Update 1105


Comments on News and Prophecy–March 2, 2024 / The Man of Sin in the Temple of God

On March 2, 2024, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy—March 2, 2024,” and the sermon, titled, “The Man of Sin in the Temple of God.”

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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Lead the Way

by Frank Bruno

In my work life, I am confronted with quite a lot of statistical information concerning the market that my company serves. I operate a non-profit transit company that provides para transit services along with a host of municipal buses, shuttles, and other specialized transport. This is challenging as inflationary pressures continue to impact all of us. Fuel costs, labor rates, insurance: all these things challenge any company, and the result can be reducing services to live within a budget.

This is just reality. However, here in Colorado, we are facing a unique problem. For the first time in our state’s history, the number of people over 65 years of age far exceeds those under 18. Of course, this sets up significant economic challenges for a growing state. Income tax revenue will decline while demand for elder services is increasing at a dramatic pace. There simply will not be enough money to provide care for our seniors.

In my job, we provide transportation for many seniors in an 8-county region here along the Front Range of Colorado. Trips for seniors include the obvious medical appointments, but also include grocery shopping, trips to senior centers and social events. Unfortunately, government funding for such needs has been declining due to shrinking revenues.

Our state government is focused on building a railroad from Fort Collins to Pueblo along Interstate 25. At the same time, state officials are discussing other very costly capital plans. These are not inherently negative projects to focus on, however, they will come as a tradeoff to needs like the senior services I’ve mentioned.

I write all of this as a prelude to stating that it occurred to me that in my line of work, as a leader in this industry, I need to do more to influence this issue. This means, speaking for those who cannot do so.

Millions of dollars are being programmed on visionary projects but sadly, seniors will be unable to get to dialysis and chemotherapy appointments. When I speak on this matter, I may not make those in power pleased.  However, we who are called by God to follow Him understand that there will be moments when we must calmly and appropriately stand up for that which we know to be right and moral. We must never do so with our own ambition or a self-righteous attitude. When we consider our actions, we should be guided by Scripture. Proverbs 3:5-6, provides excellent guidance: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

This must guide our actions as we interact with the structures of this world. As we know, they are not godly entities, yet they are allowed to exist by God, and we are required by Him to submit to these authorities unless this would compromise our obedience to God.

Our approach must be to focus on prayer and on the problem, and not the people we are interacting with. Titus gives us good guidance in relation to submitting to the ministry of the Church, and the same guidance is beneficial in our dealings at work. Titus 1:7-9 states: “For a bishop (other translations use the word elder or overseer, instead of bishop) must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,  but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” This is fundamentally a description of leadership, and if we wish to make progress in our efforts, accepting this advice is paramount.

In the example I began with, I know that the State’s leaders are eagerly working on their priorities. However, I also know that they care about the elders in our state who are in a troubling situation. There simply is not enough money or resources to achieve all the priorities. This is a common dilemma, and for true Christians, we can rely on God to show us the path we must follow to do His will. We see this illustrated in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In our interactions at work and in our communities, if we live by this direction, we are more likely to influence those around us. Not by self-righteousness, but by living as God intends, having our mind renewed by the commandments, and serving as an example to those we encounter. If helping our elders can be properly elevated by the example of our actions and priorities, we can raise the issue more effectively.

Jesus Christ provided the very best example of how we who are called by God must live. In John 13:12-15, we have the record of Jesus as our servant leader, and we read: “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.’”

As humans, we can never match the example that Jesus established for us—however, we can strive for this.

In Galatians 6:9, we see the admonition of continuing to work for good and being the example that God intends: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

I am thinking about the task ahead of me, and I know that if I follow God’s commandments, I will have done my job.

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by Norbert Link

We address Europe’s military awakening; the false concept of achieving peace through deterrence and military might; the great power of the German chancellorship; and the discussion about the curse of conscription in Germany, the United Kingdom and in other countries.

We focus on Vladimir Putin and the striking similarities to Adolf Hitler; [please note the new StandingWatch program, titled, “Did Putin Lose His Mind?” ] and we address Britain’s and Europe’s shameful and dangerous conduct towards Israel.

We report on the conviction of former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz; and Donald Trump’s agenda and his sweeping victories in South Carolina and Michigan.

We conclude with articles on the moon landing; the Pope and global warming; dangerous tattoos; and more woke nonsense.

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

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Europe’s Military Awakening

On February 23, Voanews wrote the following:

“Recent weeks have seen Europe’s defense take center stage in meetings and commitments. At the Munich Security Conference…, Denmark announced it would send its entire ammunition stock to Ukraine, calling on other European countries to also step up. During back-to-back visits to Berlin and Paris, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy secured fresh security pacts from both countries and billions of dollars more in aid.

“Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called for the European Union to become a military power in its own right, while the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia agreed last month to set up a common defense zone on their borders with Russia and Belarus. Last week, too, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Europe, for the first time, had collectively met the alliance’s 2% GDP target for defense spending.”

We should all be able to see in which prophesied direction Europe is going. Note the following articles as well.

A European Army—a Threat to America’s Security?

The European Conservative wrote on February 26:

“Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk added that he wanted to ‘revitalise’ his country’s relations with its main European partners, arguing that the EU should become ‘a military power’ in its own right. For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for the urgent ‘mass production’ of European weapons… Some, such as former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, do advocate a genuine EU army. According to a recent poll…, as many as 87% of Europeans polled answered ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Does the EU need a common defence policy?’”

The article concluded:

“… it would be a big mistake to tolerate duplication between NATO and the European Union in terms of defence cooperation. Apart from the waste of resources, this would also be the dreamt-of excuse for Donald Trump or a kindred spirit in the U.S. to no longer help protect Europe—although such a decision would also require a two-thirds majority in the U.S. Senate. After years of neglecting defence spending—especially in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden—European countries simply cannot do without the defence provided by the United States; so any call for an EU army is a direct threat to our security.”

Deutsche Welle reported on February 28:

“Former US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton tells DW he thinks Trump will withdraw the US from NATO if he gets a second term. ‘At a time of increasing international difficulties, to say the least, he is exactly the wrong person to become president of the United States,’ Bolton said.”

Peace Through Deterrence?

Bild Online wrote on February 24:

“Declaration of war on Putin: On the second anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called for a return to the policy of deterrence. ‘Together with our allies, we must be so strong that no one dares to attack us,’ said Scholz in a video message on Saturday, calling for a strengthening of defense capabilities… ‘Deterrence, defense readiness’, these are words that we have not used in Germany for so long that they were almost forgotten’. But now they are again ‘standing for a very important task’, to defend ‘peace in Europe’

“Of the 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr, 80 billion euros are already firmly planned, e.g., for new helicopters and fighter jets. The navy is receiving new frigates and submarines, the army modernized armored personnel carriers. At the same time, air defense against missiles and drones will be expanded….”

We used to hear these phrases again and again. And they didn’t bring peace… just more and more wars.

The Power of the Federal Chancellor

Focus wrote on February 22:

“In parliament there is… a majority in favor of supplying Ukraine with German medium-range missiles with a range of 500 kilometers… The Chancellor has decided not to supply Ukraine with medium-range missiles. Parliament cannot force him to do this… The Federal Chancellor therefore retains his decision-making power over Parliament on an issue that is also important for the security of the Federal Republic of Germany. As long as he doesn’t want to deliver Taurus, Taurus won’t be delivered…

“It is the same with other, very crucial questions… If the Bundestag decides that Ukraine must win in the defensive war against Russia, then that does not bind the Federal Chancellor. If the Bundestag decides that the war aim is the complete restoration of Ukraine, including Eastern Ukraine [and] plus Crimea, this will not bind the Chancellor.

“The Chancellor… remain(s) free to recognize other results of the war. For example, the result of negotiations between a possible American President Donald Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky…

“The fate of Ukraine is uncertain. It is the same with membership in NATO and the European Union. Ukraine can only become a member of NATO if there is peace. Otherwise, NATO would immediately become a party to war, which is excluded in the NATO statute. And only those who are an undisputed democracy will become a member of the European Union. Zelensky has issued a decree banning eleven parties in the country that he accuses of having ties to Russia. Media freedom is also…restricted. Corruption still prevails in the country….”

The power of the office of the German Chancellor is quite remarkable.

The Curse of Conscription

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 24:

Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, is going on a buying spree to make up for years of neglect. The challenge it faces, however, is more than a matter of money. As the Defense Ministry pours tens of billions of borrowed euros into planes, tanks and shells, it also needs the people to fly, drive and shoot them — and keep all of it in working order.

“That’s why conscription has emerged from the dustbin of Cold War history for a possible second act. In Germany, as in many of parts of Europe, a political debate over the issue is heating up. Opposition parties [such as the CDU]… have expressed interest in some kind of mandatory national service. The three-way governing coalition has been more skeptical.

“The position puts the defense minister, Boris Pistorius, officially at odds with the government he belongs to. He has called the suspension of Germany’s military draft in 2011 a ‘mistake,’ and wants a public conversation about the need to reinstitute one and how best to do it… Germany’s Parliament… suspended the draft 13 years ago. Its legal basis, however, has remained a part of the Basic Law [Grundgesetz] which serves as the country’s constitution…

“It would likely require legal changes, for example, to include women. Tapping non-citizens is also under discussion… What’s known as the ‘Swedish model’ is also getting a closer look… It covers everyone from ages 16-to-70…

“The United States, which did away with the draft following its defeat in Vietnam, maintains a more passive system known as the Selective Service System, which requires all men from 18-to-25 to register. In theory, the 15 million men on the SSS list could be quickly mobilized, but since they haven’t been trained or screened, it’s unclear how ready any of them would be to confront a national threat….”

inews wrote on February 25:

“The British people must be prepared for military conscription and making other sacrifices to defend the UK if Russia attacks, a former senior army commander has warned. The Armed Forces are ‘wafer thin’ and must be rebuilt, because they are ‘so small in terms of equipment, so undertrained, so badly supported’, General Sir Richard Barrons [said].

“But with the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine grinding into a third year, and Donald Trump talking of abandoning Nato allies in Europe if he becomes US president, the retired officer said that civilians must also consider how they would contribute if a war broke out here… He supported the recent comments from General Sir Patrick Sanders, the serving head of the Army, who suggested last month that the UK should lay the foundations for ‘national mobilization.’

“… ‘In the mobilisation of civil society, you start with volunteers. If the war is not over and you’ve run out of volunteers, then you have to conscript people… This is entirely historically normal’…

“General Sir Patrick, Chief of the General Staff, caused a stir last month when he said a war with Russia would be a ‘whole-of-nation undertaking’, including training and equipping a ‘citizen army.’ Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said in response that he disagreed with General Sir Patrick and had ‘no intention’ of considering conscription. The Government is extremely sensitive about any suggestion that citizens could ever face mandatory military service. A spokesperson for the prime minister said last month that ‘hypothetical scenarios’ about potential future wars were ‘not helpful’…

“About 85 countries have some form of obligatory military training. These include Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Brazil, Finland and North and South Korea. Russia conscripts more than a quarter of a million men aged from 18 to 27 each year.”

In time, more and more countries will enact conscription in a world ruled by Satan, the Destroyer.

Sweden Part of NATO

The Daily Mail wrote on February 27:

“On Monday, Hungary became the final NATO member to approve the country’s application from 2022 to join the alliance…  It was hailed as a ‘historic day’ by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg immediately welcomed Hungary’s ratification.  ‘Sweden’s membership will make us all stronger and safer,’ Stoltenberg wrote on X… After Finland joined last year, Sweden’s membership… means all the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, except Russia, will be part of the military alliance…

“Moscow has in recent years turned the region into one of the most militarised in Europe, with nuclear-capable missiles stationed there.”

This might prompt a reaction from Russia.

European Troops to Ukraine?

Daily Mail wrote on February 27:

“The Kremlin warned today that conflict between Russia and NATO would be inevitable if European members sent troops to fight in Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that European nations have not ruled out putting boots on the ground… German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today rejected the idea of European countries and NATO sending troops to Ukraine…

“Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico… said after the meeting that there was disunity on the issue among European leaders.

Fico also said; “There are countries that are ready to send their own soldiers to Ukraine, there are countries that say never –- Slovakia is among them — and there are countries that say that this proposal should be considered.” Leaders of the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Sweden have ruled out the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine. The UK said that there were no such plans “at the moment.”

However, realistically, European soldiers are already in Ukraine. Ursula von der Leyen said: “On the ground, our soldiers work side-by-side with police officers, lawyers and doctors, with humanitarian workers and human rights defenders, with teachers and engineers.” (The American Conservative, February 27). Especially Olaf Scholz has proven that his assurances are not reliable and that they are always subject to “modifications”.

However, another taboo was set aside, namely, to allow the Ukraine “to use Western weapons to strike targets in Russia.” This was previously ruled out by the EU.

Strange Occurrences in Ukraine

The Sun wrote on February 28:

“… a circular UFO can be seen floating over a Ukrainian warzone. Eerie footage shows the mystery object hovering in the sky as puzzled troops use special heat detecting drones to investigate it. The men in the video are part of Ukraine’s fierce 406th Battalion and can be seen using the drone’s control screen to observe the unidentified disc.

“At first, the soldiers fly their drone cautiously closely to the object before zooming in to examine it further. The drone’s altitude radar manages to show the object was more than 30 miles away but despite this, it still looks massive on the screen. It hovers, seemingly completely still, even as the drone approaches.

“A bewildered soldier in the clip can be heard saying: ‘What the… is this? Why isn’t it moving?’ Another says the flying disc is ‘a UFO, for sure’…

“The device used to capture the footage was a special heat vision quadcopter drone that Ukraine has deployed all across the front line…  The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) are believed to have at least 300 of these drones in their arsenal, as well as thousands of other drones. It is unclear what the UFO was and [what] it was doing.

“The sighting bears striking similarities to images released by the US Air Force showing a skinny circular object flying over North Eastern Iraq in May 2022… It was later dubbed the ‘Baghdad Phantom’.

“The latest sighting comes exactly a year after Russia ended up in chaos as airports were dramatically closed over reports of a UFO. Passenger planes from Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg were grounded after reports of an mysterious object overhead – with the military ordering the closure. Locals were even ordered to escape to their nuke shelters over fears of a blast.”

Satan’s involvement in human affairs with the attempt to confuse man is increasing.

Nuclear War Coming?

The Sun wrote on February 28:

“VLADIMIR Putin is closer to unleashing a nuclear strike than ever feared, leaked Russian military files suggest…  According to the classified files… the threshold for Russia to fire a nuke is lower than Moscow has ever admitted… the files say an enemy landing on Russian soil or an imminent enemy attack using conventional weapons could also spark a nuclear response.

“Meanwhile, the explosive papers also reveal a nuke could be deployed in the case of a defeat of units responsible for securing border areas. This could stoke fears Putin may discharge a nuke if Ukrainian forces go over the border into Russia amid the ongoing war.

“More specific scenarios of a nuke being discharged include the destruction of 20 per cent of Russia’s strategic ballistic missile submarines, 30 per cent of its nuclear-powered attack submarines, three or more cruisers, three airfields, or a simultaneous hit on main and reserve coastal command centres…

“Putin has 5,977 nuclear warheads – the largest confirmed stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world. In comparison, the UK has just 260. This frightening arsenal can be launched from land, submarines and planes…  strategic [nuclear] weapons, with deliberately terrifying names such as Satan, are designed to wipe out entire cities… And this week, a convoy of Russian Yars missile launchers were seen travelling 250 miles to Moscow after Sweden was approved to join Nato.”

The Bible does not indicate that Russia will attack the USA and Britain prior to Christ’s return. It does teach, however, a nuclear war between Russia and continental Europe about 1 year before Christ’s Second Coming.

Putin—the New Hitler?

Daily Mail wrote on February 22:

“Vladimir Putin was today accused of making a ‘gesture reminiscent of a Nazi salute’ as he opened the so-called Future Games in the Russian city of Kazan… Warmonger Putin, 71, has been accused of a Hitler-like invasion of Ukraine and similarities to the German wartime leader in repression of his people and establishing a Russian version of the Hitler Youth, indoctrinating young people in patriotism and military discipline…

“Putin justifies his war against Ukraine by seeking to crush ‘nationalists’ who he brands ‘Nazis’, despite the fact that Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, is Jewish and is related to several people who died in the Holocaust. 

“… Putin was joined at the ceremony by the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Republika Srpska… The event involves 2,000 athletes from over 100 countries and 270 multinational teams.”

Putin clearly gave the Nazi salute. This whole scenario reminds us of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin over which Hitler presided.

Russia Wants It All

On February 22, Newsmax republished the following article by Thomson/Reuters:

“Russian troops will go much further into Ukraine, taking the southern city of Odesa and might even one day push on to the capital Kyiv, a senior ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Putin said Tuesday that Russian troops would push further into Ukraine to build on their success on the battlefield after the weekend fall of the town of Avdiivka where he said Ukrainian troops had been forced to flee in chaos. ‘Where should we stop? I don’t know,’ former President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said in an interview with Russian media. ‘We will have to work very hard and very seriously. Will it be Kyiv? Yes, it probably should be Kyiv. If not now, then after some time, maybe in some other phase of the development of this conflict.’…

“On the eve of its second anniversary, Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and outgunned by Russia’s, and a major new package of aid for Kyiv has been held up in the U.S. Congress… Medvedev said Russia also wanted to take the Black Sea port of Odesa, which it calls Odessa. ‘Odessa, come home. We have been waiting for Odessa in the Russian Federation because of the history of this city, what kind of people live there, what language they speak. It is our Russian city,’ Medvedev said.

“… Russia currently controls a little under one fifth of territory internationally recognized to be Ukraine… Russia says the territory its forces control is part of Russia and that it will never be given up

“Putin’s suggestion of a ceasefire in Ukraine to freeze the war was rejected by the United States after contacts between intermediaries… Ukraine and the West cast the war as an imperial-style land grab by Putin, and have warned that if Ukraine loses then Russia could attack a NATO member, something Putin has denied.”

After the “Anschluss” with Austria, Hitler denied too that he had any ambitions towards occupying Czechoslovakia or Poland, even though his book “Mein Kampf” clearly postulated the opposite.

Transnistria Next?

The U.S. Sun wrote on February 23:

“Putin could be on the brink of attempting another Hitler-style landgrab in Europe – the annexation of a Moldovan territory (the former Soviet republic that neighbours Ukraine)… next week… There are reports that the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria – which illegally declared its independence from Moldova in 1990 – is plotting to appeal to Putin to join Russia.

“The landlocked strip along the Dniester River is wedged between both Moldova and Ukraine…  Putin already has a so-called ‘peacekeeping’ force of up to 2,000 troops in the region, which has a population of about 470,000 that Moscow says overwhelmingly wishes to be incorporated into Russia. He is also believed to have thousands of paramilitaries on the ground, ready to take arms when the call comes… Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted Moscow will ‘not leave its citizens living in Transnistria in trouble’… This will give Putin a supposed ‘legal’ power to step into Transnistria which has been in limbo since the end of the Soviet Union… Moscow could then use the breakaway territory to move against the rest of Moldova, seen as another goal, and as a point for attacks on Ukrainian port Odessa, seen as a far more significant prize. 

“Moldova President Maia Sandu sounded the alarms last year when she claimed Russia was planning a coup in her country. Her parliament has a pro-Western majority and seeks to have Moldova join the European Union… opposition politician Gennady Ciorba warned President Sandu of the Kremlin threat, stating that ‘the psychology of the current leadership of Russia, in particular Putin, is very similar to the psychology of Hitler in the late 1930s.’… Russians are the largest group among the population of Transnistria with almost 30 per cent. Another 29 per cent are Moldovan or Romanian, while 23 per cent are Ukrainian.”

Putin is acting like Hitler, as was correctly pointed out above… and he might be influenced by the same demon which plagued Hitler.

Russia Confiscates German Assets

bnn wrote on February 24:

“In a landmark decision that underscores the complex interplay between international sanctions and global business operations, a Russian court has ordered the confiscation of more than $1 billion worth of assets from the German industrial gases and engineering company Linde. This ruling emerges from Linde’s cessation of work on a gas processing plant in Russia, a move the company attributed to the European Union’s sanctions against Russia following the Ukraine conflict…

“The EU has progressively tightened its sanctions on Russia, aiming to curtail the latter’s military capabilities and economic resilience in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. These sanctions have had far-reaching implications, not only for Russian entities but also for international firms operating in or with Russia.”

European and American sanctions against Russia might not have the desired effect, but could even backfire.

The Shame of Big Ben

Israel Today wrote on February 25:

‘The antisemitic message projected onto Big Ben has understandably provoked much outrage in Britain. It is a shameful betrayal of the Jewish people, and not for the first time in our nation. Pro-Palestinian protestors managed to light up the iconic clock tower with the message ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ – effectively calling for the destruction of Israel, the stated goal of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. And for the police – who have arrested street preachers on a hate speech charge simply for quoting the Bible – to say that a criminal offence had not thus been committed is an absolute disgrace.

“Our Houses of Parliament, of which Big Ben is an extension, is quite literally built on the word of God we have inherited from the Hebrew people. For inscribed in Latin on its floor are the words from Psalm 127: ‘unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.’ Tragically, however, the foundations of our Judeo-Christian civilization are fast crumbling as we meekly bow the knee to the Islamic agenda.”

The world is uniting more and more against Israel.

Spain Won’t Sell Arms to Israel

Yeni Safak wrote on February 24:

“Spain will not sell arms to Israel ‘as long as the current situation continues,’ said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares on Friday.

“During a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York, Albares said no new arms sales license was given to Israel after Oct. 7. Stating that Spain announced that it will provide €3.5 million ($3.7 million) in financing to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Albares noted that Spain is looking at how this can be increased in the short term.”

Spain exemplifies what is becoming the approach of Europe: No support for Israel, but huge support for the Palestinians.

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz Found Guilty in Perjury Case

Deutsche Welle reported on February 23:

“A Vienna court has found former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz guilty of perjury and handed him an eight-month suspended jail sentence. A young and charismatic hardliner, Kurz was once hailed as a ‘wunderkind’ of Europe’s conservatives. The conviction followed a four-month court case, marking the first time in more than 30 years that a former Austrian chancellor had stood trial

“The case related to statements made by Kurz to an investigative committee of the Austrian parliament in 2020. As part of the inquiry, he was asked about his involvement in picking executives for a newly formed state holding company, OBAG, which was formally his finance minister’s responsibility. Kurz allegedly downplayed his role in the appointments, saying he was ‘involved in the sense of informed’ but did not play an active role in appointments. But prosecutors said Kurz was in fact calling the shots himself.

“They presented as evidence text message exchanges, including between Kurz and Thomas Schmid, a former close confidant of Kurz and senior Finance Ministry official, who became head of OBAG under Kurz…”

Reuters added on February 23:

“A Vienna court on Friday [dealt Kurz] a serious blow to any chance he may have of launching a political comeback.”

Politico wrote:

“An Austrian court [sealed] a dramatic fall from grace for the one-time Wunderkind many once saw as the future of European conservatism… The former chancellor is likely to appeal the felony conviction, a process that could take years. In the meantime, a political comeback for Kurz, who now works as a consultant in the private sector, is unlikely.”

Some feel that Kurz may still come back from his defeat. Time will tell.

Trump’s Statements During CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference)

The Guardian wrote on February 24:

“Donald Trump…  pledged to crack down on border security and deliver the biggest deportation in US history if he wins the 5 November election. ‘For hard-working Americans, November 5th will be our new liberation day… for the liars and cheaters and fraudsters and censors and imposters who have commandeered our government, it will be their judgment day!’

“He added: ‘Your victory will be our ultimate vindication, your liberty will be our ultimate reward and the unprecedented success of the United States of America will be my ultimate and absolute revenge’… He delighted the audience by shouting: ‘Crooked Joe Biden, you are fired! Get out of here. You’re destroying our country. You’re fired… Joe Biden is a threat to democracy – really is a threat to democracy… The Stalinist show trials being carried out at Joe Biden’s orders set fire not only to our system of government but to hundreds of years of western legal tradition…’”

Trump’s Sweeping Victory in South Carolina

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 25:

“{During] Saturday’s Republican primary in South Carolina… Trump gained approximately 60% of the vote, while Haley received some 40%… ‘I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now,’ Trump said in a victory speech… Despite losing in her home state, Haley has vowed to stay in the race…

“The result is Trump’s fifth straight win during primary session after victories in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and the US Virgin Islands… Joe Biden also reacted to the result with a statement warning voters of ‘the threat Donald Trump poses to our future as Americans grapple with the damage he left behind…. nearly two-thirds (65%) of Republican primary voters said Trump would still be fit for the presidency if he were convicted of a crime…  The same percentage of those who voted said they do not think US President Joe Biden legitimately won the presidency in [2020] …”

Trump Wins in Michigan

The New York Post wrote on February 28:

“Former President Donald Trump ran away with Michigan’s Republican primary Tuesday night, cruising past rival Nikki Haley to secure his sixth consecutive win in a GOP contest [with wins in five states and in the Virgin Islands].”

Biden also won in Michigan for the Democrats, but no serious challenger was running against him.

Replace Biden

The New York Post wrote on February 26:

“About 48% of the Democratic voters polled said they approve of the party ‘finding another candidate to replace Joe Biden before the election in November…”

The article also stated that “former first lady Michelle Obama is the leading choice to replace him”, followed by Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, Gavin Newsom, and Gretchen Whitmer. “Most of the Democrats selected ‘none of the above.’”

Even though most Democrats are in favor of replacing Biden, they also see the resulting nightmare of incompetent or unpopular alternatives.

Successful Moon Landing

Reuters reported on February 23:

“A spacecraft built and flown by Texas-based company Intuitive Machines landed near the moon’s south pole on Thursday, the first U.S. touchdown on the lunar surface in more than half a century and the first ever achieved by the private sector. NASA, with several research instruments aboard the vehicle, hailed the landing as a major achievement in its goal of sending a squad of commercially flown spacecraft on scientific scouting missions to the moon ahead of a planned return of astronauts there later this decade.

“But initial communications problems following Thursday’s landing raised questions about whether the vehicle may have been left impaired or obstructed in some way… When contact was finally renewed, the signal was faint, confirming that the lander had touched down but leaving mission control immediately uncertain as to the precise condition and orientation of the vehicle, according to the webcast… the weak signal suggested the spacecraft may have landed next to a crater wall or something else that blocked or impinged its antenna…

“Thursday’s landing represented the first controlled descent to the lunar surface by a U.S. spacecraft since Apollo 17 in 1972, when NASA’s last crewed moon mission landed there with astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. To date, spacecraft from just four other countries have ever landed on the moon – the former Soviet Union, China, India and, mostly recently, just last month, Japan. The United States is the only one ever to have sent humans to the lunar surface….”

Of course, those who believe in a flat earth and deny that moon landings ever took place will undoubtedly come up with all kinds of explanations as to why the latest moon landing never occurred and was fake news.

Pope Francis and “Man-Made Global Warming”

Breitbart wrote on February 25:

“Pope Francis has blamed Mongolia’s current cold spell on global warming, insisting the overheating environment is a ‘global social problem…’ [It is] “a sign of climate change and its effects,” the pope told the estimated 20,000 gathered in Saint Peter’s Square… It is clear that the climate change presently taking place ‘stems from the overheating of the planet,’ the pope has declared, ‘caused chiefly by the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activity, which in recent decades has proved unsustainable for the ecosystem.’

“Pope Francis, one of the leading voices condemning manmade climate change, has singled out the United States as especially to blame for the so-called climate emergency due to the ‘irresponsible lifestyle’ of its citizens… What we are presently experiencing ‘is an unusual acceleration of warming, at such a speed that it will take only one generation – not centuries or millennia – in order to verify it,’ he declared. The global climate crisis is really ‘a religious problem’ whose roots lie in humanity ’s ‘presumption of self-sufficiency,’ the pope has insisted…

“Despite the pope’s assertion that skepticism regarding the climate crisis is ‘perverse,’ a group of over 1,600 prominent scientists (including two Nobel Prize winners) have dared to disagree with him, in a joint statement declaring that there is no ‘climate emergency.’… the scientists asserted that climate models have proven inadequate for predicting global warming, that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant, and that climate change has not increased natural disasters… ‘There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent,’ the document declares. ‘However, there is ample evidence that CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly.’”

The Pope failed to explain how the current cold spell could be caused by global warming.

Dangerous and Poisonous Tattoos

Daily Mail wrote on February 27:

“More than nine in ten people who get tattoos in the US could be unwittingly exposing themselves to chemicals that cause organ damage… Tests in New York on 54 ink samples found 45 contained compounds that were not listed on the label.

“The most common was polyethylene glycol, a compound that has been linked to damage to organs — including a type of necrosis in the kidneys. Others included 2-phenoxyethanol, which has been linked to nervous system dysfunction in infants, and an antibiotic… About a third of Americans have tattoos now, surveys suggest, and among adults aged 30 to 49 years old — as many as half have the inkings.

“Tattoos are also becoming more common among celebrities, which may be fueling their popularity…”

The Bible prohibits getting tattoos.

More Woke Nonsense

Bild Online wrote on February 23:

“Michael Ende’s ‘Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine Driver’ is a classic of children’s literature. 64 years after its first edition, the work has now been rewritten! Reason: It is too racist. The N-word (‘Negro’) is deleted, ‘Indian boy’ becomes ‘boy’, ‘Eskimo boy’ becomes Inuit boy (indigenous ethnic groups living in arctic central and north-eastern Canada).

“The new editions were changed because some passages could be perceived as racist from today’s perspective, the publisher announced. The changes to the text were made in coordination with the heirs of Michael Ende (1929–1995)…”

Michael Ende is also known in other countries such as the USA for his popular book “The Neverending Story” and its film adaptation.

The New York Post wrote on February 26:

“The UK has changed its age rating for the original ‘Mary Poppins’ movie [with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke] due to ‘discriminatory language.’ [The Disney movie] snared 13 Oscar nominations — including one for Best Picture — and won five Academy Awards, including one for Andrews as Best Actress. It is being re-released in some movie theaters in the UK next month to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

“The British Board of Film Classification changed the ‘Mary Poppins’ rating… to PG, which delineates ‘discriminatory language,’ and that some scenes may be unsuitable for young children…  The offending language in question is the use of the word ‘hottentots’… The word is a racially insensitive term for the Khoekhoe, an indigenous group of nomadic herders in South Africa…

“‘Mary Poppins’ is rated G in the US, meaning that it’s suitable for all audiences… It was the top-grossing movie of 1964 in the US, raking in $44 million.”

The Woke people working for Germany’s publishing companies and for the British Board of Film Classification seem to have nothing worthwhile to do. They should get a life.

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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Why does the Bible say that some are called and chosen in this day and age? (Part 3)

In the last two installments, we showed that those who are called today to salvation were elected or chosen to be called before the foundation of the world—before time began. We debunked the idea that some would be called first, and only later, after having proven themselves to be worthy, they would become chosen. Rather, those who are called to salvation today had been chosen long ago by God to be called in this age.

We also said in the first installment, that the “Bible does not teach that God calls many today to salvation, but that most reject their calling and that only a few will respond and become chosen and faithful. If that were true, then those who have rejected their spiritual calling to eternal salvation would have committed the unpardonable sin—and this is decisively not correct. Today, God only calls and chooses the few (compare 1 Corinthians 1:26–29), and when He brings them to true conversion, they, for the most part, will stay loyal to Him (although it is possible, that some, who are truly called to salvation, will commit the unpardonable sin).”

We discussed the parable in Matthew 22:1-14 and explained that the guests who had been invited to the wedding were never called or chosen to salvation at that time; they were unconverted people who were simply “called” to have a physical relationship with God—specifically, but not exclusively, referring to the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah, who, like the Pharisees of old, should have known better.

What, then, is the meaning of Christ’s statement in Matthew 20:16, where He ended His parable by saying: “For many are called, but few are chosen”? This phrase is only used in Matthew 22:14 and in Matthew 20:16. The Greek words for “called” and “chosen” are “kletos” and “eklektos.”

Let us read the entire parable, in context, beginning with Matthew 19:27-30:

“(27) Then Peter answered and said to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?’

(28) So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

(29) And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

(30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’”

Continuing with Matthew 20:1-16:

‘“(1) For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

(2) Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

(3) And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

(4) and said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.” So they went.

(5) Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

(6) And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?”

(7) They said to him, “Because no one hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.”

(8) So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, “Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.”

(9) And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

(10) But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

(11) And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

(12) saying, “These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.”

(13) But he answered one of them and said, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

(14) Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

(15) Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?”

(16) So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.’”

In this parable, the landowner is describing God the Father who, through Christ, hires laborers to work in His vineyard. The laborers describe, for the most part, true Christians (compare Matthew 9:37-38). They all receive a reward at the end.

Many commentaries feel that the statement in Matthew 20:16, “For many are called, but few chosen,” was added by the translator. Some claim that it is genuine. Regardless, the statement cannot be used to show that many are called by God for salvation in this age, and that only few are chosen, while the “many” fall away from the Truth. In fact, none of them is described in this parable as falling away.

The context of Christ’s words, that the last will be first and the first last, and that many are called, but few are chosen, is one of timing (when someone is called in this life) and of different functions and offices in the Church and potentially in God’s Kingdom. While all converted Christians have been called by God to salvation, not everyone in the Church has the same office or function. Some are chosen to have different functions. Some are chosen to be apostles, evangelists, pastors, elders or deacons, while others have not been chosen for such functions. Also, insofar as the future is concerned, some who were only called and chosen a few years prior to their death, might have a higher position in the Kingdom of God than some who “grew up in the Church” and stayed in the Church throughout their lives.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers even suggests regarding “But many that are first shall be last and the last shall be first” (in Matthew 19:30):

“… unless their spirit should become other than it was in its self-seeking and its self-complacence, there might be an unexpected change of position, and the first might become the last.”

The Pulpit Commentary wrote: “The Lord may have had in view the case of… Paul, who was called late, and yet laboured more abundantly than all that were before him.”

Regarding Matthew 20:1-16, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible writes: “It has reference to rewards, and the meaning may be thus expressed: ‘Rewards shall be bestowed in my kingdom, or on my followers, in the same manner as they were by a certain householder – in such a way that the last shall be equal to the first, and the first last.’”

Jamieson Fausset and Brown agree, stating:

“This parable [in Matthew 20], recorded only by Matthew, is closely connected with the end of the nineteenth chapter, being spoken with reference to Peter’s question as to how it should fare with those who, like himself, had left all for Christ. It is designed to show that while they would be richly rewarded, a certain equity would still be observed towards later converts and workmen in His service.”

Addressing the further statement by Christ in Matthew 20:16 (if genuine), that many are called but few are chosen, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains Christ’s words as follows:

“Many are called into my kingdom; they come and labor as I command them; many of them are comparatively unknown and obscure; yet they are real Christians, and shall all receive the proper reward. A few I have chosen for higher stations in the church. I have endowed them with apostolic gifts or with superior talents, and suited them for wider usefulness. They may not be as long in the vineyard as others; their race may be sooner run; but I have chosen to honor them in this manner, and I have a right to do it. I injure no one, and have a right to do what I will with my own.”

None of this takes away from the Truth that God has foreknown and predestined those whom He truly calls to salvation in this age.

Some have tried to use the “parable of the sower” in Matthew 13 to say that many are called for salvation in this age, but only few are chosen to remain faithful, while the “many” fall away from the Truth.

Let us read the entire parable in context, beginning with Matthew 13:3:

“(3) Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow.

(4) And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

(5) Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

(6) But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

(7) And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

(8) But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

(9) He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’”

We then read that the disciples asked Christ about the meaning of the parable, who first responded by saying that the masses would not understand the meaning, but only those whose eyes would be opened. He stated that the eyes of His disciples had been opened so that they could see (verse 16), and He then continued to explain to them the meaning, beginning in verse 18:

‘“(18) Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

(19) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

(20) But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

(21) yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

(22) Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

(23) But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’”

There are other parables which express the same Truth; that is, that some are called to salvation, while others may listen and even attend the Church for a while, but they were never called to salvation. Compare the parable of the tares and the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) and of the dragnet with the good and bad fish (Matthew 13:47-50).

In the parable of the sower, the seed—the “word of the kingdom”—is sown by the sower—God the Father, through Jesus Christ and His disciples. Today, God’s Church has the commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world as a witness. And as the parable points out, the reaction of those who hear the word is quite different. In the parable, four types of people are mentioned who all hear the Word of God.

The first person hears the word, but does not understand it. The word was sown in his heart (compare Mark 4:15), but Satan comes to take away the word out of his heart, lest he should believe and be saved (compare Luke 8:12). He might have retained the words which he had heard in his heart for a while, but did not understand and believe them. He was not called to salvation.

The second person receives the word on stony places, without any root in himself. He immediately receives it with joy and even believes for a while (compare Luke 8:13), but when tribulation comes, immediately he stumbles. When the sun is up, he withers away because he has no root (compare Mark 4:6). He reminds us of the man who built his house on sand, not on the Rock Jesus Christ, and when the wind blows, the house crashes (Matthew 7:24-27). Christ told those who believed in Him and even believed Him that they would only be His disciples if they were to abide in His Word (John 8:30-31). He then pointed out that they were not His disciples and not of God; that they were unable to listen to His words; and that they were of their father, the devil (compare verses 43-44, 47). Likewise, the second person in the parable of the sower did not abide in Christ’s words either; he was not “of God”; he was not truly Christ’s disciple. He was not called to salvation.

The third person hears the word, but he becomes unfruitful when the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the pleasures of life (compare Luke 8:14) choke the word. While we read in Mark 4:7 that he yields no crop or fruit, Luke 8:14 says that he brings “no fruit to maturity.” He does not bring the right kind of fruit which God desires. He does not bring fruit worthy of repentance (Luke 3:8) and fruit for eternal life (John 4:36). He is not one of Christ’s disciples because he does not bear “much fruit” (John 15:8). He was not called to salvation, either.

Only the fourth person is the one who was predestined and chosen before time began to be called in this life to salvation. He receives the word on good ground (he built his house on the Rock); he hears the word with a noble and good heart and keeps it (compare Luke 8:15). He understands the word; and bears fruit with patience (compare Luke 8:15). The word fell on good ground and it yields a crop that springs up, increases and produces (compare Mark 4:8). Even then, some of the persons in the fourth category produce more fruit than others; their reward will be in accordance with their works.

Only the fourth person was predestined to be called and chosen to salvation in this life, as all the conditions were present to guarantee that he or she could make it into the Kingdom of God. God was not caught by surprise when the first three persons “fell away,” although He had allegedly, as some say, predestined them to be called in this age. Or, worse yet, that He knew that they would fall away although He had predestined them before time began to be called in this age—before all others. This is truly a preposterous idea.

When God foreknew, predestined and elected or chose someone, before time began, to be called to eternal salvation in this life, He expected that person to remain faithful. Many, though, who may think that they are called by God to salvation, are not truly called at all (Matthew 7:21–23; Matthew 15:13).

God does not call many today to salvation; He just calls the few or the firstfruits. The calling of the vast majority of mankind will occur later, during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment. God did not call the few in this age, knowing that out of “the few,” “the many” would fail and depart from the Truth and leave the Church, and that only the “chosen ones” would stay and make it into the Kingdom. Those who come to the Church and then leave the Church were, in all likelihood, never called to salvation in this age, even though we must say that, sadly, some might have been called to salvation and in departing from the faith, after having received the Holy Spirit, they lost it again and have committed the unpardonable sin.

When YOU are called in this age, God has predestined YOU and elected or chosen YOU, long before you were born; long before the foundation of the world; long before any physical creation and before time began, to call YOU TODAY—not to fail, but to succeed.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Did Putin Lose His Mind?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

To answer this question, we are addressing Putin’s plans of invasion and his threats of starting nuclear war with Berlin, Washington and London and of unleashing Armageddon. His irrational conduct has been compared with Hitler, and the similarities are truly remarkable. He has been described by people familiar with him as mentally unstable and emotionally off balance.  What is behind all of this?

“Ist Putin verrückt geworden?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This German program covers the same topic as described above.

Our newest booklet, “How Can Young People… Cope with Life?”, has been printed and copies have been sent to our subscribers. This booklet is also posted on our website: www.eternalgod.org

“Lügner aufgepasst!” is this Sabbath’s first split sermon in Germany, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Liars Beware!”

“Der Mensch der Sünde im Tempel Gottes,” is this Sabbath’s second split sermon in Germany, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Man of Sin in the Temple of God.”

“Jakobus—vom Bruder im Fleisch zum Bruder im Geist,” last Sabbath’s sermonette  in Germany presented by Daniel Blasinger, is now posted. Title in English: “James—From Brother in the Flesh to Brother in Spirit.”

“Managing Adversity with Hope,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:

All of us have had to manage adversity in our lives. One obvious point relates to the various health situations that many face. However, adversity comes in different ways to each of us. For some it may be challenges at work, home, school, and even simple everyday situations. In this sermonette we will consider various scriptures that can assist true Christians through such times and offers vital hope that we all need.

“Every Word of God,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

How are we handling the Word of God? What is our responsibility in this regard? What are the consequences—both the good and bad?

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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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