Update 898


What Do You Expect As a Christian?; How Boldly and Courageously Do You Talk with God?

On, November 9, 2019, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “What Do You Expect As a Christian?” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “How Boldly and Courageously Do You Talk with God?”

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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Satan’s Playbook

by Rene Messier (Canada)

After we had such an inspiring and joy-filled Feast of Tabernacles, it does not take Satan long to start creating problems for and among the brethren. After all, he is the accuser of the brethren, an agitator and a provocateur, and he is like a vicious roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He discourages and causes problems for us in the hope we will fall short of the mark.

Some, returning from the Feast, had difficulty with flight delays and some had to stay in a hotel overnight due to flight interruptions. One couple came home to a flooded basement due to a water-valve failure.

I came home to find only two of my nine chickens were alive. Some wild animal killed seven of them while we were away, due to the failure of those who were supposed to take care and feed them according to my instructions.

So we can expect more trials and tests as we settle into the coming winter months, with shorter days and inclement weather in various parts of the country.

Trials and tests are part and parcel for those who are seeking to obey God, and we only need to read what Paul, an apostle of Christ, went through. He outlined and summarized his experience in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, which included beatings and being stoned, as well as the added stress of care for the brethren and church congregations.

In spite of all this, he never took his eyes off the reward and his crown which he would receive from Christ at His coming and at the end of the race. This is such an encouragement and example for us. As he endured and remained faithful to the end, so can we, since it is unlikely that we will have to experience all the trials that he went through.

There will be several long months until the Spring Holy Days, so let us ensure we stay close to God by not neglecting our responsibilities in our efforts to further the Work of preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness and never taking our eyes off the great reward that lies ahead.

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by Norbert Link

While especially the American media is obsessed with every little nuance of the impeachment circus against the President, we have chosen to ignore “reporting” on this, except for a passing reference in an article on Israel and one article claiming that President Trump will be reelected because of the attempt by Democrats to impeach him, which is, of course, doomed to fail in the Senate at the latest.

Instead, we are showing, among other things, how terribly divided the nation is; that many Americans are tired of their country’s endless wars; and that the dollar is under attack.

We also speak on an important defeat of the Trump Administration regarding a contemplated change in the immigration law; and report on President Trump’s obsession with the ancient emperor Cyrus. We also ask what America would do in case of a war between Israel and Iran.

We address – briefly – the ongoing Brexit debacle and the EU’s resolve to become more relevant on the world scene and build a powerful army [please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Europe—the Coming New Superpower,”] and speak of alarming signs of increasing anti-Semitism in Germany. We also address the horrible violent situation in Mexico, due to the government’s inability to deal with its drug cartels.

We speak on more scientific foolishness; a long-overdue decision by Austria to ban public smoking; the way in which governments control their citizens; and the new trend of microchipping; and we conclude with ongoing paganism in the Roman Catholic Church.

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USA—A Deeply Divided Nation

The Associated Press reported on November 3:

“The nation will plunge into the election as deeply divided as it has been politically in more than half a century, when cities were in flames with protests over war and civil rights… Many of those divisions existed before Trump, but his presidency has exacerbated them…

“Indeed, no president in the history of public opinion polling has faced such deep and consistent partisan polarization.”

The USA is deeply divided. A house divided cannot and will not stand.

Piers Morgan: Trump Guaranteed to Win in 2020

Newsmax wrote on November 1:

“The impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump will backfire, Piers Morgan predicted on Friday, saying it will fire up his base, demoralize his liberal opponents and … virtually guarantee him another win. Morgan, the host of ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain,’ wrote in an opinion piece for The Daily Mail on Friday that Democrats have misjudged their opportunity, and will inadvertently hand Trump victory in 2020. ‘I don’t think this impeachment has a… chance of being successful, given the hyper-partisan nature of current US politics,’ he wrote…

“Morgan goes on to say that ‘what the Democrats don’t seem to have realized, or have chosen to ignore in their self-righteous desperation to nail Trump for anything, is that a failed impeachment attempt will hugely help him get re-elected.’ He adds that this, combined with a strong recent job reports, including record-low unemployment for African-Americans, the recent killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ‘virtually guarantee him another win.'”

We agree.

America Tired of Fighting Endless Wars

Breitbart wrote on November 3:

American Veterans who risked their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars are increasingly opposing foreign interventionism that continues to dominate the Washington, DC, political establishment. The latest Pew Research Center survey on the issue finds that 64 percent of Veterans say the Iraq War is ‘not worth fighting,’ along with 62 percent of all American adults who agree. Only 33 percent of Veterans say the Iraq War is worth fighting.

“Likewise, nearly 60 percent of Veterans and all American adults say the Afghanistan War was not worth the fight. Less than 40 percent say the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was worth fighting…

“Even when it comes to the U.S. intervention in Syria, Veterans by a majority oppose the effort. The Pew Research Center survey found that 55 percent of Veterans said U.S. involvement in Syria is ‘not worth it’ while almost 60 percent of American adults agreed.

“Former President George W. Bush led the U.S. into war in Afghanistan and Iraq with more than 4,500 Americans dying in Iraq — including more than 3,500 killed in combat — and up to 205,000 Iraqi citizens dying in the war since March 2003. In total, Bush’s post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and intervention in Pakistan have resulted in the deaths of between 480,000 and 507,000 people — including nearly 7,000 American soldiers who had deployed to the regions.”

What is reflected in the article is an interesting phenomenon: The Bible has predicted that Americans will be tired of fighting and refusing to go out when the trumpet for war sounds… but not because they realize that war is wrong per se. That change of heart will only come when Christ has returned.

US Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump’s Health Insurance Visa Restriction

Deutsche Welle reported on November 3:

“A judge in the United States on Saturday temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s efforts to insist on immigrants having health insurance, or the resources to pay for medical care, before they can get visas. The legislation was due to come into effect as of November 3 but Federal Judge Michael Simon in Portland, Oregon, granted a 28-day restraining order on the proposal.

“Simon said the possible suffering to would-be incomers and their families prevented him from approving the bill. ‘Facing a likely risk of being separated from their family members and a delay in obtaining a visa to which family members would otherwise be entitled is irreparable harm,’ Simon wrote in a statement that was 18 pages in length.

“Saturday’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by seven US citizens and an advocacy organization, arguing it ‘rewrites our immigration and healthcare laws by Presidential fiat.’ ‘We’re very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately,’ Justice Action Center senior litigator Esther Sung said. Sung, who acted on behalf of the plaintiffs, added: ‘The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped.’

“The Trump administration wanted the new legislation in order to stop taxpayers from bearing the ‘substantial costs in paying for medical expenses incurred by people who lack health insurance or the ability to pay for their healthcare.’ However, healthcare policy specialists stated immigrants use the system far less frequently than US citizens.

“In addition, according to a study carried out by Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University, newcomers to the US who arrive without insurance were responsible for less than one-tenth of 1% of medical expenditures in 2017.”

This is good news. The only question is, how long will the temporary blockade last? Will the 28-day restraining order be prolonged; will it be replaced by a permanent order prohibiting Trump’s proposals to re-write America’s long-standing immigration laws, and will the highly political US Supreme Court agree or disagree with Judge Simon or President Trump?

The US Dollar under Worldwide Attack

CNBC wrote on October 30:

“The U.S. dollar has been the world’s major reserve currency for decades, but that status could come under threat as ‘very powerful countries’ seek to undermine its importance… China, Russia and the European Union are some ‘major movers’ behind this push. One of those reasons driving their shift away from the dollar is the prospect of being subject to U.S. jurisdiction if they transact in dollars…

“When the U.S. dollar is used or transactions are cleared through an American bank, entities are subject to U.S. jurisdiction… Europe wants to do business with Iran. It doesn’t want to be subject to U.S. law for doing business with Iran… Nobody wants to be picked up at an airport for doing business with countries that the U.S. isn’t happy that they’re doing business with…

“But if the dollar declines in influence, other currencies could fill the role traditionally played by the greenback…”

According to the Bible, it will be the Euro which will replace the US Dollar.

The Trump Administration’s Obsession with Persian Emperor Cyrus

The Washington Post wrote on November 1:

“On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commemorated a moment more than 2,500 years ago. ‘Today in 539 BC, Cyrus the Great entered Babylon and freed the Jewish people from captivity,’ Pompeo tweeted…

“Pompeo was referring to a rather famous event in history. According to sources including biblical scripture, Cyrus allowed the Judeans deported and exiled following the ravages of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II to return to their homeland. His conquest of Babylon cemented his dominion over much of the lands we now consider to be the Middle East, an empire that stretched from the Indus River basin to the Mediterranean Sea. Like any other ancient warrior king, he presided over massacres and pillage, including a notorious incident immortalized by the ancient Greek chronicler Herodotus where Cyrus burned a vanquished foe and 14 young boys alive on a funeral pyre.

“But Cyrus is memorialized by Iranians (and non-Iranians) as a unifying proto-national hero, an all-powerful emperor who still allowed for toleration and coexistence among different peoples, sects and religions. The Cyrus Cylinder, a barrel-shaped tablet etched in Babylonian cuneiform that was unearthed by archaeologists in the late 19th century, announced his victory and his desire to let his new subjects retain their traditions… the cylinder… casts Cyrus as an agent of the Babylonian god Marduk… A replica of the ancient artifact sits on display in the lobby of the United Nations…

“Some right-wing Christian evangelical supporters of the president have embraced the idea of a ‘Trump prophecy,’ seeing in Trump’s political gifts to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a glimmer of divine providence. ‘Some evangelicals, who support Zionism out of the belief that the Jewish migration to Israel would trigger the Second Coming, have eagerly elevated Trump to the status of a biblical ruler,’ Columbia University professor Hamid Dabashi noted earlier this year. ‘He, in turn, has happily obliged and made a number of political concessions to Israel, out of the rather worldly consideration that the evangelical vote could win him re-election next year.’

“Trump’s closest Israeli partner is only happy to oblige. Netanyahu has declared Trump to be one of a singular set of non-Jewish heroes ‘in the long sweep of Jewish history,’ linking his deeds with those of the British Lord Balfour, President Harry S. Truman and, yes, Cyrus the Great.

“Pompeo, a devout evangelical himself, has entertained other parallels also, citing the Old Testament story of Queen Esther, the Persian Jewish queen who foiled a plot to kill all Jews in the Achaemenid kingdom. Earlier this year while in Jerusalem, Pompeo was asked whether ‘President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?’ He responded: ‘As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.’”

What is missed by the author of the article—whether because of ignorance or deliberately–is the role of Cyrus to allow the Jews to build the Second Temple. As was pointed out in other news outlets, it appears that Trump believes that he has the providential role of helping to build the Third Temple… as a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

What Will the US Do in Case of an Israeli-Iran War?

The Atlantic wrote on November 4:

“The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran. They were mindful of the Iranian plan for a drone attack from Syria in August, aborted at the last minute by an Israeli air strike, as well as Iran’s need to deflect attention from the mass protests against Hezbollah’s rule in Lebanon. The ministers also reviewed the recent attack by Iranian drones and cruise missiles on two Saudi oil installations, reportedly concluding that a similar assault could be mounted against Israel from Iraq… Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time…

“And over all of them looms a pressing question: How will the United States respond?… Whether inadvertently… or purposefully… the United States has empowered Iran… Donald Trump failed to respond forcefully to the Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia and on international shipping in the Gulf, or even for the downing of a U.S. Navy drone last June… the hasty withdrawal of American troops from Syria appears to many in the Middle East as yet another American move that will strengthen Tehran…

“I recall President Obama’s comment to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office six years ago this week, on the last day of my service as Israeli ambassador. ‘The United States will always come to Israel’s aid in the event of a war,’ he said, ‘because that is what the American people expect.’ But I also remember that, back in 1973, Egypt and Syria saw a president preoccupied with an impeachment procedure, and concluded that Israel was vulnerable. In the subsequent war, Israel prevailed—but at an excruciating price. The next war could prove even costlier.”

Trump Meddles in Brexit Debacle

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 30:

“US President Donald Trump urged Britain to speed up its departure from the European Union and advised Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to team up with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the upcoming elections… Trump said that Britain is being ‘held back by the European Union’ and that the country would be ‘much better without it,’ particularly as it would enable the UK ‘to do much more on trade with the United States.’ The president added: ‘Brussels is very difficult to deal with.

“However, Trump cast doubt over the current deal the EU and the UK have in place, saying it limits the possibility of trading between the two English-speaking nations… ‘this Brexit deal — certain aspects of the deal -—you can’t… trade,’ he said.”

Johnson responded by refusing to line up with Farage, and stating that he disagrees with Trump on his assessment on the proposed EU-UK deal.

Johnson Leads…

Money Morning wrote on November 1:

“… this general election is going to purge Parliament. Of the 57 MPs who are stepping down, the vast majority are Remainers. Many more of those who have scuppered the Brexit process… are likely to lose their seats. The Speaker himself is gone. Parliament is going to be a very different place on 13 December.

“The polls show Boris Johnson has a strong lead… it looks as though Johnson is going to have the majority he needs to make Brexit happen along the lines of his deal.”

Time will tell, as so far, all predictions—pro and con—have failed.

Europe Is Ready for Its Own Army

On September 5, 2019, Foreign Policy wrote:

“As the United States retreats, the EU is shaping its own military…

“The United States still has military bases all over the world and significant troop deployments on NATO’s eastern borders, so it could still intervene to stop, for example, direct military aggression against NATO members from a resurgent Russia. Washington can still choose to project power in the region as it pleases. But if European NATO countries cannot know for certain that the United States will do so in any given circumstance, they must now start taking the idea of defending themselves seriously. In effect, Trump has granted Europe its political independence.

“European leaders, foremost among them French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have grasped the new reality with a speed that should alarm policymakers in Washington. Some quarters of Europe… have long aspired to a continental military force

“France has its own, highly developed arms industry and runs its own missions and deployments, notably in Francophone Africa, without asking anyone for permission. The French army is almost never not at war somewhere, officially or otherwise… So it should not be surprising that France has been the first to call for the formation of a European army. What is new, is that most other Western European countries agree, and most significantly that Germany agrees… There’s a traditional division of roles. France is the muscle, Germany is the money. The union of the two is a game changer.”

A powerful European Army is prophesied to happen.

The EU vs. GB

New Statesman wrote on October 30:

“…there is only one other empire that has the same reach and ability to shape the global system as the US and China: the EU… there are some moves afoot in Brussels to make the EU a third power bloc that can help its members resist pressure from the competing giants. Many European states realise that the only way of defending their national sovereignty from secondary sanctions is through common action

“The EU has signed a series of new trade deals with Japan, Canada, South Korea and Vietnam. It is shoring up European defence by moving towards a defence union and a powerful fund for common military projects

“Many Brexiteers believe that Europe is a paper tiger, and yet the EU has shown that it was able to move the needle in some important areas. Its data privacy code (GDPR) has set global standards for regulating data flows and privacy in the new great power competition, leading some experts to declare that it is the ‘Brussels effect’ of global rule-setting that makes Europe a third bloc…

“The EU’s powerful trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström has led an impressive push-back against Trump’s tariffs and restrictions of transatlantic trade, with EU counter-tariffs and credible threats of what would happen if the US were to escalate the transatlantic trade war.

“All of this reinforces the strategic dilemma for the UK in the world of blocs after Brexit. Will European sovereignty… be organised against Britain? The experience with the European Galileo GPS system – where Europeans forged ahead without the UK – shows that being left outside European projects and decision-making can be tough. The same sort of dilemmas could develop in other areas… in a world of great power blocs Britain may find itself at the mercy of other powers…”

The Bible says that very soon, the USA, the UK and Israel will fall together.

Germany and Europe to Control their Military Destiny

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 7:

“German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer [AKK] said in a speech delivered Thursday at the Bundeswehr University in Munich… that allies are increasingly asking for Berlin to play a proactive role in global security… She pledged to boost defense spending to… eventually make Germany the third largest defense spender in the world, behind the US and China… In an earlier interview… she urged Berlin to take an increasingly active role in military engagements abroad…

“But her proposal was met with caution from other Cabinet members. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the idea of a more assertive German military required robust support from European allies… [He said:] ‘… we as part of Europe play a leading role in competition between superpowers.’…

“French President Emmanuel Macron has called on European allies to ‘wake up’ to the realities of the transatlantic alliance before it’s too late. ‘What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,’ Macron said in an interview… The French president warned that Europe will ‘no longer be in control of our destiny’ if it fails to recognize its strategic relevance as a geopolitical power.”

Pompeo’s, Merkel’s and Mass’s Views Irrelevant

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 7:

“Merkel… condemned comments by French President Emmanuel Macron [on NATO]… ‘This view does not correspond to mine,’ she said. Merkel described Macron’s statement as ‘drastic words’ that she did not agree with, and she reconfirmed Germany’s commitment to its role within NATO. ‘Such a sweeping attack is not necessary,’ she said.”

Macron is totally correct, and Merkel’s expressed views and her role become more and more irrelevant.

The Associated Press wrote on November 7:

“U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his German counterpart (Heiko Maas) stressed the close ties between their two countries Thursday, batting away talk of trans-Atlantic friction and insisting that the NATO alliance that both are part of remains relevant today… U.S. President Donald Trump has worried many NATO members with comments that the trans-Atlantic alliance is ‘obsolete”…

“Maas, who was widely criticized in recent days for failing to mention the U.S. contribution to ending the Cold War in an op-ed that was published in 26 European newspapers over the weekend, appeared to go out of his way to name American leaders who helped bring the divided nation back together again in 1989…”

Trump is directing American foreign policy, not Pompeo. Maas, the proverbial politician, is also becoming equally irrelevant as Merkel and AKK. A new powerful leadership—replacing Germany’s current lame duck and/or unpopular politicians—will arise soon.

Germany’s Descent into Anti-Semitism

The Jerusalem Post wrote on November 2:

“US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has sharply criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for its blasé dismissal of Iran’s threat to destroy the Jewish state. ‘Threatening the destruction of Israel is something that should not be dismissed, especially when the threats come from Iranian regime officials who regularly use terrorism as a weapon of intimidation,’ Grenell told Fox News last week…

“Grenell, who enjoys enormous popularity among German Jews, pro-Israel advocates and Israeli government officials, responded to two Iranian officials who recently called for the obliteration of Israel…

“When pressed by the Post if the Iranian regime’s call to exterminate the nearly seven million Jews in Israel meets the definition of antisemitism, [Merkel’s] spokespeople said it is just ‘anti-Israel rhetoric.’…

“Antisemitism experts in the United States and Germany expressed outrage over the Merkel government’s cavalier attitude toward Iran’s genocidal antisemitism targeting Israel.”

Germany’s descent into Anti-Semitism is deeply worrisome.

US Nazi Group Issues Death Threats to former Co-Leader of Germany’s Green Party

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 2:

“Police are investigating a death threat to Cem Özdemir, the former co-leader of Germany’s Green party. A US neo-Nazi group was linked to the email, which featured the politician among a list of its assassination targets. An offshoot of the US-based neo-Nazi group Atomwaffe Division Deutschland (AWD) appeared to be behind the message, which featured Özdemir — one of Germany’s highest-profile politicians with Turkish origins — at the top of an assassination hit list…

“Long a recipient of police protection, Özdemir is no stranger to intimidation. A staunch critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he has received numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists…

“Members of the AWD in the United States have been linked to several murders and planned terror attacks. The group, organized in cells, operates largely online and has repeatedly called for attacks on minorities. While the group formed in the southern US, it has since expanded across the country and into the UK, Canada, Germany and the Baltic states.”

Satan is busy as never before. He looks for and finds his people who are willing to carry out his evil devices.

Mexico’s Hopeless “Fight” against its Cartels

In light of the horrible terrorist attack by members of a cartel on several American-Mexican citizens living in Mexico, The Guardian wrote on November 5 about a prior incident:

“Cowed and outgunned: why Mexico’s police ‘don’t stand a chance’ against drug cartels. The 14 October massacre that left 13 state police dead was just one extreme episode of violence in a recent litany of horrors… More than 30 suspected cartel gunmen ambushed the police officers in the town of El Aguaje on Monday as they were traveling in a convoy to serve a warrant, killing 13 officers and wounding nine others…

Corruption among the ranks [of the police force] is also encouraged by dismal salaries from which officers are not only expected to buy their own bullets, but often their own uniforms as well…the president has given orders to avoid direct confrontations with the cartels… Meanwhile, the president insists that his newly formed militarized national guard will enforce the law, but so far the new force has been busier blocking migrants from reaching the United States than pursuing organized criminals…

“But while Mexico waits for justice, a new generation is growing up that has only known life amid a multi-sided conflict where there are no clear good guys.”

It is not clear which cartel was behind the gruesome massacre and what the reason for the mass killing was.

More Scientific Nonsense… What Was Before the Big Bang?

Express wrote on November 2:

“THE Big Bang theory has long been accepted as scientific fact as an explanation of [how] the universe came into being – but it has always begged the question ‘what happened before the big bang?’ Now an international team of researchers looking at the timescale of the early universe – measured in trillionths of seconds – think they know. But it’s complicated. And we are still not quite there. Two theories exist as to exactly what happened 13.8 billion years ago when the universe, which is now unaccountably huge, emerged from something so unimaginably small – according to the new research one hundred billionth the size of a proton.

“First there is cosmic inflation – a period BEFORE the Big Bang when, according to physicists, an ultra-high energy particle inflated at an incomprehensible speed and scale. During this period matter, such as it was, remained a cold dark formless mass. Then, less than a trillionth of a second later, came the Big Bang – an almost infinitely hot fireball which exploded ultimately forming all the matter as it now exists, and eventually Earth and us.

“But scientists struggled to link the two processes – how a cold dark soup could trigger the most explosive moment conceivable? Now a team of physicists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, aided by teams as far away as Holland, have discovered a linking period – a phase they call ‘reheating’. The inflation to reheating period was clearly a crazy time. At one point gravity worked in reverse and another it was modified by quantum effects – and it was this which allowed the hot Big Bang to emerge from the cold Cosmological Inflation period.

“Professor at MIT, David Kaiser, said: “Reheating was an insane time, when everything went haywire. ‘The postinflation reheating period sets up the conditions for the Big Bang, and in some sense puts the ‘bang’ in the Big Bang. It’s this bridge period where all hell breaks loose and matter behaves in anything but a simple way…

“However, as clever as the research is, the question of where the Universe came from remains unanswered… The research was supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.”

What utter nonsense and what a terrible waste of money, energy and time. That’s how taxpayer money is WASTED. The answer has been there all along: “In the beginning GOD CREATED the heavens and the earth.”

Smoking Banned in Austria

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 1:

“Austria banned smoking in bars and restaurants on Friday, bringing the country’s laws into line with most other European nations. The indoor smoking ban came into effect after lawmakers approved the move in July.

“Before the new law came into force, Austrians were still able to light up while drinking and eating inside bars and restaurants larger than 50 square meters (540 square feet), and as long as it was in a separate area, although this was not strictly enforced. The smoking ban will now apply to all such establishments and will be enforced with heavy penalties.

“Smokers who break the ban will have to pay €1,000 ($1,115), and owners of establishments who allow patrons to smoke will be fined $2,000 rising to €10,000 if found repeating the offense. The smoking ban also applies to shishas and electronic cigarettes.

“Austria has an above-average percentage of smokers with 25% of its 8.8 million inhabitants smoking in comparison with an 18% average in other EU nations. Currently, 17 EU countries have comprehensive smoke-free laws. Ireland, the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta, Spain and Hungary have the strictest laws with bans on smoking in all enclosed public spaces, on public transport and in workplaces.

“In the Czech Republic it is up to the bar owner to decide if they want to permit smoking or not. In Denmark, smoking is banned indoors except in Copenhagen, where it is permitted in bars under 40 square meters. The debate about the ban has been ongoing for over 10 years, with the far-right Freedom Party — formerly led by a keen smoker — opposing the measure.”

Smoking is wrong and hazardous and deadly to the health of the active and the passive smoker. In addition, somebody who smokes in the presence of a non-smoker only shows his stupidity and selfishness, as well as his lack of love for God, himself and his neighbor.

How Governments Control the Internet… and the Minds of their Citizens

PCMAG wrote on October 31:

“On Nov. 1, Russia is poised to disconnect from the internet—in theory. That is when a long-planned internet bill will go into effect and lay the foundation for a national network whereby internet service providers are controlled by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecom agency. The goal is to give Russia the power to disconnect from the global internet in the event of a cyberwar and, in the interim, serve up a walled-off version of the web sanctioned by the Russians. It also gives President Vladimir Putin greater control over Russian citizens…

“Russia’s system uses a proxy to steer packets of information away from the public DNS [Doman Name System] resolver by default, look at where the data is located, and either let that information through, redirect it, or block it completely. We see examples of this kind of control in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and China

“China restricted its web access from the start, with the Communist Party legislating in 1996 (two years after the internet arrived there) that all service providers be licensed by the government and that all internet traffic go through state-owned telecommunication companies…

“Russia has reportedly spent about $300 million on its sovereign internet plan. But while the country has restricted access to certain services in recent years… it’s unlikely the Russian government will be able to exert on its citizens the level of control China has accomplished with its Great Firewall by Nov. 1…

“… while the American view of the internet—heavily influenced by its history of free markets and free speech—might be closer in theory to the open internet that was proposed by the web’s pioneers, the hegemony of Silicon Valley has created a state in which the majority of the internet is de facto under the control of the US government… In a world of splinternets, it’s easier to say that you have an open system when the nexus of power is within your borders. The future will likely bring more legislation like Russia’s…”

The Bible condemns those who suppress the Truth. The trend to do so, especially on the Internet, is clearly alarming.

Microchipping the new Trend?

Der Spiegel wrote on October 25:

“An estimated 5,000 people in Sweden, which has a total population of 10.2 million, have had chips planted under their skin, which they use to open their front door or even as a digital train ticket…

“The idea… of employees getting chipped raises numerous questions. In Germany… it would be a horror scenario… if there’s anything we have learned in recent years, it’s that where data is collected, it also has the potential to be abused

“In 2018, [the EU] parliament commissioned a study investigating ‘the use of chip implants for workers.’ The report states that every EU citizen has the right to the integrity of the human body and that companies cannot force their workers to be chipped. But the study also advises against voluntary chipping — for data-protection reasons. ‘The chips are not necessarily secure,’ the report concludes. The report also states that the possibility cannot be ruled out that they could get hacked or become the subject eavesdropping, cloning, deactivation or manipulation…”

As the article points out, Europe and especially Germany is at this point strongly opposed to microchipping their citizens. Some have suggested that the mark of the beast has something to do with microchipping. This assumption is clearly wrong. We explain the mark of the beast in these Q&As: https://www.eternalgod.org/q-a-14976/ and https://www.eternalgod.org/is-bitcoin-the-mark-of-the-beast/ .

No Pagan Idols in the Catholic Church?

Life Site News wrote on October 30:

“Three cardinals and three bishops have separately voiced opposition to paganism in Church ceremonies in the Vatican surrounding the Amazon Synod, including the Oct. 4 pagan ceremony in the Vatican Gardens where people bowed down and worshiped the Pachamama idol as Pope Francis and other top-ranking prelates looked on.

“Catholics around the world were indignant to not only see the pagan statues present in various ceremonies, but to see Pope Francis actually bless one of them during the Vatican Gardens ceremony…Paulo Suess, one of the key authors of the Amazon Synod’s working document, commented on this ceremony, saying ‘so what. Even if it would have been a pagan rite, then it is nevertheless a pagan worship of God.’…

“Cardinal Gerhard Müller said that the ‘great mistake was to bring the idols into the Church, not to put them out, because according to the Law of God Himself – the First Commandment – idolism [idolatry] is a grave sin and not to mix them with the Christian liturgy’…

“Bishop Athanasius Schneider… stated that ‘Catholics cannot accept any pagan worship, nor any syncretism between pagan beliefs and practices and those of the Catholic Church.’ ‘The acts of worship of kindling a light, of bowing, of prostrating or profoundly bowing to the ground and dancing before an unclothed female statue, which represents neither Our Lady nor a canonized saint of the Church, violates the first Commandment of God: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me,’ he added…”

If the dissenting cardinals and bishops were consequential, they would have to condemn everything pagan in the Catholic Church… including the celebration of pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Note the next article.

Paganism Nothing New in Catholic Church

Catholic Outlook, in trying to defend paganism in the Roman Catholic Church, wrote on November 1:

“Roman Christianity basically put a cross on… ‘pagan’ temples and on the people that worshiped there. Church authorities… ‘baptised’ those elements that could be useful, or at least were not detrimental, for making people members of the Christian faith… The cult of Christian saints, miracles and holy myths – and how that is celebrated – has been influenced by these now baptised, pre-Christian religious customs.

“Even the calendar of some [of] the most important Christian festivals – including Christmas – originated from such inculturation. The Christian faith – its architecture, forms of worship, symbols – continued to adapt from the Greek and Roman cultures and adopt what was useful from them. The Roman Catholic Church has more exterior elements from the old Roman Empire than it does from the Nazareth or Jerusalem of Jesus’s time.”

It is well-known that the Catholic Church has ALWAYS incorporated pagan doctrines, rites and practices in its worship services by giving them a Christian mantle. The two reasons for this were its desire to attract pagans and its Anti-Semitism.

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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How will we look like in the First Resurrection?

The Bible teaches that the first resurrection is a resurrection to eternal, immortal life—to an existence in the spirit realm, when converted men and women become born-again members in the Kingdom and Family of God. We are told that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50), and that in the first resurrection, we will have incorruptible spiritual bodies, when we are “raised in glory” (verses 42-44).

We will be like Christ, bearing His very image (1 Corinthians 15:49), and Christ is the exact image of God the Father (2 Corinthians 4:4). We will be glorified God beings, as the Father and Jesus Christ are glorified. We will in that sense look like Christ.

We can find a description of the resurrected Christ in His glorified state in numerous passages of the Bible, and none of them implies that He has a physical body. For instance, we read in Revelation 1:14-16: “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice the sound of many waters… and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength…” (Compare also Revelation 2:18). A similar description of Christ, as He appeared in glory prior to His temporary existence as a human being, can be found in Ezekiel 1:26-28. This describes also His glorified state today, as the Father glorified Christ in His resurrection with the glory which He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5).

And it is that same glory which will be bestowed on us in the first resurrection (1 John 3:1-2; Romans 8:18). Jesus Christ was the very first who was raised in the first resurrection (Acts 26:23)—being the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). His followers will be resurrected in the same way as He was, at the time of His return.

When we can see Christ as He is, in His glorified state, we are told in God’s Word that He has an appearance of a Man. Also, God the Father is described with a man-like appearance (compare Revelation 4:3; 5:1; 21:5; Daniel 7:9-10, 13). They are not described as animals. (Christ is referred to as a Lamb in the Book of Revelation, but only in a figurative sense, as He is the Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb, who took away the sins of the world).

They are not described in any way as women either. God is our Father, not our Mother; and Christ is the Son of God, not the Daughter of God.

Those in the first resurrection are called the sons and daughters of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). They will have a glorified appearance as God does; with the exception that those who were women in this life will look like (glorified) women; there is no biblical evidence that all humans made immortal look like men. Even though God is male, He made man, in his physical appearance, as male and female (Genesis 1:27).

A most-misunderstood Scripture does not say that there will be neither male nor female in the resurrection to eternal life; only that those in the first resurrection will not marry or are given in marriage as they will be like the angels in heaven (Mark 12:25). The reference to angels does not say that we will be angels; nor, that we will be male because angels are allegedly only male (there are female angels too, and many angels look like animals); rather, that we will not marry anymore and that we cannot die anymore as angels don’t marry and as they are immortal as well (Luke 20:35-36).

Even though we will look like Christ insofar as our outward glorified appearance is concerned (that is, as glorified God beings, we will still have a glorified face, eyes, a mouth, ears, the shape of a human-like body with arms and feet etc.), how will we appear when we manifest ourselves to human beings?

Again, we can note many examples showing us how Christ appeared to humans so that they could see him (we cannot see a glorified God being with our human eyes, except in a vision). From that we can ascertain how we will look when we manifest ourselves.

First, we should clarify that no one has ever seen the Father or heard His voice. We know that the God of the Old Testament appeared to humans (He even appeared to Moses in His glorified state, but Moses was only allowed and able to see His back). That God being was none other than Jesus Christ. We are told that God the Father made everything through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:10; Colossians 1:15-17).

We read that no one has ever seen God at any time (John 1:18), but Christ elaborated to explain that no one has ever seen the form of God the FATHER at any time, nor has anyone ever heard His voice (John 5:37; 6:46). And yet, we read that some of the ancients in the Old Testament saw the very form of God, and they heard His voice (Numbers 12:8; Deuteronomy 5:4). This means, they saw and heard Jesus Christ, but not God the Father (compare 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 8-9).

We read in Genesis 14:18-21 that Christ, as Melchizedek, appeared to Abraham, then called Abram, who gave Him the tithe of everything. Hebrews 7 confirms that Melchizedek was indeed Jesus Christ who lived at that time as High Priest among the people (compare verses 3, 8). He had not become a Man, but He lived for a while “as” a man; that is, He manifested Himself as a man. Abram knew who Melchizedek was, and it appears that this was the first time that He saw Him in His physical manifestation.

Before that occurrence, we read that the LORD “spoke” or “appeared” to him, but not in the way as He “appeared” to him in Genesis 14 and later in Genesis 18. There, Christ and two angels “appeared” to Abraham as “men” (verse 2) when they were about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. They ate and spoke with him (Genesis 18:1-15). But this does not mean that they actually WERE men–that is, flesh and blood human beings. They just manifested themselves AS human beings.

Abraham knew right away that one of the three was Christ, calling Him “My Lord” in verse 3 (compare also verses 27, 30, 32). The word is Adonai, which Abraham used in reference to God (compare Genesis 15:2). He recognized Christ, having seen Him before when He appeared to Him as Melchizedek. (In passing, the word Adonai is actually a plural word, meaning “my lords”; the singular form is adon. This is another proof that Abraham knew that God consists of more than one Person.)

Did Christ look like Melchizedek when He was born as a human being? One might not think so as He came from the tribe of Judah and His mother was Jewish, and as Christ had existed long before there was any human, let alone a Jew. This however overlooks the fact that God and Christ knew that there would be human beings, and that Christ would be born from the tribe of Judah, and this from the beginning of the world, before there was time. This is true for those whom God has predestined to be called in this day and age; it is most certainly true for Jesus. So, they both saw in the future and knew how Christ would look like as a Man, and it is therefore logical to conclude that He appeared in that form to Abraham, Moses, and to the other ancients of old.

Upon further scrutiny, we will see that the same is true for His appearance, as a man, after His resurrection. He did not appear as a young child, nor as an animal or a woman, but as a man.

When He appeared to the apostles, they thought at first that He was a ghost or an apparition (Luke 24:36-42). Christ manifested Himself to the disciples as a being with flesh and bones. He even ate food in their presence to convince the disciples that it was He, not a spirit or a demon.

As a Spirit being, He does not have a disfigured body. He did not manifest Himself to Mary in a disfigured state. It is true that He later appeared to the apostles and “doubting Thomas” with wounds in His hands and at His side to convince them that it was He (John 20:24-29; Luke 24:39-40), but there is not the slightest hint that He did so on other occasions. And it is of course absurd to think that He, as a Spirit being, still carries with Him in His spiritual body the physical wounds inflicted upon Him when He was a human being. From this it follows that He does not always manifest Himself and appear in exactly the same way.

In the case of the disciples having gone fishing, after Christ’s resurrection, they were on the lake and Jesus was at the shore (John 21:1-4), so the distance was far enough so that they were unable to recognize Him at first. Even before His death, there were times when they did not recognize Him, thinking at first that He was a ghost or an apparition (Mark 6:47-50).

When Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him at first at the grave, after His resurrection, it was perhaps because she did not see or look at Him that closely (John 20:11-16; note verse 14: “She turned…”). She thought He was the gardener, and as an unmarried woman, it was the custom at that time (which Jesus did not follow) not to look at another man too closely or to engage in public in a conversation with Him, as we can see from the account of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman, which surprised His disciples (John 4:27) .

After His resurrection, Christ manifested Himself occasionally as a physical being, but at least on one occasion, He did so “in another form” (Mark 16:12). What is meant with that phrase?

The Nelson Study Bible states that “Jesus’ appearance in another form may indicate that He appeared differently to the two on the road than He had appeared to His followers before.”

Part of the reason that they failed to recognize Him was the fact that their eyes were closed and had to be opened (Luke 24:31), and that they did not expect to see Him at all, thinking He was dead and in the grave. We read that the disciples did not believe the women who claimed that they had seen Him alive (Luke 24:11).

The word “form” in the Greek is “morphe” and means “form, shape, outward appearance.” The Benson Commentary states that “he appeared in another form, or habit, namely, different from that which he formerly had when he conversed with them.”

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds the following thoughts:

“… he appeared in another form: it seems to have been the form, or habit of a gardener that he appeared in to Mary; since she thought him to be one, and to be the gardener that belonged to the garden, in which the sepulchre was: but now it was in another form, or habit, that he appeared; very likely in the habit of a Scribe, or doctor; since he took upon him to expound the Scriptures to the persons he appeared to; as also took bread, and blessed it, when at supper with them…

“This is not to be understood of any change in the shape of his body, or the features of his face; for as soon as their eyes were opened, which had been before held, they knew him perfectly well: whereas, if there had been such an alteration made in him, that he could not have been known for the same, there would have been no need of holding their eyes, that they should not know him, Luke 24:16.”

Jesus Christ manifested Himself in the way in which He looked as a human being. But He was not always recognized right away, as people did not know what to look for, and because their eyes had not been opened.

When Christ manifested Himself, He did so in such a way that those who had known Him could recognize Him. Sometimes, they recognized Him by His voice before they looked at Him closely to recognize Him by His appearance; at other times, they recognized Him by particular mannerisms, which they had been familiar with while He was in the flesh.

In the same way, we will manifest ourselves to those who knew us before our death, so that they will be able to recognize us. When we were male, we will manifest ourselves as a male. In fact, even as glorified beings, a man will still have a glorified “male”-appearance, not a glorified female appearance. The reverse is true for those who were female in this life. They do not suddenly become “males” in the resurrection, nor will they manifest themselves as males when they appear to human beings. Furthermore, and this should go without saying, they will not appear as animals or with animal-like features which many of the angels possess.

As Christ apparently manifested Himself as the Man whom people were familiar with when He died, so it stands to reason that we will do likewise, but we will also be able to make ourselves known to those who only knew us in our younger years. We may do so by our voice, mannerisms or the recitation of other peculiar and unique circumstances or experiences, so that they will be without any doubt that we will be the ones who had known and dealt with them when we were in the flesh.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Europe—the Coming New Superpower,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Europe is becoming the world’s new superpower. Most do not understand or are aware of this fact. This program shows the most recent “new reality,” which, as one article puts it, is occurring with “a speed that should alarm policymakers in Washington.”

“Sollte ein Christ den Martinstag halten?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Should a Christian keep Saint Martin’s Day?”

“Wie kühn und offenherzig sprechen Sie mit Gott?” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. The title in English: “How Boldly and Courageously Do You Talk with God?”

“Die Verwerfung Jesu Christi,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Title in English: “The Rejection of Jesus Christ.”

“Proper Balance,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What are the steps that we should take in order for us to have proper balance, both in our physical and spiritual lives?

“From Darkness to Light,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The world lives in utter darkness, but that must not be true for Christians. Our lives must picture and exemplify the coming true Light for all mankind; there must not be any darkness in us when we want to be lights in the world.

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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

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