Happiness Is a Choice!

At first glance, this headline might appear as a harsh statement and representation of impossibility, but with a more profound approach, the fact that each person makes his own decision to be happy or not, leaves no room for doubt.

When I reflect on my childhood and adolescence, I remember that this world was seemingly spinning much more calmly and at a much slower pace, and there was much greater joy in little things than in the big things that the world offers us today.

Today, we live in a time of breathtaking speed. Through the Internet we have a tremendous and relentless flood of information, which is getting bigger and bigger. The time pressure to solve tasks is becoming more and more urgent, and the time span of the deadlines are getting closer and closer. People are expected to be available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Industry runs 24/7, and employees do not have a balanced work-week any longer. Meanwhile, even small businesses are converting their structure to the 24/7 strategy. Quantity has overtaken quality, and this hamster wheel is inevitably becoming more and more unbearable for humanity. Many people who must work and live in this hamster wheel are losing their quality of life as a result.

Whether it is divided families, the sadness of lonely people, negative stress, burnouts, dissatisfaction, or depression due to worldly developments – all this will increase more and more, and mankind is merely functioning instead of being able to enjoy life.

As a result, kindness and love of neighbor drift further and further apart, and people will become more and more sensitive and far more susceptible to negative influences. All this and much more are circumstances designed by Satan, the ruler of this world. Through his vile and ugly attacks, he has placed the entire, clueless world under his most abysmal, sinister and filthy spell, but it is our duty to escape all of it and be obedient to God, so we can BE HAPPY.

Quality of life begins with being happy and content with what you have, with what God gives you, and not with being dissatisfied concerning what you do not have. Solomon, the wisest man after Jesus Christ, leaves us the following verses on the blessing of the “Fear of God and Wisdom”, as the revised Luther Bible 2017 says in the heading:

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her” (Proverbs 3:13-18).

This is what God wants to give us by His grace – simple happiness and peace in Jesus Christ and God the Father.

On February 16, 2010, I found an article on the Internet about a millionaire. His “new philosophy of life”, which led him to liquidate all his possessions, seems quite a bit too extreme, but the basic idea is very interesting:

“A Millionaire Is Giving Up His Possessions.

‘I used to be rich, but only now am I becoming wealthy,’ [he] told the…magazine ‘Chrismon.’ ‘Wealthy is a person who can do something positive with his possessions. I realize that the less money I have, the more possibilities I have. Because something finally starts to work in my head again: Why am I on this planet? What do I really want? I just felt more and more fear, the more I had: Fear of losing something and then not being able to afford some things – that I didn’t need anyway.’”

Even though this man is by no means called by God at this time, he has literally done, what Christ once said to the rich young ruler who asked Him what to do in order to inherit eternal life. Christ spoke of the Ten Commandments, which the rich man had supposedly kept from his youth: “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:21-22).

Of course, Christ did not really want the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions, but it was a test, since Christ saw that he loved the goods of this world too much. And Christ tells us plainly that no servant can serve two masters: “… for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [which comes from Satan]” (Luke 16:13).

The point is to find our quality of life, to have inner peace, to be happy and content, to cast all our cares on God and love Him with all our heart, our mind, our devotion, and our strength, and to surrender our lives to Him unconditionally. There is no room for compromise that violates God’s commandments!

It is also never too late to change something in one’s life. It really doesn’t matter what age we are. It is not too late for anything, no matter how old we are. Whether you are between the ages of 30 and 60, or between the ages of 60 and 90, is irrelevant; the lapse of time is the same, only that different circumstances may be present.

I found an interesting article on the Internet on this topic. The German „Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend“ (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) posted an article on its platform on July 16, 2020, according to which an elderly lady in her 73rd year had caught up on her high school graduation.

Of course, we must not forget that we need to continue earning our living, especially in order to be able to pay God’s tithes as well as other monetary offerings to finance the Work of God, but it is NEVER too late to learn new things and find happiness therein.

Whether you want to graduate from high school or college, choose a new career – whatever change you want to make to improve your quality of life and happiness, or whatever your heart may desire – do it, but do it with God and trust Him to give you the strength and the mind to do it.

Nowadays, God does not offer many people the opportunity to be freed from their sins and to repent, to be baptized, and to walk the new Way of Life with God. But today, if we are called to come out of this terrible world, we should listen to the call of God and submit to Him.

If we want to handle everything only with our own mind, we will surely be shipwrecked now and then, and in the worst case, we might fall into depression and leave the Way of God. It is important that we open our hearts to God, that we trust Him and that we are conquerors in difficult situations.

Changing one’s way of life for a better quality of life, no matter how old one may be, is not shameful, and it is never too late.  It is only too late when we have died and cannot do anything anymore.

Even Paul, who often endured persecution and suffered from a disease that was not cured, was happy in Jesus Christ and God the Father:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

This blessedness can only come from God if one remains faithful to Him and lives in His commandments and statutes. This includes truly loving one’s brethren. We will not find a more loyal, honest and better friend in this world than in the Church of God. We must manifest the “new” commandment given to us by Christ in a sincere way and live it with faithful sacrifice and devotion: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

Why do you think we sing in our Church services this classic hymn to God with a joyful heart: “Blest and happy is the man Who does never walk astray….”?

We must be constantly aware that one day many will come to an end with the love of God in them and with the love for God and the brethren. Many will betray one another, at an evil time that no one desires, but even in this scenario, we have to escape and wait in bliss until the end comes, until Christ comes back to earth and ends all injustice.

Each one of us is his own unique individual, with the gift granted by God to make his own decisions. In doing so, one can follow Satan, who inspires one to do the works of the flesh, namely, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

Or we can allow God to lead us with His power, the Spirit of love, and show in our lives the fruit of the Spirit, namely, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (cf. Galatians 5:22-23). Then we will live a joyful and content life in happiness; thankful for each called friend we have made and will continue to make; and we will love God the Father and Jesus Christ with full devotion, remaining faithful to them for eternity.

“Therefore keep the words (the commandments) of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deuteronomy 29:9).

Initial Translation: Daniel Blasinger

Do the accounts in Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 contradict each other?

Sometimes, when looking at various “parallel” Scriptures, one may find at first glance an apparent contradiction. Some feel that the accounts in Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 contradict each other.

To begin with, let us consider the context in Acts 9.

Saul, who is later called Paul, persecuted true Christians seeking their death (Galatians 1:13-14). Saul was a carnal-minded Pharisee, who embraced the teachings of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6). At that time, he was very eager to kill genuine followers of Jesus Christ, because they had a different doctrine that, from the Pharisaic point of view, was contrary to their teachings. It was the religion of that “new way,” the Way of Jesus Christ, who was time and again wrongfully accused of being a blasphemer, because He claimed to be the Son of God. But Christ has always been, and still is, the Son of God!

Saul, furious in his anger, went to the high priest and asked letters which he wanted to carry to the synagogues of Damascus, affirming that he had the authority to bind and deport the disciples of that new Way, whether women or men, to Jerusalem, in order to accuse them of death in court (Acts 9:1-2).

Now let us read Acts 9:3-6:

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’”

Verse 7 then says, “And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.

Now, comparing this verse with the parallel Scripture in Acts 22:9, it appears that two different statements are being contrasted, when Paul says in his later account of the events:

“Now those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.

How can this apparent contradiction be explained, since we know that the Bible does not contradict itself? Therefore, when Jesus Christ appeared on the way to Damascus, did Saul’s companions hear a voice but see no one, or did they see the light but did not hear the voice?

Let’s first explore the first part of the question, “Did Paul’s companions hear the voice of the Lord, or did they not hear it?

In both chapters, the Greek uses the word “phóné” which indeed means “voice.” But Acts 22:9 concludes: “… but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.”

Hence, it seems that we are dealing here with a special kind of hearing or understanding. That is, Saul’s companions heard a voice, but apparently could not understand what it was saying. The Greek word for “hear” is “akouo.” Its meaning can be “to hear” or it can mean “to understand.” It is used in the second sense in 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For he who speaks in a tongue [another or a different language] does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”

A similar expression is found in John 8:43: “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.” The German Luther Bible 1984 renders the second part as: “…Because you cannot hear My Word.”

The Living Bible renders the passage as follows: “Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are prevented from doing so!” Christ thus states that even if they could hear the word, without God the Father opening their minds, they would not be able to understand the words He spoke (compare also Deuteronomy 29:4).

Let us also compare Christ’s statement in John 12:28-29: “‘Father, bring glory and honor to your name.’ Then a voice spoke from heaven saying, ‘I have already done this, and I will do it again.’  When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him” (Living Bible).

This is another case of some hearing a voice, but they did not understand what was being said. Others heard only thunder as in a thunderstorm.

The two statements about Christ’s appearance in Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 are rendered as follows in different translations.

Acts 9:7: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice…” (Authorized Version).

Acts 22:9: “The men with me… didn’t understand what was said” (Living Bible).

We see that Saul’s companions heard the voice Luke wrote about in Acts 9:7, but in accordance with Acts 22:9, they could not understand what was said because they might have perceived it only as thunder.

Therefore, it is not a question of whether Saul’s companions heard the voice, but rather, what was spoken that they heard but did not understand. Paul heard and understood Christ’s words; his companions heard a voice but did not understand what was said.

The German Schlachterbibel comments: “‘…the voice they did not hear.’ This [Acts 22:9] does not contradict [Acts] 9:7. Since Jesus spoke solely to Paul, only he understood what the Lord was saying; his companions heard the sound of a voice but did not understand the words.”

Let’s move on to the second part of the question: “Who or what did the companions see when Christ appeared to Saul?

The Authorized Version renders Acts 9:7 as follows: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.”

Consider also how Acts 22:9 is rendered in the Living Bible: “The men with me saw the light but didn’t understand what was said.”

So, they saw “no one” or “no man” (compare again Acts 9:7), that is, no figure or person, but they did see the light (compare Acts 22:9).

The German Schlachterbibel comments, “Paul’s companions saw the light, but only he saw the Lord Jesus Christ.” Compare also Paul’s further account in Acts 26:12-14.

It was very important to Christ that the companions heard a sound and saw a light surrounding Saul, so that Paul could not be accused of being a liar, but a righteous apostle and God’s faithful servant who spoke the Truth and could present real witnesses testifying to it.

As we have shown in this Q&A, the Bible does not contradict itself, though it is important to clarify apparent contradictions in the right way (Isaiah 28:10; Ecclesiastes 12:11; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

Lead Writer: Thilo Hanstein

Initial Translation from German: Daniel Blasinger

When the Truth Is No Longer the Truth!

For quite some time now, we have been in the midst of many strange scenarios with the most impossible justifications, so that it sometimes becomes very difficult to distinguish between what is a lie and what is Truth. Satan has actually managed to make God’s Truth barren to most people in this world.

Within a very short time, he has succeeded in confusing people even more, frightening them, and even driving some, if not many, into madness, culminating in suicide.

Whether it concerns the politicians of the world, the BigTech media industry, the pharmaceutical industry with its lobbyists, the judiciary, the court system, or even our circle of acquaintances and friends—far too much deceitful nonsense is being talked about; half-truths are being spread and totalitarian autocratic ideologies are being broadcast and carried out, which simply can no longer make sense for those who want peace.

News is being censored and facts twisted due to the arbitrariness of governments all over the world, and that is, shockingly, supposed to be allowed even according to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

The LGBT+ madness is becoming more and more unbearable. Pre-school children are indoctrinated to submit to this new way of life and parents have no say in their upbringing. Boys are allowed to wear girls’ clothes, and if a boy feels like a girl, he is allowed to use the girls’ locker room to change clothes there and to shower with them naked. All of this is contrary to God’s Commandments and His Truth—a very frightening and sickening notion that is nothing but painful.

They tried to convince all mankind that multiple vaccinations against the Coronavirus would help people, proclaiming that if you get vaccinated you could not get Covid. We were even told that we would all die if we did not get vaccinated, even though many knew that these vaccinations could be very dangerous for some. If you requested to have an autopsy in regards to someone’s death with the suspicion that it could be the result from the vaccination, it was immediately undermined, and many side effects were “explained” in other ways.

I could never believe it either, until it was explained to me, that the justice system is often not about Truth at all, but about who presents the best arguments. A lawyer tells his client that it might be better to confess to a crime even though he is innocent, so that he can get a lighter sentence and the trial can be ended quickly. Or bribery is practiced with some kind of gifts, be it money or goods. Practically speaking, it is about making a deal, not about actual facts, nor about the Truth.

But let us not think that such situations are new or a present-day invention.

In 1 Samuel 8:1,3, we read: “Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel… But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.”

God hates it when there is lying involved in a matter, and when facts are perverted into injustice, or when false compromises are made. Such things are a great abomination to God. God is unmistakable in His statements and judgments.

In Deuteronomy 16:19-20, God tells us: “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (see also Exodus 23:6-8).

God’s command to mankind is obvious, but at the same time, a mystery to those who are not interested in God. But in Isaiah 1:16-17, God speaks very distinct words: “‘Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”

To declare a lie as Truth is, to put it mildly, very shameful, degrading, humiliating and hurtful as well as devastating to any innocent victim; but for God it is a sin that leads to death if not repented of.

God tells us in Isaiah 5:20-23: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!”

Make no mistake thinking that God will overlook such scenarios. We are in the end times where painful labor has begun—like a pregnant woman who will give birth soon.

If we are not attentive and remain vigilant, it could easily happen that we too believe the lie instead of the Truth. Christ was aware of this problem with people, and so He told them: “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:45). Abraham Lincoln is credited with the following statement: “It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than the truth that one has heard only once.”

This is Satan’s very strategy! We must NEVER underestimate his power! He is very sneaky and tactically very clever in his workings. Peter tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan often knows our weaknesses better than we do, and he will attack us where we are weakest because that is where we are most likely to fail.

When we observe world events today, we must not be deceived or influenced by media images or their statements, nor frightened by unjust human laws, nor by the justice system which supports false compromises. God is our strength in the time of trouble, and He has promised that He will help us (see Psalm 37:39).

And so we read in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”

Initial Translation by Daniel Blasinger


The term famine is currently on everyone’s lips, today even more than ever before. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the entire face of the world and people are suffering from great anxiety. Due to the reciprocal sanctions which the world rulers are inflicting on each other, the tensions and problems among them and in the whole world are getting bigger and worse, until it will ultimately lead to a nuclear world war.

We know that these days we find ourselves in are the beginning of sorrows, and that these point, among other things, towards a coming great famine. The current trading and speculation with food on the stock markets are increasing more and more. Thus, the food prices keep rising more and more, and so will worldwide inflation. This refers not only to wheat and corn, but many other groceries are also affected as well, such as rice and soy, coffee and sugar, and many more other goods like raw oil, not to mention the constantly rising energy prices.

Der Tagesspiegel wrote on May 3, 2022: “We are heading for the greatest famine in human history.

“The farmers in Ukraine are producing much fewer resources, the infrastructure is destroyed, the ports are blocked. But the problems are much worse.

“The poorest countries have already been hit hard by the pandemic. On top of that, there is climate change with droughts in Africa and China. Because of lack of energy China is producing less fertilizer, and due to the blockade of the Black Sea, hardly any fertilizer is being exported from Russia and Belarus. Added to this are global logistics issues. Even if there was enough food, it doesn’t necessarily get to where it’s needed. The Russian invasion is deeply shaking the world food system. We fear that the number of hungry people will double in 2023 or 2024. If we have ten percent less artificial fertilizer than we need, up to 320 million people are robbed of their food base.”

In Austria, the city of Vienna posted the following statement on its platform:

“Waste on the one hand, hunger on the other.

“1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away each year or constitute losses along the value chain. For Europe, the authors estimate an annual loss per capita along the entire value chain of 280 to 300 kilograms. European and North American households throw away between 95 and 115 kilograms of food per year, especially fruit and vegetables, although a large proportion would still be edible. Add to those mountains of food that retailers discard.”

There is no way to realize by any stretch of the imagination the full extent of the scenario that is rolling toward humanity.

This leads to a crucial question for us. Will such news also raise fears and worries in us because of a coming famine?

Christ already warned us about this very scenario 2000 years ago: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).

The world simply ignores these statements, but it should be clear to us that these prophecies of God are being fulfilled today right before our eyes. If we heed the words of Christ and do what He commanded us to do, namely, to keep the laws of God from the heart, God the Father and Jesus Christ will be with us to help, sustain and protect us in these terrible times.

Let us remember the famine in Abram’s time, when he had to go to Egypt (Genesis 12:10). Isaac also fled from a famine (Genesis 26:1). When famine broke out in all lands by the time of Joseph, who was a righteous ruler directly under Pharaoh, God showed His power and saved the children of Israel from starvation (Genesis 41:53-57).

In Genesis 45:11, because of God’s power, Joseph was able to promise Jacob and his descendants to help them: “There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” When Israel was in the wilderness and had nothing to eat, God provided them with manna and quails (Exodus 16).

Many prophets experienced famines as well, such as Elijah and Elisha, but they were saved by God. And David wrote with full knowledge and conviction: “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

Christ once fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and all were filled (Mark 6:30-44). On another occasion, he fed four thousand in the wilderness with seven loaves (Mark 8:1-9).

So why should God let us die in a famine today? Of course, there will be moments when we are tested, and it may be difficult for some. Paul experienced what it was like to be hungry. But as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). Paul was fully convinced that nothing could unsettle him or us!

Christ tells us what to focus on: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).

In the end, it doesn’t matter to us personally how much we speculate about food wastage in the world, or how much of it ends up in the trash, or how much the world’s population increases in the face of hunger, even though it is all very tragic. What is of the utmost importance for us is to realize that only God can and will help us in all future suffering and misery.

God trusts each one of us. And therefore, we must also trust Him to the fullest extent.

Initial translation from German: Daniel Blasinger

The Danger of Self-Righteous Judgment

The large-scale madness and stigmatization by governments all over the world is increasing more and more. Oftentimes it seems like a nightmare, but in fact, it is pure reality.

What happened between 1938 and 1945 is a scenario of ruthlessness without equality. When I contemplate what Hitler’s regime has done to the Jews and to fellow human beings who thought differently, it truly moves me to tears.

One would think that all this should have been buried and forgotten a long time ago, and that people would have become more reasonable. But the opposite is true.

Although every year in Germany, several memorial ceremonies about these darkest scenarios are held by those in power, who adorn themselves with justice and love and words like “We must never forget” and “This must never happen again”, the reality is quite different.

In October 2021, I saw coverage in the news about a very tragic court case in which a 96-year-old former typist from the concentration camp Stutthof had been charged by the public prosecutor’s office with aiding and abetting murder in more than 11,000 cases. The woman is said to have been a typist for the commandant Paul-Werner Hoppe between the years 1943 and 1945.

Der Tagesspiegel published the following article about this on September 30, 2021:

“96-year-old accused flees NS trial – and got caught. Irmgard F. was the commander’s typist in the Stutthof concentration camp. She did not appear at her trial. But she was caught and is now in custody.

“The bureaucrats of horror were efficient. The number of prisoners and killed persons in the Stutthof concentration camp was regularly reported to Berlin. Camp commander Paul Werner Hoppe dictated letters to the administrative headquarters of the Holocaust, the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt in Berlin-Lichterfelde. At the typewriter was Irmgard F. She typed the camp commander’s orders to the guard personnel and wrote the lists with the names of the prisoners who were deported to the Auschwitz death camp.

“Every correspondence with the SS administrative headquarters in Berlin passed over her desk, she said as a witness in a Nazi trial after the end of the war. Now the now 96-year-old must answer for herself before the Superior Court in Itzehoe.”

The Berliner Morgenpost reported the following on October 19, 2021:

“Irmgard F., who worked as a stenotypist at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, is accused of complicity to murder in more than 11,000 cases. She [wears] a device on her wrist to monitor her location, like an electronic ankle monitor. ‘The defendant had knowledge of all events and happenings in the camp’, the prosecutor said. This resulted from the fact, that Irmgard F. was the right-hand woman of the camp commander Paul-Werner Hoppe and had written down all his orders, and instructions and all the commander’s correspondence had passed over her desk.

“Therefore, Irmgard F. had profound knowledge of the systematic killing of the prisoners in the camp ‘right down to the last detail’, the prosecutor said. In the indictment, she lists in detail the killing methods, that were the routine in the concentration camp. The neck-shooting facility, disguised as a medical examination room, in which 300 prisoners died during the defendant’s time of service. They had to stand against the wall in the belief that their height would be measured, but instead they were murdered by neck shot through an opening to the neighboring room.”

One must realize the fact, that this is an indictment taking place 76 years after the end of the war, and that the involved accusers are nowhere near contemporary witnesses at the time of this woman’s executive work and had not even been born and were in the world.

Moreover, this 96-year-old woman is charged with “complicity to murder in more than 11,000 cases.” While it is known that “300 prisoners died in the neck-shooting facility during the defendant’s time of service”, the origin of the exact number of 11,000 deaths seems quite questionable. Besides, this woman did what she may have been forced to do, and she was only a scribe anyway. It was not she, who murdered the people, and whether she approved it, no one can say.

This scenario of an accusation against a woman reminded me of an example when Christ was teaching in the temple and the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees brought a woman before Him, caught in the act of adultery, hoping of course that Christ would inflict a severe punishment. They said to Him, “‘…Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (John 8:4-9).

This example of self-righteousness is a bottomless pit because the world with its ruthless justice system, as it was then and still is today, is so immoderately arrogant and unjust that one cannot even put this whole event into words.

The same applies to today’s new “law guidelines” and “jurisdictions” regarding these absurd Corona measures. They are picking up so much speed that this reminds us exactly of the time back then at the beginning of 1938. Indeed, beginning on November 12, 1938, Jews were forbidden at that time to visit cinemas, theaters, operas, and concerts. Today, 84 years later, the same thing is happening again to people only because they think differently and refuse to get vaccinated. And the wheel of the invention of new restrictions does not stop; instead, life is made more and more unbearable for these people. They are judged, harassed, bullied, and incited. Even children are dragged into this torment and put into a trauma that they may very well not be able to get rid of for the rest of their lives. We are witnessing a jurisdiction of the irresponsible.

Most of these above-mentioned accusers are acting today in the same way that happened back then in 1938, possibly without even realizing what they are really doing, since this is Satan’s world. And no one knows how long this stigmatization will continue, for this may be just the beginning or even just a precursor of what is to come to the world, namely the great tribulation.

How long will WE in God’s Church have to endure suffering? Will WE be greatly reviled as true Christians for the sake of Christ’s name? And how will WE bear it then? What if WE are innocently accused and even sent to prison?

Christ warns against the unrighteousness of man. He tells us in Luke 21:12-15,17-19:

“‘But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist… And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls. “

Christ gives us such great hope for what lies ahead. It is neither the government nor the jurisdiction of men that can give us or take away true life. They can persecute us, treat us unjustly, accuse and condemn us; they can throw us into prison; and they can take away our physical life. But what they cannot do is to deny us eternal life. They cannot separate us from the love of Christ if we hold on to the hope which the Word of God gives us, and if we do not give up our faith and instead put our trust in GOD the Father and Jesus Christ, then this world can do NOTHING to us that would have eternal consequences.

Paul asked the church: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35).

And later, in verses 37-39, Paul says with deep conviction, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Christ also gives us great hope by telling us: “‘Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body [physical life] but cannot kill the soul [the potential of eternal life]… But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [eternal destruction in the Gehenna fire’” (Matthew 10:26-28).

When Christ tells us that nothing is covered, but that one day all the truth will come to light, we must understand that one day a great truthful trial will be held for mankind, with complete and righteous measure, to condemn and judge man’s unrighteousness.

God the Father will, through Jesus Christ, conduct this judgment and hold men accountable and punish them for their evil and unrighteous deeds.

Let us think once more about the example of the adulteress and what Christ ultimately said to her. “When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’” (John 8:10-11).

Christ acted here as a Man of love and divine understanding. He did not justify the sinful behavior of the adulteress, but He showed mercy. From this point of view, we should not try to whitewash these terrible acts of the world today, nor should we condemn them with an unmerciful measure. We should and must leave that to God. For God tells us, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).

We must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the deeds of the world, which Satan still has possession of at present, but must allow ourselves to be edified by every word of God and make the best of everything, according to our ability. It’s on us to wait hopefully for the coming of Jesus Christ so that He can welcome us at His coming, and we must hold fast to the confidence that God will judge righteously at His time.

Initial translation from the German: Daniel Blasinger

Is there a contradiction between Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9?

We should note that Saul, who later became known as the Apostle Paul, was at first a persecutor and murderer of true Christians (Galatians 1:13-14). He was a Pharisee and strongly believed the teachings of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6). At that time, he was very zealous in hunting down and killing the true disciples of Christ. He was consumed with envy, because their new teaching was contrary to the teachings of the Pharisees. It was the religion of the “new Way,“ the Way of Jesus Christ, who was repeatedly and unjustifiably accused of blasphemy, because He claimed to be the Son of God. But Christ WAS and IS the Son of God (John 17:5)!

In his wrath, Saul went angrily before the High Priest and asked for letters of authorization to arrest Christ’s disciples, whether they were men or women, and to take them bound to the court in Jerusalem (Acts 9:1). For this purpose, Saul went with his companions from Jerusalem to Damascus. Let us read in Acts 9:3-7 what happened on the way:

“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Authorized Version throughout, unless otherwise mentioned).

Now note the remarkable passage in verse 7: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.“

When we compare this passage with the parallel Scripture in Acts 22:9, it might appear that a contradictory version of the events is presented. Paul, by now an ordained apostle, made the following statement: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.“

However, there is no “contradiction.” The Bible never contracts contradicts itself (John 10:35). Oftentimes an apparent problem may exist because of the interpretation or wording of the translator. This is the case here.

Let us begin to explain by answering this question: “Did Paul’s companions hear the voice of Christ, or did they not hear it?“

In both chapters, the Greek word “φωνην“ is used, meaning “voice.” In Acts 22:9, we find this clarification: “… but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.“

In an old letter of the Worldwide Church of God’s Letter answering Department, it was stated:

“In the original Greek language, the word akouo is used in these passages. This word like many others, has several meanings depending on how it is used in a sentence. It can mean to hear or to understand. In the following passage, for example, the latter meaning is obviously intended: ‘For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him’ (I Cor. 14:2, NKJ). His listeners hear him, but don’t understand. This is what happened with Paul and those with him on the road to Damascus. Paul both heard and understood. The men with him heard the voice but did not understand it.”

Saul’s companions obviously heard a voice, but apparently could not understand what the voice was saying.

The same phenomenon can be found in John 12:28-29, where Christ says: “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.“

In looking at other translations of Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9, we find a clear distinction and explanation, confirming what we have pointed out above.

The New Living Translation renders Acts 9:7 as follows: “The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one!“

The Orthodox Jewish Version translates Acts 22:9: “And the ones with me saw the… (light) but they did not have real hearing (understanding) of the voice speaking to me.“

Saul’s companions heard the voice, like Luke wrote in Acts 9:7, but Paul reveals in Acts 22:9 that they were not able to understand what was spoken, perhaps because they could only perceive it as a muffled rumbling or as thunder. They clearly did not understand WHAT the voice said. It appears that it was important for Christ that the companions were able to hear the sound of His voice, but not what was said.

Let us now discuss another question: “What did Saul’s companions see?”

Remember, we read in Acts 9:7 “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.“ In Acts 22:9, we read: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.”

On the one hand, they saw “no man,“ that means no figure or person, but they saw a light. One could also say that they saw a brightness or a strong bright appearance.

When Saul saw Christ in this vision on his way to Damascus, it was such a bright appearance that Saul went blind (Acts 9:8-9). In Revelation 1:12-17, John saw the Person of the glorified Christ in a vision, and he fell at His feet as dead. Saul’s companions saw a light in this vision, but not the glorious manifestation of the Person of Jesus Christ.

Why was it so important for Christ that Saul´s companions heard something, although they could not understand it, just like they saw a bright light, but were not able to see the Person of Christ? The reason why Christ wanted the companions to hear a voice and see the light was that Paul later could not be accused of being a liar, but that he would be seen as a righteous and ordained apostle and faithful servant of God who spoke the Truth and could bring forth witnesses for what had happened to him and his companions.

Lead Writer: Thilo Hanstein

Are You Really Different?

As a true follower of Christ, we must be truly different from others in our way of life in this world. We should consciously recognize the difference between right and wrong, and God has brought us into this world for a reason, so we must follow that calling.  Or are we still looking at what the world admires, and do we still perform what the masses expect of us?

Download Audio 

God’s Grief

We often read in the Bible that God is very angry at man’s behavior and that He will soon pour out His anger. But is God’s wrath all there is to it? What do the prophets and Jesus Christ say about God’s feelings? You may be surprised to hear about God’s grief for man’s apostasy.

Download Audio 

How Much Fear and Worry Can We Endure?

Christ says in Mark 13:9 and 12: “but watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them… Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.“

Are there really big problems?  Do we have fears to overcome?  What can you do about it?  Christ actually gives us the all-important answer.

Download Audio 

If Something Bad Happens, Something Good May Come of It!

by Thilo Hanstein (Germany)

My wife Anita and I had the small desire to buy a used car, and we wanted a German car, a Mercedes with lots of extras. The search went on for a while, and we also traveled a lot of miles to look for vehicles. Finally, I saw a vehicle on the Internet for sale which was very close to us. Everything looked very good. No long journey and the car seemed perfect to me.

I personally went to the car dealer who was selling the car and made an appointment for a test drive, which he confirmed with me. I also made an appointment with a friend who owns a car workshop, to be able to assess the vehicle.

One day before the appointment, the dealer simply sold the vehicle without taking into account that he had an appointment with us for the test drive. I was a bit disappointed and angry because the car appeared perfect to me and I thought that I had reached an end to the search. I talked to him about it on the telephone and wanted to know why he did not honor my appointment. It did not really interest him. A little later, of course, I had to cancel the appointment with the workshop and explained to him briefly over text what had happened.

He wrote me an answer stating, among other things, the following sentence: “If something bad happens, something good may come of it!”

When I read this, I realized shortly afterwards that all our thinking is only short-sighted. God tells us: “Your thoughts are not my thoughts!” When we live in God’s Truth and when we place our whole life in God’s hands, He will protect us from harm; He will give us goods; and He will help us in all that we need and also fulfill our wishes.

And so, the search continued. We quickly found another car that had all the extras that Anita and I wanted—more than the previous car—and it was even much better maintained.

If something bad happens, something good may come of it!

©2023 Church of the Eternal God