|Live Services||Clean or Dirty? / The Passover and Humility|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Are you concentrating too much on minor and less important areas in your life?|
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Clean or Dirty? / The Passover and Humility
On April 1, 2023, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Clean or Dirty?” and Brian Gale will present the sermon, titled, “The Passover and Humility.”
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.
April 6, 2023, is the First Day of Unleavened Bread. We will present live services (note the time table above). The Offertory will be presented by Eric Rank, and the sermon, titled, “Why Christians Must Observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread,” will be presented by Dave Harris.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to observing Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, we will not publish the Update again until April 21, 2023.
by Rene Messier (Canada)
Why would Paul admonish us to conduct a self-examination prior to taking the Passover?
He says in 1 Corinthians 11:28: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”
It is important to stop on occasion and analyze our progress as Christians and our relationship with God to maintain the goal of walking in the footsteps of Christ, our perfect example, who never sinned, and to understand that sin acts as a barrier in our relationship with God.
It is a perfect time to do that prior to taking the Passover which we are admonished to take in a worthy manner, according to the instructions from God through Paul.
Since even a little sin will corrupt the individual just as a little leaven leavens the whole lump, we have to be cognizant of this fact and make a genuine effort to get rid of sin and replace the void left from that removal with righteousness.
It is amazing how a little sin can become not that big a deal in our minds; yet, we must deal with it or it will deal with us. A stain on a carpet might be delayed in being cleaned up because we may think it is not a major issue. The longer we put it off, the more it is accepted. Later, it just becomes part of the decor. We must never allow sin in our lives not to be dealt with, so that it just becomes a decor.
Sin by itself will not just disappear on its own. Satan is smart enough to know that if he can get us to just compromise a little bit with God’s laws and not deal with it, he has taken hold of us. Realize that he would like all of us to fail in our journey into the Kingdom of God and to become born-again members of the God Family.
Killing us physically does not remove salvation from us, but failure to put sin out without repenting and getting rid of it can be our ultimate downfall.
At times, little sins can go unnoticed until we do a complete analysis. I remember a minister in the 80s, relating to my wife and me that during the Days of Unleavened Bread, he and his wife were sitting in their living room.
Years ago, some houses had a ledge to put small ornaments and knickknacks about a foot from the ceiling and about eight inches to a foot deep. They were sitting there, looking at the figurines and ornaments and something caught both their eyes. It was the top of their wedding cake with a small man and woman on top dressed in wedding clothing which had been up there for years. The thought came to mind that they never checked it since at times the top is made of cake and the cardboard or wood is sometimes decorated with the figurines on top. They took it down to check it and to their dismay, they found it to be cake, with leavening in it which had been there in full view since they were baptized. This is like sin, which might be in front of our eyes, but we sometimes fail to see it.
The importance of examining ourselves thoroughly cannot be stressed enough, especially at this time of year. Let us therefore ensure we conduct that examination, clean ourselves up by repenting of our sins, and partake of the Passover in a worthy manner.
By Norbert Link
We begin with the canceled trip of King Charles to France, due to the dangerous situation in France which is “descending into anarchy”; speak on the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the UK.; the arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin; Germany’s intolerance and war against anti-war activists; the fear of nuclear war on German soil; alleged war crimes of Russia and Ukraine; Russia’s tactical weapons in Belarus; and Germany’s ridiculous immigration laws.
We report on Putin’s meeting with Xi Jinping and Biden’s meeting with Trudeau; Trump’s outbursts, his colossal blunders during the Covid pandemic, the question of whether he could run the country while in prison, and his rally in Texas.
We address the senseless and horrific murder in Nashville which was committed by a transgender female shooter, who wanted to be a man and was described as having suffered from an “emotional disorder” (which does not even come close to addressing the real causes of her insane conduct); Biden’s embarrassing and insensitive response; and Netanyahu’s suspension of his judicial reform package.
We conclude with the liberal movement in the German Catholic church.
This Week in the News
King Charles’s France Visit Postponed
BBC News wrote on March 24:
“King Charles III’s state visit to France has been postponed after a request by President Emmanuel Macron, Downing Street says. The president said ‘we would not be sensible and would lack common sense’ to go ahead after unions called a day of pension protests during the visit [The retirement age is supposed to be raised from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote]. The trip to Paris and Bordeaux had been due to begin on Sunday. But both cities were caught up in violence on Thursday, some of the worst since demonstrations began in January…
“The decision is a significant loss of face for France and for President Macron. This was supposed to have been a showcase for France, introducing the new monarch to the best of French life and cementing a newly awakened friendship. But the protests made the trip impossible…
“This was a hugely important trip for the King: a first state visit, and to one of the UK’s closest and oldest allies… It may have been a joint decision [to cancel the visit] with the UK government, but he was the one under pressure…
“The King and Camilla were due to travel from France to Germany on Wednesday. Charles’s first state visit will instead begin in Berlin.”
The statement that France is one of the UK’s closest allies is a joke. France and the UK have never been close allies.
Express added on March 24:
“Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said… ‘The postponement of King Charles’s state visit to France, the first of his reign, marks a humiliation for President Macron. The country is descending into anarchy and it was clearly impossible to guarantee the safety of the royal party and to keep to any set schedule where security could be relied on.’”
Words about France’s descent “into anarchy” remind us of terrible events during the “French Revolution.”
Terrorist Attack Likely or Highly Likely in the UK
The Daily Mail wrote on March 28:
“The Northern Ireland terrorism threat level has been raised to ‘severe’ – meaning an attack is considered highly likely. The news comes ahead of a series of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement – with US President Joe Biden due to visit in the middle of next month.
“Sectarian tensions have been rising for some time, with the most high-profile incident being the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell in Omagh last month.
“The situation has threatened to snowball against the backdrop of the row over post-Brexit rules. The DUP has been refusing to participate in power-sharing in protest at the Protocol – with Rishi Sunak’s new Windsor Framework package so far not succeeding in bringing them back to Stormont…
“The threat level for the rest of the UK remains at ‘substantial’, meaning an attack is considered ‘likely’.”
ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin and the Consequences
Breitbart wrote on March 24:
“Following remarks by the German government that if Vladimir Putin happened to visit their country they would be obliged to arrest him, Medvedev railed during a press event: ‘let’s imagine that it has happened. The incumbent head of a nuclear country arrives in, say, Germany and is arrested. What does it mean? A declaration of war against Russia. In such a case, all our weapons will target the Bundestag, the [German] Chancellor’s office and so on’…
“While it is unlikely Vladimir Putin will find himself in Germany — or any other European Union nation — by choice in the near term, he is due to visit South Africa for the BRICS summit in August. South Africa is a signatory to the ICC [International Criminal Court] and therefore legally obliged to execute arrest warrants. However,… they have ignored this before, arguing that visiting heads of state — even if they have outstanding ICC warrants — have diplomatic immunity…
“While Russia’s threats to bomb the Netherlands for hosting the ICC, and any country that would try to serve the warrant, is extreme, it is not far away from the threats the United States [not recognizing the ICC] has made against that same court in the past. While threatening to arrest judges who attempt to investigate alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan is a bold enough move, there is also the American Service-Members’ Protection Act on the books. Passed in 2002 and better known as the ‘Hague Invention Act,’ the Bush-era law empowers the President to use any means necessary to release U.S. citizens imprisoned by the ICC, including invading The Hague, which is the administrative capital of NATO member the Netherlands.”
If Germany’s government is stupid enough to make these kinds of threats against Putin, they should not be surprised about the reaction. Of course, Austria even tops Germany in stupidity, as the next article shows.
Report 24 wrote on March 25:
“As soon as Sigi Maurer (Greens) casually declared war on Russia in a press conference, the Ministry of Justice (Greens) also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would of course be arrested [in Austria]. Former Russian President Medvedev explained to Germany only yesterday that such an action would be considered as an act of war and would result in the immediate bombing of Berlin…
“The arrest warrant against Putin is ridiculous in itself, because the court in The Hague, which feels responsible, is not recognized by Russia, the USA, or about half of the countries in the world. This did not prevent Germany or the USA from enthusiastic applauding the arrest warrant…
“Actually [the Greens] should act in accordance with the constitution and the law in the exercise of their state offices – i.e. neutrally. But instead they joined Germany’s threat… it is clear that the offer to bomb the German capital also applies to the capital of Austria…”
According to the Bible, Russia WILL ultimately destroy Berlin (and perhaps Vienna).
Germany’s War Against Antiwar Activists
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on March 22:
“Article 5 of the Basic Law grants individuals the right to express opinions, but there are numerous limitations in the Criminal Code, with punishment for ‘inciting hatred,’ racism, anti-Semitism and prison terms for Holocaust denial. Also prohibited are propaganda or symbols of ‘unconstitutional’ organizations, disparagement of the State and its symbols, blasphemy against established religions and especially failure to respect ‘human dignity.’
“Of course, what matters in all these laws is how they are interpreted. The ban on ‘rewarding and approving crimes’ (Section 140), that was originally intended to apply to convictions for violent civil crimes, has now been extended to the geopolitical sphere, namely, outlawing ‘approval or support’ of what it terms ‘aggressive war.’
“Antiwar activist Heinrich Bücker’s speech in Berlin last June 22 calling for good relations with Russia on the anniversary of the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was condemned by a Berlin court for ‘approving Russia’s crime of invasion.’…
“Needless to say, Germans were never threatened with criminal prosecution for approving the US invasions of Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, much less the totally aggressive and illegal 1999 bombing of Serbia, in which they enthusiastically took part. Widely celebrated as a laudable act of humanitarianism, that bombing campaign, killing civilians and destroying infrastructure, forced Serbia to allow NATO to occupy its province of Kosovo, where the Americans built themselves a huge military base. Ethnic Albanian rebels declared independence and thousands of non-Albanians were driven out…”
Germany is marching again to the tune of war.
Nuclear War on German Soil?
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 24:
“If the Cold War had gone nuclear, it would have likely begun on German soil… Germany… faces the direct risk of nuclear escalation. Former West Germany has been home to a strong pacifist movement, while many in former East Germany hold a less hostile view of Russia…
“Germany’s opposition to nuclear weapons competes with the expectation that it supports the security status quo. NATO nuclear sharing — the US-led military alliance’s long-standing policy that permits the stationing of US nuclear weapons on non-US territory — means German warplanes could carry them in the event of nuclear war.
“As many as 20 such warheads remain at the Büchel Air Base in western Germany…”
Sadly, ultimately, there WILL BE nuclear war on German soil.
Both Russia and Ukraine Guilty of War Crimes?
Breitbart wrote on March 25:
“The Russian and Ukrainian armed forces have been accused of torturing and executing prisoners of war over the past year by the United Nations, which said that such actions could amount to war crimes. A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) claimed that both Russia and Ukraine have engaged in the summary execution of prisoners of war, which contravenes numerous international human rights laws and treaties on war.
“The OHCHR said that they documented cases of summary executions of at least 25 Russian prisoners of war (POWs) under the authority of Ukrainian forces… The UN body went on to claim to have documented poor treatment of POWs at eight of the 31 transit or permanent camps run by the Ukrainian government, in which they found documented cases of torture and other forms of poor treatment of Russian prisoners, including so-called ‘welcome beatings’ in a prison in Dnipro from March to May 2022…
“Through investigative efforts, including interviewing Ukrainian POWs who were released from Russian captivity, the UN said that they found evidence of the summary executions of 15 POWs at the hands of the Russian armed forces or the Wagner Group mercenary organisation or other contracting groups. They went on to claim evidence of POWs being used as human shields, the death of two wounded prisoners for lack of medical attention, and the use of torture to extract information…
“While often lauded by the West, Ukrainians have previously been accused of wrongdoing in the war by Amnesty International, who alleged that they were unnecessarily endangering the lives of civilians by establishing military bases in residential areas including schools and hospitals, as well as launching attacks from heavily populated civilian areas in attempts to deter retaliation from the Russians…”
War is a cruel and inhumane curse. In every major war, war crimes will always be committed by all parties.
Russia Places Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Belarus
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 25:
“The Russian leader said he struck a deal with his Belarusian counterpart to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, making it the first time Moscow has based the arms outside the country since the mid-1990s.
“‘We agreed with Lukashenko that we could place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the nonproliferation regime,’ Putin said, according to the TASS report. ‘There is nothing unusual here either: The United States has been doing this for decades. They have long placed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allies,’ Putin added.”
Putin is correct in that analysis.
Germany’s Immigration Laws
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 21:
“A prerequisite for a visa to join a spouse in Germany is reaching a basic level of German language competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing — called A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages… if somebody does not live in Germany and knows nothing of everyday life there, it is not so easy for them to answer questions about it… Each year, more than 10,000 spouses have failed to pass the required language exams abroad and consequently cannot join their partners who are living in Germany…
“In 2022, more than a third of the students from the 30 most important countries of origin failed their A1 test. No language test means no visa. The German Foreign Office told DW that each year for the past few years, between 8,000 and 10,000 visa applications for spouse reunification have been rejected or withdrawn.
“In December, Germany’s government decided to relax the rules but only for skilled personnel. Their spouses can come to Germany without a language test. If [a spouse] were a Greek or Romanian national, if [he or] she came from Brazil, El Salvador, or Korea, [he or] she could bring her husband [or his wife] live with [him or] her without him [or her] passing the A1 language test.
“Spouses of citizens from EU member states and selected other countries are allowed to enter Germany without having to prove their German language competency beforehand. The same applies to spouses of recognized refugees, researchers, self-employed or highly qualified people, and, most recently, skilled professionals, even if neither of them speaks German.”
This bureaucratic lunacy is hard to swallow.
Biden and Trudeau vs. Putin and Xi Jinping
Thomson/Reuters wrote on March 24:
“President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented a united front on Friday against authoritarian regimes as Biden visited the Canadian capital days after the leaders of China and Russia held a Moscow summit… There, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin professed friendship and pledged closer ties…
“At a joint news conference with Trudeau, Biden questioned the level of China and Russia’s cooperation, noting that China has not provided weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine… Addressing Canada’s parliament, Biden said that, as NATO members, the two countries would ‘defend every inch of NATO territory.’”
Two dictators in the Western world unite against two dictators in the East… and do not see that their star is fading while the star in the East is rising… and alarmingly so. Note the next article.
Biden in Denial
Newsmax wrote on March 25:
“President Joe Biden and his administration don’t want to acknowledge the growing danger of Russia and China joining forces or the fact that they and their proxies, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and Algeria have formed a ‘ new axis,’ Asia expert Gordon Chang told Newsmax on Saturday… ‘China has been providing lethal assistance to Russia from the beginning of its war against Ukraine, as well as ‘financing this war…’
“Iran is also an issue, considering its partnership with China, said Chang. ‘Iran-backed groups attacked Americans,’ he said. ‘They killed a contractor, wounded five Americans. We’ve got to remember that this is China working through Iran… China’s been flooding the region with weapons through Iran. And so we’ve got to ask the question: Is China killing Americans through Iran?’…”
One must indeed be blind not to see the—biblically prophesied—developing unification of the “kings of the East.”
The New York Post wrote on March 24:
“Donald Trump on Friday threatened ‘death and destruction’ if he’s criminally charged in New York — writing the shocking social media warning after posting an image of himself holding a baseball bat next to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s head. ‘They are HUMAN SCUM!’ the 76-year-old former president raged in one post asking why Bragg ‘refuses to do the right thing and “call it a day?”’…
“Trump… kept on raging until the early hours of Friday with continued incendiary name-calling. ‘What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?’ he asked just after 1 a.m. ‘Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truely [sic] hates the USA!’
“He continued posting until 2 a.m. — then started again after 9 a.m., writing: ‘PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT!’…
“George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who testified for Trump’s defense during his first impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, has repeatedly sought to warn the former president of threatening postings…”
According to some reports, Trump subsequently deleted his post showing him holding a baseball bat.
The American Thinker wrote on March 25:
Donald Trump has shot himself in the foot… At least, he realized it, and deleted a Truth Social posting in which he had a picture of himself holding a baseball bat next to a picture of the corpulent DA… My friend and colleague Andrea Widburg notes that the picture automatically appeared when Trump used a National File article containing it…
“I am afraid that when you have to explain, you are losing. Trump owns Truth Social, and can be expected to understand how images appear. I don’t know how long it took him to delete the post, but it appears that it was not immediate, when he discovered that he had inadvertently posted a questionable image…
“Equally counter-productive was his threat of ‘death and destruction.’… I don’t see this post on Truth Social as accomplishing anything for Trump, and harming himself with people that might be persuaded to support him. Worst of all, he has reinforced the ‘insurrection’ narrative.”
Still, many feel that the whole affair will help Trump. Bild Online wrote on March 24: „Es scheint bereits fast so, als würde Trump immer irgendwie zuletzt lachen …“ [„It almost appears as if somehow Trump would always laugh in the end…”]
Trump’s Colossal Blunder
The Brownstone Institute wrote on March 24:
“An enduring mystery for three years is how Donald Trump came to be the president who shut down American society for what turned out to be a manageable respiratory virus, setting off an unspeakable crisis with waves of destructive fallout that continue to this day… On March 9, 2020, Trump was still of the opinion that the virus could be handled by normal means. Two days later, he changed his tune. He was ready to use the full power of the federal government in a war on the virus… It was only a week later when Trump issued the edict to close all ‘indoor and outdoor venues where people congregate,’ initiating the biggest regime change in US history that flew in the face of all rights and liberties Americans had previously taken for granted… This action confounded critics on all sides.
“A month later, Trump said his decision to have ‘turned off’ the economy saved millions of lives, later even claiming to have saved billions. He has yet to admit error. Even as late as June 23rd of that year, Trump was demanding credit for having followed all of Fauci’s recommendations… Something about this story has never really added up. How could one person have been so persuaded by a handful of others such as Fauci, Birx, Pence, and Kushner and his friends? He surely had other sources of information – some other scenario or intelligence – that fed into his disastrous decision…
“On the 12th, Trump shut all travel from Europe, the UK, and Australia, causing huge human pile-ups at international airports…”
We may never know in this lifetime who influenced Trump to make these terribly wrong and disastrous decisions… In addition, Trump’s advocacy of “his” experimental and untested vaccines contributed to a climate of terrible persecution of those who voiced concerns. Of course, under the Biden Administration, the persecution of the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” has continued with full rage.
Running the Country from Prison
The New York Post wrote on March 25:
“Former President Donald Trump could run for the White House — even if he is convicted and sent to prison… It wouldn’t be the first time a major campaign was staged from behind bars.
“In 1920, Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs launched a White House run and garnered nearly a million votes while incarcerated at the federal pen in Atlanta. Debs had been convicted of sedition in 1918 for protesting US involvement in World War I. He was sentenced to 10 years, but that was commuted to time served in 1921 by President Harding…
“In more recent times, former Ohio Rep. James Traficant — who was expelled from the House in 2002 after being convicted in federal court of racketeering, bribery and tax evasion — staged an unsuccessful run for his old seat while incarcerated at Allenwood federal prison in White Deer, PA…
“‘If Trump is in jail, he could run, as Debs did; and if that happens, the uproar over it will surely be exploited by the government, to stoke more rage and panic over “domestic terrorism.” In short, it won’t end well,’ said NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller.”
What a spectacle that would be! But it may not come to that. Note the next article.
Donald Trump INDICTED!
The Associated Press reported on Marcy 30, 2023:
“Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, prosecutors and defense lawyers said Thursday, making him the first former U.S. president to face a criminal charge and jolting his bid to retake the White House next year.
“The charges remained under seal late Thursday, but the investigation centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter. Prosecutors said they were working to coordinate Trump’s surrender, which could happen early next week, but they did not say whether they intended to seek prison time in the event of a conviction.”
The implications of this indictment and the potential for civil unrest may spin out of control, and a broken America grows more and more divided!
Trump’s First Rally of His 2024 Republican Presidential Campaign
Newsmax wrote on March 25:
“Former President Donald Trump returned to the campaign rally trail Saturday night in Waco, Texas, saying ‘2024 is the final battle’… Trump delivered his pointed rebuke of all his opposing forces, including ‘stupid warmongers,’ open-border fanatics, radical left Democrats, and anti-Trump Republicans. ‘When this election is over, I will be the president of the United States, you will be vindicated and proud, and the thugs and criminals who are corrupting our justice system will be defeated, discredited, and totally disgraced,’ Trump said…
“Trump denounced the forces working against him as anti-America. ‘For seven years, you and I have been taking on the corrupt, rotten, and sinister forces trying to destroy America… they do get closer and closer with rigged elections… We’ve been the ones in this fight, standing up to the globalists and standing up to the Marxists and communists. That’s what they are.’”
The New York Post quoted Trump as saying the following during his rally:
“‘Either we surrender to the demonic forces demolishing our country, or we defeat them in a landslide,’ Trump warned. ‘Either the deep state destroys America, or we destroy the deep state.’”
The reference to demonic forces is telling, as it is indeed Satan and his demons who rule this evil world; and Jesus did not refute Satan’s claim that the authority over all kingdoms has been given to him (Luke 4:5-6).
Transgender Murders Six People at School in Nashville
“Six people – including three children – are dead after a transgender female shooter opened fire at a private school in Nashville, killing three nine-year-old children and three staff members. The shooter was 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who at one time attended the school.
“Police said she identified as transgender [meaning, the biologically born woman thought she was a man], and online profiles show Audrey used ‘he/him’ pronouns. At around 10.13am, she opened fire at The Covenant School, shooting and killing nine-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney. Scruggs was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, the pastor at the affiliated presbyterian church.
“Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, head of school Katherine Koonce, 60, and custodian Mike Hill, 61, were also killed…
“It’s unclear what Hale’s motive was… she had detailed, drawn maps of the school and had been surveilling it, according to police… It’s unclear how she gained access to the building. Police say all of the doors were locked. Police arrived at the scene and heard the gunshots coming from the 2nd floor. By 10.27am, she had been shot dead. She was armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun…”
Horrible! Demons are having a field day, but just about no one seems to see the connection and connect the dots. Rather, we are informed that the murderer was suffering from “an emotional disorder.”
Additionally, the stupidity of the mass media seems to know no bounds. Breitbart reported on March 28:
“The New York Times and USA Today complied with radical gender ideology by apologizing for correctly identifying the Nashville Christian School shooting suspect as a woman.”
In other words, they correctly identified her as a woman, but then apologized, as they felt they should have referred to her as a man.
Biden’s Performance—Insensitive and Embarrassing
Fox News wrote on March 27:
“President Biden was criticized Monday for his response to the Nashville school shooting after he joked that he only made a public appearance because he heard there would be ice cream before discussing the tragedy that claimed the lives of three adults and three children at an elementary school earlier in the day.
“‘My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband,’ Biden said from the White House’s East Room in his first public appearance since a 28-year-old woman shot and killed three students and three teachers at a Christian private school in Nashville. ‘I eat Jeni’s ice cream — chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,’ he continued. ‘By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs,’ he added. ‘You think I’m kidding? I’m not,’ Biden told the crowd.
“Biden later called the shooting ‘sick’ and ‘heartbreaking’ while demanding Congress do more to ‘stop the gun violence.’ But critics went after the president for the inappropriate reaction and seemingly playful tone while addressing the tragedy. ‘To say that he misunderstood the moment would be an understatement,’ former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News later Monday. ‘You know, the president is watching, you’d hope before he comes down there, the awful scenes from the shooting and the reactions of family members and friends of people in that school. And to be coming down, joking about the fact that he’s Jill Biden’s husband and looking for chocolate chip ice cream is hardly the way to start it,’ Christie said… ‘And so there’s no room to joke in that circumstance at all. And certainly not from the President of the United States.’…
“Christie said the president committed the ‘second-worst thing to do’ in a circumstance like this one by invoking the political card (of gun control) while parents and students across the country grapple with the impact of the horrific shooting… ‘Nobody in their right mind goes into that school and kills three young children and three adults helping to teach those children.’”
Biden is an embarrassment for the USA… and that puts it mildly. The question is being asked whether he is indeed mentally able to run the USA. And to be sure, the shooter was not a person in his or her right mind. Rather, he or she clearly gave in to demonic influence, if not possession.
Netanyahu Suspends Judicial Reform
The Jerusalem Post wrote on March 27:
“Prime Minister Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday evening that he was temporarily freezing the bill that would alter the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee… [which has] thrown the country into turmoil and unprecedented civil unrest…
“Netanyahu said that either way, his government would bring a reform that will ‘return the balance that was lost between the [government] branches’…
“The prime minister added that the country was on a ‘dangerous path,’ and that he would not allow it to descend into civil war.”
The Associated Press added on March 27:
“The plan would give Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, and his allies the final say in appointing the nation’s judges. It would also give parliament, which is controlled by his allies, authority to overturn Supreme Court decisions and limit the court’s ability to review laws.”
Dissident German Bishops
Reuters wrote on March 24:
“Pope Francis should take disciplinary action against German bishops who support same-sex unions and hold other ‘heretical’ views, a top conservative cardinal said in an interview published on Friday.
“The German Catholic church is discussing a series of reforms, including on homosexuality, women priests and priestly celibacy, as part of its so-called Synodal Path.
“Speaking to La Repubblica newspaper, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller said some of the bishops taking part in the process have approved ‘heretical texts’ and should be tried under canon law… The cardinal, himself a German bishop, said allowing gay couples to have their union blessed by a priest goes ‘directly against Catholic faith… Blessing homosexual couples is a blasphemy’…
“In July, the Vatican tried to slam the brakes on the German Synodal Path movement, saying it risked causing a schism in the universal Church…”
Please see our new StandingWatch program, “Catholic Church in Turmoil.”
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.
Are you concentrating too much on minor and less important areas in your life?
Some can indeed be engaging in the process of “majoring in the minors.” Before we address the practical application of some areas, we need to stress that in God’s eyes, a sin is a sin, whether we consider it as “major” or “minor.”
In our Q&A, “Are there sins which are more serious than others? Are all of God’s Laws equal in importance?”, we state the following:
“We need to understand that Christ died for our sins, and sin is defined as the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4, Authorized Version). In that sense, all of God’s spiritual commandments are of equal importance, as Christ died for each and every one of our sins… The wages for each and every sin is the second death (Romans 6:23). At the same time, each sin, which is truly repented of, will be forgiven (1 John 1:7, 9)…
“This does not mean that in God’s eyes, some sins are not more serious than others… Certain sins could more easily than others lead to an attitude of defiance of God and perhaps even to a complete rejection of God and His way of life… There are sins–although they will be forgiven upon true repentance–which are more grievous and weigh more heavily in God’s eyes than other sins…
“It is true that we must strive to obey ALL of God’s laws, but the Bible makes it clear that we must not try to ‘major in the minors,’ while neglecting the majors. For instance, even though tithing is clearly still a commandment that must be obeyed by true Christians today, Christ emphasized that there are ‘weightier matters of the law,’ namely justice, mercy, faith, and the love of God (compare Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42). He said that while we must tithe, we must not leave undone the weightier matters of the law.
“Christ made it very clear that He did not come to do away with even ‘the least’ of the commandments of God (Matthew 5:17-19), and that the one who teaches contrariwise will be called the ‘least’ in the Kingdom of God. But He also explained that there is no commandment ‘greater’ than the injunction to love God and to love our neighbor (Mark 12:28-31).
“We read that this IS the love of God that we keep His commandments (1 John 5:3). It IS important to be ‘faithful in what is least,’ because this shows God that such a person will also be faithful ‘in much’–and vice versa (Luke 16:10). But we are also told that godly love is the greatest of all of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13), and that no one has ‘greater love’ than he who lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
“All these passages show that in God’s eyes, there are commandments within the law which are greater than others…
“No sin and no commandment of God is unimportant. Christ died for our sins–whether small or big. But we must realize that in God’s eyes, there are distinctions regarding the weight of our sins and His laws. Let us strive, foremost, to attain to the weightier matters of the law, desiring the greater spiritual gifts (compare 1 Corinthians 12:31). We must especially concentrate on avoiding to sin against those weightier matters, and it would be extremely dangerous to do so defiantly and presumptuously.”
That then leads us to the question as to whether a certain conduct or action is sinful. Many have created a catalog of “sins,” referring to actions which might not be sinful at all in God’s eyes. They are quite literally trying to major in the minors, as the Pharisees were guilty of doing.
The right kind of Sabbath keeping is a good example. It is clear that we must observe the Sabbath by “resting”; that is, by refraining from our usual labor and from carrying heavy burdens and, instead, by worshipping God and attending worship services on that day. It is also clear that we are not to engage in buying or selling, but how is this to be applied in certain circumstances?
We state this in our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days”:
“The Pharisees totally misinterpreted the prohibition against carrying burdens on the Sabbath. They decreed that a person was guilty of breaking the Sabbath if he carried a sheet of paper, or any food that weighed as much as a dried fig, or if he carried more than one swallow of milk, or enough oil to anoint a small part of the body. If a fire broke out in a person’s home on the Sabbath, he could carry out only the necessary food to be consumed on the Sabbath. This meant that if the fire broke out at the beginning of the Sabbath—right after sunset—the person could take out enough food for three meals; but if the fire broke out on the afternoon of the Sabbath, he could only take out enough food for one meal. The rest could not be carried out and had to be left behind, to burn with the building. Further, only necessary clothes could be taken out of a burning house on the Sabbath.”
We might not have these kinds of rules for correct Sabbath keeping, but we might have enacted other rules, which are quite contrary to the official teaching of the Church of the Eternal God. One of these self-made rules might be that it is sinful to eat in a restaurant or in a hotel on the Sabbath—something that the Church does NOT teach, and which it has never taught. In a letter from the Letter Answering Department of the Worldwide Church of God, dated October 1988, this understanding was correctly explained, as follows:
“The Church has long taught that it is not wrong to eat out on the weekly Sabbath occasionally or on the annual Holy Days, depending upon one’s circumstances and preferences. Those waiters, waitresses, chefs, and the like, who may serve in a restaurant, are not our ‘servants’ in the way described in the Fourth Commandment. They are the employees of the owner of the restaurant. They would be working regardless of whether or not we ate there. God does not hold us responsible for their working on the Sabbath just because we use their services — unless we are the only ones who ever ate in that restaurant on the Sabbath. Obviously, we make up a very small portion of the customers served in restaurants on the Sabbath or Holy Days. Further, eating out occasionally on the Sabbath can enhance spiritual fellowship with brethren and allow family members more time to be with one another.”
The Church of God in Germany published a booklet in the early 70’s, titled “Gottes Sabbat–ein Tag der Freude” (“God’s Sabbath — A Day of Joy”). It reflected the Church’s understanding on the issue, and stated: “In Matthew 12:1-5, Christ shows clearly that it is not prohibited to acquire food on the Sabbath, when one is hungry and has nothing to eat. If one is not at home, it is not wrong to go to a restaurant on the Sabbath. There are people who do not have the means of cooking at home. In such cases it is permissible to buy food on the Sabbath.”
Another conclusion would lead to ridiculous consequences. We could not stay at a hotel during the Sabbath, as we would pay for the hotel’s services during that time (including eating complimentary breakfasts, room cleaning, using electricity), and we could never use public transportation to get to services.
Some have said that we can eat out on an annual Holy Day, or on a weekly Sabbath, when we are traveling, but that we cannot eat out on a weekly Sabbath, when we are “within our gates.” However, there is no Scriptural evidence supporting this claim.
The concept of majoring in the minors can also apply in other ways, when considering proper Sabbath keeping. In our free booklet, “How to Keep the Sabbath,” we state:
“Some have no problem with going to a restaurant on the Sabbath to be with Church members, but reject the concept that when they get together for a picnic after Church services, some participating members, who have been traveling from a distance, go to a shop to buy some beer or some sandwiches for the picnic. Some may object to others stopping at a coffee shop on their way to Church services to drink coffee there or eat a sandwich, but they have no problem with buying coffee at the hotel where they are meeting, or at a restaurant where they might meet after services. We must not have double standards. If one set of actions is accepted, why not the other set? In addition, we do not know why the member would stop at a coffee shop on his way to services. Maybe, his family situation is such that he would rather enjoy peace at the coffee shop than having coffee at home, where he might be facing antagonism and rejection because of the Sabbath. As mentioned before, these are questions which must be answered pursuant to personal choices and convictions. It is not for us to condemn or criticize those who might not act in a way which we might approve or disapprove.”
Another example of majoring in the minors might be in relationship to deleavening our homes before the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Again, it is clear that we have to physically deleaven our belongings before the Days of Unleavened Bread, and that we have to refrain from eating leavened products during that time [however, this does not apply to beverages or items which are not meant for human consumption].
As we explain in our free booklet, “The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days,” “[w]hen used in connection with the Days of Unleavened bread, leaven symbolizes sin. Christ spoke of the ‘leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees’ (Matthew 16:6, 11), which He described as their wrong and sinful ‘doctrine’ (verse 12). He also equated the ‘leaven of the Pharisees’ with the sin of ‘hypocrisy’ (Luke 12:1). As sin may begin small and spreads, so does leaven. Paul warns us twice that ‘a little leaven leavens the whole lump’ (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9). During the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, we are reminded that we are to overcome sin and leave it behind, pictured by removing and not eating leavened food. We are then to replace sin with righteousness, pictured by the consumption of unleavened products…
“Paul told the Corinthians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the ‘unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’ (1 Corinthians 5:7–8). He admonished them that, even though they were physically ‘unleavened’ (verse 7)—keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread and removing all leavened products from their houses—they also had to behave with a spiritually unleavened mind, by removing not just physical leaven, but also the spiritual leaven of sin from their lives.”
Considering this, we might ask ourselves the question, what is more important? Is it more important in God’s eyes to do away with the physical leaven in our houses, or the spiritual leaven in our hearts and lives? The answer should be obvious, and Christ’s admonition regarding tithing applies as well in this context. We are to do the one, while not neglecting the weightier matters of the law. When we just take great effort to find every single last crumb of leavened bread in the hidden corners of our homes or cars, while forgetting the spiritual meaning, we have missed the point and majoring in the minors.
Another good example of wrong priorities can be seen when considering eating unclean food. No doubt, God prohibits us to consume unclean meat; it is an abomination in His eyes to do so. But again, we can lose proper balance if we go too far in establishing self-made rules.
In our Q&A, “Can we consume food that contains unclean insects?”, we say the following:
“We feel that, generally, food that is labeled with unclean ingredients, which do not go through an ‘alteration’ process, unlike gelatin products, should be avoided. That is, when we can, we should avoid them—looking at labels when available and asking when possible, just as we inquire at Mexican restaurants whether the beans are made with lard (pig fat); or as we inquire in Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants whether their dishes are made with oyster sauce.
“However, to really know exactly what is in the food we eat is hard to tell. When it comes to foods and drinks that say ‘may contain’ certain ingredients, it isn’t very clear and again poses the question, how do we really know what’s in there and how far do we want to go asking for an ingredient list wherever we eat? We need to take a balanced approach… and ultimately, the decision is up to us individually whether, and in what circumstances, to partake of the products, keeping in mind that we must never eat or drink or do anything that violates our conscience if we feel that we would be compromising with the Word of God. However, having done our part, we leave the rest to God who can also protect us if we eat something inadvertently which happens to be unclean.
“We should also understand that in such a case, we do not sin or become ‘unclean’ in the eyes of God (compare Mark 7:15-19; note that the last clause in verse 19 should be translated: ‘…it is eliminated into the sewer which purifies all foods.’ Compare also Matthew 15:17-20).”
Spending hours on the Internet or in a grocery store to study labels “ad infinitum” is most certainly not what God has in mind for us.
We should remember that Paul tells us in Romans 14:17 that the Kingdom of God “is not a matter of eating or drinking” (New International Version); this is not the major focus of God’s teaching.
Christ warns us in Matthew 23:24 not to become “blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.”
Another example where we can easily lose balance and try to major in the minors is the question about what kind of sports a Christian can practice. In our Q&A, we discuss the difference between violent sports and games and those which are not. Addressing the issue of chess, we said:
“… some say that playing chess is wrong since it is a game of war. We have never taught this in the Church, and many Church members are or were very good chess players. Even though world chess champion Bobby Fisher was never a member of the Worldwide Church of God, he showed some interest at one time and volunteered to play chess with many Ambassador College students. (He was an extremely talented chess player, and he played simultaneously numerous games with different students. At the same time, his fascination with chess caused him to be unbalanced.).”
In that series of Q&As on sports, we give several examples as to what is clearly appropriate, and what might not be. But again, proper balance and avoiding majoring in the minors are all-important.
Actually, the list of examples in all kinds of areas of life could be endless. For some, physical exercise might be THE priority in their lives, and even though it says that physical exercise profits a little (note our Q&A on 1 Timothy 4:8) it also says that godliness—the spiritual aspect—is profitable for all things. As the Living Bible puts it: “Bodily exercise is alright, but spiritual exercise is much more important.”
Some may think and advocate that buying a lottery ticket or spending a few dollars at a slot machine are terrible sins, while they may see nothing wrong with gambling with thousands upon thousands of dollars at the stock market.
Some may advocate refusing to watch Television and they may even advocate removing a TV set from their homes, but they may have no problem with surfing on the internet for countless hours. Some may advocate their own rules of “healthy living” by concluding that coffee, alcohol, clean meat, cheese, butter and salt are unhealthy and must be avoided, while the Bible says nothing of the kind. Some may advocate refusing to consult medical doctors while advocating and propagating the effectiveness of homeopathy. Some may recommend spending endless hours to devise prophetic charts and timelines to figure out when Christ will return, even though Christ told us that no one knows the time, and that He will return when we do NOT expect it.
And we could list many more examples.
Some say, members must follow their conscience, and they must never violate it, as this would be sin (compare Romans 14:23). This is true, but here is an important caveat, as we explain in our Q&A, “How do we address the objections and convictions of individual church members?”
“It is clear from Scripture that we must not violate our conscience IF it is NOT in contradiction to what the Bible prohibits or demands. At the same time, we are NOT to follow our conscience if this would violate biblical injunctions. For instance, we must never follow our conscience when it ‘commands’ us to kill (such as, defeating our enemy in war); or to vote in governmental elections (to ‘improve’ the situation in our country); or to commit adultery with our neighbor’s wife (because she feels unloved by her husband); or to violate the Sabbath (as we ‘must’ work to feed our family); or to attend Christmas celebrations (so as not to offend our relatives and friends). Likewise, we must never follow our conscience by not doing what we are commanded to do…
“It would be advisable… to review the Scriptures to see whether your conscience is based on the Bible or merely on man-made traditions… Two principles are to be emphasized in this context.
“First, it is not wrong or against Church teaching, which is based on the Bible, to eat out in a restaurant on the Sabbath. This has been a very contentious issue for some who have tried to enforce their personal contrary opinion on the entire Church.
“Second, the individual member must evaluate his or her stance to see whether he or she is in line with Church teaching. As God’s true Church has been given the authority from God to bind and to loose, which includes decisions pertaining to biblical principles in ‘gray’ areas, the individual member is to review his conscientious position to see whether it should be maintained.
“We need to address a third principle. That is, the Church is not to forego a certain practice, which is based on the Bible, just because an individual member has a different ‘conviction.’ In other words, the Church is under NO obligation to cater to such opinions by individual members. We have seen over the years that some Christians have developed their own personal opinions, calling them conviction and arguing that the Church must follow and adopt them for the individual’s benefit…
“Some may like certain types of music, while others may not care for them. But the mere fact that one Christian might not like or object to a certain type of music is not a compelling reason for other Christians to refrain from listening to or playing such music… But this does not mean… that the Church would need to forego an entire musical presentation during a social event because one member might be offended by some of the music which might be played or performed at that event… if the Church concludes that such an event is appropriate, then the member would be well advised to critically evaluate his or her contrary ‘conviction.’
“When addressing Sabbath activities, the Church is under no obligation to forego eating in a restaurant on the Sabbath… only because one member would have a problem of conscience with such activity. A big problem ensues if the Church decides to meet in a restaurant for the Night to Be Much Observed (which always falls on an annual Sabbath—the First Day of Unleavened Bread). In that case, the member will have to make a decision as to whether to follow the Church’s directive or his or her own conscience. Again, in this case, the member would need to carefully evaluate whether his or her ‘conscience’ is in accordance with Scriptural injunctions and teachings (which it would not be); and whether he or she might become guilty of causing division by his or her disagreement.
“Some new members, especially because of their religious background, might reject dancing or playing cards, chess or video games. Again, it would be important for the members to review their conscience (since it is based on erroneous thinking, as the Bible does not prohibit such activities), but it most certainly would not be the duty of the Church to cancel a dance activity or a fun and game night because of the ‘conscience’ of that particular member…
“Especially when addressing… movies, the scale of potential ‘offenses’ could be huge. Some might only watch movies which are rated G, and some have refused watching cartoons in which animals ‘speak.’ These ‘convictions’ can never be the basis for other members as to what to watch or not to watch; nor for the Church to decide as to what movies to watch or show during a social Church gathering…’
The conclusion of the matter is this: Let us not attempt to major in the minors. Let us not establish rules in our minds which we elevate to unjustified importance, even though they are not established by God. And finally, let us not judge others for their behavior which may not be in agreement with our ideas of proper conduct. Rather, let us concentrate on what is most important in the eyes of God, by majoring in the majors.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
Brian and Jill Gale have arrived in California from England to participate in the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, along with the upcoming Church Conference. Norbert and Johanna Link traveled to Germany this week to be with the brethren for Passover and for the Days of Unleavened Bread.
“The Rise and Fall of Germany and Europe,” our new booklet written by Evangelist Norbert Link, has been sent to graphic artist, Shelly Bruno, in preparation for printing.
“Sind Sie vorbereitet?” is the German sermon presented by Michael Link for this Sabbath. Title in English: “Are You Prepared?”
“Würdig leben,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Johann Schell, is now posted. Title in English: “Live Worthy.”
“Passiver/Aktiver Glaube,” the sermon presented last Sabbath in Germany by Christoph Sperzel, is now posted. Title in English: “Passive/Active Faith.”
“What If Trump and Putin Were Arrested?—Comments on News and Prophecy, March 25, 2023,” the first message last Sabbath was presented by Norbert Link, and it is now posted. Here is a summary:
If Donald Trump were ever convicted and imprisoned, could he still run for the Presidency; could he be elected; and could he still operate as President from prison? If Vladimir Putin was ever arrested in a foreign country, such as Germany or Austria, due to the arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court, what did Russia say it would do to those countries? In other news, we address the postponement of the visit of King Charles in France due to France’s “descent into anarchy”; problems the Biden family is facing; the ongoing bank debacle; calls for the removal of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell; and the liberal “reform” movement of the German Catholic church.
“God’s Knowledge in Your Life,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
God is willing to reveal His knowledge to you which is opposed to the so-called wisdom of this world, but are you willing to reject this world’s silly philosophies and rather accept and act upon the knowledge of God? And how careful are you not to lose the understanding which God has given to you, while at the same time growing and increasing in His knowledge?
Spring Holy Days: Passover—April 5, 2023 (observed the evening before); Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 6-12, 2023; Pentecost—May 28, 2023.
2023 Ministerial Conference: April 27, 28 and 30, 2023.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom