Update 1074


Waiting, Is Hard! / Christ and the Church

On July 1, 2023, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “Waiting, Is Hard!” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Christ and the Church.”

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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God Hates Lying… Do We?

by Norbert Link

Surely, politics has always been a fertile ground for lies, libel and slander, misrepresentation and misinformation, but it seems it has recently reached such a level which appears to be unique and unparalleled. This is partly due to the huge influence of the powerful left-wing mass media which is anxious to disseminate falsities regarding those of a different and less “popular” persuasion, while censoring and suppressing their “politically-not-correct” viewpoints. But lies are also met with a growing lethargy of the population being so accustomed to and familiar with all the falsehoods bombarding them that they don’t even bother anymore to try to make some sense out of the nonsense.

The LGBTQ+ movement and the “Woke” movement, which propagate and are based on many lies, did not even exist several years ago, but they have reached such a status today, that most do not even dare to question their standards and persuasions, lest they are being called divisive and hateful extremists. The support of the left-wing mass media and of most liberal politicians for these movements has of course largely contributed to their uprising. There is little attention given, if at all, to what the great Creator God has to say about them.

Politicians lie—we know that. But the recent explosion of lies and misrepresentations from the very top down should alarm all of us. It would take pages to list all the lies and suspected lies being circulated, from the so-called “Big Lie” (which might not be a lie at all) to the lies of the “Big Guy” (which might very well turn out to be a series of unconscionable lies). Any objective observer, who is not totally asleep, must admit that lying has become THE way of life for many, if not most politicians, journalists, business enterprises and governmental agencies.

We read a prophecy for our time in the book of Hosea which states that people have broken all restraint with respect to lying and other sins (Hosea 4:2)—lying has become their way of life. We read another end-time prophecy in the book of Isaiah which describes our nations in this way: “No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies” (Isaiah 59:4). Verses 14-15 add: “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off. For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.”

God is Truth… He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). There has never been a lie which originates in and comes from the Truth (1 John 2:21). Satan, however, is the father of lies (John 8:44), because lies started with him. And Satan is today the god and ruler of this evil and rotten world (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). So, do we really wonder WHY there are so many lies in the world?

When God hates something to the very core of His being, it is lying. We read in Proverbs 6:16-19 that God hates lying and that a lying tongue and a false witness are an abomination to Him. Those who do not repent of their way of lying and cheating, slandering, libeling and inventing fake news and horrible falsehoods will meet a terrible fate. We read that “all liars” will be cast into the lake of fire to be burned up (Revelation 21:8), and those “who love and practice a lie” will not enter the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 22:15).

These words are empty warnings for most people today. And as bad as it is now when considering the lies and the liars in this world where “Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth” (Jeremiah 7:28), can you imagine that it will even get much worse? Yes, it is hard to imagine, but it is clearly prophesied.

In 2 Thessalonians 2, we read about the manifestation of the “man of sin,” who will sit in the temple of God and claim falsely that he is God (verse 4). He will come “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders” (verse 9). Those will be deceived and believe the lie who did not receive the love of the Truth (verses 10-11)—and how precious few are those (who are described as truly converted called, chosen and faithful Christians) who DO love and obey and teach and stand up for the Truth, even speaking it in their hearts (Psalm 15:1-2)!

The time for embracing the Truth and exposing and reproving the evil and unfruitful works of lies and darkness is now (Ephesians 5:11). The more lies we allow to enter our thoughts and our lives, the more we will become gullible and receptive to Satan’s ongoing and ever-increasing deceptions which will culminate in the manifestation of the man of sin.

Here is what we must do and how we must feel, using David as an example: “I hate and abhor lying, But I love your law” (Psalm 119:163). And: “Remove from me the way of lying… I have chosen the way of truth” (Psalm 119:29-30).

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by Norbert Link

We begin with the sudden “coup” of the Wagner mercenaries in Russia which ended as quickly as it began. In spite of unverified allegations, it does not appear that Putin’s rule is over, or that Ukraine gained militarily from the foiled event. But there are speculations that the “coup” was staged.

We also report about Donald Trump’s repeated claims that he would end the war in Ukraine within 24 hours, even before arriving at the Oval Office, and that he will be America’s blessed peacemaker. We continue reporting on the ever-increasing break between Russia and the West.

We speak on the “Biden bribery scandal” and demands for initiating impeachment procedures against Joe Biden, who, it is claimed, is destroying America.

In this context, please view our recent StandingWatch program, titled, ‘Voting for Your Political Candidate?”

While the evidence of improper conduct by Biden and his family is mounting, an audio recording was “leaked” to CNN, allegedly establishing that Trump did not declassify a secret document. But regardless of what the recording might show, numerous legal issues question the admissibility of the tape in court.

We also report on an immigration decision of the US Supreme Court, siding with Biden; as well as two decisions regarding affirmative action and university admissions; and religious accomadation.

We speak on the dangerous Woke nonsense in Britain and the USA; further censorship of Robert Kennedy Jr. by YouTube; and we conclude with an interesting article referring to anti-Semitic Europe as “Babylon” and the rise of the right-wing “AfD” party in Germany.

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 Sudden End of the Russian “Rebellion”

The New York Post wrote on June 25:

“Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin posed for smiling selfies in Russia Saturday as he was forced into exile — just hours after the rebel mercenary boss brought the country to the brink of civil war.

“Prigozhin’s short-lived rebellion ended suddenly late Saturday with his retreat to Belarus…

“Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced Saturday Prigozhin would be exiled to Russian-aligned Belarus, with any charges against him for the foiled armed revolt being dropped in exchange

“Prigozhin’s mercenaries had been fighting in Ukraine alongside Russian soldiers. He ordered them back to their field camps after the rebellion’s abrupt end. Wagner Group’s mercenary troops would also not be prosecuted, the Kremlin said, while those who refused to partake in the coup attempt would be offered Defense Ministry contracts

“Prigozhin’s revolt began after what he said was a Russian military attack targeting his troops’ camps in Ukraine Friday with gun- and artillery fire and rockets. He accused Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, of calling for the attacks on his troops after conspiring with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to eliminate the mercenary group.  Russia’s Defense Ministry denied doing so…

“Prigozhin demanded Shoigu be removed from his post as he and his forces advanced upon Moscow Saturday, making it just 120 miles from the city before announcing the retreat.”

This short-lived “coup” did NOT bring the country to the brink of civil war, as the article claims erroneously. Apparently, Prigozhin never tried to fight Putin, but he wanted Shoigu and perhaps Gerasimov to step down. The idea that this episode marks the end of Putin is doubtful, with wild and unconfirmed allegations during the events that Putin had left Moscow. After all, Putin, apparently with the help of Lukashenko, was able to successfully stop the “coup” without much bloodshed [even though it is claimed that the Wagner group killed 39 Russian pilots and crew]. If anything, that would undoubtedly have increased his popularity in Russia. Of course, some may be unhappy with Putin for not punishing the rebels (but note the next article). At the same time, many report that Ukraine’s counter-offensive has been a complete disaster so far. Ukraine’s hope that civil war in Russia would help in defeating Russia has not materialized. Occasional claims that Russia has lost the war in Ukraine are far-fetched. Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban has reportedly said this week that Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia.

Some even feel that the whole event was staged.

All Staged?

The Daily Mail wrote on June 25:

“An ex-CIA analyst has claimed Vladimir Putin ‘orchestrated the coup’ with Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhi… Rebekah Koffler told Fox News’ Eric Shawn on Saturday the coup was staged as a way for the Russian leader to boost his political power and he will eventually ‘gain momentum, mobilize additional personnel, and re-energize his offensive on Ukraine.’…

“Prigozhin’s forces moved from their camps in Ukraine into Russia on Friday and took over a regional military command in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, before advancing toward Moscow. Just as suddenly, the advance was called off on Saturday, and Russian state media said the Wagner troops would return to Ukraine while Prigozhin would flee to neighboring Belarus…

“She continued: ‘So this is a pretext to declare martial law, which Putin has already done. He made an amendment today that anybody who is violating the martial law is going to be imprisoned for 30 days. Another very interesting and revealing point is that Putin just authorized that men with a criminal record can join the military…’”

Even though this theory of a staged coup, which is also propagated in Europe and Russia, is basically rejected by most observers, stranger things have happened…

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

Newsmax wrote on June 25:

“As war rages in Ukraine and Russia teased a potential mercenary mutiny Saturday, former President Donald Trump repeated his vow to end the conflict with negotiations as a ‘blessed peacemaker.’

“‘When I was president, the world was stable and calm because America was respected and strong. Now — as we see in Russia and all of these other places — this whole world is on fire,’ Trump said Saturday night in Washington, D.C… ‘Before I even arrived at the Oval Office, I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine totally settled. I’d have it done in 24 hours. I say that, and I would do that…’

“Trump said his past relationships with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy can get the war ended quickly…

“Speaking to the religious conservative group, Trump hearkened back to the Bible’s scripture. ‘As the Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers,”’ Trump said. ‘I will be your peacemaker.’”

That will have to be seen…

Russia’s Break With the West

Modern Diplomacy wrote on June 26:

“The war that is currently raging between Russia and Ukraine began in 2014. It started with a clash between Russia and Ukraine…

“The tremor of conflict in 2014 turned into an earthquake as far as Russia and the West were concerned. The Kremlin now presents itself as at war with the ‘collective West,’ and in support of Ukraine, the West is eager to isolate Russia as much as it can.

“Russia’s internal transformation under Russian President Vladimir Putin long predates Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and its consequences will be felt long after the war is over. This transformation is Russia’s departure from the West — a shift even more all-encompassing than was the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. One half of this story is Russia’s separation from Europe and the United States and its loss of contact with people, governments, institutions, and companies in the West. The other half is the newly anti-Western tenor of Russian life, a trend that is both spontaneous and government-mandated. The speed with which these changes have taken place is unprecedented in Russian history.

“Nearly sixteen months into the war, ordinary Russians harbor substantial and most likely enduring anger and resentment toward the West…

“Although it can no longer trade with Europe and the United States or harness Western technology for its own modernization, there are many parts of the world with which Russia can increase trade, including China, India, and even Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance…

“The breakup between Russia and the West has acquired an aura of permanence… No matter how long the war continues, and regardless of how it ends, it will almost certainly leave in place a crucial new reality of twenty-first-century international relations…”

Ultimately, Russia and Western Europe will become mortal enemies, fighting each other in war.

Biden Bribery Scandal… More To Come

Newsmax wrote on June 24:

“Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the Department of Justice’s integrity during a Friday news conference, but U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., told Newsmax that Garland has destroyed the agency’s reputation. ‘He just stood up and lied to the American people,’ Comer, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability [said]…

“The DOJ has come under heavy criticism for giving what many see as favorable treatment to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden… on Thursday, members of the House Ways and Means Committee released redacted transcripts of whistleblower testimony from two IRS employees who, after working on Hunter Biden’s tax evasion case, reported misconduct and government abuse from the DOJ and FBI. Garland denied the whistleblowers’ claims.

“Comer’s committee has been investigating alleged influence peddling schemes by Joe Biden and his family. They have presented evidence from an FBI whistleblower that an unclassified FD-1023 form contained allegations the president and Hunter Biden each received $5 million from an executive at Ukrainian energy giant Burisma Holdings Limited in exchange for influencing U.S. policy decisions. The committee also uncovered documents tracing money allegedly paid to Joe Biden and his family to several shell companies.

“Comer said there is more to come… Remember, we just disclosed two countries thus far: China and Romania. There are still some more Chinese wires that we have yet to present to the American people. ‘And there are a lot of wires, mysterious wires from Ukraine and Russia, that we’re about to expose. So, this is just beginning for the Bidens. All the Department of Justice is doing is standing in our way.’

“Comer said that despite all the obstacles his committee has faced from the DOJ and all the negative media coverage surrounding the investigation, ‘we are still producing results every day that shows this family, the president of the United States’ family, has received millions and millions of dollars from our adversaries all over the world, and they can’t explain why. They can’t explain what they did to produce that money.’”

One has to wonder when the majority of the American people will wake up and demand some action against the corrupt Biden family.

Impeach Biden Now

The New York Post wrote on June 25:

“Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz… highlighted a claim from the stunning closed-door testimony released Thursday that investigators found a WhatsApp message in which Hunter, 53, invoked his father in an apparent attempt to coerce money from a Chinese business associate… Cruz insisted that ‘right now’ is the time for the investigation into the scandal-scarred first son to transform into an impeachment effort against the 80-year-old commander-in-chief.

“Both IRS whistleblowers alleged that key officials in the Biden Justice Department hamstrung their own probe into Hunter Biden — and prevented any meaningful investigation into Joe Biden. This includes allegations that Assistant US Attorney Lesley Wolf scuttled important lines of questioning related to Joe Biden, insisting there was ‘no specific criminality.’

“The elder Biden has repeatedly claimed that he never spoke with his son about his overseas business dealings — but the damning text message casts fresh doubt on the president’s claims. ‘I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,’ Hunter Biden wrote to Harvest Fund Management director Henry Zhao. ‘And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.’…

“Cruz said the WhatsApp message ‘directly ties Joe Biden to the millions of dollars coming from communist China’ but the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland prevented any probe into the threatening message…’Now, it is possible Hunter Biden was lying, it’s possible Joe Biden wasn’t next to him,’ Cruz added.”

The facts are that Hunter Biden received the demanded money shortly thereafter, and he was in Joe Biden’s house when he sent the message, giving somewhat credence to the claim that Hunter Biden wrote the message in his father’s presence. However, under the direction of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the Republican-controlled House seems to be unwilling to begin impeachment procedures against Joe Biden.

“Biden Lies About Everything”

On June 27, the Editorial Board of the New York Post published the following opinion:

Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Joe Biden just can’t stop lying about how tangled up he was in son Hunter’s business dealings… Asked point-blank if he’d lied to the American people about never-ever speaking to Hunter about business, he barked ‘No.’… the president lies about everything that could inconvenience him. 

“He called his disastrous Afghanistan bugout an ‘extraordinary success.’ On the raging inflation his policies caused, he scoffed ‘It was already there when I got here, man.’ [Under Trump, inflation was historically low.]… He claimed in 2022 the price of gas was ‘down from over $5 when I took office,’ when it was $2.46 as he came in and then hit highs of more than $5. 

“He claimed again and again to have created millions of ‘new’ jobs, when they were simply the recovered jobs lost to COVID coming back. He lies about having cut the deficit by $1.7 trillion, when his big-spending [policies] increased it. The border is ‘much better than you all expected,’ as he suggested recently to reporters…

“Whether it’s on public policy or personal scandal (‘there’s no there there,’ on his classified-docs woes, he insists, just as with his family corruption), he waves off bothersome facts in the same blustery, barking tone. 

“The tactic worked for most of his long career as a senator with a safe seat, and even as vice president… it still sort-of works for much of the press, who desperately want to believe his lies.

“But most Americans don’t keep falling for a salesman (of used cars or public policy) who never delivers what he promises: They eventually realize that the guy lies about everything. ‘C’mon man!’ is not gonna cut it.”

And still, many Americans state that they would vote for Biden in the next presidential election. Incredible!

Biden Is Destroying the USA

MSN published on June 25 the following opinion by Brandon Weichert, contributor at the Washington Times:

“Noted legal scholar and George Washington University law professor, Jonathan Turley, believes that ‘The Biden Family are beginning to make the Medicis look like small-time operators.’ 

“For the record, the Medici Family was an Italian banking family that used its vast wealth in 15th century Italy to become the most powerful family politically in all of Florence…  As per their station in 15th century Florence, the Medicis were the leaders of a caste of people and families who were, for all intents and purposes, untouchable

“Similarly, the Biden Family appears to be taking a role similar to that of the Medicis in America’s increasingly corrupt political and economic caste system…

“In my view, he’s clearly used his position and power to influence the ‘Justice’ system to better protect his wayward son, Hunter, and to insulate the rest of the Biden Family from true justice is another indicator of just how skilled at corrupt machinations the forty-sixth president is… Of course, the Bidens have been able to get away with their alleged crimes, just as the Clintons were able to do…

“As Turley explained to the New York Post, ‘The fact that it took over five years to even secure a plea on a couple of small misdemeanors is a testament to a family that has leveraged Joe Biden public positions into a fortune of influence peddling.’…

“… all reports indicate that the Department of Justice is slow-walking that investigation into Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents (in much the same way that IRS whistleblowers accuse the DOJ of slow-walking their investigations into Hunter Biden’s tax evasion scandal) whereas they are fast-tracking their case against Trump

“Unlike 15th century Florence, though, modern America is not a flourishing hub of Renaissance thinking. It is a kleptocratic, declining great state with a shockingly overt corrupt and craven political class leading us to our collapse. The way our so-called ‘justice’ system has been converted into a shield for the brazenly corrupt Biden Family and weaponized by that family and their political party to destroy the Biden enemies, such as the Trump Family, is more proof of this sad fact…”

Sadly, the USA IS a declining and collapsing great state with a shockingly corrupt political leadership.

Trump Audio “Leaked” to CNN

Newsmax wrote on June 27:

“Former President Donald Trump is speaking out against CNN’s release of audio it obtained of him speaking with associates at his Bedminster golf club in July 2021 about a military document concerning Iran, saying the report exonerates him in the federal charges he is facing in connection to classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

“‘The Deranged Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, working in conjunction with the DOJ & FBI, illegally leaked and “spun” a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration, rather than what they would have you believe,’ Trump said on his Truth Social page Monday night after the audio aired on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’…

“In the tape, Trump is also heard saying that he has a ‘big pile of papers, this thing just came up. Look. This was him [Army Gen. Mark Milley]. They presented me this – this is off the record but – they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defense Department and him… This was done by the military and given to me… See as president I could have declassified it… Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret’

“Last week, during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump denied having classified documents with him during the meeting… ‘That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things. And it may have been held up or may not, but that was not a document. I didn’t have a document per se,’ he said. ‘There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles.’”

The audio was “leaked” to CNN—supposedly by the Justice Department—at a time when the evidence of alleged bribery and improper financial dealings with foreign powers by Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the entire Biden family is mounting, and when Attorney General Merrick Garland might face impeachment procedures if in fact he lied to Congress under oath, as it has been alleged by two IRS whistleblowers who have now claimed that they can produce six additional witnesses who will collaborate their narrative. Even the New York Times admitted now that Garland did not tell the truth.

In a related article, Newsmax wrote on June 27:

“Former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Newsmax on Tuesday that there is nothing to the leaked audio obtained by CNN about former President Donald Trump… ‘My guess is this is a 30-minute to an hour interview, and this is what the left and the media and now, sadly, the Department of Justice and the FBI, love to do is to selectively leak. It is to take something possibly out of context,’ Nunes [said]… ‘It appears like he’s maybe referring to some article, some story maybe that had just come out…

“‘Like a lot of this, it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors. I just continue to go back and say, “Look, you’ve got the Presidential Records Act, everybody who did exactly the same thing.” … Vice President [Mike] Pence had them. [Joe] Biden had documents all over the place, including [from] when he was a senator. [Barack] Obama had them. [George] Bush had them. So, what are you doing with Trump?’”

Apart from the question as to what the audio actually does establish, it might be irrelevant from a legal standpoint, if, as we pointed out previously, the false set of laws was applied in the indictment; and if the attorney-client privilege was improperly pierced.

It has also been suggested that the audio has become inadmissible for the additional reason that it has been illegally leaked to CNN by, as it is claimed, the Justice Department in violation of a court order. Furthermore, as it was pointed out, before a tape can be admitted into evidence, context, possible editing and its authenticity will have to be established.

Finally, even if Trump did not declassify the alleged document in question (if he had in fact a secret document in his hand during the interview), it could still have become automatically declassified if the content of the document had become public, for instance in a newspaper or a magazine.

US Supreme Court Sides With Biden on Immigration Issue

npr wrote on June 23:

“The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Biden’s administration a victory in a long-running fight about how to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. The case concerned the Biden administration’s attempt to set guidelines for whom immigration authorities can target for arrest and deportation. Texas and Louisiana sued to block the guidelines, arguing that they were preventing immigration authorities from doing their jobs.

“The Supreme Court held by a vote of 8-1 that the states lacked standing to challenge the guidelines in the first place…

“During former President Trump’s administration, ICE agents and officers were empowered to arrest and deport anyone who was living in the U.S. without legal authorization. When the Biden administration took office, it put on the brakes… Under the new guidance, being present in the U.S. without legal authorization ‘should not alone be the basis’ for immigration authorities to arrest or deport someone…”

Trump’s policy was clearly overblown and wrong—it would even have included the arrest and deportation of “Dreamers.”

US Supreme Court Landmark Decision on College Admissions

The New York Post wrote on June 29:

“The Supreme Court struck down affirmative action programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Thursday, ruling that both institutions were in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and federal civil rights law. [Affirmative action policies were often used to increase the number of Black, Hispanic and other underrepresented minority groups on campuses.]

“The decision essentially ends the practice of overt racial consideration in higher education admissions and overturns for all intents and purposes the high court’s 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, which found that colleges could consider race as one factor in the admissions process to achieve a diverse student body. ‘Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,’ Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. ‘And the Equal Protection Clause, we have accordingly held, applies “without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality”—it is “universal in [its] application… [T]he student must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual—not on the basis of race,’ Roberts went on…

“Roberts was joined in his opinion… by all five of his colleagues on the court’s conservative wing: Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch… The court’s three liberals, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented in the UNC case, while Jackson… recused herself from the case involving the Ivy League school…

“Nine states already prohibit any consideration of race in admissions to their public colleges and universities: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington state…

“President Biden said he ‘strongly, strongly’ disagreed with the court… Former President Donald Trump hailed what he called a ‘great day for America’ in a post on his Truth Social network…”

US Supreme Court Decides On Religious Accommodation of Religious Worker

Fox News wrote on June 29:

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously for a postal worker in Pennsylvania in an important religious liberty dispute, over how far employers should go to accommodate faith-based requests in the workplace. Gerald Groff, a Chrisitan mail carrier from Pennsylvania, asked the court to decide whether the U.S. Postal Service could require him to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays, which he observes as the Sabbath. His attorney, Aaron Streett, argued in April that the court should revisit a 50-year-old precedent that established a test to determine when employers should make accommodations for their employees’ religious practices.

“In ruling for the government worker, the high court overturned its 1977 precedent that said employers had to ‘reasonably accommodate’ an employee’s religious beliefs and practices, so long as that would not create an ‘undue hardship’ on the business. The new decision tightens the ‘undue hardship’ standard, and could make it easier for some individual employees to secure a religious accommodation in the workplace… A Supreme Court case from 1977, Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, said employers could deny religious accommodations to employees when they impose ‘more than a de minimis cost’ on the business.

“Groff’s attorney argued that the court should scrap the ‘de minimus’ test, which he suggested has been abused by lower courts to deny religious accommodations, in favor of the plain language of Title VII, which would define ‘undue burden’ in the same way it is defined in other federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)…

“‘To be sure, as the Solicitor General notes, some lower courts have understood that the protection for religious adherents is greater than “more than … de minimus” might suggest when read in isolation,’ Justice Samuel Alito wrote. ‘But a bevy of diverse religious organizations has told this Court that the de minimus test has blessed the denial of even minor accommodation in many cases, making it harder for members of minority faiths to enter the job market… We hold that showing “more than a de minimus cost,” as that phrase is used in common parlance, does not suffice to establish “undue hardship” under Title VII. Hardison cannot be reduced to that one phrase.’

“Groff was a fill-in mail carrier who worked at the United States Post Office when other mail carriers were off… Initially, he was able to work out an arrangement with his supervisors to transfer to another branch that did not deliver on Sundays. When that branch also began Sunday deliveries, Groff was permitted to miss his shifts provided he could find someone to cover for him. However, Groff was frequently unable to do so and missed over two dozen assigned Sunday shifts. 

“Groff contends USPS could have accommodated his beliefs by scheduling shifts so that he didn’t have to work on Sundays. But the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held in May 2022 that USPS would suffer an undue hardship if it took further action to accommodate Groff. The Supreme Court vacated the Third Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion…”

An important case for all true Sabbath keepers as well.

YouTube Did It Again

Newsmax wrote on June 27:

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, revealed on Tuesday that YouTube had taken down yet another interview he was featured in [This was subsequent to YouTube’s censorship of his interview with Joran Peterson last week.]

“Kennedy announced the development in a Twitter threat, suggesting that the removal of his talk with former New York Post reporter Al Guart was an act of political censorship… ‘When industry and government are so closely linked, there is little difference between “private” and “government” censorship,’ he continued. ‘Suppression of free speech is not suddenly OK when it is contracted out to the private corporations that control the public square.’

“The Democratic candidate then cited Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files,’ a series of internal company documents publicized through prominent journalists, as proof of Big Tech’s collusion with the federal government. ‘Twitter complied. Doubtless, Facebook, YouTube, and the rest received similar requests,’ he explained, adding that YouTube ‘probably acted on its own initiative’ because it has ‘internalized the political wishes of the establishment.’”

More on the “Woke” Nonsense in Britain

The Daily Mail wrote on June 25:

“Shocking audio footage last week from Rye College in East Sussex revealed that a teacher called a teenage pupil ‘despicable’ for disputing the idea that a classmate could identify as a cat. The clip includes a heated exchange in which the disgruntled teacher says the Year 8 youngster needed a ‘proper educational conversation about equality, diversity and inclusion’. 

“But now parents are criticising the teacher for bringing ‘gender politics’ into the classroom, which they allege is ‘stressing the children out’… The parents of a Year 7 pupil told The Sun that there has been too much focus on ‘woke’ issues and not enough of a priority on education

“The girl’s father added… ‘It’s highlighted how gender politics has taken over schools. It’s not good…’”

The wave of strange and unbiblical ideas regarding the woke nonsense is sweeping through the Western world… having seemingly risen very suddenly and coming out of nowhere. Truly, Satan IS the god and ruler of this world.

Pride Month in the USA… “We Are Coming for Your Children”

The New York Post wrote on June 24:

“LGBTQ activists participating in New York City’s annual Drag March on Friday sparked outrage for chanting ‘we’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children’ in a Manhattan park… The controversial chant incensed conservatives, who condemned the marchers as the video spread on social media. ‘This movement grooms minors to have mastectomies and castration and fuels a multi billion dollar medical child abuse industry,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted in response to the clip…

“New York City will cap off its Pride Month celebrations with its massive annual parade on Sunday to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots — a pivotal moment in the American LGBTQ community’s history.”

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, was raided by police. But instead of responding with the routine compliance the NYPD expected, patrons and a growing crowd decided to fight back. The five days of violent [but not deadly] rioting that ensued changed the face of gay and lesbian life forever.

Fox News added on June 28:

“NBC News cited LGBTQ activists who claim the ‘we’re coming for your children’ chant has been ‘used for years.’ [If that was true, it would make it even worse.] Twitter added a community note to NBC News’ tweet of the article that there is no proof to these claims. ‘The news articles provides no evidence of the “we’re coming for your children” chant being done for years at pride nor does it quote specific individuals that make this claim,’ the note reads. ‘This is very irresponsible reporting.’”

Europe—the New Babylon

Israel 365 News wrote on June 25:

“After the Jewish people were forced to wear yellow stars and were murdered on European soil during the Holocaust, they must never again be discriminated against with labelling of their goods and with Jew-hatred disguised as anti-Zionism.

“The European Court of Justice ruled that countries should implement label regulations against products originating from Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem as being produced in ‘occupied’ areas but the same is not being legislated against other nations that occupy disputed territories…

“The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation) Director Andrew Tucker commented that Europe has never gotten over the Holocaust but has moved on to create a Babylon atmosphere…”

Europe is called “Babylon” numerous times in the Bible. Please read, for instance, our free booklets, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation” and “The Rise and Fall of Germany and Europe.”

AfD’s Ongoing Success Story

Deutsche Welle reported on June 25:

For the first time in Germany, the AfD has won a district council election… Voters in the central German town of Sonneberg elected AfD candidate Robert Sesselmann at the expense of incumbent district administrator Jürgen Köpper of the CDU. In the runoff election in the Thuringian district of Sonneberg, Sesselmann won 52.8% of the vote, earning him the necessary absolute majority…

“The area of some 57,000 people is one of the smallest districts in Germany. Still, the AfD victory is a major breakthrough for the far-right party, which mainstream parties have refused to cooperate with in coalition agreements.

“The AfD’s leader in Thuringia, Björn Höcke, welcomed the win and said it demonstrates the party’s recent momentum. ‘And then we’ll prepare for the state elections in the east, where we can really create a political earthquake,’ he said, referring to state parliament elections in the eastern states of Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg…

“Earlier this month, the first round of elections in the runoff vote saw Sesselmann fall short of outright victory by only a few percentage points. Such a strong showing for an AfD candidate raised the alarm nationally, with all other main political parties — the SPD, the Greens, the neoliberal FDP, and the socialist Left Party — backing the incumbent.

“Though the highest political office in that small arena, the position itself is of only moderate consequence and carries rather limited power… However, critics fear the idea of the AfD wielding political power in any measure and say the party is xenophobic and anti-democratic.

“Germany’s domestic intelligence service classifies the party in Thuringia and its controversial hardline leader, Bjoern Hoecke, as known far-right extremists…

“The AfD win on Sunday shows a milestone for the far-right party, which is currently polling between 18% and 20% nationwide. It has gained a wave of support as the national governing coalition of left-leaning SPD with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) is showing signs of infighting…

“AfD first entered the national parliament in 2017 after campaigning strongly against migration. More recently, the party has been critcizing German support for Ukraine as Kyiv fights off the invasion from Russia.”

To classify the AfD and its leader as “known extremists” is of course a rather stupid and counterproductive measure which has already backfired. But many who are supporting the AfD have stated in the past that they do not necessarily agree with all of AfD’s positions, but that they reject the ineffective unpopular policies of the current coalition government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz, which many Germans view as being utterly incompetent—not just those voting for the AfD. So, the popularity of the AfD can and perhaps should be viewed as a protest vote against Berlin and the coalition government.

Jewish Leaders Alarmed

JTA wrote on June 26:

“Jewish leaders are reacting with alarm to a local election in the former East German state of Thuringia, where for the first time in Germany a far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate has won the top political post in his district…

“Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the election ‘could open the floodgates’ for a party that espouses xenophobic and anti-democratic values. Some of its leaders also have belittled the Holocaust… ‘Not every AfD voter has extreme right-wing views,’ Schuster told the weekly Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine. ‘But they voted for a candidate whose party is extreme right-wing, according to the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution.’

“Those voters ‘are knocking out another pillar of support for stable democracy in Germany,’ said Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, in a statement.”

The more the AfD will be criticized and warned against, the more the party will rise in popularity, regardless as to whether the criticism is justified or not.

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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How many different descriptions of Jesus are in the Bible? (Part 3)

After reviewing seven descriptions of Jesus in the previous two installments, we continue on our journey of looking at more of these.

  • The Son of Man

We saw in the previous section above, that Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13). This is a Name that He used to refer to Himself.

In our Q&A entitled: “Why did Jesus call Himself ‘The Son of Man?’” we quote Wikipedia as follows:

“The expression ‘the Son of man’ occurs 81 times in the Greek text of the four Canonical gospels, and is used only in the sayings of Jesus.  The singular Hebrew expression ‘son of man’ (ben-‘adam) also appears in the Hebrew Bible over a hundred times.”

We go on to say that one commentator on the internet made these observations: “In the gospels, there are more than 80 places where Jesus refers to himself in the third person as the ‘Son of Man’. In most of those places, he is associating it with one of two prophecies concerning himself; either that the Son of Man will suffer and be killed (Matthew 17:12, Mark 8:31, 9:12, Luke 9:22) or that the Son of Man will come again in glory and for final judgement (Matthew 16:27, 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26, 21:27).  Often the two images are linked, and in only a very few places he doesn’t use ‘son of man’ that way.”

We also stated this: “It would appear that, with the use of the phrase “Son of Man”, Jesus wanted to show everyone that when He dwelled among us, He was entirely human and that He was fully man. In the book of Ezekiel, the phrase ‘son of man’ is used many times for the prophet Ezekiel, but he was just a man with no previous supernatural background. On the other hand, with Jesus, previously a supernatural Being from all of eternity, it was somewhat different.  By using this phrase, He showed that He, who had been God, became fully human, but He also showed that He, the Person who had lived in the flesh and who had died for us, would be resurrected and return as a glorified immortal and eternal God being–the King of kings and the Lord of lords–to rule over all mankind.”

  • The Lamb of God

We read in John 1:29 that John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”   And in verses 35-36 we read: “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’”

Jesus was the perfect and ultimate Sacrifice for sin.   In Isaiah 53, we read about the prophetic sufferings of the Messiah and in verse 7 is a prophecy that Jesus fulfilled: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”

When Philip preached to the Ethiopian, he quoted Isaiah 53:7 and showed how this was fulfilled by Jesus, as we read in Acts 8:34-35: “So the eunuch answered Philip and said, ‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?’  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”

We understand that when the ancient Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt, they were to put the lamb’s blood on the two doorposts and lintel of their house for the protection of their firstborn (Exodus 12:7) so that the death angel would pass over them (verse13).  In Exodus 12:5, we read: “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”   God had Israel act out, in a physical way, a type of Christ who was the Lamb of God.  Around 1,500 years later, Jesus would shed His blood, giving His perfect sinless life as a Sacrifice to pay the penalty for our transgressions of God’s Law.

The shed blood of lambs applied by the ancient Israelites to the doorposts of their houses protected their firstborn from the plague of death.   Today, we can be protected from eternal death through the blood of Christ – the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for us on the day of the Passover nearly 2,000 years ago.  This perfect Sacrifice was where Jesus gave His life for the world as we read in John 3:16: “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

For more information on the tremendous importance of Christ’s Sacrifice, please see our booklet, The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days.”

  • The Light of the World

We read in John 8:12: “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”

Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise) observes: “Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does… Christ… What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.”

In John 9:5, Jesus repeated that He was the light of the world and as we are to be like Him we, too, should be the light of the world as He remarked in Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Compare also Ephesians 5:8 and Philippians 2:15.

  • The Bread of Life

In John 6, Jesus spoke about the necessity of spiritual food, that which lasts (compare verse 27), and in verses 33-35, He stated that: ‘”For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” 

In verse 48, Jesus again says: “I am the bread of life,” and in verse 51, we read: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Jesus taught that “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6), explaining that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

  • King of the Jews

Jesus is referred to as the King of the Jews in all four gospel accounts. For instance, in Matthew 2:1-2, we read that “wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.””   We see that even as a small child there was the acknowledgement that He was the King of the Jews.

In passing, the “star” went before them and showed them the way to the house where Jesus was staying. This was not an ordinary star, but an angel (compare for instance Revelation 1:20); the wise men did not visit Christ on His birthday, but much later, and by that time, Christ was no longer a baby in the manger, but a “young Child” (compare verses 9-11).

In Matthew 27, we see further evidence of Jesus being given this title of “King of the Jews.” In verse 11, we read:  “Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’”

Pilate was amazed that Jesus wouldn’t answer him further (verse 14).   When the soldiers mocked Jesus just before His crucifixion, they used this description as we see in verse 29: “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’”  Verse 37 reads: “And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”  We know from John 19:19 that it was Pilate who wrote this title and so Jesus must have made quite an impression on Pilate who was the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea. Pilate referred several times to Jesus as the King of the Jews when the crowd demanded His crucifixion (compare Mark 15:9, 12-13).

Zechariah 9:9 is prophetic: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Matthew 21:4-5 shows that this was fulfilment of that prophecy. 

  • King of kings

We read about ten European core nations of the beast power in Revelation 17 who make a move to wage war with the returning Jesus Christ.  “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).

In Revelation 19:16 is a prophecy showing Christ’s authority will be worldwide: “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

These titles imply complete authority and are well placed as Jesus was the One whom the Father used to create all things (compare Colossians 1:16) and, at the time when it will be necessary at the end of the rule of man, such a strong and fair ruler will be vital.   Gone will be the earthly rulers, royalty, prime ministers, presidents and all the other human leaders—leaders from the dawn of civilisation until the present day who have brought us to the brink of extinction.

The return of Jesus Christ as King of kings will accomplish a complete revolution about how things should be, and only He can bring that about and implement it by and through the direction of the Father. Those “who are with Him,” “the called, chosen and faithful” (compare again Revelation 17:14), will rule under Christ as born-again members of the God Family for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6). Christ will be their KING and LORD, but they themselves will be kings and lords as well.  

  • Rabbi

Wikipedia states that “The title ‘Rabbi’ occurs… in the books of Matthew, Mark and John in the New Testament, where it is used in reference to ‘Scribes and Pharisees’ as well as to Jesus.” 

Jesus was referred to by His disciples as “rabbi” in John (1:38, 49, 3:2, 4:31, 6:25), and the term “rabbi” means “teacher” or “master” or “leader” in Arabic. “Rabbi” can also mean “my great one.”

We read in John 3:1-2 that “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’”  This clearly indicates that Nicodemus, a member of the religious establishment at that time, acknowledged that the term, Rabbi, was an appropriate name for Jesus.

But what we read in the gospels also emphasise Jesus’ difference from normal Rabbis. “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).

It is fair to say that by the end of His ministry, the disciples would have realised who Jesus really was, which was very much more than just a Rabbi. Rather, He was their Master, teaching them with authority, and Christ had warned them that they should not be called “Rabbi,” “for One is your Teacher (Margin in the New King James Bible: Leader), the Christ, and you are all brethren” (Matthew 23:8).

In our Q&A, ”Please explain Christ’s sayings in Matthew 23:8-10,” we state the following:

“… the word ‘Rabbi’ means, ‘my great one’ (‘The New Bible Commentary–Revised’). Christ emphasized the fact that even though He bestowed on His ministry certain functions and responsibilities toward ‘feeding’ the flock, the ministers are to understand that they are not in any way ‘better’ than others…

“Christ specifically said that ministers are not to exercise ‘lordship’ over the flock [Luke 22:24-26; compare 1 Peter 5:3]; and that they must not accept ‘superior’ religious designations and titles which are reserved for God–including titles such as ‘the Anointed One,’ ‘the Lawgiver,’ ‘the Prophet,’ ‘Doctor of Divinity,’ ‘His Holiness,’ ‘Father’ or even ‘Holy Father.’ The title ‘Reverend’ should not be used by God’s ministers, either, as the Bible uses this word ONLY in reference to God (compare Psalm 111:9, Authorized Version). The same is true for the term, ‘Holy Father,’ which is exclusively used for God (compare John 17:11).”

(To be continued)

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

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Voting for Your Political Candidate?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

This program discusses concerns with several positions of the main candidates for Presidency, which are contrary to God’s Word, posing the question whether one could vote for any of them. But then, is there even a candidate God’s people could and should vote for? What does the Bible tell us, and what is our real responsibility today?

“Sieben Geheimnisse der Tierwelt,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Seven Mysteries of the Animal World.”

“Gute Angewohnheiten etablieren,” last Sabbath’s German sermonette presented by Robert Macher, is now posted. Title in English: “Establish Good Habits.”

“What Is It We Are Searching For?” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Without knowing where we are headed, we will lose our way in this world. If we are not fully focused on serving God, we are not following Christ’s command to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” That is our guiding light, and all of our actions can and must fall under that way of thinking.

“Mysteries of the Animal World,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Why and how does the Bible contradict and reject the Evolution concept, and why are many occurrences in the animal word unexplainable mysteries for Evolution-believing scientists? How does God feel about cross breeding? What is parthenogenesis, and what might be the reason for its existence? Can animals choose not to reproduce? Are we still obliged to refrain from eating the meat of “unclean animals”? Are we to refrain from eating meat altogether? Is it true that God does not care about oxen? 

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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

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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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