Update 974


The Choice of Nicodemus / The Holy Spirit: Power or Person?

On May 22, 2021, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “The Choice of Nicodemus,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Holy Spirit: Power or Person?”

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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Christian Membership

by Dave Harris

Among other things, Christians are called members, and here are some examples: potential member; new member; long-time member; faithful member, active member…

The Bible also has these references about our membership: “…so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5); “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 6:15); “For in fact the body is not one member but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14); “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased” (1 Corinthians 12:18); “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

We have to be called by God to be members of His Church—the one over which Jesus Christ rules! In fact, a person must be selected by God for a place in His Church, as Jesus explained:

“‘No one can come to Me [to become a Christian] unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day’” (John 6:44); “And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father’” (John 6:65).

Our Christian membership is spiritual, and it must be to be true: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).

Our membership with both God and Jesus Christ is the ultimate test, and Jesus prayed about this:

“‘I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me’” (John 17:20-23).

Jesus also addressed the world in this prayer to the Father, and He had earlier warned His disciples that their membership with Him would not be easy:

“‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33).

Oftentimes, we in the Church of God refer to “former members.” The context may be about those who have died, but, tragically, it may be about those who have forfeited their membership as Christians—having lost the Holy Spirit.

Let me leave you with this powerful admonition—it is a crucially important key for each one of us to maintain our Christian membership in the context of the times in which we live:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).

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by Norbert Link

We begin with the world’s condemnation of Israel’s actions in the Middle East and with hostile and violent antisemitic demonstrations in many countries, notably in Germany; emphasize Turkey’s mean-spirited attacks on Israel; [please view our new StandingWatch program in this context, titled, Turkey Attacks Israel”]President Biden’s caving in to pressures from the left-wing “Squad”; and America’s sudden retreat from Afghanistan.

We continue with a strong article by the New York Post’s Editorial Board, claiming that Joe Biden “turned out to be a master of disaster, with self-inflicted crises across the board threatening to set America back to the 1970s”; speak on the desired role of the Pope; and address Russia’s perceived agenda regarding the take-over of Ukraine.

Focusing on numerous articles on most recent developments pertaining to the coronavirus, we report on legendary Eric Clapton’s experience with vaccines; the alleged danger of lockdowns for our children’s health; the alleged controversial role of Anthony Fauci, pertaining to funding of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China; the brave conduct of Florida’s governor in pardoning “violators” or dubious coronavirus restrictions; the anticipated “honor system” when it comes to wearing or not wearing masks by fully vaccinated Americans; and the allegation that many lives could have been saved if it had not been for the suppression of non-vaccine approaches to COVID.

We conclude with a spectacular win of California churches and the issue of UFOs, and whether they should be taken seriously. 

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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Israel and Hamas Agree to Ceasefire

 JTA wrote on May 20:

 “After 11 days of fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ‘mutual and simultaneous’ ceasefire on Thursday that will begin at 2 a.m. Friday Israel time. Israel’s security cabinet unanimously approved the truce, according to reports, after military officials presented what they deemed the successful outcomes of their campaign. ‘Hamas is deterred and suffered serious blows,’ one official said, according to The Times of Israel. A Hamas official confirmed the news to Reuters on Thursday.

“The ceasefire was mediated by Egypt and supported by the United States and other countries…”

The Jerusalem Post added on May 20:

“According to the security cabinet the ceasefire will be unconditional, however Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said he had received guarantees from the mediators that, ‘The occupation will remove its hand from Sheikh Jarrah and al-Aqsa,’ Israeli media reported.  Israeli sources refuted Hamdan’s claim, saying it is completely false and the ceasefire is in fact unconditional…  Regarding the ceasefire agreement, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the, ‘reality on the ground will determine the continuation of the campaign,’ implying that Israel will be keeping with the principle of ‘quiet would be met by quiet.’ Gantz added that ‘the defense establishment continues its readiness to protect Israeli citizens.’…”

 Let’s see how long that cease fire will last…  

Israel Is Condemned and Defends Destruction of Building in Gaza

The Hill wrote on May 15:

“The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other press advocates condemned the Israeli airstrike on Saturday that blew up the building housing them and other media outlets. AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said… that the company was ‘shocked and horrified’ by the military strike… ‘This is an incredibly disturbing development…’

“Al Jazeera issued a separate statement condemning the bombing ‘in the strongest possible terms,’ saying it viewed the strike as a ‘clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground.’… Mostefa Souag, acting director general of the Al Jazeera Media Network, asserted that the strike was meant to ‘silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza.’

“Other press advocates condemned the bombing of the building. Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the attack ‘raises the specter that the Israel Defense Forces is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza…’”

Time of Israel wrote on May 16:

“IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman pushes back…

“One of the main occupants of the building, the Associate Press news agency, which has maintained offices there for some 15 years, has denied knowledge of Hamas’s presence in the building and demanded the Israel Defense Forces release evidence of that fact, which Zilberman rejected. ‘Yesterday I released a statement with the assets that were in the building. I’ll repeat them: a Hamas research and development unit, Hamas military intelligence and offices of the PIJ. It was very clear what was in there… We’re in the midst of an operation. They are firing wherever they want, on a civilian population, on cities that have tens and hundreds of thousands of people… A building that has Hamas and Islamic Jihad assets in it needs to be brought down.’

“The spokesperson adds that this operation was meant to deter terror groups from maintaining offices alongside media outlets in the future. ‘If Hamas and the Islamic Jihad think that the media are their shield, then in the next operation in Gaza, we’ll find that media outlets’ offices are going to be popping up as covers for terrorist assets,’ he says.”

No journalist or freelancer was injured as they received a one-hour warning from Israel ahead of the strike to leave the building which then collapsed and crumbled to the ground. Some of their equipment was damaged, however. It is also well known that the terrorist organization Hamas is using women and children as human shields and locating them in dangerous places so that they can say in case of casualties that Israel intentionally killed them. Still, war is a terrible curse, and God hates it. So must we, if we are true Christians. Advocating or participating in war is incompatible with the mind of Christ.

The articles which we quote herein, pertaining for instance to the situation in the Middle East, must not be misconstrued as assuming that we are taking sides or are in any way supporting violent actions. We are only reporting these events to show how biblical prophecy is being fulfilled.

Numerous anti-Israel demonstrations, some of them turning violent, were held all over the world, including in the UK, the USA, Canada, Europe and of course many Arab nations. One did not hear much about any anti-Hamas demonstrations. The next articles about antisemitic demonstrations in Germany are especially telling.

Hate for Jews in Germany

The Guardian wrote on May 17:

“… thousands of people attended what became aggressive protests at the weekend… In the most violent protest, in the southern Berlin district of Neukölln, demonstrators… burned Israeli flags, chanted anti-Israel slogans and flew Hamas banners… At another demonstration, in Mannheim, an Israeli flag was burned and arrests were made. Charges of hate speech, bodily harm and assault were brought against some participants… There were also large gatherings in [Cologne,] Hamburg, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Hanover, where calls were made for the dissolution of Israel.

“… Wolfgang Schäuble, the president of the Bundestag, said that while it was legitimate to ‘sharply criticise’ the politics of Israel and to ‘protest loudly’ against it, ‘there is no justification for antisemitism, hate and violence’. In particular he condemned protesters who had questioned the right of Israel to exist…”

This almost sounds like an invitation for anti-Israel protests.

Bild Online published the following editorial by Julian Reichelt on May 16 with the headline:

“Our Country is in Danger.”

The commentary continued:

“What we saw on Saturday on our streets has been a historical danger….While being tolerated by our government and minimized by our public media, an absolutely totally Arab-Muslim-oriented antisemitic mob marched through almost all of Germany’s main cities and demanded, full of hate, the annihilation of Israel. .. they do not fear the police, and do not have to be afraid of our government, they bring their children to the demonstrations and raise the next generation in Germany to be haters of Israel….

“Not the Islam, but the perversion of the Islam is making German cities to be dangerous country for Jews, as it has already happened in France and Sweden. Angela Merkel’s immigration policy… has imported ten- or hundred-times an ideology which views the Jew as the eternal enemy…

“I want to hear finally what the chancellor’s personal unmistakable words to the haters of Jews are, what she wants to DO to combat the rise of this annihilation ideology, before she abdicates.”

Merkel’s spokesperson has now declared that the events caused by the anti-Israeli mob are shameful and not acceptable. He admitted that Jews are not able to freely and safely move in certain cities. He said that one has to recognize now that there are not only anti-Semitic neo-Nazis, but also anti-Semitic Muslims (!). “Chancellor Angela Merkel told broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk on Thursday that the antisemitic attacks in Germany are ‘to be condemned in the strongest terms. She clarified that criticism of Israel is one thing, but ‘when Israeli flags are burned and synagogues are attacked, then that must be severely opposed,’ the chancellor said” (Deutsche Welle,  dated May 20).

Anti-Semitism will never be eradicated in Germany prior to Christ’s return.

Erdogan Attacks USA and Austria

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 18:

“The Turkish president said Biden was ‘writing history with bloody hands’ after US approval of weapons sales to Israel…  His comments, made in a nationally televised address on Monday, represented one of his strongest attacks against the US president since Biden took office in January. Erdogan also criticized Austria for flying the flag of Israel last week. ‘I condemn Austria for hanging the Israeli terror state’s flag,’ Erdogan said. ‘The Austrian state seems to be trying to make Muslims pay the price for [its role] in the Holocaust.’

“Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called the move to fly the flag a mark of solidarity with Israel… Erdogan, a vocal critic of Israel, has [been] calling for governments to take action against Israel…”

Sebastian Kurz was heavily criticized for his pro-Israel stance, as this allegedly violated the officially “neutral” stance of Austria.

Erdogan’s Attacks on Israel

Israel 365 wrote on May 18:

“After a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara late Monday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a media conference in which he called on the UN, UN Security Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and other international organizations to take action focusing on wrestling Jerusalem away from Israel…. Dr. Efrat Aviv, a senior lecturer in the Dept. of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar Ilan University and an expert on Turkey, understood that Turkish troops appearing in Jerusalem might be one possible outcome, should Erdogan have his way.”

Israel Today added on May 18:

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Pope Francis to join him in coming against Israel. Erdogan fancies himself the leader of the Sunni Muslim world, and sees the Pope as the primary head of Christianity. In his eyes, they must come together to lead the rest of the world in confronting the Jewish menace. ‘All of humanity should be united against Israel,’ Erdogan told the Pope over the phone.”

The Jerusalem Post wrote on May 19:

“Among its recent statements is a demand by Turkey to separate Jerusalem from Israel. The latest comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were to demand a ‘separate arrangement’ for Jerusalem. Since 2020, when Turkey turned Hagia Sophia into a mosque, the Turkish religious and political leadership of the AKP Party, which supports Hamas, has sought to ‘liberate’ al-Aqsa Mosque and claims it will take over Jerusalem…

“The comments by the leadership of the AKP are also represented in far-right media in Turkey. Yena Safak, a newspaper that caters to the populist Right in the country and is close to the regime, argued for Turkey to lead an Islamic alliance to attack Israel. The alliance would include Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Malaysia and Pakistan, countries that either back Hamas or are close to the Muslim Brotherhood. Ankara had consulted with Tehran last week about how to confront Israel.

“… Turkey has become one of the most anti-Israel states in the world, and its constant anti-Israel rhetoric, fed through its state-controlled media that run the most outlandish articles about Israel, fuels antisemitism in Turkey and abroad…”

According to the Bible, Turkey will perform despicable acts against Israel in the not-too-distant future.

No Antisemitic Remarks?

 JTA wrote on May 19:

 “The main organization representing Turkish Jews has criticized the U.S. State Department for accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using antisemitic rhetoric. The Jewish Confederation of Turkey said Wednesday that it was ‘unfair and reprehensible to imply that President Erdogan is antisemitic’ in a tweet.

“On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that ‘the United States strongly condemns President Erdogan’s recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible.’

“A day earlier Erdogan, who on multiple occasions has made statements widely deemed antisemitic, made a rambling speech in Ankara following a Cabinet meeting in which he used ‘Jews’ and ‘Israelis’ interchangeably. ‘They are murderers, these are murderers enough to kill 6-year-old babies,’ he said… ‘They are murderers enough to make women crawl on the ground.’

“Erdogan, who said President Joe Biden as ‘bloody hands,’ also claimed that ‘a Jewish prime minister’ had told him on a state visit to Turkey that he enjoyed killings Palestinians, adding that ‘Attacks by Jews on the Al-Aqsa Mosque have turned into a powder keg.’

“Erdogan has often called Israel and Israelis ‘child killers,’ and in 2014 called a protester against his internal policies ‘seed of Israel.’

“But in the tweet defending Erdogan, the Jewish Confederation of Turkey said it cannot concur with allegations that he is antisemitic. ‘On the contrary, he has always been constructive, supportive & encouraging towards us,’ the tweet said. Turkey has about 15,000 Jews.”

America Condemns Turkey

Deutsche Welle reported on May 19:

“The US on Tuesday criticized Erdogan for his comments over Israeli airstrikes.  ‘The United States strongly condemns President Erdogan’s recent antisemitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible,’ State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. ‘We urge President Erdogan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence,’ he added.

“Erdogan has accused Israel of ‘terrorism’ against the Palestinians, saying it was ‘in their nature.’ ‘They are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They only are satisfied by sucking their blood,’ he said…The latest exchange of remarks could strain an already tense relationship between Washington and Ankara… After taking office, [Biden] promised a harsh stance on his Turkish counterpart. Last month, he made a landmark decision to recognize the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1917 as genocide.”

Erdogan is indeed an unscrupulous anti-Semitic dictator, and the mass killings of Armenians were indeed rightly classified as genocide. The relationship between the USA and Turkey will continue to deteriorate.

Biden Demands Significant De-Escalation from Netanyahu

Breitbart wrote on May 19:

“‘The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,’ the White House said in a readout of the president’s call with Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. President Biden escalated his demands for peace as a growing number of leftist Democrats criticize him for not speaking out against Israel’s latest military response to a flood of Hamas terror rocket attacks… Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has publicly demanded that Biden criticize the Israeli attacks and defend the rights of Palestinians, and even confronted the president on Tuesday at a Detroit airport… Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) lead  a group of 28 senators on Monday issuing a letter demanding a ceasefire in the conflict, ‘to prevent any further loss of civilian life and to prevent further escalation of conflict.’”

In a related article, Breitbart added: “Nearly 38 percent of Democrats believe Israel is to blame for the current violence, while 34.4 percent do not know…”

Fox News added on May 19:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday brushed off President Biden’s  call for a ‘significant de-escalation’ of the conflict in Gaza, saying he is ‘determined to continue’ the operation against the terrorist organization Hamas… Biden is increasingly facing pressure from the more progressive left of his own party to ramp up pressure on the U.S. ally, with a number of Democrats complaining that Biden has not been tougher against Israel. A number have objected to a pending $735 million sale of precision-guided missiles to Israel…”

However, as mentioned above, a ceasefire has now been agreed upon, but the question is whether it will hold. 

EU Must Get Involved

Arab News reported on May 18:

“European Union foreign ministers debated Tuesday how to use the 27-nation bloc’s political clout to help diplomatic efforts to end the fighting between the Israeli armed forces and Palestinian militants… The EU is the biggest donor of aid to the Palestinians but holds little influence over the militant group Hamas or the state of Israel, despite having some trade arrangements that are favorable to the Israelis…

“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas… said the EU needs to look beyond ending the current violence and at how to prevent a repeat. ‘The EU must play a role here, in political and humanitarian terms,’ he said…”

And so, the EU will, under German leadership.

The Two State Solution… Gone

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 17:

“In recent years, support for the two-state solution appears to be decreasing.

“As Israel has expanded settlement building, support has dwindled among Palestinians. By 2020, majorities of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were expressing opposition to the idea. That trend has continued, with many people saying that the sprawl of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law, has made the idea impossible to implement.

“Attacks by Hamas and allied groups have eroded support for a two-state solution among Israelis. Fewer than half of Israelis favor it…”

America’s Retreat from Afghanistan

Stars and Stripes wrote on May 13:

“U.S. forces have left Kandahar Airfield, a southern Afghanistan base that was once one of the largest NATO and coalition installations in the country, Afghan and U.S. officials said. The airfield has been transferred to the Afghan security forces, a U.S. defense official said…

“U.S. forces did not hold a handover ceremony at the base, which housed an estimated 30,000 troops and contractors at the height of the war. A spokesman for Afghanistan’s 205th Atal Military Corps said the departure of U.S. forces from the base came as a surprise and without coordination… ‘They left in the night’ and there are no more U.S. forces in Kandahar…’ said Gen. Faqir Qowahi, commander of the military side of the Kandahar Airport…”

This shameful retreat of American troops “in the night” is quite telling.

Biden Even More a Master of Disaster than Jimmy Carter

The New York Post Editorial Board published the following article on May 15:

“President Joe Biden entered office poised to oversee a record recovery and a return to the booming economy and all-round stability of pre-pandemic life. Instead, he’s turned out to be a master of disaster, with self-inflicted crises across the board threatening to set America back to the 1970s — with that era’s infamous ‘stagflation’ as well as a foreign policy in flames…  it’s disaster after disaster as Biden wastes every opportunity his predecessor left him.

“With Biden closing the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office and generally vowing to wage war on all fossil fuels, it’s no wonder there’s uncertainty and higher prices.

“Nowhere is the self-inflicted nature of Biden’s disasters more plain than on the border. He put a moratorium on… all construction on any border barriers… [The] feds have a record number of unaccompanied minors in custody — around 22,000 — because Biden ordered the public-health rule keeping migrants out to be lifted for solo kids.

“Meanwhile, Hamas and its allies have gone on the attack against Israel, leaving it no choice but to defend itself… the Biden team’s drive to restore the Iran nuclear deal plainly inspired Tehran’s terrorist clients to start firing, even as it makes Israel less willing to listen to Washington’s efforts to broker a ceasefire.

“It’s stunning how much success Biden has managed to reverse in not even four months. With long lines at the pump, slowing growth and rising inflation, it’s looking like the Jimmy Carter era — except that it took Carter years to produce the disasters that this president has fostered in scant months.”

This does not give us much confidence in the welfare and prosperity of the USA.

Trump Continues His Fight against Biden

Express wrote on May 17:

“DONALD TRUMP once again refused to accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential elections. In a new statement posted to his website on Sunday, the 45th US President claimed that there was ‘no way’ that the Democrat won… a large majority of Republicans view Mr Biden as an illegitimate Commander-in Chief. In a new poll conducted for CBS news, as many as 67 percent of Republican voters said they did not think that the former Delaware senator was the true winner. Mr Trump immediately seized on the polling data to once again push his claims of electoral fraud.

“In a statement posted to his website, he wrote: ‘Breaking News! New polling by CBS News on the state of the Republican Party (which is very strong!). ‘President Trump has a strong hold on the GOP.’ 80% of Republicans agree with the removal of Liz Cheney from GOP Leadership and only 20% disagree. The poll also showed that 67% of Republicans said that they do not consider Sleepy Joe Biden to be the legitimate winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. I agree with them 100%, just look at the facts and the data—there is no way he won the 2020 Presidential Election!’

“On Saturday, Mr Trump branded the 2020 Presidential Election ‘the crime of the century’, in a tweet posted on @RSBNetwork.”

This issue will not go away any time soon, if ever.

How Catholic John Kerry Views the Role of the Pope

Eurasia Review wrote on May 17:

“U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry… is in Europe to meet with government officials and business leaders ahead of the Nov. 1-12 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow… He said: ‘I think that his [the pope’s] voice will be a very important voice leading up to and through the Glasgow [climate] conference… I think his Holiness speaks with a moral authority that is quite separate. It’s unique…’

“Kerry told Vatican News that the pope could exert an influence far beyond that of most other leaders… ‘I think he can sort of shake people a little bit… And I think that the Vatican may be a small entity, but the flock is enormous on a global basis and His Holiness, Pope Francis, has the ability to help galvanize action from countries. He has the ability to be able to affect citizens in many different countries all at the same time and have them call on their governments to be responsible, to do what we need to do to preserve the planet… So, I think that the world has a special respect for Pope Francis and there is no question that he has already been a significant leader in this endeavor. And we look to him for further guidance and help in getting this job done.’”

The influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its leader will reach unparalleled and at the same time frightening proportions in the near future.

Russia’s Aim to “de facto” take over Ukraine

Bloomberg wrote on May 13:

“The European Union says Russia is trying to gradually absorb parts of eastern Ukraine, according to a document the bloc shared this week with member states. In the paper… the EU says steps by the Kremlin such as organizing illegitimate elections and issuing passports to locals are ‘aimed at de facto integration of Ukraine’s non-governmental-controlled areas into Russia.’ …

“Russia has repeatedly denied plans to take over the territories…

“War broke out in the breakaway regions after President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea from his neighbor in 2014… Greater autonomy for the region, known as Donbas, would potentially give it veto power over national goals such as NATO and EU membership that are opposed by Putin…”

Ultimately, Ukraine will be a part of Russia, however it may come about, as this is clearly prophesied in the Bible.

Eric Clapton Warns Against Vaccine Propaganda

Daily Mail reported on May 15:

“Eric Clapton has hit out at ‘propaganda’ over vaccine safety, claiming he suffered alarming side effects after his Covid jabs. The legendary guitarist, a lockdown sceptic, said his hands and feet became ‘useless’ – prompting fears he would never play again. In a message to his music producer, he said: ‘I took the first jab of AZ [Astra Zeneca] and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days.’ The 76-year-old said he ‘recovered eventually’ but suffered further ‘disastrous reactions’ six weeks later after the second shot.

“He added: ‘My hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again… I should never have gone near the needle. But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.’

“The musician, who has emphysema, ended his email to Italian music mogul Robin Monotti Graziadei, saying: ‘I’ve been a rebel all my life, against tyranny and arrogant authority, which is what we have now.’ Clapton criticised the Government earlier this year in an anti-lockdown song called Stand And Deliver. The song was in collaboration with Van Morrison, who is also a critic of restrictions.”

Clapton is not the only one who has recognized the political propaganda—from all sides—regarding Coronavirus vaccinations and lockdowns.

Lockdowns Have Harmed the Health of our Children

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 11:

“… for children in particular, the lack of physical activity over a longer term is a major problem. Many schools and sports clubs had long since canceled sports lessons and physical activities. Parents and professionals alike are concerned. ‘This extended period of restricted movement is a bigger problem for young children and teenagers than learning deficiencies in the cognitive field,’ Alexander Woll tells DW. Woll is a sports scientist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in southwest Germany. For almost a decade, he’s been analyzing patterns of movement among children…

“Authorities have only slowly begun to recognize the negative impact of the pandemic on young people… Woll points to a more general challenge: ‘For a long time, sports were seen as a source of infection.’ But new studies have shown that ‘movement and sport play a protective role.’ One recent study out of the United States, for instance, demonstrates ‘that physical inactivity is a key determinator for particularly serious cases of COVID-19.’ In other words, physical activity is part of the solution, not part of the problem…”

The foolishness of our ignorant scientists….

Did Fauci Lie to Congress?

Breitbart wrote on May 12:

“Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s ‘America’s Newsroom,’ Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sounded off on his hearing with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci from the day before regarding the origination of the coronavirus and whether American tax dollars supported research that could have led to the outbreak.

“Fauci asserted at the hearing that the National Institute of Health does not fund gain of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, but Paul maintained the White House chief medical adviser is telling verifiable falsehoods

“‘I would say what Dr. Fauci said yesterday was verifiably false… He said no NIH money went to the Wuhan Institute for gain of function. Well, the main doctor there, the one they call the bat scientist or the bat woman. … wrote a paper [that] MIT scientists have looked at they said was gain of function –meaning juicing up these viruses to make them very potent and infect humans. She wrote this paper and, in her paper, acknowledged her funding came from Dr. Fauci’s group, the NIAID which is part of NIH. So, he is verifiably telling you something that is not true. Dr. Fauci came to Congress yesterday and lied…’

“According to Paul, Fauci is lying because he is ‘worried about culpability.’”

Apart from his alleged lies, his ever-changing positions on just about everything pertaining to the coronavirus have been deeply disturbing anyhow.

Life Site added on May 13:

“Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson… raised questions about [Fauci, as follows]: Why isn’t [he]  under criminal investigation for his role in creating the COVID pandemic?…

“Carlson cited an article by Nicholas Wade in which the science writer and former New York Times reporter lays out the evidence behind the theory that COVID originated in — and escaped from — the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to Carlson, Wade presents ‘insurmountable evidence’ that COVID originated in the lab where scientists were conducting U.S. taxpayer-funded gain-of-function experiments. Who approved that funding? Fauci, according to Wade.”

Florida Governor to Pardon COVID Restriction “Violators”

Newsmax wrote on May 13:

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he would pardon anyone charged with breaking COVID-19 protocols such as mask-wearing and social distancing. The governor made the remarks after two gym owners, Mike and Jillian Carnevale, faced criminal penalties for refusing to enforce such protocols. DeSantis said he would order a 60-day reprieve for the gym owners that would delay their cases. During that time, a clemency board will meet to issue pardons to the gym owners and Florida residents who have similar charges… He then added, ‘These things with health should be advisory. They should not be punitive.’… The news comes after the governor made an announcement last week to immediately suspend all COVID-19 mandates in the state. The governor said he would outlaw them by July 1.”

The New York Post added on May 13:

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis… broke the news of his pardon directly to Mike and Jillian Carnevale, who faced up to 120 days in jail for repeatedly allowing people to forgo masks at their gym in Plantation in Broward County… DeSantis said potential jail time was particularly absurd in the Carnevales’ case. ‘The fact is, it’s not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising,’ the governor said. ‘The World Health Organization advises against it! It’s not healthy to be doing that in the first place, so it was a bad restriction,’ he said.”

Good for the Governor. But it shows again the harmful ridiculousness of some of the coronavirus restrictions.

Masks or no Masks… That is the Question

The Washington Post wrote on May 15:

“In an intensely polarized nation, many people have little faith that their maskless fellow Americans have actually been vaccinated. That lack of trust, fueled by the ongoing politicization of the pandemic, tears at the fabric of a public-health strategy built on the assumption that other people will do the right thing.

“Just more than 1 in 3 people in the United States are fully inoculated, leaving most of the population among those instructed to keep their face coverings securely over their noses when indoors. But with federal officials repeatedly rejecting the possibility of vaccine passports, enforcement relies on an honor system. Asked Thursday how people will know if others had been vaccinated, Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said they wouldn’t. ‘You’re gonna be depending on people being honest enough to say whether they are vaccinated or not,’ he told CNN…”

Whatever happened to the concept, taught by scientists, that someone who has had coronavirus should be likewise exempt from wearing a mask? Suddenly, there is deep silence from our “expert” scientists on that issue.

Coronavirus—Tens of Thousands of Lives Could Have Been Saved

On May 17, Life Site News wrote the following:

“Since the first days of the declared coronavirus pandemic, doctors faithful to their Hippocratic Oath have been searching for — and identifying — effective COVID-19 treatments.

“In mid-November, Dr. Peter McCullough, vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, and three other experts outlined safe and available treatments for the Senate’s influential Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. University of Wisconsin critical care specialist Dr. Pierre Kory followed up with more discussion of viable COVID treatments at a Dec. 8 appearance before the same committee.

“However, as Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. observed during a March 2021 conversation with McCullough, ‘we’ve seen this very strange conflict … that many of those treatments that could save lives, instead of being promoted and investigated and studied by the health authorities, are instead being sabotaged and made … inaccessible.’ The government’s ‘near complete’ lack of guidance and research on treatment options — ‘apart from vaccines’ — is, according to Kory, ‘unconscionable.’

“The tragic fallout of this government strategy is now becoming apparent. In a recent working paper analyzing the determinants of COVID-19 fatalities, the authors — Michigan State University economics professor Mark Skidmore and co-author Hideki Toya — estimated ‘if the U.S. had made [hydroxychloroquine] widely available early on, 80,000 to 100,000 lives could have been saved.’

“McCullough had already reached similar conclusions when he told senators in November the U.S. ‘could have saved half of the lives lost’ if COVID treatment protocols had not been squelched. By March, McCullough had revised his estimate upward, asserting that ‘as many as 85% of COVID deaths could have been prevented through early treatment.’…

“Under the guise of “consumer protection” and “false marketing,” the government appears to be doubling down on its suppression of non-vaccine approaches to COVID.

“For example, under the disingenuously named ‘COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act’ –part of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act signed into law by then-President Trump in late December— the U.S. Department of Justice began actively pursuing enforcement actions against healthcare providers who encourage use of supplements such as zinc and vitamin D to treat or prevent COVID. Given that these and other micronutrients have been controversially recommended for years for influenza, the common cold and other respiratory infections, the motives for the clampdown cannot be taken at face value.”

Of course, it’s all about money and the heavy influence of the greedy pharmaceutical industry, fearing any kind of “competition.” Another example would be the ongoing ridiculous prohibition of medical marijuana.

California Churches WON

Newsmax wrote on May 18:

“A California District judge has issued a statewide permanent injunction against COVID-19 restrictions on churches and places of worship… It came after the state had moved to ban indoor worship services last year, along with other indoor activities like dining and movie theaters, in its ‘Tier 1’ areas, which encompassed most of the state.

“Under the settlement, California will also have to pay $1.3 million in attorney fees…

“In a statement, Pastor Ché Ahn said, ‘This is a momentous day for churches in America. After nearly a yearlong battle defending our religious freedoms, our lawsuit has reached a permanent settlement in our favor. I am thrilled to see the complete reversal of the last discriminatory restrictions against churches in California, knowing this case will act as a precedent, not only in our state, but also in our nation…’”

Other nations, such as Canada, should follow this lead.

Taking UFOs seriously?

 “Sen. Marco Rubio… as acting Senate Intelligence Committee chair asked for an unclassified copy of the report to be released to Congress… ‘Anything that enters an airspace that’s not supposed to be there is a threat.’

“Former Navy Lieutenant Ryan Graves told CBS’ Bill Whitaker he and other members of his F/A-18 fighter squadron detected unexplained sightings of UFOs, also known as ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ (UAP), in restricted airspace southeast of Virginia Beach ‘every day for at least a couple years,’ starting in 2014… Graves said he couldn’t rule out technology developed by the governments of Russia or China.”

We cannot rule out the possibility that Satan and his demons are behind the “appearances” of UFOs. Rubio’s comment, “Anything that enters an airspace that’s not supposed to be there is a threat” is remarkable for this reason: When Christ and His angels come down to earth, riding on “white horses,” then the armies of this world want to fight them. Why? Will they think, being deceived by Satan and his demons, that Christ and His army are hostile aliens?

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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Would you please explain Revelation 14:14-20?

Revelation 14:14-16 reads:

“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.”

Revelation 14:17-20 continues:

“Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’ So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”

There are different challenges with the understanding of these passages, and commentaries are deeply divided in several respects.

First, who is the personage in verse 14, sitting on the cloud “like the Son of Man”?

Please note that according to the Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament, the literal rendering says: “… on the cloud sat one like a son of man.” The NIV states it this way: “I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.” The Philips New Testament Translation simply says: “…with someone sitting upon the cloud with the appearance of a man.”

The term “son of man” is used many times throughout the Bible for ordinary human beings and could also refer to either Christ or an angel, resembling, in form and shape, a human being (note for example Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:12).

In rendering it, as the New King James Bible does, as “One like THE Son of Man,” and capitalizing the nouns and pronouns throughout the passage in relationship to the personage sitting on the cloud, the impression is given that this must be a reference to Jesus Christ. But this is an interpretation, even though most commentaries conclude this to be the case. (On the other hand, Revelation 1:13 clearly describes Jesus Christ where John sees “One like the Son of Man.” Still, the literal Greek says here as well “son of man…”, not “THE Son of Man.” Also compare Daniel 7:13.)

However, insofar as Revelation 14:14 is concerned, the designation of “a son of man” as describing Jesus Christ is not without problems, as we will see.

One problem is that IF this were talking about Jesus Christ, an angel would tell Him what to do. This obvious dilemma is attempted to be explained away in this manner:

Meyer’s NT Commentary says:

“In the first picture of the ripeness of the earth for judgment… it is the coming Judge himself who appears on a white cloud, with a sharp sickle in his hand… The description… allows us to think only of Christ himself, but could not mean an angel, who possibly represented Christ… Decisive is the solemn designation… [Also] the appearance on the cloud… and the golden crown indicating a special glory as victor, make the reference to Christ himself still more certain… the objection that Christ himself could not have received a command from an angel, is settled by the fact that the angel is only the bearer of the command coming from God.”

This is not convincing. Angels have golden crowns too (compare Revelation 4:4), and they sometimes are described as having the appearance of human beings (Daniel 8:15-16; 9:21; Ezekiel 40:3). And they too are at times pictured as appearing on clouds (Revelation 10:1). In addition, please note that after the “one like a son of man” is introduced, it continues to say that “ANOTHER angel came out of the temple…” Further, the returning Jesus Christ is being described as wearing many crowns, not just one (Revelation 19:12).

Still, Blunt, the Annotated Bible, gives a similar explanation as Meyer’s, quoted above, adding that the angel talking to the one on the cloud “‘came out of the temple’ and is thus represented as coming from the immediate Presence of God, bringing a message from the Father to the Son…”

The Nelson Study Bible agrees, stating:

“The reference to the Son of Man with a golden crown on His head indicates that the figure is Jesus Christ… Some, however, hesitate to make this identification, largely because another angel give the first figure the command to reap, which seems improper if ‘One like the Son of Man’ is Christ. Yet there is no impropriety in having a representative of God the Father entrust judgment to the Son of Man… the harvest of the earth is surely ripe for salvation… as well as judgment…”

The commentary continues, when speaking of verses 17 and 18:

“Another angel is placed in charge of the harvest of the clusters of grapes that are also ripe…”

The New Bible Commentary: Revised, states the following objections and gives this explanation:

“It is common to regard these verses (Revelation 14:14-16) as depicting the gathering of the church by Christ at His coming and vv. 18-20 as the gathering of the unbelieving world for judgment; it is possible that this is the true reading of the passage, especially in view of the use of the phrase, ‘one like a son of man’ in v. 14 (cf. 1:13). Yet it seems strange that Christ should be commanded by an angel to perform His saving work. His description, too, lacks the splendor of the visions of the Lord in 1:12f, and 19:11f. It seems better, accordingly, to regard the humanlike form as an angel, sharing something of the glory of Christ like the ‘mighty angel’ in 10:1… For the reaping of the earth by angelic instrumentality, cf. Mt. 13:41,42.”

It is indeed difficult to see how Christ would only be in charge of harvesting the faithful, while an angel would be in charge of harvesting the wicked (compare again Revelation 14:17-18). Rather, Christ would be in charge of both. Especially when it comes to the punishment of the wicked, we read, “He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15). But He is using angels helping Him to carry out His Will.

Secondly, are there really TWO harvests described in Revelation 14, as suggested above? The assumption is stated in many commentaries that Revelation 14:14-16 describes the harvest of the saints, while Revelation 14:17-20 describes the harvest of the wicked ones.

For instance, Dummelow, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, says:

“He [the one on the cloud] casts His sickle down to the earth, and the harvest of the saints is gathered (vv. 15f). Then the angel of the fire [Rev. 14:18]…calls for the gathering of the wicked for the winepress of God’s wrath…”

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary agrees, stating:

“The chapter concludes with two scenes that can occur only at the end of the age. The first (vv. 14-16) represents a harvest, a reaping of souls, and apparently a gathering in of the redeemed, to which our Lord refers in Mt 13:30, 39; 24:30, 31. There has been some dispute over these two scenes, but it seems to me that the second one, which is not a harvest but a vintage scene [beginning in verse 17], must depict the gathering of unbelieving and wicked ones of the earth. These are anticipatory paragraphs… ‘The Woman’s seed furnishes the Harvest, while the Dragon’s seed furnishes the Vintage.’ See also Joel 3:13.”

Halley’s Bible Handbook says: “‘Harvest’ seems to be of the Saved. The ‘Vintage’ of the Lost. The ‘winepress’ is of the Wrath of God on the Wicked.”

Unger’s Bible Handbook says:

“The figure of the harvest portrays judgment which separates the righteous from the wicked… The judge is the Son of Man… The judgment proceeds from the temple… The angels are the actual reapers … the Son of Man reaps through the instrumentality of the angels… The Vintage… is God’s wrath outpoured on sinners… The judgment of the wicked is fully ripe… unmitigated divine wrath falls upon sinners… and is executed ‘without the city’ (Jerusalem)… in the valley of Jehoshaphat… “

Other commentaries disagree and question whether two harvests or gatherings are described, while suggesting that only one harvest—that of the wicked—is discussed.

The Benson Commentary writes regarding Revelation 14:14-16:

“Namely, the appointed time of judgment, for which the world is ripe; the voices of the three warning angels, spoken of from Revelation 14:6-11, not having their due effect, it is here predicted that the judgments of God would overtake the followers and adherents of the beast, which judgments are represented in this paragraph under the figures of harvest and vintage, figures not unusual in the prophets, and copied particularly from the Prophet Joel…”

Benson adds the following comments regarding verses 17-20, alleging that the judgment of the wicked (which, according to Benson, is described in verses 14-16), continues in verse 17:

“‘And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven’ — As the former had done; ‘he also having a sharp sickle’ — To assist in this execution, and finish the destruction of the enemies of the truth…”

Lehman Strauss, The Book of the Revelation, agrees with Benson. He points out on pages 272-275, in referring to Revelation 14:14 and the following verses:

“This is a judgment scene. The Judge is about to sweep the earth clean of all evil… The harvest here is not the gathering of the good wheat into His garner as in Luke 3:17, but rather the tares which are the children of the wicked one as in Matthew 13:38-42… [Compare Jeremiah 51:33; Joel 3:11-16]… It is the ‘earth’ that is reaped [verse 16] because this is where men dwell and where they have perpetuated their evil works… the cup of iniquity is full, the harvest is ripe, and the time of God’s judgment has come…”

Thirdly, the question is as to WHEN, exactly, these events are to take place, and if one accepts the concept of TWO harvests, whether there is a time lapse between the two. Commentaries seem to be in agreement that there is no time lapse involved. All of this will occur at the same time, when Christ returns, and He returns only once, not twice. Even proponents of the [false] Rapture concept do not feel that Revelation 14:14 and the following verses give any credence to the idea of a time lapse. Nor do these passages support the false concept that Christ will come first to take the saints to the Third Heaven for the marriage supper, and then return with His saints to establish God’s Kingdom on earth.

Lehman Strauss, The Book of the Revelation, points out on page 259:

“In chapter 14 there is a series of seven separate visions, each complete in itself. They are disconnected pictures, however, and are not intended to present a chronological sequence of events… you have probably observed that from time to time [the Book of Revelation] sets forth in outline a panoramic view of things to come, and then… goes on later to fill in the details. Chronologically, the events in chapters 15 and 16 occur before the reaping and harvest visions in chapter 14. For example, in chapter 14, verse 8, a brief announcement, or vision, shows the judgment of Babylon, but her actual doom is described under the seventh vial of wrath and judgment in chapter 16, verses 17 to 21.”

God’s Church has understood for a long time that certain chapters in the book of Revelation are insert chapters, interrupting the chronological story flow. They might be flashbacks, going back in time to show certain developments in the past, leading to the events in the main story, or they may already introduce or announce events which will happen later and which will then be fully described in subsequent chapters. This is for instance true for chapters 12 and 13, and apparently also for chapter 14. The story flow continues in chapters 15 and 16, while being “interrupted” again in chapters 17 and 18. The 19th chapter shows us the second coming of Christ and the chronological flow continues in chapters 20, 21 and 22.

Even accepting the somewhat questionable concept that it is Christ [rather than an angel] who is described in Revelation 14:14-16, and also accepting the somewhat disputed scenario that two harvests or gatherings are described in Revelation 14 [the harvest of the good and the vintage of the evil], they still do not signify a time lapse, and they do not show that Christ would come back twice—first, to gather the saints by bringing them to the Third Heaven (a totally false concept), and second, by returning with the saints from the Third Heaven (a totally false concept as well) to punish the wicked.

Note 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10, which reads:

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”

There is not even a hint as to two comings of Christ and a time lapse between the glorification of the saints and the punishment of the wicked. Clearly, all of this will happen at exactly the same time.  Christ will return only once, not twice, at the time of the seventh or last trumpet (there can only be one last trumpet). Then, not before then, the dead in Christ will be resurrected to eternal life, and those in Christ who are still alive will be changed to immortality, while the wicked, following and being a part of the end-time Babylonian system, will be punished in that one day (Zechariah 14:4, 7).

Please read for further information the following Q&As:

“Does 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 teach a ‘secret rapture’?” 

“Would you please explain Mark 13:17?”

“Where will the marriage supper between Christ and His church be held?” 

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Turkey Attacks Israel,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Using the current fight between Israel and Hamas as a platform, President Erdogan of Turkey has made many anti-Semitic statements against the state of Israel and the Jews, but we would be ill-advised to just look at them as mere idle threats. His dangerous verbal attacks are very revealing in the light of biblical prophecy.   

“Der Angriff der Türkei auf Israel,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This German presentation covers much of the same subject as presented in the StandingWatch version described above. 

A new Member Letter (May 2021) has been written and is now posted. Kalon Mitchell rehearses our observance of the recent Feasts of God, and encourages us to faithfully use God’s Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s Will in our lives.

“Mit welcher Gesinnung leben wir bis zur Wiederkunft Christi?” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Thilo Hanstein. Title in English: “How Will We Live Until Christ’s Return?”

“Gab es eine Himmelfahrt vor der Himmelfahrt?” is the title of the last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Manuel Müller. Title in English: “Was there an ascension before the ascension?” 

“Pfingstopfer,” is the title of the Offertory presented on Pentecost in Germany by Manuel Müller. Title in English: “Pentecost Offering.”

“Wie bitte—man kann und muss das Gesetz nicht halten?” is the title of the German Pentecost sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English, “Come again—one cannot and does not have to obey the Law?”

“Christianity in Confusion and Under Attack—Comments on News and Prophecy, May 15, 2021,” is the title of last Sabbath’s first message, presented by Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

German priests in defiance of the Pope! Vatican warns US bishops! Election of first transgender bishop! Ongoing Christian persecution by governments, courts and police in Finland, the UK, Canada and Germany! Totalitarianism through fascist laws on the rise! What is going on?

“By the Spirit,” is the title of the morning Pentecost sermonette, presented by Eric Rank. Here is a summary:

The Holy Spirit is the power of God that works in our lives. We have the ability and responsibility to put that power of God to work in our lives to maximize our potential.

“Day of the Firstfruits,” is the title of the morning Pentecost sermon, presented by Dave Harris. Here is a summary:

What is the meaning of the “firstfruits” in the observance of the Feast of Weeks, and how does that relate to those who are identified as “the elect”?

“To Be Content, Or Not,” is the title of the Offertory for Pentecost, presented by Michael Link. Here is a summary:

How can we be content in our lives but at the same time making sure that we don’t become too complacent?

“Come Again—One Cannot and Does Not Have to Obey the Law?” is the title of the afternoon Pentecost sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

God gave us His law in order to obey it. But doesn’t God also say that we cannot serve or obey Him? On the other hand, He only promises us the gift of the Holy Spirit when we obey Him. How can we reconcile these apparent contradictions, and what exactly is the Holy Spirit which is supposed to dwell in us, and what does it accomplish in and through us?

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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

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