Comments on News and Prophecy (May 30, 2020) / Facing Death
On May 30, 2020, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy (May 30, 2020),” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “Facing Death.”
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.
On Sunday, May 31, 2020, Morning Services will be conducted at 9:00 AM Pacific Time. Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Singleness of Heart,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “The Journey and the Destination.” Afternoon Services will be conducted at 2:00 PM Pacific Time. Kalon Mitchell will present the Offertory, and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Will Christ Find Faith on the Earth?”
Don’t Question… Just Believe?
by Norbert Link
The Bible warns us that a lack of zeal will be predominant in the end-time Church of the Laodiceans. Boldly standing up for the Truth seems to be a rare commodity these days. It may be perceived as uncomfortable or not important, and it might even cloud one’s perspective as to what God requires of us. To give a recent example, we posted in our last Update an article by Natural Health, dated May 16, addressing Dr. Judy Mikovits “jaw-dropping allegations” about Dr. Anthony Fauci and her viewpoint on the origin of the coronavirus and the role of the pharmaceutical industry. Many of Mikovits’ statements and claims are contained in a video, titled Plandemic. The mass media rejects Mikovits’ claims and the video has been repeatedly banned, removed and reposted.
But as Deutsche Welle wrote on May 15:
“Questioning the intelligence of anyone who criticizes coronavirus protection measures shows we haven’t learned from the polarization of the past and shuts the door on any chance for dialogue… What yesterday was considered a conspiracy theory has now become widely accepted fact… And yet many journalists, analysts and politicians still have a need to put everyone who thinks differently into a clear-cut cubbyhole…
“People have put up with so much over the last few weeks: Following stay-at-home orders and contact bans, trying to understand contradictory experts’ opinions on face masks… when these very people want to express their displeasure, concern or skepticism, they are, at best, called perfectly normal citizens who let themselves be manipulated by ‘conspiracy theorists!’… It is simply not enough to muzzle unwelcome criticism with derogative classifications…”
It is interesting that the Bible warns us not to say a “conspiracy” concerning “all that this people call a conspiracy,” nor to “be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” (Isaiah 8:12).
To explain further why we published, for example, excerpts from the above-mentioned article by Natural Health about Dr. Mikovitz, we wrote the following in a recent Q&A:
“In all of this, we must understand that the Church is not engaged in politics. We do not endorse any political candidate or party, and we do not vote in governmental elections. We do not, of course, participate in war, either. But this does not mean that we would not comment on wrong behavior and propaganda of politicians and social and religious leaders. In that light, we will publish articles with viewpoints different from the ‘official’ versions of the mass media, as long as those viewpoints appear relevant and seem to have merit, and it behooves the reader to evaluate those opposing views in the light of biblical values.”
This has been and will continue to be our stance, as it serves to discover the Truth. Subsequently however, we learned that the President of a large Church of God organization took the exact opposite approach, stating this in a letter:
“… a controversial video production has grown popular as an alternative political explanation for the origin and spread of the coronavirus. The video production, titled Plandemic, has entered the mainstream, with subsequent millions of views. Instead of reassurance, comfort and human solidarity during a painful crisis, it promotes division, assumes evil motives and sows doubt… Promoting such thinking certainly must not be our legacy as ambassadors for Christ… In some Church of God communities, this video production and other alternative explanations of the origins of the coronavirus have produced increasing confusion and division… It is not the Church’s role to judge the veracity of productions like Plandemic. As stated, we are not medical experts. But it is the Church’s role to teach and preach what Jesus commanded us: ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another’ (John 13:34…)… It means we have respect for each other. It means we refrain from posting things that can cause offense. It means we don’t provoke one another negatively (Galatians 5:26).”
Even though this letter contains all kinds of contradictions and inconsistencies, it tells the audience in a nutshell to refrain from stating or posting any critical remarks which may question the official positions in government and the mainly left-wing mainstream media, as this might cause division, doubt and confusion. We are sorry to say, but standing up for the Truth will cause division, as Christ said.
Another large Church of God organization published this: “There are a lot of differing opinions flying about on the Internet and television at this time. Many question whether it was necessary to shut down nation after nation around the world. Before getting caught up in the emotions and politics of it all, never forget who is the prince of the power of the air, the one who is directing the course of this world. He is creating confusion and would love for the people of God to take their eyes off the goal.”
But what is that goal? Is it to blind ourselves to the Truth and accept, without thinking, what the left-wing mainstream media and the politicians want us to believe?
Both organizations also issued statements reflecting a dangerous lack of understanding regarding our approach towards human government, in that obedience and respect for authority were demanded while the concept of obeying God rather than men was totally ignored and not mentioned at all. We are not just focusing on these two groups, but quoting these excerpts as warning examples for all of our readers.
In a recent Q&A, we said this:
“The concept of submitting to human governments and their political propaganda must be seen in context. We have just completed a new booklet, which we have posted on our website, titled, “Obeying God rather than Men.” Printed copies should be available very soon. In this booklet, we point out that we must never obey man, when we would thereby violate God’s Law, in letter or in spirit. This also means that we cannot adopt and endorse man’s concepts and ideas when they are in opposition to God’s directives…”
In our new booklet on “Obeying God rather than Men,” we state the following, under the headline, “What the Mark of the Beast Means for Us Today”:
“True Christians understand that the Sabbath and the Holy Days must be kept, and that they must not instead accept the mark of the beast by worshipping on Sunday and pagan holidays, and by refusing to worship on God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths.
“But how does this play out in practice when the government prohibits Christian churches to meet and assemble on the Sabbath? They might not even place this prohibition under a religious mantle, but they might give some other reasons, such as the outbreak of a pandemic that would require people to stay at home. The weekly Sabbath and the annual Holy Days are commanded biblical holy assemblies or holy convocations (compare Leviticus 23). We should ask ourselves whether refusing to follow God’s command, because the government says so, would be pleasing to God (compare Hebrews 10:25; the Living Bible states: ‘Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near’).
“In the past, some Church groups have been far too quick to follow the guidance (not even at first a directive) of a particular government and have prohibited worship services worldwide for all of their members, even though the government of one particular country did not speak for other countries, and even though an alleged pandemic had not even reached some of the countries in which members lived. Other Church groups followed the subsequent directive of the government of their country, but did not limit their prohibition of services to that country, but prohibited all their members worldwide to meet anywhere.”
Much more is addressed in this new booklet, and we hope to be able to send printed copies very soon to our subscribers and to make them available to everyone who asks for them.
We are going to observe the Feast of Pentecost this Sunday, remembering when God bestowed His Holy Spirit on His apostles and many other disciples. God’s Spirit is a Spirit of Truth and of a sound mind. It is a Spirit being eager and anxious to find the Truth in whatever area —and it is not a Spirit of fear or of not wanting to know the Truth or even a willingness to suppress the Truth. Just believing and not questioning “official” explanations by the main-stream media and politicians is most certainly NOT what the Holy Spirit of God is all about. Rather, the Spirit of God “searches all things” (1 Corinthians 2:10), and so we, as future kings, are to search for and find the Truth (Proverbs 25:2), which will set us free from all error.
by Norbert Link
We begin with America’s strong verbal response to Iran’s call for eliminating Israel’s “Zionist” regime and invoking the “final solution” while Israel announced its decision to annex areas of the West Bank in July.
We continue with America’s grim economic future in the light of the coronavirus which is being described as “the final kick into the abyss.”
We report on horrible contemplated measures in Germany regarding parents and school children; and really bad and harmful guidelines for school children in the US. We speak on the UK’s rather ridiculous quarantine measures for everyone flying into the UK; and Europe’s threatening response.
We address the controversy regarding wearing masks; further sickening recommendations of the Center for Disease regarding the separation of new-born babies from their mothers; and the UN’s support and advancement of abortions in the midst of the Corona crisis.
We point out further developments following the pronouncement of President Trump that Church services are “essential”; Dr. Fauci’s rather strange “change of mind”; and Alan Dershowitz’s rather preposterous attempts to claim that quarantining healthy persons is justified or even demanded in the Bible.
We publish an interesting article about public prayers by women; and we conclude with the allegation that Pope Francis’ promotes the worship of “Mother Earth.”
Regarding the Pope’s rather strange comments, please view our StandingWatch program, “Pope Francis Attacks True Chrisitanity.”
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
Pompeo Accuses Iran
Times of Israel wrote on May 22:
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused the Iranian leadership of ‘echoing Hitler’s call for genocide’ after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for ‘eliminating the Zionist regime’… Khamenei also posted on his website an anti-Israel poster that invoked the term ‘final solution’ which is usually associated with Nazi Germany’s efforts to eliminate all Jews.
“The poster showed people celebrating at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem after apparently capturing it from Israel as a Palestinian flag is raised over the Al-Aqsa Mosque. ‘Palestine Will Be Free. The final solution: Resistance until referendum,’ the text on the poster says…
“The European Union on Thursday evening condemned the Iranian leader’s threats against Israel with the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell issuing a consensus statement on behalf of all 27 members of the EU. ‘Such statements are totally unacceptable and represent a deep source of concern. They are also incompatible with the objective of a stable and peaceful Middle East region pursued by the EU,’ the statement read. ‘The European Union reiterates its fundamental commitment to the security of Israel.’
“Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff… said Friday that the union’s statement did not go far enough. Khamenei ‘did not just bring into question Israel’s legitimacy, he wrote explicitly about ‘eliminating the Zionist regime which goes from denying the Holocaust to promoting one,’ the Israeli diplomat wrote on his Twitter account. ‘The gravity of his remarks is not reflected in the EU reaction.’”
The EU’s alleged support of Israel is questionable at best.
Israel Will Annex
The Times of Israel wrote on May 25:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said he has set a July date for when Israel will extend its sovereignty to areas of the West Bank, and… he has no intention of changing it…
“Netanyahu said there has never been a better time in the country’s history to apply sovereignty, which is tantamount to annexation, to these areas…
“The move would be coordinated with the US, in accordance with the Middle East plan US President Donald Trump unveiled in January, which endorsed extending Israeli sovereignty over roughly 30 percent of the West Bank. However, the entire peace plan has been rejected by the Palestinians, who seek the West Bank as territory for a future Palestinian state.”
Israel’s planned annexation, which has also been condemned by the EU, will set in motion turbulent developments in the Middle East.
Into the Abyss
Marketwatch wrote on May 23:
“Charles Hugh Smith… the man behind the OfTwoMinds.com, which was recognized by CNBC as one of the best alternative financial blogs on the internet, has been calling for the implosion of the U.S. empire for years now, and the coronavirus pandemic has him believing that time has finally come…
“The slippery slope to collapse — decadence — is characterized by greed, corruption, irreconcilable internal political rifts, moral decay, frivolity, materialism,’ Smith writes… The pandemic is merely ‘the final kick into the abyss,’ he said, after the global financial crisis laid bare the fragile nature of an economy kept alive with artificial stimulus. ‘Elites have done nothing but kick the can down the road for over a decade,’ he wrote. ‘Nothing that’s broken has been fixed; all that’s been done is trillions in currency has been borrowed or printed to paper over the dissolution, decay and decline.’
“Smith warned of a ‘terminal crisis’ that begins in 2021, regardless of any progress made to bring an end to the pandemic and kickstart the ravaged global economy. ‘A COVID-19 vaccine, or lack thereof, will have zero effect in terms of reversing these cycles,’ he said. ‘Call it fate, call it karma, call it what you will, but the cycles have aligned and nothing can stop the unraveling of all that was foolishly presumed to be permanent.’”
America is indeed beyond recovery… even when it comes to the economy. Also note the next article.
Rental Car Giant Hertz Files For Bankruptcy Protection
npr wrote on May 23:
“Car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, citing an ‘abrupt decline in revenue’ during the coronavirus pandemic… Retailers J.C. Penney, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus all filed for bankruptcy protection this month. Home-decor chain Pier 1 Imports announced it would be closing for good…
“After many states began to declare stay at home orders in March, car rentals dried up, and Hertz reduced spending, implemented furloughs and laid off 20,000 employees. In April the company, which includes car-rental brands Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly, missed a payment on its debt, but reached a short-term deal with its creditors. The company was unable to secure a long-term agreement.”
Measures of German State of Saxony Remind of Nazi Germany
Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten reported on May 21 that beginning on May 25, the German state of Saxony is threatening parents of students who fail to bring with them daily a signed letter from the parents that their children are healthy. The letter will also have to state whether someone else in their household is sick.
If the parents forget to give that letter to their children, the school will inform the parents to immediately collect the children. In case of a repeat, the state may come in to take the children away from their parents.
Wochenblick added on May 20 that this reminds one of methods in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Germany’s Antisemitism—from the Kaiser to Hitler and Beyond
The Algemeiner published on May 27 the following opinion piece by Historian Harold Brackman:
“Among the ideological causes of World War I were hubris and hatred by Germans that reinforced Kaiser Wilhelm’s — and ultimately Adolf Hitler’s — antisemitism. In broad terms, many Germans became intoxicated with the ‘völkisch’ conception of themselves as a conquering race…
“Houston Stewart Chamberlain [was] a prolific self-taught pseudo-scholar who had Kaiser Wilhelm I’s ear before and during World War I — and lived long enough to influence Hitler… [His book] The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899)… gave Chamberlain a following as far as the United States, whose doom he prophesied.
“The book’s… theme was that Germans had been a master race ever since they vanquished the Roman Empire… In 1901, after Kaiser Wilhelm read Chamberlain’s Foundations, they became fast friends and regular correspondents… German defeat and the kaiser’s abdication in 1918 did not end Chamberlain’s influence. Sensing that a man of destiny was emerging… he wrote a fawning letter in 1923 thanking Hitler for ‘transform[ing] the state of my soul.’”
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 27:
“Authorities… recorded 2,032 crimes motivated by anti-Semitism – a rise of 13% over 2018, and the highest since those statistics were collected. Some 93.4% of those crimes were carried out by far-right perpetrators.”
German anti-Semitism is by no means a thing of the past. The same goes for anti- Semitism throughout Europe and the entire world.
Guidelines for School Children in the USA
In an article published by the Ron Paul Institute, Ron Paul wrote on May 25:
“Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)… unveiled ‘guidelines’ for schools to follow when they reopen. Among the CDC’s guidelines are that schools put tape on the hallways, directing children which direction to walk and how much distance to keep between themselves and their classmates. The CDC also recommends children do not share electronic devices or learning aids. The guidelines even say children should wear masks at school.
“The CDC’s guidelines instruct schools to close playgrounds and cafeterias, and to cancel all field trips and assemblies. Instead, students are to spend all day at their desks, not even leaving classrooms for lunch or recess.
“The CDC’s guidelines may not have the force of law, but it is likely most government schools will adopt them in order to ensure continued access to federal funding… by forbidding children from going outside to play, exercise, and get sunshine, the guidelines actually endanger children’s health. The guidelines also harm children by limiting their ability to interact with their fellow students and develop social skills.”
These guidelines are indeed horrible and, if implemented, would be harmful to our children.
Separating New-Born Babies from their Mothers
Breaking Israel News wrote on May 26:
“The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a statement recently that recommends separating newborn babies from their mothers in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19. The separation is intended for mothers who tested positive for coronavirus. However, the CDC also recommends separating them from mothers who are suspected to have coronavirus. In other words, the CDC is looking to separate newborn babies from their mothers even if they didn’t test positive for Covid-19.”
This is just so SICK and so INSANE!
A National Disgrace
ABC News reported on May 22:
“People arriving in the U.K. next month will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days and could face an unlimited fine if they fail to comply… the rules will take effect June 8 and will apply to arrivals from all countries except Ireland… Britons returning from overseas will also have to stay home and avoid mixing with others for 14 days under the measures, which will be reviewed every three weeks…
“Arriving passengers will have to provide contact details and will be checked on regularly during the two weeks… They will also be ‘encouraged’ to download a contact-tracing app that authorities are developing — if the glitch-filled app is ever put into use…
“There has been confusion about the U.K. policy, after the government initially said it would not apply to people arriving from France… Britain later said France would not be exempt. Airlines have warned that the British move could hobble their efforts to rebuild a business devastated by pandemic-related travel restrictions. Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines U.K., said a blanket quarantine was ‘just about the worst thing government could do if their aim is to restart the economy.’…”
The Mirror added on May 22:
“The move will anger some sectors, with Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary earlier this week branding the plan ‘idiotic’ and ‘unimplementable’, while trade body Airlines UK has previously said a quarantine ‘would effectively kill’ international travel to and from Britain…”
Europe Might Retaliate Against Britain
Express wrote on May 20:
“European countries have said they will open their borders to British tourists, but only if the UK does not impose the 14-day travel rules…
“Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio also said… ‘From mid-June to September it will be possible to travel in Italy without any problems… We will [open the borders] and we expect reciprocity.’…”
This might very well lead to further alienation between the UK and the European power bloc.
No Masks Allowed
The Guardian wrote on May 22:
“Shops around the US make headlines for denying entry to those wearing masks as protesters argue against preventative measures… On Thursday…, a Kentucky convenience store that put up a sign reading: ‘NO Face Masks allowed in store. Lower your mask or go somewhere else…’
“Another sign was posted by a Californian construction store earlier this month encouraging hugs but not masks. In Illinois, a gas station employee who put up a similar sign has since defended herself, arguing that mask-wearing made it hard to differentiate between adults and children when selling booze and cigarettes.”
Deutsche Welle added on May 26 that the east German state of Thüringen [Thuringia] announced “that they might be the first to lift the restrictions [including to wear face masks] altogether on June 6, but later seemed to go back on those comments. Thuringia said it reserves the right to pass measures that differ than the ones recommended by the national government in the public space… Germany is set to extend its coronavirus distancing measures until June 29… The measures allow up to 10 people or members of two households to meet in public.”
UN Advances Abortion in the Midst of Corona Crisis
Breaking Israel News reported on May 24, 2020:
“Last week, John Barsa, the acting administrator for the US agency for international development (USAid), sent a letter to the UN secretary-general António Guterres, criticizing the UN’s decision to include abortion as an ‘essential service’ during the pandemic.
“‘… the UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an “essential service”… by cynically placing the provision of “sexual and reproductive health services” on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation. Most egregious is that [the UN] calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings.’”
This is despicable. While measures are allegedly implemented to save lives, at the same time measures are promoted to take lives. The rationale of the UN might be that cells of many aborted fetuses are needed to produce vaccines.
California Opens Up to Essential Church Services… Really?
The Los Angeles Times wrote in a daily newsletter on May 26:
“Amid growing political pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom to address church reopenings… attendance at services will be capped at 25% of total capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower. The attendance limits will be in place for 21 days and then reassessed. The reopening of houses of worship will be subject to approval by county departments of public health… the guidelines… strongly encourage churches, mosques, temples and other houses of worship to continue to facilitate remote services for those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19…
“On Friday night, the 9th Circuit Court of appeals [one of the most liberal courts if not the most liberal court of appeals in the country] upheld Newsom’s prior ban on in-person church services in a split ruling… hours after [Trump declared church services as being essential.]
“The rethinking of the state moratorium also came just ahead of Pentecost Sunday, which falls on May 31 this year. More than 1,200 pastors had vowed to hold in-person services on the holy day, in defiance of what had been the state guidelines… houses of worship will be discouraged from sharing items used during services, such as prayer books, cushions and prayer rugs… congregants must be screened for fever or other symptoms of illness and are asked to use hand sanitizer and wear face coverings. The passing of offering plates will also be discontinued…
“[The guidelines also said that] ‘activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing’… As individuals project their voices to join together in song, they could also be dispersing viral particles into the room…”
Has one ever heard such nonsense? The same nonsense prevails in Germany. See the next article.
No Singing in Germany
The Daily Mail wrote on May 27:
“German authorities are warning against singing and several states have banned it from church services over fears it spreads the coronavirus… In recommendations for the resumption of church services, the federal government stated that singing should be avoided ‘because of the increased production of potentially infectious droplets, which can be spread over greater distances’…
“[However, the] Bundeswehr University in Munich published a study in early May showing that singing only disturbs air flow up to half a metre (1.6ft) in front of the person. Freiburg University’s Institute for Performing Arts Medicine has also published guidelines for singing with similar results…
“Germany’s Catholic Church has endorsed ‘quiet singing’ in services, as well as restricting numbers. By contrast, the Protestant Church continues to advise a complete ban.”
It is sickening to see how the two big Churches in Germany, perhaps due to unsubstantiated fear or politics, are advocating and supporting questionable recommendations by the German government.
How Coronavirus Statistics Are Exaggerated
Breitbart wrote on May 27:
“… according to a report from [Italy’s] national health authority (ISS)… only 4.1 percent of fatalities testing positive for Wuhan coronavirus happened in the absence of serious comorbidities… 15 percent of fatalities occurred with the presence of just one other serious pathology, while 21.4 percent died with two other pathologies, and 59.6 percent with three or more pathologies…
“One of the most astonishing findings of the report was that only 1.1 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the country happened to people below the age of 50, while more than 57 percent were over 80…
“This week Spain had to revise down its official death count for the coronavirus by nearly 2,000 after discovering a series of reporting errors and duplications… representing a seven percent drop in the total deaths reported.”
Is this mere “coincidence,” negligence and incompetence, or is more behind these terribly exaggerated figures?
Fauci’s Change of Mind?
The Street wrote on May 22:
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned Friday that stay-at-home orders that are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing ‘irreparable damage’ if they are imposed for too long…
“Earlier this month, Fauci warned senators that areas that disregard government guidelines in reopening their economies risk ‘triggering an outbreak you may not be able to control.’”
Fauci had demanded stay-at-home orders in the first place and he had also demanded that they remain in force and effect. His sudden “change of heart” really sounds extremely hypocritical, and one has to wonder what is behind this sudden reversal.
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on May 26:
“From the Lake of the Ozarks to the Texas Gulf Coast, Americans spent Memorial Day weekend in defiance of the forced ‘lockdown’ orders of the politicians. Dr. Birx was furious over people refusing to wear masks at the beach. Other local tyrants screamed and threatened. The people are ignoring them. Deliverance from this coronavirus-induced government tyranny is not coming about because politicians have seen the error of their ways. It is coming about because the people are finally waking up.”
The Week wrote on May 27:
“If the unprecedented global race for the first effective human coronavirus vaccine is successful, only 49 percent of Americans say they would get the vaccine… 31 percent said they were not sure while 20 percent said they would not get the vaccine. About 70 percent of those currently refusing the future vaccine cited safety concerns…”
How long can governments insist on lockdowns and social distancing regulations and even possibly mandatory vaccinations until “civil disobedience” becomes overwhelming and perhaps even violent?
Alan Dershowitz’s Wrong Concepts of the Bible
The Gatestone Institute published the following article on May 22 by Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law Alan Dershowitz:
“Most of the emails and phone calls that I have gotten since I stated that the Constitution permits safe mandatory vaccination against highly contagious and lethal diseases have been from anti-vaxxers who claim the authority of the Bible… The Bible speaks volumes about the need to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Large sections of the Bible deal with diagnosing contagious diseases such as leprosy and quarantining carriers outside the city walls until they were no longer contagious…
“Supporters of slavery cited the Bible, as did anti-Semites and anti-gay bigots. And now anti-vaxxers are distorting and weaponizing the Good Book, religion and God against science. This has happened before, with evolution, the age of the earth, abortion and assisted suicide. But this time the anti-vaxxers who cite the Bible have no plausible argument as anyone can see by turning to Leviticus and other portions of both the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament.
“These are God’s words, as recorded in Leviticus, Chapters 13 and 14. ‘The priest shall isolate’ the contagious person for seven days and then an additional seven days if the contagion persists. ‘And he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.’ Nor was this quarantine voluntary. The priest could compel it. In light of the Bible’s great concern for preventing the spread of contagious diseases – innumerable rules and regulations are devoted to it — can there be any doubt that if a safe and effective vaccine had been developed, it, too, would have been mandated along with a compelled quarantine?…”
This article was obviously written in light of the coronavirus and the present house-arrests and self-isolations and quarantines of healthy persons. In that, Alan Dershowitz is dead wrong. He twists and perverts the Bible by insinuating that God would ever demand quarantining a healthy person.
In his convoluted scriptural reasoning, Dershowitz seems to even admit that only unhealthy persons suffering from a contagious disease should be quarantined, but then seems to suggest that everyone is presumed unhealthy and could be quarantined, unless a “safe” vaccine is developed against the coronavirus. Also, is Dershowitz honestly suggesting that the Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality, abortion, assisted suicide or evolution? Dershowitz is not a credible authority on the right understanding of the Bible.
Locusts Plague Widens
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 27:
“On Tuesday, Indian authorities sent out drones and tractors to track desert locusts and spray them with insecticides, in one of the worst locust swarms seen by the country in nearly 30 years… India is facing its worst food shortages since 1993… Thousands of migrant workers have died from hunger after India suddenly imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, leaving workers penniless. An agrarian crisis because of a locust swarm will further hamper relief efforts of the government.
“… the locust infestation will increase next month, when locusts breeding in East Africa reach India. India isn’t the only country attacked by a huge swarm of locusts this year. Pakistan, countries in East Africa, and Yemen have also faced the desert pests and their destruction.”
This is INSANE: In fighting “coronavirus” via lockdown, the government of India has caused the death of thousands of migrants!
Women Not to Give Public Prayers
Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote on May 21:
“The mayor of a Dallas suburb does not want women leading public prayers at city council meetings, according to an email that circulated online. Eric Hogue, the mayor of Wylie and a preacher at one of the town’s churches, confirmed the contents of the email to multiple TV stations. He quoted Corinthians and Timothy scriptures from the Bible…
“‘Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law,’ 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 states. ‘And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.’ ‘Let the women learn in silence with all subjection,’ 1 Timothy 2:11-12 states. ‘But I suffer not a woman to teach, not to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’
“The mayor went on to tell the recipient of the email he understands not everyone will agree with him, but he said ‘I can’t go against my conscience… I believe, and this is me, when it comes to (picking) somebody to lead the invocation at a city council meeting, because of those two sets of verses, I’m going to choose a male.’
“Hogue added to KXAS, “In a religious setting, the bible teaches that she’s not to say a public prayer or to lead the singing or to deliver the sermon.’ He has been mayor of Wylie for the past 12 years and has been a pastor at Cottonwood Church of Christ since 2010, WFAA reported.”
The Bible does indeed prohibit women from preaching in public or from a church pulpit, writing religious articles with Scriptural quotations or giving public prayers.
Catholic Mother Earth Worshippers?
Grandin Media wrote on May 21:
“In angry corners of the Internet, there’s no shortage of voices warning that Pope Francis is trying to change the Gospel, or change Catholic doctrine. Such a change simply can’t be found in the text of Laudato Si’, [Development and Peace deputy director Luke] Stocking said. ‘Those who fear the change think we’re becoming Mother Earth worshippers, or that we are becoming essentially pagan…’
“When Laudato Si’ was published in 2015, many thought the kind of economic change the Pope was proposing would be simply impossible. The global economic system was too big to turn around. But our national and international response to COVID-19 shows that we can put the brakes on the economy and change direction on a dime, said University of St. Michael’s emeritus professor Dennis Patrick O’Hara….
“Catholics who experience the joy of the Incarnation at Christmas, who mourn on Good Friday, who celebrate every Sunday, cannot fail to understand Pope Francis and Laudato Si’, said Sr. Margot Ritchie…
‘What’s more Christian than the Incarnation?’ she asked. ‘What other spiritual tradition holds so closely to the fact that God takes flesh, takes body, becomes human, becomes material?…’”
It is interesting that in refuting the idea that Pope Francis is embracing the worship of Mother Earth, a relationship is supposed to be drawn with all kinds of other pagan practices, such as “the joy of the Incarnation at Christmas,” the mourning of Catholics on Good Friday and their celebrations on every Sunday.
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.
Is it possible to hold a grudge against someone and still make it into God’s Kingdom?
It is a good question and one that we need to take very seriously. As we approach the Passover each year, we go through a period of introspection and any grudges that we hold must be eliminated. But our self-examination must continue, and it is especially a good occasion now as we are approaching the Day of Pentecost this weekend.
What is a grudge? We instinctively know what it is but, put simply, it is a feeling of resentment or ill-will. It is part and parcel of the way that the world behaves and reacts— it seems that if you don’t hold grudges or feel resentment towards others that you are not normal—but the way that the world views things is not our yardstick. It is what God says on this matter that really counts.
Leviticus 19:18 tells us:
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”
We see in this passage that taking vengeance and bearing a grudge are related, and they are contrary to loving our neighbor. Bearing a grudge means to guard and to cherish it. The Pulpit Commentary states that Leviticus 19:18 prohibits malice and revenge. The Matthew Poole Commentary adds that it prohibits carrying malice in our heart.
A grudge is a heavy thing to carry. But, it may be that a lot of heavy things are being carried today by some of the people of God. For some, that might mean harboring a grudge over many years. Some people have very long memories and can find it very difficult to forgive (even though they may say, I have forgiven that person and do not hold a grudge, but this might be self-deception).
We read in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
Of course, it can be difficult to ignore the vicious, the mischief-makers, the provocateurs and those who may hold a grudge, but it is a requirement as part of our calling. However, this is a strategy that pays handsome dividends. If people hold grudges against us, let us pray for them that they are willing to change. Jesus Christ said: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). There is no better teacher than the Savior, and we should do well to heed His words.
We were called to the narrow way (see Matthew 7:13-14), which means that we are to be different from the world where grudges are a part of the way of man. Bearing a grudge often doesn’t take into account anything other than personal revenge of one sort or another and wanting to get even. However, God says that we should not avenge ourselves, but give place to God’s wrath and His vengeance who will take care of matters in His due time (Romans 12:19).
In the book of Esther is the story of Haman and Mordecai. Haman was furious at the refusal of Mordecai to bow down to him and his anger caused him to plan the destruction not only of Mordecai but of all the Jews throughout the kingdom. The vengeance of Haman was not satisfied by the destruction of one person; he sought to destroy the entire Jewish nation. You might say that he had a grudge—a real grudge. He wanted to kill Mordecai. But this grudge led to his death. In Esther 7:9-10 we read: “Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, ‘Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.’ Then the king said, ‘Hang him on it!’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.” We can see that Haman’s grudge was an extremely costly one.
In Matthew 6:12, Jesus said in the model prayer that we were to pray: “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” Here we have the requirements of a true Christian. The request for forgiveness of sin is to be made by the true Christian. For continued spiritual growth we must acknowledge our sins in particular. Notice that we seek forgiveness as we forgive. We are to seek forgiveness in the same manner as we forgive others. God forgives us when we repent, and so we must forgive others when they are sorry for what they have done to us. But even without the manifestation of their repentance towards us, we must always have a willing attitude to forgive, and holding a grudge will prevent us from forgiving others when they repent. When we forgive others, there cannot be any sign whatsoever of a grudge. The two are incompatible.
We will be celebrating the Day of Pentecost on 31st May this year, and it is interesting to realise that just 50 days (counted inclusively) after the wave-sheaf offering on Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread is in fact the Day of Pentecost. In John 16:7-14, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, would be sent to them, as indeed it was on the Day of Pentecost as we read in Acts 2:1-4. Had they not been keeping this annual Holy Day, on the correct day, they would not have received the Holy Spirit at that time. The Holy Spirit enables us to remove grudges and ill feelings through the use of this power from God which was, for the first recorded time, given to mankind after repentance and baptism (see Acts 2:38).
There is a passage of Scripture about not grieving the Holy Spirit and, again, it gives us clear guidance on how we should behave: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [which] you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4: 30-32).
Grudges—a feeling of resentment or ill will and the desire to avenge ourselves—can lead, in extremes, to death. If it doesn’t go to that extreme, there can still be serious consequences.
And, interestingly, we can “grudge” in giving, and that admonition is especially relevant now, in preparation for the Day of Pentecost, as, following God’s instruction, we will be taking up an offering on God’s annual Holy Day, as we do on all seven annual Holy Days. The apostle Paul writes: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). There is to be a willing heart and a sincere desire on the part of the one giving in order to participate. Paul is not so much interested in their money, nor is God, for that matter. But there are those who can give—but do so grudgingly—in a miserly fashion. It is another area where we have to exercise great care.
So how should true Christians behave? The Bible shows us the way, of course! In Matthew 5:21-24, we are told how we should behave: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Jesus gave clear instructions when He said: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).
The request for forgiveness, besides needing faith as with other petitions, requires a willingness to forgive others. We must never forget that if we hold grudges against others and have therefore not forgiven them, God will not forgive us our sins.
This means that a true Christian is willing to pardon the offending party instead of wanting to avenge him or herself. Let us make sure that holding or bearing grudges are not part of our Christian life—if it is, then we have a serious spiritual problem. Is it possible to hold a grudge against someone and still make it into God’s Kingdom? If we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and if we subsequently lose it again because of a conscientious willful and hateful attitude to hold grudges, then we will not make it into the Kingdom of God. As with any sin which we maliciously refuse to repent of, the same applies to our irrevocable decision of not wanting to forgive another person upon his or her repentance, but of bearing grudges against him or her instead. If we hold grudges against anyone and refuse to forgive them, then we will not be forgiven for our sins and that will clearly mean that we won’t be in God’s Kingdom.
It is just that serious!
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A new Member Letter (May, 2020) is now posted and has been mailed to our subscribers. Elder Eric Rank writes about the trials and tests we face, and the opportunity for us to really examine the underlying motivations of our behavior.
“Welche Früchte will Gott in Ihnen sehen?” is the title of the German sermon for this Sabbath, presented by Pastor Michael Link. Title in English: “What fruits does God want to see in you?”
“Wird Christus Glauben finden auf Erden?” is the title for the German sermon for Pentecost, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Title in English: “Will Christ Find Faith on Earth?”
“In Schwachheit stark sein,” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by elder Thilo Hanstein. Title in English: “To Be Strong in Weakness.”
“Walk a Mile,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by elder Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
When we start to talk about people behind their back, we cause division and strife. The Bible tells us instead to have mercy and empathy for others. We should work to help instead of accuse. God is the Judge and He alone reserves the right to pass judgement on people. How can we make sure that we are not doing those things that hurt others, but rather build them up?
“Are You Ready for the Day of the Lord?”, the sermon presented last Sabbath by Evangelist Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The Bible speaks of the terrible Day of the Lord and admonishes us to be prepared and not to be caught off-guard. Especially the book of Joel contains many warnings and shows us what will happen during that future time which is not far from us.
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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