December 18, 2020
Access to Opportunity / What Does a Christian Do?
On December 19, 2020, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “Access to Opportunity,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “What Does a Christian Do?”
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.
“What Is Truth?”
by Rene Messier (Canada)
This phrase, as quoted in the title of this Editorial, was coined by Pilate in the presence of Christ during His trial (John 18:38), just prior to His crucifixion. We know of course that the Bible tells us that God’s Word, the whole Bible, is Truth. So are His commandments. Psalm 119:151 states: “You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth.”
John 17:17 quotes Christ’s words to the Father as follows: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
Truth seems to be in short supply these days with all the lies, half-truths, gross exaggerations, hyperboles, and the miss-spoken (nice way to say that one lies) and false statements which are prevalent today. All of this adds credence to the old adage: “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.” This makes the world we live in pretty pathetic. The news media constantly pushes lies, and so do a lot of politicians and of course the governments, at times.
How did we reach such a state? The originator and father of lies is Satan, as stated by Christ in John 8:44: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
When dealing with man, Satan spoke that original lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:4 records this lie: “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” By telling this lie to Eve, as they DID die, he was also saying that God was a liar who had told them they would die for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Talk about twisting and perverting the Truth! Satan was guilty of what he was accusing God of, that is, of lying.
We see this approach today in some politicians. One in particular was accusing the President of the USA for four years of being a Russian spy, a collaborator with and an agent for Russia which was a blatant lie without merit or proof, but the mainstream media ate it up and spread that lie. In the last few days it has been revealed that in the past, that politician was apparently associated with a real Chinese spy who helped him raise money to get into Congress. So what he accused the President of was what he seemed to have been guilty of himself. This may help to explain why few people believe what politicians say.
Another politician spent four years saying without proof that he had evidence that the American President was colluding with the Russians. This turned out to be a lie, and that politician was called by a news commentator as being a “congenital liar.” That description would really look good on one’s resume!
Thankfully, this age of lies and deceit is coming to an end when we will have just government on earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ in the Millennium. Isaiah 9:7 reports in advance: “Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Notice, judgment and justice will prevail from that time forward. It will be a world where lies and deception are no more, and when we can truly reap the fruits of Truth.
by Norbert Link
We begin with a short overview of important events in 2020, continue with the apparent motives of the left-liberal mass media’s suppression of the Hunter Biden scandal, and speak on developments surrounding the presidential election and possible short-term and long-term consequences for the USA.
We speak on the top European Court’s decision to allow the prohibition of ritual slaughter (please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Europe’s Attack on Religious Freedom and the coming Great Tribulation”).
We address the dangerous controversy over fishing rights between the UK and EU; an interesting article about Merkel’s successor; and we discuss the new devastating hard lockdown in Germany; the German government’s fight against anti-lockdown demonstrators; and different positions in Germany, the UK, the USA and Israel regarding coronavirus vaccinations.
We conclude with Pope Francis’ plea for a world authority and global governance; and further “adjustments” for the remission of temporal punishment through indulgences, in connection with an apparition of “Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
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
2020 in Review
The Associated Press wrote on December 12:
“Not since World War II has a single phenomenon dominated the news worldwide as the COVID-19 pandemic has in 2020. In the United States, a tumultuous presidential election and a wave of protests over racial injustice also drew relentless coverage. Overshadowed, to an extent, were other dramatic developments. Among them: China’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy; an apocalyptic explosion in Beirut; the shocking helicopter-crash death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter.
“Some seemingly epic events early in the year now seem distant, like President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and the January announcement by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that they were exiting their prominent roles in Britain’s royal family. Just a few weeks later came the long-awaited Brexit, Britain’s formal withdrawal from the European Union. As most of the world battled COVID, armed conflicts broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan and in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Afghanistan’s seemingly endless war dragged on… Massive protests challenged the ruling powers in Belarus and Thailand…
“The year ended as it began with tensions between Iran and the U.S. inflamed by the killing of a top official. On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone strike killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran responded with a missile attack that injured dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq. In December, a mysterious attack near Tehran killed a nuclear scientist whom the U.S. and others had identified as organizing Iran’s effort to seek nuclear weapons two decades ago. Iran blamed that attack on Israel [with support from the USA]…
“It was such a historically busy hurricane season that forecasters had to turn to the Greek alphabet after running out of assigned names. In the U.S., Louisiana took the brunt of the onslaught: three hurricanes and two tropical storms… Thousands of wildfires raged throughout the western U.S…. bringing apocalyptic scenes of orange skies and hazardous air. … massive brush fires… raged for months… in Australia.”
We should not expect really good news on the world scene in 2021 either.
The Hunter Biden Scandal… What If the Mass Media Would Not Have Suppressed it?
The New York Post Editorial Board wrote on December 11:
“‘Collusion’ was perhaps the media’s favorite word these past four years, even when it wasn’t true. But you know what real collusion looks like? It’s when left-leaning media, that is the media in general, decide en masse that something is ‘not a story’ because it harms their preferred political candidate. That’s a key takeaway from Wednesday’s bombshell news revealing a federal probe of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, that reportedly involves emails from his laptop — which The New York Post reported on exclusively in October. We even noted back then that the FBI had seized the computer and hard drive; Fox News later confirmed that it was part of an FBI money-laundering probe.
“Other media outlets didn’t just ignore the story; they tried to suppress it. Then social media stepped in, preventing the story from being posted (Facebook) and even banning The Post (Twitter)… Many Americans who’d already cast ballots in early voting sought to change their votes after learning of the emails… All of which raises serious national-security questions.”
There can be very little doubt that in the present climate, Hunter Biden will not be convicted for most of the crimes which he allegedly committed, and any alleged connection between Hunter Biden and his father, President-elect Joe Biden, will be carefully and systematically suppressed.
“This Hunter Biden Cover-Up Stinks”
On December 10, Mail Online published the following article by Piers Morgan:
“I said at the time that the media’s abject failure to properly report the New York Post’s scoop about Hunter was a shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias of much of the US media – and I said it as a liberal myself… They were happy to buy into Joe Biden’s line that it was all a hoax driven by nefarious Russians to discredit him…
“I find it deeply suspicious that we’re only now hearing about the federal probe into Hunter Biden’s business conduct, a month after the election. Why did prosecutors not go public before, given that they started the investigation in 2018? How did it not leak in an era when everything leaks? Or did it leak, and once again, the media suppressed it?
“This announcement is also deeply embarrassing for all the journalists who have worked so hard to NOT report on Hunter’s business conduct lest it damage his father’s election chances… this time, most of America’s media is guilty…”
Especially CNN is guilty of the systematic suppression of the Hunter Biden story. The political director of CNN “advised” “his” journalists and moderators NOT to report on the story before the election. Of course, most CNN reporters and moderators are Democrats anyhow.
Mass Media Guilty of Dereliction of Duty
The Hill published on December 11 the following article by Joe Concha:
“The story was outright banned from public discourse by social media giant Twitter, which limited its members from sharing a New York Post report on Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. This New York Post report… contained actual emails from Hunter Biden’s own laptop… an election was coming. And, so, the media mantra apparently became: Protect the candidate at all costs. Dismiss the story as an ‘alternative facts,’ ‘right-wing media’ fantasy.
“Gallup and the Knight Foundation have found that 84 percent of Americans believe the media bears the blame for the divide in this country. Just one-in-ten believes social media has a positive impact on the country…”
The carefully staged suppression of the Hunter Biden story by the mass media and Big Tech to protect their political candidate, Joe Biden, is appalling and sickening. It shows once more the utmost corruption of a country which is doomed to fall very soon.
US Supreme Court Rejects Texas Case against Pennsylvania and other States for “Lack of Standing”
CNN wrote on December 11:
“The court’s order Friday night was unsigned, and [the] court did not provide a vote count…
“The order states: ‘The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.’”
CBS News added:
“Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the court does ‘not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. I would therefore grant the motion to file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.’”
This means, they would not grant any other relief at this point, until the matter has been adjudicated in a trial.
Breitbart wrote on December 11:
“All three of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the three liberal justices in declining to hear Texas v. Pennsylvania… The three new Trump appointees voted with their liberal colleagues, whose votes were never in doubt. Roberts has lately moved toward the liberal camp, and voted accordingly… Four justices out of the nine would have had to agree to hear the case for it to have proceeded at the Supreme Court.”
In fairness, as Fox News pointed out, “The court did not provide a complete vote breakdown, so it’s unclear how Trump’s nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett may have voted on the appeal.” It is clear, however, that at least two of the three would have voted against it.
Texas clearly had standing and the Supreme Court had a legal obligation to take the case. Their outright denial without a hearing is a sad example of cowardness on the part of the conservative judges (with the exception of Alito and Thomas who made their disagreement public) and of political motivation of the left-liberal judges. This will backfire, as nearly 77% of Trump voters and over 35% of Independents and Democrats believe that the election was stolen, while no court, so far, has had the courage to examine the facts in a trial and to get to the bottom of it. Those who claim that the election was stolen believe that they are truly witnessing a totally corrupt legal system!
Trump Supporters Outraged
Daily Mail wrote on December 13:
“Donald Trump supporters have voiced outrage after the Supreme Court refused to hear [the Texas] case… White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany [blasted] the Supreme Court for ‘dodging’ the lawsuit and ‘hiding behind procedure’.
“Texas GOP Chairman Allen West put out a statement suggesting states should secede from the union in response to the ruling…
“Giuliani fumed about the court’s decision as he spoke on Hannity from his hotel, where he is recovering from COVID-19. He branded the move ‘censorship’ and a ‘scandal’ that will ‘go down in history’. ‘So far the facts have been suppressed, they’ve been subject to censorship by big media, censorship by big tech, censorship by the Democrat party, and censorship by the courts,’ he said… Giuliani accused the Supreme Court of ‘evading its responsibility’…
“He added: ‘I think this is going to be a terrible thing in American history… this is going to live in our history and the Supreme Court has made a terrible mistake in not getting this resolved in a fair, decent, and equitable way because it’s going to leave a real black mark with regard to the selection throughout our entire history.’”
Giuliani might be right with his assessment.
Civil War Because of Supreme Court?
“The Ron Paul Institute wrote on December 15:
“By washing its hands of responsibility to hear the Texas challenge to the 2020 presidential election, the nine Justices of the US Supreme Court may have sealed the country’s fate and made a kinetic civil war much more likely… The irony here is that the Supreme Court could have actually prevented another civil war had it chosen to hear the Texas lawsuit, and then ruled against it on non-pretextual grounds. That, at least, would have sent the message to Trump supporters that the System works, and that they should continue to place their trust in it. There would always be the possibility of a rematch in the 2022 midterms or 2024…
“Instead, they literally abdicated their constitutional responsibility – and sent a message to 75 million Americans who voted for Trump that their votes don’t matter. Worse, that the System of government that supposedly made the US special, takes a back seat to the media, Big Tech and the consensus manufactured by people who tend to riot when they don’t get their way…
“Civil wars begin when a faction decides it can no longer pursue its goals through the political, legal or economic means, as they have all been foreclosed to them… Whether rightly or wrongly, [Trump supporters] believe the election was stolen and that the people who did so got away with it. How likely are they to trust any election going forward? About as much as they trust the media, the corporations, or the courts right now.
“The Supreme Court had a chance to defuse this ticking time bomb. Instead, they channeled Pontius Pilate and said ‘not our problem.’ That’s how Bosnia happened. I hope and pray that doesn’t happen here, but fear that it shall.”
Trump Vows to Continue the Fight
Fox News wrote on December 13:
“President Trump vowed that he and his campaign ‘are going to continue to go forward’ with their legal challenges against November’s election results… ‘No, it’s not over… We have numerous local cases,’ Trump said… ‘we caught them, as you know, as fraudulent, dropping ballots, doing so many things, nobody can even believe it.’ Trump said that there were votes cast in the name of dead people and that ‘tens of thousands of ballots’ were illegally submitted.
“The president said it was ‘a rigged election’ and attributed this to local Democrats who ‘outsmarted’ their Republican counterparts… Trump said he worries about the U.S. ‘having an illegitimate president’ due to alleged fraud. ‘What happened to this country is we were like a third world country,’ he later said.”
Newsmax listed, as of Sunday, December 13, 15 cases still pending in front of courts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nevada.
Newsmax added on December 14:
“A forensic audit of the presidential vote tally by Dominion Voting Systems software used in Antrim County, Michigan, showed a more than 68% error rate, with auditors claiming the system intentionally creates the errors so the machine can have them ‘adjudicated’ – allowing individuals to change the result. The error rate is astounding considering the Federal Election Commission allows a maximum error rate of just 0.0008 percent for computerized voting systems.
“‘We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,’ the audit report prepared by Allied Security Operations Group read… The audit was released Monday by state court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer of the 13th Circuit Court of Michigan in a case brought by county resident William Bailey against Antrim County, Michigan… Trump attorney and former federal prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said… ‘The evidence of fraud is indisputable.’”
But the courts are unwilling to look at the evidence.
In the explosive Senate’s hearing on “2020 voting irregularities” on December 16, it was clearly established what was—or should have been—known all along; namely, that fraud and irregularities occurred in the presidential election. False claims that courts had ruled that there was no fraud were convincingly debunked by pointing out that courts only ruled on procedural matters, such as “lack of standing.” The sworn testimony by attorneys James Troupis and Jesse Binnall showed that attempts were also made to systematically suppress access to voting machines, voter ballots and other documents preventing to prove the full scale of massive voter fraud. The question is now: What, if anything, is the Senate willing to do about it?
Breitbart wrote on December 14:
“President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Stephen Miller, told Fox News on Monday morning that the president will continue to challenge the 2020 election, even after the electoral college votes on Monday for former Vice President Joe Biden as president-elect. ‘The only date in the Constitution is January 20, so we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,’ Miller said during the interview.
“Miller also said an ‘alternate slate of electors’ will vote in contested states, and those results will be sent to Congress… If the Trump campaign won additional court cases in the contested states, Miller stated, the alternate set of electors could be certified. Miller cited three major legal issues in the 2020 election: improperly cast absentee ballots in Wisconsin, violation of the Equal Protection Clause in Pennsylvania with cured ballots, and changes to the signature matching in Georgia without state legislature approval. ‘Those three violations alone make Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election,’ Miller said.”
This would be an uphill battle, as the courts so far have refused—for whatever reason—to be willing to focus on the underlying factual allegations. The ballots of the Electoral College’s vote on Monday, declaring Biden to be the elected President, will be delivered to the Senate by December 23, and Congress will meet in a special joint session on Jan. 6 to count the electoral votes. The final step is the inauguration on Jan. 20. In a highly divisive speech belying his claim that he wants to unify the nation, Joe Biden declared victory on December 14 after the Electoral College’s vote had been announced.
Biden’s Priorities… or the Lack Thereof
The Times of Israel wrote on December 11:
“Unlike his predecessors, US President-elect Joe Biden is not entering office with plans to launch a major Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative. There’s no talk of reaching the ‘ultimate deal,’ as Donald Trump described it in 2016, and there’s no intention to appoint a special envoy for the Middle East on his first day in office as Barack Obama did in 2009. No marathon peace negotiations like the ones led by Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry in 2013 and 2014 and no Vision for Peace like the one unveiled by Trump and his son-in-law/adviser Jared Kushner in 2019 and 2020…
“Some Biden aides have been more willing to admit that Israel, and even the Middle East more broadly, is not going to receive the amount of attention that it has enjoyed during the tenures of recent presidents. One senior adviser to the campaign told Foreign Policy magazine in October that the Middle East would be ‘a distant fourth’ in the list of foreign policy priorities, after Europe, the Indo-Pacific, and Latin America… The conflict will almost certainly be overshadowed by other issues in the region, namely the Iran nuclear deal, which Biden has made clear he plans to rejoin…
“But possibly the easiest manner in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could skip to the top of Biden’s agenda would be if violence breaks out in the West Bank or Gaza. The territories have been relatively quiet in recent months, but are not known for extended periods of calm…”
If Biden becomes President, he and his team might concentrate on a better relationship with Europe and perhaps Iran, while throwing the UK and Israel under the bus.
War Always Seems to Win
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on December 14:
“… we learned that if Joe Biden ends up in the White House next month he intends to put a deep state member of the military-industrial complex in charge of the Pentagon… Gen. Austin was head of the US Central Command under an Obama Administration that launched a brutal war on Libya under false pretenses and pursued a regime-change policy in Syria that involved arming and training jihadists. Upon retirement, as is all too common with military leaders, he cashed in on his service with a position on the board of military contractor Raytheon.
“Austin will be ‘business as usual’ for Washington’s warmongers and the military contractors who make a fortune inventing endless conflicts overseas. Then things went from bad to worse, as the yearly monstrosity called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed with an amendment severely restricting the US president’s ability to remove troops from Afghanistan and Europe… The amendment all but guarantees that America’s longest war in history will continue pointlessly onward.
“A coalition of warmongering Democrats and Republicans have been furious with President Trump for his last minute effort to draw troops down from Afghanistan and elsewhere, and they appear to have a veto-proof majority to tie the president’s hands. Congress has for decades believed that the president can go to war whenever or wherever he pleases without a declaration, but if the president dares attempt to end a war their belief in a ‘unitary executive’ is thrown out the window. What hypocrisy.
“The Constitution is clear that the president is the commander in chief of the military and as such should have the authority to move troops as he sees fit. The Founders understood that 535 Members of Congress trying to micromanage troops on the battlefield is not a good idea. Congress has it backward. It should be very difficult for a president to take the country to war and easy for that war to be ended… no matter how sick the American people are of endless war, the war machine finds a way to keep chugging along…”
Very sad… and very true.
European Court of Justice Allows Ban on Ritual Slaughter
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 17:
“The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that EU member states could legally ban stun-free slaughter… [stating] that ‘the principle that an animal should be stunned prior to being killed meets the main objective of the protection of animal welfare.’…
“In September, a legal expert from the ECJ said exceptions should be made to allow religious slaughter… ‘The people who kill animals while hunting or fishing or controlling harmful organisms, on the one hand, and the people who kill animals according to special slaughter methods prescribed by the customs of religious worship, on the other hand, are treated differently without reasonable justification,’ the statement said.”
JTA wrote on December 17:
“Israel’s ambassador to Belgium called the ruling [‘catastrophic’ and] ‘a blow to Jewish life in Europe.’…
[The court specifically said EU member states have the ‘discretion’ to enact measures such as the Belgian bans.]
“In Judaism and Islam, animals need to be conscious when their necks are slit for their meat to be considered kosher or halal. That has made ritual slaughter a ripe target in Europe from both liberals who cite animal welfare as their main concern and right-wing nationalists who view the custom as foreign to their countries’ cultures. (Ritual circumcision, too, has united opponents on the left and right.)”
Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Europe’s Attack on Religious Freedom and the Coming Great Tribulation.”
Europe’s Military Ambitions
Science/Business wrote on December 15:
“MEPs and the German presidency of the EU Council reached agreement on a new defence R&D programme worth €7.9 billion on Monday, giving the EU more firepower to reduce a longstanding reliance on US military technology. As of next year, the fund will place the EU among the top three defence research and technology investors in Europe, with the European Commission starting implementation of the programme in January 2021…
“The new defence fund is part of a broader strategy by the EU to flex its geopolitical influence in the world and to cover gaps in EU’s defence system left uncovered by the US…”
Who Will Succeed Merkel?
Project Syndicate wrote on December 11:
“Within the next few weeks, the CDU will hold its 33rd party convention, and choose a new leader. Whoever it is will most likely be anointed as the CDU’s candidate for chancellor when Merkel steps down…
“The three men vying for the party’s top job are not household names abroad. The first (going in alphabetical order) is Armin Laschet, the minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia and a longtime party workhorse whose charisma does not match his competence. Next is Friedrich Merz, who led the CDU caucus in the Bundestag two decades ago, until he was driven out by Merkel as she prepared her own run to the top. After slinking off to the private sector and making oodles of money, he is pushing for a comeback. The third contender is Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He served a brief stint as environment minister under Merkel until she fired her then-fair-haired boy.
“Laschet is Merkel’s unspoken favorite, if only because the other two have accounts to settle with ‘Mutti’ (mom), whose path to power is strewn with the corpses of not-so-steely rivals…There is no real front-runner…
“Throughout the first half of the twentieth century – from Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Führer – Germany was… a political volcano, and a deadly threat to its neighborhood. Today… Germany [does not] have a Donald Trump on the scene…
“In addition to the three declared CDU contenders, there are two dark horses who, instead of going the conventional route – first chairman, then candidate chancellor – are playing a waiting game. Maybe the party will get bored with the trio of Laschet, Merz, and Röttgen, and will want somebody who is in the public eye daily. One is Minister of Health Jens Spahn, a hard-working politico who, thanks to COVID-19, is constantly in the news. The other is CSU leader Markus Söder, a man of burning ambition who tirelessly works the interview and talk-show circuit…”
None of these five candidates is good news for Germany.
Merkel is Playing Hardball
Breitbart wrote on December 14:
“Germany’s Angela Merkel has rejected Boris Johnson’s pleas for face-to-face talks to help secure an 11th-hour Brexit deal, with a source saying she is ‘determined to make Britain crawl across broken glass’ for an agreement.
“Boris Johnson has been trying desperately for a breakthrough, flying to Brussels to talk directly to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and offering to do the same for high-profile national leaders such as Chancellor Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron. He has gotten nowhere, however, with the Brussels talks producing nothing and Merkel and Macron both declining to meet with him…
“Talks have stalled in large part over the EU’s refusal to agree a deal if Britain does not agree to so-called ‘level playing field’ rules — in essence, continued submission to EU regulations, as interpreted by EU judges, but without even the often inconsequential input the British were afforded as EU members — and continued EU control over Britain’s national fisheries.
“While even European Economic Area (EEA) members Norway and Iceland are allowed to control their own territorial waters, the EU is reluctant to give up its longstanding and profitable jurisdiction over Britain’s fisheries, having assigned the lion’s share of them to other EU members for decades — destroying tens of thousands of British fishing industry jobs and more than halving the national fishing fleet.
“This hardline position comes despite Britain having already made a number of huge concessions to the EU, including an agreement to pay a massive multi-billion divorce settlement to the bloc and allowing it to exercise continued control over swathes of Northern Ireland’s state aid and regulatory policies, in exchange for virtually nothing in return.”
Prophecy says that Britain will try to get help from Germany, but won’t get it.
War over Fishing Rights?
The Daily Mail wrote on December 11:
“Four Royal Navy vessels will be dispatched to Britain’s territorial waters if a trade deal is not agreed with the EU. Armed with cannon and machine guns, they will patrol the English Channel and Irish Sea to stop illegal fishing. In a dramatic ratcheting-up of No Deal contingency planning, Wildcat and Merlin helicopters are also being placed on standby to help with coastal surveillance. And military personnel have been seconded to the Joint Maritime Security Centre to help deal with any clashes in fishing grounds. The naval ships could even be ordered to impound rogue French fishing vessels. The potential deployment evokes memories of the Cod Wars of the 1970s. At times the Royal Navy stopped Icelandic boats interfering with British trawlers…
“Norway yesterday said it might close its fishing waters to European and British vessels from January 1. Oslo concluded a bilateral agreement with Britain in October but first wants this to be part of a trilateral deal with the EU… European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen… insisted that European boats had a ‘legitimate expectation’ to maintain access to British waters as they have done for ‘decades, and, sometimes, centuries’.”
The Sun wrote on December 14:
“French fishermen have vowed to blockade Dover and Calais if there’s a No Deal Brexit – and warned it could lead to ‘warlike’ tensions in the Channel. Trawlermen said they would respond to being shut out of UK waters by stopping ferries carrying vital goods from entering major ports. And they said Britain’s threat to send gunboats in and to repel foreign vessels would mean that ‘we are negotiating things that relate to war’.
“Dimitri Rogoff, president of Normandy’s regional fisheries committee, said that will lead to Dutch, Belgian and German ships piling into French waters… There will therefore be blockages to ferries, since this mainly happens by ferries… the UK has decided to leave but from there to sending warships, it’s unimaginable.’”
A prelude to the prophesied war between the UK and the EU?
Hard Lockdown in Germany
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 13:
“Germany is to impose new coronavirus curbs from Wednesday… On Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that most stores would shut from Wednesday, along with schools and day care centers… The decision is set to cause a major disruption for retailers, the education system and the public in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays…
“All nonessential shops and services will close until January 10, including hairdressers. Schools are urged to send students home and continue lessons online, as well as extend the winter break until January 10. Day care centers will also close, but parents will be able to take paid holidays in order to look after their children. Employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home. People will not be allowed to drink alcohol in public. Religious events in churches, synagogues and mosques may take place if they follow hygiene rules [including social distancing and wearing masks throughout the service], but communal singing is not allowed.
“States still plan to ease stricter contact restrictions for December 24 to 26 so that close family members can spend Christmas together — a household may, during this time, invite up to four adults from other households but only from the immediate family, plus any number of children under 14. People may not purchase fireworks for New Year’s Eve.
“The chancellor also recommended that families who are planning to meet up should isolate for a week beforehand to be safe…. Hans Brandt, a DW reported in Berlin, explained the relevance of the speedy decision that the government and heads of Germany’s 16 states made. ‘It was somewhat surprising that they agreed so quickly,’ Brandt said. ‘The whole meeting took just over an hour…’”
Bild Online added that the new restrictions might last a lot longer than just January 10 (The German government has lied about deadlines before). It was even suggested by a spokesperson of the government that it was very unlikely that the measures will be lifted by the end of January at all. The mass tabloid Bild also stated that the government is partially to be blamed for the disaster, also because of stirring up paranoia while neglecting older people and placing them in house arrest, rather than helping them. It was also pointed out that Health Minister Jens Spahn lied on September 1 when he said that based on what we know now, no small shops or stores would have been closed, and it will not happen again, but now, all the small stores will be completely closed.
In other words, German politicians are destroying small businesses on an unparalleled scale. At the same time, the government prohibited the filing of applications for bankruptcy, at least until the end of January (MSN, dated December 14.). In addition, Bild Online listed in a related article (“The Broken Corona-Promises of Politics”) four more broken promises of the German government. Bild asked: “Are the politicians acting against better knowledge?”
The German government recommended NOT going to church, but to watch services online (Breitbart, December 14). The left-wing German paper, Der Tagesspiegel, wrote on December 14 that church services should be PROHIBITED, as they are contributing to the spread of the pandemic. The ironic conclusion of the article is: “Would Jesus have wanted that many were to assemble on His birthday and take the risk of contracting and passing on a dangerous virus? To ask the question means, to know the answer already.” Ironic, because Christmas has nothing to do with Christ’s birthday, and even a left-wing paper like Der Tagesspiegel should know that.
What is Really Behind Germany’s Anti-Lockdown Demonstrations?
Breitbart reported on December 11:
“Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), has claimed… that the Querdenker (Lateral Thinker) group have ‘intensified escalation potential’ but also noted that many small anti-lockdown protests have been largely peaceful, despite a small number of attacks on police and media at some of the more well-attended events. According to a report by Deutsche Welle, members of the Querdenker movement in Baden-Württemberg are under observation after the region’s interior minister Thomas Strobel announced the move earlier this week on Wednesday. Beate Bube, the head of the region’s intelligence agency, alleged that the anti-lockdown group’s members were ‘opposed to the peaceful democratic order.’
“Other regions have come out against the movement as well, such as Lower Saxony, whose Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said: ‘From within the movement, legitimate protest against coronavirus measures has developed into an attack on the state and democracy.’ North Rhine-Westphalia’s Herbert Reul, meanwhile, claimed the members of the Querdenker were becoming ‘increasingly violent.’
“Last month, supporters of the group entered the German parliament and confronted several MPs over the coronavirus lockdown following a large demonstration in Berlin. Several politicians blamed the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and said members of the party had smuggled in the activists.
“Violence against Querdenker members has also been seen in recent weeks, particularly from Antifa counter-protesters in various cities across the country. In November, police in Frankfurt were forced to use water cannons to disperse the far-left extremists who denounced the Querdenker movement as ‘Nazi propaganda.’ In Leipzig, Antifa members brutally attacked Querdenker members, with 15-20 black-clad extremists surrounding and beating two men, stomping and kicking their heads. Police were forced to fire a warning shot in order to disperse them, and the Leipzig police far-left extremism task force launched an investigation to identify the Antifa attackers.”
Who, then, are the real violent troublemakers? “Querdenker” members or far-left extremists like “Antifa.” And why are German governmental politicians so desperate in their attempt to control and silence those who are concerned about draconian restrictive measures, such as a new lockdown?
Allergic Reaction to Coronavirus Vaccination
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 11:
“It wasn’t even two days before authorities in the UK issued a warning: People with significant allergies should avoid getting vaccinated against COVID-19 for now… especially if they experienced an anaphylactic shock in the past. That’s what scientists call a significant allergic reaction to food, medicines or vaccines. Anaphylactic shock is a serious bodily reaction that can be life-threatening. It is the strongest known form of an allergic reaction and considered an absolute medical emergency…
“Irrespective of an individual’s allergy history, people with allergies will not get the vaccine for now [in the UK]. That’s especially the case for people who carry an adrenalin ‘autoinjector’ pen…”
That should ring some alarm bells. Even Dr. Fauci advised “caution” against taking the vaccine if one has a history of allergic reactions.
In Germany, vaccinations are supposed to be voluntary. However, some governmental leaders are already speaking of mandatory vaccinations for those who are at risk, including doctors and nurses. Otherwise, they might lose their jobs (Focus, December 13). Others debate mandatory vaccinations for the military, or they criticize the lack of enthusiasm by medical personnel for vaccinations (Der Spiegel, dated December 14).
How Radical Jewish Spiritual “Authorities” View Vaccinations against Coronavirus
The Jerusalem Post wrote on December 13:
“Anyone who refuses to take the coronavirus vaccine should be hit with limited social sanctions as a result, Tzohar Center for Jewish Ethics director Rabbi Yuval Cherlow said in a statement. The sanctions proposed by Cherlow, who is a leading ethicist in Israel, would consist of keeping people from frequenting business establishments like retailers and public transportation. Businesses, he explained, should be allowed to ask customers for proof that they’ve been vaccinated, and public transport and flights have an ethical obligation to turn away those who haven’t been vaccinated… ‘The ethical question becomes when the decision people make for themselves impacts on others – in this case increasing the risk for widespread infection by refusing to vaccinate,’ Cherlow explained. ‘We cannot allow certain people who disregard the overwhelming science in support of widespread vaccination to impact the fate of the population at large.’…
“Many in Israel and abroad have expressed hesitance in getting vaccinated, should one become available, some of whom also refuse to take vaccines in general. For many who are hesitant only towards a COVID-19 vaccine, this appears to be due to fears that the vaccine is too new and rushed, rather than being tried and tested… For those against vaccines entirely (also known as anti-vaxxers), however, this is due to a belief… about the dangers of vaccines, along with wide distrust for authority.”
Israel 365 News wrote on December 13:
“Rabbi Pinchas Levin, a prominent rabbinic scholar, recently published his Halachic (Torah law) opinion concerning the recently available vaccine against COVID-19: ‘To all who adhere to guidance from HaShem,’ Rabbi Levin wrote. ‘In the near future, our Government agencies will authorize the usage of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Our entire Government believes this is a good thing. The only argument is if they will make the vaccine mandatory for the entire population or voluntary… We hereby inform you that this belief is contrary to the instructions of our Torah… The only time a vaccine is permitted and maybe even obligated is if it’s necessary to prevent an illness to the person, and not to possibly prevent it from spreading to others… in the case of the coronavirus vaccine the prohibition is absolute according to all opinions. There is no room for leniency….
“The rabbi delineated two distinct reasons for ruling against taking the vaccine:
“1) There is no need for a vaccine. There are many ways to prevent and cure this virus naturally or with safe medications and vitamins.
“2) The virus is not dangerous for the overwhelming majority of the population. For them, the sin of inserting toxins into the body remains. For the minority of high-risk patients who would otherwise be permitted to do a damaging procedure to possibly save their lives, there is no safe vaccine, as the trials to prove the vaccine to be safe are only being done on healthy people.
“Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, posted on Facebook his Halachic opinion that people should get vaccinated: ‘This is a very serious issue and many lives depend on it,’ Rabbi Eliyahu said… ‘A lot of people approached me following my call to use vaccines and told me about the risk of vaccines in general and the risk of the coronavirus vaccine. I listened to them closely. They brought me a lot of material to read about the risk of vaccines. I read about people who died after getting the vaccine. I read about people who got sick after vaccines,’ the rabbi wrote. ‘After all this, I tell everyone to take vaccines. Those harmed by vaccines are very few and it is not at all certain that they died because of the vaccine…’
“Rabbi Halperin… is a recognized authority on medical ethics. ‘Simply put, my opinion is that… people should get vaccinated… the dangers must be weighed against each other: what is the danger of taking the vaccine compared to not taking the vaccine. Currently, the authorities have reported very minimal dangers and the side effects are minimum. There is a great chance of being infected. Therefore, even though it is halachically forbidden to actively do something which endangers your life, but since the chance of this happening from a vaccine is minimal, it is permitted to be vaccinated. And since the benefit may be saving your life, it is even recommended.’…
“‘If it is true that an unvaccinated person can endanger the public and if it is true that there is no danger in getting vaccinated, then the public, that is the government in a democracy, can force or demand that everyone be vaccinated. Religion in general and Judaism in particular highlights how our physical and spiritual well-being is intermingled. We are dependent upon and responsible for each other. This vaccine is the modern-day answer to Cain’s question of, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to this question weighs the freedom of the individual over the needs of others,’ Rabbi Halperin concluded.’
With this mind-boggling confusion and twisting of the Holy Scriptures, it is no surprise that God is very angry with Judah’s religious and spiritual “leaders”. The same goes for Christian religious leaders.
Forced Vaccinations in Israel?
Israel Today wrote on December 14:
“The pandemic started not too long ago, and we already have an authorized vaccine in our hands… a vaccine normally takes about 10 years to develop, with the 1st research stage taking between 2-5 years, pre-clinical development of 2 years, a 3-phase clinical development that takes about 5 years, regulatory review of 1-2 years, and finally manufacturing and delivery… People are understandably cautious, if not suspicious…
“In case something does happen, the drugmakers won’t be able to be held accountable, as the law protects vaccine manufacturers from design-defect charges as long as they can prove that the vaccine was properly manufactured and carried adequate warnings labels…
“23% of Israelis will agree to be inoculated, 26% would like to wait several months, 20% will wait for others to get jabbed first, and 22% said they would flat out refuse the drug. The Ministry of Health doesn’t view these numbers favorably. In a meeting held with the epidemic treatment team, they examined the possibility of enacting a law that would require the public to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while preparing a program of procedural and legal incentives for the public who choose to be inoculated.
“Among the possible restrictions that could be imposed on those who refuse the vaccine: Will be denied a certificate enabling freedom of movement, especially flying abroad; Will be required to quarantine upon return from abroad; May not enter cinemas or other cultural establishments; Will be denied entry to hotels; Will not be permitted use of gyms or entry to sporting events…
“Our health is not something to be trifled with, yet the trends that follow us from the inception of the pandemic are increasingly alarming: banning worship and prayer at our synagogues and churches; tracking our phones; lockdowns specifically on biblical Feasts, etc.
“All of this allegedly for the sake of the safety of the citizens, while at the same time the politicians who impose it on us fail to follow their own recommendations and instructions. We can fight a common-sense fight against COVID-19, but it cannot come at the expense of our God-given freedoms.”
Sadly, this is exactly what is happening… and it will only get worse.
US Bishops “Clarify” Church Doctrine on Covid Vaccination
Vatican News reported on December 15:
“… the US Bishops have decided to further clarify the Church’s position regarding vaccines that have some connection to cell lines originating from aborted foetuses, reminding that since the beginning of the pandemic it has advocated for the development of a vaccine that has no link to abortion.
“Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities reiterate that, given the urgency of the crisis, ‘the lack of available alternative vaccines, and the fact that the connection between an abortion that occurred decades ago and receiving a vaccine produced today is remote, inoculation with the new COVID-19 vaccines in these circumstances can be morally justified’…
“According to the US Bishops, although all the three vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca now available in the US have some connection to cell lines connected to aborted foetuses, their use would be morally justifiable in consideration of the present circumstances. These are: the lack, at present, of an available alternative vaccine ‘that has absolutely no connection to abortion’, the serious risk to public health and, most importantly, the need to protect the more vulnerable from the disease.
“With regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the US Bishops note that it is ‘more morally compromised’ than the other two, and therefore ‘should be avoided’ if there are alternatives available. However, if ‘one does not really have a choice of vaccine, at least, not without a lengthy delay in immunization that may have serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others’, they state that ‘it would be permissible’ to accept it.”
Vaccinations and Testing
CLI wrote on December 3:
“…a majority of vaccine candidates did not use abortion-derived cell lines in their production. Several used abortion-derived cell lines in laboratory testing, or their use in testing could not be determined.
“CLI’s expert scientific analysis finds that many leading vaccine candidates supported by Operation Warp Speed do not use abortion-derived cell lines in their production. This is encouraging news. Unfortunately, some vaccine developers have unnecessarily put American families in a difficult position by choosing to use controversial human fetal cell lines in production or testing, or by a lack of transparency. Many developers already opt to use animal cell lines, non-fetal human cells, yeast, or chicken eggs instead. We urge all developers to avail themselves of these options going forward. Doing so will reduce vaccine hesitancy for those who oppose the use of fetal cell lines, thereby increasing the public health impact of the vaccine.
“CLI will continue to provide the public with access to timely and accurate information so that individuals and families can weigh all factors – including secular science and religious traditions – and make vaccine decisions in line with their conscience.”
Get Your Digital Vaccine Passport!
BBC News wrote on December 4:
“There is… growing interest in how people can prove they have been vaccinated… Quite soon, millions of people will have been vaccinated, and they may want a simple way to show they no longer pose a threat of infection. Some businesses may even demand it.
“The Australian airline Qantas has suggested it may need to see an ‘immunity passport’ before passengers are allowed on board. The UK government has suggested it may look at making vaccination records a feature of the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app in England and Wales…
“Professor Deborah Dunn-Walters, chair of the British Society for Immunology… worries about the implications of only letting people into places such as pubs or restaurants on the condition that they have such an app…
“Dr Ana Beduschi, an associate professor of law at the University of Exeter… has been researching immunity passports and says they present legal problems…
“In addition, Prof Dunn-Walters says it’s too early to talk about vaccination passports when there are still things we don’t know about the vaccine. ‘We have evidence that having a vaccine would protect me, but not necessarily that it would protect my family or anybody else I come into contact with,’ she explains…
“Dr Beduschi argues that freedom of association, as well as privacy, would be imperilled if the authorities decided only people with immunity passports could use public transport or attend churches, for example.”
However, in this climate of propaganda and paranoia, we can foresee that courts will uphold the violation of individual rights “for the greater good.”
Pope Pleads for World Authority
Democracy without Borders wrote on December 11:
“… the pope brings to the fore [in his latest encyclical letter, ‘Fratelli tutti’] a new ethics for international relations. It is stated that a new global political order is to be established based on the principles of subsidiarity, rule of law and a renewed trust in international cooperation… Pope Francis’ call to reform global governance and for the establishment of a ‘world authority’ confirms the priority that world federalism is to be given…
“A common denominator can… be found in the secular notion of ‘global citizenship’, which is conceptually promoted in pope Francis’ encyclical…
“Building a global community is also an international responsibility of states, says pope Francis.. The pontiff recalls that successful prototypes can be found in the European Union and many other regional integration models… He delves into more details in the following paragraphs: ‘… When we talk about the possibility of some form of world authority regulated by law, we need not necessarily think of a personal authority. Still, such an authority ought at least to promote more effective world organizations…’
“While the notion of ‘personal authority’ used by pope Francis is unclear, the promotion of a rules-based international order, secured by the executive power of a world authority entrusted with instruments of international sanctions is crystal-clear… In its original Spanish version, the pontiff uses the expression of ‘global legislation’ as a synonym for ‘governance’ when defining the best possible instruments for tackling global issues…
“The call for a ‘world authority’ included in this latest encyclical has firm roots in catholic social teaching… it was put forward before in the encyclicals ‘Laudato Si’ of pope Francis in 2015, in ‘Caritas in veritate’ by Benedict XVI in 2009 or in ‘Populorum progressio’ of Paul VI in 1967, among others.”
A godly world authority will come when Christ returns to this earth to establish the Kingdom and Government of God at the beginning of the Millennium, but not before then. All other attempts would be Satanic counterfeits, as “envisioned” before, when, for example, Hitler proclaimed his short-lasting “One Thousand Year Reich” (“das Tausendjaehrige Reich”).
New Rule for Plenary Indulgence
In addition to our eight-part series on indulgences in our Q&As, here is an additional novelty.
Catholic News Agency wrote on December 10:
“Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to Catholics celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at home this Saturday. Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes… explained that in order to receive the indulgence — which the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as ‘a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven’ — Catholics must fulfill certain conditions.
“First, they must prepare a home altar or other place of prayer in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Second, they must view a livestreamed or televised Mass from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Dec. 12 ‘with devotion and with exclusive attention to the Eucharist. Third, they must meet the three usual conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence — sacramental confession, the reception of Holy Communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions — once it is possible to do so…
“Up [to] 15 million pilgrims normally visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the first two weeks of December. But Church authorities decided to cancel this year’s pilgrimage because of the pandemic… The feast day commemorates the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Catholicism, in 1531. The apparition and its miraculous Marian image led to mass conversions of native American communities to Catholicism. Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has continued for native communities, Mexicans, and across the Americas and the world.
“Concluding his letter, Aguiar said: ‘Let us allow Our Lady to visit us in our homes this year. Let us open our doors to her and lift up our hearts so that she may bless us and cover us with her mantle. May Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Mother, St. Mary of Guadalupe, continue to accompany us and bless us on this painful journey for all the people of God who wander in our archdiocese and throughout the world.’”
Inviting “Our Lady” into our homes? Since this “Lady” was NOT Mary, the mother of Christ, who died and is still in her grave, awaiting her resurrection from the dead to eternal life together with all Christians who have died, this deceitful “apparition” with its “miraculous Marian image,” if it ever occurred, would have been clearly demonic.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
Why Does the Day of Atonement Never Occur on Friday or a Sunday?
For members of the Church of God who have been attending services for many years, they may recall that they have never observed the Day of Atonement on a Friday or a Sunday. It does not matter whether they attended the Worldwide Church of God, the Global Church of God, the Church of the Eternal God, or most other Church of God fellowships. In fact, in examining a calendar listing dates between 1845 and 2072, the Day of Atonement has not and will not occur on a Friday or a Sunday in any of these years.
This may seem strange seeing how, in our Gregorian calendar, a fixed date can occur on any day of the week. And, in fact, with a solar-lunar calendar, a fixed date would normally be expected to occur on any day of the week. And yet it does not. This is a feature of God’s sacred calendar, of which the basics will be described below.
At the time of the exodus, God informed Moses and Aaron in which month the year was to begin (Exodus 12:1-2). Remember that each month in a solar-lunar calendar begins approximately on the new moon. This is basically at the conjunction of the earth, moon and sun, when they are aligned. At this time the moon is not visible, as the moon is directly between the earth and the sun. In calendar terms, this is called a Molad, meaning birth.
Further on in Exodus chapter 12, God also established His Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. Early after they left Egypt, God revealed through Moses to the people on which day was His Sabbath rest (Exodus 16:23). In the book of Leviticus, chapter 23, God listed all of His Holy Days in order and He commanded them to be kept as a statute forever.
Now for us to be able to observe this beginning of the year, the Sabbath and these Holy Days today, someone had to preserve when they were to occur for future generations. Otherwise there would be no possible way to know from the Bible which days to observe in obeying God. Therefore, a calendar had to exist and to be preserved.
To begin to answer the question asked at the beginning, we need to acknowledge who God has chosen to preserve His calendar. We can read in Romans 3:1-2; “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.” According to Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, “Unto them were committed – Or were intrusted, were confided. The word translated ‘were committed,’ is what is commonly employed to express ‘faith’ or ‘confidence’ and it implied ‘confidence’ in them on the part of God in intrusting His oracles to them, a confidence which was not misplaced, for no people ever guarded a sacred trust or deposit with more fidelity than the Jews did the sacred scriptures.” Romans 3:3-4 reminds us that even if some Jews did not believe, God would still be true and would have His oracles preserved.
As we should realize, the oracles also include the calendar, and no one else in the world has preserved God’s sacred calendar like the Jews have. Unless the Jews had preserved God’s calendar, we would not be able to obey God by keeping His Holy Days because we would not know when to correctly observe them. After all, the Bible does not inform us of how many days are in each month, which years have thirteen months or exactly when the year should start. The Bible does not even inform us of which day is God’s Holy Sabbath.
In our Q&A, titled, “Why do you use the current Hebrew Calendar for establishing the dates of God’s annual Holy Days?” we explain in detail why the Church of God has decided more than 70 years ago that we must follow the Hebrew calendar in order to be able to observe the weekly and annual Holy Days at their proper times.
This calendar that the Jews have the responsibility for preserving, has a number of features and it is calculated around the Feast of Trumpets each year, named by the Jews as Rosh Hashana. In the calendar calculations, it is called the Molad of Tishri. As stated above, it is calculated approximately at the time of the new moon or Molad with certain modifications and delays (called Postponements).
The first and obvious modification is due to the fact that twelve lunar months are shorter than twelve solar months by approximately 11 days. In order to ensure the Passover falls in its correct season each year, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed by one month seven times every nineteen years. So, in a nineteen-year time cycle, twelve years have twelve months and seven years have thirteen months. The years with thirteen months are the third, sixth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth years in the nineteen-year cycle. The Hebrew term for these years translates into English as “Pregnant Years” as opposed to the western calendar term leap years.
Adding this extra month does not affect, on which day of the week Holy Days occur, but it was necessary to ensure that there was enough barley to be harvested so that the required wave sheaf offering could be presented (Leviticus 23:10-11). (See below.) However, there are four other postponements which do affect, on which day of the week Holy Days occur. These four postponements are concerning other calendar rules regarding the time of day of the Molad of Tishri, the permitted starting days for the year and the minimum and maximum number of days of each year.
The first postponement logically to be considered is the time of day of the occurrence of the Molad of Tishri. If it were to occur at noon or later, the Feast of Trumpets is to be postponed to the next day. Traditionally, this postponement was considered necessary to ensure the visibility of the New Moon on the Feast of Trumpets. However, this postponement sometimes could result in the Feast of Trumpets occurring on a day of the week that the second postponement does not allow. If this were to happen the Feast of Trumpets is to be postponed a second day.
The second postponement logically to be considered requires that if the Molad of Tishri were to fall on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, then the Feast of Trumpets is to be postponed to the next day. This rule was for ritual convenience. Excluding Wednesday and Friday is to prevent the Day of Atonement from occurring on either side of the Sabbath. If this were to happen it would be ritually inconvenient with regard to the burial of a corpse of a person who died on the Day of Atonement before the Sabbath or died on the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. Excluding Sunday is to prevent the need for a ceremony of beating willow branches on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles from occurring on the Sabbath. (While we do not partake of this practice, the Jews who maintain the calendar have added this requirement, even though they do not fully understand why it is done now).
Of course, these ritual considerations alone would not be a compelling reason for us to follow the Jewish “lead.” (The same would be true for the sometimes false counting of Pentecost by mainstream Judaism today, which leads them to keep Pentecost at times on a wrong date. See our Q&A. Another example would be their false observance of Passover, see below.) In fact, nothing would prohibit us today from conducting a funeral on the Day of Atonement, if there is no other option. (This has happened in the Church of God in the past.) However, there are further considerations regarding the postponement affecting the Day of Atonement, which are compelling for us. We point out in our Q&A, “Can you explain some of the peculiarities of the Hebrew Calendar?”:
“When the new moon (more accurately, the ‘Molad’ or ‘birth’; that is, when the moon is directly between earth and sun and it is therefore invisible) occurs on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday, the Feast of Trumpets is postponed to the following day. The reason is that the Day of Atonement [which is to be kept 9 days after the Feast of Trumpets, on the tenth day of the month] should not occur on the day before or after the weekly Sabbath, and the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles should not occur on a weekly Sabbath, as it is followed by an annual Sabbath—the Last Great Day.
“In his article, ‘The Hebrew Calendar—Authoritative for God’s Church Today,’ Dr. Herman L. Hoeh wrote:
“‘Why do God’s festivals fall when they do? Have we ever asked why… the fast of the Day of Atonement does not occur on Friday or Sunday? Or why the seventh day of the Festival of Tabernacles does not fall on the weekly Sabbath—but the eighth day commonly does?… If Atonement were to fall on Friday, housewives would have to prepare food for the weekly Sabbath on a Thursday…
“‘Hillel II realized that … the Day of Atonement should not fall on Friday, the preparation day of the Sabbath. The rule, therefore, is that if the new moon of a seventh month could occur on a Wednesday (beginning the previous evening), that day is not to be declared the new moon. It is to be postponed. But the day following is to be declared the new moon… that is, a Thursday (beginning the previous evening) is the first day of the seventh month. That Thursday is consequently the Feast of Trumpets… and the Day of Atonement, which is the 10th day of the month, falls in such a year on the weekly Sabbath.’”
The third postponement is to ensure that twelve-month years never have 356 days as those years are only allowed to have 353, 354 or 355 days.
The fourth postponement is to ensure that thirteen-month years never have 382 days as those years are only allowed to have 383, 384 or 385 days.
Therefore, from these modifications and postponements, it can be seen that the sacred calendar is quite complicated. When the mathematics required to perform the calculations are taken into account, it becomes even more complicated. We know that at the time of Christ, an extra month had to be added from time to time to ensure the Passover was celebrated in its correct season. We state in our above-mentioned Q&A, quoting from an article by Raymond F. McNair:
“… in order to be able to offer the ‘wave sheaf’ (Hebr. Omer) of ripened barley during the Days of Unleavened Bread, it was sometimes mandatory that the high priest in ancient Israel postpone the beginning of Nisan 1 by a whole month… the Feast of Unleavened Bread [must] fall in the spring (thereby necessitating certain one-month postponements to the beginning of the sacred year). There is no record of Christ and His disciples objecting to the calendar or instituting a different one.”
When Christ walked on the earth, He observed the existing calendar that the Jews had preserved till then. He may not have interpreted it in the same manner they did and in some cases with the strictness that they did, but He observed the same Holy Days. One obvious example of Him interpreting their practices differently is that He kept the Passover on the beginning of the fourteenth day of the first month, whereas the Pharisees in Jerusalem kept it at the end of the day into the beginning of the fifteenth day (John 18:28). However, the Sadducees kept it at the right day, and they sacrificed the lamb at the beginning of the 14th day of Nisan, as prescribed in the Bible, unlike the Pharisees who did so at the end of the 14th. As we follow the Bible, the Church of God keeps Passover on the beginning of the 14th day, even though most Jews don’t today.
Please see our Q&As, “Why does the Church of God keep the annual Passover one day earlier than the Jews?” and “Why was the religious establishment usually at odds with Jesus?” (Part 2). There, we say: “Jesus recognized that the Sadducees were in charge of the Temple service, and that they were correct in their understanding as to when to sacrifice the Passover lamb. While they did so at the beginning of the 14th of Nisan, the Pharisees sacrificed it one day too late, at the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th of Nisan. Most Jews follow today the wrong lead of the Pharisees and keep the Passover one day too late, by confusing it with the Night to Be Much Observed.”
It is believed that in the Old Testament, the priests used observation and calculation to determine when the new moons were to occur. We can notice from some of the events mentioned that it was known in advance when the next new moon would occur. In 1 Samuel 20:5, David knew the next day would be the new moon, which obviously had to be calculated rather than observed.
This was satisfactory while there was a priesthood and Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, but with the scattering of the Jews into many countries, and the prohibition by the Romans preventing the Sanhedrin from meeting or disseminating Jewish information, Patriarch Hillel II in 358 A.D. publicised the system of calendar calculations so the Jews everywhere in the world could observe the same Holy Days without any confusion. His calendar calculations are still being used by the Jews all over the world and therefore by most members of God’s Church to this day. They are expected to continue to be used unless a properly constituted Sanhedrin is established and they see a genuine need for a revision.
Therefore, the answer to the question posed at the beginning of this Q&A is this: Because the Jews, and only they, have God’s authority to preserve His Sacred calendar, and they have determined that the Day of Atonement will not occur on a Friday or a Sunday, we also do not observe it on either of those two days.
Lead Writers: Paul Niehoff (Australia) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
Pastor Rene Messier informed us that he baptized Donald Briard from Saint-Jerome, Quebec, during the past week. Our warm welcome to Mr. Briard!
Europe’s Attack on Religious Freedom and the Coming Great Tribulation,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
This program addresses another European attack on religious freedom, this time mainly directed at Jews and Muslims, but with wide-ranging consequences for all religions, including true and nominal Christianity. We talk about the permission granted by Europe’s highest court to prohibit ritual slaughter of animals, but the implication of the decision is not limited to that aspect, but it is much broader and much more frightening. It also sets the stage for prophesied events leading to the terrible Great Tribulation described in the Bible.
“Warum verurteilt die Bibel die Sklaverei nicht ausdrücklich?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: Why Doesn’t the Bible Condemn Slavery Explicitly?”
“Fürchte Dich nicht!” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Robert Kintzi. Title in English: “Do Not Be Afraid!”
We received the following comments from a viewer of our StandingWatch program, “Should You Get Vaccinated Against Coronavirus?”
“Thank you for the videos, we and several others have been watching them regularly. We need our shepherds issuing warnings and trying to protect the flock. So thank you for the effort you put into these. My husband and I grew up in WCG. Things are progressing now at such speed, everyday new developments and further alignments are occurring. It’s hard to keep up with everything. What a blessing to know God’s truth!”
Another viewer wrote:
“You’re StandingWatch programs, booklets and the services that the Church gives us on [the] Sabbath have opened up my heart to the words of the Bible and God’s law”.
Another viewer wrote:
“I want to thank you for your continuing dedication to His truth and I pray that you will be protected and upheld by His mighty angels. Thank you for your continuing presentation of the truth! By the way you are right Pres. Trump did win; it just needs a little ‘adjusting’ for it to be ‘official.’ But I wonder if all those who think he is their ‘savior’ will be glad after they see what is in store for them… “
“Are We Afraid of the Truth or Opposing Viewpoints?” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Here are some of the topics discussed in this presentation: The Hunter Biden scandal; the Supreme Court’s denial to hear the Texas case because of “lack of standing”; the attack on free speech; and the German government’s fight against opponents of Coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns. What do all of these topics have in common?
“What’s Right in Their Eyes,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Scripture introduces us to the concept of right and wrong—what is based on God’s Word and what isn’t. Oftentimes the Bible captures stories of what was happening so many years ago. Do those stories we read about have anything to do with the time we find ourselves living in at this juncture of history? Are we guilty of choosing wrong over right? Can we discern if we are or if we are not?
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
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom