July 30, 2021
Are You Searching For God? / Don’t Harden Your Heart
On July 31, 2021, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Are You Searching For God?” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Don’t Harden Your Heart.”
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.
Have You Said This?
by Dave Harris
We tell people we love them—especially those to whom we are closest. Husbands and wives, parents and children, relatives and friends are people we may openly say this to, “I love you.”
What about God—have you said to God, “I love You”?
Of course, just saying the words might not be enough, but, like in human relationships, telling someone that we love them can really mean a lot. As much as encouraging another person about our commitment to them, we also strengthen our own resolve, and we show that we aren’t taking our relationship for granted.
Popular religious parlance often involves those who claim that they “love the Lord,” but those may be empty declarations without proof. Proof of our love for God is shown when we “keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3). Only when we walk in the truth of God will we then be able to obey what Jesus described as “‘the first and great commandment’”:
“‘“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”’” (Matthew 22:37).
Imagine being asked by Jesus if you love Him! Peter was—three times in a row! (John 21:15-19). The Bible shows Peter did prove His love for both the Father and Jesus—by being obedient and fulfilling his calling.
God has told us that He loves us. In fact, He has loved us first—even before we knew Him: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10); and, “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’” (John 3:16).
Knowing that God’s love for us is so complete, so unrestrained and so certain, then let’s make it a point to say to God, both the Father and Jesus Christ, “I love You”—asking as we do for the help to love them as they have loved and still love us!
by Norbert Link
We begin with explosive and troublesome events in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Britain, Russia, Israel and the USA pertaining to governmental restrictive measures and announcements of proposed actions regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
We speak about the “lucrative” sales of weapons to conflict areas all over the world; Putin’s warning directed towards Great Britain; a possible “understanding” between Putin and Biden regarding Israel; and the tumult in the Catholic Church because of Pope Francis’ restrictions of the Traditional Latin Mass.
Regarding Israel, please see our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Israel at the Brink of a Catastrophe?”
We report on a huge asteroid nearing Earth; unparalleled water restrictions in light of California’s worsening drought; the “disgraceful” name change of a popular Baseball team; and the unreliability of left-wing Wikipedia.
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
Chaos in Germany Over Coronavirus Restrictions
Deutsche Welle wrote on July 25:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top aide warned on Sunday that unvaccinated people will have fewer freedoms than those who have decided to get the coronavirus jab. Helge Braun, the outgoing leader’s chief of staff, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that they may find themselves being denied entry to bars, cinemas or sporting events…
“But the Christian Democrat candidate running to replace Merkel in this September’s election used an interview with broadcaster ZDF to distance himself from the plans. Armin Laschet, the premier of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Sunday that ‘in a free country, there are civil liberties not only for certain groups.’ ‘I don’t believe in compulsory vaccination, and I don’t believe in indirectly putting pressure on people to get vaccinated,’ he said.
“The deputy leader of the pro-business Free Democratic Party, Wolfgang Kubicki, hit out at the comments by Braun. He told newspapers from the Funke Media Group that his plans amount to ‘the introduction of compulsory vaccination through the back door.’ ‘Moreover, such a categorization of fundamental rights into a first and second class is clearly unconstitutional,’ he said.”
The Associated Press added on July 25:
“German politicians across the political spectrum on Sunday criticized a warning by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary… Rolf Mützenich, head of the center-left Social Democrats’ parliamentary group, said politicians should be focusing more on getting willing citizens vaccinated than penalizing the unvaccinated. ‘We’re not going to sustainably change the vaccination behavior of individuals with threats,’ he told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland.”
One wonders what is going on in Merkel’s administration and in Germany as a whole… and where is the “respect” for the Constitution? Now, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soeder (who would love to become chancellor, even though he has been “supporting” Laschet) openly disagreed with Laschet and shared his “vision” for Germany, stating that those who are vaccinated should receive “exclusive rights” which should not be given to the unvaccinated. He also supported Jens Spahn’s new proposed test requirements for all travelers, regardless in what way and from what country they arrive in Germany.
The writing of national suppression of liberty and freedom is clearly on the wall.
Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer Twists the Constitution
dpa wrote on July 27:
“The rising Corona infection figures have reignited the long-standing debate about more restrictions for the unvaccinated. ‘This is not discrimination against the unvaccinated,’ said Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in an interview with broadcaster RTL/ntv.
“He said he respects it if someone decides against vaccination for personal reasons. ‘But the person who has not been vaccinated must also realise that we have to protect society as a whole and therefore can only allow those who have been vaccinated to attend major community events.’”
So this IS discrimination, pure and simple!
Demonstrations in France and Elsewhere against Coronavirus Passport
Breitbart wrote on July 24:
“Around 300 anti-vaccine passport protesters stormed the town hall of Chambéry, denouncing French measures to implement a vaccine passport…
“Last weekend, over 100,000 people took to the streets to protest France’s vaccine passport policy, which will see people required to present a health pass to access certain businesses such as restaurants or engage in various forms of travel. Business owners that do not check for the health pass could also be punished under the new policy, with fines for up to Euros 45,000 (£38,487/$53,100) and a year in prison.”
More and more people show their discontent with anti-vaccine passports, which will promote diverse governments, such as France, to respond with and enforce harsh and many times unconstitutional measures.
The Associated Press added on July 24:
“Some 160,000 people… protested Saturday across the country [of France] against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers.
“Similar protests were held in neighboring Italy.”
Breitbart reported on July 26:
“Despite widespread protests, the French parliament has approved a law requiring… that anyone over the age of 12-years will be forced to present a health pass displaying a negative coronavirus test, vaccinations, or recent Covid recovery in order to do simple things like travel by train or aeroplane in France.
“The pass will also be required for restaurants, museums, swimming pools… In fact, any venue or place that can hold more than 50 people will be required to check guest’s health status…”
Spain Prepares for Emergency Laws
El Pais wrote on July 6:
“All adults will be required to provide ‘personal services’ to the state if a crisis is ever declared in Spain, according to the reform of the National Security Law being prepared by the government. The draft legislation… indicates that all citizens, without exception, must follow the orders and instructions of the relevant authorities if a state of crisis… is declared.
“The reform also states that authorities can temporarily requisition all types of assets, take over or temporarily occupy those that are needed and suspend all activity…”
These are dangerous steps towards an outright dictatorship, reminiscent of the times under Franco.
Britain’s New Pingdemic
Reuters wrote on July 22:
“British newspapers carried front-page pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets, declaring a ‘pingdemic.’… hundreds of thousands of people have been advised — or ‘pinged’ — by the National Health Service’s contact-tracing app to isolate for 10 days.
“The drastic reduction in staffing that has resulted has sown chaos through sectors as diverse as food supplies, haulage, supermarkets, hospitality, manufacturing and media. To avoid disruption, many people have deleted the app from their phones…
“Official data showed the app had told nearly 620,000 people to isolate in England and Wales in the week up to July 14… Government ministers… have allowed some workers in critical roles to carry on working, even when ‘pinged.’”
Whatever man tries to do fails miserably.
Eric Clapton Won’t Play for Discriminated Audiences
The Independent wrote on July 22:
“Eric Clapton has said that he will not play at venues where a COVID-19 vaccine is required for entry.
“Earlier this week, Boris Johnson unveiled plans for nightclubs and large music venues to demand proof of double vaccination to enter from the end of September…. The [world-famous] musician [said] he refuses to perform for ‘discriminated audiences.’”
Good for him.
Just Blame and Accuse the Unvaccinated
La Croix reported on July 13:
“The second-most senior Orthodox bishop in the Moscow Patriarchate has urged all people of Russia to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying their refusal to do so is akin to committing a sin… The sin consists in thinking only of oneself instead of thinking of others…’
“‘The Orthodox Church does not see pandemics as punishment from God,” Professor Panev [a priest] pointed out. He said it is just the opposite. ‘God did not leave human beings defenseless: medicine is a gift from God; we must use it,’ he noted.”
Strange biblical ideas by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Bennett Accuses Israelis and Is Strongly Attacked
Israel Today wrote on July 25:
“Over 80 percent of Israelis over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But for one reason or another, some one million Israelis eligible for the vaccine have not taken it. Some are ‘anti-vaxxers,’ folks opposed to all vaccination, but far more are merely suspicious of the various coronavirus vaccines.
“Last Thursday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett upset those one million Israelis by accusing them of putting the rest of the nation in danger. ‘One million Israelis are refusing to get vaccinated,’ Bennett said in a primetime television address. ‘They are endangering the entire population, they are endangering the other 8 million citizens in the country.’… Bennett urged vaccinated Israelis to ‘convince’ their unvaccinated countrymen: ‘If you know a vaccine refuser, convince them, explain to them that they are risking the health of others.’…
“Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said that she was not entirely pleased with Bennett’s speech and felt it would turn Israelis against one another… Shasha-Biton noted that Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar was also uncomfortable with the prime minister’s address, and reminded fellow cabinet ministers that ‘even those who are not vaccinated are still citizens of Israel.’ Many others also attacked Bennett for what they saw as a public shaming of anyone who has chosen not to take the Pfizer vaccine…
“Many of those being infected are already fully vaccinated, showing that the Pfizer vaccine does not prevent infection by the Delta variant. At the same time, the number of infected individuals requiring hospitalization has not risen significantly…”
Apart from the fact that this development shows the disunity within the Israeli coalition government, it also mirrors the attitude in many countries against the unvaccinated who are being labeled and treated as scapegoats, like the Jews were in Nazi Germany.
Fauci Recommends Masks and Booster Shots
The Associated Press wrote on July 25:
“The United States is in an ‘unnecessary predicament’ of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday. ‘We’re going in the wrong direction,’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as ‘very frustrated.’
“He said recommending that the vaccinated wear masks is ‘under active consideration’ by the government’s leading public health officials. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated, Fauci said.”
This is a total turn-around and completely contradicts what Fauci recommended earlier.
Breitbart added on July 27:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set on Tuesday to recommend masks for vaccinated people indoors under certain circumstances… Already some areas of America are bringing back coronavirus protocols, such as Palm Beach, Florida, which has mandated masks and social distancing measures even though 100 percent of residents ages 16 and older are vaccinated.”
It seems like, they do not know what they do.
More Lies and False Promises
Reuters reported on July 26:
“The United States will not lift any existing travel restrictions ‘at this point’… The decision… means the long-running travel restrictions that have barred much of the world’s population from the United States since 2020 will not be lifted in the short term… The announcement almost certainly dooms any bid by U.S. airlines and the U.S. tourism industry to salvage summer travel by Europeans and others covered by the restrictions. Airlines have heavily lobbied the White House for months to lift the restrictions.
“The United States currently bars most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil…
“Last week, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21 — even as Canada said it would begin allowing in fully vaccinated American tourists starting Aug. 9.
“Asked on July 15 at a joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about when the United States would lift European travel restrictions, Biden said he would ‘be able to answer that question to you within the next several days — what is likely to happen.’…”
With Biden’s fanatic obsession with restrictions, lockdowns, masks and travel bans, nothing less was to be expected. But he is paying a price. Note the next article.
Biden’s Approval Numbers Way Down
ABC News wrote on July 25:
“As President Joe Biden completed 100 days in office, the country was optimistic about the coming year, but now, just after hitting the six-month mark, Americans’ optimism about the direction of the country has plummeted nearly 20 points…
“A majority — 55% — of the public say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, a marked change from the roughly one-third (36%) that said the same in [a] poll published May 2. In the early May survey, Americans were more optimistic than pessimistic by a 28-percentage point margin…
“The decline in optimism has occurred across the board among Democrats, Republicans and independents… The optimism-pessimism flip comes as Americans give Biden his lowest approval rating for his handling of the pandemic… It likely reflects the growing concern that lockdowns could be reinstated…
“Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans approve of the president’s handling of immigration…”
The situation will only get worse…
Biden’s Plot to Snub the UK (and Other Allies)
Express wrote on July 29:
“Americans on both sides of the pond welcomed the UK’s announcement on Wednesday that anyone vaccinated in the US will not need to self-isolate after arriving from an amber list country. But hopes of the US President returning the favour have been dashed… The US is unlikely to allow vaccinated Britons into the country without the need to quarantine them anytime soon… Following the government’s announcement, demand for flights from the US to the UK surged…
“From 4am on Monday, fully vaccinated travellers from the US, the EU and a handful of other European countries will no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days when entering Britain.
“Virgin Atlantic chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen… urged ministers to ‘go further’ by moving the US to its green travel list, which would also exempt unvaccinated passengers from quarantine…
“It is not possible for most European travellers, including those from the UK, to enter the US due to coronavirus fears. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also advises Americans against travel to the UK.”
It is amazing how the Biden Administration and its scientific “supporters” are trying to do everything to destroy the US economy and to alienate its (former) friends. And sadly, many, if not most Americans (including theme parks, Las Vegas, etc.) are far too willing to support and embrace Biden’s new rules. But not all.
As the Ron Paul Institute reported on July 28:
“After months of assuring vaccinated Americans that they no longer need to wear masks, the CDC has suddenly reversed itself and taken the country back to early 2020: everyone must wear a mask! This time, however, there are signs of rebellion particularly among Republican governors. As the CDC has no legal authority to tell Americans what to do, many in positions of authority – for example Texas and Florida governors – have said they will ignore Fauci and his cohorts.”
On the other hand, The Sun reported that it is now claimed that the UK is pretty much over the pandemic due to herd immunity.
More Coronavirus Restrictions… Here We Go Again
Daily Mail wrote on July 29:
“Italy tightened their rules this week, announcing that unvaccinated tourists without the country’s ‘Green Pass’ – an app-based vaccine passport – will be banned from public spaces. The new rules, which start from August 6, is just the first step of the Green Pass rollout, and it could soon become mandatory for plane and train travel too.
“All countries are enforcing their own restrictions of varying degrees of stringency, with some restricting entry to vaccinated tourists only, and others only insisting on a lateral flow or PCR test. It is vital to check the latest requirements before travel or risk being turned away.”
This is TRULY a world held captive by Satan.
Why Don’t Scientific “Experts” Finally Stop Talking?
The Sun wrote on July 27:
“NOTHING has worsened the panic, misery and loss of public confidence more over the past 18 months than freelancing scientists and other politically motivated ‘experts’ baselessly predicting catastrophe… They have loved their 15 lucrative minutes of fame and snapped up every invitation to pontificate before a TV camera… every word is treated as gospel.
“… All involved should be ashamed… It does far more harm than good for self-interested boffins to spout off when their guess is no better than anyone else’s.”
They won’t stop talking, ever, because they love the attention.
Fauci Under Attack by Left-Liberal New York Times
Fox News wrote on July 29:
“New York Times columnist Bret Stephens took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci Tuesday amid the Biden administration’s efforts to combat so-called coronavirus ‘misinformation.’ In a piece headlined, ‘Covid Misinformation Comes From the Top, Too,’ Stephens… [pointed] to the recent fiery clash Fauci had with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., over whether the U.S. government funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have led to the coronavirus outbreak… He pointed to the explosive report from Vanity Fair last month that revealed State Department officials were told not to explore the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research because ‘it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of it.’…
“The Times columnist then called out Fauci over his comments about herd immunity, insisting he ‘lied’ about what he saw as the threshold figure… He also listed the CDC’s faulty overestimation over the outdoor spread of COVID and its study that claimed Black and Hispanic children were ‘at greater risk of being hospitalized,’ which became a contributing factor to schools being closed despite consistent evidence that schools were never a superspreader for children.
“‘The impact of this misinformation on everyday life has been immense…’”
The damage caused by the alleged lies of Fauci and others has been done, and cannot be cured.
Biden Accused Again of Lying
The New York Post wrote on July 29:
“Career politician President Biden is being mocked for claiming he used to drive an 18-wheeler truck… The 48-year political veteran made the claim while visiting a Mack Truck facility in Pennsylvania on Wednesday… But challenged by Fox News to produce evidence, a White House spokesperson could only point to a December 1973 article from the Wilmington Evening Journal that showed Biden rode in an 18-wheeler, not that he drove one…
“When Fox News again pressed the White House that riding in a truck is not the same as being behind the wheel, a spokesperson pointed to a United Federation of Teachers post that said Biden drove a school bus in the past as a summer job, the outlet said. But most school buses have at most six wheels — a third of the president’s claim, Fox noted.
“Asked again about the clear difference, the White House did not respond, Fox said. Biden was mocked online for the claim, with some joking that he may have been referring to his favorite toys as a kid…
“Biden has been accused of other flubs over his past, including that he ‘got started out of a HBCU, Delaware State’ — which the historically black college denied.”
Biden’s ongoing alleged lies are quite disturbing, including his more than questionable denials of possessing knowledge of his son’s business deals. It is sad that we almost must assume that politicians are lying to us because otherwise, they would not be politicians. The left-wing media reported consistently when Trump was apparently caught with another of his many alleged lies… but the silence when it comes to Biden’s alleged lies is deafening.
Weapons All Over the World
Euronews wrote on July 23:
“The US, the UK, Spain and Canada openly supply weapons to the Saudi-led coalition [of Arab nations]… Italy is the fourth biggest weapons exporter in the EU… Belgium, Germany, France and Spain are the other European countries that have allowed exports to Saudi Arabia…
“In the last five years, France’s main clients outside of Europe were Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but it also sold arms to the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Israel, Ethiopia and Afghanistan among many others. Germany has exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, but also to countries like South Sudan and Somalia. Spain and Italy’s exports have also headed to the same volatile destinations…
“What is the ultimate purpose of Europe’s defence industry? Is it to protect people? Is it for profit or to gain political and economic influence? What about human rights?”
These are good questions. Of course, it is all in line with biblical prophecy telling us that Europe will become the most powerful military entity.
Putin Warns Britain
Deutsche Welle wrote on July 25:
“[Putin] on Sunday warned that its navy is ready to carry out an ‘unpreventable strike’ on enemy targets if it was in the country’s ‘national interests.’ Putin was speaking in Saint Petersburg during a parade of warships… ‘We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it.’
“His remarks follow an incident in the Black Sea in June when Russia said it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Crimea waters… The British government… said any shots fired were a pre-announced Russian ‘gunnery exercise,’ and that no bombs had been dropped… Putin said last month Russia could have sunk the British warship HMS Defender, that it accused of illegally entering its territorial waters, without starting World War Three and said the United States played a role in the ‘provocation.’”
Britain is finding itself more and more as the object of aggression from many countries around the globe, but it does not seem to acknowledge it.
Putin Emboldened by Biden to Attack Israel?
Israel 365 wrote on July 25:
“For the first time, last week Russia announced it helped Syria operate against an Israeli airstrike in Syria. According to some reports, the change in policy comes in the wake of a meeting between Putin and Biden in which the US president expressed displeasure at Israeli strikes against Iranian targets…
“[A report claims that] Russia is now supplying Syrian forces with more advanced anti-missile systems. Russia maintains a significant military presence in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad who has been fighting a civil war for ten years.
“An anonymously sourced report by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat cited a ‘well-informed’ Russian official as saying that the Kremlin has ‘run out of patience’ with Israeli air raids in Syria. The source credited the shift in policy to an understanding between Russia and the US arrived at in the recent meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin. ‘Washington does not welcome the continuous Israeli raids,’ the Russian source claimed, saying that Moscow now felt free to respond aggressively to Israeli airstrikes…”
Ultimately, the whole world will turn against Israel.
Biden Warns of U.S. War over Cyberattacks
Radio Free Europe wrote on July 28:
“President Joe Biden warned that a major cyberattack on the United States could lead to an actual ‘shooting war,’ in comments that mentioned Russia and China as threats to U.S. national security. ‘I think it’s more than likely we’re going to end up, if we end up in a war — a real shooting war with a major power — it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyberbreach of great consequence. And it’s increasing exponentially, the capabilities,’ Biden said in a speech to the U.S. intelligence community on July 27.
“Biden noted a growing number of cyberattacks against government agencies and private industry that U.S. officials have linked to Russia and China. Cybersecurity has moved to the top of the Biden administration’s agenda after a string of attacks during his first six months in office, including ransomware attacks.
“At a Geneva summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, Biden said the two leaders discussed keeping 16 types of critical infrastructure off-limits to cyberattacks, including the energy and water sectors. Biden entered office having to deal with the fallout of the SolarWinds hack that affected U.S. government agencies and businesses, a sophisticated attack blamed on Russian government hackers.
“Suspected Russia-based criminal groups have also been linked to high-profile ransomware attacks targeting Colonial Pipeline and meat-processing giant JBS. Another hit technology firm Kaseya that impacted hundreds of businesses globally.
“The Kremlin scoffed at Biden’s assessment that Russia ‘has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else,’ saying the speech appeared to be tailored toward the U.S. intelligence community. ‘(The United States) can hardly be called a partner. It is more like an opponent or a “vis-à-vis”,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow on July 28… The United States and its Western allies earlier this month blamed China for a global hacking campaign that included a massive attack on Microsoft software and accused Beijing of complicity with hackers in ransomware and other cyberattacks.”
Biden’s weak performance during his meeting with Putin did not help solve the situation.
Russia and China—Joint Military Exercises
Reuters wrote on July 29:
“Russia and China will conduct joint military exercises involving 10,000 troops in mid-August, the Interfax news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying on Thursday.
“Moscow has sought to boost relations with China since 2014, when its political ties with the West sank to post Cold-War lows over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.”
Tumult in the Catholic Church
Breitbart wrote on July 24:
“U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke has expressed his ‘profound sorrow’ over Pope Francis’s recent letter drastically restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass… ‘Those who are attached to the Traditional Latin Mass… ‘are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline’ imposed by Pope Francis in his letter and ‘offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct,’ Cardinal Burke states in an essay published online July 22.
“‘It is apparent from the severity of the document,’ states Burke, a canon lawyer and the former head of the Vatican’s supreme court, that Pope Francis issued it ‘to address what he perceives to be a grave evil threatening the unity of the Church,’ a perception Burke clearly does not share.
“The pope’s letter places restrictions on the Latin Mass that ‘signal its ultimate elimination,’ the cardinal adds… The pope’s message to the ‘devout faithful who have a deep appreciation and attachment’ to the Traditional Latin Mass is that ‘they suffer from an aberration which can be tolerated for a time but must ultimately be eradicated,’ Burke declares….”
Newsmax wrote on July 25:
“Barely a week after Pope Francis issued his controversial order limiting the celebration of the Roman Catholic Church’s traditional Latin Mass, the leader of roughly 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide found himself under strong fire from some of the top officials of his Church… So far, four Cardinals — the officials second in authority only to the Pope — have voice[d] their strong disagreement with Francis’s July 19 order…
“German Cardinal Gerhard Muller hit this hard, charging that Francis’s goal is ‘extinction in the long run’ of the Mass celebrated by Catholics from the time of the Council of Trent (1545-63) until 1970… ‘Without the slightest empathy,’ wrote Muller, formerly Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Benedict, ‘one ignores the religious feelings of the [often young] participants in the Masses… Instead of appreciating the smell of the sheep, the shepherd here hits them hard with his crook.’…”
Predictably, Pope Francis’ liberal agenda, as it became obvious from the very start of his papacy, was bound to create a clash with conservative Traditionalist within the Catholic church. Will there be an open schism, as has happened several times in the past, when two and at one time even three competing popes claimed the office simultaneously?
Huge Asteroid to Fly by the Earth
The Jerusalem Post wrote on July 25:
“An asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza is set to fly by the Earth on Sunday, July 25, in what could be described as a relatively ‘close’ approach…
“Due to flying so close to the Earth (about 2.8 million miles, or 4.5 million kilometers), the asteroid is considered potentially hazardous. However, this is not a significant risk, with the distance actually being almost 20 times the distance between Earth and the moon. However, there is still the potential for danger, as gravitational tugs have the potential for changing an object’s path.
“The danger of an asteroid impact remains among the worst possible natural disasters that could happen to the planet, as mankind does not have much in the way of combating them…”
The Bible indicates that this danger is very real.
Daily Mail added on July 26:
“An ‘unusually large meteor’ briefly lit up southern Norway on Sunday, creating a spectacular sound and light display as it rumbled across the sky. The meteor flew over Oslo at around 01:00, with the phenomena seen as far north as Trondheim.
“Experts believe that a piece of the meteor may have hit Earth, possibly not far from the capital. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries. However, experts say finding any remnants is no mean feat, and could take ‘some 10 years.’… Analysis of the meteor suggests it could have weighed at least 22lb (10kg)….
“A meteor that exploded over the central Russia near the city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 rained fireballs over a vast area and caused a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people.”
California’s Worsening Drought
The Sacramento Bee wrote on July 23:
“Forced to reckon with a worsening drought, California’s water regulators are preparing to forbid thousands of farmers from tapping into the state’s major rivers and streams. It’s an extraordinary step — and one that regulators didn’t take during the last drought, which was considered one of the worst on record…
“Most farmers who rely on the State Water Project or the federal Central Valley Project are already struggling with dramatically reduced allocations. The proposed order released Friday covers those thousands of farmers with direct legal rights to pull water out of the rivers…”
It was also reported that “more than 85 large wildfires were burning around the country” (The Associated Press, dated July 25).
What we are witnessing around the world are numerous and manifold natural catastrophes. It is as if God is allowing these disasters to wake us up.
Largest Earthquake in More than 50 Years
New York Daily News wrote on July 29:
“The Alaska peninsula was rocked late Wednesday night by the strongest earthquake to hit the United States since 1965. The powerful 8.2-magnitude quake struck just more than 50 miles south of Perryville, Alaska… So far, there have been at least two aftershocks, one with a magnitude of 6.2 while the other measured about 5.6…
“… the 1965 Magnitude 8.7 was five times as energetic, and the 1964 Magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake was 30 times more energetic than tonight’s Magnitude 8.2… The Great Alaska Earthquake is the largest ever to hit the United States…”
When will the really big earthquakes hit the USA in populated areas?
Disgraceful Change of Famous Name of Baseball Team
Newsmax wrote on July 23:
“Former President Donald Trump on Friday criticized Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team for changing its name from the Indians to the Guardians starting next season… In a statement sent via email, Trump said: ‘Can anybody believe that the Cleveland Indians, a storied and cherished baseball franchise since taking the name in 1915, are changing their name to the Guardians? Such a disgrace.’’
“He then claimed that Native Americans… will be the ones most upset about the team changing its name and logo… ‘Wouldn’t it be an honor to have a team named the Cleveland Indians, and wouldn’t it be disrespectful to rip that name and logo off of those jerseys?… The people of Cleveland cannot be thrilled and I, a FORMER baseball fan, cannot believe things such as this are happening… A small group of people, with absolutely crazy ideas and policies, is forcing these changes to destroy our culture and heritage. At some point, the people will not take it anymore!’”
Still, it seems this kind of nonsense will only continue in a world totally cut off from God.
Left-Wing Wikipedia Unreliable
Breitbart wrote on July 23:
“In an interview Thursday for Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger stated he was embarrassed about helping found the site given its increasing left-wing bias. Noting it helps shape the understanding many Americans have of the world, Carlson asked Sanger what could be done to fix the problems on Wikipedia, but Sanger doubted it was possible to fix the site from the inside..
“Sanger also apologized to those individuals whose reputations have been harmed by Wikipedia because of his role in founding it, though Carlson also noted Google’s role in promoting the site… Over the past year, Sanger has repeatedly criticized Wikipedia for left-wing bias, stating its neutrality was ‘dead’… He noted how differently articles about Donald Trump and Barack Obama covered scandals in their presidential administrations, as well as how scandals involving Joe Biden have been covered. Sanger also criticized coverage of religious and scientific topics as pushing a liberal or establishment view. Recently, he stated that the site could no longer be trusted to give anything other than a left-wing or establishment view, mentioning the site’s ongoing purge of conservative media…
“Sanger explained that… Wikipedia allows anonymous contributions by anyone…”
We can attest to that. Terrible libelous articles have been published on Wikipedia about our organizations, filled with lies and misrepresentations from “anonymous” writers.
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.
Did People see God the Father in visions? When will His immortal Children see Him in His Glory?
In a recent Editorial, we stated “that no one has seen God the Father, except in a vision.” When people saw God in the Old Testament, they saw Jesus Christ. We continued:
“When we consider the example of Moses, we find in Exodus 33:11 that ‘the LORD spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend’… in Exodus 33:18, Moses asked to see God’s glory. In verse 20 God or Jesus Christ replied and said: ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ In verse 23 we find that God did allow Moses to see His back, but not His face. God stated later that Moses saw the form or similitude of the LORD (Numbers 12:8). In these examples, men and, at times, women, had seen the appearance of God, actually Jesus Christ…”
We state much more about Jesus Christ, being the God of the Old Testament, in our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—A Great Mystery.”
On the other hand, while people never saw God the Father “face to face,” they DID see Him in visions. The Old Testament writers knew about the existence of the Father, and in the New Testament, further visions were given about God the Father to confirm His existence and involvement in our lives. It is interesting to note how the Father is described in these visions.
We read in the book of Daniel about a vision showing both God the Father and Jesus Christ. In Daniel 7, 9-10, we read about what Daniel had seen:
“I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened…”
The description of the Ancient of Days reminds us of the description of Jesus Christ, in His glory, as revealed in Revelation 1:12-16:
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”
But the description of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9-10 was not that of Jesus Christ, but of God the Father, as we continue to read about Christ who was brought before the Ancient of Days (the Father) in Daniel 7:13-14:
“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
The similarities in the glorious appearance of the Father and Jesus Christ are understandable when we realize that Christ is the image of the Father. We read in Hebrews 1:3 that Christ is “the brightness of His [the Father’s] glory and the express image of His [the Father’s] person.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 confirms that Christ “is the image of God.”
At one time, Philip asked Christ to show him and the other disciples the Father, adding,”…and it is sufficient for us.” But Jesus responded with astonishment: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (compare John 14:8-9).
We also read this about the glory of Jesus Christ, in Ezekiel 1:4-6,22, 26-28, showing again that Christ is the “image” of God the Father:
“Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings….
“The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads… And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.”
Ezekiel 1 describes the “glory of the LORD,” Jesus Christ, on His throne, which was transported by four living angelic creatures or Cherubim.
Stephen was allowed to see the Father and Jesus Christ in a vision, just prior to his death, as revealed in Acts 7:55-58:
“… But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him…”
In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4, Paul explains that he was transferred in a vision to the third heaven where he heard unspeakable words. Even though he does not specifically say that he saw God the Father in that vision, from the context, it appears that he did.
We read in the book of Revelation that John saw God the Father in a vision. We read in Revelation 4:2-11; 5:1:
“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
“The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’ Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.’
“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals…”
This is a description of God the Father, not of Jesus Christ, who, pictured as a Lamb, is being brought before the Father, as we read in verses 6 and 7:
“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
So we note that some have seen God the Father in a vision. We also know that God’s born-again children will see Jesus Christ in His full glory, as He is, when He returns (1 John 3:1-2). We also know that they will see God the Father, when He comes down to the new earth, as we read in Revelation 22:1-4:
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”
This confirms what Christ told His disciples, in Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”
But will we have to wait for seeing the Father in His glory until the new heavens and the new earth are created and the Father comes down from heaven to the new earth to dwell here?
First of all, as born-again Spirit members of the God Family, we can see God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, dwelling in and emanating from us wherever He may be. God the Father and Jesus Christ can see everything through their Holy Spirit emanating from them, even though they, as Persons, are at one given “time” in one given “place.”
But will we, as born-again Spirit beings, see and meet God the Father “face to face,” from Person to Person, standing right next to Him and before Him, long before He comes down to the new earth?
We read that when Jesus Christ comes back in all His glory, a marriage supper will be held between Him and His Bride—the spirit-born members of His Church (Revelation 19:7-9). We do not read in the Bible that the marriage supper will take place in heaven; rather, Christ will return to this earth where, apparently, the marriage supper will take place.
We state in our Q&A about where the marriage supper between Christ and His Church will be held https://www.eternalgod.org/q-a-16/ :
“Christ gave a parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22, presupposing that the wedding feast or marriage supper will take place here on earth. We read in verse 11: ‘But when the king [who had arranged the marriage for his son, verse 2] came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.’ In the parable, ‘the king’ represents God the Father, and ‘the son’ represents Jesus Christ. If the marriage supper were to take place in heaven, the guest without a wedding garment could not have been there — neither as a physical being nor as a fallen spirit being. He could not have been a disqualified saint, as there are no physical beings in heaven and as the disqualified saint would not have been changed to spirit. Nor could he have been a ‘fallen’ spirit being, i.e., Satan or a demon, as by that time, Satan and his angels will have no more access to God’s throne in heaven. Revelation 12:8 speaks of a time, before the marriage supper, stating, ‘…nor was a place found for them [Satan and his demons, verse 7] in heaven any longer.’”
Even though the Bible does not say that Christ will return to take us to heaven to celebrate the marriage supper there and then return with us to the earth, the Bible does say that the Father arranges the marriage supper for His Son and comes into the marriage hall to see the guests. The guests do not refer here to born-again Spirit beings, but rather to Old Testament Israel and the religious leadership at Christ’s first coming who had been called to have a physical relationship with God (see “Are you Predestined to be Saved?”, page 53). The Father comes in to see and be seen by the guests… even though, as human beings, they will not be able to see Him in His glory. (The presence of physical guests would also prove that the marriage supper cannot be held in heaven.) We also realize, of course, that Christ is telling a parable, and the analogies only go so far.
But what can be gleaned from this parable is that the Father presents Himself to those at the wedding, including His servants (verse 13), to see them and be seen by them. If this is true for the “guests,” how much more so for His immortal sons and daughters—born-again Spirit beings in His Family? They would of course see Him at the wedding supper as He is—in His glory. This would be one passage strongly implying that we will see the Father in His full glory, face to face and from “Person to Person,” already at the time of the wedding supper.
Is there also any biblical indication that we will ascend to the third heaven and meet with the Father face to face there, from Person to Person, before new heavens and a new earth are created? The short answer is that the Bible does not tell us. What we do know is that we will not be in the third heaven to rule from there over the earth, but we will rule with and under Christ on the earth (Revelation 5:10). God promises us that we will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). We are the spiritual descendants of and co-heirs with Abraham who received the promise to be the heir of the world (Romans 4:13). We also read in Psalm 115:16: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; But the earth He has given to the children of men.”
These passages do not prove, of course, that we could not ascend to the third heaven to “visit” the Father in person, face to face. After all, we read, for example, that God’s angels in heaven always see the face of the Father (Matthew 18:10). And we will be so much more and greater than angels.
On the other hand, nothing is revealed in the Bible that we will ascend to the third heaven, where God’s throne is; and the question as to why we might not do so is therefore moot. As we saw above, God the Father may visit us on earth, and we have pointed out that as born-again Spirit members of the God Family, we can see God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, dwelling in and emanating from us, at any “time” and wherever He may be.
IF the Bible indicates an answer to the question as to whether we will ascend to the third heaven before new heavens will be created, we might turn to John 3:13, which is translated in the Authorized Version (AV) as follows:
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
The words, “which is in heaven” are not found in many old manuscripts or, if they are genuine, they would have been John’s addition who would have commented on Jesus being in heaven at the time of John’s writing (Christ would not have said that He was in heaven when He spoke the words, as He was at that time here on earth and not in heaven.) But even the remainder of the statement is odd, as worded in the AV: “…no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven.” At the time of Christ’s statement, He had not ascended up to heaven.
For this reason, the rendition in the old Luther Bible of 1891, republished in 1964, seems to make more sense, stating: “No one ascends up to heaven, but he who came down from heaven, even the Son of Man.” With that rendering, it is clear that Jesus, after His resurrection, would ascend to heaven, but it could also follow that no one else would. If this conclusion is correct, then it might perhaps indicate that even we, after our resurrection, would still not ascend up to the third heaven. We could speculate as to whether this would indeed be so, and why that might be the case, but since the Bible does not give us any answers to these questions at this point, we will leave it there.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Israel at the Brink of a Catastrophe?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Israel is being ruled by an unruly government … a coalition of totally divided parties which only became united to get rid of Netanyahu. This coalition has no chance of success or survival, and the first hick-ups have already been noticed. But the disunity and ultimate anticipated failure of Israel’s government could have wide-ranging consequences.
Speaking assignments have been made which will cover upcoming Sabbaths and Holy Days for both the United States and Germany. These will soon be posted on our respective websites.
“Dem Tod ins Auge sehen” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Facing Death.”
“Teure Zeiten,” the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette presented by Johann Schell, is now posted. Title in English: “Expensive Times.”
“Joseph in Egypt and God’s Incredible Work in Our Lives,” the title of the last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
God is with us, no matter in what situation we might be. If we go through a valley of death, through scourging fire, through howling wind or through overflowing water, God is right there with us. God works in our lives in mysterious ways and brings about events which we would not have believed to be possible. We find a very vivid and compelling example in the life of Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob or Israel.
We will observe the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day for 2021, in Rapid City, South Dakota, and near Düsseldorf, Germany. If you would like more information, check out our websites: https://www.eternalgod.org/feasts/ ; https://www.ewigengottes.de/wir-uber-uns/laubhuttenfest-2021/
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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