Update 1071


Death Grip On Life / God’s Creation of the Animal World

On June 10, 2023, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Death Grip On Life,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “God’s Creation of the Animal World.”

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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Are We Using the Correct Tools?

by Kalon Mitchell

Last year, I purchased an espresso machine that I use daily. I typically make three coffees a day, two for myself and one for my wife.

Before, I was using a hand grinder to grind my coffee fresh each morning. Each grind would take about 2 – 3 minutes to grind the beans fine enough to push hot water through it and make espresso. So, 2 – 3 minutes multiplied by 3 equals 6 to 9 minutes just in grinding the beans down.  (I have used the machine for nine months; 30×9=270 days) equals 2,430 minutes. If we divide that by 60 minutes, that is 40.5 hours.

So, I had spent almost the time of a full work-week (40 hours) grinding beans by hand! When I actually stopped to think about this fact, it shocked me! Even if it was only 2 minutes for each cup, it’s still about 27 hours. Now I have an electric grinder which automatically grinds the beans in about 30 seconds. This one device has shaved off minutes of making coffee each morning, essentially saving me days of time each year!

The right tool for the job saves time! I think this also iterates the fact that the little things that we do repeatedly over time build up. Good, bad, everything we do builds up and has effects.

What tools do we use in our Christian lives? Many of us have been in the Church of God for a very long time. But how much do we apply the tools of our trade? Are there areas where we are failing to apply the proper tools? Are we wandering aimlessly, using the wrong tools and getting bad results?

When God was giving instructions to Moses for the building of the traveling temple or tabernacle of God and the things to be placed therein and the garments needed to perform the service, all of it was intricate and it was to be built by craftsmen—people who knew what they were doing. These people didn’t just randomly have the ability. It says that they were skilled and then the Spirit of God led them. Exodus 28:3 states: “So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.”

God hasn’t called us by random chance! God has called us and has given us the ability to accomplish what He needs us to do. Notice, Paul states in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives, with everything that is going on around us, and to miss the bigger picture. The Bible doesn’t leave us without knowledge of what to do. If we are involving God in our ways, then it’s clear that He will show us the ways and open the doors for us.

When it comes to our Christian lives, what is it that we are doing daily?

We know we should be praying always. We know we should be studying the Bible. We know what we should be doing. But how much are we actually really turning over to God?

What we need to keep in mind at all times is that we are not here fighting against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Rather, we are fighting daily against spiritual enemies that are trying to kill us—yes, physically, but more importantly, eternally. 

We can ONLY fight this fight by turning to our spiritual Helper and Guide. We need to realign ourselves with the proper tools to fight the battles and consider who our true enemy is. When we are not fully engaged and using the tools that God gives us, then Satan’s fog of confusion, deception and a whole host of other tools that he uses are active and are designed to cause us pain, grief and ultimately destruction. 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us that Satan should not “take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Our time here is limited. We are called now to do different tasks. Yet we ALL are in this struggle between life and death. We are each given the opportunity to take up and learn how to use the tools that God gives us. Ephesians 6:10-20 lays out for us the tools that are given to us. That then is our duty—to take them and to use them—to figure out how they find use and purpose in our lives. We should also realize that without these tools, it is impossible to win. Another area that comes to mind and that goes hand in hand with using these tools is learning how to utilize the fruit of the Spirit of God. The actions that come from this fruit is what is key. It is ONLY by studying—thinking about and really looking at our lives that we can come away with answers, with changes.

The tools that we have at our disposal are there for us to use at all times and in every situation that we find ourselves in—if we are in the mindset to do so. That really is what this life is about—being mindful of how we are living our lives. Time comes and goes; no matter, what we do. We should pay attention to how we are using the tools given to us because it will matter!

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by Norbert Link

We begin with serious accusations against Joe Biden and the indictment of Donald Trump ON THE SAME DAY; articles and comments about the debt ceiling “deal”; continue with the fear that the US Government is becoming more and more totalitarian; and point out ridiculous and blasphemous attempts in Utah to prohibit the King James Bible [and other religious books] for elementary and middle school students. Please view in this regard our new StandingWatch program, titled, The Bible Prohibited in Our School Libraries!”

We speak on medical concerns about the mental and physical fitness of President Biden; the differences between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Donald Trump; open disagreement with Vladimir Putin on Russian state-approved television; and Putin’s “puppet,” Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

We address the decision of Switzerland, not to authorize the transfer of Swiss weapons to Ukraine; and Zelensky’s concerns about the return of Donald Trump.

We speak on the negative feelings of most Germans regarding their government; fears that Germany may be breaking down; Germany’s confrontation with left-wing extremism, and Germany’s problems with patriotism.

Please view in this regard our recent StandingWatch program, “The Ukraine War—Germany’s and Merkel’s Fault?” 

We also address Poland’s verbal attacks against France; the condemnation of Israel by ten European nations; and the swearing-in ceremony of Turkish President Erdogan.

We conclude with the Catholic’s view on the sign of the cross and concerns about electric cars.

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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Biden Accused; Trump Infected

 Newsmax wrote on June 8:

“An executive of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings paid then-Vice President Joe Biden $5 million as part of a bribery scheme, according to the FBI document that is part of the House Oversight Committee probe into the incident, Fox News reported Thursday.

“Biden’s son Hunter Biden was a member of the Burisma board.”

The New York Post wrote on June 8:

“Former President Trump says he has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he mishandled classified material by keeping hundreds of sensitive documents from his time in the White House at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida… ‘The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,’ Trump wrote… that went on to criticize President Biden’s handling of classified material. 

“‘I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM. I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States… I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!’ Trump wrote.  ‘This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline…’”

On the same day President Biden is accused of obtaining illegal payments from Burisma, former President Trump gets indicted. The timing is far too obvious than to be ignored; especially since the prosecutor is a left-wing Democrat, and no criminal charges have been filed against Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and even Hillary Clinton, even though “investigations” involving them have been going on for many years. Many have reacted to the news by saying that America has indeed become a third world Banana Republic. 

Debt Ceiling Bill Enacted

ABC News wrote on June 1:

“The Senate on Thursday night passed legislation to lift the nation’s debt ceiling… The final vote was 63-36…

“Schumer painted the debt limit deal as a broad victory for Democrats late Thursday night during a press conference just after the legislation passed… Schumer’s comments come after an aggressive effort by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to cast the bill as a GOP victory. But Schumer pointed to the vote margins in the House and Senate, noting that the bill enjoyed more support from Democrats than it did from Republicans in both chambers…

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act, the product of weeks of contentious negotiation between Biden and McCarthy, will raise the $31.4 trillion debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025, while also implementing some caps on government spending and policy changes… The compromise legislation was met with opposition from wings of both parties — hardline Republicans and progressive Democrats…”

Biden signed the bill on Saturday, June 3.

What the suspension of the debt limit until January 1, 2025 means is that it “essentially gives the Treasury Department the latitude to borrow as much money as it needs to pay the nation’s bills during that time period, plus a few months after the limit is reached, as the department employs accounting maneuvers to keep up payments… the debt limit will be set at whatever level it has reached when the suspension ends… The suspension will kick the next potential fight over the nation’s debt load to 2025 — past the next presidential election” (The New York Times, dated June 2).

However, another fight is just around the corner, when federal funding is set to run out in October 2023. As the Huffington Post reported on June 3:

“Senate Republicans are demanding that Congress pass additional legislation to boost defense spending… such a bill could also prove convenient for sending additional money to Ukraine in its defense against Russia. Of course, any additional spending this year would need the approval of the GOP-led House, where skepticism of more aid to Ukraine runs rampant.

“Another part of the bill could cause chaos this year by automatically cutting defense and nondefense funding if lawmakers fail to wrap up the dozen bills to fund government agencies by the end of the year…

“Given the razor-thin margin Republicans have in the House, they’ll likely need Democratic help to pass the funding bills. And the Republican opponents of the debt limit deal meant to ease the annual budget process are unlikely to make things any easier.”

The US Government Becomes More and More Totalitarian

The Rutherford Institute wrote on or about May 31:

To be convicted of seditious conspiracy, the charge levied against Stewart Rhodes who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for being the driving force behind the January 6 Capitol riots, one doesn’t have to engage in violence against the government, vandalize government property, or even trespass on property that the government has declared off-limits to the general public.

“… This is about the long-term ramifications of empowering the government to wage war on individuals whose political ideas and expression challenge the government’s power, reveal the government’s corruption, expose the government’s lies, and encourage the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.

“This is about criminalizing political expression in thoughts, words and deeds. This is about how the government has used the events of Jan. 6 in order to justify further power grabs and acquire more authoritarian emergency powers. 

“This was never about so-called threats to democracy… Indeed, by the government’s own definition, America’s founders were seditious conspirators based on the heavily charged rhetoric they used to birth the nation.

“Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Marquis De Lafayette, and John Adams would certainly have been charged for suggesting that Americans should not only take up arms but be prepared to protect their liberties and defend themselves against the government should it violate their rights. Had America’s founders feared revolutionary words and ideas, there would have been no First Amendment, which protects the right to political expression, even if that expression is anti-government.

“No matter what one’s political persuasion might be, every American has a First Amendment right to protest government programs or policies with which they might disagree... Unfortunately, the government is increasingly losing its tolerance for anyone whose political views could be perceived as critical or ‘anti-government.’…

“For years now, the government has used all of the weapons in its vast arsenal—surveillance, threat assessments, fusion centers, pre-crime programs, hate crime laws, militarized police, lockdowns, martial law, etc.—to target potential enemies of the state based on their ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that might be deemed suspicious or dangerous…”

“Republicans Fiscally Irresponsible Act”

In his weekly column, Ron Paul wrote the following on June 5:

“The political and financial class breathed a sigh of relief when Congress passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. The bill suspends the debt ceiling for two years, thus avoiding the establishment’s nightmare of a government default on its debt. Rather, it allows the government to continue adding trillions of dollars of debt that will be monetized by the Federal Reserve.

“Of course, this default will be felt by the people in the form of an inflation tax. This inflation tax may be the worst of all taxes, because it is both hidden and regressive. Politicians love to point the finger at greedy corporations, labor unions, and even consumers for increasing prices instead of taking responsibility for the legislation they pass that incentivizes the Federal Reserve to create more inflation.

“Republican supporters of the bill claim it begins to roll back the excessive spending of the Biden years. While the bill does rescind $28 billion of unspent COVID funds, it  just recycles that money into the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Thus it does not save taxpayers a dime. The bill does cap domestic discretionary spending for Fiscal Year 2024 at $704  billion and spending for Fiscal Year 2025 at $711 billion. However, these caps come from a budget whose baseline includes the increased COVID spending. The bill only cuts spending by 0.1 to 0.2 percent of gross domestic product over the next two years  – assuming Congress does not reverse the cuts. Of course, it makes no attempt to actually cut spending, much less eradicate any illegitimate and unconstitutional government agencies, cabinet departments, or programs. 

“Even though ‘defense’ is the third largest item in the budget (behind social security, Medicare, and interest in the national debt), our annual military budget alone is more than the combined  budgets of the next ten biggest spending countries. The Fiscal Responsibility Act doesn’t take a penny away from the military budget; instead it matches President Biden’s request for a 3.2 percent increase.  This increase comes despite the fact that the Pentagon has never complied with the law requiring it to pass an audit.  

Biden’s military budget is the largest in United States history and probably world history. Deep State Republicans like South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham never met a war he didn’t love.  Graham and his allies threatened to block passage of the bill unless the military spending was increased and more taxpayer money—and Ukraine and Russian lives — wasted in the Ukraine Russian conflict…

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act will result in increased government spending, debt, and deficits. It will also further erode the value of the United States Dollar, thus making it more likely that the US dollar will lose its world reserve currency status sooner rather than later…”

King James Bible Prohibited in US Schools

Newsmax wrote on June 2:

“The King James Bible is being removed from elementary and middle school libraries [for the 72,000-student Davis School District north of Salt Lake City, Utah] after a complaint that it contained passages describing sex and violence. High schools in the county will still be able to keep the scriptures on their library shelves.

“A three-person committee, appointed by the county school district to determine if the Bible is appropriate for students to see, found it contained vulgarity or violence…”

The Associated Press added on June 2:

“The committee published its decision in an online database of review requests and did not elaborate on its reasoning or which passages of the Bible it found overly violent or vulgar

“The reviews are handled by a committee made up of teachers, parents and administrators in the predominantly conservative community where most people are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…

“Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints read the Bible along with other scriptures, including the Book of Mormon…

The Bible has long found itself on the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books and was temporarily pulled off shelves last year in school districts in Texas and Missouri…”

This is the epitome of nonsense and appalling abomination… but the Bible has been prohibited before, including for many decades by the Catholic Church. Obviously, Satan has always been behind those movements to suppress the Truth of God’s Word.

Now the Book of Mormon?

The Salt Lake Tribune wrote on June 2:

“The Utah school district… received a new request Friday targeting another religious text: the Book of Mormon… The request calls for the book to be reviewed for containing violence, which includes battles, beheadings and kidnappings among its stories. Members of the faith believe the text was translated from golden plates by church founder Joseph Smith.

“The complaint is the latest in a snowballing process for reviewing school literature in Utah. A law was passed in 2022 to allow parents to submit requests for removal of books containing any ‘pornographic’ or ‘indecent material.’…

“Now with the Book of Mormon challenge, the district will form another committee to review that book to determine if it violates the law… [Davis spokesperson Christopher Williams] said there have not been complaints filed on other religious texts, such as the Quran….”

Biden Not Fit Mentally and Physically

The New York Post wrote on June 4:

“Texas GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson, a former White House physician, is continuing to raise flags over President Biden’s health, concluding that he is ‘not fit mentally or physically’ after the president fell on stage Thursday during a commencement ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy… ‘I think his lack of physical ability and his physical decline is now starting to highlight the cognitive decline that we’ve been watching for so long now,’ Jackson said.

“‘It’s… becoming a national security issue for us… To think that this man thinks he can be president at the age of 86 when he’s 80 right now [and] could be in office for another six years is just malpractice on part of the White House in the West Wing to allow this to be happening, for him to even be talking about running for another term… Somebody needs to be held accountable. People like Jill Biden and people that surround him and are supposed to love him and care about him, they should be doing something about this, and they should be stopping this because it’s a shame.’…

“Jackson… said he does not ‘honestly think he can finish the time he’s got left, but should he finish that time, there’s no way this man can be our president for another four years.’

“Jackson previously served as the White House physician to former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and has repeatedly questioned whether Biden is cognitively fit for office…”

In a related article, the New York Post wrote on June 3:

“It was alarming to watch Joe Biden take a tumble Thursday at the Air Force Academy commencement. But the really scary thought is that if he had landed head-first, Kamala Harris would be sitting in the Oval Office. Talk about terrifying!… the sensible Americans who make up a majority of the nation would be living in fear of the human word salad playing with the nuclear football and the possibility that her cackle could be the soundtrack of Armageddon…”

Scary indeed…

Kennedy vs. Trump

Fox News reported on May 31:

“Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. lashed out at former President Donald Trump Tuesday, blasting him over what appears to be his deep ties to Big Pharma. ‘Donald Trump owns stock in Pfizer and J&J, who bought fancy tickets to his inauguration and placed pharma shills high in his administration,’ Kennedy tweeted, linking to a separate tweet from a journalist detailing what he framed as a number of conflicts of interest between Trump and the pharmaceutical industry during his time in the White House. ‘That’s how Washington works. It is not the exception, but the rule. It is a form of legalized bribery,’ Kennedy added. ‘This kind of thing is so normalized that a lot of people take it for granted as normal. I promise you, corruption will no longer be normal when I am President.’

“The journalist Kennedy referenced, Pedro Gonzalez of Chronicles Magazine, noted in his tweet Pfizer’s donation of $1 million to Trump’s presidential inauguration committee following his election victory in 2016. Gonzalez also pointed to the subsequent nominations of former Trump administration officials Scott Gottlieb and Alex Azar, and their connections to the pharmaceutical industry as an executive and lobbyist respectively…

“Gonzalez claimed Trump ‘killed’ plans for a vaccine safety commission, which he said would have included Kennedy, because of his connections to Big Pharma.”

And let us not forget that Trump’s unwise policy – to say the least – was largely responsible for lockdowns, prohibition of tourism entering the US, and other unreasonable Corona restrictions, and the push for unsafe vaccines. And Trump has not changed his mind, as the next article shows.

LifeSiteNews wrote on June 2:

“Former President Donald Trump doubled down yet again on his support of the COVID-19 jabs this week, dismissing the concerns of an Iowa voter who suggested the controversial shots resulted in her community having ‘lost people.’… It is not clear if she was referring to lost lives due to vaccine-related deaths or lost jobs due to vaccine mandates. ‘Everybody wanted a vaccine at that time,’ Trump responded. ‘And I was able to do something that nobody else could have done, getting it done very, very rapidly. But I never was for mandates. I was, I thought the mandates were terrible…’

“Trump’s refusal to acknowledge evidence of the shots’ risk has long been one of the biggest points of contention with former supporters… In January of this year, he dismissed potential safety issues by suggesting that ‘problems’ were in ‘relatively small numbers,’ while stressing that ‘some people say that I saved 100 million lives worldwide.’ At the time, mRNA technology pioneer and prominent COVID establishment critic Dr. Robert Malone revealed that he once filmed a video meant to encourage Trump to change his mind on the subject, but it had ‘no impact.’

“DeSantis too was an early supporter of the COVID vaccines, although the governor’s position has changed as more data about their harms has come to light. For more than a year, DeSantis and his administration have spoken about the ineffectiveness of the shots, and his administration began conducting its own studies, which concluded that they should not be taken by younger men. In December, the Florida Supreme Court approved DeSantis’s request for a grand jury investigation into the claims of the vaccines’ manufacturers….”

Better late than never…

OK! added on June 1:

“[Gonzalez also wrote:] ‘That’s also why Trump killed the vaccine safety commission Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was supposed to lead. That and the fact Trump cared more about the counsel of people like Bill Gates on vaccines than his own supporters…’

“According to a 2018 report by The Guardian, the group Trump killed was made of vaccine skeptics and was going to investigate a potential link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Kennedy claims he was contacted by the Trump White House to join the group, but then they went radio silent.”

Kennedy stated in an interview with Newsmax on June 2 that he is not against vaccines which are proven to be safe, but that for most of them, such proof has been lacking.

Trump Refused to Fire Fauci. Why?

Newsmax wrote on June 5:

“The campaign for Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is firing back at COVID-19 barbs hurled by Donald Trump, trolling the former president for refusing to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci... sharing a campaign video ad… The ad… cuts to then-President Trump talking about how he cannot fire Fauci during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns… ‘Today I walk in, I hear I’m going to fire him,’ Trump is shown during one of his 2020 pandemic daily press briefings. ‘I’m not firing him. I think he’s a wonderful guy.’

“The DeSantis War Room campaign ad then turns to multiple interviews where Trump admitted he did not fire Fauci because of ‘a firestorm on the left,’ saying he was not ‘allowed to,’ and even Trump admitting that Fauci was a problem. ‘Every time he goes on television there’s a bomb, but there’s even a bigger bomb if you fire him,’ Trump says in a TV interview in the ad…

“DeSantis has famously called Fauci ‘an elf’ who needed to be ‘chucked across the Potomac River.’…”

There can be no doubt that Trump’s refusal to fire Fauci was one of his biggest mistakes during his presidency.

Revocation of Johnson and Johnson COVID Vaccine

LifeSiteNews wrote on June 5:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. The revocation happened officially due to the manufacturer’s own request…  The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID inoculation is produced by its subsidiary Janssen Biotech and was authorized for emergency use on February 27, 2021…

“While J&J’s EUA was officially withdrawn because all the available doses in the U.S. have expired and the pharma giant decided to discontinue the product, the FDA and others have raised concerns about the safety of the J&J injection in the past.

“In May 2022, the FDA limited the use of the J&J COVID vaccine for some adults due to increased risk of blood clots. A year earlier, in April 2021, the FDA and CDC had temporarily put a ‘pause’ on the J&J shot after cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) occurred within a week or two after receiving the inoculation. 

“Moreover, in July 2021, the FDA added the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can cause paralysis, as a potential side effect of the J&J COVID shot after preliminary reports of GBS following vaccination had been recorded.

“‘The FDA should have revoked the emergency approval long ago because, first, there is no emergency and, second, J&J has an evidently unfavorable risk-benefit ratio,’ German author and university professor Stefan Homburg opined on Twitter. ‘But then the agency would have admitted its mistake. This is an elegant way to get out of it.’”

Open Criticism of Putin on Russia’s State TV

The Daily Mail wrote on June 1:

“A Russian politician has launched an extraordinary attack on Vladimir Putin, calling for the despot to be ousted from office and replaced during an appearance on state TV. Opposition politician Boris Nadezhdin, who has criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said on Russia’s NTV channel that Russians must choose a different leader in the country’s 2024 elections…

“It marked the first time anyone had called for Putin to be replaced on Russian state-approved TV since the war began in February 2022, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said. Nadezhdin said that under Putin’s rule, ‘there is no way for us to come back to Europe’…

“While Putin’s propagandists have openly criticised the state of Russia’s military and the war efforts, they have steered clear of condemning Putin – but Nadezhdin has done just that…”

Putin’s Puppet Belarus

Politico wrote on June 2:

“‘The only mistake’ Russia and Belarus made was ‘that we didn’t resolve this issue in 2014-2015, when Ukraine had no army and wasn’t prepared,’ Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko said. In 2014, Russia illegally invaded Crimea and annexed it from Ukraine, and Kremlin-backed fighters seized territory in eastern Ukraine.

“Lukashenko’s comments… indicate that Lukashenko has fully embraced his transformation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet… helping Moscow launch its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and agreeing to host Russian nuclear weapons on his country’s soil…”

Belarus, or White Russia, is part of the biblical Medes, as are many Ukrainians. They will ultimately be united with Russia against Europe.

Switzerland Votes Against Arms Transfer to Ukraine

Bild Online wrote on June 1:

“The Swiss parliament has voted against a law that would have allowed third countries to transfer arms produced in Switzerland to Ukraine. On Thursday, the National Council in Bern voted 98 to 75 against the draft law known as ‘Lex Ukraine’.

“In view of the Russian invasion, a discussion has flared up about Switzerland’s traditional strict neutrality. Despite intense pressure from Kiev and its supporters, Switzerland refuses to allow countries in possession of Swiss-made weapons to export them to Ukraine.

“Applications from Germany, Spain and Denmark were rejected with reference to the Swiss War Physical Substance Act (Kriegsmaterialgesetz), which prohibits arms deliveries to war zones.”

EU Extends Import Restrictions on Ukrainian Grain

Bild Online wrote on June 5:

“The European Union (EU) extends restrictions on grain imports from Ukraine. The Brussels authorities announced that the trade restrictions will remain in place until September 15.

“The restrictions affect Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, where certain types of grain from Ukraine can no longer be traded freely. However, the transit of goods to other EU countries is permitted. Due to the Russian invasion, no tariffs are currently being levied on Ukrainian grain.”

Zelensky Concerned About Trump Re-Election

Breitbart wrote on June 4:

“In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he has concerns about the possible re-election of Donald Trump next year, saying that he was unsure how exactly the Republican leader would have reacted had Russia invaded during his presidency. The Ukrainian head-of-state also praised the response of the Biden administration, which has regularly handed over billions of dollars worth of weapons aid to the Eastern European nation since Moscow’s invasion began last year.

“Asked how he felt about Donald Trump, Zelensky admitted that he was more comfortable with dealing with Biden and that the return of a Republican-led government could end up being difficult for his war effort… He also appeared uncomfortable with Donald Trump’s claim that he would be able to negotiate a peace settlement to the Ukraine War within 24 hours, adding that the 45th American leader did not seem to care that Ukrainian territory — namely Crimea — was being ‘occupied’ by Russia during his presidency after being illegally annexed under the Obama administration in 2014…”

Tucker Carlson’s First Independent Show

 Breitbart wrote on June 6:

“Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released the first episode of his revamped talk show on Twitter Tuesday evening, criticizing the establishment’s unwavering support for the Ukraine war effort and its silencing of alternative narratives…

“Carlson opened his show by discussing reports that the Nova Kakhova dam in southern Ukraine blew up, and he criticized establishment media figures who quickly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin… ‘the Kokovka dam was effectively Russian, it was built by the Russian government. It currently sits in Russian-controlled territory,” Carlson noted. ‘The dam’s reservoir supplies water to Crimea, which has been for the last 240 years home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Blowing up the dam may be bad for Ukraine, but it hurts Russia more. And for precisely that reason the Ukrainian government has considered destroying it.’

“Carlson said a ‘fair person would conclude that the Ukrainians probably blew it up, just as you would assume they blew up the Nord Stream Russian natural gas pipeline last fall.’… Carlson also chided Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and presidential hopeful Nikki Haley (R) for their unwavering support of the Ukrainian war effort…”

Newsmax added that the show garnered about 80 million views, perhaps more.

 Most Germans Extremely Unhappy with their Government

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 2:

“Never before have voters in Germany been this unhappy with the current coalition government: Only one in five says they are doing a good job…

“The far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the main beneficiary. Its approval ratings have gone up by another 2% since May and, if elections were held now, would win 18% nationwide putting them on a par with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s SPD. In several eastern states, the AfD has long been the strongest party

“In the latest survey, the pollsters paid particular attention to the AfD sympathizers. They asked them what their main reason would be to vote for the far-right and found that it is mainly dissatisfaction with all the other parties, and especially the government. Only 32% claim to fully support the AfD’s policies.

“When asked about the issues that prompt them to vote for the AfD, an overwhelming majority of respondents named the far-right’s critical stance on immigration. 47% said they side with the AfD in its opposition to the government’s climate and environment energy policies, and 43% said they were concerned about the economy…

“Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has drafted a law to come into effect in 2024, mandating that all new heating systems installed would have to use 65% renewable energy instead of oil or natural gas… 49% [of voters] oppose it. 67% say they are worried that they won’t be able to shoulder the financial burden of installing the new heating systems.

“… Only 28% of respondents in the latest survey support the delivery of German fighter jets to Ukraine… Overall, support for weapons deliveries to Ukraine is declining, only a minority believes that the arms deliveries should be stepped up.

“The call for diplomacy is mounting: 55% now say the German government’s attempts at reaching negotiations to end the fighting should be intensified…”

Germany—Europe’s Economic Engine—Is Breaking Down”

On May 27, 2023, Bloomberg published the following article:

“Germany has been Europe’s economic engine for decades, pulling the region through one crisis after another. But that resilience is breaking down, and it spells danger for the whole continent.

“Decades of flawed energy policy, the demise of combustion-engine cars and a sluggish transition to new technologies are converging to pose the most fundamental threat to the nation’s prosperity since reunification. But unlike in 1990, the political class lacks the leadership to tackle structural issues gnawing at the heart of the country’s competitiveness…

“Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s make-shift coalition has reverted to petty infighting over everything from debt and spending to heat pumps and speed limits as soon as the risks of energy shortfalls eased. But the warning signals are getting hard to ignore…

“With Scholz’s messy three-way coalition racked with bickering, Germany is poised for instability…”

Left-Wing Extremism in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 3:

“Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says left-wing extremism is growing… left-wing violence was directed ‘primarily at the police and right-wing extremists, but also … at business enterprises, especially in the real estate sector.’…

“[The] domestic intelligence agency report saw a ‘high level of radicalization’ among violence-oriented left-wing extremists…”

Germany’s Problem with Patriotism

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 4:

“The problem of German patriotism is virtually as old as the Federal Republic itself, with scars from the wounded pride that came in the aftermath of World War II still felt today… Germany’s history obviously means that patriotism is always going to be deeply problematic

“The German national colors — black, red and gold — have had a highly politicized history, and rarely served to unite all Germans in the same way that, say, the US Stars and Stripes or the British Union Jack always did.

“The black-red-gold colors were first waved by individual corps of the Prussian army fighting to liberate Europe from Napoleon. They established themselves as the German Confederation’s national colors in the early 19th century, and the flag itself was adopted by the national assembly following the 1848 revolutions, when national identity, liberty and individual rights became intertwined with an anti-monarchist surge.

“But the colors went out of fashion as Prussia’s power increased and the monarchy reasserted itself and in 1871, black, white and red became the colors of the new German Reich. The black-red-gold pattern was readopted by the Weimar Republic in 1919 after the fall of Kaiser Wilhelm II, only to be dropped yet again by the Nazis in 1934…

“Germans have become less squeamish about flying the national colors in the past two decades, especially when supporting the national sports teams…

“Yet in the past few years, the black-red-gold colors and the issue of patriotism have been increasingly co-opted by far-right political forces like the Islamophobic PEGIDA movement and the anti-immigration political party AfD, founded in 2013.

“[Germany’s biggest opposition party, the] CDU [is] trying to bring back ‘constitutional patriotism’. The CDU has now made it its business to win back national pride from the far right…”

Patriotism—or more accurately stated, nationalism—will see a comeback in Germany.

Poland Attacks France

Express wrote on June 3:

“Poland has slapped down French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent charm offensive to Eastern Europe amid suspicion in Warsaw that France is prepared to sell out Ukrainian territory in a peace deal with Russia. The fresh Polish criticism of Mr Macron comes just days after the French leader offered an olive branch to the countries of NATO’s Eastern flanks, openly admitting the region’s concerns over Russia had been ignored.

“Attacking both the French and German response to Putin’s barbaric war, Polish diplomat [and former Minister of Defense] Jacek Saryusz-Wolski [said:] ‘There is a huge appetite for freezing the conflict although not openly admitted. I think all the dreams of Macron and Scholz are to have peace at the prize of giving up part of the territory of Ukraine and to have the frozen conflict as you know which could last for decades. [Macron] says nice things, he is a master of lies…’”

Ten Nations Against Israel

The Times of Israel wrote on May 27:

“A consortium of diplomatic missions across Europe, led by the Office of the European Union Representative to the West Bank and Gaza, called on Israel to stop all demolitions of schools and other structures that were built with humanitarian help in the West Bank, and allow humanitarian organization workers to operate freely in the territory and in East Jerusalem.

“In a press statement Friday, the consulates general of Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the representative offices of Denmark, Finland, Germany and Ireland, as well as the EU office to the West Bank and Gaza, slammed Israel for the recent demolition earlier this month of an EU-funded school in the Palestinian village of Jubbet al-Dhib near Bethlehem, and the ‘threatened demolition of another 57 schools in the West Bank.’

“In early May, Israeli Civil Administration engineers razed the school in Jubbet al-Dhib, which Palestinians constructed in 2017 without a permit in the Herodium national park in the West Bank. The demolition followed a District Court ruling from March, in which the structure was defined as a safety hazard at risk of imminent collapse. The EU harshly criticized the move…”

Britain (Ephraim) is still mixing itself among the nations of the EU, as a burned unturned cake (Hosea 7:8), unaware or unwilling to admit that its prior power is gone (verse 9).

Erdogan Sworn In

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 3:

“Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in for his third consecutive term on Saturday after winning a runoff election last weekend… Erdogan’s new five-year mandate will allow him to continue pursuing an increasingly authoritarian program domestically while charting an independent path as a regional military power amid global crises…

“Afterwards, he will attend a ceremony at the Presidential Palace followed by a dinner attended by 21 heads of state and 13 prime ministers, as well as high-level officials from other countries like the United States and ChinaNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to attend the ceremony, and he will also hold bilateral talks with Erdogan on Sunday.

“Turkey has been in the spotlight after Finland and Sweden moved to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Ankara was among the last NATO members to ratify Finland’s membership in March. But it has held out on allowing Sweden to join over Stockholm’s reluctance to extradite exiled members of Kurdish groups that Turkey claims to be ‘terrorists’ with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“The NATO secretary general previously said his visit to Turkey aimed to ‘ensure the fastest possible accession of Sweden’ to the military alliance… ‘My message is that Sweden has delivered, and the time has come to ratify Sweden,’ Stoltenberg told reporters on Thursday.”

It is unclear in what way Sweden has “delivered.”

The Sign of the Cross

Aciafrica wrote on June 4:

“Each time that a Catholic makes the sign of the cross, it is a reminder that God is a communion of love, Pope Francis said Sunday… ‘God is love. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he [who exactly?] gave his life for us, so we make the sign of the cross,’ he said… Pope Francis pointed out that one way to picture the Holy Trinity is to think of ‘the image of a family gathered around the table, where life is shared.’…

“‘The invitation he [speaking of the Holy Spirit] extends to us, we might say, is to sit at the table with God to share in his love. This is what happens at every Mass, at the altar of the Eucharistic table, where Jesus offers himself to the Father and offers himself for us.’”

Such confusion and ignorance. The Holy Spirit is NOT God or a Person; God is NOT a Trinity; and Christ gave His life for us ONCE… He is not sacrificed every time when the “Eucharist” is taken.

The Problems With Electric Cars

Express wrote on June 4:

“Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson has written a very considered piece about why he feels ‘duped’ by the electric car trend and the realities of their overall impact on the environment… Rowan Atkinson… got an electric hybrid 18 years ago and his first all-electric car nine years later… [He wrote in the Guardian:] ‘When you start to drill into the facts, electric motoring doesn’t seem to be quite the environmental panacea it is claimed to be. The problem with the initiative is that it seems to be based on conclusions drawn from only one part of a car’s operating life: what comes out of the exhaust pipe.’

“He was writing in response to the government’s proposal to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. He cited figures released by Volvo in the lead-up to the Cop26 climate conference. They revealed that greenhouse gas emissions in the production of an electric car were 70 per cent higher than in the manufacturing of a petrol one due to the resource-sapping lithium ion batteries… He pointed out that ‘solid-state’ batteries, which will revolutionise the game are ‘years away’ from going on sale…

“Aside from a love of cars, Rowan is actually fully qualified to offer his opinions on this. He studied electrical and electronic engineering at university before gaining a subsequent master’s in control systems…”

The Sun added on June 4:

“‘Electric motoring isn’t the environmental solution it is claimed to be,’ he wrote in an essay for the Guardian. He accused car makers of following a ‘fast fashion’ model and urged motorists to keep their vehicles for longer… Mr Atkinson claims when friends ask if they should make the switch to electric he asks them to ‘hold off for now’.

“Meanwhile, it’s been revealed recharging electric cars at public points costs more to run than petrol motors.”

And it takes a lot longer than just putting gasoline in your car. It has also been claimed by mechanics that electric cars are dangerous and that most essential parts are only manufactured in China.

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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Are we to Love our neighbor unconditionally?

In our recent series on God’s love, we discussed God’s relationship with men and the question of whether God has unconditional love for all people. In this Q&A, we will address the question of whether God requires unconditional love between human beings, and if not, what does He require of His people?

We read that we must love our neighbor as ourselves (compare Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8).

As we are to love our fellow man AS ourselves, do we have unconditional love for ourselves?

We read that we love and cherish our own flesh and that it would be highly unnatural to hate ourselves. Ephesians 5:29 states: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.”

But this does not mean that we have unconditional love for ourselves. Paul said in Romans 7:15-25 that he hated what he was doing, when he sinned: “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do… I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice… O wretched man that I am!…”

Christ said that if we do not hate others and ourselves, we cannot be His disciples (compare Luke 14:26). We explained in a previous Q&A, this means loving less by comparison (compare the parallel account in Matthew 10:37). But some have also suggested that it could refer to the evil in ourselves and in others which we must hate.

Christ looked at people with anger, hating what they were doing and what they were (compare Mark 3:5). Christ had righteous anger. Many times, we do not reflect that kind of anger, and we are warned to be careful to control our anger, even when it is justified. James 1:19-20 tells us: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Proverbs 16:32 adds: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” And Ecclesiastes 7:9 elaborates: “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

But there is time for righteous anger. Matthew 5:22 states the dangers we are in when we are angry with our brother “without a cause,” implying that there are justified occasions to be angry with our brother for a cause. But even then, we are admonished to control our anger. Ephesians 4:26-27 says:

“‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”

Still, there are situations when we can and should be angry with our neighbor because of their conduct. Christ gives us this instructive parable in Luke 14:16-24: “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses… Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’… For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'”

Here, the master of the house [representative of God the Father] is described with righteous anger over the ingratitude of those who were invited to his supper. In Mark 12:1-9, the owner of the vineyard [again representing God the Father] destroys the evil vinedressers who had killed his son, and gave the vineyard to others. Even though these parables describe what God will do, they show that righteous anger is justified. David, a man after God’s own heart, expressed his anger over wicked evildoers in those dramatic terms, in Psalm 139:19-22:

“Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”

David hated the evildoers with perfect hatred. Perfect hatred here means fully balanced, not unjustified or overblown hatred. As we explained in a previous Q&A, he did not hate the person as such, but he hated what the sinner was doing, as Paul hated it when he sinned, or one could say, he hated himself for sinning against God.

David explained in other passages that he hated the evil conduct of sinners. In Psalm 26:4-5, we read: “I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.” He states in Psalm 101:3: “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me…”

All of these passages show that the concept of unconditional love does not apply when sin is involved. “Unconditional love” would mean loving a sinner unconditionally, no matter what the person is doing. That is the kind of tolerating, accepting, and approving wrong conduct. That is not the kind of love God speaks about. And that is not the kind of love God has for us. As we explained previously, when we live in sin, we do not stay in or keep ourselves in God’s love, either.

When Paul sinned, he had no unconditional love for himself. When others sinned in David’s presence, he did not have unconditional love for them, either.

Consider this:

Unconditional love would mean that a mother has to love the murderer and rapist of her child unconditionally; that a husband who is forced by kidnappers to observe the rape and torture and murder of his wife in front of his eyes must love those brutes and beasts unconditionally; that survivors of millions of innocent victims who were tortured and killed by the Nazis in concentration camps or who were slaughtered by Stalin have to love those loveless demonic murderers unconditionally; and the list could go on and on. Obviously, something would be very wrong with that concept.

There are of course times when we must love others unconditionally. We are to love and help others. The parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is a prime example. The Samaritan–despised by the Jews–was willing to help a Jewish victim of robbers without any reservations.

We are to love even our enemies by helping them when they are in need. Matthew 5:43-48 reads:

“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 [better: become] perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

In this context, we could speak of unconditional love, because we do not say: I will only help you if and when you change your evil behavior. Rather, Christ tells us: Do good to those who hate you.

But even then, the result of our loving conduct towards our enemies could be that they will become ashamed of their evil conduct and perhaps change for the better. We read in Proverbs 25:21-22: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you.”

Paul adds the following thoughts in Romans 12:17-21:

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

But this does not mean, we always love them unconditionally, no matter what they do.

We are to forgive once they repent. We always have to have an attitude of willingness to forgive upon repentance, but this does not describe unconditional love. Repentance is a condition for forgiveness. But sometimes it is good to overlook sinful conduct, even without repentance, realizing that we are not to condemn others. Proverbs 17:9 states: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.”

We should try to make the best of a bad situation. This may apply to a not-so-harmonious relationship between husband and wife, or between parents and children or relatives. We are admonished, as quoted above from the book of Romans, to try to live peaceably with all men. Hebrews 12:14 says:

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Proverbs 19:11 says:  “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

We also read in Acts 17:30: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked…”, but notice how Paul continues: “… but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”

Overlooking sin does not mean forgiveness. Rather: God has overlooked the times of ignorance… not judging and condemning them yet… but now He demands repentance.

Neither does overlooking sins mean, unconditional love and unconditional willingness to work with someone, for instance in business, who has betrayed us in the past and has shown no signs of remorse, or who is a cheat and a liar and an embezzler. We are clearly told in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17:

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.’”

It is because of this incompatibility, that God gives us a physical example from the animal world in Deuteronomy 22:10: “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” One reason for this admonition is because the step and pull of the two beasts are unequal.

There are other times when we must not overlook sin, which totally negates the concept of unconditional love.

We said this in part 2 of our series about God’s love towards us:

“God shows ‘tough love’ for us if there is a need for correction. He is not showing ‘unconditional’ love at that moment by saying: ‘I will let them do what they want to do, because of my unconditional love for them.’ That idea is false and related to the wrong concept that no matter what we do, we are already saved. We CAN lose our salvation (compare Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 2:1-4), and in that sense, we can lose God’s love in us when we rebel and turn against Him, while hating and despising Him, without a desire to return to Him.”

When Christ and Stephen asked for forgiveness for their enemies, that was not an unconditional request. They did not ask God to forgive them at that moment while they were still continuing to live in their sin of murder and rebellion against God, without any sign of remorse and repentance. Rather, they asked God, in effect, not to “hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60, New International Version) and to forgive them (Luke 23:34), once they would come to understanding and repentance. Jesus and Stephen knew, of course, that God would not forgive them without repentance. Peter knew this too. He later said to Christ’s murderers, in Acts 2:38: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” He repeated the same message in Acts 3:19: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” Peter knew that their sins had NOT been blotted out yet and forgiven, as they had not yet repented.

Paul ordered the excommunication of an unrepentant sinner, in 1 Corinthians 5:1, 5, 9-13:

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles–that a man has his father’s wife!…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus…

“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’”

However, when the sinner repented, Paul asked the church members to welcome him back, as we read in 2 Corinthians 2:6-8: “This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

We also read that parents are to educate and discipline their children. For instance, we read in Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Parents are not to ignore the bad conduct and actions of their children. This would show a lack of love for them. They are to discipline their children, when needed. They are not to show “unconditional” love in such situations, but “tough” love.

We are also told to rebuke our neighbor, when this becomes necessary and when it is within the sphere of our influence and responsibility…again showing that the love which we have for our neighbor is not “unconditional” in the sense that we do not care and grieve about his sin.

Luke 17:3-4 says: “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

Proverbs 19:25 reads: “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.”

Proverbs 27:5 reads: “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed.”

Proverbs 28:23 states: “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.”

Proverbs 9:8 says: “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

Proverbs 17:10 states: “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.”

Love manifests itself in openness, not in flattery.

To properly rebuke someone is not a sign of hate, but of love—but not of “unconditional” love.

Paul admonished the Evangelist Timothy to rebuke others, if necessary.

We read in 1 Timothy 5:20: “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.”

We also read in 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

Paul gave similar admonitions and instructions to Titus.

He wrote in Titus 1:10-14:

“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.”

He added in Titus 2:15:

“Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”

Rebuke may also be necessary so we do not become a partaker of another person’s sin. Leviticus 19:17 says: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.”

We must not be partakers of the sins of others, due to the incorrect belief that because of “unconditional love,” we ought to tolerate sin and just walk with the crowd, showing a friendly smiling face in plain sight of sin.

In 1 Timothy 5:22, Paul cautions Timothy: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

We read in Jude 20-23:

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

Ephesians 5:3-7 adds:

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.”

Also, note this admonition in 2 John 10-11: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”

We said this about God’s love towards us in part 3:

“… when we are corrected by God, it is because He loves us and wants us to be in His Kingdom.

“Hebrews 12:4-6 states: ‘And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’”

“Verse 10 explains the reason why God corrects us: “For they [that is, our human fathers, see verse 9]  indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”

“Christ also tells those Church members in need of repentance in Revelation 3:19: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

When it is within our sphere of influence and responsibility, especially as parents or ministers, we ought to behave likewise, while considering ourselves (compare Galatians 6:1). If we do not do this and instead tolerate or seemingly “embrace” sin because of “unconditional love,” giving the impression that we are one of them and agree with their lifestyle, we do not show the kind of love which God requires of His people.

If our silence could be misconstrued, God gives this thundering warning in Psalm 50:16-23:

“But to the wicked God says: ‘What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; You thought that I was altogether like you; But I will rebuke you, And set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, And there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.’’

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“The Bible Prohibited in Our School Libraries!” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

The Bible has been prohibited temporarily in libraries of school districts in Texas and Missouri, and now, most recently, in some elementary and middle school libraries in Utah. Why is the Bible under attack? And who is really behind it?

“Der Krieg in der Ukraine—Merkels Schuld?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Ukraine War—Merkel’s Fault?”

“Norbert Link—Bestandsaufnahme meines Lebens!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Norbert Link—An Account of My Life.”

“Könnten wir heute Jesus Christus verleugnen?” the sermonette presented in Germany last Sabbath by Mike Richter, is now posted. Title in English: “Could we Deny Jesus Christ Today?”

“Joy—The Second Attribute of the Holy Spirit,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Paul Niehoff, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Joy is a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But how can we be joyful in a time of great distress. The examples in the Bible show that people like Christ, Paul and David experienced joy, not because of their present circumstances but because they looked toward the Kingdom of God, when everything will be changed.

“Total Annihilation,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Rene Messier, is now posted. Here is a summary:

The world is heading towards total destruction and annihilation due to sin and unrighteousness. The effects of sin and not dealing with it are shown in this sermon.

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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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