September 25, 2020
The Fog of War / I Will Never Leave You nor Forsake You
On September 26, 2020, Robb Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “The Fog of War,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “I Will Never Leave You nor Forsake You.”
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.
September 28, 2020, is the Day of Atonement. We will conduct live services in the afternoon as follows:
- AFTERNOON at 12:30 pm Pacific Time—Michael Link will present the Offertory, titled, “In Times Like These,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “How the World Will Be Saved.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/. Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
PLEASE NOTE: We will not publish another Update until October 23, 2020, due to our observance of the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. There will not be any StandingWatch programs either until the week beginning with October 18.
The Joy Before Us
by Dave Harris
How often do any of us experience feelings of great pleasure and happiness? What events in our lives lead to this kind of joy? Certainly, joy seems hard to come by in our day-to-day living. There is much that dampens or even obliterates our opportunity to live joyful lives.
Yet, joy is characteristic of God. It is part of the fruit of His Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Thus it follows that we who have God’s Spirit should also have this godly attribute. Of course, not everything we experience brings joy, but we also know with certainty that we have hope beyond our present circumstances—the promise of salvation.
Following the return of seventy disciples sent by Jesus to proclaim the gospel, they told of how even demons were subject to them. While this was important, Jesus pointed to something greater:
“‘Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven’” (Luke 10:20).
This prospect was what Jesus Himself focused on. It was what enabled Him to rise above the trials of the moment. Note:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Jesus prayed for His disciples, asking the Father: “‘But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves’” (John 17:13). In His prayer, Jesus added: “‘I do not pray for these alone [the disciples alive at that time], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word’” (John 17:20).
And so it is that we, today, live with this same hope—the joy that is set before us!
We will once again be attending the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day festivals of God. Indeed, we are appearing before God to, among other things, look forward to God’s glorious Kingdom being established on the earth. Consider how God wants us to celebrate this time:
“‘You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates’” (Deuteronomy 16:13-14).
As the Church of God has understood and practiced, we also rejoice in the Feast based on God’s instructions. We stay in temporary dwellings during this time—memorializing what Israel did when God brought them out of Egypt (Leviticus 23:42-43). We also look forward to the future time in which the modern Houses of Israel and Judah will be brought back into the land God has given to them, for they will be returning from a yet future captivity:
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10).
As we at times struggle to find joy in our lives, let’s look forward with great anticipation and joy to what Jesus promised: “‘Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’” (Luke 12:32).
by Norbert Link
We begin with the “need” for a core Europe and the deteriorating relationship between Europe and the USA on many different “fronts”; the acknowledgement of the close connection between Belarus and Ukraine; and the hyperactive hurricane season in the Atlantic.
We speak on the fierce battle over the future of the US Supreme Court after the death of Justice Ginsburg on the Feast of Trumpets; and the ongoing legal and political persecution of and discrimination against California’s churches.
We report on an insane second lockdown in Israel and a contemplated insane second lockdown in the UK; ridiculous penalties for those who do not abide by the governments’ arbitrary restrictions and the manipulated panic-stricken public; and we conclude with another reported blasphemous position of Pope Francis.
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
EU Coalitions of the Willing or Core Europe Needed
Carnegie Europe wrote on September 17:
“The EU is clearly at its strongest and most convincing and has the most global impact when the twenty-seven countries speak with one voice but also really act together. That’s the nice theory. The reality is different… EU coalitions of the willing—and decisions by qualified majority voting—are inevitable. They are also essential if Europe is to matter in this challenging post-pandemic environment and not be relegated to the role of passive bystander…
“… a second administration by U.S. President Donald Trump would definitely uproot any resemblance of U.S.-European special relationship, dismantling NATO, cozying up to Putin, pointlessly feuding with China, and pushing for a Middle East settlement with no role for EU diplomacy.”
As Trump WILL stay in office, the US-EU relationship WILL deteriorate even more… This, in turn, means that a core Europe WILL develop soon which will give its power and authority to the “beast.” Then, Europe will NOT be a passive bystander in the Middle East… just the opposite.
Europe Knows that USA Is Right, but Does not Want to Support it
Newsmax wrote on September 20:
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday lamented Europe isn’t on board with the United States in its effort to stop arms sales by Iran. In an interview on Fox News… Pompeo asserted ‘they know we are right’ in wanting to extend the international arms embargo on Iran…
“‘They tell us privately we don’t want the arm sales to come back and they put it in the letter they are very concerned about these sales but they haven’t lifted a finger and done the work that needs to be done,’ he said… ‘They are still wedded to this silly nuclear deal that was signed now five years ago.’”
But the EU does not care about who is right or wrong, as long as they can oppose Trump and cowardly kneel to Iran. Note the next article.
Germany, France and UK Oppose USA
The Guardian wrote on September 20:
“European leaders have warned the US that its claim to have the authority to reimpose sweeping UN-mandated sanctions on Iran has no effect in law, setting up a major legal clash that could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on its European allies. In a joint statement on Sunday, France, Germany and the UK (E3) said any attempt by the US to impose its own sanctions on countries not complying with the reimposed UN ones was also legally void.
“On Saturday, the US moved to reinstate a range of UN sanctions against Iran, saying it had the authority to do so as an original signatory of the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and other major powers. The other signatories claim the US left the JCPOA in 2018 and therefore no longer has a unilateral legal right to either declare Iran in breach of the agreement or to reimpose sanctions in the name of the UN.
“The dispute leaves the US at loggerheads with much of the world on whether UN sanctions have been reimposed. The disagreement is not just a legal wrangle since the Trump administration claims the US now has the authority to act against any country breaching the reimposed sanctions. The US also claims the scheduled lifting of the UN embargo on arms sales to Iran in October is null and void. There is also a risk that the US will claim it has a new mandate to interdict Iranian shipping, a move that could lead to a naval clash in the Gulf.”
This conflict is bound to become a major escalation between the USA and much of the world.
Controlling US Tech Giants
Business Insider wrote on September 20:
“The EU is looking to give itself sweeping new powers to crack down on US tech giants, EU commissioner Thierry Breton revealed… [saying] the new powers the EU is seeking include punitive measures such as forcing tech companies to break off and sell their European operations should their market dominance grow too large.
“Another massive penalty being considered is that the EU could boot tech firms out of the European single market altogether. Breton said these measures would only be used in extreme circumstances, but did not elaborate on what would qualify as extreme… ‘There is a feeling from end-users of these platforms that they are too big to care… We need better supervision for these big platforms…’
“Alongside these powers is a proposed rating system which would give companies scores on categories including tax compliance and how quickly they take down illegal content. The proposals have not yet been finalized, and once they’re submitted, they will have to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council. Breton said the first draft of the new laws would be ready by the end of this year.
“Europe isn’t the only place where Silicon Valley is facing increased regulation. President Donald Trump is trying to… weaken legal protections currently afforded to internet companies under a US law [which] protects companies from being liable for illegal content posted by users, and gives them broad powers to moderate their platforms.”
As we mentioned before, these tech giants have no constitutional mandate to protect free speech. But governmental intrusion to compel them to take down illegal content might be equally problematic, depending on how governments define “illegal” content.
Belarus and “Brotherly” Ukraine
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 17:
“Embattled Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday said troops would be pulled from the street to guard its borders with EU countries. ‘We are compelled to withdraw our troops from the streets, have half our army on guard and close our state border with the West, first of all with Lithuania and Poland,’ said Lukashenko. ‘To our greatest regret, we are compelled to strengthen our border with brotherly Ukraine.’…
“On Friday, nearly 30 countries issued a joint statement calling on Belarusian authorities to end internet blackouts…”
Still, Ukraine and Belarus will become part of or at least supporters of Russia, in opposition to the EU.
Thousands of Brits May Lose their Bank Accounts in Europe
The Guardian wrote on September 21:
“Thousands of Britons living in the EU will have their UK bank accounts closed by the end of the year because of the UK’s failure to agree [to] a post-Brexit trade deal. Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts have informed retail and business customers that they will lose their accounts before or when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December and more banks are expected to follow suit. Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has contacted its 13,000 customers in the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland and Portugal, warning them they must make alternative arrangements as the bank is no longer allowed to offer services…
“Last week, the Dutch National Bank confirmed that UK banks will no longer be able to provide current or savings accounts to retail customers in the Netherlands.”
The separation between the EU and the UK becomes bigger.
Hyperactive Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Week wrote on September 19:
“Tropical Storm Beta formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday night right after Tropical Storm Wilfred and Subtropical Storm Alpha in the Atlantic, marking the first time since certainly 1953 — when storms were first named — and possibly 1893 that three new storms were named in one day. There have been 23 named storms during the 2020 hurricane season.
“Because the World Meteorological Organization skips the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z, forecasters officially ran out of planned names for the season with Winifred, forcing them to turn to the Greek alphabet. It’s only the second time that the Atlantic hurricane season has made it through the alphabet and the earliest that has happened as well, underscoring this year’s hyperactivity. Winifred is expected to fizzle out before hitting land, Alpha is headed toward Europe, and Beta could become a Hurricane that poses a serious threat to the Texas coast.”
Newsmax wrote on September 20:
“Tropical Storm Beta on Sunday was making a slow crawl to the shores of Texas and Louisiana, casting worries about heavy rain, flooding and storm surge across the Gulf Coast. Beta was one of three named storms whirling in the Atlantic basin during an exceptionally busy hurricane season. If the system makes landfall in Texas — which forecasters predict it will sometime Monday — it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in 2020. Colorado State hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said that would tie a record set in 1916.”
Who can honestly deny the fact that the USA IS cursed?
Fierce Battle over US Supreme Court Looms
Reuters and The Algemeiner wrote on September 19:
“A fierce political battle was shaping up on Saturday over the future of the US Supreme Court after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Democrats opposing any move by President Donald Trump to nominate a replacement this late in an election year.
“Ginsburg, the senior liberal justice, died on Friday night at age 87 of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer after 27 years on the court. Her death gives Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3, a chance to expand the court’s conservative majority to 6-3 at a time of a gaping political divide in America… Supreme Court appointments require Senate confirmation, and Trump’s fellow Republicans control the chamber, holding 53 seats of the 100 seats. Democrats lack the votes to block any Trump nominee unless some Republican senators join them.
“With the assistance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made confirmation of Trump’s federal judicial nominees a top priority, the president potentially could announce a nominee and move rapidly through the confirmation process, which usually takes at least two months… McConnell pledged that the Senate would vote on any Trump nominee…
“Conservative activists for years have sought to get enough votes on the Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to appoint justices who would overturn that decision. But the court in July, even with its conservative majority, struck down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law on a 5-4 vote…”
After Jewish Justice Ginsberg’s death on the Feast of Trumpets, Trump said Republicans have the “obligation” to move forward with the selection of a new Supreme Court Justice “without delay.” Trump announced that he will nominate a woman by this weekend. After Mitt Romney announced that he will vote for the nomination, enough Republican votes in the Senate have been secured so that Trump’s victory of getting a new conservative judge is assured.
House Approves Stopgap Measure to Avoid Shutdown
The Week wrote on September 23:
“The House passed a stopgap funding bill on Tuesday with a 359-57 vote, averting a government shutdown after the budget year ends on Sept. 30. This measure, which keeps federal agencies running through Dec. 11, is expected to pass in the Senate. It includes Agriculture Department subsidies for farmers and ranchers, which was pushed by the Trump administration, as well as food aid for poor families whose children cannot get free or reduced lunches due to schools being closed, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requested. In addition to keeping agencies funded, the measure also extends health programs, as well as federal flood insurance and highway and transit programs.”
Anarchist Jurisdictions in New York City, Portland and Seattle
The Daily Mail wrote on September 21:
“The Justice Department declared New York City, Portland, and Seattle as ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ that can have federal funding ripped away for failing to clamp down on violence according to its criteria. It listed the three cities as among those ‘that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activity.’
“The designation comes with billions of dollars in federal funding at stake, following President Donald Trump’s order to make the designations amid violence and property damage that occurred during a summer of protests…”
Democrats cry foul, but are they blind towards what is going on in these cities under their rule?
Biden’s Incredible Screw-Ups… or Lies….
MSN wrote on September 20:
“Speaking Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, the former vice president said 200 million people will die from the coronavirus ‘probably by the time I finish this talk.’ Either that or he said 200 million have died already from the pandemic. It is not clear exactly what he meant to say. What is clear is that Biden said the COVID-19 death toll in the United States is somewhere in the millions. It is not…
“Biden almost certainly meant to say that 200 million have died already from the coronavirus, not that 200 million likely died in the time that it took for him to deliver his address in Philadelphia. But, man alive, that is not much of a defense. Biden’s number is nowhere near close to being accurate. As of this writing, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. stands at 199,479… Biden is off by a magnitude of 199,800,521. Missed it by that much.
“The question now is whether Biden’s estimate is a simple screw-up or an intentional falsehood. Given how badly he botched his reading of his prepared remarks, it seems more likely the Democratic nominee merely made a mistake when he said ‘million’ instead of ‘thousand.’ After all, he did get the ‘200’ part right.
“Then again… Biden tends to overstate estimates. Badly. Biden claimed earlier this year during a visit to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that 120 million people had died from the coronavirus. Not even close. Earlier than that, the Democratic nominee claimed 150 million Americans have been killed by gun violence since 2007. Again, that is not even close to being true. There is also the fact that Biden has a long, long history of exaggerating, embellishing, and outright lying.
“Did Biden intentionally lie Sunday? Probably not. It was probably an honest gaffe… is more likely that along with everything else he screwed up during his address, he simply bungled the COVID-19 death toll. But that is what happens when one tells as many lies as Biden has. Even honest screw-ups must be handled with suspicion.”
We know that Trump lies. We also know that Biden lies. What a choice for voters…
Nobel Peace Prize for Trump?
The Hill wrote on September 19:
“President Trump ‘has broken a 39-year streak of American presidents either starting a war or bringing the United States into an international armed conflict.’ The Norwegian official who said that, in nominating Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, minced no words about why the president should win it.
“Trump’s Peace Prize nomination has yet again killed expertise. For decades, the self-proclaimed experts have peddled solutions that never worked. Now, while the president brokers historic peace deals in a region where 4,500 American military members died, the experts propose cancelling the Peace Prize. Instead, if the Nobel committee fails to award the Peace Prize to Trump next month, the Peace Prize will end itself. ‘For his merit,’ said the Norwegian official of Trump, ‘I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees.’
“No doubt that is true. Certainly, Trump has created more peace than 1994 winner Yasser Arafat — and more than the 2009 winner, then-President Obama, who relied heavily on foreign policy experts to downgrade America’s preeminence in world affairs. Foreign policy experts countered former President Reagan in his fight against communism. They opposed Reagan at every turn; he ignored them and won the Cold War…
“Trump campaigned on promising to end our ‘forever’ wars… His agenda was clear. His goals were unpopular with foreign policy experts but popular with the families of our military members, not to mention with taxpayers. Why pay for no discernible progress in Iraq and Afghanistan while our own infrastructure crumbles at home?…”
Even the EU received the peace prize in 2012. This is something to contemplate…
California Discriminates against Churches
Newsmax wrote on September 20:
“Democrat leadership in California has gone so far in overreaching its ‘authority’ on pandemic restrictions, churches are forced to crusade to get their rights back… according to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone…
“‘The government really has no authority to tell us whether or not we can worship,’ he said. ‘They have no authority to tell us whether or not we’re essential. They have no authority to tell us what forms of worship are essential and which are not… Religious freedom is a fundamental right; it’s protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. It’s not given by the First Amendment; it’s protected by the First Amendment.’
“San Francisco is not respecting the rights of its constituents, and is ‘absolutely targeting’ people of faith, he added. ‘… They are discriminating against us…’ People of faith need to rise up against the Democrat leaders doing it, he concluded. ‘I sense that people are getting really fed up…’”
There can be no doubt about this. Note the next article.
Political and Legal Persecution of California Church Continues
Patch wrote on September 13:
“Grace Community Church in Sun Valley held a packed morning service Sunday, defying a court order directing them to refrain from holding indoor services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pastor John MacArthur prefaced the service by complaining about the many health measures required by local and state authorities to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
“‘The question has come up a number of times about why Grace Church does not just comply with the orders that have been laid down for churches, and I thought it might be helpful to give you the list of things that are required of us as a church, so that you understand how utterly impossible that would be,’ MacArthur said. He then read a long list of requirements, occasionally drawing laughter from parishioners at rules about parking, restroom protocols and social distancing. MacArthur said following all the rules would ‘completely shut the church down.’
“… On Thursday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order directing the church to refrain from holding indoor services, saying there’s an ‘immediate threat to public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.’ Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff also directed Grace Community Church to mandate that congregation members wear masks and practice physical distancing if the house of worship decides to hold outdoor services. Beckloff heard arguments on Los Angeles County’s motion for a preliminary injunction on Sept. 4, then took the case under submission before ruling. Both he and Judge James Chalfant had collectively denied the county’s four previous bids for a temporary restraining order, but Beckloff said this time, the county had ‘demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits’ of its claims…
“Church attorney Charles LiMandri said there will be an appeal… ‘The coronavirus is dying out,’ LiMandri said, while maintaining that the massive protests that came after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked the rise in cases, not people going to church. ‘They are targeting the church, they don’t go after the protesters,’ LiMandri said…”
That extremely left-wing California is targeting and discriminating against Christian churches is obvious. A movement has begun to recall Governor Newsom, but the question is, who would replace him? California has not been very fortunate with having a somewhat competent governor, Ronald Reagan being a notable exception. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not deliver what he had promised, and subsequently lost even more credibility due to his long-lasting infidelity and his ridiculous support of wearing masks, self-isolation and house arrests, and other California governors turned out to be corrupt.
To be clear, such illegal persecution is happening all over the world. Let’s take Germany as another example where constitutional rights are trampled underfoot. As Focus reported on September 22, a superior court judge from the state of North Rhine – Westphalia, Thorsten Schleiff, voiced strongly his opposition to German politics, seriously infringing on fundamental constitutional rights of millions of citizens due to coronavirus measures, claiming that the courts should have prevented this but that many of his colleagues were too fearful and “panic-stricken” to do so. He is absolutely right.
The Peace Deal Mirage
EricMargolis.com wrote on September 21:
“The Trump administration… just manufactured its own news by confecting a ‘peace’ deal between Israel and a bunch of… Arab monarchies… The Gulf monarchies – the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – that signed this agreement are so frightened of neighboring Iran that they would happily have opted for Israeli rule…
“Few Americans could find these little sheikdoms on a map. But many evangelical voters… will think the Trump administration has achieved a major feat by supposedly bringing peace to the Holy Land…
“The United Arab Emirates, population just under 10 million, is only 10% Arab. The rest of its people are mainly Indians and Pakistani…
“As for peace in the Mideast, recall the biting words of Roman historian Tacitus, ‘where they make a desert they call it peace.’…”
… and a mirage it IS…
New Lockdowns… Insane!
The Times of Israel wrote on September 17:
“Israel will become the world’s first country to reimpose [a second] lockdown on Friday… Scheduled to last for at least three weeks, the imminent national closure has been met with fury by many Israelis,… decrying the economic consequences, and devastated at the idea of the Jewish holiday season confined within 500 meters of their homes.
“In an address to the nation on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted not only that the lockdown is necessary, but that around the world, other governments will also face the decision of whether to impose new nationwide lockdowns, ‘and most of them in my opinion will have no choice but to do so.’ By contrast, opposition leader Yair Lapid is adamant. The lockdown, he says, ‘is an admission of failure. The citizens are being punished because the government failed.’ Lapid called it a ‘death blow to the Israeli economy,’ and predicted that it won’t save lives…
“Doctors are divided as to whether the coming lockdown is actually the solution with the best chance of success… It’s telling that official notices of lockdown rules don’t feature a firm end date. The ‘three week lockdown’ could wind up lasting much longer.”
And so, Satan is vigorously pursuing his goal of imprisoning the entire world, knowing that this is his fate when Christ returns.
Israel Is Getting Mad
The Times of Israel wrote on September 20:
“Police on Sunday afternoon said they had handed out 2,802 fines over the past day for various infractions of lockdown rules and other coronavirus regulations…
“Police said the majority of fines, 2,044, were given to people who ventured out over a kilometer from their homes without valid cause. Another 629 were given for failure to wear masks, 37 were handed out for breaking quarantine, 30 were given to businesses or other locations that opened against the rules, and other small numbers for various offenses.”
This IS insane autocratic dictatorship!
Sleepwalking into a Second Lockdown
The Daily Mail published on September 19 an article by Professor Karol Sikora:
“Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous. We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear… The disruption to family life caused by the summer lockdown, and the new restrictions imposed since then, have demoralised and isolated many. Their fear has been compounded by the actions of a Government that is not in charge of events, buffeted by the conflicting advice of scientists…
“… a return to a blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being. We simply cannot afford to panic… the vast majority of those currently testing positive for Covid are experiencing mild symptoms and remain in good overall health. The other point to remember is that the terrible death toll Britain suffered in the spring was due largely to the grotesque error of clearing hospitals of elderly patients and sending them, untested, into care homes… Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition… anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus…
“My field is cancer. I make no apology for highlighting that 30,000 extra cancer deaths will soon emerge thanks to delays in doctors picking up symptoms and in patients being referred for scans and tests. Tragically, these people are doomed to die, though many of them do not know it yet. Many will be thirty or forty years younger than the vast majority of those dying of Covid. And it’s not just cancer: Roughly 100,000 people suffer a stroke every year. This year, almost one third of sufferers have put off seeking treatment during the pandemic, delaying the use of vital blood-thinning drugs that limit the long-term damage caused by a stroke…”
On September 20, BBC news gave the number of deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours and in small print below it read: “Deaths for any reason within 28 days of a positive test.” Now that’s interesting: Someone has a positive test and dies of cancer, a heart attack or a road accident within 28 days of the test and it counts as a coronavirus death! This is just plain dishonest and whipping up fear!
Express added on September 20:
“Boris Johnson announced new strict rules on Saturday which will see heavy penalties ushered in for rule-breakers. As of September 28, anyone caught ignoring the rules risks incurring a £1,000 fine while repeat offenders could be fined up to £10,000…
“Asked if people should be forced to fork out £10,000 for failing to quarantine themselves,… 57 percent… said yes. While… 42 percent… said Britons should not face such a hefty penalty. Only… one percent… of respondents said they didn’t know.”
That would mean, the majority of panic-driven manipulated Brits have gotten totally mad…
More Dangerous Nonsense from the UK
The Sun wrote on September 21:
“Boris Johnson [announced] a 10pm closing time for pubs… Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster said that people would be BANNED from mixing with other households inside… The clampdown will see pubs and restaurants shut down by patrols – and groups could be broken up and fined…
“First Minister Nicola Sturgeon… faces a backlash as ministers fear a second lockdown will kill the economy… People in the North and Midlands are already banned from visiting others in their homes or gardens, or hanging out with people they don’t live with in pubs and restaurants… This also means people who don’t live together can’t meet their lovers either…
“Wales also revealed today four new areas will face local lockdowns from tomorrow night, it was confirmed today… People can’t leave the area without a good reason – such as school or work… people will not be allowed to socialise with ANY friends and family outside of their own households either – inside or outside. That includes public places like pubs and parks, but also inside private homes and gardens too… Those measures could be seen across the nation.”
Boris Johnson also said his new measures might have to last for 6 months, and that “significantly greater restrictions” could be slapped on the country. He also said that the army could be used to help police enforce his restrictions. Britain will NEVER recover from this economic destruction. There have been enough studies and articles by now proving that such serious measures and lockdowns don’t work and are dangerous. Willful ignorance does not protect against or prevent disaster.
England and Sweden… a Comparison
Global Research wrote on September 20:
“… both countries were showing a slight decline in deaths over the last five years… less people were dying in Sweden than England… [within a] few months into 2020 (when the lockdowns began) both countries saw a sudden and sharp rise in deaths; but England’s peak was at least twice that of Sweden. Clearly a higher percentage of people have dropped dead in England than Sweden.
“Sweden of course had very little containment measures in place. Social distancing was done on a volunteer basis. There was no lockdown. Nursing homes were belatedly put into quarantine. England, on the other hand, went into full lockdown mode with police drones trailing joggers with a timer clicking away their allotted exercise ration…
“Sweden’s lack of restrictions did not hurt its population. The country’s winter death toll was not much higher than in 2015, 2017 and 2018. On the other hand, despite lockdown, masks and a social distancing police state, England saw about double the number of deaths it usually sees at that time of the year…
“As studies have shown, there are many reasons to conclude that locking people up, scaring them out of their minds and destroying their livelihood is quite harmful to their health.”
The Sun reported on September 22 that “lockdown-free Sweden [is] ‘on the brink of beating Covid after achieving herd immunity.’”
Wall Street Hits New Low
Newsmax wrote on September 21:
“Wall Street’s main indexes hit their lowest in nearly seven weeks on Monday as concerns about fresh coronavirus-driven lockdowns and a stalemate in Congress over more fiscal stimulus raised fears about another hit to the domestic economy… Wall Street has tumbled in the past three weeks as investors dumped heavyweight technology-related stocks…
“Another round of business restrictions will threaten a nascent recovery in the wider economy and add further pressure on equity markets, analysts said. The first round of lockdowns in March had led the S&P 500 to suffer its worst monthly decline since the global financial crisis.”
The evil consequences of ill-conceived lockdowns…
Spahn Speaks against Panic while Creating Panic
rtl wrote on September 19 about the following comments by German Health Minister Jens Spahn:
“Be watchful and alert, but don’t adopt an end time approach… there is no reason for that… the rising cases are caused mainly through parties, weddings and religious assemblies…”
These comments are not very comforting or reassuring… and the basis for his claimed reasons for rising cases is not supported by the evidence.
The Pope’s Latest Blasphemy
The New York Post wrote on September 20:
“Pope Francis reassured parents of LGBT children that ‘God loves your children as they are,’ and that there is a place in the church for them… The exchange came during a meeting last week with ‘Tenda di Gionata,’ or ‘Jonathan’s Tent,’ an Italian group of Christian parents of LBGT children founded in 2018…
“The group grew out of a church vigil in the northern city of Reggio Emilia, where [several] parents of LGBTQ children [met] — inspired by the preaching of the Rev. Paolo Cugini, who believes that ‘faith and homosexuality are not in opposition.’”
The Catholic Church might think and teach that way, but the Bible says otherwise. In the Word of God, the practice of homosexuality is an “abomination,” and children must NOT be taught that it is all right in the eyes of God.
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.
How are we to receive compliments and praise?
Knowing that human pride is a characteristic that Christians need to monitor closely and remove, how are we to respond when we receive a compliment? Should Christians reject all compliments from others? Is it possible to accept compliments from others without conceding to human pride? Is it possible to receive another’s compliment with complete joy, rather than mere acquiescence?
As a foundation in answering this question, we need to begin with an understanding of why human pride (correctly understood) is condemned. Citing from our Q&A asking, “Is Pride Always Condemned in the Bible? Part 1”, “God condemns human pride, which is opposed to God and which is unwilling to submit to Him. God despises those who wallow in haughtiness and who boast in their self-confidence and self-conceit. Such an attitude prevents a person from loving and obeying God with all of one’s heart and from loving his neighbor as oneself.”
This kind of pride is a human attribute, influenced by Satan, that elevates self above God and diminishes the glory of God. Pride became the downfall of Lucifer, who believed he was greater than God. It should be no surprise that Satan broadcasts a message that convinces the carnal man that he doesn’t need God or that God can be worshipped in ways that man has invented in His absence. For this reason, such pride is dangerous. When it begins to grow in one’s life, it results in an outcome of leading one away from God.
Compliments and praise undoubtedly offer fodder for pride unless we are careful. Hearing good things about ourselves can easily cause us to lift our opinions of ourselves if we aren’t grounded in understanding the source of our gifts. But it is perfectly fine to receive a compliment or accept praise when we acknowledge that God is the one who provides us with the good in our lives.
The Bible contains several examples of praise directed towards people. From these we will see how it is acceptable to accept compliments with sincere gratitude. We will also see how the examples of praise properly received gives glory to God, rather than man.
The example of Job provides us with a good example to begin with. The story opens up with God offering Job a compliment. “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’” (Compare Job 1:8, Job 2:3). While this is a compliment offered indirectly, we can still see that God is pleased with Job’s behavior – at least to begin with. Because of this, God expresses His praise for Job. However, as the story of Job progresses, his self-righteousness and pride become exposed. Job develops the opinion that he has done nothing to deserve his punishment, and condemns God because of it. Ultimately, God confronts him on the issue. Only then does Job see with utter clarity the error of his ways, acknowledging his imperfection, and repenting bitterly (compare Job 42:1-6). With humility, putting his pride in check, Job becomes even more blessed than he had been at the beginning (compare Job 42:12).
Job provides us with an initial counterexample of how to receive praise. Job’s conduct was pleasing to God, and certainly praiseworthy. However, by believing that his righteousness was for his own glory, Job missed the point. God is to be glorified as the Almighty, the Creator, the One without beginning or end, who rightly and justly rules over all creation. Yet, Job did not see that there can be no wrong with God, and wrongly accused God of judging him unjustly. The lesson is that we, as flesh and blood members of the human race, are not to develop opinions of ourselves that bring glory to ourselves when it rightly belongs to God.
The Bible contains several examples that demonstrate the correct way to receive praise. That is, by accepting the compliment acknowledging the gift that comes from God.
When Joseph was called to Pharaoh to interpret dreams, Pharaoh paid him a compliment as one who was endowed with the skill he sought. “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.’ So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace’” (Genesis 41:15-16). This example shows the correct frame of mind to have when receiving a compliment. When Joseph was praised for having the skill to interpret dreams, he was quick to acknowledge that the ability did not come from him, but from the gift of God. In this, Joseph glorified God, and in turn influenced Pharaoh to also acknowledge His power (compare Genesis 41:37). Compliments directed toward us really belong to God who blesses us.
Jesus Christ offered compliments, either directly or indirectly, to many individuals who expressed faith and other godly virtues (compare Luke 21:3-4, Luke 18:13-14, Matthew 15:28, Luke 17:19, Mark 10:52, Luke 18:42). The example of the centurion who came to Jesus asking for healing of his servant provides us with a particularly inspiring model. “The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, “Go,” and he goes; and to another, “Come,” and he comes; and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour” (Matthew 8:8-13). In this example, the centurion receives praise from Jesus in the midst of many others. The praise bestowed upon him for his faith could have easily gone to his head, causing the centurion to think more of his righteous behavior than he ought. However, the example of humility and subservience to Christ stands out poignantly. By acknowledging Jesus Christ’s power and authority, the centurion accepts the compliment of his faith with grace.
Not only did Jesus Christ offer compliments, but he also received them. At the beginning of His ministry when He became baptized by John, God pays Jesus Christ a compliment from the heavens, declaring, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Compare Matthew 3:17). As we know, Jesus led a perfectly righteous life, overcoming all temptation and defeating sin. It was for that purpose that God the Father sent His Son to the Earth. To witness that event when His ministry began was clearly a proud moment for God. We don’t see the response from Jesus when paid this compliment from His Father, but other places in the Bible clearly express how He considered His righteousness.
Jesus knew that the glory of His righteousness belonged to God. In expressing the plan of God, Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30, compare also John 5:19). Clearly, Jesus Christ understood that His ability to live a righteous life was a direct result of the Father’s Holy Spirit working mightily within Him to maintain the perfect judgment with the mind of God. This serves as an example for us as followers of Christ, that our ability to judge righteously works the same way. When we are able to do what is right, the glory belongs to God. Even the most subtle of compliments received by Jesus Christ were an opportunity for Him to glorify His Father in heaven.
Our model to follow ought to be clear. The right way to receive a compliment from others is by acknowledging the good that works in our lives as coming through God’s inspiration and His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. The source of all that is truly good are blessings from God. Paul expresses the perspective that we should have in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” The work that Paul and his coworkers did, laid the groundwork for the Church of God that we belong to today. It is not an overstatement to say that the effect of their work was tremendous. Yet, in the enormity of that work, Paul’s perspective is one of humility. The glory goes to God, not man. For He provides us with the source of strength (compare Psalm 28:7, Psalm 27:1, Exodus 15:2).
When we live our lives in obedience to God’s commandments, we will bear good fruit that those around us will recognize. Happy families, good relationships with people around us, abundance in our work, and spiritual prosperity are fruits that even the world can see. When we receive compliments from people who acknowledge the product of our inspired lives, what will we do? Will we allow a belief to take root in our minds that we are something important because of what we alone have done? Or will we do what Jesus Christ instructs us to do? Will we give thanks and pass along the praise to God so that He may receive the glory? “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Lead Writer: Eric Rank
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
Here are the dates for the Fall Holy Days;
- Day of Atonement… September 28, 2020
- Feast of Tabernacles… October 3-9, 2020
- Last Great Day… October 10, 2020
We are pleased to announce the marriage of Anna Ruoff and Michael Link on September 24, 2020, in Escondido, California. The ceremony was conducted by Norbert Link. Congratulations!
“Satan Rules This World—Does He Rule You?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Satan has been very busy. Many are falling for his evil devices. But God requires of us that we love and obey Him in everything. Through governmental restrictions under his influence, Satan is using the same tactic as he did when deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve fell for it, and Adam followed his wife, convincing themselves that a “little” disobedience did not really matter. Far too many of God’s people are following today Adam and Eve’s bad example. Don’t you be one of them!
“Rechtfertigt unsere Angst Ungehorsam gegen Gott?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Does our Fear Justify Disobedience towards God?”
“Dankbarkeit,” the sermonette presented on the Feast of Trumpets by Dmitrij Niemanns is now posted. Title in English: “Thankfulness.”
“Soldier On,” the morning sermonette presented by Eric Rank on the Feast of Trumpets, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Being a Christian inherently involves conflict with the world, which increasingly rejects God. In the battle we fight against evil, what do we need to do to assure our victory?
“We Must Be Ready!” the morning sermon presented by Dave Harris on the Feast of Trumpets, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The world is not watching, nor is it prepared for what is about to happen! A time of overwhelming trouble and dreadful tribulation approaches, but who understands this? Do you and will you be among the very few who are ready?
“Christian Paradigm,” the afternoon Offertory presented by Kalon Mitchell on the Feast of Trumpets, is now posted. Here is a summary:
How often do we do the same things, over and over? How often do we think that we know what’s best? God challenges us to change. God challenges us to think and act as He thinks and acts. The choice is ours and the question is what will we do?
“God’s Message Must Be Preached Today,” the afternoon sermon presented by Norbert Link on the Feast of Trumpets, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The Feast of Trumpets (on September 19, 2020) has much symbolic meaning for us. It includes a message of God for the end time, which must be proclaimed today by His watchful servants in blowing trumpets loudly and clearly. And the message will be proclaimed! In addition to serious warnings, it includes the good news of the return of Jesus Christ; the coming rule of God on earth; and our entrance into God’s eternal Kingdom.
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.
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
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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