Update 1070


Joy–the Second Attribute of the Holy Spirit / Total Annihilation

On June 3, 2023, Paul Niehoff will present the sermonette, titled, “Joy–the Second Attribute of the Holy Spirit,” and Rene Messier will present the sermon, titled, “Total Annihilation.”

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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We Are Not the Only Ones

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

In October last year (2022), my wife and I flew from Heathrow airport to Düsseldorf in Germany as part of our travel to the German Feast of Tabernacles site.   When we were in the lounge at the airport, waiting for the call to go to the gate for the flight, I saw someone I recognised.   As he passed me, he nodded, and I nodded back.   I recognised him as a famous footballer (soccer player) who had played for two of the top teams in England and was an international player for his country of birth (he was not English).  I had seen him play many times on television, and he was a top-class player.

I decided to engage him in conversation and found him very friendly, and he was happy to have a conversation about football that was interesting.   He was going to Germany on a scouting mission as he had been appointed as the coach of a European team a few months previously, after coaching other teams since his retirement.   I saw him again on board the aircraft and we again met up at the carousel waiting for our luggage to arrive.   We had a further conversation that was very stimulating and one that we, in the Church of God, could relate to.

He was quite animated about how he found it difficult to communicate properly with his players because of political correctness.  The gist of what he said was that, at times, he needed to get his message across when he could be straightforward with them but found that almost impossible because a wrong word here or there could be disastrous in the current climate.  He felt that he had to really measure his words in a way that would not offend his charges and that that could and did present problems.   In other words, the woke culture that society has been sleepwalking into has made his ability to coach the team properly, a real problem.

In the Church, we can sometimes think that we are the only ones who may struggle with the ridiculous suppression of freedom of speech that has engulfed society in the Western world.   So many have become sensitive and super-sensitive to the point where it can be difficult to communicate with others.  People can be “cancelled” if they disagree with the current societal ethos.

We know that if any of us state publicly that homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism and same-sex marriage are wrong according to the Bible, it can be construed as hate speech.   The LGBTQ+ groupings are not so constrained in their propagation of such appalling behaviour which God, the Creator of all mankind, says is abominable.

A recent example (one of many) of this woke nonsense occurred recently, in May 2023, when a coffee shop manager in the UK was filmed screaming at a customer for being “transphobic” after she used the word “lady” to describe a non-binary member of staff.  It ended up with the worker being filmed berating a woman and throwing her out of a branch of the chain, in footage which went viral.

We know from our recent Google advertising campaign that we have to be so careful, and inventive, to ensure that we can get our message across.  Many years ago, Mr Herbert Armstrong used to meet many leaders, some of whom were not from “Christian” countries, and he had to frame his words carefully.   We have to do the same today, without ever compromising or watering down the message, and much thought and work has to go into what and how we say things.

Nevertheless, we read in Isaiah 58:1: “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.”  We continue to do that today whilst we keep in mind how organisations work and how they push their liberal agendas.

Perhaps, sometimes, we can think that we are the only ones who struggle with this paralysing effect of correct English pronouncements by the woke brigade, but there are many who may or may not be religious who see that such restrictions are the enemy of free speech.   We are not the only ones, but we do have the most important task in the world today of announcing the soon-coming Kingdom of God when all of the nonsense we have to put up with today will become a thing of the past.

And it will be like that under perfect government for eternity!

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by Norbert Link

We begin with an insightful article about the debt ceiling “deal”; continue with the “corrupt” IRS and “Democracy’s horror story,” as revealed by the Durham report; and with the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

We report on the Democratic presidential candidates Biden and Kennedy as well as Donald Trump’s most recent “pronouncements”; America’s ongoing COVID vaccine requirements for immigrants; its devastating housing market; and Europe’s furor with Elon Musk.

We speak on Erdogan’s highly controversial election victory and developments in Spain.

Turning to the Ukraine war, we address Angela Merkel’s alleged responsibility for the war; Olaf Scholz’s “assurance” that Western weapons will not be used by Ukraine on Russian territory; ridiculous comments by Zelenskyy; and the volatile situation in Kosovo; and we conclude with Germany’s somewhat typical reactions to perceived “anti-Semitism.”

Please view our new StandingWatch program, “The Ukraine War—Germany’s and Merkel’s Fault?” 

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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The Debt Ceiling “Deal”—Nothing to Boast About

The New York Post wrote on May 28:

“Kevin McCarthy trumpeted a debt-ceiling deal Sunday, but increasing debt another $4 trillion with minimal concessions is nothing to boast about… McCarthy’s one dealbreaker should have been his promise to defund President Biden’s massive $80 billion to turbocharge an already weaponized IRS. 

“This was the totemic centerpiece of his pitch to become speaker. It was the most memorable promise of the Republicans’ midterm campaign to win back the House… ‘Our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents,’ McCarthy vowed…

“In the debt-ceiling deal… McCarthy has allowed the lion’s share of that extra IRS funding to remain unmolested: preserving $78.1 billion of the $80 billion

“If anything, the IRS is worse today than it was during the Obama administration, when Lois Lerner presided over the targeted harassment of Tea Party groups and other conservatives. Not a single IRS employee was held accountable for the scandal. Lerner retired on a full pension without even a slap on the wrist. 

“This is the same IRS which went after journalist Matt Taibbi last December, three weeks after he started reporting on the so-called ‘Twitter Files,’ which revealed that censorship on the social-media platform had been coordinated by federal government agencies such as the FBI and CIA. On March 9, when Taibbi was testifying in Congress about, ironically enough, the weaponization of the federal government, IRS agents showed up unannounced at his New Jersey home…

“Under questioning from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, the IRS has claimed it had concerns about ‘identity fraud’ with Taibbi’s 2018 and 2021 tax returns, and that he was sent two letters before the home visit. Yet Taibbi says he and his accountant never received any letters

“Even more ‘unnerving’ as Taibbi puts it, was the fact that an IRS case agent had compiled a dossier on him which included personal information such as his voter registration records and whether he had a concealed-weapons permit or a hunting or fishing license.  Unlike Hunter Biden, Taibbi didn’t owe the IRS any taxes and in fact was due a refund. And yes, this is the same IRS which removed its entire investigative team from Hunter Biden’s case on DOJ orders after two senior agents complained about DOJ interference…

“This is the IRS that is still getting almost $80 billion of taxpayer money to double down on its malfeasance in the countdown to the 2024 election — with the benign approval of the House Republicans who promised to stop it.”

This is an incredible scandal indeed.

Debt Ceiling Bill Passes

 CNBC wrote on May 31:

“A bill to raise the debt limit and cap government spending passed in the House by a wide margin late Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate just days before Monday’s U.S. default deadline. The Fiscal Responsibility Act passed 314-117, with support from both Democrats and Republicans…

“The reaction from the White House was measured… For McCarthy, the vote was a personal victory worth celebrating… Yet amid the celebration, some Republicans were left fuming…

“The fact that McCarthy’s bill passed with 165 Democratic votes, yet only 149 from Republicans, came as a surprise to many… 71 Republicans bucked McCarthy and voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act [That is about a third of the GOP caucus]…

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the result of a deal reached between McCarthy and Biden, which essentially handed conservatives several ideological policy victories in exchange for their votes to raise the debt ceiling beyond next year’s presidential election and into 2025.”

This means, more Democrats voted for the bill than Republicans. The bill suspends the debt limit with no cap through Jan. 1, 2025, while also cutting non-defense spending; capping growth at 1% for the next two years; and proposing non-mandatory caps for the four years after.

DeSantis: “Abolish the IRS”

Newsmax wrote on May 28:

“The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has become ‘a corrupt organization’ and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis would ‘chuck it out the window’ for a ‘single-rate’ taxation system. ‘So, the answer’s yes,’ DeSantis told ‘The Dana Show’ podcast on whether he would sign a law to abolish the IRS…

“When the Biden administration put in an expansion of the IRS with 87,000 new agents in place, DeSantis condemned it as a ‘middle finger to the American public.’ ‘Of all the things that have come out of Washington that have been outrageous, this has got to be pretty close to the top,’ DeSantis said last August…”

All these corrupt organizations such as the IRS, the FBI and the CIA should be abolished immediately. But there is more to be reported on the absolutely scandalous conduct of certain terribly corrupt American organizations and people. Note the next article.

The Durham Report: “Democracy’s Horror Story”

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on May 27:

Hillary knew. She knew her campaign paid for Russian disinformation… to be washed through a report by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. She knew the information was false but could potentially allow her to win the election. Hillary lied to the FBI about all this, and lied to the American public...

The FBI knew. They knew none of the information in the Steele Report could be corroborated, and they knew most of it was false. They turned a blind eye, purposefully and with the intent to defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 election… When Trump won the election anyway, the FBI continued to use this information to assault the loyalty and viability of President Trump and ultimately tried to use the information via the Robert Mueller investigation to impeach or indict Trump.

Only one person went to jail for all this, a minor player named Kevin Clinesmith for providing false info to the FISA court. No changes are planned for the FBI. No charges are to be brought against Hillary Clinton. The Deep State came within an eyelash of bringing down an unwanted president as surely as they are believed to have done in Dallas ’63. Words were the weapon this time, not bullets.

“These are the conclusions of the final Durham report released last week… The Durham Report confirms on August 3, 2016, the Russiagate allegations were briefed to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and FBI Director James Comey by CIA Director John Brennan at an Oval Office meeting. None of the men briefed, and none of the agencies involved, did anything to intercede in the FBI’s efforts alongside the Clinton Campaign to manufacture collusion between Trump and Russia…”

This is the current status of the United States of America. And God is extremely ANGRY about this. And so should we be!

Texas AG Ken Paxton Impeached

The Associated Press wrote on May 27:

“Texas’ GOP-led House of Representatives impeached state Attorney General Ken Paxton on Saturday on articles including bribery and abuse of public trust, a sudden, historic rebuke of a fellow Republican who rose to be a star of the conservative legal movement despite years of scandal and alleged crimes. The vote triggers Paxton’s immediate suspension from office pending the outcome of a trial in the state Senate and empowers Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to appoint someone else as Texas’ top lawyer in the interim…

“The 121-23 vote constitutes an abrupt downfall for one of the GOP’s most prominent legal combatants, who in 2020 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral defeat of Donald Trump. It makes Paxton only the third sitting official in Texas’ nearly 200-year history to have been impeached.

“Moments after the vote, Paxton’s office said the impeachment was ‘based on totally false claims’ and pointed to internal reports that found no wrongdoing…

“Texas’ top elected Republicans had been notably quiet about Paxton this week. But on Saturday both Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came to his defense, with the senator calling the impeachment process ‘a travesty’ and saying the attorney general’s legal troubles should be left to the courts. ‘Free Ken Paxton,’ Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social, warning if House Republicans proceeded with the process, ‘I will fight you.’”

Could Paxton’s stance on the outcome of the 2020 election have anything to do with his impeachment?

Kennedy a Thorn in Biden’s Flesh?

Fox News wrote on May 27:

“Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. may be here to stay as new polling shows Democratic voters are unenthusiastic about re-electing President Biden 2024… CNN’s most recent polling [is] showing the environmental lawyer controlling 20%… The Democratic National Committee announced it would not be hosting primary debates for the 2024 cycle…

“With enough money and support, Kennedy could potentially mount an independent campaign without the Democratic Party’s backing that could damage Biden’s re-election effort.

“Kennedy could be a spoiler in the election if he keeps his momentum up, plays his cards right and keeps up his media push that will likely take him to Twitter for an interview with billionaire owner Elon Musk. That possibility also becomes more of a reality should Williamson drop out of the race and the majority of her supporters fall into Kennedy’s camp.

“However enticing that path may be to some, becoming a presidential spoiler in America’s two-party system is a rare feat that requires that a candidate spend a lot of money… Still, Biden’s political bleeding serves as a warning to his campaign that his re-election is not as buttoned-up as the campaign may believe it is.”

Less and less Americans are enthusiastic about another four more years for Biden, especially with the real possibility, which is horrifying to many, that Kamala Harris might replace him midstream. Kennedy was asked whether he would support Biden if Biden were to be elected, and Kennedy’s answer was: I want to become President. I have no plan B. He also made some interesting statements, as the next article shows.

Kennedy Speaks Out Against Unconstitutional COVID Restrictions

Fox News wrote on May 26, 2023:

“Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warned that U.S. leaders have potentially set an ‘ugly precedent’ that hearkens back to the Civil War when President Lincoln was judicially admonished for suspending habeas corpus.‘…they suspended the First Amendment: religion; freedom of association when they did the lockdowns,’ he said.

“‘[They restricted] freedom of speech. They banned jury trials against vaccine companies – that’s [a violation of] the Seventh Amendment. They abolished property rights [which violates the] Fifth Amendment [when] they closed 3.3 million businesses with no due process, no just compensation, although there was no pandemic exception in the United States Constitution…’

“Kennedy said that at no previous time in history was the Bill of Rights so collectively suspended as it had been during the coronavirus pandemic… ‘So now we have this very, very ugly precedent… the government has withdrawn those mandates now, but they have not said “we’re never going to do it again” — And there’s a whole pipeline of new emergencies, whether it’s terrorism or all these new diseases,’ Kennedy said…

“‘The Constitution was written for hard times, and we need to restore that,’ Kennedy said. ‘There’s no excuse for suspending our Constitution. There certainly is not a pandemic exception in the Constitution.’

“Later in the interview, host Laura Ingraham asked if Kennedy would consider – should the GOP defeat the Democratic nominee – serving in a Republican administration. Kennedy said he ‘would think about that’ because he could do ‘a lot of good for the country’ in the Department of Health & Human Services.”

Ingraham responded: I hope you would.

More Dictatorial Requirements from the Biden Administration

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on May 25:

“On the first day of May, the Biden administration announced that, starting on May 12, mandates President Joe Biden had imposed that many individuals take experimental coronavirus ‘vaccine’ shots would be rescinded. The press release announcing the policy change included this listing of individuals who would be relieved of the mandates:

“‘Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. Additionally, HHS and DHS announced today that they will start the process to end their vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border.’

Not mentioned were immigrants to America. On May 4, a short statement from the United States Department of State suggested immigrants would not have relief under the change, noting that ‘starting May 12, noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers will no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States.’

“Indeed, a coronavirus shots mandate remains in place for immigrants six months old and older. In all, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page detailing this and other shots requirements for immigrants lists shots related to 16 diseases as mandated for US immigrants. Notably, no such US government mandates apply to people who obtained citizenship upon birth by being either born in America or the child of a US citizen. There are, though, varying shots mandates imposed by states as a condition of school attendance. While the CDC web page says that immigrants can request a waiver ‘based on religious or moral convictions,’ many immigrants will feel pressure not to do so, fearing making such a request will put at risk their immigration effort.

Why keep subjecting immigrants to this pressure to take the coronavirus shots plus shots related to 15 other diseases? It can help keep out of America independent thinkers who are determined to make their own decisions on medical and other matters. It can also help cement in new immigrants’ thinking from the get-go that they must submit to the US government’s expansive desire to micromanage how people live their lives. Welcome to America; now do as you are told. The shots mandates for immigrants are also among the many examples of the US government helping pharmaceutical companies move their products and increase their profits.”

All of this is SO wrong… and another example of the oppressive and dictatorial nature of the authoritarian Biden Administration.

Trump Promises to Abolish Part of the Constitution

The Huffington Post wrote on May 31:

“Donald Trump vowed in a campaign video released Tuesday to end birthright citizenship on ‘Day One’ of his presidency if he wins the 2024 election.

The former president claimed the constitutional guarantee of U.S. citizenship for anyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of their parents’ immigration status, was ‘not working’…

“Trump, the current GOP front-runner, vowed to nullify the clause of the 14th Amendment via a simple executive order… ‘As part of my plan to secure the border on Day One, my new term in office, I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law, going forward, the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship,’ Trump said in the video…

“Trump also floated the idea when he was president… But he never acted on his vow.

“Section 1 of the 14th Amendment states:

“‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’

“In his new video, Trump didn’t detail exactly how he’d navigate the process of nullifying the right enshrined in the Constitution. He also didn’t explain why he reneged on his promise to do so during his first term in office.”

In fact, Trump announced in the past that he would end “chain immigration” and deport Dreamers. Even though he was not able to do so at the time, his ideas pertaining to immigration are quite frightening.

America’s Devastating Housing Market

MSN published the following article on May 27:

“Housing demand surged during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. People fled large cities, as ‘work from home’ allowed them to move to places where housing costs were lower and the quality of living was higher. Another driver of the phenomenon was historically low mortgage rates, which fell below 3% in some cases. This made homes more affordable. Those days are over.

“The average rate on a long-term mortgage averaged 6.57% last week. People without good credit will need to pay 7% or more. ABC reported… People who got 3% mortgage rates during the last decade will hang on to homes because they have relatively low payments. And people who cannot afford homes because of high-interest rates will stay out of the market. It is a perfect storm to keep the supply of housing low.

“Often, buyers do not understand how much a 7% mortgage costs them monthly compared with one at 3%. That is, until they make a calculation. A mortgage payment of $1,000 two years ago has changed to one that will likely be at least $1,500 today. As was the case in March, people can’t afford to buy houses–again.”

A terrible assessment. But the highly inflated bubble of astronomically high housing prices will burst soon.

EU Furious with Musk

Breitbart wrote on May 28:

Elon Musk has pulled Twitter out of the EU’s ‘Code of Practice’, a pro-censorship project aimed at countering so-called ‘disinformation’ online, prompting fury from those in Brussels… Musk’s decision to pull Twitter out of the EU’s voluntary censorship programme appears to indicate a worsening tension between the company and the transnational union.

“Although the crusade against disinformation is voluntary for now… the bloc’s Digital Services Act will soon mandate that major social media companies preemptively censor certain content, statements, views and opinions deemed impermissible by Brussels.

“Under the coming regulations, any platform that refuses to abide by the rules risks massive fines, as well as facing a potential ban from operating within the union…”

This is just one example to show how autocratic and dictatorial the EU has become. And most Turks, living in Germany, have voted for autocrat Erdogan. As the following articles point out, Erdogan’s victory will only accelerate Turkey’s decline into more dictatorship.

Erdogan’s Authoritarian Dictatorship Will Continue and Worsen

Breitbart wrote on May 28:

“Longtime Turkish strongman leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared victory on Sunday evening in the second and final round of this year’s presidential election in the country…

“The voting ends a dramatic, and often violent, campaign that many international observers denounced as neither free nor fair. Erdoğan has been prime minister or president of the country for over 20 years and wielded that power to imprison political dissidents, shut down dozens of media outlets his regime could not control, and paralyze potential organized opposition movements against the AKP.

“In one of the Turkish government’s most egregious acts under the Erdoğan regime, police detained the head of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, shortly before the 2018 presidential election, forcing him to campaign from prison, where he remains to this day. Erdoğan made Demirtaş a campaign issue by branding him a terrorist, without evidence

“The CHP accused the AKP of fraud in the first round of voting and of using violence to intimidate potential secularist voters…”

In spite of knowing all these things, hypocritical world leaders congratulated Erdogan on his victory. See the article below.

World Leaders Congratulate Erdogan

Time of Israel wrote on May 29:

“US President Joe Biden on Sunday congratulated Erdogan, tweeting: ‘I look forward to continuing to work together as NATO Allies on bilateral issues and shared global challenges.’ He made no mention of recent tensions in the bilateral relationship. [Of course not.] US Secretary of State Antony Blinken… praised Sunday’s high turnout rate and the country’s ‘long democratic tradition.’ [Was he joking?]

“Ties between Turkey and the United States have been tested in recent years, including over crackdowns on dissent, military operations in Syria, Erdogan’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin even amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, and Ankara’s protestations over a bid by Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Putin said Erdogan’s victory Sunday was ‘clear evidence’ that the Turkish people support his efforts to ‘strengthen state sovereignty and pursue an independent foreign policy.’ [To put it differently, They support Erdogan’s dictatorship, as many in Russia support Putin’s dictatorship.] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was counting on building the partnership between the two countries and strengthening cooperation ‘for the security and stability of Europe.’ [Zelensky looks for partners wherever he may think he can find them.. but he might become terribly disappointed.]

“Earlier, Israeli President Isaac Herzog also sent his congratulations to Erdogan, tweeting: ‘I am convinced that we will work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Turkiye and Israel.’ [Now that is the epitome of hypocrisy.]… Palestinian terror group Hamas released a statement congratulating the longtime Turkish leader and hoped for a new era of ‘strengthening Islamic-Arab ties and support for the Palestinian issue.’ [Of course they would.] Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also released a statement hailing the incumbent’s victory…

“Erdogan, the country’s longest-serving leader, was tested like never before in what was widely seen as the country’s most consequential election in its 100-year history as a post-Ottoman republic…

Opposition supporters viewed the election as a do-or-die chance to save Turkey from being turned into an autocracy by a man whose consolidation of power rivals that of Ottoman sultans… Erdogan, a 69-year-old Muslim, is set to remain in power until 2028…”

This is not good news for Turkey [biblical Edom] or the Turkish people.

Spain to Dissolve Parliament; New Elections in July

Politico wrote on May 29:

“Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday said he would dissolve parliament and call for a snap election for July 23, a day after conservatives and the far right posted strong gains in regional and municipal polls. Spain was due to hold general elections by the end of the year, but the Socialist leader announced his decision to move up the date following Sunday’s local polls, which saw his party suffer heavy losses across the country… Sánchez took personal responsibility for his party’s poor showing in the municipal elections, which concluded with nearly all of the country’s largest cities in the hands of the centre-right Popular Party (PP), including longtime Socialist stronghold Seville…

“The decision to call an early general election is a bold one for Sánchez, who is wrapping up his four-year term at the helm of the first coalition government in the country’s history…

“Holding the national elections in late July also adds an all-bets-are-off element to the vote. A large number of Spaniards will be on vacation — and it’s unclear how many of them will be willing to go home to vote. While citizens can vote by mail, recent scandals involving the purchase of these ballots in some cities that means increased use of this system will likely be the source of turmoil. If the past few summers are any indication, Spaniards will also be voting in the midst of yet another prolonged, deadly heat wave, and at a time when wildfires often ravage the country’s interior. Participation could be heavily impacted by any of these factors and prove decisive for the outcome.

“The elections will also take place just three weeks after Spain takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. With the Socialist party polling 6 points behind the PP, there is a strong possibility that the rotating presidency may begin with Sánchez as prime minister but conclude with PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo as Spain’s head of government. That kind of shift could prove to be a major distraction in the midst of the last, full Council presidency prior to next year’s European Parliament election.

“These six months were meant to be a ‘golden’ period when much of this term’s landmark legislation is finalized, but the wrap-up of parliamentary activity in Brussels may ultimately be overshadowed by political turmoil in Madrid.”

Spain is to be expected to become one of the core nations of Europe which will then give their power to the “beast.” Developments in Spain are therefore of tremendous importance.

The Ukraine War—Angela Merkel’s Fault?

Ukraine Today wrote on May 26:

“German society is rethinking Merkel’s 16-year rule, which seemed like a golden age, but led to a nightmarish war. In April this year, Angela Merkel received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit for Germany, the country’s highest honor, previously awarded only to the first post-war chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, and to the uniting chancellor of East and West Germany, Helmut Kohl. 

“The fact that Merkel was placed on a par with the creators of modern Germany forced German society to seriously reconsider its assessment of the seemingly successful 16-year rule of the first woman chancellor. Especially in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, writes The Wall Street Journal: ‘Merkel was a key architect of the agreements that made the economy of Germany and its neighbors dependent on energy imports from Russia. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine destroyed this strategic partnership, forcing Germany to look elsewhere for oil and natural gas, at a huge cost to businesses, government and households’, – notes the publication.

“… during the years of her rule, defense budgets were cut year after year. On the day of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the commander of the Bundeswehr, Lieutenant General Alfons Mays, said that the once powerful German army was now so weakened that it was no longer capable of repelling a Russian attack of this magnitude.

“Particularly outrageous for Germans today is the fact that after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Merkel not only did not refuse to buy energy from the Kremlin, but worked to double her gas imports from Russia. Many German pundits and even former Merkel allies now believe that this alone gave Vladimir Putin the courage to launch a new invasion eight years later.

“‘At an event last year, Merkel recalled that after the annexation of Crimea, Putin told her that he wanted to destroy the European Union. But she continued to promote plans to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite US protests…

“The publication states that after leaving the post of chancellor and the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, Merkel did not admit mistakes and did not apologize for them…

“Another strategic mistake Merkel is called by many is her decision to completely abandon nuclear energy, which has just happened in stages to this day. The decision… made Germany even more dependent on Russian gas.

“It is Merkel who is considered to be the person who blocked the movement of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO membership in 2008…

“The WSJ notes that a number of experts are coming to exactly this conclusion: the failure of the West to draw red lines and continued economic cooperation with Germany prompted Putin to launch a full-scale attack in 2022

“In April, Angela Merkel gave an interview to German journalists, in which she again stated that she considers her policy towards Russia to be correct and does not see her guilt in the fact that this policy led Europe to the largest war since the Second World War… At the same time, commenting on the realities of the internal agenda in Germany, Merkel lamented that the Germans today are more concerned about the war in Ukraine than climate protection issues.”

For a long time, Merkel had been completely overrated. Many in Germany should have seen what Merkel’s political agenda was all about, but did not see it or chose to ignore it. And the politic of appeasement regarding Russia is still continuing under Olaf Scholz. Note the next article.

Restricted Use of Weapons for Ukraine?

MSN published the following article on May 26:

“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that the weapons provided by Western countries to Ukraine must be used strictly on Ukrainian territory

“When asked about the possibility of the hostilities moving to Russia, the heads of the Baltic states were less categorical than Scholz. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stressed that, according to the UN Charter, every country has the right to defend itself. ‘And this also means that Ukraine can use the weapons that have been given to them…’

“Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karinš pointed out that ‘it’s very clear that… Ukraine is in the business of defending its own country.’

“And Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonite said that ‘it’s quite strange to think that the war can only be in that other territory that you invaded, there might be incidents that happen on your own territory, as a matter of fact’.

“In February, Olaf Scholz stated that there was a consensus with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that weapons provided by the West would not be used to attack Russian territory.”

This is such a joke, propagated by a chancellor who seems to be living in a fantasy world.

Is This a Joke? “Zelenskyy Praises the Determination of Chancellor Scholz”

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 31:

“Zelenskyy has praised the ‘determination’ of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in providing aid to the war-torn country. Zelenskyy, in his nightly video message, said he spoke to Scholz by phone and thanked him for providing air defense systems that were crucial in saving the lives of many Ukrainians from attacks by Russia.

“‘And I thank Olaf, Mr. Chancellor, for his personal determination, which in many ways becomes the determination for all of Europe,’ he continued in the video message.”

The former comedian Zelenskyy has to be careful that he doesn’t return to his old line of work and becomes incredibly ridiculous and embarrassing. Procrastinating, hesitant and ineffective Chancellor Scholz shows no determination at all, and to assign a leading role to him in Europe is a blatant joke. In view of the dissatisfaction of many Germans with Scholz and his governing coalition, Mr. Zelenskyy should be careful not to lose all sympathy in Germany.

Die Welt reported on May 30:

“There were drone strikes in Moscow early Tuesday morning. Ukraine stressed that it had ‘nothing directly’ to do with it.”

Who is supposed to believe that?

Escalation in Kosovo

The Associated Press wrote on May 31:

“International efforts to defuse a crisis in Kosovo intensified Wednesday as ethnic Serbs held more protests in a northern town where recent clashes with NATO-led peacekeepers sparked fears of renewed conflict in the troubled region… The rising tensions have fueled concern about another war like the 1998-99 fighting in Kosovo that claimed more than 10,000 lives, left more than 1 million people homeless and resulted in a NATO peacekeeping mission that has lasted nearly a quarter of a century…

Russia is a close Serbian ally, although Belgrade populist leaders claim to be seeking European Union membership… A former province of Serbia, Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence is recognized by Washington and most EU nations but not by Belgrade, Russia or China…

“Serbia put the country’s military on its highest state of alert and sent more troops to the border with Kosovo…

“The 1998-1999 war in Kosovo erupted when ethnic Albanian separatists launched a rebellion against Serbia, which responded with a brutal crackdown. The war ended after NATO bombing forced Serbia to pull out of the territory. The Balkan region is still reckoning with the aftermath of a series of bloody conflicts in the 1990s during the violent breakup of the former country of Yugoslavia.”

German Critic of Pandemic Restrictions Acquitted

JTA wrote on May 24:

“A German microbiologist… was acquitted on Tuesday of incitement to hatred for comments about Jews and Israel. In a 2021 campaign video for the fringe political party die Basis (The Basis), Sucharit Bhakdi, 74, a well-known critic of Germany’s pandemic restrictions, had said that the Jews had learned evil under Hitler and are utilizing it in Israel to spread more evil…

“Prosecutors… had argued that Bhakdi’s comments could lead to the targeting of Jews in Germany. But a judge concluded that it couldn’t be determined without reasonable doubt that Bhakdi had been spreading antisemitic hatred toward Jews, rather than a specific criticism of the Israeli government and its vaccination policies

“Germany has strict laws about Nazi-themed hate speech…”

It is a fact that Israel had adopted some of the most radical Corona pandemic restrictions in the world.  

German Hysteria and Overreaction?

The New York Post wrote on May 26:

“British rocker Roger Waters defended himself Friday after German police launched an investigation into the Pink Floyd co-founder over the Nazi-style costume he wore to a concert in Berlin last week. ‘We are investigating on suspicion of incitement to public hatred because the clothing worn on stage could be used to glorify or justify Nazi rule, thereby disturbing the public peace,’ said Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg.

“Waters donned a long black coat, black gloves and black sunglasses — complete with a red armband –- during a portion of his May 17 performance in which he fired an imitation machine gun at the crowd while flanked by men dressed in military regalia. ‘The clothing resembles the clothing of an SS officer,’ Halweg said.

“The 79-year-old defended his costume choice and said that it was a clear statement ‘in opposition to fascism, injustice, bigotry in all its forms.’ ‘My recent performance in Berlin has attracted bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views and moral principles… Attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated. The depiction of an unhinged fascist demagogue has been a feature of my shows since Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in 1980.’

“Scores of Twitter users rushed to lambast the rocker, including the state of Israel. ‘Good morning to every one but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (Yes Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust,’ it wrote.

“Other German cities including Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne tried to cancel Waters’ concerts after Jewish groups accused him of anti-Semitism for his support of Palestine… ‘When I was a child after the war, the name of Anne Frank was often spoken in our house, she became a permanent reminder of what happens when fascism is left unchecked. My parents fought the Nazis in World War II, with my father paying the ultimate price,’ he said

“The efforts to halt his performances across Germany were unsuccessful — the final tour date in the country is scheduled for May 28 in Frankfurt.”

One can certainly disagree with Waters’ conduct and methods, as well as with his political views, but it is ludicrous to investigate him because of “incitement to public hatred” against Jews, given his background and his family’s history. But this is another example of paranoia and hypocrisy, especially in Germany where politicians and media outlets are anxious to proclaim friendship with Israel and the Jews, while at the same time collaborating with the Palestinians against Israel.

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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Does God know anger?

We recently had an e-mail from someone who had received our advertised booklet The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.” This person wrote:

“Thank you for your literature.  However, I am shocked and surprised that in Chapter 11 you refer to ‘God’s anger… In my experience God would not know anger – He is loving, kind and non-judgemental. You may be referring to the old testament of course in which God is portrayed as a human emotional being capable of such feelings. Thank God this beautiful power is far beyond that.”

The person then requested to be “unsubscribed” as a consequence. 

It is sad that due to ignorance, the clear teachings of the Bible are here being questioned.

In this Q&A, we will answer the two references that the writer makes about the God of the Old Testament and the assertion that God would not know anger.  

We have no reason to spend a lot of time on who was the God of the Old Testament, as we had numerous pieces of literature on the subject, including a Q&A entitled “Was Jesus Christ the God of the Old Testament?” which was in our weekly Update dated 6th August 2021.

Just a few points from that Q&A should suffice, as follows:

“The Church of God has understood for many years that Jesus Christ was THE God of the Old Testament…

“Notice the dialogue and the reaction of the Jews to Christ’s words in John 8:56–58: ‘[Jesus said,] “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”’

“When Jesus said, ‘I AM,’ rather than, ‘I WAS,’ the Jews understood that He identified Himself as God—as ‘Yahweh,’ the ‘I AM’ or Eternal of the Old Testament. That is why they ‘took up stones to throw at Him’ (verse 59)…

“According to Biblical testimony, some did see ‘God’ in Old Testament times, and they did hear His voice. On the other hand, Christ and the apostles taught that no human has ever seen or heard the voice of ‘God.’ Since God does not contradict Himself in His Word, He is obviously talking about two different personages here. Indeed, the Bible clarifies that no one has ever seen God the Father (compare again John 5:37; 6:46). But some did see ‘God’—that is, the second being in the God Family—Jesus Christ, in His glorified state…

“The Jews at the time of Christ did not know—and most still don’t know today—that God is a Family, presently consisting of two God beings. Christ came to REVEAL the Father to them (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22). The Jews thought they knew the Father, not realizing that the God of the Old Testament, who directly worked with and dealt with Israel, was Jesus Christ—not God the Father…

“In conclusion, the world has been cut off from God the Father, the HIGHEST of the Godhead, as well as the knowledge as to who God the Father and Jesus Christ are. The Father did not deal directly with mankind, and He was not generally worshipped by the overwhelming majority, including those who read but did not understand the Scriptures. No one has ever seen the Father or heard His voice. It was Christ who showed Himself to and dealt with the people. It was He who was THE God of the Old Testament.”

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 is a most telling passage of Scripture:

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

Our correspondent said that “You may be referring to the old testament of course in which God is portrayed as a human emotional being capable of such feelings. Thank God this beautiful power is far beyond that.”

It appears to this person that the God of the Old Testament [who was Jesus Christ] was portrayed as an emotional human being, which is clearly not the case. Of course, mainstream church theology states erroneously that God the Father was the God of the Old Testament.

To look at the second area of this person’s disagreement with God’s Word is that it is asserted that “In my experience God would not know anger – He is loving, kind and non-judgemental.” In this context, the person refers to chapter 11 of our booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.”    Let us look at this at the beginning of that chapter, under the heading, “God’s Anger Against, and Mercy for, Judah”:

“The Bible tells us that in the near future, God will bring terrible punishment on the modern descendants of the ancient house of Judah, not because of the conduct of ancients, but because of their own conduct.

“Defeat in War and Captivity Prophesied for Judah

“In speaking of OUR day, God tells us that modern Jews WILL repent and accept the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, but only AFTER they have been held captive by foreign invaders.”

To say that God would not know anger is to ignore many passages in the Bible.

Biblegateway.com, under the heading “DICTIONARY OF BIBLE THEMES—1025 GOD, ANGER OF,” defines anger as follows: “The punitive and vindicatory reaction, legitimate and controlled, yet awesomely emphatic, of God the righteous judge to unrighteousness in his human creatures. Up to the present, the expression of God’s anger and wrath has had the purpose of drawing sinners to repentance and conversion, but this will not be the case at the final judgment.”

We know that, by definition, God is love.   One of many descriptions is given in 1 John 4:7-12:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

God is love but that can be manifested in different ways as we will see.

BibleGateway.com gives a comprehensive list of the nature of God’s anger. They point out that it is fearsome, reluctant and short-lived; consistent with His righteous and merciful character; and that it fulfils God’s purpose. They also list the causes for God’s anger as idolatry and unbelief; disobedience and disloyalty; ungodly living; pride, arrogance and hypocrisy; complaints against, and opposition to, God’s purposes; injustice; and the rejection of God’s servantsThey continue to show that God’s anger is revealed in present times and in a future “day of wrath” which is anticipated. They then list the consequences of God’s anger in that punishment will be experienced by rebellious people.

To meet the erroneous assertion that in the New Testament, God does not know anger,  the website quotes among many other Scriptures John 3:36; Romans 1:18-23; Romans 2:5, 8; Ephesians 5:6; Jude 14-15; Hebrews 10:29-31; Matthew 21:33-41; Matthew 18:34-35; and Matthew 25:28-30. 

This shows how ridiculous it is to make the assertion that “God would not know anger” as “He is loving, kind and non-judgemental.”

God’s wrath—both of the Father and of the Son—is also vividly described in the Book of Revelation. 

We read in Psalm 7:11 that “God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.” In this context, please read our Q&A, titled, “Would you please explain Psalm 7:11, which says that God is angry with the wicked every day. Why would God be angry.”

Please also note our Q&A about the wrath of God, explaining God’s anger and the causes for it in great detail, titled, “Can you explain what the Bible says about Wrath?” (Part 2) 

God judges and has to be “judgemental.” There is nothing wrong with being angry as long as it is righteous anger – and with God that must always be the case as He is perfect.    For example, Jesus was angry with the money changers in the Temple (compare Matthew 21:12-13).

In recent weeks we have run a three-part series of Q&As entitled “Does God Love Everyone?  Does the Bible Teach Unconditional Love?”     In repeating the notes from our correspondent: “In my experience God would not know anger – He is loving, kind and non-judgemental,” we see that such “understanding” goes against what the Bible tells us and we will quote, very briefly, from part 2 of our Q&A to prove that God does love and does judge all people:

“It is true that some will end up in the lake of fire. But even this does not prove God’s hatred for them. Sadly, there are those who have had their opportunity to choose righteousness and accept God’s love, but instead they have committed the ‘unpardonable sin.’ They knew and understood perfectly well that they had to submit to Christ, but they refused to do so. They became bitter, hateful, resentful and malicious. They made the unchangeable decision NEVER to repent. If a person has reached that stage that he cannot repent, because he has made the final decision NOT to WANT to repent, then God will not force repentance on such a person. God grants repentance, but a person must want to receive it. A person, though, who maliciously rejects Christ, would only continue to live in misery and pain–and that is why God will save such a person from eternal misery, by DESTROYING him or her in a lake of fire.”

Also, in part 3 of this series, we stated this:

“God’s love and His righteousness do not tolerate or justify an unrepentant sinner’s continued ungodly lifestyle. God sees how much suffering and pain for others the sinner’s conduct causes. And so, we read in John 3:36 (Revised Standard Version): ‘He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.’ Romans 1:18 adds: ‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…’

“And so, we read the following alarming pronouncement by Christ in Matthew 24:48-51: ‘But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“This evil servant is one who has committed the unpardonable sin, and whose fate it is to be thrown into the lake of fire where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth (compare Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50). But before he ends up in the lake of fire, he will be ‘cut in two.’ This ‘correction’ is not for the purpose of leading him towards salvation; rather, it is punishment for his evil deeds with which he influenced and tortured others, without a willingness to repent. His punishment reflects God’s love for others, as well as His righteousness, which demands that the sinner has to pay. It is clearly NOT a reflection of God’s ‘unconditional’ love for the incorrigible sinner.”

We can always have faith that God has a reason for what He chooses to do or not to do.  And He does get angry for all the right reasons and has to be “judgemental” in many ways.   To say otherwise is a denial of all that we read in the Word of God.

Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“The Ukraine War—Germany’s and Merkel’s Fault?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Was former German Chancellor Angela Merkel the main cause for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, as the Wall Street Journal claims, listing numerous facts for that allegation? Is the politic of appeasement continuing under Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz? Will Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s ill-advised recent praise for Scholz backfire, and is Zelenskyy in danger of losing all sympathy in Germany?

We are very pleased to announce the baptism of Marius Malastschenko in Germany on the Day of Pentecost. Elders Thilo Hanstein and Christoph Sperzel conducted the baptism.

Our new booklet, “The Rise and Fall of Germany and Europe,” was received from the printer and will be sent out to our subscribers early next week.

A new German booklet, “Die Autorität der Bibel,” translated from our English booklet, “The Authority of the Bible,” has been sent to graphic artist Shelly Bruno in preparation for printing.

“Müssen wir unseren Nächsten bedingungslos lieben?” is the title for this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Do We Have to Have Unconditional Love for Our Neighbor?”

“Ruhe und Gelassenheit,” last Sabbath’s sermonette in Germany by Robert Indlekofer, is now posted. Title in English: “Calm and Serenity.”

“Das Kreuz, das wir tragen,” the Offertory presented on the Day of Pentecost in Germany by Manuel Giermann, is now posted. Title in English: “The Cross We Carry.”

“Consider the Firefly,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Brian Gale, is now posted. Here is a summary:

God tells us to consider many things in the Bible that are advantageous for us to think carefully about. This message looks at the firefly and is a physical example that can help us to see the bigger picture.

“A New Creation Through God’s Spirit of Power,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What is the connection between the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the Ten Commandments? What roles do the spiritually circumcised heart and the crucifixion of the old man and the creation of the new man play in all of this? Who or what is the new man, and what is the function of God’s Holy Spirit of power in the re-creation of converted Christians? And how can we be sure that we will be in God’s Kingdom?

“Extra,” the Offertory presented on the Day of Pentecost by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Going above and beyond what is expected or making a bigger effort than what is required certainly has application for Christians! Are we profitable servants in this regard? Do we serve God in extra ways?

“The Firstfruits,” the sermon presented on the Day of Pentecost by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The Feast of Pentecost stands out as having a focus on firstfruits. When established in the time of Moses, the firstfruits were from the grain harvest. Following the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the relevance of firstfruits shifts to the elect in Christ. We review the references to firstfruits in the Bible, and delve into the question of why firstfruits are important in the plan of God.

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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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

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