December 25, 2020
Finding Hope / The Futility of Anger
On December 26, 2020, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “Finding Hope,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Futility of Anger.”
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.
Keeping Unspotted from this Corrupt Lying World
by Norbert Link
When this Editorial is published, many are celebrating the lie of Christmas. The professing Christian world has embraced the Christmas story, allegedly in memory of the birth of Christ, while that holiday is pagan to the core and has nothing to do with our Savior. An “alternate” narrative of fake news has suppressed the Truth for almost 2,000 years and replaced it with human fairy tales inspired by Satan, thereby creating an alternate “reality.” But it is all nothing but a fanciful and harmful illusion.
We have witnessed another fanciful and harmful illusion—in fact, many of them—in the year 2020. If there was one development of events which had a common denominator and stood out more than any other, it would have been the role of the mass media, in conjunction with certain politicians and experts, in a combined effort to suppress and set aside the Truth, while publishing and propagating false and alternate narratives and fake-news “realities.”
Just think of governmental restrictions and lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic, based many times on inflated figures of test results and “cases.” Much has been reported about the inaccuracies of the numbers, and you can read many articles in our weekly Updates quoting such information. The tragedy is, the mass media ignored the facts and engaged in a war against those who dared to disagree with the “official” opinions of Dr. Fauci and other “experts,” thereby allowing mainly left-wing state governments to engage in repeated lockdowns, while destroying the livelihood of small business owners and others and causing much more physical and mental harm to grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren than the coronavirus did or could have done.
You might also want to think of the mass media’s and the left-wing politicians’ treatment of violent demonstrations by, among others, the Antifa and Black Lives Matter movements, in combination with the attempt to destroy or rewrite America’s history and smash monuments of historical figures. If these events were reported at all, they were explained as legitimate expressions of concerns about racial discrimination, while those who pointed out the hypocrisy and racism on the part of violent demonstrators and their supporters were maligned and persecuted.
It should also not be surprising, of course, to realize that the presidential elections were rigged and stolen, according to the view of most Trump voters and many others. The mass media and many Democrats and anti-Trump groups have been trying desperately to suppress the evidence for such belief, even falsely alleging that claims of voter fraud and irregularities were baseless and without proof. This might backfire, as nearly 77% of Trump voters and over 35% of Independents and Democrats believe that the election was indeed stolen.
Long before Joe Biden became president-elect, as determined by the Electoral College in December, he was already referred to as such in the mass media, even though this was clearly premature and legally untenable. Worse yet, the mass media, being in cahoots with many Democrats, intentionally and willfully suppressed the Hunter Biden scandal until after the election, fearing that otherwise, their candidate would not win. They might have been right with that “concern.” It is telling that fifty-six percent of Americans believe it is likely Joe Biden was consulted and perhaps profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business deals, while fifty-two percent believe many news organizations ignored the Hunter Biden story to aid his father’s presidential campaign. In addition, according to one poll, seventeen percent of Biden voters said they would not have voted for him had they known what the national media refused to report. In another poll, at least 9.4 percent of Biden voters would have changed their vote if they had known about the Hunter Biden scandal. Many Americans who had already cast ballots in early voting unsuccessfully sought to change their votes after learning of the Hunter Biden emails.
Joe Biden has steadfastly refused to comment on his son’s alleged misconduct, except to say that he was totally uninformed about what his son was doing; that he did not obtain any financial benefits from his son’s conduct; that he trusts his son; and that he does not believe that his son did anything wrong. And that even though the evidence is mounting that all of these statements are dubious at best and false at worst. This got me thinking of God’s instructions in regard to the parent-child relationship; especially since Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic who claims to attend church every week.
There are many biblical examples of parents having been too negligent and permissive regarding their children’s unrighteous behavior. Eli knew about the corrupt conduct of his sons, but he did not prevent them from continuing in their service at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25). A man of God told him that he honored his sons more than God (verse 29). Samuel did not correct his corrupt sons either, but let them continue in their ungodly behavior (1 Samuel 8:1-3). The same is true for David who did not rebuke his rebellious son Adonijah at any time (2 Samuel 23:5; 1 Kings 1:5-6). In every case, the consequences were disastrous.
It may be easy and convenient, as parents, to look the other way when it comes to their children, but this must not be done. We must follow God in everything, and we must love Him and His Word more than anyone or anything else, including our own mate, our families, our parents and our children, our friends, and even our own lives (Matthew 10:37-38; Luke 14:26). In Old Testament times, parents were asked not to tolerate the ungodly conduct of their unrepentant rebellious children. Rather, they had to show their disapproval, when called upon to do so (Deuteronomy 13:6-10; 21:18-21). The principle of physical or at least spiritual separation, if need be, still applies today, and it also applies, of course, to the children’s reaction towards the unrighteous behavior of their parents.
We are living in a thoroughly corrupt society, where anything goes. Every lie, every abomination is accepted and many times even propagated, while the truth is “fallen on the street” and “fails” (Isaiah 59:9-15). As true Christians, we cannot change society, realizing that this evil rotten world is Satan’s, not God’s. We should not expect to find righteousness where Satan governs, but we can and must pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His Government to be restored on this earth, while keeping ourselves unspotted from the world with its rulers, politicians and experts (James 1:27). And we must NEVER ever begin to justify and embrace the wrong ideas they stand for, nor tolerate and imitate their evil and corrupt actions.
by Norbert Link
We begin with reporting on the top European Court’s highly controversial 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 continue with reports on the appalling “coronavirus relief bill” adopted by a thoroughly corrupt Congress; and the frustration of many Americans regarding dictatorial corona measures by hypocritical state governors leading to the destruction of especially small businesses and a growing will to resist.
We speak on a massive hacking attack on US companies and governmental agencies; the growing military cooperation between China and Russia; Donald Trump’s ongoing challenge of the accuracy of the outcome of the presidential election; the troubles of Joe Biden; the fight for and against abortion; and the shaky relationship between the UK and the USA.
We address the announcement of a Brexit deal, due to Boris Johnson’s alleged spineless willingness to compromise; point out numerous and diverse issues connected with coronavirus vaccinations; attempts to bring about “reconciliation” between the Catholic and the Protestant Lutheran churches; the collapse of the Israeli government (again); speak on the Third Temple; and address the isolation of the UK and travel bans, due to an alleged “dangerous” mutation of the coronavirus.
We address discussions about Europe’s intervention in Ethiopia; the Catholic Church’s criticism of Europe’s restrictions of religious freedom; religious persecution of the wife of a Christian minister in Finland; and the concerted efforts of more than 300 religious leaders to fight conversion therapies.
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
“A Disastrous Decision”
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 18:
“The European Union’s top court has deemed kosher and halal slaughter incompatible with animal welfare. This is a grim day for religious freedom in Europe…
“As European societies grow progressively secular, more and more people take offense to certain religious practices. This pertains to certain rituals, religious needs and sensitivities… Now, the ECJ has spoken on the matter. This is a very sad, indeed fateful, day for religious freedom in Europe.
“And by the way: Do not stress the absolute primacy of animal welfare and turn a blind eye to Europe’s meat industry. Consulting the figures quickly shows that kosher and halal slaughter are a marginal issue compared to any one of the continent’s meat processing plants, where livestock are pumped full of chemicals, industrially killed and processed…
According to Times of Israel, dated December 18, “Israel’s foreign ministry lashed out at the verdict as ‘sending a harsh message to all European Jewry. Beyond the fact that this decision harms the freedom of worship and religion in Europe, a core value of the EU, it also signals to Jewish communities that the Jewish way of life is unwanted in Europe,’ the ministry said in a statement.”
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) wrote on December 18:
“Hungary’s deputy prime minister called Thursday’s ruling by the European Union’s highest court in favor of banning kosher slaughter a ‘disgrace… to the religious freedom and security of the European Jewish community and is yet one more sign of the total collapse of our traditional Judeo-Christian value system’…
“In Western Europe, liberals and right-wing nationalists have united over the past few years to oppose the ritual slaughter of animals and the circumcision of boys. Liberal circles cite animal and child welfare concerns, while nationalists perceive the customs foreign imports that need to be limited to mitigate the perceived effects of the arrival of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent years.
“Jews have strict laws to make the slaughter of animals as quick and painless [as] possible, requiring a trained professional slaughterer and extremely sharp and large knives, among other requirements… the ruling by the EU court… is likely to encourage other European courts to enact similar bans…”
Europe will soon begin a systematic persecution of Jews “and all those who keep the Sabbath,” to quote Martin Luther’s terminology when he advocated war against them.
Another Disgrace… Congress’ appalling “Coronavirus Relief” Bill
Breitbart wrote on December 22:
“President Donald Trump demanded Tuesday that Congress amend the coronavirus rescue package and government funding bill before sending it to his desk. The massive 5,593-page bill was passed by both the House and the Senate on Monday night but immediately drew criticism for only sending $600 of direct aid to each American… ‘I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000, or $4000 for a couple,’ he said. The also president lamented that the bill also failed to provide substantial aid to restaurants and small businesses.
“Trump berated members of Congress for failing to even read the massive bill before passing it quickly in the last hours before the Christmas holiday. ‘It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,’ he said. He criticized the billions appropriated for aid to countries like Cambodia, Burma, Egypt, countries in Central America, and even $25 million for ‘democracy and gender programs’ in Pakistan. The president also ridiculed the bill for including $40 million for the Kennedy Center, $1 billion for the Smithsonian, and $154 for the National Gallery of Art.
“‘Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries and lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,’ Trump said… ‘I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me and we will get it done,’ he concluded.”
After months and months of “negotiations,” to pass such a bill is appalling. Only very few members of Congress had the guts to object to and not to approve this bill. Shame on the rest who approved without having even read it.
Americans in Revolt
Reason wrote on December 16:
“Evidence from around the country shows that many Americans are thoroughly sick of impoverishing, socially isolating lockdown orders, and are revolting against the often-hypocritical politicians who issue them…
“From coast to coast, businesses and individuals are ignoring restrictive rules that threaten their livelihoods, stifle social contact, and threaten to strangle the necessary interactions of everyday life… On the West Coast, many restaurants also open their door to customers despite state orders to the contrary…
“The city council in Solvang, a tourism-fueled community in Santa Barbara County, recently voted to ignore shutdown orders that threaten locals’ livelihoods…
“None of this should be a surprise. Small businesses have taken it in the teeth from restrictions that cut them off from customers and cash… many of them closing permanently. Restaurants… have been especially hard hit…
“Politicians actively fanned the flames of resistance with their ‘rules are only for the little people’ flouting of their own orders. Amidst a flurry of high-profile examples, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s expensive gathering with other officials at The French Laundry stands out for its arrogance…
“In distress and after due consideration, many Americans have decided that they shouldn’t comply. Individually and in organized groups, often with the support of their communities, people are pushing back against lockdown orders that they find more threatening than COVID-19. Mayor de Blasio, Cuomo, and their colleagues near and far may loudly announce new restrictions on life, but they’re going to find ever-shrinking ranks willing to listen.”
Many Americans who are facing personal ruin and destruction, will not tolerate governmental Corona measures and restrictions for much longer.
Defiance to Newsom’s Lockdown Orders in San Diego
The following sections describe the sad events happening in San Diego, reflecting what is occurring in much of the country.
NBC San Diego wrote on December 17:
“Thursday afternoon, a San Diego judge held a last-minute hearing to clarify a bombshell court order allowing strip clubs, strip clubs that serve food, and thus restaurants to reopen [thereby overruling and nullifying Gov. Newsom’s lockdown order]…”
Fox 5 San Diego wrote on December 18:
“A California appeals court [from the Fourth District Court of Appeals, District One] on Friday blocked a judge’s order allowing San Diego County restaurants to resume indoor and outdoor dining, keeping Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home edict in full effect. A three-judge panel’s brief order gave no explanation and came almost immediately after the state asked for emergency intervention…”
What is happening in California is appalling. A recall effort is underway to depose Emperor Newsom, due to his perceived incompetence and ongoing hypocrisy, and it will have to be seen whether it is going to be successful.1,5 million votes are needed, and by now, half of the votes have been obtained. In 2003, Gray Davis was recalled and Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced him.
CBS 8 wrote on December 20:
“Restaurant owners in San Diego are still pushing back against this week’s court ruling that shut them down again. The on again, off again shut-down of restaurants has frustration levels running high in San Diego County. More and more restaurant owners said they won’t shut down despite the public health order…
“Dozens of people came out in North Park on Saturday to show their support for struggling restaurant owners who want to stay open… the rally was held so more restaurant owners can know how to stand up for themselves… [One restaurant owner] said police have already given her a citation and San Diego County has issued a cease & desist order. She said she’s hired a lawyer and will continue to remain open.”
Do they really have another choice if they want to stay alive? Note the next articles.
Government, not Coronavirus, Is Killing Small Business
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on December 21:“A video of a confrontation between Ventura County, California health officials and restaurant owner Anton Van Happen has gone viral. The health officials were ordering Mr. Van Happen to close his business because he allegedly violated California’s ban on outdoor dining. Mr. Van Happen asked the health officials if the government will pay his employees and his rent while his business is indefinitely closed.
“Mr. Van Happen is hardly the only small business owner worried about how to pay bills during the lockdowns. Many small businesses operate on a narrow profit margin, so being forced to ‘temporarily’ shut down or limit the number of customers they can serve is a virtual death sentence. The lockdowns have already caused as many as 200,000 small businesses to permanently close. Lockdowns, by shrinking the number of employers, lead to long-term unemployment or lower wages for many workers.
“While governments have terrorized small businesses, they have typically deemed the big chain stores ‘essential businesses’ so they can remain open. The lockdowns are thus another government policy that gives big businesses a competitive advantage over their smaller competitors. The benefits big businesses get from the lockdowns — including fewer competitors, more customers, and a job market with more workers competing for fewer jobs — may explain why many big businesses are not fighting the lockdowns… Sadly, even many progressives are unquestioningly parroting the Covid propaganda and demonizing those who dissent…
“Resistance to Covid tyranny is growing as more people figure out that lockdowns and mandates are both unnecessary and harmful. This resistance was largely started by small business owners faced with a choice between obeying the government or making sure they, and their employees, can feed their families. Small business owners have been leaders in recent anti-lockdown protests across America.
“Eventually the resistance will grow to the point where the politicians will be forced to either double down on authoritarianism or admit the lockdowns were a mistake. Either way, those of us who know the truth must resist the Covid tyranny until government officials no longer terrorize small businesses for the crime of serving willing consumers.”
Mandates all about Submission
Breitbart wrote on December 20:
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News on Saturday that mask mandates — ostensibly issued for public health purposes — ‘are all about submission’…
“‘…nobody can eat in a restaurant, there’s no science behind any of that. Middle seat missing on the airplane, you really think you’re like 12 inches from the other guy instead of six inches, it really makes a difference? None of it really makes any sense, and there’s no epidemiological evidence… If Fauci has his way, you’ll never give up on the mask… It’s all about submission. They want you to submit to their will…’”
Breitbart wrote on December 19:
“Jonathan Philip Chadwick Sumption, who still serves on the Supplementary Panel of Britain’s top court,… questioned the moral and practical basis for [a] lockdown… ‘A policy that only works by suppressing our humanity is unlikely to work at all. Life is risky. A policy that seeks to eliminate risk ends up trying to eliminate life. We have to re-examine the whole concept that governments can simply turn social existence on and off at will, treating us as passive instruments of state policy.’”
True, but what governmental leaders are listening?
Worst Hacking in US History?
Times of Israel and The Associated Press wrote on December 18:
“US officials suspect a massive hacking operation that hit numerous government agencies and has been linked to Russia breached networks tied to the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile… The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said… that the intrusion had compromised federal agencies as well as ‘critical infrastructure’ in a sophisticated attack that was hard to detect and will be difficult to undo…
“CISA directed all civilian agencies of the federal government to remove SolarWinds [software] from their servers. The cybersecurity agencies of Britain and Ireland issued similar alerts…
“[A] US official… said the hack was severe and extremely damaging… ‘This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America,’ the official said. ‘They got into everything.’ The official said the administration is working on the assumption that most, if not all, government agencies were compromised but the extent of the damage was not yet known.
“The intentions of the perpetrators appear to be espionage and gathering valuable information rather than destruction… Members of Congress said they feared that taxpayers’ personal information could have been exposed because the IRS is part of Treasury, which used SolarWinds software.”
Trump Disputes Severity
Sputnik News reported on December 19:
“The extent of the hacking attack on US companies and entities is far less severe than mass media picture it to be, US President Donald Trump said on Saturday on his Twitter account… Trump berated media outlets for excluding China’s potential involvement in the attack, which, he believes, might be the case…”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disagrees. Before Trump spoke out on Twitter, Fox News reported on December 19 about Pompeo’s statements on Friday:
“Pompeo says Russia was ‘pretty clearly’ behind the gravest cyberattack against the United States on record, the first administration official to publicly tie the Kremlin to the widespread intrusion.”
Close Military Ties between Russia and China
The Associated Press reported on December 22:
“Russian and Chinese bombers flew a joint patrol mission over the Western Pacific Tuesday in a show of increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing… The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the joint mission was intended to ‘develop and deepen the comprehensive Russia-China partnership, further increase the level of cooperation between the two militaries, expand their ability for joint action and strengthen strategic stability.’…
“It follows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement in October that the idea of a future Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out — a signal of deepening military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions in their relations with the United States… Putin also noted in October that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China that helped significantly bolster its defense capability.”
According to prophecy, a huge, powerful and hostile military alliance between Russia, China and other Far Eastern countries will form.
Big Wild Protest on January 6?
Fox News wrote on December 19:
“President Trump on Saturday promised a ‘wild’ protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, as he continued to deny that he lost the election. ‘Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,’ he tweeted. ‘Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!’ Jan. 6 is the day Congress will meet to accept the presidential election results…
‘Some Trump allies have planned to call for a debate in the House when the election results are received. However,… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked his Republican colleagues in the Senate not to contest the election results on Jan. 6, when a joint session of Congress formally accepts the count… A majority of both chambers of Congress (including the Democratic-controlled House) would be needed to upend the election results.
“Meanwhile, Trump has been critical of those in his party who have accepted Biden’s victory. After McConnell recognized Biden as president-elect in a Tuesday speech on the floor of the Senate, Trump responded by calling on him and other Republicans to ‘get tougher.’… ‘Republican Senators have to get tougher, or you won’t have a Republican Party anymore. We won the Presidential Election, by a lot. FIGHT FOR IT. Don’t let them take it away!’ Trump charged on Twitter.”
What’s going on with McConnell and the Republican Party? Are they trying to commit suicide?
Trump: Biden “Won” through “Monstrous Fraud”
Newsmax wrote on December 23:
“President Donald Trump Tuesday night released a 14-minute long video through Facebook declaring the election had been stolen from him in favor of Joe Biden because of ‘monstrous fraud.’… Trump said he was leading by ‘several hundreds of thousands of votes’ by midnight on election night, but that soon disappeared. He said that he was ahead in several key battleground states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and Biden would not have been able to catch up to him. ‘Then suddenly everything started to disappear, everything started to change,’ said Trump, adding that he was starting to get calls from leaders congratulating him. ‘The vote-counting abruptly stopped in multiple states.’
“By the next morning, the states were starting to swing the other way, said Trump. For example, he said that at 6:31 a.m., Michigan had a sudden boost of votes that went more than 90% for Biden, and soon after that, other states started reporting that the former vice president was winning. ‘These gigantic and ridiculously one-sided spikes were miraculously just enough to push Joe Biden into the lead in all of the key swing states,’ Trump said. ‘These glaring anomalies are just the tip of the iceberg.’
“He also said that in individual states:
“Pennsylvania broke state law by suspending signature verification requirements. Michigan’s Democrat secretary of state ‘illegally flooded the state with absentee ballot applications’ even though Michigan law strictly limits the distribution of absentee ballots. Wisconsin’s Democrat cities deployed over 500 unmanned, unsecured ballot drop boxes. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger started processing ballots ‘weeks before Election Day’ and also ‘destroyed the signature verification systems in violation of the law.’ Absentee ballot rejection rates proved that ‘hundreds of thousands of illegitimate ballots’ had been counted in key states, which was ‘sufficient to change the election results all in their own.’ ‘The same phenomena occurred in Pennsylvania and other states,’ he said. ‘They were accepting all of these ballots, many of which were absolutely illegal.’
“The rejection rates for ballots in most states, he added, were ‘magically’ the lowest they had been. ‘The only possible explanation is that tens of thousands of ballots were unlawfully processed … hundreds and hundreds of witnesses have come forward to testify under penalty of perjury about the cheating and fraud they saw with their own eyes.’
“He also mentioned video showing security camera footage from Georgia ‘that shows officials telling poll watchers to leave the room before pulling suitcases of ballots out from under the tables and continuing to count for hours.’”
As we have pointed out throughout our reporting, evidence for claims of voter fraud and voter “irregularities” seems to be very convincing.
Franklin Graham: The Election Was Stolen
Newsmax added on December 19:
“Franklin Graham said Saturday that President Donald Trump has been right on many issues about how he has been treated during his presidency, and when he says the election was rigged or stolen, ‘I tend to believe him.’ ‘The President has been maligned, falsely accused, and attacked on every front since before the election in 2016,’ Graham posted on his Facebook page…
“Graham commented that in 2016, when Trump told Americans the government was spying on him, ‘the media said that he was paranoid.’ ‘The Obama administration and the Democrats said that this was an absolute lie and that Donald Trump was not fit to be president, only for us to find out later that the U.S. government did spy on Donald Trump, and what he had said was in fact true,’ said Graham.
“Then, for the next two years, Trump was under investigation for collusion with the Russians, but even though he said there was no collusion, ‘the media and the Democrats’ said there was. ‘After an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it turned out to be false — there was no collusion,’ said Graham. ‘President Trump was right again. Then the Democrats impeached him over a phone call.’
“He concluded his message by asking for prayers for Trump, Joe Biden, and the nation ‘that we will get through this, and for God’s will to be done.’”
Amen to that.
Pat Robertson: Trump Should give Up and Move On
Mediaite wrote on December 21:
“Pat Robertson thinks that President Donald Trump is being ‘erratic’ and needs to move on from his ‘alternate reality’ about the election. Yes, that Pat Robertson… Back in October, Robertson said God told him Trump would win… before adding, ‘It’s going to lead to civil unrest, and then a war against Israel and so forth.’… But on Monday… after The 700 Club aired a report about Trump considering a 2024 run, Robertson… added Trump shouldn’t run in 2024, saying such a move would be a ‘mistake’…
“Earlier on in the program, Robertson acknowledged Biden’s victory…”
We wonder (not really) whether God “told” him that too…
“With a ‘Little’ Help from His Friends…” Joe Biden in Trouble
Newsmax reported on December 18:
“Fifty-six percent of Americans believe it is likely Joe Biden was consulted and perhaps profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business deals, including at least one involving a company in mainland China, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports… 52% believe many news organizations ignored the Hunter Biden story to aid his father’s presidential campaign.”
“It was reported that according to a poll, “one of every six Biden voters (17%) said they would not have voted for him had they known the facts about several of the news stories the national media refused to investigate thoroughly because they might have hurt his candidacy. Had one of six voters not voted for Biden in the swing states, or voted for Trump instead, the election would have turned out differently.
“The survey showed that 45.1% of Biden voters were unaware of the financial scandals of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and how Hunter’s business had been wrapped up in Biden’s work in foreign affairs while vice president under President Barack Obama. It further showed 35.4% of Biden voters were unaware of his former aide Tara Reade’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her on Capitol Hill in the 1990s, and 25.3% of his voters didn’t know that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, Biden’s vice presidential running mate, was ranked America’s most ‘progressive’ senator in 2019” (Chattanooga Times Free Press, dated November 26, 2020).
Another poll indicated that Biden would have lost the presidential race if the mainstream news media hadn’t covered up stories about alleged scandals involving the former vice president… For instance, 35.4 percent of those voting for him admitted their news sources didn’t report on the Hunter Biden scandal. If they had known about it, 9.4 percent of them would have changed their vote. That could have moved six of the swing states into the Trump column, giving him a decisive 311 electoral votes…Studies by the Media Research Center show the mainstream news media’s reporting about Trump has been more than 90 percent negative his entire presidency and consistently failed to cover his administration’s accomplishments” (Sky 21 sand CBN, dated November 21).
The Fight for and against Abortion—“Biden-Harris-Becerra: The Unholy Abortion Trinity”
Israel 365 wrote on December 21:
“On Wednesday, President Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that it will be enacting a measure withholding $200 million in Medicaid funding from California in the first quarter of 2021 due to the state’s requirement that state insurance companies provide abortion insurance coverage. Azar threatened to continue to penalize the state $200 million for every quarter it does not comply…
“This comes in the wake of a decision by the department’s Office of Civil Rights in January that California’s requirement that state-regulated health plans cover abortions discriminated ‘against health care plans and issuers that did, or would otherwise, limit or exclude abortion coverage in their plan products.’… the decision to bypass the federal regulations was carried out under the attorney generalcy of Kamala Harris, the current Democratic candidate for Vice President. Harris is a strong advocate for abortion…
“California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom lashed out at President Trump…
“Many pundits have challenged Azar’s threat to continue penalizing California for non-compliance, suggesting that the Trump administration may not remain in office. If this dire reality materializes, it is unlikely that California will be forced to comply as Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, announced Xavier Becerra as his candidate for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Becerra served as Harris’s assistant, eventually replacing her as California Attorney General…”
The problem is, in withholding Medicaid funding, Californians in the program are penalized who are opposed to abortion.
Biden Would Not Sign US-UK Deal
Express wrote on December 18:
“JOE BIDEN has dashed hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and US when he succeeds Donald Trump in January… the former vice-president has said he will adopt a similar ‘America First’ policy as Mr Trump and will ‘fight like hell’ to invest in US firms and employees… Biden, who served as second in command during the Barack Obama administration, has previously made his anti-Brexit views known…
“But, on Thursday, the UK was given an unexpected boost after Donald Trump’s trade representative confirmed he is in talks with the UK over an agreement before the 45th US President leaves office next month. The Department for International Trade has already confirmed post-Brexit trade deals have been secured with 58 countries – including Canada, Japan and Mexico. The agreements are worth £198billion and covers 96 percent of non-EU trade.”
A Brexit Deal? Did Johnson Cave in?
Express wrote on December 23:
“France has boasted Britain has made significant concessions over fishing in Brexit trade talks over the past two days with a trade deal between the UK and European Union reported to be on the verge of being agreed. The French official, who declined to be named, told Reuters: ‘The British have made huge concessions in the negotiations in the past 48 hours.’ The insider also warned that on fishing in particular, the latest position from the UK was ‘far’ from the three-year access to British waters and 80 percent reduction in quotas offered by London a week ago. Fisheries has proved to be a major stumbling block in post-Brexit trade deal talks as the end of the transition period approaches on December 31.
“The Prime Minister has vowed to take back control of the UK’s 200 nautical mile coastline and it is thought this would involve cutting EU access by up to 60 percent over a three-year period. But, with just days to go in negotiations, reports suggested the UK had caved in on this and offered to reduce the amount of fish EU fishermen can catch by around a third over the next five years. The prospect of handing large swathes of fish back to EU vessels has been condemned by UK fishing group Fishing for Leave who branded the proposal ‘abysmal’.”
Subsequently, on December 24, it was announced that a deal was reached. The details are sketchy, and while every side claims victory, reality might be different. It has already emerged that the British fisheries are unhappy.
Newsmax commented on December 24:
“While the last-minute deal prevents the most acrimonious ending to the saga on Jan. 1, the United Kingdom is set for a much more distant relationship with its biggest trade partner than almost anyone expected at the time of the 2016 referendum… Without the collective might of the EU, the United Kingdom will stand largely alone…”
Sky News wrote on December 24:
“The deal will be judged by the public on a broad set of criteria.
“Does this deal satisfy everyone who voted to leave the European Union in the referendum on 23 June 2016?
“Does the British public think it gives the nation the freedom to do things it could not do as members of the EU?
“Does it cause businesses and individuals difficulties in their dealings with the EU, or have sensible compromises been found?
“How easy will it be to live, work and deal with people across the Channel and the Irish Sea?
“These questions are simply not possible to answer today. Britain has begun a journey away from the EU and this is only the first step.
“The detail of the deal has not been seen, only the slogans have.
“Only once businesses are forced to follow its strictures and courts interpret its meaning, when it comes into force on 1 January, will the deal start to have an impact.
“And only then can we truly know how good a deal it is.”
Negative Reaction to Corona Vaccination
Breitbart wrote on December 16:
“A health worker in Alaska experienced a ‘serious reaction’ and was subsequently hospitalized after receiving a dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine… The worker had ‘no history of drug allergies,’ the [New York] Times reported…
“This month, Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) confirmed that it was providing ‘resuscitation facilities’ in vaccination centers following reports of two individuals experiencing anaphylactic reactions after receiving the vaccine. However, the two health care workers reportedly had histories of allergic reactions. ‘Resuscitation facilities should be available at all times for all vaccinations. Vaccination should only be carried out in facilities where resuscitation measures are available’” the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said, offering ‘precautionary advice.’”
Some local hospitals have halted vaccinations due to allergic reactions of patients.
Censuring “Phony Claims” against Vaccinations
The Times of Israel wrote on December 20:
“As Israel kicked off its mass inoculation drive on Sunday, state prosecutors warned that the distribution of false material about the vaccine could amount to a criminal offense as it was announced that Facebook deleted dozens of posts containing falsehoods about the inoculation… Additionally, four groups were removed from Facebook for propagating false information about vaccinations, prosecutors said…
“Posts that fall afoul of the policy could include phony claims about vaccine safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects… Twitter said last week that it will begin removing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations from its site. It listed among posts that will [be] removed as those including false claims that the virus is not real, debunked claims about the effects of receiving the vaccine and baseless claims that suggest that immunizations are used to harm or control people.
“Health Minister Yuli Edelstein… last week criticized Israelis who spread fake news and unverified claims about coronavirus vaccines, saying it could cause people to die if they take their advice and refuse to vaccinate.”
The question is, what is the exact nature of so-called phony claims?
Reluctance to Take Vaccines in Muslim Communities
The Associated Press reported on December 20:
“As companies race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and countries scramble to secure doses, questions about the use of pork products — banned by some religious groups — has raised concerns about the possibility of disrupted immunization campaigns.
“Pork-derived gelatin has been widely used as a stabilizer to ensure vaccines remain safe and effective during storage and transport. Some companies have worked for years to develop pork-free vaccines: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has produced a pork-free meningitis vaccine, while Saudi- and Malaysia-based AJ Pharma is currently working on one of their own. But demand, existing supply chains, cost and the shorter shelf life of vaccines not containing porcine gelatin means the ingredient is likely to continue to be used in a majority of vaccines for years, said Dr. Salman Waqar, general secretary of the British Islamic Medical Association.
“Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines. But limited supply and preexisting deals worth millions of dollars with other companies means that some countries with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, will receive vaccines that have not yet been certified to be gelatin-free. This presents a dilemma for religious communities, including Orthodox Jews and Muslims, where the consumption of pork products is deemed religiously unclean, and how the ban is applied to medicine, he said.
“‘There’s a difference of opinion amongst Islamic scholars as to whether you take something like pork gelatin and make it undergo a rigorous chemical transformation,’ Waqar said. ‘Is that still considered to be religiously impure for you to take?’ The majority consensus from past debates over pork gelatin use in vaccines is that it is permissible under Islamic law… There’s a similar assessment by a broad consensus of religious leaders in the Orthodox Jewish community as well. ‘According to the Jewish law, the prohibition on eating pork or using pork is only forbidden when it’s a natural way of eating it,’ said Rabbi David Stav, chairman of Tzohar, a rabbinical organization in Israel. If ‘it’s injected into the body, not (eaten) through the mouth,’ then there is ‘no prohibition and no problem, especially when we are concerned about sicknesses,’ he said.
“Yet there have been dissenting opinions on the issue — some with serious health consequences for Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, some 225 million. In 2018, the Indonesian Ulema Council, the Muslim clerical body that issues certifications that a product is halal, or permissible under Islamic law, decreed that the measles and rubella vaccines were ‘haram,’ or unlawful, because of the gelatin. Religious and community leaders began to urge parents to not allow their children to be vaccinated… A decree was later issued by the Muslim clerical body saying it was permissible to receive the vaccine… In Malaysia, where the halal status of vaccines has been identified as the biggest issue among Muslim parents, stricter laws have been enacted so that parents must vaccinate their children or face fines and jail time. In Pakistan, where there has been waning vaccine confidence for religious and political reasons, parents have been jailed for refusing to vaccinate their children against polio… In Indonesia, the government has already said it will include the Muslim clerical body in the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and certification process.”
Please note our Q&A on the issue addressed in the above-quoted article, titled, “Does it violate the Biblical injunction against consumption of unclean meat to use medicines, vitamins and mineral supplements derived from unclean animals? Is it a violation to use gelatin products, which might be derived from parts of unclean animals?”
Vatican: OK to Get Vaccination
The Associated Press wrote on December 21:
“The Vatican on Monday declared that it is ‘morally acceptable’ for Roman Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses, guidance that came after some churchmen in the United States argued that such products were immoral… The doctrinal office pointed out that bishops, Catholic groups and experts have offered ‘diverse and sometimes conflicting pronouncements’ on the matter…
“The Vatican concluded that ‘it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses’ in the research and production process when ‘ethically irreproachable’ vaccines aren’t available to the public… The Vatican didn’t name any of the COVID-19 vaccines already being given to people in some countries or authorized to be used soon…
“The Vatican… noted that ‘health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated.’ Given such circumstances, it is morally acceptable to receive vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses, the Vatican said. The Vatican said the COVID-19 vaccines that are getting rolled out or are expected to be soon used cell lines ‘drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century.’…
“The Roman Catholic church’s doctrinal orthodoxy office said ‘vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation’ and must be voluntary. Still, it said, from an ethical point of view, ‘the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health but also on the duty to pursue the common good.’”
So, that settles it????
Philstar wrote on December 23:
“Pope Francis is being asked to lift the excommunication of Martin Luther and thus seal Catholic-Lutheran reconciliation. Cleansing the legacy of the 16th-century reformer would remove a major block to Christian unity, influential ecumenical thinkers say. A papal initiative shall be reciprocated by Lutheran leaders. Other Protestant churches will be motivated into deeper talks for communion.
“Harsh words exchanged in the wake of Luther’s schism 500 years ago need to be taken back. That will cap 50 years of efforts at Catholic-Lutheran mending… A date is suggested for the historic restoration: Jan. 3, 2021… On that day five centuries ago, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther… Four years earlier the German monk had nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Wittenberg church door. Aided by newly invented printing, the schism spread fast across Christian Europe.
“By June 1520 Leo X issued a bull ‘condemning, reprobating and rejecting completely’ 41 of Luther’s theses. He called them ‘errors… either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth.’…
“Luther reaffirmed his declarations and added, ‘Whoever wrote that bull, he is Antichrist.’… he and fellow-reformer Philip Melancthon burned a copy of the bull and other papal documents. Expulsion followed… Leo X censured Luther as a ‘misguided,’ ‘debased,’ ‘depraved,’ ‘damnable …heretic.’ Persecutions and wars ensued as monarchs and nobles took sides.
“Rescinding the excommunication would delete such descriptions… the Lutheran World Federation [is being urged] to revoke Luther’s condemnation of the pope as ‘Antichrist.’”
That figures. If the Pope of the Mother church is “Antichrist,” what then happens to the daughter churches? (See Revelation 17).
Israel’s Government Collapses
CNN wrote on December 22:
“The Israeli government collapsed on Tuesday… after the country’s parliament failed to meet a deadline for passage of the 2020 and 2021 budgets. Israel will now head to its fourth elections in two years probably on March 23 next year. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his erstwhile coalition partner, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, sought to blame one another for the collapse of their seven-month-old government…
“After three inconclusive elections, and with the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic underway, Gantz agreed to join Netanyahu in April, in what was described as an ‘emergency’ coalition government – even though he’d campaigned on a platform that ruled out sitting with the Prime Minister while he faced corruption charges.
“Under the deal, the prime ministership would have been rotated between the two party leaders: Netanyahu would serve first, and then give way to Gantz after 18 months. The only loophole in the complicated deal was if lawmakers failed to agree to a budget before Tuesday’s midnight deadline — a failure that has now come to pass…
“Opinion polls suggest Netanyahu’s Likud party is again on track to win the most Knesset seats in the next election…”
Trump, Johnson and Netanyahu seem to be in serious difficulties. But we have not heard the latest from these three individuals.
Getting Closer to the Third Temple?
Israel 365 wrote on December 20:
“Israel’s coalition chair and lawmaker (Likud) Amit Halevi lit Chanukah candles on Tuesday outside of the Temple Mount. Halevi then entered the holy site and recalled how Matityahu of the Hasmonean Dynasty ‘illuminated our light.’ … Members of Knesset… are not allowed on the site without the Prime Minister’s explicit approval which means that Halevi had to have gotten the green light from PM Benjamin Netanyahu to ascend the mount…
“Halevi was impressed with the changes taking place on the Temple Mount and said that step-by-step, Israel is getting closer to the Temple… Halevi is a member of the Levite tribe…
“Excited to enter the Temple Mount, Halevi quoted Zechariah: ‘Does anyone scorn a day of small beginnings?’ (Zechariah 4:10). He also said that he is there to ‘strengthen the Temple, the House of Prayer.’ He then called on Israel to strengthen the light of the Temple and the light of God.”
A third temple will be built soon…
Germany… Wake Up!
Deutsche Welle reported on December 19:
“Geneticist Wolfram Henn says those who turn down the new COVID-19 vaccine should carry a note also refusing intensive care treatment… [He said they] should not be able to access ventilators and other emergency measures if they become ill… ‘Whoever wants to refuse the vaccination outright, he should, please also always carry a document with the inscription: “I don’t want to be vaccinated!… I want to leave the protection against the disease to others! I want, if I get sick, to leave my intensive care bed and ventilator to others.’
“He also slammed conspiracy theorists and coronavirus deniers, saying that decisions should not be left to ‘lateral thinkers and vaccination opponents.’ …Germany has played host to a growing movement against coronavirus-related measures. Several large protests have been held in cities including the capital Berlin and eastern city of Leipzig. Last month, a protest in Leipzig drew over 20,000 participants.”
Henn also blamed vaccination opponents for the “damage” they cause for parents who stay at home with their children or for restaurant owners who cannot open their business or for the unemployed, according to Focus, December 19. Talking about twisted and perverted sick thinking! If this does not remind us of Nazi Germany’s propaganda and the despicable “Judenstern,” what does? Sadly, many Germans believed Hitler and Goering, and today, many Germans seem to believe the coronavirus propaganda demanding lockdowns, if polls are accurate [which they might not be].
Germany and other European Countries Ban All Flights from UK
Deutsche Welle reported on December 20:
“German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced Germany is ‘banning all passenger flights from the UK to Germany as of midnight.’ The decision comes after several European countries put a stop to all flights coming from the UK. ‘Tomorrow we plan to restrict all travel to GB (Great Britain) & South Africa with a government order in light of the reports over a mutation of the virus,’ Spahn tweeted. Berlin was taking this step due to ‘the reported mutation of the coronavirus,’ according to government spokeswoman Martina Fietz… The federal police also warned that people should only travel to the UK ‘if it is absolutely necessary.’
“The interior ministry has instructed federal police to systematically check travelers from the UK and South Africa, with immediate effect…”
Express wrote on December 21:
“Spain will ban all travellers from Britain except Spanish nationals and residents from entering the country from Tuesday… Controls at the border with Gibraltar… [will] be stepped up… the entry ban for non-residents had been coordinated with neighbouring Portugal… A number of European nations among others have shut off travel ties to Britain after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the new strain of the coronavirus was a danger to the country.”
That “danger” is not even medically supported. “Health officials said this new variant doesn’t appear to be deadlier…” (The Week, dated December 21). But the paranoia spreads, and the UK has become the sick man of Europe, being isolated by just about everybody. First, it was reported that the USA remained “Britain’s only friend” for not banning flights from the UK (The Sun, dated December 20), but now it is said that that decision is under consideration.
Over 40 countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East have restricted travel from the UK and in some cases, also travel from other countries that have documented cases with the variant (CNN, December 23).
Breitbart added on December 20:
“All may not be as it seems with respect to the travel bans, however, at least where France and the EU are concerned, with both anti-Brexit and pro-Brexit commentators indicating that it is really about damaging commerce in order to strong-arm the British into signing a disadvantageous trade agreement.”
Europe to Intervene in Ethiopia?
The European Council for Foreign Relations wrote on December 15:
“The recent war in Ethiopia may at first glance appear to be a short, sharp internal conflict with few implications for the Horn of Africa – or for Europe. But the war is far from over, and the risks it creates are spreading…
“The United States has all but confirmed that the Eritrean Army joined the military campaign on the side of the Ethiopian government. European countries’ diplomatic response to the crisis should focus on the destructive relationship between Eritrea’s participation in the war…
“Although European governments are considering whether to cut some of their aid to Ethiopia in response to these alleged crimes, their position on the political solution is less forceful. They are deferring to African leaders on the issue. But, given that the African Union will struggle to confront a member state as influential as Ethiopia, this deference is unlikely to help Europeans achieve their aims.
“Europe is currently the only actor that can bring the international community together on the conflict in Ethiopia… the AU and well-intentioned states on the Horn of Africa will need Europe’s political support if they are to help resolve the conflict.
“European leaders could begin to help by gathering the currently disparate international players in the region, with a view to fashioning a core group that can achieve progress towards a political solution. Europeans can help avert further conflict in Ethiopia – but they need to act now.”
The relationship between Europe and Ethiopia will be of prophetic relevance. Please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
European Bishops Criticize Europe’s Attack on Religious Freedom
Vatican News reported on December 20:
“The Bishops of the European Union… argue that proposed norms for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic interfere with freedom of religion and belief…
“The Bishops stress that the European Commission’s Document highlights the importance of ‘avoiding large services or using online, TV or radio broadcast, in case of ceremonies, […] and banning of communal singing.’ In response to this, the Bishops state that ‘while understanding the concern behind the recommendation, COMECE cannot support the method for which the EU institutions opted in providing such an orientation.’
“In their statement, the bishops reiterate the message addressed to the EU and Member States on behalf of all EU Bishops’ Conferences which stresses that ‘the respect for the freedom of religion of believers in full respect of sanitary requirements is a crucial element for the Church in many EU Member States during the current pandemic.’
“Finally, the statement reads that ‘non-binding EU recommendations on this matter, especially if taken without consulting with Churches and religious communities, may put at risk the efforts made in these recent months by EU Member States, together with local Churches and religious communities, to ensure that health measures are in place during celebrations, while avoiding violations of freedom of religion.’”
In the future, the ten kings of Revelation 17 who collaborate with the Church at first, will hate and participate in destroying it.
Persecution by Finland’s Government for Quoting the Bible
International Family News reported on December 14:
“Last Thursday it became known that the Prosecutor General of Finland Raja Toivieinen opened the fifth criminal case against the former Minister of the Interior of Finland (2011-2015), the former leader of the Finnish Christian Democrats Party (2004-2015) and the current MP Eduskunta (Finnish Parliament) from this party, Päivi Räsiänen. In three of the five criminal cases, Ms. Ryasyanen has already received an indictment and is awaiting trial. Päivi Räsianen is a doctor, wife of a Lutheran pastor and mother of five children. She’ll turn 61 this December… She is accused of… ‘hate speech.’ [She] quoted the Bible and called homosexual acts sinful…
“The problems of Räsianen started after the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, to which it belongs, became the official partner of the gay parade in June 2019. Rässianen wrote about it in Facebook, accompanying the news with a picture of the Bible, which was opened on the page with the following words: ‘Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity’ (Romans 1:24-27) and the question, ‘How can the faithful foundation of the church, the Bible, be combined with upward display as an object of pride in that which is ashamed and sinful?’
“After that, a criminal case was brought against Rässianen arose. Subsequently, four more were added to it, connected respectively with her participation in talk shows on radio, television, with the availability on the Internet of her booklet, written in 2004, entitled ‘Male and female he created them. Homosexual relations challenge the Christian understanding of the human being’… And finally, the fifth criminal case opened the other day was a response to a September post on her blog entitled: ‘The king is naked! Gay pride parade is not a human rights event’.
“Päivi Rässianen repeatedly stated that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are loved by God and valuable to Him, all are sinners and are called to repent for their sins. What’s threatening, slanderous or insulting about it? The police tried to close the case several times without finding anything criminal in the deputy’s words, but the prosecutor general demanded to continue the investigation.
“Rässianen says that she is not afraid of prison (she faces up to two years in prison on each of the five charges against her)… If the court finds her guilty, it will mean the beginning of large-scale state censorship… But… constant criminal charges, pre-trial investigations and interrogations by the police themselves, even without a conviction, in practice limit freedom of speech and conscience.
“With this example, we can see that the LGBT movement…, gaining power, becomes intolerant and begins to persecute anyone who disagrees with it…”
These are horrible developments in Europe, which are, sadly, not limited to Finland by any means.
Religious “Leaders” Agree on Prohibiting Conversion Therapy
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 18:
“More than 300 religious leaders have called for a worldwide clampdown on conversion therapy for LGBT+ people. ‘We recognize with sadness that certain religious teachings have often, throughout the ages, caused and continue to cause deep pain and offense to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex.’ This was a rare admission from members of the clergy… 370 interfaith religious leaders from around the world… came together this week for a conference calling for a global ban on the practice of ‘conversion therapy’ [which] is based on the belief that cisgender heterosexuality is the norm and anything else is an illness or abnormality — a belief that the World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected.
“Among the signatories to the declaration organized by the UK’s Ozanne Foundation were high-ranking representatives of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh faiths, including South African former archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, and England’s Bishop of Liverpool…
“[Under the leadership of openly gay Health Minister Jens Spahn,] Germany became the fifth country to introduce an outright ban on the practice for minors in 2020, following Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan and Malta as well as several US states and Canadian provinces… Bans have since been introduced in Albania, Switzerland and the Australian province of Victoria and have been proposed in many more countries, including France and the UK, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the practice as ‘abhorrent.’”
Who cares what the WHO, religious leaders and politicians believe? The Bible is clear that practicing homosexuality is an unnatural abomination.
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 Bible use wolves in the context of false doctrine?
On the National Geographic website, we read: “Wolves are the largest members of the dog family. Adaptable gray wolves are by far the most common and were once found all over the Northern Hemisphere. But wolves and humans have a long adversarial history. Though they almost never attack humans, wolves are considered one of the animal world’s most fearsome natural villains. They do attack domestic animals, and countless wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned because of this tendency.”
In Acts 20:28-30 we read: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”
Paul is here describing a flock, and shepherding, which means that the members of the Church of God whom the apostle was addressing were likened to sheep. Wolves are the enemy of sheep and sheep can be part of their diet. There are other Scriptures where this same analogy is used. In Matthew 7:15 we read: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
In Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, we read: “Which come to you in sheep’s clothing. The illustration implies something like the conception of the wolf disguising himself as a sheep in order to gain entrance into the fold.”
The Benson Commentary observes: “All those are false prophets who teach any other way than that which our Lord hath here marked out. Who come to you in sheep’s clothing — With a form of godliness and fair professions of love; but inwardly they are ravening wolves — Not feeding but destroying souls; feeding themselves by the destruction of the flock. ‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ says Doddridge, is ‘grown into a proverb for a wicked man that makes a great profession of religion, yet cannot dissemble so well as not to be discovered by attentive observation; which was just the character of the Pharisees in our Saviour’s days.’”
We know that the Church changed from apostolic Christianity to something entirely different within a relatively short period of time. In the book “A History of the True religion” by Dugger and Dodd, the following is written at the beginning of chapter 5 which reviews the church between 100 AD to 200 AD:
“The first century closed with the death of the last of the apostles and writers of the New Testament, the Apostle John. No sooner had the apostles and disciples, who had been with Jesus, fallen asleep, than a new order arose and a different class of writers began to pen religious epistles. Hurlbut says of this change, in his Story of the Christian Church:
“‘For fifty years after St. Paul’s life, a curtain hangs over the church, through which we vainly strive to look; and when at last it rises, about 129 A.D. with the writings of the earliest church-fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Peter and St. Paul’ (Page 41).”
In his editorial entitled “A Foundation to Endure” in our weekly Update No.724 dated 12th February 2016, Robb Harris stated that “Careless building techniques plague Christianity today, and have since deceit crept into the early New Testament church. Many of today’s most popular Christian leaders have built opulent church organizations and buildings with ever increasing growth. But all of these grand edifices invoking the name of God are built on lies and foundations conceived by man, not God.
“Christ spoke of those who falsely profess to know God because they refuse to heed His Word. ‘For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear’ (1 Corinthians 3:11-13). What man builds is based only on the physical, and physical cannot inherit the kingdom prepared for each of us (Matthew 25:34).”
The wolves have been at work, and the Truth that Jesus preached and the original apostles continued to preach after Jesus’s death was replaced by error, mainly by mixing truth with error and pagan practices (syncretism) which has been carried on down through the ages. What we see today in mainstream Christianity is a far cry from apostolic Christianity.
Jesus knew when sending out the twelve apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:6) that there would be problems ahead of them, and in Matthew 10:16 He says: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
In Luke 10:3 is the same admonition: “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.”
On the website whatchristianswanttoknow, we read an excellent description headed “The sneaky wolf. They hide until the time is right.” Continuing:
“Wolves are sneaky. They watch the prey and plan the attack. The sneaky wolf [that is, a] false prophet is in the church watching and waiting. He is the one who calls secret meetings. He gains the trust of folks and then rises up to attack, taking innocent victims with him. The Bible is clear about how God will deal with these sneaky wolves.”
We can read what action God will take in Matthew 7:21-23 which reads: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Christ tells us in John 10:11-16 from where our protection comes: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”
A hireling who is not a true shepherd. He sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. The end product is that the wolf catches the sheep and can eat them and scatter them. False workers and teachers can do the same to church members in a spiritual sense; hence the reason why we have to be continually on guard.
We read in John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Those who stick closely to God and His ways and His truth know Him from the written Word of God and are not distracted from the true path they have been called to. There is a sober warning in Ephesians 4:14 which is vital for our spiritual well-being: “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.” The phrasing of this verse clearly shows that some had been taken in by wrong and deceitful influences.
In the previous verses, Ephesians 4:11-13, we read about the ministry which is there for the protection of the sheep and the equipping of the saints: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The true servants of God will be protectors of the brethren and of God’s Truth: the wolves will attack, disturb and disorientate the sheep by their false teaching and trickery.
Just before Jesus’s betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed for His disciples, and for all believers and we read this in John 17:17: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” In verse 20, He said, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” If the teaching is in accordance with the Word of God then the teachers are themselves sheep and members of the flock and not wolves in sheep’s clothing. The Word of God, the Bible, must always be our guide and will protect us against any wrong teachings of man.
Not only does God use wolves and sheep in analogies, but also sheep and goats (Matthew 25:32-33). In addition “the devil walks about like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8) and as a “serpent” (Genesis 3:1 and Revelation 12:9). In analogy, lions and serpents or snakes are spoken of in less than complimentary terms.
Wolves and other beasts are also used in the Bible as metaphors to describe Gentile nations and their efforts to destroy the physical and spiritual Israelites or Jews. Norbert Link discusses this in great detail in the following three Q&As:
But in the Kingdom of God during the Millennium things will be completely different.
The good news is that Satan the devil will be bound for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3) and then peace will reign with no more false teachers and without these malevolent influences that we now have to fight. We read how it will be in the book of Isaiah: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6) and “‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ Says the LORD” (Isaiah 65:25).
The wolf and the lion will get on together and the analogy of wolves (false prophets and teachers) tricking the sheep (church members) will no longer be applicable.
But until the wonderful time just ahead of us, we need to make sure that we are on our spiritual toes so that we don’t fall prey to any false prophets and wrong teachers. God has surely warned us about them in His Word!
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
Unsere Ängste Bekämpfen is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Fighting our Fears.”
“Der Bedenkenträger,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Jens Herrmann, is now posted. Title in English: “The Skeptic.”
“Access to Opportunity,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What kind of opportunities do you believe you have access to? How important are the opportunities presented by the world, relative to the opportunity to understand the Truth with the Holy Spirit as your guide? With access to the greatest opportunity known to mankind, what do we need to do to seize it?
“What Does a Christian Do?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
A Christian is someone whom God has called, who has repented, been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and who has received the Holy Spirit. Then what?
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, Robb Harris, Michael 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