Life is Short; Jesus Christ Lives!
On January 21, 2017, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “Life is Short,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Jesus Christ Lives!”
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.
A “Sacred Work”
by Robb Harris
Ancient Israel had a proclivity to turn away from God and inculcate the beliefs and practices of the pagan nations around them. Many laws and warnings were set forth to shield God’s chosen nation from that ungodliness. But as we know from the examples left for us in the Bible, Israel often failed to heed those warnings, and dire consequences followed. Jeremiah records God’s thoughts directed towards the inhabitants of Jerusalem; a city besieged by Nebuchadnezzar:
“ ‘For this city has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My fury from the day that they built it, even to this day; so I will remove it from before My face because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their princes, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem’ ” (Jeremiah 32:31-32).
What would cause this reaction from God? Jeremiah continues, “ ‘But they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin’ ” (Jeremiah 32:34-35). This sacrifice of children was abhorrent to God and was beyond what He could have imagined Israel taking part in. The modern-day descendants of those twelve tribes have lowered themselves into even more detestable behavior in this end-time age. In 2013 the Centers for Disease Control states that “664,435 legal induced abortions” took place in the United States that year. The agency reports more than 43 million abortions since they started taking data in 1970.
This growing infant genocide is no longer a backroom-hidden activity as more and more of our political and religious leaders accept this act. In an article from lifenews.com, dated Jan 12, 2017, entitled, “Religious Leaders Bless Opening of New Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, Call It ‘Sacred Work,’ “a growing acceptance of abortions from religious leaders is highlighted by the attendance of more than 20 religious groups. One of the administrators of the new “mega-facility” stated, “ ‘In almost every message to our staff, I talk about our doing sacred work,’ Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, told the news outlet. ‘This confirms the sacredness of the work we do.’ ” The article continues, “ ‘I’ve been a Christian longer than I’ve been an abortion provider,’ said Willie Parker, who is about as close as the reproductive choice movement gets to a rock star. ‘Women have been made to think that this [clinic] is so some evil place, where God is not,’ he continued, pointing out the people ‘cursing [women] for making sacred decisions. Our answer to the curse is to bless.’ ”
The very same influence that caused Israel to accept the demonic worship of Molech continues to drive modern man away from God. Satan’s influence is overwhelming and all-encompassing to the blind. Without God opening man’s mind, it is truly impossible to determine what is right or wrong. Vigilance for that precious truth is the lifeline we must hold fast as this age ends.
We bring you extensive coverage on Mr. Trump’s lengthy interview with a German and a British paper, Bild and Times. In the interview, he reiterated much of what he said on the campaign trail regarding NATO, the EU and Brexit, even though some of his nominated cabinet members hold quite different opinions.
The reaction of German and continental European politicians was concerned and furious. A common theme developed that in light of Mr. Trump, Europe has to stick together, and the USA will have no say in what Europe decides to do. (In this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Trump Declares War on Europe,” as well as our German AufPostenStehen program with the same subject, titled, “Trump Erklärt Europa den Krieg.” )
The German press was also unanimously defiant of Mr. Trump. Der Spiegel wrote: “Divide and conquer. In Trump’s world, there are no allies, only competitors who have to be weakened.”
Bild wrote about Mr. Trump that he is “disturbingly honest and disturbingly different,” and that “he plays with fire”. The paper added that Mr. Trump is “the biggest political experiment since the end of the cold war.”
Der Tagesspiegel wrote that Mr. Trump has “no clear concept. He reveals himself as a helpless individual. His capability and his unpredictability give opportunity and danger.”
Der Nordbayrische Kurier describes Mr. Trump as someone who disturbs the world. “His recklessness may prompt unforeseen conflicts. Hopefully, there will not be a rude awakening.”
Der Mannheimer Morgen wrote: “The answer to Trump and Putin is a united Europe.” Das Flensburger Tagblatt agreed, saying: “Europe must unify; otherwise, Trump will run all over us.” Der Tierische Volksfreund wrote: “Trump attacks the EU because it is very powerful economically.”
Additional articles on the controversies surrounding Mr. Trump are also included in this special edition, as well as revealing reports about Europe’s “compelled” move to unite militarily; news about Israel; the coming final departure of the UK from the EU; and perceived or real anti-Semitic tendencies in Germany.
This Week in the News
Incredulity and Outrage in Germany over Donald Trump
The Financial Times wrote on January 16:
“Donald Trump’s latest verbal assault on Germany, Nato and the EU is forcing the continent’s politicians to consider a challenge they hoped never to confront: dealing with the first US president since the war to champion European disintegration.
“Weeks of wait-and-see thinking in Europe’s diplomatic capitals were blown away on Monday with a gust of plain-speaking rhetoric disparaging the pillars of the transatlantic relationship, and one of Washington’s closest traditional allies. While Angela Merkel’s government tried to turn down the political temperature after Mr Trump’s interviews with The Times and Bild, it was impossible to contain the anger in Berlin at their chancellor being mentioned in the same breath as Vladimir Putin of Russia, let alone being blamed for co-opting the EU and accelerating its destruction with her refugee policy.
“Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, said Mr Trump’s comments were met with ‘astonishment’, adding that he heard first-hand the ‘concern’ of Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary-general. Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, told the Financial Times that Mr Trump’s remarks showed ‘the west’s political unity doesn’t play any role for him’.
“The full ramifications of a real volte-face in Washington’s European outlook are difficult to imagine. The US has been integral to Europe’s postwar security and trade arrangements that have made the Atlantic one of the world’s most lucrative trade corridors.
“The question in Brussels is whether Mr Trump’s agitation for more ‘great’ Brexit moments will amplify the EU’s divisions and challenges, or galvanise the union against a perceived common threat. ‘Donald Trump is calling for Europe’s dislocation: that is not acceptable!’ said Manuel Valls, France’s former prime minister and a centre-left candidate in its presidential elections. ‘We Europeans must be united and say who we are.’
“Should member states rally round, it could have far-reaching implications, not just in rekindling a willingness to integrate in areas such as defence, but also in reinforcing the EU’s resolve to ensure Brexit is a warning to those who may consider leaving. ‘The more they will see the UK looking to the US the more they will want to stick together,’ said one senior EU diplomat closely involved in Brexit talks. ‘The premium on EU unity for the German chancellor is now greater than ever. She is aware of Germany’s special responsibility.’
“Like many in Berlin, Mr Röttgen said he had hoped Mr Trump would soften his approach as his inauguration neared. ‘But he hasn’t changed at all. He says what he said on the campaign trail . . . The fact that he regards Nato as obsolete and that it doesn’t bother him if the EU is split shows he doesn’t care about the west’s unity.’
“For the few European politicians who have been in contact with Mr Trump since the elections… the worrying signs were evident. In a post-election telephone call with Donald Tusk, the European Council president, Mr Trump’s first question was apparently which EU country was ‘leaving next’, according to diplomats familiar with the conversation. Should this view be reflected in Trump policy, it would mark a revolution in US relations with Europe’s main powers, overturning what had been a historically crucial role in bringing together a war-torn continent.
“… With his cheerleading for Brexit, Mr Trump is threatening to act as an agent of division.
“Anti-establishment parties in Italy seized on Mr Trump’s iconoclastic remarks. ‘Trump and Putin say “Nato is obsolete and ill-equipped to fight Islamist terrorism”. I completely agree,’ tweeted Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Northern League.
“Manlio di Stefano, a senior lawmaker from the Five Star Movement on foreign affairs, tweeted an image of Mr Trump’s Bild interview and wrote: ‘The world is changing from east to west, the status quo is being shaken in every way and we are part of that change.’…
“Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French foreign minister, said the EU must stand united in the face of Mr Trump’s comments. ‘The best response is European unity,’ he said. ‘As is the case with Brexit, the best way of defending Europe, which is rather what Mr Trump has invited us to do, is to remain united, to remain as a bloc, not to forget that the strength of the Europeans lies in their unity.’”
Mr. Trump’s stance on many political issues will force Europe to unite against the USA… which has long been prophesied in the Bible to occur.
German Leaders Dismayed and Bewildered by Trump Interview
Deutsche Welle reported on January 16:
“Across the board German politicians, including Angela Merkel, and policy experts have sharply criticized a pair of controversial Donald Trump interviews… There was an immediate political outcry against Trump’s characterization of NATO as ‘obsolete’ and ineffective against terrorism as well as his contention that most members failed to pay their fair share of the costs…
“Trump threatened to impose a 35 percent punitive import tax on BMW for any cars made outside the US but intended for the American market… German trade and industry representatives reacted strongly against the suggested tax…
“SPD defense spokesman Rainer Arnold says that there was no reason to hope for a more centrist President Trump. ‘Anyone who thought Trump would be more moderate after he was elected will find himself disappointed,’ Arnold told DW. ‘He is what he is: an irresponsible egomaniac. I see no cause to believe that he’ll become reasonable. I think it will be a terrible presidency.’”
German President Gauck Warns
The Local wrote on January 18:
“Outgoing President Joachim Gauck warned in a talk on Wednesday that his country’s democracy is at risk amid major international shifts, including Donald Trump becoming US President on Friday… Gauck will leave his office on March 18th, and his successor will be chosen on February 12th… Gauck argued that Germany and Europe must strengthen their defence efforts so that they wouldn’t become a kind of toy to be tossed around according to others’ interests.”
EU Nations Show Defiance for Trump
The Associated Press wrote on January 16:
“European Union nations bracing for the looming Donald Trump presidency showed defiance Monday in the face of the president-elect’s stinging comments on everything from NATO and German cars to the crumbling of the EU itself… German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted: ‘We Europeans have our fate in our own hands’…
“Although Trump had made similar statements about NATO during his election campaign, his recent comments still came as a bit of a surprise since his choice for defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, stressed his support for the NATO military alliance in his U.S. congressional confirmation hearing last week. Trump’s views, in an interview published Monday with German daily Bild and The Times of London, contradict Mattis…
“There have even been fears the U.S. military commitment to Europe would wane under Trump… Whatever his goal, Trump’s comments were strong enough to make him the talk of the town in European capitals…”
Reaction with Fury, Dismay and Concern
The Daily Mail wrote on January 17:
“German politicians have reacted with fury after Donald Trump lashed out at Angela Merkel’s ‘catastrophic’ open-door migration policy and threatened to slap tariffs on imported cars… Mr Trump added that he thought the entire EU had become a ‘vehicle’ for Germany… BMW said it would press ahead with plans for a factory in Mexico despite the Trump threat…”
BBC added on January 16:
“Donald Trump’s comments have caused dismay, concern – but perhaps not surprise – in Berlin. Few expected the new transatlantic relationship to echo the warm and trusting alliance nurtured by Angela Merkel and Barack Obama, who was a vocal supporter of Mrs Merkel’s refugee policy.
“There is anger, too. Germany’s outspoken Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel retorted that the migrant crisis was the result of ‘faulty, interventionist American policies in the Mediterranean and Middle East’. ‘That Mr Trump should take aim at Germany’s car manufacturers has also raised eyebrows… Germans were largely unimpressed by Mr Trump during his election campaign and now, despite his own German heritage, the president-elect is doing little to endear himself.”
“France Hits Back at Trump’s ‘Declaration of War’ on Europe”
The Local wrote on January 17:
“The president of France and his former prime minister have let their feelings be known about US President Elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the EU. Former French prime minister Manuel Valls said Trump’s remarks amounted to a ‘declaration of war on Europe’… French President Francois Hollande replied bluntly on Monday to Donald Trump’s criticism of the European Union, saying the EU ‘has no need for outside advice’ on its affairs.”
Europe Must Act Now
The EUObserver wrote on January 18:
“In a recent Atlantic interview, Henry Kissinger argued that above all, states and politicians around the world need to take the time to understand the implications of a Trump administration. He predicted that a ‘frenzy of studying’ will now take place in an effort to formulate a response to this year’s election. The European Union (EU), however, cannot afford the luxury of a period of reflection. Trump’s election has serious implications for European states and far too much is at stake for Europe to simply wish him well and hope for the best.
“European states must pay attention to what Donald Trump has been saying about European affairs and be prepared to take the necessary precautions. On the issue of European security, Trump is correct. Europe has developed a habit of relying on the US to make its tough foreign policy decisions… Now, European leaders must prepare for its worst-case scenario: a Russia-friendly, isolationist US willing to accept that Europe, to some extent, falls under the Kremlin’s sphere of influence…
“Overall, EU states have seen a trend of decreasing defence spending. Even with the rise of the Islamic State (IS) militant group and escalating Russian aggression, only the Baltic states, Poland, the Netherlands and Romania have increased their defence spending. Five other states – the UK, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Germany – have decreased their defence budget…
“As Europeans, we should have long been ashamed for letting a valued and loyal partner, which the US has been for over half a century, pick up the cheque for our security. Now we simply have no other choice but to act.
“Secondly, EU defence cooperation must step up… We have already seen successful examples of multinational cooperation in defence in Europe, such as the Benesam programme, a naval cooperation agreement between the Netherlands and Belgium. Multinational EU battlegroups have existed since 2006, even though they have never been tested in combat. The EU also possesses its own military headquarters, the Eurocorps, although it is in effect a command post with no soldiers. In short, the infrastructure is, to a large extent, already in place. It is time to connect these disjointed dots.
“… the mere election of Donald Trump, an anti-internationalist who has questioned the US commitment to Nato, undermines this basis of NATO’s credibility and our security. For this reason, we must come to terms with the fact that Nato, or at least Nato as an American-backed project, may not in the future form the cornerstone of European security…”
“The World at the Eve of Trump”
The New York Times wrote on January 16:
“The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.
“Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald J. Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. His remarks in a string of discursive and sometimes contradictory interviews have escalated tensions with China while also infuriating allies and institutions critical to America’s traditional leadership of the West.
“No one knows where exactly he is headed — except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain. For now.
“Mr. Trump’s unpredictability is perhaps his most predictable characteristic. The world is accustomed to his provocative Twitter messages, but is less clear about whether his remarks represent meaningful new policy guidelines, personal judgments or passing whims…
“The barrage of inflammatory comments in joint interviews published Sunday and Monday in Britain and Germany elicited alarm and outrage in Europe… nearly everyone agreed that Mr. Trump had made trouble…
“For good measure, Mr. Trump had also infuriated China by using an interview on Friday with The Wall Street Journal to again question China’s longstanding One China policy. It holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the mainland. On Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said that anyone trying to use the status of Taiwan for negotiations would be ‘smashing their feet by lifting a rock’ and would face broad and strong opposition from the Chinese government and people, as well as the international community. She added that ‘not everything in the world can be bargained or traded off’…
“Mr. Trump’s interviews in Europe have placed him right in the middle of the Continent’s most contentious issues. His critique of German dominance over the European Union is hardly a novel thought; many Europeans share the same complaints. But what is startling is how an incoming American president would make such a statement about a key ally and, in doing so, give succor to populist parties seeking to shatter the European political establishment…”
“Don’t You Dare! EU Warns Britain There Can Be No Trade Talks With US Until After Brexit”
Express wrote on January 16:
“In a series of blunt remarks, Brussels’ foreign minister Federica Mogherini said it was ‘absolutely clear’ that the UK cannot negotiate with Donald Trump’s administration on even an informal basis until it has fully left the bloc. And she got in a sly dig at Theresa May over how long it has taken the Government to trigger Article 50, questioning why Britain was ‘still here’ seven months after voters chose to quit the troubled bloc.
“The Italian eurocrat made the remarks as she gave a press conference on the outcomes of today’s meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, where discussions were dominated by the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Gaza. She was quizzed about US President-elect Mr Trump’s remarks in a bombshell interview that he did not care if the entire EU collapsed and that he will prioritise relations with Britain over those with Brussels in stark contrast to the outgoing Obama administration.
“Ms Mogherini said she was sure that the European Union will ‘stick together’ even with a eurosceptic president in the White House…
“Unprompted, she then responded to Mr Tump’s promise to strike a trade deal with a newly independent Britain as soon as possible, insisting that Brussels would block any talks on an agreement for as long as the UK continues to be an EU member… And asked about the future of EU-US relations Ms Mogherini was notably lukewarm, suggesting that Brussels has come to terms with the fact that it is going to enjoy a much less fruitful transatlantic partnership as that it has enjoyed under Mr Obama… she added: ‘The EU has its own solid, autonomous, strong polices which are not determined elsewhere than in the places where the EU member states and institutions meet. ‘We always like to be in good company but we determine our policies by ourselves…’”
Theresa May’s Brexit Plan Not Possible?
Express wrote on January 17:
“The Prime Minister has outlined her European divorce strategy, where she declared Britain will leave the single market as she looks to prioritise regaining control of national borders and slowing immigration. She promised to end the UK’s ‘vast contributions’ to the bloc, but said that she will push for the ‘greatest possible’ access to the single market after Brexit.
“But Michael Fuchs, Mrs Merkel’s senior economic adviser, has warned it will not be possible to strike such as arrangement, as he said Brussels will block Britain from cherry picking its desired access…
“Mr Fuchs insisted Brussels had to be ‘pretty tough’ on the UK, because if they made it too easy for a country to leave the Union it would allow other countries to do the same. ‘This we don’t want, we want to stay together, we want to be a very strong European Union together so it is necessary that we follow our common rules,’ Mr Fuch said.”
The Local wrote on January 18:
“After talks with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Berlin, the leader of Europe’s top economy said that the remaining EU member states would enter into the negotiations with London with a united front… Looking to Gentiloni, Merkel said that Germany and Italy would ‘closely coordinate’ with each other and with ‘our respective industrial sectors’ as the Brexit talks progressed. ‘I am not worried that we won’t stand together – the most important thing is that Europe won’t let itself be divided and we will ensure this with very close contact,’ she said.”
Italian Tajani Wins Run-Off Vote for Presidency of European Parliament
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 17:
“Long-time Italian commissioner to the EU Antonio Tajani has won the run-off vote to become the new president of the European Parliament. He beat Gianni Pittella in a final run-off vote… His victory followed a pact which was made between his center-right European People’s Party (EPP) group and the liberals, led by Brexit negotiator and former Belgian premier Guy Verhofstadt…
“Tajani’s EPP group is made up of Christian democratic and liberal-conservative politicians including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Tajani’s victory gives the EPP control of all three presidencies of the major EU political institutions…
“The 63-year-old Tajani is a former spokesman for ‘Forza Italia’ political leader and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi who went on to serve as Italy’s European commissioner for two successive mandates, first for transport and then for industry. His candidacy became stronger following an agreement between Manfred Weber, the German MEP who leads the EPP group and Verhofstadt, the ALDE leader, who withdrew his own candidacy for president in favor of the new alliance…
“The liberal support for Tajani was based on a commitment to set up a group to reflect on the future of the EU, as well as a new committee on EU police cooperation.”
It is rather amusing and at the same time embarrassing to reflect on the ill-informed and ignorant pro-Brexit media, especially in the UK and in the USA, predicting that Italy would leave the EU—considering that the next President of the European Parliament “happens” to be an Italian… and not only that, but also a former spokesman of controversial right-wing Italian ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.
“‘Lunacy’: US Ambassador Warns of Trump Backing EU Breakup”
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 13:
“The outgoing US ambassador to the European Union on Friday warned President-elect Donald Trump’s administration of supporting the [European] bloc’s breakup, saying it would be ‘sheer folly.’ ‘To think that by supporting the fragmentation of Europe we would be advancing our interests would be sheer folly. It is lunacy,’ said US Ambassador Anthony Gardner at a final press conference.
“… Gardner called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with other European leaders who have influence, to ensure Trump’s administration understands the EU stands together for the bloc’s cohesion and integrity.
“… German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday… called on EU member states to remain unified…”
The paradox is that a unified European bloc is not in the best interest of the United States, but neither the Obama nor the Trump administration understand the reason. Regardless, the European bloc will become unified in a much stronger way than ever before.
EU Opposed to US Move of Embassy to Jerusalem
The Associated Press reported on January 16:
“European Union foreign ministers on Monday opposed any plan by President-elect Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and warned that it could ratchet up tensions with the Arab world.
“‘It is very important for us all to refrain from unilateral actions, especially those that can have serious consequences in large sectors of public opinion in large parts of the world,’ EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters after chairing their talks in Brussels… ‘We will for sure not move our delegation. That is in Tel Aviv,’ Mogherini said… Mogherini said that the EU would continue to respect the international consensus that embassies shouldn’t be based in Jerusalem…”
Nikki Haley, Nominated US Ambassador to the UN, Supports Move of US Embassy to Jerusalem
The Associated Press reported on January 18:
“South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley pledged her support for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a shift firmly endorsed by Donald Trump but one that could trigger more violence in the Middle East. Haley, Trump’s pick to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that she ‘absolutely’ backs the embassy move because that’s what Israel and congressional Republicans want…
“During the hearing, Haley assailed the Obama administration for failing to block a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. She pledged to reject future measures that she said unfairly targeted the Jewish state, if the Senate confirms her nomination. Haley said she won’t go to U.N. headquarters in New York and ‘abstain when the U.N. seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel.’ She told the committee the U.N. resolution was ‘a terrible mistake’ that makes a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians harder to achieve.
“Haley also said the U.N. has a ‘long history of anti-Israel bias,’ and that during the most recent U.N. General Assembly session, the international body adopted 20 resolutions against Israel ‘and only six targeting the rest of the world’s countries combined.’”
Great Britain Breaks Ranks with Europe over Israel
JTA wrote on January 17:
“Two days after delegates from more than 70 nations attended the Paris summit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was wrong to label the meeting ‘useless’… it was neither insignificant nor useless from Israel’s point of view. The summit saw Great Britain break ranks with the countries that did attend in a move that pleased Israel and perhaps the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
“Instead of demonstrating international consensus as intended by France under President Francois Hollande, the summit turned into a showdown between France and the United Kingdom over Israel. In an unprecedented manner, the rift exposed disagreements within a brittle European Union that is bracing for potentially turbulent relations with the United States under Trump.
“The first sign of dissent happened before the summit even began, when the United Kingdom dispatched only junior diplomats. By contrast, Hollande attended, as did 36 foreign ministers, including the U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry. Then, the United Kingdom, along with Australia, declined to join 70 other nations in co-signing a relatively mild statement about preserving the two-state solution, even though it matched positions long supported by the British government – including in its rejection of ‘continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity’ and the call for ‘meaningful direct negotiations.’
“It was a stunning about-face that even caught longtime observers of Anglo-Israeli relations by surprise… The British ‘snub’ — as The Guardian termed it — of the Paris peace summit pleased Israeli diplomats…
“The British position was highly unexpected — especially in light of Britain’s leading role, as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described it, in drafting and passing on Dec. 23 a U.N. Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements. Using far harsher language than that of the summit declaration, the U.N. resolution condemned Israeli settlements as a ‘flagrant violation of international law.’
“Trump has called for the United Kingdom to veto any further action on Israel at the United Nations… Whereas Kerry avidly supported the summit, members of Trump’s transition team signaled their disapproval to French officials, according to The Guardian. The newspaper suggested that May ordered the Paris snub to align her policy with that of Trump…”
Neither Obama nor Trump Honorary Jewish Presidents
The Times of Israel wrote on January 17:
“Beginning with Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump, American presidents seem to so totally identify with aspects of Jewishness that their Jewish supporters regard them, only half ironically, as honorary Jews. That is precisely how Obama described himself in a 2015 speech to the Washington DC congregation, Adas Israel – ‘an honorary member of the tribe, not to mention somebody who’s hosted seven White House seders and been advised by two Jewish chiefs of staff.’ Obama reminded his appreciative audience that a member of their congregation, Jeffrey Goldberg, had once called him ‘the first Jewish president’ – an epithet, he said, that ‘flattered’ him.
“And now we have a new contender for the title. A recent op-ed on the Fox News website predicted that Donald Trump would so vigorously defend Jewish interests that he may well become ‘the first Jewish president.’ And while Obama can boast of two Jewish chiefs of staff, two of Trump’s closest political advisors are observant Jews who also happen to be his daughter and son-in-law.
“Trump’s Jewish opponents would of course be appalled by the notion that a man who for them embodies the antithesis of Jewish values could be regarded as an honorary member of the tribe. No less, Obama’s Jewish opponents have been galled by the honorary Jewishness bestowed on a man they regard as the greatest threat to Israel’s well-being to ever sit in the White House…
“Both Obama and Trump deeply identify with only one part of the Jewish community. And it is precisely that profound identification with ‘his’ Jews that leads each man to resent those Jews in the opposing camp for betraying authentic Jewish values and interests…
“Obama was in effect claiming the right to define Jewish values. Being pro-Palestinian, along with being pro-Israel, he insisted, was the most authentic expression of Judaism. For right-wing Jews, of course, other Jewish values – the historic Jewish claim to the land of Israel, the security needs of the Jewish state – supersede Palestinian claims…
“The intense identification of Obama and Trump with opposing Jewish camps is a dangerous blessing. Affection for the ‘good Jews’ can readily turn into contempt for the ‘bad Jews,’ who betray the particular aspect of Jewishness each man has embraced.
“That dynamic helps explain the depth of Obama’s antipathy toward Prime Minister Netanyahu… Obama, honorary member of the tribe, detests Netanyahu with the resentment of a liberal Jew…
“For many Jews, the primary threat comes from the far left, which seeks to isolate and demonize Israel. For other Jews, though, the threat comes from the far right, revitalized and legitimized by Trump’s rise. There is ample hypocrisy on both left and right… Like Obama, Trump will pursue his own agenda – sometimes overlapping with a Jewish agenda, and sometimes fatefully clashing.
“Obama’s legacy is a decimated Middle East, along with the unleashing of an imperial Iran that remains on the nuclear threshold. As for Trump, he has already created a legacy – a vulgarized politics, a society poisoned against itself. Candidate Trump declared war against precisely those pluralistic values that have allowed American Jewry to become the most successful Diaspora in Jewish history.
“Neither man is worthy of Jewish adulation…”
Even under the Trump presidency, the relationship between the USA and Israel WILL deteriorate.
Did the American CIA and the British MI6 Plan to Destroy Donald Trump?
The Daily Mail wrote on January 14:
“Over the years, many American presidents have found themselves at odds with their spy chiefs. John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are three notorious examples. But there’s never been anything like the current open warfare between President-elect Donald Trump and the Central Intelligence Agency. Weeks of simmering hostility exploded into the open on Wednesday when he accused intelligence chiefs of licensing the publication of false claims about his allegedly depraved sexual practices. Trump is now engaged in a fight to the death with the CIA, the independent agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to the White House and senior U.S. policy-makers…
“Crucially, this isn’t just an issue that affects the United States — it is one of global importance whose outcome will affect all of us. Also, it is a high-stakes drama which directly involves Britain, and in particular our foreign intelligence service, MI6. We have learnt that Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer who reportedly once headed the agency’s Russian desk at MI6 headquarters in Vauxhall Cross, South London, was the mastermind behind the dossier of lurid accusations about Trump’s activities in a Moscow hotel suite.
“Whether true or not, the material suggests that the Kremlin has other documentation which it could use to blackmail Trump. Meanwhile, the American tycoon-turned-politician is accused of being too friendly with Russian businessmen and Kremlin power-brokers. Either way, this is an unprecedented position for an American president to be in…
“British spy chiefs gave the green light to a scheme intended to destroy the man who would be President of the United States of America…
“MI6 is licensed by the British government to break the law and carry out illicit acts on the assumption that it always acts in the British national interest. This is allowed under the Intelligence Services Act 1994. But why meddle mischievously with Washington? As always, it is overwhelmingly in Britain’s interest to develop and maintain excellent relations with the American government…
“MI6 has an exceptionally close and strong relationship with the CIA (an organisation which British intelligence officers helped to create in the immediate aftermath of World War II)… there is little question that the CIA has two massive concerns about Trump as president. First, it fears he is mentally unbalanced and therefore could pose a threat to American national security. Second, the CIA is appalled at his determination to seek a rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. For these two reasons, there are people inside the CIA who would love to see the unpredictable tycoon replaced by vice-president-elect Mike Pence, a man who they feel they can work with.
“Of course, it is well-known that the CIA has an infamous record of plotting coups d’etats against democratically elected governments in other countries — for example, in the early-Fifties when it helped the Iranian military overthrow premier Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstate the Shah, and the ousting of Chile’s president Salvador Allende in 1973. The atmosphere is currently so feverish in Washington that there are well-informed people who now believe that the CIA is contemplating a version of the same thing in America itself. This would be a truly appalling — and stupid — course of action. It would be incredibly foolish for MI6 even to be seen to be part of it.
“… what if Donald Trump faces down the CIA? Then, he will never forgive or forget the fact that Britain played such a squalid role in trying to stop him getting to the White House. The damage to Britain’s standing in the world would be permanent, and Christopher Steele’s dossier of sexual depravity will go down as an MI6 catastrophe on the same scale as the agency’s fabricated dossier on Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction…
“2016 was certainly a remarkable year. But the first days of 2017 have been yet more extraordinary… There is good reason today to feel more afraid than at any time since the Thirties.”
More Earthquakes in Italy
The Telegraph reported on January 18:
“Italy was hit by four earthquakes in four hours on Wednesday, bringing fear and foreboding to the same mountainous region that was struck by deadly tremors last year. The four quakes, which came in quick succession, caused buildings to collapse… They affected already badly-damaged towns and villages in the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio and Marche, where around 300 people lost their lives last August. The area is blanketed in heavy snow after unusually severe winter weather over the last week. Snowstorms made the job of emergency services even harder than usual, with vehicles struggling to reach remote areas to check on mountain villages and outlying farms.
“The quakes were so strong that they caused buildings in distant Rome to shake, with office workers rushing out onto the streets, schools ordered to close and the metro temporarily suspended. The first tremor happened at 10.25am local time, with the last felt shortly after 2.30pm. The magnitudes of the quakes varied between 5.3 and 5.7… The earthquakes compounded an already difficult situation. The bad weather has left around 100,000 people without power, and there were warnings of possible avalanches.”
Deadly Avalanche Follows Four Earthquakes, Heavy Snowfall and Flooding in Italy
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 19:
“Italian rescue services fear many people have died after an avalanche plowed into a ski hotel in central Italy on Wednesday evening… The affected hotel Rigopiano is located in the mountain town of Farindola on the lower sections of the Gran Sasso mountain in Abruzzo, a region hit by several powerful earthquakes on Wednesday… on top of the avalanche, heavy snow and power outages across the region stretched human resources, making it difficult to respond to requests for assistance and isolating numerous towns and villages…
“This week, Abruzzo, which straddles the Apennine mountain range, witnessed snowfall of up to 4 meters (13.1 feet), four strong earthquakes and rains that have led to flooding in some areas. Local residents of impacted areas reported fuel and food shortages… The heavy snowfall in Abruzzo has blocked road access to the Rigopiano hotel, forcing ambulances to remain parked some 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) away… mountain rescue crews only reached the hotel around 4:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning after a 10-kilometer (6-mile) cross-country ski trek.
“The force of the avalanche moved the hotel some 10 meters (33 feet). Images from the Central Emergency and Rescue Department’s Twitter account showed the three-story hotel nearly entirely covered by snow. In police helicopter video footage, the hotel is also nearly impossible to distinguish from the snow-covered mountainside it sits on…
“It is not yet clear whether Wednesday’s earthquakes triggered the avalanche…”
Deutsche Welle wrote in a follow-up article:
“Hopes are dwindling over 24 hours after an avalanche struck a luxury mountain hotel in Italy, burying at least 30 people under tons of snow and debris. So far, rescue authorities say they have recovered just two bodies. Rescuers report no signs of life at [the hotel].”
Outrage in Germany About Speech by a Leading AfD Representative
AFP wrote on January 18:
“A leading member of German right-wing populist party AfD sparked an outcry Wednesday by criticising the Holocaust memorial in Berlin and calling for the country to stop atoning for its Nazi past. Bjoern Hoecke’s comments also exposed a damaging split in the anti-immigration party, just months before Germany heads to the polls. ‘Up to now, our state of mind is still one of a totally defeated people… We Germans, our people, are the only people in the world who have planted a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,’ Hoecke told party faithful including youth members… ‘We need nothing less than a 180-degree shift in the politics of remembrance,’ he said in the remarks on Tuesday to chants of ‘Germany, Germany’.
“‘Instead of introducing younger generations to home-grown ‘internationally-acclaimed philosophers, musicians and ingenious inventors… German history has been made lousy and ridiculous,’ he complained, winning a standing ovation from the crowd. ‘There is no moral responsibility to make yourself disappear,’ said Hoecke, who was a high school sports and history teacher, adding that Germany should instead ‘build up a positive relationship with our history’.
“The comments were met with an instant uproar, with Social Democrat vice chief Ralf Stegner accusing Hoecke of making a ‘hate incitement speech’ — which is illegal in Germany — that called for history to be rewritten. Chairwoman of the Greens party Simone Peter said the comments were ‘unspeakable’ and demanded an apology from the AfD to Jews. Germany’s Central Council of Jews also lashed out, accusing the politician of trampling on six million Jewish Holocaust victims murdered by the Nazis. ‘The AfD has shown its real face with these anti-Semitic and extremely hostile words,’ said the council’s chairman Josef Schuster, adding that he ‘never thought that 70 years after the Holocaust, a politician in Germany could say such things’.
“… The case also exposed a rift within the party. AfD co-leader Frauke Petry told Young Freedom weekly that the episode showed that ‘Hoecke has become a burden on the party with his go-it-alone attitude and constant sniping’. But deputy chief Alexander Gauland defended the politician, telling national news agency DPA that Hoecke had ‘in no manner criticised the remembrance of the Holocaust’.
“In a post on Facebook on Wednesday, Hoecke also insisted that he had been misinterpreted and that he ‘described the Holocaust… as a shame for our people’.
“The AfD had started out as an anti-euro party, but has since morphed into an anti-immigration outfit railing against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that brought some 890,000 refugees to Germany in 2015 alone. The party, which disputes the place of Islam in Germany, is polling nationwide at around 12 to 15 percent ahead of general elections. Hoecke, who is a regional deputy in the eastern state of Thuringia, is viewed as one of the most right-leaning leaders of the populist party. In December 2015, he sparked outrage when he said that the ‘reproductive behaviour of Africans’ could be a threat for Germany…”
Outrageous Anti-Semitic Decisions by German Courts in Wuppertal
The Washington Times wrote on January 13:
“A German regional court has ruled that three men who used Molotov cocktails in July 2014 to torch a synagogue were not influenced by anti-Semitism.
“A Wuppertal judge last Friday upheld a lower court’s 2015 ruling that German-Palestinians convicted of arson against the city’s synagogue did so merely to ‘criticize Israel’ and ‘bring attention to the Gaza conflict’… ‘What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing,’ said Volker Beck, a leading Green Party MP, after the lower court’s initial ruling, JP reported. ‘The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming.’
“This [is] not the first time Wuppertal’s court system has made national news in a story linked to Islam. Its district court judges ruled last November that gangs of men who harangued citizens in 2014 while wearing ‘shariah police’ vests did not break any laws. A judge ruled that there was no ‘intimidating effect’ from the group’s behavior, which was headed by extremist preacher Sven Lau, Deutsche Welle reported Nov. 21, 2016.”
“Why Germany Just Legalized Medical Marijuana”
The Local wrote on January 19:
“The German parliament (Bundestag) passed a law on Thursday that officially makes marijuana legal for medicinal purposes. Patients suffering from serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, serious appetite loss or nausea from chemotherapy, will now be able to receive prescriptions from their doctors for medical marijuana. ‘Seriously ill people must be treated in the best ways possible,’ said Health Minister Hermann Gröhe, who proposed the law.
“Up until now, only certain people with serious medical conditions could be granted permission to use the drug for self therapy, and the bar was set fairly high. Only around 1,000 people in the whole country currently have been given permission to use the drug. The new law will expand this and eventually allow cannabis products to be grown under state supervision. Private producers could also apply, but the requirements for approval would be very strict.
“When the law will be implemented in March, health insurance providers will have to cover the costs of cannabis used to treat, for example, pain or lack of appetite.
“But proponents of the law don’t all see it as opening up the way for recreational use. Federal Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortler of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) said on Monday that in her view, increasing access by allowing for recreational use would also increase consumption of the drug – which she would not want. ‘Cannabis as a medicine is certainly not a miracle drug,’ Mortler said. ‘But everyone should have the right to have it paid for when it helps.’”
Female Shark Reproduces Without Males After Years Alone
New Scientist wrote on January 16:
“Leonie the zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) met her male partner at an aquarium in Townsville, Australia, in 1999. They had more than two dozen offspring together before he was moved to another tank in 2012. From then on, Leonie did not have any male contact. But in early 2016, she had three baby sharks.
“Intrigued, Christine Dudgeon at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and her colleagues began fishing for answers. One possibility was that Leonie had been storing sperm from her ex and using it to fertilise her eggs. But genetic testing showed that the babies only carried DNA from their mum, indicating they had been conceived via asexual reproduction.
“Some vertebrate species have the ability to reproduce asexually even though they normally reproduce sexually. These include certain sharks, turkeys, Komodo dragons, snakes and rays… There are very few reports of asexual reproduction occurring in females with previous sexual histories… An eagle ray and a boa constrictor, both in captivity, are the only other female animals that have been documented switching from sexual to asexual reproduction…
“In sharks, asexual reproduction can occur when a female’s egg is fertilised by an adjacent cell known as a polar body… This also contains the female’s genetic material, leading to ‘extreme inbreeding’…”
We won’t even dare trying to explain this.
How Does the Church of the Eternal God and its International Affiliates Differ From Other Christian Churches? (Part 3)
In the first two installments of this series, we emphasized that the Church of God must remain to be the foundation and pillar of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15); and that it has the responsibility to retain and preserve the Truth, in spite of tempting obstacles and the enticing spirit of compromise. We also discussed our belief in the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures; our doctrinal foundation; and our Church government; and we explained what the Bible means by stating that the Church is a spiritual organism. We emphasized that this fact does not exclude the necessity of physical organizations. In that context, we showed the importance of the Church’s correct biblical name.
Jesus Christ gave His Church an important commission, especially for these last days. When focusing on this commission and how it is being carried out, we find another identifying sign for God’s true Church. We describe this important task in our Statement of Beliefs, under “The Church’s Commission,” as follows:
“We believe that it is the Church’s commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations as a witness, to warn all nations, and especially the lost tribes of the house of Israel (mainly in the United States, Great Britain, certain Commonwealth nations and nations in Northwestern Europe) of impending danger, and to feed the flock of Christ – the Church – spiritually and physically.”
In this installment, we will focus on the Church’s commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations as a witness. In the next installment, we will address the remainder of the Church’s commission; i.e., to warn the nations and to feed the flock of Christ.
Rightly understood, very few can be identified as fulfilling the Church’s commission of preaching the gospel as a witness in the entire world. But we do read in the Bible about the responsibly of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God in this end-time, and once God determines this commission as having been fulfilled, Christ will return. Matthew 24:14 tells us: “And THIS gospel OF THE KINGDOM will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Mark 13:10 confirms this: “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”
There is only one gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). It is identified in the Bible as the gospel OF THE KINGDOM OF God (Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2, 60; Acts 1:3; 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 30-31).
Christ spoke many parables about the Kingdom of God. He did this so that only those whose minds were opened to the truth—the few—could understand His message (Luke 8:9-10).
First, note that it is the gospel, which must be preached. The word gospel means “good news” or “glad tidings.” As Christ came to preach the gospel or good news of the Kingdom (Matthew 9:35), so did the early apostles (1 Corinthians 9:16), and so must His Church do today. The fact that the worldwide preaching of the gospel is a sign for the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ shows us that it was not preached to the world for almost 2,000 years, after the early apostles had died.
Second, note that the gospel includes, among other aspects, a message about Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44-46); about the grace of God (Acts 20:24); repentance and forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47); the belief in and obedience to the gospel (Mark 1:15; Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8); our salvation (Ephesians 1:13), peace (Ephesians 6:15); the promise of eternal life (2 Timothy 1:10); rulership of Christ and the saints here on earth (Revelation 20:4, 6; Daniel 2:44; 7:21-22, 27); and a message about the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:11).
However, the gospel OF the Kingdom of God includes much more.
We read that it is the gospel OF Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 9:12) or Christ’s gospel (2 Corinthians 2:12). It is a message, which God the Father gave to Jesus Christ, the “Messenger” (Malachi 3:1), in order to proclaim it (compare also Revelation 1:1). But the gospel message was also Christ’s message, because it is called the gospel OF the Kingdom of God; and Christ is a member of the Kingdom of God. God is a Kingdom or a ruling Family. The God Family is described in our Statement of Beliefs as follows, under “God is a Family”:
“We believe that God is a Kingdom or a Family, the Kingdom or Family of God (Ephesians 3:14-15); that God consists of the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, but with the potential of man to become part of God’s very Family (Ephesians 3:16-19); that God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2).”
Both the Father and the Son have always existed as the God FAMILY. In addition, it is the potential of man to become part of the God Family; to enter the God Family as immortal God beings—born-again sons and daughters of God the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, composed of spirit, as God and Christ are Spirit.
The gospel OF the Kingdom of God is a gospel originating with the Kingdom of God—the ruling God Family. It is the gospel OF God the Father (Romans 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9); and OF Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).
But it was also the gospel OF Paul (Romans 2:16; 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8), and it is also “OUR” gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:14). Here is why: If we have been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are spirit-begotten members of the Family and Kingdom of God. Then, we have received the great privilege and responsibility to preach the gospel or good news OF—emanating from—the Kingdom or Family of God; that is, of the Father, of the Son, and of us as begotten children of God. Once we have received the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us and leading us, then we have become part of the Kingdom of God, but only “in embryo.”
This gospel message includes our belief that Jesus Christ died for us as our personal Savior, and it includes the correct understanding as to who and what Christ was and is. We explain it in this way in our Statement of Beliefs, under “Belief in Jesus as the Messiah”:
“We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Christ, the divine Son of God the Father; that He was in the beginning with God the Father (John 1:1), that He became Man (John 1:14), born in the human flesh of the virgin Mary; that He lived a sinless life; that He was crucified and died for us, thereby paying the penalty for our sins; that He was buried and dead in the grave for three days and three nights; that He was resurrected and ascended into the Heavens, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father; that He is now the High Priest of true Christians, intervening for them before God the Father; that He will come back at the ‘end time’ to establish the Kingdom and Government of God here on earth, by sitting on the throne of David (presently in Great Britain), and to rule all nations (Luke 1:32-33; Daniel 7:14).”
A careful review of these statements should reveal remarkable differences to most of the other “Christian” denominations. We clearly believe that the Bible tells us:
- that prior to Christ’s First Coming, He was God and always existed as God—a God BEING or PERSONAGE; which means, He was not an angel or created by God the Father; or some godly “thoughts” which were given a human body;
- that the Father was always the Father and that Christ was always the Son of God, the second Member of the God Family;
- that Christ became a Man, ceasing to be an immortal God being, which means that He was NOT fully God and fully man, when He lived here on earth;
- that Mary was a virgin and conceived Christ through the power of God the Father’s Holy Spirit; but that Mary did not stay a virgin; rather, after Christ’s birth, she and Joseph had four sons and at least three daughters;
- that Jesus Christ overcame sin in the flesh through the power of God the Father’s Holy Spirit living within Him; and that He never sinned once;
- that He was tortured, murdered and died;
- that He was dead, which means that He did not have an immortal soul which kept on living, and that He (His “soul”) did not go to “hell” to preach to the dead, while He was in the grave; nor do we believe the blasphemous idea that the “Son of God,” as part of an unchangeable “Trinity,” kept on living in Heaven, while Christ was dead on earth;
- that Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights, which means that He could not have been crucified on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday; rather, He was crucified on a Wednesday and placed in the grave just before sunset, when the First Day of Unleavened Bread, an annual Sabbath, started on Wednesday evening, at sunset; He was resurrected to immortal life with the glory which He had before He became a Man; and He left the grave just about sunset, when the weekly Sabbath ended;
- that He ascended to God the Father in the Third Heaven where He functions now as our living High Priest, intervening for God’s people before God the Father;
- that He WILL return to this earth, as He has promised, to establish God’s rule on this earth; He will not rule from heaven over the earth;
- that He will return only once, visibly, at the time of the seventh or last trumpet; that He will rule from David’s throne which will be transferred from Great Britain (where it is now) to Jerusalem; that He will share His rule with the born-again immortal people of God; and
- that He and the immortal saints will rule IN the Kingdom of God as born-again members of the God Family, and that they will rule on earth, not from heaven over the earth, thereby ending all human governments.
God IS a Family of God beings, but the Holy Spirit is not God, a God being or a Person. This is another decisive difference between the Church of the Eternal God and its affiliated international organizations, and most other “Christian” denominations. We state the following in our Statement of Beliefs, under “The Holy Spirit of God”:
“We believe in the Holy Spirit which is the power of God, both of the Father and of the Son, given by God to a truly repentant person at the time of baptism; and that through this power, God the Father resurrected Christ from the dead and will likewise resurrect us from the dead (1 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 8:11). We believe that we are not true Christians, if the Holy Spirit of God does not dwell in us (Romans 8:9).”
This means that the Holy Spirit is NOT a person; and therefore, the wrong belief in God being a Trinity—“One Person in Three Persons”—must be rejected. Nor is it biblical to believe in only one God Being, consisting of three modes or “three hypostases” of this “one Being,” as God IS a Family, consisting of TWO God Beings, who are “one” or “unified” in purpose and mind; but with the goal of enlarging the God Family by adding many more members to it.
In this regard, we state in our Statement of Beliefs, under “Man’s Part in God’s Family”:
“We believe that it is the potential of man to become a born-again immortal and divine member of the God-Family; that God is in the process of reproducing Himself through man; and that those who have received God’s Holy Spirit are already the children of God, but they are not glorified yet (1 John 3:1-3; Romans 8:12-17). We believe that Jesus Christ, the ‘Logos’ or ‘the Word of God’ or ‘the Spokesman’ (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1-3; Revelation 19:13), the second divine member of the God Family, became Man, in order to overcome sin in the flesh and to die for us (Romans 8:3), so that man, accepting the sacrifice of Christ and letting Christ live His life in him, could become a divine member of the God Family as well.”
We are clearly told in God’s Word that we are to preach this gospel message of the Kingdom of God, and all that it entails, as a witness; this means, we are not to try to convert others to the truth, since we understand that God must call someone to the truth and that He must give the person the spiritual capability of understanding the truth. Accordingly, we say in our Statement of Beliefs, under “Proselytizing”:
“We do not believe in proselytizing. Therefore, we do not seek members by having people standing on street corners or going around neighborhoods knocking on doors. We carry out our various projects in an effort to freely give to all people regardless of their race, nationality, or religious affiliation. We believe in the godly way of helping others by providing the financial means by tithing and voluntary contributions.”
Rather than trying to proselytize or “convert” others, we are told to preach the gospel as a witness. The Greek word for “witness” is “marturion,” and means, literally, “witness” or “testimony.” This word is also used in Acts 4:33 where we read that “with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”
This Greek word is also used in John 3:11 where Christ says to Nicodemus: “We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not believe Our witness.”
In addition, Christ says the following in John 5:36: “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
A related Greek word is “martus,” which is also translated as “witness.” In Acts 1:8, Christ says to His apostles: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me [or: “My witnesses”] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Peter confessed that he and the other apostles and disciples were witnesses of Christ’s murder and His resurrection (Acts 2:32; 5:32; 13:31); as well as Christ’s very life as a human being (Acts 10:39, 41). In addition, Paul was commissioned to be Christ’s witness (Acts 22:14-15; 26:16).
Since the Church has the commission today to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness, it too must speak with power of the things, which it knows and has seen. Nobody has literally seen Jesus Christ today, but those who have God’s Spirit dwelling within them have “seen” and “experienced” and “tasted” the powers of the age to come and the “good word of God” (Hebrews 6:4-5), and they have “known and believed” God’s love for us (1 John 4:16). They are to testify of the entire gospel message of the Kingdom with conviction and zeal, fully believing everything what the Bible reveals about it (Acts 24:14; 2 Corinthians 4:13). Their message must be proclaimed with boldness and clarity so that others, whom God wants to call, may come to the faith and believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
We are also told that once the gospel has been preached as a witness in all the world, then the end of this present evil age will come and Christ will return. Today, the Church of God preaches the true gospel in all the world, mainly through the various means of the Internet and fulfilling requests for hard-copy material.
This does not mean that every single person on this planet must have heard the gospel message; we read in Isaiah 66:19 that some will not have heard about God’s fame prior to Christ’s return. Christ also tells His disciples that they will not have been able to reach all the cities of Israel prior to His return (Matthew 10:23). God will decide when the Church’s commission of preaching the gospel in all the world has been sufficiently accomplished so that He can send back His Son. The Greek word for “world” is “oikoumene” and can be described as the habitable earth or land. Sometimes, the Bible uses this word and the term “all the world” or similar expressions in a generic sense; notice this in Luke 2:1; John 12:19; Acts 11:28; 17:6; 24:5 and Romans 10:18.
Some may think that Christ will not come back for a long time, because in accordance to their view, the gospel has not been preached yet in all the world. But their thoughts may not be God’s thoughts, and we are warned that Christ will return when we do not expect it (Matthew 24:42, 44).
The Church of God must be watchful and zealous in fulfilling its commission of preaching the gospel. It must be committed to doing the Work of God (James 1:25). It must not become complacent and detracted, losing the focus on the most important Work of preaching the gospel by perhaps replacing it with other pursuits; such as, trying to make this world a better place by voting in governmental elections; joining the military; or by performing “missionary works” in Third World countries.
In the next installment, we will discuss the other aspects of God’s ongoing commission for His Church; namely, to announce and warn the Israelite nations and the entire world that the end is near; and that terrible times of punishment will come upon the Israelite nations and the entire world due to their sins and abominations, without a willingness to repent and change their evil ways. To be able to proclaim that part of the gospel message effectively, God’s Church MUST have the Spirit of prophecy. We will also address the responsibility and commission of God’s Church to feed Christ’s flock—spiritually and physically.
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
A Tech Team meeting was conducted via SKYPE on Sunday morning, January 15, 2017. Eric Rank hosted a discussion focusing on our websites in both the English and German languages.
“Trump Declares War on Europe,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Through explosive interviews with European papers, Donald Trump caused furious, angry and concerned reactions from European politicians and the media. While his statements regarding NATO, Brexit, the migrant crisis, tariffs on foreign cars and other areas were not new, the realization that he meant what he said has prompted unprecedented European declarations of intent, which, when implemented, will lead to devastating results for the entire world.
“Trump Erklärt Europa den Krieg,” s the AufPostenStehen German language version of the program described above.
“Warum die Kirche des Ewigen Gottes? (Teil 3),” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon. Title in English: “Why the Church of the Eternal God? (Part 3).”
A new German member and co-worker letter was sent out last Friday via email. In addition, a special German letter was sent via email to our baptized German-speaking members in preparation for the Passover.
“A Fantasy Religion?,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Godly religion isn’t a game! If we truly want to win that imperishable crown then we must be willing to sacrifice everything to obtain it.
“Why Keep the Law?,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What are the reasons in the Bible for keeping the law of God today? When we choose the path of being obedient to God’s spiritual law and commandments, the difference that it makes in our lives is astounding!
The Church Conference for 2017 will be conducted in Escondido, California, with arrivals on March 23 and ending on March 28.
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