Update 1106


Check Mate! / War or Peace–Curse or Blessing?

On March 9, 2024, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Check Mate!” and Norbert Link will presented the sermon, titled, “War or Peace–Curse or Blessing?”

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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Ultimate Faith

by Dave Harris

There came a time when Jesus Christ, knowing that He was about to face His greatest challenge, yielded to the Father, saying, “‘O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done’” (Matthew 26:42).

Jesus was able to look to the incomparable future of the glorious Kingdom of God with ultimate faith, “… who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus was sent by the Father to pay the price for our sins, and He died on our behalf (Romans 5:6), so that we could have “‘everlasting life’” (John 3:14-18). Jesus continues to work with us to lead us to salvation. The Apostle Paul writes:

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).

What exactly does that mean? How are we being saved by His life? Jesus, now “‘alive forevermore’” (Revelation 1:18), defends and helps us:

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:33-34).

Jesus Christ is our living High Priest:

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

You see, we will all face times of need when we will require great faith, and through God’s Holy Spirit we can find that help. Paul stated:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, King James Version).

We are saved by Christ’s life, because He lives in us through His Holy Spirit, giving us strength, comfort, assurance and conviction that everything will work out for good. Remember, we must have faith to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and we can ask God to increase our faith—as the apostles asked of Christ (Luke 17:5).

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by Norbert Link

We begin with the almost universal condemnation of Israel, especially in light of the most recent events in Gaza and the escalating humanitarian crisis; speak on the terrorist activities of the Houthis; and report on growing fears of terror attacks in the UK. n this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, And NOW… Fears of Terror Attacks in the USA and the UK,”

We address the most recent spy scandal in Germany with repercussions for the country and its government; and focus on the expectation of Russia’s further “conquests,” once the Ukraine war has ended in Russia’s favor, as well as Russia’s threats which should not be considered lightly.

We are addressing Trump’s legal and “historic” political victories; the suggestion that Special Counsel Jack Smith should throw in the towel; and we are speaking on the sad fact that America’s journalists are under attack through the legal system. We report that the EU is “on the warpath” and point out that Sweden’s neutrality has ended, which lasted for 200 years and made the country prosperous; and we conclude with a report on the opposition to mandatory vaccinations and the devastating and unparalleled wildfires in Texas.

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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Israel Under Fire Over Gaza

The Associated Press wrote on March 1:

“Turkey has joined Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan in condemning Israeli forces shooting desperately hungry Palestinians waiting for the delivery of aid, with the Turkish Foreign Ministry accusing Israel of using ‘starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza.’

“At least 115 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded, the Health Ministry in Gaza said. Israeli troops apparently fired heavily into the crowd, as more than 80% of the wounded brought to one hospital had been struck by gunfire, the hospital’s chief said Friday.

“Israel said many of the dead were trampled in a chaotic crush for the food aid, and that its troops only fired when they felt endangered by the crowd. The number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip has soared above 30,000 since Israel’s war on Hamas began nearly five months ago after Hamas-led militants stormed across southern Israel  on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 others hostage.

“Israel responded with a blistering offensive in the Gaza Strip that has created a humanitarian catastrophe and devastation in northern areas like Gaza City, which are largely cut off from the rest of the territory with little aid entering.”

The Times of Israel reported on March 3 that Europe blamed Israel for the incident, saying that the crisis ensued because of “restrictions imposed by the Israeli army and obstructions by violent extremist(s) to the supply of humanitarian aid.”

Alarabiya News added on March 3:

“The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called for a transparent probe into the attack without explicitly accusing Israel of being responsible… European Council President, Charles Michel, said he was ‘shocked and repulsed’ by the killing of over 100 civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces while seeking humanitarian aid…  French President Emanuel Macron… blamed the Israeli army for the incident… Macron described the situation in Gaza as ‘terrible,’ and called for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave…”

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is indeed terrible, and the optics are not in favor of Israel, which is also accused of preventing tens of thousands of trucks with needed supply from entering Gaza from Egypt, and for not allowing the transport of thousands of packages of food from warehouses in Jordan. President Biden announced that the USA would airdrop food and supplies (while confusing Gaza with the Ukraine), but these drops are considered to be just a drop in the bucket.

First Vessel Destroyed and Sunk by Houthi Terrorists

ABC News wrote on March 2:

“A ship attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels has sunk in the Red Sea after days of taking on water, officials said Saturday, the first vessel to be fully destroyed as part of their campaign over Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The sinking of the Rubymar, which carried a cargo of fertilizer and previously leaked fuel, could cause ecological damage to the Red Sea and its coral reefs.

“Persistent Houthi attacks have already disrupted traffic in the crucial waterway for cargo and energy shipments moving from Asia and the Middle East to Europe. Already, many ships have turned away from the route. The sinking could see further detours and higher insurance rates put on vessels plying the waterway — potentially driving up global inflation and affecting aid shipments to the region.

“The Belize-flagged Rubymar had been drifting northward after being struck by a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile on Feb. 18 in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a crucial waterway linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden…

“Late Saturday, a Houthi leader tried to blame British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over the Rubymar. ‘You have an opportunity to salvage the ship M/V Rubymar by guaranteeing … that the relief trucks agreed upon at that time would enter Gaza,’ Mohammed al-Houthi wrote in an online message. Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, the prime minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, called the ship’s sinking ‘an unprecedented environmental disaster.’…

“Despite over a month of U.S.-led airstrikes, Houthi rebels have remained capable of launching significant attacks. That includes the attack on the Rubymar and the downing of an American drone worth tens of millions of dollars. The Houthis insist their attacks will continue until Israel stops its combat operations in the Gaza Strip, which have enraged the wider Arab world and seen the Houthis gain international recognition.”

It is a tragedy and an example of powerless America that cannot even stop a comparatively small group of terrorists from launching devastating attacks on defenseless civilian vessels. It is shocking to hear that this murderous terror organization is gaining international recognition.

Growing Fears of Terror Attacks in the UK

The US Sun wrote on March 3:

“… security officials fear the possibility of a rise in extremist activity during the month of Ramadan in the Muslim world, which starts next Sunday. One MP with knowledge of the latest briefings told the Daily Mail: ‘The level of extremist chatter is off the scale. This is something they’ve seen growing and growing.’ They added: ‘It’s like when the Twin Towers came down in 2001, there was a big spike of hate.’…

“Former Home Office Minister Robert Jenrick has also warned today that the police and intelligence services are too ‘stretched’ to deal with the ‘cancer of Islamist extremism’… Currently, the country’s terrorism threat level is ‘substantial’ – the third highest state of alert, indicating an attack is likely.”

Breitbart added on March 3:

“Leaders of the major Palestinian terror groups have called for Arab states and the Muslim world to engage in ‘terror’ during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan — even as the Biden administration aims for a Ramadan truce in Gaza… Arab and Muslim states have fought many wars on Ramadan, notably the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Egyptian soldiers broke their fasts and crossed the Suez Canal… Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz said that Ramadan would be the deadline for a hostage deal, and warned that Israel will invade the southern Gaza town of Rafah, near the Egyptian border, if Hamas does not agree to a deal.”

Terror attacks especially on the USA and the UK are prophesied to happen.

Germany’s Spy Scandal

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 2:

“Germany’s Defense Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of a recording of a confidential discussion between high-ranking Bundeswehr officers regarding the war in Ukraine that was leaked by Russian state media… On Friday, the head of Russian state broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, published what she said was an audio recording between German officers, including the chief of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz… the audio includes a discussion about whether Taurus cruise missiles would be capable of destroying a bridge, seemingly a reference to the new bridge linking Russia-occupied Crimea to the Russian mainland over the Kerch Strait…

“On the audio leak, they spoke about ways German officers could supply Ukrainians with targeting information without appearing to be directly involved in the conflict with Russia. The clip also contains reference to the British having ‘a few people on the ground’ in connection with the deployment of their Storm Shadow cruise missiles delivered to Ukraine.  German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported that the virtual meeting did not take place via a secure line, but via the Webex platform…

“Earlier this week, the chancellor [Olaf Scholz] said the missiles range and the likely need for assistance from German Bundeswehr troops was problematic and could be construed as direct or indirect participation in the war… Reacting to the leak for the first time on Sunday, [German Defense Minister Boris] Pistorius accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of seeking to sow disunity and create divisions within Germany…

“Although Scholz has said several times that a Taurus delivery is not currently planned, also citing the missiles’ ability to reach Moscow from Ukraine, he has stopped short of ruling it out altogether. And Germany has changed its mind and sent weaponry it initially refused to send to Kyiv on multiple occasions during the conflict…”

The real question is, what other information did Russia obtain? Britain is up in arms over Germany’s admission that there are UK troops in Ukraine. Voices are heard accusing Germany—and especially Germany’s incompetent Chancellor—of posing a security risk.

The Guardian wrote on March 4:

“The former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev commented that: ‘Germany is planning a war with Russia’…  In the telephone conference, four officers, including the head of Germany’s air force, Ingo Gerhartz, prepare for a discussion with defence minister Pistorius about the possible deployment of Taurus missiles to Ukraine, coming to the conclusion that a speedy delivery and the use of the missiles in the immediate future would only be possible if German soldiers were involved…

“Last week, Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, ruled out the sending of Taurus missiles because he said the operation would involve sending German troops to Ukraine. He said: ‘German soldiers can at no point and in no place be linked with the targets that this (Taurus) system reaches. Not even in Germany.’”

We will see how long Scholz will stick to these declarations. Chances are, not very long.

Russia’s Next Invasion?

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal wrote on March 1:

“Ukrainian soldiers protect the rest of Europe as they hold the line against Russia, and anyone who thinks Vladimir Putin would stop after taking Kyiv should look at this week’s developments in Moldova.  Transnistria is a pro-Russian breakaway territory that Mr. Putin is using to foment political turmoil in the rest of Moldova, a small country located between Ukraine and Romania. On Wednesday separatist officials there claimed they’re enduring ‘socio-economic strangulation’ as Moldova ‘unleashed an economic war against our people.’ They appealed to the Russian Federation Council and Russian State Duma to ‘implement diplomatic measures to protect/defend Transnistria.’

“After Mr. Putin launched his full invasion of Ukraine in 2022, all of Transnistria’s trade has passed through customs and border points under the authority of the Moldovan capital of Chișinău. Moldova wants to reintegrate Transnistria, and this year it introduced regulations requiring companies in the breakaway region to pay import and export duties that will go toward Moldova’s national budget… Moldova has been moving closer to the West, and under President Maia Sandu it has become a candidate to join the European Union.

“Transnistria claimed Wednesday it is ‘committed to peaceful political-diplomatic methods of solving disagreements.’ But it added that it would ‘fight tenaciously for its own identity and the rights and interests of Transnistrian people and will not shy back from protecting/defending them.’ The Institute for the Study of War notes that “Transnistrian officials specifically used ‘zashchita,’ a word that means both ‘defense’ and ‘protection’ in their request, likely to set conditions for the Kremlin to interpret ‘defense’ in a military sense if it so chooses.” This is the familiar Russian playbook for justifying intervention in a nearby country: Encourage separatists to claim discrimination and ask for Russian help… If Ukraine falls, Moldova could be the Kremlin’s next target.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 1:

“Since January 1, companies in Transnistria have had to pay customs duties when exporting goods to Moldova proper. It is part of a catalog of measures the government in Chisinau is applying in an attempt to gain more control over Transnistria… Sandwiched between Ukraine and Moldova, Transnistria has been an uncontrolled hub for illegal trade, smuggling and money laundering for the past 30 years.

“As a result [of paying custom duties], Transnistria’s role as a hub for smuggling and money laundering has diminished drastically…

“Moscow has between 1,500 and 2,000 soldiers in the country in addition to Transnistria’s own armed forces. Together, they are probably much stronger than Moldova’s small, very badly equipped 5,000-strong army.

“What’s more, near the village of Cobasna in northern Transnistria is Europe’s largest ammunition depot, which houses about 20,000 tons of Soviet-era ammunition and equipment. Should Russia succeed in advancing into the Odesa region, it could herald the start of an invasion of Moldova.”

Once Ukraine falls, Moldova might very well be next.

For more information, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Has Putin Lost His Mind?” 

Russia: Ukraine Belongs to Us

Newsmax wrote on March 4:

“Dmitry Medvedev, former president of Russia and deputy chairman of its security council, said Monday that Ukraine belonged to Russia, and tensions between Washington and Moscow were worse than during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the RIA news agency reported.

“Medvedev said in a public lecture that U.S. special forces and military advisers were already waging war against Russia.”

No Idle Threats

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on March 4:

“The spectre of Armageddon has been raised often enough during the 2-year old war in Ukraine that the reference to it in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state of the union address on Thursday had a familiar ring about it. Therein lies the risk of misjudgement on the part of the western audience that Putin was only ‘crying wolf’.  

“Three things must be noted at the outset. First, Putin has been explicit and direct. He is giving advance notice that he is obliged to respond with nuclear capability if the Russian statehood is threatened…

“Second, Putin was addressing the Federal Assembly in front of the crème de la crème of the Russian elite and took the entire nation into confidence that the country may be pushed into a nuclear war for its self-preservation.

“Third, a specific context is sailing into view precipitated by… western statesmen who are desperate to stave off an impending defeat in the war… with the stated intention to destroy Russia’s economy, create social and political instability that would lead to a regime change in the Kremlin.

“In reality, the US Secretary Lloyd Austin’s prognosis on Thursday at a Congressional hearing in Washington that ‘NATO will be in a fight with Russia’ if Ukraine was defeated is the manifestation of a predicament that the Biden Administration faces after having led Europe to the brink of an abysmal defeat in Ukraine… Plainly put, what Austin meant was… a call to Europe to rally for a continental war. 

“What French President Emmanuel Macron stated earlier last week on Monday was also an articulation of that same mindset, when he caused a storm by hinting that sending ground troops to help Kyiv was a possibility

“Moscow… has now put on the public domain the transcript of a confidential conversation between two German generals back on February 19 discussing the scenario of a potential attack on the Crimean Bridge with Taurus missiles and possible combat deployment by Berlin in Ukraine belying all public denials by Chancellor Olaf Scholz… Interestingly, the transcript reveals that American and British servicemen are already deployed in Ukraine…

“At the speech on Thursday… Putin held out a warning to the entire West by placing nuclear weapons on the table

“Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban, while addressing a forum of top diplomats in Antalya in the Turkish Riviera in the weekend…,  stressed that ‘Europeans, along with the Ukrainians are losing the war and have no idea of how to find a way out of this situation… Time is on Russia’s side. That is why it is necessary to stop hostilities immediately.’

“To be sure, if Russia faces the risk of military defeat in Ukraine… the question of using nuclear weapons may become more open… Putin glanced through the Russian inventory that buttresses its nuclear superiority today, which the US cannot possibly match. And he further de-classified some top-secret information: ‘Efforts to develop several other new weapons systems continue, and we are expecting to hear even more about the achievements of our researchers and weapons manufacturers.’”

We have deleted numerous statements of pro-Russian propaganda, but what we did quote shows the seriousness of the situation, with the clear willingness of Russia to resort to the use of nuclear weapons.

States Cannot Bar Trump From Running

CNBC wrote on March 4:

“The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously reversed the Colorado court ruling that barred former President Domald Trump from appearing on the state’s Republican presidential primary ballot because of a provision in the U.S. Constitution related to people who engage in insurrection. 

“The Supreme Court’s ruling means that no other state can bar Trump — or any other candidate from now on — from a presidential ballot or election for Congress by invoking the insurrection clause in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment… ‘We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,’ the ruling said. ‘But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency’… responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States… The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.’

“Trump, who is the clear favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, in a Truth Social post reacting to the ruling wrote, ‘BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!’… Monday’s ruling reverses decisions by two other states, Maine and Illinois, which acted after the Colorado Supreme Court, to bar Trump from their primary ballots. All three states’ decisions were based on an interpretation of Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, and now are voided because of the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday.

“The amendment ‘was designed to help ensure an enduring Union by preventing former Confederates from returning to power in the aftermath of the Civil War,’ the Supreme Court noted Monday…”

Subsequently, on “Super Tuesday,” Trump won the GOP primaries in Colorado and Maine. The primaries for Illinois will take place on March 19.

Trump Wins, Haley Drops Out

The Associated Press wrote on March 6:

“Nicki Haley suspended her presidential campaign on Wednesday after being soundly defeated across the country on Super Tuesday, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Breitbart wrote on March 6:

“Haley [by dropping out, is] handing former President Donald Trump the GOP nomination. Trump has now delivered one of the great political comebacks in the history of politics… . claiming 14 out of 15 primaries.”

Other commentators described Trump’s comeback as “historic.”

The Huffington Post added:

“Trump has effectively clinched the GOP nomination for president for the third straight cycle,… Though Trump still needs to win 1,215 delegates to become the presumptive nominee, that task now appears to be little more than a formality and will likely take place either next week or the week after.”

According to Newsmax, Trump could officially clinch the nomination “next Tuesday as Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Washington state all hold their delegate-delivering contests to help him get to the 1,215 delegates needed to win.”

Many reports state that there will be a rematch between Trump and Biden. Others suggested that Biden would drop out and be replaced by Michelle Obama. This week, her office said that she will not be running for president and that she supports Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Some pointed out that not running for president does not exclude the possibility of accepting the Democratic candidacy if [or when] Biden drops out.

Is It Time for Jack Smith to Throw in the Towel?

The Hill wrote on March 4:

“There are 91 damning felony counts against Donald Trump pending in four jurisdictions, but the outlook for a near-term trial date is not promising. With the clock running out, and the Supreme Court having no appetite for proceeding on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s timetable, it seems more likely than not that there will be no trial of Donald Trump in a federal court before the election...

“Even Smith appears to have given up the ghost. He has asked for a July 8 trial date, in Florida in the classified documents case — he obviously doesn’t think the D.C. case will take place this summer.

“… in the D.C. immunity case, [the US Supreme Court] scheduled argument 70 days after Trump’s petition. And there is the question of when the court will rule on immunity — perhaps not until the very end of its current term in late June or early July. The justices might not issue a final ruling at all, instead remanding the case to the trial court to determine whether Trump acted within the scope of his job as president, although this would normally be a question for the jury.

“Then there is the concern that if we get too close to the election, the trial judge, Tanya Chutkan, may not want to try the case. And, if the Mar-a-Lago case is set to fight in July or August, it would effectively block the election subversion case altogether.

“Turning to the state court indictments, there will probably be a trial in Manhattan, now set for March 25, on District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment over the cover-up of hush money payments to Stormy Daniels some eight years ago. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe… sees it as an ‘election interference case,’ not a mere payoff to a porn star.

“But face it, the Jan. 6 case is the big enchilada, and Stormy Daniels is small potatoes. Indeed, there are more political risks in the trial for Bragg than for Trump. Even if Trump is convicted before a hostile New York jury, the chances of jail or political consequences are quite remote. And if he is acquitted in Manhattan, or even if there is a hung jury, Trump will have achieved a significant political victory.

“In Georgia, the romantic life of prosecutor Fani Willis has become a sideshow gobbling up the main event. The case has no set trial date and, realistically, there is no chance of its happening this year.

“Supreme Court expert Jeffrey Toobin [legal analyst for CNN], who never liked the idea of prosecuting Trump over Jan. 6, said on television the other day that Smith should call the whole thing off.”

Biden an Illegitimate President?

AFP wrote on March 3:

“In poll after poll, a majority of Republican voters across the country continue to regard Joe Biden as an illegitimate president.”

FBI Arrests Journalist Over His Report on the January 6, 2021 Incident

American Military News wrote on March 1:

“President Joe Biden’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Steve Baker, an investigative journalist for Blaze News, after he self-surrendered at the FBI’s field office in Dallas on Friday. Baker has been charged over his reporting on the January 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protest… Baker has been investigating and reporting on the Capitol Hill protest for the past three years, often sharing information that contradicts claims made by the Capitol Police, the Biden administration, and Democrat lawmakers

“Baker’s attorney, James Lee Bright, wrote, ‘This is my client, an American journalist… being arrested by the FBI for his coverage of J6. Research his works. He is uncovering many uncomfortable truths.’ The video shows federal authorities walking Baker in handcuffs to a car to be transported to the federal courthouse in Dallas.

“The criminal charges against Baker include ‘knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority,’ ‘disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds,’ ‘disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building,’ and ‘parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building.’

“Friday’s arrest of an American journalist quickly drew outrage from prominent conservatives. ‘I guess now they’re arresting journalists to preserve democracy or something???’ Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene warned, ‘Free Press is dead in America when the government jails journalists who refuse to report the regime’s political agenda and lies.’

“In response to the FBI’s arrest of an American journalist, Glenn Beck, conservative commentator and founder of Blaze Media, released a statement, saying, ‘The timing of the FBI’s actions is peculiar, to say the least. It serves as a stark reminder of the challenges we face in our pursuit of truth. It demonstrates that those in positions of power are quick to react when confronted with narratives that deviate even slightly from their carefully scripted versions of events.’ In an update posted on social media, Blaze News reported that Baker was released Friday afternoon from the federal courthouse in Dallas.”

The real motives for Baker’s arrest and the proceedings against him should be obvious to any objective observer.

Journalist Held in Contempt Over Refusal to Reveal Confidential Source

The Associated Press wrote on March 1:

“A federal judge held veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge in civil contempt on Thursday for refusing to divulge her source for a series of Fox News stories about a Chinese American scientist who was investigated by the FBI but never charged. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington imposed a fine of $800 per day until Herridge reveals her source, but the fine will not go into effect immediately to give her time to appeal… Cooper… was nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama

“The case has been being closely watched by media advocates, who say forcing journalists to betray a promise of confidentiality could make sources think twice before providing information to reporters that could expose government wrongdoing. ‘Holding a journalist in contempt for protecting a confidential source has a deeply chilling effect on journalism,’ Fox News said in a statement. ‘FOX News Media remains committed to protecting the rights of a free press and freedom of speech and believes this decision should be appealed.’

“A CBS spokesperson said the contempt order ‘should be concerning to all Americans who value the role of the free press in our democracy and understand that reliance on confidential sources is critical to the mission of journalism.’…

“Legal fights over whether journalists should have to divulge sources are rare, though they’ve arisen several times in the last couple of decades in Privacy Act cases like the one filed by Chen. Some lawsuits have ended with a hefty Justice Department settlement in place of a journalist being forced to reveal a source.

“In 2008, for instance, the Justice Department agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit by Army scientist Steven Hatfill, who was falsely identified as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks. That settlement resulted in a contempt order being vacated against a journalist who was being asked to name her sources.”

This decision by another left-wing partisan judge is clearly political, blatantly wrong, and deeply distressing and extremely dangerous.

The EU Is on the Warpath

EL PAÍS wrote on March 4:

“More ammunition, more weapons production, more investment and coordination in defense capabilities. Europe is on the warpath… Europe is rearming itself… It suggests that the European Investment Bank (EIB) change its credit policy to finance companies that manufacture weapons and ammunition…

“The possible victory of Trump, who has questioned NATO’s mutual defense pledge, may lead to a complicated debate about Europe’s nuclear protection. France, the only EU member country with nuclear weapons, recently moved to open a debate on the issue with its partners. The United Kingdom also has nuclear weapons. Although their joint arsenals are smaller than Russia’s, they have hundreds of nuclear warheads…

“Under what circumstances, under what terms, might London and Paris consider acting in defense of a European partner? This is a very thorny issue that may have to be addressed urgently after the U.S. elections in November…

“French President Emmanuel Macron [argued] that sending troops to Ukraine should not be ruled out… the French leader’s statement… unleashed a cascade of statements from Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland and Spain, which have ruled out the possibility of sending troops. But this also happened with the war material. Berlin offered helmets and sleeping bags in the first stages of the invasion and is now sending artillery and tanks.”

“EU Proposes Vast Defence Boost”

AFP wrote on March 5:

“EU officials on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious proposal to massively boost weapons production and procurement in the bloc to shift from a reliance on US arms and in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… The European Defence Industrial Strategy aims… to give incentives to European arms manufacturers to invest more, make their production more agile and — for the first time — to collectively catalogue what they have available…

“Some countries, such as France, back an idea of EU bonds to finance a buy-European weapons production base… There is also a debate over using money generated from frozen Russian assets in the EU to help fund the initiative…

The EU’s 27 member countries spent more than 100 billion euros on defence purchases between Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and June last year…

“The EU’s proposed strategy aims to have trade of weapons within the bloc reaching 35 percent of total value of the EU defence market by 2030. Member states will also be encouraged to procure European weapons to a level of at least 50 percent of their defence budgets by 2030 and 60 percent by 2035… One mechanism would be set up for common arms procurement across the bloc

“Importantly, Ukraine would be treated as a ‘quasi member’ of the initiative, which would open the way for it to more easily purview and tap arms production and supplies in the EU — should its war against Russian troops be ongoing then.”

In light of the foregoing, Politico wrote on March 4: “The European Union is no longer just a peace project…” Reuters added that the EU wants to “shift to ‘war economy mode.’”

Sweden Ends 200-Years of Neutrality

The Associated Press wrote on March 1:

“Sweden’s last war ended in 1814, and when the rifles and cannons it aimed at Norway fell silent, the once-warring power would not take up arms again. For the next two centuries, Sweden embraced a policy of neutrality, refusing to take sides in wars or join any military alliance. It was a stance that kept peace at home and contributed to the country becoming a prosperous welfare state and humanitarian superpower.

“This remarkably long era of nonalignment is coming to a close as Sweden joins NATO…  Sweden, like neighbor Finland, had long ruled out seeking NATO membership. That changed practically overnight when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The attack sparked fears across Europe of Moscow’s revived imperial ambitions…

“The country’s neutrality has its roots in the early 19th century, when Europe was engulfed in the Napoleonic wars. Though Sweden ended up on the winning side of battles against France’s warrior-emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the loss of territorial possession in Finland to Russia years earlier put an end to any illusions of Sweden continuing in a big-power role… King Karl XIV John declared the country’s neutrality in 1834. In a letter to the courts of Britain and Russia, he urged respect for Sweden’s wish to stay out of their conflicts.

“Preserved in the Swedish National Archives and considered the oldest document on Sweden’s neutrality, the text reads: ‘We will request, as we do now, to stay totally outside of this struggle, and that Sweden and Norway, by keeping a strict neutrality towards the warring parties, can deserve, by our impartial conduct, respect and the appreciation of our system.’ Along the way, Sweden’s neutrality was tested — particularly during World War II, when it made concessions to Germany [and later to the allies] to stay out of war… During the Cold War, when Sweden and Finland were buffer countries between NATO and the Warsaw Pact alliance, many Swedes — and Finns — felt that being outside either bloc was the best way to avoid tensions with Russia, the powerful eastern neighbor in the Baltic Sea region.

“But that never meant a full embrace of pacifism. In the 1950s and ’60s, Sweden had the fourth-largest air force in the world and the ability to mobilize around 800,000 men, including reservists, in case of war… As the years passed, the idea of Sweden as a voice for peace and nuclear nonproliferation became core to Sweden’s identity. The home of the Nobel Prize institutions funded foreign aid programs, took part in peacekeeping missions abroad and relied on its neutral status to act as a mediator in regional conflicts around the globe…”

And so, a 200-year-old peaceful legacy has ended for Sweden.

38 Percent of Canadians Vaccine-Hesitant

Rebel News wrote on March 4:

“Vaccine skepticism is growing in younger Canadian demographics as more parents question safety, efficacy and the need for pharmaceutical intervention… Recent polling data from Canada shows that parental opposition to mandatory vaccination is up 14 percent since 2019… the number of parents with children under the age of 18 who are against vaccinating their children has grown by 13 percent in the same period…

38 percent would be at least vaccine-hesitant, whereas vaccine supporters would approximate 64 percent of Canadians… In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine passports, mandates and a whole host of public health restrictions that were based on fear and hysteria instead of evidence, Canadians find themselves grappling with growing skepticism about vaccine efficacy.”

Trump recently declared that, as President, he would not provide schools with federal funding, which have mandatory vaccine requirements. He did not specify whether this pronouncement included all mandatory vaccinations, or just those related to COVID.

The Largest Wildfire in the State of Texas

The Associated Press wrote on March 2:

“Firefighters in Texas faced rising temperatures, whipped-up winds and dry air Saturday in their battle to keep the largest wildfire in state history from turning more of the Panhandle into a parched wasteland… The massive fire has left a charred landscape of scorched prairie, dead cattle and destroyed as many as 500 structures, including burned-out homes, in the Texas Panhandle.

“It has merged with another fire and crossed the state line into Oklahoma, burning more than 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers) and was 15% contained, the Texas A&M Forest Service said Saturday.

nbcdfw wrote on March 3:

“As of Sunday afternoon, the Smokehouse Creek fire, which has burned over 1 million acres, was 15% contained. Two other fires that burned a combined 180,000 acres (72843.49 hectares) were 60% contained. Authorities have not said what ignited the fires, but strong winds, dry grass, and unseasonably warm temperatures fed the blazes.

“The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings — signifying extreme fire risk due to warm temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds — across much of the central United States on Sunday, including Texas and its neighboring New Mexico and Oklahoma states. Red flag warnings covered nearly all of Nebraska and Iowa, along with large patches of Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota. Smaller portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Illinois were also under red flag warnings.”

USA Today wrote on March 6:

“Thousands of livestock have been killed in the wildfires that have ripped across the Texas Panhandle over the last week, inflicting unprecedented damage upon the largest cattle region in the nation.

“Officials surveying the damage said more than 3,600 cattle have died since the fires – some of which are still ongoing – spread through multiple counties and into Oklahoma, destroying hundreds of homes and killing at least two people. The number of dead cattle is expected to double or triple in the coming days as inspectors continue inspecting the land and animals are euthanized because of burn injuries and trauma… Texas is home to 11 million livestock animals and 85% are in the panhandle, making it the country’s most prominent region for beef production…”

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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What are your thoughts about the recent Odysseus Lunar Landing?

On February 23, 2024, time.com headlined an article, titled, “The Odysseus Lunar Landing Brings NASA One Step Closer to Putting Boots on the Moon.” It went on to say: “‘Today, for the first time in more than a half century, the U.S. has returned to the moon,’ said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a livestream that accompanied the landing. ‘Today, for the first time in the history of humanity, a commercial company and an American company launched and led the voyage up there.’ 

“Ever since NASA established its Artemis program in 2017, the space agency has made it clear that the new era of exploration will be much more ambitious. The goal is in part for American astronauts to establish at least a semi-permanent presence on the moon, with a mini-space station known as Gateway positioned in lunar orbit, allowing crews to shuttle to and from the surface. NASA also plans to create a south pole habitat that the crews could call home. And all of this will be done by a much more diverse corps of astronauts, with women and persons of color joining the all-white, all-male list of astronauts who traveled to the moon the first time around.”

On the nasa.gov website, we read this statement: 


“We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation. While maintaining American leadership in exploration, we will build a global alliance and explore deep space for the benefit of all.”

While there is much positivity about such activities, Amitai Etzioni – an adviser to the Carter administration – countered some of the arguments for colonizing Mars and other planets in the Solar System (as put forth by luminaries such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk). Addressing the argument that humanity needed to do so to survive long-term, Etzioni wrote:

“[W]hat the droughts, the fires, the hot summers, and the melting glaciers call for is not an escape from Earth, but a redoubling of the efforts to save it… What is needed are major technological breakthroughs that will allow for protecting earth while sustaining a healthy level of economic activity… To make such breakthroughs we need major concentrations of research and development resources, talent, and leadership, all of which are in short supply. Hence, any serious Mars endeavor will inevitably cut into the drive to save Mother Earth.”

There are arguments and counter arguments on the matter, and it is indisputable that there have been many benefits that space flights and exploration have brought with the ability to study earth from outer space.   Analysing weather patterns and GPS tracking would be just two.

It is a huge subject with many varied and differing views on the matter, and this is not the forum to address those in a single Q&A. But we would like to state, in passing, that the claim that no moon and Mars landings took place, is false, and that this is not the teaching of the Church of the Eternal God and its affiliates. Many will recall Herbert W. Armstrong’s often-repeated statement that this world has achieved incredible progress, such as sending man to the moon and back, but that the world is also filled with appalling evils. In fact, in his book, “Mysteries of the Ages,” he wrote in the introduction on page 8 of the hard-cover edition, copyright 1985:

“We send men to cavort about on the moon and return them safely back to earth. Unmanned spacecraft land on Mars and send back to earth close-up photographs of the Martian surface. Other unmanned spacecraft fly close to Jupiter and send back astonishing pictures of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.”

Mr. Armstrong never doubted that man went to the moon and walked on it, and neither do we doubt this today.

However, it is interesting, but not surprising, that whenever articles and statements about moon and Mars landings are aired, God never seems to get a mention!

Does the Bible have anything to say about the matter?

In Acts 17:26 we read: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges makes this simple statement: “…where they can dwell and where they cannot.”

In 1960, the Worldwide Church of God produced a booklet entitled, “Who Will Rule Space?,” which was also written by Mr Herbert W. Armstrong.  The opening comments were:

“Who will rule Space?  World leaders know the first nation to conquer SPACE will RULE THE WORLD!  Fantastic advances are made almost daily in the race to send men to the moon but what does it all mean? WHY the expenditure of BILLIONS on the Space race? Is Space exploration only innocent ‘science’ seeking to further its fund of knowledge concerning man’s environment? Here are the shocking answers.” 

We will give some selected information from this booklet which we feel may be helpful to the reader.

“Because we have left God out of the picture-ignoring the plain statements of Biblical prophecy-we are ignorant of the real danger, and looking to the wrong source for protection.”  

“Meanwhile, WHAT’S HAPPENED TO GOD? We never see Him mentioned or referred to in any manner in this frantic race to control SPACE.” 

“In your Bible is One-speaking in the first person-who claims to be the RULER of this entire world, and-the RULER OF ALL SPACE! 

“Men, in their feeble efforts-concentrating on physical and material sciences-scurrying frantically here and there, searching for the acquisition of new MATERIAL knowledge, are striving frantically to RULE SPACE! 

“Mankind-utterly incapable and totally inadequate to solve his own problems on this Earth here below, besmirching it and befouling it with his filth and vile practices, is now thinking of carrying his decaying society into all of the far-reaching areas of the unsearchable universe!’  

“CONQUER SPACE?  Ridiculous! No, man will never RULE Space-but he can intrude into it! Actually-the very fact of man’s almost daily new discoveries in the realm of science is a thundering, ominous warning that the end of man’s self-governing society upon this Earth is drawing rapidly near! Then who WILL rule Space? God has decreed: ‘The heaven, even the heavens, ARE THE ETERNAL’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men!’ (Ps. 115:16.) God has decreed the heavens belong to Him!…

“Your Bible reveals the startling, glorious truth that human kind can, through the Plan Almighty God is working out here below, become God kind! 

“When that is accomplished, when the last, final human being has had opportunity to CHOOSE which way he will go, when God has increased His own family by millions and millions, Paul reveals ‘then cometh the end [the total end of man’s way of life, of his organized society on this Earth], when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power!’ (I Cor. 15:24.) 

“THEN comes the inspiring thunder of the voice of the Great Creator of all things who says, ‘Behold, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW … HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son!’ (Rev. 21: 5-7.) 

“Can you now begin to understand? God is offering YOU, not through the promises of science, not by travel in a Spaceship, not by military, political or man-made means, but by the very power of God, through being BORN of Him, as His OWN SON, RULERSHIP OVER SPACE! 

“Yes-it is the saints, the reborn SONS OF GOD, who are going to RULE the entirety of the universe under God, the great Ruler over all! 

“Don’t be caught up in the excitement of man’s feeble physical effort to ‘conquer’ Space. Man’s effort is only another MILITARY and POLITICAL plan to extend his power-without right knowledge. Learn God’s Truth. Begin to equip yourself God’s way-and you will be ‘MORE THAN CONQUERORS!’ (Rom. 8:37.) God wants YOU to rule Space!”

While these comments by Mr Armstrong were made in 1960, they are still relevant today.

We know from the Word of God what happened when man tried to get ahead of himself in a previous age.  Around 2,200 BC, a momentous event took place that has affected mankind right down to today.  We read in Genesis 11:1-9 about the desire of man to make a name for ourselves and build a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens.  Let us review a few of these verses:

1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…

“4 And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’

“6 And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.

“7 ‘Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’

“8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.

“9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”

Their aspirations came to nothing, and people were scattered abroad across the earth.

As those involved are, apparently unaware of biblical prophecy and the Plan of God, they plough ahead with their schemes.  If they knew that we had been allotted 6,000 years and that time is about up, they would realise that there is no time left to fulfil their lofty ambitions.  Please see our Q&A on this topic: “Do you teach that modern man is only about 6,000 years old? Do you believe in a 6,000-year plan of God?”  

However, if there was sufficient time left, there would be so many problems with this approach anyway.

  1. Man’s war-like proclivities would accompany him to other planets if it were to ever get that far.   To think that man would behave any differently on another planet is folly; there would be the usual scrambling for power and domination and violence would follow as it has done for 6,000 years.
  2. The sheer logistics are mind boggling.   We were given the earth to live on and man was to “dress and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).   All of the natural resources were available.   On another deserted planet there would be no such availability and transporting resources, equipment and everything else that such a venture would require would be enormous if not impossible.
  3. We know that other “dead” planets don’t have the conditions to allow life to exist as we know it, and that would be a major difficulty.
  4. The costs of all of this ego- fueled activity is enormous and much could be accomplished on earth if this money was diverted to more pressing projects on our own planet.

We know that proponents would answer these concerns in a positive way stating that all things would be possible.   Jesus said that “with God all things are possible (see Matthew 19:26) but not with men as God has restricted what we can do at this time.

When mankind ignores the Bible, such projects can, and are, implemented, but when God’s Master Plan of Salvation for mankind is properly understood it becomes a complete non-issue as the people of God will rule on and over the earth, following their resurrection to eternal spirit-born members of the Family of God.    And it goes even further than that.

We read in Matthew 28:18: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’   And in Revelation 3:21 we read: ‘To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.’  Therefore, as Jesus will have been given all authority over heaven and earth and that we are to be with Jesus Christ on His throne, it follows that the earth and the heavens will be that with which we will be involved – through the Master Plan of God not the plans and schemes of man!

In our booklet Heavens and Earth…Before and After the First Man!,” we read on page 88 about beautifying the earth and then on page 89 about beautifying the Universe:

“Beautifying the Universe

“First, we will reign under Christ over man. But once God’s plan for physical mankind has been completed and all human beings who have qualified will have become immortal God beings (while those who committed the unpardonable sin will have been burned up in the lake of fire), then what will be the next step in God’s great master plan? It appears that we will begin to rule over and beautify the vast universe. Romans 8:18–23 tells us that “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility in hope; because the creation itself [the entire universe] also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption [or “decay,” compare New International Version and Revised Standard Version]… into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now…””

“This passage indicates that once we are God beings and full members of the God Family, we will participate in the process of beautifying and finishing the creation of the presently unfinished universe. The universe is in a state of decay—the planets are, from all that we can tell, waste and empty. But it is our human potential to become a member of the God Family and, under the leadership of God the Father and Jesus Christ, to free the universe from decay and corruption.”

Finally, the Bible tells us, as explained in our before-mentioned booklet, that God will create new heavens and a new earth, consisting of spirit, and we will rule over them under God the Father and Jesus Christ. 

Great things are just ahead of us but it will not be by man’s doing but by that of the great Creator God.

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“And NOW… Fears of Terror Attacks in the USA and the UK,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

We are warned that during the month of Ramadan, starting on March 10, 2024, terrorist attacks on UK soil are likely or highly likely. This warning includes countries such as the USA and Israel as well. In fact, leaders of the major Palestinian terror groups have called for the Muslim world to engage in terror during Ramadan. Security officials tell us that the level of extremist chatter on the Internet is like when the Twin Towers came down in 2001. What does the Bible tell us about end-time terrorist attacks in our countries, and is there any hope that they will ever cease?

“Krieg oder Frieden—Fluch oder Segen?” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “War or Peace—Curse or Blessing?”

“Europe’s and Germany’s Rise to Military Greatness–Comments on News and Prophecy, March 2, 2024,” last Sabbath’s first message presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

We discuss Europe’s military awakening and the call for an EU army which has been described as “a direct threat” to US security; address Germany’s false concept of “peace through deterrence”; the surprising and unrealized power of the German Chancellor; and the “curse” of German and European conscription. We also speak on strange and perhaps supernatural occurrences in Ukraine.

“The Man of Sin in the Temple of God,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Paul tells us in the second letter to the Thessalonians that Christ will not return until there is a falling away and the man of sin sits in the temple of God, claiming to be God. What is meant by “falling away,” and what is the future of those who fall away? Who is “restraining” the return of Christ, and for how long, and who is the man of sin? Many misunderstand his identity. The Bible also shows us that there will be a literal temple in Jerusalem before Christ’s Second Coming, but why is it being built at all? And why is it called the “temple of God”?

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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

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

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

©2024 Church of the Eternal God