|Live Services||The Fig Tree / Are You Fully Armed?|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Why was Jesus baptized?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
The Fig Tree / Are You Fully Armed?
On December 4, 2021, Paul Niehoff will present the sermonette, titled, “The Fig Tree,” and Rene Messier will present the sermon, titled, “Are You Fully Armed?”
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.
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
I read an excellent book some time ago entitled, “Affluenza – The All-Consuming Epidemic.” It was an excellent presentation of the ills that beset so many today.
The book describes Affluenza as “a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.”
On page 109, with the chapter heading of “Dissatisfaction Guaranteed,” it quoted psychologist David Meyer who wrote: “More than ever, we have big houses and broken homes, high incomes and low morale, secured rights and diminished civility. We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedoms but long for connection. In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger.”
Psychologist Jeremy Seabrook was also quoted on the same page where he opined: “The only chance of satisfaction we can imagine is getting more of what we have now. But what we have now makes everybody dissatisfied. So what will more of it do – make us more satisfied, or more dissatisfied?”
Those quotes certainly apply to so many in society today, and the book gives the symptoms, the causes and the necessary treatment in its 236 pages plus chapter end notes, bibliography and sources.
It got me to thinking how much the pursuit of “stuff” and material things may have rubbed off on some church members? Do we have to discard our laptop computer that works perfectly well in order to get the latest version which we actually do not need? Do we have to change our car every year so that it is up-to-date with the latest add-ons and options which we likewise do not need and which will be quite expensive to acquire? Do we constantly buy clothes and shoes when our wardrobe may already be full to overflowing? Do we have to have the latest mobile (cell) phone which may be very little different to the phone we have had for the last six months and which works perfectly well, and do we have to have the very latest fashions, clothes and gadgetry that the marketing gurus thrust before our eyes with a compelling sales pitch that such stuff are a must have or because “you’re worth it?”
Even Church of God people are not immune to the accumulation of “stuff” as well as maxed-up credit cards and bank overdrafts to facilitate this emphasis and “necessity” to indulge as the world does. After all, we are subject, in the main, to all of the advertising that bombards society on a daily basis, and from every quarter, but we should have much more resistance than others because of the precious knowledge that God has so marvellously revealed to us.
On page 111 of this book is a quote from Donella Meadows who wrote “Beyond the Limits,” as follows: “People don’t need enormous cars, they need respect. They don’t need closets full of clothes, they need to feel attractive and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don’t need electronic equipment; they need something worthwhile to do with their lives. People need identity, community, challenge, acknowledgement, love and joy. To try to fill these needs with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to real and never-satisfied problems. The resulting psychological emptiness is one of the major forces behind the desire for material growth.”
I’m not talking, of course, about necessities, those things that we truly need. We need clothes and shoes, and in this day and age, most, at least in the Western world, need mobile phones, cars, electronic equipment and computers. I’m emphasising that even members of God’s Church can, if they’re not on their guard, be distracted from their true goal in life if the here and now, and all of its excesses and glitzy attractions, take a grip of how we behave and function. It is a very easy trap to fall into and can become a way of life contrary to that which we have been called into.
On page 118 of the book, “Affluenza – The All-Consuming Epidemic,” we read “today by virtue of a media-happy free market, it may now be possible for a person to travel from one week to the next without thinking an original thought unshaped by manipulative messages! Much of the territory between our ears has now been commercially ‘colonised’. The question is, if we get evicted from our own minds, who are we?”
Of course, church members are too wise to be caught out in the acquisition of stuff, aren’t they? Are they? One television advertisement I saw sold the benefits of being able to use their facility for things we want and for those things we may not need as well. No wonder so very many people seem to be up to their eyes in debt! But it is not just the debt issue but having the wrong emphasis that is even more worrying.
Scripture tells us not to love the world and all of its attractions which certainly includes unnecessary purchases and debt. In 1 John 2:15-17, we read the following: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
If we follow the way of this dying world by greatly accumulating “stuff” that is not necessary, and spend ourselves into unnecessary debt, we may well be falling for yet another Satanic trap. Rather than being content with our lot, we can easily succumb to the way of this world which continues down the secular path towards destruction. Developing holy righteous character is what we should be about, not accumulating that which will disappear.
Right at the end of the book, they conclude with these thoughts. “The bottom line is this. When your time comes and your whole life flashes before you, will it hold your interest? How much of the story will be about moments of clarity and grace, kindness and caring? Will the main character – you – appear as large and noble as life itself, or as tiny and absurd as a cartoon figure, darting frantically among mountains of stuff? It’s up to you, and indeed, it’s up to all of us.”
As we approach the December festive season, there will be huge amounts of money spent on “stuff” with many maxing up their credit card(s) for materialistic goods that may have temporary pleasure but with long-lasting consequences of unnecessary debt and all that that can bring.
We can never have “Godly Overload,” but it is a direction that would be much more profitable to pursue than all of the material pursuits of this world!
It’s about priorities, and let none of us be found wanting in this respect!
by Norbert Link
We begin with Putin’s “undeclared war” against Europe and fears that Russia will invade Ukraine very soon; and report on the goal of “Germany’s incoming Europhile left-wing government” to create a United States of Europe with a European Army.
We continue with the alleged reason for Biden’s hostility toward Hungary; speak about “Germany’s nuclear weapons”; and address the concept that America is becoming another socialist nation. We also publish an article speculating as to who would be Trump’s running mate if he was to run for President in 2024.
We report on Israel’s preparation for building the Third Temple; and Canada’s proposed radical pro-LGBT bill.
We speak on the discovery of a new Corona variant—the so-called Omicron variant, which has also been referred to as the Nu variant—and the resulting worldwide paranoia, including apparently quite meaningless dictatorial travel bans, even though the symptoms appear to be mild and non-threatening.
We also address the reasons why Biden is deeply unpopular, and why some feel that the departure of health “expert” Fauci is long overdue.
We continue to dedicate a large section of these Current Events to the incredibly frightening—but prophesied–move towards dictatorships all over the world, with special emphasis on Greece, Austria, Germany, Europe and Australia. We also report on the death of a famous TV Evangelist in the USA. In this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “The Dictatorship of the Beast in the Book of Revelation.”
We also report on the death of a famous TV Evangelist in the USA.
We conclude with the abuse of Catholic nuns in their convents.
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
Putin’s Undeclared War against Europe
Financial Post wrote on November 26:
“… western leaders are waking up to the fact that Vladimir Putin has been waging an undeclared war against Europe and the west since 2014 when it annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. This is because he has escalated his warfare. In August, he weaponized energy exports by throttling back natural gas shipments, creating shortages and enormous price hikes. Also during the summer, Putin’s proxy, Belarus, weaponized migration. Thousands of residents from the Middle East were encouraged to fly to Minsk, then were transported to the border with Poland where they were promised they could easily sneak into the European Union (EU).
“This gambit, designed to damage the EU, was impeded by Poland and Lithuanian troops. It gained world headlines as these migrants were caught, like human ping pong balls, between an odious regime in Belarus (likely urged by Russia) pushing them to break fencing and defy soldiers — and the Polish army using tear gas and water cannons to prevent a flood of illegal migrants…
“In April, Putin amassed about 100,000 troops, tanks and warships near Ukraine’s borders, and has continued this deployment despite requests by the United States and others to de-escalate… Putin… described the demise of the Soviet empire as the greatest ‘geopolitical catastrophe in history’ in a 2005 speech. Ever since, he has set out to reverse history… his ‘War’ against Europe has gone mostly unnoticed because he wages two kinds of warfare. He undertakes ‘hot wars’ or traditional conflicts but these are hidden and involve unidentified armed forces or operatives, who are former Russian military soldiers working as mercenaries. Hot wars against European nation-states included Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, both of which are now partially occupied by Russian ‘operatives’ — territories equivalent in size to the country of Bulgaria, or the State of Colorado.
“More commonly, Putin conducts ‘hybrid warfare’ against targets which also include the United States, all NATO members, and former Soviet vassal nations. In these battles, his arsenal includes cyber warfare, political sabotage, disinformation, propaganda, lawsuits, election intervention, diplomatic maneuvers, bombings, poisonings, assassinations, gaslighting, and most dramatically this year, the mobilization of forces capable of invading Ukraine as well as the weaponization of energy and migration…
“Putin’s biggest ‘recapture’ occurred in 2020 when Russia took control over Belarus without a single shot fired after its dictator lost re-election, rigged results and faced mass protests in the streets. Its leader, Alexandre Lukashenko, was only able to cling to power with Russian military and financial backing, and now takes orders from the Kremlin… winter approaches and he has inordinate leverage over Europe’s energy market. The reality is that Putin plays a long game, and tested the limits this year. But he will never end his war and hopefully Europe realizes this and will remain vigilant and fortified.”
The time will come when European powers, feeling threatened by Russia, China and other Far Eastern nations, will “react” militarily with terrible and devastating consequences.
Russia Expected to Invade Ukraine
Newsmax wrote on November 28:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mass production of the Zircon hypersonic nuclear missile ahead of an expected offensive into Ukraine early next year, The Sun reported. Putin has said Zircon could fly at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 620 miles, according to The Associated Press. He has ordered the Zircon missile to be deployed in 2022 by the Russian Navy, boasting that it is ‘truly unparalleled … in the world,’ per The Sun.
‘There was a successful hypersonic missile test from a frigate in the White Sea on Nov. 18, following a submarine test a month earlier. The missiles have been in development for over 20 years and are considered a critical next step for Putin’s arsenal…
“Ukrainian commander Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Kyiv’s defence intelligence agency, said that Russia has planned an attack in late January that would involve some 100,000 Russian soldiers on 10 fronts… Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently alleged that Russian ‘representatives’ are planning to overthrow his government…, which Russia has denied, BBC reported.”
It is only a matter of time.
The United States of Europe
Express wrote on November 27:
“The new German government is pressing for further integration with the European Union in a move set to pave the way for a so-called ‘United States of Europe’…
“Social Democrat (SPD) leader and incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed an historic three-way coalition this week with the Greens and Free Democrats. The direction of the new regime has also started to take shape after the Green party’s co-leader Annalena Baerbock, an ardent europhile, was appointed foreign minister… The 40-year-old will help to shape overseas policy-making and her ideas are already being described as a blueprint for a ‘United States of Europe’…
“The prospect of a ‘United States of Europe’ is one that has been in the offing for several years – and ever since French President Emmanuel Macron spearheaded the idea of an EU Army… The EU27 began operating like one super-state during the coronavirus pandemic after President Macron and Angela Merkel led calls for a historic €750 billion rescue package to bail out the bloc. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also presided over coronavirus vaccine purchases for the entire bloc.”
Breitbart wrote on November 29:
“Germany’s incoming Europhile left-wing government has begun a push for a federalized European Union superstate and the creation of what has been unofficially dubbed the ‘United States of Europe’. The campaign for the creation of the superstate was enshrined in the coalition agreement between the three soon-to-be ruling parties, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democrats (FPD), and the Greens, according to a report by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the German language paper of record in Switzerland.
“The agreement outlines the coalition’s commitment to supporting the ‘necessary treaty changes’ needed to ‘lead developments to a European federal state’. This is something Germany clearly sees itself as being responsible for doing… It also voices the coalition’s support… for an increase of ‘Europe’s strategic sovereignty… this means establishing one’s own ability to act in a global context and being less dependent and vulnerable in important strategic areas’, an oblique reference to an emerging single European foreign policy and an EU military…
“The idea for a federal ‘United States of Europe’ has been brewing for years, and was a major subject of discussion in the run-up to the UK Brexit referendum in 2016. Yet preparations for a federal Europe stepped up a gear in 2017 when the former President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, proposed that the bloc be turned into a federal state by 2025… European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen [stated] in September that the bloc needs to build the ‘political will’ to create an EU Army. German defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer hailed the call for an EU Army, saying von der Leyen was right and that ‘Germany and France must lead.’”
The emergence of a powerful EU Army is sure.
Washington vs. Budapest
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on November 27:
“Ever since the Democrats took the White House, Washington and Budapest have been drifting ever further apart. But Biden needs to accept that just because Orban disagrees with him doesn’t mean he’s ‘undemocratic’.
“Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has expressed concerns that the United States will attempt to interfere in next year’s general election. The purpose of the underhand interference, Szijjarto believes, is to have sitting Hungarian PM Viktor Orban replaced by the United Opposition candidate Peter Marki-Zay, who is more ideologically aligned with the Biden administration…
“This is not the first time the Hungarian government has suggested America will intervene in next year’s election… The Hungarian government is unashamedly anti-globalist and believes in the sanctity of the sovereign nation. It is also very pro-family and a champion of Christian values. This is anathema to Biden, Brussels and the liberal press, which regularly, and lazily, label Orban ‘far-right’.
“Second, unlike Biden, Orban believes in strong borders, and, to this end, has built a wall to secure his country from another migrant crisis. In contrast, one of Biden’s first acts as president was to put a halt to the building of Donald Trump’s wall on the US’ southern border. The result has been a catastrophe…
“Third, there is the fact that Orban was close to Trump and made it clear he was rooting for his ally to win another term last year… The feelings of warmth are mutual…
“Next year’s Hungarian general election, to take place in either April or May, will determine the direction the nation will take…”
It does not appear very likely that Hungary will not be part of the EU.. .and maybe even the core European nations… but further hostility between Hungary and the USA can be expected.
Germany’s Nuclear Weapons
The Independent wrote on November 30:
“The president of Belarus has suggested his nation will take advantage of access it has to nuclear weapons via its Russian ally, should Nato decide to arm parts of Europe with similar machinery. It comes amid increasing tensions between Alexander Lukashenko and the EU over the current migrant crisis on the border shared by Belarus and Poland.
“Less than two weeks ago, Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s secretary-general, announced in a statement that US nuclear weapons currently stationed inside Germany could well be moved to ‘other European countries’… However, he added: ‘I expect that Germany will continue to be part of nuclear sharing, because it is so important for Europe.’
“… Mr Stoltenberg said in his speech on 19 November that Nato’s ‘aim is a world free of nuclear weapons’. But, he added, ‘as long as others have them, we must have them too’”.
And so, nuclear war IS coming.
Today’s America… another Socialist Country
Fox News reported on November 28, 2021:
“A Republican congresswoman from South Carolina [Nancy Mace] says President Biden’s Build Back Better plan includes $80 billion in funding to hire some 89,000 more IRS agents who will be tasked with ‘spying’ on Americans’ bank accounts like socialist countries around the world do…
“The Build Back Better Act’s investments in the IRS… would result in an estimated 1.2 million additional audits each year. Nearly half of the audits would impact families earning less than $75,000 a year. One quarter of the audits would affect Americans earning $25,000 or more per year.
“Mace predicted that the Build Back Better plan will only increase inflation, arguing that socialist spending will incentivize people not to work, worsening supply chain issues and raising taxes for average Americans already facing increased prices for groceries, gas and other goods….”
Trump’s Running Mate for 2024
The New York Post wrote on November 30:
“While former President Donald Trump has yet to formally announce a 2024 White House bid, he’s already stoking speculation about potential running mates… [Reportedly, the] 45th president will largely choose his campaign sidekick based on two factors: unconditional loyalty, and support for Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen by the Democrats.
“In June, [Trump said] that he would ‘certainly consider’ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis… as a potential running mate. But a source quoted by Politico threw cold water on the possibility… ‘Trump sees him as a competitor…’
“Other names that sources have suggested based on recent interactions with Trump include Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom recently spoke with Trump at Mar-a-Lago… If Trump opts to select a female running mate, the outlet reports the list of contenders includes Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)… Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was once thought to be a possible VP candidate, but that is seen as increasingly unlikely due to her sharp criticism of Trump over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“Some sources… suggest former acting national security adviser Ric Grenell… While Pence has publicly proclaimed that he and Trump are on good terms after the former president labeled Pence disloyal for not attempting to overturn the 2020 election results earlier this year, there is little chance the two would reunite for a third White House run. Trump is expected to formally announce his decision following the 2022 midterms, in which Republicans are favored to regain control of the House of Representatives after two years of Democratic control of the House, Senate and White House.”
Preparing for the Third Temple
Israel 365 wrote on November 30:
“On Monday, December 6, a reenactment of several Temple ceremonies will be held in Mitzpe Yericho. The reenactments will include a demonstration of the anointing of the High Priest, and the lighting of the Temple menorah. A new altar will be dedicated for use on the Temple Mount. Each ceremony is an essential element of the Temple service and practical efforts such as these are intended to prepare for the Third Temple.
“As Monday will be the last night of Hanukkah, a demonstration of the lighting of the temple menorah will be carried out. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple by the Hasmoneans in 164 BCE and the ceremony next week will recreate several aspects of that historic event.
“The gold menorah intended to be installed permanently in the Third Temple upon its construction is on display in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. Made to Biblical specifications, it is not portable and cannot be used for reenactments. Standing approximately six feet tall, it weighs half a ton, and contains 45 kilograms (approximately 99 lbs) of 24 karat gold valued at approximately three million dollars…
“A demonstration of the anointing of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) will also be held. Rabbi Baruch Kahana will serve as the Kohen Gadol for the purpose of this demonstration. Rabbi Kahana has served an essential role in educating Kohanim to serve in the Third Temple and has served as the Kohen Gadol in many of the Temple reenactments.”
The building of the Third Temple, prior to Christ’s return, is just a matter of time.
New Radical Pro-LGBT Bill in Canada
Life Site News wrote on November 30:
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberals introduced yet another radical left-wing pro-LGBT bill that seeks to criminalize all forms of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ Violators would face years in prison. On Monday, Trudeau’s Federal Liberal Party introduced Bill C-4 in the second effort made by the Liberals, after their first bill, C-6, was dropped earlier this year when Trudeau called for an election. While similar, the new bill is stricter, and is being touted as ‘among the most comprehensive in the world,’ with violators of the broad-scoped policy being subject to a prison term of up to five years.
“The bill not only seeks to criminalize ‘providing’ so-called conversion therapy to people, including adults actively seeking it out, but also intends to make illegal ‘knowingly’ causing ‘another person to undergo conversion therapy,’ advertising or promoting conversion therapy, removing a child from Canada for the purposes of undergoing conversion therapy, or receiving ‘financial or material’ benefit as a result of someone undergoing conversion therapy.
“Further, the bill applies a broad definition to the term ‘conversion therapy.’ The term includes ‘any practice, treatment or service designed to: change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual; change a person’s gender identity to cisgender; change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth; repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour; repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.’
“In effect, not only is attempting to reverse someone’s orientation from homosexual to heterosexual illegal, but so is any attempt to ‘repress or reduce’ homosexual or transsexual behavior, even if an adult asks for help to do so…
“Jack Fonseca, Political Operations Director for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), told LifeSiteNews that ‘there are no protections whatsoever in Bill C-6 for parents or pastors who, for example, discourage a gender-confused child from identifying as transgender and try to help them be at peace with the body in which they were born.’”
God’s righteous wrath on modern Sodomite countries, such as Canada, will be poured out soon.
“Omicron Variant Symptoms ‘Unusual but Mild’”
Fox News reported on November 27:
“‘So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough.’ [Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a board member of the South African Medical Association] who first alerted authorities to the presence of the COVID-19 omicron variant reported that it presents ‘unusual but mild’ symptoms. ‘It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,’ Coetzee explained… ‘ They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.’…
“Tulio de Oliveira, the director of South Africa’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation… criticized several countries – including the U.S., U.K., South Korea and various countries in Europe – for enacting travel restrictions on South Africa and several other African nations…”
Israel jumped on the hysteria bandwagon and banned all foreigners from entering Israel, after one case (!) had been confirmed in the country. Israel’s history of lockdowns is more than troubling.
Biden’s and Fauci’s Worse than Useless Travel Bans
The New York Post wrote on November 27:
“Critics took aim Saturday at White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Biden for their ‘worse than useless’ response to the… Omicron variant of COVID-19… The Fauci-approved weekend-long delay in launching the ban on travel from Omicron-infected African countries angered City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-SI). ‘Why do people still take this man seriously?’ Borelli, the chamber’s new minority leader, asked. ‘Either this is a life or death emergency, or it doesn’t need to happen. It seems like this is a lockdown for the sake of lockdowns.’…
“Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) condemned the Biden administration’s too-little, too-late travel measure as ‘worse than useless.’ ‘Joe Biden and Tony Fauci push crushing restrictions on Americans—like masking two-year-olds—that are pointless,’ Cotton tweeted Saturday.”
Fauci is still being referred to in the mass media as “The United States’ top infectious disease expert” (Reuters, November 28). It is high time that this false description be altered. He said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Republicans like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) criticizing him were “lying” while he is “saving lives.” But Fauci’s continued misrepresentations, combined with numerous incompetent “opinions,” have been well documented.
Fauci’s Departure long Overdue
Newsmax wrote on November 28:
“Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Sunday called Dr. Anthony Fauci an ‘unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans’ after Fauci blasted Cruz for suggesting he be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19….
“Some Republicans, including Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May that the National Institutes of Health funded ‘gain of function’ research — the practice of enhancing a virus in a lab to study its potential effect in the real world — at a virology lab in Wuhan, China. Cruz has urged Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci’s statements…”
The New York Post added on November 29:
“[Fauci also said:] ‘So it’s easy to criticize… But they’re really criticizing science, because I represent science. That’s dangerous.’… ‘The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science,” [Rand] Paul tweeted. ‘It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity.’
“The Biden administration has repeatedly stood by Fauci amid the criticism from Republicans…”
Breitbart wrote on November 30:
“Appearing Monday on the Fox News Channel’s ‘Hannity,’ Sen. Ted Cruz… referred to White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci as the ‘most dangerous bureaucrat’ in U.S. history… ‘Throughout this pandemic, he’s been dishonest, political, partisan, and the American people know it…”
The “Nu Variant” Hysteria in the UK
The Dossier wrote on November 26:
“The ‘Nu variant’ scare [which is officially named the “omicron” variant, after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, thereby skipping the thirteenth and fourteenth letter, “Nu” and “Xi”] is coming from the same people and institutions that spawned the last COVID scare, and the one before that, and the one before that one, dating back all the way to the onset of COVID Mania.
“The corporate press and world governments have produced an incredible amount of noise about a claimed new COVID variant, the ‘Nu’ variant, which has been detected in South Africa and Botswana… there is no statistical cause for alarm over this new strain, which is one of over 100,000 mutations of the coronavirus…. a panicked narrative has already been seeded in the public. The U.K. in particular has driven the fear to new levels. The country has already added several African nations to its travel ban list, citing the new strain… it is not a coincidence that the U.K. is again the first mover on the ‘Nu strain’ front.
“The new variant hysteria originated at Imperial College UK, the home of a disgraced, corrupted academic modeling institution that proselytized lockdowns to the Western world. Throughout COVID Mania, Imperial has been the source of countless versions of ‘new strain’ propaganda. The institution does not only participate in shoddy modeling. It both foments the insanity and demands a series of totalitarian measures to deal with their faulty narrative creations…
“The current new strain panic comes at a time in Europe when COVID-19 cases are surging in the continent, despite the universal embrace of mRNA injections that were promised to resolve the COVID-19 problem. This ‘new strain’ has reportedly been found in Europe, driving the media’s narrative even further into the totalitarian abyss. With claims disseminated to the masses by Big Tech and world governments, the Gates Inc and China-influenced World Health Organization is sowing maximum panic and terror…
“Imperial College UK is the home of the infamous ‘doomsday models’ for COVID-19, which promised that millions of people would imminently be wiped off the earth if the Western world did not lock down in March of 2020 for COVID-19… Before Nu, the latest scariant, best known as the ‘Delta variant,’ had a similar viral marketing campaign behind its emergence.
“Notably, Imperial’s virology and epidemiology departments have received incredible amounts of funding from the Gates Foundation… According to a review of their public records, Gates Inc has delivered close to $300 million dollars to the Imperial College London.”
It has been suggested that the WHO skipped “Xi” for naming the variant, as it is the name of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping. And that “Nu” sounds like “nothing.”
The Afrophobia of Omicron Travel Bans
The Washington Post wrote on November 29:
“The president of Malawi has described travel bans imposed by several nations… in response to a new strain of the coronavirus as ‘Afrophobia,’ joining other African leaders in condemning the restrictions… The bans have… angered political leaders in Africa who view them as hasty and unjustified – scapegoating countries that have been quick to come forward with information on a potentially dangerous new variant. South Africa’s health minister on Friday described the measures as ‘misdirected’ and ‘draconian.’…
“South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the travel bans and called for them to be lifted immediately. ‘The prohibition of travel is not informed by science. Nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant,’ he said in a televised broadcast. ‘The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and also to recover from the pandemic.’”
No doubt about that.
Why Biden Is Deeply Unpopular
Fox News published on November 27 an article which was adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the November 26, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight”:
“Joe Biden is deeply unpopular. The question is: why?… What we are witnessing under the Biden administration is something Americans will absolutely not forgive: the decline in our standard of living. Biden hasn’t just embarrassed the United States internationally, though he has certainly done that. Americans can overlook that… and hope for something better next time.
“A lot of things are happening and one of them is inflation. Inflation [is] a result of government policy. The Federal Reserve has devalued the U.S. dollar by printing too many U.S. dollars. Why are they printing them? To pay for more government spending. Spending that under the Biden administration is now literally out of control. There was a $10.1 trillion amount of spending obligations in fiscal year 2020… In 2019… the total was $6.6 trillion, still a lot, but very different than $10.1 trillion.
“More spending is on the way because we can spend any amount of money, we hold the world’s reserve currency. Biden’s so-called Build Back Better bill is estimated to cost over $5 trillion. The people who are printing this money, U.S. Congress, The Federal Reserve specifically, know they are making the problem worse. They don’t care…
“In the Biden administration, a host of bureaucratic agencies are suddenly in charge of your body… The White House believes that OSHA, for example, can tell you what to inject into your body. Get the injection or you’re fired. Just a few months ago the White House was saying the opposite of this. Vaccine mandates are illegal.
“JOE BIDEN: ‘I don’t think it should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory, but I would do everything in my power. Just like I don’t think masks should be made mandatory nationwide.’
“JEN PSAKI: ‘Can we mandate vaccines across the country? No, that’s not a role that the federal government I think even has the power to make.’
“NANCY PELOSI: ‘We cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do [sic]. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t.’
“ANTHONY FAUCI: ‘No. Definitely not. You don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take the vaccine, we’ve never done that. We don’t want to be mandating from the federal government to the general population. It would be unenforceable and not appropriate.’
“These people are reckless, crazy, and dishonest, and the people put up with it. After all that, of course they mandated the injection. They knew that was illegal and… they did it anyway. Then the airlines started canceling flights and health care workers disappeared because politicians know more about coronavirus than nurses?… Then we ran out of truck drivers to pick up goods from our ports. First responders were then fired. You couldn’t get an ambulance…
“Most people are very tired of it… The question is, how are we going to survive three more years of this? It’s a very good question.”
It has been reported that Biden is thinking of running again in 2024. And if he does not run, then the politician who is most popular among the Democrats would be Kamala Harris, followed by Michelle Obama. Words fail…
The Dictatorship of Greece
The Associated Press wrote on November 30:
“Residents in Greece over 60 years old will have to undergo mandatory vaccinations against coronavirus or face monthly 100-euro ($114) fines beginning next year, the prime minister announced Tuesday, declaring the country’s first general inoculation mandate… It will take effect on Jan. 16 and the fines will be added to tax bills… Roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated. Vaccination mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers in Greece, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay…
“The opposition left-wing Syriza party accused the center-right government of… ‘targeting people over 60 … with punitive and financially debilitating measures that haven’t been implemented anywhere else in the world.’”
This is discriminatory STUPID dictatorship in the extreme.
Francis to Visit Greece
AFP wrote on November 30:
“Twenty years after the last papal visit to Athens sparked protests by monks, Pope Francis heads to the Greek capital on Saturday seeking to improve historically difficult relations between the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches. Francis visited the island of Lesbos in 2016 but his trip to Athens, which will include a mass and meetings with Greece’s top cleric, Archbishop Ieronymos, is the first to the Greek capital by a pope since John Paul II came in May 2001.
“The Orthodox Church has been separated from the Catholic Church since the schism of 1054 between Rome and Constantinople, today’s Istanbul which was then the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
“Hardliners in Greece still blame the pope for the split, and for the Fourth Crusade that sacked Constantinople in 1204… Francis has already visited several majority Orthodox countries including Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia.”
This is a curious coincidence that at the time when Greece enacts terrible dictatorial measures, Pope Francis would visit the state to improve relationships with the Greek Orthodox Churches.
The Dictatorship of Germany
The Associated Press and Breitbart wrote on November 30:
“Germany’s highest court on Tuesday rejected complaints against curfews and other restrictions imposed by federal legislation earlier this year in areas where the coronavirus was spreading quickly…
“The court found that the most controversial measures contained in the federal ‘emergency brake’ legislation that was in place from April until the end of June were in line with the constitution. Those included a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew and school closures in areas with high coronavirus infection rates.”
How this could be constitutional is hard to decipher, and many legal experts are of a different mindset. But we know—don’t we?—that the Beast will arise in Germany or Austria. In biblical terms, Germany and Austria are one nation, anyhow.
Interesting were some of the comments to this article, published by Breitbart:
“They were looking at the 1933 version Constitution to come to this conclusion… The Germans can’t help themselves. No matter what they always side with the State… Germany has not come far from its Nazi roots… The gas ovens were also legal in Germany… Nothing new here. Next they will round up the new 21st century Jew, the unvaccinated… I fully envisage a day in Germany when Adolph Hitler will be fully rehabilitated, and the courts there will rule that everything he did was constitutional, so okay to do it all again… Germany apparently can’t learn from its own history… Watch out Germany, you have been down this path before… The top German courts have always been good at siding with authoritarian regimes… Remember the 30’s? Of course it was legal for the state to confiscate Jewish property… It is obvious that the German ‘constitution’ is not created to empower people, rather grant tyrannical power to the ‘government’… German law also found nothing wrong with concentration camps and the extermination of 6 million Jews… It’s 1939 all over again.”
And many many more comments along the same lines… But most Germans are sound asleep, as the comments above recognize.
The New Dangerous German Chameleon— Chancellor-in-Waiting Olaf Scholz
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 30:
“Merkel’s designated successor Olaf Scholz is calling for a general vaccine mandate. Talking to Germany’s Bild television on Tuesday, the chancellor-in-waiting said he would like to see mandatory vaccinations ‘not too far away in the future, so I suggest beginning of February or March.’…
“The question of mandatory vaccination is considered controversial in Germany, partly due to forced medical treatments during the Nazi-era.”
Scholz also indicated that the unvaccinated should be punished with fines as they are to be blamed for the current corona situation. Merkel’s leadership regarding the coronavirus crisis was already bad enough. But with Scholz, unpleasant memories of the Nazi era come to light. It is noteworthy what we read in Wikipedia about Scholz:
“Scholz joined the SPD in 1975 as a student, where he got involved with the Jusos, the youth organization of the SPD. From 1982 to 1988, he was Deputy Federal Juso Chairman, and from 1987 to 1989 also Vice President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. He supported the Freudenberger Kreis, the Marxist wing of the Juso university groups, and the magazine spw and promoted ‘overcoming the capitalist economy’ in articles. In it, Scholz criticized the ‘aggressive-imperialist NATO’, the Federal Republic as the ‘European stronghold of big business’…”
We had written this in our Update #991, quoting an article from Deutsche Welle of September 27:
““Scholz underwent a remarkable political transformation. As deputy chairman of the SPD youth organization Jusos, he was still a radical socialist in the 1980s…”
Allegedly, he “transformed” and left his dictatorial and autocratic Juso/Socialist/Marxist past behind. Did he really? In any event, the mass tabloid Bild Online accused Scholz and others of breaking their word.
Breitbart wrote on December 1:
“People who are fully vaccinated will also be considered unvaccinated again if they do not take a booster dose within six months, Scholz added.
“A recent poll conducted by YouGov revealed that nearly seven out of ten adults in Germany support mandatory vaccinations, with less than a quarter saying they were against the coercive measure.”
Comments to this article were telling:
“Why do German politicians hate the people of Germany so much???… They show no fear of the LORD which is about all there is to save them at this point… But they fear the monster which they have helped to create… The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They have neither.”
Breitbart wrote on December 2:
“Angela Merkel has announced a de facto lockdown of the unvaccinated, and that Germany’s parliament will soon vote on making vaccination mandatory…. the country will be barring the unvaccinated from events, leisure facilities, and all non-essential retail.”
Austria’s Chancellor Announces His Resignation
Deutsche Welle reported on December 2:
“Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced he is stepping back from politics following the birth of his son… Kurz’s withdrawal from national political life comes as a surprise to Austria… Later on Thursday, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, a Kurz loyalist who took over when Kurz resigned from the chancellorship, announced he would not run for party leadership and announced his intention to resign as head of government… ‘I am… making my post as chancellor available as soon as the relevant course has been set within the party,’ he added.”
The Guardian wrote on December 1:
“The EU must now consider mandatory vaccination in response to the spread of the ‘highly contagious’ Omicron Covid variant across Europe, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said… Von der Leyen said the EU’s 27 member states should rapidly deploy booster doses and a commission communique backed countries opting to temporarily enforce pre-travel PCR tests even within the bloc’s borders….
“There is growing momentum behind mandatory vaccination among the EU member states… On Wednesday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an EU health agency, said the potential benefits of vaccinating children aged 5 to 11 should also now be considered…”
And on and on it goes…
Quarantine Camps in Brainwashed Australia for the Unvaccinated
Armstrong Economics wrote on November 24:
“Rumors are swirling on the internet that the Australian Army is herding the unvaccinated population into ‘quarantine camps.’ The army is not currently hunting down the vaccinated, yet, but there is a suspicious amount of funds going toward these quarantine facilities. The Guardian has reported that $130 million was recently invested by the Northern Territory into the Howard Springs quarantine camp. Howard Springs was designed as a fly-in-fly-out workers’ camp, but the mainstream media is reporting that the camps will become redundant as home quarantine pilot programs have begun. If that were true, why is the government continuing to invest in Howard Springs?
“The Northern Territory hosts two main quarantine camps—Howard Springs and Alice Springs… People constantly compare conditions to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, but this is one example that is becoming dangerously close in nature. They have not begun killing off the unvaccinated population, but they have taken away their freedoms. ‘Residents’ at these hotels may not leave their rooms unless supervised by an authorized officer. That is much more akin to a prison than a hotel. Officers will ‘remind’ those held hostage by their government when they are disobeying the rules. Since COVID can spread on surfaces, people are not allowed to interact with those outside their immediate family. But it gets worse. The website states that family rooms are not always available…
“The poor children who are subjected to this traumatizing experience! Toys are not allowed. Visitors are not allowed. There is a chance children will be separated from their parents, guarded only by the state. Similar to a prison environment, cooking appliances are not available in these quarantine camps. Officers in hazmats suits feed their hostages three times per day by leaving the meals outside the room on the ground as another reminder of lost freedoms. Bottled water and toiletries are not available. The camps boast having limited wifi service, but it is safe to bet that online activities will be monitored. How could we allow such cruel human rights abuses to occur in plain sight? Sending millions of dollars to these camps indicates that they have no real plans to end this abuse…”
This is satanic! Satan’s world is being pushed into universal dictatorship and the establishment of concentration camps for the “undesired” population.
Famous Televangelist Reportedly Dies of Covid Complications
Newsweek reported on November 30:
“Marcus Lamb, a televangelist and founder of Daystar Television Network, has… died… after allegedly taking ivermectin to prevent infection…. Marcus’ wife, Joni Lamb, confirmed her husband died from COVID-19, saying that he had been hospitalized after his oxygen dropped and alternative treatments proved ineffective. Lamb , according to Joni Lamb, was diabetic…
“Marcus founded Word of God Fellowship in the early 1980s and created Daystar Television Network in the late 1990s. It’s since become the second-largest Christian network in the world, reaching more than 2 billion people worldwide.
“Throughout the pandemic, Daystar has hosted prominent anti-vaccine voices, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was barred from Instagram for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. On the network’s website, Daystar called vaccines the ‘most dangerous thing’ children face, and Daystar filed a petition to block President Joe Biden’s vaccine rule from going into place. In a court filing Daystar filed alongside the American Family Association, the two nonprofits called implementing a vaccine mandate a ‘sin against God’s Holy Word.’
“Daystar argued in the court filing that they have a ‘religious objection’ to forcing employees to ‘test their conscience’ about getting vaccinated. If the company was required to implement the policy, they claimed they would ‘wound the consciences’ of employees and ‘potentially cause them to sin.’
“People claiming a religious exemption to vaccine mandates often cite the fact that vaccines were developed and tested on fetal cell lines, which are based on aborted fetal cells but grown in labs. Fetal cell lines have also been used in the development of multiple common medications, including Tylenol, Benadryl and Claritin.
“Tributes began pouring out after news broke of Marcus’ death and Graham posted on Facebook that he was ‘shocked’ to learn Marcus died from complications of COVID-19…
“Ahead of his death, Marcus’ son, Jonathan, said there was ‘no doubt’ in his mind that his father’s COVID-19 battle was a ‘spiritual attack from the enemy…’”
Instagram’s barring Kennedy for “spreading misinformation” was more like barring him for spreading information which Instagram does not like to be heard. There is no doubt that the death of Marcus Lamb will be used to push vaccinations and malign the unvaccinated…
Abuse in Convents
Reuters reported on November 29:
“When young nuns at a convent in Eastern Europe told their Mother Superior that a priest had tried to molest them, she retorted that it was probably their fault for ‘provoking him’. When African nuns in Minnesota asked why it was always they who had to shovel snow they were told it was because they were young and strong, even though white sisters of the same age lived there too. As the Roman Catholic Church pays more attention to the closed world of convents, where women spend much of their time in prayer and household work, more episodes of psychological, emotional and physical abuse are coming to light…
“Marcela, a South American woman who joined an order of cloistered nuns in Italy 20 years ago when she was 19, recounts how the indoctrination was so strict that younger sisters needed permission to go to the bathroom and ask for sanitary products during their menstrual periods… Therese, a French woman, was told ‘you have to suffer for Jesus’ when she asked to be spared physically demanding chores because of a back condition…
“In 2018, the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano exposed the plight of foreign nuns sent by their orders to work as housekeepers for cardinals and bishops in Rome with little or no remuneration… Last year, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz… [said] he was shocked to discover that… former nuns had to resort to prostitution to live.”
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
Why was Jesus baptized?
The account of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist is recorded in Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-22. The first chapter of John also mentions the context of when Jesus was baptized as told by John the Baptist (John 1:19-34).
It is important to understand the role of John the Baptist leading up to the baptism of Jesus.
A prophecy in Isaiah 40, verse 3, actually refers—in part—to John the Baptist: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness; ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A Highway for our God.’”
The religious leadership from Jerusalem sent to John the Baptist wanting to know who he was. John’s response was to quote Isaiah 40:3, saying that he was fulfilling this prophecy. He also said, “‘You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, “I am not the Christ,” but, “I have been sent before Him”’” (John 3:28).
Another dramatic prophecy is given in Malachi 4:5, which states: “‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.’”
While this prophecy incorporates most specifically the time of the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God, it also was applied to John the Baptist—note this exchange between Jesus and some of His disciples:
“And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist” (Matthew 17:10-13; also, Mark 9:11-13).
Jesus very specifically identified John as fulfilling the Elijah type role:
“‘For this is he of whom it is written: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’” (Matthew 11:10-15).
Before John’s birth, the angel Gabriel told John’s father, Zacharias, that John would do an Elijah type work:
“‘For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’” (Luke 1:15-17).
Concerning the work of Elijah, it was to cause the people of Israel to seek God. Elijah fully understood this as he withstood the prophets of Baal:
“And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again’” (1 Kings 18:36-38).
Both Elijah and John the Baptist completed the work given to them, but there is also an end-time fulfillment of the Elijah prophecies. We have addressed this in other Q&A’s and sermons, and you can find more information by typing the word “Elijah” in the search option, under “Q&A’s” at www.eternalgod.org
Here is a summary of John’s work and his message:
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire’” (Matthew 3:1-10).
John also pointed to Jesus in his preaching:
“‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’” (Matthew 3:11-12).
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.” I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water’” (John 1:29-31).
Jesus was first revealed to Israel through being baptized by John:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:13-17).
The baptism of Jesus by John was different than others baptized by John and his disciples. Following His baptism, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus “in bodily form like a dove” (Luke 3:22). To be clear, Jesus had the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34-35, Authorized Version) from His conception in Mary’s womb. Even though the Bible does not expressly state this, it is obvious when putting all the Scriptures together. We read that John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit “from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15), and Jesus, as God in the flesh, was more than John (compare again John 1:30). John was not the Light, but he came for a witness, to bear witness of the true Light, Jesus Christ (John 1:6-9). We read that Jesus, as a young child, “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52), referring to the wisdom of God as a characteristic of the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, it was only through the Holy Spirit dwelling within Him without measure that He, who was fully flesh, was able to live a sinless life, because Jesus said that of Himself, He could do nothing (John 5:30).
When the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove at the time of His baptism, this might have been a sign to John the Baptist of who Jesus was (compare John 1:32-34), but it also was an anointing for the message Jesus would preach, which was different than that of John. Following His temptation by Satan, “…Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17). The Book of Mark adds this:
“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).
Later, when Paul encountered disciples in Ephesus, he asked them:
“… ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:2-6).
By having John the Baptist baptize Him, Jesus set the example for those who would believe in Him. Regarding His baptism, Jesus plainly told John, “‘…Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness’” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus showed, by His baptism, that His followers must be baptized too. He left us an example to follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
In addition, it appears that when Jesus was baptized, He received special powers from God to perform miracles (Acts 10:38: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power…”). We do not read that Christ performed any miracles before His baptism. The first recorded miracle occurred in Cana, when He turned water into wine. This miracle is referred to as “the beginning of signs” (John 2:11). It followed a little later with His healing of a nobleman’s son, which is described as “the second sign that Jesus did” (John 4:54).
The act of baptism has symbolic meaning—it was in John’s ministry who performed a baptism of repentance (Matthew 3:11), and it is for Christians, as Paul so eloquently explains:
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection…” (Romans 6:3-5).
Likewise, the baptism of Jesus was symbolic of His death. He spoke figuratively of baptism in this way:
“But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50; also, Mark 10:38).
Baptism for Jesus had nothing to do with repentance or sin relative to Him. Jesus did not sin at all! (Compare 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). He had nothing for which to repent. However, baptism for Christians requires prior repentance, obedience and belief in Christ as our Savior and in the gospel. It pictures the death of Christ as a sacrifice on our behalf (Romans 5:6-11; Hebrews 9:26).
Consider that Jesus used other representations to instruct us. Note what Paul wrote:
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist revealed Jesus to Israel, and John testified of Him that He was the Son of God, the Christ. Christ’s baptism pictured the death He would suffer, and it also served as an example for believers—those who would seek the Kingdom of God, for Jesus stated:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
Lead Writer: Dave Harris
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“The Dictatorship of the Beast in the Book of Revelation,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The Book of Revelation tells us about an end-time dictator, called the beast, who will arise in Germany or Austria. There are historical forerunners in the persons of Charles the Great, Otto the Great, Charles V., and of course Adolf Hitler. But this time, there will be a difference in that we read that the whole world–not just some countries–will support, adore, worship and follow the beast. We should be able to see that this prophesied dictatorship is being prepared right now. And it’s again Austria and Germany which we must focus on.
“Die Diktatur des Tieres im Buch der Offenbarung” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This covers the same topic in German as described above.
A Tech Team Meeting was conducted on Sunday morning, November 28, 2021. Hosted by Eric Rank, plans for Update 1,000 were discussed along with selecting promotional and advertising outlets to feature StandingWatch programs.
We are pleased to announce the baptism of Gertrude Schobesberger last Sabbath in Germany. Elders Thilo Hanstein and Christoph Sperzel conducted the baptism. Welcome to the Church of God, Gertrude!
“Die heutige Verfolgung der Minderheiten,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Today’s Persecution of the Minorities.”
“Neuer Mut, jetzt erst recht,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Marc Voeller, is now posted. Title in English: “New Courage, Especially Now!”
“Measurable Growth,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Continually measuring ourselves with Christ’s example, along with God’s help, is how we can grow to become truly mature Christians.
“Staying Engaged,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The life of a Christian requires sustaining love for the Truth. What does the Bible teach us that can help us maintain a thriving relationship with God? What can we do to stay engaged in our conversion?
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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