How can we know that Christ’s return is near? (Part 8)

When the end-time beast arises and comes to power, then an influential religious leader will accompany and collaborate with him. He is called the “false prophet” in the Bible (Revelation 19:20). We know that Christ’s return is near when these two leaders manifest themselves on the world scene.

We saw already that the false prophet will arise within the religious Babylonian mystery system.

He is also referred to as someone who claims to be “God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4); the “lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2:8); and the “prince of Tyre” (Ezekiel 28:1-10). The religion which he represents is described as “the great harlot” (Revelation 17:1); “the mother of harlots” (Revelation 17:5); and “that great and mighty city” (Revelation 17:18; 18:10).

This city is built on seven hills (Revelation 17:9; compare the New English Bible; the Revised English Bible; the New International Version; the New American Bible; the Moffat Translation of the Bible; the Jewish New Testament, by David Stern; the New Jerusalem Bible; the Living Bible; and German Bibles such as Die Gute Nachricht and Hoffnung fuer alle).

It is the almost unanimous conclusion of biblical commentaries that the city is Rome. Indeed, any honest evaluation of Revelation 17:9 must admit that John is describing, in prophetic terms, an end-time religious system, which is centered in the seven-hilled city of papal Rome, influencing and dominating the peoples of this world.

Zechariah 5:5-11 contains another reference to the end-time religious system and its ultimate demise, describing it as “the woman in the basket.” The time will come when Jesus Christ will make an end to the woman’s wickedness. God WILL remember modern Babylon’s iniquities (Revelation 18:5). We read that God will judge “the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He [will avenge] on her the blood of His servants shed by her” (Revelation 19:2).

We also read in Revelation 18:23 that by the woman’s “sorcery all the nations were deceived.” The implication is that the representatives of that religious system are engaging in sorcery in its different forms and applications. We read that the end-time false prophet, arising out of the religious Babylonian system, will be a powerful sorcerer who will apply magical “arts” and who will work lying signs and wonders with the help of Satan the Devil, with which he will be deceiving the masses.

The final false prophet had several historical forerunners. The most famous one was perhaps the sorcerer Simon Magus who, as we saw, re-established the ancient Babylonian system at the time of the early apostles by giving it a “Christian mantle.”

Another famous sorcerer was Pope Silvester II, who lived at the end of the first century. It is said that he regularly conversed with the Devil, possessed a “brazen head” that spoke to him, and that he could prophesy future events. Pope John XII, who became Pope in 955 A.D. and who in 962 A.D crowned Otto I as the “Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation,” was also an extremely sinful person. In addition to the myriads of horrible sexual sins and murders, which he committed, he was an addicted gambler; and during gambling sessions, he called on pagan gods or goddesses to grant him luck when rolling the dice.

Other popes who, because of their immorality, were described as “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest” or who claimed to be a god, were, respectively, Benedict IX, who was born in 1012; and Pope Alexander who was crowned in 1492.

As we saw already, the false prophet will even sit in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, declaring to BE God. The Ryrie Study Bible comments that he “will desecrate the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem by placing himself there to be worshipped. This will be the climax of man’s great sin of self-deification, in open defiance of God” and, as the Nelson Study Bible put it, he will personify “the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel.”

The false prophet might use a speaking image or statue of perhaps the “Virgin Mary” or a false “Christ” to back up his claims of divinity and holiness. He will receive power to do “miracles” from Satan himself (compare Revelation 19:20), performing “great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13-14).

We also read about the false prophet in Ezekiel 28:2, where he is identified as the “prince of Tyre”: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: Because your heart is lifted up, And you say, I am a god [or, God], I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas, Yet you are a man, and not a god [or, God], Though you set your heart as the heart of a god [or, God].”

The false prophet or “the man of sin” will be slain by Christ Himself. Christ will throw him alive, together with the military leader—the “beast”—into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). God asks this religious leader (the prince of Tyre) in Ezekiel 28:9, “Will you still say before him [better, “Him,” Jesus Christ] who slays you, I am a god? [better, “I am God?”]. But you shall be a man, and not a god [or, “God”], In the hand of him [better, “Him”] who slays you.”

Ezekiel 28:8 explains that the “prince of Tyre” or the “false prophet” will be thrown into the pit—the abyss. His influence on the nations will cease and he will die the deaths of those that are slain in the midst of the seas. As they die, so he will die. He will die in disgrace (verse 10), as the uncircumcised do when they die by the hands of strangers.

Sometimes, we might get a wrong perception about the woman riding the beast, thinking that throughout their existence, there was always great harmony between these two powers. That is not the case, and we find that in the very end, the political beast power will fight against the Church.

We read that the ten end-time kings or kingdoms, the coming core Europe, will ultimately revolt against and persecute the religious Babylonian system, making it “desolate” (Revelation 17:16), apparently confiscating its property. One possibility for their conduct might be that they feel betrayed by the Church, as she had been promising them peace on earth and invulnerability. When they see, instead, that they themselves are going to be overrun by Asiatic hordes and especially the modern Medes (Isaiah 13:17; the Medes are today’s Russians and Ukrainians—part of the “kings of the east”), they might change their minds about the Church. In any event, we are told that it is God who will move their hearts to fulfill His purpose (Revelation 17:17).

It appears that before or while moving toward the place called Armageddon in the Middle East, at least parts of the armies of the “kings of the east” will sweep through Europe, creating devastating havoc there. At that time, the beast and the false prophet will be dwelling in Jerusalem, so they will not be personally affected by these attacks on Europe. Neither will the ten kings and their armies who will also be in or move towards Jerusalem, as they will fight with the beast against the returning Christ (compare again Revelation 17:14).

As we saw, the ten European military leaders will not destroy nor kill the false prophet. Jesus Christ will do this Himself. They may find enough courage to use that part of their armies which is still stationed in Europe to attack the city of Rome and burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16, 18), yet lacking courage to attack the false prophet (who will have the power to work “miracles”).

But even historically, as the Wikipedia Encyclopedia brings out, the “struggle between kings and popes shaped the western world… After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, there emerged no single powerful secular government in the West. There was however a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church. In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West. The Church expanded in the beginning of the 10th century, and as secular kingdoms gained power at the same time, there naturally arose the conditions for a power struggle between Church and Kingdom over ultimate authority…

“The conflict between Church and State was in many ways a uniquely Western phenomenon… throughout the Middle Ages the Pope claimed the right to depose the Catholic kings of Western Europe, and tried to exercise it, sometimes successfully (see the investiture controversy), sometimes not, as with Henry VIII of England and Henry III of Navarre…”

At other times, a strong alliance between Church and State existed—especially during the periods of the Holy Roman Empire under Justinian and Charlemagne and its subsequent revivals under Otto the Great and Charles V. In the future, the coming initially strong European alliance between Church and State will crumble. Ultimately, the religious and economic European system of modern Babylon will end, and so will the city of Rome (Revelation 17:9, 18), which will be destroyed in one day (Revelation 18:8) and in one hour (verse 17).

The Bible does not say whether the strong collaboration between the beast and the false prophet will ultimately lead to hostility and animosity from the beast and the false prophet towards the Catholic Church, but it is possible. Historically, when focusing on the Pope, great disputes occurred between the Pope and his Church, or between popes themselves. There were times, when the Catholic Church had two or even three simultaneous popes who were all fighting each other.

Considering recent historical military leaders, we may recall that Adolph Hitler was persecuting the institutions and the personnel of the Catholic Church in Germany, as well as in occupied countries, and so did Mussolini, but they did not fight directly against the popes, even though their animosity towards them was well-known.

The Wikipedia Encyclopedia states that “Mussolini made vitriolic attacks against… the Catholic Church. Despite making such attacks, Mussolini would try to win popular support by appeasing the Catholic majority in Italy… On 11 February 1929, he signed a concordat and treaty with the Roman Catholic Church… After the concordat, Mussolini reportedly came close to being excommunicated from the Catholic Church.”

Before his death, Hitler had repeatedly denounced the Catholic Church while announcing his intention to destroy Christianity and replace it with a pagan religion. His Nuremberg rallies were actually an invocation of Mars, the pagan god of war, with Hitler being the High Priest.

When focusing on the false prophet, we learn that he will be possessed by a powerful demon (Revelation 16:13). Since there is a close association between the false prophet and the woman, we conclude that he will be a pope—even though we are NOT told in the Bible that he will be black, or that his name will be Peter, or that he will only have one eye. These are concepts, which are not contained in Scripture—rather, they are “prophecies” from questionable and, in all likelihood, demonic sources.

It is not entirely clear whether the false prophet will be the particular Pope who will be elected by the majority of the Catholic cardinals to be in power at the time of the manifestation of the beast. There is much conflict going on in the Roman Catholic Church today between the Pope and the Vatican and between bishops and cardinals belonging to conservative and liberal factions —as has been the case many times in previous decades and centuries. It might therefore be conceivable that a strong “competitor” to the “duly elected” Pope within the Catholic Church might arise, claiming the title and office of Pope and performing satanic miracles. What we do know for certain is that the false prophet will belong to the religious Babylonian system—he will not arise from Islam or other non-“Christian” religions.

The Bible does not tell us the ancestry of the false prophet. While we are clearly told that the beast will be of Assyrian descent, nothing is mentioned regarding the false prophet. What we need to watch for is a mighty religious “Christian” figure who will begin to perform “miracles,” working together with a charismatic political leader—

the beast—and ultimately moving to Jerusalem at the time when the third temple is being built or completed.

We also need to understand correctly the nature of the ten kings or kingdoms—forming a coming core Europe. They will not be as united as some may think. They are described in Daniel 2, 40-43, as follows:

“And the fourth kingdom [the ancient Roman Empire] shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom [the last revival of the Roman Empire] shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom [the Kingdom of God] which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”

This last revival will be very strong militarily; this military might is also described in Daniel 7:7, 23. But it will also be morally corrupt and brutal, and the ten core European nations or groups of nations, under their leaders, will have their own ideas and philosophies; they will have a strong unity regarding military matters, perhaps due to perceived or real threats and dangers from foreign countries; but they will have a rather fragile “unity” in regard to moral and immoral matters.

The appearance of the patchwork of a perceived but rather weak unity might be supported by marriages between the leaders and their relatives of some of those European nations, but those marriages will not bring about unity of mind.

The New Living Translation renders Daniel 2:43 in this way: “This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage.” Literally, it says, through “mixtures of human seeds.”

Since the toes consist of iron and clay, the thought is also conveyed that some of their leaders will be strong, while others will be weak. Still, the military unification will be very powerful, and the present desire for a strong and “real” European army points toward that direction. All of this shows us that the return of Christ is near.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

The Way to Peace; Hate! But Do Not Hate!

On January 26, 2019, Christoph Sperzel will present, “The Way to Peace,” and Mike Link will present the sermon, titled, “Hate! But Do Not Hate!”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at (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.

This Week in the News

“It’s Time to Let the UK Go”

Der Spiegel wrote on January 18:

“The EU should let the British go, so that they can answer that question in peace outside of the European Union. Instead of continuing to run after the Brits in the hope they might give their blessing to a deal after all, Europeans should just allow a hard Brexit to come to pass and focus their energies on preparing for the fallout…

“DER SPIEGEL has joined many others in the past in arguing that Brexit is a mistake and that Europe is stronger with the UK as a member. At the best of times, Britain made the EU a better place…

“But now the EU risks allowing the political malaise in Britain to cause lasting damage to the community’s already weakening foundations. When it comes to solving its problems — be it migration, currency reform or, more importantly, an American president who is increasingly hostile to the bloc, the EU cannot afford to allow itself to be held hostage by Britain’s Tories…

“The consequences of a no-deal Brexit would, of course, be unpleasant, but hardly a disaster — at least not for the EU…”

Brexit will happen… with devastating consequences for the British people.

“Blocking Brexit Will Unleash ‘Political Tsunami’”

Breitbart wrote on January 20:

“Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade [Cabinet Brexiteer Liam Fox] has warned that if politicians refuse to respect the people’s vote for Brexit it could unleash a ‘political tsunami’ with ‘unknowable consequences’ for the stability of the realm.

“… commentators have warned that membership of either the European Union Customs Union or a permanent customs union with the EU would leave the United Kingdom at the mercy of the bloc, which would be able to both drag it into trade wars with third countries and… force it to allow third countries privileged access to the British market on disadvantageous terms, according to their own commercial interests. Brussels would also be able to both raise and reduce tariffs on non-EU goods in Britain, and receive a large part of the revenue from said tariffs…

“[Fox also said:] ‘… it is not possible to take “No Deal” off the table for, if agreement is not reached, the law as it stands would mean that the European treaties no longer apply to the UK after 29th March.”

No More Glue for Britain

The Local wrote on January 16:

“As Brexit hangs in the balance, Politicians, newspapers and commentators in Germany and Europe have been having their say on the chaotic events taking place on the island. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday that delaying Brexit beyond March 29th would make no ‘sense’

“… in an opinion piece, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung didn’t hold back. ‘There is no glue that can be used to reassemble the British political system, which has disintegrated into a thousand splinters,’ it said.”

New Challenges for Brits

The Sun wrote on January 23:

“Brits could be banned from travelling to the EU if they have less than 15 MONTHS left on their passports after No Deal Brexit…

“The UK Foreign Office warns: ‘If the UK leaves the European Union with no deal, the passport validity rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change from 29 March 2019. Some passports with up to 15 months validity remaining may not be valid for travel.’ Countries popular with British tourists such as France, Spain and Portugal could all be affected.

“This could lead to a rush in passport applications in the UK, following previous advice that just six months validity would be needed… Up to five million passengers could face travel chaos after Brexit with plane tickets at risk of being cancelled.”

Preparing for a No-Deal Brexit

Der Spiegel wrote on January 21:

A no-deal Brexit threatens to have a major impact on the European economy. Companies have long since begun making concrete preparations for an eventuality that is looking increasingly likely

Policymakers are also preparing for a no-deal Brexit, with the German government having introduced two packages of laws to regulate the residence status of British citizens — a necessary step because they will be losing their freedom of movement in the EU. The European Commission has likewise presented emergency legislation to prevent trade and traffic from ending abruptly. Air traffic is particularly sensitive given that the only airlines for whom there will be total freedom are those that are majority-owned and controlled by investors inside the EU.

“The consequences for airlines like Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, Ryanair or Easyjet would be disastrous, given the size of British holdings in those companies. They would lose all route rights from and within the EU. As a precaution, Easyjet has taken the step of setting up a subsidiary in Vienna, while Ryanair is considering ways of reducing the influence British shareholders have over the company.

“The European Commission is eager to prevent planes from being grounded and is considering granting companies their old route rights between Britain and Continental Europe until a new aviation treaty can be concluded, or at the latest, until March 2020. Still, they would not be allowed to operate flights from point to point within the EU.

“The planned regulations, however, are of no help to aircraft manufacturers. Without certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which would no longer have supervisory authority over Britain following a no-deal Brexit, no British-made parts could be installed in European jets. Such a situation that would hit Airbus hard; the wings used in the Airbus family of jets are all manufactured in Britain…

“The impact of a disorderly Brexit would be a… serious blow to German carmakers, above all BMW. The Bavarians operate four plants in Britain, and more than 200,000 ultra-compacts of the cult-brand Mini are built in Oxford each year. Each Mini is composed of 3,000 parts, most of which are delivered by semi-truck from Continental Europe…”

Europeans will not be happy if they suffer economically due to a no-deal Brexit. Voices of “declaring war on Britain” have already been heard in the European population.

“EU Has Many More Weapons Systems than the USA”

Reuters wrote on January 19:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the European Union must deepen cooperation in defense and in particular weapons systems development…

“In a speech to her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) in the northern city of Rostock, Merkel said: ‘It is good that after several decades we want to develop a common defense policy … We must develop weapons systems together,’ adding Europe had many more systems than the United States.

“Arguing that EU countries should not compete among themselves for new projects and fighter planes but develop products together, she said there would be a need to compromise on export rules…

“In her weekly podcast, Merkel stressed the importance of the French-German partnership at the heart of the EU…”

These comments should wake everybody up and disprove the false notion that Europe would never dare to attack the USA, as they would be so much weaker militarily than America.

US Fear of Missile Attacks from Russia, China and Other Nations

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on January 18:

“US President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped US missile defence strategy on Thursday that called North Korea an ongoing and ‘extraordinary threat,’ seven months after he declared the threat posed by Pyongyang had been eliminated… The plan, which also detailed concerns about the burgeoning capabilities of Iran, Russia and China, called for developing space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles and exploring space-based weapons to shoot down missiles among other steps to shield the United States…

“The report said Iran possesses the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East… US intelligence officials believe [North Korea] is still advancing its nuclear program despite a halt to missile launches last year.

“Pentagon officials contend that American missiles defences are too few to effectively counter a major first-strike on the US homeland by an advanced nuclear power like Russia or China. Washington hopes those countries will instead be deterred from attacks by America’s nuclear arsenal.”

Even though the Bible does not indicate a major attack from countries such as Russia, China, North Korea or Iran, it does imply that these and other Far Eastern nations will collaborate militarily and fight against Europe, referring to them as the “kings of the East.” At the same time, we know that Europe will attack America with nuclear weapons.

Russia Deploys Missiles and Troops Near Ukrainian Border

Fox News wrote on January 18:

“Satellite images shot Thursday… have revealed a new Russian deployment of Iskander missile batteries and launchers… 270 miles from the border with Ukraine… The Iskander ballistic missile has a range up to 310 miles, and can carry both unconventional as well as nuclear warheads, putting most of America’s NATO allies at risk…

‘Fox News has reported of further Russian troops deployment and S-400 Surface to air missile[s]…”

The Bible tells us clearly that Russia and Ukraine will combine forces against Europe.

Venezuela… the Next US Battle Ground?

CNBC wrote on January 23:

“Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning over the backing of the Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro to break relations with the United States… Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

“U.S. President Donald Trump formally recognized Guaido shortly after his announcement and praised his plan to hold elections. That was swiftly followed by similar statements from Canada and a slew of right-leaning Latin American governments, including Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia. The U.S. State Department said in a statement that it would not remove American diplomats because it did not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela…

“Guaido’s declaration takes Venezuela into uncharted territory, with the possibility of the opposition now running a parallel government recognized abroad as legitimate but without control over state functions…

“Maduro welcomed the deployment of two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers. The Russian aircraft, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, landed in Caracas last month in a move designed to show Moscow’s support of Venezuela’s socialist regime. The Pentagon swiftly criticized the Russian deployment of warplanes to Venezuela…

“Maduro started a second term on Jan. 10 following a widely-boycotted election last year that many foreign governments described as a sham. Venezuela’s constitution says if the presidency is determined to be vacant, new elections should be called in 30 days and that the head of congress should assume the presidency in the meantime. However, the pro-government Supreme Court has ruled that all actions taken by congress are null and void and Maduro’s government has previously accused Guaido of staging a coup and threatened him with jail…

“The South American country has the largest crude reserves in the world and is a major supplier to U.S. refiners…”

The Guardian wrote on January 24:

“The head of Venezuela’s armed forces has thrown his weight behind the embattled president, warning that the country could be thrust into a devastating civil war by what he called a US-backed ‘criminal plan’ to unseat Nicolás Maduro… Further bolstering Maduro’s position, Russian President Vladimir Putin… insisted [the crisis] was ‘provoked from abroad’…

“Donald Trump has warned that ‘all options are on the table’ for a US response if the Maduro government seeks to hold on to power by force. His national security advisor, John Bolton, refused to exclude military action on Thursday, but said the immediate emphasis would be on economic measures… He said that Washington was currently trying to strengthen the coalition against Maduro among American and European states. The EU has called for new elections but most member states have not followed Washington in recognising Guaidó… The UK however, broke European ranks on Thursday and sided with the US.”

Iran Deal further Divides Europe and America

Politico wrote on January 19:

“Of all the damage Trump has done to transatlantic relations, no issue has divided the U.S. from its European allies as starkly as the dispute over the Iran accord… The fight is about to heat up. EU officials… plan to approve and register in France a ‘special purpose vehicle’ aimed at helping European companies to continue doing business with Iran and circumvent the sanctions Trump unilaterally reimposed on Tehran last year… The refusal of the EU… France, Germany and the U.K…. to fall in line behind Trump’s pullout from the deal has enraged the president and his administration.

“Escalating the dispute, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has railed recently against the EU and other multilateral organizations, will hold a conference in Poland next month on Middle East peace that will put a spotlight on tensions between Warsaw and Brussels, including on foreign policy…”

President Trump’s Huge Impact

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 19:

“At the halfway-mark of his first term it is time to acknowledge the huge impact he’s already had – and wonder how much more could come.

“In his first two years in office, US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the landmark international nuclear arms agreement with Iran, out of the signature global climate accord and out of the historic trade pact with Asia, the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He launched a bruising trade war with China, slapped tariffs on America’s European allies and ordered a speedy withdrawal of all US forces from Syria.

“He signed into law one of the largest tax overhauls in recent history, instituted a sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants and triggered the longest government shutdown in US history. And he is in the process of remaking US courts by appointing more federal judges to the bench than any of his recent predecessors at the same time.

“These are only some of the most striking examples of the tangible impact Trump has had. And it is important to note that all of these moves, while often rolled out erratically, should not have come as a surprise to anyone as all of them were campaign promises made by then-candidate Trump…”

President Trump is determined to carry out his remaining campaign promises as well.

“If You Thought the first Two Years Were Crazy, then You’d Better Buckle Up”

The Independent wrote on January 19:

“With so many challenges confronting him, so many pitfalls to face, and so much likelihood he will be pressured in a way he does not like, we can expect two years of hard fighting and ugliness from the White House… Jeanne Zaino, professor of political science at Iona College in New York… said if Trump finds himself with his back to the wall as a result of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller… things ‘will get very ugly… If we think things have been divisive over the government shutdown, that will look like child’s play’…

“Trump and his legal team have always dismissed the probe as a witch hunt and denied any collusion. But this week saw two interesting developments: a vow from Trump’s new pick for attorney general, William Barr, that he will let the Muller investigation be completed, and an apparent admission from Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani – ‘clarified’ the following day – that somebody in the campaign may have colluded with Moscow…

“Two other things are going to further unsettle the president. One is the fact that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives and everything that means… The final factor that will trigger reverberations from the White House is the 2020 election… if Trump fights the 2020 campaign as he did the one in 2016, we can expect it to be unpleasant, toxic and ill tempered. The name-calling he deployed against people such as Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz will be the least of it…

“Given the pace of developments…, it has been nothing less than exhausting. The next two years will only be worse.”

In regard to allegations of collusion with Russia, notice the next article.

BuzzFeed vs. Trump vs. Mueller

Newsmax wrote on January 19:

“BuzzFeed News released a statement Saturday standing by their Thursday report that Donald Trump directed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow after the Mueller team disputed the report Friday. ‘As we’ve re-confirmed our reporting, we’ve seen no indication that any specific aspect of our story is inaccurate,’ wrote BuzzFeed’s director of communications Matt Mittenthal in a statement. ‘We remain confident in what we’ve reported, and will share more as we are able.’

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s spokesman issued a rare statement disputing BuzzFeed’s report Friday. ‘BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,’ said Peter Carr, Mueller’s spokesman.

“It was unclear exactly what Mueller’s office was disputing, but BuzzFeed reported that the special counsel learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie through ‘interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages and a cache of other documents’…

“Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani called the claims ‘categorically false,’ and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also denied the report. BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith wrote on Twitter that ‘we stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing’…”

It appears that somebody is not telling the truth.

Trump’s Proposal to End Shutdown—Dead on Arrival

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 19:

“President Trump offered to extend protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion to build a wall at the Mexican border…

“Trump’s proposal:

“$5.7 billion for wall or steel barriers for critical areas of the border

“$800 million dollars in urgent humanitarian assistance to the border

“$800 million for technology, border protection

“75 new immigration judge teams, to reduce immigration casework backlog

“Measures to protect migrant children from exploitation, a new system for minors to apply for asylum from their home countries

“Three years of legislative relief for young immigrants who arrived illegally with their parents (DACA), including access to work permits and protection for deportation

“A three-year extension to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) refugee program…

“Prior to the speech, the White House made the proposal public, stressing the DACA and TPS extensions. Both programs have been imperiled by Trump, as he sought to end them early in his presidency. The fate of more than 700,000 DACA recipients, young people who entered the US illegally before the age of 14, has rested on the courts since Trump announced his plan to end the program.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed Trump’s plan as a ‘non-starter.’ ‘His proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives,’ Pelosi said.”

Fox News added on January 19:

“Trump announced that he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program… The offered deal would also extend protections for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program — which protects immigrants from designated countries with conditions that prevent nationals from returning safely. It would allocate $800 million for drug detection technology to secure ports of entry [and] 2,750 new border agents and law enforcement professionals…

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised Trump for his ‘bold solution’ to re-open the government… Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, voiced support for the president’s compromise plan, pledging his support for it via Twitter.

“The partial government shutdown, which has dragged on for 29 days and led to hundreds of thousands of federal workers being furloughed or working without pay, is the result of Republicans and Democrats being unable to come to an agreement over Trump’s demand for wall funding. Trump has said he will not sign a bill to open the government unless it includes that funding, while Democrats have refused to consider the $5.7 billion figure, instead offering $1.3 billion for general border security.

“Trump’s move marks a rare outreach in a week where both sides appear to have hardened in their positions, with Trump canceling a Democratic delegation’s military flight to Afghanistan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to delay his State of the Union address earlier in the week. On Saturday before the speech, Trump described Pelosi as being ‘controlled by the radical left.’”

It does not appear that the shutdown will end any time soon. This is really a terrible testimony to America’s inability to govern and lead. At the same time, both Democrats and rightwing Republicans rejected President Trump’s attempt to come to a compromise. Note the next article.

Juvenile Stalemate between Republicans and Democrats Continues

The Washington post wrote on January 24:

“The Senate on Thursday rejected competing Republican and Democratic plans to end the partial government shutdown, now in its 34th day. The Republican bill included funding for President Trump’s border wall while the Democratic plan did not. Both measures failed to win the 60 votes needed to move forward…

“The votes follow a dramatic day in which Trump agreed to postpone his State of the Union address after Speaker Nancy Pelosi… disinvited him from making the speech next week in the House chamber.”

Rightwing Hard-Liners Attack Trump

The Huffington Post wrote on January 19:

“Rightwing scold Ann Coulter is tearing into President Donald Trump’s offer to extend protections for the so-called immigrant Dreamers in exchange for Democrats’ support for $5.7 billion for his southern border wall. Coulter lashed out after Trump offered to extend protections for three years under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Coulter mocked the plan’s ‘amnesty,’ noting sarcastically that maybe Trump could finally get an entire border wall if ‘we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners.’ [She] also accused Trump of turning into his GOP presidential candidate rival Jeb Bush, who is far more supportive of immigrants.

“Coulter speaks for extreme immigration hardliners. But many observers believe her opinions sway the president… Earlier this month Coulter told Lou Dobbs on Fox Business that she would rather deport Dreamers than MS-13 gang members.”

Sadly, it may very well be true that President Trump thinks he needs to listen to such extreme right-wing views as expressed by Coulter and others. Note the next article.

Trump Responds to Coulter and Hard-Liners

The Hill wrote on January 20:

“President Trump early Sunday… chastised Democrats for dismissing his plan, and attempted to assuage immigration hard-liners who likened the administration’s latest proposal to amnesty for immigrants already in the country illegally.

“‘No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer,’ Trump tweeted. ‘It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally–but be careful Nancy!’”

His implied threat to Pelosi in the context of removal of illegal aliens is worrisome to many observers.

How America Feels about the Shutdown and the Wall

Newsmax wrote on January 23:

Sixty-six percent of Americans want President Donald Trump to agree to a budget without funding for a wall on the southern border, while 52 percent want Democrats to reach a deal on a budget that includes funding for the barrier… Only 28 percent said the border wall is worth the government shutdown, while 71 percent said it is not worth it. Only 37 percent said a wall is necessary to secure the border, while 61 percent said the border can be secured without it…

Sixty percent of Americans said the government shutdown is causing serious problems, while 34 percent said it is causing some problems, but not serious ones and 5 percent said it is causing no problems.

Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped three percentage points from November to 36 percent today. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now disapprove of the job he is doing, a high for his presidency… The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample is plus or minus three percentage points.”

How 34 percent of Americans can possibly feel that the shutdown does not cause serious problems is a mystery and further testimony of total ignorance.

Worldwide Hatred for Jews

The Algemeiner wrote on January 23:

“Israel was condemned at least 20 times in the UN General Assembly for human rights abuses, illegal settlements, and continued occupation of East Jerusalem in 2018 — more than any other country. According to former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, since the 1940s, the UN has condemned Israel at least 500 times

“Consider the charge a few years ago by newly-elected Congresswoman Ilhan Omarthat ‘Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel‘…

Medieval persecutions of Jews were horrible. In 1349 in Germany alone, more Jews were slaughtered than early Christians were killed in all Roman persecutions…

“Medieval Jews were expelled from one Western European country after another. But today, as the Jewish population has been ‘globalized,’ antisemitic conspiracy mongers have a much easier time portraying Jews through modern media as a ‘world menace.’

“The existence of Israel is double-edged. Israel, since the Shoah, has been a potential haven for Jews seeking to escape persecution. But on the other hand, there is a real ‘Jewish state’ that antisemites can depict as an all-powerful evildoer on the world scene.”

Many anti-Semites refuse to believe in the Devil, while calling Israel the Devil. They do not realize that it is they who are inspired by the Devil to believe and act in that way.

“More than Half of all Food Produced in Canada Lost or Wasted”

CBC wrote on January 17:

“According to [new] research, some 4.82 million tonnes of food, or nearly $21 billion worth, is lost or wasted during the processing and manufacturing process. Some 2.38 million tonnes of food, or more than $10 billion worth, is lost at the consumer level. In total, the value of all food that is lost or wasted in Canada is a staggering $49 billion…

“The amount of food is enough to feed every Canadian for five months… The annual cost of avoidable food loss and waste in Canada is $1,766 per household.”

That is so sad. While many people starve to death in certain parts of the world because of lack of food, wealthy and blessed nations such as Canada destroy and waste surplus food supplies.

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.

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“The End of the British Empire… Time to Let Britain Go!” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Recent events have thrown Britain into “the deepest political crisis in half a century.” Europeans are now convinced that the inevitable Brexit will prove to be the “greatest disaster” for the UK, and they have concluded that it is time for the EU to let Britain go, as the “proud United Kingdom” has reached its end. At the same time, Europe is engaged in building a powerful army. Why are these events connected and of critical importance in the light of biblical prophecy?

“Die Bibel beschreibt die Person des falschen Propheten!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Bible Describes the Person of the False Prophet.”

“Allgemeine Missverständnisse—der Sabbat” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermonette, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Common Misunderstandings—the Sabbath.”

“Death Is Not to be Feared,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The world we live in encourages fear and a degree of hysteria with respect to human death. Movies create imagery around the ideas of both horrible evil capable of causing suffering and death, and the celebration of eternal existence, again demonically inspired. Believers in the true living God, the Creator indeed understand that everlasting life is possible through Jesus Christ. If we die prior to the return of Jesus Christ we are asleep in Christ much as Lazarus was prior to Jesus raising him up. We have this same opportunity if we believe and follow the commands of God the Father and His Son.

“Two Sons of Joseph,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, have become great nations in today’s world! These nations are about to be severely punished by God for their rebellion against Him! Yet, almost no one knows or understands what the Bible so clearly reveals!

Current Events

by Norbert Link

In this issue, we report on the increasingly dire Brexit situation and Europe’s impatience with Great Britain. Please view our new StandingWatch program, “The End of the British Empire… Time to Let Britain Go!”

We speak on Angela Merkel’s astonishing admission of powerful European weapons systems; America’s fear of hostile military actions from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran; and Russia’s employment of missiles and troops close to the Ukrainian border. We also address the volatile situation in Venezuela and report on the controversial Iran deal.

We continue with articles analyzing President Trump’s first two years in office, fearing that “worse and crazier things are to come”; controversial reports and denials of the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia; and an attempt by President Trump to end the governmental shutdown by offering, among other proposals, three year DACA and TPS extensions in exchange for a border wall with Mexicowhich led to the immediate and expected rejection from uncooperative Democrats and mean-spirited attacks from rightwing anti-Immigrant Republicans. Further attempts by Republicans and Democrats to end the shutdown failed as well.

We conclude with articles on worldwide anti-Semitism and huge amounts of lost and wasted food in prosperous Canada.

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

How Much Do You Care?

Recently, my family and I learned about the unexpected deaths of several loved ones and friends. When such news reaches us, realization sets in as to how fragile, temporary and passing human life is. Experience with death is always sad, unpleasant, uncomfortable, unsettling and unnerving.

At the same time, we remind ourselves that we have hope that our loved ones will live again—and that we will see them again in a better world. But are we totally sure? Is there any doubt in our minds? Are we certain that we will be immortal God beings in God’s Kingdom and that we will be able to help our loved ones who were not called to salvation in this life, but who will be called in the next? And if we are sure of it, is our conviction based on reality?

As it is dangerous to live with nagging self-doubt, with the constant fear that we will not make it, so it is also dangerous to be over-confident about ourselves. Throughout my many years in God’s Church, I have seen many persons, including respected so-called “pillars,” turn their back on God and leave the Truth. One popular Church author wrote an article in one of the Church’s publications about Satan’s evil devices, asking the hypothetical question as to what he would do if he were Satan. He gave the answer: Try everything he could to influence people to leave the Church. Shortly thereafter, he had left the Church.

Paul warns us: If you think you stand, take heed lest you fall (compare 1 Corinthians 10:12; Revelation 3:17). Far too many have fallen and ARE falling, as we speak. They attended Church services, became baptized and might have received God’s Holy Spirit, and then left—often after quite a few years of Church “membership.” Maybe they were never truly converted and convicted, lacking the love for God’s Truth. They might have just waited for an opportunity to depart in order to enjoy the “pleasures” of this world and return to this society’s evil observances, such as Sunday worship, Christmas, Easter and Halloween, while rejecting again God’s weekly and annual Holy Days. Perhaps they thought they still had a long time ahead of them and could wait with their repentance, or they were simply too weak, too cowardly, too fearful to fight the good fight in the face of obstacles.

You must make sure that this does not describe you!

Look at the world around you. Make no mistake: The time is at hand! This evil age will soon end in total ruin. Crazy and careless politicians and ruthless military leaders will attempt to wipe out mankind with weapons of mass destruction. Death, misery and suffering will become commonplace. The return of Jesus Christ to this rotten and godless world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth is humankind’s ONLY hope. God wants YOU to be there to help Him teach others HIS Way of Life. How much do YOU want to do this? Do you care enough for others that you are willing to forego all ungodly distractions and to overcome your personal sins and weaknesses so that you WILL be there to HELP others when the time has come?

Think of your loved ones who died without having been called in this day and age. Do you love them enough that you want to be there and teach and HELP them when they come back to life in the Second Resurrection? Do you love God and yourself enough so that you are willing to give up everything which will prevent you from entering God’s eternal Family? Or will your loved ones enter the Kingdom of God in their due time, while YOU are destroyed in the lake of fire?

Think! Don’t be foolish enough to throw it all away for ANY temporary, passing “justification” you can think up. The choice is yours, and yours alone. A falling away from the Truth is coming and will affect God’s Church in the near future. For those who refuse to resist evil and continue to love this world, even though “they had tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come” (Hebrews 6:5), their fate will be eternal death in the lake of fire (verse 8). We have to make sure that we do not belong to those who will walk away from God.

Christ WARNS us, saying, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy… to stand before the Son of Man” when He returns (Luke 21:36)! We are also admonished in this way: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15); “…be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10); and “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Care enough, and have enough LOVE.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God