Opposites Don’t Attract; Holy Sabbath Convocations
On August 27, 2016, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Opposites Don’t Attract,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Holy Sabbath Convocations.”
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.
The Path to Perfect Knowledge
by Michael Link
How do we come to a PERFECT understanding? How do we receive PERFECT knowledge? We read in 2 Timothy 3:14-15, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
We need to make sure that the knowledge we receive is in fact true knowledge by researching and proving our belief from the pages of the Bible. How do we know that the Bible is true? 2 Timothy continues on in verse 16, saying, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This means the Old and New Testament! The law of the Ten Commandments has NOT been done away with, but it is still in force today. When we put into action what we are commanded to do, we will gain understanding, and with the knowledge that we receive, we will see results.
Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness is a challenge. Those in the ministry are to share information that is true and to educate people, through God’s Word, regarding the things they do not know, have not heard before, and have not understood before. We know the Bible is Truth and we share this Truth with others. We simply plant the seed and we allow God to do the rest as people respond to HIS calling, through our actions, which is why it is so important to continue in doing the Work of God because we never know who will respond (compare the parable of the sower in Luke 8:11-15). We plant the seed and have the faith that God will turn that seed into a productive and prosperous fruit. And that goes with everything in our lives that we are involved with, allowing God to guide us and direct our paths.
What separates us from everyone else, from all the other religions out there that claim to be Christian? We are not in the same classification or category, for we are TRUE Christians, set apart from the rest of the world and from all the other Christian religions out there because we proclaim the Truth and those who have an ear will hear (Matthew 11:15). We face rejection many times because we believe in and proclaim the Truth. We want to lead them to true knowledge of God’s Way, thereby giving them a chance to live a better life. We are also offering them protection from the terrible disasters of the end time through, for example, our StandingWatch programs. It’s not easy when we are faced with rejection, which is why we need to remain focused and positive, continuing on just like Paul, David and even Christ did, because the outcome of our actions is very rewarding. The end result is what matters, but we have to get through all the challenges first. We must remain humble, even when we are faced with harsh criticism, because the time will come when all those to whom we have been proclaiming God’s message will understand and remember what we have told them.
Think back to your calling and when you were introduced to this knowledge. We were once ignorant and in some cases we still may be; but we continue to learn. We won’t stop learning! This is where belief comes in. Do we believe that what we know is the Truth? Do we believe that ALL things are possible through God, IF we believe? Or do we need to have “physical proof” in order to believe? Remember what Christ said in John 20:29, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (compare also Hebrews 11:1, 6).
The knowledge we have received has given us hope, and we offer that same knowledge to others through the preaching of the gospel, because many people out there also need help, and the Bible offers those solutions which we ALL need. Through God’s calling, we have been given this incredible gift to understand now, and we have access to His perfect knowledge. Don’t take it for granted!
We begin with reports on Germany and Europe, including Germany’s consideration of reinstating the draft and other panic-driven directives “in case of an attack or catastrophe,” (please view our new StandingWatch program, “Germany in Panic Mood,”) as well as its interesting history—and note the startling spy network Turkey has in Germany! The article on Germany’s many capitals shows the influential and leading role Germany has had throughout the existence of the Holy Roman Empire.
We report on a massive earthquake in Italy and quote an article regarding Americans’ increasing lack of faith in God. We continue quoting from the Washington Post, pointing out why the “ransom money” deal between America and Iran really looks quite bad for the Obama Administration. (Please view our recent StandingWatch program, “Obama’s Flat Earth,”) In addition, there may be legal and political trouble for Hillary Clinton because of her email violations. Not to be outdone, Donald Trump aligned himself with Mr Farage of the UK Independence Party—a move Europe will not welcome.
We cite excerpts from a lengthy article by the New York Times, which received much attention in Germany (the German mass tabloid Bild Online discussed the information contained in the article in great detail and linked to the article), summarizing the Russian government’s long-held policy of engaging in political murders of opponents and critics.
We conclude with articles on the new unconstitutional “vaccination madness” (focusing on California and Colorado), which is holding this country hostage; present a new study showing that people are not born gay or transgender; note that syphilis cases are increasing; and highlight man’s fascination with “alien life.”
This Week in the News
German Government Tells Citizens to Prepare for War
Reuters reported on August 21:
“For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday… ‘The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,’ the newspaper quoted the government’s ‘Concept for Civil Defence’ – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying… People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.
“The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely. However, the precautionary measures demand that people ‘prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,’ the paper cited the report as saying. A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added…”
Deutsche Welle added on August 21:
“A civil defense plan… would require citizens to stockpile supplies in case of a catastrophe… [Under the plan] the government will require people to stock 10 days’ worth of food and five days… worth of drinking water. The civil defense strategy would require citizens to have a sufficient supply of food, water, energy, money and medicine to wait out a period until the state would be able to initiate a response to a catastrophe or attack.”
Germany Considers Reinstitution of the Draft
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 23:
“Germany’s interior ministry is considering taking steps toward bringing back conscription, including compulsory service to support the military, which was suspended five years ago. This is according to a report by German news agency dpa, which had access to a confidential copy of a government draft proposal. The proposal… comes as the government seeks to push forward a new concept for civilian defense, titled ‘Support of the Armed Forces.’
“… Military conscription was abolished in 2011 after 55 years, because the government said there was no longer a need for it. However, compulsory military service is still a part of Germany’s Basic Law, or constitution. Therefore, it can be easily reintroduced by the government…”
Germany in Panic Mood
Deutsche Welle reported on August 24 that the “government of Chancellor Angela Merkel (the German cabinet) has “given the green light to the first civil defense strategy in 21 years,” which would include “the possibility of bringing back military conscription” and the requirement for “civilians to stockpile food and water for use in emergency situations…”
Deutsche Welle continued:
“The new strategy lists attacks by conventional, biological and chemical weapons as among the possible threats facing the country, as well as attacks targeting critical infrastructure such as water, electricity and gas supplies. According to government sources, the measures are not a direct result of the recent terror attacks in Germany.”
Erdogan’s Disturbing Spy Apparatus in Germany
The Local wrote on August 24:
“A security politician told Die Welt that Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency has some 6,000 informants in Germany. For Germany’s population of about 3 million people with Turkish roots, that means that each informant could be responsible for monitoring 500 people… In comparison… the Stasi had around 10,000 agents in West Germany to monitor a population of roughly 60 million – meaning 6,000 people per agent.
“The Ministry for State Security, also known as the Stasi, was communist East Germany’s secret police force, which secretly monitored millions until the end of the Cold War and German reunification. But the Stasi engaged primarily in gathering military, political or economic intelligence in West Germany, rather than targeting former citizens, as MIT seems to be doing in Germany…
“Since a failed coup attempt in Turkey last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been enacting mass detentions in his own country of suspected opponents, including academics, journalists and military members… Turkey’s internal conflicts between Gülen and Erdogan, and between Kurds and Turks have been brought into Germany, and are impacting the internal peace… The informants in Germany are often unpaid supporters of Erdogan…
“These informants are putting pressure on Kurds, Gülen supporters and others perceived as being opponents, for example by calling for boycotts on their businesses, writing negatively about them in Turkish publications, or threatening their family members… They can go to the regular German police to complain about it, but this is difficult to do in this kind of parallel society… The government feels that Turkey is an important partner in the refugee crisis, so they may turn a blind eye…
“Germany’s Turkish population is the largest ethnic minority in the country. Many came through a guest worker programme in the 1960s…”
Burka Ban in Germany?
The Telegraph wrote on August 19:
“Germany could impose a ban on women wearing burkas or full-face Islamic veils at schools and universities and while driving under new proposals announced on Friday by Angela Merkel’s party. The burka ‘does not belong in our cosmopolitan country’, Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister and one of Mrs Merkel’s closest allies, said as he announced the new policy. ‘We all reject the full veil — not only the burka but also other types of full veil that only leave the eyes visible. They have no place in our society.’…
“Mrs Merkel made her own feelings on the issue clear in an interview with a number of German newspapers in advance of the announcement. ‘In my view, a fully veiled woman has almost no chance of integrating successfully in German society,’ she said. The new policy was agreed at late night talks between Mr de Maiziere and interior ministers from several of Germany’s 16 federal states where the CDU is in power…”
Merkel Wants a Better Europe
Reuters wrote on August 21:
“The leaders of Germany, France and Italy will meet on Monday to discuss how to keep the European project together in the second set of talks between the premiers of the euro zone’s three largest economies since Britain’s shock vote to leave the bloc… Officials in Brussels and Berlin fear the June 23 vote could lead to a referendum in the Netherlands – a founding member of the union – on whether to also leave the bloc….
“Faced with existential risks, Merkel wants to cement ‘a better Europe’ rather than forge ahead with ‘more Europe’…
“Lingering threats to the union that emerged long before the Brexit vote are also likely to be on the agenda, including internal and external security after Islamist militant attacks and Europe’s migration crisis. Emboldened by the Brexit vote, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called a referendum on Oct. 2 on whether to accept any future EU migrant settlement quotas as his government steps up its fight against the EU’s migration policies.
“In another symbolic choice of venue, the three leaders will hold their closing news conference on the Italian aircraft carrier, the Garibaldi, which is the flagship of the EU’s ‘Sophia’ mission in the Mediterranean. The naval operation has a mandate to tackle migrant smugglers, help enforce an arms embargo off Libya, and train the Libyan coast guard. The EU plans to offer incentives to African governments to help slow the flow of migrants who have poured into Europe over the past three years…”
“Europe Must Remain as One”
Daily Mail wrote on August 22:
“Under-fire EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker risked widening divisions with European leaders today by saying borders were the ‘worst invention ever’. He called for all borders across Europe to be opened, despite the chaos caused over the last year from the flood in refugees fleeing Syria and the wave of terror attacks hitting various continent’s cities… Mr Juncker also said a stronger EU was the best way of beating the rising trend of nationalism cross Europe.
“In another extraordinary remark, he appeared to warn of war on the continent if the EU disintegrates as he echoed the warning from the former French president Francois Mitterrand, who said nationalism added to nationalism would end in war…
“The embattled EU Commission president described Brexit as an ‘unheard-of political crisis’ for the EU but told EU member states that the only way of overcoming the challenge of Britain leaving would be to remain as one…”
Europe to Ensure Its Own Defense
The Telegraph wrote on August 22:
“The EU must sharply increase cooperation on defence and intelligence to combat Islamic terrorism and other threats, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy said… The German chancellor, who is known to back deeper EU defence plans, called for more sharing of information between European intelligence services to thwart the kind of attacks that have hit her country, France and Belgium… President Hollande also called for greater cooperation on defence, as France comes to terms with a string of terrorist attacks in recent months. ‘Europe must ensure its own defence, and France is certainly playing its role,’ the French leader said… Plans to press ahead with a so-called ‘EU army’ will be easier now that the UK has decided to leave the bloc, a former head of the Italian military said.
“General Vincenzo Camporini, former chief of the general staff, said the British thwarted a common defence policy for Europe [for] years. ‘Every step forward was blocked [by the British]. The British position was crucial – everyone knew that without London, you couldn’t even begin to talk about a common European defence policy,’ he told La Repubblica newspaper. Mr Renzi echoed the call for deeper defences, while adding that Europe would not suffer from Britain’s departure as many had predicted after the June 23 vote to leave. ‘Many people felt that after Brexit Europe would come to an end, but that is not the case,’ he said, ‘We respect the choice made by the British citizens, but at the same time we want to be able to turn the page on a new future.’”
The Express added on August 22:
“‘Brexit will be the beginning of a new Europe’ EU leaders pledge to reform troubled bloc. BRITAIN’S decision to leave the European Union can usher in a new era of solidarity for the troubled bloc, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy said today.”
Germany’s Many Capitals
The Local wrote on August 18:
“In most west European states, power has been centralized around one city for centuries. In England, London (or more accurately Westminster) became the seat of power in the 12th century. Madrid became capital of the Spanish kingdom in 1525. Lisbon was named home of Portuguese government in 1255.
“But Germany is an exception. From the Middle Ages through to modern times, power shifted between various cities, while Berlin was a latecomer to the party, only really gaining prominence in the 18th century…
“The westernmost city of the Federal Republic of Germany, Aachen, is also known as Aix-la-Chapelle in English… the city was the residence of medieval king and emperor Charles the Great, whose kingdom stretched over regions now belonging to France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, was crowned Emperor of the Romans in 800 by Pope Leo III in the Vatican. After his coronation, the sovereign made Aachen the capital of his empire… from 595 until 936, it was the place of coronation of German kings and queens. After his death, Charles the Great’s kingdom slowly dissolved, but it gave birth to another empire 162 years later…
“Otto I revived the title of Charlemagne and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 after creating the archbishopric of Magdeburg. The Holy Roman Empire had no fixed capital, as each king travelled between residences… Otto I’s empire was enormous and included French-speaking Waloons, Flemings in the Netherlands, Slovaks, Slovenes, Danes, Czechs, Croats and Italians. After a marriage to the Byzantine princess Theophanu, the ‘King of the Germans’’ influence even spread as far as Constantinople, modern day Istanbul…
“During the Holy Roman Empire, the archbishop of Mainz was one of the seven ‘Prince-electors’ – the council who collectively elected new rulers of the vast empire, which at its height spread from the Baltic Sea to southern Italy… The archbishop… was also considered Primas Germaniae, the Pope’s highest representative north of the Alps. To this day, the archiepiscopal See of Mainz is the only other Western location outside of the Vatican recognized under the title of Holy See…
“Trier… is arguably the most ancient city in Germany, having been founded by Celts in the late 4th century BC [Our comment: This is erroneous, even though it is acknowledged that Trier was NOT founded by Rome, as many falsely believe. In fact, Trier was founded by the ancient Assyrians. See our free booklet, “Germany in Prophecy.”]…
“Cologne, Trier, and Mainz were capitals of important states and ruled kingdoms in the empire, but some cities such as Speyer temporarily had more prestige within the empire… In 1027, Conrad II rose to be emperor and by 1033, he was King of Italy, Germany and Burgundy. Conrad came from Speyer and Worms, and upon rising to the throne ordered work to start on a magnificent cathedral in Speyer…
“Cities were usually capitals of a certain territory. However, some cities were independent states. The case of Nuremberg is truly exceptional: it was both an independent city-state and the ‘unofficial capital’ of the Holy Roman Empire. While Nuremberg may not have been capital in name, imperial assemblies were regularly held there and in 1356, Charles IV decreed that all new kings had to hold their first assembly there. The imperial court also worshiped at the town’s Frauenkirche, which was built between 1352 and 1362. Sigismund of Luxembourg also ruled that the imperial regalia be kept in the city permanently. For 350 years between 1423 and 1796, the most precious possessions of the emperor, including the imperial crown, the holy lance and the imperial sword were kept in the city. [Our comment: For more information on these “precious possessions of the emperor” and the role they might still play in the future, please read our free booklet, “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.”]…
“In the later years of the Holy Roman Empire, the balance of power progressively shifted from the emperor to local rulers, and in 1806 the empire dissolved altogether. By this stage Berlin had already been capital of the Prussian state for over a hundred years and Prussia had become a major European power. Thanks to the efforts of Otto von Bismarck, it established itself as the core of the modern German state, and Berlin was made capital of modern Germany in 1871.” [Our comment: After World War II and the division of Germany, East Berlin became the capital of East Germany, while Bonn became the capital of West Germany. Berlin resumed its role as the German capital after German reunification.]
Goebbels’ Father-in-Law Was Jewish
JTA wrote on August 21:
“The wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels had a Jewish father, according to a new document discovered in the Berlin archives. The document was published in the German newspaper Bild… It shows that the father of Magda Goebbels was a Jewish businessman named Richard Friedlander, who married Magda’s mother, Auguste Behrend, when Magda was about 7 years old. Friedlander had an affair in 1901 with Behrend before she married German engineer Oskar Ritshel, who had been blamed for impregnating Behrend before their wedding.
“Friedlander’s residency card, the document found in the archives, states that Magda is his biological daughter… Friedlander died in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1939; his daughter did not attempt to help him.
“The Goebbels had been portrayed by the Nazis as the ideal Aryan family. Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their six children committed suicide on April 30, 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his life.”
Italy Struck by Massive Earthquake
Reuters reported on August 24:
“A powerful earthquake devastated a string of mountainous towns in central Italy on Wednesday, trapping residents under piles of rubble, killing at least 38 people and leaving thousands homeless. The quake struck in the early hours of the morning when most residents were asleep, razing homes and buckling roads in a cluster of communities some 140 km (85 miles) east of Rome.
“A family of four, including two boys aged 8 months and 9 years, were buried when their house in Accumoli imploded. As rescue workers carried away the body of the infant, carefully covered by a small blanket, the children’s grandmother blamed God: ‘He took them all at once,’ she wailed.
“The army was mobilized to help with special heavy equipment and the treasury released 235 million euros ($265 million) of emergency funds. At the Vatican, Pope Francis canceled part of his general audience to pray for the victims. Aerial photographs showed whole areas of Amatrice, voted last year as one of Italy’s most beautiful historic towns, flattened by the 6.2 magnitude quake…
“The quake hit during the summer when the area, usually sparsely populated, hosts large numbers of holidaymakers… ‘Three quarters of the town is not there anymore,’ Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi told state broadcaster RAI… RAI reported that two Afghan girls, believed to be asylum-seekers, were also missing in the town…
“INGV reported 60 aftershocks in the four hours following the initial quake, the strongest measuring 5.5…
“Italy sits on two fault lines, making it one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. The last major earthquake to hit the country struck the central city of L’Aquila in 2009, killing more than 300 people. The most deadly since the start of the 20th century came in 1908, when an earthquake followed by a tsunami killed an estimated 80,000 people in the southern regions of Reggio Calabria and Sicily.”
Subsequently, Deutsche Welle reported on August 25 that “at least 250 people” were killed in the earthquake.
The Bible prophesies that in the end time, a massive earthquake will hit and destroy the city of Rome.
More and More Americans Are “Giving Up” on God
The Washington Examiner reported on August 24:
“Half of Americans who have left their church no longer believe in God, leading a surge of nearly one quarter of the nation who have no affiliation with any religion, according to a new survey. Pew Research Center said Wednesday that 49 percent of what they term ‘nones’ left their church and religion because they ‘don’t believe.’ Another 20 percent said they don’t like organized religion. Other reasons included ‘common sense’ and a lack of [belief]in miracles. The survey is the latest from Pew that demonstrates a growing trend in America: More and more people are junking religion and many are giving up on God.
“… This includes many respondents who mention ‘science’ [i.e., the belief in Evolution] as the reason they do not believe in religious teachings, including one who said ‘I’m a scientist now, and I don’t believe in miracles.’ Others reference ‘common sense,’ ‘logic’ or a ‘lack of evidence’ – or simply say they do not believe in God.”
The Pew Research Center wrote:
“One-in-five express an opposition to organized religion in general. This share includes some who do not like the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance. A similar share (18%) say they are religiously unsure. This includes people who say they are religious in some way despite being unaffiliated (e.g., ‘I believe in God, but in my own way’), others who describe themselves as ‘seeking enlightenment’ or ‘open-minded,’ and several who say they are ‘spiritual’ if not religious…
“Religious ‘nones’ are by no means monolithic. They can be broken down into three broad subgroups: self-identified atheists, those who call themselves agnostic and people who describe their religion as ‘nothing in particular…”
You might want to listen to our recent sermon, “Why Will God Punish America?”
Iran Deal… Looking Bad for Obama
On August 19, the Washington Post wrote the following:
“Back in January, Iran released five American prisoners it had been holding. That same day, we have come to find out, the American government sent $400 million in cash to Iran. It isn’t hard to draw conclusions based on the proximity of those two events. And yet, the Obama administration repeatedly sought to separate them from one another — even as Republicans have almost universally accused it of paying a ‘ransom’ for American ‘hostages.’…
“In response to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the State Department on Thursday acknowledged that the money was used as ‘leverage’ in the prisoner-release negotiations. The money was already due to Iran as part of a settlement over a decades-old failed arms deal — also reached in January — but State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed it was withheld until the prisoners had left Iran… Asked whether Kirby was saying the payment was contingent upon the prisoners being released, he responded, ‘That’s correct.’
“How does this square with what the Obama administration said before? Back on Aug. 3, after the Wall Street Journal revealed the $400 million payment, Kirby said the two matters were ‘completely separate.’… Kirby’s assurance… is hard to square with the fact that the $400 million was contingent upon the prisoner release…
“Thursday’s revelation does indeed look bad for the administration, as did the after-the-fact revelation of the $400 million transfer made to Iran, and they both breathe life into Republicans’ long-standing allegations that this was a quid pro quo in which prisoners were released in exchange for cash. There’s a reason such things are avoided; they risk putting overseas Americans in danger of being held in exchange for money.”
Did Hillary Clinton Break the Law–Again?
Newsmax wrote on August 22:
“A second cache of newly released emails during Hillary Clinton’s stint at secretary of state glaringly illustrates how special access was given Clinton Foundation donors — from Middle Eastern royalty to international sports and music stars — by Clinton’s staff, Judicial Watch charged Monday.
“The conservative watchdog group made public 725 pages of State Department documents, many of which included previously unreleased email exchanges between Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin and Doug Band, a then-employee of the Clinton Foundation — and 20 Clinton email exchanges that Judicial Watch asserts weren’t part of the 55,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over to the State Department.
“Earlier this month, Judicial Watch released another batch highlighting the privilege afforded Clinton Foundation donors at Clinton’s State Department. According to Judicial Watch, in one blatant example of privileged access in the new batch, Abedin coordinated with Band to set up a meeting between the Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain and Clinton after Salman couldn’t get a meeting set up through normal State Department channels. In the email chain, Band stresses Salman was a ‘good friend of ours,’ Judicial Watch reports, noting the Kingdom of Bahrain has given up to $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
“Also included among the Abedin-Band email chains is an exchange in which Band urged Abedin to get the State Department to intervene in order to obtain a visa for members of a U.K. football club, one of whose members was having trouble [be]cause of a ‘criminal charge,’ Judicial Watch reports. Band was acting at the behest of millionaire Hollywood sports entertainment executive and president of the Wasserman Foundation, Casey Wasserman, who has donated between $5-10 million to the Clinton Foundation, Judicial Watch reports.
“The Abedin emails also show former Bill Clinton aide Ben Schwerin, who helped set up the Clinton Foundation, urged Abedin to help U2’s Bono to broadcast from the international space station, according to Judicial Watch. ‘These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors,’ Judicial Watch’s president Tom Fitton said in a statement. ‘There needs to be a serious, independent investigation to determine whether Clinton and others broke the law.’”
The Associated Press added on August 23:
“More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president. At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
“Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa…
“Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fiercely criticized the links between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, saying his general election opponent had delivered ‘lie after lie after lie… It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton Foundation ends and the State Department begins. It is now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office’…
“On Monday, Bill Clinton said in a statement that if his wife were to win, he would step down from the foundation’s board and stop all fundraising for it. The foundation would also accept donations only from U.S. citizens and what it described as independent philanthropies, while no longer taking gifts from foreign groups, U.S. companies or corporate charities… Those planned changes would not affect more than 6,000 donors who have already provided the Clinton charity with more than $2 billion in funding since its creation in 2000. ‘There’s a lot of potential conflicts and a lot of potential problems,’ said Douglas White, an expert on nonprofits who previously directed Columbia University’s graduate fundraising management program. ‘The point is, she can’t just walk away from these 6,000 donors.’
“Former senior White House ethics officials said a Clinton administration would have to take careful steps to ensure that past foundation donors would not have the same access as she allowed at the State Department…”
“Emails Show Clinton Ties to Supporters of Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gulen”
Newsmax wrote on August 24:
“Newly released Hillary Clinton emails show that two Turkish businessmen who are top lieutenants of the Islamic cleric living in the U.S. being sought for extradition by Ankara received helped from then secretary of state’s aide Huma Abedin in 2009… Other emails released show that the two businessmen, Gokhan Ozkok and Recep Ozkan, were on the guest list for a June 2012 Clinton Foundation dinner held at Clinton’s home.
“The series of emails from the two praise Clinton and emphasize that Turkish Americans believe in her friendship. They provide further evidence of the ties the two have fostered with Clinton over the years, at the same time they have worked for Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania and whom the Turkish government has demanded that the U.S. extradited. Ozkok and Ozkan have also contributed money to Clinton presidential campaigns and gained access to her through Abedin, Clinton’s longest serving aide.
“The New York Post has also raised questions about Abedin, revealing that for a decade she edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the U.S. for 9/11.
“The U.S. has confirmed it has received a formal extradition request from Turkey for Gulen, but not over the July coup attempt the Turkish authorities has accused him of planning… This comes as Vice President Joe Biden meets on Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan in Ankara.
“The emails and strain in Turkish relations raises questions over whether Clinton’s ties to Gulen’s supporters will influence her policy toward Ankara if she becomes president. In addition to the Turkish allegations against Gulen, The Daily Caller reports that he has drawn scrutiny in the U.S. over alleged visa violations and illegal construction deals connected with his vast American charter school system and think tanks promoting his teachings.”
These revelations complicate even further the relationship between the USA and Turkish dictator Erdogan.
Trump and Farage Together for Independence?
The Telegraph wrote on August 24:
“Heaping praise on the former leader of the UK Independence Party, the Republican presidential nominee [Donald Trump] introduced Mr Farage to 15,000 supporters at a rally in Jacksonville, Mississippi, as the man who orchestrated Brexit. ‘On June 23, the people of Britain voted to declare their independence – which is what we’re also looking to do, folks – from their international government,’ Mr Trump said. ‘They voted to reclaim control over immigration, over economy, over government. Working people, and the great people of the UK, took control of their destiny. We will have one American nation, not divided. November 8 is our chance to re-declare American independence.’
“Mr Farage said he came ‘with a message of hope and optimism’. ‘We made June 23 our independence day when we shamed the establishment… Mr Farage criticised US President Barack Obama, who had urged the British to stay in the EU, saying he ‘talked down to us, as if we were nothing… If I was an American citizen, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me. In fact, I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton if she paid me.’
“Saying ‘the parallels are clear’ between what was happening in the US and what happened in Britain, Mr Farage said American voters had a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to ‘beat the pollsters, the commentators, Washington… And you’ll do it like with Brexit in Britain, (with) a people’s army. If you want change, you better get your walking boots on, you better get out [there] campaigning, and, remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment.’”
Mr. Farage is probably the most-hated British politician in Europe. If Mr. Trump follows his footsteps, as he appears to do, then he might turn out to be the most hated American politician in Europe. (He is already hated by many Europeans.) As the relationship between the UK and Europe drastically deteriorated because of the Brexit, so the relationship between the USA and Europe might also deteriorate—especially, if Mr. Trump becomes the next President—because of his declared policy of “America first.”
Trump Backs Away from His Immigration Stance
Newsmax wrote on August 25:
“Donald Trump backed away farther from his hard-line stance on deporting millions of illegal immigrants, saying in remarks broadcast on Wednesday he would be willing to work with those who have followed U.S. laws while living in the country.
“Trump’s comments came in the second part of an interview conducted on Tuesday with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. They signaled a further softening in his immigration position as he girds for a battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election and faces pressure to bolster support among moderate voters and minority groups.
“Trump, who defeated 16 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in part based on his opposition to illegal immigrants, said he would not permit American citizenship for the undocumented population and would expel lawbreakers. To qualify to remain in the United States, Trump said, illegal immigrants would have to pay back taxes…
“Trump’s new position seemed to resemble in some respects the failed 2007 reform push by former Republican President George W. Bush. That effort offered a way to bring millions ‘out of the shadows’ without amnesty and would have required illegal immigrants to pay a fine and take other steps to gain legal status…
“Trump… still wants to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico but he has emphasized in recent days a need to deal most urgently with illegal immigrants who commit crimes and also those who might be displacing African-American and Hispanic workers. At a rally earlier in Tampa, Florida, Trump did not talk about deporting as many as 11 million illegal immigrants as he has in the past, instead saying he would aim enforcement efforts at people who are committing crimes such as overstaying their visas…”
To be clear, overstaying a visa does NOT constitute a crime. And Trump’s new position, which is totally contrary to his prior bombastic promises, will, no doubt, disappoint many of his hardline supporters.
Glenn Beck Attacks Trump and Bannon
The Week wrote on August 24:
“Had Glenn Beck used his trusty chalkboard Wednesday night during an appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, it almost certainly would have been filled with arrows, circles, unidentifiable symbols, and scrawls of ‘Stephen Bannon,’ ‘despicable,’ ‘Never Trump,’ and ‘noooooooooooo!!!!!’
“Beck has never been a Trump fan — the conservative commentator, radio host, and founder of TheBlaze supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during the Republican primary — and he’s also not big on Bannon, the Breitbart News executive chairman turned Trump campaign CEO. O’Donnell said he had never heard of Bannon before his new appointment, and he invited Beck, who previously called Bannon ‘a horrible, despicable human being,’ to give him the scoop.
“‘He describes himself as a Leninist, and I was kind of hoping it was John Lennon, but it’s not,’ Beck said. ‘He is not a Marxist, he doesn’t believe in Marxism or socialism or communism or anything else. What he means by that is he is a destroyer of everything. He believes that Lenin was right the way he went in; he destroyed the system, destroyed the Duma, brought down the parties, then punished his enemies.’ Beck said he agreed to go on MSNBC because Bannon is ‘dangerous’ and Beck is ‘truly, gravely concerned about the direction of the country, and it is very important for conservatives or constitutionalists to stand up and let the left know, “Hey guys, we’re not all like that.” We have concerns and there has to be some things we come together on, basic values and principles. Let’s not go into a chaos theory; that never goes well.'”
Russia’s Political Murders
The New York Times wrote on August 20:
“Used extensively in the Soviet era, political murders are again playing a prominent role in the Kremlin’s foreign policy, the most brutal instrument in an expanding repertoire of intimidation tactics intended to silence or otherwise intimidate critics at home and abroad.
“Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has made no secret of his ambition to restore his country to what he sees as its rightful place among the world’s leading nations. He has invested considerable money and energy into building an image of a strong and morally superior Russia, in sharp contrast with what he portrays as weak, decadent and disorderly Western democracies.
“Muckraking journalists, rights advocates, opposition politicians, government whistle-blowers and other Russians who threaten that image are treated harshly – imprisoned on trumped-up charges, smeared in the news media and, with increasing frequency, killed.
“Political murders, particularly those accomplished with poisons, are nothing new in Russia, going back five centuries. Nor are they particularly subtle. While typically not traceable to any individuals and plausibly denied by government officials, poisonings leave little doubt of the state’s involvement – which may be precisely the point…
“Other countries, notably Israel and the United States, pursue targeted killings, but in a strict counterterrorism context. No other major power employs murder as systematically and ruthlessly as Russia does against those seen as betraying its interests abroad. Killings outside Russia were even given legal sanction by the nation’s Parliament in 2006.
“Applied most notoriously in the case of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a Putin opponent who died of polonium-210 poisoning in London in 2006, murders and deaths under mysterious circumstances are now seen as such a menace that Kremlin critics now often flee the country and keep their whereabouts secret. Russia has never acknowledged using the authority under the 2006 law and has specifically denied any government ties to high-profile cases, including the Litvinenko murder.
“Among those fleeing Russia recently is Grigory Rodchenkov, a whistle-blower in Russia’s sports doping scandal. This is not without reason. In the case over state-sponsored doping, two other officials with knowledge of the scheme died unexpectedly as the outlines of the scandal began to emerge…
“Poison has been a favorite tool of Russian intelligence for more than a century. A biochemist, Grigory Mairanovski, labored in secret from 1928 on the task of developing tasteless, colorless and odorless poisons. In 1954, a K.G.B. defector described a secret lab near the agency’s Lubyanka headquarters and ‘experiments on living people.’ The agencies developed an arsenal of lethal, hard-to-trace poisons that, analysts of Russian security affairs say, is still in use…
“In 1971, a year after he won the Nobel Prize for literature, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn survived a poisoning attempt. Ricin, made from castor beans, was probably involved, according to news media accounts and a biography of the dissident writer…
“Some do take precautions. Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion and now an opposition figure, has long had bodyguards carry bottled water and prepared meals for him.”
The New Vaccination Madness
CBS SF Bay Area wrote on August 22:
“Scores of California students may be sent home on their first day of school because of a new vaccine law that took effect this year. The new state law took effect July 1. Now, parents can no longer use personal or religious beliefs as a reason not to have their kids immunized. This school year, kindergartners and seventh graders must show proof of immunizations.
“Monday WAS the first day of school for kids in Oakland. Hundreds of them were expected to be sent home… Young children who got their personal belief exemptions approved before January 2016, will be grandfathered in. According to the new law, they still must get immunized when they reach seventh grade.”
The website of the denverchannel.com reported on August 20:
“School bells are ringing again across Colorado. As kids head back to school, some parents, who opt not to vaccinate their children, are pushing back against some of the wording in the state’s new non-medical immunization exemption form.
“That form reads in part: Failure to follow the advice of a physician, registered nurse, physician’s assistant or public health official who has recommended vaccines may endanger my child’s/my health or life and others who come into contact with my child/me.
“State Senator Kevin Lundberg, Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee says, ‘That (phrasing) amounts to compelled speech.’ He said the state has no business trying to force parents to agree to something that they don’t believe is true. The Senator told Denver7 that state health officials drew up the new forms themselves. He said state law only requires that parents, who want to ‘opt out’ of the vaccination requirements, submit a note to their child’s school.
“A group called CitizenGo has launched an online petition drive urging Governor Hickenlooper and legislative leaders to ‘immediately modify these forms and regulations to protect the privacy and freedom of Colorado families.’…
“Denver7 asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment [CDPHE] about the petition drive to get the language changed. A spokeswoman said, ‘we’re not going to comment because of the possibility of a lawsuit.’”
In addition, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is contesting the legality of the form in respect to CDPHE’s authority to create an unconstitutional requirement. HSLDA contends that by signing such a statement, a person could be making an admission that could be used against him in later civil or criminal proceeding. The HSLDA contends in a letter, dated August 6, 2016, to the CDPHE that the language contained in the exemption form is unconstitutional as it “requires the affirmation of a viewpoint with which many people disagree or which violates their personal or religious beliefs.” The HSLDA cites a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to the effect that “the First Amendment prevents the government from compelling individuals to express certain views.”
The HSDLA is correct in their analysis that the CDPHE violates the rights of US citizens, as the new vaccination law in California is also blatantly unconstitutional. But it appears, not too many sees to care that our personal rights and liberties are being violated on a constant basis by our government. The awakening for all of us will be grim and severe.
No Proof that People are Born Gay or Transgender
Newsmax reported on August 22:
“Two top Johns Hopkins University psychiatrists say there is insufficient evidence to conclude people are born with heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual attractions. ‘The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings — the idea that people are “born that way” — is not supported by scientific evidence,’ Drs. Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh conclude in their new study… ‘While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified … such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether [they] are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.’
“In addition, studies comparing brain structures of transgender and cisgender individuals demonstrate ‘weak correlations between brain structure and cross-gender identification’ and do not provide any evidence for a neurobiological basis for cross-gender identification, they say… Mayer is a scholar-in-residence at the Maryland school’s psychiatry department and Paul McHugh, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.”
Syphilis on the Rise
The Guardian wrote on August 24:
“The disease, caused by the bacterium Treponema Pallidum and passed on through unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex, has affected the famous through the ages (Al Capone and, reportedly, Hitler, to name just two).
“But syphilis is in no way confined to big names, nor is it a sexually transmitted infection (STI) of the past. The 2016 Public Health England (PHE) syphilis report has shown that infection rates are on the up, with disproportionate rates in London. In 2015, the capital accounted for 56% of all cases in England, with a 22% increase in diagnoses in the year 2014-15. Since 2010 the number of cases of syphilis in Londoners has increased by 163%, with a 22% increase in the year from 2014 to 2015…
“Men who have sex with men (MSM) represented 90% of all syphilis cases in 2015, with a 232% increase in diagnosis over the last five years, said the report. More than half of the MSM diagnosed with syphilis in 2015 were also infected with HIV, and over half additionally tested positive for a separate STI…”
Man’s Morbid Fascination with Alien Life
The Sun wrote on August 24:
“Astronomers have discovered a ‘second Earth’ orbiting our closest star and it could have exactly the right conditions to sustain alien lifeforms. Stargazers from the European Southern Observatory spotted the mystery world circling Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf star that’s just four light years away. The planet is orbiting in the “goldilocks zone” of Proxima Centauri, which means it’s close enough to the star that water would not freeze but far away enough so that water wouldn’t boil. This is important because the presence of liquid water is thought to be necessary for the development of life…
“Now scientists are trying to figure out a way of getting a robotic probe to the planet to see if it is home to alien organisms, although this is not a mission many of us will live to see. Using current rocket technology, it would take 76,000 years to get to our nearest star. However, there is hope that ‘light sail’ technology currently under development could allow us to send a robotic probe to the planet in about 25 years…
“We asked Nick Pope, a British researcher who used to run the Ministry of Defence’s UFO investigation department, if he thought we’d find aliens on the planet. He said: ‘This game-changing discovery may help us answer the question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe – one of the biggest and most profound questions we can ask. Many people believe there are aliens out there and now it’s possible that they’re our galactic next door neighbours. Every effort should be made not just to find out more about this planet, but to look for evidence of life – and maybe even intelligent life.’”
Alien life forms would not have “evolved”—life forms do not evolve from nothing—and God did not create any alien life forms. But any “encounters” with aliens, if those “encounters” were “real,” would have been of demonic origin.
Acts 20:7? Did Paul Conduct “Communion” on Sunday or on the Sabbath? What Does “Breaking Bread” Mean?
Acts 20:7 reads, in the Authorized Version: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.”
Some claim that this passage proves that the disciples took “communion” on the first day of the week—on Sunday. Others claim that this passage proves that the disciples took “communion” on the weekly Sabbath. And then there are those who say that this passage has nothing to do with “communion”—regardless as to when Paul’s “breaking of the bread” occurred.
To address first the concept regarding “communion on Sunday” and “communion” in general, we stated the following regarding Acts 20:7 in a previous Q&A:
“This Scripture does not say Paul observed Sunday, the first day of the week, as a day of worship. If this were an example for us today, we would be starting the service on Saturday night – not on Sunday morning. Verse 7 shows Paul preached to them until midnight. Also services would have to continue till dawn (verse 11).”
Please note that Paul spoke until midnight (verse 7), healed the young man who fell down from the third story (verses 9-10); THEN broke bread and ATE (verse 11); and continued preaching until daybreak (same verse), ready to depart “on the morrow” (verse 7) or SUNDAY morning (the New King James Bible states that he was ready to depart “on the next day”; that is misleading as it could give the impression that he wanted to depart on Monday).
“Next, we realize that the breaking of bread was not a religious service, but merely the eating of a meal. Acts 27:33-38 proves this. Notice Paul’s situation. He was a Roman prisoner in the midst of many Gentiles on board a ship (Acts 27:1-2). Obviously Paul was not holding a religious service. The men ate for their health (verses 33-34).”
Verse 36 states expressly that “they were all very encouraged and ALSO took FOOD themselves.” Other examples, showing that breaking bread simply refers to the “ordinary” act of eating a meal, can be found in Acts 2:42, 46 (“breaking bread from house to house, they ate their FOOD with gladness…”) and also in Luke 24:30, 35 (two disciples recognized Jesus when He broke bread to eat with them).
We also wrote this in a Q&A on “breaking bread”:
“There is no evidence in the Bible that the New Testament Church ever partook of the symbols of bread and wine more often than once a year. Some point out that the disciples ‘broke bread’ on other occasions as well, and that this proves that they frequently partook of the New Testament Passover symbols. However, the term, ‘to break bread,’ simply means, ‘to eat a meal.’ Acts 2:46 tells us that the disciples ‘broke bread daily from house to house,’ eating ‘their food with gladness.’ They were eating bread daily to satisfy their hunger. Paul says, however, that if we satisfy our hunger, when we partake of the symbols of bread and wine, we do it to our condemnation (1 Corinthians 11:34). ‘Breaking bread,’ then, was just a common term to indicate eating a meal.”
Continuing with our above-cited Q&A on Acts 20:7:
“Acts 20:7 does not describe a regular service. Notice the context. Paul was en route from Greece to Jerusalem (Acts 20:2-3, 16). Since he did not know when he would see the brethren again, he wanted to teach them as much as possible. The people were more than willing to listen. So, after the Sabbath Paul remained behind teaching the brethren, while his ship sailed around the peninsula (verse 13). He remained talking with them till midnight and continued after a short meal until daybreak (Verse 11). Then after Paul had stayed as long as he could, he left them to walk across the peninsula to meet the boat (verses 13-14). He worked on that Sunday by taking this long walk of some 19 miles!
“There is nothing in the above Scripture to indicate it was Paul’s custom to observe Sunday. In fact, all through the book of Acts we see it was Paul’s custom to observe the Sabbath (Acts 17:2; 13:14-15; 42-44). We also note in reading Acts 20:6 that Paul was traveling after having observed the Days of Unleavened Bread. He continued to observe the annual holy days as well as the weekly Sabbath years after Christ had died as He remained faithful to the commands of God.”
Based on the translation in the New King James Bible, it seems obvious that the activities in Acts 20:7 refer to the first day of the week. Since days start and end with sunset, the disciples stayed after Sabbath services and after the Sabbath had ended, to have a meal together on Sunday, while Paul continued to preach to them. Why is it then that some claim that the gathering of the disciples and the breaking of bread occurred on the Sabbath and not on Sunday?
The answer is based on a peculiar choice of words in the Greek, as in the original, the word for “week” is “sabbaton” (the word “sabbaton” refers in some way to the Sabbath). The entire phrase “first of the week” (the word “day” is not in the original) is derived from the Greek expression “MIA TON SABBATON” (that is, FIRST (“mia”) of THE (“ton”) WEEK (“sabbaton,” i.e., OF WEEK). The Luther Bible from 1545 renders Acts 20:7 as follows: “On a Sabbath, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them…” (“AVff einen Sabbath aber / da die Jünger zusamen kamen / das Brot zu brechen / prediget jnen Paulus…”)
As we see, Luther rendered the word “sabbaton” here as “a Sabbath,” while most translations say, “of week.” The Interlinear Translation also says, “On first of the week…” To understand the problem with the different translations, a lengthy and somewhat technical explanation is required.
We have addressed one meaning of the word “sabbaton” in our booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery!” when explaining that there were TWO Sabbaths during the crucifixion week—the weekly Sabbath and, prior to that, the annual Holy Day of the First Day of Unleavened Bread, which is also referred to as a “Sabbath” in the Bible.
We stated this:
“Matthew 28:1 also reveals–correctly translated–that there were actually two ‘Sabbaths’ during the crucifixion week, a weekly Sabbath and an annual Sabbath. Cockrell points out: ‘Matthew makes it plain that two Sabbaths had passed since Jesus was crucified. The KJV [Authorized Version] has this rendering: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher” (Matth. 28:1). On this verse nearly all translators have allowed tradition to control their translation. It is not “Sabbath” but “Sabbaths” in the Greek text (the genitive case and the plural number). The verse properly translated would read: “In the end of the Sabbaths…” This allows for an annual Sabbath on Thursday and a regular Sabbath on Saturday.
“The Fenton Bible renders this verse… as, ‘after the Sabbaths,’ and it includes the following footnote: ‘The Greek original is in the plural, “Sabbaths,” which is retained.’ Alfred Marshall’s Parallel New Testament in Greek and English likewise translate the clause as, ‘after the Sabbaths.’
“In the Greek, the word for ‘Sabbath’ in the clause, ‘after the Sabbath,’ is ‘sabbata.’ [See our further explanation on this below.] This is the plural form of ‘sabbaton,’ and it is translated elsewhere many times (but unfortunately, not always, and not consistently) in the plural. For instance, we read in Matthew 12:5 (Authorized Version): ‘… how that on the sabbath days [in Greek, ‘sabbata’] the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath [Greek, ‘sabbaton’]. Matthew 12:10 (AV) states: ‘”Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?”‘ The Greek is, ‘sabbata.’ Luke 4:31 (AV) reads: ‘… and taught them on the sabbath days [Greek, ‘sabbata.’].’ The New King James Bible translates this word quite accurately here as, ‘Sabbaths.’ Further examples can be found in [Matthew 12:5;] Luke 6:2, 9; Colossians 2:16; and Acts 17:2.”
In the original Greek, there is no word for “days” in those passages–the correct translation should be “Sabbaths.” The New King James Bible translates most of these passages as “Sabbaths.”
Subsequent to the publication of our booklet, we received the following inquiry as to the Greek word “sabbaton”:
“You state in your booklet, ‘Jesus Christ–A Great Mystery,’ on pages 83 and 84, that the word for ‘Sabbath’ in Matthew 28:1 is derived from the plural form of the Greek word (i.e., ‘sabbata’) and should be translated ‘Sabbaths.’ However, the Greek Interlinear Translation shows that the Greek word is in the singular–’sabbaton,’ not ‘sabbata’–and it should therefore be translated in the singular (‘Sabbath,’ not ‘Sabbaths’). Also, in the same phrase in Matthew 28:1, the Greek word for ‘week’ is ‘sabbaton,’ but it seems to have nothing to do with the weekly Sabbath.”
In answering this inquiry, we provided the following explanation on “sabbaton” in one of our Q&As:
“A good help in regard to the correct original Greek in the above-quoted Scriptures, including Matthew 28:1, can be found in Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible. It lists, under ‘Sabbath,’ the Scriptures which use the word in the singular (‘sabbaton’) and in the plural (‘sabbata’)…
“To add to the confusion, the Greek word in Matthew 28:1 (The New King James Bible translates, quite inaccurately: ‘Now after the Sabbath…’) is ‘sabbaton,’ but it is still the PLURAL form [of “sabbata”]–not the singular form. In the Greek, the genitive plural form is used–and the genitive plural form of ‘sabbata’ is ‘sabbaton.’ In the Original, it says that it was ‘late on’ or ‘in the end OF’ the Sabbaths–that is, it was in the end OF SABBATON. Since SABBATON is here the genitive plural of SABBATA, it is still a plural expression, and in English, it must be correctly translated: ‘Now in the end of the Sabbaths…’
“This shows, as we explain in our booklet, that there were actually TWO Sabbaths during the crucifixion week–a weekly Sabbath (the period from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), and an annual Holy Day–the First Day of Unleavened Bread, which fell in that week on a Thursday–beginning with sunset on Wednesday. The women came to the grave at the end of the WEEKLY Sabbath, when the annual Sabbath [on Thursday] had already ended and the weekly Sabbath was about to end.”
Let us summarize these important points:
The SINGULAR Greek word for “Sabbath” is “SABBATON.”
The PLURAL Greek word for “Sabbaths” (more than one Sabbath) is “SABBATA.”
However, when the GENETIVE PLURAL form for “Sabbaths” (more than one) is used, then the Greek word is again “SABBATON” (in the expression, “in the end OF the Sabbaths”).
But what is meant with the remaining phrase in the sentence, stating that the women came to the grave on the “first day of the week”? In the Greek, it actually says, “MIAN SABBATON,” meaning “… [the] first [day] of [the] week [“MIAN (“first”) SABBATON (“OF week”)].”
Young’s Literal Translation renders Matthew 28:1 as follows: “And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher…”
As mentioned, most translations say, “on the first day of the WEEK,” translating “sabbaton” as “of [the] week.”
In the Q&A on “sabbata,” we addressed the Greek word “sabbaton” in connection with the English rendition, “week.” Recall, in Matthew 28:1, it talks about the two Sabbaths AND the first day of the WEEK (the word “week” is also a translation from the word “sabbaton”). We stated this:
“In addition, it is correct that the word ‘week’ in Matthew 28:1 is also derived from the Greek plural word for Sabbath, i.e. ‘SABBATA.’ (Even though the Greek in Matthew 28:1 is ‘sabbaton,’ it is again the genitive plural of ‘sabbata,’ since it says, in the original Greek, ‘… as it was getting dusk toward the first day OF the week…’). Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible explains that the phrase ‘week’ in Matthew 28:1 is to be understood as ‘from Sabbath to Sabbath’–that is, a week is composed of the time from one weekly Sabbath to the next weekly Sabbath. It is mostly used in the plural (‘sabbata’), meaning ‘one OF Sabbaths,’ signifying the first day AFTER the weekly Sabbath. Examples where the word ‘week’ is translated from the Greek plural word for Sabbath (i.e., ‘sabbata’), can be found, in addition to Matthew 28:1, in Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:2.
“In a few cases, such as Luke 18:12 and Mark 16:9, the Greek word for ‘week’ is in the singular form for Sabbath (i.e., ‘sabbaton’). In Luke 18:12, the Pharisee claims that he is fasting ‘twice a week.’ It literally says: ‘twice of the Sabbath’; that is, ‘twice in the days after the weekly Sabbath.'”
In Matthew 28:1, it is correct to translate “sabbaton” as “week” in the phrase, “first day OF the week.” To translate, “as it began to dawn on the first of the Sabbaths,” would be factually incorrect, if implying that literal Sabbath days were addressed in this particular phrase. The reason is that the women arrived at the grave when the SECOND (weekly) Sabbath was ending (i.e., the weekly Sabbath, when it was dawning towards the first day of the week; that is, when Sunday began). The FIRST Sabbath (the first Day of Unleavened Bread) had long ended on Thursday evening. (So, the phrase could not mean to say that the two Sabbaths had ended and that it was now dawning towards the first of the Sabbath days.)
It is therefore obvious that the rendering is correct here: “… when the first (day) of the WEEK began” (the time interval from the end of the weekly Sabbath to the beginning of the next weekly Sabbath).
The same explanation applies to Acts 20:7, as in the Greek, the same wording is used as in Matthew 28:1. We read that the disciples came together for an evening meal “on the first [day] of the week” (“sabbaton”—the Genitive PLURAL of “sabbata”; in Greek: “MIA [“first”] TON [“the”] SABBATON [“OF week”]”). That is, they came together for a meal on Saturday evening, after sunset; as the women came to the grave on Saturday evening, at or shortly after sunset. The translation of Acts 20:7 in the old Luther Bible from 1545, rendering “sabbaton” here with “a Sabbath,” is therefore misleading and technically incorrect, as he misunderstood “sabbaton” in this passage as being used in the singular form, while ignoring the Genitive PLURAL, which is designated by the expression, “FIRST OF…”
In conclusion, the disciples came together on the first day of the week, when the weekly Sabbath had just ended, to have a meal with Paul (not a religious “communion”), who then continued to preach to them throughout the night, as he was departing Sunday morning and would not see the disciples again for a long time.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A new Member Letter (August 2016) has been written and mailed to our subscribers. In this letter, Elder Robb Harris contrasts the Satan-inspired changes which are leading mankind further and further away from God with the inescapable fact that the Judgment of God draws near.
“God’s Law or God’s Grace?,” our newest booklet, has been sent to graphics designer Shelly Bruno for finalization and delivery to our printer. We anticipate distributing this new booklet to attendees of the Feast of Tabernacles and then to our mailing list shortly afterwards.
The Feast Sermon by Norbert Link was recorded last week and will be sent out soon to scattered brethren and groups in foreign countries. The title is: “Growth in God’s Church.” It will be played during the Feast of Tabernacles at the US Feast site and at international locations.
“Germany in Panic Mood,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The German government is contemplating highly unpopular measures of civil defense and military actions, due to perceived or real threats facing the country’s very existence. These measures have a direct relationship to biblical prophecy. In addition, European leaders from Germany, France and Italy are pressing ahead for increased cooperation on defense and the establishment of a European Army.
“Obama’s Flat Earth,” is the title of another new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Does the Obama Administration believe in a flat earth concept? If not, why this title? Could it be that their politics reflect the same kind of wrong principles which can be seen in the flat earth conspiracy? In this program, we will give you five recent examples confirming this suspicion, from perceived misrepresentations about paying ransom money to Iran; incredible American abrogation of the Internet; broken promises to the people of Syria; absurd rulings regarding medical Marijuana; and the incompetent concept of Obamacare. But will the American people experience a substantial change in January?
“Kommunion im Neuen Testament?,” is the title of this week’s new German sermon. The sermon is based on this week’s Q&A. Title in English: “Communion in the New Testament?”
“That Your Joy May Be Full,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Seeking and finding happiness is a fundamental force in life, but how can this compulsion be satisfied? Where can true and lasting joy be found? The good news is that complete joy is attainable to all who choose to answer God’s calling.
“It’s the Truth!,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
In our world—this year, this month, this week, this day, right now—TRUTH has fallen, it has failed! This must not happen for Christians!
Here are the dates for the 2016 Fall Holy Days:
October 3—Feast of Trumpets
October 12—Day of Atonement
October 17 through October 23—Feast of Tabernacles
October 24—Last Great Day
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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