Update 964

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Fatigue / The Leaders and Followers

On March 13, 2021, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Fatigue,” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “The Leaders and Followers.”

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.

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Still Committed?

by Michael Link

Those of us who are members of the Church of God made an important decision in our lives, when we decided to become a part of God’s Church, to become a part of Christ, His spiritual Body, knowing that we must live differently than the rest of the world, as we would be set apart from the world—which involves our commitment. This is our pledge, our dedication. So, when we commit ourselves to do something, we have to follow through, or else we could be considered dishonest, and even unreliable.  Once we say yes, we have to do it, unless circumstances are different and a change is justified.  Christ said in Matthew 5:37 to let our yes be yes and our no be no.

We all have goals in life to which we are committed. If there is something we are trying to pursue and are serious about it, do we keep trying or will we give up soon after we have started?  But we also go through trial and error. If something is not working out the way we want it to, it may be that God is trying to tell us something, perhaps teaching us a lesson, and our desires may not even be in accordance with His Will.  Being successful involves hard work and commitment.

Living in this world is difficult and living God’s Way of Life is difficult because we are constantly bombarded with temptations, and some could certainly be directed at our greatest weaknesses which we need to overcome by constantly having God involved in our lives. We commit ourselves to Him by living His Way of Life.  An important decision we had to make to show our commitment at our baptism will be reflected upon once again very shortly when we partake of the Passover, showing our continued dedication to God’s Way of Life.

In preparation for and at the moment of our baptism and ever since, we knew as soon as we made that commitment, that our lives would be changed and that there would be no turning back. Our lives would become increasingly difficult, yet at the same time, we would experience a change—a positive change. We knew that we were granted the gift of God’s Holy Spirit the moment we were baptized, for we are considered holy. We have God’s special protection, and we grow in wisdom and strength, to bring us closer to the fulfillment of God’s master plan for us. There is no need to fear and when we doubt, there are several Scriptures we can turn to for reassurance, reminding us that God is with us and gives us strength (compare Isaiah 41:10, 13; Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalms 103:1-10).  We shouldn’t be afraid of what’s going on in this world today, but we must be committed to God’s Way, and if we are, we can see what He promises us.

There is a responsibility that we must endure because in order to live God’s Way of Life, we must fear Him. What we fear is breaking His commandments, breaking our commitment we have with God. We were committed to the Truth as soon as we were baptized. Because we know these things, we have to ask ourselves how committed we are now to the Truth and God’s Way of Life?  Do we have faith that God will protect us during these terrible times we are going through and will continue to go through, and that God will show mercy to us? When God gives us a command, will we comply or will we complain? Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6), and we have to be consistent with what God tells us. We can’t agree with something that God says and then at the same time disagree with something else that God commands us. We do not want to be lukewarm which is described in the 3rd chapter of the Book of Revelation, but rather, we must listen to God’s Word and we must take it to action.

Just as we have faith in God, God at the same time is faithful to forgive us our sins when we ask for forgiveness. Unfortunately in this world today, there isn’t a whole lot of faith in God, and God is left out of the picture when decisions are made. They may mean well and think what they are doing is justified, but as soon as they go against what God says, by thinking they are doing the right thing, they are taking matters into their own hands. Many also think that they are teaching God’s Word, but they are not. God does not approve of false teaching! We see in 1 Timothy 6:3-5 what today’s world is all about: “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wrangling’s of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

We know that we have to have a tremendous amount of faith to live God’s Way, and it should be easy for us to do this because we know firsthand what the Bible promises and what is going to happen. So, when we committed ourselves to God at our baptism, we knew what we were getting into.

We have to be careful that we don’t slip and lose focus but stay committed at ALL times because Satan is always ready to catch us off guard. We should all realize the importance of our individual commitment we have with God and with each other. Christ said to His Church in John 15:12: “This is My commandment, that you love ONE ANOTHER as I have loved you.”

The decision we each made to be baptized was a crucial necessity if we want to be in God’s Kingdom, by receiving God’s Holy Spirit so we can receive everlasting life. This will always be perceived as a mystery in this world until Christ’s return, but we in God’s Church have been given the gift to understand this now, and are expected to keep this understanding and act upon it until the end.

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by Norbert Link

We address Israel’s fight against Iran’s alleged ambition to acquire nuclear weapons; Europe’s search for new leadership and Germany’s dissatisfaction with its current leaders; and the rising threat of wild animals during the corona pandemic and further news on travel restrictions to Germany.

We continue with the ongoing turmoil and controversy involving Britain’s royal family and Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s highly explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey; and the accusation that America, in taking Meghan’s side, is trashing the British monarchy. Also, voices are being heard stating that the survival of the Commonwealth is at risk. In this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, Any prophetic fallout from Harry’s and Meghan’s interview?”

We also speak on further disagreements between Russia and Germany.

We point out intense earthquake and volcano activities around the globe and the frequency of strong tornadoes in the USA which is unparalleled in the rest of the world.

We report on a vote by the Swiss population to ban burqas.

We speak on censorship in the USA; the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the last pending case alleging voter irregularities; a strange and popular statue of Trump as Buddha on a Chinese shopping portal; and we conclude with the House’s passing of the $1.9 trillion spending bill and the fear of a coming crash in the USA, due to the country’s unprecedented debts, which would be so much more devastating than the Great Depression.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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Against the Entire World

Newsmax reported on March 4:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told supporters he would ‘stand against the entire world’ to stop the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu’s comments were a change for the prime minister, who had been careful in discussing the nuclear pact… President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018… ‘The international reality has changed,’ said Netanyahu, undoubtedly referring to Biden having replaced Trump. ‘There is an intention to go back to this dangerous deal. I am the only one who will stand against the entire world.’…

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom have backed off a plan to censure Iran for not cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency…”

The Jerusalem Post added on March 6 that “Netanyahu told… Kamala Harris in a late-night phone call on Thursday that he will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons…”

It does appear that Israel might find itself alone with respect to the Iran deal.

US Warns Its Allies in Middle East

The Jerusalem Post wrote on March 5:

“The Biden administration issued a warning this week to its allies in the Middle East not to oppose US policies and not to seek military solutions to the region’s problems. ‘We do not believe that military force is the answer to the region’s challenges, and we will not give our partners in the Middle East a blank check to pursue policies at odds with American interests and values,’ it said in a document posted on the White House website that outlined its global strategic interests.

“The document, titled, ‘Interim National Security Guidelines,’ was published as Israel has increasingly spoken of the possibility that it might have to use force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. On Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the IDF was updating a military plan to strike Iranian nuclear sites if necessary

“Israel and the US are also at odds over West Bank settlement activity, with Israel believing it has the right to build on territory that will one day become part of sovereign Israel. The Biden Administration believes that much of that territory should be part of the permanent boundaries of a Palestinian state and holds that settlement activity prevents the resumption of negotiations for a two-state resolution to the conflict.”

The American warning to Israel is far too obvious than to be ignored.

Macron and Draghi

Express wrote on March 2:

“EMMANUEL MACRON might have found a replacement for Angela Merkel in Mario Draghi as the new Italian Prime Minister sees eye-to-eye with the French leader on EU defence and security… Italian newspaper Il Foglio claimed the pair united on various themes during [a] virtual meeting, ranging from vaccine protectionism to strengthening defence and security…

“This would be the perfect opportunity for the French President to take the leadership of the EU once Angela Merkel leaves the national and European political scene…”

Neither Macron nor Draghi will lead the final European revival of the ancient Roman Empire, consisting of ten nations or groups of nations.  

German Health Minister Spahn Must Go!

Bild Online wrote on March 5:

“At first there were too few masks, then too little vaccine, and now we are dawdling with the quick tests. Now even Der Spiegel just boiled over. ‘It’s enough, Mr. Spahn,’ was the headline of an article in the Hamburg news magazine, and the author continued: ‘Actually, two resignations are due.’

“Whom does Der Spiegel author Dirk Kurbjuweit mean in his editorial? Chancellor Angela Merkel (66, CDU) and Health Minister Jens Spahn (40, CDU)! ‘The main responsibility lies with the Chancellor,’ the author writes. ‘Merkel’s overall balance sheet as Chancellor is spoiled.’ However, Jens Spahn’s situation is even ‘worse.’ Because: ‘As health minister, he is also responsible for the debacle.’

“In the case of Merkel, her resignation would lead to a political crisis in the middle of the pandemic, and because of the imminent general election, there would probably be no stable government until the end of the year. ‘That doesn’t make the situation any better,’ Der Spiegel says. ‘For the Minister of Health, however, this pragmatic-political objection does not apply. Spahn no longer belongs in this office.’

“It also said that ‘The crisis policy of the federal and state governments has become a ‘farce’. ‘Is that really Germany?’ the author asks in astonishment, looking at the government’s crisis management. ‘Organizing, doing business intelligently, that was always considered a strength of the Germans. And now almost nothing works smoothly, of all things in the pandemic, in the struggle for life and death. What’s going on here?’

“His diagnosis: ‘Germany, it has to be said, is currently being ruled terribly badly by the Federal Chancellor, by the group of Prime Ministers, and by some ministers, namely Health Minister Jens Spahn. That must have consequences.’”

By that standard, just about all health ministers and governmental leaders all over the world must go, given the absolute fiasco they have created and are responsible for. And so they should resign. Of course they won’t, and it takes the return of Jesus Christ to make an end to man’s mismanagement. In the meantime, beware when Germans are becoming unhappy with their government.

German Travel Restrictions

The Local wrote on March 9:

“The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) changed the risk classification of the United States on March 7th. The US was previously classed as a ‘high incidence area’ by the RKI… now it’s a ‘risk area’ – which is used by German authorities to describe a region with an increased risk of infection… However, entry from the US is only permitted in a few narrow exceptions. Proof of urgent need to travel is required, German authorities say…

“If you are a German resident from the US, or fall into one of the exception categories, you still face strict testing and quarantine measures.

“All travellers must have a negative Covid-19 test result at the latest 48 hours after they enter Germany. It must be presented to authorities if they request it. Some individual airlines may however still say that travellers have to present a coronavirus negative test result before boarding is allowed…

“Testing is still mandatory even if travellers are vaccinated or have recovered from a coronavirus infection…

“People returning from ‘risk zones’ are required to self-isolate for 10 days after they arrive. The quarantine can usually be ended with a negative coronavirus test result taken at the earliest five days after arriving in Germany… Everyone entering Germany is also required to register online.”

Covid-19 Lockdowns and Wild Animals

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 5:

“In London and other major cities across the UK, rat sightings have soared during the pandemic. The British Pest Control Association (BPCA)… said its members reported a 51% hike in rodent activity during the first lockdown last spring, and a 78% increase in November after the next lockdown.

“Typically, rats avoid humans and make drains and sewers their homes. However, as a result of shuttered businesses and deserted high streets, the creatures are out in full force and making restaurants, pubs and empty buildings their new habitat as they look for other sources to satisfy their dietary needs…

“Thousands of macaques… roam the streets of Lopburi in Thailand… Usually well-fed by tourists, the monkeys have been finding snacks hard to come by during the pandemic. They’ve even engaged in intertribal warfare over scraps, fighting in the streets and historic temples… There are tens of millions of [stray dogs] roving [India’s] streets and slums; a law has made it illegal to kill or maim the animals… Strays are also common in Istanbul — the city on the Bosporus… counts more than 200,000 free roaming cats and dogs…

Rodents are known to carry and transmit diseases such as… Leptospirosis [a bacterial disease ], Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii [a parasite that forms cysts and can affect a number of body organs], and Hantavirus [which can cause potentially deadly diseases such as hemorrhagic fever or a pulmonary syndrome]…”

God says that many people will die due to the wild beasts of the earth.

In addition, according to an article by the Ron Paul Institute, dated March 9,Stanford University Medical School professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is featured in Newsweek Magazine condemning the lockdowns across the United States to fight the virus, calling them the biggest mistake ever made by public health authorities. A new study released by…  the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)… appears to bolster Dr. Bhattacharya’s claim.”

Royal Family in Turmoil

Deutsche Welle reported on March 8:

“Prince Harry and Meghan… talked about the struggles of living in the royal family in a highly-anticipated interview with US television personality Oprah Winfrey… Meghan said the family and the people who run the institution are separate. She said the Queen has always been ‘wonderful’ to her, always making her feel welcome… She added that while the palace was ready to lie to protect other members of the family, ‘they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.’… Meghan said there were concerns about how ‘dark’ her child would be… [Oprah later clarified that the persons allegedly raising this issue were NOT the Queen and Prince Philipp.] Meghan said she told the palace that she needed help for mental health concerns: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.’…

“Prince Harry said separation from the British royal family had been very difficult for him and Meghan. ‘My biggest concern was history repeating itself,’ Harry said, apparently referring to his mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris…

“Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother, gave a televised address on Sunday, hours before the interview was aired. In a pre-recorded message from London, the British monarch talked about the importance of ‘dedication to duty’ in an address to mark Commonwealth Day… The couple stepped away from royal duties in March 2020, complaining about the British tabloids’ treatment of Meghan. They cited what they described as bullying and racist attitudes toward the duchess, who is biracial…”

Bild Online wrote on March 7:

“That there could ever be again peace in the [royal] family seems to be impossible now… all bridges have been burned…”

Deutsche Welle added on March 8:

“Birgit Maass, DW’s London correspondent, said it was unclear if Buckingham Palace would give an official statement. [Subsequently, Buckingham Palace did issue an official statement, see articles below.] ‘There would only be statement if individual members of the palace were attacked,’ she said. However, the couple was careful to avoid naming individuals during the interview. ‘It’s a tough one for the palace’ Maass said. ‘There will be a fear in the royal family that it could be tainted, but the queen still is somebody who is very popular as head of state,’ Maass said, adding that questions remain about the future of the royal family near the end of Elizabeth’s reign.”

This scandal is reminiscent of the scandal pertaining to Princess Diana and her interview. Whomever one wants to believe and however one wants to evaluate it, the reputation and institution of the Royal Family has suffered another severe blow. Some papers have stated that while Americans don’t care too much for the concept of the British monarchy, many Brits look at the Royal Family almost as holy and tabu, which must never be criticized.

“America Is Trashing Britain”

The Hollywood Reporter wrote on March 8:

“Britain’s notorious tabloid press was apoplectic with rage towards Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night….

“After dismissing the interview as a ‘sideshow’… The Daily Mail devoted well over twenty stories related to the special on its website on Monday morning… The Daily Mail and its sister publication The Mail on Sunday have been particularly virulent in their coverage of the Sussexes, the latter paper was recently ordered by a British judge to publish a front-page statement declaring Markle’s victory in her copyright claim against the newspaper over its publication of a letter to her estranged father.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, another long-time and very public critic of Markle, opened his show by repeatedly suggesting that Prince Harry had ‘spray-gunned’ his family with the revelatory interview and that it was ‘so disloyal’… ‘as Prince Phillip lies in hospital.’ ‘America is trashing our country and trashing our monarchy now,’ Morgan said.”

Predictably, the reaction in America was much more sympathetic towards Harry and Meghan. Express reported on March 8 that the White House praised Meghan for her courage to speak about her struggles with mental health, stating that these comments risk opening a rift between Joe Biden’s administration and the UK political establishment.” Following a hot debate with co-hosts on Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan walked off the set and subsequently resigned, after saying that he does not believe that Meghan Markle was indeed suicidal. Most British viewers seem to agree with Morgan.

Royal Response Insufficient?

The Associated Press wrote on March 10:

“Buckingham Palace’s statement on Prince Harry and Meghan’s allegations on racism and mistreatment has failed to quiet the controversy, with some observers criticizing the royal family for failing to forcefully condemn racism and suggesting that the couple’s version of events may not be accurate. ‘Too little, too late’ was the verdict of royal commentator Peter Hunt, who also criticized the palace’s 61-word statement for saying the issue would be dealt with privately as a family matter…  ‘The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,’ the palace said. ‘The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’

“The comments were the palace’s first word since the interview rocked the royal family — and touched off conversations around the world about racism, mental health and even the relationship between Britain and its former colonies…

“Fallout from the interview is likely to only fuel the debate over the future of the monarchy and its role both in Britain and the other countries around the world for which the queen serves as head of state… The queen remains the head of state for 15 countries, most of which were once part of the British Empire, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and island nations in the Caribbean.

Other countries, which are part of the Commonwealth, include Malta and Cyprus, South Africa and many other African nations, such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania.

Commonwealth At Risk?

Express wrote on March 10:

“Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have put the Commonwealth at risk after former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the bombshell interview bolstered his case for breaking away from the British monarchy… He told ABC: ‘After the end of the Queen’s reign, that is the time for us to say, ‘OK, we’ve passed that watershed. Do we really want to have whoever happens to be the head of state, the King or Queen of the UK, automatically our head of state?’’

“Mr Turnbull led the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000. In 1999, the Australian public voted to keep the monarchy. While the Queen’s role is mostly ceremonial, she does have the power to sack the Prime Minister, which happened in 1975.

“New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously expressed republican views but said the country was unlikely to break from the British monarchy in the near future…

“[For Commonwealth Day,] Prince Charles delivered a speech focused on the devastating effects of the pandemic but also hailed the Commonwealth’s efforts to fight climate change and protect its wildlife.”

Russia’s RT under attack in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 5:

“A dispute between Berlin and Moscow over the establishment of a Russian state-backed TV channel in Germany heated up on Friday after the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the German government of violating press freedoms. The dispute arose regarding the channel RT — formerly Russia Today — the German offshoot of which announced a plan in January to set up a television station in Germany by the end of the year… RT, based in Moscow, already offers services in English, Spanish, Arabic and French. RT DE, as the German-language offshoot is called, launched its website in 2014…

“Tensions spiked on Thursday when Maria Sakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, accused the German government of forcing Commerzbank to close accounts belonging to RT DE until the end of May in an attempt to stifle ‘freedom of expression and freedom of the press’… Berlin denied that it had any involvement in the closure of the RT accounts…”

“2021 on Track to become record-breaking year of major earthquakes, volcanoes”

Israel 365 wrote on March 7:

“Though the past year has been replete with troubling news items that include a pandemic and hotly contested US Presidential election, the earth shaking beneath our feet seems to have gone unnoticed.

“In the first 65 days of this year, 42 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher, have shaken the planet. The year with the largest total was 2010, with 24 major earthquakes greater than or equal to magnitude 7.0. In 2011, a total of 207 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or higher shook the earth, culminating in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that caused the catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactor and the concurrent 9.1 magnitude earthquake in Tohuka, Japan that killed over 20,000 people. Powerful earthquakes shook the Kermadec Islands region of New Zealand on Thursday, setting off tsunami warnings.

“But attention should be paid to less dramatic geologic rumblings as well. Iceland was hit by more than 18,000 earthquakes in the past week including a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, and a magnitude 8.1 earthquake. In addition, authorities are warning that two volcanoes in a densely populated region of the country could erupt at literally any moment.

The number of earthquakes is increasing.  In the first 65 days of 1921, exactly one century ago, only seven major earthquakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded globally according to the USGS DataBase. In the same period last year, a total of 24 major quakes, magnitude 6 or higher were recorded around the globe. Back in 2019, just 20 major quakes had been reported up to March the 6th, just 50% of this year’s total. In 2018, a total of 24 major quakes were reported in the first 65 days of the year and in 2017 just 15. 24 major earthquakes were recorded in the beginning of 2016 and in 2015, just 18…

“But earthquakes aren’t the only concern. Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna in Sicily, erupted seven times in the past two weeks. A large eruption started at Sangay volcano, Ecuador on Saturday. An earthquake swarm shook Mount Hood, a potentially active stratovolcano near Portland, Oregon for 45 minutes last week… Mount Sinabung in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province began erupting last Tuesday, sending volcanic materials as high as 16,400 feet into the sky with authorities recording 13 times when it released ash clouds. Three weeks ago,  Fuego volcano, located 50 kilometers away from the capital city of Guatemala, started to erupt. As of yesterday 43 volcanoes around were erupting or showing signs of activity… Since January 20, 2021, 1,722 weak earthquakes were detected under the Pinatubo Volcano in the Philippines.”

Increased earthquakes here and there and other natural catastrophes are part of the “beginning of sorrows,” according to the words of Jesus Christ.

US Has More Tornadoes than any Other Country

CNN wrote on March 7:

“The US averages over 1,150 tornadoes every year. That’s more than any other country. In fact, it’s more than Canada, Australia and all European countries combined… Other countries experience tornadoes, including Germany, Australia, South Africa, eastern China, Japan, Bangladesh, Argentina, and more. Europe as a whole is comparable to the size of the US, but there is a vast difference in number of tornadoes and tornado fatalities…

“Outside of the US, Canada actually ranks second on the list for most tornadoes, with an average of 100 per year…”

Increasing Catastrophes, especially for the USA, ARE prophesied.

Swiss Voters Approve Ban of Wearing Burqas in Public

The New York Post wrote on March 7:

“Swiss voters narrowly approved on Sunday a proposal to ban face coverings, both the niqabs and burqas worn by a few Muslim women in the country and the ski masks and bandannas used by protesters. The measure will outlaw covering one’s face in public places like restaurants, sports stadiums, public transport or simply walking in the street. It foresees exceptions at religious sites and for security or health reasons, such as face masks people are wearing now to protect against COVID-19, as well as for traditional Carnival celebrations. Authorities have two years to draw up detailed legislation.

“Two Swiss cantons, or states, Ticino and St. Gallen, already have similar legislation that foresees fines for transgressions. National legislation will put Switzerland in line with countries such as Belgium and France that have already enacted similar measures. The Swiss government had opposed the measure… It argued that the ban could harm tourism — most Muslim women who wear such veils in Switzerland are visitors from well-heeled Persian Gulf states, who are often drawn to Swiss lakeside cities…

“Supporters of the proposal… argued that the full-face coverings symbolize the repression of women and said the measure is needed to uphold a basic principle that faces should be shown in a free society like Switzerland’s.

“In the end, 51.2% of voters supported the plan. There were majorities against it in six of Switzerland’s 26 cantons — among them those that include the country’s three biggest cities, Zurich, Geneva and Basel, and the capital, Bern. SRF public television reported that voters in several popular tourist destinations including Interlaken, Lucerne and Zermatt rejected it. Backers included the nationalist Swiss People’s Party, which is the strongest in parliament. The committee that launched the proposal is led by a lawmaker from the party, Walter Wobmann, and also initiated a ban on the construction of new minarets that voters approved in 2009.”

While wearing face masks, including double face masks, is encouraged and required, burqas and ski masks are prohibited. Insanity rules the world.

Censorship in the USA

The Ron Paul Institute published an article on March 4 which originally appeared in the Washington Times. We are bringing you the following excerpts:

“… how can Mark Twain’s ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ or Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series, or J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ [survive,] each with their own set of perceived and real stereotypes and slurs? Even Roald Dahl’s original ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ has inspired criticism over the depiction of the Oompa Loompas as jungle-dwellers. Let’s not forget Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind,’ in all its slavery glory, or Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist,’ in all its anti-Semitic glory, or Lynne Reid Banks’ ‘The Indian in the Cupboard,’ in all its — well, the title speaks volumes on that one…

“The list is endless. The list can be endless. Even the Bible speaks to the enslavement of various peoples.

“Are we to turn off all the offensive to our ears, in some sort of — futile — attempt to whitewash, er, erase, not just history, but fancy and fiction and flights of imaginations?… This is about the shape of censorship things to come. It’s about a growing acceptance of blotting out all offenses, in the hope that ignoring offenses means the offenses don’t occur — in fact, that they never did occur. That’s erasing history. That’s living a lie…

“Word is next up are L. Frank Baum’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ series.  Let the burning begin. The trouble, of course, will be to know the exact point to extinguish the fire…”

Terrible memories of book burnings in Nazi Germany come to mind, and the banishment of books in East Germany after the Russians took over. Not to speak of all the prohibited books in dictatorships all over the world. In times past, it was prohibited by the Catholic Church to read the Bible. Where is all of this going…?

Newsmax published on March 8 an article by Alan Dershowitz. We are bringing you the following excepts:

“If cancel culture were to accept the notion that a person should be totally cancelled based on only a portion of his output, we would have to comb the libraries, book stores and eBook sites for offenders. Near the top of the list would be Fyodor Dostoevsky, perhaps the greatest writer of modern times. In addition to his monumental novels such as ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ and ‘Crime and Punishment,’ he wrote an essay that could easily have been mistaken for a chapter straight out of ‘Mein Kampf’ by Adolph Hitler. In his essay on ‘The Jewish Question,’ he rails against the Jewish faith, culture, and people. He claims that Jews hoard gold so that they can easily carry it with them to the promised land. He accuses them of duel loyalty, deception and other sins…

“Should Renoir be cancelled because of his sexist and degrading views toward women— he said they belonged only in the kitchen and bedroom—which are reflected in some of his paintings? Or for his racism and anti-Semitism? What about Picasso?

“The list of people who have expressed bigoted views in their writings includes Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, T.S. Eliot, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Sanger, Walt Disney, Malcolm X and Roald Dahl

“The disgraceful treatment accorded Kate Smith is a case in point. The totality of this great singer’s career was positive, but she was cancelled, as was her stirring rendition of God Bless America, because it was discovered that when she was young she recorded several songs that by today’s standards contained racially insensitive lyrics (which she didn’t write)…”

The concept of “cancel culture,” as described herein, is a dangerous development. And it seems to be growing continuously. Note the next article.

Breitbart wrote on March 9:

“Children can no longer watch DumboPeter PanSwiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocats on Disney’s Disney+ streaming service while using the ‘Kids Profile’ mode, which filters out titles flagged with content warnings — including scenes now deemed racist… it is now up to parents if they want their children to watch the cartoons.”

Parents should be knowledgeable about what their children watch anyhow. But the underlying motive by the Disney enterprise is of course quite too obvious.

U.S. Supreme Court Disposes of Last Trump Case re Election Results

Thomson/Reuters reported on March 8:

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the last of three cases brought to the justices by former President Donald Trump challenging his election loss, ending his legal efforts to hold onto power. The court without comment rejected Trump’s appeal challenging thousands of absentee ballots filed in Wisconsin…

“The court on Feb. 22 turned away Trump’s other two appeals — a second Wisconsin challenge and one relating to voting in Pennsylvania…

“It already was clear that the high court… had no intention to intervene in the cases and others filed by his allies because it did not act before Congress on Jan. 6 certified Biden’s victory…

“Trump continues to claim that the Nov. 3 presidential election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and irregularities. Republicans are focusing on those allegations in… an effort to impose new voting restrictions in numerous states.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to review any of those cases will make many Trump supporters very unhappy.

Trump Buddha Statue

meaww.com wrote on March 10:

“Trump Buddha statues sell like hot cakes on Chinese shopping portal Taobao…  While the statue shows Trump with his trademark hairdo, it has, uncharacteristically, a rather peaceful expression on his face. His hands are seen resting on his lap, referencing the traditional iconography of Buddhist statues in China. As per an Insider report, the figurine’s description says: ‘Trump, who knows Buddhism better than anyone.’”

First a golden statue of Trump at CPAC 2021, and now this. And Trump knows Buddhism better than anyone???

House Passes $1.9 Trillion Spending Bill

MSN wrote on March 10:

“The House Wednesday passed a $1.9 trillion spending package, sending the bill to President Biden [President Biden signed the bill on Thursday]… Not a single Republican voted for the bill. The measure will provide a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced weekly unemployment benefits and expanded child tax credits… Democrats passed the bill over the objections of all House Republicans, who said the package was too expensive and dedicated mostly to wasteful spending unrelated to the pandemic…

“The legislation, Republicans argued, dedicates about 9 percent of funding to combating Covid-19 and just one percent to production and distribution of the critical vaccines… But Democrats argued the massive spending package is exactly what the nation is demanding after a year of Covid-19 and goes even further to alleviate longstanding poverty…”

An American Crisis Greater than the Great Depression?

Ron Paul wrote the following on March 8 in the Ron Paul Institute:

“According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 2021 will be the second year in a row in which the federal debt exceeds Gross Domestic Product (GDP). CBO also projected that this year’s federal deficit will be 2.3 trillion dollars, which is 900 billion dollars less than last year. However, CBO’s projections do not include the 1.9 trillion dollars ‘stimulus’ bill Congress is likely to pass. [Subsequently, it was passed and signed by the President]. The CBO’s report was largely ignored by Congress and the media…

“The overreaction to coronavirus is a cause of the explosion in federal spending and debt we have witnessed over the last year. However, federal spending already greatly increased from January 2017 until the lockdowns. This spending growth occurred under a Republican president, a Republican Senate, and, from 2017 to 2019, a Republican House…

“Republican hypocrisy in claiming to care about spending and debt only when a Democrat sits in the Oval Office is one reason why Democrats can so easily disregard debt… Unless the government changes course, America will experience a crisis greater than the Great Depression. The crisis will include a final rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. There will also be much increased price inflation

“Those who know the truth [need to] ensure they and their families are protected when the crash comes…”

 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.

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Who determines what is right and wrong?

This is a fundamental question that affects every facet of life. If there is no God, then everything is determined by man. It seems that the consensus of opinion in society is that concepts of right and wrong are just a matter of personal choice.

Dr J Slattery, writing specifically about sexual matters, stated the following:

“In today’s culture, right and wrong are sorted through a grid of what we perceive as being the best for ourselves and our fellow humans. Essentially, human beings are now ‘god,’ with the authority to determine our own moral compass. With this type of humanistic worldview, morality is defined as ‘do no harm.’ Ethics and morality are measured by whether or not people are harmed. ‘She’s not hurting anyone, so how could she be doing something wrong?’ From this perspective, Christians who stand against gay marriage, for example, are thought to be doing harm. They are ‘hurting’ people who want to celebrate the gay lifestyle. In contrast, those who want to participate in gay marriage are viewed as doing no harm.”

In today’s secular society, God and His Word are neither thought about nor consulted when laws are enacted. The consensus is that when it comes to morality which can be defined as “principles of right and wrong,” there are those who believe that there are no absolutes, merely personal preferences and these can be different in varying cultures.   It is because man wants to do his own thing that he dismisses God, and the standards expected of a God-fearing individual don’t apply to them as they don’t believe in a superior Being who created everything we see.

On the website, truthnet.org, we read: “…the problem is that Christianity proclaims there are absolute moral norms that apply to all persons in all places at all times. Relativism denies there are moral norms. If relativity is true then Christianity is false. If there is no basis for right and wrong, then Christianity is a meaningless set of values. If relativity is false, then there must be an objective source of what is right or wrong.”

This same writer asked this question:

“Why is there a right and wrong? Have you ever asked yourself this question? What makes something right and what makes something wrong? Imagine a world, where you could do whatever you want? No one to stop you from your heart’s desire, if you like the car you just take it! If someone offends you, you have the right to hurt or even kill them. What’s the problem with this scene?

“Well if you are like me, you might think, ‘What if I am on the other side?’ What if I am the guy who owned the car or I am the guy who offended the person?’ The world would be a chaotic place to live if everybody got their heart’s desire. What is the basis of rules? Who said it’s wrong to steal, murder or rob? The real question being asked is who determines our morality, and why should we care?”

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher wrote that If God doesn’t exist, everything is permissible.” And that is what the liberal, permissive and atheistic element in our society is determined to achieve, and just look at the chaotic state that exists around the world. The world denies God and His way at their peril, and judgment cannot be that far away now for this God-hating world and its determined ignorance of the way that God wants us to live for our own good.

In 2012, Ben Kinchlow wrote an article, entitled, “Who Decides What’s Right and Wrong?” Below are just a few brief excerpts from his thought-provoking article.

“Doing right: Actions which are fair, proper, good, upright, righteous, virtuous, moral, ethical, honorable, honest, lawful, legal.

“Doing wrong: Actions which involve crime, lawbreaking, lawlessness, criminality, misconduct, misbehavior, malpractice, corruption, immorality, sin, sinfulness, wickedness, evil, vice, iniquity, villainy, offense, felony, wrong, misdeed, misdemeanor, fault, peccadillo, transgression.

“Now I have a few questions: Says who? Who sets the standards for right and wrong? Who gives them the right to establish these standards? Suppose we disagree on our definitions of right or wrong … who are you to decide for me? Based on what?

“Remember when sodomy was not only wrong but a crime? Who suddenly decided it was not only right, but now legal? And who has the right to declare pornography as wrong or illegal? Doesn’t that interfere with my rights? Who gives them that right?

“Why can Saudi Arabia say homosexuals should be put to death if homosexuality is OK in the United States? If NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) thinks sex with boys, including 8-year-olds or younger, is OK, who can say it isn’t?

“Did anyone come up with the answers to some questions I asked in an earlier column: Should lawbreakers be prosecuted just because they don’t agree with society’s standards of behavior? Is anything truly right or wrong, really legal or illegal? Does it all just depend on whether one agrees or disagrees?

“If we all began as an electromagnetically charged single-cell product of lifeless slime, evolving, like other life forms, with no reason or purpose other than survival of the fittest, why should I be subjected to another life form’s delineation of right or wrong?

“If no One is in charge, isn’t everyone?”

What an excellent question to ask those who think that man is in charge of all law-making processes. They believe that they are, but look at the state of society when mankind is left to its own devices. No one in their right mind could possibly accept that societies around the world are law-abiding and shining lights for others to follow!

It is not a new phenomenon. We read in Judges 17:6 and 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” In fact, it goes back even further than that.

In the garden of Eden, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). We know that Satan tempted Eve as we read in chapter 3, and she made the decision not to do as God had instructed but, with the help of the serpent, made her own decision, and Adam followed that poor example. It was a case, right at the dawn of civilisation, that man wanted to make his own rules and do his own thing.

After just over 1600 years of man ignoring God and making up his own rules, the wickedness of man had become so great that God said that He had regretted making man (Genesis 6:7), and the flood came and man was destroyed except for Noah and his family. We know that man again followed the cunning of Satan, “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and man, today, still wants to live by his own rules, laws and regulations.

What you may consider right for you may not be right for another person. It cannot be that each person makes up his own rules and regulations to live by as there would be chaos, and no one set of rules would be accepted by everyone; hence the reason why the nations’ rulers and legislators enact laws and put them on the statute book for all citizens to live by. In a way, that makes sense as everyone knows what is and what isn’t acceptable, but the system fails when God is ignored because He has our best interests at heart. He is the Creator of us all and, consequently, knows far more than man will ever know.

Proverbs 21:2 tells us that “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes…” This is repeated in Proverbs 16:2, in this fashion: “All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes.” In Jeremiah 17:9 we read: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”

As already mentioned above, we read in Judges 21:25 and in Judges 17:6 that when there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. The Benson Commentary observes: “There were elders (Judges 21:16), who had some authority, and there was a high-priest (Judges 20:28), but there was no supreme governor, such as Moses and Joshua were, and after them the judges, and none that had power sufficient to punish public wrongs, whoredoms, and idolatries, and thereby check the progress of vice and profaneness, and keep the people in order. It is a natural inference from hence, that men ought to be extremely thankful for lawful authority: and, if they would preserve their felicity, ought to be zealous to support that authority, as well as to discourage all licentious approaches toward its dissolution.”

“What are the fruits?” is always a very good question to ask about anything that man does, and we can see that there have been 6,000 years of disobedience to the great Creator God. Man, following the lead of Satan the devil, has had a history of wars, killing, cruelty, barbarism, inhumanity, persecution, depravity, wickedness and so much more.   When we compare the “fruit of the Spirit” listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), we see the difference between God’s Way and the way of the world, and the chasm between the two is enormous.

The true Christian will not, and cannot, just accept the law of man when it contradicts instruction from the Word of God.

The great Creator God set the standard for absolute Truth, and it is His authority that establishes that Truth. When Jesus was on earth, He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). When Jesus was praying for His disciples, He said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:16-17).

Therefore, God’s Word is Truth; that is, the source that a Christian must consult to find out what God has to say on any given matter. Let us look at just four examples of conflict with what society now accepts legally and as the norm, and what the Bible has to say on these four matters. There are many more, but these examples will clearly show how deeply man has sunk into depravity, compared to what God instructs and expects.

Abortion has now been legalised in many countries around the world. The Centre for Reproductive Rights, an organization dedicated to promoting abortion around the world, estimates that 60% of the global population lives in countries where abortion is broadly legal. During the years 2010-2014, it was estimated that 546 million abortions per year were carried out worldwide. For an explanation as to why abortion is wrong, please see our booklet “Are You Already Born Again?”

Homosexuality is roundly condemned in the Bible, but is now accepted in many countries around the world as being normal. Please see our booklet God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” pages 95-105, to see the biblical instruction and condemnation on this issue.

Couples living together rather than being married is another commonly accepted practice, but is against God’s clear instructions. Please see our booklet “God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” chapter 6, entitled “Cohabitation or Common Law Marriage.”

A family was defined by God, and again this issue is covered in the booklet mentioned above, God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” on pages 75-79. Man has re-defined marriage and family to suit his own requirements, which is certainly at odds with the Bible.

Is man right on these, and many other issues, or should we always and solely look to God for His wise instruction? Secularists and atheists would say the former and true Christians, the latter.

Most people live by their own rules and accept society’s rules without too much thought as to whether they are acceptable in the sight of God. Some others, even church members, may, at times, try and change the meaning of Scripture so that it can fit into what they want it to mean to suit their own particular sinful lifestyle (compare Romans 1:25). However, we must never forget that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

Too many Christians today are prepared to compromise with God’s Word because they are not separate from the world and its customs when they should be living by God’s standards and setting the example that is required of them (compare Matthew 5:13-16). Some may think that God’s Way is too hard, boring or not what excites them, and if that is the case, it may be that they are not convinced about the “Way of Life” which is the lot of a true Christian.

Many may want to indulge their own desires, have a fear of what others may say or just be ignorant of the true Way of God, and so they weakly compromise. They should have known that following God and His Way is the narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14). When such people compromise, they will, inevitably, follow the way of the world and its laws and edicts, and God’s Way will be either ignored or discarded. Right and wrong will then be decided by them and the society they willingly accept!

Who is the ultimate authority in all moral matters? Is it the created – man – with all of his imperfections and lack of wisdom and Godly knowledge, or is it the Creator God of the Bible who was the One who created us all? The answer is that God reveals what is right and wrong in His Word—the Bible. Put as simply as we can, God decides what is right and wrong in His Word, and that must be our guide to life.

Only God has the right to decide what is good and evil.

As the Church of God has said many times, if the law of the land is in conflict with the law of God, then we must follow God’s Way and be willing to suffer for righteousness sake which might even include not violently resisting any punishment or sentence that the state dishes out for such an infringement to its man-made law. In order to see what a Christian’s duty and responsibility is in this regard, please read our free booklet, Obeying God Rather Than Men,” pages 44-45. We must always strive to do as God instructs and remember that God’s Word is our basis for living and our instruction manual for life.

Psalm 119:105 is a good Scripture to finish this Q&A with: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

 A Tech Team meeting was conducted via SKYPE on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Hosted by Eric Rank, discussions centered on fine tuning the Church website graphic designs and with planning for different Internet services to host our live broadcasts.

We are saddened to announce the death of Martha Bittle, a member who lived in Arkansas. Her daughter, Lois Nelson, wrote saying her Mother died peacefully knowing that she was in God’s hands, and that Mrs. Bittle faithfully looked forward to her resurrection in God’s Family.

“Any Prophetic Fallout from Harry and Meghan’s Interview?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary: 

The bombshell interview with Oprah has prompted many different emotional reactions all over the world. This program does not address at all who is right or wrong. But it focuses on interesting developments which might be a preview of things to come. The Bible has much to say about the future of Britain’s monarchy and the Commonwealth. 

“Israel’s and Germany’s Future—Comments on News and Prophecy, March 6, 2021,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Benjamin Netanyahu told supporters that due to the “changed international reality,” he is the only one who will stand “against the entire world” in regard to the Iran question. In response, the USA warned Israel and others in the Middle East not to oppose US policies. Also, Germans are very unhappy with Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn, and Der Spiegel Online asked for Spahn’s resignation. What could all of this mean in the light of biblical prophecy?

“Why the Footwashing Ceremony at Passover?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Baptized Members of the Church of God partake each year at Passover evening of the symbols of bread and wine, but they also participate in the footwashing ceremony. Why did Christ introduce the footwashing ceremony, and what does it mean for us today? How do we understand Christ’s statements in response to Peter’s initial refusal to accept Christ’s washing of his feet? And is there a relationship between the correct baptism, which only occurs once in a lifetime of a converted person, and the footwashing ceremony which is being observed annually?

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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:

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