Update 1059


The World Needs Godly Love / Prayer

On February 25, 2023, Paul Niehoff will present the sermonette, titled, “The World Needs Godly Love,” and Rene Messier will present the sermon, titled, “Prayer.”

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.

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by Eric Rank

This week, my son’s music teacher gave him a CD recording to help him learn some music that he plans to perform. He brought it home, not knowing exactly what to do with it. Even though CD technology doesn’t seem that old, we simply didn’t have a CD player readily available for him to play it. In fact, I had to do a little digging in the basement to find a device in our home that is capable of reading CDs so his recording would play. It made me think about how quickly the things that we use become obsolete.

Just as CDs have been superseded by streaming music services – and ironically vinyl records – we see other advancements pushing aside stalwart technologies. Electric cars now dominate automaker-marketing campaigns. Battery-powered bicycles prevail on the bike paths, leaving the human-powered pedal pushers in the dust. LED lightbulbs fill the shelves at hardware stores, replacing the tried and true, but inefficient, incandescent bulbs that haven’t changed much in the past 150 years. Even though these are current examples, it’s quite common to see the old replaced by the new.

Advancements have been a human endeavor from the beginning. However, new technologies only provide us with new ways of doing the same old things. Streaming audio services and Bluetooth earbuds serve the purpose of enabling us to listen to music. Yet, people have been able to listen to music since the first person on earth enjoyed another person singing to them. We are told by the industry that electric cars are supposed to make traveling easier, but traveling has been possible since man first sat on a horse. As Solomon reminds us, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us” (compare Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). Even in the ancient times during which Solomon lived, he could see that modern inventions are only an illusion of advancement. But, man in his pride believes that inventions that cause obsolescence are the measure of “progress”.

The attempt to make progress through the replacement of ancient things expands beyond technology and gadgets. Today we see how quickly the Truth of the Bible is jettisoned aside to usher in a more modern interpretation of so-called morality. To cite a simple example, more and more nominal Christian churches are placing a perverted spin on marriage, ignoring the clear Biblical doctrine that it is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. The desire to adapt the interpretation of the Bible to fit the norms of modern culture is no advancement. Rather, the practice of selectively applying Biblical instruction to be convenient for human desire only corrupts the perfect Truth of God. The Word of God needs no replacement because it will never be outdated.

We are fortunate to have access to God’s perfect instruction to guide and direct us every day of our lives, regardless of our circumstances. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). We can, and must, apply that pure Word of God in our lives if we want to fulfill our potential. There is nothing better that will come along in the future, because the Truth is enduring, perfect, and stands the test of time (compare Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:23). Technology may try to bring us more worldly convenience with each passing day, but we can be satisfied today with the perfect Truth of the Bible, knowing that it will never be obsolete.

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by Norbert Link

We report on troublesome developments and statements during this year’s Munich Security Conference; the resurrection of central Europe; the emergence of Poland; Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine and subsequent reactions; a Russian mole in Germany; discussions on military conscription throughout Europe; and the to an extent dangerous ideas of CDU’s vice president Jens Spahn.

 We continue with Israel’s defiance of America and Israel’s subsequent back-pedaling; Israel’s cowardly submission to the Arabs; and the strong words of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Israel and the leader of the Palestinian Authority.

We report on another powerful earthquake in Turkey; and on the troublesome and somewhat dubious relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News, including his “strongest supporters,” who have allegedly made derogatory and extremely critical statements in 2020 and 2021 about Trump in private conversations.

We point out the Biden Administration’s “balloon” and East Palestine Derailment” debacles, making America a laughing stock in the world; speaking on fake doctors having promoted Corona-related restrictions; and conclude with some more censorship due to the woke nonsense and an alleged conspiracy between the FBI and Pope Francis against orthodox Christians.

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

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Europe on Edge

Politico wrote on February 18:

“U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris turned the heat up [at this year’s Munich Security Conference] on Russia… accusing [Russia] of ‘crimes against humanity’… In other words, Russian leaders could be looking at Nuremberg 2.0. That’s bound to make a few people in Moscow nervous, especially those old enough to remember what happened to Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milošević and his entourage.

“The outlook in Asia is no less fraught. Taiwan remains on edge, as the country tries to guess China’s next move. Here too, the news from Munich wasn’t reassuring. ‘What is happening in Europe today could happen in Asia tomorrow,’ NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi did nothing to contradict that narrative. ‘Let me assure the audience that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory… [Taiwan] has never been a country and it will never be a country in the future.’

“For some attendees, the vibe in the crowded Bayerischer Hof hotel where the gathering takes place carried echoes of 1938. That year, the Bavarian capital hosted a conference that resulted in the infamous Munich Agreement, in which European powers ceded the Sudetenland to Germany in a misguided effort they believed could preserve peace

“The only people smiling at this year’s security conference are the defense contractors. Arms sales are booming by all accounts. Even Germany, which in recent years perfected the art of explaining away its failure to meet its NATO defense spending commitment, promised to reverse course. Indeed, German officials appeared to be trying to outdo one another to prove just how hawkish they’ve become.

“Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to ‘permanently’ meet NATO’s defense spending goal for individual members of two percent of GDP. Germany’s new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, a Social Democrat like Scholz, called for even more, saying that ‘it will not be possible to fulfill the tasks that lie ahead of us with barely two percent.’

“Keep in mind that at the beginning of last year, leading Social Democrats were still calling on the U.S. to remove all of its nuclear warheads from German soil. In other words, if even the Germans have woken up to the perils of the world’s current geopolitical state, this could well be the moment to really start worrying.”

Of course, not too many take highly unpopular Kamala Harris’ words too seriously, but the question still is whether she is expressing the official position of the US Administration. If so, no way out is given to Putin, forcing him to fight to the very last man. Also, Germany’s new-found militaristic approach is indeed VERY worrisome, even though Scholz’s words, on the face of it, are as dubious as the ones by Kamala Harris, but Germany’s declared position is now totally in line with biblical prophecy.

The Resurrection of Central Europe

Visegrad Insight published on February 17 the following article with the headline: “Russian Aggression and the Resurrection of Central Europe.” The article continued:

“The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have taken a decisive lead in helping Ukraine… It is no surprise then that there are voices from Prague announcing a return ‘to the world map’ and to the centre of European decision-making…

“… the Presidency of the EU Council, which has just ended, has shown a very capable and consensus-seeking face of Czech foreign policy. The newly acquired healthy self-confidence, in this sense, should be seen as a desirable part and parcel of a sovereign foreign policy.”

Poland—a Strong European Force

The Telegraph wrote on February 17:

“It doesn’t seem so long ago that Poland was regarded as the problem child of the EU, a ‘dirty Remainer’ whose constitutional tribunal ruled that fundamental parts of EU law do not trump its national constitution. How different things are now, with Poland assuming the role of bastion of Western defence – a key nation in the front line of the battle against Putin’s Russia. Warsaw has consistently been at the forefront of support for Kyiv: diplomatically, military, but also morally, as it copes with the largest number of Ukrainian refugees.

“Andrzej Duda, the Polish president… has been openly critical of both leaders [Marcon and Scholz] for being willing to talk to Putin (which is like talking to Adolf Hitler, says Duda), and for their general reluctance to provide strong concrete support for Ukraine. Duda’s recent announcement that he was prepared to send German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine whether Berlin agreed or not was just the latest diminution in their relationship…

“Poland will soon become an indispensable European military power in its own right. The country aims to create Europe’s largest land army: 300,000 combat troops up from its current 114,000. The Polish armed forces are being modernised at pace. The defence budget is set to reach 4 per cent of GDP from its present 2.4 per cent. Poland has roughly three times as many main battle tanks as the UK (647 to 227), and has on order hundreds of new US Abrams tanks and 1,000 K2 tanks from South Korea…”

Catholic Poland is most certainly a country to reckon with, when it comes to the unification of ten core nations or groups of nations in Europe.

Biden’s Trip to Kyiv

The Guardian wrote on February 20:

“The White House notified the Kremlin of Joe Biden’s intention to visit Kyiv hours before he departed for Ukraine… ‘We did notify the Russians that President Biden will be travelling to Kyiv,’ [national security adviser, Jake] Sullivan said. ‘We did so some hours before his departure for deconfliction purposes…’

“The US informed Moscow to avoid any misunderstanding or misjudgment between the two nuclear-armed powers…”

It was also reported that Washington “warned” Putin not to attack Kyiv while Biden was there.

Reactions to Biden’s Trip

The Associated Press wrote on February 21:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended Moscow’s participation in the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States, announcing the move Tuesday in a bitter speech in which he made clear he would not change his strategy in the war in Ukraine…

“U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking in Poland a day after his surprise visit to Ukraine… blasted Putin for the invasion. He pledged continued support for Ukraine despite ‘hard and bitter days ahead.’…

“China and Russia have aligned their foreign policies to oppose Washington. Beijing has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion or atrocities against civilians in Ukraine, while strongly criticizing Western economic sanctions on Moscow. Late last year, Russia and China held joint naval drills…”

Preparing for World War?

Fox News wrote on February 22:

“President Biden addressed the group of European nations known as the Bucharest Nine (B9) on Wednesday, stressing the need to stand up to Russian aggression and emphasizing the United States’ commitment to NATO allies… ‘As NATO’s eastern flank, you’re our front lines of our collective defense, and you know better than anyone what’s at stake in this conflict,’ Biden said to officials from the B9 countries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia…

“Biden made it perfectly clear that the U.S. will be there with them if any NATO member is attacked… ‘Article 5 is a sacred commitment the United States has made,’ Biden said. ‘We will defend literally every inch of NATO…’

“Following Biden’s remarks, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that… Putin is showing no signs of slowing down or seeking peace, but ‘is preparing for world war.’”

Orban Snuffs Biden

The Daily Mail wrote on February 22:

“Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban is snubbing Wednesday’s meeting in Warsaw with President Joe Biden and other Bucharest Nine leaders.

Orban has been… chiding the European Union for prolonging the conflict and saying in October that only former U.S. President Donald Trump could negotiate a deal between the Ukrainians and Russians… arguing Biden wasn’t the man for the job because he has ‘gone too far’ in calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘war criminal.’ …

“During the Wednesday afternoon meeting at the Presidential Palace, Hungary was represented by the country’s President Katalin Novák, who’s also a member of Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party.”

Russian Mole in Germany

DNYUXZ wrote on February 17:

“The coach, a 52-year-old former German soldier, worked for Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service, or B.N.D., as a director of technical reconnaissance — the unit responsible for cybersecurity and surveilling electronic communications. It contributes about half of the spy agency’s daily intelligence volume.

“As a Russian mole, he would have had access to critical information gathered since Moscow invaded Ukraine last year. He may have obtained high-level surveillance, not only from German spies, but also from Western partners, like the C.I.A.

“German intelligence has had a long and troubled history of Russian infiltration, stretching back decades. But the latest case now threatens to shake the sometimes tentative trust of Western intelligence agencies in Germany at a critical moment when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has presented Europe with its biggest security threat since World War II…

“Some leaders are openly questioning the loyalties of their own security services… The case has also exposed other serious vulnerabilities — about Germany’s lack of vigilance over Russian espionage and its unpreparedness to mount counterintelligence operations — which allies like Washington and London had long warned about.

“For years, as German politicians pushed economic ties with Moscow — in particular, buying its gas — they closed down many intelligence units focused on Russia. Yet President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who started his career as a K.G.B. agent in Communist East Germany, took the opposite tack: He made Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, a priority target…”

This German shortsightedness is really incredible.

Military Conscription in Europe

 Foreign Policy wrote on February 14:

 “… the war in Ukraine has reignited a debate across much of Europe about military conscription, which most NATO countries suspended in the two decades after the end of [the] Cold War. Among NATO’s 30 European member states, only Denmark, Estonia, and Greece currently require mandatory military service. But Germany’s new defense minister, Boris Pistorius,  recently said it was a ‘mistake to suspend compulsory military service’ in the Bundeswehr, Germany’s military. Other German politicians have since followed suit. The Dutch defense ministry has been studying the possible introduction of a conscription-style system, with the debate gaining increasing urgency. Mandatory military service was also an issue during Italy’s general election last year.

“While Poland debated and ultimately dismissed calls to reintroduce the draft, conscription resumed in Latvia in January—for the first time since it was suspended in 2007. Denmark, in turn, plans to expand its existing compulsory military service for men to include women as well. When one talks to force planners in select European countries, they say what is partially driving this debate is not just difficulties in meeting recruiting targets but also the realization that even the largest military powers in NATO, such as Germany or Poland, would have a tough time sustaining a casualty rate similar to what Ukraine suffered in the first few weeks of Russia’s invasion while still fielding an effective fighting force.”

And so, sadly, military conscription in Europe is all but certain to occur.

The Ideas of Jens Spahn

Merkur wrote on February 18:

“For a while, Jens Spahn was considered a possible successor to Angela Merkel. But Corona [when he worked as Germany’s controversial health minister], Armin Laschet [who upstaged him for a while as Merkel’s supposed successor] and buying a house [a heavily criticized move, using dubious sources for financing] put a spoke in his wheel. Now the still only 42-year-old has to queue at the back. The CDU parliamentary vice-president has retained a clear opinion…

[We quote his statements from an interview:]

“Olaf Scholz is clearing away the rubble of his own politics… In retrospect, we should have uncompromisingly made the strengthening of the Bundeswehr a coalition issue… Almost nothing of the 100 billion euros has been spent, not a single cartridge has yet been ordered… If Olaf Scholz had led from the start, completely different alliances would have been possible…

“There is widespread mistrust of Germany. I find that fatal. The unclear communication, all the hesitation and procrastination towards allies is just devastating….

“Caution! Nobody in Germany and Europe wants this war. But it’s about stopping Vladimir Putin. He clearly said that he will not stop with Ukraine. His logic is: where there are Russians, there is Russia… Angela Merkel has never had any illusions about who Vladimir Putin is. In the end, the policy of involving them was wrong – but that’s different from the SPD’s pandering…

“We should have identified the threat from Putin more clearly. One lesson is: We need deterrence again. As the old Latin proverb says: If you want peace, prepare for war…

“You can learn something from the war, but also from the pandemic: For two decades, Europe, the USA and China were on the way to a world of free trade… They have relied on each other. That stopped working well during the pandemic… We can and must become more independent in many areas…

“There are limits to what a society can achieve in terms of integration… Unfortunately, with an increasing number of people – especially young men – who have experienced displacement and violence and who are uprooted and homeless, the risk of something like this grows [violent attacks on others]. You need intensive psychological care, which we cannot provide on this scale. We finally have to talk openly about this – and draw the necessary conclusions.”

Some of his ideas seem quite dangerous. One thing is for sure: Spahn is not gone.

Israel Defies and Submits to America

JNS wrote on February 15:

“Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich vowed… to promote unrestrained construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, so-called Jewish ‘settlements,’ despite opposition from the Biden administration… the US said it was ‘deeply troubled’ by the prospective move to ‘advance reportedly nearly 10,000 settlement units and to begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal under Israeli law,’ according to a statement by Secretary of State  Antony Blinken…

“The State Department said its stance is in line with prior Democrat and Republican administrations that ‘strongly oppose such unilateral measures, which exacerbate tensions and undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.’’

In a subsequent article by Newsmax, dated February 20, it was stated that Israel backpedaled, at least for now, stating: “Israel will not authorize new settlements in the occupied West Bank in the coming months [beyond the nine already approved], Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Monday…”

Israel Bows to Arabs

Israel 365 News reported on February 20:

“The Israeli government has decided to place restrictions on visitation to the Temple Mount by non-Muslims during the Muslim month of Ramadan… including during the Jewish holiday of Passover.”

The article continued by pointing out the dissatisfaction of many orthodox Jews with the government’s decision:

“Tom Nisani, CEO of the Beyadenu association for the Temple Mount, responded to the report. ‘Cleansing the Temple Mount of Jews and taking away the right to visit our holiest site in the afternoon on the eve of Passover strikes at the heart of Judaism,’ Nisani said, emphasizing that the afternoon on the eve of Passover is when, for thousands of years, Jews arrived at the Temple in Jerusalem to perform the most important ritual of the year; sacrificing the Paschal Lamb.

“‘These restrictions on Jews will only serve to turn the Temple Mount compound into a base for Arab violence and terrorism, the destruction of antiquities, and harm to the police, as it does every year… The full responsibility for this surrender to terrorism will be in the hands of the ministers of the government and the cabinet.’

“Rabbi Yehuda Levi, Co-founder of High on the Har and Director of Outreach for Yeshivat Har Habayit, was dismayed at the report of possible restrictions… ‘The Jewish government has decided that violence and terrorism set the agenda. And that is a shame.’”

Mike Pompeo: Israel NOT an Occupying Nation

Israel 365 News wrote on February 19:

“Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the focus of heavy criticism last week when he said in an interview that according to the Bible, Israel is ‘the rightful homeland of the Jewish people… It is not an occupying nation,’ Pompeo said on the One Decision Podcast released on Thursday.

“Pompeo’s remarks caused consternation. The Palestine Chronicle wrote that he ‘dismissed the fact that Israel is an occupying country by claiming that the Jewish state has a biblical claim to that land’.

“Pompeo responded to the criticism on Twitter, stating simply, ‘I said it because it’s true.’

“As the foreign policy czar for President Trump, Pompeo was instrumental in advancing several pro-Israel policies such as implementing the Jerusalem Embassy Act by moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, enforcing the Taylor Force Act by cutting off funding to the Palestinian Authority while they paid stipends to convicted terrorists, and recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. The Trump administration also negotiated the Abraham accords normalizing agreements between Israel and several formerly hostile countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan…

“Ancient Rome first coined the term in 135 CE as a punishment, to obliterate the link between the Jews (in Hebrew, Y’hudim and in Latin Judaei) and the province (the Hebrew name of which was Y’hudah). ‘Palaestina’ referred to the Philistines, whose home base had been on the Mediterranean coast. In Hebrew, Philistine literally means ‘invader’, “intruder”, or, in other contexts, ‘migratory’. Historically, Palestine was a general geographic region that sometimes included southern Syria. The region referred to was a part of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years before becoming the British Mandate of Palestine from 1918-1948. It was never used to describe an independent nation or people…”

JNS added on February 17 that Pompeo “referred to Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority,” as a “known terrorist who has killed lots and lots of people, including Americans and given those martyrs money for having done so…”

Turkey Again Hit By Powerful Earthquake

The New York Post wrote on February 20:

“A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey near the Syrian border late Monday… two weeks after catastrophic twin earthquakes devastated the region, leaving more than 46,000 people dead [and] millions more homeless.

“The quake — almost as forceful as the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes that struck on Feb. 6 — brought further destruction and despair to the already ravaged Hatay province in southern Turkey. Its tremors were centered around the town of Defne, one of the worst-hit areas from the earlier quakes…”

Fox News vs. Trump

Mediaite wrote on February 16:

“On the night of Jan. 6, 2021, Fox News host Tucker Carlson referred to then-President Donald Trump as ‘a demonic force’ in a text to his producer after Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol that day. It was one of many revelations in a filing by Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing Fox News for defamation and seeking $1.6 billion in damages.

“At issue are claims Fox News hosts and guests made shortly after the 2020 presidential election. Some of them suggested or stated outright that Dominion’s machines were part of a scheme to steal the contest from Trump, who claimed the election was rigged.

“Two days after the 2020 election with the result yet to be determined, Carlson fumed via text about Fox News calling Arizona for Joe Biden. Dominion’s filing notes the network was taking heavy criticism from conservatives at the time. According to a text in the filing (page 19), the Arizona call seemed to cause consternation among the network’s biggest stars:

“‘Fox Hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity immediately understood the threat to them personally. Carlson wrote his producer Alex Pfeiffer on November 5: “We worked really hard to build what we have. Those [inappropriate term] are destroying our credibility. It enrages me.” He added that he had spoken with Laura and [S]ean a minute ago and they are highly upset. Carlson noted: “At this point we’re getting hurt no matter what.” Pfeiffer responded: “It’s a hard needle to thread, but I really think many on our side are being reckless demagogues right now.” Tucker replied: “Of course they are. We’re not going to follow them.” And he added: “What [Trump]’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”’

“Two months later, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building to overturn the election while Congress was inside certifying the results. The filing includes a text from Carlson to his producer later that day (page 43) in which the Fox News host calls Trump ‘a demonic force’:

“‘After January 6, trying to thread the needle between the truth and pressure from his viewers and sponsors became even more difficult. Late on January 6, Carlson texted with Pfeiffer that Trump is “a demonic force, a destroyer. But he’s not going to destroy us.” On January 26, Carlson invited his leading sponsor Mike Lindell on his show, where Lindell spouted these same conspiracies on air after previewing them for Carlson’s staff during a pre-interview.’

“On his show, Carlson has downplayed the Capitol riot and even referred to it as an ‘election justice protest.’ Elsewhere in the filing is a text where Carlson tells Sean Hannity that Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich should be ‘fired’ over a fact check of Trump’s election lie…

“Fox News says Dominion’s lawsuit is meritless. ‘There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan,’ Fox News said in a statement. Fox News filed an amended counterclaim against Dominion on Thursday.”

CNN added on February 16:

“The most prominent stars and highest-ranking executives at Fox News privately ridiculed claims of election fraud in the 2020 election… In one set of messages revealed in the court filing, Carlson texted Ingraham, saying that Sidney Powell, an attorney who was representing the Trump campaign, was ‘lying’ and that he had ‘caught her’ doing so. Ingraham responded, ‘Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy [Giuliani].’

“The messages also revealed that Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corporation,… even floated the idea of having Carlson, Hannity, and Ingraham appear together in prime time to declare Joe Biden as the rightful winner of the election…

“The legal filing also underscored how worried Fox News executives and hosts were in the immediate aftermath of the election of losing its viewership to Newsmax…

“After the election, a furious Trump attacked Fox News and encouraged his followers to switch to Newsmax… Fox News’ chief political anchor, Bret Baier, pushed for… fact checks… Hannity even said Giuliani was ‘acting like an insane person’ and Ingraham described him as ‘an idiot.’ Rupert Murdoch said it was ‘really bad’ that Giuliani was advising Trump…”

Now Doubts Again?

The Huffington Post wrote on February 18:

“Tucker Carlson expressed doubt about the 2020 presidential election results Thursday after court documents emerged showing he actually did not believe ex-President Donald Trump’s… fraud claims. On ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ the Fox News host opened with musings on ‘what the hell is going on in our country.’

“‘There are so many unanswered questions ― some of them lingering,’ he said. ‘How, for example, did senile hermit Joe Biden get 15 million more votes than his former boss, rock star crowd-surfer Barack Obama? Results like that would seem to defy the laws of known physics and qualify instead as a miracle. Was the 2020 election a miracle? Honestly, we don’t know and we don’t expect to get an answer to it tonight.’”

Breitbart wrote on February 21:

“Members of the now-defunct January 6 Committee howled in protest as Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly gave Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to over 40,000 hours of footage of the Capitol riot.

“The Committee, hand-picked by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their hatred of former President Donald Trump, only released selected clips — and doctored the evidence to push their narrative of an ‘insurrection.’ Critics of the committee had long argued that they should release all of the evidence.

“After Axios reported that Carlson had been given the footage, committee members reacted in outrage — mostly singing from the same songsheet: namely, accusing Carlson, a skeptic of the Ukraine war, of being ‘pro-Putin.’”

Unidentified Balloons—Shooting Sparrows With Cannons

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on February 17:

“President Biden on Thursday acknowledged that the three unidentified objects he ordered the US military to shoot down were likely harmless weather balloons. ‘The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research,’ Biden said.

“Following the panic caused by the Chinese balloon that floated over the United States, US fighter jets shot down unidentified objects on February 10, 11, and 12 using heat-seeking AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, which are worth over $400,000 apiece.

“Biden said the military was still working to collect the debris. ‘Our military and the Canadian military are seeking to recover the debris so we can learn more about these three objects,’ he said. According to a report from Aviation Week, at least one of the objects may have been a hobby balloon reported missing by a club in Illinois that launches small balloons with tracking devices that are capable of traveling the globe at high altitudes.

“The club, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB), said its balloon was last reported off the coast of Alaska on February 10, and tracking data projected that it would be floating over Canada’s Yukon Territory on February 11, the same day a US F-22 shot down an object in the area. The balloon they launched is known as a ‘pico balloon,’ a small silver-coated party-style balloon that carries a transmitter. A Pentagon memo described the object that was shot overt Canada as a ‘small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it.’

“Canadian authorities said the object that was shot down was traveling at ‘approximately 40,000 feet.’ When the NIBBB’s balloon was last reported, it was floating at 38,910 feet…”

Breitbart wrote on February 17:

“Each missile costs around $400,000. One object required two missiles after the first one missed, bringing the total cost of shooting down the three objects to more than $1,600,000. Those costs do not include operating labor and fuel costs for operating the F-22s, or other aircraft involved in the shoot-downs. Operating costs for F-22s are $85,325 an hour… The costs also do not include recovery operations, which have been ongoing for days in three different locations.

“The Biden administration was mocked on social media for spending so much money to take down what are potentially hobby balloons.

“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted: ‘To be fair, Biden is providing powerful deterrence for any high school science clubs that might try to invade America…’ Former Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) mocked it as the ‘Great Balloon Panic of 2023.’”

What an utter waste of money. America continues to be the laughing stock of the world.

The Incompetent Handling of the East Palestine Derailment Travesty

The Editorial Board of the New York Post wrote on February 19:

“On Feb. 3, a massive train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and spilled its toxic contents. The feds then set the spills afire in a controlled burn that sent an ominous black plume of smoke towering above the town, terrifying residents already shaken by the potential health risk [Fox News added on February 19: “Following the burn, black smoke tainted the community as toxins like vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride and phosgene filled the air”]

“The White House… turned down East Palestine’s FEMA request, implying the disaster wasn’t quite big enough. But Team Biden also somehow at the same time deemed it too big: ‘What East Palestine needs is much more expansive than what FEMA can provide,’ said an administration official. Bizarrely, the slapdown comes after Biden reportedly told Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine the feds would give ‘anything you need’ to help.

“Adding to the mixed messaging, whoever runs the ‘President Biden’ Twitter account bragged ‘our kids will breathe cleaner air’ and ‘drink safer water’ even as Ohioans gulped bottled water and suffered acrid, chemical stenches…

“In the days immediately after the Ohio disaster, [Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg] avoided the subject but found time to complain to the press that there are too many white construction workers.

“Finally shamed into saying something more than a week after the Ohio nightmare, he offered vague platitudes about the tiny town terrorized by an event that falls directly within his purview, blamed Trump (!!!) and said nothing meaningful about the efforts his department will make to prevent it from happening again.”

Residents are also still concerned about the air and water quality following the spill. And while water from the city of East Palestine has been tested and is considered safe, residents using well water have been encouraged to use bottled water. Also, Cincinnati closed its Ohio River water intake and switched to water reserves. Such absolute incompetence is very difficult to swallow.

Fake “Doctors” Promoted Lockdowns, Mask Wearing and Distancing

WND wrote on January 11, 2023:

“As Americans and citizens across the world were bombarded with messages promoting lockdowns, masks and social distancing during the COVID pandemic, it turns out some doctors endorsing those control measures did not even exist, being part of a ‘network’ of fake Twitter accounts, according to a stunning report.

“The San Francisco Standard revealed how a number of physicians in the LGBT community pushing the government narratives and blasting those who questioned official advice were actually electronic bots….

“‘…  two fake doctors, whose accounts urged extreme caution about Covid-19, were part of a network of at least four fake accounts that touted their ties to the LGBTQ+ community, vocally advocated for mask-wearing and social distancing, and dished out criticism to those they felt were not taking the pandemic seriously,’ the Standard reported.”

But the masses were dumb enough to believe it…

The Ron Paul Institute added on February 18:

“For better or worse, the era of Covid hysteria gave Americans a lot of insight into the true nature of our political class. It separated those who seek to protect the rights of their constituents and those who seek power for the sake of obtaining power, and end up dominating their constituents. Though arguably a manufactured hysteria, the Covid era forced everyone to flip over their cards.”

More Woke Nonsense and Censorships

ABC News wrote on February 19:

“Critics are accusing the British publisher of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books of censorship after it removed colorful language from works such as ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Matilda’ to make them more acceptable to modern readers.

“A review of new editions of Dahl’s books now available in bookstores shows that some passages relating to weight, mental health, gender and race were altered. The changes made by Puffin Books, a division of Penguin Random House, first were reported by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“Augustus Gloop, Charlie’s gluttonous antagonist in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ which originally was published in 1964, is no longer ‘enormously fat,’ just ‘enormous’…

“The word ‘black’ was removed from the description of the terrible tractors in 1970s ‘The Fabulous Mr. Fox.’ The machines are now simply ‘murderous, brutal-looking monsters.’

“Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie was among those who reacted angrily to the rewriting of Dahl’s words. Rushdie lived in hiding for years after Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 issued a fatwa calling for his death because of the alleged blasphemy in his novel ‘The Satanic Verses.’ He was attacked and seriously injured last year at an event in New York state.  ‘Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship,’’ Rushdie wrote on Twitter. ‘Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.’…

“PEN America, a community of some 7,500 writers that advocates for freedom of expression, said it was ‘alarmed’ by reports of the changes to Dahl’s books. ‘If we start down the path of trying to correct for perceived slights instead of allowing readers to receive and react to books as written, we risk distorting the work of great authors and clouding the essential lens that literature offers on society,’ tweeted Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America.”

Another reported gender-neutral change was made by replacing “fathers and mothers” with “parents.” As this nonsense continues, it is just a matter of time before the Bible will be censored, re-written or even prohibited, as was the case for many years in the past. Some have already begun to work on gender-neutral phrases for God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Can anybody doubt that Satan is behind this woke movement?

Systematic Persecution of Orthodox Catholics Through FBI and Pope Francis?

On February 20, Life Site published the following opinion by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano:

“The totem of freedom of worship allows Satan worshippers to erect a blasphemous monument to Baphomet in front of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock or a statue of a demon on the façade of the New York Courthouse to celebrate an abortionist Supreme Court judge; while in New Mexico the Satanic Temple inaugurates a clinic that performs ritual abortions and benefits from state recognition. Meanwhile, the Secret Service of the Biden administration has nothing better to do than profile traditional Catholics and keep an eye on the communities in which the Liturgy is celebrated in Latin, as if they represented a threat to the established order and a potential danger to the institutions of the State.

“This news should be read, in my opinion, as a logical and necessary consequence of another analogous and similar event: the idolatrous worship rendered by the leaders of the Catholic hierarchy to the demon of the Pachamama in St. Peter’s Basilica and in other Catholic churches, and the simultaneous persecution of traditional Catholics by the ecclesiastical authority with the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes and with its further restrictions, which are said to be imminent.

“This operation of the criminalization of dissent on the part of temporal and spiritual power is not accidental… on the one hand the deep state and on the other the deep church, both of which are corrupt and subservient to the globalist elite, with subversive purposes whose ideological bases are united by hatred of Christ, the Church, and the Holy Mass…”

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.

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Jesus talked about going the extra mile. How does a Christian do this today?

The reference to the extra mile can be found in Matthew 5:41, which quoted the words of Jesus as follows: “‘And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two…’” In Wikipedia, there are interesting comments about the practice that was extant in the Roman Empire:

“The idiom to go the extra mile means to do more than is required. The expression probably comes from the Bible, when Jesus declares, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two’ (Matthew 5:41 (NASB). The verse is reference to the practice of ‘impressment’ which, among other things, allowed a Roman soldier to conscript a Jewish native to carry his equipment for the Roman mile (million = 1,000 paces, about 1,611 yards or 1,473 meters)—no easy task considering a Roman soldier’s backpack could weigh upwards to 100 pounds (45.4 kg).”

We can see from these observations that the instruction at that time could be seen to be extremely onerous, not only regarding the seemingly “unfairness” of such a task, but also what went with it—a very heavy burden to carry for two miles and not just one. With this background and understanding of what Jesus said, we realize that it was not an easy physical thing to accomplish by any stretch of the imagination. However, Jesus was well aware of what it involved and still gave this instruction of going the extra mile and not resorting to violent resistance.

Shortly after coming into the Church and prior to being baptized, one of the writers of this Q&A had quit his government job because it conflicted with the Sabbath. He did not have permanent employment for a few months and was working at the time out of the Teamsters Union Hall in Vancouver, Canada. One day, he was sent to a company where they were unloading heavy bags of flour out of boxcars. They weighed over seventy pounds. The writer was working with a man from Alberta about his age who was about 27 at the time, and they both worked hard. They put their backs to it as the saying goes. They emptied the boxcar way sooner than the foreman had anticipated and not wanting to send them home early, he took them to a warehouse to remove wood and old pallets from the floor and pile them outside to be picked up later by the forklift driver.

It wasn’t too long before they got that job completed and they looked at one another and said, “What do we do now?” The writer suggested picking up brooms and sweeping the floor so while in the process of sweeping up, the foreman showed up, totally flabbergasted that they were not just sitting down, waiting for their next assignment. Once they finished sweeping, he almost reluctantly permitted them to go home even though it was a few hours short of the agreed-upon 8 hours for the day, but there was nothing more to do. He instructed them to come back the next day which was unusual because they were usually dispatched from the Union Hall in the morning. This shows what can be achieved when we go “the extra mile.”

Interestingly, following the instruction to go the second mile, we read about loving our enemies, which is not a natural thing to do in any age. This is found in verses 43-48, which read:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

This instruction would include the willingness to forgive our enemies and others, upon their repentance. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus answers Peter who asked about forgiveness to others: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”

Seven times seventy is 490, but this does not mean that we stop forgiving the offending person, once we have reached 490 times, but implies that to the extent the person repents, we don’t keep score but rather forgive ungrudgingly. Unfortunately, some cannot even get to first base on this when they carry a grudge, let alone forgiving someone seventy times seven. Some have a mental offense list that they bring forth during an argument, raising the offenses of the last ten years and just won’t let go and forgive and forget.

Stephen did not retaliate when he was being killed, and he is a great example for us today. He simply asked that those who were stoning him were not charged with this sin; in other words, he asked God to forgive them once they came to repentance. There was no sign whatsoever of any willingness to “pay them back” (compare Acts 7:59-60).

The greatest example of all, Jesus Christ, did not resort to violence and did not retaliate in any way when He was killed in the most barbaric manner imaginable. He could have called upon God to send a legion of angels for rescue and avenge the crimes committed against Him, but He knew that this was not the purpose of God’s plan. He asked God to forgive them, once they came to repentance, for they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34) nor understood whom they were putting to death. Stephen and Jesus both forgave and went the extra mile in the sense that they had that attitude of forgiveness at the time they were losing their own lives. For a thorough explanation of the statements by Stephen and Christ, please see our Q&A .

What about the general areas of life? Today we are not usually compelled to carry the equipment (heavy or otherwise) for another human being, even though we may offer to do so if this need became apparent, nor are we compelled to do this for a specific distance; again we could evaluate what was necessary and how much we could help.

The Collins English Dictionary gave examples from other publications, using the phrase “going the extra mile”:

“‘People who know where they are going are more willing to go the extra mile.’ CHRISTIANITY TODAY (2000).

“‘This is why 54 per cent of bosses look for employees who are willing to go the extra mile.’ THE SUN  (2014).

“‘When management puts in a great effort, those on your team are more than willing to go the extra mile.’ SUNDAY TIMES (2009).

“‘It’s about willing to go the extra mile, adding things to your game and having a work ethic.’ SUNDAY TIMES (2009).

“‘Be willing to go the extra mile to show your enthusiasm, and it won’t take long to stand out!’ SUNDAY TIMES (2011).”

Jesus gave the example of going the extra mile in His ministry and He would expect His original disciples to display this same attitude wherever possible. They had the greatest example for 3 ½ years when witnessing how Jesus manifested His words by His action.

We could give a list of situations where we could do more than is expected of us, avoiding being “unprofitable servants” (Luke 17:10), but the principle is clear at all times. Let us look for things to do for others, and when we have done whatever it is, let us see if anything further needs to be done. A little help can raise the spirit of a person, particularly since they may not see such an example very often. The onus is on us to be aware of the need of others.

Someone wrote this about the extra mile:

“As Jesus went the ‘extra mile’ for us [that] we might have forgiveness of our sins and life eternal through faith in Him, so are we called to ‘go the extra mile with Jesus’ for one another and others who don’t yet know His love and forgiveness.”

Jesus’ example of “going the extra mile” encourages us to do needed acts of selfless love and compassion toward the welfare and service of others, regardless of how “nice” or how much “like us” they may be. Whenever we “go the extra mile” in service to others, we are doing so in service to God.

We have to remember that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, went more than the extra mile, as we read in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

That is the definitive example of the “going the extra mile” injunction!

Lead Writers: Rene Messier (Canada) and Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Spring Holy Days: Passover—April 5, 2023 (observed the evening before); Feast of Unleavened Bread—April 6-12, 2023; Pentecost—May 28, 2023.

Die Bedeutung von Gottes Heiligen Frühjahrsfesten,” the new German booklet on the Spring Holy Days, has been posted on the Web. 

“Kämpfen wie Christen” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Fight Like Christians.”

“Kriegsdienstverweigerung,” the sermonette presented in Germany last Sabbath by Robert Muhr is now posted. Title in English: “Conscientious Objection.”

“In Control?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Drifting in life places control over the direction we take in our lives to influences that are ungodly. To stay in control involves adopting God’s will as our own and being led by the Holy Spirit.

“The Levites: Past, Present and Future,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

God chose the Tribe of Levi for Himself to teach Israel His commandments, statutes and judgments. That obligation continues, and as prophecy shows, the covenant with Levi will once again be fulfilled.

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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

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