June 12, 2020
The Language of Violence / The Yoke of Sainthood
On June 13, 2020, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “The Language of Violence,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Yoke of Sainthood.”
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.
Divided Are We
by Kalon Mitchell
As I look at this nation, it is divided, on so many levels. The nations around us are mocking us because of the division and the lack of unity. And this is as God has prescribed would happen if we wandered away from seeking after Him and obeying His laws.
One of the easiest ways to defeat a group of people is to separate them, to cut them off and then pick them off one at a time. Satan knows this. And he is not afraid to use this method to take us out of the Church. Christ gave a strong warning in Luke 11:14-23, quoting the last verse: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”
The New Testament is filled with instruction and correction that warn us to not be divided but rather to be seeking ways to build each other up.
We find in 1 Corinthians, chapter 3, that there was a schism in the Church because some people “followed” one minister, while others preferred another one, and then boasted about it. But Paul’s caution was that it was all one building that was being built. They were all doing different parts of the Work which GOD had ordained. Of course, Paul was referring to true ministers who acted in a way that was pleasing to God; he was not addressing false ministers or those who did not have or manifest the Philadelphia spirit. Continuing this theme in chapter 12, he goes on to say that when we complain about other members of the Body, because we disagree or don’t like something that someone else is doing, even though what they are doing is not against God’s Will, we are pursuing discord. Instead, we should not allow, or participate in, division and talking behind people’s backs. Paul states in verse 25: “… that there may be NO SCHISM [or DIVISION] in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”
God has placed members in the Body as He sees fit. This includes the ministry. And an even greater responsibility and a higher standard and stricter judgement are placed upon ordained ministers (James 3:1).
A minister has to be careful in using the gifts that God has granted him (Romans 12:3-8). We also teach that when men are ordained to a higher rank within the ministry, they receive more of a portion of the Holy Spirit to enable them to accomplish the task before them.
Of course, one always has to look at the fruits. We know that there have been many in the ministry who have not held on to the Truth and have led people astray, because these ministers and members were following a person and not God. This then also leads to the responsibility of ministers and members to be diligently studying, praying and remaining close to God.
One of the Scriptures that makes the hair on my arms rise is Matthew 24:10-12: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” This is talking about those who are in the Body of Christ.
Let’s think about what offends us. Deception at this time is prophesied to become stronger and stronger. The only way we will be able to see clearly is to continually anoint our eyes with eye salve (Revelation 3:17-19). It is easy to get offended. It is easy to get sidetracked. It is easy to get off on pet peeves or things that we think the ministry should or should not say. But when we start passing such judgement, we think we know better and act against the Will of God.
If we find issues with the ministry (or with anyone for that matter), we are to try to get clarification if it bothers us that much. And we must do so with a humble non-judgmental attitude and a willingness to learn. Yet so many times it is easier to point fingers, play the blame game, or talk to others instead of going straight to the source. And what is to gain? Often times it has been the experience of the ministry that when being approached, one’s mind has already been made up and there is no talking, but rather accusation and fault finding (2 Timothy 3:1-8). Notice when this Scripture really comes into play: It refers to “…the last days”. We should pay particular note and attention to what has been written. We should take some time and meditate and we should make sure our hearts and our minds are NOT embracing any of these ways. We should perhaps also read a couple of different translations and notice the words that are used. Do any of those attitudes or ways apply to us? So much is said about not allowing our hearts to become hardened. Hebrews 3 shows us that the possibility to do so is VERY real. Rather than allowing this to happen, we are told to “exhort one another DAILY” (verse 13). Exhort means to “strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something.”
We find that the words of a friend can be useful (Proverbs 27:5-6) and needed. We are told that through honest communication, we can become stronger (Proverbs 27:17). We have to be of a different mindset than that of this world. Colossians 3:12-15 says: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 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. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Hebrews 10:23 encourages us to “hold fast.” We are to consider each other, NOT to stir up deception, arguments, anger, hate, resentment, fear, loathing. But rather, “to stir up LOVE and GOOD WORKS, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” This includes assembling in person, whenever possible, on the weekly Sabbaths and the annual Holy Days.
The ministry of the Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates are asking you for your continued prayers that we may effectively continue to do the Work of preaching the Gospel and to continue watching and warning the world as we are commissioned to do (Romans 15:30-33; 2 Corinthians 1:10-11; Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1:19-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; Philemon 22). And we in turn definitely keep you all in mind in our prayers, especially when we hear of problems and issues that arise.
We are all in this together until the return of Christ, and we must stick together, where God placed us, and uphold the Truth as given to us by our Savior Jesus Christ.
by Norbert Link
We begin with eye-opening articles (for those comparatively few who HAVE eyes to see) regarding Germany’s total disapproval of President Trump and the ongoing and ACCELERATING deterioration of the relationship between Germany and the USA, due to America’s latest announcement to withdraw about 9,500 troops from Germany. In this regard, please view our new program, “Hostility between Germany and the USA Continues—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 6, 2020.”
Among other developments that are covered in this section, we address the deteriorating relationship between the USA and Russia and China; and the fear that the special relationship between the USA and the UK might also end soon. There are even loud voices to be heard in Israel questioning Trump’s friendship with Israel.
We are focusing on the ongoing protests in the USA regarding the killing of George Floyd; violent movements trying to hijack peaceful demonstrations; the sudden hypocritical shift of opinion by medical experts regarding the danger of the coronavirus and the need to violate “social distancing” regulations; and the irony of aiding and abetting criminals by insisting on wearing face masks. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled “Do You Disobey God While Accepting the Mark of the Beast?”
We conclude with articles about the certainty of the reelection of Donald Trump in spite of developments which, just based on a human perspective, would seem to make it impossible that Trump would stay in power.
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
The Germans Have Had It with Trump
Business Insider wrote on June 3:
“Intelligence and law-enforcement officials among America’s allies in Europe and the Middle East told Insider they were aghast at the heavy-handed tactics and rhetoric used by US police generally, and by the president specifically, to suppress demonstrations against police abuses of African Americans. ‘It has been chilling watching the United States devolve into the same strongman-style policing and rhetoric we have been opposing together as allies in the Middle East and Eastern Europe,’ a NATO military intelligence official… told Insider. [This] view is widely held. Some European officials have started to side openly with the protesters….
“Another senior law-enforcement official for a European Union member said the visuals of peaceful American protesters and media being repeatedly attacked by police and security forces over the past week has forced Europe into formally addressing a fear that has lurked behind the US-EU relationship for over three years: The US president is not an ally of European democracy… The Germans are openly done with this president. This is why [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel refused Trump’s offer to host the G7 at the White House this fall…”
The relationship between the USA and Germany has never been as bad since the end of World War II.
“Democracy on the Defensive in Trump’s America”
Der Spiegel wrote on June 5:
“Coronavirus, economic collapse and now mass demonstrations for racial equality: The United States is facing a trio of deep crises. Instead of offering leadership, President Donald Trump is exacerbating divisions and showing authoritarian tendencies… Trump, it seems, needs the chaos. He feeds off it.
“Few other democratically elected leaders have as much power as the U.S. president, a reality that can lead to abuse… In his farewell address on January 11, 1989, Ronald Reagan spoke of a ‘shining city upon a hill,’ admired not only for its prosperity but for its richness in ideas, its goodness and cosmopolitanism…
“This notion of American exceptionalism also came up in Trump’s inauguration speech in January of 2017… Three and a half years later, there are no signs of victory. The defeat in the war in Afghanistan, the longest in U.S. history, is now as good as certain. The war will soon have lasted 19 years and cost the lives of 2,400 U.S. soldiers and Trump is eager to withdraw from the country, though there is little doubt that the Taliban will take over in Kabul when he does, much like the Communists overran Saigon after the last GIs left Vietnam…”
Der Spiegel is the most popular magazine for Germany’s intellectuals. Their viewpoint on Trump is remarkable and shows Germany’s ongoing rejection of America’s leader.
Trump Withdraws US Troops from Germany
The Guardian wrote on June 5:
“Donald Trump has ordered the US military to remove nearly 9,500 troops from Germany in a move likely to raise concerns in Europe about the US commitment to the region. The move would reduce US troop numbers in Germany to 25,000, compared with the 34,500 currently there, a senior US official said.
“The official said the move was the result of months of work by America’s top military officer, General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and had nothing to do with tensions between Trump and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel…
“The move is the latest twist in relations between Berlin and Washington, which have often been strained during Trump’s presidency. Trump has pressed Germany to raise defence spending and accused Berlin of being a captive of Russia due to its energy reliance.
“About 17,000 US civilian employees support the US troops in Germany. It is believed the United States also has nuclear warheads there. In May, the then US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, accused Berlin of undermining Nato’s nuclear deterrent, taking aim at Merkel’s junior coalition partners after some of their leaders called for nuclear disarmament.”
Few in Germany believe that America’s sudden announcement of withdrawal of American troops had nothing to do with Trump’s ongoing rift with Merkel. Now, many in Germany are asking the question: Who is really undermining NATO? Note the next articles.
German Reactions—Purely Political and an Act of Revenge
Deutsche Welle added on June 6:
“Washington’s alleged plan to transfer about 9,500 troops out of its German bases is a symbolic gesture that is likely to weaken US military operations and ‘further deteriorate’ trans-Atlantic ties, conservative lawmaker Andreas Nick told DW on Saturday… ‘the decision is purely politically motivated and not made by experts,’ he said.
“… the ties between Berlin and Washington have been deteriorating steadily over geopolitical, financial, and environmental issues since Donald Trump took office in January 2017…
“On Saturday, senior German conservative Johann Wadephul said the withdrawal of troops would be yet another wake-up call for Europeans to take their fate in their own hands. ‘The plans show once again that the Trump administration is disregarding an elementary task of leadership: the involvement of allies in the decision-making process,’ said Wadephul, who serves as the deputy head of the parliamentary group for Angela Merkel’s CDU party…”
The Guardian added on June 6:
“Norbert Röttgen, one of the CDU politicians in the running to succeed Merkel as chancellor when she steps down next year, criticised the plans. ‘Such a withdrawal would be regrettable from every point of view… ‘I cannot see a rational ground for such a withdrawal.’”
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 7:
“‘This would break transatlantic bridges,’ exclaimed Peter Beyer, coordinator for transatlantic relations for the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. ‘It’s not just about 9,500 soldiers, but also their families, an estimated 20,000 Americans,’ Beyer [said].”
The Local wrote on June 7:
“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said… the transatlantic relationship had become ‘complicated’ under Trump…
“Rolf Muetzenich, leader of the parliamentary group of the centre-left SPD, Merkel’s junior coalition partner, told the Funke newspaper group that the US plan could lead to ‘a lasting realignment of security policy in Europe’.
“Former US Army Europe commander Ben Hodges… said a US drawdown would be ‘a colossal mistake’ and ‘a gift’ for Russian President Vladimir Putin… The headquarters for US forces in Europe and Africa are both based in Stuttgart, while the US air base in Ramstein plays a major role in transporting soldiers and equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military hospital in Landstuhl, near Ramstein, is the largest of its kind outside the United States.”
Breitbart wrote on June 8:
“Germany’s special coordinator for Transatlantic ties… Peter Beyer told the Rheinische Post the White House left Germany in the dark before reports of the decision began to emerge… ‘This is completely unacceptable, especially since nobody in Washington thought about informing its NATO ally Germany in advance,’ Beyer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, told the newspaper.”
The Algemeiner wrote on June 8:
“Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president at the German Marshall Fund of the United States which promotes US-European ties, said the decision ‘does smack a bit like revenge.’ ‘I’ve followed this relationship for the last 35 years of my professional life — I cannot remember a lower point of the relationship than this… Donald Trump seems to see Angela Merkel, not anybody else, as his systemic rival.’”
The relationship between the USA and Germany (Europe’s leader) is incurably damaged. It will get worse and worse to the point of an outright WAR.
Travel Restrictions to Be Lifted?… Not Really!
The Associated Press wrote on June 5:
“All but essential travel into Europe from the outside is restricted until June 15, but many ministers suggested Friday that they want this deadline extended until early July…
“German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, whose country plans to lift its remaining border checks on June 15 like many other EU countries, said ‘the internal border controls will be over in all of Europe at the end of June.’…
“Visitors from the United States, Russia or Brazil… would only be allowed back into Europe based on how those nations have brought the spread of the virus under control, he said…”
It was subsequently announced by the EU that Europeans would not be able to travel to the United States until the end of August. We pray that this ridiculous restriction will be abandoned as soon as possible. The antagonism between Europe and the USA can even be seen in the mutual travel bans between these two power blocs (with Russia and Brazil being added for appearance’s sake, to make this scheme less obvious). Again, Satan wants to prevent God’s people from the USA from traveling to Germany or Europe to keep the Feast of Tabernacles there.
Breaking Israel News wrote on June 5:
“President Trump removed US funding from the World Health Organization (WHO). Many people criticized the decision but a closer look shows that not only is the WHO incompetent at performing the function for which it was created but it has side agendas that are shocking indeed…
“The WHO Collaborating Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health, established in 2003 at the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) focused on establishing standards for sexuality education, providing guidance for implementation and support [for] the implementation of training programs for educators. The program has been translated into several languages and used internationally… It has been used in at least 14 countries to develop or adapt curricula for sexuality education and/or for advocacy towards decision-makers.
“The WHO curriculum suggests that children ages four to six, be given information ‘about friendship and love towards people of the same sex’ and ‘same-sex relationships’ (i.e. homosexuality), and be guided to develop ‘an open, non-judgmental attitude.’ As per this program, children under the age of four are introduced to masturbation including ‘playing doctor’ (i.e. sexual activity with another person of unspecified age)…
“The WHO also removes the authority of the parents in such matters, establishing its standards as superseding those… In 2018, Andrew MacLeod, the former chief of operations at the UN’s Emergency Co-ordination Center claimed that an estimated 60,000 cases of sexual exploitation had been committed over the last decade by 3,300 pedophiles working in the organization.
“‘Child rape crimes are being inadvertently funded, in part, by United Kingdom tax-payers,’ he said in an interview with British tabloid The Sun. At the same time, UN Secretary-General António Guterres admitted that the UN had ‘wrestled for many years with the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse,’ as reported by the British newspaper The Times. In early 2017 the United Nations Secretary-General admitted to 145 incidents involving 311 victims in 2016 alone, mainly in peace operations….”
The WHO’s recommendation of teaching our children “sexuality education” in school—even against the wishes of their parents—is an abomination in the eyes of God. The consequential incidents of sexual abuse of children within the organization speak for themselves.
Russia and China vs. the USA
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 4:
“Russian hopes dashed: Whatever hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin may have had for a more workable relationship with the Trump administration have been ‘trumpled,’ so to speak. This came through loudly and clearly in acerbic remarks by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov… Ryabkov lamented the sad state of Russia-US relations, while pointing, not very subtly, to China as Russia’s ace in the hole…
“‘We don’t believe the US in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever. So our own calculations and conclusions are less related to what America is doing… we cherish our close and friendly relations with China. We do regard this as a comprehensive strategic partnership in different areas, and we intend to develop it further’…”
It is prophesied that China and Russia and other Far Eastern countries will combine their efforts and forces. They are referred to in the Bible as the “kings from the East.”
Russia Threatens with Nuclear War
Breaking Israel News wrote on June 7:
“On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into effect a new Russian military doctrine, allowing him to order a nuclear weapons strike in response to an attack using conventional weapons.
“The new rules also allow the Russian military to use its nuclear weapons if it gets ‘reliable information’ about the launch of ballistic missiles targeting its territory or its allies. As per the longstanding policy, the president can order a retaliatory nuclear strike in response to an attack using nuclear weapons…”
A nuclear war will break out between Russia with their far Eastern allies and the European power bloc under German leadership.
Special Relationship between USA and UK to End Soon?
The Guardian wrote on June 8:
“The UK’s special relationship with the US may end…
“Rory Stewart, the former Conservative international development secretary, said in one assessment: ‘… If we were to move away from the US, and Trump obviously poses the challenge that that may have to happen, we are going to find ourselves in a situation in which much of our Foreign Office infrastructure had been predicated on working very closely with the US for a very long time… it will involve a much bigger shift in national security infrastructure than we have ever experienced. Almost since Suez, they have been our default.’…
“Sir John Sawers, the former head of M16 and a former UK ambassador to the UN… said… ‘There is no doubt President Trump is the most difficult president for us to deal with… He does not really feel that sense of being part of that transatlantic community, he does not really believe in alliances… We are seeing in this pandemic for the first time what a crisis is like without American leadership…’
“Many senior former UK ambassadors are desperately hoping Washington will lead again. One said: ‘… If we get another four years of this leadership, then some of the bonds and some of the cement that holds the west together, and holds Europe and America together will be broken forever…’”
The Bible indicates that the special relationship between the USA and the UK will indeed end soon… but only after important prophetic events have been fulfilled.
Trump No Friend of Israel?
Times of Israel wrote on June 5:
“Jerusalem and Heritage Minister Rafi Peretz said Friday that he would oppose parts of the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan amid a growing chorus of right-wing opposition to the Palestinian state outlined in the plan… Peretz, who heads the right-wing Jewish Home faction, in a Facebook post said he would not accept the establishment of a Palestinian state, which is included in the outline…
“Some politicians and top settler leaders have publicly come out against the US plan in recent days, led by Jordan Valley Regional Council head David Elhayani, who told the Haaretz daily on Wednesday that Trump and his senior adviser Jared Kushner have shown through their peace proposal that ‘they are not friends of the State of Israel.’… If Trump wants to establish a Palestinian state near the heart of Israel, between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, he said, addressing the US president, ‘then you are not a friend.’ Such a state, he stressed, ‘is a danger to Israel.’…
“The comments drew harsh rebuke from Netanyahu and other right-wing leaders. However, Elhayani… rebuffed accusations that he was being ungrateful to Washington as it offers to recognize Israeli sovereignty, [saying] he was concerned not just for the safety of settlements in the Jordan Valley and other areas of the West Bank, but for the safety of all of Israel’s citizens….”
Even though the almost universal movement against Israel’s planned annexation is growing stronger, Trump and Kushner would lose face and all credibility, if they were not to “allow” Israel to go forward with the annexation. The same could be said about Netanyahu who, after promising annexation by July 1, could not really afford not to go ahead with the annexation, as his political survival is on the line.
“Suddenly, Public Health Officials Say Social Justice Matters More Than Social Distance”
Politico wrote on June 4:
“For months, public health experts have urged Americans to take every precaution to stop the spread of Covid-19—stay at home, steer clear of friends and extended family, and absolutely avoid large gatherings. Now some of those experts are broadcasting a new message: It’s time to get out of the house and join the mass protests against racism…
“It’s a message echoed by media outlets and some of the most prominent public health experts in America, like former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden, who loudly warned against efforts to rush reopening but is now supportive of mass protests…
“But their messages are also confounding to many who spent the spring strictly isolated on the advice of health officials, only to hear that the need might not be so absolute after all. It’s particularly nettlesome to conservative skeptics of the all-or-nothing approach to lockdown, who point out that many of those same public health experts… widely criticized activists who held largely outdoor protests against lockdowns in April and May, accusing demonstrators of posing a public health danger.
“Conservatives, who felt their own concerns about long-term economic damage or even mental health costs of lockdown were brushed aside just days or weeks ago, are increasingly asking whether these public health experts are letting their politics sway their health care recommendations…
“Those protests against stay-at-home orders ‘not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives,’ according to the letter’s nearly 1,300 signatories. ‘Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.’…”
This is SO ridiculously mind-boggling, offensive and utterly hypocritical.
Violence Breeds Violence
The Guardian wrote on June 6:
“The nationwide anti-police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US have been marked by widespread incidents of police violence, including punching, kicking, gassing, pepper-spraying and driving vehicles at often peaceful protesters in states across the country. The actions have left thousands of protesters in jail and injured many others, leaving some with life-threatening injuries.
“From Minnesota to New York, Texas, California, Washington DC and many places beyond, from small towns to big cities, police officers have demonstrated just how problematic law enforcement is in the US, drawing condemnation from international groups as well as domestic civil rights organizations…
“Numerous incidents of police violence have been exposed in disturbing videos and press accounts in recent days… At [a] New York protest, an officer yanked a facemask from an African American man who was standing with his hands in the air, then pepper-sprayed him into the face.
“In Buffalo… two officers shoved a 75-year-old man to the ground. A video showed the man hitting his head on the ground, causing his blood to spill on the sidewalk. He is now gravely ill in hospital…
“On Thursday, a video posted to Twitter showed a group of police beating peaceful protesters in Philadelphia… In one incident police shot paint canisters at a woman who was standing on the porch of her own home…
“On the west coast, a police car drove into protestors in Los Angeles, briefly trapping them underneath the engine, and police used teargas to dispel a demonstration in Santa Monica. In Los Angeles, as in other cities in the US, police have also repeatedly fired rubber bullets at protesters…
“Even medical workers have not been immune… Among those abused in Washington DC were a pair of Australian journalists, who were reporting on a protest… Frequently journalists have been met with the same aggressive policing as demonstrators…”
A newsletter of the LA Times added on June 6:
“Among overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations, there was also violence and some looting. Some business owners criticized police for failing to protect their businesses…”
On the other hand, there were quite a few reported incidents when police officers sided with demonstrators, embraced them, engaged with them in minutes of silence, took a knee in front of them, and even marched with them.
In addition, left-wing radicals and groups such as Antifa have been blamed for resorting to violence and to kidnap and hijack peaceful demonstrations to follow their evil agenda. But as the next article shows, the same goes for right-wing radicals (It reminds us of events in Germany after World War I, when left- and right-wing extremists were fighting for dominance):
Extremists Try to Hijack Peaceful Protests
The Times of Israel wrote on June 6:
“There are men showing up to the George Floyd protests in body armor and Hawaiian shirts and they want to start a civil war. They call themselves the Boogaloo Bois. This isn’t a joke, but a very real network of anti-government extremists who want to leverage the protests to incite a wider uprising against police, the army and the state. Last week, three of them were arrested by the FBI for conspiracy to destroy federal and private property.
“The arrests are the most visible example so far of the Boogaloo network, whose armed adherents yearn for a second civil war between ordinary Americans and a federal government they consider oppressive…. Boogaloo Bois who have shown up at protests against police brutality are often sympathetic with the Black Lives Matter movement because the Boogaloo extremists hate the police.”
In addition, the article shows that the demarcation line between right and left extremists might be confusing. It points out:
“… white supremacist activity has been uncovered during some of the protests during the past two weeks. Members of the white nationalist group VDARE posed as reporters for the publication Vice and tried to get anti-racist demonstrators to publicly identify themselves… NBC reported that a Twitter account posing as part of the anti-fascist Antifa network was actually run by a white nationalist group called the American Identity Movement.”
White House Fenced In and Heavily Fortified
The Week wrote on June 5:
“… the White House has been transformed into a veritable fortress… with tall security fencing and concrete barriers erected to keep protesters from an expanded secure zone… Armed guards and sharpshooters and combat troops are omnipresent… the new fencing stretches about 1.7 miles around the White House.
“The White House is now so heavily fortified that it resembles the monarchical palaces or authoritarian compounds of regimes in faraway lands — strikingly incongruous with the historic role of the executive mansion… known as ‘the People’s House’…”
The picture presented to the world of the USA as being in turmoil and the White House as a helpless fortified and barricaded “palace” under siege is unheard of and extremely damaging to America’s reputation (whatever is still left of it).
George Floyd Looking Down From Heaven Rejoicing over Job Reports???
The Guardian wrote on June 5:
“The president attempted to take a victory lap after a better-than-expected jobs report showed the national unemployment rate falling to 13.3% last month, with 2.5m jobs gained… Trump declared: ‘Today is probably, if you think of it, the greatest comeback in American history.’… Trump suggested that Floyd… would be happy about the figures… ‘Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this [is] a great thing that’s happening for our country,’ he said. ‘There’s a great day for him… There’s a great, great day in terms of equality.’”
“The comment earned swift opprobrium… Michael Steele, who is African American, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the MSNBC network: ‘It’s not only tone deaf, it’s borderline blasphemous in light of what happened to Mr Floyd… Again, it speaks to just how out of step this man [Trump] is with real life. This reality television presidency is incompatible with democracy, it’s incompatible with governing, it’s incompatible with everyday people trying to realise the American dream.’
“Defenders of Trump argued that he was being willfully misconstrued… [and] that his remark was taken ‘out of context’ [pointing out that Trump was emphasizing “equality”].
“The surprise increase in jobs came after economists had predicted a rise in unemployment to 20% as America reels from the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide lockdowns. But the new rate of 13.3% is still far higher than previous peak unemployment, which was 10.8% in 1982… Most of the 2.5m jobs gained over the month were in hospitality and leisure, an industry that lost 7.5m jobs in April as states went into quarantine…
“Although the unemployment rate for white people decreased from 14.2% to 12.4%, the rate for African Americans went up from 16.7% to 16.8%…”
Apart from the ill-received attempt to connect the “better-than-expected” job reports with the death of George Floyd—whether taken out of context or not—the very notion that Floyd is looking down from heaven is ridiculous and unbiblical. The Bible (which Trump had in his hand during his recent photo-op in front of the St. John’s Episcopal Church), teaches that people, when they die, are dead in their graves, without conscience; that they are not in heaven (or hell); and that God will resurrect them from the dead in their due time, which has not occurred yet for ANYONE—with the only exception of Jesus Christ, the “firstborn” from the dead.
Vatican Archbishop Praises Trump
Newsmax wrote on June 7:
“Influential Vatican Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Papal Nuncio to Washington, D.C., has written to President Trump, praising his leadership during a critical juncture in his presidency as he faces harsh criticism for his handling of the coronavirus and the George Floyd protests… Viganò writes that the President’s enemy is ‘the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days . . .’
“The Archbishop indicated that the ‘Covid emergency’ will likely be viewed in the future as a ‘colossal operation of social engineering.’ ‘We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population,’ Viganò wrote. The Archbishop claimed that ‘the same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony.’”
Even though some of his statements are remarkable and note-worthy, especially regarding the coronavirus and the civil disturbance, he constitutes a lone voice, as most Catholic priests and bishops reject Trump’s leadership. And so does the Pope.
Face Masks—the Criminal’s Best Friend
The Ron Paul Institute reprinted the following article on June 5 which appeared first in the Washington Times:
“America’s youth have taken to the streets in Santa Monica, in Minneapolis, in Los Angeles, in New York City, in Washington, D.C., and more, in protest of the horrible police killing of George Floyd, and they’re setting fires, burning businesses — burning St. John’s Church, the historic place of worship for American presidents — looting stores, smashing glass, tossing Molotov cocktails and fighting police.
“And they’re doing it with the aid and assistance of mandated, recommended or acceptably worn facial coverings. A face mask is a looter’s equivalent of a lucky day. Thanks be to the coronavirus crisis: Every criminal, would-be criminal and aider and abettor to a criminal can carry out his or her criminal act in broad daylight, in bold openness, in brash disregard for law and order, all while disguising identity.
“Oh what happy times COVID-19 and the government’s random, unscientific, politically motivated and factually questionable response to the virus has been for Antifa and Antifa’s thuggish types. Most cities, counties and communities have local safety provisions in place that make it illegal to wear facial coverings and hoods with intent to disguise — and if not prohibited by ordinances, the locals at least frown on the full-face coverings, making it odd and suspicious to see them worn in public…
“Now ‘cover thy face’ has become national policy… Many, if not most [criminals] will walk away scot-free, laughing into their face masks, confident the local cameras and locals in the area can’t identify them. And just think: If these face masks become part of America’s ‘new normal’ — so will the anonymous crimes. Face masks aren’t just a hindrance and a virtue signal of supposed COVID-19 concern for others. They’re cover for criminals. They’re a criminal’s new best friend.”
Very true as it convincingly describes the nonsense and the DANGER of having to wear face masks.
Defunding the Police?
Newsmax wrote on June 8:
“President Donald Trump early Monday tweeted a call to oppose defunding police departments in the wake of the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody. ‘LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE,’ Trump tweeted Monday. ‘The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!’…
“The demand to defund police gained traction in Minneapolis Sunday, when a veto-proof majority of the City Council pledged to ‘begin the process’ of dismantling its police force. Council members… said they didn’t have immediate plans for what would replace the force but would consult with the community on a new structure for public safety…
“Voters nationwide said by a 2-to-1 margin that they are more concerned by police actions in Floyd’s death than violence at some protests… 57% of Americans believe police generally treat white people better than black people. The public disapproved of Trump’s handling of the protests and the events surrounding Floyd’s killing by an 11-point margin…
“Almost two-thirds of Americans oppose cutting… police funding and just 16% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans support the idea…”
Trump a Long Way from Beaten
The Guardian wrote on June 6:
“Voter disapproval of Donald Trump’s handling of the George Floyd protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, plus the accompanying economic meltdown, have undoubtedly hurt the president’s re-election chances. But it’s unclear whether the damage is fatal…
“Things are looking bad for Trump right now… Yet Trump has been written off before… One thing is certain: he’s a long way from beaten.”
Indeed. And that is true even though from a human standpoint, it does not appear that, mainly due to his perceived lack of competent leadership, Trump would be reelected. But note the next article which discusses his modus operandi over the years.
Why Trump Will Stay in Power…
The Daily Mail wrote on June 5:
“After the anarchic and deeply troubling scenes of recent days, many will surely conclude that, in overwhelming numbers, the American people will kick Donald Trump out of the White House in November’s election… Our country is in flames… Twelve major cities have declared curfews, 17,000 troops have been activated, governors in at least 24 states called in the National Guard and more than 11,000 people have been arrested…
“Millions of people have lost their jobs already, and millions more are expected to join them in a recession – even a depression – following the pandemic. Little wonder that many of Trump’s most ardent supporters are subdued on the subject of ‘four more years’.
“But I have studied Trump for 32 years, having first met him in 1988 when I investigated his casino operations in Atlantic City and uncovered his friendships with the Mafia. I know the man, his motivations and his modus operandi well. Let me tell you that it would be a huge mistake to assume he has lost the 2020 election. In fact, there are many reasons to believe that what is happening now will deliver him that second term.
“Critical as I have long been of him, I’ve always admired his ability to convince millions of people that he is a modern Midas, a ‘very stable genius’, to use his own phrase — and the only person who can save America. That these claims are nonsense doesn’t matter as long as enough people believe them. Despite his many flaws, Trump is remarkably resilient.
“To retain the White House, he faces three challenges.
“First, he must persuade Americans that China is responsible for the coronavirus deaths, and feckless state governors and local mayors — rather than his own chaotic administration — mishandled the pandemic. If fatalities, as expected, are falling after the summer, he will benefit. Should a reliable treatment have emerged by then, this will help further.
“Second… Trump will claim it was his tough law-and-order policies that crushed the violence that erupted after Mr Floyd’s death…
“His third challenge is the economy. This is the easiest one for him. Even with more than a quarter of American workers on jobless benefits — and after a slightly uptick in employment numbers yesterday — Trump can argue the fastest way to revive the economy is to cut taxes further and jettison yet more business regulations. Most of the big corporations don’t want the Democrats back in power, with the prospect of higher taxes and more red tape…
“Meeting these challenges is achievable. And it is of a pattern with a man whose life has been characterised by turning setbacks that would destroy the careers and reputations of anyone else into triumphs. Trump never admits error. His late mentor, the notorious political fixer and mafia consigliere Roy Cohn (who was disbarred as a lawyer for trying to defraud his own client), taught him to attack law enforcement and make them the bad guys. Whenever a judge rules against him, Trump calls the jurist a bigot, an idiot, corrupt or a ‘hater’…
“All his life, Trump has always enjoyed stunning success in damage avoidance, and not only when he cheats on his wives. He dodged any fallout in the 1980s when both his personal helicopter pilot and the provider of his fleet of casino aircraft, were caught running an international drug-trafficking ring. Trump continued to employ the pilot after he had been indicted, later urging the judge to impose a lenient sentence.
“Three decades ago, his lawyers negotiated an extraordinary private settlement in which his empire shed a total $3 billion debt — over $800 million of which he had personally guaranteed — without being forced, as he would normally be expected to, to declare personal bankruptcy. That was followed by four corporate bankruptcies when he was CEO of a casino company — even as it paid him at least $83 million.
“Finally, in Trump’s favour, there is the peculiar way American presidents are elected. Trump is the fourth president out of 45 who lost the popular vote — the total number of votes cast nationally — but won the White House anyway. Presidents are voted in not by the citizens of the country as a whole, but by ‘electors’ in each state, through a process called the Electoral College… Unfortunately, the arrangement does not work perfectly, which is why a man like Trump… win office even when most Americans do not want him there…The lesson for November’s election is clear. Don’t — for a single moment — write him off.”
A truly damaging and eye-opening article (even though it does not contain that many surprising revelations for those who have carefully followed objectively the news and developments surrounding Trump). We have even omitted some of the author’s dicey comments. But the author is correct in his conclusions: Trump WILL stay in power but NOT because God is approving of his conduct and politics.
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 was the religious establishment usually at odds with Jesus? (Part 2)
In the first part of this series, we focused on the Pharisees. This group, although relatively small in numbers, was very influential. We saw that they rejected Jesus Christ and God’s commandments so that they could uphold their own traditions.
Another important influential religious group at the time of Jesus was the Sadducees.
Young’s Analytical Concordance has this to say about the Sadducees: “A sect of the Jews, denying the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits, who derived their origin from Sadok, a follower of Antigonus of Socho B.C.250, a President of the Sanhedrin.”
A review of the Sadducees will give us some insight into the sort of religious environment that Jesus was born into and with what He had to endure during His ministry.
The website of “difference between” points out the following:
“While the Sadducees believed in the authority of the Torah, they were also more supportive of prevailing rulers… This is because they understood that they could benefit, in a political and economic sense, from maintaining peaceful relations with the ruling government.
“The Sadducees… were exposed to a more secular education than the Pharisees, and even acknowledged Hellenism (Hellenism is the term used to describe the influence of Greek culture on the peoples the Greek and Roman Empires conquered or interacted with). The main difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees concerned the understanding of the function of the Torah in Jewish society. Most of the Sadducees operated as priests and were members of the Sanhedrin… The Sadducees maintained that the first five books of the Bible, otherwise known as the Torah, were the greatest authority on God’s will for the Jews. For the Sadducees, all other laws or texts outside the sacred Torah could not be counted as part of the Law…
“The Sadducees did not believe that man would experience resurrection after physical death… They endeavored to preserve their priestly caste, and actively took part in political discourse to maintain their influence over their fellow Jews… The Sadducees held political power and religious clout as an integral part of temple government…
“Their founder, Tzadok (or sometimes spelled Zadok, in Hebrew meaning ‘Righteous’), was a priest descended from Eleazar the son of Aaron, who aided King David during the revolt of his son Absalom, and was consequently instrumental in bringing King Solomon to the throne.
“After Solomon’s building of The First Temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the first High Priest to serve there. In any event, the name Tzadok could be indicative of their aristocratic status in society in the beginning of their existence due to their close relationship with the monarchy and King Solomon. The Sadducees derive their name from the Hebrew name of Tzadok, the ‘Tz’ is pronounced with an ‘s’ sound. Sadducees would then roughly mean, ‘The righteous ones of Tzadok’…”
According to Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, the Sadducees were a hereditary and ancient priestly class. They constituted the nobility of the Jewish people and thus we find many high priests coming from the Sadducean party. Annas was a Sadducee.
The website of “difference between” continues:
“The Sadducees believed that the souls of men died with their bodies. They did not believe in the resurrection of the body nor retribution in a future life. Neither did they believe in predestination, but ‘that good and evil are the choice of man who can do one or the other at his discretion’ and consequently that God exercises ‘no influence upon human actions, and that man is therefore the cause of his own prosperity and adversity.’”
Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People, confirming the foregoing, states the following:
“In addition to the doctrinal differences between the Sadducees and the Pharisees over the immortality of the soul, there was a fundamental difference over what constituted the law of the Jews. The Sadducees acknowledged only the written Torah as binding and rejected the entire traditional interpretation as well as the further development that the law had undergone during the course of centuries at the hands of the scribes.”
James C. McRuer, The Trial of Jesus, writes this:
“It is not unfair to say that the Sadducees were really more concerned with the political power that their ecclesiastical offices gave them than with the spiritual affairs of the people. To make themselves secure in this power during the Herodian-Roman period, it was necessary for them to accommodate their views to those of the Pharisees.”
There are just 13 verses where the Sadducees are mentioned, as opposed to around 84 for the Pharisees, and only five of the verses mention just the Sadducees which are as follows:
Matthew 22:23: “The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him…”
Mark 12:18: “some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him…”
Luke 20:27: “Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him…”
It is interesting that the three Scriptures quoted above are about the resurrection which they denied, and these are the only ones in the four gospel accounts where only the Sadducees were noted as those asking the question.
In addition, the following two verses refer to the Sadducees in conjunction with the high priest:
Acts 4:1: “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them…”
Acts 5:17: “Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation…”
These last two references show the concern that they had about the message that the apostles were preaching, and arrests and imprisonment were the outcome.
In the remaining eight verses, the Pharisees are also mentioned as well as the Sadducees.
The first of these verses is in Matthew 3:7: “But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’”
In spite of the Pharisees being mentioned much more often than the Sadducees, they were both reprimanded in no uncertain terms. In this regard, note the following four passages:
Matthew 16:1: “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.”
Matthew 16:6: “Then Jesus said to them [His disciples], ‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.’”
Matthew 16:12: “Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Matthew 22:34: “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.”
Both sects wanted to see a sign but Jesus warned His disciples of their leaven, meaning their doctrine.
Note also the last three verses:
Acts 23:6: “But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, ‘Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!’”
Acts 23:7: “And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.”
Acts 23:8: “Sadducees say that there is no resurrection—and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.”
Again, in these three verses, the difference in doctrine is clear with the Pharisees believing in the resurrection and the existence of angels and demons, and the Sadducees denying all of it.
It is obvious from the foregoing that Jesus would have to clash with the viewpoints of the Sadducees on numerous occasions. He upheld God’s Word which teaches the resurrection from the dead and the existence of holy and fallen angels, and He emphasized that the entire Old Testament was godly inspired… not only the first five books of Moses or the Torah. But even then, He refuted their argument that there is no resurrection from the dead, when quoting from the Torah.
In our Q&A on Matthew 22:23-30, we say the following:
“As the Sadducees did not believe in the inspiration of the Old Testament apart from the first five books of Moses, Jesus quoted, as proof for a resurrection, from the first five books of Moses, mentioning the burning bush episode, as recorded in the book of Exodus. He continued to say that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that God was not the God of the dead, but of the living.
“Some commentaries erroneously conclude that Jesus was saying here that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were ALIVE when Jesus spoke these words–and that Jesus was therefore upholding the concept of the immortal soul which teaches that the immortal soul goes to heaven when man dies–a teaching which the Sadducees rejected.
“However, Jesus did not believe in the false concept of the immortal soul. He taught that death was a sleep out of which man must be awakened (compare John 11:11-14, 43-44). He said to the Sadducees that God is a God of the living, because He will awaken Abraham, Isaac and Jacob out of their sleep of death through a resurrection from the dead. Remember, Jesus answered the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection. He proved that there is a resurrection from the dead by saying that God is the God of the living.
“The dead will live because God WILL RAISE them up in the resurrection (compare John 5:25, 28-29)–and God looks at future events, which are certain, as if they had already occurred. (Compare Romans 4:17, in the Living Bible: ‘That is what the Scriptures mean when they say that God made Abraham the father of many nations. God will accept all people in every nation who trust God as Abraham did. And this promise is from God himself, who makes the dead alive again and speaks of future events with as much certainty as though they were already past.’)”
On the other hand, Jesus recognized that the Sadducees were in charge of the Temple service, and that they were correct in their understanding as to when to sacrifice the Passover lamb. While they did so at the beginning of the 14th of Nisan, the Pharisees sacrificed it one day too late, at the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th of Nisan. Most Jews follow today the wrong lead of the Pharisees and keep the Passover one day too late, by confusing it with the Night to Be Much Observed.
Please note our Q&A discussing the correct time as to when the Passover lamb had to be slain, with the title: “Why does the Church of God keep the annual Passover one day earlier than the Jews?”
The Sadducees also determined correctly when to keep Pentecost, while the Pharisees kept Pentecost many times on the wrong day. Many Jews today follow the wrong Pharisaic thought and keep Pentecost often on the wrong day as well.
In our Q&A about how to count Pentecost, we stated the following:
“There was a controversy, according to the Jewish historian Josephus of the first century, between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. While the Sadducees counted the 50 days correctly from the Sunday which falls within the Days of Unleavened Bread and which follows the WEEKLY Sabbath, the Pharisees counted it from the day after the ANNUAL Sabbath—the first day of Unleavened Bread. But we should note… that the Temple service was entrusted to the Sadducees, not the Pharisees. Their determination as to when to celebrate Pentecost was conclusive and decisive for the public celebration, as long as the Second Temple existed.
“However, modern Judaism has adopted the view of the Pharisees, thereby celebrating Pentecost ALWAYS on the SIXTH DAY OF SIVAN (which could fall on any day of the week). In passing, we should notice as well that most modern Jews have also adopted the view of the Pharisees (contrary to the view of the Sadducees) that one must observe Passover on the 15th of Nisan, which is the wrong day and one day too late, erroneously claiming that the Passover lamb was sacrificed at the end of the 14th day of Nisan, while it was actually sacrificed at the beginning of the 14th day of Nisan, ‘between the two evenings’—the time span between sunset and nightfall.”
got questions.org summarizes nicely as to why Jesus would be at odds with the religious establishment, including the Sadducees:
“Jesus had more run-ins with the Pharisees than with the Sadducees, probably because of the former’s giving pre-eminence to oral tradition. ‘You ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition,’ Jesus told them. Because the Sadducees were often more concerned with politics than religion, they ignored Jesus until they began to fear He might bring unwanted Roman attention and upset the status quo. It was at that point that the Sadducees and Pharisees set aside their differences, united, and conspired to put Christ to death (John 11:48-50; Mark 14:53; 15:1).”
(To be Continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Obeying God Rather Than Men,” is the title of a new video promoting our new booklet by the same name. Produced by Michael Link, this promo is also featured in our newest StandingWatch program—as described below:
“Do You Disobey God While Accepting the Mark of the Beast?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
In this time of confusion, many may unknowingly accept the mark of the beast without which they cannot buy or sell. Some point out that you can’t go shopping without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing; that you might be forced to become vaccinated or to accept some tracking device or a microchip with medical data. What about this? And whom do you obey when there is a real conflict between the laws of God and the injunctions of men?
“Hostility between Germany and the USA Continues (Comments on News and Prophecy, June 6, 2020),” the first message during last Sabbath’s service and presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Angela Merkel refused to join the G7, to be hosted by Donald Trump at the end of June, who reacted with anger and postponed the entire summit until this fall. Germany sided with the protests in the USA against police brutality and racial discrimination and openly declared that they are done with Trump. In response, Trump announced that he will withdraw about 9,500 American troops from Germany, causing a sharp rebuke from German governmental officials. Germany also announced that while they will be allowing Europeans to travel freely throughout Europe by June 15, this will not include Americans. Where will this continuing alienation and hostility lead?
“The Tools of God,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
It is important to have the proper tools when you are working in order to be able to create or to build any thing worthwhile. In all areas of life we find that those who wield tools properly help to build up and support others in what they do. Having tools is one thing, but knowing how to use them skillfully is another. As Christians, what tools are at our disposal? And how do we use them effectively and powerfully to accomplish the Work of God, for which we have been called?
The German sermonette, which was given last Sabbath by Dmitrij Niemann, has been posted. It is titled: Beständiger Kampf” (in English, “Continuous Battle”).
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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