April 24, 2020
Leaving So Soon? / Father and Mother
On April 25, 2020, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “Leaving So Soon?” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Father and Mother.”
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.
In God We Trust
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
According to Wikipedia, “The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is ‘In God We Trust’. The phrase first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864.”
This happened on 30th July 1956, just over 61 years ago, and notice how society has changed since then.
It is an interesting question to ask if such a phrase would be permitted today. Maybe it would, as many still pride themselves on believing God… but it would just be a phrase without substance. The USA, as well as many other nations around the world, have become a much more secular and permissive society. In fact, Wikipedia goes on to say that “Some groups and people have expressed objections to its use, citing its religious reference that violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. These groups believe the phrase should be removed from currency and public property.”
As each day goes by, the lobby being anxious to diminish the influence of God seems to proceed with indecent haste. It’s almost like a death wish.
In an article by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on May 7, 2013, she wrote: “Following the April 29 (2013) opening of their documentary The Unbelievers at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, outspoken atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss discussed the merits of their approaches to ‘ridding the world of religion.’ In a recent interview with Steve Paikin, they made it clear that, despite their sometimes different personas, they have the same agenda—getting people to get rid of their belief in God. Yet they both say that Christians should not feel ‘threatened’ by their efforts to expunge religion from human history.”
These people are quite open about their agenda and assault on God, but make the ridiculous comment that “Christians should not feel “threatened.”
Today, it could be said that people generally do not believe in the true God, let alone trust Him. However, many now trust in human beings. For example, when a new Prime Minister or President is elected, they are expected by their followers to put everything right, and so people put their trust in that person. In addition, we see at football (soccer) matches large banners that read: “In (a person) we trust” – and the name of the manager is usually inserted where God should be in that phrase.
The phrase “trust me” is one that is now used in general conversation to give the impression that the person speaking has all knowledge on the subject matter in hand, and that no other consideration or opinion matters. I often think that when someone who wants to be wise in this world (1 Corinthians 1:20) says “trust me,” I had better look very carefully at that situation as it may only be a phrase used to show that they are an expert on the matter, which probably they are not. It can be a personal ego-building assertion.
In Psalm 118:8 we read: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” One Internet writer gave these reasons why “no matter how good a man is, you cannot compare him with God”: “God cannot change but men are subject to change; men can lie but God never lies; men can fail but God never fails; God is omniscient but man is limited in his knowledge; God is faithful but men are not; God cannot forget His promise but men can easily forget their promise and God cannot, and never will, betray our confidence.”
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has caused panic among the nations with the media’s obsession with all things Covid 19—so much so that you can’t switch on a television news bulletin at any time of the day or night without being assailed with all the latest statistics, interviews via Skype (or similar) and any other information that they can squeeze out of this issue. Of course, it is a truly terrible situation causing much heartache to so many, but trust is in the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK, and around the world, not in the great God who is seldom mentioned, and when He is, it is oftentimes just lip service. Those of us in the true Church of God know better.
We must always rely on God and trust Him. President Eisenhower was right about the phrase but, in general, man now ignores this precious knowledge and he is always the poorer for doing so. In Proverbs 3:5 we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”
Let the people of God never forget where their complete and total trust should be!
by Norbert Link
We begin this issue with important developments OTHER THAN news directly addressing the coronavirus, including reports on Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel as well as the al-Aqsa mosque and a new abominable Bible translation of the Danish Bible Society which is controlled by the Lutheran church (in this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Netanyahu Is Here to Stay… Why?” ).
We report on the desire of the EU to build a unified army and on several powers that are now challenging the USA militarily; as well as the ongoing threat of Chernobyl and criminal scanners.
Articles supporting or questioning governmental restrictions and actions pertaining to the coronavirus include dictatorial measures to silence dissenters; nationwide protests in the US against the lock-down and stay-at-home orders; a coming clash between state governors and local officials and citizens; the crazy approach by the US to use Chinese drones to spy on Americans; the question as to whether the lock-down was a big mistake; new controversial US immigration restrictions and extensions of travel bans, including by the USA, Canada, Mexico and Germany; and the beginning of a realization, including by Pope Francis and others, that the lock-down and stay-at-home orders severely threaten our religious liberties and freedoms.
We also report on inconsistent and insane regulations in Germany, Italy and Spain; and pose the question as to whether there will EVER be a successful vaccine against the coronavirus. We conclude with a thought-provoking article about biblical prohibitions and terrible consequences for disobedience.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Netanyahu Stays as Prime Minister
JTA wrote on April 20:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz signed a deal Monday to form a ‘national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as the prime minister for [18 months. Gantz would be prime minister-designate]. Israel has spent more than a year under a caretaker government as neither Netanyahu nor Gantz could assemble a coalition government. With the agreement, the country avoids a fourth national election in less than a year and a half.
“Monday evening… is the start of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
Israel Today wrote on April 19:
“Benjamin Netanyahu again showed his political genius and expertise… Many are having trouble believing that Netanyahu will keep his word and step down in another year-and-a-half…
“What is certain is that Netanyahu has come out on top… Benjamin Netanyahu has proved time and again that he is the most savvy and experienced politician in Israel. Despite the tireless efforts to remove him from power, he is here to stay…”
Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Netanyahu Is Here to Stay… Why?” .
Al-Aqsa Mosque Closed
Breaking Israel News wrote on April 20:
“Prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City will be banned during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Muslim clerics said on Thursday. This is the first recorded closure of the mosque since its construction in 692 CE.
“The Jordan-appointed Waqf council that oversees Jerusalem’s Islamic sites called the decision ‘painful,’ though said it was ‘in line with legal fatwas [Islamic religious rulings] and medical advice,’ according to Reuters. The decision extends an already existing suspension of prayer at the site that has been in effect since March 23.
“Muslims should ‘perform prayers in their homes during the month of Ramadan, to preserve their safety,’ said the council.”
When the Al Aqsa mosque can be closed that easily during a health crisis, it is no longer so far-fetched to see how it can be replaced in a bigger war-like crisis.
New Protestant Bible with Glaring Omissions
Breaking Israel News reported on April 20:
“… the Danish Bible Society just published a revised translation of the New Testament. The new edition has many surprises… the word ‘Israel’ is only used once in the ‘Bible 2020’, which is the name of the new edition. In all other passages, the word ‘Israel’ is either replaced with ‘Jews’, ‘the land of the Jews, or not replaced with any alternative term…
“Posts on social media suggested that the change may have been politically motivated as an anti-Israel statement… the new edition has already been downloaded to more than 90 countries… the Danish Bible Society is run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church…
“It should be noted that the term ‘Israel’ is used a total of 73 times in the New Testament… The word ‘ Israel’ appears over 2,200 times in the Torah, Writings, and Prophets…”
First, the Catholic Church changed the calendar from Saturday to Sunday, by designating the first day of the week (Sunday) as the seventh day of the week, the biblical Sabbath. Now, the Protestant Church changes Israel to Jew, or omits it altogether. One wonders what will be next.
Dutch Court Approves Euthanasia
The Guardian wrote on April 21:
“Doctors in the Netherlands are able to carry out euthanasia on patients with severe dementia without fear of prosecution even if the patient no longer expresses an explicit wish to die, the country’s highest court has ruled… ‘A physician may carry out a written request beforehand for euthanasia in people with advanced dementia.’…
“The case was seen as an important test of the law in the Netherlands, which legalised euthanasia in 2002, followed shortly afterwards by neighbouring Belgium.”
One of God’s commandments reads: You shall not kill.
EU Army after UK Has Left Europe
uwidata wrote on March 24:
“… the European Union… is pursuing numerous high-profile projects… in order to improve its defense… and sovereignty. Its strongest bet is the PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation)…
“It currently has 25… States and is carrying out 17 defense collaboration projects that include a medical command, maritime surveillance, cyber security and military mobility. This last point is of great importance as it suggests the possible creation of a joint force capable of acting wherever needed…
“As soon as it joined the European Union, the United Kingdom was reluctant to cede its sovereignty to Brussels, especially in the area of defense. Nonetheless, it covered 25% of the EU defense budget: now the burden will fall mainly between France and Germany. The Anglo-Saxon country continuously tried to block any project to form a common defense force with Europe, always betting on NATO first, following the interests of Washington and influencing countries such as Poland, sewing distrust around the idea of a joint defense pact in the European Community…. The departure of the United Kingdom is a huge opportunity to consolidate a serious defense policy in the EU that is not blocked by a member state…
“The European Union needs to create a force capable of facing any adversity without depending on third countries. The exit of the United Kingdom from the EU is perhaps one of the most important and determining elements for the PESCO, and for the general consolidation of a common European Union defense pact, which would allow the organization to improve its defenses and gain independence from NATO and the United States. However, it must be recognized that this presents a challenging scenario for member countries that will have to adapt to the needs that such commitment and cooperation demands, relinquishing some degree of sovereignty in favor of a common effort by all member states.”
A European army is coming… and it will be a challenge to the USA.
Foreign Powers Challenge US Military
The Hill wrote on April 19:
“U.S. adversaries are probing America’s defenses as the world is preoccupied with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In the past two weeks, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have all moved to test Washington in the sea, in the air and on land as U.S. forces have become more restricted in movement amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19…
“On Tuesday, North Korea launched ground cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from fighter jets into the sea, the first time in three years Pyongyang had launched such projectiles. That followed a slew of short-range ballistic missile tests in March as the hermit nation took part in large-scale live-fire military training.
“Then on Wednesday… a Russian fighter jet came within 25 feet of a Navy reconnaissance aircraft while inverted, putting the U.S. ‘pilots and crew at risk,’ the Navy said in a statement about the incident. That same day, 11 ships from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy repeatedly came close to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Ships in ‘dangerous and harassing approaches’ in the Gulf.
“China, meanwhile, has been showing its force in the Pacific region, sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea on April 2 and sending its aircraft carrier near Japan’s and Taiwan’s territorial waters…
“Flexing their might is not new for these rival countries, but the difference now is that the U.S. military and the nation at large seems to be preoccupied in a way it hasn’t been before as it deals with the pandemic… To combat the spreading illness, the Pentagon has restricted troop movement and on Saturday extended a domestic and overseas travel ban for service members until June 30 — more than a month past the original end date of May 11. In addition, the department has paused routine rotations and port calls, canceled war games, and curtailed individuals entering basic training…”
CNN wrote on April 20:
“A Russian fighter aircraft approached a US Navy aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea Sunday… The US Navy it said was the second time in four days that Russian pilots made unsafe maneuvers while intercepting US aircraft. ‘The unnecessary actions of the Russian SU-35 pilot were inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules, seriously jeopardizing the safety of flight of both aircraft,’ the US Navy said.”
The Bible prophesies a complete economic and military downfall of the USA and that it will be occupied by a foreign power, even though it will not be Russia or China or North Korea or Iran (see next article). Still, are we seeing the beginnings of these developments?
“Shoot Them Down”
Reuters wrote on April 22:
“President Donald Trump said on Wednesday [in a tweet] he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on [“shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats”] any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, a week after 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to American ships in the Gulf.
“Close interactions with Iranian military vessels were not uncommon in 2016 and 2017. On several occasions, U.S. Navy ships fired warning shots at Iranian vessels when they got too close. While the Navy has the authority to act in self-defense, Trump’s comments appeared to go further…
“Trump wrote [the] tweet, hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.”
Over 26 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment So Far
Breitbart wrote on April 23:
“The coronavirus continued to ravish the U.S. economy last week, with 4.4 million of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims… The total number of Americans who have lost their jobs since claims spiked five weeks ago because of coronavirus and shutdowns rose to around 26.4 million, enough to erase all the job gains since the economy began to recover after the financial crisis…
“Self-employed workers and independent contractors can now file for benefits, expanding the number of claims… Actual job losses may be higher than the most recent figures reveal. Applications in many states have been hampered by websites and phone lines failing due to the rapid rise in the volume of claims.
“Employers are slashing their payrolls to try to stay afloat because their revenue has collapsed, especially at restaurants, hotels, gyms, movie theaters, and other venues that depend on face-to-face interaction. Auto sales have sunk, non-healthcare related manufacturing has ground to a halt, and factories have closed. More than 90 percent of the U.S. population is now under stay-at-home orders, which have been imposed by most U.S. states…”
Closing the country down has brought American economy to its knees. But this outcome was prophesied to happen.
Wildfires Threaten Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Site
Breaking Israel News reported on April 17:
“Over 1,000 firefighters are struggling to control wildfires at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site despite high-winds that threaten to send radioactive smoke to nearby residents as well as neighboring countries. The fire has been burning since April 3. It was successfully extinguished but fires cropped up again on Tuesday. Aerial firefighting equipment including helicopters and airplanes were brought in to fight the blaze earlier this week but high-winds are preventing these elements from being utilized in new blazes that have flared up. The fires are reportedly blazing less than one mile from the remains of the nuclear power plant…
“Chernobyl was home to a Soviet nuclear power plant which exploded on 26 April 1986 during an emergency drill that was botched, leading to an explosion and the meltdown of its number four reactor. It is still considered the worst peace-time nuclear disaster in history. Though it is uncertain how many deaths can be attributed to the disaster, the estimates range from 4,000-9,000 in former Soviet states to 16,000 fatalities when assessing the total continent of Europe…”
Global radioactive threats ARE prophesied.
Beware of Criminal Scammers
Digital Trends wrote on April 17:
“Google has revealed that on each day over the past week, its Gmail-linked computer systems detected — and blocked — 18 million malware and phishing emails related to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. On top of that, it also blocked more than 240 million daily spam messages linked to the virus.
“… scammers will stop at nothing to trick innocent people into handing over cash… some are impersonating high-profile bodies such as the World Health Organization… The perpetrators send the bogus emails to try to solicit fraudulent donations, or distribute malware, which, if downloaded, could give remote access to the victim’s computer or mobile device.
“Some criminals are imitating government institutions in a bid to trick small businesses, while others are trying to exploit people working from home for the first time, sending emails pretending to be from ‘the admin department’ and asking the recipient to click on a (dangerous) link. Although Gmail and other email platforms endeavor to catch these odious emails, you should still stay alert for such content, and always take extra care when it comes to downloading attachments or clicking on links.”
In times of these, criminal scammers manifest carnal human nature at its worst.
How to Silence Dissenters
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on April 17:
“In the Soviet Union, activists were sent to state psychiatric wards. According to the state, any and all opposition to government policy was considered a form of mental illness… It is not likely German lawyer Beate Bahner will be tortured like Brodsky. However, that does not make her arrest and forced confinement in a mental institution any less egregious…
“‘Bahner had become known in the past few days with a call for nationwide demonstrations and an urgent application for the abolition of all corona protective measures,’ reports Welt. ‘The [medical specialist] lawyer from Heidelberg considers the corona rules to be excessive and advocates for them to be abolished.’… Bahner’s website was shut down at the request of the Mannheim police…
“In America… police have threatened people for attending church services and disobeying social distancing mandates… In Australia and Britain, police are fining citizens for daring to go outside… The dictator president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has ordered police and the military to shoot and kill all in violation of an iron-fisted lockdown…
“Officialdom has warned lockdowns may be in place until a vaccine is manufactured, possibly 18 months from now. This is a sure recipe for civil unrest and violence. It is not feasible for millions of people—and billions around the world—to endure lockdown and other authoritarian measures, possibly indefinitely.
“In Germany, the state has moved to declare opposition to the destruction of civilization a mental illness. As more people resist mass house arrest… the state will undoubtedly resort to measures above and beyond locking activists up in mental institutions… The [US] military is now engaged in a PR campaign to ‘reassure the public’ that it will use the appropriate protective equipment as it prepares to put down inevitable uprisings…”
Terrible. The fear as to what might happen in Germany is very real. Please view our recent program, “Shocking Developments in Germany—Comments on News and Prophecy, April 18, 2020”
Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil under Fire
The LAT wrote on April 17:
“Two of television’s most well-known daytime hosts are under fire for their comments questioning stay-at-home restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In a Thursday appearance on the Fox News show ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ Phil McGraw suggested it was dangerous to shut down the economy in order to stop the COVID-19 pandemic…
“‘The fact of the matter is 40,000 people die a year from automobile accidents. 480,000 from cigarettes. 360,000 a year die from swimming pools, but we don’t shut the country down for that. But yet we’re doing it for this?’ said the host of ‘Dr. Phil’…
“A day earlier, Dr. Mehmet Oz expressed similar sentiments during Fox News’ prime-time programming… Both hosts faced immediate backlash on social media… The statements… come amid a growing call among conservatives to ease social-distancing measures… Fox News personalities such as Laura Ingraham have been pushing to reopen the economy…
“In the same episode of ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on which McGraw appeared, Dr. Anthony Fauci… pushed back against Ingraham’s suggestion that the virus may simply ‘disappear’ without a vaccine…”
Stuffnews added on April 17:
“Elaborating on the long-term health risks of extreme isolation, [Dr. Phil] said, ‘This is invisible. I can’t show you an X-ray of depression. I can’t show you an X-ray of anxiety…
“‘There’s a point at which people start having enough problems in lockdown that it will actually create actually more destruction and actually more death across time than the actual virus will itself.’”
The left-liberal mass media does not like “dissenters” challenging their propaganda. Note the next articles.
Anti-Trump Bill Gates Supporters Fire Back
DNYUZ wrote on April 17:
“In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity was not nuclear war but an infectious virus that could threaten the lives of millions of people. That speech has resurfaced in recent weeks with 25 million new views on YouTube — but not in the way that Mr. Gates probably intended. Anti-vaccinators, members of [a] conspiracy group… and right-wing pundits have instead seized on the video as evidence that one of the world’s richest men planned to use a pandemic to wrest control of the global health system…
“The wild claims have gained traction with conservative pundits like Laura Ingraham and anti-vaccinators such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as Mr. Gates has emerged as a vocal counterweight to President Trump on the coronavirus. For weeks, Mr. Gates has appeared on TV, on op-ed pages and in Reddit forums calling for stay-at-home policies, expanded testing and vaccine development…
“His disdain for Mr. Trump… has also become public… Mr. Kennedy, a son of former Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who campaigns against vaccines as a director of the Children’s Health Defense network… has said Mr. Gates pushes vaccines to feed his other business interests… Mr. Kennedy, whose Instagram followers have doubled to more than 285,000 since March, said in an interview that he was telling the truth about the ‘terrible damage’ that Mr. Gates had inflicted on the world with vaccines.
“In an April 7 tweet, Ms. Ingraham, a Fox News host, shared a conspiracy theory about nefarious motives behind Mr. Gates’s call to track and identify who had received a Covid-19 vaccine. ‘Digitally tracking Americans’ every move has been a dream of the globalists for years,’ she wrote…”
Trump Supports Protesters Who Demand End of Lock-Down
The Associated Press reported on April 17:
“Asked about the [nationwide] protesters, Trump expressed sympathy with their frustration — ‘They’re suffering … they want to get back’ … On Friday, he egged the protesters on, tweeting for supporters to ‘LIBERATE’ three states with Democratic governors: Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota.”
Breitbart wrote on April 19:
“President Donald Trump on Sunday continued to defend protesters of overbearing state lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. ‘These are great people … They’ve got cabin fever they want to get back. They want their life back; their life was taken away from them,’ Trump said. Trump was asked by Today‘s David Jackson if he is concerned his calls for ‘liberation’ and defending the Second Amendment are ‘inciting violence’ against some of the Democrat governors who enacted the lockdowns.
“But the president defended the protesters as patriotic. ‘I’ve seen American flags all over the place. I’ve never seen so many American flags at a rally than I’ve seen at those rallies,’ Trump said. ‘These people love our country. They want to get back to work.’”
Medical expert Anthony Fauci issued a warning to protestors, saying protests would only delay the re-opening of the country.
Small Businesses Could Not Get Funding Meant for Them
The Washington Post wrote on April 20:
“The federal government gave national hotel and restaurant chains millions of dollars in grants before the $349 billion program ran out of money Thursday, leading to a backlash that prompted one company to give the money back and a Republican senator to say that ‘millions of dollars are being wasted.’
“Thousands of traditional small businesses were unable to get funding from the program before it ran dry. As Congress and the White House near a deal to add an additional $310 billion to the program, some are calling for additional oversight and rule changes to prevent bigger chains from accepting any more money.”
This is another example of man’s carnal selfish nature at its worst.
Facebook Works Hand in Hand with State Governments
Breitbart wrote on April 20:
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that posts and pages attempting to organize protests against stay-at-home orders will be banned as ‘misinformation’… while at the same time saying that it’s important ‘that people can debate policies.’
“A Facebook spokesman confirmed to CNN that planned protests in California, New Jersey, and Nebraska were having their pages removed from Facebook at the request of state authorities…”
Clash Between Governors and Citizens Coming
The Hill wrote on April 20:
“Governors are heading for a clash with their own citizens and local officials as they weigh how and when to reopen the country’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic… governors are facing growing pressure from the public in states such as Ohio and Michigan, where protests have called on leaders to quickly lift stay-at-home orders and bans on large gatherings and to allow nonessential businesses to open their doors…
“More protests are expected in the coming days in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Idaho, giving a public voice to the opposition to social distancing restrictions across the country. In Michigan, a crowd of demonstrators organized by a conservative group on Wednesday descended on the state Capitol to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) stay-at-home order… Whitmer faces two lawsuits over her stay-at-home order, with the plaintiffs — Michigan residents and businesses — claiming the April 9 order infringes on the constitutionally protected freedom of association and due process rights…
“In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has been under criticism for his decision to include churches and other houses of worship in his state’s strict social distancing guidelines. During a tense interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, Murphy was asked about constitutional protections after police broke up a rabbi’s funeral in early April at a synagogue in Ocean County, N.J., arresting 15 men. ‘That’s above my pay grade, Tucker,’ Murphy replied. ‘I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this…’
“The landmark 1905 Supreme Court decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts held that constitutional rights can be lawfully restricted when emergency public health measures are in place, though the precise scope of government public health power is not clearly defined. But there has not been a direct legal ruling yet on mandatory stay-at-home orders, and state and local leaders could find themselves dragged into court fights if they adopt an overly aggressive approach to enforcing mitigation measures… Governors and local officials may need to walk a tight line in enforcing restrictions…”
Abuse of Power by US Governors
Newsmax wrote on April 20:
“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been in lock-down in Italy for several weeks, on Monday said there are several U.S. governors who are showing their ‘ideological bias’ with shutdown rules and people have their ‘teeth on edge because they’re watching politicians abuse their power.’
“‘One governor, for example, said it was okay for Planned Parenthood to stay open for abortions, but it wasn’t okay for the churches to have services,’ Gingrich said… ‘Well, that’s clearly just an ideological abuse of emergency.’”
Lacking American Leadership
The New York Times wrote on April 23:
“The pandemic sweeping the globe… is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism — the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world…
“As the calamity unfolds, President Trump and state governors are not only arguing over what to do, but also over who has the authority to do it… ‘America has not done badly, it has done exceptionally badly,’ said Dominique Moïsi, a political scientist and senior adviser at the Paris-based Institut Montaigne… In the United States, it has exposed two great weaknesses that, in the eyes of many Europeans, have compounded one another: the erratic leadership of Mr. Trump… and the absence of a robust public health care system and social safety net.
“… this is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking to the United States for leadership… ‘There is not only no global leadership, there is no national and no federal leadership in the United States,’ said Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Growth Lab at Harvard’s Center for International Development…
“The current crisis, some fear, could act like an accelerator of history, speeding up a decline in influence of… the United States… Mr. Garton Ash said that the United States should take an urgent warning from a long line of empires that rose and fell. ‘To a historian it’s nothing new, that’s what happens,’ said Mr. Garton Ash. ‘It’s a very familiar story in world history that after a certain amount of time a power declines.’”
Much nonsense is included in the article, especially when it comes to the ridiculous praise of Angela Merkel’s “leadership” and of the dictatorial measures taken in Germany to fight the coronavirus, but the sections quoted above about Europe’s perspective of America’s lacking leadership are worthwhile noticing.
Crazy—US Uses Chinese Drones to Spy on Americans
Daily Wire wrote on April 19:
“An MSNBC segment from late last week sparked controversy after it shined a light on a program that some localities across the U.S. are participating in that uses Chinese-made drones to monitor American citizens in an effort to enforce social distancing. ‘The drones make it easier for police to see into certain areas where access by patrol cars is more difficult,’ MSNBC reported. ‘That includes tight spaces between buildings, behind schools, and in backyards. Failure to comply could lead to a summons or a thousand dollar fine.’… ‘The drones donated by DJI, a Chinese company, have gone to 43 agencies in 22 states, all to help enforce social distancing rules,’ MSNBC continued…
“Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) responded to the segment by writing on Twitter: ‘Think about this for a second. This virus originated in Communist China and the Chinese Communist Party’s lies helped it spread around the world. Now we’re using drones made by a Chinese company and backed by the CCP to enforce social distancing. This is crazy!’”
Many concerns have been raised that these Chinese-made drones, which are now being used by US governments to spy on Americans, are at the same time being used by China to spy on America as well.
The Lockdown—a Big Mistake?
Ron Paul wrote on April 20 in “The Ron Paul Institute”:
“From California to New Jersey, Americans are protesting in the streets. They are demanding an end to house arrest orders given by government officials over a virus outbreak that even according to the latest US government numbers will claim fewer lives than the seasonal flu outbreak of 2017-2018.
“Across the US, millions of businesses have been shut down by ‘executive order’ and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Americans, who have seen their real wages decline thanks to Federal Reserve monetary malpractice, are finding themselves thrust into poverty and standing in breadlines. It is like a horror movie, but it’s real.
“Last week the UN Secretary General warned that a global recession resulting from the worldwide coronavirus lockdown could cause ‘hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths per year.’ As of this writing, less than 170,000 have been reported to have died from the coronavirus worldwide.
“Many Americans have also died this past month because they were not able to get the medical care they needed. Cancer treatments have been indefinitely postponed. Life-saving surgeries have been put off to make room for coronavirus cases. Meanwhile hospitals are laying off thousands because the expected coronavirus cases have not come and the hospitals are partially empty…
“US states that did not arrest citizens for merely walking on the beach are not doing worse than those that did… Governments have no right or authority to tell us what business or other activity is ‘essential.’ Only in totalitarian states does the government claim this authority…”
Temporary Suspension of Some Green Card Applicants
NBC San Diego reported on April 21:
“President Donald Trump announced what he described as a ‘temporary suspension of immigration into the United States’ on Tuesday, an executive order barring those seeking permanent residency green cards but not temporary workers. Trump said he would be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards in an effort to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus… An administration official familiar with the plans said the order would apply to foreigners seeking employment-based green cards and relatives of green card holders who are not citizens…
“Almost all visa processing by the State Department has been suspended for weeks. Travel to the U.S. has been restricted from much of the globe. And Trump has used the virus to effectively end asylum at U.S. borders, including turning away children who arrive by themselves and putting a hold on refugee resettlement…
“Trump first announced his intentions in a vague tweet Monday night. Across the country, those who could be impacted waited in suspense through the day. Chicago immigration attorney Fiona McEntee said she had been inundated with calls, emails and social media messages, including from company executives hoping to expand their business in the U.S., a person applying for a fiance visa and wondering about their wedding plans, artists seeking ‘extraordinary ability’ visas and foreign students. ‘It has created absolute panic,’ said McEntee. ‘These are people’s lives. … It is irresponsible and cruel to put out something like that without any consideration.’…”
Trump’s executive order expressly states that it does not apply, among others, to “any lawful permanent resident of the United States”; “any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen”; or “any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen.”
According to polls, about 79 percent want a full halt on immigration to the U.S. More than 80 percent of American adults call mass migration to the U.S. a “threat.”
The fear has been expressed that Trump and his anti-Immigration guru and right-wing hardliner Miller will use the “temporary” immigration “suspension” to make it permanent.
Fox News wrote on April 21: “Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, applauded the planned executive order, and suggested a total immigration suspension should continue indefinitely… ‘All immigration to the United States should halt until every American who wants a job has one!’”
Suspension of Green Card Applications Just a First Step?
Breitbart wrote on April 23:
“…the promise of Trump’s tweet was blocked amid furious closed-door lobbying by hugely wealthy Fortune 500 companies and elite investors. Their opposition was chiefly intended to stop the inflow of non-immigrant, white collar visa workers, including the roughly 900,000 H-1B workers who spike stock prices by shrinking salaries for U.S. professionals….
“That was a deep disappointment to many supporters… But Trump’s offer of a June re-match between voters and the Fortune 500 gives the public another chance to shift the nation’s economic policy towards employees, say reformers…
“Many polls show… the public strongly objects to companies hiring foreign workers before American employees…
“But Trump’s zig-zagging between donors and voters is alienating many of those who stuck with him in 2016… ‘We knew it was best not to react to Trump’s initial claims about stopping immigration or any immigration matter because his past behavior has shown us there is an 80% chance that what he is telling us isn’t true,’ said William Gheen, the founder of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC… ‘Trump has broken most of his key campaign promises … here once again he promises his audiences he will end all immigration for 60 days, but then guts the actual order to where it will have little impact for American workers.’”
In fact, suspending applications for permanent green card holders (most of them family-based) will have virtually NO impact on jobs for American workers. It is just a smokescreen to help Trump not to lose face completely, pacify (some) of his supporters and big companies and lobbyists, and to open the way for much severe anti-immigration measures in the hope of wooing hard-core anti-immigrant voters as we are getting closer to the 2020 presidential election in November.
US Travel Ban with Canada Extended
The Hill wrote on April 18:
“The U.S.-Canada border restrictions will be extended for another 30 days… The restrictions took effect on March 21, banning any nonessential travel between the two countries…
“When asked about potentially relaxing border restrictions with Canada on Wednesday, President Trump said, ‘…It will be one of the early borders to be released…’”
That does not sound good for a relaxation of the travel ban with other countries.
US Travel Ban with Mexico Extended
NPR wrote on April 20:
“The United States and Mexico are extending restrictions on nonessential travel across their shared border for an additional 30 days… The temporary closure was first put in place on March 21 and does not target the crossing of merchandise. People with temporary work visas, emergency personnel, students and those traveling for business are also still allowed to enter the U.S. However, the partial ban places stringent limits on tourism and shopping for people from California to Texas.”
No Lifting of German Travel Ban Any Time Soon
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 17:
“Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that travel warnings aren’t going to be relaxed any time soon. ‘At the current point in time, I see absolutely no reason to lift the travel warnings,’ Maas told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper. He noted that even if Germany were to relax its measures, the curfews and other restrictions that other countries have put in place make it nearly impossible to go on holiday there.
“Germany issued a global travel warning in mid-March advising against non-essential travel abroad, particularly against travel for tourism purposes. The current warning has been extended to May 3, along with Germany’s nationwide social-distancing measures.
“The German government will reevaluate the situation from week to week and any loosening of restrictions would need to be coordinated on a European level, Maas noted. Mass warned that if people were to ignore travel warnings and try to continue with their summer vacation plans, the German government won’t fly them home from abroad this time…
“The German government launched a massive repatriation effort last month to fly home tourists who were stranded by the coronavirus outbreak. Although 240,000 people have been brought back so far, the government hasn’t been able to reach everyone just yet, Maas said. Over the next few weeks flights have been planned to bring German citizens back from South Africa, Peru, Argentina, and Pacific Island nations. Those who have since returned to Germany still likely face a bill from the government for the emergency flights.”
In an incredible article by Focus, dated April 18, titled, “Reason rather than naïve [plump] obedience… German calmness is success of democracy,” the author argues that the passive reaction of most Germans to the authoritarian measures by their government is a sign of a strong and successful democracy and can be explained by a trust in politics and acceptable arguments.
Der Spiegel took a completely different stance on April 17, writing: “Many Germans are growing impatient with the hesitant pace of efforts by the government to loosen the lockdown imposed to bring the number of coronavirus infections under control… And when will residents of Germany once again be able to exercise their constitutional rights, like going to church or attending a demonstration?”
So, who is right? Focus or Spiegel? Also, Bavaria announced that its Oktoberfest has been canceled for the first time since World War II. As Bloomberg reported on April 21, “The festival was called off twice in the past due to outbreaks of cholera, in 1854 and 1873.”
Change of Mind? Pope Warns Now Against Coronavirus Restrictions for Churches
Katholisch.de wrote on April 17 that Pope Francis warned against the consequences of a relationship with God without the church, stating that in internet services, people are together and not together.
He spoke of a danger when religious communication only occurs through the media and that one cannot just receive spiritual communion. “This is not the church,” he said.
The pope’s previous far-too-ready adherence to and even approval of the authoritarian restrictions of the governments, prohibiting church assemblies, is now backfiring, forcing him to eat his own words.
Der Spiegel wrote on April 17:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel [conducted] a videoconference with the governors of Germany’s 16 states…
“North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Armin Laschet… clashed with other meeting participants primarily on the issue of religion. A Catholic by confession, Laschet joined Thuringia Governor Bodo Ramelow, a member of the far-left Left Party, in arguing that religious services should be permitted as long as certain measures were observed.
“Others noted that it is primarily the elderly – those who are most at risk in the coronavirus epidemic – who attend church services and that the kind of singing that takes place during church services increases the risk of transmission via exhaled particles…
“The decisive argument was delivered by, of all people, [Bavarian Governor Markus] Söder… A Protestant himself, he is nonetheless head of a largely Catholic state. He pointed out that even the pope celebrated Easter mass completely on his own. Why should Germany do any different?”
Can one believe such utter nonsense as expressed by German governors (!), in regard to singing in church services? This is absolutely insane. But that happens when the pope wants to play coy and be cute. Now note the next article.
No Justification to Prohibit Religious Assemblies
Bild Online published the following commentary on April 16:
“To give up the constitutional right of free exercise of religion because of reasons of protection against the epidemic is difficult to swallow… Now stores will soon be open again, but religious services remain prohibited. With that, any semblance of proportionality has disappeared, with which we could justify such a grievous intrusion into our freedom.”
Bild has been taking a rather inconsistent approach throughout their “reporting”, reflecting the inconsistent approach of many Germans towards their government’s inconsistent handling of the coronavirus situation. A constitutional scholar, Hans Michael Heinig, also stated that it would not be ok anymore to prohibit church assemblies in Germany, and Deutsche Welle reported on April 17 that in the German state of Saxony, church assemblies with up to 15 people plus the pastor will now be allowed. Deutsche Welle reported on April 21 that “Berlin is also set to allow church services of up to 50 people starting from May 4, according to the city’s culture minister.”
Germany’s Constitutional Court’s Incongruous Decisions
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 18:
“Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rebuked Stuttgart city for just citing a local pandemic decree and saying ‘no’ on the phone to a person who planned to hold a 50-person demonstration on Saturday against the coronavirus-related lockdown measures in place… The government of Stuttgart, the state’s capital, argued that the decree [issued by Baden-Württemberg state] gave it no scope to even issue a legally contestable reply…
“The plaintiff approached Karlsruhe after losing a lower-court appeal before Baden-Württemberg’s top administrative court on Wednesday. The three-judge Karlsruhe panel in their ruling said the Stuttgart city administration in negotiations with the applicant could have agreed on a lower number of participants combined with physical spacing, location and demonstration timing. On Wednesday, Germany’s top court in similar fast-track provision rulings, had quashed two rejections of demonstrations in Giessen, a city in Hesse state, enabling them to proceed, but under strict safeguards.”
At the same time, as we reported earlier, the same court had found that the prohibition of RELIGIOUS assemblies and church services, even under strict safeguards, was justified. Who can understand those inconsistencies?
More German Confusion and Inconsistencies
AFP wrote on April 20:
“With small shops opening on Monday for the first time in a month, Merkel said the authorities can only allow such small cautious steps each time to avoid a devastating relapse… From florists to fashion stores, the majority of shops smaller than 800 square metres (8,600 square feet) were allowed to welcome customers again in much of Germany… But the government is facing increasing pressure from other sectors still facing curbs to move faster and let them get business back on track.
“… each of Germany’s 16 states is taking action at a slightly different pace. In eastern Saxony state, pupils taking final examinations began streaming back to classrooms, two weeks ahead of their peers in other states, where school gates will reopen only from May 4… Though not yet obligatory, the government ‘strongly advises’ wearing a mask in public. [Earlier, Merkel had strongly advised AGAINST wearing a mask in public. But now, almost all German states require the wearing of masks in public, but with inconsistent regulations.]
“… state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet warned that some coronavirus restrictions could last until 2021.
“Cultural venues, bars, leisure centres and beauty salons will remain closed for the time being, and large-scale public events such as concerts and football matches have been banned until August 31. With larger shops unable to open, the German Trade Association warned Friday of a possible ‘distortion of competition’.”
Deutsche Welle added on April 20:
“Merkel has criticized excessive discussions about easing lockdown measures in Germany, warning that an ‘orgy’ of talks on when to reopen for business could jeopardize the progress made so far against the virus.”
The opposition party, the FDP, criticized Merkel sharply for her “choice of words” and her “grip of power” which she “does not have” (MSN, April 20, 2020).
Breitbart reported on April 20:
“Italian police used drones, quads, and a jeep to hunt down and fine a man thought to be spreading coronavirus by lying alone on an Italian beach.
“The City of Rimini posted a video of the police action against the sunbather on its website, boasting of the efficiency of local police in bringing the miscreant to justice.
“On Sunday, the Italian news service ANSA reported that photos of the police operation had gone viral, unleashing an unexpected avalanche of fury against the government for its ‘dictatorial’ methods, while others praised the lone bather for his exemplary ‘social distancing.’
“The Italian Interior Ministry reported Monday that 17,500 people were issued citations over the weekend for failing to comply with the… coronavirus lockdown provisions… 8,641 were fined for traveling outside the home without sufficient justification, 74 for false declarations, and 9 for violated quarantine.”
Words fail in light of such governmental stupidity.
Extraordinary Damage for Global Economy
Money Week wrote on April 20:
“Covid-19 has wrought extraordinary damage on the global economy. Unemployment continues to soar to unprecedented levels. Companies continue to scramble for government support. We are unquestionably facing an economic slump larger than any we’ve ever experienced… Everything about this crisis has been off the charts in terms of historic comparisons…
“… there are signs that the market – in the US certainly – is… overvalued, just a month after hitting its coronavirus lows… The action taken by central banks now… will undermine our system yet further, and set up the conditions for a future blow-up…”
Killing Coronavirus with Disinfectants?
Zerohedge wrote on April 18:
“The Spanish government has just ‘authorized’ the military to prepare planes for aerial spraying of disinfectants across major metro areas…
“The order was first published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado, the country’s official gazette, on Friday, that ‘authorizes the NBQ (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) units of the Armed Forces and the UME to use biocides authorized by the Ministry of Health in disinfection efforts to deal with the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.’…
“The order continues to say ‘aerial disinfection’ missions will be conducted ‘regularly’ as long as the pandemic continues to ravage the country… Spain has deployed unmanned aerial systems and ground-based robots to spray disinfectants on the street level…[now] the government [wants] to blanket entire towns with disinfectants via airplanes…”
This is INSANE!
There Might NEVER Be a Vaccine… but It May Be Unnecessary
The Daily Star wrote on April 19:
“Professor Ian Frazer, one of the world’s leading vaccine inventors [said] that trying to immunise against coronavirus was like trying to immunise against the common cold – difficult to impossible… ‘Coronavirus doesn’t get into you, it stays on the surface cells in your lungs,’ he added. ‘All these flu viruses get into you, so the body can fight and makes T cells. ‘This virus doesn’t kill the cells, it makes them sick. At the moment we don’t know how to make a coronavirus vaccine work. That’s why there are 100 vaccines under testing using every conceivable approach. We don’t know if any of them will work.’
“On a more positive note, Prof Frazer pointed out that a vaccine was never developed for SARS following an outbreak in China in 2003, but it burnt out on its own. The virus became less effective as it passed from host to host, explained Prof Frazer – something that could feasibly happen with Covid-19 too. He added: ‘It may well be the same with this virus. It’s not very effective in making us sick. It may become less effective.’”
Vaccines a Longshot with no Success Guaranteed
Breitbart wrote on April 20:
“The government’s chief scientific advisor [Sir Patrick Vallance] admitted that vaccines for new viruses are ‘long shots’ and that ‘only some end up being successful’…
“Oxford University scientist Sarah Gilbert … raised other complications in the rollout and manufacturing of a vaccine, including that the injection may alter a person’s immune system, making contracting the Chinese virus more dangerous…”
And still, due to the panic and lucrative prospects of a vaccine for the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters and investors, we predict some kind of a vaccine will be produced and rushed through, while it will be claimed that it is safe so that it can be made mandatory for the entire globe.
Ongoing Isolation for Athletes and the Elderly without Vaccine
The Daily Mail wrote on April 20:
“World No 1 Novak Djokovic’s opposition to vaccines could stand in the way of his return to tennis when eventually it resumes following the coronavirus pandemic. A push is growing for all players to be vaccinated when tennis starts again, provided one is produced by then…
“Professor Gilbert said her team hopes to begin clinical trials towards the end of this week… The 510 or so healthy volunteers, between 18 and 55, are currently being recruited and having health checks. Half of all the trial volunteers will get the new coronavirus vaccine and the other half will get a vaccine licensed to protect against meningitis. Volunteers will not know what they are given…
“Scientists have asked people not to pin their hopes on a vaccine. However, it’s believed that vaccines are the only way for high-risk people, such as the elderly, will be able to mingle in society in the future. Over-70s may potentially have to wait for a vaccine before going back to normal life, according to lockdown exit plans reported by the Sunday Times yesterday.”
Twelve More Months of Lockdown in Australia?
The Sun wrote on April 17:
“AUSTRALIA is thinking of extending its lockdown to a YEAR – despite suffering just 63 coronavirus deaths. Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned life ‘down under’ could be constrained for 12 more months… And some see the proposal as a sign other countries may also be thinking of very lengthy lockdowns…
“Restaurants, bars and other ‘non-essential’ businesses have closed [in Australia] and public gatherings of more than two people are banned under the threat of fines and even prison… Ministers in Australia have already refused to rule out keeping travel restrictions in place until 2021- meaning a ban on tourism. Citizens are being advised to plan vacations in their own country when the crisis is over…”
Man Reaps what He Sows
Express wrote on April 22:
“CHINA is facing pressure for answers as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic – and science highlighting that the outbreak started via bat-to-human transmission suggests that warnings in the Bible on the consumption of ‘unclean’ meat have been ignored with fatal consequences for humanity…
“Scientists say that coronavirus is highly likely to have come from bats to humans via pangolins. This is believed to have started in China’s Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, where the sale of bats and pangolins for human consumption is widespread and profitable. The Book of Leviticus… does warn against people eating them.
“Chapter 11 offers instructions on how to remain clean by abstaining from the consumption of certain animals. It reads: ‘These you shall detest among the birds, they shall not be eaten – the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, every raven of any kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the seagull, the hawk of any kind, the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl, the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat…’
“Though bats are now considered mammals, until the Middle ages, organisms were classified into three categories, those that walked on land, those that flew through the air and those that lived in water. By this method, bats are grouped into the same category as birds.
“The passage goes on to warn that anyone who does not follow these rules will remain ‘unclean’ until they repent. Some online users have linked this extract with coronavirus… referencing Leviticus 26:14-18, which reads: ‘If you won’t listen or obey my commands and reject them and violate my covenant, then I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. If you still disobey Me, I will punish you sevenfold.’
“One Twitter user commented: ‘If China keeps eating unclean food, God will punish you sevenfold.’ Another added: ‘Leviticus reveals the punishment for disobedience.’”
Interesting thoughts. In Leviticus, God’s punishment is mainly directed to the modern houses of Israel and Judah, and it is of course not limited to eating unclean meat (even though this is included), but God calls this practice an “abomination” and He does pronounce serious punishment on ALL who do so in the book of Isaiah (65:3-5; 66:15-17).
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
Why are true Christians called ambassadors for Christ?
First of all, what is an ambassador?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an ambassador as follows: “The highest-ranking person who represents his or her own government while living in another country.” Another definition is “an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country.” In another way, an ambassador can be “a representative or promoter of a specified activity.”
Let us look at some of the requirements of a diplomatic ambassador who is domiciled in a foreign country, as they are sometimes listed, and compare them to the requirements of Spirit-begotten members of the Family of God. We understand, of course, that in far-too-many cases, these requirements for an ambassador in a foreign country are not present or manifested by him or her, but these are the requirements an ambassador should have, and which we as Christians must have or develop.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we read that we are to be ambassadors for Christ: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
We will see that there are many comparisons with the job function and responsibilities of a career ambassador and that of a Christian who is an ambassador for Christ.
- To be selected in the first place, an ambassador must possess politeness, courtesy, hospitality and other skills that will help him in the execution of his important duties.
A Christian must also possess these qualities in order to be the example that he should be. In Matthew 5:16, we read “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
1 Timothy 3:1-7 speaks about such qualities and while this is about the qualifications of an Elder, the same qualities are just as relevant to members who haven’t been ordained: “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
In Colossians 3:13, discussing the character of the new man, we read “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
- An Ambassador is a representative in a foreign land for his own country.
An ambassador is not to reflect the will of his people at home, nor of the people where he resides, but he reflects his government’s stance.
We are not to reflect the will of the people or governments and other high ranking officials in society, but to practice the Way and Will of God at the core of our lives. We read in John 18:36: “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’”
When Jesus was praying for His disciples just before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” They were representatives of the coming Kingdom of God in the world which is a foreign environment run by Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We read in Colossians 1:13: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
John 17:16 Jesus prayed for His disciples then and by extension to His disciples down through the ages, when He said: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” While we are in this society, its way of conducting itself is far removed from God’s Way and, therefore, we must reject the way of the society which we live in.
- An ambassador is trustworthy and sets an example for his country by his demeanour, personality, skills and training.
True Christians have been called by God and given a task to do. In 1 Thessalonians 2:4, we read: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”
Matthew 10:16 says: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” We should be trustworthy with the Word of God and with our dealings with other people. In a world where there is little trust and much compromise, it is important that we have and display this quality. In Proverbs 11:13, we read: “A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” In other words, those who have a faithful spirit are trustworthy.
In Colossians 4:5-6 we read further instructions as to how we are to comfort ourselves: “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
- An ambassador must have diplomatic skills, including not being offended or causing offence.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, which is a chapter devoted to Christian love, we read: “(Love) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” This quality of not being offensive is spoken about in 2 Corinthians 6:3: “We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.”
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 states: “Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others.”
We live in a time when many are easily offended; in fact, some seem to be just waiting to be offended which is a trait that a Christian must not succumb to, as Philippians 1:9-11 explains: “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
We know what it will be like at the end of the age: “…then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24:10), and so we have been warned!
- An ambassador must be humble, acting as a servant and spokesperson, articulating his country’s position in any given situation.
As an ambassador articulating his own country’s stance, Christians must do likewise. We read in Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Today, the Church of God has a commission to preach the gospel as it was prophesied to occur in Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
In 2 Timothy 2:15, the apostle Paul writes: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” A few verses on in 2 Timothy 2:24-26, we read “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” The qualities required of Christians are clearly set out here.
- An ambassador does not give his own opinions, but that of his native country.
Before conversion, we may have had many ideas that were false and not in line with our subsequent calling. In 1 Peter 3:15, we read that we must now speak of the things of God; not, what our opinion is on any given matter: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
Even Jesus Christ said that it was the Father who did the works in and through Jesus, as we read in John 14:10: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” There were no personal opinions spilling over into Christ’s speech.
In Ephesians 6:20, we read: “…for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Paul spoke boldly as we see in many passages of Scripture and it was always about the Way of God. As we know, “the Way,” meaning the Christian Way of Life, is spoken of in Acts 19:9; 19:23; 22:4; 24:14 and 24:22.
- An ambassador doesn’t vote in the country he lives in.
The subject of voting has been covered many times, and quoting very briefly from our Q&A on this matter will clearly show that as an ambassador does not vote in the country in which he represents his own nation, we, likewise, are not to vote for reasons as explained below. This Q&A can be accessed on our website as follows: http://www.eternalgod.org/why-we-must-not-vote-in-governmental-elections/:
“To be blunt, voting in governmental, national and presidential elections violates God’s plan for true Christians and constitutes a grave sin. It manifests the absence of faith in God; reveals a complete lack of understanding as to what the role of a true Christian is today; and shows utter ignorance as to who is ruling this world…
“We believe that a Christian’s duty to God is of a superior and higher nature than our duty arising from any human relationship (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29). We therefore, following Biblical commands and principles, do not participate in voting for national elections or jury duty, and we do not join the military…
“The Bible is very clear: We are SINNING if we judge in jury duty services or vote in national elections, while forgetting our true responsibility of being AMBASSADORS for Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. Once God rules on earth, there will be NO MORE VOTING in political campaigns. For true Christians, there must be no voting today.”
As one commentator wisely wrote: “Our chief influence in the world is to be through prayer, not the ballot box.”
- An ambassador is not involved in the politics of the country he lives in.
In Philippians 3:20, we read: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Like ambassadors of a foreign country, we cannot get involved in political affairs, nor should we want to, as this could easily be a distraction from our goal of becoming a born-again member of the Family of God.
We read in John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Jesus Christ was telling His disciples that they (and we today) are not of this world (society) and don’t get involved in its affairs.
Two more Scriptures are worth mentioning in respect of us not getting involved in this world and its politics.
1 John 2:15-17 says: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26 reads: “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
One commentator wrote: “The political world is openly antagonistic to Christian principles and is riddled with humanist thinking. There are no Scriptures to indicate that the Christian should attempt to influence things for good through political processes and activities.”
Let us finish by quoting from Mr. Herbert W Armstrong’s article “How Would Jesus Vote for President?,” which was published in the October-November 1984 issue of the “Good News” magazine, beginning on page 3 (This is also quoted more fully in our free booklet, “Should You Fight in War?):
“This is not a world of God’s making. This is SATAN’S world! Satan is the invisible god of this world. He is the author of its organization, its basic philosophies, its systems of government, business, society – yes, and RELIGIONS! This thing we boast of as CIVILIZATION is, in actual fact, Satan’s handiwork, not God’s! Strange as it may seem, that is true! All nations – not just the heathen powers, but all nations, including ours – are DECEIVED, swayed, led, by Satan (Revelation 12:9, 18:3, 20:2-3). The Bible speaks of this world as `this present EVIL WORLD’ (Galatians 1:4, AV) … No, Jesus did not enter into THIS WORLD’S politics! He called His disciples out of this present evil world – out of all its customs and philosophies and ways – to live a life of SEPARATION from the world…
“Thus Jesus’ disciples live in this present evil world as though they were foreigners, here merely as the guests of the nation where they reside, as AMBASSADORS for Christ and His coming Kingdom, not of any of this world’s governments … [Foreign ambassadors do not involve themselves in] making their state [where they live] a better state, or voting, or entering their army or fighting for their cause … [T]he true Christian is one who follows Christ, and Christ did not vote! Jesus did not try to reform Caesar … He preached the doctrine of a radically different world to come … This is Satan’s world and Jesus Christ did not come to reform Satan or improve Satan’s handiwork, but to save His followers from Satan and his system. Since God’s Kingdom is not literally set up as yet, the true Christian’s citizenship is now reserved in heaven (I Peter 1:4, Ephesians 2:19) …”
We are ambassadors for Christ in the truest and fullest sense of the words. Let us behave as such in order to become immortal God beings in His very Family.
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A new Member Letter (April 2020) has been written, posted and mailed to our subscribers. Pastor Rene Messier reflects on the startling changes brought about by the Coronavirus, while reminding us that we must remain focused on God’s calling as times grow even more difficult in the future.
Our new booklet, “Obeying God Rather Than Men,” written by Norbert Link, has entered a second review process.
“Netanyahu Is Here to Stay… Why?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
An important deal has been reached in Israel with wide-ranging prophetic consequences. Why is this deal so significant in regard to Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, as well as events which have been prophesied thousands of years ago in your Bible?
“Eine Welt in Panik,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “A World in Panic.”
“Beamter auf Lebenszeit,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Jens Herrmann, is now posted. Title in English: “Civil Servant for Life.”
“Was ist unser Anteil?”, a sermonette presented by Daniel Blasinger in Germany, is now posted. Title in English: “What Is Our Share?”
“Shocking Developments in Germany—Comments on News and Prophecy (April 18, 2020),” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What is happening in Germany right now—under the disguise of protecting the public from the coronavirus—should shake everybody up. Horrible methods are being used to silence dissenters, while restrictive measures remain in force which are clearly violating the German Constitution. But some are waking up, especially when it comes to the disproportionate prohibitions of religious services and assemblies.
“Dangerous Prayers,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Are we willing to pray dangerous prayers? What constitutes dangerous prayers? What we pray about has serious consequences for our spiritual life and our eventual outcomes. How well do we know God?
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, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom