Update 1037


Time to Act / Why Are We Not to Complain?

On September 3, 2022, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Time to Act,” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Why Are We Not to Complain?”

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.

Back to top

Act Now… Don’t Wait!

by Michael Link

This slogan, as described in the title of this Editorial, can be seen often in advertising for the purpose of purchasing a product where one receives a special discount or an incentive for acting on the offer right away.  Most would be willing to purchase something, especially a marked-down item from the original price with incentives such as: “half off”, “almost sold out”,  “lowest price of the year”,  or “don’t wait until it’s too late!”  This is advertising “at its finest” because you don’t want to miss out on such a deal like that, right? However, this could also be stressful as this adds pressure to the buyer since time is of the essence.

According to an article from inc.com, a new study is showing that deals and promotions affect every part of a shopping experience. They state that “the recent record-breaking sales and profits numbers from Amazon illustrate how competitive the global online marketplace has become. A recent report highlights some of the ways businesses can use deals and promotions to attract new customers and keep them loyal to a particular store or online retailer.

“A new survey from RetailMeNot shows deals have substantial influence on customer acquisition, brand loyalty and brand perception among consumers, especially among millennials. The survey found that two-thirds of consumers have ‘made a purchase they weren’t originally planning to make solely based on finding a coupon or discount’. Similarly, four out of five (80 percent) said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount. Seeing a good special can encourage people to buy when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

“The RetailMeNot survey found that nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online. And four out of five (81 percent) Americans say finding a great offer or discount is on their mind throughout the entire purchase journey… Nearly all of the consumers (94 percent) in the RetailMeNot survey said they search for a deal or offer when shopping online. Three out of five (62 percent) consumers agreed with the statement ‘they cannot complete a purchase before searching for an offer.’  These discounts and promotional levers continue to be critical for retailers who want to reach new shoppers to drive incremental sales.”

Oftentimes, these “special” deals don’t always last and these types of incentives and discounts will drive the purchaser to act right away or they will miss out.  With this analogy, we can see a similarity when it comes to our spiritual lives which is considered more critical. Sometimes, we may be inclined to act right away, but God cautions us: “Whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isaiah 28:16; see our Q&A) On the other hand, we DO have to act RIGHT AWAY by doing what is right, obeying God, and making sure that we don’t miss out on the chance of receiving eternal life.  Why would we want to delay that?   David understood this by saying, “I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments” (Psalm 119:60).

Preparation is key. Using the knowledge that God has gifted us with is to our benefit.  We shouldn’t neglect it by putting it off, but need to use it now, at all times (compare Proverbs 6:4).  If we become too negligent, this can lead to laziness, which makes it more difficult to get back on track and that is why diligence is also vital (Proverbs 13:4).

Wisdom is also fundamental for we need to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

With this special understanding, we need to be careful that we don’t fall into the category of many who will proclaim to Christ that they “knew” Him, “knew” about God’s Way of Life, yet they deceived themselves or they weren’t dedicated enough to LIVE that Way and DO what He commanded on a CONTINUOUS basis.  And Christ will respond, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23).

We can easily get sidetracked through the distractions that surround us, and because we are aware of that, we need to have God in our thoughts and our actions continuously.  This Godly Way we live and have chosen is for LIFE, and if we fall behind at times, which does happen, we need to get back on track, because if we don’t, we could very well miss our opportunity to be in God’s Kingdom.  Act NOW and don’t wait… before it’s too late!

Back to top

by Norbert Link

We begin with the death of Mikhail Gorbachev; note the terrible economic situation in France and Germany in regard to their electricity prices even as calls for a larger EU are discussed and Germany sends warships and troops to the Far East; quote from a remarkable article asking the question as to whether God is punishing the USA [Please see our new StandingWatch program: “Is God Punishing the USA?”and note the staggering flooding in Pakistan; address the proposed Iran deal and Germany’s support of anti-Israeli groups; and speak on new developments regarding the FBI raid on Trump’s personal property, as well as Zuckerberg’s admission of FBI interference regarding the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story just prior to the 2020 Presidential election.

We address California’s decision to ban sales of all new gas-powered cars; report on the pending authorization of new booster shots for Corona even though they have not been tested; and conclude with a report about the woke nonsense and cancel culture stupidity in Germany.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

Back to top

Gorbachev Dies

Breitbart wrote on August 30:

Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who oversaw the end of the Soviet Union, died Tuesday at the age of 91, according to Russian news agencies…

“Born to a peasant family in Stavropol in 1931, Gorbachev watched the famines and purges of the 1930s, and the struggles of the Second World War, before embarking on a career in the Communist Party in the postwar era. He rose quickly through the ranks, recognized for his intellect and his skill and an administrator. He was viewed as a young leader who could rejuvenate the country and the party, as older leaders faded and as his predecessors, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, died after short terms in office.

“Gorbachev assumed power in 1985 during a period of growing confrontation with the U.S., when President Ronald Reagan had strengthened America’s anticommunist posture… When Reagan launched an ambitious program of defense spending, including research into space-borne missile defense systems, Gorbachev realized that the Soviet Union would struggle to match the U.S. He indicated an openness to talks with Reagan, and began a process of internal reform, known as perestroika. Gorbachev encouraged greater openness, or glasnost, within Soviet institutions, although the country remained deeply repressive, imprisoning political dissidents and those who wanted to leave.

“After a series of talks with Reagan, Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the U.S. in 1987. It was the most significant arms reduction agreement between the two countries, and reduced tensions with the West. But Gorbachev could not contain the growing unrest at home… the Soviet bloc began to unravel.

“The trigger was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, after an East German bureaucrat accidentally told the public that the border to the West would be opening immediately. When thousands of overjoyed Germans swarmed the hated barrier and tore it down, the world waited to see what Gorbachev would do… Rather than send in the tanks, as previous Soviet leaders had done, Gorbachev allowed the Berlin Wall to fall…

“Soon the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — never comfortable under Soviet domination — broke free. And in 1991, a group of disgruntled Soviet officials and military leaders attempted to oust Gorbachev from power while he was away at his summer home. The coup failed, and Gorbachev returned to Moscow — though his influence began to fade. By the end of the year, the Soviet Union had fallen, to be replaced by the Russian Federation and a series of former Soviet republics in Europe and Central Asia…

“He is most fondly remembered in the United States as the man Reagan challenged — ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ — but later came to respect, and who left a legacy of freedom…

“Gorbachev’s death comes at a time of renewed tensions between Russia and the West — in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, seen by many as an attempt to reverse Gorbachev’s reforms and restore some of the old Soviet territory and military glory. Putin, who has described the collapse of the Soviet Union as a ‘genuine tragedy,’ represents a nostalgia for the era before Gorbachev — a sentiment that overlooks the poverty and repression of communism, and might yet end up restoring both.”

France and Germany’s Energy Crisis

Breitbart wrote on August 27:

“The economic powerhouses of the European Union, France and Germany, both set records on Friday for electricity prices, as the West’s sanctions war with Russia continues to bite.

“This time last year the cost of electricity per megawatt-hour (MWh) in both France and Germany sat at around 85 euros. On Friday, both countries set record highs, with the cost climbing by at least 1,000 per cent from last year to €850 in Germany and over €1,000 in France…

“The Russian economy has seemingly weathered the sanctions far better than expected… The energy crisis is showing no sign of abating, with futures traders already trading French energy prices at a staggering 1,600 euros per megawatt-hour for December…

“In Germany, the Interior Minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Herbert Reul, issued a stark warning to those who may protest the government’s failures in preventing the energy crisis, branding potential demonstrators as the new ‘enemies of the state.’”

This is incredible and has all the hallmarks of a dictatorship.

Scholz Wants to Enlarge the EU, But…

The Associated Press wrote on August 29:

“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Monday for a growing European Union to agree on a series of changes that would help it overcome internal divisions and stand up to external rivals such as Russia and China. In a wide-ranging speech at Charles University in Prague, Scholz said the EU must make itself ‘fit’ for future enlargement from 27 to 30 — or even 36 — nations by taking more decisions by majority vote, rather than requiring unanimity on all issues that has in the past allowed individual member states to veto key decisions… arguing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call for the EU to change the way it takes decisions.

“Scholz suggested allowing majority decisions on pressing issues… with those unwilling to explicitly back a vote having the option to abstain without blocking unanimity… The German leader also backed calls to reconsider the composition of the European Parliament, which currently has 751 deputies, to prevent it becoming ‘bloated’ through future expansion… Scholz said the EU could become a global leader in the transition to a greener economy that would also help it become less dependent on foreign energy suppliers.”

Germany Sends Warships and Troops to the Far East

Fox News reported on August 31:

“German General Eberhard Zorn said Wednesday the Bundeswehr will send warships to the Indo-Pacific and join allies in drills as China ramps up operations around Taiwan… Zorn told Reuters that the German military will also send troops to Australia for military exercises next year in an effort to ‘consolidate our presence in the region.’”

It is perhaps interesting that the meaning of “Zorn” is “wrath.”

Is God Punishing the United States of America?

The Jerusalem Post wrote on August 24:

“… it is a challenge for me to believe that the series of ‘plagues’ that have befallen the United States of America of late are not part of some heavenly master plan

“The triumph of democracy and freedom over fascism and national land grabs energized the American body politic to take responsibility and rebuild the world after the devastating losses in the war. The world was put back in order, nations devastated by battle were rebuilt (much of that through US programs like the Marshall Plan), while people felt secure enough to plan for careers, family, education and retirement.

“America’s role as the world’s police officer, resentful as that made some nations feel (everyone remembers the term ‘ugly American’), kept the world in check…

“However, 77 years after the end of the war, it all seems to be falling apart… Politically, whether people want to admit it or not, the country is in the midst of a civil war, though for the moment, not one where both sides have taken up arms…

“30% of the people polled do not believe President Biden won the 2020 election, while among Republicans, that number jumps to 70%. There has never been a time in modern history where such numbers were this high 18 months after the election itself… the legislative branch of government finds itself in a position where any proposal put forth by one party is not something that the other party will support…

“There have been over 300 mass shootings in the US this year as of early July, the largest number by far of any country in the world…

“Then there is the weather… Through June, there have already been 940 reported tornadoes there, which means the country is on track to see 2,000 or more, a 33% increase year-on-year. The nightly news out of the US for the past few months shows tens of millions of people under extreme weather risk every day… In the west, a long period of drought has been drying up reservoirs and spawning massive forest fires…  as of July 5, 34,478 fires have already burned 4,582,301 acres. This is above the 10-year average of 27,346 fires, and twice the average of 2,026,917 acres burned… It all seems to be centered in the US

“If one accepts the religious concept that whatever happens in the world is part of God’s plan for the world (and not everyone accepts that, to be sure), it is possible to postulate that God had a plan for the United States of America. After all, it was Abraham Lincoln who opined in 1865 that America was the ‘almost chosen people,’ placing the issue of faith and the existence of a heavenly plan for the US squarely in the culture of post-civil war America… However, there has never been a time in post-civil war history as now where the US has been so broken, where so many things seem to be going wrong simultaneously, and where the political leadership seems powerless to deal with all of it.

“It is almost as if God is now expressing displeasure with his servant, the US, in the course it has taken.

“The hope, of course, is that at some point the political leadership will get its act together and find a way to address the myriad of problems that the country is presently facing. However, if one accepts that this is perhaps a manifestation of God’s disappointment with the USA, perhaps the nation should turn to God and pray for a return to normalcy…

“It would not be the first time in history that prayer was invoked on behalf of a country… In December 1944, fog, clouds, rain and snow over Europe were hampering US war efforts. A frustrated Patton contacted Chaplain James O’Neill, a Catholic priest, and asked for a prayer for good weather that would improve the chances of victory… The results? The weather cleared for the next six days, and Patton’s allied forces were victorious, vanquishing the German army… When hope eluded him, Patton, the battle-hardened cynic, asked his troops to turn to a higher force. What he later said about people in such a quandary is noteworthy: ‘Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.’

“Maybe the time has come for everyone to bury the cynicism and look up. There is certainly no downside in doing so, while there is every possibility that our prayers will be answered.”

This would require that the nation as a whole will repent of their many terrible sins. This is not to be expected. You might want to view our many StandingWatch programs on this topic, including our recent presentation, “America’s Downfall Is Prophesied!”; “Civil War, Violence and Misery in the USA”; and “Is Civil War Coming?” [Please see our NEW StandingWatch program: “Is God Punishing the USA?”]  

A Third of Pakistan is Underwater!

nbcnews.com reported on August 30:

“A third of the country [is] underwater. More than 1,000 people killed. And an estimated $10 billion of damage done.

“Pakistan’s “monster monsoon” has swept away lives, homes, crops and bridges as weeks of historic rains fuel deadly flash floods. Almost half a million people have been displaced, with vast areas cut off from supplies and power…

“The extreme floods have killed more than 1,136 people since June, including 386 children, and damaged a million homes, Pakistan’s government said.”

Biden Refuses to Talk to Lapid So Far About Iran Deal

Fox News wrote on August 28:

“Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is hoping to talk to President Biden about the new Iran nuclear deal that appears to be nearing fruition, but lately, he has not had much luck… According to The Jerusalem Post, Lapid has been unable to get Biden on the phone, with the White House first blaming the president’s recent vacation — which ended on Wednesday. With both men set to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in September, Lapid is hoping for an in-person meeting…

“Lapid and Biden met during the president’s trip to Israel in July, and the two men held a joint press conference, but that was before the European Union offered its ‘final’ proposal for the Iran deal. Since then, the Israeli prime minister has had conversations with the leaders of Germany and France, who are part of the negotiations along with the U.S., United Kingdom, Russia, and China…. Macron has acknowledged that the present state of the deal does not address certain issues, including Iran’s ballistic missile program. Still, he claimed that the deal as it stands would be ‘useful and is better than no agreement,’ the Post reported….

“In recent days, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Ganz met with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan. The Defense Ministry told the Post that Ganz pushed for increasing Israel’s capabilities of taking on Iran…”

Israel may find itself all alone in this battle.

Germany’s Support of Anti-Israeli Groups

Israel 365 News wrote on August 28:

“… nearly one billion shekels have been funneled to radical left-wing organizations operating within Israel over the last decade. The leading supporter of these radical organizations is Germany, a country that, despite a law passed in 2019 that equated the BDS movement [BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, a Palestinian-led movement] with Anti-Semitism, has funneled more than 150 million shekels to radical left-wing organizations, many of which promote BDS. [This is even higher than the EU.]

“Much of the funds that are funneled into Israel are transferred to Israel through political entities linked with German political parties represented in the Bundestag. Despite the money being designated for political use within the German political system, it is instead used to uproot policies within Israel. Germany has not successfully determined how the money is being used, since the organizations are being classified as ‘independent organizations.’ In order to grant German government money, the recipient organization has to meet the criteria that the money is aligned with the political party’s agenda. This broad definition has essentially allowed German government money to be floated to whichever NGO a party desires.

“The Heinrich Böll Foundation has not submitted financial reports since 2014. The Rosa Luxemborg Foundation which is associated with the Die Linke (left) Party has skirted the laws for years and does not have a valid operating license. The Heinz Seidel Foundation sent over 900 thousand shekels to the Palestinian Authority, which contradicts the agenda of the Foundation, a public-benefit corporation, and provides legal grounds for having it shut down… former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is linked to the Konrad Adenauer Organization, which has consistently broken Israeli Law by failing to submit financial reports, required for organizations whose source of funding is overseas.”

Affidavit Poses More Questions Than It Answers

Breitbart wrote on August 26:

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) affidavit seeking a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month was uncertain whether there were documents with ‘defense information,’ or merely ordinary presidential records.

“In the affidavit,  submitted by an FBI special agent, the DOJ argued that based on 15 boxes of materials voluntarily submitted by Trump, which were disorganized and allegedly included documents that had some classified markings, there was probable cause to believe that there were other such documents on the premises, and that they were not being properly, securely stored.

“In addition, the DOJ stated that ‘there is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI [National Defense Information] or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the PREMISES.’ The key word is ‘or’; the DOJ did not know exactly what it was looking for. (It added that it might find ‘evidence of obstruction’— that is, of deliberate refusal to comply with past requests for documents from the White House.)  Thus the DOJ could not state with certainty whether it was seeking to enforce the criminal law against mishandling defense information, or whether it was seeking to enforce the Presidential Records Act, which does not have criminal enforcement.

“Later in the affidavit, the FBI special agent admitted that he (or she) did not actually know whether documents with alleged classified markings actually had defense information; however, he (or she) merely asserted that ‘[b]ased on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI.’ Much of the affidavit was redacted.”

So, no one is immune from FBI interference when an agent asserts, based on his or her “training and experience,” that FBI actions are necessary? This is a FRIGHTENING scenario.

Special Master to Be Appointed?

Fox News wrote on August 27:

“A federal judge on Saturday announced her ‘preliminary intent to appoint a special master’ to review records seized by the FBI during its unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, at the request of former President Trump and his legal team, citing the ‘exceptional circumstances.’ …

“A hearing is set for Sept. 1 at 1:00 p.m. in West Palm Beach, Fla. Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file a response by Aug. 30 and provide, ‘under seal,’ a ‘more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022… Cannon also ordered the Justice Department to file under seal a ‘particularized notice indicating the status’ of its review of the seized property, ‘including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team.’…

“Sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News Saturday that the former president’s team was informed that boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents — all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt — contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.”

If true, that would be outrageous and illegal.

Trump Calls for New Elections

Newsmax wrote on August 29:

“Former President Donald Trump is taking his case against FBI ‘election interference’ to the American people — and to a new level — by demanding to be declared the ‘rightful winner’ or ‘have a new election.’ ‘So now it comes out, conclusively, that the FBI BURIED THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY BEFORE THE ELECTION knowing that, if they didn’t, “Trump would have easily won the 2020 Presidential Election,”’ Trump wrote… ‘This is massive FRAUD & ELECTION INTERFERENCE at a level never seen before in our country.’

“Trump added the ‘remedy’ for the 2020 presidential election meddling should be to ‘declare the rightful winner’ or, a minimum, hold a ‘new election.’”

Neither will happen, of course, but Trump keeps himself in the news.

FBI and DOJ Condemned by Trump

Daily Mail wrote on August 31:

“Donald Trump has claimed the FBI agents were responsible for throwing classified documents on the floor of Mar-a-Lago – and said they were ‘perhaps pretending it was me who did it’.

‘Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see,’ he said in a Truth Social post Wednesday morning.

‘Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!’ he added during a flurry of posts condemning the FBI agent who retired amid backlash over the Hunter Biden probe. He was responding to the bombshell pictures showing papers – with many marked ‘top secret’ – on the carpet of the Florida mansion during the August 8 search. The photographs were released in a 36-page court filing where officials said they’d uncovered a plot to obstruct the probe into the discovery of government records. The DOJ accused the ex-president’s team of moving around and hiding classified documents they had previously searched for.”

Newsmax added on August 31:

“Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys filed a new motion Wednesday, renewing calls for a special master to review documents seized in a search of his residence, which they say they will eventually argue was unconstitutional. ‘Left unchecked, the DOJ will impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation with no recourse for Movant but to somehow trust the self-restraint of currently unchecked investigators,’ the lawyers’ latest filing Wednesday read.

“The motion used the ‘gratuitous’ release of photos of the Mar-a-Lago search as proof the Department of Justice cannot be trusted with the handling of the documents seized from Trump’s home.”

White House Accuses Trump Supporters of Posing Extremist Threat

Breitbart wrote on August 31:

“The White House denounced supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing them of posing an ‘extremist threat to our democracy.’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began the daily briefing by condemning Republican leaders for their dangerous rhetoric but also said that President Joe Biden believed supporters of former President Donald Trump were also a threat…

“Jean Pierre asserted there was ‘more examples we can count’ of Trump supporters and Republican leaders  demonstrating their threats to democracy. She specifically complained about Gov. Ron DeSantis for calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to be ‘physically assaulted’ when he said that ‘someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.’”

This makes a mockery of Biden’s initial claim to become a unifier.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Admits FBI Interference

Fox News wrote on August 26 the following headline:

“FBI blasted after Zuckerberg revealed their warning ahead of the Hunter Biden laptop story: Collusion.

The article continued:

“Twitter exploded after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed in a Thursday podcast appearance the FBI warned Facebook about ‘Russian propaganda’ before the Hunter Biden laptop story dropped in 2020. Speaking on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Zuckerberg explained, ‘The FBI, I think, basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, “Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert…  We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”…

“Zuckerberg acknowledged that ‘the distribution on Facebook was decreased’ of the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, noting, ‘fewer people saw it than would’ve otherwise.’ When asked by Joe Rogan how many people had been deprived of the information, Zuckerberg responded, “I don’t know off the top of my head, but it’s – it’s meaningful.”

“Many commentators saw the incident as a damning example of Big Government and Big Tech working in unison…. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted, “The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information. Democrats in Congress have been intentionally ignoring the facts. When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable.”…Byron York, Fox News contributor and chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, explained, “In the final weeks of the 2020 contest, the FBI was on the lookout for anything that might damage the Biden campaign. Warned Facebook. Facebook acted on warning and suppressed an accurate story about Hunter Biden.”

The New York Post added on August 26:

“[McCarthy] accused ‘legacy media’ and Big Tech of either ignoring — or actively suppressing — The Post’s exposé about Hunter Biden. ‘One of the nation’s largest newspapers was effectively shut out of the digital public square,’ McCarthy said.

“The lawmaker also took a swipe at the 51 former intelligence officers who circulated an open letter questioning the reporting’s veracity and arguing that it had all the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign. ‘These signatories misused the imprimatur of their former titles to discredit evidence that raised serious questions about the access granted to Joe Biden during his last time in office,’ McCarthy argued.”

According to reports, the FBI knew at the time that there was NO Russian interference in regard to the 2026 election, but FBI agents allegedly claimed otherwise when  they “warned” Facebook in respect to the Hunter Biden story. While many Republican politicians demand a thorough investigation of the FBI, others claim that the FBI is beyond repair and must be dissolved. Note the next article.

Breitbart added on August 27:

“The FBI on Friday did not deny it warned Facebook of the imminent ‘dump’ of ‘Russian propaganda’ before the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop broke in the 2020 election cycle.

“The agency did, however, try and distance itself from the Facebook actions the bureau fueled. NBC News reported the FBI admitted the bureau did provide ‘companies with “foreign threat indicators” to help protect their platforms and customers, but that it ‘cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action on information received.’…

“While the FBI was communicating with Facebook, the FBI’s leadership forbade agents from investigating Hunter Biden’s laptop until after the 2020 election was decided, according to whistleblowers that came forward to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). The whistleblowers said the FBI did not want to investigate the laptop because it was afraid public disclosure would alter the outcome of the 2020 election…

“Polling shows the shenanigans surrounding Hunter’s ‘laptop from hell’ impacted the 2020 election. Seventy-four percent of Americans believe the FBI misled the public when it claimed Hunter Biden’s laptop was ‘disinformation.’ Seventy-nine percent of Americans say former President Donald Trump would have won reelection in 2020 if Hunter’s laptop had been known to voters.”

If all of this is true, then the FBI would have engaged in illegal election interference.

California Bans Sale of Gas-Powered Cars

Newsmax wrote on August 25:

“California’s pollution regulation board voted Thursday to approve a ban on selling all gas-powered cars in the state by 2035… The new guidelines require 35% of all new cars sold in the state to be electric by 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035…

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom applauded the proposal in an interview on Wednesday…”

Many of the necessary components of electric cars are at this point manufactured in and imported from China. Electric cars are currently much more expensive than gas-powered cars and virtually unaffordable for the average American.

New Covid Boosters Not Even Tested

The Wall Street Journal wrote on August 28:

“The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize new Covid-19 booster shots this week without a staple of its normal decision-making process: data from a study showing whether the shots were safe and worked in humans.

“The shots, modified to target the latest versions of the Omicron variant, won’t have finished testing in humans when the FDA makes its decisions.”


Cancel Culture and Woke Nonsense in Germany

Deutsche Welle reported on August 24:

“Another day, another online outrage over ‘cancel culture.’ German Twitter lit up with instant indignation this week after a German publisher announced it was pulling two… books from its line-up amid accusations of racism and cultural appropriation. Both books were inspired by Wild West stories from the wildly popular… 19th-century German writer Karl May… May’s books have sold around 200 million copies worldwide — as well as in several movies and even an animated series.

“The publisher, Ravensburger Verlag, citing ‘lots of negative feedback’ around the ‘romanticized’ and ‘clichéd’ depiction of Native Americans in the books, dropped the titles from its program and apologized if it had hurt anyone’s feelings. The blowback was quick, and predictable. #Winnetou has been a trending topic online since with the majority of posters furious over what German tabloid Bild… termed the ‘woke hysteria’ that was ‘burning the hero of our childhood at the stake.’

“Behind the online fury lies a very real, and particularly German, love affair with the Wild West, an affection that can be traced directly back to Karl May and his idealized depiction of 19th-century America. May’s characters — the noble, heroic Winnetou and his white-skinned ‘blood brother’ Old Shatterhand, a German immigrant land surveyor — are as present in the German popular imagination as the figures in Grimm’s Fairy Tale.

“You’ll find Winnetou books and records in many German households. A series of Winnetou films made during the 1960s are still staples on German TV. There are Karl May-inspired Wild West festivals and theme parks across the county where families gather to dress up as cowboys and Indians on stage sets of saloons and hitching posts. The most popular, in Bad Segeberg, attracts about 250,000 people a year…

“The Winnetou films, including the most recent, all feature white actors in the Indigenous roles. The most famous Winnetou is Pierre Brice, a white Frenchman who played the Apache chef in nearly a dozen films from 1962-68 as well as in a TV series in the 1980s.

“… labeling May and his imaginary America as racist and imperialist ignores how radical, for its time, Winnetou was. A century before Kevin Costner’s 1990 epic Western film ‘Dances with Wolves,’ Karl May flipped the traditional depiction of ‘wild Indians’ and ‘civilized cowboys,’ portraying Indigenous Americans (at least Winnetou and his friends) as the heroes…

“German society does not lack for racism but, thanks in large part to Karl May, Native Americans are held in near-universal regard…”

This is a highly-publicized and strongly debated example of how left-wing lying radicals can influence people with little or no understanding who are following blindly the woke nonsense and the cancel culture idiocy. Our German APS program, “Wer Winnetou liest, ist ein Rassist?” addresses the issue at length.

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.

Back to top

Why do you not baptize by using the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”? (Part 4)

In the previous three installments, we have shown that the text in Matthew 28:19 (“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) is NOT a formula to be uttered by the baptizing minister, and to insist on using these exact words as a formula would be erroneous and unbiblical. We have also investigated the question as to whether this passage is even genuine or whether it was added at a later time, and we left it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

Some may respond that the Worldwide Church of God under the late Herbert W. Armstrong [who died in 1986] engaged in the practice of baptizing “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and that we must therefore do so as well.

This argument is flawed for several reasons.

We say this in our Statement of Beliefs, under Doctrinal Foundation:

“The major doctrines of the Church are those, which were taught by Herbert W. Armstrong, derived from the Biblical teachings as followed by God’s faithful servants, and originally established by Jesus Christ through the founding of His Church in the time of His chosen early apostles. Since we are to increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are committed to review and alter any of our teachings, if and when proven to be wrong by the Bible.”

As we have explained in this series, the idea that Matthew 28:19 –whether genuine or not – is a formula, to be repeated verbatim by the baptizing minister, is wrong and not in accordance with the Bible.

Therefore, no minister in the Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates would use such language when baptizing a person. Instead, he would have asked the person to be baptized, during prior counseling, to study first our free booklet, “Baptism—a Requirement for Salvation?”, and he would then review pertinent Scriptures with the person to be baptized at the time of baptism, such as Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Matthew 3:11; Acts 19:5; Acts 8:16; Acts 10:48; Acts 2:28; as well as the concept alluded to in Matthew 28:19.

He would then tell the person before the act of baptism what is about to happen (placing the person fully under water) and what is going to happen after this symbolic burial (placing the minister’s hands on the person’s head and praying to God the Father, in Christ’s name, to grant the person the gift of the Holy Spirit).

The minister would then ask the person the following pertinent questions:

Have you repented of your sins?

Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?

Do you believe in the gospel of the Kingdom of God and do you accept the fact that the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ is necessary, but also sufficient payment for the penalty of your sins?

After these questions were answered with “Yes,” the minister would then baptize the person in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his or her sins, to become a begotten child of God the Father and a begotten member of the Kingdom and Family of God.  The exact wording is not that important, as long as the concept as to what baptism symbolizes is being conveyed.

This process of baptism consists of three parts—placing the person under water to symbolize his or her death; the coming out of the water, symbolizing his or her resurrection from the dead to walk in newness of life; and the laying on of hands with prayer to the Father, asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured out into the person.

For a full explanation, please see our free booklet, “Baptism—a Requirement for Salvation?”, page 42.

In the past, many may have been baptized in the “name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Does this mean that this baptism would have been invalid? Not necessarily, if the following rings true (compare pages 42 and 43 of our afore-mentioned booklet):

“Christians who have been baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ however, do not need to worry that their baptism is invalid, as long as they understood the proper meaning of baptism, including the facts that God is not a Trinity and that the Holy Spirit is not a separate divine being. After all, when one is baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ the baptism ‘in the name of Christ’ is included, and, as we have explained, the Father and the Holy Spirit have an important role during the baptismal ceremony. As long as a person understands, at the time of his or her baptism, the functions and the nature of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, his or her baptism is valid.”

Still, knowing and understanding now that the wording in Matthew 28:19 is not a formula, ministers of the Church of the Eternal God and of its international affiliates would not today use those words when baptizing a person.

Returning to the argument that we must baptize in the way the Worldwide Church of God practiced under Mr. Armstrong, and that Mr. Armstrong may have considered Matthew 28:19 as authentic and that it set forth a biblical formula to be adopted and spoken,  it appears that Mr. Armstrong never addressed the possibility that Matthew 28:19 might not be genuine. In an older booklet, “All about Water Baptism,” copyrighted 1948, 1954 and 1972, Mr. Armstrong addresses Matthew 28:19 on pages 7 and 8 from the perspective that one reference in the Bible is enough, and that the thought that each thing must be established “in the mouth of two or three witnesses” only applies to the words of humans, but not of God. Mr. Armstrong nowhere addresses the question as to why he felt that the passage was genuine. It appears, he never considered the possibility that it might not be.

Mr. Armstrong, in trying to explain the inconsistencies between Matthew 28:19 and the rest of the Scriptures, felt that the term “baptizing in the name of Jesus,” just means, “baptizing by His authority.” While this might explain some of the Scriptures, it does NOT explain why the apostles baptized people only into [“eis”] the name [“onoma”] of Christ, but NOT into [“eis”] the NAME [“onoma”] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We discussed this aspect in the first installment of this series.

In addition, as mentioned before, we must grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and we must correct any erroneous understanding when we discover the need to do so. Mr. Armstrong had to do this himself in regard to certain aspects pertaining to the understanding and procedure of baptism. At one time, the Church felt that non-ordained and even unconverted people could baptize, as long as they were associated with the true Church of God. That was the reason why in the “early days,” non-ordained Ambassador College students of the Church were sent out on “baptizing tours.”  It is unclear as to whether they “just” baptized, or whether they also laid hands on the head of the baptized person, but in any event, they would have had no biblical authority to do either, and in a sense, that kind of “baptism” would have been unbiblical.

The incorrect understanding of using unordained students for baptisms was apparently derived from the fact that Jesus Christ authorized and used His unconverted disciples to baptize others (John 4:1-2). But we must understand that His disciples and especially His apostles were in a completely unique situation and category. They partook of the New Testament symbols of bread and wine during Passover—something which is today only permitted for those who have been properly baptized and who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit—and they were empowered to cast out demons—something which today, no unordained person should attempt to do.

The Church under Mr. Armstrong seemed to have come to the understanding that unordained persons were not to baptize, and later abandoned this practice, so that only ordained ministers were called upon to baptize persons, with the laying on of hands and prayer to the Father.

But even that procedure was not fully understood, it seems, at the beginning. An initial baptismal Church outline for ministers only included the thought that the minister would say that he baptized the person in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Nothing was said in the initial outline that the minister would lay hands on the head of the person and pray to the Father to bestow the person with the gift of the Holy Spirit. These requirements were later clearly practiced by baptizing ministers, and rightly so. As we point out in our afore-mentioned booklet, the laying on of hands by the baptizing minister is a necessary requirement for a proper baptism.

Again, the question may be asked as to what happened to those who were baptized by non-ordained students and died before they were able to receive a proper baptism. Did they receive the Holy Spirit? God, in His mercy, might very well have honored this procedure, as the Church, at that time, did not understand it better. BUT, He would most certainly NOT honor such a procedure today, as He has now given His Church proper knowledge and discernment.

There is no doubt in our minds that Herbert W. Armstrong had the Holy Spirit; in fact, that he was an apostle who was used mightily in the Work of God.  He describes his baptism when he came to the faith; namely, that he was baptized by a Baptist minister. We would never recommend such a procedure today, but at the time, Mr. Armstrong did not understand it better and just acted upon what God had revealed to him.  We have also been informed that subsequently, Mr. Armstrong had doubts as to whether that baptism was proper, and so he had a minister of the Church of God Seventh Day baptize him. The author of this article has seen the small river in Oregon where Mr. Armstrong, according to eye witnesses who were allegedly present at that ceremony, was baptized again by the Church of God minister. Whether true or not, as we said, God had clearly given Mr. Armstrong His Holy Spirit, but again, we would most certainly not recommend today a baptism which would be conducted by unordained or even unconverted lay persons, or by ministers unassociated with the true Church of God who do not believe the Gospel.

We bring this up for the sole reason to explain that we must grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the context of our discussion, this means that irrespective of what the Church of God under Mr. Armstrong might have believed and practiced in regard to proper baptism, God has revealed to us today that Matthew 28:19, even IF genuine, does not set forth a trinitarian baptismal formula to be used, verbatim, by God’s ministers.

Lead Writer—Norbert Link

Back to top

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

We are pleased to report that Norbert and Johanna Link arrived safely in Germany this week for an extended visit with the brethren. They will return to the United States following the Fall Holy Days.

“Is God Punishing the USA?”  is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

For years, we have announced that the USA will fall, and more recently, that this fall is imminent. Now, a remarkable new article in the Jerusalem Post is contemplating the same development, while raising the question about whether God may have something to do with it. In this program, we discuss this possibility in more detail.

“Begehre es Nicht! Denn Siehe…” last Sabbath’s German sermonette presented by Christian Mrosek, is now posted. Title in English: “Don’t Covet It! Because See…”

“The Error of Balaam,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Paul Niehoff, is now posted. Here is a summary:

When the children of Israel were fighting the Midianites, as described in the book of Numbers, they also killed Balaam. What did he do to deserve death? It is explained in the book of Revelation.

“What Is Prophesied for the State of Israel?” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The Bible shows us what did and will happen to the nation and the state of Israel, including before and during the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, and after Christ’s Return. This sermon also addresses parallel developments pertaining to the USA and the UK, as well as their and Judah’s enemies. The fall of the state of Israel and its defeat in war are prophesied, but so are also its rise from destruction and freedom from captivity. Today’s anti-Semitism will become a thing of the past.


Feast of Trumpets… September 26

Day of Atonement… October 5

Feast of Tabernacles… October 10-16, with Opening Night on October 9

Last Great Day… October 17

Back to top

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

©2024 Church of the Eternal God