You Must be Very Proud! / What is True Worship?
On August 15, 2020, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “You Must be Very Proud!” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “What is True Worship?”
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.
How to Abound
by Eric Rank
As I write this Editorial, I am enjoying a vacation, absent from work and spending a lot of time relaxing with my family. Taking the time off from work without having the burden to handle the day-to-day tasks and spending time on the beach feels absolutely luxurious. And in many ways, it truly is. A frequent meditation on this trip involves my gratitude for the blessings that God has provided to make it possible to spend a little bit of time abounding in joy.
Knowing the grim future that lies in store for the world and knowing that the paramount motivations for Christians are spiritual, it can be hard (for me) to make the space to enjoy physical blessings. But to reject all joy that has roots in physical existence is to deny the fact that we are human. Certainly, God provides blessings in this life for us to enjoy, but how can we reconcile the need to live according to the Spirit?
It brings to mind the state of mind that Paul mentions in Philippians 4:11-12, “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Seeing that Paul knew how to abound, living at times a life of fullness and abundance, there must be a way to do so ourselves without compromising righteousness. In fact, we can see some of the keys directly in this statement, beginning with contentment.
By placing value in our spiritual relationship with God over and above whatever physical blessings there might be, it allows us to be content. Paul’s contentment originates from his trust in God believing that He will provide all that he needs, whether it makes him hungry or full. If our obedient actions are our focus rather than the targeted results according to worldly metrics, it doesn’t matter whether we are blessed with a lot or a little. With that state of mind, what matters in our lives is our relationship with God, making everything else incidental. Maintaining contentment in a broad spectrum of physical circumstances requires spiritual motivations that transcend the physical outcomes of our actions.
Even so, God promises blessings in physical ways, which are the natural results of obedience. “‘Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God…’” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). The promises that follow the conditional proclamation on obedience in this chapter of the Bible describe abundance in mainly physical terms. To abound then, requires obedience first. But as we learn from Paul, when properly motivated, contentment is a result regardless of the physical benefit of obedience. Clearly, God provides blessings on obedience for the purpose of our enjoyment. To abound then involves enjoying the fruits of obedience as well!
If we want to know how to abound in the world we live, the prescription is simple. Our focus must be on our way of life, ensuring that we are living lives that are pleasing to God. To abound in life involves obedience first. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). By abounding in the work of supporting the Church’s commission for this end time of preaching the gospel in all the world as a witness and of overcoming sin in our lives, thereby expressing love towards God and our fellow man, we will also have the ability to abound in enjoying the physical blessings God provides for us in our lives now.
by Norbert Link
We begin with deeply disturbing articles about ongoing governmental restrictions; the absurdity and hypocrisy behind measures to limit or prohibit Church services; and the Satanic attempt to prevent God’s people from observing His Holy Days, including the commanded Feast of Tabernacles in the biblically prescribed manner, coupled with our appeal for PRAYER that God would bind the hands of Satan and enable God’s people to obey His commands for His weekly and annual Sabbaths in an uncompromising way.
We speak of attempts by Big Tech to suppress the Truth; a bogus claim by Russia regarding their development of a “safe” coronavirus vaccine; and we report on the dangers of the bubonic plague which is apparently transmitted through unclean animals. We point out further developments showing the deterioration of the relationship between the USA and Germany. We also report on the Beirut disaster and the distinct possibility that the gigantic explosion was caused by foreign interference (a bomb) and that Hezbollah was somehow involved. We also address the fact that Lebanon is bankrupt.
We continue with articles about the biblically prophesied European army; the “historic” peace deal between Israel, the UAE and the USA; and the Third Temple prior to Christ’s return [please view our new StandingWatch program in this context, titled, “The Third Temple, the End of the World, and the “Historic” Peace Deal”]; and we speak on the attempts of Russia and China to bring about “Dedollarization” in their countries.
We also address President Trump’s executive order for unemployment benefits and the deferral of the payroll tax, which might be challenged by Democrats in court; and we conclude with Joe Biden’s pick of Kamala Harris as his running mate.
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
Governmental Restrictions Might Jeopardize Celebration of Feast of Tabernacles
The World wrote on August 6:
“Oregon Gov. Kate… Brown’s Press Secretary Liz Merah responded [to an inquiry]: “‘… in recent weeks, doctors, health experts, and case investigators have reported seeing cases linked to interstate travel. The issue of travel restrictions was raised by members of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel based on COVID-19 cases linked to travel in southern Oregon, which is troubling based on the spikes in case counts California is currently experiencing. County-level COVID-19 data from across the country likewise shows increasing case counts between linked communities across state borders.
“‘We are asking the health experts at the Oregon Health Authority and the Medical Advisory Panel for more data on travel-related spread of COVID-19, as well as recommendations for health and safety measures to address such cases. In conversations with legislators today, our office also discussed the reality that many Oregonians in communities on the state’s borders often cross those borders for work, and that any restrictions must take economic and supply chain implications into account. As the Governor has stated previously, our focus is on restrictions related to tourist travel from hotspot states and communities. Conversations are ongoing about how those restrictions could work.’”
It is obvious to us that panic-driven and mostly unrealistic and unscientific governmental restrictions are Satan’s tool to destroy the Church of God and to prevent the Church and its members from keeping the biblically commanded Feast of Tabernacles in the month of October for eight days. The Church of the Eternal God (CEG) is determined to keep the Feast in the manner prescribed by God and at the place(s) where God has placed His name. We would therefore like to ask for PRAYERS that God binds the hands of Satan and allows us to keep God’s commandment. The situation in Oregon is one example as to how Satan might try to prevent Church members from traveling to God’s designated feast site for CEG in South Dakota. (As the article below points out, Satan might even try to sabotage the Feast site in South Dakota.)
Canadian Church members are presently not allowed to travel to the USA by land; and American members are not permitted to fly to Germany to keep the Feast there at God’s designated site near Düsseldorf with the German-speaking brethren. We see indications that Satan may be trying to influence the German state and federal governments to restrict or even prohibit Church services and Church assemblies in the country. Right now, members from the UK and other European and some non-European countries are still allowed to travel to Germany for the Feast, but not to the USA. Australian members are likewise faced with the possibility of a lockdown which might prevent them from keeping the Feast, if Satan were to prevail.
In addition, even where governments allow Church services, Satan wants to use them to restrict the biblically commanded way as to how to conduct those, and sadly, many worldly churches and even some claiming to be in the Body of Christ manifest a spirit of Sardis or Laodicea and have buckled in fear and are far too willing to “oblige,” sometimes with most ridiculous results. Our free booklets, “Obeying God Rather Than Men,” and “How to Keep the Sabbath,” give important guidelines in this regard.
It is therefore incumbent upon God’s people to pray to God for His mighty intervention to bind the hands of Satan and to allow God’s people to observe the Feast of Tabernacles at the place where God has placed His name, and to be able to do so in freedom and security and with joy and thankfulness.
Motorcycle Enthusiasts Gather in South Dakota
Fox News wrote on August 8:
“Crowds of motorcycle enthusiasts gathered in Sturgis, S.D., Friday for the start of the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally… Organizers were expecting 250,000 people from all over the country to [meet] at the 10-day event. Many bikers were defiant over the restrictions…
“Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has taken a largely hands-off approach to the pandemic, avoiding a mask mandate and preaching personal responsibility. She supported holding the Sturgis rally, pointing out that no virus outbreak was documented from the several thousand people who turned out to see President Donald Trump and fireworks at Mount Rushmore last month.”
Good for her but the fear is that a manufactured alleged “rise” in cases might place pressure on Gov. Noem to impose some restrictions. We hope not, as God has led us to keep the Feast of Tabernacles this year in South Dakota.
Ban on American Citizens to Enter the USA?
The New York Times wrote on August 10:
“President Trump is considering new immigration regulations that would allow border officials to temporarily block American citizens and legal permanent residents from returning to the United States from abroad if authorities believe they may be infected with the coronavirus…
“Under the proposal…, the government could block a citizen or legal resident from crossing the border into the United States if an official ‘reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease.’… The documents appear not to spell out how long a citizen or legal resident would be required to remain outside of the United States. The draft memo says the prohibition on the introduction of U.S. citizens or legal residents from abroad would apply ‘only in the rarest of circumstances,’ and ‘when required in the interest of public health, and be limited in duration.’
“Still if Mr. Trump approves the change, it would be an escalation of his government’s longstanding attempts to seal the border against what he considers to be threats, using the existence of the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for taking actions that would have been seen as draconian in other contexts… It is unclear whether there are any existing rules that would allow American citizens and legal residents to be prohibited from returning to the United States for a period of time because of concerns about a communicable disease. Immigration officials have broad authority to deny entry to people based on national security issues.
“The rule appears to apply to all points of entry into the United States, including at airports and along both the northern and southern borders. In particular, the draft could impact the border with Mexico, where many American citizens and legal residents cross back and forth frequently. The rule notes the prevalence of the coronavirus in Mexico as evidence of the need for the modified rule, citing the death on August 2 of the health minister in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua, who the order says died of Covid-19 after a two week hospitalization. The draft regulation notes the stress that Covid-19 has placed on the Mexican health care system and says it has driven people from Mexico into the United States to seek care.”
We wonder whose ”brilliant” mind is behind this draft. It’s getting worse and worse… This concept does not seem to have ANY justification or logic whatsoever. What would happen to those who will be rejected at an airport? Where would they end up? Where would they stay? They could not enter the USA, and they could not go back to the country of their last vacation. (That country would not accept them back.) Would they have to stay in the airport complex, in “no man’s land,” before crossing the border?
Will this nonsense EVER end????
Further Corona Restrictions for Germany
Deutsche Welle reported on August 7:
“German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced Thursday wide-reaching new testing measures for arrivals in Germany. From Saturday, all of those arriving from designated risk areas will have to be tested for coronavirus unless they can produce a negative test certificate no more than two days old. The rules apply to anyone of any nationality arriving in Germany from a so-called risk area… Germany’s public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), has a list of risk areas that they update on a daily basis… It extends to a large number of countries outside of the European Union, but EU members are not necessarily exempt. At the time of writing, the list of risk areas included the US, several northern regions of Spain, North Macedonia, Israel, Iran, Turkey, India and North Korea. The Belgium province of Antwerp was added on Wednesday after a spike in cases…
“People refusing to take a test could face a fine of up €25,000 ($30,000), depending on the federal state where they live… The tests… will be carried out by the German Red Cross right behind the passport and customs areas at airports. There are also plans to set up testing booths at the borders by motorways and train stations. Should an immediate test not be possible, because the test booths are closed, travelers are obliged to go for a test within 14 days and remain in quarantine until they have done so…
“Medical experts say the obligatory testing introduced by Jens Spahn is legitimate…”
The legality for any of this is very doubtful, but who cares?
Religious Persecution… A Ridiculous Decision by a California Judge
The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote on August 7:
“A California church that for weeks has held indoor worship in defiance of anti-coronavirus health orders must close its doors, a judge ruled Friday. A temporary restraining order was issued that bars Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park from indoor worship services anywhere in the county. ‘The court finds that there is an immediate threat to public health and safety due to the 2019 novel coronavirus,’
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco wrote. The order will be in place until another hearing is held on Aug. 21.
“The county north of Los Angeles and its health officer sued the church after Pastor Rob McCoy repeatedly defied health orders designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Services for as many as 200 worshipers offered ‘singing, hugging, no masks,’ in McCoy’s words. The suit was filed last week, a day after the county Board of Supervisors authorized court actions to enforce the health orders. The suit said permitting the church to keep holding indoor services could harm the public, ‘including hospitalizations and deaths.’
“‘On a scale of one to 10 of the most immediate irreparable harm possible, this is a 10,’ Guasco said at the hearing. ‘It doesn’t get much more immediate or irreparable than the threat that a lot of people are going to spread a contagious and deadly disease.’…
“McCoy has argued that the risk of spreading COVID-19 from its services is small and there hasn’t been a confirmed case among parishioners. Lawyers for the church also have argued that the health orders are overreach that are trumped by the Constitutional right to freedom of expression and worship… ‘We believe that COVID-19 can be fought with far less restrictive measures than banning all healthy persons from church and our expert witnesses will prove that,’ said a statement Friday from Tyler & Bursch, which is defending the church through a non-profit organization, Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
“Godspeak Calvary Chapel is one of a handful of churches in the state that have wound up in court over state or local health orders restricting services. Judges have consistently ruled against the churches on grounds of public safety. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld state COVID-19 restrictions on religious gatherings in a suit filed by South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista… ‘The Constitution is not a suicide pact,’ Guasco said…”
Have you ever heard a more ridiculous statement? Truly, Satan is ruling this world! It is time for Jesus Christ to return to replace unrighteous judges with righteous ones.
Worshipping God Inside Walmart
Breitbart wrote on August 7:
“Christian worshippers outsmarted Pennsylvania’s fascist Democrat governor [Tom Wolf] by gathering to praise God inside a Walmart — which, unlike the church, has been deemed ‘essential’… The Walmart [incident] is not only beautiful for all the obvious reasons, it also points out the hypocrisy and anti-religious bigotry of these selective lockdowns and guidelines — not to mention their absurdity. Gathering to sing and praise God in a Walmart does not defy these totally unnecessary and useless social distancing guidelines, but gathering to sing and praise God in a house of worship does.
“Please do tell me why it’s safe to gather in a Walmart, but not a church, synagogue, or mosque? I guess the science behind that thinking must be the same science that explains why a Trump rally is deadly but a Black Lives Matter/Antifa riot is totally safe — or why you holding a funeral for your loved one will kill people, but it is perfectly safe when left-wing elites gather for an indoor funeral to say goodbye to John Lewis, one of their own…
“Just try to wrap your mind around the fact that one of America’s major political parties… as well as the corporate media… want to shut down our church but protect abortion clinics and marijuana dispensaries as ‘essential.’ They want to protect the right to gather to loot and riot and burn, even as they use the fascist power of the State to strip us of our First Amendment right to gather together and worship…”
Indeed, it shows the abhorrent stupidity and blatant hypocrisy of such restrictions and prohibitions and that SATAN is behind all of this. Why then would a church, claiming to be part of the Body of Christ, support and endorse such nonsense?
Megachurch Defies California Restrictions
The Hill wrote on August 12:
“The pastor of a megachurch in Los Angeles defended the church’s decision to allow thousands in for services Sunday, defying California state orders amid the coronavirus outbreak. Grace Community Church held in-person services on Sunday, and pastor John MacArthur told CNN that 6,000 or 7,000 people showed up. The crowd size defies a state order released at the end of July that limits indoor attendance at a place of worship to 25 percent of a building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower…
“‘We opened the doors because that’s what we are, we’re a church and we’re going to trust those people to make adult decisions about the reality of their physical and spiritual health and how that balance works for each one of them,’ [MacArthur] said. ‘Nobody’s forcing anything, they’re here because they want to be here.’
“MacArthur called the restrictions on places of worship put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus ‘not constitutional’ and ‘burdensome,’ and argued they make ‘no sense in light of the actual numbers of death’ members of his church are seeing.”
Amen to that.
The Lockdown Fallacy
The Sun wrote on August 8:
“ALMOST as many have been killed by lockdown as by the virus itself, an official report suggests. According to figures, for every three Covid-19 dead another two have died because they missed vital medical treatment.
“Between March and May there were 25,000 coronavirus deaths. At the same time 16,000 others also died, including 6,000 too scared to go to A&E. People felt that they should stay home because of the Governments ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ message. And [it] is thought 10,000 died in care homes after they were discharged early from hospitals. They were not able to access critical care.”
These numbers take the official figures of coronavirus deaths for granted, which is highly questionable. This means, maybe MANY MORE died because of the lockdown than because of the virus. In a related matter, it was now reported that a Nashville councilwoman has proposed charging anyone not wearing a mask with either murder or attempted murder. This is insane lunacy by a completely incompetent politician!
Needed… An anti-Lockdown Movement
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on August 10:
“Shell-shocked is a good way to describe the mood in the US for a good part of the Spring of 2020. Most of us never thought it could happen here. I certainly did not, even though I’ve been writing about pandemic lockdown plans for 15 years. I knew the plans were on the shelf, which is egregious, but I always thought something would stop it from happening. The courts. Public opinion. Bill of Rights. Tradition. The core rowdiness of American culture. Political squeamishness. The availability of information. Something would prevent it. So I believed. So most of us believed.
“Still it happened, all in a matter of days, March 12-16, 2020, and boom; it was over! We were locked down. Schools shut. Bars and restaurants closed. No international visitors. Theaters shuttered. Conferences forcibly ended. Sports stopped. We were told to stay home and watch movies… for two weeks to flatten the curve. Then two weeks stretched to five months. How lucky for those who lived in the states that resisted the pressure and stayed open, but even for them, they couldn’t visit relatives in other states due to quarantine restrictions and so on.
“Lockdowns ended American life as we knew it just five months ago… What many states are calling ‘open’ today would have been called ‘closed’ six months ago. Sports are rare. Theaters aren’t open. In some places, you still can’t go to gyms or eat inside. Mask mandates are everywhere, and mask enforcers too. People are ratting out their neighbors, sending drones to ferret out house parties, and lashing out at each other in public places… America has become an extremely ugly place. This is what lockdowns did.
“… the TV and online media are blaring panic all day every day… people feel tremendously powerless right now. They have been locked down, silenced, humiliated, brutalized. The few attempts to get out and protest the lockdowns were greeted with jeers and derision by mainstream media…
“Where precisely does American opinion stand on lockdowns today? The polls one cannot trust: people know exactly what they are supposed to say to pollsters during a police-state lockdown… The incredible frenzy of the lying media has confused vast numbers. A poll revealed that many Americans think that 9% of us have died from C-19 whereas it is really 0.04%…
“We see almost no discussion in the mainstream press of the empirical evidence at home and abroad that the lockdowns make no sense from a medical and economic perspective…
“This country needs a serious anti-lockdown movement… This movement needs to celebrate and defend religious freedom, since, incredibly, most houses of worship were forcibly closed by government…
“Laws requiring face coverings in public would never have been tolerated even six months ago. And yet here we are, not only with laws but a growing number of recruits within the public to enforce them with appalling rudeness…
“In the end, the case for unlocking society is a spiritual matter. What is your life worth and how do you want to live it? How important are the hard-won freedoms you exercise daily? What of the lives and liberties of others?… Freedom has never prevailed without passionate and courageous voices to defend it…”
It is amazing to see how quickly the world has changed… and how quickly the ill-informed masses have “embraced” autocratic senseless measures by their governments…
Fauci: Chances Are Slim for an Effective Vaccine
CNBC wrote on August 8:
“Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the chances of scientists creating a highly effective vaccine — one that provides 98% or more guaranteed protection — for the virus are slim. Scientists are hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, but 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable, too, Fauci… said…
“The Food and Drug Administration has said it would authorize a coronavirus vaccine so long as it is safe and at least 50% effective… A 50% effective vaccine would be roughly on par with those for influenza…
“Fauci has previously said he worries about the ‘durability’ of a coronavirus vaccine, saying if Covid-19 acts like other coronaviruses, it may not provide long-term protection… Health officials say there is no returning to ‘normal’ until there is a vaccine.”
After all this hype for a vaccine, now this latest “expert” opinion! It appears these health advisors know next to nothing about the virus and how to deal with it. God must have poured out upon them a spirit of sleep and slumber.
Russia’s Dubious and Dangerous Claim
The Associated Press wrote on August 11:
“Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, a move that was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people. President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry’s approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus, although Russian authorities have offered no proof to back up claims of safety or effectiveness…
“However, scientists in Russia and other countries sounded an alarm, saying that rushing to offer the vaccine before final-stage testing could backfire. What’s called a Phase 3 trial — which involves tens of thousands of people and can take months — is the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works. By comparison, vaccines entering final-stage testing in the U.S. require studies of 30,000 people each…
“Becoming the first country in the world to approve a vaccine was a matter of national prestige for the Kremlin as it tries to assert the image of Russia as a global power…”
These kinds of power plays are sickening and endanger the health of millions of people.
Trump: Children Almost Immune from Coronavirus
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on August 7:
“Facebook and Twitter have taken down the US president’s claims on the insusceptibility of children to Covid-19 – a fact on which the science supports him – proving that Big Tech is increasingly acting in a nakedly political way. In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Donald Trump declared that ‘children are almost immune’ from coronavirus. The videos posted online have been deleted, but the trimmed audio is available… on CNN, which… titled it ‘Trump falsely says kids are “almost immune’” from Covid-19,’ just in case its editorial position was in any way in doubt.
“… the evidence of your own eyes should be enough to pass judgement on this. But here are a few statistics that stand out from the literature. Only a tiny fraction (0.8 percent) of Covid-19 hospital patients have been under the age of 19. Not a single child aged under 10 anywhere in the world has transmitted the virus to another person, despite a global effort from the World Health Organization to find one. And a large meta study across 26 counties found just seven deaths among children that were ascribed to coronavirus.
“Bearing those figures in mind, if Trump meant that ‘almost all children are immune,’ he was right. Similarly, if he meant children as a whole are ‘almost immune’, it would take considerable mental gymnastics to disagree. And this is if the statistics are taken at face value: the 0.8 percent figure is just as exaggerated as all the other figures, due to asymptomatic cases, and the seven deaths is such a small number it is statistically insignificant. Who knows what went on in those seven cases, and how old the patients were. If they were older teens, they could just as easily have been classed as adults.”
The intolerance of Big Tech towards those who state scientifically proven FACTS is appalling.
And Now… the Bubonic Plague?
CNN wrote on August 7:
“Authorities in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have sealed off a village after a resident there died from bubonic plague, a centuries-old disease responsible for the most deadly pandemic in human history. It did not mention how the patient had caught the plague…
“The plague, caused by bacteria and transmitted through flea bites and infected animals, killed an estimated 50 million people in Europe during the Black Death pandemic in the Middle Ages…
“Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people get the plague every year… But that total is likely too modest an estimate, since it doesn’t account for unreported cases. According to 2016 data, the possibility of plague exists on almost every continent, especially the western United States, parts of Brazil, scattered areas in southeast Africa and large swaths of China, India and the Middle East.
“… [People were urged] to reduce contact with wild animals while traveling and avoid hunting, skinning or eating animals that could cause infection.
“Last month, two cases of bubonic plague were confirmed in Mongolia — brothers who had both eaten marmot meat… In May 2019, another couple in Mongolia died from the plague after eating the raw kidney of a marmot, thought to be a folk remedy for good health.
“Marmots are a type of large ground squirrel that is eaten in some parts of China and the neighboring country Mongolia, and which have historically caused plague outbreaks in the region. The marmot is believed to have caused the 1911 pneumonic plague epidemic, which killed about 63,000 people in northeast China. It was hunted for its fur, which soared in popularity among international traders. The diseased fur products were traded and transported around the country — infecting thousands along the way.”
Breaking Israel News wrote on August 10:
“In a seemingly unrelated case, a man in his 20s died of the septicaemic plague in New Mexico last week. This was the second case of septicaemic plague in New Mexico in less [than a month] after a man in his 60s was diagnosed with bubonic plague in New Mexico’s Santa Fe County last month.”
Marmots are unclean animals and not to be eaten. The Bible says that many people will die in the future because of the “wild beasts of the earth.”
Disagreements between Washington and Berlin on WHO
Reuters wrote on August 7:
“France and Germany have quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration at attempts by the United States to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO… The move is a setback for President Donald Trump as Washington, which holds the rotating chair of the G7, had hoped to issue a common roadmap for a sweeping overhaul of the WHO…
“The German and French health ministries confirmed to Reuters that the two countries were opposed to the United States leading the talks after announcing their intention to leave the organization…
“It is unclear whether a G7 summit in the United States, at which Trump hopes leaders will endorse the roadmap, will now go ahead in September as planned… Despite changes to the original text, Washington’s push remained unacceptable, mainly to Germany, sources familiar with the negotiations said.”
The relationship between the USA and Germany is close to reaching a boiling point. Note the next article.
Macgregor new US Ambassador to Germany
Business Insider wrote on August 5:
“US President Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Germany accused Angela Merkel of prioritising ‘unwanted Muslim invaders’ over military aid and said Muslim migrants wanted to turn Europe ‘into an Islamic state.’ The White House on Monday announced that Col. Douglas Macgregor, a former Army tank commander, would succeed Richard Grennel as the US ambassador to [the] European Union’s largest economy, saying he is ‘widely recognized as an expert on force design and grand strategy.’ [Macgregor] is an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s move to withdraw thousands of troops from Germany.
“In 2018, he… said ‘the Germans, like the Koreans and the Japanese, are tired of this American troop presence on their soil,’ calling for a ‘change our relationship with Germany in terms of military power.’ A year later he [said]: ‘… we’re not going to rush hundreds of thousands of troops to the Polish border to deal with the Russians.’…
“[Macgregor] is inheriting a strained US relationship with Germany. His appointment comes amid months of tension between Washington and Berlin after Merkel’s government reacted angrily to President Trump’s decision to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany…
“A report published last week by London-based think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said that Germany no longer believed it could expect the US’ help against the threat of Russia and China.
“[Macgregor] has expressed views on other major issues in European geopolitics that fall outside of the mainstream. In 2014, weeks after Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea, he told Kremlin-owned media outlet Russia Today that eastern and southern Ukrainians were ‘clearly Russian’ and ‘should be allowed to join Russia’…”
None of that makes Germany happy. Regardless as to whether Macgregor’s opinions are true or false, they will not help to improve the relationship between these two powers. Grennel’s performance was bad enough in the eyes of the Germans; it appears that Macgregor’s conduct will be viewed as even worse.
Germany “Dismayed” over US Sanction Threat regarding Pipeline
The Associated Press wrote on August 10:
“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday he personally reached out to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to express ‘dismay’ over… a letter sent last week by Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. Ron Johnson, which targeted Faehrhafen Sassnitz GmbH, the operator of the Mukran Port located in German Chancellor Angela Merkel´s constituency on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen… The port is a key staging post for ships involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that’s intended to bring natural gas from Russia to Germany.
“The U.S. argues the project will endanger European [energy and American national] security by making Germany overly dependent on Russian gas. It’s also opposed by Ukraine and Poland, which will be bypassed by the pipeline under the Baltic sea, as well as some other European nations… In addition to the security concerns, the U.S. also wants to sell more of its own liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to Germany — Europe’s largest economy.
“In the letter, the three senators say the message ‘serves as formal legal notice’ that the port operator, its board members, corporate officers, shareholders, and employees risk ‘crushing legal and economic sanctions’ unless they stop providing goods, services, and support for the Nord Stream 2 project. This includes providing storage areas for the pipeline’s steel sections and provisions for the Russian-flagged vessels Fortuna and Akademik Cherskiy…”
More controversy and conflicts between the USA and Germany can be expected.
The Beirut Disaster
Breitbart wrote on August 7:
“Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Friday the cause of the titanic explosion in Beirut on Tuesday ‘has not been determined yet,’ and authorities have not ruled out the ‘possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act.’”
The Telegraph added on August 7:
“[The] Government has rejected calls for an international investigation and instead suggested it could have been ‘foreign interference.’ Lebanon’s president has suggested that a missile could have been responsible for the catastrophic Beirut blast, as the country’s entrenched ruling class comes under increasing pressure from enraged citizens to resign….”
This incident and more to come will contribute to a terrible war in the Middle East.
A Bankrupt Nation
Reuters wrote on August 7:
“Lebanon’s president said on Friday its investigation into the biggest blast in Beirut’s history would examine whether it was caused by a bomb or other external interference… While the United States has said it did not rule out an attack, Israel, which has fought several wars with Lebanon, has denied any role. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the cause was unclear, but compared the blast to a 2005 bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri…
“Officials have said the blast, whose impact was recorded hundreds of miles (kms) away, might have caused losses amounting to $15 billion. That is a bill Lebanon cannot pay after already defaulting on a mountain of debt – exceeding 150% of economic output – and with talks stalled on a lifeline from the International Monetary Fund.
“After the blast destroyed Lebanon’s only major grain silo, U.N. agencies helped provide emergency food and medical aid. Aid offers have also poured in from Arab states, Western nations, the Vatican and beyond. But none, so far, addresses the bigger challenges facing a bankrupt nation.”
The Times of Israel wrote on August 8:
“Hezbollah apparently planned to use the ammonium nitrate stockpile that caused a massive blast at Beirut’s port this week against Israel in a ‘Third Lebanon War,’ according to an unsourced assessment publicized on Israel’s Channel 13 Friday night. The report was broadcast hours after Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, gave a speech ‘categorically’ denying that his group had stored any weapons or explosives at Beirut’s port, following the massive explosion there Tuesday that has claimed over 157 lives and wounded [over 5,000. Around 300,000 Beirut residents were rendered homeless].
“Ammonium nitrate is used in the manufacture of explosives and is also an ingredient in making fertilizer. It has been blamed for massive industrial accidents in the past, and was also a main ingredient in a bomb that destroyed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Last year, reports in Israel claimed that the Mossad had tipped off European intelligence agencies about Hezbollah storing caches of ammonium nitrate for use in bombs in London, Cyprus and elsewhere.
“The Channel 13 report noted that ‘the material that exploded in the port is not new to Nasrallah and Hezbollah.’ It detailed Hezbollah’s previous connections to ammonium nitrate…”
French Ambitions in Lebanon
The Associated Press wrote on August 8:
“It was almost as if Emmanuel Macron forgot that Lebanon is no longer a French protectorate. Visiting explosion-ravaged Beirut this week, France’s leader comforted distraught crowds, promised to rebuild the city and claimed that the blast pierced France’s own heart. ‘France will never let Lebanon go,’ Macron said…
“His critics denounced the overtures as a neocolonialist foray by a European leader seeking to restore sway over a troubled Middle Eastern land – and distract from mounting problems at home. A meme circulating online dubbed him Macron Bonaparte, a 21st century Emperor Napoleon. But Macron’s defenders — including desperate Beirut residents who called him ‘our only hope’ — praised him for visiting gutted neighborhoods where Lebanese leaders fear to tread, and for trying to hold Lebanon’s politicians accountable for the corruption and mismanagement blamed for Tuesday’s deadly blast…
“France’s ties with Lebanon reach back at least to the 16th century, when the French monarchy negotiated with Ottoman rulers to protect Christians – and secure influence — in the region. By the time of the 1920-1946 French mandate, Lebanon already had a network of French schools and French speakers that survives to this day — along with France’s cozy relationships with Lebanon’s power brokers…
“A surprising online petition emerged this week asking France to temporarily restore its mandate, saying Lebanon’s leaders have shown ‘total inability to secure and manage the country.’ It’s widely seen as an absurd idea… but 60,000 people have signed it, including members of France’s 250,000-strong Lebanese diaspora and people in Lebanon who said it’s a way to express their desperation and distrust of the political class.
“[Macron] made a point of noting that he plans to return to Lebanon to verify that promised reforms are being undertaken on Sept. 1, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Greater Lebanon – and the beginning of French rule.”
French, as well as German ambitions, will play a major future role in the Middle East, including Lebanon.
Lebanese Prime Minister and Entire Cabinet Resign
The Times of Israel reported on August 10:
“Lebanon’s prime minister said Monday he and the entire cabinet were stepping down in the wake of the Beirut port explosion last week that triggered public fury and mass protests… The cabinet’s resignation risked opening the way to dragged-out negotiations over a new cabinet amid urgent calls for reform. The moment typified Lebanon’s political dilemma.
“Since October, there have been mass demonstrations demanding the departure of the entire sectarian-based leadership over entrenched corruption, incompetence and mismanagement. But the ruling oligarchy has held onto power for so long — since the end of the civil war in 1990 — that it is difficult to find a credible political figure not tainted by connections to them.”
Coming—the European Army
Express wrote on August 11:
“There is ‘growing support’ on the continent for an EU army with enthusiastic backing from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s President Emmanuel Macron, a former top diplomat has claimed. With the UK no longer a member of the bloc, the push to create a joint military force may be impossible to stop, said Ray Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas. The warning was sounded by Mr Bassett in the course of his new book, Ireland and the EU Post Brexit, in which he considers Ireland’s place in the bloc after the departure of the UK.
“… Assessing the EU’s stance, Mr Bassett said Brussels was motivated by a ‘growing detachment from the United States and resentment at the domination of that country of present military arrangements under NATO… He added: ‘As the US becomes more wary of foreign adventurism, some within the EU want to fill the vacuum left by Uncle Sam. To do that, they want a European Army, with a large European industrial-military complex in support.’… In fact, the proposal to militarise the EU is receiving growing support among establishment figures in mainland Europe.’
“Media outlets last year reported the ‘delight’ of former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the news that both Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel had voiced their support. Mr Bassett added: ‘On November 13, Merkel, speaking to the European Parliament, had expressed unambiguously her support for a “real, true, European Army”. This echoed the strong commitment of Macron for a military wing to the EU. Macron had, somewhat farcically, earlier called for a European Army to protect the EU from Russia, China and the US, drawing a sharp rebuke from President Trump.’
“Mrs Merkel had returned to the theme during a ceremony to mark a new friendship treaty between France and Germany, signed in Aachen last January. Mr Bassett said: ‘She described the Treaty as another step forward towards the creation of a European Army. Now with the Brits departing, the push for a European Army will be much more difficult to stop.’”
A strong powerful European Army is clearly prophesied in the Bible.
The Third Temple and the End of the World
Express wrote on August 8:
“BIBLICAL prophecy states the construction of a Third Temple of Jerusalem will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the world as we know it…
“The Holy Temple of Jerusalem is at the heart of the Jewish faith in the Holy Land. To date, two temples have towered over the ancient city on the Temple Mount, only to be destroyed by invading forces. The First Temple was toppled in 586 BC by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, during his conquest of Jerusalem. The Second Temple was then razed by the Romans in the year 70 AD following a Jewish revolt. What remains of the Second Temple is an outer wall, the so-called Western Wall or Kotel, near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. And with access for prayer barred to the Temple Mount’s al Aqsa Compound to non-Muslims, the Western Wall is considered the holiest of places of prayer in the Jewish world.
“But an expert believes plans are now well underway for a Third Temple to be constructed, and with it, comes the promise of biblical prophecy coming to fruition. Tom Meyer, a professor in Bible and theology at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, told Express.co.uk groups like the Temple Institute are unwittingly paving the way for the Second Coming of Christ…
“Professor Tom Meyer [stated:] ‘A survey done by The Joint Forum of Temple Mount organizations in 2013 found that 43 percent of religious Jews and 31 percent of secular Jews supported the immediate reconstruction of Judaism’s most holy place. The human vehicle to bring this Biblical prophecy to fruition could come through not only changing the status quo to permit Jews to pray to YHWH on the Temple Mount – which 60 percent of Jews support – but also through organizations like The Temple Institute…’
“The Temple Institute exists in part to bring about… the Third Temple. It has received some funding from the Israeli government and donations from Jewish billionaires to achieve their objective. The organisation has already reconstructed all the necessary ritual objects needed for an animal sacrificial system like measuring cups, shovels, tongs, lavers, etc according to their ancient specifications. The Temple Institute has also not only begun educational programs to train young men who can prove their lineage through the line of Levi to function as priests in the future Temple, but they have also recreated all the necessary garments for the priesthood including the famous uniform of the High Priest, his breastplate and golden crown. The furniture to be placed inside the actual Temple like the table of shewbread, the altar of incense, and the golden menorah have already been completed… Blueprints have also been produced to set the stage if the construction of a Third Temple becomes a reality.
“Professor Meyer said: ‘Biblically speaking, the construction of a third Jewish Temple is a necessity because Biblical prophecy states that the Antichrist will first proclaim himself to be the true Messiah in the yet-to-be-built third Jewish Temple before the True Messiah appears.’”
It is clear from the Bible that a Third Temple will be erected prior to Christ’s return. We can see from the foregoing article that that time may be very near. Please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.”
“Historic” Peace Agreement in Middle East
JTA wrote on August 13:
“As part of a peace deal brokered by President Donald Trump, Israel will pause its plans to annex areas of the West Bank, according to a joint statement released by the White House. ‘Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that added diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal,’ the statement read.
“The statement… said that Israel and the UAE will sign agreements in the coming weeks related to investment, tourism, air travel, security, opening embassies and more. The two nations also will work together on developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, it said…
“Most Arab countries do not recognize Israel’s existence. The Jewish state currently has ties only with Egypt and Jordan.”
For an in-depth analysis of this “peace deal” in connection with the building of the Third Temple, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “The Third Temple, the End of the World, and the “Historic” Peace Deal.”
Dedollarization in Russia and China
RusNikkei Asian Review wrote on August 6:
“Russia and China are partnering to reduce their dependence on the dollar — a development some experts say could lead to a ‘financial alliance’ between them. In the first quarter of 2020, the dollar’s share of trade between Russia and China fell below 50% for the first time on record… The greenback was used for only 46% of settlements between the two countries. At the same time, the euro made up an all-time high of 30%, while their national currencies accounted for 24%, also a new high.
“Russia and China have drastically cut their use of the dollar in bilateral trade over the past several years. As late as 2015, approximately 90% of bilateral transactions were conducted in dollars. Following the outbreak of the U.S.-China trade war and a concerted push by both Moscow and Beijing to move away from the dollar, however, the figure had dropped to 51% by 2019…
“Replacing the dollar in trade settlements became a necessity to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Russia. ‘Any wire transaction that takes place in the world involving U.S. dollars is at some point cleared through a U.S. bank,’ explained Dmitry Dolgin, ING Bank’s chief economist for Russia. ‘That means that the U.S. government can tell that bank to freeze certain transactions.’ The process gained further momentum after the Donald Trump administration imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. Whereas previously Moscow had taken the initiative on dedollarization, Beijing came to view it as critical, too.”
The collaboration between China and Russia is happening on many different fronts, while their dependence on the American dollar is decreasing through a replacement with the euro and Chinese and Russian currencies. All of this is completely in line with biblical prophecies.
Trump’s Executive Order for Unemployment Benefits and Deferral of Payroll Tax
Newsmax wrote on August 9:
“President Donald Trump has bypassed the nation’s lawmakers as he claimed the authority to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed… his order called for up to $400 payments each week, one-third less than the $600 people had been receiving…
“Trump’s embrace of executive actions to sidestep Congress ran in sharp contrast to his criticism of former President Barack Obama’s use of executive orders…
“Trump said the employee portion of the payroll tax would be deferred from Aug. 1 through the end of the year… In essence, the deferral is an interest-free loan that would have to be repaid… ‘If I win, I may extend and terminate,’ Trump said, repeating a longtime goal but remaining silent on how he’d fund the Medicare and Social Security benefits that the 7% tax on employee income covers. Employers also pay 7.65% of their payrolls into the funds….”
Democrats have threatened legal action, with the possibility that a federal court might issue a preliminary injunction and a preliminary stay against enforcing the orders.
Joe Biden’s Pick of Kamala Harris as his Running Mate
The Associated Press wrote on August 11:
“Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump…
“Harris’ record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned off some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of systemic racism in the legal system and police brutality…
“A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States… The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.
“Born in Oakland to a Jamaican father and Indian mother… [one] of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made ‘very hurtful’ comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s… Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments ‘a mischaracterization of my position.’… Some Biden confidants said Harris’ campaign attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California. But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship.”
The Biden campaign felt that Biden (or they) HAD to pick a black woman as running mate to please their supporters. Some in the press claim that she is an “Asian” woman to make the underlying politics less obvious. All of this is hypocritical politics. Candidates from the same party fight nastily as enemies during debates, and later work together “in friendship.” This is true for Democrats as well as Republicans. That is why one cannot trust politicians.
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.
As the Jews rejected Jesus Christ, are they still waiting for a Messiah? – Part 4
We previously looked at the fact that Judaism has been, and is still looking for, a human being to fulfil the role of the “mashaich” who they expect will bring about the millennial prophecies we read in many books in the Old Testament.
Let us continue to look at the website www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm where we read further, as follows:
“When Will the Mashiach Come?
“There are a wide variety of opinions on the subject of when the mashiach will come. Some of Judaism’s greatest minds have cursed those who try to predict the time of the mashiach’s coming, because errors in such predictions could cause people to lose faith in the messianic idea or in Judaism itself. This actually happened in the 17th century, when Shabbatai Tzvi claimed to be the mashiach. When Tzvi converted to Islam under threat of death, many Jews converted with him. Nevertheless, this prohibition has not stopped anyone from speculating about the time when the mashiach will come.
“Although some scholars believed that G-d has set aside a specific date for the coming of the mashiach, most authority suggests that the conduct of mankind will determine the time of the mashiach’s coming.”
We want to interject here that this concept does include elements of truth, but is not entirely correct. We explain in our booklet, “When and How Will Christ Return?,” chapter 4, beginning on page 23, that based on our conduct, we can hasten or delay the coming of the Messiah:
“… we read in 2 Peter 3:12 that we are to be ‘looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God’—the return of Christ… Just as we can hasten Christ’s return, so we can also delay it, to an extent. This can be seen in 2 Peter 3:9: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance’…
“According to 2 Peter 3:9, God may delay Christ’s coming, if Church members, whom God wants to be in His Kingdom, are not ready, due to a lack of serious repentance…
“Some feel that the precise moment of Christ’s return has been fixed for thousands of years—as the Father ‘knows’ the exact moment of Christ’s Second Coming. They say that according to Christ’s words, the Father knew at least 2,000 years ago exactly when He would send back His Son: ‘But of that day and hour no one KNOWS, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only’ (Matthew 24:36). (Mark 13:32 adds that not even the Son of God—Jesus Christ—knows that exact time.)
“However, in light of the fact that Christ’s return can be delayed or accelerated—at least partially because of human conduct—it is very doubtful that God the Father ‘knew’ the exact day and hour of Christ’s return for thousands of years.
“We should note that, according to the two passages in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, Christ said that man, angels and Christ do not ‘know,’ but ‘only My Father.’ There is NO VERB here, following ‘My Father,’ so it must be added…
“Acts 1:7 does not say that God ‘knows.’ It only says that it is not for Christ’s disciples to ‘know.’ In regard to the Father, it is stated that He has ‘put this’ in His own power or authority. Reading Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 together with Acts 1:7, it is apparent that the words which need to be supplied in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 would have to be those showing God’s AUTHORITY to set the date.”
The Luther Bible from 1891 rendered Acts 1:7 in regard to the time of Christ’s coming: “…which the Father has reserved to His power.”
This means then that we can hasten or delay the time of Christ’s coming, until the Father decides that He has waited long enough and that there would be no further delay (compare Revelation 10:6), as otherwise, all of mankind would be destroyed and no one would survive (Matthew 24:22).
Continuing with the quote from the above-mentioned website:
“In general, it is believed that the mashiach will come in a time when he is most needed (because the world is so sinful), or in a time when he is most deserved (because the world is so good). For example, each of the following has been suggested as the time when the mashiach will come:
“if Israel repented a single day;
“if Israel observed a single Shabbat properly;
“if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
“in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
“in a generation that loses hope;
“in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders…”
This is just man’s mind at work and complete speculation. There are no Scriptures to indicate that any of this will happen under the rule of man.
But let us assume that one of these times, as listed above, came to pass. Could Israel – and do they mean the Jewish nation? – all repent in one day? What about everyone else on earth? It’s never happened in 6,000 years and, even when Jesus returns, there will still be those who will still be difficult and disobedient (compare Zechariah 14:16-19).
If Israel (again just the Jews?) observed a single Sabbath properly or two Sabbaths in a row properly, what would that prove? It is impossible at this time that this could ever happen but there is so much more to an obedient God-fearing person than keeping one or two Sabbaths. It is just such a very narrow, restricted activity to be able to make it a possibility for the Messiah to arise. We can liken this to the fact that so many churches and other places of worship were full just after 9/11 when the Twin Towers in New York had been attacked. After a few weeks, things got back to “normal”!
The next qualification would be if a generation is totally innocent or totally guilty. How could a generation all be one way or another? Civilisation over the millennia has shown us that generations are made up of people at different levels – the good, the bad and those in between. To think that a generation could all be one way or another is not consistent with 6,000 years of experience.
We are told that the time of the Messiah’s coming will be like the time of Noah (thoroughly evil and wicked), but—like Noah—there will be some who will be righteous. They are called the elect and it is for their sake that Christ will shorten the days and return so that all of mankind will not be destroyed. This includes many members of the true Church of God prior to and during the Great Tribulation and the conversion of 144,000 Israelites and the great multitude of Gentiles prior to the plagues of the Day of the Lord.
According to the opinion of Judaism, as quoted by the writer in the above-mentioned article, the time when the mashiach could arise is when a generation loses hope. Again, this is given as an all-encompassing requirement which is something that has never happened before as there are always those who have a positive mindset even in the most trying of circumstances.
Following the suggestions of Judaism, the last requirement for the human mashiash to arise is when there is a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders. Again, another all-encompassing situation which could never happen in its entirety. The contrary is clearly revealed in Malachi 4:4-6.
Human nature over a period of 6,000 years has amply proved that this world, being ruled by Satan the Devil, will not change under the leadership of a human being. It is also not possible for human beings to become “totally innocent,” nor will it ever happen, due to God’s merciful intervention, that everyone, without exception, will be “totally guilty,” “totally losing hope,” and totally disrespectful.” But only when someone becomes a Spirit-born member of the Family of God will there be perfection.
The above-quoted article continues:
“What Will the Mashiach Do?
“Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16).”
To inject right here, even though this is a very common error in Jewish interpretation, the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 take place AFTER the coming of the Messiah, not before. Compare our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5).”
Just to clarify again, this common false concept of the “Jewish people” is mentioned throughout the article. The Truth is that Christ will not only free the Jews from slavery and bring them back to the Promised Land, but also ALL modern descendants of Jacob or Israel—referred to in the Bible as the houses of Israel AND Judah. Compare again our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).”
The Messiah will not “rebuild” the Temple, but He will cleanse an existing Third Temple and free it from pollution. See, for example, our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.” In addition, He will not establish Jewish law as the law of the land, but the law of GOD (much of Judaism or today’s Jewish laws, customs and traditions are totally against the commandments of God.)
“Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
“The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term ‘messianic age’ to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
“Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.”
These changes are to be understood literally, not just allegorically. Continuing with the article:
“All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.”
Again, it is all the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah who will have survived the terrible times to come, who will return to the Promised Land. Regarding the law of the Jubilee, see our free booklet, “Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?”
“In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.”
The world will recognize the God of Israel (not just the Jews) as the one and only true God, but we must understand that God is a Family, presently consisting of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The world will not totally be without sin, as it is impossible for human beings not to sin, but due to the acceptance of the supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, they will be forgiven of their sin upon repentance and belief.
The idea that the Millennial offerings which will be brought will only be “thanksgiving offerings” is clearly false. In fact, burnt offerings and sin offerings and offerings for atonement are specifically mentioned (Ezekiel 40:38; 43:10, 18, 21, 27; 44:11, 27, 29; 45:15-25). We discuss these temporary animal sacrifices in the Millennium in our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“Some gentiles have tried to put an ugly spin on this theology, claiming that Jews plan to force people to convert to our religion, perhaps based on their own religion’s history of doing exactly the same thing. That is not at all how Jews understand the messianic age. We believe that in that future time, everyone will simply know what the truth is, in the same way that we know that 2+2=4, and there will no longer be any reason to argue about it. It is much like a situation I witnessed at work once: two computer programmers were arguing loudly and at length about whether it was possible for a user to input data at a certain point in a program. Finally someone pressed a key and they all saw that nothing happened. Now they knew the truth, end of argument. When mashiach comes, theological truths will be equally obvious to mankind, and there will be no reason to argue about it.”
This conclusion is also wrong. As mentioned before, not everyone will accept the Messiah and God’s Law right away. Some will still want to wage war. Others will at first refuse to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. People will have to be educated about God, the true worship of God, and God’s Way of Life (Isaiah 2:1-4). This understanding will not come “automatically.”
However, much of the above applies to the return of Christ (with our comments), but Judaism teaches that it will be brought about by a man. That truly would not be possible as man’s history clearly shows, nor is it God’s plan to do so.
In Galatians 5:22-23 we read: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” The thought that a man could bring about such fruit of the Spirit in every person on earth is way beyond the bounds of possibility. No man can possibly bring about peace on earth—only the great God Himself can do this. And even then, not everyone will submit to God… some will refuse to repent even after the coming of the Messiah. This is also true for the time before His coming.
We must remember that there will be a time of trouble such as never was before nor will be again (see Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21) which is when the Great Tribulation starts which will include the Day of the Lord and, even with such terrible events, there will be those who will still refuse to repent. “And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” (Revelation 16:9-11).
The question has to be asked if there will be those who refuse to repent even under the most painful and excruciating circumstances, how can a mashiach, a human being, succeed in bringing the whole world into subjection? The simple answer is that it will be God the Father, sending His Son, Jesus Christ, back to the earth to set up the Kingdom of God – not a mortal, flesh and blood human being. Only then, most people will be led to repentance… while some rebels will refuse even then.
We read in Matthew 24:21-27 about the time of Christ’s return:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
It is interesting that false christs and false prophets will arise at the end time (Matthew 24:24) and Jesus will have to return to save mankind from blowing himself off the face of the planet at precisely the right time. And God’s timing is perfect.
It will be achieved by the returning Saviour of mankind, not by some human being for which the task would be impossible.
In addition to the booklets mentioned in this article, we have many more free booklets on the biblical Messiah—the Jesus of the Bible—as well as on prophecy which explain in detail what is just ahead of us now and these are available on request.
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A new StandingWatch program was recorded on Thursday, August 13, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link, titled, “The Third Temple, the End of the World, and the “Historic” Peace Deal.”
Here is as summary:
How do these three events correlate? Actually, the Bible makes clear that a Third Temple will be built on the Temple Mount just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the end of this present evil world. Preparations for the building of the Third Temple are complete. But how does today’s highly praised “historical” peace deal between Israel, the UAE and the USA come into play? This deal, which has been termed the “Abraham Accords,” has no chance for success. On the other hand, it might inadvertently accelerate prophesied events in the Middle East, but not in the way most might expect.
“Gibt es eine heimliche Entrückung? Kommt Christus zweimal zurück?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Is There a Secret Rapture? Will Christ Return Twice?”
“Was bin ich wert?” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Johann Schell. Title in English: “What am I Worth?”
“America’s departure and Germany’s future—Comments on News and Prophecy (August 8, 2020),” is the title of the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The decision to remove some 12,000 troops out of Germany is a “sign—not a good one of what lies ahead.” Almost half of Germans welcome the withdrawal of US troops, showing that the relationship between Germany and the USA has never been that good… but it is getting worse. At the same time, what will happen to Germany when, as prophesied, it is being attacked with nuclear weapons, and could China, Russia and Iran play a decisive role in that regard?
“In the Service of Jesus Christ,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Do you have what it takes to be in the service of Jesus Christ? How personally do you take this commission? Is it something that leads and draws your entire focus and mindset day in and out? How can we each make sure that we are consistently being the type of Christians that Christ wants and needs? The answers and actions taken will have serious consequences!
The YouTube channel for the Church of the Eternal God presents past videos for StandingWatch programs along with sermonettes, sermons and promotional videos. These are also available on our website: www.eternalgod.org.
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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.
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