Are We Inured?

In the current state of world events, are we inured or are we in the process of becoming inured by the constant reports of widespread and worldwide problems which must surely be leading to the end of this age? Do we just accept more bad news without thinking too much about it? After all, bad news is a staple diet of modern reporting.

A good definition of inure is “to habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection; accustom.” A synonym of inure is hardened. So, putting it another way, are we or have we become used to and hardened to all that is happening around the world? I think it is a good question to ask.

Yet again, I bring up the story of our old friend, the frog in boiling water, and how often he has been mentioned over the years in the Church of God – and with very good reason. If there are any reading this and don’t know the story, suffice to say that “the premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly” (Wikipedia Encyclopedia). Whether the story is true or not is immaterial, but the lesson we can learn is invaluable.

It can be so easy to see details of the latest tragedy or calamity and just accept that this is the way society is. One such item, one of many, was in a “Money Marketing” e-mail that I saw in early August 2019. The piece read: “By volume, 90% of world trade goods are transported by sea. There are around 53,000 ships in the world’s merchant fleet, 5,000 of which are container ships, and the largest of those carries more than 20,000 containers. Without these ships, many countries could not participate in global trade, and consumers would have to absorb the increased costs, making the world poorer.” I thought about Revelation 8:8-9 where it states that “a third of the ships were destroyed!” A third of 53,000 is 17,667 ships and think of the number of containers that would be lost, plus cruise ships and others. It’s not just about the present but how that will play out during the time of trouble just ahead of us.

It can be pretty easy in these days of mass communication to read, hear or see the very latest events on the world scene, and we ought “to cry and sigh for all the (many) abominations” (compare Ezekiel 9:4) that surround us, but if we transpose this to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, we may be able to see, in some part, just what a terrible time it really will be. We must remember the admonishment by Jesus Christ to “Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

The Feast of Trumpets is a central Holy Day in God’s plan and the people of God will be celebrating this Holy Day on Monday 30th September. This festival pictures that time that is just ahead of us—a time of terrible trouble that should Christ not return, no flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22). Preceding that time, there will be so many problems—all created by man through the influence of Satan—that the troubles that we can currently “cry and sigh” about will pale by comparison.

Let us make sure that the “frog” doesn’t influence us, that we can really appreciate what is going on in the world today and extrapolate this to the time of terrible trouble just ahead, and we will, in no way, be inured to the terrible things that we now see on a daily basis.

Current Events

by Norbert Link

We begin with historical and potentially wide-ranging elections in Israel; continue with a discussion about a defense treaty between Israel and the USA; and address Europe’s reaction to Netanyahu’s announced desires to annex the Jordan Valley and parts of the Dead Sea.

We continue with the attack on Saudi Arabia’s crude oil facilities and the consequences for the world economy; speak on Boris Johnson’s humiliating defeat in Luxembourg which makes a no-deal Brexit on Halloween more likely; and point out parallels between Europe’s ambitions and the Roman Empire.

We address a frightening scenario regarding the consequences of a worldwide nuclear war which will not happen in the way proposed in the quoted article, but which WILL happen in the near future. We give you updates on President Trump’s new public charge rules; America’s crazy healthcare system; and the abominable abortion practices of Planned Parenthood and others involved [please view our new StandingWatch program,“Our Scandalous Corrupt Abortion Industry”]; and we conclude with appalling examples of the hypocritical dishonesty of the mainstream media which can easily destroy the reputation of innocent people; as well as failed doomsday predictions and the “lucky” number 13.

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

Comments on News and Prophecy (September 21, 2019); A Time for Everything

On, September 21, 2019, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy (September 21, 2019), and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “A Time for Everything.”

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

“Historic Israel Elections”

Breitbart wrote on September 17:

“Exit polls from all three of Israel’s major television networks project no clear winner in today’s historic Israeli elections, which took place five months after the last round of voting failed to form a stable governing coalition for the first time in the country’s history…

“Ultimately, it will be the size of each party after final results that will determine whether [the centrist Blue and White party, led by ex-military chief Benny] Gantz or [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [and his right-wing Likud party] will have the first shot at forming a coalition. It could take weeks of negotiations to eventually form a coalition.”

Deutsche Welle added: “Both Netanyahu and Gantz’s parties will fall well short of the 61 seats they need for a majority in the Knesset. It’s even possible that neither side can reach the hurdle with the support of their allies, and that they may have to seek to govern together.”

The Week added that if the forecasts hold true, “… complicated political maneuvering will ensue while Netanyahu remains a caretaker prime minister, and he reportedly could be forced out if a broad unity government is formed.”

If forced out, Netanyahu might face charges and an indictment for criminal misconduct (see article below). The developments in Israel will be of great importance in the light of biblical prophecy.

The Associated Press wrote on September 18:

“Israel’s two main political parties were deadlocked Wednesday after an unprecedented repeat election, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing an uphill battle to hold on to his job. The election’s seeming political kingmaker, Avigdor Lieberman, said he’ll insist upon a secular unity government between Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White parties, who are running neck-and-neck to become the country’s largest party.

“Without Lieberman’s endorsement, though, neither party appears able to secure a parliamentary majority with their prospective ideological allies… Netanyahu, the longest serving leader is in Israeli history, had desperately sought an outright majority with his hard-line and ultra-Orthodox allies in hopes of passing legislation to give him immunity from his expected indictment. Israel’s attorney general has recommended charging Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three scandals, pending a long-awaited hearing scheduled in the coming weeks. A formal indictment would increase the pressure on Netanyahu to step aside if he does not have immunity.”

Avigdor Lieberman—the Dangerous Kingmaker

The Week wrote on September 18:

“Lieberman has long been viewed as both an extremist and a sower of chaos, for now he holds the balance of power in the Knesset… Lieberman forced Israel’s electoral ‘do-over’ in the first place by refusing to join Netanyahu’s government after last April’s election, thereby depriving it of a majority… he saw an opportunity to dislodge Netanyahu, enhance his own stature, and make himself indispensable to the next coalition.

“That mission is now accomplished… Without Lieberman, there will not be a right-wing government… Lieberman is an unapologetic ethno-nationalist. He has proposed revoking the citizenship of Arab Israelis who refuse to take an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state, and transferring populous Arab areas within Israel to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for Jewish settlement blocs on the West Bank…

“Lieberman is a fairly rare political animal: a pragmatic extremist. And the main obstacle to his continued rise is the degree to which he is loathed by enemies and allies alike… a man of unequivocally right-wing instincts, willing to be brutal, to take big risks and loud stands.

“If Lieberman has now made himself the indispensable match-maker to a national unity government of Likud and Blue and White, he will likely prove a dangerous addition to the coalition, ready to tear it apart whenever he sees an advantage… to do so — as he did to Netanyahu in 1997, to Sharon in 2004, and to Ehud Olmert in 2008. But for now, they have few if any other choices.”

Defense Treaty between USA and Israel?

JTA wrote on September 15:

“President Donald Trump resurrected an idea that Americans and Israelis have for decades considered and always ultimately rejected — a mutual defense treaty… [which] commits the parties to treating an attack on one signatory as an attack on all.

“Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has for a number of years been talking about advancing such a pact. ‘This would be a game-changer for Israel’s security and would be sending the right message to Iran and other bad actors,’ Graham said on Sunday. ‘I stand ready to lead efforts in the Senate if necessary.'”

Such a treaty might very well come into force and effect.

EU Member States Reject Annexation, Condemns Israel

The Jerusalem Post wrote on September 13:

“France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom issued a statement on Friday expressing ‘deep concern’ at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement Tuesday of intention to annex the Jordan Valley… and the northern portion of the Dead Sea. ‘This would, if implemented, constitute a serious breach of international law…’”

If such an annexation were to take place, Europe might not stand idly by.

The EUObserver wrote on September 18:

“The European Union on Tuesday condemned Israel’s latest move to approve a new settlement, currently an outpost, in the Jordan Valley… ‘The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001, in line with prior obligations,’ said the EU in a statement.”

“This Is the Big One”

The Wall Street Journal wrote on September 14:

“A coordinated drone strike hit at the heart of Saudi oil production on Saturday, sparking an enormous blaze and forcing the kingdom to shut down about half of its crude output… Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed responsibility for what would be one of their largest-ever attacks inside the kingdom. The Saudi production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day… roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a day.

“The strikes on facilities in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have also claimed credit for drone attacks on Saudi pipelines, tankers and other infrastructure during a four-year war.

“This attack appeared to be the most effective, starting large fires at Hijra Khurais, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, and at Abqaiq, the world’s biggest crude stabilization facility. Khurais produces 1.5 million barrels a day while Abqaiq helps produce up to 7 million barrels a day…

“Disruptions in Saudi oil production could have ripple effects through the global economy, as the kingdom exports more crude petroleum than any other country. Saudi officials have called for the international community to help protect its oil infrastructure.”

The Week added on September 14:

“[A] Houthi military spokesman said the Iran-backed rebels launched 10 drones in a coordinated attack and warned more strikes could come if the Yemeni civil war, in which Saudi Arabia backs a coalition fighting the Houthis, does not stop soon.”

Deutsche Welle added on September 17 that despite reassurances by Saudi Arabia that “the kingdom can deal with the effects of last week’s attack,” “Sources cited by the Reuters news agency said a return to normal production could take months…”

The USA finds itself between a rock and a hard place. President Trump does not seem to have any desire to get involved in a war with Iran; on the other hand, doing nothing would be interpreted as a sign of weakness which could in his mind jeopardize his chances for re-election. Axios reported on September 18 that “President Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he’s instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ‘substantially’ increase sanctions against Iran. It’s unclear what the new sanctions will target.” It is also unclear whether this move by Trump against Iran will be deemed to be enough.

“Top Hostage Czar” Robert C. O’Brian New National Security Advisor, Replacing John Bolton

NPR wrote on September 18:

“President Trump has named Robert C. O’Brien, who has been his special envoy for hostage affairs, to be his new national security adviser. Trump made the announcement in a Wednesday morning tweet… O’Brien replaces John Bolton… O’Brien will be the president’s fourth national security adviser in less than three years in office. Prior to his appointment, O’Brien had been perhaps best known for his efforts to win the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was held in a Swedish jail after being arrested for his involvement in a Stockholm brawl. Before that, O’Brien had worked in other State Department roles, including as a member of Bolton’s team during the administration of President George W. Bush…

“National security insiders welcomed the appointment. Patrick Cronin, Asia-Pacific Security Chair for the Hudson Institute, said O’Brien has a ‘razor-sharp mind and a diplomatic demeanor.’ And Andrew Exum, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy toward the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, wrote on Twitter that O’Brien is a good man who’s been given a ‘challenging role.’

“O’Brien does not require Senate confirmation to move into his new job…

“Trump entered office with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who was removed due to his role in the Russia imbroglio and who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Taking his place was Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, with whom Trump did not click personally. The split between those two men created the opening that Bolton filled last year. Bolton’s commentary on Fox News and elsewhere appealed to Trump, but his hawkish positions once he was back inside government ultimately estranged him from the president and other advisers.”

We need to wait and see as to how long O’Brien will serve as National Security Advisor.

Trump’s Favorite Dictator

Axios wrote on September 14:

“Searching a room for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at last month’s G7 summit in France, the WSJ reports, President Trump called out: ‘Where’s my favorite dictator?’… Sisi really is a dictator, and he really is closely allied with the Trump administration.

“Trump is untroubled by the idea of partnering with authoritarians, but his remark was ‘met by a stunned silence’ according to the WSJ, which notes it’s unclear if Sisi was in the room to hear it. When the two leaders met moments later, Trump praised Sisi as a ‘very tough man’ who had ‘done a fantastic job.’”

Trump’s favoritism for unscrupulous dictators is quite alarming.

Fed Reduces Rates Again

The Associated Press wrote on September 18:

“A sharply divided Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate Wednesday for a second time this year but indicated that it may not cut rates any further this year. The Fed’s move will reduce its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — by an additional quarter-point to a range of 1.75% to 2%.

“The action was approved 7-3, with two officials preferring to keep rates unchanged and one arguing for a bigger half-point cut. It was the most Fed dissents in three years… Stock prices tumbled after the Fed issued its statement, reflecting disappointment that it had declined to indicate that more rate cuts are likely this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 150 points an hour later.

“The Fed’s modest rate cut irritated Trump, who has attacked the central bank and insisted that it slash rates more aggressively. The president immediately signaled his discontent.”

Johnson’s Humiliation in Luxembourg Makes No Deal Brexit More Likely

The Financial Times wrote on September 16:

“EU chiefs said they heard no fresh proposals from Boris Johnson after a high-profile visit to Luxembourg ended with an abandoned press conference and an extraordinary public reprimand from the country’s leader, Xavier Bettel. Mr Johnson, the UK prime minister, headed to Luxembourg for talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Mr Bettel on Monday hoping he would advance his renegotiation of Britain’s Brexit deal. Instead, Brussels said the UK prime minister had brought no fresh proposals to the table, while a visibly angry Mr Bettel chastised the Conservative government for trying to blame the EU ‘for the mess we are in at the moment’.

“The comments underline the EU’s mounting frustration at the gap between Mr Johnson’s claims of progress in the negotiations and the impasse over how to prevent a hard Irish border after Brexit. They also reflect the EU’s determination to push back against claims by Mr Johnson, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab and others that the EU is seeking to impose unfair conditions on Britain. ‘We did not decide to organise Brexit, it is a unilateral decision of the UK government,’ Mr Bettel said…

“Mr Johnson’s.. meeting with the Luxembourg prime minister degenerated into a public relations fiasco

“The prime minister said he was determined that Britain would leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, while refusing repeatedly to explain how he would surmount the legal and political obstacles placed in his way by parliament. ‘I see no point whatever in staying on in the EU beyond October 31 and we’re going to come out,’ Mr Johnson told the BBC. ‘And actually that is what our friends and partners in the EU would like too. And I think that they’ve had a belly full of all this stuff.’”

The Independent wrote on September 16:

“Boris Johnson’s humiliation at the hands of Luxembourg will make a Brexit deal harder to reach and could make a no-deal more likely, some on the EU side believe. Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee and a senior MP from Angela Merkel’s party, was among those to publicly criticise the Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on Tuesday.

“Mr Bettel had strongly criticised Mr Johnson and the UK government and empty-chaired the British prime minister after he refused to take part in a planned press conference in Luxembourg on Monday. ‘Xavier Bettel’s speech yesterday did not serve the European cause,’ Mr Röttgen, a former minister in Ms Merkel’s government warned. ‘His public venting ignored that a deal is still in everyone’s interest. Even without a deal there will be a post-Brexit life, which means that right now everyone needs to behave in a way that avoids animosity.’

“One EU diplomat in Brussels suggested that Mr Bettel had gone too far and ‘reinforced the us versus them narrative’ in the UK. Another accused Luxembourg’s leader of playing into the hands of hard Brexiteers back in the UK who wanted a no-deal… During Monday’s visit Mr Bettel warned an absent Mr Johnson that the ‘clock is ticking’, adding on Monday: ‘Stop speaking and act.’

“But the comments enraged Conservatives back in Westminster. Even pro-EU figures such as Sir Nicholas Somes, who has lost the Tory whip, criticised what he called the ‘very poor behaviour’ of the Luxembourg government. Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith dredged up memories of the Second World War, saying: ‘The irony is that Luxembourg was saved by Britain. National leaders should always treat one another with courtesy and civility. Good ones do.’

“And Nigel Evans, the joint secretary of the backbench 1922 committee, said Mr Bettel’s stunt was ‘another reason why the British people voted the way we did.’”

Germany (modern Assyria) becomes more and more isolated in Europe in its support for Great Britain. The Bible shows that ultimately, Germany will not be able to help Britain.

The Battle Continues

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 18:

“EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament ‘time is running out’ to secure a Brexit agreement [and that] he believed the risk of a no-deal Brexit was still ‘very real.’ … At the end of the three-hour debate, European lawmakers in Strasbourg  voted 544 in favor and 126 against supporting another extension to the Brexit deadline should Britain request it. A further 38 members abstained.

“Johnson remains optimistic that the UK will exit the EU on October 31 with a deal, but he has repeatedly vowed that Brexit will happen on this date even if no deal is agreed and despite a British law requiring him to request an extension of the Brexit deadline if no deal is agreed upon. This comes on the same day that the head of the Federation of German Industries, Joachim Lang, announced that extending the deadline would cause German businesses ‘unnecessary expenditures.’…

“The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said, ‘We need legally operational solutions. It is not enough to explain to us why the backstop should be removed.’… Brexit Party leader and prominent hard Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said during the debate that Barnier was ‘keeping us trapped inside, this was the objective of Barnier’s from the start.’… German lawmaker Manfred Weber, leader of the center-right EPP group in the European Parliament, described Brexit as ‘stupid’ and vented his annoyance at the ongoing suspension of the UK Parliament. ‘Brexiteers claimed Westminster would take back control, but now they shut it down,’ he said during the debate. The UK Supreme Court is due to decide in the coming days whether Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament was illegal.”

The EUObserver wrote on September 18:

“British people ‘didn’t need a lecture from anybody on how to run their country  … and that includes Brussels’ because the UK once ‘built the greatest empire’ in the world and ‘held off the Nazis’, Woody Johnson, the US ambassador in London, said Tuesday. His WW2 references echoed British eurosceptic rhetoric on ‘standing up to Europe’. US president Donald Trump has also praised Brexit and verbally mauled the European Union…

“British chaos over Brexit has dampened other member states’ potential appetite for leaving Europe, Villeroy de Galhau, a French governor of the European Central Bank (ECB), said Tuesday. ‘It is a gratitude we have to the British today,’ he said at an event in the London School of Economics, Reuters reported, in comments which risked giving ammunition to British claims the EU was trying to punish the UK for leaving.”

The EU and the Revival of the Roman Empire?

Express wrote on September 17:

“The European Union has unveiled ambitious plans to incorporate western Balkan nations as Brussels seeks to continue to enlarge the bloc despite Britain’s imminent departure – prompting comparisons with the Roman empire

“Sheila Lawlor, director of the Politeia think tank, suggested the EU’s approach was ‘reminiscent of the Roman empire’…

“European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt…said: ‘In the world order of tomorrow, the world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries, it’s a world order that is based on Empires… in which we Europeans and you British can only defend your interests, your way of life by doing it together in a European framework and a European Union.’”

Europe will become indeed a powerful Empire—the last revival of the ancient Roman Empire. But it will not exist for long.

Nuclear War to Destroy Europe?

Express wrote on September 18:

“A TERRIFYING simulation has laid bare the sheer horror which would be unleashed by a nuclear war between the United States and Russia, with the ensuing firestorm likely to kill more than 34 million people in less than five hours.

“The sobering four-minute video produced by experts at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security, depicts deadly nuclear bombs raining down on major population centres on both sides of the Atlantic. The simulation, entitled Plan A, is based on ‘real force postures, targets and fatality estimates’, and begins with a conventional conflict in Europe.

“In a bid to stop the advance of NATO force, Russia fires a single ‘nuclear warning shot’ from a base near the city of Kaliningrad. In retaliation, NATO launches a single tactical nuclear air strike. As the ‘nuclear threshold’ is crossed, the conflict escalates into a tactical nuclear war in Europe. Russia launches 300 nuclear warheads via aircraft and short-range missiles at NATO bases and troops, with NATO launching a salvo of 180 warheads via aircraft. As a result, 2.6 million people are killed and wounded over the course of three hours.

“London is depicted as being carpet-bombed, and Europe is devastated, at which point NATO launches a further 600 warheads from US soil and via nuclear submarines aimed at Russian nuclear forces, with Russia responding with a salvo of its own. There are a further 3.4 million casualties in just 45 minutes. Both sides then launch further strikes on major population centres, with another 85.3 million people killed and wounded in the course of 45 minutes. By the end of the exchanges, there are a total of 91.5 million casualties, including 34.1 million deaths.

“The video warns: ‘Deaths from nuclear fallout and other long-term effects would significantly increase this estimate.’ A blog post carried on Princeton’s website said: ‘This project is motivated by the need to highlight the potentially catastrophic consequences of current US and Russian nuclear war plans. The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years as the United States and Russia have abandoned long-standing nuclear arms control treaties, started to develop new kinds of nuclear weapons and expanded the circumstances in which they might use nuclear weapons…

“In 2016, after years of threats, Vladimir Putin ordered nuclear-capable Iskander missiles with a range of 440 miles to be deployed in the region, putting Berlin comfortably in range… Russia has a total of 6,850 nuclear weapons at its disposal, while the US has 6,550.”

We know that such a scenario, as described in the article, will not happen, as there will not be a nuclear war between the USA and Russia, but we DO know that a nuclear war will occur soon with devastating consequences. How and between whom it is going to occur is described in our many free booklets on prophecy.

Trump’s Public Charge Rule under Ongoing Attack

The Hill wrote on September 17:

“Democratic Senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would block the Trump administration’s new ‘public charge’ rule, which allows the government to deny entry or green cards to immigrants based on their use of public programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

The Protect American Values Act would block the enforcement of the rule by immigration authorities. ‘The true intent of the public charge rule is to create a climate of fear among immigrant families, and sadly its working,’ Hirono said at a press conference Tuesday. Twenty-seven senators already support the bill, Hirono said. ‘Neither of us would be here if this rule existed when we were born,’ Blumenthal said, telling the story of his father immigrating to America. ‘The immigrants that this rule seeks to bar from this country are potentially the source of scientists and teachers and doctors.’

“Under the new definition of ‘public charge,’ participation in federal programs such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid will be a negative factor when determining if an immigrant can be granted a green card or visa. Previously, only receipt of significant direct cash subsidies from the government qualified applicants as ‘public charges.’ Critics say the policy could dramatically limit the number of people using social safety net programs by creating a chilling effect that could discourage noncitizens and permanent residents from renewing or applying for benefits for which they are qualified. The rule has already been challenged by 16 state attorney generals.”

So far, no court has been willing to make even a preliminary ruling in the matter.

Our Abominable Abortion Industry

Breitbart wrote on September 12:

“The preliminary hearing in the criminal case against Planned Parenthood video journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt is in its second week in San Francisco as abortion industry workers have admitted to trafficking the body parts of aborted babies. Daleiden and Merritt, video journalists with the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), produced a series of undercover videos that exposed the fetal tissue trafficking practices of Planned Parenthood and its partners in the biomedical procurement industry.

“Daleiden and Merritt are the first undercover journalists to be criminally prosecuted in the history of the state of California, noted Liberty Counsel, which represents Merritt. The journalists were slapped with 15 felony charges by the office of the California Attorney General (AG), including its past AG, current U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, and her successor, Xavier Becerra. Harris received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Planned Parenthood and, subsequently, she and her office raided Daleiden’s home and seized his personal property, including his laptop, instead of prosecuting the abortion giant.

“…under oath the company’s founder and CEO, known as ‘Doe 12’… admitted that when a fetal brain is able to be harvested, it is because the baby’s head may still be attached to the body after being pulled out of the womb… she also did not deny that StemExpress harvests and transfers unborn children from completely intact abortions…

“Daleiden is represented by Thomas More Society (TMS). Peter Breen, TMS vice president, said in a statement: “Everything that Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation have been trying to do is an attempt to shut down and silence anyone who knows about their scheme to sell baby parts and organs for profit. Their heinous practices have involved exterminating babies born alive and manipulating abortion techniques without informing the women they’ve victimized. These bad players – the abortion industry movers and shakers – are doing terrible things for money…’”

The abortion industry, politicians and representatives of the legal system seem to be working hand in hand in a corrupt endeavor to protect abortionists and the trafficking of body parts of aborted babies, while prosecuting and trying to silence those who expose such abominable practices. This is despicable and utterly ungodly. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Our Scandalous Corrupt Abortion Industry.”

Our Crazy Insurance-Company Driven Health-Care System

NPR wrote on September 18:

“Diabetes activists and legislators have started to focus attention on the surging price of insulin, leading to legislative pushes, lawsuits and congressional hearings. But insulin isn’t the only thing people with Type 1 diabetes are struggling to get. Managing the condition requires other essential, often life-saving medical supplies. And patients frequently face hurdles in getting access to those supplies — hurdles put in place by insurance companies

“Peralta learned about the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor from the mother of one of his patients. He visited the company’s website and, within two weeks, the device had been shipped to his front door. For each of these parts, Peralta needs something called a ‘prior authorization’ from his insurer — a requirement from his insurance company that necessitates his physician seeking approval from the insurance company before prescribing the device. The Dexcom sensors last about 10 days each and Peralta’s insurance allows him to buy a three-month supply at a time. But he also has to get prior authorization for each supply, meaning every three months his doctor needs to reconfirm with his insurance company that the sensors are medically necessary. Same goes for the device’s transmitters — which last about six months each…

“Peralta ordered a new supply of sensors directly from Dexcom but says the company submitted a request for approval of a new transmitter, as well. And because his insurance approves the sensors and transmitters on different authorization timelines, the whole claim was denied. Peralta estimates he spent four hours on the phone with Dexcom and his insurer over the next month and a half to sort it all out. During that time he had to revert to finger stick tests…

“Prior authorizations have become a major concern of physicians across the U.S. health care system, as evidenced by a December 2018 survey by the American Medical Association. Of the 1,000 physicians surveyed, 91 percent said prior authorizations ‘have a negative impact on patient clinical outcomes;’ 75 percent said the requirements ‘can at least sometimes lead to patients abandoning a recommended course of treatment;’ and 28 percent said the prior authorization process had ‘led to serious or life-threatening events’ for their patients…

“The AMA has even created a website that catalogs stories of patients and providers who say they’ve struggled to gain access to important medical products and procedures because of problems getting prior authorizations from insurers — everything from pain medication for a cancer patient to X-rays in the ER…”

All of this shows how BROKEN our health-care “system” really is.

America’s Mainstream Press Least-Trusted Institution

The Los Angeles Times wrote on September 17:

“A Columbia Journalism Review poll released this year found that half of all Americans have ‘hardly any confidence at all’ in the media, which beat out even Congress as the institution for which the public has the lowest confidence. It’s not hard to see why. Last week, CNN reported that the CIA was forced to pull a highly placed source inside the Kremlin because of concerns that President Trump might burn him — when it turns out the decision to extract the source was made before Trump took office because of leaks from senior Obama administration officials.

“Now, the New York Times has published an adapted excerpt from a new book by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly in which they breathlessly describe a ‘previously unreported story’ about how Max Stier, a male college classmate of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, notified senators and the FBI that he saw Kavanaugh [engage in inappropriate sexual conduct].

“One small problem: In the book, Pogrebin and Kelly write that the female student in question ‘refused to discuss the incident’ and that ‘several of her friends said she does not recall it.’ That calls the entire allegation into question. Yet the Times did not include this vital information in the excerpt it published…

“The Times was later shamed into appending an editors’ note to the story saying ‘the book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.’ Too little, too late. This is simply journalistic malpractice. Indeed, if prosecutors in a court of law were to do what the Times did — fail to disclose evidence that goes toward negating a defendant’s guilt— they could have their case thrown out and face potential disbarment for prosecutorial misconduct. But apparently in the court of public opinion, anything goes.

“That’s not all. In their article, the reporters innocuously describe Stier as someone ‘who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington.’ They fail to share with readers in the story the fact that Stier was a member of Bill Clinton’s legal team at the same time that Kavanaugh was working for independent counsel Kenneth Starr on the other side of the Monica Lewinsky investigation. That seems relevant information that could call his motives into question…

“The only thing more shameful than the Times’s irresponsible reporting was news of… the Democratic presidential candidates who seized on the Times story to call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment… And if the media wants to understand why it has surpassed Congress as the least-trusted institution in the country, here is a textbook example.”

What a terrible indictment of corruption and dishonesty. Note also the next article.

Another Example as to How the Media Can Destroy a Famous Person?

The Russian News Agency Tass wrote on September 16:

“Renowned Russian conductor Yuri Bashmet will be invited to join world-famous opera star Spanish tenor Placido Domingo as a special guest at his concert in Moscow on October 17. The legendary singer will travel to Russia with his son, singer Placido Domingo Jr… The repertoire of 78-year-old Placido Domingo boasts 150 parts, he sings in Italian, French, German, Spanish, English and Russian. The singer graced the stages of the most prestigious and famous opera theaters in the world – from Milan’s La Scala to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. The tenor has received numerous awards, including fourteen Grammys, starred in many opera movies and fifty music videos.

“In August, a scandal erupted when Associated Press reported that nine women had accused the singer of sexual harassment, while eleven more women put their accusation forward in September. The cases allegedly span around 30 years since the late 1980s. Domingo himself underlined that the accusations dating back three decades put forward by unnamed women aggrieve him. Nancy Seltzer, a spokesperson for Domingo, said that those close to him decisively reject the false picture the AP is trying to paint about the singer.

“Artists and theaters around the world have come out in support of the Spanish singer, including Madrid’s Teatro Real and the Vienna State Opera. The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo is the General Director, hired special attorney Debra Wong Yang to investigate the allegations. At the same time, a number of theaters and companies are changing the previously announced concert programs and performances, like the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas, War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Pennsylvania.”

Whatever happened to the long-standing assumption that one is deemed innocent until proven guilty? It is truly shameful for America that Russia adopts this assumption in this case, while American theaters reject it and prejudge a person—many feel, the best opera singer alive–who finds himself as the victim of unsubstantiated accusations.

Failed Doomsday Predictions

Fox News wrote on September 18:

“The dire predictions, often repeated in the media, warned of a variety of impending disasters – famine, drought, an ice age, and even disappearing nations – if the world failed to act on climate change. An Associated Press headline from 1989 read ‘Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.’ The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

“Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending ‘cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.’ That claim came from an ‘international team of specialists’ cited by The New York Times in 1978…

“In 2008, ABC released.. a video about what the world would look like in 2015. As the video warned about rising sea levels, a graphic showed significant portions of New York City engulfed by water. [Former Vice President Al] Gore… famously predicted in the early 2000s that Arctic ice could be gone within seven years…”

Careful with predictions!

13 a Lucky Number for Jews

JTA wrote on September 13:

“On Friday the 13th we typically watch for planes falling out of the sky and elevators crashing and relationships falling apart. Americans are so spooked by the number 13 that some buildings even skip the 13th floor. But… in Israel, and in Judaism in general, 13 is considered a lucky number…

“Just think: What is the age of a bar mitzvah boy? How many months are there in the Hebrew lunar calendar?…  When Israel was established in 1948, the first provisional government had 13 members.”

One can use numbers any way one wants to, and sometimes with rather dubious argumentation. But SOME numbers have biblical significance. Read our free booklet, Hidden Secrets in the  Bible.”

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.

Is it appropriate for a Christian to kill animals for sport?

We see many examples in this world of mankind using animals for heinous purposes, be it gambling on cockfighting or dogfighting or the culturally renowned bullfights in Spain.  Some animals are harvested for valuable parts used for show or pagan remedies.  Even in modern medicine, animals are used inhumanely in clinical drug trials.

Man was given dominion over the newly created world by God. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:28). And God expected man to take care of it, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15 NIV). God even fashioned clothing for Adam and Eve using animals, “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21)

The brutality mankind inflicts upon God’s creation is second only to the cruelty inflicted upon himself. God charged us to use animals for our needs and enjoyment but only in a biblical manner as ordained by God. Destroying animals just because we can is not godly.

God gave man animals as one of many food sources for us to survive.  He outlined exactly what we could eat, stating that “You shall not eat any detestable thing…for you are a holy people to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 14:3, 21).  And God told man that it was his duty to grow and harvest that food, “…for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land—all its produce shall be for food” (Leviticus 25:7).

Part of harvesting those beasts was through hunting.  This method of acquiring meat has been part of man’s history since our creation.  It was said of Isaac’s son Esau, “So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:27-28).  As with other physical necessities, God allows enjoyment, skill and purpose to be derived from harvesting animals.

Under certain circumstances, the Bible does allow the killing of animals other than killing for meat.  These purposes would include prevention of overpopulation of certain animals which might destroy the environment, or for reasons of self-defense. However, that would not include hunting for trophies, just for the fun or sport of it. To kill animals without a compelling purpose is clearly wrong.

In our Q&A, “What Kinds of Sports, Games and Related Activities Are Appropriate and Inappropriate for Christians? (Part 2)” we stated this:

“…a distinction must be made between ‘needed’ hunting for the purpose of the control of wild life and the acquisition of food, and trophies hunting for ‘fun’ and ‘entertainment.’ Examples would be fox hunting in Great Britain and killing animals on a safari in Africa.”

David was known as someone who tended and took care of sheep, even protecting those flocks from predators.  “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God’” (1 Samuel 17:34-36).  David’s skill in field shepherding and protecting those flocks helped steer him into the position of King over Israel.

It appears that David’s “weapon” included a sling to protect his flocks, which was the best technology of his time.  Just as the disciples of Christ’s time did with their fishing. “When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’…And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking” (Luke 5:4,6).  The disciples made their livelihood using the best methods available to them for catching fish.

For those of us who are hunters, there is nothing biblically wrong in using the best and most ethical ways of harvesting or hunting for our meat.  In most US states, hunters must complete educational classes and obtain a license in order to harvest game.  One key element in these hunter education courses is how to shoot in an ethical manner using legal guns or bows.  This fundamental concept promotes becoming “skilled” so that a hunter shoots an animal causing minimal suffering.

But when people lose a biblical perspective, cruelty and godlessness follow.  This occurred in man’s early history to the point that God forbade certain pagan customs.  We read, “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 23:19).  While it is acceptable to eat meat and dairy together (see our Q&A: “Does the Bible prohibit eating a mixture of milk and meat?”), pagan practices pervert the way God intended us to eat meat.

And our godless attitudes towards animals have only grown worse today.  Extreme groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who place animals on the same level as humans, have no biblical perspective.  By God’s own words, we were given dominion over the creation which man is failing to keep.

Even more destructive is the growing fascination with firearms that has overtaken many in this world.  Assault rifles serve no purpose in hunting and are illegal for this purpose. These types of guns have no place in a Christian home, and we should rely on God alone for our protection.

But these godless attitudes will come to an end.  There will eventually be no use for guns or weapons of any type when the Kingdom of God is established: “…They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3). We will finally be taking care of God’s creation as he intended.

Lead Writer: Robb Harris

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Here are the dates for the Fall Holy Days:

  • Feast of Trumpets—September 30, 2019
  • Day of Atonement—October 9, 2019
  • Feast of Tabernacles—October 14-20, 2019
  • Last Great Day—October 21, 2019

The new Member Letter (September 2019), written by Elder Eric Rank, has been posted and mailed to our subscribers.

“Our Scandalous Corrupt Abortion Industry,” is the title of a new StandingWatch  program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

This program will discuss an appalling and disturbing legal case in California, involving our corrupt abortion industry. This example could be looked upon as exposing a conspiracy between governmental agencies, politicians and abortionists in an attempt to protect the illegal trafficking of body parts of aborted babies, while persecuting and trying to silence those who expose such abominable practices.

Unsere ungerechte Welt–unsere Wirtschaftssysteme,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Our Unrighteous World–Our Economic Systems.”

“Warum unvermeidlicher Streit?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted.

“Lack and Limitation,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Often times throughout our Christian life we can run into situations which stop us from growing or moving forward. When we encounter these situations we need to understand that there is a way out and a way forward. When we are not growing we are limiting how God can work in our lives. We need to continually remember that it is through our own lack and limitations that God either works in and through us, or He can’t. The choice is entirely ours.

“Our Unrighteous School- and Education- Systems,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What is the origin of our modern education- and school- systems?  Do they help us to understand the Truth? What does the Bible tell us about human wisdom, ethics and philosophy? What are some of the many wrong concepts which our children are being taught in school? What can parents do to counteract the oftentimes devastating influence which our children experience in school?

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