April 1, 2022
Comments on News and Prophecy, April 2, 2022 / Total Confusion! Spiritual Bodies in the Resurrection?
On April 2, 2022, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy, April 2, 2022,” and the sermon, titled, “Total Confusion! Spiritual Bodies in the Resurrection?”
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.
Something to Look Forward to
by Eric Rank
Having something to look forward to in life gives us the motivation that it takes to get up in the morning and make the most of the day. At times we might have more to look forward to than at other times. The things we enjoy can be as simple as having a good cup of coffee, a conversation with a friend, or the sense of accomplishment after completing a challenging task. They might be big things too, like a long-awaited vacation or the birth of a child. Big or small, appreciating the wholesome things can motivate us to find the joy in life that helps us to appreciate the short time with which God has blessed us.
I’m sure we can all think of something that we look forward to on a day-to-day basis. Though, the magnitude of problems that threaten to squelch our hope demand so much of our attention that it can be difficult to even bring those elements of hope to mind. It’s probably easier to think of things that fight to bring us down. Problems may begin with ourselves, affecting our health or otherwise. Outside ourselves, problems that affect us scale up at every level, ending with the pitiable state of the world at large. We, however, have a responsibility to fight against the dark forces of discouragement.
As helpful as it is to find a source of hopeful anticipation in the physical things in our lives, we know that these things are fleeting. God offers us blessings for obedience in our lives, intentionally giving us reason for joy while we live in these physical bodies. But the world that we live in is passing away. Placing our source of joy in what the world offers us will end in sore disappointment (compare 1 John 2:15-17). If we only place value in the things the world has to offer, we place our hope in a precarious place. The state of the world will only continue to worsen, eclipsing even the simplest sources of worldly joy.
The Bible tells us that there is a better way to live! Our job is to put the Word of God to work in our lives so that we are not found vulnerable to the world’s decay. We have to realize that the true source of joy that we have comes from God. When we have that state of mind, even the most difficult of circumstances give us something to hope for. Consider the perspective of the disciples when they were beaten and imprisoned (compare Acts 5:40-42, Acts 16:20-34). They knew that their worldly circumstances, as dire as they were, served a greater purpose in God’s plan for their lives. With the understanding that the worldly discouragement they experienced was temporary and meaningful, the disciples found something to appreciate – that they could serve God mightily.
We would do well to acknowledge how fortunate we are. The knowledge of the Truth about God’s plan can help us every single day to understand the circumstances of our lives. God is doing a work with us individually, to help us grow, to challenge us, and to do as much as possible with the resources He gives us. Knowing this adds much deeper meaning in the small things of our lives. Anticipating the weekend becomes even richer because we have the Sabbath that God gives us as a day of rest. The joy in seeing the smiles on the faces of our family and brethren becomes more precious because those moments demonstrate the effect of love that God commands. We can also find strength to get through the hard things we experience, knowing that in the big picture, those difficulties will pass and that they will help us to develop the character that pleases God. When we are able to see our life as God sees it, we have much to look forward to.
But even more, God promises us the greatest possible gift, which of course is eternal life as glorified members in His Family. That event lies beyond the boundary of our physical lives, so we cannot experience it until we become glorified (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). However, it is going to be so awesome that nothing compares. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21). This moment when we inherit the earth to share in righteous rulership under Jesus Christ and God the Father gives us a reason to enjoy the moments that lead up to that time. We know that every moment serves a virtuous purpose.
The world will try to convince us otherwise, but the FACT is that we have a tremendous amount of wonderful things to look forward to. When we have the right frame of mind, we can see God in our lives at every scale. From the micro-moments that put a smile on our face, to the culmination of God’s plan, when all pain and sorrow will be destroyed, we know that everything we experience serves His purpose for us. Now, that gives us something to look forward to!
by Norbert Link
We begin with incredible idolatry in the Catholic Church and remarkable comments by Pope Francis. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Pope Francis and War… Right or Wrong?”
We also speak on Justin Trudeau’s hypocrisy.
We continue with an alleged but inconsequential deal between the USA and the EU; American nuclear weapons in Germany and the rest of Europe; and Germany’s ongoing typical blunders.
We speak on Biden’s devastating gaffes; and America’s “most dangerous time in its history.”
We speak on Putin’s threat to “unfriendly” countries to have to pay Russian natural gas exports only in rubles; questions whether Russia will retreat from parts of Ukraine; and dangerous Chinese propaganda.
We also speak on the dangerous Iran deal and include a warning to watch the Middle East. We also focus on Afghanistan and North Korea.
We conclude with articles on Covid vaccines; fossil fuels; and abortion. In this context, please view our recent StandingWatch program, “Free Abortions in California…’Repent or Perish!’”
This Week in the News
Idolatry, Superstition, Demonology and Blasphemy in the Catholic Church
The Associated Press wrote on March 25:
“Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine in a ceremony Friday that harked back to a century-old apocalyptic prophecy about peace and Russia that was sparked by purported visions of the Virgin Mary to three peasant children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. Francis invited bishops, priests and ordinary faithful around the world to join him in the consecration prayer, which… concluded with Francis sitting alone before a statue of the Madonna. There, he solemnly asked forgiveness that humanity had ‘forgotten the lessons learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two World Wars… Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons,’ he prayed…
“The prayer ritual… deals with some of the more controversial aspects of the Catholic faith: purported visions of the Madonna, revelations of hell, Soviet communism and the death of a pope, and questions about whether the prophecies contained in the so-called ‘secrets of Fatima’ have already been fulfilled or not… Retired Pope Benedict XVI participated from his home in the Vatican gardens. A papal envoy celebrated a simultaneous service at the shrine in Fatima.
“The Fatima story dates to 1917 when according to tradition, Portuguese siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucia said the Virgin Mary appeared to them six times and confided to them three secrets. The first two described an apocalyptic image of hell, foretold the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and portended the rise and fall of Soviet communism. The children were between 7 and 10 years old at the time. In 2000, the Vatican disclosed the long-awaited third secret, describing it as foretelling the May 13, 1981, assassination attempt against St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square. According to later writings by Lucia, who became a nun and died in 2005, Russia would be converted and peace would reign if the pope and all the bishops of the world consecrated Russia to the ‘Immaculate Heart of Mary.’ Lucia later claimed that John Paul fulfilled that prophecy during a Mass on March 25, 1984, exactly 38 years ago Friday, even though he never specified Russia in the prayer.
“The text of Francis’ prayer corrected that 1984 omission. It reads: ‘Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.’ It adds: ‘Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.’…”
The extent of idolatry, superstition, demonology and blasphemy in the Catholic Church is astounding.
Pope Francis: Wars Must End
Breitbart wrote on March 27:
“Pope Francis renewed his appeal for an end to war Sunday, condemning the ‘bestiality’ of the Russian war on Ukraine… ‘There is a need to repudiate war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers without even having seen them, where the powerful decide and the poor die… War not only devastates the present but also the future of a society’…
“Francis went on to insist that war cannot be ‘something inevitable’ and humanity must never grow used to armed conflict… ‘Faced with the danger of self-destruction, humanity understands [according to Thompson/Reuters, he said: “humanity must understand”] that the time has come to abolish war, to erase it [Reuters: “to cancel it”] from human history before it is she who erases [“cancels”] man from history,’ he exhorted.”
Sadly, humanity by no means understands that the time has come to abolish war. In fact, the opposite is true, and a terrible nuclear war will be fought in the near future, threatening the very survival of mankind.
Trudeau’s Dictatorship and Hypocrisy
LifeSiteNews wrote on March 25:
“Organizers of the anti-COVID mandate ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest now face up to five years in prison after police came up with several additional charges. Despite the non-violent nature of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstration that occurred in Ottawa for three weeks earlier this year in protest of COVID restrictions, two of the primary organizers… have now been hit with charges [of] mischief, counselling mischief, intimidation, counselling intimidation, counselling obstruction of police, and obstructing police…
“Ottawa’s chief of police reluctantly admitted that during the police crackdown of the protest following Trudeau’s invocation of the never-before-used Emergencies Act, not a single charge for weapons possession came down, despite the constant accusations that the Freedom Convoy protesters were ‘insurrectionists’ and posed a threat to national security…
“The significance of the government’s backtracking on the nature of the Freedom Convoy protest is monumental, as it was these arguments that the Trudeau government used to justify invoking the Emergencies Act, which allowed it to use the national police force to physically remove peaceful protesters while demanding financial institutions freeze the bank accounts of private citizens without a court order. As a result of this backtracking, the state-funded CBC has since had to retract a story that falsely claimed most support for the Freedom Convoy came from foreigners. The CBC had also earlier retracted a story run in January that falsely claimed Russia was somehow behind the Freedom Convoy. “
To hear dictator Trudeau speak about the importance of democracy when accusing Putin and defending Ukraine is the epitome of hypocrisy.
National Post wrote on or about March 27:
“It is a brazen thing to go to other countries like some John the Baptist for the democracies, shortly after having trampled all over the rights of those involved in a largely peaceful democratic protest… The trucker protest was not an attempted coup. It was not a rebellion. It was not an assault on Canada’s democracy. It was none of those things.
“The convoy protest was strong and present, but it was unthreatening and largely non-violent. It was superbly Canadian. It should not be slandered. And it surely should not be used as some sort of example of anti-democratic forces by the leader of the country in which it took place. Most especially when he goes about the world delivering passionate defences of the idea of democracy itself.
“To defend democracy, you should adhere to its principles. Don’t go to Brussels to preach what you skip over in Ottawa. Some examples:… Don’t call protesters racist and homophobic and characterize them as a fringe minority and stoke public anger against them with your extravagant and mean rhetoric. Don’t rhetorically isolate one small portion of the Canadian population and paint them all as villains and seditionists and insurrectionists in a blatant attempt to whip up animosity towards them and their cause. Don’t, as the leader of a democracy, claim they were out to overthrow the government. This is so much an overstatement it is really difficult to understand how some in the press actually repeated it…
“A leader preaching democracy abroad… wouldn’t give himself the power to reach into personal bank accounts. He wouldn’t use the brute authority of the federal government to interfere with their fundraising. All this being the case, maybe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should think twice before wandering into an international forum, during a time of real war and death, and evoking the Canadian protest in the context of Ukraine’s savage hurt and danger….”
Rebel News wrote on March 24 about Trudeau’s trip to Belgium and the reaction he received from some:
“Croatian Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Mislav Kolakušić… [categorized] the force Canada… used against Freedom Convoy protesters as methods of ‘a dictatorship of the worst kind.’… At least two more MEP’s criticized Trudeau’s leadership and his invitation to address the European legislature. A fourth MEP, Italy’s Francesca Donato, says she was denied the opportunity to speak after Trudeau did, despite being one of the scheduled speakers.
“German MEP Christine Anderson said ‘Mr. Trudeau, you are a disgrace for any democracy. Please spare us your presence.’ Anderson… did not hold back her fiery words for the increasingly authoritarian Trudeau… ‘a prime minister who openly admires the Chinese basic dictatorship, who tramples on fundamental rights by persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists, just because they dare to stand up to his perverted concept of democracy should not be allowed to speak in this house at all.’
“MEP Bernhard Zimniok, another representative from Germany, went as far as trying to prevent Trudeau’s speech in the European Parliament meeting from happening at all…”
A Deal Between the USA and EU?
The Associated Press wrote on March 25:
“The United States and European Union on Friday announced a new partnership to reduce the continent’s reliance on Russian energy… Under the plan, the U.S. and other nations will increase liquified natural gas exports to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year, though U.S. officials were unable to say exactly which countries will provide the extra energy this year. Even larger shipments would be delivered in the future… the initiative will likely require new facilities for importing liquified natural gas…
“Getting more liquefied natural gas to Europe could be difficult… Many export facilities are already operating at capacity, and most new terminals are still only in the planning stages… Even if the U.S. can ship more gas to Europe, the continent may struggle to receive it. Import terminals are located in coastal areas, where there are fewer pipeline connections for distributing it.
“And if all Europe’s facilities were operating at capacity, the amount of gas would likely be only about two-thirds of what Russia delivers through pipelines.”
According to the New York Times, it would take years before new terminals are in operation to receive substantial amounts of gas from the USA. Also, if the USA has so much gas to spare, why is it that the gas prices at America’s gas stations are so astronomically high? And why is it that in Tijuana/Mexico, just across the US-Mexico border, “regular gas sells for an average of $3.96 a gallon — nearly $2 less than in California.” One of the reasons is that the Mexican government “provides subsidies to Mexican oil companies and refineries” (Los Angeles Times, March 24).
Nuclear Weapons in Germany and Europe… Ready to Be Used
The Washington Post wrote on March 25:
“Near steep vineyards of riesling grapes, in an underground vault at an air force base in western Germany, sits an American nuclear bomb. More than one of them, actually… Experts estimate that there are about 100 such bombs stored among five NATO countries, ready to be loaded on jets and dropped by the United States and its allies… toward an enemy target. One version of this bomb can carry the explosive equivalent of 11 Hiroshimas….
“The bomb’s family name is B61… As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggers another round of anxiety about World War III, the B61 remains the only U.S. nuclear weapons system based in Europe… In May, the United States is scheduled to begin full-scale production of a modernized version of the B61 that will have an adjustable yield – meaning that the military can dial up or down the force with which each bomb explodes – and a guided tail kit to improve accuracy (no parachute necessary). This modernization, which started more than a decade ago, is predicted to cost between $9.1 billion and $10.1 billion – making it probably the most expensive nuclear-bomb program in U.S. history…
“The mood in Germany – where for years the parliament has held debates on phasing out custody of those B61s by the vineyards – ‘has changed significantly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine,’ says Xanthe Hall, a nuclear-disarmament expert… ‘The reaction to this is very strong but in both directions. Many people are calling for abolition of nuclear weapons,’ she says, while ‘others are saying that nuclear deterrence is our only protection.’
“On March 14 Germany announced that it would replace its aging bomber jets with American F-35s that can also carry B61s…”
Nuclear weapons do not only exist for the purpose of deterrence. They are there to be used.
More Typical German Blunders
Express wrote on March 27:
“THE UKRAINIAN ambassador to Germany has hit out at a [German] ‘solidarity concert’… Ambassador Andriy Melnyk refused to attend the event, which he described as ‘an affront’. The concert, organised by German President Frank Walter Steinmeier, took place earlier today. It was organised to ‘condemn the attack on Ukraine and send a signal of solidarity and the shared belief in the value of freedom and self-determination’, a statement said. According to the Office of the Federal President, musicians from countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Germany were set to perform… However, only Russian soloists could be seen on the schedule, alongside performances by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra… [Melnyk announced:] ‘Sorry I’m staying away!!!’
“Germany has previously faced criticism from Ukrainian politicians, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hitting out at the country for failing to secure peace in Europe, despite pledges to do so in the wake of the Holocaust. In a brutal speech to German politicians in Berlin in March, Mr Zelensky said: ‘I address all of you who heard politicians say every year ‘never again,’ but I can see these words are worth nothing. Now, our whole nation is being exterminated in Europe…’ Meanwhile, Ukrainian MP Dymtro Gurin has accused the German Government of ‘financing mass murder’, over Berlin’s reluctance to ditch Russian gas… Mr Gurin said: ‘Germany has to understand that buying Russian gas they’re financing the mass murder… they are afraid they will not get gas and because they fear, they’re financing mass-murdering.’”
Biden’s Devastating Gaffes
The Associated Press reported on March 26:
“President Joe Biden delivered a forceful and highly personal condemnation of Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Saturday, summoning a call for liberal democracy and a durable resolve among Western nations in the face of a brutal autocrat. As he capped a four-day trip to Europe, a blend of emotive scenes with refugees and standing among other world leaders in grand settings, Biden said of Putin: ‘… this man cannot remain in power.’ It was a dramatic escalation in rhetoric — Biden had earlier called Putin a ‘butcher’ — that the White House found itself quickly walking back. Before Biden could even board Air Force One to begin the flight back to Washington, aides were clarifying that he wasn’t calling for an immediate change in government in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov quickly denounced Biden, saying ‘it’s not up to the president of the U.S. and not up to the Americans to decide who will remain in power in Russia’…”
Breitbart added on March 27:
“This is the third time the White House has had to clarify Biden’s remarks during his trip to Europe. On Friday, the White House reassured people that Biden would not send American troops into Ukraine, even after the president spoke with the troops about what they would see when they got to the country. On Thursday, the White House had to clarify that Biden did not mean the United States would use chemical weapons when he said that if Putin used them the United States and NATO would respond ‘in kind.’”
Some commentators felt that Biden’s call for regime change in Russia [or for a demand to “take him out”] were not a “gaffe,” but expressed accurately what Biden really believes. “A top official confirmed for Axios that the line wasn’t on Biden’s teleprompter or in his text” (Axios, March 27). The New York Post wrote on March 27: “Shortly after the speech, a Biden aide told pool reporters that ‘the president… was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.’ Unbelievable. So what Biden so clearly said is not at all what he meant.”
Breitbart added on March 29:
“On Monday, Biden struggled to clarify his remarks [on Putin], first claiming falsely that he had not walked back his Warsaw comment, then repeating it, claiming it was just a statement of ‘moral outrage.’… He indicated he believed everyone criticizing him for his comments about Putin was being dishonest.”
As Fox News and the New York Post reported and evidenced by photos, Biden had a carefully prepared “cheat sheet” with written-down answers in anticipation of questions regarding his Putin comments. Biden has used cheat sheets several times before.
Biden also suggested on his trip that there would be food shortages in the USA, which the White House denied. And, Biden once again stated that the sanctions imposed on Russia and Putin were never meant to deter him. This contradicts totally comments by Kamala Harris and the Biden Administration, including numerous times by Antony Blinken as well as Ned Price, Jake Sullivan and Daleep Singh.
Breitbart pointed out on March 29:
“However, as far back as January 19, Biden was explaining how the threat of sanctions would deter Putin. A reporter asked Biden at a press conference that day, ‘Given how ineffective sanctions have been in deterring Putin in the past, why should the threat of new sanctions give him pause?’ Biden responded, ‘Well, because he’s never seen sanctions like the ones I promised will be imposed if he moves.’”
Surely, the sanctions did not deter Putin, but If they were not imposed for the purpose of deterrence, why impose sanctions at all?
The Most Dangerous Time in American History
Newsmax wrote on March 27:
“Former President Donald Trump is warning President Joe Biden is risking provoking Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons to defend himself against Biden’s accidental call for a regime change in Russia. ‘When you put him into a corner and you talk the way they’re talking… they’re almost giving him an incentive…’ Trump noted that tends to make dictators use deadly force, if not nuclear weapons to defend themselves… Provoking Putin to escalate an invasion of Ukraine into a nuclear attack on a NATO ally, if not the United States, makes this the ‘most dangerous time’ in American history, according to Trump. ‘I don’t think our country has ever been in greater danger than it is right now, because of the power of certain weapons that I know very well.’…
“Biden has bungled the Trump-era deterrence on Russia and Putin, effectively opening the door for the invasion and needlessly leading to thousands of deaths, Trump continued… ‘All those people should be living now. They should not be dead… You look at these cities; they’ve been bombed, and they’ve been blown up, but it’s going to take 50 to 100 years to rebuild them. And so many people have been killed and horribly wounded… It should have never happened.’”
Paying in Rubles?
The Associated Press wrote on March 25:
“President Vladimir Putin’s threat to have ‘unfriendly’ countries pay for Russian natural gas exports only in rubles from now on got the not-so-friendly treatment from European Union nations Thursday. ‘I don’t think anybody in Europe really know how rubles look like,’ said Slovene Prime Minister Janez Jansa. ‘Nobody will pay in rubles.’ If others put it less bluntly, it came down to the same – from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who as former chief of the European Central Bank, knows something about currencies…
“Making such demands [to pay in rubles instead of US dollars or euros] would fundamentally change contracts and render them null and void, several European leaders said… The Russian threat is potent since the EU imports 90 per cent of the natural gas used to generate electricity, heat homes and supply industry, with Russia supplying almost 40 per cent of the bloc’s gas….”
On the other hand, what if Russia insists? It is Europe which needs Russian oil, not vice versa. And since when have “contracts” prevented ANY country from breaking them?
German Chancellor Scholz announced Thursday that he agreed with Putin in a phone conversation that Germany could still pay in Euros. However, the extent of that alleged “agreement” is very unclear.
Will Russia Retreat?
The Daily Mail wrote on March 25:
“Ukraine has disabled 20 Russian battalions, Western officials said today, as a Kremlin army chief hinted that Moscow may scale back its attack on its neighbour and instead focus on ‘liberating’ the eastern Donbas region.
“Russia’s defence ministry also updated its losses in Ukraine to 1,351 soldiers, adding that 3,825 soldiers had been wounded – figures that are far lower than Western intelligence estimates that put Moscow’s losses in the tens of thousands. In a military update today, Moscow attempted to put a positive spin on its disastrous invasion saying that the first phase of its military campaign in Ukraine was over….
“In another embarrassing blow to Putin, it was revealed today that a Russian brigade commander had died after being run down with a tank by his own troops…. But despite the apparent change in tactics, smaller-scale strikes continued without pause as Russia, suffering heavy losses and meagre progress against key targets, pursues its relentless campaign of bombardment against Ukraine’s cities… A NATO official estimated on Wednesday that 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in four weeks of war in Ukraine, and added that between 30,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers are estimated to have been killed or wounded in total. By comparison, Moscow lost about 15,000 soldiers in Afghanistan over 10 years….
“Russia has continued to deny it has been deliberately targeting civilian centres, despite swathes of evidence to suggest otherwise…. Ukrainian authorities said 300 people were killed in the Russian airstrike last week on a Mariupol theater that was being used as a shelter. The bloodshed at the theatre fueled allegations Moscow is committing war crimes by killing civilians, whether deliberately or by indiscriminate fire.”
Express wrote on March 26:
“Putin’s decision to focus his military operations on ‘liberating’ the Donbas could be a pivotal moment of maximum peril for Ukraine’s survival, according to a military expert…. Defence and security expert Dominic Nicholls said that President Zelensky faced a difficult military and political dilemma: to stand firm and defend the Donbas or to retreat. If Ukrainian forces were to stay put, then they could face the threat of being cut off and surrounded by Russian forces and defeated in the field.
“At the same time, to retreat and give up the Donbas to the Russians would be a significant blow to Ukrainian morale and would weaken Mr Zelensky’s negotiating position in any future peace talks with Moscow…. ‘Vladimir Putin cannot end this reckless, ridiculous and illegal adventure without the Donbas. He will not survive without it. Equally though, Mr Zelensky cannot allow the area to fall.’”
Subsequently, it became extremely doubtful that Russia will limit its activities to the eastern Donbas region. Whatever the further actions of all parties involved, the ultimate outcome has been pre-determined… which is that Russia and Ukraine will combine forces in their fight against Europe.
“Germany’s ‘Bild’ Newspaper Blocked in Russia”
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 27:
“Russian authorities said they would block the website of German tabloid Bild, which is now one of the latest Western media outlets to be censored in Russia as the Kremlin seeks to control the domestic narrative on the war in Ukraine. Bild said it has been publishing Russian-language reports on its website on the war in Ukraine, and Russia’s slide toward ‘totalitarian dictatorship.’…
“Russian authorities also have blocked access to foreign media website including Germany’s Deutsche Welle, the BBC in the UK, Euronews, the US government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.”
Dangerous Chinese Propaganda
Breitbart wrote on March 25:
“China’s state-run Global Times on Friday slammed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for criticizing China’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Global Times howled that Stoltenberg was a liar, China clearly wants the Ukraine war to end, and NATO is more of a threat to world peace than the Chinese Communist Party… Beijing also repeated Russian disinformation efforts tying the U.S. to biological weapons labs in Ukraine… ‘Is NATO, the biggest promoter of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in any way qualified to point a finger at China, which has been facilitating dialogue for peace from the very beginning?’ the Global Times shrieked.
“After reciting some Chinese Communist boilerplate about how Beijing, which adamantly refuses to denounce the Russian invasion, wants nothing more than peace in Ukraine, the Global Times accused NATO of tricking Russia into attacking because it wants to recreate the Cold War to justify its continued existence… Those are some deeply offensive metaphors coming from the brutal regime that unleashed the Wuhan coronavirus upon the world and condemned millions of innocent people to suffer on very non-metaphorical ventilators…
“The Global Times hooted that NATO’s focus on the rising threat of China proves it is merely a ‘tool for the U.S. to maintain hegemony’ and a ‘machine for the implementation of the U.S.’ global will… As long as NATO exists, there will be no day of peace in Europe and in the world,’ the editorial concluded.”
Sadly, this kind of rhetoric can also be heard in places other than China.
The Dangerous Iran Deal
The Associated Press wrote on March 27:
“The Biden administration has been working to renew the 2015 nuclear deal, which placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. With support from Israel, the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018, causing it to unravel.
“Although Iran has since raced ahead with its nuclear program, Israel and Gulf Arab countries are deeply concerned about restoring the original deal. Israel fears it does not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Both Israel and its Gulf allies also believe that relief from economic sanctions will allow Iran to step up its military activities across the region, including support for hostile militant groups…
“It remains unclear if or when the nuclear deal will be renewed, but there are indications it could be soon… Israel is deeply opposed to such a step… If a deal is reached, Israel has repeatedly noted that it is not a party to the agreement and reserves the right to take action, including a potential military strike, against Iran.”
Pay Attention to the Middle East
Times of Israel wrote on March 27:
“Saudi Arabia and Qatar expressed regret on Saturday at a lack of attention to Middle East conflicts, as the West pushes them to show more solidarity with Ukraine…
“Over a 100,000 people in Yemen have been killed, directly or indirectly, and millions have been displaced as a result of its years-long conflict, in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The war in Syria is estimated to have killed nearly half a million people and displaced millions more since it began with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests in 2011.”
What’s Going on in Afghanistan…
The Huffington Post wrote on March 16:
“In recent weeks, the Taliban have launched a massive house-to-house search in Kabul and other Afghan cities, in what a Taliban spokesperson called a ‘cleaning operation’ to look for weapons and criminals. But thousands of Afghans fear they are about to be persecuted because of their links to the country’s former, Western-backed government, or to U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan over the past 20 years…
“The Taliban’s house searches started amid the heat of the Ukraine crisis. ‘The world’s attention is now on Ukraine,’ Shawn VanDiver, the founder and board chair of AfghanEvac [said]. ‘The Taliban took advantage of that. They started doing mass searches and beating people, and people are being abducted.’ People who worked with the U.S. in any fashion are particularly at risk, and the U.S. government has left many of them stranded and vulnerable….”
Reportedly, there are also quite a few American citizens and green card holders in Afghanistan, who are unable to leave.
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 26:
“The United States has announced that it has canceled planned talks with the Taliban [pertaining to key economic issues, including independence of the Afghan central bank and printing of Afghani currency bank notes] after the rulers of Afghanistan made a U-turn on the topic of girls’ education, shuttering girls out of middle and high schools hours after doors were opened…
“The Taliban had promised a softer rule when they returned to power last year, claiming they respect women’s rights in line with their interpretation of Islamic law, Shariah… However, the Islamist group has imposed a range of restrictions on women, more or less banning them from government jobs, policing what they wear and keeping them from traveling out of their cities alone.”
Newsmax added that “The Taliban… have also been accused of suppressing free speech, violently breaking up protests and exacting deadly revenge on their former foes.”
How anyone in his right mind could trust the words of the Taliban, a terrorist organization, is hard to understand.
… and in North Korea?
The Guardian wrote on March 25:
“North Korea has confirmed that it tested a new, powerful type of intercontinental ballistic missile, marking an end to a self-imposed moratorium on long-range testing in place since 2017 and drawing international condemnation. State media said on Friday that leader Kim Jong-un had directly guided the test of the Hwasong-17 – a ‘new type’ of intercontinental ballistic missile that is North Korea’s biggest to date. He said the North would continue to develop a ‘nuclear war deterrent’ while preparing for a ‘long-standing confrontation’ with the US…
“The Hwasong-17 is the largest liquid-fuelled missile ever launched by any country from a road-mobile launcher, analysts said… It… represents a significant step in Pyongyang’s development of weapons that might be able to deliver nuclear warheads anywhere in the US… North Korea’s launch missile was a jarring reminder that Kim will not be ignored even as the world’s attention is gripped by the Ukraine crisis.”
America is challenged by dangerous enemies. And even its allies and friends will switch sides in the end.
Rumble wrote on March 23:
“The Covid mandates are tools for desensitizing people to extensive gene editing and manipulation via the ‘vaccine’. Dr. David Martin [said], a speaker at the upcoming Let’s Go Brandon rally in Florida… to expose the dangers of the jab induced toxic spike protein, water contamination, and more.
“Dr. Martin detailed how Big Pharma acknowledges the illegality of their injections, yet they continue to test them on the masses, killing thousands.”
Axios wrote on March 29:
“The FDA authorized a second COVID-19 booster shot for Americans age 50 or older [It still needs to be approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention]…. The authorization comes as communities across the U.S. are shutting down COVID testing and vaccination sites… Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said… that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine ‘is necessary’…”
And so, President Biden was proud to show that he received his fourth dose already. And on and on and on it goes…
Cininatti.com wrote on March 25:
“Pope Francis recently removed Puerto Rican Bishop Fernandez Torres from his post for telling Catholics that, if it violated their conscience, they could refuse to be vaccinated… Fernandez sought, but was denied, a formal hearing on the subject, and while it’s certainly within the Pope’s discretion to dismiss a bishop, it shows how politically active he’s become.”
Fossil Fuels–a Seductive Idea and a Wrong Assumption
The Portland Tribune wrote on March 22:
“Many… politicians have convinced themselves that we can have a high quality of life without the use of oil, coal or natural gas. If you ask them how we can do this, they have a two-word response: ‘electrify everything.’
“It’s a seductive idea… politicians implicitly assumed that fossil fuel infrastructure does not include electricity. That assumption is wrong… Most electricity is provided by coal and natural gas plants, with hydropower a dominant source in the Pacific Northwest. Once on the grid, electricity is an open-access resource; it is shared by everyone, regardless of fuel source.
“The state legislatures in California, Oregon and Washington have all adopted stringent policies mandating various levels of carbon-free electricity within the next few decades, but those policies can’t actually be implemented. There are many reasons for this, but the most obvious is that the power sources preferred by liberal politicians — wind and solar — don’t provide electricity most of the time. Since the physics of the grid require that electricity supply and demand be in equilibrium at all times, intermittent sources such as wind and solar are always backed up by fast-response generators that can be dispatched on command.
“In most parts of the world, the back-up is natural gas. In the Pacific Northwest, it is more likely the Columbia River hydropower system. But since hydro has both physical and political limits, any policy of mass electrification powered by wind and solar will necessarily require more natural gas in the future. In fact, it’s already happening. The Oregon Department of Energy maintains a useful web page showing where Oregon’s electricity comes from. The dataset covers the years 2012-2019.
“Hydro remains the dominant power source but has dropped by 19%. Coal consumption has dropped by 16%, but natural gas use has more than doubled, going from 12% to 25%. The combined market share of gas and coal has also increased, from 45% to 52%, despite political mandates to the contrary. Wind was small to start with in 2012 and dropped by 10%. Solar is essentially irrelevant.
“When politicians want to fool the public, they enact policies that have implementation deadlines far in the future — such as 2035 or 2050. That way, when the policies fail — as they usually do — no one will be held accountable. This is what’s going on with the ‘electrify everything’ movement. Fossil fuels run the global economy and they will for a long time. When politicians claim otherwise, they reveal their own ignorance.”
Not to speak of the fact that electric cars are more expensive and less productive. But in order to follow the politically correct agenda of man-made climate change allegedly caused by fossil fuels, politicians are willing to destroy the USA from within…
Colorado to Become an “Abortion Beacon”?
Newsmax wrote on March 29:
“As one of the most permissive states in allowing abortions, Colorado is readying to become a magnet for women residing elsewhere in the U.S. if the Supreme Court overturns or severely weakens its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, as it is expected to do.
“… Colorado… is already one of the few places without any restrictions on when in pregnancy an abortion can occur and is one of the few states in the area without a mandatory waiting period of up to 72 hours after required abortion counseling…
“About 10,400 people received abortions in Colorado in 2020, with 13% of them coming from out of state.”
The Daily Mail wrote on March 28:
“The world’s most influential health organisation is calling on governments to scrap the legal time limit on abortion… New guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) claim laws preventing abortion at any point during pregnancy risk violating the rights of ‘women, girls or other pregnant persons’…
“The WHO’s ‘Abortion Care Guideline’ published this month… also recommends that governments: Allow abortion under all circumstances – ruling out laws banning terminations because the foetus is the ‘wrong’ sex; Stop women requiring approval from a doctor or nurse to have a termination; Roll out ‘pills by post’ schemes so that women can be sent abortion medication after a phone call; Curtail medical professionals’ rights to refuse to take part in abortions on conscience grounds…”
Murdering Babies AFTER Birth Without Penalty?
Life Site News wrote on March 26:
“A gruesome new pro-abortion bill proposed in California could legalize infanticide for weeks, months, or even years after a child is born… AB 2223 was introduced in February… On March 17, the bill’s authors submitted updated language to amend existing state laws.
“Under the new language, a ‘person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty, or otherwise deprived of their rights, based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcome, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.’
“[According to] Thomas More Society Special Counsel Charles LiMandri… the proposal ‘exposes the false narrative that the abortion lobby has been peddling for over half a century: That no one knows when life begins, and babies in their mothers’ wombs feel no pain. No sane person can deny that a newborn infant is a fully developed human being, one that is capable of feeling intense pain. Yet, by including “perinatal” in its provisions, [the bill] would authorize the brutal murder of these infants even after they are born.’
“LiMandri… noted that the definition of the term ‘perinatal’ varies, spanning weeks or even years after an infant is born. He cited MedicineNet which puts the definition of ‘perinatal’ at ending ‘1 to 4 weeks after birth,’ as well as the government definition of the phrase via PubMed.gov, which states, ‘The perinatal period, broadly defined, encompasses the time frame from … 18 to 24 months after the birth of the child.’ ‘Hence, [AB 2223] leaves one to ask: “What kind of depraved monsters would justify the killing of innocent and helpless children between one week and two years after their birth?”’ LiMandri said…”
For a biblical explanation about the horrors and ungodly practice of abortion, please see our three Q&A’s: https://www.eternalgod.org/the-abortion-question-today-part-1/ https://www.eternalgod.org/the-abortion-question-today-part-2/ and https://www.eternalgod.org/the-abortion-question-today-part-3/
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.
Was Jesus Really Born in Bethlehem? (Part 1)
It was brought to our attention by a reader in Africa that there had been a paper produced entitled, “Was Jesus really born in Bethlehem? Why the Gospels disagree over the circumstances of Christ’s birth.” The paper was published in December of 2021 by Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, Assistant Professor of the New Testament, Vanguard University.
He states that “Every Christmas, a relatively small town in the Palestinian West Bank comes center stage: Bethlehem. Jesus, according to some biblical sources, was born in this town some two millennia ago. Yet the New Testament Gospels do not agree about the details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Some do not mention Bethlehem or Jesus’ birth at all.
“The Gospels’ different views might be hard to reconcile. But as a scholar of the New Testament, what I argue is that the Gospels offer an important insight into the Greco-Roman views of ethnic identity, including genealogies. Today, genealogies may bring more awareness of one’s family medical history or help uncover lost family members. In the Greco-Roman era, birth stories and genealogical claims were used to establish rights to rule and link individuals with purported ancestral grandeur.”
With these comments, the author implies that the four Gospel accounts cannot be relied upon as being factual, but that they just relate a “narrative” based on manufactured genealogies to establish Christ’s “right to rule” and His “ancestral grandeur.”
Let us, first of all, answer the supposed contradictions in the genealogies in Matthew and Luke. We have addressed this issue in our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—A Great Mystery” and also in our Q&A entitled: “Would you please explain the difference in genealogy in the records in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? What was the nationality of Jesus?” To quote briefly from this Q&A, we say the following:
“Matthew 1 and Luke 3 describe different lines. Matthew 1 describes Christ’s legal genealogy through Joseph. Luke sets forth Mary’s line.
“Matthew 1:16 tells us that Matthew’s record covers Christ’s lineage through His stepfather Joseph. It says ‘Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.’
“A correct rendering of Luke 3:23 shows that Luke is setting forth Christ’s blood descent. However, the translation of the New King James Bible is misleading. It gives the impression that Joseph was the father of Heli, and that therefore, Luke is also setting forth Christ’s descent of Joseph. This is incorrect, as Joseph was not the SON of Heli, but of Jacob, as Matthew 1:16 points out.
“Luke sets forth Christ’s genealogy through His mother Mary, NOT through His stepfather Joseph. Accurately translated, Luke 3:23 should read: ‘Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age (being, as was supposed the son of Joseph), which was of Heli.’ The parenthesis should start with the words ‘being, as was supposed,’ and it should close after ‘the son of Joseph.’ The word ‘son’ in ‘son of Heli’ is not found in the original Greek. Jesus, who was supposed to be the son of Joseph, was, through Mary, a grandson of Heli. Heli was the father of Mary.”
It is interesting that this academic, Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III, tries to devalue the veracity of God’s Word and veers off on a tangent rather than trying to reconcile any differences that he might see. Surely, he must realise that if all the gospels were exactly the same, then one would be vitally important and the other three would be totally redundant.
From a human standpoint, we know, for example, that different witnesses of the same accident can often, seemingly, give different versions. This may be due to a number of reasons; seeing an accident from a different angle; a good view of the incident rather than just a glance; one witness’ eyesight could be much better than another’s; problems with memory; maybe vested interests in the outcome, and more. This kind of argumentation has been used by some to criticize or question the accuracy of the four Gospel accounts, as the writers allegedly were suffering from faulty memory; vested interest in the outcome; a lack of thorough investigation or observation, etc.
As we will see, none of the following applies to the accuracy and reliability of the Gospel accounts, but strictly from a human standpoint, here is interesting information on the neurosciencenews.com website where we read the following:
“Researchers investigate why two people who experience the same event often have different memories of what occurred. Does it ever strike you as odd that you and a friend can experience the same event at the same time, but come away with different memories of what happened? So why is it that people can recall the same thing so differently?? We all know memory isn’t perfect, and most memory differences are relatively trivial. But sometimes they can have serious consequences.
“Imagine if you both witnessed a crime. What factors lead to memory differences and whom should we trust? There are three important aspects to memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Encoding is how we get information into the brain. Storage is how we retain information over time. Retrieval is how we get information out of the brain.
“Differences in each or a combination of these aspects might help explain why memories differ from one person to another.”
This may sound pretty convincing for those who regard the four Gospel accounts, and for that matter, the entire Bible, only as uninspired writings by fallible human beings who tried to use their faulty memories, or even human traditions, to relate certain events.
However, interesting as it is when applied to human beings with faulty memories or observations, this is not the case with Scripture.
Jesus said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, [it] will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible explains:
“… bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you; which through inattention, or want of understanding in them, had slipped their minds, and were forgotten by them. This accounts for it, how the evangelists some years after the death of Christ; at different times and places, and without consulting each other, could commit to writing the life, actions, sayings, and sermons of Christ, with all the minute circumstances attending them.”
Further, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”
Also, 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us that “no prophecy [or inspired preaching] of Scripture is of any private interpretation [or origin; compare margin of the New King James Bible], for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Ecclesiastes 12:11 states: “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by ONE SHEPHERD.”
Barnes Notes on the Bible comments:
“One shepherd – i. e., God, who is the supreme Giver of wisdom, Proverbs 2:6, and the chief Shepherd, Jeremiah 23:1-4. Compare 1 Corinthians 2:12-13.”
Matthew Poole’s commentary says: “And this clause seems to be added partly as the reason of that admirable harmony and agreement which is amongst all the men of God in all ages and places, because they are all taught by one Master, and guided by the same hand; and partly to oblige us to the greater attention and reverence to all their doctrines and counsels, which we are to receive as the word of God, and not of men only, as it is said, 1 Thessalonians 2:13.”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13, we find the following remarkable words by Paul:
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”
We can, therefore, safely appreciate that all of Scripture, including the four Gospel accounts, was authored by God, and written by men as they were led, not by their own faulty memory, but by God’s Holy Spirit.
As we know that the Holy Spirit guided the four different writers of the four Gospel accounts, we know that they will need to be harmonised; otherwise, we would not be able to trust the Bible to be true. What we find in the different reports about the birth of Jesus and subsequent events is that they are complementary, not in competition.
In the paper that was written by the above-mentioned scholar disputing this fact, the following was an approving answer from another misguided scholar on the historical Jesus, John Meier, who wrote that: “Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem is to be taken not as a historical fact but as a ‘theological affirmation put into the form of an apparently historical narrative.’” In other words, the belief that Jesus was a descendant of King David led to the development of an invented story about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
In addition, Raymond Brown, a Roman Catholic and another scholar on the Gospels, also stated erroneously that “the two narratives are not only different – they are contrary to each other in a number of details.”
However, the Hebraic Jesus scholar Geza Vermes, speaking of the Nativity narratives, has described Brown’s coverage as “the primary example of the position of having your cake and eating it” (Wikipedia Encyclopaedia).
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Pope Francis and War… Right or Wrong?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Are there no just wars, as Pope Francis claims? Are we really facing self-destruction, if we do not abolish war now, as the Pope also said? But if this is so, what are the Pope’s solutions to our problems? How does he think that peace will spread throughout the world?
The first of this year’s Holy Days are approaching. Passover will be on April 15, 2022 (observed the previous evening), followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread: April 16th (annual Holy Day) through April 22nd (annual Holy Day). We will provide live services over the Internet for both Holy Days.
“Völlige Verwirrung! Geistliche Körper in der Auferstehung?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Total Confusion! Spiritual Bodies in the Resurrection?”
“Die Bibel auf dem Prüfstand,” the German sermonette presented last Sabbath by Andreas Raetz, is now posted. Title in English: “The Bible Under Scrutiny.”
“Was wird unsere Gedankenwelt beeinflussen?” the German sermon presented last Sabbath by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Title in English: “What Will Affect Our Thoughts?”
“Worldwide Persecution—Comments on News and Prophecy, March 26, 2022,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
This program discusses Russian persecution of Protestants and other minorities; concepts of “just wars” and the “justified” killing of enemies; the pope’s prayer to the “Virgin Mary” and the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the “immaculate heart of Mary”; a bridge too far for Zelenskyy when speaking of the righteous Gentiles of Ukraine helping Jews in World War II; the Biden administration’s hypocrisy in regard to Iran; Trudeau’s ongoing dictatorship which should ring alarm bells for America; the murder of abortion; and Germany’s “thought police” and march into totalitarianism.
“Choose Your Sacrifice,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Life requires sacrifices. There is no one who does not sacrifice something in this life.
The question really is what are we willing to sacrifice? What are we willing to change?
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
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