Impossible Without a Miracle? / Equality With God in His Kingdom?
On April 30, 2022, Brian Gale will present the sermonette, titled, “Impossible Without a Miracle?” and the sermon will be presented by Norbert Link, titled, “Equality With God in His Kingdom?”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
by Frank Bruno
In this era of fake and filtered news, little that we hear is genuine. Previously established facts such as the existence of only two genders now seem to be challenged. Evil is considered an attribute in the twisted manner of thinking, common with many political and business leaders. Few things we’ve known to be true or authentic are considered as such by this world–sincerity is in short supply.
Most of us have written the word “sincerely” at the end of a letter. Yet we may not have a good understanding of the meaning of the word and the sentiment that should underlie it. The dictionary states: “From the bottom of one’s heart, truthfully, genuinely.” This is straightforward, but like many things in our human existence, what we say may not always match our actions. I write about such matters not from a position of superiority, but of regret. I know, I have not always lived up to this word and God’s requirements for me. Fortunately, God has provided a way to correct and improve.
The word “sincerely” has an interesting foundation. The Latin root is “sine,” which means, “without,” and “cera,” which means, “wax”— so sincerely means, “without wax.”
Disreputable sculptors in the ancient world would cover flaws in their work by using wax. If the sculpture was chipped, cracked or damaged, these sculptors would melt wax into marble dust, using it to conceal the flaw or imperfection.
Conversely, when an honest sculptor presented their work to the patron, they would make the statement that their sculpture was “sine cera,” or “without wax.” Imagine how a collector would feel on that first hot day as the sculpture in their garden began to lose sections as they melted away.
When we sin, we should be disappointed in ourselves. A bit of wax covering our flaws has exposed something ugly—our sinful nature. In 1 John 3:8, we read: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
We know that self-righteousness and legalism will not cover our sin and it is not what God asks of us. Only Jesus Christ was able to cover our sins through His Sacrifice. Paul instructs the church at Rome in this regard, and it applies to all of us.
He states in Romans 3:10-18:
“As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Paul is describing those who live not by following God, but by the ways of this world. We dishonor God with our disobedience; yet, He still loves us without condoning our sins. We just witnessed many around the world celebrating yet another pagan observance. The world waxed over its ongoing sin by closing a few stores and attending services on Sunday. This is not a sincere expression of obedience to God’s Law. It is about deceiving people to believe that they are drawing close to God through man’s rituals.
What does the Bible teach about sincerity? We read in Paul’s message to Timothy and the church, in 1 Timothy 1:5: “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith…”
Paul is very clear: God expects a pure heart and a sincerity that is unshakable. Paul was commenting on the problem of false teachers who glorify themselves in their study of the law and belief that they abide in it. Paul reminds us that a life we live to honor and obey God is based on love. We are commanded to love unconditionally as God loves each of us. God forgives us when we sincerely repent, but we must alter our course. Paul adds in his message to Titus in chapter 2:7: “… in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility.”
If we conduct our lives in this manner, we are on the path that God requires of us. We are human, and therefore imperfect. We are, however, children of God, created in His image, and capable of good works and good choices. Like children, we can and should learn from our mistakes, and strive to do better each day. We also know that we should never glory in ourselves. Paul offers advice on this through his messages to Timothy at the Church at Ephesus, in 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
We have spoken before of the need to live as servant leaders. That means to lead sincerely by example, as described in the Scriptures.
We must not cover over our faults and weaknesses—and we all have them! We must repair our imperfections with God’s love, mercy, and the help of His Holy Spirit. The opposite to doing this involves embracing sin, this world, and its limitations. This is not for God’s people—it is not for us!
by Norbert Link
We begin with Emanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen, continuing his role as French president, causing a sigh of relief in Europe but the joy might be short-lived.
We continue with several articles about Germany’s duplicity and troublesome relationship with Russia; the perceived downfall of Germany’s new weak chancellor, Olaf Scholz; and the allegation that Germany is complicit in Russia’s war crimes. In this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Weak German Government under Attack”
We also report on fears of a coming nuclear war and Moscow’s alleged goal to conquer all of southern and eastern Ukraine. We also speak on Austria’s surprising position on Ukraine’s desired EU membership.
We report on tensions in Jerusalem between Israel and Christians, and the claim that the recent violence on the Temple Mount was carefully staged by Abbas’ ruling party. Please view in this regard our recent StandingWatch program, titled, “Time to Build the Third Temple in the Face of Violence?”
We speak on the continuing fight between the left-liberal Disney organization and the conservative government in Florida; Dr. Fauci’s ignorant comments; Google’s new “inclusive language function design”; and Obama’s hypocritical statements.
This Week in the News
Macron Remains President
The Sun wrote on April 24:
“[Macron] will become the first French President to be re-elected in 20 years, thumping his far-right rival by 16 percentage points in Sunday’s count… Le Pen quickly conceded defeat…
“Turnout was… the lowest… in more than 40 years, with voter abstention at its highest level since 1969 at 28 per cent…
“Brussels can breathe a sigh of relief after fears a shock victory for Le Pen in today’s presidential election failed to materialise. Experts claim the far-right Eurosceptic’s election win would cement ‘the end of the EU as we know it’. They said Le Pen’s win would have put France ‘on a direct collision course’ with EU rules and bring the whole institution crashing down.
“James Shields, Professor of French Politics at the University of Warwick, says a Le Pen victory would ‘herald drastic changes in terms of France’s place within the EU.’ He told The Sun Online: ‘… her programme, if implemented, would pose critical challenges to France’s continued membership of the EU.’”
The EU is delighted in Macron’s victory. Scholz was the first to congratulate him via phone. Bild Online wrote that Scholz’s joy might be short-lived, as Macron will demand from him to take a stronger position against Russia.
Macron Europe’s De Facto Leader?
Express wrote on April 25:
“EMMANUEL MACRON’s election victory will see an escalation of his ambitions for the EU, beginning from the final formation of a united army for the bloc… France, a founding member of the EU, has been at the centre of efforts to integrate Europe since the end of World War Two… The French leader is now expected to push even further with his pro-EU agenda.”
The Irish Times wrote on April 15:
“With a renewed mandate, Macron now has the power to make his presidency truly transformational. But that will require him to change. His arrogance and impatience have alienated many voters… Now, with Angela Merkel off the stage and her successor Olaf Scholz still finding his feet [a polite way of saying, Scholz is weak and indecisive], Macron, his stature enhanced by re-election, has emerged as the EU’s de facto leader. That means the whole of Europe, not just France, has a stake in his success.”
The question is, how is “success” defined? It could very well end up in disaster.
Germany Is Beholden to Putin
The Los Angeles Times wrote on April 21, 2022
“As the savage war in Ukraine continues, the world expects Germany, Europe’s largest economy and a political heavyweight, to play a central role in the fight to isolate and stop Russia. But how serious is Germany about supporting Ukraine?
“On Feb. 27, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced ‘a historic change.’… Yet almost two months after Scholz’s historic announcement, not much has happened on any of these fronts. Despite criticism from international observers and its own ministers, the German government has slow-walked its support for Ukraine.
“Military aid has yet to be delivered. Estonia and the Czech Republic, far smaller countries than Germany, have donated more weaponry and arms to Ukraine than Germany has since the war began. No heavy weapons such as tanks, artillery or advanced air defense systems have been delivered at all. Ukraine has offered to buy 100 German tanks, but Germany has balked, arguing that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to reach a joint decision among its members on the deal first…
“Last week, Scholz announced Germany would provide $1 billion to Ukraine. That is likely to get parliamentary approval, but a decision has been delayed until June. Meanwhile, Russia receives $1 billion a day from Germany and other European countries from sales of its oil and gas. Germany is more dependent on Russian gas and oil than the rest of Europe, so cutting off its dependence would be a powerful signal of credible commitment to Ukraine…
“So what’s stopping Germany? The inertia on economic and military aid cannot be explained by lack of popular support, potential damage to the German economy or even government coalition politics. Nor is it a question of German guilt over its Nazi legacy. Instead, the failure to act exemplifies a persistent attitude among the German political establishment that there could be ‘no peace in Europe without Russia.’ In practice, this has meant prioritizing Russian interests. For decades, German elites dismissed the security interests of smaller countries around them, much as Russian President Vladimir Putin has…
“The ties between the German and Russian political elites reinforce this deference to Russia. Perhaps most notoriously, Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, quickly gained a seat on the board of the Russian energy company Rosneft after leaving office and then energetically lobbied for Russian interests… Other politicians have defended what they see as joint German and Russian interests. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s president, defended Nord Stream 2 last year as ‘one of the last bridges between Russia and Europe’ and, despite Russian aggression, argued that ‘we must not lose sight of the bigger picture.’ Sigmar Gabriel, the former Social Democratic leader and energy minister, called for the ‘federalization of Ukraine’ after the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, widely understood to mean a permanent Russian role in Ukraine… Scholz, the current chancellor, previously sought friendly ties with Russia, while ignoring Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the aggression against Ukraine in 2014. For many German elites, appeasing Russia neatly dovetails with what they see as Germany’s economic interests: not just energy, but the billions sunk by Russian oligarchs into German real estate and industries.
“In this mindset, addressing Ukraine’s survival without first considering Russian interests is nearly impossible. After all, Scholz’s predecessor, chancellor Angela Merkel, also ‘kept in mind what was tolerable for Russia,’ as one of her top foreign policy advisors put it. Germany is the political and economic leader of the European Union. Yet, time and again, it has deferred and submitted to Russia’s autocratic government. If the horrific invasion of a sovereign European country cannot change the minds of the politicians in Berlin, Germany is not only failing its moral obligations but also cementing its government’s reputation as being beholden to Putin.”
Things will change. Soon.
Germany and Russia… a Unique Relationship
The New York Times wrote on April 23:
“Gerhard Schröder, who is paid almost $1 million a year by Russian-controlled energy companies, has become a pariah. But he is also a symbol of Germany’s Russia policy… ‘They all went along with it for the last 30 years,’ he said. ‘But suddenly everyone knows better..’ Mr. Schröder scoffed at the notion of now distancing himself personally from Mr. Putin, 69, whom he considers a friend and sees regularly…
“Mr. Schröder refuses to resign from his board seats on Russian energy companies, despite calls to do so from across the political spectrum… Distancing himself now, Mr. Schröder said, would lose him the trust of the one man who can end the war: Mr. Putin. Even so, after all of his years of close relations with Mr. Putin, he walked away with nothing during his one brief interlude trying to mediate in the Ukraine conflict…
“Mr. Schröder distanced himself from the war, though not from Mr. Putin. I asked about the by-now notorious atrocities in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb. ‘That has to be investigated,’ Mr. Schröder said, but added that he did not think those orders would have come from Mr. Putin, but from a lower authority…
“Mr. Schröder’s entanglement with the Russian president and Kremlin-controlled energy companies overshadows all he achieved in seven years as chancellor, from 1998 to 2005, a pivotal period of leadership when he was lauded for refusing to join the United States in the Iraq war; giving immigrants a regular path to citizenship; and putting in place far-reaching labor market overhauls that would pave the way for a decade of growth under his successor, Angela Merkel….
“But even his fiercest critics acknowledge that Mr. Schröder’s close and lucrative dealings with Russia are also emblematic of his country’s decades-old approach of engagement with Russia. Lobbied aggressively by Germany’s export industry and cheered on by labor unions, successive chancellors, including Ms. Merkel, collectively engineered Germany’s dependency on Russian energy. ‘Schröder is the tip of the iceberg,’ said Wolfgang Ischinger, a former ambassador to the United States and veteran diplomat. ‘But there is a whole iceberg below him.’…
“When it came to pipelines, Mr. Schröder was not the first. They were being built between Germany and Russia even during the Cold War. Under Brandt, Germany signed a major pipeline project with Moscow, in 1970. His successor Helmut Schmidt … oversaw an expansion of the pipelines, including another big project known as the West Siberia Pipeline… During his own time in office, from 1998 to 2005, Mr. Schröder shepherded through Germany’s next pipeline project, Nord Stream 1. ‘You can’t blame Schröder for Nord Stream 1,’ Mr. Ischinger said. ‘Most German politicians, whether in government or in opposition, did not critically question this. No one asked whether we were laying the foundation for getting ourselves into an unhealthy dependence.’…
“Once Nord Stream 1 was operational, Mr. Schröder set about lobbying for a second pipeline: Nord Stream 2… was approved in June 2015, the same year that Gazprom was also allowed under the Merkel government to buy Germany’s biggest strategic gas-storage facility, where it has kept levels of gas conspicuously low for the past year in what may have been preparation for providing leverage for Mr. Putin in his war…
“What if Russia turns off the tap? ‘It won’t happen,’ Mr. Schröder said. But if it did, ‘then I would resign.’… Mr. Schröder holds to his unwavering belief that peace and prosperity in Germany and Europe will always depend on dialogue with Russia… ‘You can’t isolate a country like Russia in the long run, neither politically nor economically,’ he said. ‘German industry needs the raw materials that Russia has. It’s not just oil and gas, it’s also rare earths. And these are raw materials that cannot simply be substituted… When this war is over… we will have to go back to dealing with Russia. We always do.’”
Maybe so. For a while… But notice the next article.
Moscow Expels German Diplomats
Insider wrote on April 25:
“Moscow said Monday it was expelling 40 German diplomats in response to the ‘unfriendly decision’ by Berlin to kick out Russian diplomats over the conflict in Ukraine…
“‘The 40 Russian diplomats in Germany whom we expelled three weeks ago did not serve diplomacy for a single day during their stay in Germany,’ Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement. ‘Rather, these people worked systematically for years against our freedom and against cohesion in our society,’ she said… The German diplomats in Russia, meanwhile, ‘have not done anything wrong’, Baerbock said… ‘They went to Russia with openness, curiosity and great commitment to serve our bilateral relations there.’
“Baerbock had said earlier that Germany was expelling the Russians in response to the ‘unbelievable brutality’ of Russian forces in its pro-Western neighbour Ukraine. The Russian foreign ministry on Monday called Baerbock’s words ‘unacceptable’…”
Baerbock’s words are quite contradictory. In spite of Germany’s soft approach towards Russia, it does not help the German-Russian relationship.
Russia Cuts Natural Gas to Poland and Bulgaria
The Associated Press wrote on April 27:
“Russia cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday and threatened to do the same to other countries, dramatically escalating its standoff with the West… A day after the U.S. and other Western allies vowed to speed more and heavier weapons to Ukraine, the Kremlin used its most essential export as leverage against two of Kyiv’s staunch backers. Gas prices in Europe shot up on the news…
“The gas cuts do not immediately put the two countries in dire trouble. Poland has been working for several years to line up other sources of energy, and the continent is heading into summer, making gas less essential for households. Yet the cutoff and the Kremlin warning that other countries could be next sent shivers of worry through the 27-nation European Union…”
Gazprom stated it was shutting off the two countries as they refused to pay in Russian rubles.
Biden Pushed Germany to Delay Russian Oil Ban?
Newsmax reported on April 25:
“Germany’s decision to not immediately end Russian oil imports… came at the urgent request of the Biden administration, a senior European official involved in Russian sanctions tells Newsmax… ‘until later this year and after the U.S. midterm elections.’
“The White House appears to believe it has a chance to keep the Senate in Democrat hands – but that opportunity could be endangered from a serious spike in oil prices if Germany had to start buying oil from global markets. Earlier this month, President Biden signed a law that bans all Russian imports of oil, gas, and coal to the U.S. But Biden had been reluctant to approve such a ban fearing the already high cost of gasoline would grow, even though the U.S. only imports 3% of crude oil from Russia.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Congressional Democrats, led the charge on banning Russian oil imports.
“German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced last Wednesday that Germany will stop importing half of its oil from Russia by summer with the remainder closed down at year’s end. But those comments were quickly qualified by Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who suggested that a quick cut-off of Russian oil won’t happen anytime soon.”
Germany Bending to International Pressure
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 26:
“After weeks of mounting pressure, the German government will now supply heavy military equipment to Ukraine… The German government on Tuesday confirmed reports that it will approve a delivery of ‘Gepard’ anti-aircraft tanks… German Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht… also said that Berlin was working to train Ukrainian soldiers on German soil. ‘We are working together with our American friends in training Ukrainian troops on artillery systems on German soil,’ the minister said….”
But as we point out in our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Weak German Government under Attack” , huge problems are associated with the delivery of those tanks.
German Lawmakers Approve Heavy Weapons for Ukraine
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 28:
“In a historic move, lawmakers in Germany have given the official green light to send ‘heavy weapons and complex systems’ to Ukraine… with 586 votes in favor, 100 against, and seven abstentions… after the government held off for weeks on sending heavy equipment…
“The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) opposed the initiative, saying that it felt close to a declaration of war… and ‘could make us party to a nuclear war…’ The socialist Left Party was also against the move… [and] said that delivering more weapons would simply make the war last longer. In response, Nils Schmid, from the ruling SPD party, said weapons’ deliveries would help end the war faster by putting Ukraine in a position of strength…
“But the move is not likely to help Scholz shake the accusations of being indecisive on Ukraine. A new dpa/YouGov poll suggests some 45% of Germans are unhappy with his course in the crisis, compared to 37% who approve of his response to the war.”
The Daily Mail wrote on April 23:
“France and Germany sold £230million worth of military hardware to Moscow which was likely used in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to an EU analysis. It should have been impossible to do so owing to an EU embargo that banned selling arms to Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Last month, it was discovered that France, Germany and Italy used a loophole in the ban. They were just three of at least 10 EU member states to export almost €350million (£293million) in equipment that included missiles, rockets, guns and bombs… 78 per cent of this total was supplied by French and German firms.
“The EU banned ‘the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts therefore, to Russia’ eight years ago.
However, countries were able to sell hundreds of millions of pounds worth of kit to Russia despite the ban using a backdoor technicality that permitted contracts signed before August 1, 2014, or additional contracts that would help conclude those deals… Earlier this month, it was revealed that the European Union had sent almost €1billion to Russia each day for energy since the war in Ukraine began.
“German Chancelor Olaf Scholz has faced sharp criticism for failing to deliver heavy weapons to the besieged country, such as tanks and howitzers, to fend off savage Russian attacks. The leader said he feared that providing Ukraine with tanks could spark a nuclear war. Other Western allies have stepped up their military shipments to Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces but Scholz has held firm in his bid not to upset Vladimir Putin. Instead, on Tuesday, he said Germany would provide Ukraine with £830million to buy their own weapons.
“Asked in an extensive interview published on Friday why he thought delivering tanks could lead to nuclear war, he said there was no rule book that stated when Germany could be considered a party to the war in Ukraine.”
The Downfall of Olaf Scholz
The Local wrote on April 22:
“Contrary to what many commentators are saying, what’s most surprising about Olaf Scholz’ precipitous fall in popularity is not how quickly it has happened – but rather how slowly…
“In what seems like an eternity ago, back in early February when the Ukraine war was still a ‘Ukraine crisis’, Joe Biden welcomed Olaf Scholz on his first official visit to the White House and, despite the fact our Chancellor refused to make clear that Nord Stream 2 would be cancelled if Russia invaded Ukraine, called Germany a ‘reliable partner’ and did his best to keep his frustration in check…
“Yet it’s been downhill from there on in… he shrank back from any immediate measures which might prove too radical: no heavy weapons for the Ukraine; no embargo on Russian gas… The result is widespread dissatisfaction with Scholz’ government and, naturally, with Scholz himself.
“… Scholz is still applying the methods of the Merkel years – delaying, delegating down to committees, and hoping problems solve themselves – in circumstances which he himself has publicly identified as radically different… No one is expecting miracles, but having come to power implicitly promising to explain and justify his policies more than his predecessor Angela Merkel… Scholz has now… retreated back into the Chancellery. His silence, both on the Ukraine and on other pressing issues.. is leaving too much room for interpretation – and dissatisfaction.”
Germany Complicit in Russia’s War Crimes
The Local wrote on April 22:
“Many of those murdered during Germany’s singular historic crime, the Holocaust, were deported from what is today Ukraine; many others never even made it that far, summarily shot like the tens of thousands at Babyn Jar near Kyiv in 1941. Now, eighty years on, civilians have once again been executed in the Kyiv suburbs and there may have been attacks with chemical weapons further east. While Germany is not the perpetrator this time, it is complicit.
“The problem is gas. For despite all the tough talk and sanctions, Germany is still, like several other European nations, transferring eight-figure sums to Moscow in return for gas deliveries on a daily basis. We are doing this because half of the gas in our network is piped in straight from Russia…
“Germany’s dependency on Russian gas is an abject national failure several decades in the making and so cannot be fixed overnight. But, to be blunt, we… have made our bed and must now lie in it. We need to stop importing Putin’s gas now. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not at the end of the year…
“How many more massacres have to be uncovered before we take our historical responsibility seriously when history actually comes calling? How many Buchas does it take before we feel ready to embargo Russian gas: two, three, four? And are we really going to wait to find out whether Putin’s army has used chemical weapons on innocent Ukrainians before we act?”
The Fear of Nuclear War
The Daily Mail wrote on April 23:
“Putin’s deranged regime has announced it will deploy the fearsome nuclear-capable ‘Satan II’ missile it recently tested in a show of strength by autumn, in a further ratcheting of tensions between Russia and the West as Moscow redoubles its brutal war on Ukraine.
“The Sarmat missile is said to be the world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away – meaning it could easily strike targets in the US and Europe. Western military experts said the Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys – easily enough to wipe out Britain or France in a single strike…”
The Sun added on April 22:
“Russia successfully test-launched the missile on Wednesday with video showing the enormous 115-foot missile being launched from an underground silo, triggering an enormous fireball. It travelled almost the entire length of Russia – almost 3,600 miles – in around 15 minutes.
“The deadly projectile, nicknamed Satan 2, can fly 11,000 miles, carry more than 12 warheads… The separate warheads in the Satan 2 missile are capable of detaching from the main 100-tonne missile before travelling towards their target at hypersonic speeds. The bombs are 1,000 more powerful than those dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War Two. This means they are capable of pulverising an area the size of England and Wales or Texas in the USA.”
In a previous article, the Sun wrote on April 20:
“Military expert Dr Paul Craig Roberts sensationally claimed that the ‘five or six’ of the Russian missiles could wipe out the entire US east coast… it has been reported that the weapon could ‘wipe out an area of the size of England and Wales twice over.”
Ultimately, nuclear weapons will be used by Russia and its allies against Western Europe, including Germany—not against the USA or the UK, as they will have been destroyed by Western Europe in a nuclear war BEFORE nuclear war between Western Europe and Far Eastern nations, including Russia, breaks out.
“Moscow Aims to Capture Southern Ukraine”
The Algemeiner wrote on April 23:
“A Russian general said on Friday that Moscow wants to seize all of southern and eastern Ukraine, far wider war aims than it had acknowledged.
“Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, was quoted by Russian state news agencies as saying Moscow aimed to seize the entire eastern Donbas region, link up with the Crimea peninsula, and capture Ukraine’s entire south as far as a breakaway, Russian-occupied region of Moldova…
“Minnekayev… said Russian speakers there were oppressed, the same justification Moscow has given for its interventions in Ukraine since 2014, which Western countries call a baseless pretext…
“Pope Francis dropped plans to meet in June with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a Putin ally and backer of the war. Francis [said] the plan was suspended because Vatican diplomats advised that such a meeting ‘could lend itself to much confusion at this moment.’”
Austria: Ukraine Should Not Become Part of EU
Fox News wrote on April 24:
“Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg spoke at the 14th European media summit this week, saying that Ukraine should not receive candidate status in June. He reiterated Austria’s dedication to neutrality as a key element of the nation’s ‘self-definition.’ ‘We don’t belong to any military alliance and we don’t want to…’ [He] said Ukraine should not, in principle, become a member even in the future…
“Ukraine’s foreign ministry expressed disappointment with Austria’s stance, calling the Austrian official’s statement ‘short-sighted’ and ‘not in the interests of the united Europe’…, adding that postponing Ukraine’s membership means ‘indulging Putin’s aggressive plans.’
“But around 40% of Austrians consider the government’s position on Ukraine as ‘on the whole correct,’ while 23% believe the government is ‘too pro-Ukraine’ and 17% ‘too pro-Russia,’ according to Heute.”
Tensions Between Israel and Christians in Jerusalem
The Associated Press wrote on April 23:
“Christians celebrated their ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Saturday against a backdrop of rising tensions with Israel, which imposed new restrictions on attendance this year that it said were needed for safety. Israel says it wants to prevent another disaster after a crowd stampede at a packed Jewish holy site last year left 45 people dead.
“Christian leaders say there’s no need to alter a ceremony that has been held for centuries… Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that on the Saturday before Easter a miraculous flame appears inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre… built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected…”
Violence Carefully Staged
Israel Today wrote on April 24:
“Hamas sees itself as the patron of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al Sharif, the Temple Mount…
“The disinformation campaign portrayed Israel as an ‘aggressor,’ while it also was falsely claimed that Israel was making a new attempt to change the status quo on the Temple Mount… Third parties then also started to get involved in the conflict and issued condemnations over ‘Israeli violence’ and an alleged ‘change of the Israeli policy towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque.’ Turkey’s President… Erdogan… called PA leader… Abbas and condemned Israel’s ‘intervention and provocations’ on Haram al-Sharif… King Abdullah II of Jordan also got involved in the conflict and ordered his government to obtain regional and international support for more pressure on Israel…
“It has now also been established that the acts of violence that started last Friday on the eve of Passover were organized… Zreiyer, a member of Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction, organized the outbreak of violence. He brought hundreds of young Palestinian Arabs to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and ordered them to prepare for a confrontation with the Israeli police. The group of youths came from Arab Jerusalem and also included Hamas members. The gang received funding from the PA and Turkey to prepare for the battle over the Temple Mount…”
A Temple in Jerusalem
Israel Today wrote on April 25:
“After the 1967 Six Day War, during which the Temple Mount was captured, Israel did not take advantage of the situation. Moshe Dayan, who served as Minister of Defense at the time, returned rule over the site to the Jordanian[s]…
“Many believe that a decision by Israel to retake control of the Temple Mount will ignite a regional war that could lead to a third world war. Whether or not that would happen, it is clear from Scripture that the day is coming when, ‘“I will shake heaven and earth, and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this Temple with glory,’ says the Lord of Hosts.’ Haggai 2:6-7. And, ‘I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. Because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ Isaiah 56:7.”
And so it will be!
Disney Lost Special Tax Status in Florida
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 21:
“Walt Disney Co. lost its special tax status in Florida on Friday after Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill scrapping the company’s self-governing status in the area around its Orlando theme park complex. Florida’s Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed the bill on Thursday in a 68-38 vote, following a previous 23-16 vote in the state’s senate.
“Before urging Florida’s legislature to back the new measure, DeSantis had criticized Disney for its opposition to another bill banning discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity for students under age 9..
“Disney initially avoided taking a stand on the legislation, but later halted political donations in Florida following pressure from some of the company’s employees and LGBTQ rights groups…
“‘If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy,’ DeSantis recently wrote… ‘Disney is a guest in Florida. Today we remind them,’ Republican lawmaker Randy Fine tweeted. ‘Disney doesn’t say a word about the dictatorship in China because it would cost them billions of dollars,’ Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in a tweet. ‘But they have no problem using their corporate power to lie about laws passed by democratically elected legislators in Florida.’
“The southeastern US state of Florida declared a special area, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, in 1967 to facilitate the construction of the Disney World theme park near the city of Orlando… The Disney district covers 100 square kilometers and includes the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista as well as land in Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida. Disney runs the district and is responsible for collecting taxes and guaranteeing municipal services such as fire-fighting, energy, garbage collection, water treatment and road maintenance. In exchange, the company has been exempted from paying taxes in the territory. Under Florida law, if the district is dissolved its assets and debts could be transferred to local governments that surround the area.”
Breitbart added on April 23:
“The Reedy Creek district, along with several other similarly situated special tax districts, will be dissolved effective June 1, 2023. However, the law allows the districts to be reestablished in the future, which could happen after further negotiation.”
Biden and the Democrats are not happy about the developments in Florida.
Daily Mail wrote on April 22:
“President Joe Biden criticized ‘ugly’ Republicans for targeting Disney and said the GOP has been taken over by the ‘far right’ in his speeches at two Democratic fundraisers on the West Coast on Thursday.”
What this is really all about is the push by the left to indoctrinate young school children UNDER AGE 9 with their political agenda.
Fauci the “Expert”?
Newsmax wrote on April 22:
“The White House’s chief medical adviser apparently won’t let go of the recent mask mandate cancellation… Fauci ripped U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle for dropping the federal mask mandate for public transportation, telling CBS News the Florida-based judge has ‘no experience’ in the medical field… Fauci similarly dismissed Judge Mizelle’s ‘unfortunate ruling’…
“Current data suggests that COVID-19 infections in America have precipitously declined in recent weeks, but that’s not how Fauci views the trends. ‘It’s obvious to everyone we’re seeing that infections are on the rise…’ Fauci told CBS News.
“… the Justice Department filed a notice that it would appeal Judge Mizelle’s ruling, at the behest of the CDC and White House… Fauci did not acknowledge that Americans now have tremendous access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, or how the Biden administration still wants to repeal the CDC’s Title 42 health order at the U.S.-Mexico border — which, on the surface, runs directly against the logic behind the mask mandate for public transit.”
Dr. Fauci, even though not a lawyer, should still realize that Judge Mizelle did not utter a scientific finding in the medical field, but a legal finding showing the unconstitutionality of the mask mandate.
White House Contradicts Fauci
Fox News wrote on April 24:
‘The White House has contradicted Dr. Anthony Fauci on mask mandate decisions, saying that the judiciary plays an ‘important role’ and simply made an ‘incorrect decision’…. Fauci told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that it’s a ‘bad precedent when decisions about public health issues are made by people, be they judges or what have you, that don’t have experience or expertise in public health.’”
The problem is, Dr. Fauci uttered numerous false opinions and made many contradictory recommendations.
“Google Goes Woke!”
Daily Mail wrote on April 25:
“Google has launched an ‘inclusive language’ function designed to avoid the use of politically incorrect words. Users typing ‘landlord’ will see a warning that it ‘may not be inclusive to all readers’ with the suggestion they should try ‘property owner’ or ‘proprietor’ instead.
The word ‘humankind’ is a suggested alternative to what the online giant apparently sees as the controversial term ‘mankind’. Gender specific terms such as ‘policemen’ or ‘housewife’ should also be replaced by ‘police officers’ and ‘stay-at-home spouse’, according to the new Google Document style programme. It is now being rolled out to what the firm calls enterprise-level users. Many computer document systems use methods to correct spelling and grammar.
“But nudging users towards woke language is being seen by critics as a step too far. Tests on the system have also thrown up major flaws… it suggested President John F Kennedy’s inaugural address should say ‘for all humankind’ instead of ‘for all mankind’…”
EU to Restrict Free Speech (again) on Musk’s Twitter?
Bloomberg wrote on April 26:
“Elon Musk vowed to prioritize free speech as Twitter Inc’s new owner, but a senior official from the European Union has warned the world’s richest person will still have to contend with the region’s strict content rules… The EU approved the Digital Service Act over the weekend, giving European governments new power to take down illegal content, and demand platforms do more to tackle harmful content.
“Possibly even more crucial is the DSA’s requirement that companies like Twitter submit annual reports to the EU detailing how they’re handling systemic risks posed by harmful content…
“[Twitter] famously banned former U.S. President Donald Trump from the site last year… The move provoked condemnation from conservatives in the U.S., who argued the ban hindered free speech….
“There’s also the prospect of major financial penalties if Musk and the EU disagree. If the company doesn’t comply with the DSA, the EU can issue fines of as much as 6% of a company’s annual revenue and even ban the platform from operating in the bloc.”
The Ron Paul Institute asked the pertinent question: “How far will authorities go to restrict freedom of expression?” The answer is obvious: Very far; indeed, without any limits.
Obama—“Liar of the Year”?
The New York Post wrote on April 22:
“In a Stanford University speech Thursday, Obama called on Big Tech to ‘redesign’ itself to face the dangers disinformation allegedly poses to the nation. Hilariously, he cited his own ‘failure to fully appreciate . . . just how susceptible we had become to lies and conspiracy theories’ during his time in office…
“Obama, after all, won PolitiFact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Award in 2013 for his endlessly repeated claim that under ObamaCare, ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep it.’ This lie was treated as fact and amplified by major media across the US for naked political purposes. I.e., a textbook example of actual disinformation… The New York Times invented a new, Orwellian term as camouflage for the lie: ‘incorrect promise.’
“Then there was Benghazi, where his administration blamed an attack by an al Qaeda affiliate against a US consular outpost on an inflammatory YouTube video — and again saw the lie propped up by big media properties…
“Don’t forget his lie about whether he ever set a red line around Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria. He did. On record. Then, insanely, he literally claimed he hadn’t. Again, although he’d been caught in an obvious, clumsy lie, our fearless fact-checking journalists got busy trying to somehow make it reality. [The] Washington Post… refused to award it any of [the] trademark ‘Pinocchios.’
“… Obama presided over the start of the Russiagate narrative, now revealed as another textbook disinfo operation — one of the most successful in recent US history, not only kneecapping the Trump administration but leaving tens of millions of Americans still convinced of the lie even today.
“The ex-president is utterly comfortable with the media spreading disinformation, as long as it benefits his team…”
Lest we forget another possible lie: The dubious claim that Obama was born in the United States. Overwhelming evidence suggests the opposite (we have reported extensively in our Current Events about the many nagging questions regarding Obama’s alleged birthplace), but the potential political fiasco resulting from exposing what might very well have been the truth was deemed too much to cope with for Democrats and Republicans alike. Even Trump gave in with some phony “explanations.”
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.
How Do We Keep the Sabbath in Far Northern and Southern Regions Where the Sun Doesn’t Set Certain Times of the Year?
Since the beginning of the Bible, God has made it clear that we are to observe the Sabbath, for He re-created the surface of the earth in 6 days, after a catastrophe caused the earth to become void and empty, and He then rested on the seventh day – the Sabbath, which He created for mankind (Genesis 1:2-2:3; Mark 2:27-28). The Bible reveals in Genesis 1:5 that the days start and end at sunset, in the evening: “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening (sunset) and the morning were the first day.”
Many Scriptures associate the meaning of the word “evening” with “sunset” as for example in Leviticus 22:6-7: “The person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening… And when the sun goes down he shall be clean.” We are also told in Leviticus 23:32 to keep God’s Sabbath “from evening to evening.”
The Bible is clear that days are to be counted from sunset to sunset, not midnight to midnight as society has it determined, and the Sabbath, which is the seventh and last day of the week, is to be counted from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, a 24-hour period.
We state in our booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days“:
“God has revealed in His Word exactly when the Sabbath starts and when it ends. God reckons each day, including the Sabbath, beginning at sunset and continuing through until the following sunset. Today, we would say that the Seventh-Day Sabbath starts Friday evening, when the sun sets, and lasts until Saturday evening, at sunset.
“We know from the Jewish people when to keep the Sabbath. It is the Jews to whom God committed His revelations or His ‘oracles,’ as Paul clearly explains in Romans 3:1–2. These ‘oracles of God’ included the Old Testament Scriptures, as well as the knowledge of the week and of the Sacred Calendar. The Jews preserved the knowledge of which day the seventh day of the week is. Without an understanding of when a week begins and ends, we would not have been able to tell, from the Bible alone, which day the seventh day of the week actually is. Today, the Jews keep the Sabbath on Saturday, beginning Friday evening, at sunset. Nobody questions today that the Sabbath, as preserved by the Jews, is the seventh or last day of the week. All understand that Sunday is the first day of the week—although there have been some attempts in Europe to actually change the calendar in order to deceitfully pretend as if Sunday, and not Saturday, was the seventh day of the week.”
This includes all Sabbath days, including God’s commanded Holy Days, which should be kept from sunset to sunset. Quoting from our Q&A “Can You Prove From Scripture That According to God’s Reckoning, Days Start and End With Sunset?”, we state the following:
“Leviticus 23:32 describes the annual Holy Day of Atonement, which the Jews today call Yom Kippur. It is stated: ‘It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest; and you shall afflict your souls [i.e., fast]; on the ninth day of the month at evening, FROM EVENING TO EVENING, you shall celebrate your sabbath.’ The New International Version renders this verse: ‘… From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.’
“But, this entire period, from the evening or sunset of the ninth day, until the evening or sunset of the tenth day, is defined as ‘the tenth day,’ as Leviticus 23:27 clearly shows: ‘Also the TENTH day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement.’ This proves that the Bible reckons days from evening or sunset to evening or sunset.”
With this background, how then would someone keep the Sabbath in areas of the world where there wouldn’t be a sunset-to-sunset time period during certain times of the year? For example, certain places in Alaska, Norway, Sweden, and other far northern or even southern areas would fall into that category. How is the Sabbath to be kept there?
Bibleask.org has this to say:
“Modern living provides some unique situations where keeping the Sabbath might have some questions. For example, keeping the Sabbath in space and the polar regions of the Earth like Alaska presents unique issues for Sabbath keepers. In the north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, a single period of daylight can last for a month or more during the summer, and the night lasts for a similar length of time in the winter.
“The Bible says, ‘It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest… from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath (Lev. 23:32).’ This means that the Sabbath should be kept from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
“Therefore, in the further regions of the earth and in countries where the sun doesn’t go down like the Polar zone, the timing of the Sabbath should be adjusted to the International Date Line. Example: permitting local rest-day adjustment, And believers may determine the Sabbath by the longitude that are further south or further north depending on which Polar zone they are in. Therefore, for those who live in Alaska, they can follow the time zone of Portland, Oregon. Thus, Sabbath keepers living in those areas can rely on the cycle of day and night in 24-hour periods. These periods are commonplace in most of the world.”
Someone from Sabbathtruth.com had this to say: “For the vast majority of the planet, we experience sunrise and sunset and that’s when you would start and end your Sabbath. I have friends who live up in Alaska and what they do is from 6:00 to 6:00. Six o’clock one day to six o’clock the other, and they don’t go by the sun. They go by that 12-hour division of time that everyone else enjoys, or 24-hour division of time rather. So they just time it like that.”
A letter was written back in the Worldwide Church of God days asking the question about keeping the Sabbath in the arctic. This is what was answered by the Personal Correspondence Department, Letter L163, which was included in a collection of the letters written under Herbert W. Armstrong, dated August 1, 1988:
“God has not made it impossible for His people to obey His laws. God’s law is spiritual and is intended for all people, wherever they live on earth. But His law is also practical and workable.
“In the far northern latitudes, the days are divided in the following manner: About the beginning of summer, the sun almost touches the horizon once every 24 hours. When it reaches its lowest point, one day ends and another begins. About the beginning of winter, the sun comes up to, or almost up to, the horizon once every 24 hours. This also divides the days. The effect is that near the beginning of summer the seventh day is from midnight to midnight. Over the next six months, the beginning of the days drops back rapidly until near the beginning of winter the seventh day is from noon until noon. The sun touching, or almost touching, the horizon corresponds to sunset in both cases.
“It should be noted, then, that God revealed the Sabbath commandment to people living in the temperate zone, where He defined the proper observance as being from evening to evening. But in extreme latitudes where farming is not a factor and thus daylight is not associated with work, this rule is not practical or reasonable. Jesus said, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’ (Mark 2:27). For this reason, the Church has made a judgment based on the spirit of the law. Brethren living in areas crossed by or above the 60th parallel (parts of Alaska, Canada, and Sweden are examples) have been advised that it is proper to begin observance of the Sabbath at 6pm in cases where actual sunset time varies extremely.”
A helpful chart identifying the areas crossed by or above the 60th parallel can be found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60th_parallel_north .
The Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates agree with and follow the answer of the Worldwide Church of God, as quoted before, as to how to observe the Sabbath in the above-referenced parts of the world. In other areas, “nearly” but not quite crossed by the 60th parallel, individual consultation with the ministry might be advisable.
Lead Writer: Michael Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Weak German Government under Attack,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The world disapproves of Germany’s conduct towards Ukraine. Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz is considered as being weak and indecisive, and far too much beholden to Putin. What does this mean for Germany’s future?
“Schwache deutsche Regierung unter Beschuss,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This German language program covers the same material as described above.
Our annual Church Conference begins on Friday, April 29th and continues through Monday, May 2, 2022. Meetings will take place in Escondido, California, with several ministers joining via the Internet.
“Gleichheit mit Gott in Seinem Reich?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Equality with God in His Kingdom?”
“Wie groß ist unsere Liebe/Hingabe?” the Offertory presented on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread in Germany by Steven Hammond, is now posted. Title in English: “How Big is Our Love/Devotion?”
“Unser Sündenkatalog…alles nicht so wichtig?” the sermon presented on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread by Norbert Link, is now posted. Title in English: “A Catalog of Sins—Not that Important?”
“Three Good Reasons to Give,” the Offertory presented on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread by Brian Gale, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Giving to the One Who created us all is a reflection of the priorities that we have in our life. It is a privilege to give and we know that a blessing is promised by God for those who follow His instructions as we can read in Malachi 3. This message gives three good reasons to give.
“A Catalog of Sins—Not that Important?” the sermon presented on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Have you created a catalog of sins that distinguishes between important and not so important actions? Does the Bible teach the concept of the seven deadly sins? Or is every sin wrong and an abomination in God’s eyes? What does God call sin and an abomination anyway? And what does God say who will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Why does God designate certain character traits as “most important” in the law? And do you love God and neighbor when you break the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments?
“Unser geistlicher Kampf,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Robert Macher, is now posted. Title in English: “Our Spiritual Warfare.”
“Der Heilige Geist und Du!” the sermon presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted. Title in English: “The Holy Spirit and You.”
“Excuses,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
If we want God to work in our lives, we have to put in the effort that He requires. When we choose to make excuses instead of taking action, we become unprofitable. By putting our faith to work we give God an opportunity to bless our efforts.
“Praise the Lord!” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Should we praise and worship God, and are there actually conditions for praising Him? The Bible reveals how and why God accepts praise from those who obey Him.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom