|Live Services||All Not Lost / Blood|
|Editorial||What We Have|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||What does God say about taxes?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
All Not Lost / Blood
On January 22, 2022, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “All Not Lost,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “Blood.”
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.
What We Have
by Kalon Mitchell
In a talk with my son recently, I was mentioning to him how blessed we are. He wanted to get something, and I said no, and he wasn’t pleased about it. We talked about how continually wanting things leads to feelings of frustration, greed and maybe jealousy. As he walked away, I could tell he wasn’t exactly agreeing.
As I continued to think about this after our conversation, I realized that there are areas in my life where I act like this at times with God when I am asking Him for things and then getting frustrated when things don’t pan out like I think they should.
There is no point in living life like this!
A much better way is to remain in a continual state of thankfulness and mindfulness of what God does for us. How He blesses us and what He does to make this happen.
It is so easy to complain about what we don’t have, in what situations we are, and how they could be different. I have found though that complaining doesn’t change a situation nor does it make one feel any more willing to try harder or try to do something differently.
Why does God consider our complaining as something that should not be done?
Philippians 2:12-16 tells us: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
Complaining leads to us not being able to be used by God! When we complain, we take away the opportunity God has to use us or the chance to help us to grow. When we complain, we take matters into our own hands and leave no room for Him.
It is very easy to complain in this day and age when there is a lack of justice in our lands while immorality reigns. When nothing seems to be fair, it is easy to become dissuaded and discouraged. Even though we are told to sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done (Ezekiel 9:4), we need to realize that God is always there for us at all times. Lamentations 3 does a wonderful job in showing just how this is true, and it would be helpful at this time to read it thoroughly.
The reality is that there will always be opportunities to complain if we allow them to exist in our minds! How we choose to go about this is completely up to us. We will be judged on this though, and we will have to give an account. Even though it is hard, we should stop and think often about how God has blessed us and strive to let Him be glorified through how we live.
by Norbert Link
We begin with the dramatic situation pertaining to Russia, especially focusing on Ukraine, Belarus, Iran and Sweden, and the unwillingness of the USA and Europe to really come to Ukraine’s rescue. Recognizing Europe’s inability to play an effective role, more and more voices are being heard for the need of European power and a European army.
We report on Biden’s failing policies internationally and domestically and Trump’s return to the campaign trail.
We focus on the dictatorships of Australia, Austria, Germany and France; as well as an alarming willingness by large portions of society to create a dictatorship in the USA. We also report on further nonsense regarding COVID-19 measures. Please view in this regard our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Is America Going to Lose More of Its Freedom?”
We conclude with an interesting development in Jerusalem regarding the demolition of the Golden Dome and the numerous eruptions of an undersea volcano near Tonga. One of these mighty eruptions has been described as the biggest eruption recorded anywhere on the planet in more than 30 years.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Fears and Tensions with Russia on the Rise
The Associated Press wrote on January 15:
“U.S. intelligence officials have determined a Russian effort is underway to create a pretext for its troops to further invade Ukraine, and Moscow has already prepositioned operatives to conduct ‘a false-flag operation’ in eastern Ukraine… White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday the intelligence findings show Russia is also laying the groundwork through a social media disinformation campaign that frames Ukraine as an aggressor that has been preparing an imminent attack against Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine. Psaki charged that Russia has already dispatched operatives trained in urban warfare who could use explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces — blaming the acts on Ukraine — if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides he wants to move forward with an invasion…
“White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday said… this is similar to what the Kremlin did in the lead-up to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that had been under Ukraine’s jurisdiction since 1954…
“Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Friday that Moscow wouldn’t wait indefinitely for the Western response, saying he expects the U.S. and NATO to provide a written answer next week. Lavrov described Moscow’s demands for binding guarantees that NATO will not embrace Ukraine or any other former Soviet nations, or station its forces and weapons there, as essential for the progress of diplomatic efforts to defuse soaring tensions over Ukraine. He argued that NATO’s deployments and drills near Russia’s borders pose a security challenge that must be addressed immediately.”
Ukraine’s Fate Sealed
Thomson/Reuters wrote on January 14:
“A week of diplomacy by U.S. President Joe Biden failed to defuse tensions between Russia and Ukraine, but has maintained unity with European allies against Moscow as Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to expose cracks… “Biden’s bid to rebuild U.S. leadership globally was also hindered by a chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August that prompted the European Union to consider ways to become more independent of the U.S. military… Biden has faced lingering doubts about America’s reliability as a partner. Leaders from the Group of Seven advanced economies, NATO and the European Union are worried…
“Although Biden pledged to continue giving military aid to Ukraine and to boost support if Russia invades, Washington’s response has been almost entirely diplomatic, and the West is not in a position to defend Ukraine militarily. The main attempt to deter a Russian invasion is a U.S. threat of ‘unprecedented’ sanctions, including export controls and measures targeting Russia’s financial system.
“U.S. officials have spent weeks trying to ensure Europe would match Washington’s planned sanctions response, but no clear agreement has been reached on what specific sanctions will be leveled. While the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia when it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, the bloc has shown divisions over how to deal with Moscow, which accounts for one-third of EU gas imports.
“The United States said Moscow’s behavior towards Ukraine will play a crucial role in the fate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, meant to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany. But Germany on Thursday warned against drawing a link between the pipeline and the Russian tensions…”
Of course, Germany, being dependent on Russia, does not want to jeopardize its lucrative Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal. And while the USA will not intervene militarily, and Europe cannot do so at this point, Ukraine will fall into Russia’s hands… as it is prophesied.
No German Weapons for Ukraine
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 19:
“Germany has declined to join allies such as the US and UK in shipping weapons to Ukraine… [Germany’s] foreign minister, the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock, has made… expressions of solidarity with Ukraine but rejected its latest request for weapons deliveries…. Baerbock said her government’s decision on weapons had a historical dimension — a reference to Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War….
“Germany remains one of the world’s top arms producers and exporters, with sales increasing 21% from 2016 to 2020… Its largest customers were South Korea, Algeria, and Egypt….
“Ukrainian officials [were] most recently asking for warships and air defense systems. While Germany often cites its own belligerent history as grounds for sidestepping the military question, Ukraine is leaning into it. ‘This responsibility should apply to the Ukrainian people, who lost at least 8 million lives during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine,’ Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, told the DPA news agency.”
Germany’s Reliance on Russia
The Daily Mail wrote on January 19:
“At the heart of the dispute is Nord Stream 2, Russia’s new gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea: built, filled with gas but not yet approved for operation. If and when it is switched on, the pipeline will prove vital for German industry and heating the country’s homes…
“Poles and Lithuanians still remember how their ancient independence was signed away by Germans, Austrians and Russians as far back as the 18th century… we in Western Europe should not forget how Berlin and Moscow have benefited from colluding at our expense, too…
“Siemens and Mercedes along with a host of other big German companies also profit from exports to the Russian market. And this winter’s fuel crisis has exposed how dangerously dependent Germany already is on Russian gas. Europe is once again being rocked by soaring inflation — and now haunted by the prospect of a new German-Russian axis…”
Biden: Russia WILL Attack Ukraine
The Guardian wrote on January 19:
“Joe Biden has said he thinks Russia will attack Ukraine, warning that Moscow would face a ‘stiff price’, but he admitted Nato was divided on how to respond if there is only a “minor incursion”.
“The White House was forced to issue a hasty clarification to that last point, saying that any movement of Russian forces over the border would be treated as invasion. But Biden, in his most extensive remarks on the Ukraine crisis to date, given at an extended press conference on Wednesday, alarmed the government in Kyiv and strayed from the show of determined unity that Nato has sought to project.”
The New York Post, calling Biden’s news conference “an utter disaster,” added on January 19:
“President Biden blundered during his White House news conference Wednesday by saying that Russia’s military’ “will be able to prevail over time’ if it launches an invasion of Ukraine…”
Russia Won’t Tolerate NATO’s Invasion of Ukraine
Newsmax wrote on January 16:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman [Dmitry Peskov] says Russia will no longer ‘tolerate’ NATO’s eastward expansion and ‘gradual invasion’ into Ukraine… ‘When Germany was reunited and when the then-Soviet Union and the Soviet Union leader Mr. [Mikhail] Gorbachev said OK to that, there was a promise by American side,’ Peskov continued. ‘Unfortunately, not fixed in a juridical, in a legally binding guaranteeing document, but it — there was a guarantee that NATO would never … expand its military infrastructure or political infrastructure eastwards.’
“‘Unfortunately, the opposite thing started to happen since then, and NATO’s military infrastructure started to get closer and closer to the borders of the Russian Federation,’ he said… ‘At first… they were just words, but with the time being, we have seen the gradual invasion of NATO into Ukrainian territory, with its infrastructure, with its instructors, with supplies of defensive and offensive weapons, teaching Ukrainian military, and so on and so forth. And that brought us to the red line. That brought us to the situation when we — when we couldn’t tolerate it anymore.’”
Russian Cyberattack on Ukraine
The Associated Press wrote on January 16:
“Ukraine said Sunday that Russia was behind a cyberattack that defaced its government websites and alleged that Russia is engaged in an increasing ‘hybrid war’ against its neighbor. The statement from the Ministry of Digital Development came a day after Microsoft said dozens of computer systems at an unspecified number of Ukrainian government agencies had been infected with destructive malware disguised as ransomware…
“In 2017, Russia targeted Ukraine with one of the most damaging cyberattacks on record with the NotPetya virus, causing more than $10 billion in damage globally. That virus, also disguised as ransomware, was a so-called ‘wiper’ that erased entire networks.”
Joint Military Exercises between Russia and Belarus
TRT World wrote on January 17:
“Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has announced that his army will conduct military exercises next month with Russian forces and criticised what he said was NATO’s growing presence in Europe… He said the drills would be dubbed ‘Determination of the Union 2022,’ and should focus on a scenario in which his country’s military is forced to ‘resist forces coming from the West’…
“Lukashenko, who has grown closer to the Kremlin as the West shunned him, accused Ukraine of building up troops near Belarus in comments circulated by the Defence Ministry. He said Poland and the Baltics had more than 30,000 soldiers near Belarus’ borders.”
Russia’s New “War Games”
The Associated Press wrote on January 19:
“Russia is sending an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday, a deployment that will further beef up Russian military presence near Ukraine amid Western fears of a planned invasion…
“Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the joint drills with Belarus would involve practicing a joint response to external threats. Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine from several directions, including from its ally Belarus.”
According to MSN, dated January 15, the danger of war in Europe has never been higher for 30 years. The publication also states that Russia threatened with stationing troops in Latin America.
Military Cooperation between Russia and Iran?
VZGLYAD reported on January 18:
“On Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that President Vladimir Putin, together with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, will conduct an ‘inventory’ of our entire agenda during a visit to Russia. As the VZGLYAD newspaper wrote earlier, almost the main purpose of Mr. Raisi’s visit to Moscow, according to some reports, is Russian weapons.
“During an October visit to Russia, the head of the Iranian General Staff, Mohammad Bagheri, is rumored to have indicated his readiness to conclude large-scale contracts, including the purchase of multi-purpose Su-35s. A separate issue is the prospect of Iran buying the Russian S-400 system. However, there was no consensus in the expert community as to whether Russia was ready to sell this system.
“Earlier, military expert Konstantin Sivkov, in an interview with the VZGLYAD newspaper, suggested that in the event of new provocations from Washington, Moscow would begin a close military cooperation with Tehran.”
The EU Army and Europe’s Lust for Power
Express wrote on January 17:
“The EU has been mulling the deployment of 5000 troops from across the bloc as a backup plan in emergency missions in the name of enhanced ‘strategic autonomy’. The idea, first floated by French President Emmanuel Macron, is taking shape around the EU Commission’s table and will reach Parliament in Strasbourg soon. New Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollogren attempted to minimise the plan saying the troops are not to be called ‘EU army’ per se. But Nexit Denktank campaigners warned: ‘… Just because you don’t call it an EU army doesn’t mean it isn’t an EU army… 5,000 soldiers are just the beginning. They know they don’t have the people on their side, so they play games with language…
“Confirming the two leaders’ [Von der Leyen’s and Macron’s] defence ambitions, a senior French government official told Politico on Thursday: ‘I would like the EU in the coming years to become aware of its power, because power not only gives you prosperity but also the ability to defend your values. You can see how we sometimes hesitate to defend our values against China. Why do we hesitate? Because we are not powerful enough, because we want to have access to the Chinese market, because we depend on certain technologies. Power gives prosperity, power gives independence. And if we could all collectively realise that, that it’s better to be powerful than weak, that it’s better to be sovereign than vassal, it would be a great political idea for the EU.’”
And so, Europe will develop a POWERFUL army.
Germany’s Scholz Should Do Something…
Der Tagesspiegel wrote on January 17th:
“Union parliamentary group leader Johann Wadephul (CDU) accuses Chancellor Olf Scholz (SPD) of inactivity and leadership failure in the field of foreign policy. ‘We are in the most dangerous situation we have experienced since the end of the Cold War,’ Wadephul told the Tagesspiegel. ‘There is a danger of war in Europe, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz hardly makes an appearance in terms of foreign and security policy,’ criticized the CDU politician.
“[He also said that] in the current tense situation, the head of government’s reticence is dangerous… Also because Macron is tied to his election campaign, Germany currently has a special responsibility in Europe.”
Scholz is not the man, but when that man arises, then there will be war.
Sweden on the Alert
Bild Online wrote on January 15:
“Fear of war now also in Sweden! While the world is spellbound on the Russian-Ukrainian border, disaster could also be brewing elsewhere in Europe due to Vladimir Putin’s fantasies for great power.
“Sweden’s army has been moving soldiers and weapons to the Baltic Sea island of Gotland since Friday. According to BILD information, Stockholm actually sees the possibility, albeit small, of a Russian attack on the largest island in the Baltic Sea. Soldiers and Swedish infantry fighting vehicles arrived in the coastal town of Visby (23,000 inhabitants) on Friday morning and secured the town’s harbor. In the evening, a US Air Force C-17 military aircraft landed at the nearby regional airport and brought 100 additional Swedish soldiers to the island. According to BILD information, the flight took place as part of a long-standing military cooperation between Sweden and the USA.
“Background: On Wednesday, Russia moved three of its heavy landing ships from the Kola Peninsula in the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. They would be deployed should Putin plan an attack on the Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. Since then, the Swedish army has been on alert.”
Biden’s Foreign Policy Setbacks
Fox News wrote on January 17:
“The one area in which presidents have the most executive power is foreign policy… But a year into his presidency, Biden is receiving low marks for his foreign policy record. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Biden has a 35% approval rating on foreign policy a year into his presidency, with 54% disapproving.
“Among the first setbacks in March of last year was when the summit with the Chinese, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to address trade, human rights, Hong Kong, cyber-attacks… and rising military tensions in the South China Sea went off the rails [when the Chinese lectured America]… In the months to follow, China sent an unprecedented number of warplanes toward Taiwan to test the U.S. response, raising fears that an invasion of Taiwan appeared imminent…
“Biden’s handling of Afghanistan and his decision to pull all U.S. troops out of the country… has led to a humanitarian disaster. Afghanistan now stands on the verge of starvation and a collapsing economy, just four months after the chaotic U.S. military withdrawal… NATO allies who believed Biden would consult with them… were blindsided by the sudden unilateral U.S. withdrawal, leaving relations in the Gulf particularly frayed as those countries question whether the US is a reliable ally…
“Even the French, America’s first ally, erupted in anger when the Biden administration suddenly announced a nuclear submarine deal with Australia, undercutting a prior deal between the French and the Australian military — something President Biden had to apologize to the French President for.
“… in the past week, talks with the Russians ended without progress…
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted recently that time was running out for a new Iran deal. North Korea tested multiple ballistic missiles, which the Pentagon fears may have included a hypersonic weapon [This happened again on Monday.] And Iran keeps backing Shia militias sending drone strikes and rockets targeting the U.S. military and its allies in Iraq and the Gulf. A year into the Biden administration, the foreign policy tests continue to mount.”
Biden has been failing in just about every foreign policy situation. And it will only get worse. Domestically, his record has not been any better.
Biden as Unpopular as Ever
Axios wrote on January 15:
“In the two months since signing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law, President Biden has by almost every measure bombed big time… Biden, who marks one year in office next Thursday, has never been less popular nationally, after personally lobbying his party and the public on Build Back Better and voting rights — and failing….
“It’s rare for a president to be at odds with Republicans, moderate Democrats and liberal Democrats — all at once. But that’s where Biden finds himself at the start of an election year that many Democrats believe will result in the loss of the House and maybe the Senate… Yesterday was the third time in 3½ months Biden made an in-person trip to the Hill — and the third time he walked away having failed to persuade his party to back his plans. Biden can’t be faulted for having a 50-50 Senate and an unmovable Democratic centrist in Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). But he knew the daunting numbers game full well as he went into these fights.
“The Supreme Court yesterday blocked Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers. The Afghanistan pullout played out about as poorly as it could have. Russia is messing with him: Biden’s warnings haven’t deterred Vladimir Putin from continuing to build toward a Ukraine invasion. Inflation is soaring: It’s the worst in 39 years. Empty grocery shelves get network-news coverage…”
It does not help that Biden blames everyone else but himself for the fiasco. His claim to the press on Wednesday that great progress has been achieved under his leadership is more than just a joke.
Trump Campaigning Again
The New York Post wrote on January 16:
“Former President Donald Trump held his first political rally of the new year in Arizona on Friday, continuing to insist that he had won the 2020 election without evidence… ‘Last year we had a rigged election and the proof is all over the place,’ he continued. ‘We have a lot of proof and they know it’s proof. They always talk about the Big Lie — they’re the Big Lie.’…
“Trump also mentioned the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill rioters, whom he said were being ‘persecuted’ for expressing their First Amendment rights when they disrupted congress’ certification of the electoral votes that would officially make Biden president.”
Why it is stated above that Trump provided no evidence in his speech is hard to understand, as Trump referred to thousands upon thousands of dubious and strictly illegal ballots during the election.
Newsmax added on January 17:
“He also excoriated the Biden administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘It’s a criminal agenda what they’re doing; they’re mishandling it so badly,’ Trump said, adding a rebuke of Dr. Anthony Fauci. ‘Biden’s made him the big person; he’s like the king,’ Trump said…
“Notably, Trump said America’s kids have strong immune systems, suggesting pushing vaccines on kids is an overreach… ‘Leave our business alone. Leave all of us… alone. Tell Joe Biden the Americans’ health choices are none of his business. We can make our own choices…’”
This is a switch from his prior comments regarding vaccinations when he followed Bill O’Reilly’s foolish advice and “encouraged” his followers to get vaccinated, prompting an outcry from quite a few supporters. In an interview with Newsmax, Trump said that he would get rid of any vaccine mandates.
Insulting Comments by FBI
The New York Post wrote on January 17:
“Jewish leaders ripped the FBI on Monday and said the bureau ‘got it wrong’ when they said the terrorist who took hostages at a Texas synagogue didn’t make demands that were ‘specifically related to the Jewish community,’ reports said… Kenneth Marcus, founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, said… the attack was ‘obviously a matter of anti-Semitism.’ ‘Failure of the FBI to understand this is something of a pattern with law enforcement in the United States and frankly in Europe,’ Marcus told Fox News Digital. ‘It seems that time after time, we see law enforcement officials fail to understand when an anti-Semitic incident occurs, even when it’s entirely obvious,’ he said…
“Anti-semitism has been on the rise in the US for several years and remains at a ‘historically high level’… Late Sunday, the FBI clarified its comments in a statement but again, did not say that the hostages were targeted for their faith…”
Strange indeed. It should have been clear from the outset that this was a horrible attack on the Jews and their faith.
Airlines Cancel Flights over 5G Concerns
The New York Post wrote on January 19:
“Multiple international airlines canceled US-bound flights scheduled for Wednesday as a planned rollout of 5G service prompts safety concerns. The cancellations occurred despite decisions by AT&T and Verizon to temporarily delay their 5G launch near airports. Federal aviation officials and top US airlines fear the 5G signals could interfere with instruments that measure altitude on some passenger plane models, such as the widely used Boeing 777.
“Dubai-based Emirates said it was changing flight plans ‘due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the US at certain airports.’… Japan-based All Nippon Airways made a similar announcement, noting the Federal Aviation Administration ‘has indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters.’… Air India noted it would cancel flights bound for New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco ‘due to deployment of the 5G communications in USA.;
“Japan Airlines said it would stop using the Boeing 777 plane model on US-bound flights until the safety concerns are resolved. Germany-based Lufthansa said it canceled a flight bound for Miami and would switch from the Boeing 747-8 model to the 747-400 model on some flights… British Airways canceled some US flights slated to use the Boeing 777 and switched to different models on others.
“On Tuesday, an AT&T spokesperson said the firm would continue with its 5G rollout as scheduled, but ‘voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways’ due to safety concerns. Verizon said it had ‘voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports.’…
“Their decision to alter plans came after US airline and shipping firm CEOs warned top Biden administration officials that the launch could cause ‘catastrophic’ disruptions to air travel. The CEOs suggested flight cancellations could exceed 1,000 per day if potential signal interference was not addressed. Despite the decision to alter the 5G rollout, Delta Air Lines warned some flight schedule disruptions may still occur.”
Australia’s Persecution of the Unvaccinated Continues
The Guardian wrote on January 15:
“Tennis champion Novak Djokovic… has been described as a risk to ‘civil unrest’ and a ‘talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment’… Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, personally cancelled the unvaccinated world No 1’s visa, arguing his presence in Australia could incite ‘civil unrest’ and encourage others to eschew vaccination against Covid-19…
“Hawke said he accepted Djokovic’s recent Covid-19 infection meant he was a ‘negligible risk to those around him’, but [he wrote:] ‘I consider that Mr Djokovic’s ongoing presence in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission.”
Australia has become one of the worst dictatorships in so-called “Democratic” countries. If they can do it to Djokovic, then they can and will do it to EVERYONE who dares to object to their ridiculous vaccination policies.
Newsmax wrote on January 16:
“In a rollercoaster ride, the world’s top men’s player was first detained by immigration authorities on Jan. 6, ordered released by a court on Jan. 10 and then detained on Saturday again pending Sunday’s court hearing… The player’s visa saga has dominated headlines around the world and fueled a debate over the rights of people who opt to remain unvaccinated…”
News.com.au wrote on January 16:
“Novak Djokovic left Australia late on Sunday night after the 20-time grand slam champion’s legal team failed to overturn Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel his visa… The case was heard by a full bench of the Federal Court of Australia on Sunday afternoon which ruled unanimously to deport the Serbian star…
“‘This is not an appeal against the decision of the executive government,’ [Chief Justice James] Allsop told the court. ‘It is an application to the court as a separate arm of government being the Commonwealth judicial branch to review a decision by a member of executive, the minister, for the lawfulness or legality of the decision on the three grounds put forward. These grounds focus on whether decision was, for different reasons, irrational or legally unreasonable. It is no part or function of the court to decide upon the merit or wisdom of the decision.’”
Lack of wisdom was most certainly obvious.
“Serious Situation” for Democracy
LifeSiteNews wrote on January 17:
“British politician Nigel Farage, who supported Djokovic from the start of his legal issues with Australian authorities, published a video on his YouTube channel in reaction to the tennis star’s deportation, and described the situation as ‘serious..’ ‘There are lessons from history about authoritarian governments that behave in this way,’ he said. ‘My battle wasn’t just for a Serbian tennis player; it was about the direction that the free world is taking. Today, it feels much less free than it ought to.’…
“Djokovic has previously voiced his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccination and mandates, including travel mandates. He revealed his inclination not to take the jab back in April as part of a Facebook Live video with fellow Serbian athletes, saying, ‘Personally I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.’”
Farage’s analysis of the situation is absolutely correct. It seems there is not much freedom left in the “free” world.
A Political Decision?
The Guardian wrote on January 16:
“Serbia’s president has said… Djokovic had been ‘harassed … but not humiliated’ and the prime minister called his treatment ‘scandalous’ as the world tennis No 1’s home country reacted furiously to his deportation from Australia…. The Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, called the court ruling ‘a farce’….
“If it was ‘up to principle, they should have said unvaccinated players cannot enter – but they did not say that,’ Vučić said. ‘They gave him an exemption… ‘He said he was sure Djokovic ‘would have been treated differently if he hadn’t come from Serbia …’
“… the sports minister, Vanja Udovičić, described it as ‘nonsense and shame, absurdity and hypocrisy’. The Serbian tennis association said the ‘farce was over’ and expressed its ‘huge disappointment’, describing the decision to deport Djokovic, who has won nine Australian Open titles, as political. ‘Political pressure has led to the revocation of his visa to satisfy public interest,’ it said. ‘It begs the question whether athletes will from now on be incarcerated like criminals and deported when it suits the political interests of powerful individuals.’
“Boško Obradović, the leader of the far-right opposition party Dveri (the Doors), said Belgrade should introduce countermeasures and ‘chase the Australian ambassador’ out of the country.”
Austria’s Dictatorship Continues…
Politico wrote on January 16:
“Austria will make coronavirus vaccination mandatory from February, the government confirmed Sunday… Chancellor Karl Nehammer sought to reassure Austrians that ‘this is not about the battle of vaccinated versus unvaccinated’ but rather to underscore that ‘vaccination is the best guarantee for us to live together in freedom.’ The mandate… will apply to Austrian residents aged 18 and older, with exemptions for pregnant women and people who cannot receive the vaccine on medical grounds. An earlier draft wanted to make vaccination compulsory from age 14.
“The law takes effect on February 1 but police checks won’t be carried out until March 15. Unvaccinated people then face a penalty of around €600 and up to €3,600… The government plans to set another deadline after March and send out reminders to the unvaccinated, who may then face another round of fines.
“In total, those not complying with the mandate can be fined up to four times a year. A fine will be dropped if the recipient gets vaccinated within two weeks of receiving the penalty notice. Austria’s parliament has still to vote Thursday on the vaccination mandate, but the law is expected to pass.”
Shocking how Austria’s past is repeating itself, including the misrepresenting propaganda.
… so does Germany’s Dictatorship
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 16:
“The German government on Sunday added Austria to its list of high-risk travel destinations, meaning all nine of Germany’s neighbors now have the designation. Anyone crossing the borders who has not been vaccinated or recently infected must go into quarantine for 10 days. The isolation period can be shortened if they provide a negative test. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark were already on the list..
“Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, is investigating 50 to 60 soldiers who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite a vaccine mandate for all 180,000 soldiers… The refusal to get the vaccine has been classified as insubordination since the end of November. Soldiers who still refuse may face disciplinary action.”
Bild Online wrote on January 17:
“This comes as a surprise to many: people who contract Corona are only considered recovered [“genesen” and therefore immune] for THREE months since Saturday…
“So far, anyone who has been infected with Covid-19 is considered to have recovered [and is therefore immune] for six months. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (58, SPD) had even promised that this status could possibly apply beyond these six months. Now the RKI – an authority that reports to Lauterbach’s Ministry of Health – has changed the conditions for all those who fell ill with Corona a few weeks or months ago.
“And actually it’s even less: The status only applies from 28 days after the infection, i.e. before that, you are not considered to have recovered. The 28 days are then included in the 90 days. Affected people have therefore effectively recovered for only 62 days. This regulation has been in effect since Saturday (January 15). Without much announcement, without this change being passed on to the citizens by politicians, millions of recovered citizens now have to find out what this means for them.”
What incredible German bureaucratic unscientific nonsense! But most Germans seem to like it.
A Couple of Particularity Bad German Traits
The Local wrote on January 14:
“The lights go on and the shopkeeper comes to the door, unlocks it, and barks at us to put our masks on. ‘Impfnachweis!’ he shouts at the first person in the queue before, having inspected their proof of vaccination with the demeanour of an Afghanistan-hardened army medic, reluctantly letting him in – and then slamming the door in the face of the second person in the queue and locking it shut again…
“That was life in Germany in late 2021. And life in Germany in early 2022 is about to get even worse – as of this weekend actually, when ‘2G-plus’ will become the latest nationwide requirement for doing all sorts of things…
“It would be unfair to single Germany out here: at some point in this pandemic… A couple of particularly German traits, however, are making our current situation unbearable… [It] feels like a return to the worst days of post-war German gastronomy, when café owners would impose all sorts of rules on their long-suffering customers, the most notorious of which was ‘Draußen nur Kännchen!’ – a petty refusal to serve single cups of coffee on outdoor tables which became an ironic catchphrase.
“Maybe our national love of excessive compliance – affectionately referred to as Kadavergehorsam (literally ‘corpse obedience’) – wouldn’t grate as much if it weren’t for the violent resurgence of another clichéd German characteristic: bone-headed rudeness. It’s such a shame, because even within the short space of my lifetime, Germany had made strides here.
“Where it had once been common for police officers to growl ‘Ausweis her!’ to see your ID, and for train guards to bark orders at passengers, by the late 2010s, Germany had reached a relaxed, friendly public tone – direct at times, blunt even like in the Netherlands (or the north of England), but warm-hearted nevertheless. Now, a shouty ‘Halt! Hände desinfizieren!’ (disinfect your hands) or a curt ‘Maske!’ with a long E are the new refrains of a country once again strikingly ill-at-ease with itself. Other Germans are upset about this too, but we all just can’t seem to help ourselves whenever we are the ones exercising authority….”
Sadly, we cannot argue with this report.
France’s Dictatorship Continues
LifeSiteNews wrote on January 17:
“France’s Parliament has passed a controversial bill turning the so-called French ‘health pass’ into a full-blown vaccine passport. Unvaccinated citizens will no longer be able to present a negative COVID test in lieu of proof of vaccination to access certain premises… the final version of the bill was passed with a majority of 215 votes in favor and 58 votes against.
“The bill has sparked massive controversy in France, with thousands of people taking to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Saturday to oppose it. Tension between police and demonstrators led to scuffles in some places. Some French politicians have expressed outrage at the bill which has, ever since its introduction, exacerbated the segregation that already exists between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in France…
“Once the bill is implemented… French citizens will have to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter leisure venues as well as restaurants, bars, and regional public transports…”
This absolute insanity is mind-boggling.
American Dictatorship Supported by many Democrats on the Horizon
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on January 17:
“A shocking recent Rasmussen poll result highlights just how divided the US is after two years of covid lockdowns, restrictions, and propaganda. Nearly 50 percent of Democrats polled support fines or imprisonment for anyone questioning efficacy of covid shots on social media [including television, radio, or in online or digital publications.]
“This comes after several of the top ‘experts’ have themselves radically scaled back early promises of shot virus protection.”
Newsmax added on January 17:
“59% of Democrats told Rasmussen they like the idea of the government requiring unvaccinated Americans to stay at home ‘at all times’ unless there is an emergency…. Forty-five percent of Democrats liked the idea of limiting the spread of the virus ‘by having federal or state governments require that citizens temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine.’…
“When broken down by party, the unvaccinated were 58% Republican and 15% Democrat…
“Many who have been resistant to getting vaccinated have said they fear the vaccines have not been tested thoroughly and may present a higher health risk than COVID-19. They cite what they say is conflicted advice from government health agencies, which have even drawn fire in recent days from Democrats all the way up to the Biden administration.
“Others cite religious concerns, saying fetal tissue was used in research. While no such tissue is contained in the two approved mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), they do benefit from research into fetal tissue from two elective abortions in 1973 and 1985.”
LifeSiteNews added on January 17:
“47% ‘favor a government tracking program for those who won’t get’ one of the vaccines. Nearly a third of Democrats, 29%, would even support ‘temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine,’ according to the results. Further, poll respondents tend to understate positions they fear would be perceived negatively by interviewers, so the true number of Democrat voters willing to employ such coercive measures against their fellow Americans may be even higher.
“On Saturday, the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board gave voice to those impulses by declaring that, if Utah was a ‘truly civilized place, [Gov. Spencer Cox’s] next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.’”
These radical concepts by Democrats and others are shocking, alarming and extremely dangerous.
Democracy will not Protect Us
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on January 15:
“If the era of COVID Mania has showcased one thing about democracy, it’s that the system we were brought up to… defend is no guarantor of our rights whatsoever. Far from securing our liberties, pure or representational democratic systems — as the foundation of over 100 governments — has instead been used in this era as a cudgel to impose totalitarianism on the masses.
“With so many of the world’s ‘democracies’ transforming into some of the worst examples of full-blown COVID tyranny, our present time reminds us of the inherent weaknesses of majority rule systems… We are now two years into this global authoritarian ‘great reset,’ and much of it has been imposed upon us with the eager consent of the governed. Surveys show that the COVID police states in Australia and New Zealand have long had the majority support of the people. Left wing enclaves in the United States, such as New York City and San Francisco, have imposed discriminatory movement pass systems, and they have been cheered on by the locals. Democracy in action.
“In reality, almost all of this authoritarian nonsense is being ordered and enforced by democratically elected representatives and bureaucrats who they’ve empowered… when put to the test in the era of COVID Mania, democracy has catastrophically failed to secure anything for us but a completely unchecked ruling class… Meanwhile, the people in charge continue to elevate themselves to greater positions of authority and power…”
Britain Ends All Covid Restrictions
Newsmax reported on January 19:
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of COVID-19 measures [including Covid passports, mask mandates and work restrictions] introduced to curb the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in Britain as he looks to live with the virus after a peak in cases.
“… while cases soared to record highs, hospitalisations and deaths have not risen by the same extent…”
Covid in spite of full Vaccination
Newsmax wrote on January 17:
“U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and is experiencing very minor symptoms while isolating and working remotely, a spokesman said on Monday…
“Milley is vaccinated and has received his booster, the spokesman added.”
So much for the false claim that the fully vaccinated could not get Covid.
Fourth Dose not Good Enough
Deutsche Welle reported on January 17:
“An Israeli study found that a fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine was able to boost antibodies to higher levels than the third shot, but researchers found that it is still not enough to prevent omicron-variant infections researchers at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center said on Monday.”
Meaning, we would “need” a fifth booster shot, and then a sixth one, and so on…
Recovery Stronger Protection than Vaccination
On January 19, statnews.com wrote the following:
“New data released Wednesday showed that both vaccination and prior infection offered strong protection against infection and hospitalization from Covid-19 during the Delta wave — and that case and hospitalization rates were actually lower among people who had recovered from Covid-19 than among those who had been vaccinated.
“The data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health agencies in California and New York, are sure to inflame arguments from those who insist they don’t need to be vaccinated if they can show they’ve recovered from Covid-19.”
Demolition of Golden Dome
Israel 365 wrote on January 14:
“The Jerusalem Municipality has issued a demolition order for the ‘Golden Dome’ building in the Beit Safafa neighborhood of Jerusalem. ‘This is a huge construction, on a very large scale, built without a permit, without planning, while placing a finished fact on the ground, while violently and blatantly disregarding the rule of law,’ the demolition order said.
“Construction of the building was completed several months ago…
“The Al-Rahman Mosque in Beit Safafa, [one] of four mosques in the neighborhood, was built in 1948 but was recently refurbished and dramatically enlarged. Unlike the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, the dome of the Al Rahman Mosque is painted with a reflective gold [colored] paint.
“Maor Tzemach, chairman of Lech Yerushalayim, and Matan Peleg, chairman of the Im Tirtzu (If You Will It) movement, who exposed the construction of the illegal dome, said: ‘We congratulate the Jerusalem Municipality and Mayor Moshe Leon on issuing the demolition order. The last thing Jerusalem needs is more radical actions through illegal construction. The dome is intended to be another source of violence and rioting and therefore rapid action by the municipality is needed here…’”
Even though it’s not the Dome of the Rock, this example shows that even a demolition of the Dome of Rock on the Temple Mount would not be inconceivable.
Eruption of Undersea Volcano near Tonga
The Associated Press wrote on January 15:
“An undersea volcano erupted in spectacular fashion near the Pacific nation of Tonga on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. A tsunami advisory was in effect for Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. Pacific coast… Satellite images showed a huge eruption, a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue Pacific waters… The explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano was the latest in a series of spectacular eruptions…
“The volcano is located about 64 kilometers (40 miles) north of the capital, Nuku’alofa. Back in late 2014 and early 2015, a series of eruptions in the area created a small new island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days. There is not a significant difference between volcanoes underwater and on land, and underwater volcanoes become bigger as they erupt… With underwater volcanoes, however, the water can add to the explosivity of the eruption as it hits the lava…”
Israel365 News wrote on January 17:
“An underwater volcano near the Pacific Island of Tonga erupted for the third time in just four days. The eruption could threaten surveillance flights to monitor the damage caused to Tonga after Saturday’s major eruption and subsequent tsunami…
“Saturday’s eruption was likely the biggest recorded anywhere on the planet in more than 30 years… Satellite images caught the explosion in real-time, which sent a massive plume of ash, gas, and steam about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the atmosphere as tsunami waves rippled throughout the Pacific.”
Die Welt pointed out that if the eruption would have occurred on land, the results would have been “apocalyptic.” According to the Bible, we can expect more dramatic volcanic eruptions all over the world.
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.
What does God say about taxes?
Have you ever wondered what God thinks about taxes; when man’s tax system was instituted and why; whether we ought to pay taxes today; and whether there will be taxes in the Millennium?
To be clear, we need to distinguish between tithe contributions—money which belongs to God—and taxes—money which belongs to Caesar. As we explain in our booklet on tithing, titled, “Tithing-Today?” the first time tithing is mentioned specifically is when Abraham gave the tithe from everything to Melchizedek (Jesus Christ manifesting Himself as a human being). We can see from the context that tithing was in force already prior to this event, and that Abraham followed a practice with which he was familiar. Later, we find that Jacob spoke about giving a tithe to God.
In the New Testament, it is clarified that tithing is still in force and effect today. In the book of Hebrews, we read that the tithe, which was temporarily given to Levi, reverted back to Christ who had received the tithe long before Levi was born. God challenges us in the book of Malachi to pay Him His tithe, and He says that we defraud Him, if we do not do this; and Malachi wrote for us today and addresses the time just prior to Christ’s return.
The Bible speaks of three tithes. Today, the first one is for the preaching of the gospel and being given to the Church, the second one is kept by the individual for the purpose of paying for his expenses to be able to keep the annual Holy Days; and the third one is given to the Church by those who can afford it every third and sixth year out of a cycle of seven years for the purpose of helping the Levites, the fatherless and the widows, referring today, for example, to those Church members who are in need of assistance.
Apart from the tithe, God also demands occasional offerings (especially on annual Holy Days), according to the free will and decision of the donor, and there were times when God asked the Israelites to contribute to the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Also, Exodus 30:11-16 obligated the Israelites to pay “ransom money” in addition to the tithe.
The Bible indicates that there will be tithing in the Millennium, given the fact that it was established as a godly system long before the covenant with Levi.
One could think that the third tithe will not be enforced in the Millennium as there will not be any poor people in need of financial support. But the third tithe was also for the Levites, as they had no possession in the land. That will be the case again in the Millennium (compare Deuteronomy 14:28-29; Numbers 18:20-21; and Ezekiel 44:28-30).
We should also note that Ezekiel 44:30 refers to the first tithe as well which will be given to the priests. The Pulpit Commentary states:
“A further portion of the priests’ emoluments is stated as the first of all the firstfruits of all things – or, of everything (Revised Version), as e.g. of corn, oil, must, and wool – and every oblation- or, heave offering – of all – or, of everything – with the first of the people’s dough; or, coarse meal; which again re-echoes the provisions of the Law, the first of the firstfruits being specified in Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Numbers 18:13; Deuteronomy 18:4; the oblation, in Numbers 15:19; Numbers 18:19 and the dough, or coarse meal, or groats, in Numbers 15:20, 21. Ezekiel’s supposed… silence as regards the firstlings of cattle… is imaginary. The first of all the firstfruits of everything cannot surely mean of everything except cattle….”
When addressing man’s tax system, the Bible does not say when the human tax system began, but it is clear that God did not institute it. In fact, God told the nation of Israel through the prophet Samuel that the human tax system was the consequence of sinful behavior by the people. They did not want to be ruled anymore by God, but demanded a human king. God made it very clear that the demand for a king was SINFUL. It constituted the rejection of God’s rule over them. This desire, to be ruled by man, rather than God, has always been a major problem in man’s conduct. Christ explained that His own people (the house of Judah, John 1:11) would kill Him because they did not want Him to rule over them (Luke 19:14).
Samuel explained that the king and the human system over which he (or any human leader) would rule would take the sons and daughters of the people, as well as the best of their fields, to use them for his (or the government’s) own purposes and personal gain; that he (or the government) would make many weapons and build a great army to fight against other nations; and that he (or the government) would institute a tax system, in addition to the godly enjoined duty to pay tithe and offerings to Him.
Christ and Paul would make it clear, later on, that we are to pay our taxes to Caesar (Luke 20:22-25; Matthew 17:24-27; Romans 13:6-7). This clarification had to be made in light of the evil origin of the tax system and the abuse and waste of the collected tax money by the government. Some say that since the tax money is terribly wasted and used many times for ungodly purposes, we should not pay it. But Christ made clear that we need to do it, thereby being submissive to the human powers, in order not to give unnecessary offense. We read that Mary and Joseph obeyed the governor’s command to travel to their home town to be taxed or registered there (Luke 2:1-5). We also read about an interesting episode in Matthew 17:24-27 where Christ made clear that He was not obligated to pay a tax to the temple belonging to His Father. But Jesus paid it anyway by using money found in a fish, to give no justification to others to accuse and reject Him. Of course, they would later lie about Him anyway, saying falsely that He had taught them not to pay taxes, compare Luke 23:1-2.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of tax relief. Got Questions wrote:
“We are free to take every legal tax deduction available. We do not have to pay the maximum amount of taxes possible. If the government allows you a tax break, you are free to take it. If there is a legal way you can shelter some of your money from being taxed, you are free to shelter it. Illegal and/or dishonest methods of evading taxes must be rejected.”
Even though we are told to pay our taxes, this does in no way justify or exonerate those who collect and use the taxes for ungodly purposes. In this regard, let us focus on what the Bible has to say about “publicans” or tax collectors who collected taxes for the government which would then use them for many unrighteous and godless purposes.
We read that the apostle Matthew who was also known as Levi was a tax collector. But when he was called by Jesus, he left all that he had, including his occupation, to follow Christ (Luke 5:27-28; cp. Matthew 19:27).
In Matthew 9:10-13, we find an interesting account regarding Christ’s treatment of tax collectors:
“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’”
The publicans, or collectors of taxes which the Jews paid the Romans, were infamous for their illegal exactions and malpractice. The publican was the pariah of Palestine, and no decent person would associate with him. The extortion practiced by this class made them hateful to the community, who in their current speech ranked them with “harlots.” There was a strong feeling among religious Jews against the lawfulness of paying taxes to a Gentile ruler. It is no wonder, therefore, that we find the native collectors (even of districts where the money raised went to Antipas’s treasury) classed with “harlots”, “sinners” and “heathen.”
But Christ came to call tax collectors and sinners to repentance. This included Matthew and Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector (Luke 19:1-10).
John the Baptist who conducted a baptism of repentance, warned the tax collectors not to engage in dishonest conduct, and he demanded repentance of them by refraining from collecting more than what was appointed to them (Luke 3:12-13).
Jesus did not whitewash the misconduct of tax collectors. He said that a brother who refuses to listen to the Church should be treated as a “heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). At the same time, repentant and believing tax collectors and sinners or harlots will enter the Kingdom of God before or sooner than the unrepentant and unbelieving Pharisees (Matthew 21:31-32). In Luke 18:9-14, Christ compares the self-righteous Pharisee with the repentant tax collector and says that the tax collector was justified or forgiven, but not the unrepentant Pharisee. Christ did not reject tax collectors when they came to listen to Him (Mark 2:15; Luke 5:29; 15:1).
But He required change. Even if Mathew had been honest in his occupation, he did not continue as a tax collector for the Romans who used the taxes for many ungodly purposes, as it is true today for every country.
We are told to pay taxes but with that, our responsibility ceases. What is being done with the collected tax money is no longer our responsibility, but God will hold the government and those who work for it accountable for how the collected tax money is being spent. In fact, we will judge them, under Christ, when the time for their judgment has come.
It remains true, in any event, that the origin of the human tax system is evil, and that a country and a people are destroyed when heavy taxes are imposed (Proverbs 29:4, American Bible: “By justice a king gives stability to the land, but he who imposes heavy taxes ruins it.”).
The Pulpit Commentary writes about the passage in Proverbs 29:4:
“He that receiveth gifts overthroweth it… it may mean ‘the taker of bribes,’ the unrighteous ruler who sells justice… or it may signify ‘the imposer of taxes’…”
The Keil and Delitzsch Bible Commentary on the Old Testament comments on Proverbs 29:4 as follows:
“A king by righteousness bringeth the land to a good condition; But a man of taxes bringeth it down… A man on the throne, covetous of such gifts, brings the land to ruin by exacting contributions; on the contrary, a king helps the land to a good position, and an enduring prosperity, by the exercise of right, and that in appointing a well-proportioned and fit measure of taxation.”
Even though every nation has a man-made tax system today, it still must be stated that the higher the tax obligation is in a particular country, the less righteous that country [and the government] may be in God’s eyes. Rulers who demand the payment of oppressive taxes like to be called “benefactors,” but they exercise lordship over the people—being autocratic tyrants rather than servants of the people (Luke 22:26; cp. Matthew 20:25).
The Bible contains many examples when the kings or governments imposed high taxes on the people with disastrous consequences. For instance, we read in 1 Kings 12:1-19 about events that took place during the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon. To finance his massive building projects, Solomon had taxed the people heavily during his reign. Following his death, the ten northern tribes appealed for relief from the heavy tax burden, but Rehoboam listened to his young and inexperienced advisers and refused the request. Instead, he announced to them that he would even increase the tax burden. The Israelites rebelled against the king and when Rehoboam sent Adoram with the apparent goal to collect the taxes, he was stoned.
Amos 5:11 includes the following warning and condemnation from God:
“Therefore, because you tread down the poor And take grain taxes from him, Though you have built houses of hewn stone, Yet you shall not dwell in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, But you shall not drink wine from them.” The Jamieson Fausset and Brown commentary states that this is a reference to “burdensome taxes levied in kind from the wheat of the needy.”
Another example of a king of Judah who did evil in the sight of God and who taxed the people heavily can be found in 2 Kings 23:31-37.
Taxing people heavily normally goes hand in hand with other evil conduct. Notice Micah 2:2; 3:1-3; 7:2-4. To do justly and love mercy (Micah 6:8) do not harmonize with the imposition of heavy taxes. And so, the people will “groan when a wicked man rules” (Proverbs 29:2); especially when no proper and sound counsel is being given to him (Proverbs 11:14) or accepted by him (Ecclesiastes 4:13), and when he is found out to be a liar (Proverbs 17:7) or a “child’ (Ecclesiastes 10:16), in that he is behaving in a childish or immature manner (cp. also Isaiah 3:4, 12) .
Because of sinful conduct, a nation has many princes or leaders (Proverbs 28:2), who are all in disagreement with each other; or, as this passage is being translated in the German Luther Bible, “because of the transgression of the land, its princes change often.” Taxing the people heavily to fill the coffers of the government and engage in wasteful and ungodly spending and even increase the government’s debt most certainly falls into the category of foolish and ungodly leadership which the Bible condemns.
How much different it will be in the Millennium! There is no indication that we will have any humanly devised taxes, and people will live in prosperity. Note Micah 4:4 which explains that “EVERYONE” shall sit under “HIS vine and under HIS fig tree.”
God has characterized our English-speaking “Israelite” nations and especially the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as “ungodly nations” (Isaiah 10:6). The reasons are manifold, of course, but the heavy taxes imposed by the governments on their people is most certainly one important factor. Let us look, as an example, at the oppressive tax burden within the United States, with special emphasis on California, but the situation is not much different in the other “Israelite” countries as well.
We are informed that 70 cents of a dollar earned is paid out in tax to the IRS. In addition to the many kinds of federal taxes, there are numerous state and local taxes. The tax authorities collect individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and capital gains taxes; sales taxes (or use taxes), gross receipts taxes, value-added taxes, excise taxes; property taxes, tangible personal property taxes, estate and inheritance taxes. (Some US states may not have all of these taxes, but most of them do.)
You might have never heard about some of those taxes, and if you did, you might only be vaguely familiar with some of them. For example, excise taxes are “internal” taxes levied against specific goods made or used within the country. Historically, liquor and tobacco have been the targets of such taxes; in modern times excise taxes have been collected on the cost of long distance telephone calls. Use tax is the tax that you pay for importing goods into your home state. In situations where there is no sales tax, you pay use tax. Sales and use taxes are mutually exclusive. For example, California’s sales tax rates range from 7.35% to 10.25%. This base rate is the highest of any state.
In the U.S., short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. That means you could pay up to 37% income tax, depending on your federal income tax bracket. Long-term capital gains are taxed at lower rates than ordinary income, and how much you owe depends on your annual taxable income. You’ll owe either 0%, 15% or 20% on gains from the sale of most assets or investments held for more than one year, depending on your annual taxable income. There is a flat 28% capital gains tax on gains related to art, antiques, jewelry, precious metals, stamp collections, coins, and other collectibles regardless of your income.
In addition, you pay state capital gains tax in California. California taxes all capital gains as regular income. It does not recognize the distinction between short-term and long-term capital gains. This means, your capital gains taxes could run up to 13.3%, depending on your overall income and the corresponding California tax bracket.
In some of the US states, you may also have to pay estate tax. California is part of the 38 states that don’t impose their own estate tax, nor is there inheritance tax in California. Then there are gift taxes. In 2021, you could give up to $15,000 to someone in a year, and in 2022, this increases to $16,000; otherwise, the IRS requires the filing of a federal gift tax return. Some US states impose additional state gift taxes, but California, for example, is not one of them. But California’s state government is getting its tax money in many other different ways. In fact, California is one of the highest taxed states regarding income tax.
This short overview should make it clear how totally different the ungodly man-made tax system is from God’s tithe and offering obligations. Today, due to man’s decision to be subject to Satan rather than to God, God’s people are called upon to pay both. Thankfully, man’s evil tax system will end soon and prosperity and wealth for everyone will flourish as a consequence, when Jesus Christ returns to this earth to crush to pieces all human governments and replace them with God’s righteous rule. This day cannot come fast enough.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Is America Going to Lose More of Its Freedom?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
A most recent Rasmussen poll seems to suggest this. This program explores what many Americans think and what they would support in regard to potential governmental measures against the unvaccinated, and it points out the extreme danger for our liberties and freedoms.
A new Member Letter (January 2022) has been posted and mailed to our subscribers. Kalon Mitchell writes about the inevitability of change and focuses on our need to always seek God’s guidance as we face life’s challenges.
“Was Gott von unseren Steuern hält!” is the title for this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: What God Thinks About Our Taxes!
“Wenn die Zeit der Not anbricht,” a split sermon given last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Title in English: “When the Time of Distress Comes.”
Positiv oder Negativ?”, a split sermon given last Sabbath in Germany by Christoph Sperzel, is now posted. Title in English: “Positive or Negative?”
“The Antidote,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Among the most elusive spiritual poisons in the life of a Christian is pride. The antidote is faith. By putting our faith in God we bring Him into every aspect of our lives, leaving no space for pride to do its harm.
“So Great A Salvation,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What does greatness have to do with Salvation? Understanding what the Bible reveals about godly greatness is important, and it is key to how Christians must live.
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:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
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