|Live Services||Submit to Whom? / God’s Word Misunderstood|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Are locusts and crickets clean animals which can be eaten?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Submit to Whom? / God’s Word Misunderstood
On February 4, 2023, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Submit to Whom?” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “God’s Word Misunderstood.”
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.
by Christoph Sperzel (Germany)
“He who has friends like these doesn’t need enemies.” Or, in other words: “Who needs enemies with friends like these?” Have we heard these statements before? For instance, when a relationship is destroyed through the clash of personalities and opposing wishes?
However, we all have the need for companionship and friendship. Quality friendships are an important part of our lives. Needless to say, we are not to maintain friendships with people who tempt us to sin. If we want to be friends of the world, God’s love is not in us. What I am addressing here is true friendship that is pleasing to God.
The foundation of a strong friendship is to care more about others than about oneself. Sincere love is how to keep a friend.
More than anything else, unfounded jealousy undermines the willingness to help and ruins our friendship because it goes hand in hand with evil desire, that takes advantage of the other person instead of showing sympathy and compassion. Lack of trust also affects friendships and the willingness to be open and to share with each other.
Furthermore, unhealthy gossip soon wears out friendly relationships. We all certainly know people who constantly badmouth others – sometimes even those whom they call their friends.
It upsets me when I hear that someone is talking badly or falsely about me behind my back. I know, of course, that when such things happen, they should be ignored. There’s a saying: ”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but things being said about me can never hurt me.” However, it is not easy to dismiss what others have said about you. Scripture says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
Gossip, insults, and false claims destroy relationships, as Proverbs 18:19 tells us, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
Let us then ask ourselves how often inappropriate words may slip from our lips which we later regret. We can ponder a statement or question through our countless brain cells in the blink of an eye.
On the other hand, we might be “trying too hard” to make or keep friends. If we are too accommodating (always agreeing with someone just to win or not lose their friendship), then we won’t be ourselves, and the other person may have the impression that we are trying to hide our own feelings.
It is true that we should be proactive in making friends. It might be quite difficult to make new friends if we are just waiting for someone to release us from our closed-mindedness or isolation. However, it is important not to beg or creep after someone just to be liked. We certainly cannot rush into relationships in an attempt to make an impression.
Neither can we strengthen friendly relationships by sugarcoating them. This term means giving excessive praise with ulterior motives. Sincere commendation, on the other hand, is a genuine sign of appreciation that is not meant for personal benefit. In fact, we can make a person feel good throughout the day by saying an appropriate word of sincere commendation or appreciation, but flatteries are useless and can even hurt because they are without true meaning.
It is also essential for successful friendships that we listen with sincere attention. This involves not only kind silence but responding to what others have to say in a way that makes them know we consider their ideas, feelings, and experiences as being important.
In fact, we can utilize conversations with others to build a genuine friendship. This involves paying our undivided attention to the person we are talking to, without interrupting when not necessary, and supporting his or her feelings with commendation, encouragement, and hope – but we are to act in the right way, without flattery. During the conversation, we could try to guess what the other person is feeling by placing ourselves in his or her position.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us to have a positive attitude toward our friends, always assuming the best at first instead of thinking evil, but that does not mean we should rejoice in iniquity which they may commit in breaking the law.
We must continuously cherish our friendships. Disagreements are perfectly normal. If friends never disagree, it could be a sign of indifference. People with their own points of view will disagree. However, if these opinions do not violate God’s commandments; they should not cause a friendship to break up. If two people feel an intimate sense of sympathy or loyalty, their relationship will survive any constructive conversations with divergent views.
Building a friendship takes time and commitment on both sides if we want to turn it into a success. Caring more about the other person than about ourselves is what characterizes a friendship. We are especially successful when we are a loving and generous companion – one who always cultivates a friendship and strives to make others happy. Remember what Christ said: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). And the highest and greatest commandment is to love God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
Initial Translation: Daniel Blasinger
By Norbert Link
We report on further developments on the situation between Russia and Germany. Please view our new StandingWatch program, “Is Nuclear War Between Russia and Germany Imminent?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdAoMCySm0M and https://rumble.com/v27g0i9-is-nuclear-war-between-russia-and-germany-imminent.html.
We also speak on Britain’s fear of an EU Army and the concern about Austria’s and Denmark’s military plans and strategies.
We address Europe’s warning to Twitter boss Elon Musk; the pope’s clarification of his statements about homosexuality; George Soro’s intentions to indoctrinate the younger generation; and more violence in the Middle East; as well as the real story behind the Holocaust and the growing antisemitism in Europe.
We conclude with a report on Canada’s pastor Artur Pawlowski who is facing trial for his “disobedience” of autocratic coronavirus restrictions and the “violation” of the government’s prohibitions to exercise his freedom of speech religion.
This Week in the News
“We Are at War With Russia!”
Bild Online wrote on January 26:
“German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (42) said on Tuesday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in English: ‘We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.’
“A short video excerpt from Baerbock’s speech went viral on the Internet and caused astonishment and criticism.
“Because: Baerbock fundamentally contradicts Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD), who repeatedly emphasizes that Germany should NOT become a war party. However, Baerbock explained exactly the opposite: that Germany was already at war with Russia.
“BILD asked the Foreign Office why the Foreign Minister said the sentence – and whether she still stands by her statement. The answer: one roll backwards!
“The most important part of the answer: ‘International law is clear: supporting Ukraine in exercising its individual right of self-defense against Russia’s illegal war of aggression, as enshrined in the UN Charter, does not make Germany a party to the conflict.’
“This means: Baerbock takes back her sentence that Germany is fighting a war against Russia. Supporting Ukraine does not make Germany a party to the war.
Not for now, but Baerbock might have spilled the beans. We should also note that her office might have tried to explain away Baerbock’s comments, but Baerbock herself did not.
Baerbock Really Believes It
Focus wrote on January 29:
“[Did] Baerbock… deliberately say the controversial sentence – or was it possibly just a thoughtless statement?
“Russia expert [Professor Gerhard] Mangott believes in the former scenario. ‘Ms. Baerbock thinks Germany is at war with Russia… the West is actually [politically] in a war-like state…’, says Mangott…
“Mangott assumes that some Western countries will actually supply fighter jets to Ukraine…”
USA and Europe at War With Russia
Newsmax wrote on January 28:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved beyond what he initially called a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine and Russia is now engaged in ‘a war against NATO and the West,’ European Union defense chief Stefano Sannino said while commenting on Canada becoming the 12th country to commit to sending tanks to Ukraine… and Poland said it would give an additional 60 on top of the 14 it has already committed to the war effort.
“Spain and Norway are expected to announce how many Leopard 2s they will send to Ukraine in the coming days. Belgium announced a new package of military aid, including cash, missiles, machine guns, and armored vehicles but said it doesn’t have major battle tanks to match NATO allies’ offers. Ukraine is also calling for fighter jets such as the U.S. F-16, but fulfilling the request seems unlikely…
“Russia has accused President Joe Biden of ‘pumping weapons’ into Ukraine rather than working toward a cease-fire. The promised delivery of tanks to Ukraine is evidence of the ‘direct involvement’ of the United States and Europe in the war…
“Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, meanwhile, called on the West to pursue peace talks rather than arming Ukraine. ‘It started with the Germans saying they were willing to send helmets but they would not send lethal aid, since that represented participation in the conflict,’ Orban said. He added that as long as he is prime minister, it is ‘out of the question’ that Hungary will get more involved in the Ukraine war. ‘But the others have already been swept away,’ he said. ‘If you send weapons, no matter what you say, you are in the war.’”
Putin Feels Threatened by Germany
Reuters wrote on February 2:
“President Vladimir Putin evoked the spirit of the Soviet army that defeated Nazi German forces at Stalingrad 80 years ago to declare on Thursday that Russia would defeat a Ukraine supposedly in the grip of a new incarnation of Nazism. In a fiery speech in Volgograd, known as Stalingrad until 1961, Putin lambasted Germany for helping to arm Ukraine and said, not for the first time, that he was ready to draw on Russia’s entire arsenal, which includes nuclear weapons…
“‘Again and again we have to repel the aggression of the collective West. It’s incredible but it’s a fact: we are again being threatened with German Leopard tanks with crosses on them… Those who draw European countries, including Germany, into a new war with Russia, and … expect to win a victory over Russia on the battlefield, apparently don’t understand that a modern war with Russia will be quite different for them’…
“Despite Stalin’s record of presiding over a famine that killed millions and political repression that killed hundreds of thousands, Russian politicians and school textbooks have in recent years stressed his role as a successful wartime leader who turned the Soviet Union into a superpower.”
Germany’s Largest Gas Storage Facility Can’t Store Gas—For the Moment
Oil Price wrote on February 1:
“Germany’s natural gas storage facility in Rehden, Lower Saxony—Germany’s largest—cannot store any gas, a Lower Saxony supervisory authority said on Wednesday, according to Spiegel.
“The… storage facility accounts for one-fifth of the total storage capacity available in Germany and is also one of the largest in Western Europe, with a working capacity of around 4 billion cubic meters on an underground area of around eight square kilometers, according to the facility’s website.
“The natural gas storage facility experienced deflagration on a torch due to unknown causes… Storage has been stopped as a precaution, and the storage facility cannot be refilled for days—with no specific date given as to when storage can resume. The State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology said there was no evidence of external influence.
“A spokesperson told media that the deflagration occurred during a storage phase and not a delivery phase, adding that no one would be out of gas. Just a couple of weeks ago, German gas storage operators said that they did not foresee any gas supply problems next winter based on declining consumption this winter—and they said there was no chance of shortage this winter, even with extremely low temperatures and even accounting for risk factors.
“Storage facilities in Germany are nearly 90% full, well above their legal requirements to hold 40%, achieved in part by declining usage due to mild winter weather and deliberate usage curbs.
“The Rehden gas storage facility was abandoned last April by Russia’s Gazprom as its relations with Europe soured. Germany began filling the storage facility a month later, in May.”
Trump Could End Ukraine War in 24 Hours?
MSN reported on January 27:
“Former US President Donald Trump said Friday he could end the war in Ukraine within ‘24 hours’ if he remains President of the United States. ‘If I were President, there would never have been a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. But even if it were, I could agree to end it within 24 hours,’ he said in a message posted to his own social network, Truth Social.
“For his part, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he agreed with Trump’s words, noting that if he were president, ‘it is possible that the crisis in Ukraine would be resolved quickly through his influence on Kyiv. In theory, Trump is not far from the truth. The American president could, if he wanted to, really end the conflict, and quickly, using, let’s say, his skills or simply giving instructions to Kyiv,’ he said at a press conference, Interfax reports.”
This Time It’s Different
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on January 27:
“Russia neither collapsed internally nor capitulated to the collective West’s demands for regime change in Moscow… As a result, Washington’s proxy war against Russia is failing… Alexei Arestovich, President Zelensky’s recently fired advisor,… expressed his own doubts that Ukraine can win its war with Russia and he now questions whether Ukraine will even survive the war…
“In a setting where Russian artillery systems can fire nearly 60,000 rounds of all types—rockets, missiles, drones, and hard-shell ammunition—a day, Ukrainian forces are hard-pressed to answer these Russian salvos with 6,000 rounds daily…
“Washington’s frustration with the collective West’s failure to stem the tide of Ukrainian defeat is growing. In fact, the frustration is rapidly giving way to desperation… NATO’s members were never strongly united behind Washington’s crusade to fatally weaken Russia…
“Retired German Air Force General Harald Kujat, former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, severely criticized Berlin for allowing Washington to railroad Germany into conflict with Russia… Though actively suppressed by the German government and media, his comments are resonating strongly with the German electorate.
“The blunt fact is that in its efforts to secure victory in its proxy war with Russia, Washington ignores historical reality. From the 13th century onward, Ukraine was a region dominated by larger, more powerful national powers, whether Lithuanian, Polish, Swedish, Austrian, or Russian… So where is Washington headed with its proxy war against Russia? The question deserves an answer.”
Austria to “Upgrade” Its Armed Forces
The National News wrote on January 27:
“Neutral Austria has no choice but to upgrade its armed forces after Russia’s assault on Ukraine brought conventional warfare back to Europe, Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said on Friday. A new military risk assessment found a missile attack on Austria could not be ruled out.
“Austria is not part of Nato and has not sent weapons to Ukraine, although it has as an EU member made humanitarian donations and supported sanctions imposed on Russia. But the planned €2.5 billion ($2.72bn) increase in defence spending will make Austria one of many European countries rearming in response to the war in Ukraine…
“The 266-page risk assessment said Austria currently had no defences against many types of rockets and cruise missiles. It said Austria should consider taking part in a European air defence initiative being spearheaded by Germany because missile warfare was a possibility…
“Unlike in Sweden and Finland, there has been no significant movement towards joining Nato in Austria or its neighbour Switzerland. If Sweden and Finland’s applications are approved, it will make Austria the only country on the European mainland to be part of the EU but not Nato.”
Nato’s role is highly overrated anyhow.
A European Army—a Nightmare for Britain
Express wrote on January 25:
“Guy Verhofstadt’s latest push towards a European Union army has been torn apart by Brexiteers… Mr Verhofstadt said: ‘Good news the campaign to free the Leopards seems to have paid off. A pity it was dependent on Americans… Time to build a real EU defence with jointly procured EU weapons!’
“But Brexiteers warned that Brussels is vying to replace the NATO military alliance.
“GB News presenter Martin Daubney, a former Brexit Party MEP, told Express.co.uk: ‘… The EU sees itself as a Poundshop NATO: masquerading as a guardian of world peace, but really it’s about ensnaring EU member states militarily, which few would ever be able to buy themselves out of if they ever decided to leave. As usual with the EU, it’s about power, control, money and political overreach. That’s why they love the spectre of an EU army: it’s not about controlling Putin, it’s about controlling member states; trapping them into eternal EU membership for military security…’
“Fellow ex-Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib added: ‘… the EU views NATO with jealous eyes. It wants NATO’s importance reduced because it aspires to a federal Europe with the unelected EU Commissioners in charge of this new country. And, like all countries, it needs an army. The EU’s desire for self-empowerment at the cost of its member states is inexorably heading towards the end of NATO and its own military command…’”
After Brexit, Britain, a NATO member, is very nervous about the prospects of the end of NATO, as that would mean total isolation of Britain in Europe.
Australia to Remove British Monarch From Banknotes
AFP wrote on February 1:
“Australia will remove the British monarch from its banknotes, replacing the late Queen Elizabeth II’s image on its $5 note with a design honouring Indigenous culture, the central bank said Thursday. The decision to leave her successor King Charles III off the $5 note means no monarch would remain on Australia’s paper currency…
“Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a democracy with King Charles III as its head of state. A referendum proposing a switch to a republic was narrowly defeated in 1999. The central bank said its decision was supported by the centre-left Labor government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who favours an eventual move to an Australian republic.
“The new banknote would take ‘a number of years’ to be designed and printed, it said, with the existing $5 note remaining legal tender even after the new design is in people’s hands… The RBA’s move was hailed by the nation’s republican movement, which noted that Indigenous people predated British settlement by 65,000 years… The Australian Monarchist League said the decision was ‘virtually neo-communism in action’…
“A British monarch has featured on Australian banknotes since 1923 and was on all paper bills until 1953, the year of Elizabeth II’s coronation…”
Denmark to Conscribe Women Into Compulsory Military Service?
Global Village Space wrote on January 27:
“Women should be available for conscription into the Danish Armed Forces, Defense Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen insisted on Wednesday, arguing that the current state of the country’s military does not allow it to properly defend itself.
“In an interview with TV2, the official stated that Denmark can no longer afford to rely only on volunteers and insisted that everyone, including women, should be eligible for compulsory military service and that the size of the Danish army should be increased.
“The minister stated that Denmark, as well as its neighbors and allies, face a common enemy in the face of Russia, which he claims will wage war on Europe if it is allowed to succeed in Ukraine… Denmark’s current laws permit the Armed Forces to forcefully conscript all physically fit men over the age of 18, with service typically lasting between four and 12 months. Women, on the other hand, are allowed to voluntarily participate, but are not legally obliged to do so…
“Ellemann-Jensen says he believes there should be more of them and stated that ‘the armed forces would benefit from more women,’ noting that the move would also allow the country to meet its NATO membership obligations… Denmark announced last month that it plans to boost its defense spending by $660 million in order to reach NATO’s target contribution of 2% of GDP.”
Soon, compulsory military service for men and women will become the norm for many countries in Europe.
Europe Does Not Need USA Anymore
Foreign Policy wrote on January 30:
“[It is a] misguided notion that Europe is simply incapable of defending itself without the help of the United States…
“Since the end of World War II, U.S. leaders have sought to lead their European allies and, as a corollary, frowned on any steps by Europe toward greater self-sufficiency in defense… The U.S. government isn’t being disingenuous when it says it favors a strong Europe; it just fails to add that it also wants Europeans to remain dependent on U.S. protection and even compliant when it comes to U.S. preferences on matters of security.
“The idea of Europe developing a self-sufficient military capability outside U.S.-dominated NATO has long been disliked in Washington…
“European governments don’t automatically follow Washington’s script—though they follow its lead more often than not—but have heeded the warnings, happy to oblige and play the role of dependent…
“The U.S.-European security relationship has therefore become progressively divorced from reality. If it is to change, what Europe needs is not more resources but greater political will and self-confidence…”
Europe WILL become independent of the USA.
Elon Musk Warned About Incoming EU Social-Media Law
The Wall Street Journal wrote on January 31:
“A top European Union official told Elon Musk on Tuesday that Twitter Inc. will have to do more over the coming months to prepare for the bloc’s new social-media regulations. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, told Mr. Musk during a video call that there were only a few months left before major online platforms like Twitter will have to be fully compliant with the Digital Services Act… ‘We need to see progress towards full compliance with the DSA. My team will follow closely the work by Twitter and by all other online platforms.’…
“The European Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the DSA, expects to conduct what it referred to as a stress test on Twitter in the coming weeks, according to the summary of the call. Such a test might involve a meeting between Twitter and commission officials to look in detail at which elements of Twitter’s practices are compliant, or not, with the new legislation, the aide to Mr. Breton said.
“Following Tuesday’s discussion with Mr. Breton, Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter that the EU’s ‘goals of transparency, accountability & accuracy of information are aligned with ours.’… The law carries hefty fines for noncompliance and the potential to block a platform’s services in case of certain repeated infringements… Mr. Musk has said Twitter should comply with local laws but generally not take steps beyond that in moderating online content.”
We will have to wait and see how the EU’s new law will affect Twitter and other platforms, and whether and to what extent Musk is willing to compromise.
Pope “Clarifies” His Comment on Homosexuality
The Associated Press wrote on January 28:
“Pope Francis has clarified his recent comments about homosexuality and sin, saying he was merely referring to official Catholic moral teaching that teaches that any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin. And in a note Friday, Francis recalled that even that black-and-white teaching is subject to circumstances that might eliminate the sin altogether.
“Francis first made the comments in an interview Jan. 24 with The Associated Press, in which he declared that laws criminalizing homosexuality were ‘unjust’ and that ‘being homosexual is not a crime.’
“As he often does, Francis then imagined a conversation with someone who raised the matter of the church’s official teaching, which states that homosexual acts are sinful, or ‘intrinsically disordered.’
‘Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,’ Francis said in the pretend conversation. ‘It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another… When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin…’
“But in a nod to his case-by-case approach to pastoral ministry, Francis noted that even that teaching is subject to consideration of the circumstances, ‘which may decrease or eliminate fault.’…”
This last statement would need to be explained…
Palestinian Gunman Kills 7 in Deadly Jerusalem Attack
The Associated Press wrote on January 28:
“A Palestinian gunman opened fire outside of a synagogue in east Jerusalem on Friday night, police officials said, killing seven people in one of the deadliest attacks on Israeli citizens in years. Among the dead was a 70-year-old woman, police said. The attack got underway as Israelis in the area were beginning to celebrate the Jewish sabbath, and may have been in retaliation for an Israeli military raid that killed nine Palestinians in the Gaza Strip just a day prior.
“A number of Palestinians were reportedly seen celebrating the shooting, and the charged violence has cast a shadow over Israel’s still-new government, led once again by hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Violence will increase in the Middle East…
How Soros Indoctrinates the Next Generation
The New York Post wrote on January 26:
“Only George Soros could look at the state of American higher education and conclude that it’s not liberal enough.
“In 2020 alone, Soros’ Open Society Foundations budgeted more than $63 million, or just over 5% of its budget, toward influencing higher education here and abroad… From his first charitable grant in the late 1970s to the early 2010s, Soros contributed over $400 million to colleges and universities…
“Georgetown received $1.8 million for the Justice at Stake Campaign, a group that believes there aren’t enough ‘people of color, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and persons with disabilities’ who are judges…
“Get them when they’re young. Teach the youth of America, Europe and elsewhere that police and prisons are the biggest problems society has, we must spend vast amounts on diversity and climate change, and dissent must be censored.
“And that, in short, is the Soros Strategy… By pushing prosecutors who won’t prosecute. Fund ‘fact checkers’ who allow social networks to outsource what gets censored. Promote think tanks that ‘educate,’ and pressure, journalists and politicians, activists and college students.
“At 92, George Soros’ influence over America is at its zenith. It took him years, and billions of dollars, but the cost to the rest of us is immeasurable.”
“Biden Is Preventing Third Temple”
Israel 365 News wrote on or about January 28:
“Jim Barfield, head of the Copper Scroll Project, explains that by giving ancient artifacts found in Israel to the Palestinians, the Biden administration is endangering other temple-related artifacts that will be essential for the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.”
The True and Widely Overlooked Story of the Holocaust
Daily Mail wrote on January 27:
“… the way the Holocaust is normally reported in conventional histories… concentrate[s] our minds on the ‘industrialised’ killing in death camps such as Auschwitz, the so-called ‘final solution’, with trainloads arriving and being almost instantaneously dispatched to the gas chambers and the crematoria.
“But this was only part of the story, argues leading Holocaust specialist Professor Dan Stone, in a new book that turns on their head some of the widely-held notions about that terrible era of genocide 80 years ago.
“We certainly tend to get wrong just how widespread the Holocaust was, argues Stone, who is director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. The fact that we need to get our heads around — and which many countries still find uncomfortable and refuse to recognise — is that the Holocaust was not solely a German project, but a pan-European crime with tens of thousands of active perpetrators all over the continent…
“Stone writes: ‘Although the persecution of the Jews that led to the Holocaust was a German project — a point which cannot be overemphasised — it chimed with the programs of many European fascist and authoritarian regimes. Without the willing participation of so many collaborators across Europe, the Germans would have found it much harder to kill so many Jews.’
“On the basis of recent research, Stone says, rather than a tale of German occupation, deportation and murder in death camps, the Holocaust should really be seen as a series of interlocking local genocides. The Holocaust was certainly driven, and largely perpetrated by Germans, but actual participation went much further.
“Countries such as France, Norway, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania persecuted, expelled and killed Jews. And they did so, not under duress from Berlin, but because to do so fitted with their own long-held anti-Semitic views and nationalist aspiration… Collaboration and complicity were everywhere…
“It is not always recognised that German Jews made up no more than a few per cent of the Holocaust’s six million victims. The vast majority were traditional, observant Jews living in small towns — or shtetls — in Eastern Europe. Moreover, most of them were slaughtered face-to-face before the SS-run death camps were even fully conceived, let alone operational.
“Millions died not in gas chambers, but gunned down en masse in fields, forests and swamps. Many more were starved and worked to death…
“The Nazis had a genocidal fantasy of a ‘world without Jews’ that they wanted to make a reality. But so, too, did many other European countries, whose dreams of creating ethnically pure nations chimed with Hitler’s goals…
“In Norway, France and Hungary, local police rounded up, guarded and deported Jews; in Slovakia, the impetus to deport Jews came from the local fascist regime rather than from the Germans. In Romania, the regime grasped the opportunity provided by the German plans to carry out a Holocaust of its own in Transnistria. Unlike occupied Poland, where the state was overrun by the Nazis, these were independent, or quasi-independent, states choosing to participate and finding reasons and resources to do so…
“The fact is that the genocide of the Jews could not have been so thorough and brutal without active collaboration across a Europe that was widely anti-Semitic, as we can see from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Encyclopedia Of Camps And Ghettos. This lists sites where Jews were held and died. It is more than 900 pages long and contains information on almost 700 places — from the far north of Norway to the Atlas Mountains, from Brittany to Ukraine — with not a single one of them a camp administered by the Germans.
“Some governments took the initiative themselves. The Vichy government in France, for example, pre-empted the Nazis by introducing its Statut des Juifs, the legislation to arrest and deport Jews from France, without the Nazis’ encouragement…
“The Holocaust even spread beyond the boundaries of Europe. Jews in North Africa were subjected to French and Italian racial laws, had their property stolen, and were interned and made to perform forced labour. Some ended up in death camps in Europe.
“Nor did that deep-rooted racism disappear with the defeat of the Nazis. When displaced Jews — the few who had survived, that is — returned to Poland they were subjected to violent attacks. Hungarian Jews were met with incredulity and disdain by those who had stolen their homes and were unwilling to hand them back.
“Recognising that the scope of the Holocaust implicates the whole of Europe, Stone argues, is important because some countries are now attempting to whitewash their past. The Polish government has tried to silence historians who have uncovered information about Poles who handed Jews over to the Nazi occupiers. Similarly, memorials and museums in Hungary selectively interpret the past to make that nation appear an innocent victim or rescuer of Jews, rather than the active participant that it was…
“Acknowledging how widespread the collaboration went in Europe, and how easily so many nations drifted into doing unspeakable things is important, he argues… The lesson he wants us to press home from the Holocaust, is… that deep and irrational passions can move human beings to collude in terrible things. And nothing in the end can stop people from supporting these dark forces in times of crisis.
“Dismissing the Holocaust as vicious actions of a mad regime is complacent and dangerous. There were political, religious, cultural and social reasons that enabled it to happen and these circumstances, Stone insists, threaten us again…”
Antisemitism is alive and thriving in Europe, and according to the Bible, a massive persecution and martyrdom of Jews is prophesied.
Europe’s Antisemitism Today
Israel Today wrote on January 27:
“Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Brussels called on Europe to fight online antisemitism on Thursday, stressing that ‘the Holocaust was not conceived in a vacuum.’… ‘Antisemitic discourse festers not only within dark regimes; but within the heartlands of the free, democratic West. Jew-hatred still exists. Antisemitism still exists. Holocaust denial still exists,’ he noted…
“Herzog also stressed to lawmakers the distinction between what he called ‘legitimate’ criticism of Israel and antisemitism… ‘criticism of the State of Israel must not cross the line into negation of the very existence of the State of Israel… Casting doubt on the nation-state of the Jewish people’s right to exist is not legitimate diplomacy. It is antisemitism in the full sense of the word, and it must be thoroughly uprooted…’”
Sadly, it won’t be uprooted… not before Christ returns who will make an END with Anti-Semitism and hatred for Jews.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski—“I Will Not Obey!”
Fox News wrote on January 27:
“A Canadian pastor is facing his final trial [set to begin Thursday, Feb. 2, in Lethbridge, Alberta,] after three years of repeated fines, arrests and imprisonment for keeping his church open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artur Pawlowski, pastor of the Cave of Adullam congregation in Calgary, said he is accused of causing $400 million worth of damages for officiating a church service during the trucker blockade at the U.S.-Canada border last year… Pawlowski, the first Canadian clergyman to be ticketed for alleged COVID-19 violations, claims the charges against him are an attempt to criminalize his speech...
“When truckers in Coutts protested vaccine mandates by blocking the crossing along Alberta’s border with Montana last February, Pawlowski was invited to deliver a 20-minute speech in which he urged them to ‘hold the line’ against the government without resorting to violence… Days after his speech, he was arrested at his home and spent 51 days in two different prisons, where he claimed authorities abused him by locking him in a small cage, placing him in a psychiatric ward and trying to instigate other inmates to hurt him. The inmates refused and some reached out to him for spiritual guidance, he said.
“Pawlowski told Fox News Digital that he has been under house arrest since his release from prison last April and cannot leave his home without the permission of his probation officer. He ran for political office and became the leader of the Alberta Independence Party last September…
“Pawlowski likened his ordeals to ‘a refining fire’… ‘I noticed, even in my own preaching, that everything we went through — and are still going through — only gave us a stronger faith and zeal and confirmation that everything that we read in the Bible is actually the truth,’ he said.”
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.
Are locusts and crickets clean animals which can be eaten?
In our Q&A on clean and unclean animals, we say the following:
“The Bible clearly prohibits the consumption of animal meat which it describes as ‘unclean’ in Old and New Testament passages (such as Leviticus 11:1-47; Deuteronomy 14:3-20; and Acts 10:1-21, 28)…
“According to the Biblical designation, certain animals are considered ‘clean’ and their meat is therefore appropriate for human consumption (compare, for example, Leviticus 11:3: ‘Among the animals…that you may eat…’)…
“Among insects, only certain types of locusts may be eaten. However, the biblical designations of those types might not be entirely identifiable today (Leviticus 11:20-23). Soncino states that ‘the word [for grasshopper] denotes a kind of locust, but we are unable to identify it.’ [The Tanakh also states in an annotation that a number of these insects in verse 21, describing locusts, cannot be identified with certainty.] Some claim that today’s ‘grasshoppers,’ as designated by modern Science, and some types of crickets might be fit for human consumption. All other insects and ‘creeping things,’ including Frogs, Lizards, Salamanders, Slugs, Snails (including the so-called ‘edible snail’), Snakes, Toads and Worms, clearly, must not be eaten.”
We also pointed out that we must be careful with certain designations, translations, and types of Jewish understanding with respect to some animals:
“Caution is mandated regarding some Jewish publications, listing the swordfish as a clean fish, appropriate for human consumption. The reason for this conclusion is that the swordfish, when young, has scales, but it loses them when growing older. According to the Soncino commentary, ‘fish that possessed fins and scales while in the water, shedding them when caught and brought on dry land, are permitted to be eaten.’ Most, including the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America, feel that the swordfish is an unclean animal and should not be eaten…
“Disagreement exists regarding the swan. Although the Authorized Version lists the swan as unclean in Leviticus 11:18, the Jewish Publication Society renders the Hebrew word for ‘swan’ as ‘horned owl,’ while the Jewish Tanakh translation states, ‘white owl.’…
“At one time in recent history, some Jews considered the tapir as a clean animal, until it was discovered that it belongs to the pig family. Again, caution is mandated with some listings of uncommon or ‘exotic’ animals.
“God considers the consumption of unclean animals as a SERIOUS violation of His timeless health law [In applying the spirit of God’s health laws to modern times, smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipe, chewing tobacco or consuming illegal drugs would fall in the same category of prohibited activities]…”
Regarding the locust and the cricket, most English translations of Leviticus 11:22 give the impression that the consumption of those insects is clearly permitted. For instance, the New King James Bible renders Leviticus 11:20-22 as follows:
“All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.”
However, the Authorized Version translates “beetle” instead of “cricket,” which is clearly a mistranslation. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible explains insofar:
“… the beetle after his kind; which is another sort of locust called Chargol, and should not be rendered a beetle, for no sort of beetles are eatable, nor have legs to leap withal, and so come not under the general description given of such flying, creeping things, fit to eat.”
Some other translations give alternate renderings, omitting the “cricket” in their list, but say instead that we can eat: “… every kind of great locust, every kind of long-headed locust, every kind of green locust, and every kind of desert locust” (Revised English Bible). The New Jerusalem Bible tries to stay closer to the original Hebrew, by rendering verses 22-23 in this way: “These are the ones you may eat: the various kinds of migratory locust, the various kinds of solham locust, hargot locust and hagab locust. But all other winged insects on four feet you will regard as detestable for eating.”
The “Elberfelder Bibel” is even more specific, in only stating the Hebrew name for the first type of locust as well: “These are the ones you may eat: The Arbe according to its kind and the Solam according to its kind and the Hargol according to its kind and the Hagab according to its kind.”
The “neue Lutherbibel 2009” states it this way: “Of these you may eat the locusts which are: the Arbeh with its kind, the Solam with its kind, the Hargol with its kind and the Hargab with its kind.” Very similar are the renderings of the “Luther Bible” of 1891 and of 1984, as well as the “Menge Bibel” and also the “Schlachterbibel” [all sticking to the original Hebrew].
The “revidierte Lutherbibel 2017” and the “Zürcher Bibel” render the passage similar to the “Elberfelder Bibel”, stating in an annotation that these are names of different kinds of locusts which cannot be identified or specified in detail today. The modern translation, “Hoffnung für Alle”, includes the identical annotation.
It should be noted that virtually none of the more established German translations, as far as we can tell, includes or specifically mentions the “cricket” (“Grille” in German) in the list of the four kinds of locusts which can be eaten.
The Benson Commentary writes:
“… how to distinguish these locusts from the rest is difficult, if not impossible to us. They were, however, well known of old in the eastern countries. For locusts, though unusual food with us, were commonly eaten by the Ethiopians, Lybians, Parthians, and other eastern people bordering upon Judea. And as it is certain the eastern locusts were much larger than ours, so it is probable they were of different qualities, and yielded better nourishment.”
The Geneva Study Bible agrees, stating: “These were certain types of grasshoppers, which are not now properly known.”
Barnes Notes on the Bible adds:
“In the uncertainty of identifying these four creatures, it has been suggested that some of the names may belong to locusts in an imperfect state of development. Most modern versions have taken a safer course than our translators, by retaining the Hebrew names.”
In this regard, Jewish understanding, traditions, interpretations and rulings as to which kinds of locusts can be eaten are of little help.
“The Torah gives us a number of signs to discern which species are permitted. The Mishnah sums up the signs: ‘… Of locusts: all that have four legs, four wings, leaping legs, and wings covering the greater part of the body, are kosher. Rabbi Yose says: [In addition to the signs] its name must be chagav [locust].
“In other words, even with the signs, there must be a tradition that the locust bears the name chagav. As the Talmud tells us, there are 800 non-kosher species of grasshoppers and locusts, and there are only eight that are kosher. Since, for the most part, we are no longer able to ascertain which species of locusts are kosher, we refrain from eating any locusts…
“Although some communities have a tradition regarding the permissibility of certain species of locusts, most communities refrain from consuming any species due to the lack of a clear tradition… According to most opinions, unless someone’s family belongs to a community that has a clear tradition to eat these locusts, one should refrain from eating them.”
This rather strange “ruling” is explained by israelbible.com as follows (apart from the fact that the Bible only allows for the consumption of four types of locusts, and not eight):
“Since it is difficult to identify the species that are kosher to be eaten, rabbinic law maintains that Jews may only eat locusts if they are from a community that has a strong tradition as to which are kosher. Some rabbinic authorities rule that a person from a locale that doesn’t have a tradition about a certain species of animals… may rely on those that do.”
It goes without saying that such rulings and traditions, by limiting them to the Jews living in a certain community, are without much value for Christians.
Therefore, as we have no way of knowing which four types of locusts from the “800 non-kosher species of grasshoppers and locusts” are fit for consumption, the safest course of action might perhaps be to avoid the consumption of locusts and crickets altogether.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
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In Germany, there is grave concern that a nuclear war with Russia will break out soon—especially in light of the planned delivery of German Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. How justified are these concerns, and what does the Bible say about it?
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“Die richtige Zeit, an den Schöpfer zu denken,” the sermon presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Title in English: “The Right Time to Think of the Creator.”
“Submit to God,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We as Christians must learn how we are to submit our lives over to God. It is a constant challenge that we must be aware of and willing to put constant effort into!
“Bible Gems, Part 2,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Brian Gale, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The second sermon in this two-part series continues to review advice and admonitions from the Book of Proverbs and other books in the Bible. In this sermon, ten more areas are reviewed, and when the advice given is implemented, good outcomes are the end product.
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