people of the world.

The fourth time period when God made a covenant was with David. This was for David to always have descendants to sit on the throne of Israel, not for his own eternal life.

The fifth time period when God promised a covenant was when it was stated in Jeremiah 31:31-34 that God was going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This time, God would put His laws in their hearts so they could keep them as they were intended to be kept. We read in Galatians 3:29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This new covenant included the promise of eternal life and rulership over all of God’s creation.

Hosea 2:16 informs us when this new covenant is in force, we will no longer call God our Master: “‘And it shall be, in that day,’ Says the LORD, ‘That you will call Me “My Husband,” And no longer call Me “My Master.”’” This obviously refers to Revelation 19:7, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

There are many covenants in the Bible, too many to mention in this short discussion, but they are the main way God uses in dealing with His people throughout the ages and into the future.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Paul Niehoff

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

A Tech Team meeting was conducted via Google Meet on Sunday, June 12, 2022. Hosted by Eric Rank, we discussed our advertising campaigns, video publishing and possible alternatives to You Tube for live services as future needs arise.

“Die Quelle der Kraft,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Christian Mrosek, is now posted. Title in English: “The Source of Power.”

“America’s Sexual Confusion and Its Unethical House Committee—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 11, 2022,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

America is today plagued by sexual confusion; an incredible economic crisis; an incompetent leadership; and unethical proceedings by a sham-and farce committee. In addition, Russia keeps threatening Europe; Europe shows its true colors of conquest towards the USA; and the woman riding the beast is back. Are we prepared for the next major event?

“God’s Spirit of Mercy,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

In this world, we do not find much mercy. Rather, we see a lack of love; a thirst for revenge; and unmerciful conduct. But God shows us that we must be merciful in order to obtain His mercy. In many cases, self-righteousness prevents people from being merciful, as they may think that they are so much better than others; that they could never do what others have done; and that it is therefore necessary to dig up what has been buried. Such an attitude will never give us inward peace.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

Letter to the Brethren – September 8 , 2021

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Dear Members and Friends,

When you receive this letter, the first of the Holy Days in the Fall—the Feast of Trumpets—has already passed. To stay within the symbolic relevance, Jesus Christ has returned and the final battle between the forces of good and evil has been fought. Shortly, Satan and his demons will be imprisoned in the bottomless pit and banned from influencing mankind, and Christ’s rule on and over this earth will begin. These events are pictured by the Day of Atonement (when it becomes possible that all of mankind will be reconciled with God) and the Feast of Tabernacles (when God’s Kingdom will be established on earth).

We, under Christ, will then have the opportunity to teach man God’s Way of Life. Man, having been deceived by Satan the Devil, will learn what it means to love God and neighbor and to live in peace. Man will be able to acquire a new mindset, realizing that “it must be indeed of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” That re-education process will take some time, but ultimately, man will “beat their swords into plowshares,” and they will not learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4). They will worship the Prince of Peace who will have come to make wars cease to the end of the earth (Psalm 46:9).

Even though the UN has adopted the passage in Isaiah 2:4, as referred to above, as their motto, there has NEVER been a time when man has not experienced violence and war. There is a reason for that. God did not create man as war-mongering creatures, but Satan kidnapped man to follow his evil devices, and Satan IS called a liar and a murderer from the beginning. He is the AUTHOR of war, and he taught mankind the LIE that war can bring peace. It never has, and it never will. Man has been fighting wars for many Satanic reasons. And so, mankind must be and will be taught that war never brings success and lasting peace; and that war and peace are diametrical opposites.

As Satan and his demons are responsible for much of the evil in the world, they will have to pay. They will be imprisoned in the abyss, but that is not their final fate. Ultimately, they will see how all their works and “accomplishments” will come to an end, being burned up in the fire (2 Peter 3:10-13), and they will become wandering stars, living forever in total darkness (Jude 13).

But this has not happened yet. So far, Christ has not returned; Satan is still on his earthly throne; and Christ’s rule on and over this earth has not yet begun. The autumnal festivals show us, however, that the time is near, picturing events which will surely come to pass.

We, who are called out of this present evil world, are described as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20). We are to announce what will happen soon, showing by our lifestyle how the world will live in a few years from now. We are to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom or Government of God—the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). We are to preach repentance (Luke 24:47)—a change of mind and heart. But not only that, we also are to live by what we preach.

God’s Church is observing the annual Holy Days with the understanding of what they picture. As mentioned, the Day of Atonement points to Satan’s banishment, and the Feast of Tabernacles includes the message of Satan’s literal imprisonment. Satan knows it too, and he has great wrath, realizing that his time is short.

Satan has spiritually imprisoned this world since Adam and Eve, as he and his demons are spiritually imprisoned as well by everlasting chains under darkness (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). But as they will also be literally imprisoned in the bottomless pit, so they have begun to literally imprison this world through lockdowns and other measures of isolation. In addition, they are trying tirelessly, through their human agents and governmental officials, to prevent God’s people from observing His weekly and annual Holy Days. Make no mistake! Satan and his demons will continue, as much as God allows it, to use human rulers and their followers to persecute the saints (Revelation 13:7; 12:13-17), knowing full well that the saints will replace them as rulers over this earth.

What a beautiful time that will be when the Millennium has begun. The Holy Days remind us of God’s Master Plan, but we could forget if we become negligent or cease altogether from observing these days. Many, who once kept these days and don’t keep them anymore, have lost the precious knowledge of God’s Truth in so many ways. The reason is: When we abandon God’s Way of Life, God will remove from us His understanding which He had given us.

Christ warns us that this could even happen to His saints. He said in Matthew 24:4: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” He adds in verse 12 that in many of us, God’s love (which is keeping His commandments) will grow cold. He states in verse 24 that false christs and false prophets will arise—obviously due to Satan’s inspiration—“so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” The
German Menge Bible
makes the intended meaning clearer: “… so as to possibly [or perhaps] deceive also the elect.”

When we follow Satan’s evil devices in NOT properly keeping God’s weekly and annual Holy Days, we have already developed a lukewarm attitude and have already begun our descent into deception. In fact, we have already begun the process of walking away from God, “having been taken captive” again by Satan “to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).

It is that serious. On the other hand, if we stick to the “trunk of the Tree” and do what is right in God’s eyes, including observing God’s Holy Days in the proper way, we “will never stumble, and an entrance will be supplied to [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11).

And so, appreciate, enjoy and celebrate God’s Holy Days as never before, for we know that Jesus will return very soon to bring the wonderful life that is ahead in the Kingdom of God!

With Christian love,


Norbert Link

Letter to the Brethren – May 21, 2021

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Dear Members and Co-Workers,

As I write this letter, it has been more than 50 days since we kept the Days of Unleavened Bread. When you receive this letter, the correct Day of Pentecost will have been observed by those of us in God’s Church. 

Together with Passover, these Spring Holy Days picture the start of God’s plan for us and eventually for all of mankind. After the New Testament Church had begun in Jerusalem and the first group of disciples had received the Holy Spirit, there was a great swelling of people within the Church. We read in Scripture that that early Church was mighty in boldness, power, miracles, healings and in giving glory to God. 

As we think about the Days we have kept, we pictured removing sin from our lives with the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in conjunction with removing sin, we also understood the need to replace sin with righteousness (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). The Day of Pentecost shows us that we must receive and grow in the use of God’s Holy Spirit. We must allow Christ to work in and through us by the power of His Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, emanating from Christ and God the Father, allows us to operate on a level that people in this world cannot achieve. Without this gift from God, we would end up again as they are. We need God’s power to continue living as Christians. In order to accomplish this properly, we must really continue to put God FIRST in our lives. 

As we examine all the situations that we go through, and maybe the situations of those who we may know, it should be plain for us to see that without God in our lives, things are so much harder. Without God, life can oftentimes be ridiculously frightening and frustrating. It is only by focusing on God and His ways that we can cultivate and grow in the use of God’s Spirit working in us. The early Church didn’t do all the things they did because they were shrinking from their responsibilities or because they were hiding who they were. Rather, they focused on growth. They adhered to and followed a certain Way of Life, and we see that God was pleased with this. God opened the doors as a result.

Since we have celebrated the Spring Holy Days, what is it that we are going to do now? What can we do differently and sustainably in the coming days that we may not have been doing before? 

Will we grow in our ability to search God’s Word? 

Acts 17:11-12 reads: “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.”

The Word of God directs, teaches, inspires and leads us to answers in our lives. Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version) tells us: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” 

Will we grow in prayer?

Colossians 1:9-10 says: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…”

Ephesians 6:18 (The Amplified New Testament) adds: “With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all [of] God’s people.”

Will we choose to find ways to implement deeper the fruit of the Spirit into our lives? 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) states: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Whatever we choose to do, we should realize that our time is now! We have to GROW NOW! It all matters what we choose, how we choose to do it, how we interact with God’s people, and how we use God’s Holy Spirit in our lives. I used to think when I was growing up that Christians were kind of forced or compelled in some way to do these things. But I have come to realize that no one is going to force or compel us to follow God. No one is going to make us choose a different path. The decisions which we choose to make every day give meaning to our lives. We choose to allow God to lead us in our lives, or we choose to live without Him.

Christ plainly states in the book of Revelation that He is knocking at the doors of our lives, inviting us to open the door and allowing Him in so that He can show us the Way. “I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m not feeling like it, I don’t like to read, I don’t study well, I’ve got too much going on”—these are all excuses that seem to be legitimate in their own ways IF WE LET THEM! God doesn’t force us to love Him. Nor does He force us to accept His laws. We can choose to keep some of them and brush others aside, but that would be a terrible mistake.

When I think about the times in my life I have chosen to do the opposite of God’s Way, I see sadness and pain. The idea is false that happiness or truth or any other spiritual thing can come other than seeking after God’s ways and implementing them. It is a lie which we may swallow all too often because we are seeking after physical instead of spiritual things.

Peter’s admonition to us in 2 Peter 3:18 is to continually grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The only way to be doing that is to be actively focused on this Way of Life in EVERYTHING that we go through. This is truly how we make more progress in our lives. All of us should focus on how much we can grow. Perhaps it would be a good idea to take a specific area and focus on that for a while and to see what results are produced. The Holy Spirit is NOT static. It must flow into us and through us and out of us and then be renewed. 

We all have much to accomplish and to do. Let’s make sure we are seeking God’s Will in doing so. 

With love,

Kalon Mitchell

Update 954

What Limits? / The Salvation of God

On January 2, 2021, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “What Limits?” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Salvation of God.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Has It Begun?

by Michael Link

Throughout the years we have written many articles and have given many messages about what we can expect in the upcoming year. We conclude the current year with a summary and review of what we all witnessed around the world and then we ask the question on what we can expect for the “new year.”  We make mention to the fact that Christ will return soon and that we need to be prepared for that, watching what is going on in the world in relation to biblical prophecy.  We have articles that were written over 10 years ago alluding to these statements, along with warnings of what the very near future is going to bring.

Even though these end-time prophecies revealed in the Bible haven’t come to pass, and we don’t know exactly when they will occur, we get more of an idea of how much closer we really are getting based on the situation we are currently in, and we can EXPECT things to get much worse.  We can see just how quickly time has passed in 10 years and we can see just how quickly the world has changed in just one year.  In just one year the livelihood of every individual around the globe has been affected and negatively impacted by just one virus.

The beginning of sorrows which Christ talks about in Matthew 24:4-8 is what we will be going through very shortly, yet the majority of the world doesn’t even realize it, or they do not understand what is really going to happen.  We have already experienced a small taste of what is described here with deception, false prophets, wars and rumors of wars, famines, diseases, and earthquakes in various places, but this is only the beginning.   Many do expect and believe that there will be an “end of the world” but how are they really preparing for it?  Are they preparing like God’s people are supposed to be? I dare to say that not even 1% of the entire population in the world has any understanding of what is going to come.

That which is certain is the fact that we do not know exactly when Christ will return (Matthew 24:36).  God says that a thousand years is like one day to Him as stated in 2 Peter 3:8, so imagine what only 10 years is like in God’s eyes.  What we do know is that the time is going to come when God has had enough, His patience will end and Christ’s coming will not be delayed anymore, and the horrible things that are prophesied in the Bible will begin to take place.

There are so many events that still need to come to pass before Christ’s return and we are certainly witnessing at this very moment the beginning stages of sorrows.  Things can develop so quickly and catch everyone off guard, which is why we can’t be slack in our responsibility to keep watching and being spiritually prepared (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4; Revelation 3:3).

We have just scratched the surface of what is imminent.  So again, we ask the question, what can we expect for this upcoming year?  Will it get better?  Based on what we are going through presently with man’s speculative measures in “controlling” the current pandemic, it would be extremely difficult to imagine that things will go back to “normal.” This is NOT what the Bible reveals.  We KNOW what is going to come and we had better make sure that we are on God’s side for OUR lives are in HIS hands.

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by Norbert Link

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

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The Brexit “Deal”

Business Insider wrote on December 25:

“Thursday’s historic Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU still leaves the fishing sector with many key questions unanswered, the mayor of a major French fishing port has warned… The hard-fought agreement between the two parties was resolved, agreeing to a five year transition period over fisheries after which the EU catch would have to reduce by 25%, according to the announcement on Thursday. This was a concession on the part of the UK, who had demanded a 60% fall at the start of the week…

“Despite Johnson calling the deal ‘reasonable’ for the fishing industry in Thursday’s press conference… ‘[the] industry will be bitterly disappointed that there is not more of [a] definitive break,’ Barrie Deas, chief executive of The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said… For Deas, Johnson has given in to EU demands in order to secure a deal overall, making ‘significant concessions’ in the process. ‘It was clear that Boris Johnson wanted an overall trade deal and was willing to sacrifice fishing,’ he told the Press Association.

“With what appears to be a ‘bare-bones’ deal agreed, the fishing sector is not alone in its uncertainty. Agreements are yet to be made on the services industry – the biggest sector of the UK’s economy… Even with a deal made, parts of the UK’s financial services industry remain unconvinced… The deal still needs to be approved by both the UK parliament and the sovereign states of Europe, but most commentators think it will get the green light.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 25:

“The British government has said it would summon MPs back to parliament on December 30 to vote on the deal… British lawmakers are likely to be unhappy with the rushed approval process. Significant legislation typically takes months to pass through parliament and involves line-by-line scrutiny. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may still face a revolt from Brexiteers in his ruling Conservative Party who don’t think the deal offers a clean enough break from Brussels. But he has an 80 seat majority in the lower parliamentary chamber, the House of Commons, and the opposition Labour party has said it would back the deal. Labour leader Keir Starmer said the agreement was thin, but it was better than no deal at all…

“… businesses will nonetheless face new red tape for imports and exports. And since the deal between the UK and EU was reached a week before the year’s end, people and businesses don’t have much time to prepare for changes coming on January 1. Meanwhile, citizens of the UK and EU will no longer be able to enjoy free movement to live, work and study between the two areas. Britons traveling to the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone can only stay for 90 days in every 180-day period. EU nationals can visit the UK for up to 180 days… But leaving the EU’s single market and customs union will undoubtedly have a negative impact on Britain’s economy.”

Worst Recession in 300 Years

CBS News wrote on December 26:

“The world is making adjustments following a new strain of the coronavirus, spreading in the United Kingdom and beyond as the country’s government says it has entered its worst recession in 300 years.”

Getting Ready for January 6

The Independent wrote on December 26:

“Donald Trump appeared to back the idea of trying to overturn the election result in Congress on 6 January in a series of tweets on Saturday morning in which he once again made… claims of electoral fraud. A joint session of House and Senate politicians will meet on 6 January to count the electoral votes, which gave a 306 to 232 victory to Joe Biden. In what is usually a rubber-stamping exercise, sealed certificates submitted by each state are opened by the vice president, who oversees the process. However, if there are written objections from members of both the House and Senate, a vote by both chambers can be triggered.

“Several Republican congressmen have said they will object. Incoming Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville has suggested he might, despite GOP leader Mitch McConnell telling his party members not to. On Saturday morning, Mr Trump tweeted: ‘The “Justice” Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.’

“The tweet was immediately tagged with the phrase ‘This claim about election fraud is disputed’ by Twitter. In another tweet, also tagged as disputed, he wrote: ‘If a Democrat Presidential Candidate had an Election Rigged & Stolen, with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, the Democrat Senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death. Mitch & the Republicans do NOTHING, just want to let it pass. NO FIGHT!’

“A third read: ‘The U.S. Supreme Court has been totally incompetent and weak on the massive Election Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election. We have absolute PROOF, but they don’t want to see it – No “standing”, they say. If we have corrupt elections, we have no country!’

“Mr Trump then claimed his incoming successor was a ‘fake president’ and compared the 2020 election unfavourably to those held in Afghanistan. He wrote: ‘A young military man working in Afghanistan told me that elections in Afghanistan are far more secure and much better run than the USA’s 2020 Election. Ours, with its millions and millions of corrupt Mail-In Ballots, was the election of a third world country. Fake President!’…

“If Republican lawmakers do object during the vote-counting on 6 January, the ploy is unlikely to work. The rules stipulate that both chambers must vote to support the objections and the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats. The membership of the Senate will be decided on 5 January with two run-off elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republicans are trying to hang on to their seats. If Democrats win both, the parties will be even, with 50 senators each. In the case of tied votes, the president of the Senate – currently vice president Mike Pence… – casts a deciding vote.

“The move has been tried before, including in 2017 when half a dozen Democrats rose to object to Mr Trump’s victory. In a twist of irony they were overruled by none other than Joe Biden, who as vice president was overseeing the count. He pointed out that none of the objections had been properly made in writing, adding: ‘It’s over.’”

Gun Violence Spiking

The Associated Press wrote on December 28:

“In Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and even smaller Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Milwaukee, 2020 has been deadly not only because of the pandemic, but because gun violence is spiking. Authorities and some experts say there is no one clear-cut reason for the spike. They instead point to social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 virus, public sentiment toward police following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody and a historic shortage of jobs and resources in poorer communities as contributing factors. It’s happening in cities large and small, Democrat and Republican-led…

“What the COVID-19 virus did was exacerbate all of the frustration and anger that some in Black and brown communities already were dealing with, according to retired Michigan State University sociology professor Carl Taylor. ‘The COVID has been absolutely the trigger of an everlasting bomb that’s exploding in many parts of our community,’ he added. Nowhere is that more true than inside people’s homes. ‘The COVID crisis and the economic shutdown is forcing people into their homes, creating conditions where people are more volatile,’ said Kim Foxx, the top prosecutor in Cook County, which includes Chicago. And the most jarring statistic that illustrates that volatility is this: The number of domestic-related homicides in the nation’s third-largest city are up more than 60% compared with last year…”

Recalling Newsom

Fox News wrote on December 29:

“The California governor’s days could be limited thanks to a growing effort to invoke a statewide referendum. A campaign to recall [him] is picking up steam after individual donors offered tens of thousands of dollars each and they scored $500,000 from an Irvine-based consulting firm… Since 1911, Californians have attempted to recall their governor 55 times, but were successful only in 2003 against Gov. Gray Davis, who lost his special election to Arnold Schwarzenegger. That effort was propelled into the spotlight after Rep. Darrell Issa donated $2 million. After Prov 3:9 [LLC] became the first major donor in the effort to recall Newsom, other big donors may step forward.

“Fed up with the Democratic governor’s shutdown orders, which some found erratic, Rescue California organized to circulate petitions that call for Newsom’s governorship to be recalled and a special election to take place, well before the next governor’s race in November 2022. Newsom, currently in his first term, has not yet said if he plans to run again.

“Rescue California needs a minimum 1,495,709 valid signatures to recall the governor, and the group says it’s collected some 800,000 so far.”

Jens Spahn Germany’s Most Popular Politician

Newsmax wrote on December 27:

“German Health Minister Jens Spahn has taken over from Chancellor Angela Merkel as the nation’s most popular politician, a poll showed Sunday, highlighting his potential as a future leader of Europe’s biggest economy. Spahn, 40, has long been considered a rising star in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, and is widely perceived to have made a key contribution to Germany’s relatively successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Kantar poll in Bild newspaper, 52% of those surveyed said Spahn should play a major role in German politics in 2021, up from 28% at the end of 2019. Merkel’s approval rating was 51%, up 11 percentage points from the previous year…

“Merkel is stepping down following the next election due in September 2021 after more than a decade and a half in power. The CDU will elect a new leader and probable chancellor candidate at a virtual congress next month. Spahn has backed Armin Laschet, the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, while Friedrich Merz, a long-time Merkel rival, and Norbert Roettgen, a former environment minister, are also running. The winner will likely be the conservative bloc’s candidate to succeed Merkel next year, though Bavaria Premier Markus Soeder, head of the CDU’s sister party in the southern state, may be asked to step in.

“Soeder is the third-most popular politician on 50%, the Kantar poll showed. Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate, was fourth on 47%, Merz scored 37% in sixth place, Laschet 31% in eighth and Roettgen 29% in ninth. While Spahn has thrown his support behind Laschet, there is an outside chance he could be tapped to run as the conservative candidate for chancellor if he is seen as having the best chance of winning the election.”

A Vaccine Passport

CNN Business wrote on December 28:

“Now that coronavirus vaccines are starting to roll out in the US and abroad, many people may be dreaming of the day when they can travel, shop and go to the movies again. But in order to do those activities, you may eventually need something in addition to the vaccine: a vaccine passport application.

“Several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries. The Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based nonprofit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the United States and the government of Aruba.

“The CommonPass app created by the group allows users to upload medical data such as a Covid-19 test result or, eventually, a proof of vaccination by a hospital or medical professional, generating a health certificate or pass in the form of a QR code that can be shown to authorities…”

Spain Will Register those who Choose not to get Vaccinated

The New York Times wrote on December 28:

“Spain plans to collect and share with other European Union nations information about residents who decide not to get vaccinated for Covid-19, the country’s health minister said on Monday.

“Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, stressed that vaccination would not be made compulsory, but, he said, a register would be set up that would include all the people who turned down the vaccine after being called up for vaccination by Spain’s public health service.

75-Year Old Man Gets Vaccinated and Dies two hours later

365 wrote on December 28:

“A 75-year old man from the norther[n] Israeli town of Beit Shaan died of a heart attack just two hours after getting Pfizer’s covid vaccine on Monday… The man got the vaccine at 8:30 in the morning and waited in the HMO. He was subsequently released to his home after he reported that he felt fine. At home, he lost consciousness and then passed away.

“Initial reports claimed that his death was unrelated to the vaccine however the Health Ministry is now investigating the circumstances of his death. The head of the Health Ministry, Dr Hezy Levi admitted to the Kan broadcasting network that he didn’t know if his death was tied to the vaccine, but said that a committee would be established to investigate it.”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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Doesn’t Psalm 139:8 show that we either go to heaven or hell at death?

First of all, let us read this verse: “If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”

This is a psalm that Church of God members will have sung many times as it features as hymn 105 in the Church’s Bible Hymnal.

In the previous verse we read: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” which shows that king David understood that God had perfect knowledge of man which is the heading of the Psalm.   God knows our very thoughts (verse 2) which means that even if we are praying silently, He still hears.   Therefore, verse 8 sums up the fact that wherever we are, God knows.

However, this verse can be seized upon by some to say that at death we go to heaven or to an ever burning fiery hell, neither of which are correct.   In fact, the Bible speaks of three heavens and for those who are not aware of these facts, or those who may wish to refresh their memories on this subject, please see https://www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/q-a-3756/

In the Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament we read: “God, however, is omnipresent, sustaining the life of all things by His Spirit, and revealing Himself either in love or in wrath – what the poet styles His countenance. To flee from this omnipresence (away from), as the sinner and he who is conscious of his guilt would gladly do, is impossible.”

On the website https://www.bible-studys.org/ we read that “The word translated ‘hell’ here refers to ‘the grave’ or ‘the place of the dead’ rather than the place of eternal punishment for unbelievers. David asserts that God is, in fact, everywhere. Death cannot separate the believer from Him (Rom. 8:38-39; 2 Cor. 5:8). And when His people worship, they have an incredible sense of His manifest presence (22:3).”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible gives the following explanation: “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there,…. No man hath ascended or can ascend to heaven of himself; it is an hyperbolical expression, as are those that follow; none but Christ has ascended to heaven by his own power, who descended from it….”

However, having got the above brief quotation correct, the Exposition then goes on to explain heaven and hell in the terms mostly accepted by mainstream Christianity today, that is heaven for the good and hell for the damned.

There are many references in the Bible to Sheol (hell) in the Old Testament, for example: Numbers 16:31-34, Job 7:7-10, Psalm 88:2-10, 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Samuel 22:5–19; Job 10:18-22, Psalm 30:3, Psalm 94:17, Psalm 143:3, Psalm 115:17, Jonah 2:3-8 and others, and this shows that a person, upon his death, does not go to hell in the way understood in mainstream churches today.

According to Sidney Brichto, a British Liberal rabbi, the early Israelites apparently believed that the graves of family, or tribe, united into one and that this, unified collectively, is to what the Biblical Hebrew term Sheol refers: the common grave of humans.

Joseph Caryl, a 17th century English writer and preacher, wrote: “Hell in some places in Scripture signifies the lower parts of the earth, without relation to punishment: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. By ‘heaven’ he means the upper region of the world, without any respect to the state of blessedness; and ‘hell’ is the most opposite and remote in distance, without respect to misery. As if he had said, Let me go whither I will, thy presence finds me out.”

To show that a Christian does not go to Heaven after death, please read the following Q&A: https://www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/q-a-3756/

And so what is the answer?   Barnes mentioned that no man hath ascended or can ascend to heaven of himself; it is a hyperbolical expression.

Overstatement can be intentional or accidental. It’s usually considered hyperbole, but may also be used as idiomatic emphasis.

What is hyberbole?   E W Bullinger, a 19th Century English clergyman, Biblical scholar, and theologian wrote a book entitled “Figures of Speech Used in The Bible” and showed that there were over 200 different types of figures of speech, and hyperbole was one of them.   It is, put simply, an exaggeration to make the point and not to be taken literally, and when applied to Psalm 139:8 it is showing the sheer impossibility of any such action being achieved.

There are many instances of hyperbole in the Bible which we will review in the next Q&A.

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

StandingWatch is available on the following PODCAST channels:




StandingWatch Programs, Sermons, Sermonettes and Booklet Promotions—both current and past presentations are available on our YouTube channel:

The Church of the Eternal God Facebook channel is: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchoftheEternalGod

“Wo liegt das Problem?” is the German sermonette presented last Sabbath by Johann Schell, and is now posted. Title in English: “Where is the Problem?” 

“Finding Hope,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The world today is a very dark place, and there is no leadership capable of fixing it—other than the hand of God and the return of His Son: Jesus Christ. Yet, this world and its creatures were still created by God and if we open our eyes we see His hand everywhere if we are paying attention. We must be vigilant and watch for the signs, but we can also appreciate the majesty of God’s hand in our lives each day. This Sermonette will discuss several scriptures that can make this clear in the ways that mankind cannot. Together we can find the hope we need to remain strong and do what we must.

“The Futility of Anger,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Anger is an emotion that few live without. From the beginning of humanity, man has either fought against or allowed to fester this emotional outpouring. Today, as the world winds ever closer to experiencing the wrath and judgement of God, we must, like Christ, temper this emotion in a way that doesn’t lead us towards spiritual destruction.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

PLEASE NOTE: All of our recent sermons and sermonettes have begun to be posted following the recent fall Holy Days. These postings may be found at www.eternalgod.org and https://www.ewigengottes.de/

“How to Love Our Country” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Are we to love our country in which we live… to be true patriots? If so, what does this mean exactly, and what does it not mean? Many have a wrong concept of true godly love, and this program will give you answers to many misunderstood ideas. 

A German AufPostenStehen version of this program has been produced as well, titled, Wie wir unser Land lieben!” 

“Daran erkennen wir die Wahrheit!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “By This We Know the Truth.”

“What Do You Have to Lose?” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The fear of loss has an undeniable effect on our behavior. When we consider how we make decisions, how much do we allow the fear of loss to direct us? When we think about God’s role in our lives, the power over the fear of loss in worldly terms fails to have an effect, freeing us up to act with boldness and courage.

“Do We See Our Calling?” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What does it really mean to be called by God? Do we truly understand the implications of God’s calling and our responsibility to respond? How can each of us succeed in our calling to salvation in the Kingdom of God?

Letter to the Brethren – May 26, 2020

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Dear Brethren,

These days we all have something in common. And when I say “we,” I mean everyone in the whole world. Every single one of us is affected by the societal response to the global pandemic of Covid-19. We’ve canceled trips. If we’re fortunate enough to have work, we’ve changed the way we do it. We’ve been forced to find masks to wear when we shop. We were told to stand in lines six feet apart from the person in front of us. Some have hesitated or refused shaking hands. We’ve been shocked to see shortages of goods. I could go on about how life has changed for everyone, but I think the point is clear. Life has changed on an unprecedented scale, and there’s no way that we can completely escape from it.

Some of the sacrifices have been difficult to make. But with the difficulty in responding to the changes imposed upon us, it gives us a chance to be tested. Generally speaking, tests are necessary if we want to determine how successful we are in achieving our goals and ambitions. With the difficult circumstances that we all face, what are the results of our tests? Do we find ourselves expressing short-tempered unrighteous anger, lack of patience, greed, frustration, depression, and fear? Or do we find ourselves grateful, kind, understanding, generous, faithful, and loving? It’s no surprise if we pick a few items from both of those lists. In whatever way we find ourselves behaving, the results of our actions provide us with insight into the state of our hearts. Difficult circumstances help us understand our true selves.

To be tested is a privilege because the results teach us how to improve. It is never easy to endure difficulty, but knowing that circumstances are purposeful in producing good in our lives (compare Romans 8:28), we can be confident that life’s difficulties will help us in the long run. Peter writes a challenging admonition for us to follow: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). While it seems contradictory to rejoice in various trials, they provide us with information that we cannot otherwise obtain about ourselves. When we consider the end result of our trials, we can see our hearts more clearly. Do we produce the fruit of the Spirit in difficult times, or only when life is easy? Without this kind of information, how would we otherwise be able to learn how to grow? In whatever shape they take, the tests that we all endure provide us with invaluable insight about the underlying motivations of our behavior—which is what the Bible refers to in addressing the “heart” of a person.

Christians need to expect to be tested by difficult circumstances. Since we live in a world that opposes God’s teachings, when we follow God, we will find conflict with the world. Jesus Christ states that His true followers will be persecuted for their beliefs (compare Luke 21:12, John 16:2-3). In this time when the governments of the world prohibit Church gatherings and other essential Church functions, it is clear that God and His people are under attack. And we know that times will only get worse, increasing the difficulty of our tests.

But we have nothing to fear. We need to remember that God and His righteousness will prevail, and that He believes in our ability to overcome. “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment [abundance]” (Psalm 66:10-12). As we can see, we must expect to be tested—refined in the fire like silver and gold—so that we can remove the impurities and things that hide deep within our hearts. But we can also see that the planned result of the process will be ABUNDANCE! Trials are difficult by design, but they help us to become purer, training us for life in the future Kingdom of God.

This Truth only makes sense to people who understand God’s plan. “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10). If we are among the wise, we will understand that the difficult times we endure in the world have a purpose. Can we see that we are being refined right now? It’s true. The real question is, what are we doing with the information resulting from our personal tests? What do our trials say about what lies within our hearts? If we are being refined—and we are being refined—we have an opportunity to examine our hearts and do something about it.

If we come through our trials judging our hearts to be 100% pure already with nothing more to work on, we need to think again. A Scripture that we should take into consideration reminds us of our human condition: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). It is humanly natural to look into our hearts and judge that we have nothing to fix. Our truest desires in our hearts can be deceitful, though. Since our hearts show us what we value the most, it is hard to see if our hearts’ desires may be misplaced. It’s no wonder that man’s heart is deceitful! Our values are founded on what we believe to be right and true, and our hearts reflect this. Therefore, it is difficult to judge on our own that we may have something in our hearts to fix.

In order to correctly and fully understand our hearts, we must have the mind of God so we can think like Him (compare 1 Corinthians 2:16). And the only way we can have the mind of God is with the Holy Spirit living within us. From the very beginning God knew that His people would need the Holy Spirit to learn righteousness and overcome the world. With the Feast of Pentecost upon us, we observe the memorial of when the Holy Spirit was given to the first-generation Christian Church (compare Acts 2:1-4). Like the first Christians, we too have the Holy Spirit available to help us.

Since we have a need to examine our hearts with the mind of God, we use the Holy Spirit within us, and look to God for help. He is the One who searches the heart and tests the mind. Since we are able to discern the Truth with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can see ourselves as God sees us. In that way, through the tests and trials that He gives us, we learn about what really lies within our hearts. With that information we can compare it to the standard of His righteousness and figure out what to do about it. If we find that our hearts direct our thoughts and actions in ways that lead us away from producing the fruit of the Spirit, we have some work to do. Do we find that we’re not faithful enough? Are we showing God’s love to our brethren and our neighbors? Is there something in our hearts that shows that we have our treasure misplaced (compare Matthew 6:19-21)? If we discover that we have work to do in our lives, we should be encouraged by it. We know that we have the opportunity right now to improve the way we live so we can please God more. The tests that we endure refine our hearts, showing us how to direct our efforts to produce the change that God wants to see.

In the difficulty of these end times, we are confident that God knows what we are going through. The world around us will falter, but God’s people are supposed to emerge stronger. We have a unique opportunity right now to take advantage of the tests we’re taking to examine our hearts and become refined. As we observe the Feast of Pentecost, we are reminded of the great gift of the Holy Spirit which God gives us. Will we use the gift of the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and find ways to increase our treasure in heaven?

With brotherly love,

Eric Rank

Update 916

God’s Design Plan / A Reason For The Hope That Is In You

On March 14, 2020, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “God’s Design Plan,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “A Reason For The Hope That Is In You.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Conditional Friendship

by Dave Harris

Jesus said to His disciples, those with whom He had just observed Passover, “‘you are My friends,’” but He added this conditional requirement, “‘if you do whatever I command you’” (John 15:14).

The Bible shows that the building block for friendship in the Family of God is love, and it is what Jesus requires of us: “‘This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you’” (John 15:12, also, verse 17). In fact, Jesus uses His own example to set the standard:

“‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another… as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’” (John 13:34-35).

In what way has Jesus loved us? Just how far was He willing to go to prove His friendship with us? He defined it this way: “‘Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends’” (John 15:13); and we know that “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus magnified the second part of God’s commandments—“‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:39).

God, Himself, calls Abraham “‘My friend’” (Isaiah 41:8), and God “spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend’” (Exodus 33:11). Both did what God commanded them to do.

Can it also be said that we are friends with the Father and Jesus Christ? Jesus prayed that this would take place among His disciples:

‘”I do not pray for these alone (those whom He had earlier called His friends), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me’” (John 17:20-23).

The depth of our relationship as friends with the Father and Jesus Christ is shown in that we share in the knowledge of what the Family of God is doing, and that we are part of it:

“‘No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you’” (John 15:15-16).

One thing we can ask the Father is that He will indeed help us to do whatever He commands. That is exactly what Jesus did! He depended on the Father, and the Bible reveals that Jesus prayed for help in the work given to Him to accomplish. Jesus was able to say: “‘I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do’” (John 17:4).

And so it likewise falls to us to finish the work God has commanded us to do. We are chosen for this—because we are the friends of God.

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by Norbert Link

We begin with new developments about the coronavirus, President Trump’s convoluted explosive and strongly condemned announcement of a travel ban for most Europeans and man’s stupid and somewhat suicidal “attempts” to deal with the crisis. We should be able to see how quickly we are moving towards World War III and the end of civilization, as we know it.

We also speak on the shameful worldwide arms trade, which only manifests additional aspects of man’s self-destroying stupidity; as well as the election results in Israel and Biden’s victory over Sanders.

We conclude with interesting developments within the Catholic Church.

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

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Trump Bans Travel from Europe, but…

The messages from the White House and the Trump Administration have been as confusing as ever.

The Week wrote on March 11:

“In an address to the nation Wednesday night from the Oval Office, President Trump said because of the coronavirus pandemic, he is suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, with the restrictions not applying to the United Kingdom. The action will go into effect Friday at midnight. Trump did not say why the UK, which has 460 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, is exempt. Trump… criticized the European Union, saying it ‘failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.’

“After Trump’s address, Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said the travel suspension does ‘not apply to American citizens or legal permanent residents or their families.’”

But consider this, from ABC News, dated March 11:

“The new travel restrictions affecting Europe… will include exemptions for the United Kingdom and Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.”

And then, here is this “clarification,” as reported by the AP, dated March 11:

“Trump said… the U.S. would monitor the situation to determine if travel could be reopened earlier.

“Homeland Security officials later clarified that the new travel restrictions would only apply to most foreign nationals who have been in the ‘Schengen Area’ at any point for 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States [see below].”

The Sun wrote on March 11:

“He singled out the UK as an exemption to the ban – but there was confusion as a later statement from the Department of Homeland Security said only countries in the Schengen area of free movement would be barred, therefore meaning Ireland was also exempt.

“The Schengen Area is the term given to the 26 European states which allow passport-free travel through their borders. The Department of Homeland Security subsequently issued this statement:

“‘Several countries in the Schengen Area will be impacted by the travel ban.

“‘President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States.

“‘These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.’…

“DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf said… he intends to implement a Notice of Arrivals Restriction which requires that US passengers who’ve been in the Schengen Area ‘to travel through select airports’ for enhanced screening procedures.”

Deutsche Welle added that, allegedly, the restrictions do not apply to “Any lawful permanent resident of the US and any foreign national who is the spouse of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Foreign nationals who are parents or legal guardians of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Foreign nationals who are siblings of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, and who are under 21 years old and unmarried. Foreign nationals who are foster children of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Any member of the US armed forces.”

Panic at the Airports

Reuters wrote on March 12:

“Bleary-eyed and stressed, travellers scrambled at European airports to board flights to the United States on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping travel restrictions… Trump’s announcement has disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of people and hit airlines already reeling from the coronavirus outbreak… ‘It caused a mass panic,’ said 20-year-old Anna Grace, a U.S. student at Suffolk University who was on her first trip to Europe…

“A Delta crew member said Trump’s travel ban had caught the airline off-guard. ‘It’s going to be a big mess,’ said the crew member, who asked not to be named. ‘We were not expecting something like that…’”

Trump’s New Travel Ban Condemned

Daily Mail added on March 12:

“Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday morning that all Americans returning from Europe would be asked to quarantine [for 14 days] when they return

“The State Department also warned Americans against all non-essential travel abroad, raising the prospect of mandatory quarantines and further bans that could leave people stranded…

“The announcement was quickly met with criticism from a range of industries. Dr Margaret Harris from the World Health Organisation was among those criticizing the travel ban…

“The Association of Flight Attendants was also quick to criticize Trump, branding his travel ban ‘irresponsible‘ and saying it is ‘about politics, not public safety’. ‘There is no explanation for how this will help fight the spread of the virus,’ a statement said. ‘It makes little sense when the virus is already in the United States. The President expressly stated the United Kingdom is not included in the travel ban and yet the UK health minister herself has the virus.’

It’s all politics… sadly. The Bible warns us that figurative “children” would run the USA.

Trump Has Declared War on Europe

CNBC wrote on March 11:

“Calling coronavirus a ‘foreign virus,’ Trump attacked Europe for not taking the same actions to control the disease that he had…

“Trump… later clarified in a tweet [the Daily Mail calls it an “astonishing clarification”] that cargo and goods would not be affected by the ban.”

He had originally said in his speech that the ban would apply to people AND CARGO. The White House later “clarified” that he had “misspoken.”

Reports alleged that the speech was written by right-wing hardcore anti-immigration guru and senior advisor to the President, Stephen Miller, and that Trump, unusually nervous as he was backtracking virtually everything that he had said earlier about the virus, gave the address by just reading from the teleprompter, without seemingly understanding himself WHAT he was saying (hence the subsequent numerous clarifications). His words of “foreign virus” sound like Miller’s handiwork. But this does not excuse Trump for what he said.

Those who are familiar with the history of the Worldwide Church of God after Herbert W. Armstrong’s death are reminded of the sermons and “speeches” by successor Joseph W. Tkach, who had received the scripts written by Mike Feazell and read those, without comprehending what he was saying, only to clarify later what he “meant,” but by that time, the damage had already been done.

Europe Responds

The Guardian wrote on March 12:

“The EU has condemned Donald Trump’s unilateral ban on travel from 26 European countries… In a joint statement, the presidents of the European commission and European council defended Europe’s record in managing the pandemic and sharply criticised the White House for its failure to consult its allies.

“… global markets reeled after Trump imposed sweeping restrictions on travel from the passport-free Schengen zone on Wednesday night, battering airlines and further straining ties with Europe.”

Trump’s action could be compared with that of an autocratic dictator. A NUCLEAR WAR between the US and Europe is prophesied!

Trump Failed Completely

AFP wrote on March 12:

“President Donald Trump had one job to do in a primetime address on coronavirus: reassure an anxious nation, a panicking stock market and divided world. Instead, he left many confused and more scared… Trump’s short speech late Wednesday featured a tired-sounding president responding to the global coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic fallout with a mix of bluster, blaming and a jaw-dropping error [regarding cargo and goods]…

“If Americans watching television might have been confused, investors were in shock. The White House quickly issued a clarification that no, trade was not being halted between the European Union and the United States. But the damage was done. The first sign that things were going wrong was when Wall Street stock futures nosedived the minute the cameras switched off. Less than 12 hours later, on Thursday morning, trading had to be stopped when the Dow Jones plummeted seven percent, mirroring 10 percent falls in European markets…

“Also, what Trump did not explain in his speech was that only European countries in the EU Schengen visa-free area are on the list. He said it wouldn’t include Britain, but this also means that 22 other non-Schengen countries are exempted. Questions were immediately raised over how this would prevent spreading of a virus already present in the United States. And why would travelers from Britain, for example, be any less likely to be infected?… As Politico noted drily, there was another ‘convenient side effect’ to Trump’s partial travel ban. ‘They exempt nations where three Trump-owned golf resorts are located.’”

Trump Sounded Incompetent and Markets Are Freaking Out

The Money Week wrote on March 12:

“Markets are having another bruising day. The specific catalyst today is Donald Trump’s somewhat garbled and last-minute decision [and “panicky pronouncement”] to shut the US to passenger air traffic from Europe… Basically, he sounded incompetent

“Are all these things we’ve been vaguely worrying about – carry trades, exchange-traded funds backed by illiquid underlying assets, massively overvalued private companies – going to blow up? And when and if they do blow up, what else might they take with them? Coronavirus might be the pebble (OK, the massive boulder) that starts an avalanche elsewhere in markets. That’s why markets are freaking out…”

Trump—a Lethal Combination

The Guardian wrote on March 12:

“Trump in a time of coronavirus is a lethal combination. Everything about the president… make him the worst person imaginable to hold the world’s most powerful job in the face of pandemic.

“Confronting the threat requires global cooperation, perhaps more than at any time since the second world war. But Trump and his junior imitators around the world have taken a sledgehammer to the very notion of international solidarity.

“America’s closest allies were given no [prior] notice… The EU mission in Washington only found out about it when journalists started calling.

“The president has dealt with coronavirus the same way he approached every other challenge in his administration, first trying denial – and when that failed, blaming outsiders… It came as little surprise that his speech had been written by Stephen Miller, the author of the administration’s cruelest anti-immigration policies.

One can only imagine what will happen under Trump when a military challenge develops between Europe and the USA, which is prophesied. 

Man’s Attempts to Deal with the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Associated Press wrote on March 9 about events PRIOR to Trump’s convoluted announcement:

“Stocks took their worst one-day beating on Wall Street since the global financial crisis of 2008 as a collapse in oil prices Monday combined with mounting alarm over what the coronavirus could do to the world economy… The drop was so sharp that it triggered the first automatic halt in trading in more than two decades…

“Together, the sell-offs reflected growing anxiety over the potential global economic damage from the coronavirus… prompting factory shutdowns, travel bans, closings of schools and stores, and cancellations of conventions and celebrations big and small…

“The market slide came as Italy, the hardest-hit place in Europe, began enforcing a lockdown against 16 million people in the north, or one-quarter of the country’s population, and then announced that travel restrictions would be extended nationwide [affecting 60 million people—an absolutely unparalleled and “unprecedented step for a democratic country” (The Week, dated March 9), and a highly controversial and extremely dubious measure with no guarantee for success] … The turmoil in Italy… is expected to push the country into recession and weigh on the European economy.

“Elsewhere around the world, Ireland went so far as to cancel St. Patrick’s Day parades, and Israel ordered all visitors quarantined [for 14 days] just weeks before Passover and Easter, one of the busiest travel periods of the year.”

The government of India has “strongly advised” to refrain from traveling to France, Spain and Germany. Saudi Arabia banned all travels to such countries.

Breitbart added on March 11, 2020 that on Wednesday, the Dow Jones plummeted again by 5%, and that “Many investors worry that a delay of several weeks could mean any economic stimulus could come too late to keep the U.S. economy growing. Some economists think that we may already be in a recession.”

As mentioned above, the Dow Jones and stock markets in the USA and Europe plunged again on Thursday, following Trump’s speechA worldwide economic upheaval was prophesied, but it is amazing how man’s panic-stricken shortsightedness contributes to such catastrophic developments. Many times, our economic downfall is man-made. The reaction to the coronavirus is a prime example. Even prior to Trump’s ill-conceived speech, conflicting messages from governments, with advising against air travel or cruising (thereby completely destroying the airline and the cruise ship industries), combined with radical measures of cancellations of schools and universities and prohibitions of gatherings (such as sports events and music festivals) in the USA and in European countries led by Italy and now France and Germany (as well as Spain, for example, which closed all schools in and around Madrid) do little to install confidence and instead accelerate uncontrolled catastrophes and economic upheavals.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn (39), perhaps far too young and inexperienced to make such drastic decisions (but “old age does not protect against foolishness” either), asked for cancellation of all events with more than 1,000 participants. This includes soccer games. With that, Spahn sacrificed Germany’s “holy cow.” Bild Online wrote, “A soccer game without fans is a dead game. It is no more a soccer game. Without fans in attendance, soccer will die.” And that means, politicians recommending or ordering such measures may not survive either.

Spahn also said people should refrain from unnecessary travel to Italy, and also North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of Germany. Angela Merkel said that 60 to 70% of Germans will be infected by the virus. German health experts say that this is unlikely and that in any event, the symptoms for most would be mild or negligible. Merkel also praised Spahn, saying that he does an excellent job. Austria closed all schools. France prohibited visits to all state health-care facilities for the elderly and recommended against visits to all such private institutions. Axios reported that “Google issued one of the most sweeping cautionary edicts, recommending on Tuesday that all its employees in North America work from home until at least April 10 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.”

The NBA announced it had called off the rest of its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gorbert tested positive for the virus just before tip-off. Teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive. Oregon and California have also banned gatherings of more than 250 people state-wide, with smaller gatherings only permitted if a minimum distance of 6 feet can be guaranteed between people.

A Mad World Held Captive by Satan Is Shutting Down

Here are some more highlights from news articles which appeared on March 12:

CNBC wrote: “Stocks plummeted once again on Thursday after President Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve both failed to quell concerns over the economic slowdown stemming from the coronavirus, leading to a historic drop for the U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,352.60 points lower.”

 AP wrote:

“France, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania,  Algeria and Slovakia joined the growing list of countries shutting down their school systems, and Europe’s most successful soccer team, Real Madrid, put all its players into quarantine after one tested positive… A rite of spring, college basketball’s NCAA tournament was canceled, while the NBA and NHL (National Hockey League) also decided their pros won’t play at all for now. Major League Baseball canceled spring training and postponed opening day for at least two weeks.”

The MLS (major league soccer) season has also been suspended. All of this will have an additional MAJOR impact on the economy.

The Week wrote:

“Starting Thursday, [Norway] announced measures… which involve practically shutting down the entire country.”

 Sacramento Bee wrote:

“The governor of Kentucky, a Bible belt state, has asked churches and other religious institutions to temporarily cancel services.”

Deutsche Welle wrote:

“Walt Disney Co will close its Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks in California through the end of March over coronavirus fears… The Vatican ordered all Catholic churches in Rome to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure has been described as unprecedented in the modern era.”

 It was also reported that Maryland and Ohio are closing all schools. France closed all schools. Spain closed all harbors. Princess Cruise cancelled all cruises for 60 days.

The Guardian reported:

Spain became Europe’s second worst-affected country with 2,968 cases and 84 deaths. Both houses of parliament are suspended and every cabinet member is being tested… Slovenia, Norway and Austria suspended teaching at schools and colleges, although the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said working parents will still be able to drop off children for supervision. The Netherlands banned gatherings of more than 100… The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is self-isolating while his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau awaits results from a coronavirus test. India… has barred all foreign tourists for one month… The Philippines halted domestic travel to and from the capital, Manila, and banned mass gatherings and closed schools for a month.”

Project Syndicate wrote on March 6: “[President Trump] and his supporters don’t trust experts, and the man appointed to lead the fight against the coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence, is skeptical about science. But science, not prayers, will be needed to contain a disease that threatens the globe.”

With this kind of an arrogant and blasphemous recommendation of trusting “experts” rather than God, the way into the abyss would be unavoidable.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, stated that the coronavirus is allegedly 10 times more lethal than the ordinary flu. Fauci also advised older people not to fly anymore at all. 

Human Race in Grave Danger

The Daily Star wrote on March 11:

“The human race is in grave danger. Thousands of people are showing severe symptoms already and there is no known cure. No, not coronavirus, but sheer… stupidity. Never have so many brain cells been sacrificed on the altar of toilet paper fever

“Those efficient German types actually have a word for panic buying – hamsterkauf… Hamsters hoard stuff in their cheeks. They also have very small brains. Go figure… if you’re one of those… who have cleared the shelves of stuff to decontaminate your hands with, you’re depriving everyone else. Which means they’ll be wandering around happily infecting us all…

“Even worse are those who have purchased every painkiller they can get… people are ill with other stuff, especially little kids… this applies to almost every aspect of this latest panic pandemic. Rather than all the deliberately scaremongering headlines and ­reports I’d love to see a story telling me how many people who have contracted coronavirus survive. Thousands.

“Respiratory diseases are responsible for killing thousands of Brits every year. In 2017-18 the Office for National Statistics recorded 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales which they attributed to the strain of flu that year, an ineffective vaccine and weather. Yet did that send you into a tailspin of bog roll and pasta? No. So can we all stop being hysterical… and get a grip. Just wash your hands first, okay?”

This convincing article shows indeed the absolute stupidity man is able to display.

The Fear of the Black Death

New Statesman America wrote on March 6:

“When a ship sailed into one of the ports along England’s south coast in the summer of 1348, its unwitting crew also delivered ashore the most deadly cargo to ever reach the British Isles: Yersinia pestis, a bacterium causing bubonic plague. Having erupted out of Asia, the disease had travelled along the Silk Road and torn through Europe via rats roaming merchant ships.

“The symptoms of such a virulent infection, which would devastate England’s infrastructure, were as dramatic as its spread. First a fever, cold and general flu-like symptoms, followed by blackening buboes forming in the joints, most commonly the groin or the armpits. It was these buboes that would later give the disease its nickname: the Black Death. Sometimes people survived this stage, but usually the infection would reach the bloodstream and death was inevitable – and swift.

“Over the next few months the highly infectious disease ravaged the south of England, wiping out entire towns such as Bristol, and reaching London in November 1348. By New Year’s Day 1349, the mood was apocalyptic. The panic, fear and hysteria surrounding the Black Death were unprecedented…

“Following the 1348 Black Death, three decades of recurrent epidemics halved the British population from around five million to 2.5 million, until the infection eventually slowed in 1377. There was no cure for the Black Death… The plague returned in varying degrees over the next three centuries, until its final shattering year in 1665, when it devastated England yet again, acquiring the name the Great Plague. In London alone, almost 70,000 people died…

“After 800 years of enlightenment, medical advancement, antibiotics, vaccines and information, coronavirus has resurrected our dormant fear of the Black Death.”

These 800 years of so-called “enlightenment” have not prevented ancient and modern pandemics. The Bible indicates that even the Black Death will return.

Global Arms Trade Helps Destroying the World

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 9:

The world is in turmoil, and the global arms trade is flourishing. No country exports more military equipment than the United States. And no country buys more weapons than Saudi Arabia… since 2015, 61% more weapons have been sold to the Middle East than in the preceding five years… more than a third of all weapons traded worldwide are now manufactured in the US

Russia is still the second biggest arms dealer in the world, but the gap is increasing…  France has established itself as the third-biggest arms dealer, exporting 72% more military equipment from 2015-2019 than in the previous five-year period…

Germany continues to rank fourth among the world’s most important suppliers of arms, making it one of the five countries whose exports account for more than three-quarters of global trade in military equipment. Despite this, the German government likes to say it pursues a ‘restrictive’ arms export policy. However, between 2015 and 2019 Germany’s exports rose by 17%… NATO-member Germany is also supplying significant quantities of arms to non-NATO countries, or so-called third countries…”

Shame on those who profit from killing others. God’s intervention is coming soon, and His retribution will be swift and just.

Biden’s Victory

The Associated Press wrote on March 11:

“Joe Biden decisively won Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary, seizing a key battleground state that helped propel Bernie Sanders’ insurgent candidacy four years ago. The former vice president’s victory there, as well as in Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, dealt a serious blow to Sanders and substantially widened Biden’s path to the nomination…

“Now it is Sanders… who must contemplate a path forward. He said at a news conference in Vermont on Wednesday afternoon that he will stay in the race and plans to appear at the Democratic debate against Biden on Sunday. The Democratic National Committee also said that Sunday’s debate between Sanders and Biden would be conducted without an audience.”

 It appears that Biden will become the Democratic nominee, but he will be defeated by Trump.

Why Netanyahu Won… and Still Might have Lost

Breaking Israel News wrote on March 8:

“As last week’s third round of elections approached, it became clear that every mandate was crucial to form a majority coalition. It seemed clear that fringe right-wing Otzma Yehudit was not going to pass the minimum threshold to earn a seat in the Knesset but their votes could earn Likud another vital two seats. With that in mind, Netanyahu tried to persuade Otzma Yehudit’s leader, Itamar Ben Gvir, to drop out of the race in January…

“Less than one week before Israelis headed for the ballot boxes, Ben Gvir [revealed] the condition that would persuade him to drop out of the race and put his power behind Netanyahu.  Most prominent among those conditions was the removal of the Waqf’s authority on the Temple Mount, thereby paving the way for a Jewish return to their holiest site.

“Netanyahu refused and Likud went on to win 36 seats. Their rival, Blue and White, won 33. As expected, Otzma Yehudit did not pass the threshold, winning a mere 20,000 votes. But those votes, if applied to other right-wing parties or to Likud, would have enhanced Netanyahu’s ability to form a right-wing coalition. It now seems doubtful that this will happen…

“Netanyahu admitted that his rejection of Ben Gvir’s offer hurt the party… But Netanyahu revealed that the Temple Mount condition was indeed the deal-breaker that led him to reject Ben Gvir’s offer. ‘But he had one condition that I permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount… this would have ignited the Middle East and brought down the anger of one billion Muslims on us…’

“The Sanhedrin weighed in… ‘The People of Israel were commanded by HaShem, the Creator of the universe, God of Israel to sacrifice the Passover lamb on the appointed time according to the Torah and on the very site designated to do so according to our traditions,’ wrote Rabbi Dov Stein, Secretary of the Sanhedrin… ‘The Deal of the Century signed between Israel and the United States contains a pledge to support the protocols of each religion on the Temple Mount…

“‘Thus, the Jewish People, represented here by the Court of the Sanhedrin, are expecting you, Mr. Netnayahu, to allow us to sacrifice our Passover lamb on the 14th day of Nisan (April 4, 2020) in the afternoon on a suitable altar we will build on-site near the site where the Jewish Temples once stood. This is in the hope that at some time in the future the Temple itself will be built in its full glory and the entire Jewish Nation can celebrate according to the Passover Laws.’…

“‘Mr. Netanyahy turned his back on the Temple Mount knowing that it would be his downfall. And it was. The only hope Mr. Netanyahu has is to act as a leader of Israel should and to open the doors to the Temple Mount… The same will be true of Donald Trump. His ability to resist all of the forces that have come up against him is to continue to pave the way for the Third Temple.’”

The Third Temple is at the forefront of the minds of many in Israel and elsewhere. And it appears that Trump will help in building the Third Temple, and THEN, Christ will return.

Catholic Church in Germany Supports Ecumenism  

CAN wrote on March 10:

“The new president of the German bishops’ conference [Bishop Georg Bätzing] has emphasized his support for… intercommunion with Lutherans… Bishop Bätzing also claimed Pope Francis supported the controversial process…

“Asserting that ecumenism is ‘on the right track’ in Germany, Bätzing reiterated his support for a document [promoting] non-Catholics receiving the Eucharist at Catholic Mass. Bätzing also suggested in future, Christians of any denomination should simply decide on their own, individual accord if – and when to receive [communion].

“Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has dismissed the document, saying it was based on [a wrong] ‘assumption… that the Catholic Eucharistic celebration and the Protestant last supper are identical.’”

The position of the Pope is less than clear, seemingly playing to both sides of the “debate.”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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Should We Be Afraid of the Future?—Part 3

(Español: ¿Deberíamos tener miedo al futuro?)

In the previous two Q&As, we spoke of one of the greatest fears which we could have—the fear of man—the fearful concern what man may think about us or do to us. We also addressed other fears which we might encounter, and we began to discuss that no matter what situation we might find ourselves in, and what circumstance might tempt us to become afraid, God shows us the way of escape from fear.

We saw that when they were facing or finding themselves in an extremely difficult situation, God’s servants turned to God for help, peace, security and salvation. We also spoke of a vital key when we are in the midst of uncertainty—the conviction and persuasion that God hears us when we call on Him, and we pointed out that to allow in our minds the possibility of such powerful godly intervention requires much faith on our part—which must be accompanied, at times, with godly encouragement.

When Paul and his companions were in a ship on the ocean and being confronted with a terrible storm which appeared likely to kill them all, God gave Paul a powerful encouraging promise. God might not act in exactly the same way with us today, but we need to know that God is there and able and willing to encourage us in ways which we would be able to understand.

We read in Acts 27:18-25:

“And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.’”

Paul had the absolute faith that God would intervene and protect and save him and his companions. One might say that this was an unusual circumstance in that God only saved Paul at that time because He wanted Paul to appear in Rome before Caesar, but this argument would miss the mark.

We find almost identical circumstances in the life of the original twelve apostles at the time when Jesus was dwelling with them as a Man.

We read in Mark 4:35-40:

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’”

They were lacking faith—having no faith at all—and as a consequence, they were fearful. Christ asked the question whether He would find faith on the earth upon His return. Without faith, we will be afraid. And even without enough faith, we will be fearful.

In another situation, we find the following, as recorded in Matthew 8:23-27:

“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”

Here, Christ is telling them that they did not have enough faith, which explained their fearfulness. Although the records in Matthew and Mark sound similar, they are not identical, but depict two separate events. Matthew describes a “tempest” or a shaking—a seaquake—, while Mark speaks of a “windstorm” or a whirlwind or a hurricane. The disciples showed and expressed fear in both incidents, lacking faith completely or not having enough faith.

Again, one might respond that Christ only saved the disciples at that time as He had plans for them. The Bible does not say this; and in addition, Christ has plans for every one of us whom He has called to salvation in this day and age.

We need faith in God to conquer fear. Christ tells us in John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

This belief in God can be undermined when we are surrounded by evil occurrences or when we hear false or even correct rumors. These physical circumstances can undermine and destroy our faith, when we are not careful.

In Mark 5, we find an interesting example. Beginning in verse 22, we read:

“And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.’ So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”

But while on the way, “some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’” (verse 35).

But Jesus was already on the way to heal the daughter. All seemed lost, when the terrible news came, but Jesus gave the following encouraging words to the father, in verse 36: “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’” And so, He went and resurrected the daughter who had in fact died. With God, nothing is impossible—even when it might appear to our limited understanding that nothing could be done. Rather than being discouraged by negative false rumors or even seemingly devastating statements of fact, we are to continue to believe in God and His help.

When we have no faith or not enough faith, we will fear. We must believe in God and His help. But the ultimate faith of which we speak and which is required to conquer all fear is not something which originates within us and which we can create. It is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).

Faith, hope and love belong together (1 Corinthians 13:13). And so, we will also fear if we do not have enough love. And we are not talking about some theoretical and esoteric concept of “love.” Rather, 1 John 5:3 tells us: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” With that kind of godly love, we will conquer fear. 1 John 4:18 says:

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Fear involves torment, or is afraid of the penalty to be expected for violating God’s Law and not repenting of it, but the concept of love and lack of fear goes even deeper. When God’s love is in us, which is manifested by our obedience to His Word, then we know that nothing can and will happen to us which God, who is a God of love (1 John 4:8), will not allow, and everything will work out for our own good (Romans 8:28) .

How can God’s love be in us? The answer is given in Romans 5:5: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us.”

God’s Holy Spirit in us gives us God’s love (the first of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23), as well as God’s faith (another characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit), and it also gives us God’s hope which does not disappoint. With God’s Spirit in us, we will conquer all fear.

God describes His Spirit in us in this way in 2 Timothy 1:7: “… God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

With the Holy Spirit in us, we will have God’s peace (the third characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit). Christ had the Holy Spirit of the Father in Him, which destroyed all fear and which enabled Him to sleep in a boat when it was threatened by earthquakes and hurricanes.

We read in Psalm 119:165: “Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.” This peace is a gift from God which Christ will share with us, as He said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And with that mindset, we conquer fear and can even have joy (the second characteristic of God’s Spirit) in the face of adversity.

We are told that even when we find ourselves in big trouble, we have no reason to be afraid, always knowing that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that we must allow and agree with the fact that His Will must be done in our lives.  But with God’s Spirit in us, we will conquer fear and anxiety.

Some converted Christians might feel fear and anxiety for their unconverted loved ones—especially in the face of the terrible events which are prophesied to occur very soon in the unparalleled awful Great Tribulation.

But we must remember that our unconverted young children and even our unconverted mates who are not hostile to God and who are willing to dwell with us in peace are “sanctified” or “holy” in the eyes of God (1 Corinthians 7:14). And as God promises His faithful people protection from the evil days to come to test everyone on earth, so God DOES promise protection for them as well.

We read in Proverbs 14:26: “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.”

When God brought Israel out of Egyptian slavery, He allowed others to accompany them. Exodus 12:38 says: “A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock.”

We must also not forget that God hears our prayers for others. Moses prayed repeatedly to God for the people of Israel when they had sinned and God was about to destroy them, but because of Moses’ plea, God heard his prayers and relented. Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and God would have heard him and He would have refrained from destroying Sodom, if there had been at least 10 righteous people in the city.

God listens to our intercessory prayers—especially for our brethren and even our unconverted loved ones. We read in 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 3: “Finally, brethren, pray for us…  the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”

Paul says in Romans 15:30: “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me…”

Also in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.”

As Paul asked the brethren to pray for him, so we in the ministry are asking the same of you today.

God will not allow evil to come upon us that we would not be able to bear—and that includes evil for our children and unconverted loved ones. As we are in God’s hands, there is no reason to be afraid or to fear. But this lack of fear we can only have if we know—and we know that we know—that God is with us; that His Spirit is in us; and that He helps us and protects us.

Fear will hinder us to stand up boldly for God without compromise or shrinking back, and it will hinder us from proclaiming God’s whole counsel (Acts 20:27). It will prevent us from keeping His Law. Unless we conquer fear with God’s boldness and courage, His love and His faith, it will ultimately destroy us in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8 Authorized Version).

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

The final text of our new book on the Ten Commandments has been sent to graphic artist Shelly Bruno in preparation for printing.

“Gottes Sendschreiben an Seine Kirche (Teil 2),” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “God’s Letters to His Church (Part 2).”

“Können wahre Christen glücklich sein?”, the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Djmitry Niemann, is now posted. Title in English: “True Christians Can be Happy.”

“The Coronavirus and the Migrant Crisis–Comments on News and Prophecy ( March 7, 2020),” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Europe and especially Germany are facing a most serious challenge in form of another migrant crisis, while the hysterical reactions to the coronavirus outbreak are reaching astronomical proportions. At the same time, it has been stated by experts that within the next 18 months, 65 million people might die of the virus. The global economy is already at the brink of recession, if not depression, and there is fear that another pandemic, much more deadly than the coronavirus, is on the horizon.

“The Heart of God,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Does God have a heart? What does it mean to put your whole heart into something?

  • Initial information about our 2020 Feast sites (US and Germany) is posted on our website along with contact information.
  • The 2020 Church Conference is scheduled to be conducted in Escondido, California. Arrival is scheduled to be Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and departure is scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

Our Time is Now

“I should have done that yesterday,” is a lament we probably have all made at one time or another. Sometimes, however, unattended responsibilities may prove embarrassing or even very costly.

There is always that moment when we are confronted with a choice to take action or to put it off until a later time. While there can be valid reasons for both approaches, eventual results will be the judge. If we are able to set clear priorities, our responses to life’s challenges will prove to be much more successful. Deciding what to do and when to do it can help us achieve our goals—both small and great.

There is absolutely no greater goal for us than entry into the Kingdom of God, and if God has called us now, that must be our number one priority! Jesus Christ gives this serious warning when He says, “‘There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and yourselves thrust out’” (Luke 13:28).

What could possibly cause people to be kept out of God’s Kingdom? The earlier verses in Luke 13 reveal that Christ did not know the people who thought they knew Him. As verse 27 shows, these people did not repent of their disobedience to God. They quite evidently knew better but didn’t take their opportunity seriously. They didn’t act when given the chance, as James writes, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Responding to God’s calling is more than just having an initial interest and beginning to obey God to an extent, but then never getting around to following through completely. This is, in effect, rejecting God, depending on how much one understood the Truth, and the Apostle Peter warns: “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Peter 2:21).

Now is the time for us to make our “call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). This admonition is both instruction to Christians and a warning. Being called by God and understanding the Truth at this time is our opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God and to be among the “firstfruits” of salvation.

God has chosen to call us NOW—“how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).

This Time of Year

As we would all be aware, earlier this week many people observed Christmas and next week possibly even more will observe New Year’s Eve. During Christmas, there were many celebrations around a tree and much giving of gifts, and at the New Year, there are usually great displays of fireworks. And yet, most people observing these activities do not understand what they mean or the origin of them. It is usually considered that these times are a time of rejoicing and happiness, but research shows in too many cases that this is not true.

In the Australian Daily Mail of 12th December, 2018, we find that “for some, the festive season sparks a rise in domestic violence and theft. With booze flowing and families gathered under one roof, tensions can run high and lead to a spike in domestic violence. Thefts are also on the rise over the Christmas period, as people scramble to get gifts for their children and loved ones that they simply can’t afford.

“Domestic violence is a growing issue in countless Australian homes. With the festive season now in full swing, recent data obtained by Daily Mail Australia shows an increase in violence on Christmas morning and again on New Year’s Eve.”

So, for these unfortunate ones, celebration of these festivals results in violence or even death caused partly by alcohol-induced road accidents and partly by murder. It is not a good result.

While Christmas is supposedly a Christian holiday, many non-Christians also observe it. In a 2013 Pew Research Center report, around 87% of non-Christians, including within the U.S.A., roughly 75% of Buddhists and Hindus celebrate Christmas. In a recent survey, even 32% of Jews had a Christmas tree in their house.

There is no shortage of information on the origins of Christmas: the fact that it was celebrated many centuries before Christ was born, and even the fact that His actual birth date is unknown. Often newspapers will have general interest articles on this subject and there are plenty of websites that also provide the facts. But generally, most people have no concern whatsoever about the Pagan origins of the festival.

Regarding New Year’s Eve, this again is observed around the world. Here in Australia, capital cities boast about how many tons of fireworks they are going to burn or explode in a spectacular festival. Very few realise that during ancient New Year’s celebrations around this time, fires and loud noises were used by pagans to worship their gods such as the double-faced Roman god Janus or the Germanic god Wodan; dispel ghosts of the dead and evil spirits and bring good luck in the ancient world. Later, with the invention of gunpowder, the fires and loud noises were replaced by fireworks. Again, this information is freely available on websites, but again, most people just enjoy the fun with no consideration for truth.

So, what does God say about all of this. Does it please Him, or does He totally condemn it?

In Exodus 12:2, God declared when the year was to begin. “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” This was the month of Abib (Deuteronomy 16:1) which means “ears of corn.” It was in Spring, not mid-winter, and there was no command to celebrate the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar.

When God led the Children of Israel into the land He was giving them, He provided strict instructions not to inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I will also do likewise.” He commanded them not to worship Him in the way of the nations that they were dispossessing (compare Deuteronomy 12:30-31).

When truly considered, the current seasonal festivities are purely entertainment with no real meaning. They are actually inspired by Satan to replace and hide the knowledge of God’s true festivals. Remember that Satan deceives the whole world (compare Revelation 12:9).

In contrast, the true festivals that God has given to us reveal His plan of salvation for all mankind. They have a real meaning and give a great hope that is totally absent from what the world generally observes, and what Satan has inspired. We should be very thankful to God that He has given us this hope and understanding of His purpose through His Holy Days. Therefore, we should have nothing to do with the holidays inspired by Satan but observe all of God’s commanded Holy Days instead.

Update 901

I Will Give You Rest; It’s a Promise!

On, November 30, 2019, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “I Will Give You Rest,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “It’s a Promise!”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at https://www.eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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What Should Be the Mindset of Kings and Priests?

by Kalon Mitchell

In Revelation 5:10, we are told something fundamental as to who we are as Christians: “And [Christ] have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” We are told the same in Revelation 1:6. We are here now as physical people—flesh and blood human beings. But our potential before us is to become spiritual kings and priests in the Kingdom of God. The thought that occurred to me is that in order for this to happen, we have to think like kings and priests NOW.

We should constantly take note of Christ’s perfect example. He was and is our King and our High Priest. The Bible says we are to become like Him. Philippians 2:5-9 tells us: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.”

Before Christ became a human being, He was a divine part of the God Family. But He laid His divinity aside to become an obedient servant, willing to serve. If we wish to become kings and priests, then we too need to take on Christ’s mindset of being a servant.

So what does it take to have this mindset? We find our answers in the Holy Scriptures.

God commanded the kings of Israel to write out the Law of God that the priests kept, and they were to constantly read it so that they would be mindful of how they should be ruling as servants of the Most High.

Deuteronomy 17:18-20 states: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”

The king’s mind was to be on God and His laws. If we are unwilling to read from the Word of God, then we will NOT be led by God. It is plain and simple. If we do NOT believe what we read, then we will NOT be led by God. Action and faith go hand in hand here. We cannot have one without the other. Some may say the Bible is good and all, but I am just too tired, or I don’t read well, etc. There will always be a million excuses as to why we cannot do something which we should.

We have to have the mindset of being kings and priests. Our mindset is everything. We alone are in charge of our mindset. God has allowed us to choose. The question then is, what will we allow our mindset to be focused on?

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Paul reminds us of how we should be thinking: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Strongholds are mental blocks; things that we hold in our minds and against which we must fight. These strongholds can be anything. A stronghold can be a wrong personal attitude or self-righteousness. Worry can be a stronghold. Seeking the approval of other people can be a stronghold. Anything that we make into an idol in our lives can be a stronghold, including, but not limited to, fear, guilt, resentment, insecurities and self-pity. All of these things can be strongholds in our minds. Notice, it says that we must bring EVERY thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and that we must be ready to punish ALL disobedience.

We ALL have either faced these challenges or are facing them now. The ONLY way to overcome them is to come to God and change our mindset. We have to think as God wants us to think, learning how to bring our thoughts into focus and alignment with God’s teaching.  Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:13: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Luke 12:35 states that we must “…let our waist be girded and our lamps burning.” This means, we must be ready for action. We must be ready in our minds at all times in being a Christian and having a Christian attitude and mindset. Christ warned in Mark 7:14-23 that everything evil comes from within us. And when evil is in our minds, then we must continually fight it.

The right and perfect mindset is one that is set on God. One that is humble, teachable, loving and merciful. One that listens to those who are in authority and gives reverence. Paul once again speaks to each of us in Philippians 2:12-17: “ Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.”

When we have the mindset of being kings and priests, we will do everything in our power to continue in this way because we realize what our potential is and how soon that potential is coming to reality.

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We report on alarming developments in Germany pertaining to governmental restriction of a nonprofit organization for opposing Nazism and fascism; point out the long-standing anti-Israeli position of Germany’s neo-Nazi parties and the Greens; quote a shocking article suggesting for Europe to stop recognizing Israel as an independent state; show that the relationship between Israel and Jordan is at an all-time low; explain why Israel’s Attorney General has broken the law by indicting Benjamin Netanyahu; and refer to a report by the Church of England claiming that so-called “Christian” theology was largely responsible for the Holocaust; as well as ungodly positions by Britain’s Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. Please view our new StandingWatch program, “Is Another Holocaust Coming Soon?

We continue reporting on Chinese concentration camps while the world is silent; speak on the danger of nuclear weapons and the fact that no one wants to take the first step of atomic disarmament; and address a vicious attack of Germany’s Economy Minister on the USA. We also quote several articles discussing the growing perception that Donald Trump is indeed “God’s chosen one.”

We speak on Brexit developments which seem to indicate that finally, the goal of those who want to leave the EU will be reached soon; and we conclude with an article about the dangers of vaccinations.  

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

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ALARMING—German Holocaust Victims’ Group Loses Charity Status

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 24:

“One of Germany’s oldest and biggest Holocaust victims’ organizations is facing the loss of its nonprofit status…

“The Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime/Federation of Antifascists (VVN-BdA) received a notice this month from the financial authorities of the [city] of Berlin that its nonprofit tax benefits would no longer be awarded…

“Several other nonprofit organizations and politicians condemned the decision… who described the letter from the financial authority as an ‘alarm signal for democratic civil society.’

“Nonprofit status exempts an organization from several taxes, and allows supporters to write their donations off against tax. In a statement posted on its website on Friday, the VVN-BdA said the decision could lead to five-digit back taxes that could endanger the group’s survival. But other German financial authorities, such as the one representing North Rhine-Westphalia, continue to recognize VVN-BdA’s nonprofit status

“According to [a 2016 report by] the Bavarian intelligence agency charged with tracking extremist groups, the VVN-BdA’s agenda goes beyond simply fighting far-right extremism… The report also cited an article by VVN-BdA spokesman Ulrich Schneider in support of direct blockades of Nazi demonstrations as evidence that the organization accepted left-wing extremist groups as allies.

“The VVN-BdA describes itself as a non-party-affiliated alliance of victims of the Nazi regime, resistance fighters, and anti-fascists of all generations. It was originally founded in 1947, having emerged from an alliance of Holocaust victims’ associations and former anti-Nazi resistance fighters… The group now has around 6,000 members in Germany.

German financial authorities appear to be cracking down on politically active nonprofit organizations… According to a report in Der Spiegel magazine, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is keen to cut tax benefits for groups that try to influence political debate.”

This is an extremely dangerous, biased and right-wing decision, which is based on ridiculous arguments and ludicrous conclusions [see some of our underlining in the article], and it may set in motion very troubling developments reminiscent of the rise of Adolf Hitler.

REVEALING—German New Nazis’ and Greens’ Anti-Israel’s Policy 

The Jerusalem Post wrote on November 24:

“The German neo-Nazi party The Third Way and the Green Party welcomed the EU top court ruling that mandates Israeli products from the disputed territories must be branded with a label to show consumers that they were not produced in Israel proper.

“The Third Way ‘has been calling for years to boycott all products from the terrorist state of Israel’… Third Way added a link to an article from 2014 titled: ‘Israel Boycott: What anyone can do against Zionist genocide.’ A graphic on the Third Way’s entry states: ‘Boycott products from Israel: 729=Made in Israel.’ The number 729 is used in bar codes to identify Israel-based products and companies.

“The intelligence agency for the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate wrote in its 2018 report: ‘The Third Way’s slogan “Boycott Products from Israel”… betrays significant parallels to the anti-Jewish agitation of the National Socialists.’

“German intelligence officials in the state of Baden Württemberg wrote in a 2018 report that propaganda from the Third Way calling to boycott Israeli products ‘roughly recalls similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists, for example, on April 1, 1933 (the slogan: “Germans! Defend yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!”).’

“MPs from the German Green Party have sought to label Jewish products from the West Bank, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem since 2013… Green Party MP Renate Künast… once invoked a contemporary antisemitic conspiracy theory to describe a German organization as a ‘Mossad front’ that seeks to advance Israel’s security and stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“In 1983, the Green Party put out a ‘Green Calendar’ with the headline ‘Israel, the gang of murderers’ and urged a ‘boycott of goods from Israel.’ The German daily Die Welt published an article titled ‘The long tradition of Green Anti-Zionism,’ in which the Green Party’s history of blaming Israel for the Middle East’s problems was highlighted.”

Anti-Israeli positions and anti-Semitism have now gone far beyond the preposterous claims of certain controversial German parties and have reached the entirety of Europe, as the above-mentioned EU Court’s decision has proven. The next article shows the extent of such anti-Israeli positions in the EU which ultimately lead to a military intervention in the Middle East and Europe’s occupation of Israel.

Sad and Troubling —Anti-Semitism in Germany on the Rise

The Algemeiner wrote on November 26:

Antisemitic outrages have risen precipitously across Germany during the last year, together with a corresponding rise in antisemitic attitudes. Two studies on Tuesday from separate regions of Germany underlined that the problem exists on a national scale.

“First, the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported that antisemitic incidents in the state of Brandenburg [in East Germany] during the first nine months of this year equaled the entire record for 2018… Meanwhile, an academic… study, carried out by the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, showed that 16 percent of respondents in Thuringia [in East Germany] agreed with the statement that Jews were unwelcome aliens (‘They don’t belong here.’)… The university study also showed that 24 percent of Thuringia residents identified with right-wing extremist parties, such as the ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD).”

Have those Jew-hating Germans learned NOTHING from history?

SHOCKING—Europe to Stop Recognizing Israel as an Independent State?

Project Syndicate wrote on November 25:

With the United States standing firmly with Israel’s most hawkish elements, it is up to the rest of the international community to push back against Israel’s violations of international law in Palestinian territory. The European Union should lead the charge.

“The United States may have just obliterated any remaining hope for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law defies a longstanding global consensus. The rest of the world must push back…

“After the US reversal, the EU’s foreign-policy chief,  Federica Mogherini, confirmed that its position on Israeli settlement policy ‘remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law’ and ‘erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.’

“But this is far from the first time the EU has criticized Israel’s behavior… If European leaders – or, indeed, any others around the world – want to advance a vision of an independent Palestinian state alongside an Israeli one, they have only two choices: officially recognize Palestine as an independent state or stop recognizing Israel as one until it proves it is serious about reaching a negotiated solution.

“Already, most European parliaments have voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as an independent state along the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. But only Sweden has followed through, with the EU advising others to wait for the perfect opportunity to arise – the moment when a unified decision to recognize Palestine could have a real impact. Now is that moment.”

Even though the article does not set forth the OFFICIAL policy of the EU, there is no denying that it describes quite accurately the underlying reasons for the EU’s conduct and actions. The anti-Israeli policy of the EU is in stark contrast to the current pro-Israeli policy of the USA… the differences could not be greater. This is bound to result in a military clash between those two power blocs in the very near future.

DANGEROUS—Israel and Jordan—Relations at an All-Time Low

Breaking Israel News wrote on November 24:

“Relations between Jordan and Israel are at an ‘all-time low’ King Abdullah [said]… Regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict, Abdullah added that ‘If we do not solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Israel cannot really be part of the Middle East’

“‘I think that no small amount of us in this room believe that the only way forward is the two-state solution – because the alternative is much worse,’ he added…  ‘But I am not ready for this to come at the expense of what my father and late Prime Minister Rabin fought so hard to achieve, as a symbol of hope and opportunity for Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and others.’

“Despite the king’s sentiments, it should be noted that Prime Minister Rabin was against a Palestinian state.”

These are strong anti-Israeli words coming from Jordan… and they are also misleading.

INTERESTING—Israel’s Attorney General Breaks the Law in Indicting Netanyahu

Breaking Israel News wrote on November 24:

“According to Israeli law, Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandleblit has no authority to indict the Prime Minister at this time… The law states that before the attorney general indicts a Member of Knesset such as Netanyahu, they must first submit a recommendation to the Knesset committee. The only problem is that during a transition government (as there is now), there is no Knesset committee which means that no indictment can be handed down.

“The law also states that after the Knesset Committee receives the letter to recommend an indictment, the committee then has to take the time to discuss whether or not the suspect should enjoy immunity. These sessions can take months. And as long as there is no government, as is the case currently, these discussions cannot even take place.

“As [Conservative pundit Caroline] Glick puts it: ‘When Mandleblit announced that he was indicting Netanyahu, he made a political decision, not a legal one. He behaved like a politician and not like an attorney general… everything a lie. There is no indictment, no law and no sentence. There is a coup whereby state prosecutors (with the help of opportunistic politicians and politically biased journalists) are trying to bring down a political leader without elections.’”

The parallels to the US Democrats’ strictly political attempts to concoct reasons for their indictment scheme against President Trump are only too obvious. In this regard, Bild Online wrote on November 24:

“Witnesses in the impeachment showdown accuse him severely. [But] Trump will be the winner in the end.” It should also be noted that none of the witnesses who accuse him have first-hand personal knowledge. It has all been hearsay in the impeachment circus. And as we said before, the alliance of Donald Trump (USA=Manasseh), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel=Judah) and Boris Johnson (UK= Ephraim) would be an interesting triumvirate.

TELLING—Church of England Blames So-Called Christian Theology for the Holocaust

Breaking Israel News reported on November 24:

“Christian theology played a part in the stereotyping and persecution of Jewish people that ultimately led to the Holocaust, according to a new report released by the Church of England on Thursday.

“… the 121-page report said attitudes towards Judaism over centuries had provided a ‘fertile seed-bed for murderous anti-Semitism,’ and that Anglicans and other Christians must repent for the ‘sins of the past,’ as well as actively challenge anti-Semitic attitudes or stereotypes. ‘The attribution of collective guilt to the Jewish people for the death of Christ and the consequent interpretation of their suffering as collective punishment sent by God is one very clear example of that,’ the report said.”

The report is right in pointing out that the Bible condemns the concept of a “collective guilt” and a “collective punishment” approach against the Jews. Please note our Q&A on that issue, titled, “What is the significance of the saying of Jews at Jesus’ time that ‘His blood be on us and on our children’ (Matthew 27:25)?” 

CONFIRMED—Britain’s Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn Deeply Anti-Semitic 

Breitbart wrote on November 26:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has backed an electoral intervention by Britain’s chief rabbi by saying the country should be alert to the profound unease felt by many Jews at the prospect of a left-wing Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. Justin Welby tweeted Tuesday after Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote in the Times of London that Britain’s Labour Party and its leader have been deeply tarnished by anti-Semitism

“It is without precedent for the chief rabbi to express his thoughts on party politics during an election campaign. He stopped short of advising voters to shun Labour but made his point about the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn gaining Number 10. ‘The way in which the (Labour) leadership has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud,’ he wrote…

“The Labour Party in general has been engulfed in claims of institutionalized anti-Semitism since Corbyn became leader. At a personal level, he has also been slammed after pictures emerged confirming he attended a 2014 wreath-laying ceremony for Palestinian terrorists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly admonished Corbyn when the images became public last year: ‘The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.’

“Netanyahu’s rare public criticism of a foreign politician came after the Daily Mail newspaper published photos of Corbyn holding a wreath to honor the instigators of the Munich atrocity. He had previously denied being part of the service… Also last year Corbyn’s camp defended comments he made during a speech at a rally outside Israel’s London embassy in 2010 in which he compared Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip to the Nazi sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad during World War II.”

The Labour Party’s anti-Semitism under Corbyn is well- documented and undisputable. What is shocking and alarming is that so many Brits are willing to vote for them. Notice the next article as well.

Disgusting—Radical Proposals on Abortion

The Daily Mail wrote on November 25:

“Labour’s… radical proposals on abortion seem to have slipped through unnoticed.

“However, it is vital we examine the party’s declaration that ‘we will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions’. Decriminalising abortion would mean you could have one for any reason; you wouldn’t even be asked why you wanted it.

“Right To Life campaigners say the plan has the potential to allow unlimited abortions right up to birth, well beyond the present 24-week limit, which is already around twice the average time limit on abortions in Europe… Legislatively, it would mean scrapping the existing 1967 Abortion Act, which says you have to give a reason for an abortion and that two doctors have to sign it off…

“Two years ago, a Daily Mail investigation revealed that Marie Stopes, which has 60 clinics across England, signed off abortions for women they had never even met. Undercover reporters were approved for abortions based on a brief phone conversation with a call centre worker and told there was no need to meet a doctor because they filled out the necessary forms ‘behind the scenes’, based on reasons given to staff over the phone. The discussions could be as short as 22 seconds…”

The liberal ungodly laws in England and elsewhere are already terrible enough. Left-wing Labour wants to make them even worse…

SHAMEFUL—China’s Concentration Camps, while the World Is Silent (Again)

The Associated Press wrote on November 24:

“President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser [Robert O’Brien] is criticizing what he says is silence from the rest of the world over China’s confinement of more than 1 million Muslims in reeducation camps, linking the lack of a global outcry to China’s economic clout…

“‘Where is the world? We have over a million people in concentration camps,’ O’Brien said. ‘I’ve been to the genocide museum in Rwanda. You hear “never again, never again is this going to happen,” and yet there are reeducation camps with over a million people in them.’”

The Associated Press wrote on November 25:

“[New] classified documents lay out the Chinese government’s deliberate strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts and the language they speak… Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week… the documents give the most significant description yet of high-tech mass detention in the 21st century in the words of the Chinese government itself. Experts say they spell out a vast system that targets, surveils and grades entire ethnicities to forcibly assimilate and subdue them.”

The world was silent when the truth about concentration camps in Nazi Germany was known. The world has been silent ever since in light of unspeakable atrocities. There is a reason for that: This is Satan’s world, not God’s.

FRIGHTENING—Nuclear Weapons Not the Solution

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 24:

“Visiting Japan, Pope Francis has condemned atomic weapons, nuclear deterrence and the growing arms trade…

“In a highly symbolic visit to Nagasaki, one of the two Japanese cities devastated by nuclear strikes during the closing days of World War II in August 1945, Pope Francis said nuclear weapons were ‘not the answer’ for global security, peace and stability… ‘I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us… Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation,’ Francis noted…

“The head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics also criticized governments for spending huge sums on the development and manufacture of destructive weapons, while millions of people worldwide remain destitute…”

The Associated Press added on November 26:

“Pope Francis is planning to change official Catholic Church teaching to declare the use and possession of atomic weapons as ‘immoral,’ a move that makes clear that his rejection of the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence is to be official church policy… ‘This must go in the Catechism of the Catholic Church,’ he said, referring to the published compendium of official church teaching. ‘Not just the use, also the possession,’ he said…

“Francis first articulated his opposition to the doctrine of deterrence in 2017, during a Vatican conference, when he said the possession of nuclear weapons was ‘to be condemned.’ The shift upended three decades of the Vatican’s tacit acceptance of nuclear arsenals. Starting in 1982, St. John Paul II had held that deterrence could be morally acceptable in the interim as long as it was used as a step toward mutual, verifiable disarmament…”

No amounts of weapons—nuclear or otherwise—are the answer for our protection. But until man changes his way of thinking, finally realizing that “it must be of the spirit, if we are to save the flesh” (General Douglas MacArthur, Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945), we will slip and stumble from one catastrophe to the next, until the unthinkable will happen, as our comments to the next article show. 

TYPICAL—Germany Not Ready and Willing

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 22:

“Only a world without nuclear weapons can be a ‘safe world,’ the German foreign minister [Heiko Maas] said on a trip to Hiroshima. But that requires international consensus, and Germany won’t be taking the first step… [He] said he was against a unilateral German withdrawal of nuclear weapons… Germany currently stores around 20 US nuclear warheads. The armed forces have Tornado jets on standby to deploy them if necessary…

“The US nuclear attack on Hiroshima at the end of World War II almost completely destroyed the city and killed around 140,000 people, mostly civilians. Tens of thousands died subsequently as a result of the long-term effects of the radiation. Three days after the attack on Hiroshima, US forces dropped another nuclear bomb on the city of Nagasaki where a further 70,000 people died.”

Heiko Maas’s poor and faulty reasoning shows why there will be no solution to our problems. This world will not get rid of nuclear weapons; in fact, they will be used again and if it were not for the return of Christ to end man’s madness and bring peace, all life on this planet would be annihilated. 

STUNNING—Germany Economy Minister Attacks USA

Politico wrote on November 25:

“German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Monday defended describing the United States as ‘unreliable and untrustworthy’ in a debate over whether Chinese companies should be banned from providing equipment for Germany’s 5G telecoms network. The U.S. ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, strongly condemned the remarks, branding them ‘an insult to the thousands of American troops who help ensure Germany’s security and the millions of Americans committed to a strong Western alliance.’

“Altmaier, Angela Merkel’s former chief of staff and a close ally of the chancellor, made the comments on live television… Merkel has advocated letting the Chinese in, despite deep reservations both within her own party and her governing coalition…

“Altmaier’s negative characterization of Germany’s longtime ally and protector illustrates the depth of the rift between the U.S. and Germany, which has worsened in recent months amid trade disputes and Washington’s persistent criticism of Berlin’s failure to meet NATO defense spending goals…

“Altmaier, however, wasn’t the only senior figure to draw comparisons between the U.S. and China on the talk show. Dieter Kempf, the president of the German Federation of Industries, a powerful business lobby, said he saw no reason to treat Chinese companies any different from American ones… ‘If you compare the Chinese intelligence act with the U.S. Patriot Act, which some of us appear to have forgotten, one can see that they have pretty much the same requirements.’”

That rift between the USA and Germany (as well as Europe) will continue to worsen until a MILITARY confrontation is no longer unthinkable. 

AFFIRMING—Donald Trump… the “Chosen One” Sent by God?

The Huffington Post wrote on November 25:

Departing Secretary of Energy Rick Perry [said] that the president was ‘the chosen one’ sent by God to rule over America. The former Texas governor and Republican presidential rival of Trump used Old Testament kings to make his point. ‘God’s used imperfect people all through history,’ Perry said. ‘King David wasn’t perfect, Saul wasn’t perfect, Solomon wasn’t perfect.’

“Perry said he shared his thoughts with Trump on paper recently. ‘I said, Mr. President, I know there are people that say you said you were the chosen one and I said, “You were.” I said, “If you’re a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet and our government.”’…

“Perry… is not the first Trump acolyte to attribute the president’s ascent to religion. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said earlier this year that ‘only God could deliver such a savior to our nation.’ Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said God ‘wanted Trump to become president.’ And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…  said in March that ‘it’s possible’ that Trump… had been sent ‘to help save the Jewish people.’”

Daily Mail added:

“The failed 2012 and 2016 presidential candidate continued: ‘None of us got here by accident. I’m a big believer that the God of our universe is still very active in the details of the day-to-day lives of government. You know, Barack Obama didn’t get to be the president [of the] United States without being ordained by God. Neither did Donald Trump

“Trump won the Republican nomination after turning aside a raft of rival Republicans – including Perry, who in 2016 denounced him as a ‘false prophet.’ ‘Let no one be mistaken – Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded,’ Perry warned in a speech at the National Press Club in July of 2015. ‘My fellow Republicans, beware of false prophets. Do not let itching ears be tickled by messengers who appeal to anger, division and resentment. Resentment is the poison we swallow that we hope harms another. My fellow Republicans, don’t take the poison.’…

“Trump described himself as the ‘chosen’ one when describing his role taking on China on trade practices. ‘Somebody had to do it,’ he told reporters at the White House at the end of August. ‘I am the chosen one,’ he said, looking upward [and stretching out his arms]. ‘Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China.”

It is not true that God ordains every president of the United States, or every ruler on this planet. As we explain in our Q&A on Romans 13:3,  the Bible tells us that sometimes, God has nothing to do with certain people coming to power. This is Satan’s world, not God’s, and Satan is the ruler of this world, which includes the USA, the UK, Israel and other nations. Sometimes, people come to power without any spiritual influence—neither from God nor from Satan. At other times, Satan gives power and authority to certain people (he will do so in respect to the beast and the false prophet or the man of sin). On the other hand, nothing happens against God’s Will. And sometimes, God intervenes directly and places people in power, strictly and solely for the purpose of fulfilling biblical prophecy. We believe that in regard to Donald Trump, and perhaps other current leaders, this is the case.

UNFOLDING—“Brexit—No Going Back Now”

Express wrote on November 25:

“EU BOSSES are set to press ahead with a new European Commission without Britain after Boris Johnson’s steadfast refusal to nominate a representative. The Prime Minister’s hardline stance threw Brussels into a tailspin as its own laws clearly state every member nation must have a commissioner. But EU legal teams have been working round the clock throughout the weekend to come up with a solution to make the new Commission legitimate without a British presence.

“… Officials are confident [that] the next European Commission [will be conducted] in December without a UK commissioner. [A document by the EU commissioners] says the UK’s failure to meet its obligation to nominate a commissioner ‘cannot undermine the regular functioning of the Union and its institutions and thus cannot constitute an obstacle to the appointment of the next Commission in order for it to start as soon as possible exercising the full range of its power under the Treaties’.

“The European Commission has wide-ranging powers that include proposing policies on everything from migration to climate change, policing member states’ budgets and negotiating global trade deals. It is normally comprised of one representative from each of the EU’s 28 member states. Britain was given until midnight last Friday to respond to the launch of legal action in which it is accused of violating EU law by refusing to put forward a nominee. But the Government did not respond and is not expected to do so.”

Brexit will happen soon. The “patience” of the EU with the UK is running out. While Angela Merkel has been trying so far to delay Brexit, the Bible says that ultimately, Germany will not be able to help the UK anymore. From a biblical perspective, Brexit will destroy the UK, but it is prophesied to happen. At the same time, Money Week reported on November 24 that Christine Lagarde “is pushing harder on the door that Draghi already opened – the ECB is here, it’s printing money, and it will continue to buy all the bonds you can issue in order to fund more government spending. Meanwhile, progress towards ‘ever closer union’ will continue… Draghi effected political change but cloaked it under economics. Lagarde is going to do more, and in plain sight…”

Sicknesses Because of Vaccinations 

The Associated Press reported on November 25:

Four African countries have reported new cases of polio linked to the oral vaccine, as global health numbers show there are now more children being paralyzed by viruses originating in vaccines than in the wild. In a report late last week, the World Health Organization and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic and Angola. Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia. Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan…

“The Independent Monitoring Board, a group set up by WHO to assess polio eradication, warned in a report this month that vaccine-derived polio virus is ‘spreading uncontrolled in West Africa, bursting geographical boundaries and raising fundamental questions and challenges for the whole eradication process.”

We need to understand that ALL vaccines are potentially dangerous, and that is especially true for people with a weak immune system.  In countries where it is mandatory for children to be immunized, it is important that parents are aware of the potential dangers so they can pray fervently to God for His protection of the children. An uninformed, casual and lackadaisical approach is most certainly not called for.  

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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Would you please explain the concept of not giving offense to others? (Part 2)

In the first part, we saw that Christ was called a stumbling block and that He indeed offended people, and He was still without fault or sin.

On the other hand, as we will show, the Bible tells us that we are not to cause offense. How is this to be understood in light of the fact that Jesus Himself did offend people?

We read in Luke 17:1-2:

Then He said to the disciples, ‘It is impossible that no offenses (Greek skandalon, which means stumbling block) should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend (Greek skandalizo, which means, cause to stumble) one of these little ones.”

The following words by Jesus are added in Matthew 18:6-7:

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin (Greek: skandalizo), it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses (Greek: scandalon)! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”

The Authorized Version states: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones…” The kind of offense Jesus is addressing here is in the context of committing sin.

Note how Jesus continues in Matthew 18:8-9:

If your hand or foot causes you to sin (Greek: skandalizo; lit.: cause to stumble), cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (compare Mark 9:42-47).”

Again, the Authorized Version renders consistently: “… if thy hand or thy foot offend you… if thine eye offend you…”

Let us also note the concept of offense in the context of committing sin in Matthew 5:27-30:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin [Greek: skandalizo]pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin [Greek: skandalizo], cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

The Authorized Version translates again: “If thy right eye offend thee… if your right hand offend thee.”

Here, the context is obvious. Offense or causing to sin or to stumble is addressed in the context of committing adultery. Our own members (eye or hand) should not “offend” us in causing us to sin; in the same way, we are not to offend others by causing them to sin.

Paul admonishes Timothy in the same way in Philippians 1:9-11:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

In the Greek, the word for “without offense” is aproskopos, which means literally, “not causing to stumble.”

So, Paul told Timothy to make sure he was without offense; that is, that he was without sin against God.

Let us also note Christ’s words in Matthew 13:38-43 in explaining the parable of the wheat and the tares:

The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend (Greek: skandalon; lit., offense or stumbling block), and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Those who are offenses and stumbling blocks in the parable are equated with those who practice lawlessness. The context is sin, which is lawlessness or the transgression of the Law of God, must not be overlooked.  Christ, even though He was a stumbling block to people, NEVER sinned. The people mentioned in the parable of the wheat and the tares were unrepentant sinners, however.

Also notice Matthew 16:21-23:

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense [Greek skandalon; a stumbling block] to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Peter, although meaning well, tried to convince Christ not to fulfill His God-given purpose. This was tantamount to temptation inspired by Satan, and this is why Christ answered so strongly, as He would have sinned if He had followed Peter’s “advice.”

We are not to consciously “offend” people in the sense that we cause them to sin. Christ never did this; He acted and taught God’s Word in the letter and in the spirit, which included deviating from human customs and practices, which were not taught in God’s Word. In some cases, they even violated the letter and, in other cases, the spirit of the Law of God. In doing so, He became an offense to others, but this was quite all right. Christ did not react by saying: Because I offend someone, I will no longer do what I am doing or say what I am saying.

The context between offending people and sinning against them by transgressing God’s law in the letter or in the spirit is also shown in the following passages:

Romans 16:17 states:

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses [Greek, skandalon] contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.”

Those who offend or cause divisions and thereby create stumbling blocks for others, by teaching wrongfully against God’s Word, are to be avoided.

2 Corinthians 6:3 adds: “We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.”

Here, the Greek word for “offense” is proskope, which means a stumbling block.

We are not to offend by sinning against God’s Word. In other words, sin constitutes offense against God and man.

James also equates offending or stumbling with sinning against the Law of God.

James 2:10 reads:

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

The Authorized Version says: “yet offend in one point…”

The Greek word is ptaio, meaning to stumble or to fall.

James 3:1-2 continues:

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble (Greek ptaio] in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

The Authorized Version renders it: “… we offend all. If any man offend not…”

Again, we offend when we sin.

In Acts 24:12-16, we find Paul’s words recorded, as follows:

 “And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city. Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense [Greek aproskopos; literally, not causing to stumble] toward God and men.”

The same thought is expressed here: We sin against God and man when we transgress His Law.

2 Corinthians 11:29 states:

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble [Greek skandalizo; i.e., to cause to stumble], and I do not burn with indignation?”

The Authorized Version reads: “…who is offended, and I burn not.”

Paul echoes what Christ said earlier: If we cause someone to stumble and sin by transgressing God’s Law, then we are guilty. That is, we must not encourage or even teach someone to sin. That would be an offense against God. 

In light of the foregoing, let us explain how we are to understand the following passage in Matthew 17:24-27, which reads:

 “When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?’ Peter said to Him, ‘From strangers.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend [Greek skandalizo; i.e., cause to stumble] them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.’”

Christ explained that He, as the Son of God (the Owner of the Temple), was not really obligated to pay the temple tax. But He said to Peter to pay it for the both of them lest they offend the tax collectors. This “offense” by not paying the temple tax would not have been sinful per se, but Christ wanted to avoid in this case an unnecessary confrontation, so that later, the accusation that He did not pay taxes at all was clearly unfounded.

Quite to the contrary, He had stated that we should give Caesar what is Caesar’s (taxes) and to God what is God’s (tithes and offerings). (Of course, the temple tax was not owed to the Roman government, but it was paid to those who were in control of the Temple). In addition, Peter had already stated to the tax collectors that Christ was paying the temple tax, so Christ did not want to make Peter out to be a liar.

On one occasion, Paul circumcised Timothy, even though he had clearly explained that circumcision was no longer necessary. But he did so to avoid an unnecessary confrontation with the Jews as he wanted to use Timothy to help him preach the gospel to them. On the other hand, he steadfastly refused to circumcise Titus as those insisting on it were teaching that circumcision was necessary for salvation. Paul did not say that he had to circumcise Titus as to not create a stumbling block or an offense to those false teachers. He did not teach that we must give in to those who disagree with us when their conscience, which is based on wrong teachings, is “defiled.”

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Is Another Holocaust Coming Soon?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

On November 9, 2019, the world remembered the “Kristallnacht” (“The Night of Broken Glass”) in Nazi Germany, leading to the Holocaust. Many fear that another Holocaust could happen, and recent events, opinion polls and governmental decisions seem to support this concern. Anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise throughout the world, including in Germany and continental Europe, the United Kingdom and the USA.

“Ein Mühlstein um Deinen Hals,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “A Millstone Around Your Neck.”

Meeting Isaiah,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, in now posted. Here is a summary:

For a person who has been called by God, the pathway to deeper learning and understanding can still be daunting. As our commitment to God and obedience to His commandments grow stronger, we can pray for help and understanding. This can come to us in the form of the Holy Spirit following our baptism. However, in order to grow in faith and to get to this point we must rely on the Bible—the complete Word of God. With God’s blessing, the Book of Isaiah offers a bridge between the Old and the New Testaments, enabling us to read and understand Scriptures that in the past may have seemed locked and confusing to us. Together we will consider several Scriptures that help us make this connection and better understand that the Bible is truly our road map to salvation.

Where is Peace?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

When we experience struggle, difficulty, and conflict in our lives, where can we find peace? What can we do to create more peace in our lives?

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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

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

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

©2023 Church of the Eternal God