Update 734


Testing Faith; True Repentance

On May 7, 2016, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Testing Faith” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “True Repentance”.

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

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“Take Control”

by Michael Link

Now that the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are behind us, do we look forward to what we have ahead of us? We should however not forget what the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize; rather, we should continue to apply the significance of these special days in our lives, as we do every year.  We may go through an “up and down moment,”  moments of a “spiritual high” right before and during that time when we are excited and full of joy, but what about shortly thereafter?  Do we carry on the excitement we just shared or does it soon drift away in the coming days, now that the Days of Unleavened Bread are over, or at least until Pentecost and the Fall Holy Day season approaches?  What do we do in the meantime?  How do we react and take control of our feelings?

Distractions come in many forms, and they prevent us from focusing on the things we need to concentrate on, and if not controlled, they can lead us to defeat. Now that we are back “in the world,” we will once again be confronted with distractions to side-track us and our spiritual thinking. Satan who is always out there tries to make it difficult for us, and we also know that God is there to help us overcome Satan’s attempts to bring us down.  God allows distractions in our lives, which are trials that we go through, and they are necessary for our success.  We are not being tested for the purpose of failing, but with the expectation of success:  “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Our self-examination does not only occur once a year, but it should be a daily task.  Our self-examination should determine that we are on the right track; that Christ DOES in fact live in us, each and every day.  “And if, during the examination, a Christian finds that he is lacking in some aspects, he needs to REPENT of that; he needs to ask God for forgiveness; he needs to resolve and make an effort to do better; and, at the same time, he needs to understand that with God’s help, he can, and must, and will do better“ (Quoted from our free booklet, “The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days”).

Those of us who have been called out of this world and who live by the law of God and observe His commanded Sabbaths and Holy Days, can thereby expect trials of every caliber to impact us in some way, especially right before and after the Holy Day seasons.  God allows us to go through various tests, not for the purpose of imperfection, but to bring us closer to perfection.

We can expect trials to continue, especially with all the distractions this world is throwing at us. We are being tested on the very things that we struggle with the most, and God is looking at US to see how we will react; how we will “handle” the situation.  We will fail from time to time, especially during initial stages of a trial. In recognizing our own actions when going through a trial, we are thereby examining ourselves and accepting the fact that we MUST do better, if we want to be counted worthy.

The suffering we are going through is a beneficial part of God’s plan: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10, English Standard Version).  We should not feel defeated the moment a trial sets in, for God says that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  If we believe this, then we will be able to take control by conquering our trials and fulfilling God’s purpose for us.

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With Ted Cruz’s and John Kasich’s decisions to quit the Republican race, Donald Trump manifested himself as the “presumptive” GOP nominee. Now, the “showdown of the century” between Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will begin. While many commentators and news analysists doubted until the very end that Trump would become the GOP nominee, this publication has hinted at this very strong possibility ever since Trump entered the race. Even more, we have also stated for a while that it appears very likely that Trump will be the next American President.

In this issue, we quote extensively from Trump‘s first foreign affairs speech, setting forth what his plans are for America and the rest of the world. And while his phrase “America first” has sent some shock waves around the world, a similar phrase has been coined by a new rising star in Austrian politics—right-wing conservative Norbert Hofer who is expected to become the next Austrian president.

Focusing on Russia and the UK, we publish articles about Putin’s world view and warn that America under the Obama Administration is playing a very dangerous game; and we are reporting on a new crisis caused by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ill-advised and unpopular “support” of Turkish dictator Tayyip Erdogan.

We conclude with several articles discussing the increasing military involvement of Germany and the European desire to create a European Army under German leadership and control, while the UK is attempting, unsuccessfully, to resist such efforts. Please view our new StandingWatch program on this topic and the situation in the USA and Austria, titled, “A European Army under German Control.”

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“The Showdown of the Century”

The Associated Press reported on May 4:

“Donald Trump…, once dismissed as a fringe contender, became all-but certainly the leader of the Republican Party into the fall campaign against Clinton. The former secretary of state suffered a defeat Tuesday in Indiana to her rival, Bernie Sanders, but holds a definitive lead in Democratic delegates who will decide the Democratic nomination.

“The Republican competition changed dramatically with Trump’s Indiana victory and Ted Cruz’s abrupt decision to quit the race. Trump’s surge toward the nomination — he still is about 200 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to win — left the GOP in a deep state of uncertainty. Some Republican leaders remain acutely wary of Trump and have insisted they could never support him, even in a faceoff against Clinton… Such Republicans worry about Trump’s views on immigration and foreign policy, as well as his over-the-top persona. Hours before clinching victory in Indiana, Trump was floating an unsubstantiated claim that Cruz’s father appeared in a 1963 photograph with John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald — citing a report first published by the National Enquirer…

“Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders eked out a victory over Clinton in Indiana, but the outcome will not slow the former secretary of state’s march to the Democratic nomination. Heading into Tuesday’s voting, Clinton had 92 percent of the delegates she needs…

“She and Trump now plunge into a six-month battle for the presidency, with the future of America’s immigration laws, health care system and military posture around the world at stake. While Clinton heads into the general election with significant advantages with minority voters and women, Democrats have vowed to not underestimate Trump as his Republican rivals did for too long…”

Donald Trump’s First Foreign Affairs Speech—America Ueber Alles

Set forth are excerpts from Donald Trump’s highly praised (as well as criticized) foreign affairs speech which he gave last week, placing the world on notice as to what it might expect if [or when] Trump were to become the next American President:

“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy… We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own… Our allies must contribute toward their financial, political, and human costs, have to do it, of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so. They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us. In NATO, for instance, only 4 of 28 other member countries besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense… The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice… our friends are beginning to think they can’t depend on us… All of this without even mentioning the humiliation of the United States with Iran’s treatment of our ten captured sailors…

“President Obama has not been a friend to Israel… our rivals no longer respect us. In fact, they’re just as confused as our allies, but an even bigger problem is they don’t take us seriously anymore. The truth is they don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, [no] leader was there, nobody, to greet him… America no longer has a clear understanding of our foreign policy goals. Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy. One day, we’re bombing Libya and getting rid of a dictator to foster democracy for civilians. The next day, we’re watching the same civilians suffer while that country falls and absolutely falls apart. Lives lost, massive moneys lost. The world is a different place… We’re a humanitarian nation, but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before…

“Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War… We should work together with any nation in the region that is threatened by the rise of radical Islam. But this has to be a two-way street. They must also be good to us. Remember that. They have to be good to us, no longer one way. It’s now two-way… We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. We have no idea where these people are coming from. There’s no documentation…

“Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room. And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

“We will spend what we need to rebuild our military… We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again… we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests…

“After I’m elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure, grown out of the Cold War to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism… And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs… There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again…

“The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker… we must make America respected again.”

Johnson to Obama: Keep Your Nose out of British Affairs

On April 22, the Sun published the following editorial by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, advocate for a Brexit, and contender for the office of Prime Minister:

“Something mysterious happened when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office in 2009. Something vanished from that room, and no one could quite explain why. It was a bust of Winston Churchill – the great British war time leader. It was a fine goggle-eyed object, done by the brilliant sculptor Jacob Epstein, and it had sat there for almost ten years. But on day one of the Obama administration it was returned, without ceremony, to the British embassy in Washington [Our comment: The White House denied this version and claims that it was just removed from the Oval Office and placed in another room within the White House].

“… today it is a tragedy that the European Union – that body long ago established with the high and noble motive of making another war impossible – is itself beginning to stifle democracy, in this country and around Europe. If you include both primary and secondary legislation, the EU now generates 60 per cent of all the laws that pass through Westminster. We are giving £20bn a year, or £350m a week, to Brussels – about half of which is spent by EU bureaucrats in this country, and half we never see again. We have lost control of our borders to Brussels; we have lost control of our trade policy; and with every year that passes we see the EU take control of more and more areas of public policy.

“The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is now [m]aking decisions about human rights of all kinds. In their desperation to prop up the euro, the other EU countries are planning a further lunge towards a political and fiscal union. If we are stay in this system, we will find ourselves hauled inch by inch towards a federal superstate – with no proper accountability to the people… It is deeply anti-democratic…

“For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do. It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical. The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU, for themselves or for their neighbours in their own hemisphere. Why should they think it right for us?

“There are those who think that Britain has more ‘influence’ within the EU than outside, and that therefore we can be of more value to Washington. That is nonsense. The UK has been outvoted 40 times in Brussels in the last 5 years, and the total bill for those defeats – in extra costs for UK government and business – is put at £2.4 bn a year. How can we have ‘influence’ in the Brussels commission, when only 3.6 per cent of Commission officials come from this country? Can you imagine the Americans entrusting their trade negotiations to a body that comprised only 3.6% Americans? The idea is laughable…

“Then there are those who say that we would be somehow more ‘influential’ in Washington, because of our membership of the EU. Really? We have been in the EU for 43 years, and we haven’t even been able to do a free trade deal with the US.”

Breitbart wrote on May 5:

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he thinks Britain would be better off out of the European Union… He said: ‘I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe. A lot of that was pushed by the EU. I would say that they’re better off without it personally, but I’m not making that as a recommendation – just my feeling … I would say that they’re better off without it, but I want them to make their own decision.’”

Britain’s Passed Former Glory

The Telegraph wrote on April 20:

“The British Empire was at its height when the Queen was born, exactly 90 years ago tomorrow. It covered a quarter of the globe – some 13 million square miles, and contained 20 per cent of the world’s population – around 500 million souls. Now, however, it’s just a measly collection of island outposts [of] 14 British Overseas Territories.”

Looking at the World from Putin’s Point of View

On May 3, Newsmax published the following article by Patrick Buchanan (“Patrick Buchanan has been an adviser to three presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and the nominee for the Reform Party in 2000”):

“Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border… Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic. But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.

“Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it…

“The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?… When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.

“Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia. By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations. By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone. The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.

“For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain. Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself. He now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics – Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine – into a NATO alliance directed against Russia. After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine’s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup…

“If we awoke to find Mexico, Canada, Cuba, and most of South America in a military alliance against us, welcoming Russian bases and troops, would we regard that as ‘the hand of partnership’? We are reaping the understandable rage and resentment of the Russian people over how we exploited Moscow’s retreat from empire… If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?”

Merkel under Attack… Again and Again!!!

The Washington Post wrote on April 25:

“After a Dutch journalist was arrested in Turkey this weekend for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the most-read newspaper in the Netherlands on Monday published a front-page editorial cartoon that shows Erdogan as an ape, apparently crushing Europe’s free speech… The cartoon is titled ‘the long arm of Erdogan.’

“The detention of Umar has added another layer to what many in the Netherlands think is a growing crackdown on free speech within Turkey — and outside its borders, too. Last week, the Turkish Consulate in Rotterdam came under fire after appearing to send an email that called for Turkish organizations in the Netherlands to report insults against Erdogan to it…

“The controversy isn’t limited to the Netherlands. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently announced that she would allow Jan Böhmermann, a comedian and writer known for his acerbic style, to be prosecuted for a poem he had read on German state television…

“Erdogan has led Turkey for more than 13 years, first as prime minister and as president since 2014. He was once considered a modernizer by many in the West, but he has been accused of increasingly autocratic tendencies over the years. Since he became president, the government has used a previously rarely used law to prosecute about 2,000 people for allegedly insulting Turkey’s head of state…”

Merkel was severely criticized by all parties and the mainstream media for her permission to Erdogan to press charges against Jan Boehmermann. In Germany, the Chancellor has to permit foreign heads of states to prosecute German citizens for violations pertaining to libel and free speech, based on an antiquated and seldom-used provision in the German criminal code. Other comedians and actors such as very prominent Dieter Hallervorden subsequently published critical poems and songs against Erdogan and Merkel in an effort to support Boehmermann and to challenge the German “judicial” system. Dieter Hallervorden’s song was titled, “Erdogan, zeig mich an” (“Erdogan, prosecute me”), in which he labeled Erdogan as a terrorist who suppresses free speech. An embarrassed Angela Merkel ultimately “apologized” publically as to how she “handled” or better mishandled the crisis.

Beware of Austria’s New Shining Star – “Putting Austria First”

The Associated Press reported on April 24:

“Austria’s far right won more than a third of the vote in the presidential election on Sunday and will face an independent in next month’s run-off, dumping out the country’s two main parties from the post for the first time… While the presidency is largely only a ceremonial role, the fact that neither of the main ruling parties will be battling for the post on May 22 marks a major change in Austrian politics – as well as the rising role of the far right in Europe… The president is head of state, swears in the chancellor, has the authority to dismiss the cabinet and is commander in chief of the military.”

The Local wrote on April 22:

“‘This is the beginning of a new political era,’ FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache said after what constitutes the best-ever result at federal level for the former party of the late, SS-admiring Joerg Haider. ‘One thing has become clear here — a huge and massive dissatisfaction with the government… I am convinced that as president, Norbert Hofer, will act as protector of the Austrian people,’ he said… The president… is ensconced in the Habsburg dynasty’s former palace in central Vienna…

“The FPÖ — which under the late, SS-admiring Joerg Haider sent shockwaves around Europe after entering government in 2000 — came second in state elections in Vienna and in Upper Austria last year… ‘The role [of the President] is like that of a sleeping giant who has a lot more authority than people are aware of,’ legal expert Manfried Welan told AFP.”

The Local wrote on April 25:

“Austria’s far-right has a new golden boy in the shape of Norbert Hofer, a smooth-talking gun enthusiast who sent shock waves through the political establishment by defying polls and shooting to the top in Sunday’s first round of a presidential ballot… Described as the ‘friendly face’ of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), the 45-year-old caught everyone by surprise…the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and conservative People’s Party (ÖVP)… flocked to Hofer and his promise of ‘putting Austria first’.

“Well-dressed and soft-spoken, the self-proclaimed Margaret Thatcher fan pushed traditional FPÖ themes like anti-immigration with a smile, using more moderate rhetoric than party leader Heinz-Christian Strache… Hofer’s polished campaign, based on the slogan ‘Unspoilt, honest, good’, proved a hit with the masses, earning him a whopping 35 percent in the vote’s first round — the FPÖ best-ever result at federal level since 1945…

“Hofer joined the FPÖ’s Burgenland branch in 1994 and became party secretary two years later.Moving up through the ranks, he later became a close advisor to Strache who took over the party [reins] from the charismatic Joerg Haider in 2005. Under the new leadership, the party initially grew more extremist and re-introduced racist slogans. When this failed to translate into votes, Hofer, along with FPÖ Secretary General Herbert Kickl, advised Strache to adopt a more moderate course and focus on social welfare and purchasing power, to steal support from the traditional parties as the economic crisis hit. The move paid off, with the FPÖ now consistently scoring more than 30 percent in polls ahead of the next scheduled general election in 2018…

“But despite his amiable appearance, Hofer is a true-blue member of the far-right… ‘Islam has no place in Austria,’ he warned voters, while also threatening to fire the government if it failed to get tougher on migrants… The Oesterreich tabloid described him as ‘a kind, nice protest politician who wraps the FPÖ’s brutal declarations against refugees in soft language’… An avid social media user, his Instagram account shows the father-of-four — who has admitted to occasionally carrying a Glock gun in public — at a shooting range with his children…”

Merkel vs. Hofer

Deutsche Welle reported on May 5:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decried on Thursday the ‘unjustified’ proposal from Vienna to erect a fence at Austria’s alpine border with Italy to stem the flow of migrants into the country…

“Fuel was added to the fire on Thursday when far-right Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, speaking to prestigious Italian daily ‘La Repubblica,’ compared the two leaders to migrant smugglers bringing people over the Mediterranean in shoddy, overcrowded boats.”

Germany Expands Military Operations

The Local wrote on April 25:

“The German military are planning for a long-term military operation against terror group Isis, with plans for a €65 million air base in southern Turkey… The air base will be built at the site in Incirlik where the Bundeswehr (German army) is currently flying reconnaissance and refuelling missions into Syria… The new extension to the Turkish base will include an air controller centre for the German aircraft, accommodation for soldiers and a completely equipped combat headquarters. Germany is also reportedly in discussions with Ankara about a treaty for stationing German soldiers on Turkish soil for long-term deployments.

“German Tornado jets have been stationed in Incirlik for several months… The Tornadoes use high definition cameras to take detailed pictures of potential bombing targets before Nato allies fly bombing missions, and fly almost daily missions.

“The Bundeswehr also has Airbus air tankers at the Turkish airbase to refuel German and allied aircraft and a total of around 200 soldiers stationed there. The plans foresee that in the coming six months Germany will invest around €10 million in an air controller area which is especially for the German aircraft, a further €15 million in accommodation for around 400 soldiers, and €34 million in building a combat headquarters from where missions will be coordinated… Most of the projects should be completed by summer 2017…

“One opposition politician, speaking to Spiegel, expressed surprise at the speed with which Germany’s initial reaction to the Paris attacks has turned into a long-term military presence in Turkey. ‘Although this mission against Isis came so suddenly, Defence Minister [Ursula] von der Leyen seems to want to dig in for the long term,’ commented Tobias Lindner from the Green Party.”

German and Dutch Armies Merge

Breitbart reported on April 20:

“The German and Dutch armies and navies are poised to ‘merge’, creating the nucleus of the European Union’s longed for pan-EU military force. Pointing to German ministerial statements spelling out the creation of an EU Army as the ultimate goal, critics say Britain’s military will not be able to avoid being sucked in if the country remains within the Union.

“The German government has revealed that Dutch and German land armies and navies are set to move towards ‘closer integration’, with two Dutch units already coming under German command… And according to insiders, the Czech Republic has now entered talks to bring its army under German control, with the Poles also mooted to be part of the plan…

“As Britain prepares to go to the polls to vote on whether or not to remain within the European Union, UK Independence Party Defence spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has warned that if the country does opt to remain, the British military forces will not be able to resist the same fate. ‘The EU is moving towards a common defence and foreign policy regime with an EU army as the goal,’ he said… ‘The EU was supposed to be about corralling Germany military dominance in Europe. That aspiration has clearly died and just as Germany now politically dominates the EU, this latest move with the Dutch army shows that in time Germany wants to expand and control as much as it can militarily.’…

“And Mr. Hookem warned that the Army will not be a benign force, dedicated only to the defence of the Union, pointing out that there has already been lobbying in European circles for intervention in Libya…

“In September last year the Telegraph reported that German chancellor Angela Merkel expected British PM David Cameron to ‘drop his opposition to an EU army in exchange for supporting Britain’s [EU] renegotiation’. Mr. Cameron is believed to have dropped his opposition, in exchange for a widely mocked ‘renegotiation’ deal with the European Union…”

“Is an EU Army REALLY Happening?”

Express wrote on April 22:

“FEARS British armed forces could be dragged into an EU army have escalated after Michael Fallon said UK troops should further integrate with their European counterparts. The Defence Secretary, speaking from Salisbury Plain where a joint exercise comprising British and French forces was taking place, hailed the ‘growing partnership’ of European nations on military operations. Mr Fallon said UK military cooperated with their European neighbours on ‘every front’, including British and French pilots flying each other’s jets and both nations’ ship[s] sailing alongside one another. But he added: ‘Today we take that partnership to a new level.’

“Describing the new Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), a 5,000-strong rapid deployment Anglo-French force designed to respond to humanitarian crises as well as conventional conflicts, he said a ‘new chapter’ had opened that would take cooperation between the two nations ‘to greater heights’. [He] said: ‘This is no paper tiger, this is a force that from now on has the teeth, the means, the speed and the agility to act.’ Mr Fallon added that it was now unlikely that Britain would ‘ever go into conflict on its own again’. However, he later sought to clarify his comments [saying] Britain was not about to form an EU army but instead wanted simply to work more closely with its allies.

“Speaking alongside him, Mr Fallon’s French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said the joint exercise was just the ‘start’ of military cooperation across the continent. But the notion of a pan-European army has provoked outrage from critics on both sides of the Brexit debate.

“Former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who is campaigning to remain in the EU, rubbished the idea of an integrated fighting force controlled by Brussels [saying] military [matters] were ‘not a responsibility of the European Union’. And Ukip’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem called for Mr Fallon to resign over his apparent support of further integration with Brussels, saying it was time for the Tory minister to ‘step aside’.The MEP said:… ‘The British public hold our Armed Forces in high esteem and will not stand by as they see them handed over to a foreign power who does not have the interest and safety of the British public at heart.’”

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What is the Meaning of the Wave Sheaf Mentioned in Leviticus 23?

The three periods of the year in which annual Holy Days fall are mentioned in Exodus 23:14-19. Note verse 19, which states, “‘The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God…’” (also, Exodus 34:26).

While God requires an offering of all kinds of “firstfruits,” the emphasis in Exodus is of “the FIRST of the firstfruits.” In the more extensive presentation of the feasts of the LORD as found in Leviticus 23, we find the offering of the “wave sheaf” described (verses 9-14). It was to be presented as the very firstfruits of the harvest (verse 10).

The timing of the wave sheaf offering was to take place following the weekly Sabbath associated with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That always placed this ceremony on a Sunday within the Days of Unleavened Bread, and the rendering of the King James Version for Leviticus 23:11 is:

“‘And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.’”

The idea conveyed here is that the wave sheaf was to be offered in the morning of the first day of the week. In actual fact, the practice of the priests during the existence of the Tabernacle and then the Temple was to perform this waving of the firstfruits of the harvest around the third hour—that is 9:00 AM.

All the Holy Days of God are representative of actions and events—some historical, while others foreshadow future occurrences. For instance, Passover was first observed by the Israelites to commemorate God’s deliverance of their families from Egypt (compare Exodus 12:26-27). However, Passover holds much greater meaning, for it points to the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins (compare 1 Corinthians 5:7). Christians are to continue to observe Passover with its greater implications and meaning (compare 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

While it is of paramount importance that we deeply comprehend that it required the death of the Son of God for humanity to have the chance to be reconciled to God, it is also vital that we understand what has followed. God resurrected Jesus Christ from death. Peter made this fact key to what he preached to those assembled on the Day of Pentecost:

“‘Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it’” (Acts 2:22-24).

Upon His resurrection and in addition to appearing alive to some of His disciples, Jesus fulfilled the meaning of the wave sheaf—the FIRST of the firstfruits. In fact, Paul explicitly taught this in relationship to Jesus being resurrected:

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

Jesus is the first one to be resurrected from death to eternal, Spirit life. As the above verse shows, there are other firstfruits. Yet, it is Jesus alone Who is the FIRST of the first! He only fulfills the wave sheaf offering! The Feast of Pentecost portrays those who are called and receive the Holy Spirit in this day and age, to be resurrected in the future and receive eternal life—joining Jesus Christ and the Father in the Family of God, that is the Kingdom of God.

The wave sheaf offering is a type of far greater significant fulfillment than merely having grain sheaves waived by the priests. Jesus Christ Himself, ascended to the Father to be formally accepted by God. Jesus spoke of this:

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was’” (John 17:1-5).

Following His resurrection, Jesus announced His imminent return to the Father:

“Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God”’” (John 20:17).

The precedent of the timing for presenting the wave sheaf at about 9:00 in the morning coincides with what Jesus Christ would have done as He was presented in formal ceremony to the Father.

This dramatic event is recorded in the Book of Daniel:

“‘I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed’” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Following His resurrection, glorious acclamation is given to Jesus:

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).


“…according to the working of His mighty power  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all’” (Ephesians 1:19-23)

And we have this testimony from Jesus:

“‘…Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades [better, grave] and of Death’” (Revelation 1:17-18).

The wave sheaf offering symbolized Jesus Christ as the FIRST of the firstfruits in God’s unfolding plan for mankind’s salvation! As the Word of God so clearly shows, Jesus Christ’s offering of Himself has culminated in His acceptance by the Father.

Now, the way is open—because of the offering and acceptance of Jesus Christ—for the next part of the Holy Days of God, the Feast of Pentecost. This next Holy Day pictures the firstfruits who receive the Holy Spirit in this day and age, in order to qualify to live and reign with Jesus Christ in the Millennial rule of the Kingdom of God over all the earth.

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Michael Link and Norbert Link have safely returned from Germany where they observed Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the brethren there. We are very pleased to announce the baptism of nine people, which took place near the end of the Feast. More information will be presented during this week’s Sabbath services.

All English and German video sermons which were given on the First and Last Days of Unleavened Bread and the following Sabbath have been posted on the Web.

“A European Army under German Control,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Do you realize that we will see very soon a powerful European army under German command, with the exclusion of the UK?  Before you disagree, listen to the facts as to what is ALREADY transpiring in Europe, which have been greatly ignored by the American mass media. Learn as to why the current and next American Presidents are viewed as great threats to European security and interests. And did you know about the new rising star of Austria, future President Norbert Hofer, who MIGHT play an important role in European politics?

“Hat Christus das Gesetz ans Kreuz genagelt?” is the title of this week’s new German sermon. The titled in English, “Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross?”

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God