Update 1005


The Antidote / So Great a Salvation!

On January 15, 2022, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “The Antidote,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “So Great a Salvation!”

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

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Our Conviction

by Michael Link

What is the most important decision that we have made in our lives? There may be several different answers we could come up with; however, one “should” be rather obvious, but do we truly believe that? For those of us who made the choice to live God’s Way of Life, and continue to live that Way, do we still truly believe that making this choice was the correct and most important decision in our lives?  Are we convicted of the Truth, for life?  The quality of showing that one is firmly convinced of what one believes is what defines “conviction.”  For those of us who chose to become baptized, we have entered into a contract with God stating to Him that we are committing ourselves to Him, FOREVER.

But God had already been working with us before we made that decision.  God chose us first by calling us and opening our minds to His understanding and revealing His plan for us.  We then responded to His calling and chose Him.

Our personal conviction and how we individually choose to live our lives, our personal relationship with God, is how you and I are going to receive that crown, that final prize, the guarantee of eternal life as a God being. But we need to obey God and not let ANYONE deter us from reaching that goal, for we, individually, are responsible for ourselves as we will give account for everything that we have done in our lives.

When we commit ourselves to do something good, we have to follow through, or else we could be considered dishonest, and even unreliable.  Once we start getting lethargic, it will be a lot easier to continue on that path, unless we make the effort to change. That is why being successful involves hard work and commitment.

Living in this world is difficult and living God’s Way of Life is difficult because we are constantly bombarded with temptations, and some could certainly be considered our greatest weaknesses which we need to overcome by constantly having God involved in our lives.  We commit ourselves to Him by living the Truth; and in return, God is there for us.  We read many examples in the Bible of how God intervenes, how He fights our battles, how we should trust Him and trust in His plan for us (compare Jude 24-25; Ephesians 3:20).

We can have God’s special protection, and we must grow in wisdom and strength, to bring us closer to God’s master plan.  We don’t need to be afraid, and when we doubt, God lets us know that He is there for us, as we read in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

God is loving and merciful, and we shouldn’t be afraid of what is going on in this world today, but we must be committed to Him, and we can see what He promises us.  We have a responsibility that we must endure, because to live God’s Way of Life, we must fear Him.  What we fear is breaking His commandments, breaking our commitment we have with God.  Since we know these things, we have to ask ourselves, how committed are we to the Truth and God’s Way of Life?

Do we question our faith at times?  Do we have faith that God will protect us during the terrible times we are going through now and which we will experience in the future?  Will God show us mercy?  When God gives us a command, how will we respond?   “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Our faith is constantly being tested, and we know that we need to have a tremendous amount of faith to live as God wants us to.   It “should” be easy for us to do this because we know firsthand what the Bible promises to those who are faithful with diligence.

Our conviction to the Truth should be evident in how we are living our lives, and as we proceed, we must be watchful and ready, always evaluating and examining ourselves, making sure that we are truly convicted.

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by Norbert Link

We begin with deeply troublesome and disturbing comments by US Supreme Court Judges regarding the coronavirus; the US Supreme Court’s decision on vaccine mandates; address Australia’s “lunacy” in their treatment of tennis star Novak Djokovic which is somewhat systematic of that county’s “authoritarian insanity” for the last two years; address the world’s “insane persecution of the unvaccinated” with special emphasis on Austria and Germany; and publish and comment on an unbelievably propagandistic article of the Daily Mail. Please view in this context our new message, “The World in Turmoil—Comments on News and Prophecy, January 8, 2022.” 

We continue with reporting on the first anniversary of the violence on January 6, 2021 and the verbal insults between Biden and Trump; and remind our readers of the terrible legacy of Dick Cheney, father of Liz Cheney, who has suddenly become a hero in Democratic circles. We also address the latest spin of the White House pertaining to the job market and unemployment numbers; Biden’s fabrications; and we publish an article wondering whether the USA is really heading for a second civil war.

We speak on Russian troops in Kazakhstan and the concern that the Soviet crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968 and of the Hungarian revolution in 1956 could be repeated. Please view in this regard our new StandingWatch program, titled, “What does the BIBLE say about Russia’s future?”

We conclude with an article about former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s appointment as co-chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation.  

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

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US Supreme Court Judge Spreading False information

Fox News wrote on January 7:

“Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor [who had been appointed by Obama] came under withering criticism Friday after she falsely suggested that upwards of 100,000 children in the United States are hospitalized from COVID-19, many of them on ventilators. During oral arguments on the Biden administration’s mandate on private businesses for employees to be either vaccinated or frequently tested, Sotomayor drastically overstated the number of young people who have fallen severely ill from coronavirus.

“…according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seven-day average of pediatric hospitalizations [of children] was around 3,700 this week, according to the Washington PostAs with prior strains of the virus, younger people are at far less risk than old ones of severe outcomes from the coronavirus… ‘Inexcusable for a SCOTUS justice to peddle this fear mongering false info,’ the Hudson Institute’s Rebeccah Heinrichs wrote. ‘It’s actually terrifying that a Supreme Court justice can be so misinformed…’ Ron DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw chimed in. ‘Justice Sotomayor’s comment on 100,000 children in serious condition with covid is such a flagrantly untrue statement she should have to correct it after the argument. It’s embarrassing for the Supreme Court to allow that factual inaccuracy to occur in an oral argument,’ OutKick’s Clay Travis tweeted.”

Fox News reported on January 9 that CDC Director Rochelle Walensky clarified… that “there are fewer than 3,500 children in hospitals with COVID-19… Walensky also pointed out that numbers of COVID hospitalizations generally include patients who go to hospitals for other reasons and just happen to test positive while they are there, as opposed to those who go to the hospital because they are sick with COVID…”

The left-liberal Washington Post performed what they call “the Pinocchio Test” and gave Sotomayor “four Pinocchios” for her “absurdly high” figure, arguing that “it’s important for Supreme Court justices to make rulings based on correct data” (compare Fox News, dated January 9).

Breitbart added on January 7:

“Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor also claimed that vaccinated people cannot transmit the coronavirus.”

This claim is also false, as set forth in an article below. But this is how the fearmongering propaganda operates, and even US Supreme Court Judges fall victims to its deception. How can we then expect a fair and reasonable judgment?

Fox News reported on January 8:

“Laura Ingraham… noted [in her show] that ‘’even Anthony Fauci admits that most kids are hospitalized with COVID, not because of COVID.’…

“Later she highlighted Clinton-appointed Justice Stephen Breyer claiming a delay in the Biden mandate could lead to thousands of more COVID infections… ‘If we delay [a decision for one day] then 750,000 more people will have COVID who otherwise, if we didn’t delay it, wouldn’t have,’ Breyer, 83, claimed.

“Ingraham responded: ‘Wait, so in Breyer’s warped thinking, if OSHA’s mandate is upheld, all infections would be eliminated? Who said you need basic logic and math skills to be a Supreme Court justice. You don’t. We are repeatedly told that the liberals on the court are some of the brightest legal minds in the country,’ she said. ‘I’m beginning to have my doubts, especially after hearing th[o]se words leave Justice Sotomayor’s mouth.’”

The comments to this article were telling:

“This is potentially a dire situation when we have supreme court justices spreading misinformation over an already politicized pandemic…. The problem here is does she KNOW this is misinformation, or is she simply badly misinformed? Both scenarios are bad, since this woman will be part of a decision that will affect 100M workers, and determine the future of how much a President can mandate…. I still can’t believe the republicans on the judiciary committee voted for her appointment to the supreme court with her past track record. she is more of a social activist than a judge… This was no accident. There is no way she can be this misinformed… And these justices are supposed to be the protectors of the constitution/nation against rogue government. The founders erred in thinking that by giving lawyers a job for life it would somehow ensure their integrity… How long before twitter takes down both Supreme Court justices for misinformation? Don’t hold your breath!… Kagan [the third liberal US Supreme Court Judge, appointed by  Obama] said this mandate/policy is the only thing that can end this pandemic. Wrong and her job is not to assess the policy but how it’s being implemented and by whom and is THAT constitutional.”

US Supreme Court “Decides”

 CNBC wrote on January 13:

“The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies… The mandate required that workers at businesses with 100 or more employees get vaccinated or submit a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work. ‘Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,’ the court wrote in an unsigned opinion…. Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented…

“President Joe Biden, in a statement, said the Supreme Court chose to block requirements that are life-saving for workers. Biden called on states and businesses to step up and voluntarily institute vaccination requirements to protect workers, customers and the broader community…

“In a separate, simultaneously released ruling on the administration’s vaccination rules for health-care workers, a 5-4 majority sided with the Biden administration… Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, four of the six conservatives on the nine-seat bench, dissented…

“Biden, in a statement, said the vaccine requirement for health-care workers will save the lives of patients, doctors and nurses. ‘We will enforce it,’ the president said of the mandate.”

Australian Lunacy

The U.S. Sun wrote on January 7:

 “TENNIS star Novak Djokovic… was granted a vaccine exemption to compete in the Australian Open before his visa was cancelled following a six hour stand-off at Melbourne Airport and a major U-turn by Australian authorities. He was then banished to a filthy hotel ‘full of fleas and maggots’ to isolate

“The 34-year-old had been granted an exemption to play despite his unvaccinated status before it was dramatically cancelled. As the athlete attempted to enter Aussie territory, he was ordered into a side-room by Border Force guards after a visa ‘blunder’ was revealed. Djokovic, seeking to win a record 21st Grand Slam title, was stripped of his phone and kept alone in the room, with armed police on patrol outside.

“Even Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic got involved, eventually contacting Djokovic to offer his support and backing and summoning Australia’s ambassador to the country for a dressing down. It emerged that Tennis Australia had granted exemptions to two other players who did not meet strict Border Force rules…

“In another twist, a second Australian Open competitor was detained by Border Force under similar circumstances and sent to the same hotel. Despite already playing in Melbourne earlier this week, Czech Republic doubles specialist Renata Voracova has now been asked to leave the country….”

CNN added on January 8:

“The 34-year-old… was granted a medical exemption to compete in the tournament unvaccinated ‘on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID,’ his lawyers said in a court submission Saturday…. Djokovic’s exemption was determined to be invalid under Australia’s BioSecurity Act because his ‘previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication for Covid-19 vaccination in Australia.’…”

Breitbart wrote on January 8:

“Brexit champion Nigel Farage has backed tennis ace Novak Djokovic against ‘big, bullying, nasty government’ in Australia… Farage… insisted that the sportsman did have an exemption under the relevant regional rules…  ‘The most astonishing thing with all of this is how few people are prepared to speak out, how the broadcasters are making out that somehow Djokovic is a threat to public health — well, he absolutely isn’t,’ Farage asserted, claiming that even if you have ‘one, two, three, or in Israel four injections’ you are still at risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus. The BBC, citing research published in The Lancet, did report in October that people ‘who have had two vaccine doses can be just as infectious as those who have not been jabbed’

“‘It seems to me that Australia has lost any sense of liberty, any sense, frankly, of common sense,’ Farage added… ‘What has happened to Australia, and what has happened here [in Britain] to us? Why are the majority prepared to allow Big Government, in the name of fighting this virus, to take away our liberties and freedoms?’ he demanded.”

Fox News commentator Will Cain condemned Australia’s “lunacy” and “authoritarian insanity” which has been going on ‘for 2 years.”

On January 10, Deutsche Welle reported:

“Federal Circuit and Family Court Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the government to release [Djokovic from detention] within 30 minutes of the ruling, and return his passport and other travel documents to him…. However, it is still not certain the Serbian tennis star will be able to compete at the Australian Open as the government may yet still order him to be deported.”

Deutsche Welle reported on January 12:

“Djokovic’s form said that he had not traveled anywhere in the 14 days before arriving in Australia, even though the tennis player had been seen at events in Spain and his native Serbia within that time period… Djokovic said his travel declaration was filled in by his support team, and that his ‘agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box.’ ‘This was human error and certainly not deliberate,’ Djokovic wrote.”

The World’s Insane Persecution of the Unvaccinated

The Los Angeles Times wrote on January 7:

“In one European country after another, public health restrictions are steadily tightening. Italy declared a vaccination mandate for those over age 50

Austria plans to enhance enforcement of existing measures banning the unvaccinated from many public venues…[Also, vaccine mandates for everyone will be enforced in February.]

“In Germany, many of those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated report feeling socially ostracized as a result… Many Germans, mindful of their history under communist and Nazi rule, are also squeamish about a prospective national registry of the vaccinated, saying that runs counter to the country’s cherished data-privacy laws.

“And the anti-vaccination movement, while still relatively small, has grown in intensity, with protests sometimes boiling over into violence. On Monday, more than 35,000 people participated in protests that resulted in police being hit by bottles and firebombs…”

It will only get worse. On Friday, Germany foolishly decided the following, according to Deutsche Welle:

“Access to restaurants will be limited to people who are fully vaccinated or considered recovered, who can additionally provide evidence of either a booster shot or a current negative COVID-19 test…. Under the new rules, people who have received a booster shot will no longer have to quarantine if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19…. The existing rule that private gatherings of vaccinated and recovered persons with a maximum of 10 persons are allowed will remain in place. Those who are not vaccinated will continue to be subject to strict contact restrictions [meetings of only two households are allowed]”

In addition, according to Deutsche Welle, dated January 8, “German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has insisted vaccine mandates are the only way out of the pandemic… Lauterbach said gaining immunity through infection was a ‘dirty vaccination’ and not the solution… ‘Mandatory vaccination is also important for the future variants that may still develop,’ he told Welt. ‘Omicron infection does not necessarily make one immune to the next viral variant.’ Lauterbach also warned of the possibility that a new, more dangerous variant could start spreading.”

However, ABC News reported on January 9:

“Germany’s ruling parties are hitting the brakes on plans for compulsory coronavirus vaccinations, saying it may take months for lawmakers to properly debate the contentious measure in parliament. Berlin daily Tagesspiegel… reported that implementation could be delayed until June to ensure the technical conditions, such as a nationwide vaccine register, are in place… Among those who oppose a vaccine mandate are some members of the Free Democrats, who are part of the ruling coalition, and Germany’s former health minister [Jens Spahn] who pledged last summer not to introduce a general vaccine mandate…”

To top the irony, it was now revealed by Focus that Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer [loosely translated, “no Hammer”] was tested positive with Corona and is in quarantine, even though he had been fully vaccinated with three shots…

In addition, as Express reported on January 8, “On Friday, [Macron] said he stood by his earlier comments saying he wanted to ‘p*** off’ the five million French people who are still not vaccinated against COVID-19… Macron’s coarse language barely three months before a presidential election was widely seen as a politically calculated, tapping into [an] intensifying public frustration against the unvaccinated.’”

Health Tax and Fines for the Unvaccinated

BBC News wrote on January 11:

“The Canadian province of Quebec will charge a health tax to residents who are not vaccinated against Covid-19…. Starting later this month, Greeks over age 60 are being required to pay a €100 (£85; C$142; $113) fine for each month that they remain unvaccinated.”

Propagandistic Article by Daily Mail

The Daily Mail wrote on January 9:

“A staggering six million people follow UK accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok that pump out anti-vaccine propaganda, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Social-media giants have been accused of a ‘moral failure’ for not curbing the torrent of misinformation, which Boris Johnson last week blasted as online ‘mumbo-jumbo’…

“Technology giants claim they are cracking down on anti-vax propaganda but Imran Ahmed, from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, accused them of putting profit before public health… “Among the accounts spreading anti-vaccine misinformation is that of Leilani Dowding, 41, a former Miss Great Britain and Page 3 glamour model, who has attracted more than 90,000 followers… On Twitter, she wrote: ‘I Will NOT be part of their real world experiment‘, and on Facebook she posted: ‘2 years on my unvaxxed self had NOT had Covid!! Not after all the protests I’ve been to, the thousands of people I’ve hugged, having never worn a mask.’ Approached for comment, she said: ‘I absolutely stand by what I said. I’m never going to have the vaccine. I just don’t believe the science behind it.’

“Former reality TV star Jay Gardner, who appeared in Geordie Shore, regularly posts anti-vaccine and conspiracy theories to his 800,000 Twitter followers. Last month, he tweeted ‘These guys telling you to take all these shots have absolutely 0 idea of any long term damage, but we will force you to do it anyway’…

“Anna de Buisseret, 56, a lawyer with 24,000 Twitter followers, last week claimed that vaccinated people had been ‘deceived, lied to, coerced, threatened, intimidated, harassed, guilt tripped and shamed into taking part in this live human experiment’. Last night she said: ‘I am not “anti-vaccine”, I am against the use of experimental gene treatments.’…”

We do not deny, of course, that misinformation by anti-vaxxers is being spread, but are unable to agree with The Daily Mail that the excerpts quoted by the outlet in the article above are necessarily misinformation. Also, it is ludicrous to suggest that the manipulative social-media giants, which have been rightly accused of suppressing free speech, are cooperating with anti-vaxxers. Quite to the contrary, according to their own words, Facebook and Instagram alone have removed accounts of “more than 20 million pieces” of –what they determined to be—”harmful Covid misinformation.”

First Anniversary of January 6, 2021

Newsmax wrote on January 6:

“President Joe Biden, speaking Thursday morning on the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, excoriated former President Donald Trump — without ever mentioning Trump’s name — saying he ‘rallied the mob to attack… The will of the people was under assault … for the first  time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the capitol but they failed. They failed.’

“Trump, said Biden ‘has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He’s done so because he values power over principal, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest and America’s interest and because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy and Constitution.’ But Trump… ‘can’t accept that he lost, even though that’s what 93 U.S. Senators, his own attorney general, every battleground state have all said,’ said Biden. ‘He lost. That’s what 81 million of you did as you voted for a new way forward. He has done what no president in the history of this country has ever done. He refused the results of the election and the will of the American people.’

“Trump slammed Biden after the speech, saying in a statement that the president is ‘destroying our nation with insane policies of open borders, corrupt elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures’… ‘Why is it that the Unselect Committee of totally partisan political hacks, whose judgment has long ago been made, not discussing the rigged Presidential Election of 2020?’ Trump said. ‘It’s because they don’t have the answers or justifications for what happened…’”

Trump also wrote:

“Does anybody really think that Biden beat Obama with the Black population in select Swing State cities, but nowhere else? That he would lose 18 out of 19 bellwether counties, and 27 out of 27 ‘toss up’ House races, but somehow miraculously receive the most votes in American history with no coattails? That he would lose Florida, Ohio, and Iowa and win, even though it has never been done before?

“They spread a ‘web of lies’ about me and Russia for 4 years to try to overturn the 2016 election, and now they lie about how they interfered in the 2020 Election, too. Big Tech was used illegally. Where did all those votes show up from in Georgia, where it was just revealed they sold ballots for $10 a piece, or in Pennsylvania, and Arizona, and Wisconsin. He acts like he’s aggrieved, but we’re the ones who were aggrieved and America is suffering because of it with poisonous Borders, record Inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, $5 a gallon gas and higher, empty stock shelves, and rampant crime. America is a laughingstock stock of the world, and it’s all because of the real insurrection, which took place on November 3rd… Never forget the crime of the 2020 Presidential Election.”

After Biden thanked Trump for the speedy “success” of his vaccinations, Trump said that it would be difficult for him now to say bad things about Biden. Well, that “peace treaty” did not last long.

Dick Chaney’s Horrible Legacy and His Support of His Daughter and the Democrats

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on January 8:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney visited the House of Representatives yesterday. He and his daughter Liz were the only two Republicans present at a moment of silence commemorating the events of last January 6th...  the Washington Post wrote that ‘Democrats put aside their fierce and lasting policy divides with the Cheneys to thank them for condemning the attack and Trump’s continued effort to undermine the 2020 presidential election results with his false claims of fraud.’…

“I don’t mean to understate the seriousness of January 6th, even though it’s been absurdly misreported for over a year now. No one… could mistake 1/6 for ‘a coup.’…  a coup is a real attempt to seize power… we saw none of that on January 6th, but it’s become journalistic requirement to use either ‘coup’ or ‘insurrection’ in describing it…

“The endless hyperventilating efforts to describe January 6th as a disaster on the order of Pearl Harbor or even 9/11 has been awesome to behold. Huffington Post… even called it ‘1,000 percent worse’ than 9/11…

“Ted Cruz made a plea for mainstream recognition by denouncing 1/6 as a ‘violent terrorist attack’ before cowering in retreat on Tucker Carlson Tonight, in the process [placing] himself with audiences in all directions…

“It was no heroic storming of the Bastille… Trump [is] always trying out new material, and if he gets the right reaction, he comes back with a bigger delivery next time… The man has no attention span, no interest in planning or strategy, and most importantly, no ability to maintain relationships with the type of people who do have those qualities… Even if he wanted to overturn ‘democracy itself’ — I don’t believe he does, but let’s say — Trump has proven over and over he lacks the qualities a politician would need to make that happen.

“Which brings us back to Cheney. All those things Trump is rumored to be, Dick Cheney actually is. That’s why it’s so significant that he appeared on the floor of the House yesterday to be slobbered over by the Adam Schiffs and Nancy Pelosis of the world. Dick Cheney did more to destroy democracy in ten minutes of his Vice Presidency than Donald Trump did in four years… Even if you find the Trump phenomenon troubling, his opposition is not only authoritarian, but organized and armed with the intellectual tools to understand and appreciate how the technological elimination of democracy might be achieved in the 21st century.

“We’re living through a period where an unpleasantly likely outcome for the ordinary American is the invocation of emergency powers to eliminate basic rights…  have you noticed the total lack of interest among pundits and politicians in distinguishing between anti-vaxxers and people who merely have anti-mandate or anti-passport attitudes?…

“Where have we seen this style of intentional line-blurring to justify the expansion of executive authority before? From Cheney, who took emergency politics to places even a sober Joe McCarthy could never have dreamed of. On the pretense that new powers were needed to combat the sweeping global threat whose existence 9/11 supposedly proved, Cheney institutionalized executive assassination, torture, mass surveillance, secret prisons, secret budgeting, and the wholesale elimination of congressional oversight over most of his programs

“It was under Cheney’s watch that we turned into a country that snatched people off the streets all over the world, put them in indefinite detention in an archipelago of secret hell-holes, threatened to rape their family members, and resorted to techniques like ‘rectal feeding’ so often that one Guantanamo Bay prisoner had to bring a special pillow to sit in court.

“The core principle of Cheney’s politics was protecting his new bureaucracies of murder and open-ended detention from legal challenge. That meant creating structures that were legally invisible… Courts repeatedly declined to listen to complainants… because the secrecy of the programs made it difficult or impossible to prove they had a cause of action, a perfect Catch-22.”

We should also not forget his terrible role in the misguided Iraq war which was fought under the pretext of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” which were never found. As the Atlantic wrote on August 30, 2011:

“When Vice President Dick Cheney left office, his approval rating stood at a staggeringly low 13 percent. Few political figures in history have been so reviledPresident Bush bears ultimate responsibility for the Iraq War, as do the members of Congress who voted for it. But Dick Cheney’s role in the run-up to war was uniquely irresponsible and mendacious. And after the invasion, he contributed to the early dysfunction on the ground…

“Cheney undercut the CIA by instructing subordinates in that agency to stovepipe raw intelligence directly to his office. He also worked with Donald Rumsfeld to establish an alternative intelligence agency within the Pentagon. Both of these actions directly contributed to the faulty information that informed the decision to go to war…”

The White House’ Latest Spin

Fox News reported on January 8:

“… a disappointing jobs report showed hiring had fallen far below expectations in December… Biden defended the economy under his watch on Friday. ‘There’s been a lot of press coverage about people quitting their jobs,” he said from the White House. “Well, today’s report tells you why – Americans are moving up to better jobs. This is the kind of recovery I promised and hoped for, for the American people.’

“While economic experts had expected 400,000 new jobs to be added in the last report of the year, it was a dismal 199,000.”

Biden Keeps Lying

Fox News wrote on January 11:

“Laura Ingraham said that ‘lies that [have] bound’ President Biden the Democrats and the media ‘regime’ together are finally unraveling, and the administration is being exposed as a group of power-hungry bureaucrats who proclaim to be the arbiters of science, while instead continuing to ignore science to further take control and violate the autonomy of the American people…

“She pointed out that President Biden’s long-held public claims that people cannot be infected by the coronavirus if they are vaccinated, as well as his administration’s claim that a third ‘booster’ is effective, are both turning out to be false, as the omicron variant continues to infect vaccinated Americans. ‘On the vaccine mandates, it’s now a proven fact that being vaccinated and boosted neither protects you from contracting the virus nor spreading it. And more shocking is the new data that the vaccinated are more likely to contract omicron than the unvaccinated,’ she said.

“‘A fantastic piece today in the Wall Street Journal correctly notes that one study found that after 30 days, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines no longer had any statistically significant positive effect against omicron infection, and after 90 days, their effect went negative — i.e. vaccinated people were more susceptible to omicron infection,’ Ingraham reported. ‘Their house of cards is falling in on itself, but courageous medical experts featured here as far back as May 2020 warned that… obsessing over case counts and mandating vaccines would crush our hospitals, our businesses and our schools. And lo and behold, even California now says it can’t go on this way forever. It’s now allowing asymptomatic hospital staff to return to work, calling it temporary flexibility once again,’ the host continued…

“‘But as with lies, they’re eventually overtaken by truth and experience…’”

 Fox News wrote on January 13:

“The Washington Post awarded President Biden its harshest fact-check rating of ‘Four Pinocchios’ over his false claim this week that he was ‘arrested’ for the first time as a teenager while attending a civil rights protest in Delaware. In a Thursday piece headlined, ‘Biden claims yet another arrest for which there’s little evidence,’ Glenn Kessler, The Post’s resident fact-checker, wrote that Biden was ‘not always a reliable source’ when it came to his ‘exaggerated’ stories, and that too many elements of his claim didn’t add up…

“Biden was forced to admit in 2020 he had concocted a tale of once getting arrested while trying to see Nelson Mandela in South Africa.”

“Is the US really heading for a second civil war?”

The Guardian wrote on January 9, 2022:

“It is a question that many inside America and beyond are now asking… A slew of recent opinion polls show a significant minority of Americans at ease with the idea of violence against the government. Even talk of a second American civil war has gone from fringe fantasy to media mainstream… The mere fact that such notions are entering the public domain shows the once unthinkable has become thinkable…

“Although most Americans have grown up taking its stable democracy for granted, this is also a society where violence is the norm, not the exception, from the genocide of Native Americans to slavery, from the civil war to four presidential assassinations, from gun violence that takes 40,000 lives a year to a military-industrial complex that has killed millions overseas.

“Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, said: ‘America is not unaccustomed to violence. It is a very violent society and what we’re talking about is violence being given an explicit political agenda. That’s a kind of terrifying new direction in America… Of course, it doesn’t help in America that guns are prevalent. Anyone can get a gun and you have ready access to explosives. All of this is kindling for the precarious position we now find ourselves in.’…

“And yet the assumption that ‘it can’t happen here’ is as old as politics itself. [Barbara] Walter [a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego] has interviewed many survivors about the lead-up to civil wars. ‘What everybody said, whether they were in Baghdad or Sarajevo or Kiev, was we didn’t see it coming,’ she recalled. ‘In fact, we weren’t willing to accept that anything was wrong until we heard machine gun fire in the hillside. And by that time, it was too late.’”

As can be expected from a left-liberal outlet such as the Guardian, blame for the violence and the potential outbreak of civil war is placed on Republicans and Trump supporters, while ignoring the fact that the real violence with killing, arson and looting has been perpetrated in 2021 by followers of Antifa, Black Lives Matter and other left-wing radical left groups.

Russia in Kazakhstan

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 7:

The importance of Kazakhstan for Russia can hardly be overstated. It’s the largest and richest former Soviet republic in Central Asia, which also has the closest ties with Moscow… Kazakhs made up the largest group among foreign students at Russian universities in 2020, numbering more than 60,000. In surveys conducted by the renowned Moscow polling institute Levada Center, about a third of Russians repeatedly rated Kazakhstan as the second most friendly country after Belarus. In 2014, it was overtaken by China and has since ranked third….

“Around 3.5 million ethnic Russians live in the northern provinces of Kazakhstan, out of a total population of around 19 million. There has been speculation in both countries for years about whether Russia might annex these territories in a manner similar to Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula… Now there is renewed discussion… about Russia’s actions in Kazakhstan. There is a widespread view that Putin could seize on the deployment of troops as an opportunity to expand Russian presence in Kazakhstan. Russia currently has no military bases in the country…

“In any case, the unrest in Kazakhstan is a nightmare for the Russian president. The Kremlin has called such events ‘color revolutions’ and accused the West of orchestrating them. The last successful uprising was in 2018 in Armenia, which has close ties with Russia. In Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko was able to hold on to power by force in 2020… All of Russia’s major neighbors have been rocked by social unrest…”

The Guardian wrote on January 7:

“The old joke about the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact was that it was the only military alliance to attack itself, after its tanks rolled into Prague in 1968 to crush a reform movement there. With the deployment of troops from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to Kazakhstan on Thursday, some heard ‘eerie echoes’ of the so-called Prague spring of 1968, and the Soviet crushing of the Hungarian revolution in 1956.

“Meant as a mutual defence pact, the CSTO has not made any joint deployments since its founding in 1999. Now it has been called upon to quell internal unrest in one of its member states. Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, claimed the revolt was inspired by foreign-backed ‘terrorists’ to justify his appeal, but the call to the CSTO suggests he no longer felt he could trust his own forces. When Tokayev’s request came, the CSTO jumped into action in a matter of hours…

“In a hardline address to the nation on Friday in which he said he had personally approved orders to shoot to kill, Tokayev gave ‘special thanks’ to Vladimir Putin for sending the troops, but said they had not taken part in any fighting…

“One definite similarity with the Warsaw Pact is that although the CSTO is an alliance, the decision to intervene was almost certainly taken in Moscow. It was cheered on by Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko, who in 2020 was able to crush a huge revolution using his own domestic forces, but Putin will have made the final call.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 10:

“Putin has said the Moscow-led… military alliance would only remain in Kazakhstan for a limited time. He also said the bloc’s intervention was a signal that it would not allow any governments in the region to be undermined [or]  overthrown.”

Sweden Warns NATO of Russian Demands

Reuters wrote on January 7:

“Sweden’s security strategy would be entirely undermined if NATO agreed to refrain from expanding further and curb some of its activity in Europe, as Russia has demanded, Sweden’s top military commander said… Sweden… has strengthened ties with the alliance even if it has no plans to join at present…

“‘We aim to become a stronger defence power in all categories and develop overall defence. But that hinges on developed international cooperation,’ the commander said [adding that] Europe’s security order was non-negotiable. ‘In Sweden, we ourselves decide over our foreign and security policy and who we cooperate with.’”

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 8:

“The US said it has no plans to cut troop numbers in Eastern Europe to defuse tensions with Russia. Top diplomat Antony Blinken said Russia is pushing a ‘false narrative’ to justify troop deployments on Ukraine’s border… US outlet NBC News, citing several sources, reported on Friday that Washington was ready to discuss scaling back US forces in Eastern Europe, with Russia also pulling back from the Ukrainian border and other parts of the region.”

Austria’s Former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz Joins Anti-Racism NGO

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 9:

“Sebastian Kurz has been appointed co-chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, just a few months after leaving office amid a corruption scandal. Conservative politician Sebastian Kurz, who stepped [down] as Austrian chancellor… last year, was announced on Sunday as the new co-chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR). The ECTR is an international NGO that describes its goal on its website as fighting ‘such evils as extremism, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia.’

“Other noteworthy co-chairmen of the group are former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Aznarboth of whom were in power when their nations joined the 2003 invasion of Iraq…  “During his time in office, Kurz made efforts to confront Austria’s role in the Holocaust and placed himself firmly on the side of Israel in diplomatic affairs… During his political career, Kurz was also instrumental in forming a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party in 2017 — making Austria the only country in Western Europe to have a far-right party in government. He also opposed the acceptance of refugees from camps in Greece as well as those fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. Since leaving office, he has joined the investment firm led by tech billionaire Peter Thiel whom many see as a far-right figure.”

Have we heard and seen the latest of Sebastian Kurz’s political career… or not?

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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Does God forget?

Some Scriptures appear to indicate that God can forget at times.

We read passages like Exodus 2:24-25: “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.”  At first thought, it looks like God had, for a time, forgotten the children of Israel and finally realised that they needed help, but is this so?

First of all, what was the covenant that God remembered? A covenant with Abraham or Abram was first mentioned in Genesis 15:18, where we read: “On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.”

A second covenant between God and Abraham (Abram) is mentioned in Genesis 17, beginning in verse 1. “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’ Then Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying: ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ And God said to Abraham: ‘As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child after you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.’”

(Also, this second covenant included a separate covenant of circumcision; compare Acts 7:8). So, God promised everlasting blessings to Abraham. They would include many descendants, nations and kings, and a land in which to live. Abraham assumed that these covenant blessings would pass down through Ishmael, but God said no, they would be with a son, to be named Isaac, born to Sarah in her old age. Ishmael would be greatly blessed, but the everlasting covenant blessings would pass down through Isaac. This is mentioned in Genesis 17:18-20, which says that God would establish His covenant with Isaac.

In Genesis 26:3-5, God told Isaac not to go to Egypt but to “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and to your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charges, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

God here is repeating the covenant promise He made with Abraham to Isaac, and He explained that it was because of Abraham’s obedience that God had made that covenant with him. When we come to the next generation, the covenant promise was to pass down through Jacob, rather than the firstborn Esau.

As we explain in our free booklet, “And Lawlessness Will Abound,” on pages 25-29, technically, God made separate covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but they all included the blessing of inheritance of the Promised Land. We state this:

“In Genesis 17:21 God promised Abraham that He would make a covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac: ‘But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.’ And so He did, and subsequently, God made another covenant with Jacob whose name was later changed to Israel. It is important to recognize that God made these covenants with Isaac and with Israel on an individual basis, just as He had entered into different covenants or agreements with Abraham. This again shows what a covenant is—simply a contract or an agreement, based on law, but not identical with the law.

“Notice the following Scripture that tells us about the covenants that God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: ‘I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land’ (Leviticus 26:42). Although the subject matter of these three covenants was identical, God still made individual covenants with Abraham, his son, and his grandson, as the parties were different.”

When God says, in Exodus 2:24, that He will remember His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob, He is using the word “covenant” as a summary term, as all these covenants include the same blessing of inheriting the Promised Land.

In Genesis 27, Jacob pretended to be Esau in order to deceive Isaac, and Isaac gave him physical blessings. However, Genesis 28 is quite enlightening. At this time Jacob was about to leave Canaan, both to find a wife in Padan Aram, and also because Esau had threatened to kill him. This time Isaac knew that he was blessing Jacob; there was no deceit involved. Reading Genesis 28:3-4, “May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham.”

Thus, the covenant blessing of Abraham was being passed down from Isaac to Jacob. Again, this included a multitude of nations and the land of Canaan. This blessing was repeated in Genesis 35:9-12. “Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.’ So he called his name Israel.  Also God said to him, ‘I am God Almighty, Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.’”

From here the blessings were no longer mentioned until we read that God remembered them when the children of Israel were in slavery in Egypt. So, had God forgotten them? Forgotten something that He had said was everlasting? Actually, no. It was all within God’s plan, part of which He had revealed to Abram and which is recorded in Genesis 15:12-14. “Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: ‘Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in the land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they will serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.’”

So, this was all a part of God’s plan to greatly increase the number of the children of Israel and to provide them with a great abundance. Returning to Exodus 2:24, the expression “God remembered His covenant” to English speakers would appear to mean that for a time God had forgotten His covenant. However, the Hebrew can also mean “To be mindful of” or “think upon”. The Soncino commentary explains it as “Not that He had forgotten it, but that now the opportunity had come for the fulfilment of His merciful purpose.”

Some of the qualities of God are described in Psalm 147:5. “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” He knows exactly when is the best time to perform His promises. Also, in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” God does not have the frailties of man and has the power to do all that He says He will do.

So, when we read in Jeremiah 31:34 (quoted in Hebrews 8:12), “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more,” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible informs us that “It cannot mean literally that God forgets that people are sinners, but it means that he treats them as if this were forgotten. Their sins are not charged upon them, and they are no more punished than if they had passed entirely out of the recollection. God treats them with just as much kindness, and regards them with as sincere affection, as if their sins ceased wholly to be remembered, or which is the same thing, as if they had never sinned.”

We should emphasize that God’s forgiveness and His willingness to “forget” are based on repentance.  But even this does not mean that God will erase certain (repented) sins from His memory. We discuss this entire subject in our Q&A, “What Will We Remember as God Beings?”

We point out that God did not forget the sin of David in the matter of Uriah, even though David deeply repented of it.

“Please realize that God saw to it that certain sins of David were recorded, for everyone to read. In addition to David’s sin in the matter of Uriah, some of his other sins were recorded as well, such as his fighting in war and numbering his army. Furthermore, sins of other righteous men and women were recorded: Moses’s sin of murder and his later outburst before Israel, which prevented him from entering the Promised Land; Aaron and Miriam’s murmuring against Moses; Abraham and Isaac’s lies; Abraham and Sarah’s adultery because of lack of faith; Jacob’s deceit towards his father Isaac; Rachel’s theft of her father’s idol; Peter’s sin of lying and denying Christ three times, and his hypocrisy towards Gentile Christians; and Paul’s persecution of Christians when he was still known as Saul. The list could go on and on. We also believe that Solomon came to repentance at the end of his life, but his prior terrible sins were included in the Bible…

“But in every case, God casts all repented sins behind His back and into the depths of the sea, so that when they are sought for, they shall not be found IN THE SENSE that God will never charge us with them. He does not retain them in His mind in the sense that He will not revisit what has passed…

“German Bibles translate Jeremiah 31:34 as, ‘I will not think of [or: about] their sins anymore.’ The New Jerusalem Bible and the Revised English Bible say that God will never more ‘call’ their sin ‘to mind.’… Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds this comment in regard to Isaiah 43:25: ‘God will not remember the sins of his people against them; having forgiven them, he will never punish them for them, which is meant by remembering them…’

“… Under the New Covenant, God will ‘take away’ our sins (Romans 11:27)—He will not hold them against us, if we repent of them. Jeremiah 50:20 tells us that ‘… The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; For I will pardon those whom I preserve.’”

So, referring to the original question, “Does God forget?,” we understand that God is not a man with the accompanying frailties of man. God does not forget in the sense of being forgetful as we tend to be, but God is able to deliberately put out of His mind things that He will never bring up against us. When He makes an everlasting covenant, He will perform it at the appropriate time. Likewise, when He says He will remember our sins no more, He will deliberately do so in the sense as explained herein, and of that we can be very grateful.

Lead Writer: Paul Niehoff (Australia)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“What Does the BIBLE Say about Russia’s Future?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

What are Russia’s real goals in Kazakhstan? What is the importance of the military alliance between Russia and four other Russian-controlled nations? Will Russia succeed with Putin’s desire to resurrect the former Soviet Union? What does the Bible tell us about a collaboration between Russia and other Far Eastern nations, including China? Who will be behind these developments? What is the significance of a huge army from the East, prophesied in the book of Revelation?  Who is actually ruling today all the kingdoms and nations of this world? Why are we to pray to God the Father: YOUR Kingdom come?

“Was sagt die Bibel über Russlands Zukunft?” is the title of our new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. The topic of this video covers in German the same material as described above in English.

A Tech Team meeting was held on Sunday, January 9, 2022, via Google Meet. Hosted by Eric Rank, special emphasis was given to our plans for reaching out with advertising in the near future. Other aspects included discussing technical issues regarding our broadcast of Live Services.

“Oh, Oh!” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Johann Schell. Title in English: “Oh, Oh.”

“The World in Turmoil—Comments on News and Prophecy, January 8, 2022,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Europe and especially Austria, France, Italy and Germany are becoming more and more autocratic and dictatorial, but this is also true for other democratic nations, including Australia, Canada and the USA. While Russia has been anxious to “help” the dictatorial government of Kazakhstan by sending troops into the troubled region, controversial information and opinions are being disseminated from many different sources within the USA, including from some US Supreme Court Judges. Further, after a relatively short calm, the fight and exchange of strong accusations between Biden and Trump have again reached dangerous proportions.

“Who Is Your Father?”, the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

We all had or have physical fathers. We all have grown up under their rule. There is another father though of whom we are children. What effect should this have on us now? How do we allow our Heavenly Father to train us as His children.

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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