Update 897


Proper Balance; From Darkness to Light

On, November 2, 2019, Mike Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Proper Balance,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “From Darkness to Light.”

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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Wallowing in the Mire?

by Dave Harris

Having just returned from the last of the annual Fall Holy Days of God, reality is settling in. In much of Western Society, Halloween has been observed by tens of millions of utterly deceived people.

In my neighborhood there are the relevant displays. One in particular catches my attention when I leave the house. It is of macabre inflatable Halloween figures positioned in front of a nearby home. Due to the cold weather, these rather cheap displays often deflate and have to have more air pumped into them.

This is, in a sense, not so unlike the whole commercialization of this world’s maddening observance of customs and practices which have absolutely no godly or biblical basis. But there is a real source and unyielding support for these celebrations—it is Satan!

It is revealed by God that the whole world is not only deceived (Revelation 12:9), but that it lies under the powerful influence of Satan (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4).

And so it will go—with Christmas, Easter and Sunday observances—by those who read the Bible and little realize what they are really doing! Paul’s warning to the Church of God in Ephesus still holds true, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

As Christians, we have to contend with these things, and in our calling to the Truth of God, we often face serious trials—especially among our unconverted families. And yet, some who have known of the demonic influence in this world’s religious holidays (especially Halloween) have chosen to return to their observance and bondage to Satan:

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

God established the Sabbath—the seventh day of the week. Observance of the Sabbath is a sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:12-18). Likewise, the annual Sabbaths of God and their observance is commanded by God. Satan, on the other hand, promotes his own false days and seasons, and, indeed, what he inspires marks those who follow him.

As the darkness of deception blinds humanity, God has called us to be examples, and just as Jesus Christ came into the world to be its light, so let us, as true Christians, also shine to this, our generation.

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by Norbert Link

We begin with this week’s election results in the German state of Thuringia which do not look good for established parties and Angela Merkel, while favoring extremist parties such as the Left and the right-wing AfD. We continue with another delay in the Brexit debacle, which seems to signalize defeat for Boris Johnson, while the Germans are growing more and more impatient with the Brits. However, the outcome of the new elections on December 12 might or might not change everything for Johnson.

Turning to the USA, we point out that the predicted housing crash is already here; wonder whether we will be facing civil war; give an update on the Trump Administration’s attempts to close US borders to most immigrants; and address America’s growing illegal drug problem and the devastating consequences for America’s relationship with Mexico. We also ask whether President Trump is finally losing support from white Evangelicals.

Addressing Israel, we report that the country feels betrayed by the USA; address the ongoing zeal to build a third temple; and publish an article advocating that Europe MUST intervene now in the Middle East. We also focus on Pope Francis’ remarkable statements, while pointing out his fragile relationship with traditionalist Catholics and the Vatican.

We conclude with a series of articles on the next inevitable pandemic for which the world is unprepared; the prophesied pure language of the future; historic events explaining how the world might have become “void and empty”; and warnings against Satan’s festival of Halloween—one of the most important days for Devil worshippers. Please view our new StandingWatch program in this regard, titled, “Do You Keep Satan’s Feast of Halloween?”

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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Germany—the Left and AfD Win and Merkel and SPD Lose in State Election

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 27:

“Voters in the eastern German state of Thuringia boosted the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in regional elections on Sunday… but the Left party will remain the dominant political force in the state… the Left party winning 31% of votes in the state that was once part of the communist former East Germany.

“The far-right AfD party snagged 23.4% of the vote, making it the second-largest party in the assembly — and pushing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party into third place with 21.8%.

“The turnout for the Thuringia polls was unusually high. Nearly 65% of the state’s 1.7 million voters cast their ballots, compared to less than 53% five years ago…

“The populist AfD party in Thuringia is led by Björn Höcke, who often draws attention to himself with firebrand statements. Höcke has notably criticized the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, describing it as a ‘memorial of shame’… The AfD boasts strong support in other eastern states, winning 27.5% in Saxony-Anhalt and 23.5% in Brandenburg in September…

“Support for the SPD… slid down to 8.2%, losing some 4% compared to its 2014 result… the Greens suffered a smaller loss, and are now hovering around 5.2%… Preliminary results put support for the FDP at 5% — just enough for the party to clear the threshold to enter parliament…

“Merkel’s CDU suffered the greatest loss during Sunday’s election, dropping down 11% from 2014. The result is a heavy blow for the center-right party and a win for the AfD, which had eyed the CDU’s disillusioned supporters. Projections showed that the AfD pulled the most support from voters who did not participate in Thuringia’s last state election, followed by voters who previously voted for the CDU…”

These results are a total debacle for Germany’s established parties. Weimar and the subsequent rise of Hitler come to mind.

Merkel under Fire

AFP wrote on October 29:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces renewed pressure from within her Christian Democrats… Her conservative critics charge that Merkel has dragged the CDU too far to the left on immigration, climate and other issues, allowing the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) on the extreme right.

“A long-time rival who hopes to succeed Merkel, Friedrich Merz, suggested the veteran leader dubbed ‘Mutti’ (mummy) is already a lame duck and should bow out long before she plans to leave politics in 2021…

“News website Spiegel Online asserted that the state election showed that ‘the state of the CDU is at least as desolate’ as that of the SPD. The big difference for now was that the CDU remains the party of the chancellor, it said, adding however that ‘this could easily be missed given that Angela Merkel is barely heard or seen these days’.

“It was after a similar state poll setback last year that Merkel dramatically handed over the CDU leadership to her preferred successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known by her initials AKK.

“AKK in a later vote beat Merz for the party chair’s position and more recently also took on the post of defence minister, but in recent months her political star has dimmed. Doubts about AKK have grown after several blunders and gaffes…

“An outsider, the Free Democrats’ co-leader Wolfgang Kubicki, [declared] that Kramp-Karrenbauer simply ‘lacks the stature’ to lead the CDU or run for chancellor.

“Things are likely to come to a head toward the end of the year, when the SPD will decide whether to stay in Merkel’s coalition or leave, which could spark new elections…”

Jews and Muslims Worried

JTA wrote on October 28:

“Electoral gains by Germany’s strongest far-right party has both Jews and Muslims here worried… ‘Something has fundamentally gone off the rails in our political system,’ former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, told reporters on Sunday… Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, in a tweet expressed shock that so many voters supported ‘a right-wing radical party… it is much worse than merely a warning sign.’

“International Auschwitz Committee Executive Vice-President Christoph Heubner said in a statement that Holocaust survivors see the AfD’s climb up the political ladder as ‘a renewed signal of terror, which gives rise to fears that right-wing extremist attitudes and tendencies in Germany will continue to consolidate.’

“Meanwhile, a newly released study shows an increase in open anti-Semitism in Germany. Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner on fighting anti-Semitism, commented that, while anti-Semitism was always present, people are expressing it more openly than before…”

AfD’s Björn Höcke

The Algemeiner published on October 28 an article with the following headline:

“Shock in Germany as Far-Right Demagogue Björn Höcke Strengthens Position With Regional Election Victory for AfD.”

The article continued:

“Höcke leads a hardline nationalist faction within the AfD called Der Flügel (‘The Wing’), which is militantly anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic, and which supports the repeal of legislation in Germany banning the denial of the Nazi Holocaust. In an interview with the German news outlet taz in the lead-up to the Thuringia elections, Mike Mohring — the center-right CDU’s candidate —  said that he was in no doubt that ‘Höcke is a Nazi.’

“In January 2019, the official German agency tasked with countering political extremism announced that it was treating both Der Flügel and Höcke’s AfD party in Thuringia as a threat to Germany’s ‘democratic governance.’ But after the party’s success in Thuringia on Sunday, the German news magazine Stern noted, members of the AfD’s leadership with known reservations about Höcke found themselves with little choice other than to defend him… his position within the AfD has continued to strengthen.”

Even though the mass media and political parties are demonizing Björn Höcke, some of his positions are clearly in line with biblical standards, while others are in opposition. Some are also contrary to what is prophesied to happen in Germany. Wikipedia wrote the following:

“Björn Höcke was born in Lünen, Westphalia. His grandparents were expelled ethnic Germans from East Prussia. After his Abitur… he served in the Bundeswehr and went to law school at the University Bonn, which he did not finish… He is married and has four children… He supports the return to national currencies… Höcke is an advocate of the heterosexual elementary family… He opposes sexual education in elementary schools and wants to ‘stop the dissolution of the natural polarity of the two genders.'”

EU Agrees to further Brexit Delay… Big Defeat for Johnson

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 28:

“The European Union on Monday agreed to give the United Kingdom a Brexit extension until January 31, European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter… the former Polish prime minister tweeted that the 27 member states were in agreement…

“This is the third delay since the UK invoked Article 50 in March 2017, beginning what should have been a two-year exit process. Prime Minister Boris Johnson… had previously said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than ask for an extension…”

 Johnson had sent three letters to Brussels. The first one, which was not signed by him, asked to delay Brexit beyond October 31, the second made clear that the first one was from Parliament – not the Government, and the third one urged Brussels NOT to grant an extension.

A Brexit on Satan’s festival of Halloween would have made a lot of sense, but it appears that God has another time table in mind. As we said from the outset, Johnson will either turn out to be the biggest loser or the biggest winner in the ongoing Brexit debacle. As of now, it seems that he has been losing all the way, but the last word has not been spoken yet. Note the articles below.

Already on October 20, Germany’s mass tabloid, Bild, had written the following:

“I am sick and tired of your chaotic parliament and your endless parliamentary Brexit blabbering. It is an affront to all of us. You don‘t know of any yes or no. Get out of here, you Brits. The question really is: Do I love you or don’t I love you anymore? This debate must stop. Yes or no. Both is okay.”

The Bild newspaper has usually a correct understanding as to how most Germans feel. While politicians are still reluctant to make an end to this ongoing Brexit nightmare, the people in Europe become increasingly dissatisfied with their leaders, and might be willing to replace all or most of them very soon.

New Elections on December 12

The Sun wrote on October 28:

“BRITAIN is on track for a Christmas election as [“leftie boss”] Jeremy Corbyn FINALLY agreed to go back to the people today… Jeremy Corbyn… made the spectacular reversal today after a crunch meeting with his shadow Cabinet this morning. He told his MPs that No Deal was now off the table as the EU have offered and accepted a third Brexit delay… Just last night the PM’s latest attempt to force a festive poll was torpedoed by Labour, making it short of the 434 MPs needed to get it through…

“Yesterday’s extension news means the PM’s ‘do or die’ promise to leave the EU by October 31 has now been completely shattered. Boris refused to resign for breaking his promise, or say sorry…  It means Britain will be in the EU until January 31 now, or could leave sooner if a deal is passed before then.”

The Sun added on October 29:

“BORIS Johnson has FINALLY won backing in the Commons for a Christmas election tonight as MPs voted for his plan to go to the polls on December 12. Brits will be given the chance to give the PM a majority to push through his Brexit Bill by the New Year… Parliament will be shut down from November 6 ready for the election to take place.”

The New Election Is Risky

The Associated Press wrote on October 29:

“…an early national vote… could break the country’s political impasse over Brexit — or turn out to be merely a temporary distraction… after three years of inconclusive political wrangling over Brexit, British voters are weary and the results of an election are hard to predict

“An election is a risk… Opinion polls currently give Johnson’s Conservatives a lead, but there’s a strong chance that an election could produce a Parliament as divided over Brexit as the current one. Theresa May called an early election in 2017 with the aim of boosting the Conservatives’ majority and strengthening her hand in negotiations with the EU. The party ended up losing its majority in Parliament, and May failed to pass her key Brexit measures.

“Many voters are fed up with politicians from all sides after more than three years of Brexit drama, and all the parties are worried about a backlash from grumpy voters asked to go to the polls at the darkest, coldest time of the year.”

What Will Come Out of It?

The Independent wrote on October 29:

“Over the next six weeks, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will ‘break the Brexit deadlock’ by screaming at each other about absolutely anything but Brexit

“The MPs can’t agree on any form of Brexit, or indeed any form of non-Brexit, and so the people must do their bit… we can say with absolute certainty that nobody has a clue what will happen. The polls are not just hopelessly volatile but extremely unhelpful…

“It is distinctly possible, likely even, that this election fails to achieve anything. That the deadlock returns with the same certainty. But it is also distinctly possible, likely even, that the country will take decades to recover from it. Indeed, it may never do so at all.”

US Housing Market Crash Is Here!

CNN wrote on October 25:

“… the monthly price decline was the biggest seen since September 2014… a sign that a US housing market crash is here… flailing consumer confidence seems to have struck the US housing market…

“Just last month, Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller predicted that home prices are headed for a crash. His prophecy stands true now… Americans became more concerned about the security of their jobs… With the probability of a recession looming large, consumers can be expected to play it safe and not go for big-ticket purchases. That’s bad news for the US housing market… we shouldn’t be in denial and accept the fact that the US housing market crash has officially arrived.”

It will get much worse. America’s highly praised booming economy is not as great as some politicians want it to be.

At the Brink of Civil War?

The Washington Examiner wrote on October 23:

“Partisan political division and the resulting incivility has reached a low in America, with 67% believing that the nation is nearing civil war… ‘The majority of Americans believe that we are two-thirds of the way to being on the edge of civil war. That to me is a very pessimistic place,’ said Mo Ellaithee, the executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.

“And worse, he said in announcing the results of the institute’s Battleground Poll, the political division is likely to make the upcoming 2020 presidential race the nastiest in modern history… voters [are] angered with compromise and growing unfavorable ratings of President Trump and most 2020 Democratic presidential candidates…

“84% believe that ‘behavior that used to be seen as unacceptable is now accepted as normal behavior.’”

Sadly, this is true. Civil war might very well happen in this country.

Update on US Immigration Status

National Law Review wrote on October 26:

“The Trump administration’s public charge rule is on hold, at least temporarily. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State each introduced a version of the rule. Both versions were scheduled for implementation on October 15, 2019, and would have established expansive new tests to be used by those agencies when determining if certain visa applicants were likely to become public charges—a determination that would generally make them inadmissible to the United States…

“Federal district judges in five states (New York, California, Washington, Illinois, and Maryland) recently issued injunctions blocking the implementation of DHS’s revised public charge rule. If implemented, the rule would not only have greatly expanded the types of public benefits to be considered toward the ground of inadmissibility, but also increased the discretion given to immigration officers when determining if an individual was ‘more likely than not’ to become a public charge. At least one court also blocked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from implementing a series of new and revised petition and application forms issued in furtherance of the rule. The forms would have required certain applicants to provide a substantial amount of personal information and documentation, including credit scores, evidence of health insurance, and/or school transcripts…

“Litigation challenging DHS’s public charge rule will continue to play out in the courts, as there are still a number of lawsuits pending in additional jurisdictions. The Trump administration is likely to appeal the injunctions. Many expect that the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately decide the public charge issue, as was the case with the travel ban…

“With all of the attention focused on the public charge rule right now, it is easy to overlook the Trump administration’s new health insurance requirement. As of November 3, 2019, immigrant (i.e., permanent resident) visa applicants applying through a U.S. consulate will be required to prove that they will obtain approved health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States or that they can afford to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical expenses while they are in the United States. However, unlike the public charge rule, where health insurance is just one of a number of weighted factors immigration officers will consider, the presidential proclamation provides that lack of health insurance alone will result in the outright denial of an immigrant visa. The proclamation does not apply to nonimmigrant visas (e.g., work permits, visitor visas, etc.).”

The handwriting is on the wall.

Americans Love Illegal Mexican Drugs … While Mexico Is Slipping into National Chaos

The New York Post wrote on October 27:

“A recent RAND Corporation study reports that Americans spent just shy of $150 billion on illegal narcotics in 2016. The bulk of this money goes to Mexico, which also has become a major conduit into the United States for synthetic opioids like Chinese-manufactured fentanyl, upping the cartels’ take.

“Americans, in other words, love their illegal chemicals, they have the ready cash to indulge themselves — and they are not particularly mindful of the consequences of this for others. Hence the emergence of the Mexican drug cartels, not the sole supplier of the American drug market, but pretty much at the top of the list. Mexico’s fragile political institutions, and its long history of overtly corrupt local government, made it fertile territory for the rise of extra­legal quasi-governments…

“Mexico… is either unable, or unwilling, to protect its citizens from organized lawlessness… And this, in turn, ratifies a warning from US Joint Forces Command that Mexico is slipping toward national collapse — and this was before government troops were losing all-out gun battles with criminals. It doesn’t take much imagination to anticipate what such a collapse would mean for the United States. A legitimate refugee crisis would dwarf the manufactured border chaos that convulsed American politics this year. And it remains that Mexico is America’s third-largest trading partner, amounting to some $557 billion in business in 2017.

“Potential solutions are elusive. Enhanced law enforcement stands only to drive up drug prices and cartel profits. And a more radical approach — attempting to remove profits through drug legalization — would encounter so many legal, cultural and moral barriers in the United States that it is an ­effective nonstarter.

“So the crisis is likely to proceed. But as it does, don’t lose sight of one core truth: America is, and has long been, the world’s largest importer of illegal drugs… As the philosopher Walt Kelly once noted: ‘We have met the enemy, and he is us.’”

Is Trump Losing His Grip on White Evangelicals

Politico wrote on October 24:

President Donald Trump is on a rescue mission to preserve his grip on the religious right. In call after call over the past two weeks, Trump has sought counsel from prominent evangelical figures on how to protect his relationship with conservative Christians amid mounting criticism over his withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria…

“It’s a first for Trump’s presidency: The same evangelical leaders who’ve been notoriously unmovable through prior controversies have spoken out forcefully to condemn his policy toward Syria. Televangelist Pat Robertson said Trump was ‘in danger of losing the mandate of heaven.’…

“There is also the shadow that impeachment has cast over Trump’s presidency, and how white evangelicals are responding. A much-discussed Fox News poll found that nearly three in 10 white evangelicals want the president impeached and removed from office… [and] only 62 percent of white evangelicals said they definitely plan to vote for Trump next fall…”

Still, Trump will be re-elected. His success in killing Isis leader al-Bagdhadi at this time and in light of his terrible Syrian policy is interesting and not just coincidental. His “mandate of heaven” will be carried out, but only very few seem to know what that mandate really is.

Preparing to Build the Third Temple?

Breaking Israel News wrote on October 24:

“At a Parliament meeting in the Gaza Strip… Hamas MP Ahmed Abu Khaliya decried the ‘disturbances’ of ‘Zionists’ in the al-Aqsa mosque and their ‘desecration’ of it… Achmad Abu Khalbiah, who heads the Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Commission in the Palestinian parliament, categorized permitting Jews to practice freedom of worship on the Temple Mount ‘a blatant provocation’ and warned that Israeli officials seek to demolish the Al-Aqsa mosque and build the temple on its ruins

“On the holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) alone, 3,881 Jewish pilgrims entered the Temple Mount, a 42% increase since 2015. Additionally, more high profile celebrities are also ascending the mount…”

It was also pointed out that nearly 1,800 Jews, which is unprecedented, ascended the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in observance of the annual Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the first and the second Temple.

Breaking Israel News reported on October 30:

In September, the Sanhedrin hosted the first conference for the Organization of 70 Nations. The organization will bring together all of the nations under the common belief in the sanctity of the Bible…

“The Sanhedrin has received responses from several nations since the conference from the most unexpected sources… One such response came from a respected academic Palestinian scholar who lives in Judea… ‘He contacted the Sanhedrin and wants to work with us…’ Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, told Breaking Israel News. ‘…He accepts the historical truth that Jewish Temples once stood on the Temple Mount. He wants the Palestinian people to be part of the Organization of 70 nations and is aware this includes a Biblically mandated Sanhedrin, court of nations, and a Third Temple as a House of Prayer for all nations.’… The members of the organization agree to the sanctity of Jerusalem and the Temples…

“Another purpose of the conference and the organization of the 70 Nations is to begin the return of the lost ten-tribes of Israel

“Last year, a World Creation Concert was held adjacent to the Temple Mount. During a ceremony held at the concert, representatives from Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico signed an agreement with the Sanhedrin to accompany the people of God, as peoples, nations, and individuals toward establishing the Temple in Jerusalem as a house of prayer for all nations as prophesied in the Bible.”

Israel Feels Betrayed

Breaking Israel News wrote on October 11:

“At the 46th annual Yom Kippur War memorial service on Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu recalled the event [in 1973] and how the United States abandoned their closest ally in the Middle East during their time of need… Referencing the Biblical prophet Balaam, Netanyahu added that: ‘We do not aspire to be “a nation that dwells alone,” but that is how we were forced to stand at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War,’ he said, reminding those present that American aid arrived only towards the end of the 1973 war…

“But then, Netanyahu compared the events of that time to today saying: ‘We always remember and apply the basic principle that guides us: Israel will defend itself, by itself, against any threat.’ This statement was a clear reaction to what many perceive to be Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, also a close US ally, to Erdogan’s war machine. Reading between the lines, it appears as though Netanyahu is preparing for the day when Trump abandons him too…

“Netanyahu isn’t the only Israeli leader who believes that it’s only a matter of time before Trump abandons Israel. Former MK and popular politician Moshe Feiglin took it a step further. That’s because after Trump justified his abandonment of the Kurds by noting that the ethnic group ‘didn’t help us in the Second World War’ and ‘didn’t help us with Normandy’ Feiglin understood this to mean that Trump will abandon any country who didn’t help the US in WW2, including Israel. That’s why Feiglin took to social media saying: ‘Israel didn’t help the US with Normandy either.’ Echoing Netanyahu’s comments, New Right party leader Naftali Bennett said: ‘The lesson for Israel is simple. Israel will always defend itself by itself.’”

Ultimately, the USA WILL abandon Israel, but only after Trump has fulfilled his role in regard to helping the erection of the Third Temple.

USA Back in Syria?

The Guardian wrote on October 28:

“The US military has started reinforcing its positions around oil fields in eastern Syria, saying the new deployments are part of its continuing counter-terrorist mission after the killing of the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi…

“Video footage from the region showed US military convoys re-entering Syria, days after Donald Trump had ordered them out in advance of a Turkish invasion. The change of mind reportedly came after Pentagon officials persuaded the president that it was essential to protect east Syrian oil resources…

“Trump has defended his decision to abandon the [Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces] SDF, saying it was not America’s job to police a longstanding conflict between Turks and Kurds…

“[Defense secretary Mark Esper] would not say whether the deployment meant that there were more or less US soldiers in Syria than before Trump ordered the withdrawal last month, paving the way for Turkey’s invasion into north-eastern Syria. But the defense secretary insisted that: ‘At the end of the day we will be sending troops home.’”

This confusing lack of clarity and Trump’s indecisive backpedaling do not give “allies” any confidence in America’s reliability.

Europe Must Intervene in the Middle East

Politico wrote on October 10:

“The Kurds have been abandoned, again. Theirs is a long history of Western betrayal, dating back to colonial times. That the West would once again turn its back, after enlisting Kurdish help in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State, has been in the cards for years… But U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision this week to provide a de facto green light for yet another Turkish offensive into Kurdish-held territory in Northern Syria is not just another instance in a long, unfortunate pattern in Western-Kurdish relations. It’s the turning of a new page in the history of the Middle East… For Europeans, in particular, it should serve as a shock that moves us to act.

“The sudden power vacuum has Europe looking weak and unprepared. But the truth is that Europe has not led in the region for decades. As long as upheavals in the region unfolded under the shell of U.S. hegemony, Europeans operated in Uncle Sam’s shadow. Sometimes European countries complemented American action, at other times they sought to moderate it. But they never opposed it or charted an autonomous path. If our weakness has been exposed, it’s because we can no longer hide behind the U.S.’s skirts…

Erdoğan gambled on Trump’s isolationism and on Europe’s cowardice… As the U.S. retreats from the Middle East, Russia is gloating on the sidelines… Erdoğan’s incursion — and Trump’s acquiescence — makes clear Europe needs to learn to stand on its own. Europeans do not have the U.S. luxury of being able to walk away. They are bound to Turkey and to the Middle East for historical, geographical, societal and economic reasons. The question we need to ask ourselves is how can we regain influence in the region, and in particular with Turkey…”

 And so, Europe will do just that, including militarily.

Big Win for Salvini

Politico wrote on October 28:

“After half a century of left-wing rule, the central Italian region of Umbria voted for a regional government spearheaded by Matteo Salvini’s far-right League… As the scale of the League’s victory became apparent Sunday night, Salvini told reporters: ‘We are writing history here tonight.’ The result is a major blow to the PD-5Stars government, whose formation two months ago removed the League from power… the governing parties’ disastrous defeat is certain to have major repercussions for the already-fragile coalition

“Salvini will use the League’s landslide victory to demonstrate he still has the backing of most Italians despite having pulled the plug on the government over the summer and having been forced into opposition. The next big test for the PD-5Stars alliance will come in another regional vote, in Emilia-Romagna, in January…”

Pope Francis under Attack

Express wrote on October 13:

“POPE FRANCIS is facing a potential religious coup from within the Catholic Church, but there is also an emerging threat from outside the Vatican…

“The current tenure of Pope Francis has been one of the most polarising moments in the history of the Catholic Church, as his progressive and status-quo denying values provoke disdain from Vatican norms. One of the unorthodox features of the current Pope’s tenure is his appointing of cardinals from less notorious churches spanning further across the globe…

“His critics have grown impatient with this policy with [former pope] Benedict demanding he remains domiciled in an apartment on Vatican grounds amid his own doubts of Francis’ methods. He is attracting opposition from right-wing politicians in Italy too, including Matteo Salvini who recently withdrew his support in the coalition government leaving Rome in political chaos…

“The right-wing politician has also enlisted the help of former White House strategist Steve Bannon, whose Brussels-based international group, ‘The Movement’, was denied access to the Vatican for political training… Bannon advised Salvini himself that the actual Pope is a sort of enemy… Salvini [is] claiming that conservatives in the Vatican were on his side… he was also pictured in 2016 holding a shirt saying ‘Benedict is my pope.’”

“With Francis continuing to take on the right in Italy and the Catholic Church, the political grappling is expected to continue.”

This is very remarkable. We must watch these developments to see who the announced false prophet or the “man of sin” is going to be.

Is Pope Francis Changing Catholic Doctrines?

CNS News wrote on October 9:

“Pope Francis’ longtime atheist friend and interviewer, Eugenio Scalfari, claims that the Pope told him that once Jesus Christ became incarnate, he was a man, a ‘man of exceptional virtues’ but ‘not at all a God.’

“The teaching of the Catholic Church and most Christian churches is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was incarnated as fully man and fully God.

“As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, ‘The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man.’

“… Scalfari states… ‘Those who, as it has happened many times with me, have had the luck of meeting him and speaking to him with the greatest cultural intimacy, know that Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate… Once incarnate, Jesus stops being a God and becomes a man until his death on the cross.’…

“In a March 2018 interview with Scalfari, Pope Francis reportedly said, ‘There is no Hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.’ That interview caused an uproar… The Vatican did not deny what Scalfari reported but said it could not ‘be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.’ The Pope himself never denied what Scalfari reported and the article never ran a correction or removed the article from its website…

“In a statement issued Oct. 9…,  the Vatican said, ‘As has been affirmed in other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes between quotes to the Holy Father during his colloquies held with him cannot be considered as a faithful account of what was effectively said, but represent more a personal and free interpretation of that which he heard, as appears entirely evident from what was written today concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ.’

“Church Militant’s Michael Voris commented, ‘That is the relevant part of the statement, and it, in itself, is now creating its own firestorm because it does not actually deny Scalfari’s characterization, merely hinting at the possibility.’”

 If reported accurately, then the views of Pope Francis on the humanity of Christ and the non-existence of an ever-burning tormenting hell fire would be biblically correct.

And Now… Married Priests?

The Associated Press wrote on October 27:

“On the heels of a landmark call by Amazon region bishops for married men to become priests, Pope Francis on Sunday exhorted Catholics to be open to fresh ways of evangelization, saying the church must ‘open new roads for the proclamation of the Gospel.’ He also cautioned against self-righteousness, in an apparent slap at conservative critics who fear he is weakening the church’s foundations.

“Allowing married men to be ordained in remote Amazon areas with severe shortages of priests would chip away at the church’s nearly millennium-old practice upholding priestly celibacy. It would also help the church compete with evangelical and Protestant churches that have been increasingly winning converts there… Francis… has said he will put his response in writing by year’s end…

“Francis has often praised celibacy for priests. If the Argentine-born pontiff embraces the appeal from bishops on his native continent, it is not clear whether that might trigger an erosion of the celibacy rule elsewhere. Ordaining married men, even in limited circumstances, risks deepening the antipathy in strongly conservative church circles toward Francis, whom they deem to be dangerously progressive…

“His critics, including so-called traditionalist Catholics, insist the Vatican adheres strictly to centuries-old rules demanding that priests be celibate, unmarried men. But in the first centuries of the church, married men did serve as priests… Peter… was married, as were many of the first apostles.

“Currently, the Vatican allows married men to become priests in Eastern rite churches. Eager to include converts, it has also allowed married Anglicans to remain priests when they join the Roman Catholic church…”

A clash between Francis and “traditionalist Catholics,” even including within the Vatican, might be inevitable.

Highly Unprepared for the Next Inevitable Pandemic

The Daily Mail wrote on October 25:

“No country is fully equipped to deal with the next global pandemic, a major report has claimed. Scientists say an outbreak of a flu-like illness could sweep across the planet in 36 hours and kill tens of millions due to our constantly-travelling population.

“But a review of health care systems already in place across the world found just 13 countries had the resources to put up a fight against an ‘inevitable’ pandemic…

“Writing in their report, the scientists said: ‘… a threat anywhere is a threat everywhere. Deadly infectious diseases can travel quickly; increased global mobility through air travel means that a disease outbreak in one country can spread across the world in a matter of hours.’”

The Bible says that due to pandemics and disease epidemics, millions upon millions of people will die in our time.

The Pure Language

Breaking Israel News wrote on October 27:

“Modern linguists have speculated that a single language… is the predecessor of all other human languages. Dr. Isaac E. Mozeson’s life’s work has been to document that this original language, the one first spoken in the Garden of Eden, is the source for all the world’s languages. He named this proto-human language Edenics for its connection to the Garden of Eden. Not surprisingly, Edenics is very similar to Biblical Hebrew… Mozeson claims that Edenics is the ‘Semitic mother tongue’ that ‘was scrambled into 70 languages’ 3,784 years ago, after the episode of the Tower of Babel. According to his theory, every human language today shares elements of Biblical Hebrew…

“Rabbi Tuly Weisz, publisher of Breaking Israel News, wrote, ‘The ultimate purpose of the return of the Jewish people to the Land is to serve God and to correct the sin of Babel, and to speak the one ‘language of purity,’ Hebrew. And in these days of redemption, not just the Jews, but all the people of the world will learn the Hebrew language.’”

We do not know whether it was indeed Hebrew or a language from which Hebrew was derived, which was spoken by Adam and Eve prior to the Tower of Babel incident. Nor do we know whether the pure language of the Millennium will indeed be a purified version of Hebrew.

How the Earth Might Have Become Void and Empty…

The Atlantic wrote on October 23:

“The worst day in the history of life on Earth, so far, happened almost exactly 66 million years ago, when an asteroid roughly the size of Manhattan slammed into the Yucatán Peninsula… The asteroid… immediately drilled a 20-mile hole into the planet’s surface, vaporizing bedrock and spewing it halfway to the moon. The planet shuddered with magnitude-12 earthquakes, loosing tsunamis across the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the ejected debris condensed in orbit and plunged back to Earth as searing spheres of molten glass, which torched the land and turned forests into firestorms. Other debris remained high in space, where it blocked the sun’s rays and began to chill the surface of the planet… By the time it was over, about 75 percent of all species on Earth had died, including all nonavian dinosaurs. The event, which ended the Cretaceous Period and began the Tertiary Period, is named the K-T extinction…

“The impact changed the chemical content of the ocean, rendering seawater more acidic and inhospitable to the tiny plankton that form the base of the marine food chain. Combined with the other effects of the asteroid—darkened skies and a snap of global cooling—this ecologic disruption doomed much of life on Earth…

“When the asteroid hit, untold megatons of that old organic material—rich in nitrogen and sulfur—instantly became dust and shot up into the atmosphere. Soon it began to fall back down, now as nitric oxide and sulfuric acid… It was raining brimstone and acid from the sky…

“Ocean acidification also likely worsened other sweeping environmental changes wrought by the impact, such as the years-long darkness caused by orbiting debris and ash from the global wildfires… it now appears that all three of the worst mass extinctions in Earth’s history featured huge spasms of ocean acidification. They include the K-T extinction; the End-Triassic Extinction, when volcanoes in New Jersey killed 75 percent of all species; and the dread End-Permian Event, the worst extinction in the history of the planet, which killed roughly 85 percent of all species and nearly sterilized the oceans. Scientists call that event ‘the Great Dying.’…”

We read in the Bible that after God had created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, the earth became (as it should be translated) void and empty, and that darkness was upon the face of the deep, until God began to remove that darkness.

Halloween—Spookier and Deadlier than You Might Think

Country Living wrote on September 4:

“…in the midst of the parties and games and sugar rushes, have you ever stopped to wonder what the history of Halloween even is in the first place?… Halloween falls on October 31 because the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, considered the earliest known root of Halloween, occurred on this day. It marked a pivotal time of year when seasons changed, but (more importantly) observers also believed the boundary between this world and the next became especially thin at this time, enabling them to connect with the dead. This belief is shared by some other cultures…

“The early pagan holiday of Samhain involved a lot of ritualistic ceremonies to connect to spirits… many believe the Celts celebrated in costumes… as a disguise against ghosts, enjoyed special feasts, and made lanterns… Halloween previously posed a huge (albeit rather superstitious) matchmaking opportunity for young women in the 19th century.”

The following was stated by Express on October 31, 2018:

“Halloween is the most important day of the year for Devil worshippers, according to the founder of the Church of Satan, and everyone else has been urged to avoid celebrating this ‘dark’ day… the holiday has its roots in evil

“Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in the US in 1966. He was the country’s most prominent Satanist up until his death in 1997 and authored several books… In the Satanic Bible, Mr LaVey wrote: ‘… the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween.’

“Walpurgisnacht, or Saint Walpurgis Night, is a German annual event which is known in German Folklore as Witches Night… the Church of Satan recognises Halloween as an extremely important day for evil… As a result, some Christians are warning people to steer clear of Halloween celebrations. Christian website Charisma News writes: ‘There will be many people who will read this article and will continue to celebrate Halloween just as they normally do. If that is you, then you need to understand that engaging in dark practices can open up doors to spiritual darkness for yourself and your entire family.’”

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.

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When Will the Millennial Blessings Begin for All People?

When Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth, will everyone experience immediately all the millennial blessings as described in the Bible?

Surprising as it may sound, the answer is no. Part of the reason for this answer is that those who have survived the terrible times of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord and who will still be alive, as human beings, when the Millennium begins, will have to be taught God’s Way of Life and they will have to accept it.

Some, if not many, will not follow God’s Way of Life right away, and in refusing to do so, they will have to suffer the consequences.

In addition, the world will be in a devastating condition, with destroyed cities and polluted landscapes, which will have to be restored and purified. All of this will take some time. It has been proposed that it may take up to two or three generations until mankind will experience the full effect of Christ’s rule on earth.

We read in the Bible that wars will cease, and that man will not want to learn war anymore. He will exchange his weapons of war with useful instruments and tools for agriculture and other peaceful purposes. But some will not accept the Way of Peace right away.

We state the following in chapter 7 of our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy… From Now Until Forever”:

“An invasion of Asiatic hordes is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. It will occur after Christ’s return, at the very beginning of His rule over mankind… Jesus Christ will have to complete the remaining three-and-one-half years of His public ministry [compare Daniel 9:27] to the lost sheep of the house of Israel before His rule over all nations in the Millennium can really begin to flourish…

“Christ will free the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah from captivity and ultimately bring them into the Promised Land. They will build the waste cities and inhabit them, live in peace and safety [compare Isaiah 61:4; Ezekiel 36:33]…

“To live God’s way of life is a process of learning and doing it. For instance, we read in the book of Isaiah that Gentile nations will hear about the law of God which will be taught by Christ in Jerusalem, and they will flock there to learn God’s laws as well (Isaiah 2:1-3). They will reach the point where they will not want to learn war anymore (verse 4). We also read that some nations will at first refuse to live by God’s law to observe His annual holy days…

“Ezekiel 39 emphasizes in numerous places that God will destroy the invading army, and that because of God’s intervention, the nations, and especially the nation of Israel, will know that He is the Lord…”

When people refuse to obey God, as some will do at the beginning of the Millennium, God will answer with a language that they will understand. This will include withholding some blessings. For instance, we read in Zechariah 14 that God will withhold rain in due season which is necessary for a prosperous harvest when they refuse to obey Him (compare verses 16-19).

We also read in Ezekiel 38 and 39 that God will strike the attacking armies from the East with a huge earthquake (Ezekiel 38:19-20) and with pestilence, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone (verse 22). Those who die will be buried for more than seven months (Ezekiel 39:13-15). At the same time, all weapons will be burned and to be used for firewood for up to seven years (Ezekiel 39:9-10).

Even though God will plague those who disobey Him with a storm, pouring rain and burning heat, He will offer and provide protection to those who accept His Way of Life. Isaiah 4:3-6 tells us:

“And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the LORD has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.”

We see from this passage that there will be heat, storm and rain at the beginning of the Millennium for those who do not want to submit to God.

We also read that in the Millennium, the nature of animals will change, so that they become truly peaceful and unwilling and unable to harm people (Isaiah 11:6-9). But this does not mean that there will not be any ravenous beast in the Millennium and that the nature of all animals will be changed right away. While no ravenous beast will be close to people to attack them (compare Isaiah 35:8-10), wild beasts and “unclean and hated birds” will still exist for a while (Revelation 18:2). It appears that even the change of the nature of some animals might take a while.

We also read that in the Millennium, man will be healed from his or her sicknesses and diseases. We read in Isaiah 35:5-6: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.”

We also read in Isaiah 33:24: “And the inhabitant will not say, ‘I am sick’; The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.”

But forgiveness of iniquity takes some time. People who have survived the devastation on earth will obtain forgiveness upon repentance. And so, those who are sick might not be healed right away either, but only upon a deep understanding that God’s healing must be based on our acceptance of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Such recognition and acceptance might not occur right away. This might be one reason why there will be, at first, animal sacrifices in the Millennium. We state the following in chapter 8 of our above-mentioned booklet:

“The Bible shows that at the beginning of the Millennium, after Gog’s armies are destroyed (compare Ezekiel 38 and 39), God will reinstitute animal sacrifices at a newly built temple in Jerusalem… It is very possible that the sacrifices will only be given during the remaining three-and-one-half years of Christ’s public ministry…

“It is important to understand that the millennial sacrifices will NOT be brought for the purpose of forgiveness of sin! Only Christ’s shed blood accomplished this—once and for all! But God introduced the sacrificial system to ancient Israel because Israel had sinned and the sacrifices served as a reminder of their sins. Apparently, for the same reason in the Millennium, sacrifices will be brought so that carnal, unconverted people can begin to appreciate the awesome purpose and meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice and how God looks at sin…”

Once unconverted people come to understand the all-encompassing significance of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, animal sacrifices will apparently cease. But while animal sacrifices are being given, complete physical healing might be delayed. On the other hand, we read in Ezekiel 47:12 that God will provide trees to be used for food and their leaves for medicine or healing. The existence of such “healing” leaves suggests that at first, not everyone living in the Millennium will be healed right away.

This conclusion is confirmed in Zechariah 8:3-4, where we read: “Thus says the LORD: ‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age.”

This picture alludes to those old people who will have survived the Great Tribulation; they are worn out “with old age, and therefore obliged to use a staff when they walk the streets for their support” (so Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible). There is no reason to believe that they will not be healed even of such feebleness in due time, but they will live with it for a while, even though they will live happily and peacefully.

Having said all of this, the Millennium will be a unique joyous experience for all humans. One might ask why God will not use “a magic wand” and change everything immediately for the better. The reason should be clear. Man has to learn to follow Him. They are free moral agents with a free will. God wants them to develop character by making right decisions from the heart. It is their choice, not God’s. But God will withhold blessings when we refuse to obey Him. This is true now and it will be true in the Millennium.

As we are being trained today to become immortal Spirit beings and members of the God Family in His Kingdom, so those human beings living into the Millennium and being born during the 1,000 year-reign of Christ will have the same potential. But we do not believe that anyone who will be born as a human being in the Millennium [or, for that matter, who will be raised in the Great White Throne Judgment period] will be born [or resurrected] with any birth defect or with any sickness. What we have addressed in this Q&A applies strictly to those humans who will survive the terrible times to come prior to Christ’s return and who will then be able to experience Christ’s establishment of His government here on earth.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Do You Keep Satan’s Feast of Halloween?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Do you know that Halloween is evil and demonic to the core, and a most important day for Devil worshippers and Satanists? If you participate in it in any way and induce others to do so, you stand condemned by God who is not mocked. The biblical warning is clear and unambiguous.

“Halloween–Halten SIE Satans Fest?” is the title of the a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link and covering the same topic as described above.

“Wann beginnen für alle Menschen die Segnungen des Millenniums?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “When Will the Millennial Blessings Begin for All People?”

PLEASE NOTE: Sermons and sermonettes given during the Day of Atonement; Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day in both the US and Germany are now being posted and are available at our respective websites.

“The Plausibility of the Impossible,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

On his own, man seeks to answer basic questions of life through the foundation of science. The observable universe is a standard by which all carnal theories base themselves. We know the vanity of these pursuits and that truly important answers are found only with God.

“Unity—but How,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Maintaining a harmonious relationship with God and among brethren is absolutely necessary, but this seems to be the area in which so many fail. However, the Bible does show us how to find and keep unity—will we agree?

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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

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

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