April 9, 2021
The Future is Forever / God’s Hands
On April 10, 2021 Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “The Future is Forever,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “God’s Hands.”
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.
Evil Good; Good Evil
by Dave Harris
In one way or another, most Americans celebrated Easter this year. Around the world, Easter was observed by close to one-hundred nations. By contrast, the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread figured prominently in just one country—the nation of Israel.
While various religious organizations lead the way in Easter observance, only a precious few keep the commanded Holy Days of God falling in this time of the year—those who are members of the True Church of God.
Freely, it is admitted that Easter has been adopted from abject paganism. Yet, people who could and certainly should know better call this a “Christian observance.” But this is nothing less than the proverbial attempt of putting lipstick on a pig and calling it pretty. Making up how God is worshipped is rejected by God, and He condemns those who do so!
God expressed His contempt to ancient Israel and Judah for their pagan worship practices—and His warnings apply today:
“‘Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them’” (Isaiah 1:14); and, “‘I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies’” (Amos 5:21).
Unless we observe only God’s commanded Holy Days, God will not accept us or our false and useless worship! The one holiday so dear to many nominally professing Christians, Christmas, is based on downright demonic worship—it has nothing to do with the true Son of God! Short of national days of thanksgiving, prayer or even repentance and fasting, God does not hear—He won’t accept evil!
“‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’” (Isaiah 5:20).
Great national punishment is coming from God. Whole nations will go into captivity, war will ravage the earth and life, itself, will come to the brink of total destruction. Why? Because of violence and rebellion against God! Few understand and still fewer are taking God’s warnings seriously.
To escape these terrible times and to have God’s protection, we must submit to His Will for us. That includes obeying Him by keeping His true Holy Days: the Seventh Day (Sabbath) and the Annual Feast Days of God.
Regarding what we who are living in this godless society should be doing, God warns us: “‘Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues’” (Revelation 18:4).
by Norbert Link
We begin with an eye-opening article on the wealth and influence of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany; further talk about the establishment of a European army; the shameful collaboration of the EU and the USA against Israel and in favor of the PA; the hateful efforts of the WCC to hurt, smear and destroy Israel; and the shortsighted actions of the USA towards the ICC.
We continue with an alarming buildup of Russian troops at Ukraine’s border; Europe’s new lockdown rules and further dictatorial ambitions, especially in Germany, with their potentially devastating, but largely overlooked consequences for liberty and freedom; and we ask the question as to how reliable polls are when allegedly revealing the feeling of the people.
We report on police actions to enforce coronavirus restrictions in England, Canada and Ireland with remarkably different results and reactions; and address the question as to whether Facebook has become a new worldwide empire with Mark Zuckerberg being its Roman Emperor.
We speak on controversial actions by the Disney franchise; an outrageously blasphemous and demonic development by California’s Department of Education pertaining to the state’s school system [In this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Aztec Demons in California’s Schools?”]; outspoken and true words by the Archbishop of Canterbury; the speculation that Princess Anne spoke on Harry’s and Megan’s child but that she was misquoted; Donald Trump’s advice to parents as to how to deal with their children pertaining to addictive substances; and a short clip about the paganism of Easter bonfires.
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
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 1:
“The Holy Roman Empire, the birthplace of Protestantism, the battlefields of Christian theology. The lands that make up modern Germany once had front-row seats to some of the most significant developments both in the history of Europe and of Christianity. Today, those Christian roots are hard to overlook. Public holidays based on Catholic and Protestant beliefs provide highly-anticipated vacation days that go beyond just Christmas and Easter. And while ‘Christian’ political parties — Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the Bavarian Christian Socialist Union, for example — are considered traditional rather than religious, the parties’ names make it clear they were conceived on the basis of Christian values…
“Roughly 45.7 million Germans identify as Christian, be they Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or non-denominational. That’s nearly 55 percent of German society, according to figures from 2019. The Muslim population comprises approximately 5 percent (4.5 million) of the population; the Jewish community 0.1 percent (94,7000)… The majority of Germany’s Christians are registered as either Catholic (22.6 million) or Protestant (20.7 million)…
“In 2019, the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church collected a record-breaking €6.76 billion ($7.94 billion) and €5.95 billion ($6.98 billion) in church tax, respectively. The right for churches to collect a de-facto membership fee in the form of a tax dates back to 1919… The rate is currently set at 9 percent of one’s income… And as the Finance Ministry handles the tax for them… it also receives a neat 3 percent of the total, which added up to €380 million in 2016…
“The two churches own at least 830,000 hectares (8,300 square kilometers or 3,200 square miles) of land… The churches themselves have disclosed tens of thousands of buildings that they each hold in addition to at least 21,100 Protestant and 24,500 Catholic churches. When examining buildings related to the churches’ roles in healthcare, education, and charitable work, the Catholic Church has at least 66,000 additional holdings and the Protestant Church a further 50,000… Moreover, they receive state funds to compensate for property losses dating back to the early 1800s when Napoleon upended the Holy Roman Empire. According to broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, this amounted to nearly €500 million in 2017 and comes from taxpayers whether they belong to a church or not…
“Another reason Catholic and Protestant interests are so visible in German society is the seats church representatives are granted on supervisory boards across a wide variety of organizations. There, the churches sit alongside other interest groups such as conservationists, union leaders, and experts from a range of fields in the name of representing an important demographic. By way of example, the two churches have a voice on public broadcasting councils, from the nationwide ARD and ZDF to the regional WDR, to the international Deutsche Welle (DW), which receives federal funds. Included in these councils’ oversight tasks is helping to select the director-general. Given the innumerable supervisory boards across Germany, it is next to impossible to know exactly how many of these seats are held by the churches….
“When asked by German pollster INSA in 2017 if they believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, only 52 percent of Catholics and 48 percent of Protestants said yes. When asked if they believed in life after death, only 40 percent of Catholics and 32 percent of Protestants said they did…”
This article gives additional meaning to the description of the fallen woman in Revelation 17, riding the beast and being called “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots” (verse 5).
Talks about a European Army
Express wrote on March 31:
“Last week, Brussels rubberstamped a £4.3billion defence project which has been tipped to pave the way for the long-proposed EU army. French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel have both reportedly expressed interest in such a move, particularly after the US pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2018.The so-called EU army doesn’t exist at the moment, with military powers organised individually by the 27 EU member states.
“But during an interview with Welt in Germany, Bundestag President and CDU politician Wolfgang Schäuble [said:] ‘We don’t have much time. We live in a dangerous world in which Europe needs an operational, modern army. The Germans would be up for it. They would immediately be willing to give up a national army…’
“France’s former Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard, who was also taking part in the same interview with Die Welt,… said: ‘Most of the French would not have any reservations about forming a common army with the Germans… It’s a matter of life and death. It must not happen that when the first coffins return to Europe, self-doubts arise about the fundamental necessity of the common army.’”
A European Army will arrive.
EU and USA in Collaboration to Establish a Palestinian State
Israel Today wrote on April 1:
“Two new scandals involving the Palestinian Authority (PA), the European Union, and the current US Administration of President Joe Biden were revealed by Israel’s Channel 13 News and the US news organization The Washington Free Beacon. The scandals show that instead of consolidating its sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (or the so-called ‘West Bank’), Israel is losing the battle over its Biblical heartland. Both the European Union and the Biden Administration are helping the PA to establish a terrorist state in this area.
“Last week, Channel 13 broadcast a blockbuster two-part documentary about the shocking activities of the European Union (EU) in the so-called ‘Area C’ in Judea and Samaria. This area was assigned to Israel under the Oslo Accords and COGAT, the Civil Administration of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), [and it] is responsible for daily affairs there, including issuing building permits… Arabic-speaking employees of this organization disguised themselves as Arabs and went undercover into the Palestinian Authority (PA) to investigate exactly what are the activities of the EU in Area C. The investigation clearly showed that the EU is secretly helping the PA to create a Palestinian state in Area C, as well as Arab Jerusalem… The EU, the United Nations and certain Arab countries are funding the entire project to the tune of three billion euros…
“Then there was a shocking report by Adam Kredo, an investigative reporter for The Washington Free Beacon, an US-based news site. Kredo’s article was about an as yet unpublished US State Department report that described how the PA continues to use foreign aid to pay stipends to jailed Palestinian terrorists and the families of so-called ‘martyrs,’ Palestinian Arabs who died during terrorist attacks. The report stated that the PA has continued to use foreign financial aid to fund payments to terrorists held in Israeli jails for attacks on Israelis until this very day. In 2019, the PA further distributed $191 million to the families of shahids (Islamic martyrs), according to Kredo.
“The funding of these practices by the PA are prohibited under US law, and it was the reason the Trump Administration cut off financial aid to the PA. The new US administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has decided to resume financial aid to Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, the State Department stated in the report. ‘The State Department admitted it was unable to certify to Congress that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization are complying with the Taylor Force Act, the legislation that prohibits funding the PA as long as it continues its “pay to slay” policy,’ Kredo wrote. He furthermore reported that in 2020 the PA allegedly allocated $155 million in foreign aid for its ‘pay to slay’ in program….”
It’s the world against Israel. Note the next article.
The World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Fight Against Israel
Israel 365 wrote on April 3:
“With an annual budget of almost $30 million, the WCC is succeeding in hurting Israel. Formed as a collective of 347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories… it plays a key role in mobilizing churches worldwide to support international… campaigns against Israel.
“The WCC is a central promoter of the Kairos Palestine document, which characterizes terrorist acts of ‘armed resistance’ as ‘Palestinian legal resistance,’ denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions], and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.
“The WCC is also critical of Christian Zionism, claiming that ‘Christians who promote “Christian Zionism” distort the interpretation of the word of God and the historic connection of Palestinians—Christians and Muslims—to the Holy Land, enable the manipulation of public opinion by Zionist lobbies, and damage intra-Christian relations.’ In February 2021,… Frank Chikane, moderator of the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (WCC-CCIA)… portrayed Israel as ‘demons’ and stating that ‘those who support Israel to brutalize Palestinians,… the blood of the people of Palestine will be sought from them because they collaborate by allowing this system to continue.’…
“In June 2017, the WCC published and circulated a letter by the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine that called on the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, labeled Israel a ‘colonial state,’ and portrayed Palestinians as the true victims of the Holocaust.”
USA Removes Sanctions against ICC
JTA wrote on April 2:
“The Biden administration removed sanctions that President Donald Trump had imposed on International Criminal Court officials while continuing to decry the ICC’s work targeting U.S. and Israeli personnel. ‘These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday in a statement. ‘We continue to disagree strongly with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations,’ Blinken said, referring to separate investigations into alleged war crimes by U.S. and Israeli personnel.
“‘We maintain our longstanding objection to the Court’s efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel,’ he said, referring to the fact that neither Israel or the United States have accepted ICC jurisdiction. ‘We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.’
“Trump last year imposed economic sanctions and travel restrictions against ICC workers directly involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials for possible war crimes in Afghanistan. In the same executive order, Trump said he may extend the sanctions against investigations into U.S. allies, naming Israel. Israel backed Trump’s sanctions and reportedly asked Biden not to remove them.
“The Palestinian Authority in February cleared a major hurdle to getting the ICC to prosecute Israelis when an ICC panel decided the court has jurisdiction to investigate Israelis and Palestinian terrorists, including from Hamas, for alleged crimes during the 2014 Gaza War.”
What a terrible shortsightedness by the USA towards the ICC.
Russian Buildup of Troops at Ukraine’s Border
Express wrote on April 3:
“Russian troops are gathering close to the border with Ukraine, a move which has sparked concern across the West…
“Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was ‘gravely concerned’ at the situation, while US President Joe Biden offered reassurances to Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a 50-minute phone conversation yesterday. Ukraine, Western countries and NATO have all accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of sending troops and heavy weapons to prop up proxies in Donbass who seized a swathe of eastern Ukraine in 2014, at the same time Russia annexed the Crimea.
“Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other in recent weeks for a spike in violence in the eastern Donbass region, where Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces have fought a conflict which has killed 14,000 people in seven years by Ukraine’s estimate. Russia says it only provides political and humanitarian support to separatist fighters in what it casts as an internal conflict. However, speaking yesterday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the BBC Russia troops were massing at Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders, as well as ‘in the illegally occupied Crimea’. He added: ‘So from three directions we observed a military build-up of the Russian federation. Ukraine is not looking for any escalation – we do not need war.’
“Mr Kuleba has discussed matters with Mr Raab, who subsequently tweeted that he had ‘reaffirmed UK support for Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity’. He added: ‘We are gravely concerned about Russian military activity which threatens Ukraine.’ After his conversation with Mr Biden, President Zelenskiy said: ‘… President Biden assured me that Ukraine will never be left alone against Russia’s aggression.’…
“The Kremlin said yesterday any deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine would lead to further tensions near Russia’s borders and force Moscow to take extra measures to ensure its own security… Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters yesterday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple ‘provocations’ were taking place there….
“In a statement issued on Thursday, the European Union said: ‘… the Russian Federation has launched yet another conscription campaign in the illegally-annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to draft residents of the peninsula in the Russian Federation Armed Forces. This is another violation of international humanitarian law…’”
The Daily Star added on April 3:
“Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer has warned WW3 could be sparked by rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine… The terrifying alert has come after footage was widely shared on social media showing suspected large scale Russian military movements in regions close to rebel-held eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea… With tension sharply rising, Pavel Felgenhauer, who has written several books about Russia’s political and military leadership… warned events could see ‘war in a month’… ‘The crisis has the potential to escalate into a pan-European war, if not even a world one,’ Felgenhauer warned starkly in an interview with Rosbalt news outlet in Russia…
“‘In the West, they don’t know what to do about it.’… He claimed all the conditions could be in place by early May when Russia will hold a major Red Square parade to mark the anniversary of victory in World War Two, and he suspects a ‘decision has been made already… Some (in the West) say that the Russians should not be provoked, and military intervention is too risky. Others, on the contrary, are in favour of unification (of Russia and Ukraine) and open confrontation…’”
France 24 wrote on April 2:
“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that most of Ukraine’s military appeared to understand the danger of a ‘hot conflict’ in Donbass. ‘I very much hope that they will not be “incited” by politicians, who in turn will be “incited” by the West, led by the United States,’ said Lavrov. ‘Russian President Putin said (this) not long ago, but this statement is still relevant today, that those who would try to start a new war in Donbass – will destroy Ukraine.’”
Newsmax added on April 4:
“The U.S. European Command has raised its threat level as Russia has increased its aggression in Eastern Europe and the Arctic over the last two weeks, including Moscow’s buildup of military troops and equipment in eastern Ukraine and an ‘unusual peak’ of Russian warplanes flying near Alaskan airspace…”
According to the Bible, Russia and Ukraine will unite to ultimately fight Europe.
Russia-Ukraine Situation Cause for Concern
Deutsche Welle reported on April 8:
“Mykhailo Samus of the Kyiv Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies, is convinced that Moscow has long been preparing for an invasion and has already begun concentrating equipment and troops along the border with Ukraine. The analyst says, ‘Russia has effectively created three new armies encircling Ukraine.’ He says six submarines armed with Kalibr cruise missiles — which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads — have been dispatched to Crimea…”
CNN wrote on April 8:
“The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine…
“White House press secretary Jen Psaki said…, ‘The United States is increasingly concerned by recently escalating Russian aggressions in eastern Ukraine, including Russia’s movements on Ukraine’s border. Russia now has more troops on the border of Ukraine than any time since 2014. Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed this week alone…’
“On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops in order to de-escalate the situation… According to a Kremlin readout of the call, Putin accused Kyiv of ‘provocative actions.’”
The Daily Star wrote on April 8:
“It is feared that within days more than 95,000 assault troops, backed by tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and even thermobaric rocket batteries will be ready to invade. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops— including reservists—have been called up to the border and US advisers are believed to be ‘in [the] country’… American intelligence assessments grade the threat of a major Russia-Ukraine flare-up as [a] ‘potential imminent crisis’ as stated by their European operations centre EUCOM…
“More than ten heavily-armed Russian warships are now steaming towards the Caspian Sea from the Black Sea, armed with artillery and other weapons to back Putin’s land forces…”
Europe’s New Lockdown Rules and Germany’s Ambitions
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 2:
“Since the start of the pandemic, the Scandinavian country [of Sweden] has… kept bans and prohibitions to a minimum. However, since the start of January this year the government has been clamping down a little more. It passed a new set of measures… but in comparison with other EU countries, these are very mild. A maximum of four are allowed to sit at a single table in a restaurant. Up to eight people are allowed to meet. Shops and tourist accommodation remain open.”
It does not look like as if Sweden fares worse than the European lockdown countries. Still, it was announced that a majority of Germans want stricter and tougher lockdown rules and that Angela Merkel should have more authority over the German states. Of course, one has to be very careful with those polls as many are manipulated and ask ambiguous questions. Still, if true, do these Germans really know what they are asking for?
Former German Minister of Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU), is demanding a change of the German constitution to allow the enforcement of emergency laws (“Ausnahmezustand”) by the government in case of a crisis (Die Welt, April 3).
The Guardian reported on April 5:
“The interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said a nationwide approach was the only way for the country to effectively fight the virus’s spread. ‘There is a great desire among the population for unified rules,’ he told the newspaper Welt am Sontag. ‘Therefore my proposal is to establish uniform rules with a federal law … which would prescribe which measures have to be taken according to the incidence value.’”
Such a law would deprive the German states of their authority… a dangerous precedence for Germany’s government which has historically proven to abuse empowering laws once it has the chance.
The Associated Press reported on April 3 that “Germany’s president [Frank-Walter Steinmeier] says the country is enduring a ‘crisis of trust’… amid pandemic restrictions and dissatisfaction over the government´s response… [He] conceded that ‘there were mistakes’ regarding testing, digital solutions and vaccinations.” “Mistakes” is a very mild term. In fact, Germany’s mishandling shows complete incompetence of Germany’s leaders while they are desperately trying, including through unconstitutional dictatorial means, to stay in power.
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 5:
“North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) State Premier Armin Laschet called for a harder lockdown [or “bridge lockdown”] on Monday… However, Laschet’s request has been met with skepticism from fellow German lawmakers… The chairman of the CDU and one of [Merkel’s] potential successors as chancellor… is asking for fewer private contacts, which could require curfews at night, and for more people to work from home… ‘I think a lot of what Mr Laschet says is unclear,’ said Berlin State Premier Michael Mueller (SPD)… ‘I don’t think Mr Laschet has thought things through.’
“The co-chairwoman of The Left party, Janine Wissler also criticized Laschet… ‘Whether his proposals are based on insight or because he has lost the power struggle against the chancellor, remains [to] be seen. In any case, this crisis management makes one become fearful and anxious.’”
Laschet’s NRW has become one of the most dictatorial and liberty-restricting states in Germany—and not only in regard to coronavirus measures and lockdowns.
The Daily Mail wrote on April 7:
“Angela Merkel has called for a ‘short national lockdown’ to curb Germany’s coronavirus crisis… It comes a fortnight [two weeks] after Merkel made a humiliating apology for the ‘mistake’ of trying to impose a five-day Easter lockdown… But today, her spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer signalled another flip-flop by the Chancellor.”
According to Bild Online, dated April 7, Bavaria’s Markus Soeder rejected these concepts, saying that this is not the time for “experiments” and that the present coronavirus infection numbers in Germany do not give an accurate and honest picture. Actually, they have not done so for a long time.
Reuters reported on March 31:
“Finland’s government has withdrawn a proposal to confine people largely to their own homes in several cities to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic… The decision followed a statement from a constitutional law committee that deemed the proposal too vague and not in compliance with the constitution.”
The Brussels Times wrote on March 31:
“The Belgian State has been ordered to lift ‘all coronavirus measures’ within 30 days, as the legal basis for them is insufficient, a Brussels court ruled on Wednesday… The judge gave the Belgian State 30 days to provide a sound legal basis, or face a penalty of €5,000 per day that this period is exceeded, with a maximum limit of €200,000…”
Other (European) countries should follow Finland’s and Belgium’s lead.
ECHR: Compulsory Vaccinations May Be Necessary!
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 8:
“The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled Thursday that compulsory vaccinations would not contravene human rights law and may be necessary in democratic societies. The ruling came following conclusion of a complaint brought to the court by Czech families regarding compulsory jabs for children… Although the ruling did not deal directly with COVID-19 vaccines, experts believe it could have implications for the vaccination drive against the virus, especially for those who have so far stated a refusal to accept the jab.
“This judgment ‘reinforces the possibility of a compulsory vaccination under conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic,’ Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in the ECHR, told AFP news agency… The decision said that the compulsory vaccines administered by Czech health authorities were in line with the ‘best interests’ of children… By Czech law, children must be vaccinated against nine diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and measles. The case was brought to the court by families who had been fined, or whose children had been refused access to a nursery for failing to comply with their legal vaccination duty.”
How Reliable Are Big Surveys regarding Vaccine Passports?
Breitbart wrote on April 1:
“Britain is a nation of cowed, compliant, gullible, vaccine passport bootlickers, if you believe the latest survey from Ipsos MORI. Apparently, eight out of 10 Britons think there should be ‘vaccine passports’ for people who want to work as ‘a frontline worker or in the NHS or care sector’. A majority (58 per cent) actually believe you ought to take the jab merely to be allowed to travel on public transport. Have the liberty-loving British really turned so quickly into a nation of joyless, vaccine-compliant, Big-Government-worshipping bootlickers?
“I have my doubts… lots of people [are] enjoying themselves in the sun at Nottingham Park… mainstream media lockdown addicts tried to reframe this as a ‘Covidiots go mad outdoors’ disaster story. But what I see is people behaving naturally — and not buying into the government narrative that coronavirus is just waiting to kill them as soon as they open their mouths…
“Ipsos MORI… suggests to respondents that if ‘vaccine passports’ are adopted, it ‘could lead to coronavirus restrictions being lifted more quickly.’ Ipsos MORI must know — because everyone is feeling it — that people are now so desperate for ‘coronavirus restrictions’ to be ‘lifted more quickly’ that they’d happily sell their grandmothers into slavery and their children to Satan…
“At the time of writing, 90 per cent of respondents have answered that they think the results of COVID polls from the big polling companies are ‘poll-ox’. For once, this is an unscientific opinion poll with credibility.”
Depending on how issues are framed and whether “leading” questions are asked, the desired poll results are predictable.
Police in London Shut Down Worship Service
The Daily Mail wrote on April 3:
“A Good Friday service at a Polish church was shut down by police for breaching Covid rules as worshippers were threatened with £200 fines. Officers shut down the religious ceremony in Balham High Street, south London, at around 5pm yesterday. Footage shared on social media shows an officer tell worshippers that the gathering is ‘unlawful’ and that they have to go home.
“But the parish Parafia Chrystusa Krola — Christ the Believer — has issued a statement saying it believes police ‘brutally exceeded their powers’…
“Official coronavirus guidance states communal worship or prayer can be attended by as many people as a place of worship can accommodate, as long as they are socially distanced. People are also encouraged not to mingle after a service and go back to their homes as quickly as possible.
“In the video, a police officer tells a church full of worshippers wearing face masks that they have to stop the Good Friday service. He says: ‘You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law. At this moment in time you need to go home. Failure to comply with this direction to leave and go to your home address, ultimately could lead you to be fined £200 or, if you fail to give your details, to you being arrested…’
“People on social media have slammed the police for shutting down the service, labelling the handling of the situation ‘disproportionate‘. One wrote: ‘I’m actually ashamed of what you did on Good Friday of all days. Stop hiding behind Covid transmission, when we see large scale protests being facilitated at this very minute in London.’”
Breitbart added on April 4:
“The move caused considerable anger among conservatives who traditionally back the police in the face of violent protesters calling to defund them, accusations of ‘institutional racism’, and so on, with Brexit champion Nigel Farage, for example, sharing a video of the ‘bust’ and commenting, ‘I want to support our police forces but this sort of thing makes it very difficult.’”
The police action would have been clearly disproportionate and inexcusable. Sadly, such autocratic actions are not limited to England. Paris just deployed 6,600 police to enforce new coronavirus lockdown rules “which include a ban on traveling more than 10 kilometers (6 miles), a ban on outdoor gatherings of six people or more and a continued nationwide 7 p.m. curfew” (Breitbart, April 3).
Polish Church Stands Up to Police in Canada
Breitbart reported on April 4:
“Police were … expelled from a Polish church in Alberta, Canada after disrupting an Easter service… Pastor Artur Pawlowski ordered the six officers who descended on the Cave of Adullam Church out of the property… accusing them of ‘intimidating people in a church during the Passover’… Pawloski said to the camera as the officers walked away. ‘Passover. The holiest Christian festival in a year, and they’re coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival — unbelievable!’ he exclaimed…
“The pastor had been polite but firm with the half-dozen officers originally, telling them: ‘Please get out, get out of this property, immediately get out’ as they clustered together a short distance inside the building. He became markedly firmer as they attempted to linger and put questions to him, insisting: ‘I don’t want to hear a word. Out! Out! Out of this property immediately, until you come back with a warrant — out!’
“Pawloski chastised them as ‘Nazis’ and declared that ‘Gestapo is not welcome here’ as they straggled out, largely in silence…”
The parallels are there, except that the Gestapo, once in full power, might have used their guns and shot everyone.
But Not So in Ireland
ADF International wrote on April 1:
“Irish Christians cannot gather to worship at church this Easter Weekend. This month marks nearly a full year of the blanket ban on public worship being in place throughout the country. Supermarkets and hardware stores remain open with precautions in place, as well as public transport – yet churches are deemed too dangerous to open their doors, even to masked and distanced worshippers… In response to a challenge at the High Court, the government has confirmed that it is a criminal offense for a priest to conduct mass unless for the purpose of a funeral or a wedding. Similarly, worshippers could face a fine or up to 6 months jail time for leaving their homes to attend a place of worship…
“Recently, Scotland’s top civil court found that a similar blanket ban on worship was unlawful… In November, Westminster’s chief medical and scientific advisors conceded that evidence for church closures was… ‘not based on scientific fact.’”
In light of such inconsistent guesswork, words fail…
Facebook—the new Roman Empire?
Breitbart wrote on April 3:
“Here’s a recent headline to ponder from… Axios: ‘The sovereign state of Facebook vs. the world.’… Axios was exaggerating, of course; Facebook is not a sovereign state (although it does plan to issue its own currency). So yes, Facebook is huge and powerful, bidding to be a key partner in… the international reordering of world power, in favor of the powerful. As the article details: ‘Facebook’s 3 billion monthly active users, its mountain of money and its control over the flow of information all put the company on an equal footing with governments around the world — and, increasingly, it’s getting into fights with them’…
“… every conservative recalls that back in January, Facebook banned Donald Trump, even as it continued to allow repressive foreign countries, such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as well as left-wing extremists, to flourish on its site. Heck, it’s been reported that Facebook has actually hired citizens of the PRC to help with its censoring.
“Meanwhile, Facebook’s March 3 announcement that it would resume accepting American political advertisements was treated as huge news… Facebook is the single most important media company in America today, and so of course politicians are happy to pay to be seen on its platform.
“… Facebook… founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg [displays] many similarities [with] Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor… Zuckerberg has manifestly sought to model himself after that ancient empire-builder…
“Zuckerberg and Facebook have been fashioning themselves into some sort of world state. Just last month, The New Yorker magazine published a 7,500-word article, headlined, ‘Inside the Making of Facebook’s Supreme Court.’ As the piece detailed, Facebook has spent more than $100 million to create its own planetary governing body, formally known as the Oversight Board, aimed at adjudicating questions of content and censorship…
“Its stock price has increased by more than a third in the last year, such that Zuckerberg himself is worth almost $100 billion. And yet still, empires fall… no empire, no greatness, is permanent… And yet the globe-girdling social network has so much embedded power and momentum that it will likely do just fine in the future; for instance, if Facebook can work with the Democrats to put the focus on heavy content-moderation, it can create a barrier against smaller rivals, which won’t be able to afford such content-moderation… the Biden administration’s new trade chief, Katherine Tai, announced just on March 26 that the U.S. government would be imposing tariffs on countries that added taxes to big U.S. digital firms, including Facebook…”
The dangerous influence and power of Facebook is obvious.
Star Wars’ Trans Jedi Knights
Breitbart wrote on March 31:
“The official Facebook page for the Star Wars movie franchise celebrated ‘Trans Day of Visibility’ on Wednesday by unveiling the recently created characters Terec and Ceret, who are ‘trans non-binary Jedi Knights.’ ‘In honor of #TransDayOfVisibility,’ the caption to the artwork reads, ‘we’re proud to unveil an exclusive cover highlighting Terec and Ceret, trans non-binary Jedi, currently featured in Marvel’s The High Republic comic. We support trans lives and we are passionate and committed to broadening our representation in a galaxy far far way.’
“The High Republic project is a new multi-media ‘sub-franchise’ made up of books for kids, young adult and adult novels, and comic books intended to expand the Star Wars universe into all new stories set 200 years before the saga of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The Star Wars franchise has taken criticism from left-wing activists for its reluctance to introduce fully realized LGBTQ characters into its Skywalker saga movies, books, and comics.
“LGBT Star Wars characters often appeared in fan stories before Disney bought the franchise but some also appeared in officially licensed computer games, novels, and comics. But the blockbuster movies steered clear of gay representation for the most part, bringing criticism onto the franchise. Disney included a lesbian kissing scene in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Disney made headlines later when it removed the lesbian kiss scene from the film in Singapore, bending to the country’s strict rules surrounding LGBT content in Singapore
“The effort to add LGBT characters has become a concerted effort since 2012, when Disney acquired the property from Lucasfilm for $4 billion. Since the purchase, Disney has been steadily adding LGBT characters to every part of the franchise. The characters are considered ‘cannon,’ and are therefore sanctioned and permanent additions to Star Wars stories.”
At the same time, the Disney franchise warns against Disney movies such as Peter Pan, Dumbo or Aristocats as racially or ethnically problematic. Disney would turn in his grave if he knew what has become of his accomplishments.
California’s Schools to Destroy Christianity?
Israel 365 News wrote on March 29:
“The Department of Education in California… has approved a 900-page ‘Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum’ designed to ‘decolonize’ America. The program aims to right the supposed wrongs of the imperial Christianity that swept the Americas clean of their indigenous religions. The curriculum’s core promise is that it will help root out Christianity, and the capitalism and racism that apparently came with it.
“To empower children as forces for ending such white colonialist hangovers, pupils are being instructed to pray in chants each day to Aztec gods that formerly sacrificed (and sometimes ate parts of) children and their parents. The curriculum instructs the pupils to invoke these gods to empower themselves as ‘social warriors’…
“Huitzilopochtli, the former Aztec god of war and sun, is expected to be particularly helpful in the new curriculum’s mission to right these wrongs. Students are encouraged to entreat Huitzilopochtli (a deity who inspired hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices during Aztec rule) to endow themselves with ‘a revolutionary spirit’ in order to bring ‘transformation’ in combatting ‘white supremacy, racism and other forms of power and oppression.’
“It is not enough, apparently, in today’s ethnic studies to learn about other religions. Children must be made to practice those religions… the new curriculum ‘recommends that teachers lead their students in a series of indigenous songs, chants, and affirmations, including the “In Lak Ech Affirmation,” which appeals directly to the Aztec gods.’ As the pupils chant and clap to the gods, including Tezkatlipoka (the vengeful god of night and sorcery), Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent regarded as the god of wind and rain), and Xipe Totek (the life-death-rebirth deity who wears a suit of flayed human skin), they will be instructed to seek ‘healing beliefs’ while attaining revolutionary empowerment. The students will shout ‘Panche beh! Panche beh…! You are my other self,’ appealing to the gods to give them critical consciousness.”IF TRUE, then this would be the most blatant blasphemous attempt of California’s Department of Education to teach our children idolatrous concepts and practices in complete violation of God’s biblical commands NEVER to do that.
Village News wrote on March 30:
“California’s state education board unanimously approved a model ethnic studies curriculum Thursday, March 25, after years of divisive debate, multiple drafts and more than 100,000 public comments about the proposal. The nearly 900-page curriculum focuses on ‘historically marginalized peoples’ – particularly racial minorities – and calls on students to study the ‘imperialism, settler colonialism and genocide, both cultural and physical’ of those peoples.
“The curriculum made national headlines early in March after Discovery Institute scholar Christopher Rufo, who researches ‘woke’ ideology in public education, released details of a draft lesson plan about pre-Columbian American history. The lesson plan called for the ‘decolonization’ of American society and would have students chant to the Aztec god of human sacrifice. One of the ‘lesson resources’ included in the draft curriculum would have teachers lead students in an ‘ethnic studies community chant’ to various Aztec gods for the power to become ‘warriors’ of social justice. The lesson plan linked a video showing what appeared to be students participating in a unity chant with similar language described.
“The ‘chants, affirmations, and energizer can be used as energizers to bring the class together, build unity around ethnic studies principles and values and to reinvigorate the class following a lesson that may be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement may appear to be low,’ according to the draft curriculum.
“Tezkatlipoka, one of the Aztec gods mentioned in the chant, is associated with cannibalism and human sacrifice according to the World History Encyclopedia…
“In a March 10 report about the curriculum published in City Journal, Rufo detailed the radical ideas espoused by R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, the original co-chair of the ethnic studies curriculum who worked on the pre-Columbian American history material. Cuauhtin’s book ‘Rethinking Ethnic Studies,’ which is referenced throughout the lesson plan, denounced the U.S. as a ‘Eurocentric, White supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal, heteropatriarchal and anthropocentric paradigm.’ Cuauhtin also claimed White Christians are responsible for ‘coloniality, dehumanization and genocide’ against Native Americans because European colonization of the Americas led to the replacement of indigenous religions with Christianity.
“The curriculum materials call for ‘transformational resistance’ against the ‘hegemonic Eurocentric neocolonial condition.’ One of the terms included in the lesson plan is ‘countergenocide.’ ‘The chants have a clear implication: the displacement of the Christian God, which is said to be an extension of White supremacist oppression and the restoration of the indigenous gods to their rightful place in the social justice cosmology,’ Rufo said in City Journal.
“The ethnic studies curriculum may have been approved by the state education board, but it is still only a recommendation for districts that want to incorporate ethnic studies and not yet a statewide requirement….”
However, it is to be feared that many schools and teachers in California will adopt these blasphemous concepts and practices, and that other states will follow California’s terrible lead.
Snopes, a California fact-checking website which is considered “one of the best” by the left-wing media, and which is run by a couple (husband and wife), wrote on March 31:
“The California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), which schools can voluntarily adopt or not, suggests that students participate in a ‘community chant’ that includes references to ‘tezkatlipoka’ and ‘huitzilopochtli,’ which are translated as ‘self reflection’ and ‘the will to act,’ respectively. Some historical accounts describe those words as the names of gods to whom the Aztecs carried out human sacrifices. However… Tezkatlipoca and huitzilopochtli are presented in the community chant not as gods of human sacrifice, but as the names of broad indigenous concepts that teach students self-reflection and action…”
Even if the last comments were true, it would make no difference (in fact, it would make it even more dangerous due to the intentional cover-up and secrecy as to what was happening) because these names clearly are associated with awful pagan gods or demons, and the Apostle Paul tells us that we are not to come in contact with demons in any way. Snopes also falsely claims in the article that accounts of mass human sacrifices by Aztecs, if true at all, are largely exaggerated.
Archbishop of Canterbury Warns Against Suppression of Opinion
Daily Mail wrote on March 31:
“The Archbishop of Canterbury has railed against the creeping trend of cancel culture as a ‘huge threat’ to the Church of England’s future. Justin Welby also defended the right to freedom of speech after a teacher was suspended for showing his class a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. In a rare intervention, the head of the Church waded into the row engulfing the school in Batley, West Yorkshire, where the teacher has gone into hiding after furious protests from Muslim parents….
“He further slammed cancel culture and those that are trying to expunge Britain’s history. Statues of controversial figures have been targeted by campaigners, and last year a Bristol monument to the slave trader Edward Colston was memorably toppled… Welby said: ‘We can’t erase the past. It’s impossible. We have to learn from it sometimes, often, always… We cannot cancel history. We cannot cancel differences of opinion.’ …
“The Archbishop noted it was an alarming trend growing at UK universities, where controversial speakers have been no-platformed.”
Not Race, but Suitability?
Daily Mail wrote on April 2:
“Lady Colin Campbell today claimed that Princess Anne is the royal Meghan and Harry accused of racism in their bombshell interview with Oprah – but insisted the Queen’s daughter was completely misunderstood by the Sussexes…
“’There were no concerns about Meghan’s colour. Princess Anne was rightly concerned that if the marriage proceeded and there were children there would be huge problems, not because of Meghan’s colour, but because of Meghan’s inability and determination to remain unable to appreciate the cultural differences’. “
Trump Warns against Use of Addictive Substances
The New York Post wrote on April 2:
“Former President Donald Trump took a thinly veiled shot at his White House successor, saying the key to good parenting is keeping kids away from drugs, cigarettes and booze. The… father of five took the apparent swipe at President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter — who has detailed his lifelong struggles with alcohol and drugs in a new memoir — during a Thursday interview with Real America’s Voice anchor Gina Loudon. ‘You have to talk to them, you have to be with them,’ Trump told Loudon. ‘A lot [of] people… don’t give their children enough time.’
“Trump, 74, whose brother Fred died of alcoholism in 1981, then stressed the importance of keeping his kids away from addictive substances. ‘You could have good children, but if they start with the drugs or the alcohol – and I always add cigarettes in there too, frankly – but I say no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes and I’ve said it for years to all of them,’ the former commander-in-chief told Loudon. Trump said he stresses his stern anti-drug and alcohol stance to his five children from three marriages – Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron – to the point that they start ‘going wild’ in response to his fatherly wisdom. ‘You know, they don’t like it,’ Trump said. ‘But it really, so far, I think, has had a pretty good impact.’
“Without elaborating, Trump then told Loudon he had witnessed ‘some really great children go bad’ because… ‘they get hooked on drugs or alcohol, and you really just can’t let that happen, because once that happens, then you’re dealing in a new ballgame,’ Trump told Loudon…
“Hunter Biden’s new memoir, ‘Beautiful Things,’ in which he details his struggle with substance addiction following the 2015 death of his older brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at 46, will be released on April 6. The 51-year-old Biden has had at least six stints in rehab for alcoholism and drug addiction, including a crack cocaine binge in 2016. Three years later, The Post exclusively revealed that Hunter Biden was suspected of smoking crack at a Washington, DC, strip club where he dropped ‘thousands of dollars’ during multiple visits.”
We would agree with Donald Trump that one should stay away from drugs and cigarettes. However, the Bible does not prohibit the moderate use of alcohol and even recommends it. On the other hand, a former or recovering alcoholic must avoid the consumption of alcohol at all costs. (The only exception for such a person is the consumption of a very small portion of alcohol during the Passover evening, for truly converted Christians, after much prayer to God for His special protection on that occasion.)
Easter Bonfires.. once pagan but now no more…?
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 4:
“It’s a tradition almost everywhere in Germany to light a big Easter bonfire. The originally pagan custom, which celebrates the arrival of spring, was adopted by Christians to represent the resurrection of Christ…”
God does not accept this kind of worship which has its roots in paganism. He condemns it thoroughly.
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.
Would you please explain Christ’s saying in Matthew 10:16?
The passage in question reads as follows in the New King James Bible: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
Let us review Christ’s different statements one at a time.
First, He speaks of His disciples as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Barnes Notes on the Bible states: “I send you, inoffensive and harmless, into a cold, unfriendly, and cruel world.” The Benson Commentary adds: “I now send you forth weak and defenceless among a wicked, cruel, and persecuting people.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary elaborates: “Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures.”
In Acts 20:29 and in Luke 10:3, wolves are used as symbols of persecutors and predators. Christ sends us into the world, in the midst of wolves, to overcome them. He wants us to withstand them, and with His help, we will.
In our Q&A, we stated the following about the symbolism of wolves, as referring to world-ruling empires:
“Habakkuk 1:6-8… describes the final rise of the modern Chaldeans—a bitter, hasty, terrible and dreadful nation. In verse 8, God says that they are ‘more fierce than evening wolves’… modern Israel and Judah are described as devouring wolves (compare Zephaniah 3:3 and Ezekiel 22:27, referring to Jerusalem’s judges as wolves, leaving not a bone till morning, and also to Israel’s princes as wolves, tearing the prey, shedding blood, and destroying people)…
“Savage wolves are also used as metaphors for people who are opposed to God and His Church. Christ speaks about false prophets, coming to God’s people, as ‘ravenous wolves’ (Matthew 7:15), and Paul warns the church at Ephesus that after his departure, savage wolves would come in among them, not sparing the flock (Acts 20:29). Christ said that those wolves would catch the unprotected and forsaken sheep and scatter them (John 10:12), because they trusted in uncaring hirelings and not in God’s true shepherds. Christ told His disciples that He would send them as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16). Especially in the end time, when the beast (the final revival of the Roman Empire as well as the final leader) will be manifested on earth, it will behave as a ravenous savage wolf against God’s people. While the world will admire, adore and even worship the beast, it will blaspheme God and persecute the saints (Revelation 13:6-8).”
In our Q&A, we added the following warning against wolves coming to the church:
“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.”
On the other hand, in Matthew 10:16 (and also in Luke 10:3), Christ is primarily speaking about His disciples being sent, as sheep or lambs, to or among wolves, not the other way around. How then can sheep or lambs be surviving and successful in such a hostile environment of ravenous wolves?
Christ gives the answer in His statements about serpents and doves. It may be helpful to look at some alternate translations of Matthew 10:16.
The New American Standard Bible says: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves.”
The Good News Translation reads: “Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.”
Smith’s Literal Translation reads: “Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore discerning as serpents, and pure as doves.”
The Mace New Testament says: “By your mission you will be exposed like sheep in the midst of wolves: be then as circumspect as serpents, and as inoffensive as doves.”
Regarding doves in particular, Moffat speaks of being “guileless as doves.”
The Luther Bibles, as well as Schlachter, Menge and Zürcher translate consistently, “be without falsity as doves” (“ohne falsch wie die Tauben”), and Die Gute Nachricht and Hoffnung fuer alle say, “without deceit” (“ohne Hinterlist”).
We might readily accept the concept of the pure, gentle, guileless and inoffensive innocence of a harmless dove without falsity, which we must incorporate, but we may have an initial problem with viewing serpents as “wise” which we have to imitate. Of course, Christ did not refer to Satan, the serpent (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 11:3), demons which we will tread upon (Luke 10:19) or the Pharisees whom He calls “serpents” (Matthew 23:33). Rather, Christ had something different in mind.
Gotquestions states the following:
“Jesus was using similes (figures of speech that compare two unlike things) to instruct His disciples in how to behave in their ministry. Just before He tells them to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, He warns them that they were being sent out ‘like sheep among wolves.’
“The world, then as now, was hostile to believers—not incidentally hostile, but purposefully hostile. Wolves are intentional about the harm they inflict upon sheep… Jesus taught His followers that, to be Christlike in a godless world, they must combine the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove… As we take the gospel to a hostile world, we must be wise (avoiding the snares set for us), and we must be innocent (serving the Lord blamelessly)… Wisdom does not equal dishonesty, and innocence does not equal gullibility…
“Jesus showed that He was as wise as a serpent in the way He taught. He knew enough to discern the differences in His audiences (a critical skill)… He refused to be caught in the many traps that His enemies laid for Him… Jesus showed that He was as harmless as a dove in every circumstance. He lived a pure and holy life… He acted in compassion… and He challenged anyone to find fault in Him… Three times, Pilate judged Jesus to be an innocent man…”
“Jesus sends His disciples out as sheep in the midst of wolves [Matt. 10:16]. They were being sent as His ambassadors to a world that opposed His reign. His disciples are like seemingly vulnerable sheep among seemingly hostile wolves. But the key to being effective is not to be sheepish… they needed to be both wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
“To be wise as a serpent relates to being prudent, careful, and intelligent. It has the connotation of [being] able to deal with the likely challenges or dangers of life in a potentially threatening place. To be harmless as doves has an association of gentleness and peace; but the Greek term also relates to purity, innocence, and simplicity.”
The word for “wise“ (phronimos) means, according to Strong’s #5429, “thoughtful, i.e. sagacious or discreet (implying a cautious character).” Young defines it as: “mindful, prudent, provident.” It is used, for example, in an approving sense in Matthew 7:24; 24:45; 25:2; describing the wise man building his house on the rock; the faithful and wise servant; and the five wise virgins.
The Pulpit Commentary describes the “wise serpents” in this way: “Wise. Prudent… The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent in the quickness of its perception of danger and the rapidity with which it escapes from it.”
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges adds: “wise=prudent, full of precaution.”
Vincent’s Word Studies states: “Denoting prudence with regard to their own safety.”
Barnes Notes on the Bible writes: “Probably the thing in which Christ directed his followers to imitate the serpent was in its caution in avoiding danger. No animal equals them in the rapidity and skill which they evince in escaping danger. So said Christ to his disciples, You need caution and wisdom in the midst of a world that will seek your lives.”
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible commentary states: “… the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger.”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible writes: “The serpent… is… to be imitated by the followers of Christ, as to make use of all proper methods to preserve themselves from the insults and rage of men, and not expose themselves to unnecessary dangers: and, as much as in them lies, they should be careful to give no just occasion of offence, or irritate, and provoke them to use them ill, and to avoid all snares and traps that are laid for them.”
But Christ also says that we must be harmless as doves.
The word for “harmless”, (akeraios) means, according to Strong’s #185, “unmixed, i.e. fig. innocent, — harmless, simple (Phil. 2:15).” Others state that the word could also mean “sincere.” A related word (akakos) can be found in Hebrews 7:26.
The Pulpit Commentary describes the harmless doves as “literally ‘unmixed, unadulterated’ and emphasizes the idea of simplicity of character.”
Vincent’s Word Studies points out: “Lit. unmixed… Used of wine without water… Hence guiltless. So Luther, without falsity (Compare Romans 16:19, Philippians 2:15).”
“Barnes Notes on the Bible states: “He directs them, also, to be harmless, not to provoke danger, not to do injury, and thus make their fellow-men justly enraged against them. Doves are, and always have been, a striking emblem of innocence.”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible writes: “… maintain the innocence and harmlessness of the dove, being free from all wicked cunning and craftiness, without rancour, malice, and wrath; not meditating and seeking revenge, but meek and humble in their deportment, leading inoffensive lives, and proceeding in the course of their calling, though liable to many insults, and much oppression.”
The Life Application Bible summarizes Christ’s statement regarding the serpents and the doves, quite appropriately, in this way: “We are not to be gullible pawns but neither are we to be deceitful connivers.”
To conclude, Christ sent us into the world to fulfill God’s commission and plan for us (John 17:18), but we are not to be of the world (John 17:16). We are to be aware of the fact that the world is hostile towards God and His Way of Life, full of ravenous wolves which are ready to tear us apart. But following Christ’s admonition and with His help, we can be victorious, if we behave wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Azetec Demons in California Schools?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Is the Department of Education in California recommending to invite demons into our schools, by instructing pupils to “pray in chants each day to Aztec gods that formerly sacrificed children and their parents”? Some reports ring alarm bells, while others try to diminish or explain away what is happening. This program will explore what is really going on… and what you as parents or students must do.
“Are Jews and Christians at Odds with Jesus Christ?” is the title of our NEWEST BOOKLET. It is now posted, and copies will be sent to our mailing list and to those who request it. Printing of hard copies has begun.
“Mein Tröster, warum lässt Du auf Dich warten?” the afternoon Offertory presented in Germany on the last day of Unleavened Bread by Robert Kintzi, is now posted. Title in English: My God, Why Do We Have To Wait So Long For You?
“Discerning Salvation,” the morning sermonette presented on the last day of Unleavened Bread by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Each of us face a variety of decisions every day—of course some are more critical than others. Occasionally we may be confronted with choices that challenge us to the core of our humanity. To those that God has called He has an expectation that we will use the blessings and skills that He has imbued us with. This is the ability to discern the correct choices and pathway that is in keeping with God’s commandments. During this Passover observance and the Feast of Unleavened Bread we reinforced our understanding that in taking part in the Passover observance we are to first discern the Body of Christ. We are to be aware of His life and that He died so that we could gain access to the Kingdom and the blessing of eternal life with Jesus and the Father. Discernment is a blessing from God and in this Sermonette on the Last Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread we shall together explore the scriptures that will help us to better understand this blessing and the purpose in our lives.
“Overcoming—It’s For Life!” the morning sermon presented on the last day of Unleavened Bread by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Do you want to live forever, inherit all things and become part of the Family of God? Only those who overcome will do so! Is that what you are doing with your life right now?
“How Deep?” the afternoon Offertory presented on the last day of Unleavened Bread by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We do heavy spring cleaning before the Days of Unleavened Bread! How do we transition this from being just about a physical activity to being a spiritual one? How can we use the days we have been through to be cleaner as we move forward?
“What Happened Historically During the Days of Unleavened Bread?” the afternoon sermon presented on the last day of Unleavened Bread by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
In this sermon, we will discuss historical events which took place during the Days of Unleavened Bread. These occurrences do not only have literal meaning, but they also have symbolic relevance for us. The godly injunctions and admonitions are surely important for us today.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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