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Comments on News and Prophecy, July 2, 2022 / Greatly Divided We Fall
On July 2, 2022, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy, July 2, 2022,” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Greatly Divided We Fall.”
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.
Money is Power
by Christoph Sperzel (Germany)
Today’s focus is on materialism. Most people are very concerned about the difficulties that life brings – about making ends meet – and how to get more for their money.
God warns us about the greedy, selfish spirit that dominates our society today: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
Most people are not ready for being wealthy. They simply can’t handle it.
How would we handle extra money? Would we use it wisely? All too often, that may not be the case.
Money is power. It needs to be controlled. Without self-control and restraint, money becomes a curse. Satan’s goal is to encourage us to destroy ourselves, to turn blessings into curses.
Wealth is a trial.
Christ tells us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Where is our treasure? Are we materially-minded?
Christ also states: “…You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
Satan knows, when it comes to the priority that dominates us, the choice is either God or material wealth. If he succeeds in tempting us into materialism, pleasure, and a comfortable life, so that we come to think we cannot live without these, then he can draw us away from the loving God.
Because the Bible clearly reveals that having the mindset on the things of the flesh and being carnally minded, is enmity against God. We can read this in Romans 8:4-7.
Wealth is a blessing from God. But it needs to be used properly.
The devil’s plan is getting people to misuse prosperity so that it becomes a curse rather than a blessing. He wants people to attach their hearts to material things and to forget God.
Satan would like to whisper to us: “Look, aren’t things going very well? Why are you keeping the shield of faith so high? And why have you put on the breastplate of righteousness? You do not need all this. And surely you do not need the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God).”
But at the end of the day, this is not a whisper, but rather the roar of a lion, walking about and seeking to devour us.
Ephesians 6:12-18 tells us:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…”
Money is Power. Using it properly is up to us.
Initial translation from German: Daniel Blasinger
by Norbert Link
We are discussing the repercussions of the US Supreme Court decision, overturning Roe v. Wade, resulting in national and international condemnation from some and praise from others; and we are reflecting on the fact that this country is divided as never before in recent history, with the strong possibility of a “legal civil war.”
We address the sober realization that the USA is no longer a great and influential nation; and that the violence and “insurrection” occurring now is not much different from what happened on January 6, 2021.
We also speak on a court decision regarding public prayer; the outbreak of monkeypox; developments in Germany regarding abortion; Putin’s decision to send nuclear-capable missiles to Belarus; the dangerous expansion of NATO; the fear that no one would come to Israel’s defense; Germany’s military ambitions; and the gathering of seven weak and controversial “leaders” at the G-7 summit in Germany.
We conclude with a very sarcastic piece by Piers Morgan about the prospects of a US presidency under Kamala Harris.
Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “And the Beast Is…”
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
Breitbart wrote on June 24:
“The Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding… that the Constitution does not include a right to abortion and returning the issue of abortion laws and regulations to state legislatures… With Roe overruled, the issue of abortion now goes back to the states to pass whatever restrictions on abortions the voters of each state choose to adopt.”
The Associated Press wrote on June 26:
“Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states… Thomas… wrote a separate opinion in which he explicitly called on his colleagues to put the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage, gay sex and even contraception cases on the table. But Alito contended that his analysis addresses abortion only…”
Many misconceptions regarding Roe v. Wade exist. Contrary to public opinion, the case did NOT guarantee an unrestricted nationwide right to abortion. The Britannica Encyclopedia explains:
“The Supreme Court [in Roe v Wade] disagreed with Roe’s assertion of an absolute right to terminate pregnancy in any way and at any time and attempted to balance a woman’s right of privacy with a state’s interest in regulating abortion. In his opinion, Blackmun noted that only a ‘compelling state interest’ justifies regulations limiting ‘fundamental rights’ such as privacy and that legislators must therefore draw statutes narrowly ‘to express only the legitimate state interests at stake.’ The Court then attempted to balance the state’s distinct compelling interests in the health of pregnant women and in the potential life of fetuses. It placed the point after which a state’s compelling interest in the pregnant woman’s health would allow it to regulate abortion ‘at approximately the end of the first trimester’ of pregnancy. With regard to the fetus, the Court located that point at ‘capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb,’ or viability, which occurs at about 24 weeks of pregnancy.”
Also, many misconceptions exist regarding the most recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. As Fox News wrote on June 25:
“… many [are] acting as if abortions had been banned nationwide. In response, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., explained… that in reality ‘nothing has been banned’ – as the ruling simply reversed the regulatory power over abortion laws to the state legislatures, as prescribed by the 10th Amendment for those powers not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution.”
Still, the national and international condemnation of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade is telling, and those who are ringing the alarm bell, favoring abortion, can be found in any religious affiliation. Note the next article.
National and International Condemnations
Fox News reported on June 24:
“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer [Catholic] called Friday ‘one of the darkest days our country has ever seen.’…
“Attorney General Merrick Garland [conservative Jew] said that the Department of Justice ‘strongly disagrees’ with the Supreme Court, and that it delivered a ‘devastating blow’ to reproductive freedoms in America…
“Rep. Ilhan Omar [Muslim] compared the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade to decisions legitimizing slavery and concentration camps….
“Former President Obama [Protestant Christian] slammed the Supreme Court for having ‘not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent,’ but having ‘relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.’…”
Business Insider wrote on June 24 that Obama said: “Join with the activists who’ve been sounding the alarm on abortion access for years — and act. Stand with them at a local protest.”
Fox News wrote on June 24:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [Catholic] on Friday said the ‘Republican-controlled’ Supreme Court ‘achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions… This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching…’
“President Biden [Catholic] on Friday urged Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade by codifying abortion rights into federal law… while urging protesters to remain peaceful and saying ‘violence is never acceptable.’… The president said Roe v. Wade ‘reaffirmed basic principles of equality that women have the power to control their own destiny, and to reinforce the fundamental right of privacy.’”
Reuters added on June 26: “Biden, a lifelong Catholic, condemned the ruling, calling it a ‘sad day’ for America and labelling the court’s conservatives ‘extreme.’”
Fox News wrote on June 24: ‘‘Excited to hear ‘devout Catholic’ Biden condemn today’s Supreme Court decision that any devout Catholic would agree with,’ Washington Times columnist Tim Young remarked, pointing out the irony in Biden’s position.”
LifeSiteNews wrote on June 24:
“Biden decried the pro-life victory as stripping women of the ‘right to choose’ to murder their unborn children, claiming abortion should be an ‘intensely personal decision… Biden assured his fellow abortion supporters that while the overturning of Roe v. Wade ‘casts a dark shadow over large swaths of the land,’ there remain ‘many states in this country that still recognize a woman’s right to choose’…. Biden reminded the public that ‘the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent [a woman] from traveling from her home state to the state that allows it.’…
“Biden’s statements were met with immediate backlash, with many implying the president is a hypocrite for consistently calling himself Catholic while flagrantly denying the Church’s explicit condemnation of abortion.”
Biden stated that the right to travel must be upheld, referring to the right to travel from one state to another to have an abortion. This is ironic as he abolished the right to travel during the coronavirus crisis.
Fox News wrote on June 24:
“French President Emmanuel Macron [baptized as a Catholic, an agnostic today] tweeted Friday… ‘Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose liberties are being undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.’”
Express added on June 24: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson [formerly Catholic, now Anglican] called the decision a ‘big step backwards.’ He added: ‘I have always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view, that’s why the UK has the laws that it does.’”
MSN on June 24 wrote that leftist “Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau [Catholic] also called the news ‘horrific,’ saying that ‘no government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.’”
LifeSiteNews wrote on June 24: “Trudeau’s claim that no government or politician can tell a woman what to do with her body is at odds with the COVID vaccine mandates he imposed on federal workers and for travel. People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier called Trudeau a ‘hypocrite’… Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) President Jeff Gunnarson blasted Trudeau for his comments… ‘What’s horrific is that we have a Prime Minister who is absolutely callous toward the some 100,000 pre-born Canadian children who are killed every year by abortion. What is truly horrific is the disembowelment, dismemberment, and decapitation of these innocent human beings,’ noted Gunnarson… Trudeau for years has professed his support for abortion despite claiming to be Catholic…”
Deutsche Welle reported on June 24 that “Germany’s Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus [member of The Greens; her religion is designated as “Christian”] said she was ‘shocked’ by the development.”
The Guardian wrote on June 24 that “New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern [formerly Mormon, renounced her faith in favor of the LGBT movement], said… the ‘removal of a woman’s fundamental right to make decisions over their own body’ was ‘incredibly upsetting.’”
Breitbart added on June 26:
“Vice President Kamala Harris [Baptist] on Friday mourned the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade… She warned that other rights guaranteed by the court such as same-sex marriage, contraception, and interracial marriage were threatened by the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade…. ‘Today I invite all people to stand together in defense of one of the most fundamental ideals and principles for generations, for centuries…’
“Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton [Methodist] on Friday condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. ‘Today’s Supreme Court opinion will live in infamy as a step backward for women’s rights and human rights…’”
Praise for the Decision
Fox News wrote on June 25:
“Former President Trump praised the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade… When asked whether he feels he played a role in the reversal of Roe v. Wade, after having appointed three conservative justices to the high court, the former president told Fox News: ‘God made the decision.’…
“Former Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the court’s decision… ‘Today, Life Won. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life, and I commend the justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions… Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.’…”
Newsmax wrote on June 24:
“Franklin Graham praised the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the abortions of more than 60 million fetuses since the landmark court ruling 50 years ago a ‘genocide against the unborn’… ‘Today, abortion is not illegal in the United States… I wish it was wiped out completely but it’s not. There are going to be many states that will permit abortions, but I believe this is a step in the right direction.’… ‘We have a lot of evils in this world and abortion is one of those evils and I hope and pray that one day it will be terminated in this country in every state,’ he added.”
Newsmax reported on June 24:
“The Vatican’s Academy for Life on Friday praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, saying it challenged the world to reflect on life issues, but also called for social changes to help women keep their children… The Roman Catholic church teaches that abortion is murder because life begins at the moment of conception and ends with natural death. Pope Francis has compared having an abortion to ‘hiring a hit man’ to eliminate a problematic person.”
The Vatican’s statement that women must be helped to keep their children is of utmost importance.
The Vatican’s Hypocrisy
The Associated Press wrote on June 29:
“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica… despite her position in support of abortion rights… Pelosi met with Francis on Wednesday before the Mass and received a blessing…”
Both seem to be oblivious to the obvious hypocrisy they are both showing.
American Jewish Perspective
JTA wrote on June 24:
“American Jews favor abortion rights, more than any other religious group, according to public polling. And traditional Jewish law permits (and even requires) abortion in some circumstances, particularly when the life or health of the pregnant person is at stake.”
That position is appalling.
Boston Globe wrote on June 24:
“In an opinion concurring with his conservative colleagues on the Supreme Court to overturn the fundamental right to an abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on Friday that striking down Roe v. Wade should also open up the high court to review other precedents that may be deemed ‘demonstrably erroneous.’ Among those, Thomas wrote, was the right for married couples to buy and use contraception without government restriction from the landmark 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut.
“‘In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,’ Thomas wrote… ‘we have a duty to correct the error established in those precedents.’…
“In Griswold, the Supreme Court invalidated a law prohibiting birth control…”
Apart from the legal technicality as to who has jurisdiction to decide the issue, the substantive question is as to what is meant by “contraception.” Are they talking about the pill AFTER conception [so-called telemedicine abortions, ENDING a pregnancy], or are they referring to measures preventing pregnancy? If the latter is meant and contraception before pregnancy was to be prohibited, that would be a ludicrous and extremely serious ungodly outcome.
Civil War in the USA?
Fox News wrote on June 24:
“Liberal media outlets, with most of the noise emanating from MSNBC and CNN, went full scorched-earth after the Supreme Court… send abortion back to the states. Journalists, pundits and guests quickly gave emotional reactions to the news, claiming that a ‘legal Civil War’ was imminent and lamenting the Supreme Court as a partisan institution bent on destroying women’s rights…
“NBC’s Chuck Todd immediately reacted to the news by claiming many Americans believe the Supreme Court is ‘rigged.’…
“CNN’s legal analysts also weighed in on the ramifications of the ruling, with Toobin predicting that the result would lead to ‘legal civil war.’ ‘It’s going to be legal chaos, forget the legal Civil War,’ legal analyst Lauren Coates similarly stated. Lawyer and Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick joined MSNBC just after the ruling and stopped herself short of agreeing with the Civil War phrase, but added that the Court’s decision would at the very least lead to’”immense bickering.’ ‘There are two countries [now]. There are quite literally red states and blue states,’ she added.”
t-online wrote on June 24:
“With their decision on Friday to leave abortion laws to the respective states and thereby potentially criminalizing millions of women, America’s top judges are driving the country into an unprecedented political and social divide… The USA is no longer only divided politically and socially. Two different legal systems are emerging – one in the states governed by Democrats, the other in the states governed by Republicans. It is a legal ditch that is becoming more and more obvious….
“The most powerful democracy in the world is in danger of collapsing because of these internal political struggles…. The most important world power threatens to fail for the foreseeable future… the US will be busy trying not to plunge into civil war amid social tensions…”
This nation is terribly divided. Note the next article as well.
A Divided Nation—and Newsom the New Democratic Star?
The Los Angeles Times wrote on June 25:
“Gavin Newsom (California) called the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade sickening and beckoned women in other states to California, their ‘sanctuary’ for free abortion care… Greg Abbott (Texas) celebrated the ruling and promised he will ‘always fight to save every child from the ravages of abortion.’ The disparate responses from the governors of the two most populous states in the nation highlighted the stark political divide in America, deepened by radically different approaches to healthcare, gun control, the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ rights, immigration and now, once again, reproductive rights…
“The gulf between red and blue states has widened significantly in recent years. That reversed a long trend that started just after World War II of growing uniformity across the country, as legal racial segregation ended in the South and the federal government and courts expanded rights for all American citizens. The split on abortion closely reflects public opinion in the states. In California, Oregon and Washington, for example, roughly 60% of residents said abortion should be legal in all or most cases… By contrast, only about 40% of people took that position in the most strongly antiabortion states, including Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Utah and Idaho…
“[Newsom] also used the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision as an impetus for signing a bill that protects abortion providers in California from liability when caring for patients traveling from areas where the procedure is now banned or access is narrowed. Newsom said the law counters one passed in Texas last year allowing private citizens to sue anyone who ‘aids or abets’ an abortion in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy…
“Last year, as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic became highly partisan, mask and vaccine mandates became political battlegrounds. California was the first state to announce that it would require all public employees and healthcare workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested weekly. In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law last year banning employers from firing workers who refuse a COVID-19 vaccination if those employees claim a medical or religious exemption…
“In 2004, as the newly elected mayor of San Francisco, [Newsom] decided to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state law. More than 4,000 couples wed before the California Supreme Court put a halt to the issuances; those unions were later nullified. The young mayor instantly became the national face for the gay marriage movement, much to the chagrin of both social conservatives and some gay rights activists, who worried his action would set back their cause. National Democrats chastised Newsom at the time and he was put on the defensive when John Kerry lost the presidential election that year.
“But with Democrats eventually embracing same-sex marriage, which was made legal nationwide after a 2015 Supreme Court decision, Newsom is now seen as an early leader on that issue….”
Many Democrats would like to see Newsom become the next President.
No Longer a Great Nation
Newsmax wrote on June 25:
“‘It is no longer a great nation,’ Trump told his crowd in Mendon, Illinois, at a rally… ‘It is a nation in decline — hate to say this to you… It is no longer energy independent or energy dominant… It’s a nation that is begging Venezuela and Saudi Arabia for oil… It’s a nation that surrendered in Afghanistan, leaving dead soldiers, American citizens, and $85 billion worth of the finest military equipment in the world behind… It’s a nation that allowed Russia to devastate a country, Ukraine, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and it will only get worse… It’s a nation that has weaponized its law enforcement against the opposing political party like never before. A nation that no longer has a free press or a fair press…
“‘It’s a nation where free speech is no longer allowed, where crime is rampant, where the economy is collapsing, where more people died of COVID in 2021, than in 2020… It’s a nation that is allowing Iran to build a massive nuclear weapon… and China to use the trillions of dollars that [it] has taken from us to build a military rival. It will be just a disaster for the world… Perhaps most importantly, a nation that… is no longer respected or listened to around the world… It is a nation whose economy is floundering, whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming, and whose educational system is ranked in the lowest quadrant of 45 countries and yet spends more money per student than any other country by three times.’”
Sadly, his assessment is very true. He hopes that beginning in 2024, things will change for the better. But will they?
Violence, “Incitement” and “Insurrection”
The Sun wrote on June 25:
“Anti-abortion demonstrators gathered outside the Arizona Capitol Friday night forcing lawmakers to huddle in a basement after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark ruling. SWAT team members with the Department of Public Safety fired tear gas from the second floor of the old Capitol building to disperse protesters in the mall between the current House and Senate buildings. KPHO-TV reported the officers opened fire when several anti-abortion protesters started banging on the glass doors of the Senate building.
“Arizona is among the eight states where abortion clinics paused abortion services… The incident sent Senate lawmakers into the basement for about 20 minutes… Stinging tear gas wafted through the building afterwards, forcing the Senate to move its proceedings to a hearing room instead of the Senate chamber…
“Huge crowds of protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court and in multiple cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and New York City… At least 25 people were arrested in New York with one police officer estimating that 17,000 gathered in a march in Washington Square Park… Protesters clashed with police in Los Angeles after some threw fireworks and other objects…”
Fox News added on June 25:
“Arizona Senator Kelly Townsend said abortion protesters are holding her and other lawmakers ‘hostage’ inside the Capitol building in Phoenix.”
The Washington Free Beacon wrote on June 24:
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday joined protesters outside the Supreme Court to call the institution ‘illegitimate’ and urge supporters ‘into the streets’ to fight for abortion… Ocasio-Cortez [Catholic] is one of 27 House Democrats who recently opposed a bill that bolstered security measures for the justices, following protests outside their homes…
“Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) also told protesters, ‘The hell with the Supreme Court—we will defy them….’ ‘You see this out here?’ Waters added, referencing the size of the protest outside the Court. ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’… Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas)… condemned Democrats whom he believes are inciting [violence].”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters [“Christian”] is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today. As beliefnet reports, “She also said God was ‘on our side’ when she urged her party in late June to take on members of the Trump administration. ‘If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,’ Waters said.”
How are the events in Arizona and elsewhere, described above, any different from Donald Trump’s statement on January 6, 2021 when he called for peaceful protests, saying, make your voices heard “peacefully and patriotically.” In addition to Obama’s statements, quoted earlier, if Trump is supposed to be held accountable for the “insurrection” of January 6, 2021, why would Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters not have to be held accountable for “inciting” violent acts, occurring now?
Thoughts About Abortion, War and Violence
On June 27, Dr. Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column in the Ron Paul Institute publication:
“The Supreme Court undid one of its worst mistakes last week when it overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. The Constitution reserves to the states the authority to write and enforce laws regarding murder. Since the question of whether or not to legalize abortion revolves around whether abortion is murder, it is not a federal issue. Roe was thus an illegitimate usurpation of state authority… Murder is certainly an act of aggression. Therefore, even though all humans have a right to bodily anatomy, this does not justify abortion.
“No one ever asked an expectant mother, ‘how’s the fetus?’ Instead, people ask about the baby. This implicitly acknowledges the unborn child’s humanity and thus the child’s right to live. The denial of this right has warped our constitutional system. More importantly it has contributed to the devaluing of human life that is the root of much of America’s moral crisis. A society that devalues life will not respect liberty. Therefore, all who value liberty must protect the right to life. This does not just include ending abortion. It also includes rejecting the militaristic foreign policy that kills innocents in the name of ‘freedom and democracy.’
“Just as pro-life conservatives should be antiwar, progressives should reject the violence government commits against its own citizens via taxation, income redistribution, and the fiat money system that robs average Americans to benefit politicians and elites. Rejecting the use of force, including government force, will lead to a society that values and protects our lives, liberty, and property.”
Coach Can Pray
The Associated Press wrote on June 27:
“The Supreme Court sided with a football coach from Washington state [Kennedy] who sought to kneel and pray on the field after games. The court ruled 6-3 for the coach with the court’s conservative justices in the majority and its liberals in dissent. The justices said the coach’s prayer was protected by the First Amendment. ‘The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,’ Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority.
“In a dissent… Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the coach decision ‘sets us further down a perilous path in forcing states to entangle themselves with religion.’
“Kennedy… wanted to continue praying on the field himself, with students free to join if they wished. Concerned about being sued for violating students’ religious freedom rights, the school asked him to stop his practice of kneeling and praying while still ‘on duty’ as a coach after the game. The school tried to work out a solution so Kennedy could pray privately before or after the game. When he continued to kneel and pray on the field, the school put him on paid leave.”
npr wrote on June 25:
“On the surface, the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. doesn’t look that bad, especially compared with other countries…. But in the U.S., the official case count is misleading… The outbreak is bigger — perhaps much bigger — than the case count suggests… Infections have been largely found in men who have sex with men…
“… as the need for testing grew — and the disease became more common than officials initially predicted — the testing system set up by the CDC stopped functioning well, because it actually deters doctors from ordering a monkeypox test. Providers have to go out of their way to order a test.”
One HAS to ask: WHY are tests discouraged??? Could it have something to do with the nature and origin and transmission of the sickness?
Germany Revokes Ban on Promotion of Abortion
AFP wrote on June 25:
“Germany’s parliament on Friday removed a… law that limits the information doctors and clinics can provide about abortion. One of the most controversial sections of the penal code, Paragraph 219a, prohibits the ‘promotion’ of abortion… [The law was adopted] in 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler had taken power… The Bundestag decision came just hours before the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion in the country…
“Germany’s ruling coalition, comprising Buschmann’s Free Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Greens, had made a pledge to remove the law when they signed up to govern together. The opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the far-right AfD voted against scrapping the law.
“Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker of the CDU argued that while a woman may face difficulties because of an unwanted pregnancy, ‘we are also thinking of the child’s right to live.’ She pointed this out as the ‘key difference’ between the ruling coalition and her party… Despite dating back to the darkest chapter in German history, the law was applied until recently. Courts handed out penalties to doctors for offering information on the internet about pregnancy terminations….
“Women wishing to have an abortion must have an obligatory consultation at an approved center… After the consultation, patients must wait for three days… before making a decision. Around 100,000 abortions are carried out in Germany annually, although the number has dropped in recent years… In large parts of the vast southern state, no hospitals offer the procedure. Many people opt to cross the border to Austria instead.”
Nuclear-Capable Missiles for Belarus
Aljazeera wrote on June 25:
“Russia will supply Belarus with missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads after the president complained about nuclear-armed NATO flights coming close to the Belarusian border…
“Lukashenko expressed concern about the ‘aggressive’, ‘confrontational’, and ‘repulsive’ policies of Belarus’s neighbours Lithuania and Poland.”
Belarus, as well as Ukraine, will ultimately be a part of a full-fledged military alliance with Russia.
No One Will Come to Israel’s Aid
Israel 365 wrote on June 27:
“… for Ukrainians, the situation must be particularly galling. After all, it has been barely 20 years since the Budapest Memorandum was signed, in which Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. pledged to refrain from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine if the country gave up its nuclear weapons. They also pledged—among other things—to respect Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty according to its then-current borders.
“Clearly, there have since been blatant Russian violations of the Memorandum, notably the 2014 annexation of Crimea and then the 2022 invasion of Ukraine…
“For Israel, the message is stark and unequivocal: It must remember that should it cede vitally important strategic territory at the behest of foreign governments, it could well tempt its adversaries to launch a deadly assault on it, because it would be far more vulnerable and exposed than before. Moreover, Israel should remember that it can expect scant support from other countries, which will be reluctant to come to its aid. For, as Yossi Cohen [former director of Mossad] warned… if Israel is attacked, it must be prepared for the possibility that ‘no one will come.’”
NATO to Grow by 650 Percent
UPI wrote on June 27:
“The NATO chief [Jens Stoltenberg] announced plans to shore up NATO’s eastern flank nearer Russia by boosting NATO’s quick-response forces by 650%. The force would grow from 40,000 to 300,000 as part of the ‘biggest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War.’”
Sweden and Finland Give In to Erdogan
The Guardian wrote on June 28:
“[An] agreement has been reached between Turkey, Finland and Sweden to allow the two Nordic countries to become Nato members… [Swedish prime minister] Andersson hailed the deal as a ‘very good agreement’, rejecting claims that she had conceded too much to Erdoğan in order to persuade him to drop his veto…
“Turkey had said it would block the applications of Sweden and Finland unless it received satisfactory assurances that the Nordic countries were willing to address what it regards as support for Kurdish groups it designates as terrorist organisations, in particular the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK)…
“The Nordic countries said they confirmed that the PKK was a proscribed organisation and, in a key concession, would ‘not provide support’ to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) groups that have been active in the fight against Islamic State in Syria… all three countries said they would work together on extradition requests.
“Sweden is home to 100,000 Kurdish refugees and Turkey has called for the extradition of individuals it says are linked to the PKK or the Syrian YPG. Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden had agreed to ‘further amending their domestic legislation’ to give Turkey the anti-terror reassurances it had sought, and would be ‘cracking down on PKK activities’ and ‘entering into an agreement with Turkey on extradition’.
“US president Joe Biden congratulated the three countries on securing the deal, which he described as ‘a crucial step towards a Nato invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our alliance and bolster our collective security.’ Boris Johnson greeted the announcement by tweeting: ‘Fantastic news as we kick off the Nato Summit. Sweden and Finland’s membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer.”
These are very troublesome and dangerous developments, and the [willful?] blindness of Biden and Johnson is amazing, as they should be able to see clearly that Putin will consider these developments as provocations, while Turkey under dictator Erdogan is being given dangerous powers.
Germany’s Military Ambitions
Express wrote on June 29:
“In February, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany announced it would sharply increase its defence spending to more than two percent of its economic output. Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted ‘we will have to invest more in the security of our country to protect our freedom and democracy’… Some French politicians have since blasted the move, which they perceive to be an attempt to overtake France’s military power.
“Les Patriotes official Joffrey Bollée wrote in a post on Twitter: ‘Germany completes its power! After having used the EU as a stepping stone and as a tool to weaken France, Germany is now displaying its military ambitions.’ He insisted that France ‘must urgently counter this project and keep our first rank in terms of defence’.
“Mr Bollée and others appear to have taken particular issue with Mr Scholz’s claim Germany will possess the greatest military force in Europe. The Chancellor last week told the German Parliament the country should boast [the] ‘largest conventional army’ among European NATO state members…
“Les Patriotes President Florian Philippot saw this as a simple act of power play over France. He wrote: ‘In a few weeks, the German Chancellor repeated twice and forcefully that “Germany will soon have the largest army in Europe” (implied, ahead of France)! It might be time to wake up, right?!’”
If Germany under weak and indecisive Chancellor Scholz is already perceived as displaying its military ambitions, only imagine how the world will look when the “beast” comes to power.
G-7 Meeting in Germany
Deutsche Welle reported on June 26:
“Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) began three day talks on Sunday in Germany’s Bavarian Alps with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine set to dominate the agenda.
“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden are also set to discuss proposals to tackle the sharp rise in food and oil prices across the world, as well as inflation, with the leaders of Canada [Trudeau], France [Macron], Italy [Draghi], Japan [Kishida] and the United Kingdom [Johnson]. One of the first announcements was a $600 billion (€568 billion) infrastructure initiative to help developing countries tackle climate change.”
Incredibly, Biden thanked Scholz for his leadership on the Ukraine crisis, saying his leadership had been crucial. What an unbelievable joke, uttered by one failing leader to another. And what a group of “leaders” has been assembling in Germany!
Joe Biden Has the Worst G7 Summit Since Jimmy Carter
The New York Post wrote on June 28:
“This G-7 has to be judged the worst G-7 meeting since the one in Japan in 1979 that also took place amid a global energy crisis and rising inflation. The other factor these two summits, 43 years apart, have in common: an out-to-lunch American president.
“Both the 1979 meeting and this week’s meeting attempted to create an oil buyers’ cartel to limit oil imports but with opposite targets in mind. In 1979, the G-7 wanted to limit imports from the Middle East (the attempt failed immediately). Today the G-7 wants to limit imports from Russia… while begging the Middle East, and especially the dominant producer Saudi Arabia, to increase oil exports to the West.
“As in 1979, when the other G-7 leaders were harsh toward President Jimmy Carter at the summit, this week France’s Emmanuel Macron… advised [Biden] that the Saudis and other top Persian Gulf producers are close to current maximum capacity and as such aren’t able to bail out Biden even if they wanted to…
“Biden… appears oblivious to the fact that Europe is looking for a face-saving way to ease existing sanctions that threaten to harm their own economies more than Russia’s.
“Another parallel between Biden’s position and the dismal Carter years:… In 1979, Saudi Arabia was enraged that the United States sat back during — even encouraged — the fall of the shah in Iran, thus handing over Iran to radical Islamists who have destabilized the Middle East ever since. The Saudis resent Biden calling them moral monsters one day and coming begging for more oil at a lower price the next day, while reopening the futile negotiations with Iran that will have only one outcome — a nuclear-armed Iran….”
“If You Think Joe Biden Is Bad, Just Imagine President Kamala…”
On June 28, the New York Post published the following opinion by Piers Morgan:
“Picture the scene:
“It’s July 4, 2023, and President Kamala Harris is about to address the American people about Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Poland.
“She’s been leader of the free world for six months since Joe Biden, implementing the 25th Amendment, abruptly resigned on the grounds of physical and mental incapacity after the Democrats suffered the worst midterm election mauling in history, losing 120 House seats and eight Senate seats…
“President Harris’ tenure in office has bordered on the miraculous, in that she has managed to be even worse than her predecessor — something political experts didn’t think was possible.
“In fact, her presidency has been a catalog of calamities, dominated by woke-ravaged lunacy. Her first decision was to make freshperson Congressperson Megan Rapinoe her vice president, saying how delighted she was to appoint the first gay woman to such high office…
“Schools are in meltdown after she made Meghan Markle the new education secretary and her first act was to make it a firing offense for teachers to even mention the names of… American icons like Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Neil Armstrong and Mickey Mantle because they all ‘looked like the cruel white supremacists in the royal family’ from whom she was forced to escape.
“Illegal immigration has exploded after Harris declared an immediate path to full US citizenship for anyone who turns up to attempt illegal entry on the southern border and identifies as a legal immigrant…
“Crime has also dramatically increased after President Harris’ new secretary of homeland security, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, introduced a substantial defunding of the police, which led to instant widespread lawlessness…
“Gas prices are now $12 a gallon after Harris signed an emergency executive order banning all US government dealings with Saudi Arabia… The Saudis responded by saying, ‘This is why we don’t let women drive cars’ and giving all their oil to China and Russia, massively worsening America’s energy supply crisis.
“Inflation has continued surging to 15%, a full-blown recession is raging, another Great Depression is looming, and her only response has been to give an interview to Jen Psaki on MSNBC…
“If President Harris’ domestic agenda is a disaster, then her performance on the international stage has been a catastrophe of biblical proportions.
“She withdrew all US weapons supplies to President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine after discovering he had cracked ‘totally, like, inappropriate’ trans jokes when he was a comedian. This woeful inaction of woke-induced military hardware cancel culture promptly emboldened Russia to attack and seize Kyiv, thus completing their illegal takeover of the entire country…
“But her most shocking move was to unilaterally disarm the United States of all its nuclear weapons because Putin said he would too if America went first… Of course, like Adolf Hitler in 1939, Putin went back on his word, and has attacked Poland, telling NATO if they respond, he will nuke them to rubble.”
In spite of his biting sarcasm, Morgan does describe a horrifying and not all that unrealistic scenario.
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.
What should I do if my prayers aren’t being answered?
While there are certainly times when God does not immediately answer our prayers because He chooses to respond in a more important way for us (compare 2 Corinthians 12:7-10), the Bible also clearly reveals that sin will affect our prayers.
It is important to understand that God has promised to respond to His people, and we find this very fundamental but absolutely vital condition set forth in the Book of Zechariah:
“‘The LORD has been very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Return to Me,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.’” But they did not hear nor heed Me,’ says the LORD’” (Zechariah 1:2-4).
God is always abundantly ready to help us in our times of need, but by sinning we can cut ourselves off from God and from Him hearing or answering our prayers:
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
An example of this is set forth in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18, verses 9-14. The Pharisee thought he was righteous and without blame before God (Verses 11-12); however, the Tax Collector openly and with heartfelt humility pleaded, saying, “‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’” (Verse 13).
The Bible has many other explicit examples of how sin separated individuals and nations from having contact with God—so that He would not and did not answer their prayers (compare John 9:31).
In examining our own relationship with God, a FIRST STEP is to STOP SINNING! That means we must turn from disobedience to obedience to have God answer our prayers:
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
A SECOND STEP in having God answer our prayers is DON’T GIVE UP! Jesus taught us that we should be tenacious in our prayers to God:
“‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened’” (Matthew 7:7-8).
Just such an example of one who prayed with persistent determination is that of Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet, and her remarkable story is found in 1 Samuel, chapters 1 and 2. Hannah was childless for many years and was constantly chided by the other wife of her husband, Elkanah, who did have children. Finally, Hannah did conceive and bore Samuel as well as other children. Hannah did not give up, and God did answer her prayers.
The Bible tells of many others who were faithfully praying for years before God dramatically intervened in their lives:
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2).
This man, his family and friends, were chosen by God to be the first of the Gentiles to “‘hear the word of the gospel and believe’” (Acts 15:7). It is evident that Cornelius was steadfast and faithful in praying to God, and God answered him in ways far beyond what he might even have hoped—a fact that applies to those who don’t give up in praying to God.
Remember how willing God is to hear and answer His servants:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20).
Also, note how God responded to King Solomon’s prayer:
“Then God said to him: ‘Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days’” (1 Kings 3:11-13).
Remember, we must never give up in praying to God (compare Luke 18:1-8)—even if we don’t get the answer right away. Trust God completely to answer you in the way that is best.
A THIRD STEP in having God answer our prayers is to BELIEVE GOD! Sometimes, perhaps, we simply need to re-examine the fact that God requires that we believe Him.
“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).
Jesus taught about how to have our prayers answered:
“‘Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them’” (Mark 11:24).
James writes of how we should pray, using the example of requesting “wisdom”:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).
Jesus was asked to heal a centurion’s servant, and He agreed to do so:
“And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, “Go,” and he goes; and to another, “Come,” and he comes; and to my servant, ‘”Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’… Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour” (Matthew 8:7-10, 13).
We can have great faith and truly believe God if, when we pray, we are doing the following:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Finally, we have the supreme help of Jesus Christ in having our prayers answered:
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Lead Writer: Dave Harris
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“And the Beast Is…” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Many have tried to figure out who the beast is—that very charismatic end-time personage mentioned in the Book of Revelation. But what does the BIBLE tell us about the beast? How else is the beast referred to, and what are the national origins and characteristics of the beast? Where will the beast arise, and where not? And will everybody be able to recognize the beast?
The German AufPostenStehen program with the title, “Und das Tier ist…” covers the same topic.
“Warum bald nur sehr wenige überleben werden!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Why only very few will survive soon.”
“Freut Euch!”, the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Manuel Giermann, is now posted. Title in English: “Rejoice!”
“It is Written,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:
It is easy to take all the world’s literature for granted these days—there are many choices and many outlets from which we can read, learn, and enjoy great works. Scripture is different in that it was given to mankind to get to know God and draw closer when He calls us. It is so important that we utilize the gift of the written word contained in our Bible and understand that each word builds on another as God intended. In this Sermonette we will cover various Scriptures that help us use these words given by God for our spiritual growth.
“Why Change?”, the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Sometimes it is important to change, and sometimes it is important to resist change. How can we discern the right things to commit to if we want to live a life that pleases God?
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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