The Error of Balaam / What Is Prophesied for the State of Israel?
On August 27, 2022, Paul Niehoff will present the sermonette, titled, “The Error of Balaam,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “What Is Prophesied for the State of Israel?”
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.
The First Commandment—What Is Our God?
by Christoph Sperzel (Germany)
Let us consider: If money, material possessions, prestige, sports, music, family, fun, conspiracy theories, or any combination of these things occupy our interest, time, talents and energy more than anything else, then those things will be the God we serve and worship.
For example, an extreme bodybuilder is really infatuated with his body, always exercising, gazing at his muscles in the mirror, taking many vitamins and other supplements, constantly weighing himself and worrying about how many grams of this or that product are included in his daily diet.
Now, what is the main interest in his life? Is it God? Is it Christ? Or God’s Work? Certainly not. His main interest, his God, is literally his own human flesh, which he serves and worships more than anything else.
All of us must be fervently passionate, that our time, talents, interests and zeal are devoted first and foremost to God the Father, to our personal Savior Jesus Christ, to God’s great Masterplan and to the Work of God.
When it comes to our own weak spots, they may not be so obvious, at least not to us. But Satan has many tricks, many methods to distract each and every one of us from our great goal, the Kingdom of God.
Some are literally obsessed with making money. Or with their work. Or maybe with their desire to be important.
Others are addicted to sports. Some are so busy with their families and friends, that God and the Work of God become second or even third place. And others just want pleasure or entertainment. But let’s keep in mind that if God the Father and Jesus Christ have to step back from time to time, so that another “God” can have dominion in our lives, then they are not first in our lives.
In God’s plan, there is no room for a second “God.” Matthew 6:33 tells us, to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and in Romans 8:5-6, we read: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
How do we spend our time?
We might think of the people who spend all day caring for their garden or their house, using most of their free time in doing so—or maybe of the teenagers who are glued to the screens of their cell phones hour after hour; maybe of the ones who are constantly busy posting pictures or videos – the so-called influencers; or those who are permanently working on their cars, polishing them, admiring them and proudly showing them off to their friends.
Our lives are made up of so much time. How we make use of our time is crucial to how we live our lives. A converted Christian has committed his life to God. Have we? Do we really seek God first, when it comes to our use of time and energy? Or does Proverbs 26:14 apply to us, where we read: “As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed.”
Do we handle and organize our lives in a way, that we can regularly study and internalize the words of the Bible? Have we developed the habit of meditating on the Bible and on God’s Law? Do we seek God with all our heart, maybe with occasional fasting if necessary?
When we use these spiritual tools to draw closer to God, our lives get enriched and God becomes much more real to us. Then we also really desire what God desires; we think as He thinks, and Jesus Christ literally lives in us through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
Galatians 2:20 says: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Authorized Version).
It is only in this way, that all of us who are truly called by God can observe and keep the full intent and spirit of the First Commandment.
Initial Translation by Daniel Blasinger
by Norbert Link
We begin with reports on the “horrific week” of Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz (please view our new StandingWatch program, “Germany’s Weak and Failing Government”; continue with the assassination of the daughter of Putin’s “brain”; speak on the decline of America and President Biden’s unpopularity; and address the potential Iran deal which would in the opinion of many lead to nuclear war.
We report on Dr. Fauci’s announcement that he is going to retire soon and recall his “disastrous” guidance. We point out the opinion of observers that the warrant to raid Donald Trump’s private property and seize documents was without any legal basis; that Biden knew more than he admits; and that meritocracy seems to be dead today.
We conclude with attempts to dehumanize unborn babies; to resurrect the Tasmanian Tiger and the woolly Mammoth; and address increasing attacks of Indian elephants on humans.
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
“Germany’s Stone-Faced Chancellor Faces Critics on Nearly Every Side”
On August 20, DNYUZ ran the following article which was originally published by the New York Times:
“‘Shame in the chancellery,’ screamed one headline in the tabloid Bild this week, while the newsmagazine Spiegel ran an exasperated column about the chancellor’s hesitant communication style: ‘Scholz is silent.’ Germany’s chancellor, the prominent podcast The Pioneer concluded, has had ‘a horrific week.’
“Mr. Scholz’s most recent travails come on top of a rocky start to his chancellorship… he has struggled to find his footing as the head of Europe’s biggest democracy and as the successor of Angela Merkel…
“Given Germany’s economic and political power in Europe, weak leadership in Berlin has implications for leadership in the European Union as well, at a time when no other country could easily step into a vacuum. In neighboring France, the second-richest member state, President Emmanuel Macron recently lost his majority in Parliament.
“Accused of being too aloof and passive in his communication, Mr. Scholz, a Social Democrat, has slumped in opinion polls since the election, falling far behind his popular vice chancellor and foreign minister, both from the Green party.
“Abroad, too, his dithering has not gone unnoticed… in the nearly six months since the invasion of Ukraine by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Scholz has ruled out a gas embargo, saying it would be too costly. He is still dragging his feet on weapons deliveries to Ukraine. And according to a new report by the German Economic Institute, a Cologne-based think tank, Germany might fail — again — to meet the target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense agreed by N.A.T.O. members…
“… Mr. Scholz held a joint news conference with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Asked whether he was ready to apologize for the Palestinian terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich that killed 11 Israeli athletes, Mr. Abbas launched into a tirade against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. ‘Between 1947 and today Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations,’ he said, before adding, ‘50 massacres, 50 Holocausts.’ A stony-faced Mr. Scholz listened but did not verbally respond. He shook Mr. Abbas’ hand when his spokesman wrapped up the news conference immediately after… Friedrich Merz, the leader of Germany’s conservative opposition, called Mr. Scholz’s failure to speak up ‘beyond belief.’… Mr. Scholz did eventually react, telling the tabloid Bild later that evening that ‘any relativization of the Holocaust is insufferable and unacceptable.’ But it was not until the next morning that he sent out a tweet from his own account…
“Mr. Scholz has come under increasing pressure over allegations that he helped a private bank evade a 47 million-euro tax payment to the city of Hamburg in 2016, when he was mayor. After initially denying that he met privately with one of the co-owners of the M.M. Warburg Bank, Mr. Scholz was forced to admit that they did meet after the banker’s personal calendar indicated as much. Summoned by Hamburg lawmakers for the second time on Friday, Mr. Scholz reiterated that he did not recall what he and a bank executive talked about but insisted that there had been ‘no political influencing’ of the tax procedure… ‘I don’t believe a word the chancellor says,’ Friedrich Merz… told a newspaper on Friday. ‘There is hardly anyone in Germany that buys his many memory lapses.’
“Along with the challenges of rising inflation, slowing economic growth and potential gas shortages — Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom announced Friday that gas flows to Germany would temporarily stop again at the end of the month — the accumulation of problems big and small haunting the German chancellor have weighed on his popularity… Several political observers warn of a winter of protests, as Germans feel the pain of higher heating costs.
“Less than one in five Germans would now vote for Mr. Scholz’s Social Democrats, according to a poll released Friday. Instead, if an election were held today, the conservatives would beat them….”
Deutsche Welle added on August 21:
“Around two thirds of Germans said they were dissatisfied with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his divided coalition, which has experienced one crisis after another since taking office in December… 62% of Germans [have] an unfavorable view of Scholz… If the Chancellor were elected directly, Scholz would now come only in third place [with] only 18% [of the votes]… 65% of Germans [have] a negative assessment on the work of the federal government.”
JTA reported on August 18:
“Under fire for accusing Israel of ’50 Holocausts,’ Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas walked back his statement, calling the Holocaust ‘the most heinous crime in modern human history.’”
But he did not apologize for his comments regarding Israel’s “50 Holocausts.”
Focus wrote on August 19:
“Misfortunes never come alone. However, what is currently happening in the Federal Republic’s relationship with the Palestinians and thus also with Israel is not a disaster. The rule here is rather: one lack of instinct follows the other. The indignation about the blatant failure of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has not yet abated, rightly so, when he wordlessly accepted the downplaying of the Holocaust by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. And that in the Chancellery, not far from the Holocaust memorial in the capital.
“This lack of instinct number one is immediately followed by lack of instinct number two. Now, of all times, the Federal Foreign Office is announcing that the German government has pledged a total of 340 million euros to the Palestinians for humanitarian aid and development projects for the years 2021 and 2022. Abbas will be happy about that: The Germans obviously don’t blame him for his anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic slurs.
“Germany has always been one of the biggest donors to the Palestinian Authority. Officially, of course, the funds always flowed into humanitarian projects or were intended to promote economic development. Admittedly, there were repeated indications that the Palestinians were not so particular about earmarking. Anyone who claims to be able to precisely control the use of these German payments is lying to their own pockets.
“In any case, the question arises as to how one wants to and can justify financial support – under whatever label – as long as the Palestinian Authority is paying out bonuses to anti-Israel terrorists. After Abbas’ ‘outrageous appearance’, it was not only Volker Beck, the President of the German-Israeli Society, who called for the payments to be checked. But the federal government did exactly the opposite: it keeps the money flowing.”
And although the public prosecution announced, as expected, that they are not going to take action against Scholz, Mr. Scholz’s days are numbered… and that is also true for his unruly and divided “ample” coalition. The failure of the present German government was to be expected from the outset.
Daughter of “Putin’s Brain” Assassinated
The Associated Press wrote on August 21:
“The daughter of an influential Russian political theorist often referred to as ‘Putin’s brain’ was killed in a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow… the bloodshed gave rise to suspicions that the intended target was her father, Alexander Dugin, a nationalist philosopher and writer.
“Dugin is a prominent proponent of the ‘Russian world’ concept, a spiritual and political ideology that emphasizes traditional values, restoration of Russia’s power and the unity of all ethnic Russians throughout the world. He is also a vehement supporter of Russia’s sending of troops into Ukraine… Some Russian media reports cited witnesses as saying that the SUV belonged to Dugin and that he had decided at the last minute to travel in another vehicle…
“Denis Pushilin, president of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, the pro-Moscow region that is a focus of Russia’s fighting in Ukraine, blamed it on ‘terrorists of the Ukrainian regime, trying to kill Alexander Dugin.’ Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukrainian involvement, saying, ‘We are not a criminal state, unlike Russia, and definitely not a terrorist state.’…
“While Dugin’s exact ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin are unclear, the Kremlin frequently echoes rhetoric from his writings and appearances on Russian state TV. He helped popularize the ‘Novorossiya,’ or New Russia, concept that Russia used to justify the 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. He promotes Russia as a country of piety, traditional values and authoritarian leadership, and disdains Western liberal values.
“His daughter expressed similar views and had appeared as a commentator on the nationalist TV channel Tsargrad… Dugina herself was sanctioned by the United States in March for her work as chief editor of United World International, a website that the U.S. described as a disinformation source…”
The USA has also sanctioned Alexander Dugan.
The Sun added on August 21:
“There is no direct evidence Ukraine or its agents were involved in the Moscow attack. Yet senior pro-Putin war supporters were quick to demand an all-out attack on Kyiv over the… assassination…. Margarita Simonyan, head of RT network, posted on Telegram: ‘Decision-making centres [in Ukraine to be blasted]!’ …
“Putin crony Yury Kot warned escalating conflict at Europe’s biggest atomic plant could lead to Armageddon… He claimed it was Kyiv and the West jeopardising nuclear safety – and urged Putin to be ready to fire nukes at London and Washington.”
This could make the Russian-Ukrainian war even more deadly.
While America Falls Apart…
Dr. Ron Paul wrote the following opinion piece in his weekly column in the Ron Paul Institute publication, dated August 22:
“There is a video clip making the rounds showing President Biden speaking at a recent NATO summit about the seven billion dollars the US government had – at that time – provided to Ukraine. Attached to that is another clip showing the horrific state of several US major cities, including in Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio. The video of American cities is shocking: endless landscapes of filth, trash, homelessness, open fires on the street, drug-addicted zombies…
“Watching Biden bragging about sending billions of dollars to… leaders overseas with American cities looking like bombed-out Iraq or Libya is US foreign policy in a nutshell…
“What is seldom asked, is what is in this deal for those Americans who suffer to pay for our… foreign policy. Do they really think a working American in Ohio or Pennsylvania is better off or safer because we are supposedly protecting Ukraine’s borders? I think most Americans would wonder why they aren’t bothering to protect our own borders. A reported 200,000 illegals crossed the border into the US in July alone. You can believe they are learning quickly about the free money provided by the US government to illegals. They’ll probably get a voting card as well.
“Last Friday the Pentagon announced that yet another $775 million would be sent to Ukraine. As Antiwar.com reported, it was the eighteenth weapons package to Ukraine in six months… the reality is that it is in no way aid to Ukraine… It is money created out of thin air by the Fed and appropriated by Congress to be spent propping up the politically-connected military-industrial complex. It is a big check written by middle America to rich people who run Raytheon and Lockheed Martin…
“Bloomberg reported earlier this summer that inflation is costing the average American household more than $5,200 this year. Inflation is a tax on middle class and poor Americans… [We] watch as the dollar buys less and less… America feels like we’re becoming Zimbabwe. How long until it takes a trillion dollars for a loaf of bread?…”
After World War I, Germany experienced something like this.
The Guardian wrote on August 24:
“Joe Biden has announced nearly $3bn in new military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft missiles, artillery, counter-drone defences and radar equipment.
“The huge tranche of military aid brings to nearly $13bn the US has supplied or pledged to Kyiv under the Biden administration.”
Most Americans Disapprove of Biden
Daily Mail wrote on August 22:
“A whopping 74% of Americans say the United States is on the wrong track in a new NBC News poll conducted earlier this month. It also found that more than half… feel ‘worried that America’s best years may already be behind us’.
“Among the respondents’ main concerns was the economy, with 68 percent saying they think the country is already in a recession despite Biden’s claims. In total, the poll found, 55 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the president is doing while just 42 percent approve.”
Still, how can 42 percent of Americans approve of the miserable job he is doing? This total blindness is just dumbfounding!
Why the Iran Deal Guarantees Nuclear War
Israel365 News wrote on August 21:
“The Biden administration is on the verge of closing its long-sought for nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran… Back in 2015, news that the Obama-Biden administration was closing in on a final draft of what became its nuclear deal with Iran provoked a mass public outcry. The majority of Americans opposed the deal. Many key Democrats opposed it. The entire Republican Party opposed it. News of the deal was greeted by mass protests in Washington, New York and countrywide. Today, the opposite is the case. News of Biden’s deal is greeted with yawns and apathy.
“The difference is doubly striking because since 2015, the warnings the deal’s opponents sounded have all been borne out by events. Just as the opponents warned, Iran began cheating on the deal the moment it was concluded: Iran stockpiled uranium beyond what was permitted and refused to come clean to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency on its previous nuclear work.
“Even worse, Iran exploited the deal’s loopholes—first and foremost its non-limitation of research and development work. While ostensibly abiding by the agreement, Iran developed advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium 10 times faster and to much higher levels of purity than the centrifuges it fielded in 2015…
“As the deal’s opponents had warned, Iran used the tens of billions of dollars it received from sanctions relief in 2015 and 2016 to massively expand its funding of terror proxies… The nuclear deal was supposed to keep Iran a year away from breakout, but last month Teheran announced it had already crossed the nuclear threshold and could develop bombs at will. The nuclear deal Biden is now negotiating won’t push Iran’s nuclear genie back in the bottle. Iran will enter the deal—if it agrees—as a threshold nuclear state. And it will exit the deal as a nuclear power.
“Yet, despite the manifest dangers Iran poses, and everything we have learned since 2015, no one is in the streets protesting today. No one is campaigning against Biden’s deal. The apathy afflicting everyone from moderate Democrats to conservative Republicans, from Jewish American groups to Christian Zionist groups to national security lobbies is particularly stunning because Biden’s nuclear deal is even worse than Obama’s was. Not only does it give nuclear license to Iran, Biden’s agreement ushers in an era of nuclear chaos…
“Biden’s policy is far worse in two ways. First, it is being undertaken after Iran announced it had crossed the nuclear threshold. In other words, Biden can’t plausibly claim that this is a non-proliferation deal… Under Biden’s deal, by 2030, Iran will receive $1 trillion in sanctions relief—enough to transform Iran into a regional economic power as Tehran uses its nuclear arsenal to blackmail its neighbors.
“This leads us to the second reason that Biden’s deal is worse than Obama’s… According to media reports of the E.U. final draft, Biden has accepted Iran’s demand that the IAEA end its investigations of Iran’s undeclared nuclear installations…
“The implication is stunning… Once Biden and Iran conclude their deal, the prospect of nuclear war will no longer be a distant if ever-present concern. It will become a certainty, as nation after nation rushes to acquire nuclear weapons…”
The blindness of the Western powers is striking.
Fauci’s Retirement Can’t Come Soon Enough
The New York Post’s Editorial Board wrote on August 22:
“‘Whether you’ve met him personally or not, he has touched all Americans’ lives with his work,’ President Joe Biden said of news that his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci, is finally retiring [As Breitbart wrote on August 22, “The [Democrat] leader’s remark follows Fauci’s retirement announcement, moving up his timeline to December 2022 — conveniently after the midterm elections, when Republicans hope to gain a majority in both the House and Senate].
“Biden’s only too right — tragically. Fauci’s COVID guidance was disastrous. Fauci, now 81, initially greeted COVID by insisting it wasn’t a ‘major threat,’ only to flip almost overnight into a strident hawk. He demanded contact tracing, a measure as costly as it was useless. He called for economic shutdowns and national school closures. He ridiculed efforts to focus protective efforts narrowly on the truly vulnerable — the elderly and the immunocompromised. He mocked the idea that people who recovered from COVID had some degree of natural immunity (after having once proposed it himself). And he did all this even as he doubted in private the efficacy of masks and the existence of asymptomatic spread.
“His overgrown ego, in short, led him to promote the most destructive federal and state policies in recent US memory. And as of late July he was still at it, saying we should’ve had ‘much more stringent restrictions’ to fight asymptomatic COVID spread in 2020. This, when his tactics accomplished nothing. The United States did worse on overall COVID outcomes than did Sweden, which never closed schools nor implemented other draconian policies.
“Yet Fauci’s chief sin likely came before COVID even reached these shores: As chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he championed and oversaw funding for labs in China that performed gain-of-function research on viruses. Then, as the face of the nation’s coronavirus response, he joined the drive to render unmentionable the idea that the virus might have leaked from that Wuhan lab. And for all the lives his ideas cost and all the needless pain they inflicted, Fauci has not been — and looks likely never to be — held accountable.
“In his own words, the good doctor is leaving to ‘pursue his next chapter.’ For the sake of the world, we hope it’s focused on gardening. Fauci’s too dangerous to be anywhere near the levers of power.”
Will Fauci Be Held Accountable?
Breitbart wrote on August 22:
“A Republican-led House in Congress will hold Dr. Anthony Fauci accountable, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Monday following Dr. Anthony Fauci’s announcement. ‘Dr. Fauci lost the trust of the American people when his guidance unnecessarily kept schools closed and businesses shut while obscuring questions about his knowledge on the origins of COVID,’ McCarthy said Monday, adding, ‘He owes the American people answers’…
“McCarthy is not the first Republican to warn that Fauci’s departure will not protect the NIAID director from answering tough questions on the origins of the Chinese coronavirus — a battle Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has continued to wage as Fauci continues to deny that NIAID funded gain-of-function research…. ‘Fauci’s resignation will not prevent a full-throated investigation into the origins of the pandemic. He will be asked to testify under oath regarding any discussions he participated in concerning the lab leak,’ Paul said.”
Of course, talk is cheap. We need to wait and see what will really happen to Fauci.
Republican Victory in November Not a Given?
Fox News wrote on August 21:
“Former President Donald Trump went after Sen. Mitch McConnell… over social media for expressing skepticism around Republicans’ chances of retaking congressional majorities in the November midterms…. McConnell suggested Thursday that he did not think Republicans would retake the Senate as ‘candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.’ He said his party may fare better in reclaiming the U.S. House…. ‘Right now, we have a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 country, but I think when all is said and done this fall, we’re likely to have an extremely close Senate. Either our side up slightly or their side up slightly,’ he added.
“The comment was widely criticized by conservatives… McConnell’s shaky optimism comes as Republican senatorial candidates Blake Masters of Arizona, Herschel Walker of Georgia, and Mehemt Oz of Pennsylvania are trailing in their respective races. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, also trails in his re-election effort….”
The Associated Press wrote on August 20:
“Republicans have found success in Democratic strongholds like Maryland and Massachusetts when they have fielded moderate candidates who could appeal to voters in both parties. With Democrats facing headwinds this year, Republicans had hoped that strategy could pay off yet again. But Republican voters have nominated loyalists of former President Donald Trump in several Democratic states, including Maryland and Connecticut, making the GOP’s odds of winning those general election races even longer…”
One will have to wait and see. In regard to the prophesied downfall of the USA, neither a Republican nor a Democratic victory will change anything substantially, anyhow.
“The Trump Warrant Had No Legal Basis”
The Wall Street Journal wrote on August 22:
“A former president’s rights under the Presidential Records Act trump the statutes the FBI cited to justify the Mar-a-Lago raid.
“Was the Federal Bureau of Investigation justified in searching Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago? The judge who issued the warrant for Mar-a-Lago has signaled that he is likely to release a redacted version of the affidavit supporting it. But the warrant itself suggests the answer is likely no—the FBI had no legally valid cause for the raid.
“The warrant authorized the FBI to seize ‘all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§793, 2071, or 1519’ (emphasis added). These three criminal statutes all address the possession and handling of materials that contain national-security information, public records or material relevant to an investigation or other matters properly before a federal agency or the courts.”
Hannity said on Fox News on August 22: “Federal law gives Mr. Trump a right of access to them. His possession of them is entirely consistent with that right and therefore lawful, regardless of the statutes that the FBI is citing in their warrant… there was no legal basis for this unprecedented warrant.”
What Did Biden Know?
The New York Post Editorial Board wrote on August 23:
“The official line spun by the White House is that President Joe Biden and his staff had no clue Attorney General Merrick Garland had authorized the armed FBI raid on ex-Prez Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home until after it actually happened. But it turns out they at least enabled and knew about the ongoing investigation.
“A now-public May 10 letter to Team Trump from acting National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall notes that the president’s counsel had told her: ‘President Biden defers to my determination’ on respecting Trump’s claims of executive privilege in retaining various documents — and that she had ‘decided not to honor’ those claims. She adds: ‘NARA will provide the FBI access to the records in question, as requested by the incumbent President.’
“That is, Biden told the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA, it could go ahead and demand more documents. Is that really the last time the White House got involved? Wall’s letter led to a June meeting where Trump’s aides handed the FBI a bunch of documents, on top of the January handover of other docs. The many mysteries here include: Why exactly did Garland then go for the raid, when Trump had been turning over docs regularly?
“How did NARA get involved in the first place? The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled back in 2012: ‘NARA does not have the authority to designate materials as presidential records, and NARA lacks any right, duty, or means to seize control of them.’…
“The New York Times reported back in April that Biden has been telling his aides that he wants Garland to indict Trump for something. That doesn’t help us believe the White House’s official ‘we know nothing’ stance… we… have zero concrete proof that the raid was actually justified.”
Meritocracy Is Dead
Daily Mail published the following article by Andrew Neil on August 19:
“Meritocracy is dead. Long live diversity. That’s the mantra that increasingly dominates this country’s most powerful public and private institutions, from the civil service to the military, the media to the NHS [National Health Service], the universities to major companies — and just about everything important in between. The age-old idea that jobs, position and promotion are best allocated solely on merit and ability, regardless of background, is withering on the vine, replaced by a new religion — almost a fanaticism — that elevates diversity and inclusion above all else…
“No company or public body is currently immune from it, even traditional, well-established, well-regarded, culturally conservative institutions, such as our illustrious Royal Air Force, which now operates under a ‘Diversity and Inclusion Directive’. It’s worth quoting one of its key lines: ‘The RAF is intent on increasing diversity across all minority groups, including race, religion and beliefs, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, socio-economic representation and neuro-diversity.’ The prescient reader will have noticed that nowhere in this box-ticking list is there mention of ability or the best person for the job. It is a bizarre omission, especially at a time when Britain faces greater military and security threats than it has for a generation… when it comes to appointing fighter pilots, drone operators and surveillance aircraft crews — people in whose hands we are placing the defence of the realm — surely ability and aptitude must trump all else…
“The head of RAF recruitment, a female group captain, has reportedly stepped down from her post in protest at what she regards as ‘impossible diversity targets’ (40 per cent women by 2030, 20 per cent from ethnic minority backgrounds). They can’t be met unless there is a de facto freeze on the recruitment of white males, no matter how well-qualified… without meritocracy, we are doomed to decline.”
Diversity, as propagated and applied these days, does in fact eradicate “meritocracy” to a large extent. Andrew Neil pointed out what many believe, without being willing to say it.
Fetus No Longer a Baby?
Life News wrote on August 18:
“This week, Students for Life of America noticed that the definition of ‘fetus’ changed on Google to exclude the word ‘baby.’ Just a few weeks ago, Google defined ‘fetus’ as ‘an unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception,’ according to a screen shot captured by Students for Life. Now, when someone searches for the definition on Google, it reads ‘an offspring of a human or other mammal in the stages of prenatal development that follow the embryo stage (in humans taken as beginning eight weeks after conception.).’
“‘Google altered their definition of “fetus” to not include the word “baby.” They don’t want you to know the truth: a human fetus is a human baby,’ the pro-life organization wrote… Google cited Oxford Languages as the source of its definition for the word ‘fetus.’ However, the website Lexico, which also uses Oxford, still has the definition that includes the word ‘baby.’
“The new definition on Google better meshes with a pro-abortion agenda, not science… An unborn baby’s life begins at conception and, by the fetus stage (about eight weeks of pregnancy), already has almost all of his/her body parts… Even the current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services… despite being run by the pro-abortion Biden administration, uses the word ‘baby’ to describe the developing unborn child at the embryo and fetus stages…
“The definition change follows similar actions by the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Planned Parenthood… Google, one of the most powerful companies in the world, has a history of leftist pro-abortion politics…
The reason for the change in definition is abominably obvious.
Resurrecting the Tasmanian Tiger and the Mammoth?
npr wrote on August 20:
“… the Tasmanian tiger [is] not a feline but a dog-like marsupial, a predator that humans hunted to extinction. The last known specimen died in a zoo in 1936. Now the… company Colossal Biosciences wants to genetically resurrect the Tasmanian tiger, also known as the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) or the Tasmanian wolf… Colossal… has previously aired plans to resurrect the woolly mammoth…
“It’s not cloning. ‘Cloning is a very specific scientific process. That process requires a living cell,’ evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro of University of California, Santa Cruz told NPR when talk of resurrecting the mammoth gained new currency in 2015. Instead, Colossal plans to essentially create a hybrid animal, with many of the characteristics of a Tasmanian tiger. Its scientists will use CRISPR gene editing technology to splice bits of recovered thylacine DNA into the genome of a Dasyurid — a family of carnivorous marsupials such as the numbat and Tasmanian devil that are the extinct animal’s closest relatives. The altered nucleus would then be inserted into a Dasyurid egg — and when it develops into an embryo, it would be implanted into a surrogate…
“It could arrive as early as the next few years. By comparison, Colossal hopes to bring its first woolly mammoth calves into the world within the next five or six years, using elephant surrogates. “
What will be next?
“India Sees More Deadly Elephant Attacks…”
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 19:
“Elephant-human conflicts have been on the rise in India as a result of habitat loss, and experts say such conflicts could get worse… More than 1,500 people have died in elephant attacks in the country in the past three years, with 300 of the animals killed in retaliation… India accounts for 70-80% of all recorded human deaths caused by elephants across Asia… India is home to the world’s largest population of Asian elephants and about 29,000 elephants remain in the wild… Elephants are expected to live for up to 50 years but their survival depends upon regular migration over large distances to search for food, water, and social and reproductive partners…
“Left alone, elephants do not usually attack people. When elephants enter agricultural fields, or go near human habitation, they are inevitably surrounded by mobs of people. They are intelligent, powerful animals and eventually they will retaliate, again and again… Elephant herds are known to migrate across 350-500 kilometers (200-300 miles) annually but increasingly fragmented landscapes are driving the giant mammals more frequently into human-dominated areas…”
The Bible says that in these end times, men will be attacked by the wild beasts of the earth.
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.
Why do you not baptize by using the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”? (Part 3)
In the first installment, we discussed the fact that Matthew 28:19 does not set forth a “formula,” which must be used when baptizing a person, and that the teaching that the baptizing minister must say the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit,” is erroneous and unbiblical. At the same time, we pointed out that “the concept stated in Matthew 28:19, in referring during the entire baptism ceremony to the role and function of the Father and Jesus Christ, bestowing on the baptized person the gift of the Holy Spirit, is accurate and biblical.”
In the second installment, we began our discussion as to the genuineness of the passage in Matthew 28:19. We quoted from commentaries and other sources advocating the authenticity of Matthew 28:19, citing ancient authors referring to the threefold trinitarian baptism, saying that Jesus spoke these words. We pointed out that none of those authors actually quoted or directly referred to the book of Matthew as evidence for their claim; that nowhere do we read that an author by the end of the first or the beginning of the second century said: “Jesus said in the book of Matthew, at the end of the book, that we are to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We raised the question as to whether they just referred to some “human tradition,” according to which Jesus allegedly stated these words, and that the suspicion, then, that these words were later added in order to confirm the “Christian” practice and belief, as did happen in the case of 1 John 5:7-8, ought to be addressed.
In this installment, we will discuss the concerns authors and commentaries have raised as to the genuineness of Matthew 28:19. First, though, let’s consider this:
We will recall from our previous discussion that only Matthew 28:19 mentions “baptizing” “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The parallel Scripture in Mark 16:15-16 does NOT include such a statement. We will also recall that according to the written Scriptural record, the apostles NEVER baptized in the name of the Father or of the Holy Spirit, but ONLY in the name of Christ. It appears inconceivable that they would have completely ignored and disobeyed a command of Christ, IF it had been a command given to them and known to them. It is for this reason alone that the words in Matthew 28:19, in any event, CANNOT be viewed as a formula which has to be uttered by the minister when baptizing a person.
There are no Scriptures that state that we are baptized in or into the Father. There is one Scripture that might suggest that we are baptized in or into the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 reads: “For by [Greek, “ek,” meaning “out of”] one Spirit are we all baptized INTO [Greek, “eis”] one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles…; and have been all made to drink INTO [Greek, “eis”] one Spirit.” The first part of the passage says that the Spirit baptizes us INTO the spiritual body. In regard to the second part of the passage (“have been all made to drink INTO one Spirit”), Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible cautions us that this last word “eis” may not be genuine; the NU omits it altogether, and the RSV translates, “all were made to drink OF one Spirit.”
There are many Scriptures showing us that we have been baptized INTO Christ. Compare for example Galatians 3:27: “For as many of you as have been baptized INTO [Greek, “eis] Christ have put on Christ.”
Other Scriptures show that people were baptized “in the name” [Greek: “onoma”] of Christ, such as Acts 2:38 and Acts 10:48.
The Bible teaches of course that we must be baptized WITH the Holy Spirit. Many passages show that God the Father gives us the Holy Spirit upon baptism (Compare Acts 1:5, 8; 2:33; 11:16). In that sense, we are baptized INTO the Church, the spiritual body of Christ, THROUGH or “out of” the Spirit (compare 1 Corinthians 12:13). Compare also 1 Corinthians 6:11 (“but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified IN the NAME of the Lord Jesus and BY [Greek, “ek”, meaning “out of”] the Spirit of God,” AV). None of the Scriptures says, however, that we are baptized in or into the NAME of the Holy Spirit, and none of them even says that we are baptized in or into the Holy Spirit (with the possible exception of 1 Corinthians 12:13, see above).
With this introduction, let us review the many arguments advanced by biblical scholars concluding that Matthew 28:19 might not be genuine.
The Catholic Jerusalem Bible states:
“It may be that the formula, so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the liturgical use established later. It will be remembered that Acts speaks of baptizing ‘in the name of Jesus.’”
The New Revised Standard Version says:
“Modern critics claim this formula is falsely ascribed to Jesus and that it represents later church tradition, for nowhere in the book of Acts is baptism performed with the name of the Trinity.”
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 4, pp. 26-37, states under “Baptism”:
“Matthew 28:19 in particular only canonizes a later ecclesiastical situation… Its Trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus.”
Hasting’s Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 2, p. 377, points out:
“The Christian baptism was administered using the name of Jesus. The Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in the early Church history.”
Donald Guthry writes in “New Testament Theology,” on page 719:
“The dispute over the authenticity of the triune formula revolves around the comparison with the simpler formula in Acts… The question arises whether the triune formula requires a later date.”
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states in vol. 8, on page 598:
“Many deny the authenticity of this Trinitarian formula… on the basis of the fact that the only evidence we have of actual Christian baptism indicates a consistent monadic formula – baptism in Jesus’ name.”
The Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 7, points out on page 624:
“The formula of verse 19 was probably a later development.”
The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge states on page 435:
“Jesus, however, cannot have given His disciples this Trinitarian order of baptism after His resurrection, for the New Testament knows only baptism in the name of Jesus… which still occurs in the second and third centuries, while the Trinitarian formula occurs only in Matthew 28:19, and then only in Didache 7:1 [as mentioned before, an apocryptic book] and Justin, Apology 1:61… the formal authenticity of Matthew 28:19 must be disputed.”
Peake’s Commentary of the Bible, 1962, states on page 798 under “Matthew”:
“… most commentaries doubt that the trinitarian formula was original at this point in Matthew’s Gospel, since the NT [New Testament] elsewhere does not know of such a formula and describes baptism as being performed in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, states on page 86:
“This is the closest of the New Testament comes to stating the proposition that YHVH, Adonai, the one God of Abraham… consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit… Although nearly all ancient manuscripts have the trinitarian formula, Eusebius, the church historian [who died in 340 AD] … in his writings preceding the council of Nicea in 325 C.E., quotes the verse without it.”
As we will discuss this phenomenon more fully below, Eusebius, believing in the Trinity, failed to quote the words of Matthew 28:19, referring to baptism, before the Council of Nicea, while quoting the words before and after the omitted text.
David Flusser wrote in “The Conclusion of Matthew in the New Jewish Christian Source,” Annals of the Swedish Theological Institute, 1967, on pages 110-120:
“The trinitarian formula in the words of the resurrected Jesus is not attested before the Gnostic Theodotus, i.e., not before the second half of the second century… Thus it is difficult not to assume that the shorter form of the saying found so far only in quotations by Eusebius [omitting the clause, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”] is the original text of Matthew 28, 18b-20… Eusebius’ text of Matth 28, 19-20a before Nicaea was as follows: ‘Go and make all nations disciples in my name, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.’”
Fred C. Conybeare, “The Eusebian Form of the Text Mt. 28, 19,” in “Zeitschrift fuer die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde des Urchristentums,” (1901), pointed out that Eusebius had quoted Matthew 28 seventeen times [others say, eighteen times] BEFORE the Council of Nicea, OMITTING the disputed words, and three times AFTER the Council of Nicea, including the disputed words (at p. 282).
He also stated on pages 284-287:
“[Neither Clement of Alexandria nor Origen give any] hint of the important precept to baptize in the triune name which in our texts intervene… [The] German scholar Teller [in 1786] disputed the genuineness of the text [i.e., to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit]. So did Evanson, vicar of Tewkesbury [in 1792].”
He also wrote:
“Harnack remarks (Dogmengeschichte I, 68): ‘Mt. 28:19 ist kein Herrenwort.’ [‘Matthew 28:19 is not a word of the Lord’]. Martineau… writes thus: ‘The very account which tells us that at last, after his resurrection, he commissioned the apostles to go and baptize among all nations, betrayed itself by speaking in the Trinitarian language of the next century, and compels us to see in it the ecclesiastical editor, and not the evangelist, much less the founder itself… J.H. Schotten in his word, Die Taufformel, [the baptismal formula], wrote: ‘The comparisons of the texts of the three gospels and the critical analysis pertaining to their ages leads us to conclude that the records about the establishment of the baptism through Jesus in the gospel of Matthew must be of a relatively late date.’ H. Holtzmann in an article on baptism [in 1879] arrives at a similar conclusion.”
He also pointed out on pages 282 and 283 that Justin Martyr, as well as “Pastor Hermae,” did NOT quote the longer, but only the shorter form: “Two writers earlier than Eusebius show a knowledge of this shorter form of text; and neither of them formally cite the passage, but rather echo it. The first is Justinus Martyr in the Dialogue with Tryphon 39, p. 258… The second passage is in the Pastor Herrmae and is a less certain reference… the earliest writer who cites Mt 28,19 in a form approximating to the text established in the manuscripts of the Gospels, is the Gnostic Theodotus.”
On page 286, Conybeare explains that the Catholic Church, strongly teaching the Trinity as one of their most fundamental doctrines, “adopted the position that baptism in the name of Jesus Christ alone” is “quite valid. As the canon of the Synod of Nemors (1284) expressed it… baptize te in nominee Christi. It in some measure explains the decision of the popes that the text of Mat. 28,19 was not yet authoritatively fixed by the church and that the [Catholic version] of the fourth century retained the Eusebian reading [prior to Nicea].”
Conybeare then asks the following questions, on pages 287 and 288, without committing himself:
“Is the Eusebian and Justin’s reading of Mt. 28,19 [which omits the words, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”] original? If so, was not the [text including those words] created about 130-140? Was it not due to a reaction on the text of Matthew of liturgical, and, specifically, of baptismal usage? Did it not arise, like the text of the three witnesses [referring to the addition in 1 John 5:7-8, discussed earlier] in the African and old Latin texts first of all, thence creep in to the Greek texts at Rome, and finally establish itself in the East during the Nicene epoch, in time to figure in all surviving Greek codices?”
E.W. Bullinger writes in “Word Studies on the Holy Spirit,” on pages 47-49:
“It is difficult to suppose that there would have been this universal disregard of so clear a command (in Matthew 28:19), if it had ever been given; or if it ever really formed part of the primitive text. It is a question therefore whether we have here something beyond the reach of science, or the powers of ordinary Textual Criticism. As to the Greek MSS, there are none beyond the fourth century, and it seems clear that the Syrian part of the church knew nothing of these words. Eusebius quotes this verse no less than eighteen times, and always quotes it in this form, ‘Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all nations.’ He omits the reference to ‘baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.’ Now, Eusebius, the great Ecclesiastical historian, died in 340 AD, and his work belonged, therefore, in part to the third century. Moreover, he lived in one of the greatest Christian libraries of that day. If the Greek MS there contained these words, it seems impossible that he could have quoted this verse eighteen times without including them.
“Professor Lake… and Mr. Conybeare have called attention to this fact, and shown that neither Justin Martyr (who died in 165 AD), nor Aphraates of Nisibis (who flourished in Syria, 340 AD), knew nothing of these words. It looks, therefore, as though the words got into the text (perhaps from the margin) in the church of North Africa; and that the Syrian Churches did not have them in the MSS at their disposal. The point is interesting. The difficulty is there.”
This is indeed the case, and it is up to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Germany’s Weak and Failing Government!” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Why is it important that you understand how weak Germany’s government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz is, and how the chancellor’s conduct has contributed to a strong dissatisfaction of the German people with him and his divided coalition? What did Herr Scholz do (or not do) which led to this reaction? And how can one explain, among many other things, his repeated “lack of instinct” in respect to the scandal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Germany’s continued financial support of the Palestinian Authority; and Scholz’s “lack of memory,” when being accused of having collaborated, as local mayor, with a Bank in Germany to engage in tax evasion? Is Germany’s government on its way out?
“Wer Winnetou liest, ist ein Rassist?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “He is a Racist who reads Winnetou?” (Winnetou is a well-known fictitious Native American hero in the books of widely-read German author Karl May.)
“Der barmherzige Samariter—und wo die Samariter heute sind!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Merciful Samaritan—and Where the Samaritans Are Today!”
“Jesus Christus – das Brot des Lebens,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Marc Voeller, is now posted. Title in English: “Jesus Christ – The Bread of Life.”
“The Power of Support,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Support is critical for Christians, for the Church, for the Work of God, and, even for God!
“Don’t Stop Living,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Believing that the return of Jesus Christ is near, we are naturally inclined to plan our lives accordingly. The big question is, how should we plan for our future?
2022 FALL HOLY DAYS
Feast of Trumpets… September 26
Day of Atonement… October 5
Feast of Tabernacles… October 10-16, with Opening Night on October 9
Last Great Day… October 17
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